Date: Thursday, 09 January 2020
Americans are unfortunately severely reluctant to disbelieve the lies that normally spew forth from the U.S. Government about foreign countries and especially about foreign countries that it invades or wants to invade. Consider, for examples, the lies that were told against Iraq when Saddam Hussein ruled it, or about Libya when Muammar Gaddafi ruled it, or about Iran right now. But Americans widely believe their Government’s lies, nonetheless. They are deceived, above all, about whom the U.S. military is fighting for. It’s not fighting for the American people’s benefit. (In World War II, it was, but that was the last time in American history when it was.) And that Government-lie, about “Who benefits?”, is the basis of all the others.
On the morning of January 6th, the Republican Party ‘News’-site Fox News Channel, headlined near the top of their homepage an opinion article, “Democrats still delusional about Trump even after Qassem Soleimani death”, and interviewed there an American soldier in the war against Iraq, who hates Iran’s Government. He compared Qasem Soleimani to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of ISIS, (he said “Soleimani was really Zarqawi in uniform,” at 3:44 in the article’s accompanying video of the interview) but actually Soleimani was the world’s most effective general fighting against ISIS, and he led the elimination of ISIS from Iraq. (That American article linked-to says “Soleimani and his commanders were on the front lines in Iraq and his name became synonymous with victories attributed to Iraqi ground forces. He had presented himself as the face of the offensive in Tikrit, a city which fell under ISIS control in 2014 [HE WAS FIGHTING AND BEATING ISIS THERE].” So, the U.S. soldier speaking on Fox was profoundly misinformed about Soleimani, and about Iran (which has always been staunchly against ISIS). However, notwithstanding the deceit in Fox’s presenting this Republican propaganda for a Republican President, the most “Liked” reader-comment to that article was “A vote for a democrat is a vote for an enemy of America. I am proud to be an American citizen with Donald Trump as our President, and I certainly will never vote for a democrat again.” The facts didn’t matter to these viewers, the internal-U.S. political partisanship, the political Parties, blinded almost every one of the reader-comments there. Those commenters didn’t think, at all, about the U.S. Government’s lies that had persuaded the American public to boost their approval of George W. Bush from 57% immediately before his 2003 invasion of Iraq to 71% immediately after his lie-based international war-crime in invading that country, and everyone who clicked “Like” on that January 6th reader-comment supporting Trump’s January 3rd aggression against both Iraq and Iran, had obviously learned nothing from that historical example from 2003, in which the opponents of the U.S. Government’s Iraq invasion (including mainly Democrats at that time, since Bush was a Republican President) were the actual American patriots (other than the Democrats who were against the invasion merely on account of its being done by a Republican President).
So: how do we know who actually benefitted from that particular international war-crime — the invasion and military occupation of Iraq?
Back on 15 April 2013, a rare entirely honest CNN news-report about Iraq was published online, from the independent journalist Antonia Juhasz, who headlined “Why the war in Iraq was fought for Big Oil”. She wrote that:
In 2000, Big Oil, including Exxon, Chevron, BP and Shell, spent more money to get fellow oilmen Bush and Cheney into office than they had spent on any previous election. Just over a week into Bush’s first term, their efforts paid off when the National Energy Policy Development Group, chaired by Cheney, was formed, bringing the administration and the oil companies together to plot our collective energy future. In March, the task force reviewed lists and maps outlining Iraq’s entire oil productive capacity.
Planning for a military invasion was soon under way. Bush’s first Treasury secretary, Paul O’Neill, said in 2004, “Already by February (2001), the talk was mostly about logistics. Not the why (to invade Iraq), but the how and how quickly.”
In its final report in May 2001 (PDF), the task force argued that Middle Eastern countries should be urged “to open up areas of their energy sectors to foreign investment.” This is precisely what has been achieved in Iraq. …
Juhasz made clear that all of the bombs and the corpses were done for investors in large international oil companies — not only for U.S. companies, but for the benefit of mega-oil investors from all countries. Apparently, George W. Bush was a libertarian, who believed in the gospel of economic competition as being what the world needs more of — and not just more of American oil. She noted:
The new contracts lack the security a new legal structure would grant, and Iraqi lawmakers have argued that they run contrary to existing law, which requires government control, operation and ownership of Iraq’s oil sector.
But the contracts do achieve the key goal of the Cheney energy task force: all but privatizing the Iraqi oil sector and opening it to private foreign companies.
They also provide exceptionally long contract terms and high ownership stakes and eliminate requirements that Iraq’s oil stay in Iraq, that companies invest earnings in the local economy, or hire a majority of local workers.
Iraq’s oil production has increased by more than 40% in the past five years to 3 million barrels of oil a day (still below the 1979 high of 3.5 million set by Iraq’s state-owned companies), but a full 80% of this is being exported out of the country. …
In just the last few weeks, more than 1,000 people have protested at ExxonMobil and Russia Lukoil’s super-giant West Qurna oil field, demanding jobs and payment for private land that has been lost or damaged by oil operations. The Iraqi military was called in to respond.
The Iraqi government serve as gendarmes for foreign oil companies, and for foreign oil workers. The profits, and the jobs, go abroad. The destruction of Iraq was done for those oil companies — it was done for the investors who own them.
Saddam Hussein was killed for refusing to cooperate with this type of plan for his country.
On 1 January 2020, 24 international oil giants were extracting and selling Iraq’s oil, and only ExxonMobil was American-based. Five years earlier, back on 20 March 2015, 28 were, and 6 of them were American: Chevron, ExxonMobil, Heritage, Hunt, Marathon, and Occidental. Perhaps Iraq’s Government, during the past five years, has been increasingly trying to free itself from the grip of the U.S. regime, and maybe that’s the reason why five of the six U.S. firms that were in Iraq in 2015 have left.
Also on January 1st of 2020, Abbas Kadhim, of the nonprofit NATO public relations arm the Atlantic Council, headlined “New low in US-Iraq relations: What’s next for 2020”, and he opened by saying that, “In early 2019, I predicted that U.S. forces would remain in Iraq this past year despite calls in parliament to pass a law mandating their withdrawal. My prediction was right. My prediction for 2020 is that no U.S. forces will remain in Iraq by the end of the year. As someone who firmly believes in the importance of robust US-Iraq ties and works hard to help both sides improve and strengthen the relationship, I am saddened at this recent deterioration and am concerned about the future.”
Donald Trump had tweeted just the day before, on December 31st, “Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!”
Later on, that day, he tweeted, “Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat.”
Whether or not Iran had had anything to do with the attacks which had precipitated Trump’s “Threat” against Iran isn’t known, any more than it was known, when we invaded Iraq on 20 March 2003, whether or not there were any WMDs in Iraq after the U.N. had destroyed all of them in 1998. Everything that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice, etc., had said about that were lies, which the U.S. ‘news’-media refused to expose as being lies from the Government. Donald Trump is just as much a liar as they were, and as Barack Obama was; so, when Trump followed through on his “Threat” against Iran, inside Iraq, on January 3rd, one can’t reasonably assume that it would be any more justifiable than our invasion of Iraq was, or than our conquest of Ukraine by means of a bloody coup in 2014 was, or than our participation in the destruction of Libya in 2011 was, or than our destruction of Syria is, or than our assistance to the Sauds’ destruction of Yemen is, or than our destruction of Bolivia for its lithium is.
All of that has been simply fascism, American-style. America’s Republicans apparently like it, but perhaps America’s Democrats won’t like it in this instance (since its from a Republican), and maybe even the independents won’t. (However, the reader-comments at Zero Hedge, a non-mainstream, independent libertarian news-site, were unconcerned with the sheer psychopathy and enormous danger of Trump’s murders in Iraq on January 3rd, and are concerned almost only with whether or not what he did will be of benefit to Americans; so, perhaps independents will turn out to be largely favorable toward what Trump did here. Also: viewer-comments at a January 3rd youtube “Pakistan: Soleimani killing sparks outrage among Shia community” were rabidly hostile against the demonstrators, like a typical comment there, “feel American power, infidels,” is. This is today’s supremacist America. It’s not just the Republican Trump’s “Make America Great Again”; it is also the Democrat Obama’s “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation.” Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, etc. — all other nations than the U.S. — are “dispensable,” according to Americans in both Parties. Hello, Hitler, here?)
On the night of January 7th, Fox ‘News’ headlined “Iran launches ‘more than a dozen’ missiles into Iraq targeting US, coalition forces, Pentagon says”. All of the most-liked reader-comments cheered for Trump, such as “Thank God we don’t have a muslim President any more!!” Those readers were remarkably similar to the German Nazis: We’re terrific, and anyone who doesn’t believe the way we do or doesn’t like us deserves death. Consequently, for them, everything is us-versus-them, instead of good versus bad, because, to them, “us” (whatever group that is) is definitionally “the good people,” and is never what bigoted fascists and imperialistic fascists always actually are, which is totally evil people, the purest type of bad persons that exist, and from which everyone else must always be protected (such as by prohibiting bigots from citizenship, by means of “personality”-tests, but both liberals and conservatives would say that that’s ‘immoral’ — even though it’s the exact opposite of that. Leaders such as Trump and Hitler are always idolized by the “us-versus-them” thinkers, “reactionaries,” because to such followers, such leaders as Trump and Hitler are the epitome of “us.” And this isn’t only in some cultures, but in all. For example, today, in Hindu-majority India, the Governmentally imposed brutalization of all Muslims in Jammu-Kashmir is overwhelmingly approved by the Indian public, and is accepted not only by conservatives but also by many liberals even outside of India — but that public acceptance doesn’t make it right, or even decent. Even five months into J&K’s becoming suddenly a large unwalled prison, the outside press still aren’t allowed in, except under Indian-Government escort.
Trump has started off the U.S. Presidential ‘election’ year of 2020 with a bang, and he’s well-supported by America’s Republican billionaires, but it’s still doubtful whether he will get anything like the 14% boost in approval-rating that Bush did by raping Iraq for global oil-investors, on 20 March 2003. Time will quickly tell. However, already on January 3rd, the leader of Democrats in the U.S. Senate, Charles Schumer, said on the Senate floor, that “No one should shed a tear over his [Soleimani’s] death.” (Schumer objected only that he had not received “any advance notification or consultation” about the assassination and murders.) Some of the Democratic Presidential candidates have refused to condemn Trump’s action. Everyone will be looking at the polling-numbers. And those will reflect the result of what America’s billionaires’ (or “the mainstream”) ‘news’-media present about this matter, to their respective publics. It is conceivable that Trump could achieve bipartisan support for entirely needlessly starting WW III. This could be the way that today’s Americans are.
Later in the day of January 3rd, Reuters headlined a news-report that, if true, is historically significant about all of this matter, “Inside the plot by Iran’s Soleimani to attack U.S. forces in Iraq”. Written by “Reuters staff,” it opened:
In mid-October, Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani met with his Iraqi Shi’ite militia allies at a villa on the banks of the Tigris River, looking across at the U.S. embassy complex in Baghdad.
The Revolutionary Guards commander instructed his top ally in Iraq, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and other powerful militia leaders to step up attacks on U.S. targets in the country using sophisticated new weapons provided by Iran, two militia commanders and two security sources briefed on the gathering told Reuters.
The strategy session, which has not been previously reported, came as mass protests against Iran’s growing influence in Iraq were gaining momentum, putting the Islamic Republic in an unwelcome spotlight. Soleimani’s plans to attack U.S. forces aimed to provoke a military response that would redirect that rising anger toward the United States, according to the sources briefed on the gathering, Iraqi Shi’ite politicians and government officials close to Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
Soleimani’s efforts ended up provoking the U.S. attack on Friday that killed him and Muhandis, marking a major escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran. …
Obviously, if that report is true, then Trump had cause to do on January 3rd what he did. Even his having not given anyone in Congress advance-notice about it would have been justifiable as this action’s being an emergency opportunity and in accord with his Commander-in-Chief powers to do in order to protect the Embassy. It wouldn’t justify the psychopathically pro-U.S.-regime reader-comments earlier that day on January 3rd about what Trump had done, because all of recent American history is full of lies by the U.S. Government in order to ‘justify’ its invasions against countries that neither threatened nor perpetrated invasion of the United States. Hitler did the same thing in Germany. However, if that Reuters report is true, then what Trump had done on January 3rd was done as an authentic U.S. national-security matter, in response to what Soleimani and his colleagues were doing. This isn’t necessarily to say that what Soleimani and his colleagues were doing there would have been unjustified. The United States, ever since its 1953 coup against Iran, has been an oppressive foreign power — Iran’s enemy — and the U.S., since at least its 2003 invasion against Iraq, is also Iraq’s enemy. Neither Iran nor Iraq ever endangered the national security of the United States. All of the aggressions have instead been by the United States. Trump’s abandonment of the Iran nuclear treaty and restoration of sanctions against Iran were the aggressions which started this war. However, if this Reuters report is true, then the appropriate response by the Governments of U.S., Iraq, and Iran, would have been be as follows:
Trump would announce that he is herewith cancelling sanctions against Iran and restoring U.S. participation in the Iran nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which in 2015 was signed by China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, Germany, and then the entire European Union. Iran would then announce that it is willing to discuss with all of the signatories to that agreement, if a majority of them wish to do so, international negotiations regarding possible changes (amendments) to be made to that agreement. The United States would then offer, separately, and on a strictly bi-lateral U.S.-Iran basis, to negotiate with Iran a settlement to all outstanding issues between the two nations, so that they may proceed forward with normal diplomatic relations, on a peaceful instead of mutually hostile, foundation.
Trump also would announce that he is seeking negotiations with Iraq about a total withdrawal from Iraq and closure of the U.S. Embassy there, to be replaced by a far smaller U.S. Embassy.
Trump would initiate this as a package-deal confidentially offered by him to Khamenei — all steps of it — in advance of any carrying-out of the planned steps, and initiated by him soon enough to ward off any retaliatory action by Iran, so as to avoid further escalation of the hostilities, which otherwise would likely escalate to a widespread and possibly global war. In other words, this direct communication between the two should already have been sought by Trump. (If the Reuters article is true, this should have been planned by him at the very moment he started seeking an opportunity to assassinate Soleimani. Obviously, Trump did no such planning. Aggression was/is his only objective.)
I did not expect Trump to do any of that, not even the first step, and not even the offer to Khamenei; and Iran is in no position to make the first step, in any case (since the U.S. had started the mutual hostilities between the two nations in 1953). However (assuming the truthfulness of the Reuters article), if Trump had, at least made the offer, and then done the first step (ending sanctions), then I think that he would easily win re-election, regardless of whom the Democratic nominee will be. If he could re-establish friendly relations with Iran, then that would be a diplomatic achievement of historic proportions, the best and most important in decades. No one would then be able to deny it. He would, in fact, then deserve to win the Nobel Peace Prize (which Obama never deserved to win, though he did win it). But I din’t expect any of that to happen, because it would be exactly contrary to the way that any recent U.S. President has behaved, and because many in power in the United States would be furious against him if he did do it.
Furthermore, the Reuters report might be a lie, like so many other U.S.-and-allied ‘news’-reports are.
In any case, however: The answer to the headline-question “Who the Winners Are from America’s Destruction of Iraq and War Against Iran” is clear: the owners of U.S.-and-allied international oil and gas corporations, and the owners of U.S.-based armaments-firms such as General Dynamics. Especially the large international oil firms were served when the U.S. regime in 1953 overthrew Iran’s democratically elected progressive Government and installed the brutal Shah to end Iran’s democracy and to control the country, and when he then privatized the National Iranian Oil company and cut American-and-allied aristocrats in on the profits from sales of Iranian oil. The founding members of that privatization in 1954 were British Petroleum (40%), Royal Dutch Shell 14% (Shell now), French Compagnie Française des Pétroles (CFP) 6% (Total now), Gulf Oil 8% (Now Chevron), and the four American partners of Aramco 32% (8% each). And even more such firms were served, yet again, when George W. Bush did the same to Iraq by means of an outright invasion (instead of like Eisenhower’s 1953 method, coup) in 2003.
America’s international oil (and other international extractions) corporations — and not only America’s ‘defense’ contractors — need to be nationalized, so that these ceaseless “regime-change wars” by the U.S. regime will be able to cease. Otherwise, the world will self-destruct by war, if not subsequently by global burnout (which is likely only over a much longer time-frame).
The U.S. military, after the end of WWII, has been fighting for the benefit of America’s billionaires. That needs to stop. This immense public subsidy to America’s wealthiest needs to stop now. However, it’s too late to entertain such concerns now. If we’re not gaining acceleration down the slippery slope, we’re already in free-fall beyond the cliff.