Why war? It's 'do-able'
Posted: Saturday, February 8, 2003
by Bukka Rennie
With all the threats of war and rumours of war throughout the world, it seems that we here have also caught the virus as would-be bad-johns seem to be anxiously bursting out of the woodwork threatening that "monkey" better know "which tree to climb".
That's so typical of the long-time colourful Port-of-Spain, "ah beta do dis" and "ah beta do dat" bad-johns who were known to rant and rave until San Juan or Tunapuna come down and "manners" tout monde.
Honestly, the wish is that all these would-be bad-john editors-at-large will stop throwing red herrings into the mix and ask themselves where is the "unparallelled investigative reporting" into the issue of terrorism in T&T.
From there we can move on to question why the newspaper industry in T&T seems still reluctant to promote and finance hard-core investigative journalism, which, true to say, is the exception in T&T, financed by the one or two rather out-of-pocket committed reporters who foot their own expenses.
Here the norm is to sensationalise bits and pieces of fact and rumour and thereafter to be stuck repeating for weeks the same thing ad nauseam without ever being able to add anything new to the so-called expose. But all that is another story.
Meanwhile we are faced with the President of the USA and his Man Friday, Colin Powell (and the fact that Powell may love Sparrow and calypso is only another red herring) readying themselves to devastate Iraq with their 21st century state of the art weapons of mass destruction on the pretext that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.
Now here is the President of the only country in the world that has ever been known to have used such devastating weaponry on another country with telling and lasting effect laying claim to the moral authority to advance on Iraq with or without United Nations sanction and is now twisting and bending to fabricate justification for an Iraqi massacre.
Psychologically, why do bullies always beat up on the defenceless? Simply because it is "do-able".
It can be done with very minimal loss of American and British lives and human resource. Iraq cannot defend herself against such a powerful force.
North Korea is an entirely different story. So the bullies will depend on diplomacy and negotiations in regard to Korea.
On the other side of the question there are political and economic considerations to this attack on Iraq. The US policy is geared to achieve a major shift in the balance of power in the Middle East and enhance their control of oil through their Arab allies.
In dealing with the Afghanistan invasion we said in this column the following:
"...Let the truth be told! The Caspian Sea is rich in oil and gas deposits. However these rich reserves are useless until they can be explored and transported economically.
"George Monbiot, in an article in the Guardian titled 'America's Pipe Dream', argues that the only route that makes political and economic sense is via Afghanistan. In fact Monbiot surmises that 'Afghanistan is as indispensable to the regional control and transport of oil and gas in Central Asia as Egypt is to the Middle East.'
"The article also indicates that in 1995, UNOCAL, a US oil company, was seeking vigorously to negotiate pipelines from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan into Pakistani ports on the Arabian Sea and there was talk then about a '1,000-mile pipeline'. In fact Monbiot showed how certain economic variables and political considerations ruled out all the other options when he advanced the following:
"'...Transporting all the Caspian basin's fossil fuel through Russia or Azerbaijan would greatly enhance Russia's political and economic control over the Central Asian republics, which is precisely what the west has spent ten years trying to prevent.
"Piping it through Iran would enrich a regime which the US has been seeking to isolate. Sending it the long way round through China, quite aside from the strategic considerations, would be prohibitively expensive. But pipelines through Afghanistan would allow the US both to pursue its aim of 'diversifying energy supply' and to penetrate the world's most lucrative markets.
"'Growth in European oil consumption is slow and competition is intense. In south Asia, by contrast, demand is booming and competitors are scarce. Pumping oil south and selling it in Pakistan and India, in other words, is far more profitable than pumping it west and selling it in Europe...'
"Today we can add that control of Iraq will now also give to the US, in addition to control of billions of barrels of proven oil reserves, easy access to the Persian Gulf and from there into the Indian Ocean.
"Iraq has become even more important geographically as Afghanistan is still to settle down and maverick warlords such as the fundamentalist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, once a consort of the Americans and a name we will do well to remember, are once again on the move blowing up installations in Afghanistan here, there and everywhere."
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