Oil…and U.S. Support for Al-Qaida

‘There is a moral imperative to try to stop the onslaught against the Syrian population,’ urges President Obama’s former Middle East adviser Dennis Ross.‘But there is also a strong U.S. national security imperative.’


Oil – at least the West Texas Intermediate variety – hasn’t poked above $100 a barrel in nearly 12 months. But events in the Middle East have propelled it from below $88 a week ago to $93.

‘A familiar coalition of liberal hawks and Middle East hands is now pushing the president toward intervention in Syria,’ says the Financial Times.

The push got stronger last week when the White House said the U.S. spooks had ‘varying degrees of confidence’ that the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons and thus crossed the administration’s ‘red line’.

But wait: ‘New questions have emerged over the source of the soil and other samples from Syria which, it is claimed, have tested positive for the nerve agent sarin,’ reports the U.K. Observer.

Eyewitness reports of one attack described ‘white smoke’ coming from shells that smelled like hydrochloric acid. Except sarin is colorless and mostly odorless.

Of course, events 10 years ago proved that disputed claims over ‘weapons of mass destruction’ aren’t enough to stop U.S. regime change in the Middle East.

‘I think it’s important for the administration to look for ways to up the military pressure on Assad,‘ says an undeterred Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

Then there’s the question of the rebels – neatly encapsulated in this bumper sticker from LibertyStickers.com…

The full quotation, to CBS’ 60 Minutes last year, went like this: ‘We know al-Qaida [leader Ayman al-] Zawahiri is supporting the opposition in Syria. Are we supporting al-Qaida in Syria? Hamas is now supporting the opposition. Are we supporting Hamas in Syria?’

The question is, if anything, more relevant now than it was when Mrs. Clinton uttered it more than a year ago. ‘Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of,’ said a New York Times dispatch from the war zone last weekend.

Of course, in the minds of some politicians, this fact makes the case for U.S. intervention even more urgent: ‘We’ve gotten to the point now where the opposition has been affected by the radicals,‘ says Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) ‘I think we can arm the right people with the right weapons.’

As Addison wrote with Bill Bonner in Empire of Debt, the empire has a logic all its own.

Then again, maybe US support for al-Qaida types has been the plan all along, even before Obama came on the scene.

‘To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East,’ wrote The New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh in 2007. That is, the U.S. began to egg on the 1,354-year-old conflict between Shiite and Sunni Islam. Divide and rule.

‘In Lebanon,’ wrote Hersh, ‘the administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran.

‘The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A byproduct of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to al-Qaida.’

Fast-forward six years: The Obama White House is working openly with the Sunni governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar – which are funneling the money and weapons to the Sunni rebels in Syria trying to take down Assad and his Shiite brethren.


Dave Gonigam
for Markets and Money


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3 Comments on "Oil…and U.S. Support for Al-Qaida"

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For Syria there is oil and pipelines, for the South China Sea they say (the US DOE) that there is only US legitimacy in those waters and that the Chinese should give up their traditional fishing ground rights basis of claim : http://www.gasandoil.com/oilaround/2013/04/us-says-there-is-no-useable-oil-in-disputed-areas-in-south-china-sea I love the employ of the notion of “strangling” embedded in US imperial geo political strategy. There’s “The Strangling of Persia” (directed against Britain and Russia when they were the imperial powers with the footprints in the areas of US desire. Then there is the “String of Pearls” strategy to cut China off from its resource lanes… Read more »
Nobody in the United States or in the Middle East will admit that global oil production has peaked and will soon decline. Such news would result in a demand for a field by field audit that would confirm the problem. But they are all aware that Peak Oil means “game over” for all of them. Instead we get the Americans and their lapdogs waffling on with the usual Hollywood movie style stuff about “weapons of mass destruction” and “fighting for freedom”, I suppose it sound better than saying “We;re fighting for $16 per barrel” or “to screw the OPEC price… Read more »
Lachlan Scanlan

You could be right Jason. In any event peak oil phobia ktself seemed to peak about five years ago. That’s just an observation from where i sit. I wouldn’t have a clue who is right but oil at $300 has not happened yet.

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