The Oily Side Of Terrorism's Wealth
Is oil a reason to go to war?   Perhaps it is--if it is used to keep cold children from freezing to death.   Russia is making a pact with Iraq to lock down oil and gas extraction contracts.   Russia is laying "claim" to Iraq's natural resources so when the country is divided by its new leadership, Russia will have first exaction.    How does Blood For Oil mix with the waters of Vigilance?   How can Freedom rise above the thirst to capture Iraq's rich resources?  And, what does Harry Potter have to do with it all?  You'll enjoy this one.


Monday--November 18
, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 432
Russia Adds "Oily" Touch
To Launching War On Iraq

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, Nov. 18 -- The war in Iraq may be fought on idealistic principles as far as the public is concerned, but for pragmatists, it's all about oil.

Iraqi Soldiers

       As winter approaches, the awareness of oil becomes heightened.   It's one thing to be poor in America, but quite another to be "cold" and poor.
        Oil is the solution to both.   Oil prices drive the world's economy.  The higher the price of oil per barrel, the greater troubles rock the global economy.   Oil fuels the engines of productivity.   Without it, modern civilization grinds to a stop.
         That's why Russia is such a big player in the War On Iraq.   Russia is the single largest consumer of crude oil from Iraq.   Currently, Russia controls almost one-third of the developed oil deposits in Iraq, around 650 billion barrels according to Pravda, Russia's leading newspaper.   Pravda also reports that Russia controls one-half  of the developed gas reserves, 1800 trillion cubic feet.  Iraq is the second largest extractor of oil globally.   

Iraqi oil rig

          What this all means is there are a lot of Russians in Iraq.
          The Russian "oil barons" keep a close eye on the manufacture and delivery of oil and gas to the Motherland.  It also means that war on Iraq must tip-toe around Russian workers and leaders who toil the land in search of oil, or maintain its free flow.      

      Russia also threw a wrench into the impending war on Iraq.  Russia is on the verge of signing a 10-year $40 billion economic cooperation pact with Iraq that includes 67 contracts in the fields of oil and gas extraction, transportation and communications.
        Some say that Russia is "staking out its territory" so when the war with Iraq ends, it will lay major claim to the resources that will be divided.   In World War II, Russia declared war against Japan in the 11th hour, and strolled into the peace talks to lay claim share to the spoils.
        Legally, any new regime will have to honor agreements with the Iraqi state granted to nations during the Hussein rulership.
        This doesn't mean Russia is not an ally against terrorism.   It has confirmed its anti-terrorism alliance with the United States, but as with any nation, its economic agreements remain selfish.   It needs Iraq's resources regardless who runs the country.   However, its citizens in the nation pose a clear and present concern if and when war breaks out.

       I found it interesting that Pravda is currently running a poll.  When you dial up the on-line version of the newspaper, the query isn't "if America is going to war with Iraq?," it is "When do you think America will launch its war?"   The conditions of whether war will happen or not have been erased.
       The poll question appears as an endorsement of war rather than a challenge to it.   Citizens who see the question read it as an affirmation, at least I did, that Moscow favors the removal of Saddam Hussein.   Two reasons play to the affirmation of the war by Russia.  One, Hussein owes Russia billions of dollars on oil concessions Iraq hasn't paid, and probably won't.   And secondly, the embargo on Iraqi exports hurts the flow of commerce between Baghdad and Moscow.  
        We forget all wars are fundamentally fought over resources.   In Vietnam, Cam Rahn Bay represented the world's most natural seaport.  It was the primary route to shipping for foodstuffs in Southeast Asia.   The Mekong Delta and South Vietnam can provide enough food to virtually feed billions of people.
        Palestine and Israel are two other gleaming examples.  The war there, ideologically based, is still about dirt--about who owns and controls the land.
        Iraq's and Iran's long war was fundamentally over the right to the water that flowed between the two nations.

       When nations are conquered, the historic rule is the conquerors divide the country's spoils between them.   In Iraq's case, the civilized method of doing that is honoring legally binding contracts between states.  The Russia-Baghdad connection over exporting oil and gas is one of those.    The United States is also a major player.  Twelve percent of America's oil and gas demands come from the Middle East.   Creating a Marshall Plan to democratize Iraq would include, of course, favorable deals for the U.S. to export the precious "black gold" or oil.
        As the drums of war beat louder, so do the sounds of oil drippings.
        On the streets of my home-ground, the East Village of New York City, the sidewalks occasionally blaze a chalked message:  "No Blood For Oil!"      

       It reminds me of the leaning post, where one strolls along and finds a post leaning in one direction and rests against it, oblivious to the another pole just down the way leaning the opposite direction.  One leans toward idealism, the other toward pragmatism.
        I think Vigilance is the Balance Point between the two.
        Oil can be a reason to fight a war if the children of the world are freezing.  
        Water cam be a reason for fighting a war if the children are dying of thirst.
        Food can be a reason if the children are starving.
        And defense can be a reason if the children are being attacked, or threatened.
        Vigilant Thinking requires one to set aside his or her own political views and look through the eyes of a child.   Children see two things--idealism and pragmatics.    They want the cow to jump over the moon, and, they want to eat, and be warm, and not be afraid of the boogeyman.

         Children's imagination soar when their bellies are full, when they are warm and happy.
        A starving, cold, hungry child has no time for imagination, no time for idealism.   Such a child becomes an animal in search of survival.
        In Vietnam I remember the children.   When we would set up camp the children would mass around us, eyes big, clutching hold of the razor sharp concertino barbed wire and look at us with pitiable eyes.  Some had sores on their faces, others a forlorn look that comes from being forced out of innocence into maturity without any time for childhood.    They would watch us open our C-Rations, and hold out their hands, begging for something.

        One of their biggest treasures was soap, not candy.   If you threw over a bar of soap the kids would form a Rugby pile, fighting for it.   The victor would run away with it clutched to his or her gut, like an end dashing for a touchdown.
        Soap, I thought.  Soap!    The urge to be clean was sometimes more powerful than the taste of chocolate or the smacking of gum.  Cleanliness was indeed the closest portal to godliness to the children.   A bar of soap was gold.   It was wealth.
        Oil also means wealth to the children.  Its purchasing power belongs to the children..

Oil Pipes in Iraq

         Current, leadership in Iraq, as in most of the Middle East, stops the profitable flow of wealth at the top.  Very little trickles down.  Nations ruled by monarchial or despotic leaders tend to take the nation's wealth for themselves, forgetting that what they take truly belongs to the children's prosperity and that they are only guardians of it..  Rulers more interested in themselves stop the flow downward to the people.   Instead of investing it in the children's future, it goes to lavish palaces and Swiss Bank Accounts, and finds its tributaries to the family members, with an occasional drip here and there to the "people" who live in a feudal system divided by "rich" versus "poor,"  the "noble" vs. "the common."

        Russia's claim to oil rights is its security blanket to keep its children warm in the cold Siberian winters, and to fire its engines of production so it can right the ship of democracy that has been sailing with holes in its hulls after the fall of communism.

Cold children

        Probably no other nation stands to gain more from the fall of Iraq's despotic leadership than Russia, since it has the major claim over the nation's resources.    It's alliance with America and support of anti-terrorism has brought it yet closer to the West.   The recent attack on Russian citizens by Chechen Terrorists puts it in a league with America's victims of Nine Eleven.
        It too has Sentinels of Vigilance over its Ground Zero.
       The issue of No Blood For Oil doesn't really oil the idealism of fighting the war in Iraq.   The people in that nation suffer because of its leadership.   All despots deprive their people of fundamental rights.  Without their selfishness they would not be despots.
       This where idealism and pragmatism meet.
       Both crash headlong on the issue of war.

     They force one to reason and justify what is happening in Iraq, and why the U.S. is planning a war under the thin veil of "weapons inspection violations."
      The Middle East rules over its people with deprivation.   When democracy is denied the citizens of any country, the children suffer.   Children have a right to keep their imaginations alive by believing they can become "anyone they want to be."    In American mythology, the belief any child can grow to become the President of the United States is a driving force that crashes down class barriers.   The rise of Bill Clinton to the top of the world's leadership is one example, Harry Truman another.
      The same is true in business.  Poor children can become rich citizens in a democratic, capitalistic society that rewards one for hard work and ingenuity.    A person with limited if not poverty resources can rise to the top if he or she is willing to work and employ the principles of entrepreneurialship.

       I was studying the history of Harry Potter's author, J.K. Rowling.   She was a shy young girl who kept her imagination locked up.  She never told anyone about her writings, or showed them to her friends for fear they might not like what she wrote.   She lived in near poverty with her daughter, writing and teaching French.  She wrote her stories piecemeal over a long period of time and it took a year for her final manuscript to be published.
       It was her belief that she could achieve that drove her to achieve.  The "free society" of England, her home, offered her the childish belief that "cows could jump over the moon," as well as the pragmatic reality that she would have to work hard to make her writings "acceptable" to the reading public.
       If she hadn't had the imagination of a child, with all its Courage, Conviction and Right Actions necessary to drive her beyond her Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies, the world might not have seen Harry Potter.  But they did.  Freedom allowed Harry to become the world's most creative "wizard."   One can take his adventures as a "search for Freedom," constantly facing the "Terrorists of Freedom" who want to quash his powers of imagination.
        The issue of oil or weapons in Iraq fall behind the real issue--the Rights of Freedom for the children, and their children's children's children.
         I wish the peace activists would chalk on sidewalks of the East Village this message:  "Free The Children of Iraq To Be Harry Potters."
        They can be freed.   They will be freed.
        If we are Vigilant.


Nov. 17--Eagle Dancers of Vigilance

©2001 - 2004,, All rights reserved -  a ((HYYPE)) design