Friday, January 12, 2007

Oil in Somalia.

The bombing of Somalia in the past few days has caused worldwide stir, outrage and theories of conspiracy as it emerges that the country has oil. It is no surprise, since Afghanistan and Iraq which are well-documented subjects of military action from the West are both holders of considerable oil reserves, that the thought arises: "here we go again" - namely, (go) "after the oil"? Are these battles fought in the broader war on terror, or part of a territorial onslaught for control of oil reserves; or is the link between these issues inextricable, so that neither can be considered in isolation of the other? I was unaware of the geological backdrop to this region until very recently, but it emerges that there have been a number of geological surveys carried out in the Somali Peninsula and more widely in the Horn of Africa, since the 1980's, which indicate that underlying there are substantial untapped reserves of oil. An estimated 15,000 Ethiopian soldiers invaded Mogadishu, the Somali capital, in late December last with the intention of securing a military defeat of the Islamic Courts Union I.C.U.), which had until then controlled major areas of southern Somalia. The U.S. government has made no secret of its support for the invasion under the banner of the "war against terrorism", dubbed by the Bush administration, and which began immediately following the 9/11 terror attacks. Both Afghanistan and Iraq were then invaded by means that are now widely accepted as being "illegal", and now the war appears to have pushed a phalanx into the Horn of Africa. These are areas of the world that collectively are home to millions of Muslims, and many will undoubtedly perceive these actions as a war against Islam, and efforts by the Christian West to subdue Islam both as a religion and as a resistance movement that dares to oppose the imperialist and colonial forces. Put plainly, there are enormously sensitive issues at stake here. Undoubtedly, it is those actually living there who will bear the brunt of various shows of power as this situation unfolds, and the potential impact of wholesale conflict in this region will be catastrophic for the peoples of Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, who are now being drawn into the business of it. A United Nations resolution has been delivered-up by Britain and the U.S., who hold permanent positions on the Security Council, and is being used to justify sending a "peacekeeping force" to Somalia with the purpose of protecting the transitional government, supported by the U.S. (and the U.K. presumably?), from the I.C.U. forces.
It is, to put it mildly, an extremely tricky situation. Ethiopia and Somalia are two of the poorest nations of the world, and there have been a number of substantial shots of cash injected into them in the form of weapons and loans from The Pentagon, to the tune of $19 million in 2005, with another $10 million worth of weapons promised later this year. The region is one of considerable potential military significance, since ships from naval bases can control the flow of oil-tankers and other cargoes through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden (where there was much conflict fought in the 1960's, involving the British). This is in addition to the fact that Africa is reckoned to hold around 95 billion barrels of crude oil, which is about 8% of the world's total. It is however salient to note that 95 billion barrels is just enough to run the world in terms of its oil consumption for about three years! Most of the profits from African oil, e.g. Nigeria do little to improve the lot of the indigenous populations, because the oil, wealth and profits are controlled externally by Western companies such as Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron Texaco.
It may be that the Horn of Africa will become an extension of oil production in the Middle East - a short hop across the Arabian Sea. Who, ultimately, will get their hands on that oil is another matter, and it is highly significant that China is making serious diplomatic efforts in Africa, much to the consternation of the U.S. It is inevitable that East and West will come head to head over oil, as the resource deepens in its scarcity, with a war-torn middle-ground of nations suffering instability and carnage, ruing the oil that has become their misfortune rather than a gift from God.


Anonymous said...

"Are these battles fought in the broader war on terror, or part of a territorial onslaught for control of oil reserves; or is the link between these issues inextricable, so that neither can be considered in isolation of the other?"

That's a valid question. The answer unfortunately is "part of a territorial onslaught for control of oil reserves" with the rest being a thinly-veiled pretext, much as just about every war ever fought has been fought for economic reasons as opposed to the "reasons" forcefed to the public.

The "war on terror" is bogus, an artificial construct. Much as everyone calls 9/11 a godsend for the neo-cons, something that "answered their prayers" giving them an "excuse" to do have a much more aggressive military posture worldwide, it isn't something that just fell into their laps. The reason why it seems like something that was a made-to-order excuse for their imperialism is because it WAS.

It was the modern-day Reichstag fire. Do what 9/11's planners don't want you to do, what scares the hell out of them: Look into the DETAILS of the event. You will soon find 1.the "official" story is impossible in many ways, including being at odds with the laws of physics, the laws of probability and common sense; and 2.the ones forcefeeding us this fairy tale about "nineteen Muslim hijackers" are the ones who perpetrated it. Here are two hints: It didn't actually involve hijackings and the Twin Towers and WTC # 7 bldg. were controlled demolitions. Also note that the top executives in charge of Raytheon's remotely-piloted vehicle program were killed, on one of the "hijacked airliners" and that Raytheon was and is the owner of all remaining A-3 Skywarrior aircraft, using them as a testbed for remotely-piloted aircraft technology. That gives you another hint there. Remember, "nineteen hijackers with boxcutters" are NOT going to be able to make the world's most powerful Air Force stand aside while they meander to their targets in the area of the country most thick with fighter bases. I know it is shocking and psychologically traumatizing to realize that 9/11 was an inside job done by our own government, but the truth sometimes is painful. This is one of those times.

Professor Chris Rhodes said...

Thank you very much for your insight into these matters!