Behind the US Bombing of Iraq -- Oil Company Interests
August 12, 2014
Brandon Turbeville / Activist Post & RT News
What may have prompted American military action now, after allowing ISIS (entirely funded, directed, created, and armed by the West) to seize vast swaths of territory across Iraq? Why bomb the area surrounding Erbil? The answers to this question lie in the simple fact that the area surrounding Erbil -- the Kurdish region of Iraq -- is a "hub for US oil companies."
The Real Reason the US Is Bombing Iraq
Brandon Turbeville / Activist Post
(August 10, 2014) -- Only a day after Obama's announcement that he had authorized "targeted strikes" inside Iraq in order to combat the Islamic State (IS) advance, the United States has indeed followed through with their threat.
At least two waves of airstrikes against a variety of targets have already taken place inside Iraq. One of the airstrikes apparently struck an IS mortar position and an IS convoy near Erbil. IS fighters had advanced to within a half hour's distance from Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region. According to a Pentagon spokesman, two FA-18s that took off from an aircraft carrier in the Gulf were involved in the airstrike.
Obama stated that the strikes were necessary to prevent genocide, to protect Christians and other religious minorities whose lives are in danger, and to halt the IS advance. The airstrikes are the first that have been authorized in Iraq by the United States since 2011.
What is notable, however, are the circumstances surrounding the initiation of the bombing and what may have prompted American military action now, after allowing ISIS (entirely funded, directed, created, and armed by the West -- notably the United States) to seize vast swaths of territory across Iraq.
Why bomb Iraq now you might ask? And why bomb the area surrounding Erbil?
The answers to this question lie in the simple fact that the area surrounding Erbil -- the Kurdish region of Iraq -- is a "hub for US oil companies."
In fact, Erbil, a city of 1.5 million people is largely viewed as the administrative center for the Kurdish regional oil industry and a quarter of Iraq's oil production nationally. The oil reserves are so large in this region that Kurds often claim that, if they were to break off from Iraq and establish their own country, the new nation would stand as the ninth largest oil producer in the world.
As John B. Judis writes for the New Republic:
If the Islamic State were to take over Erbil, they would endanger Iraq's oil production and, by extension, global access to oil. Prices would surge at a time when Europe, which buys oil from Iraq, has still not escaped the global recession.
Oil prices have already risen in response to the Islamic State's threat to Erbil, and on Thursday, American oil companies Chevron and Exxon Mobile began evacuating their personnel from Kurdistan.
But oil traders are predicting that American intervention could halt the rise. "In essence we find US air strikes more bearish than bullish for oil as the act finally draws a line for IS and reinforces both the stability in south Iraq and in Kurdistan," Oliver Jakob, a Swiss oil analyst, told Reuters.
The threat to oil production facilities posed by the IS was reported in a number of other media outlets in addition to the New Republic and the Wall Street Journal.
It was not only American companies, however, that were concerned about their ability to continue production. British oil companies were beginning to evacuate personnel as well.
As Nigel Wilson of the International Business Times wrote:
London-listed oil companies have pulled workers from Iraqi Kurdistan as security forces battle with militants from the Islamic State in the semi-autonomous region.
Genel Energy said it was withdrawing staff from fields that had not started production, but insisted its fields at Taq Taq and Tawke were secure.
"We remain confident in the Kurdistan regional government's ability to maintain the territorial integrity of both the KRI and oil infrastructure," it said in a statement.
"In line with moves by other operators, we are taking the prudent and precautionary step of withdrawing non-essential personnel from our non-producing assets in the region," it added.
Meanwhile, Afren said it had suspended operations at the Barda Rash field.
"Working with our local security advisers, Afren is implementing a phased withdrawal of non-essential field personnel from the Barda Rash field," it said in a statement. "It is expected that we will return to field operations as soon as it is prudent to do so."
With this information in mind, it might perhaps become more clear to those who cannot understand why the United States would fund IS terrorists into power and initiate a bombing campaign against them shortly thereafter.
The fact is that al-Qaeda, IS, and the other related terrorist organizations function as the CIA's Arab legion. They are used to weaken and overthrow governments as well as to act as a constant bogeyman for populations back home so that civil liberties and Constitutional rights will be sacrificed willingly for the perception of security.
When these proxy armies begin to endanger oil production or any other project of the world oligarchy, however, they are eliminated and the threat that they pose is neutralized.
If the American people will wise up to this fact, one of the major tools used by the world oligarchy to terrorize the domestic population and the rest of the world will be yanked from their hands.
US Allies Cultivated Islamic State.
Now IS Plans to 'Raise Flag of Allah in White House'
(August 8, 2014) -- As the Islamic State tears through minority communities in northern Iraq, the extremist terror group, that owes its ascendance to funding from US allies in the Middle East, sent a message to the White House: We're coming for you.
"I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established," Abu Mosa, a spokesman for the Islamic State (IS), formerly know as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), told VICE Media. "Don't be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq."
"We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House," Mosa added.
On Thursday, in response to gains made by IS in Iraq, US President Barack Obama ordered airstrikes on IS targets to help protect Christians and Yazidis, a Kurdish religious sect in northern Iraq.
Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said airstrikes took place to help defend Kurdish forces near Erbil, Iraq. Two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece.
"The decision to strike was made by the US Central Command commander under authorization granted him by the commander in chief," Kirby said. US personnel are also based in the city.
In addition to the strikes, Obama called for humanitarian supplies to be airdropped to stranded Yazidi refugees. Around 40,000 Yazidis -- whose religious beliefs are a mix of ancient Zoroastrianism, Islam, and Christianity -- sought refuge on Mount Sinjar last weekend after Islamic State fighters continued their march toward Erbil. Iraqi officials say more than 500 men were killed by the Al-Qaeda offshoot, and many more, including dozens of children, have died since fleeing Sinjar, a remote area void of nourishment or resources.
But while the Islamic terror group du jour rips through Iraq -- largely forcing minorities to choose its brand of strict Islam, flee, or die -- observers note that it's important to remember how IS has gained strength from the financial backing of United States' allies in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar.
Elite donors of American allies in the Persian Gulf region have poured an immense amount of resources into rebel groups like IS in efforts to advance on three general goals: opposing Iran, its ally Bashar Assad and his government in Syria, and fomenting the Sunni-Shia divides in the region.
IS, formerly allied with Al-Qaeda before splitting with them last year, has benefited from Gulf funding of rebel groups opposed to Assad in the Syrian civil war, as several reports have detailed, paving the way for the Islamic State to advance over the border into Iraq, where it has captured major gains such as Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki has publicly accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both Sunni-led nations, of ongoing financial support for IS.
In Kuwait, donors have successfully funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to rebel militias in Syria.
"Over the last two and a half years, Kuwait has emerged as a financing and organizational hub for charities and individuals supporting Syria's myriad rebel groups," the Washington think tank Brookings Institution wrote in a December report.
"Today, there is evidence that Kuwaiti donors have backed rebels who have committed atrocities and who are either directly linked to al-Qa'ida or cooperate with its affiliated brigades on the ground."
The United States has also supported so-called "moderate" Syrian rebels with both lethal and non-lethal aid, lending to fears that arms sent with the help of the Gulf states were channeled to the likes of IS.
A situation in which the US offers both direct and indirect support to groups fighting common foes one day, only to find that the groups will later leverage such aid, including weaponry, against the US and allies calls to mind the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, to name one example. There, the US long backed mujahideen guerilla fighters, including Osama bin Laden, in their war against the invading Soviet Union army from 1979 to 1989.
Once Soviet Union forces left Afghanistan, these "freedom fighters," as they were known by the Reagan administration, fought one another in a fierce civil war, leading to conditions that brought about the Saudi-supported Taliban rule.
In addition, Western incursions in the region, namely the 2003 invasion of Iraq that ushered in a brutal sectarian war that still divides the country today, have led to extreme instability, creating a power vacuum for militant groups to fill.
Brian Becker, an anti-war campaigner with the ANSWER coalition, told RT that the United States and its allies must take some of the blame for the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
"It was the intervention of the United States in Iraq and the US and its partners in Syria, which laid the groundwork for the ISIS organization to develop. In 2010-2011, remember they said they carried out six actions in the whole year," he said.
"They were practically defunct until the United States and its allies supported the armed opposition inside Syria and gave an opportunity to this organization to develop and come back into Iraq," Becker added.
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