Jun 142008

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“We are now engaged in Iraq, in occupying an unfriendly nation…I think it was something that we basically had to do, to set up a police station in the Middle East to ensure that we could continue buying this resource…” (Kunstler)

“What do you expect to happen if the policemen where you live break the law in their own self-interest? What happens when the rule of law is dismissed by the heavily armed? (Henderson)

“In seizing Iraq the Bush Admin chose the resource war path for us all. Iraq was a preemptive rejection of international cooperation in the next key decades during which a transition from a fossil fuel economy must be made.”

It appears that John McCain didn’t misspeak when he talked of staying in Iraq for 100 years or longer. George Bush has a plan to fill the Middle East with permanent (or long term, if you prefer) bases, some with prepositioned military equipment ready for deployment. And John McCain is on board with that.

Bush has been making agreements with Middle East countries for permanent bases to protect our access to oil supplies as demand grows over the next few decades. Whoever becomes president will have to deal with that reality next year. (Photo: Camp Anaconda a key US facility in Iraq)

That includes widespread opposition from Iraqis who want a referendum on the new “security arrangements” with the United States. (The Iraqi government, responding to the Iraqi people, now wants to renegotiate the “permanent” base agreements with the United States in order to protect their sovereignty.)

As for reducing the American military presence in Iraq, one way “…is by shifting missions to other Persian Gulf countries, a process that is already underway.

“In Kuwait, for instance, the Army is completing the finishing touches on a permanent ground command for Iraq and the region, one that it describes as being capable of being a platform for ‘full spectrum operations’ in 27 countries around Southwest Asia and the Middle East.” (Speaking of quagmires)

This new regional headquarters in Kuwait will have a “permanently deployed…theater-level logistical command, a communications command, a military intelligence brigade, a ‘civil affairs’ group and a medical command.”

According to Lt. General James J. Lovelace, “These commands now have a permanent responsibility to this theater. They’ll have a permanent presence here.”

“The Air Force and Navy, meanwhile, have set up additional permanent bases in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman.” These are “large and continuing American headquarters and presences, most of which are maintained through a combination of coalition activities, long-standing bilateral agreements and official secrecy.”

In Kuwait and Qatar, the US Army Forces Central Command (ARCENT), has constructed bases and depots “to allow the pre-positioning of military assets…These facilities support USCENTCOM’s efforts to protect US interests (oil) in this region in accordance with the National Security Strategy.” (globalsecurity.org)

“The US constructed its largest pre-positioning base outside the US in Qatar” for the Army and the Air Force. Equipment for one of two army brigades is pre-positioned in Qatar, the other site is in Kuwait.

“The mission of the 262-acre, climate-controlled facility (Qatar) is to store and maintain a brigade-sized (11,000 soldiers who make up an armored brigade and a division base) equipment set that will facilitate the rapid movement of personnel, equipment, and supplies by land, sea, or air to other countries in the region.” (Photo: storage warehouse for U.S. military equipment, Qatar.)

The United States will maintain a large military operation throughout the Middle East indefinitely in order to protect our access to oil while we search for other sources. That would work only if we develop alternative fuels and, of course, practice conservation.

The problem is that we should have begun investing trillions of dollars in the changeover to alternative fuels 10 years before peak oil, when the amount of petroleum being extracted has reached its maximum and output has begun to decline. Some experts say that event has recently occurred.

Now the demand for oil has started to rise and will pickup as countries like China, India and others experience a growth in consumerism. Some projections show that in a few decades China and India alone will use more oil in one year than the whole world consumed last year. Predictions are that we could be having serious problems within the next 10 years (as early as 2015) since demand will easily surpass supply.

The Bush plan is to establish a military presence throughout the Middle East, with permanent bases to exert control over the region and to launch attacks against those deemed a threat.

Terrorists would try to attack the oil fields whether we are there or not. But our presence, of course, will increase their desire to engage us.  And a strike against Saudi oil production facilities, for example, could cause a major blow to our nation’s ability to function.

We are stretched thin militarily and our ‘takeover’ of the region will further drain our treasury and increase the possiblity of more wars, with more casualties.

And those free traders (Bush and McCain) could find that the pipeline of goods from Asia and the rest of the world to our formerly independent (self sufficient) nation has dried up. Gas rationing will be imposed and, in certain regions, fuel may not be available at all.

And where will our neighbors from south of the border (105 million strong) go when survival is the only driving force in their lives and our borders remain open?

Our government’s only response consists of desperately trying to hold on to resources that won’t be there in the very near future. As of now, there is no plan B.

Further Reading:

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