Bush’s Iraq war brings global economic crisis

This video from the USA is called Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich: “Privatizing Iraq’s Oil is Theft!”

From British daily The Independent:

Oil: A global crisis

The Iraq War means oil costs three times more than it should, says a leading expert. How are our lives going to change as we struggle to cope with the $200 barrel? Geoffrey Lean reports

Sunday, 25 May 2008

The invasion of Iraq by Britain and the US has trebled the price of oil, according to a leading expert, costing the world a staggering $6 trillion in higher energy prices alone.

The oil economist Dr Mamdouh Salameh, who advises both the World Bank and the UN Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), told The Independent on Sunday that the price of oil would now be no more than $40 a barrel, less than a third of the record $135 a barrel reached last week, if it had not been for the Iraq war.

He spoke after oil prices set a new record on 13 consecutive days over the past two weeks. They have now multiplied sixfold since 2002, compared with the fourfold increase of the 1973 and 1974 “oil shock” that ended the world’s long postwar boom.

Goldman Sachs predicted last week that the price could rise to an unprecedented $200 a barrel over the next year, and the world is coming to terms with the idea that the age of cheap oil has ended, with far-reaching repercussions on their activities.

Dr Salameh, director of the UK-based Oil Market Consultancy Service, and an authority on Iraq’s oil, said it is the only one of the world’s biggest producing countries with enough reserves substantially to increase its flow. …

Dr Salameh told the all-party parliamentary group on peak oil last month that Iraq had offered the United States a deal, three years before the war, that would have opened up 10 new giant oil fields on “generous” terms in return for the lifting of sanctions. “This would certainly have prevented the steep rise of the oil price,” he said. “But the US had a different idea. It planned to occupy Iraq and annex its oil.”

In 2007 elite U.S. snipers executed an unarmed Iraqi prisoner in cold blood: here.

Gordon Brown on collision course with George W Bush over Iraq cluster bombs: here.

18 thoughts on “Bush’s Iraq war brings global economic crisis

  1. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080516/ts_alt_afp/usiraqmilitaryprotest

    US soldier refuses to serve in ‘illegal Iraq war’

    by Karin Zeitvogel Fri May 16, 3:31 PM ET

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – Matthis Chiroux is the kind of young American US military recruiters love.

    “I was from a poor, white family from the south, and I did badly in school,” the now 24-year-old told AFP.

    “I was ‘filet mignon’ for recruiters. They started phoning me when I was in 10th grade,” or around 16 years old, he added.

    Chiroux joined the army straight out of high school nearly six years ago, and worked his way up from private to sergeant.

    He served in Afghanistan, Germany, Japan, and the Philippines before he was honorably discharged and placed in the reserves.

    As a reservist, he was due to be deployed next month in Iraq.

    On Thursday, he refused to go.

    “I stand before you today with the strength and clarity and resolve to declare to the military, my government and the world that this soldier will not be deploying to Iraq,” Chiroux said in the sun-filled rotunda of a congressional building in Washington.

    “My decision is based on my desire to no longer continue violating my core values to support an illegal and unconstitutional occupation… I refuse to participate in the Iraq occupation,” he said, as a dozen veterans of the five-year-old Iraq war looked on.

    Minutes earlier, Chiroux had cried openly as he listened to former comrades-in-arms testify before members of Congress about the failings of the Iraq war.

    The testimonies were the first before Congress by Iraq veterans who have turned against the five-year-old war.

    Former army sergeant Kristofer Goldsmith told the landmark haering of “lawless murders, looting and the abuse of countless Iraqis.”

    He spoke of the psychologically fragile men and women who return from Iraq to find little help or treatment offered from official circles.

    Goldsmith said he had “self-medicated” for several months to treat the wounds of the war.

    Another soldier told AFP he had to boost his medication to treat anxiety and social agoraphobia — two of many lingering mental wounds he carries since his deployments in Iraq — before testifying.

    Some 300,000 of the 1.6 million US soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or both, an independent study showed last month.

    A group of veterans in the packed hearing room gazed blankly as their comrades’ testimonies shattered the official version that the US effort in Iraq is succeeding.

    Almost to a man, the testifiers denounced serious flaws in the chain of command in Iraq.

    Luis Montalvan, a former army captain, accused high-ranking US officers of numerous failures in Iraq, including turning a blind eye to massive fraud on the part of US contractors.

    Ex-Marine Jason Lemieux told how a senior officer had altered a report he had written because it slammed US troops for using excessive force in the face of a feeble attack — they took four rounds of enemy fire.

    Goldsmith accused US officials of censorship.

    “Everyone who manages a blog, Facebook or Myspace out of Iraq has to register every video, picture, document of any event they do on mission,” Goldsmith told AFP after the hearing.

    Officials take “hard facts and slice them into small pieces to make them presentable to the secretary of state or the president — and all with the intent of furthering the occupation of Iraq,” Goldsmith added.

    Chiroux stood fast in his resolve to refuse to serve in Iraq.

    “I cannot deploy to Iraq, carry a weapon and not be part of the problem,” he said.

    One of thousands of US soldiers who have deserted since the Iraq war began in 2003, the young reservist vowed to stay in the United States to fight “whatever charges the army levels at me.”

    Many deserters — defined by the army as someone who has been absent without leave for 30 days — seek refuge in Canada.

    In the hours following his announcement, Chiroux received some 300 emails of support, he told AFP.

    “I’ve been offered places to stay in all 50 states if I want to lie low.

    “I’ve told them, ‘That’s very nice, but I’m not trying to hide.’

    “I want to stand up to the powers that be and send a message that there are still people in this country fighting for peace,” Chiroux said, steadfast in his resolve to not report for duty on June 15.


  2. Blame it on the Bush wars
    By Aijaz Zaka Syed

    Unlike English poet Alexander Pope — I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came — I suffer from a natural discomfort with numbers. Which is why one had to be more than dependent on one’s more calculating classmates when it came to tackling maths. Even now I often fail to fathom the fundamentals of my modest monthly budget.

    So while everybody who’s somebody holds forth on the perils of rising inflation and the declining dollar (the UAE dirham, like other Persian Gulf currencies, is handcuffed to the greenback), I can’t join the conversation thanks to my ineptitude with numbers. But even if one doesn’t understand the first thing about inflation and budgetary constraints… one constantly feels its effects.

    Six years ago when I landed in Dubai, my weekly grocery bill used to range between Dh250 to 300 at Lulu, the neighborhood supermarket. Today, we feel blessed if we can keep it between Dh500 and 600, even though my wife still checks the price tag and thinks twice before throwing anything in her trolley. The bag of Basmati rice that would be yours for Dh60 now costs you more than Dh110. The humble roti that you’d get two for a dirham now costs double that. The monthly school fees for my children used to be well under Dh1500. These days, I have to write a check for Dh2500. These two being my biggest monthly expenses after housing, they are my budgetary benchmarks.

    They also leave two huge holes in my pocket. And like so many other struggling expats, one finds the going increasingly tough. This despite the substantial pay rise most companies and governments have given their staff over the past couple of years.

    I hate talking about my financial and domestic woes. And this is not a veiled appeal to my bosses for a raise either. But I am genuinely perplexed by the unparalleled rise in the cost of living. If a guy like me who has a reasonably nice job with a big media organization — thank God for that — finds the daily grind challenging, I wonder how people whose pay is less than what I shell out for my kids’ school fee or groceries manage.

    A great deal has been said about the world food crisis. But it’s not as if food and the staples like rice and wheat are scarcer today. They are not. They have only gotten too pricey. There’s no shortage of food for those who can offer the right price. Supermarket shelves are still bursting with bags of rice and wheat flour. Only their prices have shot up — out of reach of the less fortunate.

    Some of our friends in the West, especially pundits like Tom Friedman of the New York Times, have been running a campaign against oil-producing countries — read Arabs and Muslims — blaming the high oil prices for the world’s economic woes.

    Crude prices may be partly responsible for global economic problems. But have holier-than-thou wonks like Friedman ever wondered what is driving the oil prices?

    It is the quirky dollar that is driving the oil. And why has the mighty dollar gone berserk? The people of Iraq and Afghanistan could tell you why. It is Bush’s disastrous wars that have broken the greenback’s back. And it’s not just the luckless people of Iraq and Afghanistan who are paying for this cowboy president’s oedipal insecurities. From the suicidal farmers in India to the hungry multitudes of Africa, all of us are paying for these wars.

    There is strong evidence now to suggest that the skyrocketing price of energy is a direct result of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the accompanying geopolitical instability.

    As if these two disastrous campaigns were not enough to drive nervous energy markets crazy, the neocons are now making hostile remarks about Iran.

    Can you blame the markets then if they are getting jittery? After all, Iran is one of the world’s biggest producers of oil. And in case some of us fail to recall, Iraq, the main front of the neocon war, was also a big producer of oil. Under Saddam, it was the second largest producer after Saudi Arabia.

    So was it a mere coincidence that oil prices shot up soon after the U.S. attack on Iraq? When Bush took the Americans… into the morass called Mesopotamia, crude was selling at about a quarter of what it is today. And look where we are today, at $129 a barrel.

    If things continue in this fashion, top economic brains warn, before long the world could be looking at $200 a barrel. Imagine what it could do to multiply our current economic woes!

    Even a layman like me can see that markets are sensitive to bad news and their short and long-term effects. Especially when it is inspired by the U.S., the world’s biggest economy and the custodian of the international trade and financial system. And all Bush has done over the past seven years is bombard markets with bad news.

    Oil prices began to climb after the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and have risen in tandem with the escalation of conflicts and turbulence in the Middle East. There’s clearly a method in this madness!

    These wars are also contributing to the escalation of fuel costs and economic woes in indirect ways — by plunging the U.S. ever deeper into debt and depreciating the dollar. Oil is largely priced in U.S. dollars. And as the greenback’s value is eroded, oil-exporting countries demand more and more dollars for their product.

    Aside from pushing up oil prices and inflation, the war is also at the heart of the global food crisis. The prices of essential foodstuffs and grains like rice and wheat have shot up because fuel prices have gone up; food production and its transport costs are critically dependent on fuel.

    The World Bank says food prices have more than doubled over the past three years. The price of rice, the staple for billions of Asians, is up 147 per cent over the past year alone. The mounting food prices have caused hunger and riots across the Third World.

    Maybe it’s time for the Americans and the rest of the world to wake up to the fact that the disastrous consequences of the Bush wars go beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. They have set the whole world on fire. And the first thing the Americans can do to put out the blaze is persuade the cowboy in the White House to bring the troops home.


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