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Greg Palast: Oil Barrel Price Reach Record High

Greg Palast in Chicago on October 27 at an Event Sponsored by


Greg Palast in Chicago on October 27 at an Event Sponsored by Toward the end of the Clinton Administration, the Price of a Barrel of Oil was Below $20, Now It Has Reached an All-Time Record of More than $90 a Barrel. As Far as Bush and Cheney are Concerned, Mission Accomplished.

Speaking before a full crowd in Chicago on Saturday evening, October 27, the indefatigable investigative reporter Greg Palast challenged the conventional wisdom that the Iraq War is a failure for Cheney and Bush.

Palast, of course, agrees that it is a disaster from the perspective of loss of life and a prodigious waste of dollars -- and that it is harmful to the national interests of the United States. But, he contends that from the perspective of Cheney and Bush, the war has succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.


Because Iraq has become a huge "profit center" for American corporations due to the privatization of the war. Halliburton and Blackwater are the most visible examples of rampant profiteering, but they are just the tip of the iceberg.

In short, as Naomi Klein and Amy Goodman have also contended, the Iraq War (and the impending Iran attack) are market expansion initiatives for the corporate backers of the Republican Party -- and the most basic economic outlook at the highest levels of the GOP: America is the sole superpower and deserves to assert -- at its will -- its market dominance for the benefit of its corporations.

Once again, that's not to say that terrorists don't exist; it's to simply recognize that they are being used as an excuse to seize new markets -- and to put the hard-earned tax dollars of middle income Americans into the profit column of large "no-bid" contracts for corporations who are the financial backbone of the GOP.

This is not a radical theory; it's actually the reality in Iraq.

This might explain a recent column that BuzzFlash posted from of all places, the FOX "News" Web site by one of their military analysts, Col. David Hunt.

This was the headline that BuzzFlash posted on the October 23 column:

Red Alert. This is From a FOX "News" Analyst of All People: "We know, with a 70 percent level of certainty -- which is huge in the world of intelligence -- that in August of 2007, bin Laden was in a convoy headed south from Tora Bora. We had his butt, on camera, on satellite. We were listening to his conversations. We had the world's best hunters/killers -- Seal Team 6 -- nearby. We had the world class Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) coordinating with the CIA and other agencies. We had unmanned drones overhead with missiles on their wings; we had the best Air Force on the planet, begging to drop one on the terrorist. We had him in our sights; we had done it. Nice job again guys -- now, pull the damn trigger. Unbelievably, and in my opinion, criminally, we did not kill Usama bin Laden. You cannot make this crap up; truth is always stranger and more telling than fiction. Our government, the current administration and yes, our military leaders included, failed to kill bin Laden for no other reason than incompetence." Of course, there is the distinct possibility that the White House doesn't want Osama dead. They need him alive as a bogeyman to scare up Americans. 10/26

Okay, so why would the Bush Administration, on multiple occasions, not pursue the chance to take Osama bin Laden out?

Because, as Thom Hartmann observed when BuzzFlash was recently on his program, the Bush-Cheney crowd needs him as a bogeyman. To achieve the corporate profiteering goals of the GOP, you need a distraction to keep Americans from figuring out the sleight of hand that is going on -- and nothing distracts people like fear for their lives.

Patriotic Americans -- true patriots, not the cognac-swilling, cigar-smoking shills in the right-wing echo chamber (bought, owned and salaried by the corporations getting fat off the hog under the Busheviks) -- should be daily reminded that demagoguery is the means by which the Republican Party has maintained control of the terms of the debate over the Iraq War and the impending air attacks on Iran.

It is a primal emotion to fear for your life against people who would do it harm. Giuliani is the symbolic and Bushevik-backed heir to the cudgel of 9/11 used by the demagogues to fatten the pockets of their corporate backers. (Remember that Giuliani's police chief and short-lived Homeland Security Chief appointment by Bush was the mobbed-up and corrupt Bernard Kerik.)

Palast also argues that the goal of the Bush Adminsitration is not to seize the Iraq and Iran oil fields to make more of the black gold available, but rather to control the output so that supply is limited in order to raise the profits of the oil companies. Since Bush and Cheney invaded Iraq, the price of oil has skyrocketed and the oil corporations have pocketed billions and billions of dollars in record windfall profits.

The goal of the Bush Republican Party is not to protect us from terrorism, but rather to use terrorism to advance their international and domestic economic agenda.

That is truly a Halloween frightfest of potential catastrophic proportions.

(Palast spoke at a special event sponsored by and co-sponsored by WCPT (850 AM), progressive radio in Chicago. The evening was hosted by Columbia College.)


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