PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY
War Plans, Backroom Deals, Leverage
and Strategy -- Securing What's Left of the Planet's Oil
Is and Has Always Been the Bottom Line
by Michael C. Ruppert
COPYRIGHT 2002, Michael C. Ruppert and FTW Publications,
www.copvcia.com all rights reserved. May be reprinted
or distributed for non-profit purposes only.]
Oct. 18, 2002, 17:00 PDT (FTW) -- What started out as
a blitzkrieg, the Bush agenda for the invasion of Iraq
is now producing a world picture that can only be described
with one word -- confusing. It is becoming apparent that
outraged world opinion, guided by shrewd public relations
efforts of foreign governments (including Iraq), has thrown
a curve ball to the Bush military plan for a pre-election
invasion and occupation .
But one curve ball is not a strikeout. The continuing
military build up, more frequent air strikes, and the
risky covert deployment of combat troops in supposedly
neutral regions shows the degree of Washington's commitment
to war. These troops are going to be used.
Russia, France and China are only stalling for time,
hoping to cut the best backroom deals possible. They're
perhaps also hoping that the American Empire will make
a fatal mistake or a delay will break Bush's political,
popular, and economic support.
Wall Street's 500-plus point rally on the two days of
shameless congressional votes authorizing the use of force
last week clearly signaled what world leaders have known
for some time, and what the American public is seriously
beginning to grasp -- the whole thing is about Iraqi oil.
The Associated Press ran a story yesterday indicating
that the U.S. had been overwhelmed by global opposition
to the invasion of a country second only to Saudi Arabia
for its known oil reserves. Iraq is capable of quick production
increases even if Saddam tries to destroy his oil fields,
as former CIA director James Woolsey recently acknowledged.
The story's lead sentence read, "Facing
strong opposition from dozens of nations, the United States
has backed down from its demand that a new U.N. resolution
must authorize military force if Baghdad fails to cooperate
with weapons inspectors, diplomats told The Associated
Press on Thursday."
However, a Reuters story released hours
later clearly indicated that the U.S. was playing hardball
behind the scenes. "Iraq's main opposition group says a post-Saddam government
would review existing oilfield development deals with
French and Russian companies and could favour U.S. firms
"Sharif Ali Bin Al Hussein, spokesman for the main Iraqi
opposition group the Iraqi National Congress (INC), told
Reuters in an interview that his group would open the
oil sector to all companies, including the U.S. majors.
"'We would have to review all contracts which have been
signed by this regime to make sure it is in the interest
of the Iraqi people and not just for Saddam Hussein,'
Nobody is asking who controls the INC. It's a given.
The stakes are incredibly high for Russia. Major press
organizations are now acknowledging what FTW has been saying for months. The Bush objective is to
drive the price of oil down and simultaneously drive a
stake through OPEC, forestalling a further and perhaps
catastrophic crash in the U.S. economy. News analyses
from Pravda to Fox News have foreseen that a successful
U.S. invasion will result in crude oil prices of between
$12 and $16 per barrel. Oil currently consts $30 per barrel.
That would destroy Russia's economic recovery as it
sells hand over fist its own diminishing reserves -- oil
that is more expensive to produce and of a lesser quality
than Mideast crude, while prices are at $30. Iraq owes
Russia $7 billion in debt from the Soviet era.
And on Aug. 19, Russia and Iraq signed a $40 billion
infrastructure development deal, which, as reported in
the Tehran Times, saw a team of Russian engineers on their
way to what may soon be targets of U.S. bombing raids.
Both Russia and France have development interests in
major Iraqi oil fields. The Reuters story reported, "Although
[France's] TotalFinaElf has no contract, it has been earmarked
by Saddam's government to develop the Majnoon and Bin
Umar fields with reserves totaling 26 billion barrels.
[Russia's] Lukoil has signed a contract for the 15 billion-barrel
West Qurna field."
The back room deals and implied threats are getting
hot and heavy. On Sept. 5, the Asia Times reported that
Russia was considering an expensive trans-Siberian pipeline
to service China. This would compete with post-9-11 pipeline
deals that have been negotiated to send Caspian and Central
Asian oil through Afghanistan for the Chinese market under
As FTW noted last month, the World Bank has opened offices in Kabul to facilitate
the financing of the U.S.-backed projects. Russia's move
may not be much of a threat because Russian oil is inferior
to Caspian oil. Also, Russia has long passed its peak
of production, which means that as time passes it will
be increasingly expensive to produce. The message is clear,
however, and a coalition of nations opposed to U.S. Imperial
behavior could pull it off.
In the meantime Stratfor, a geopolitical analysis firm,
reported that the U.S. is quietly offering a quid pro
quo to Russia in the form of a trade off. If Russia will
sanction the U.S. invasion, the U.S. will allow Russia
a free hand in Georgia to deal with Chechen and Islamic
rebels and presumably a piece of the profits from the
new Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline project that just broke
ground. It seems like a very little quid for a lot of
And in Saudi Arabia, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal
made a second about face on Monday and once again categorically
withdrew any Saudi support for the U.S. war. The timing
was possibly influenced by a Council on Foreign Relations
(CFR) report released today that was exceptionally critical
of the Bush Administration for not cracking down on Saudi
Arabia's extensive financial ties to al Qaeda. The CFR
investigation, directed by Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, CEO
of American International Group (AIG), was chartered by
the CFR to be an intelligence analysis of terrorist financing.
Greenberg, a staunch Israeli supporter, is well qualified
for this task. In 1996 Bill Clinton floated his name to
replace John Deutch as the director of central intelligence.
Greenberg and AIG have been connected by FTW in previous investigations to suspected money laundering
through the Arkansas Development Financial Authority and
to the drug trade. AIG's San Francisco legal office recently
employed the wife of convicted Medellin Cartel co-founder
The CFR criticism of Bush is significant for many reasons.
First, it signals that the CFR is anxious to pursue an
agenda that will likely result in the demise of the Saudi
kingdom and the division of that country, with the U.S.
simultaneously occupying both Iraq and the oil producing
regions of Saudi Arabia. FTW
predicted this scenario last month. The significance of
a move that would give the U.S. military control of 36
percent of the world's oil is not lost on the rest of
the world and it suggests the presence of a much deeper
So flimsy are the Bush Administration's frequently changing
justifications for war that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's
Jay Bookman wrote a Sept. 29 editorial called "Pax
Americana," in which he openly called the U.S. an
"The official story on Iraq has never made sense,"
Bookman wrote. "The connection that the Bush administration
has tried to draw between Iraq and al-Qaida has always
seemed contrived and artificial. In fact, it was hard
to believe that smart people in the Bush administration
would start a major war based on such flimsy evidence."
He continued to make the point that the administration
had no Iraqi exit strategy because it didn't intend to
leave. Period. His premise seemed to be, 'Hey, let's stop
kidding ourselves. We are an empire and we should go out
and act like it.'
But perhaps the most critical element of the post-9-11
landscape, which is made clear by the CFR report, is a
sense of urgency held by major financial players. As FTW has been saying for a year now, the only way both the
urgency and the frenzy and the near desperation of these
moves to carve up the world's oil can be explained is
with one simple concept: the world is starting to run
out of oil.
Coming cataclysmic global oil and natural gas shortages
are about to become very real, certainly within the next
two years, to everyone on the planet. Those countries
that have access to what oil remains will survive and
dominate and those that do not will atrophy and disintegrate.
This is a deadly game of musical chairs. It is the kind
of unspoken crisis that would compel the U.S. Congress
to worship Caligula's horse, forget the Constitution and
international law, and sell out completely.
Many have almost worshipped the progressive, seemingly
unassailable credentials and leadership of Sen. John Kerry
from Massachusetts, who is a possible 2004 Democratic
nominee for the White House. However, many have charged
him with being a privileged member of an elite ruling
class. He was educated at Yale and belonged to the secretive
Skull and Bones Society, of which both Bush presidents
What one believes about Kerry's background is not significant.
What is significant is that he voted for the use of force
resolution last week without even a whimper. That vote
was noticed and so were many others.
These are strange times.
Yesterday's announcement by the State Department that
North Korea has a nuclear weapons program is troubling
for two reasons. First, it raises all of the obvious questions
about whether, if the U.S. isn't really concerned about
oil, it will now drop all Iraqi plans and go invade Korea
instead. They seem to be closer to building a bomb than
Iraq is. But secondly and perhaps most importantly is
the fact that, as reported by Stratfor, Pyongyang told
the Bush Administration about the nuclear program two
weeks ago. Why didn't we hear about it then?
Stratfor suggests that reason is a pending summit between
the U.S. and China where one country might be traded for
another. But instead it is likely the announcements earlier
this year that the two Korea's might unite scares the
White House infinitely more. What, then, would be the
need for massive U.S. troop deployments in the former
South Korea, right next to China? And isn't it also strange
that a number of pipeline plans involving both U.S. and
Russian companies that might go around China and make
oil marketable to Japan and South Korea seem to pass through
We are already being prepared for the Bush Administration's
fallback position if it cannot get the war it wants, when
it wants it. Yesterday, CIA director George Tenet sounded
the clarion call in the last public hearing of the Joint
House-Senate Intelligence Committee examining the 9-11
attacks. "Al Qaeda has reconstituted itself--It is
capable of multi-theater operations." Tenet made
no bones about the fact that another major attack -- one
that will be very convenient for the White House -- is
on the way.
The Oct. 12 bombing of a nightclub in Bali that killed
many Australians has not seemed to impact widespread anti-war
sentiment among the people down under. That might well
be an omen for the outcome of the next terrorist attack
in the U.S.
We now know that Bush et al knew enough about the last
one to prevent it but did not. It has already been shown
that CIA-linked members of the Pakistani intelligence
service helped to fund it; that five of the hijackers
received flight training at U.S. military installations;
that no fighters were scrambled in time to do anything;
and that President Bush lied when he said he had no idea
that planes could be used as weapons. We know that it
is a state secret as to whether the intelligence agencies
told Bush what we now know that they knew.
I hope that this government fully understands how numerous,
well-informed, now-seasoned and capable citizens will
be watching an attack this time, and how quickly the worldwide
networks that have formed in the last year will expose
the first scintilla of untruth in the government's actions.
I hope this government understands that the "sleeping
giant" of the American people is beginning to stir and
unite with peoples all around the world who are already
But, as my dear friend Catherine Austin Fitts loves
to say, "Those who win in a rigged game get stupid." And
that is perhaps the most frightening thing of all.