Obama says it’s to protect minorities. That’s nothing new. Obama is the fourth president in a row to bomb Iraq … while claiming it is for humanitarian purposes.
But the architects of the Iraq War (the one which started in 2003) themselves admitted it was about oil.
But what about now? Why are the U.S. and France deploying military force in Iraq now?
Well, ISIS captured some key oil fields in the Kurdish region of Iraq on August 3rd.
Mere days later, the U.S. started bombing ISIS.
And the strikes were targeted in protecting oil resources. As International Business Times notes:
US airstrikes were very small and very targeted and the Peshmerga Kurdistan forces are waiting for more strikes by the US fighter jets, according to reports.
Similarly, the Military Times reported yesterday:
“However, these strikes are unlikely to affect ISIL’s overall capabilities or its operations in other areas of Iraq and Syria,” he said.
Obama authorized the airstrikes for two specific purposes. One mission is to prevent an ISIL advance into the city of Erbil ….
It should be noted, initially, that months of murder, mayhem and brutality by ISIS on Christians and other minorities didn’t cause the U.S. or France to intervene militarily for “humanitarian” reasons.
And notice that the airstrikes were very targeted on protecting Erbil … the regional capital of Kurdistan.
The U.S. and France have never lifted a finger to protect the Kurds. Indeed, the U.S. has actively betrayed the Kurds and let them be slaughtered. For example, during the Gulf War, the U.S. called on the Kurds to rise up against Saddam (implying that he would protect them), but then let Saddam slaughter the Kurds en masse.
So why are the U.S. and France moving now to protect Erbil?
Because Erbil has now become a major oil center. The Kurdish government estimates that the region is the world’s 9th largest oil producer.
- Exxon Mobil
- Aspect Energy
- Marathon Oil Corporation
- Hillwood International Energy
- Hunt Oil
- Prime Oil
- Murphy Oil
- Hess Corporation
- HKN Energy
- Viking International
- Forbes and Manhattan
- Western Zagros Resources
- Talisman Energy Inc
- NIKO Resources
- Ground Star
- Korea National Oil Company (KNOC)
- Genel Energy
- Gulf Keystone Petroleum
- Sterling Energy
- Heritage Oil
- Dana Petroleum
- China acquired a significant presence in Iraqi Kurdistan after Sinopec Group bought Addax Petroleum in 2009.
- Reliance Industries
Papua New Guinea
- Oil Search
- Gazprom Neft
- Oil Search (Iraq) Limited
- Kar Group
- Qaiwan Group
For those who don’t believe that Iraqi oil is driving foreign policy, take a look at what Brookings wrote in June:
Any significant disruption of current Iraqi oil production or long-term diminution in its expected growth could have major repercussions for the U.S. economy.
Kurdistan also possesses approximately 89% of all Iraqi natural gas reserves. And so the West – including France – is eager to protect Kurdish hydrocarbons from falling into the hands of ISIS.
Postscript: Indeed, virtually all U.S. wars involve a fight over hydrocarbons.