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Iraq - It Was About Oil. So Is Libya

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Iraq - It Was About Oil. So Is Libya

Old 19th Apr 2011, 17:40
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Iraq - It Was About Oil. So Is Libya

The Independent has published leaked memos that confirm that the Iraq war was about oil - to the point that Britain went to war to ensure that BP and Shell could get their fair share of the spoils.

I think we can now safely presume that European and American action in Libya is driven by exactly the same dynamic. It would appear that Governments, whatever their persuasion, are NOT safe from our attentions if they are sitting on lakes of oil.


After another meeting, this one in October 2002, the Foreign Office's Middle East director at the time, Edward Chaplin, noted: "Shell and BP could not afford not to have a stake in [Iraq] for the sake of their long-term future... We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in a post-Saddam Iraq."

Whereas BP was insisting in public that it had "no strategic interest" in Iraq, in private it told the Foreign Office that Iraq was "more important than anything we've seen for a long time".
Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq - UK Politics, UK - The Independent
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 18:27
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Of course it was, for the reasons given in the article and surely also because we need a stable region in which to trade. Saddam was, since he invaded Kuwait, a source of instability and had to go.

The problem is that we, the British public, are too sensitive to the realities of our relatively high standard of living, and so had to be lied to. Blair did us a favour, frankly, and as usual with us, gets flak for it.
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 18:30
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Maybe we should be more like China and trade with any old nutter?
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 18:51
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To be fair (if only briefly) the newly discovered memos only say that:

'We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in a post-Saddam Iraq'

Nothing in the article says that we went to war because of oil (that doesn't mean we did or we didn't - it's just that the article doesn't help either way), what it says is - having spent UK blood and treasure invading the place isn't it reasonable that UK should get a fair share of the rewards?

I accept that I am a bluff old traditionalist, but that doesn't sound like big news to me. A 'leaked' memo showing Tony B had said 'the oil is why we are invading - I made up the WMD thing to fool everyone' would be interesting; this is not.
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 19:22
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BBC News - British military officers to be sent to Libya

So much for not putting troops on the ground. This is exactly the same thing that happened to the US in the early 60's in Vietnam - and look where that led to! Seems we forget the lessons of only 30 years ago too readily!
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 19:27
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That would be 40-50 years ago, if you refer to Viet Nam.

30 years ago it was the year 1981 ... We are getting old, are we not?

EDIT:

Is it just me or is the UN embarking on yet another disturbing facet of globalization? Libya is a curious operation, to date. If nothing else, it lets the French show that they can wave their willies as well as any other power. For that, we thank our French friends.

But let's look at this with as neutral a view as we can.

A sovereign nation state and UN member (regardless of how strangely led, or how culturally backward) is having a civil war. The UN cannot iron out a cease fire, nor a peace agreement, nor get the sides to stop shooting (a common failing on the part of the UN) so it chooses sides and asks various member states to offer up war waging capability in order to back a preferred side with blood and iron.

What member state is pleased with this turn of events?

To paraphrase the lyrics from a Hollywood soundtrack ...

Watcha gonna do when they come for you?

One of these days, it's gonna be the Chinese, rather than the French, waving their willies about ...

Twenty years ago, I was a UN fan. Since about 1992, as I began to understand the distrust of the UN at local levels (Somalia being a beginning, the curious case of Specialist Michael New being another, the cock-ups Ritter exposed over the cease fire agreements,1991 Gulf War, the UN brushed aside by NATO to bomb Serbia over Kosovo in 1999).

I find my taste for that level of multinational collective security to have declined sharply.

What really annoys me, however, is the gutlessness. Note how the UN cut and ran, tail between legs, along with some of its donor nations, after the UN HQ in Baghdad was hit with a bomb in August 2003. Predictable, if you watched UN shenanigans in Somalia, eh?

What nation actually benefits from being a UN member?
At what point does the cost benefit curve knee, or diverge?
How did Iraq benefit from being a UN member?
How does Lebanon?

I ask this at the collective security level, not the health and trade level, where the UN IMO does yeoman work.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 19th Apr 2011 at 19:42.
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 20:03
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To be fair (if only briefly) the newly discovered memos only say that:

'We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in a post-Saddam Iraq'

Nothing in the article says that we went to war because of oil (that doesn't mean we did or we didn't - it's just that the article doesn't help either way), what it says is - having spent UK blood and treasure invading the place isn't it reasonable that UK should get a fair share of the rewards?

I accept that I am a bluff old traditionalist, but that doesn't sound like big news to me. A 'leaked' memo showing Tony B had said 'the oil is why we are invading - I made up the WMD thing to fool everyone' would be interesting; this is not.
Exactly. BP et al would be negligent not to consider the post-Saddam landscape and try and gain some advantage. I'll bet the world's tobacco producers are in the wings for an opportunity if Mugabe loses Zimbabwe, but it wouldn't be the 'tobacco revolution' if he went. It must be a quiet news week.
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 20:25
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BP et al would be negligent not to consider the post-Saddam landscape and try and gain some advantage
Did BP gain any advantage I wonder..
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 20:29
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Good job that Shell is Dutch then...



Royal Dutch Shell plc is its full title.
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 20:53
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Leon -Shell is an Anglo-Dutch company!

From the website:

Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies. Our headquarters are in The Hague, the Netherlands, and our Chief Executive Officer is Peter Voser. The parent company of the Shell group is Royal Dutch Shell plc, which is incorporated in England and Wales.
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 22:03
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They nicked my bloody idea LOL!

British troops go to Libya amid 'Vietnam' warnings - Telegraph
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 22:36
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Blair did us a favour, frankly, and as usual with us, gets flak for it.
With all due respect........Bollocks, the sh1tbag should have been banged up long ago.
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 23:37
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I say bring in a B-52 strike.....

anyone who drives a car, rides a bus or train, buys food, clothing etc etc is a consumer of oil.

Strategically our pollies must preserve the supply otherwise our current lifestyle is up the creek...

Simple really..
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 00:02
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What secret memos where they like. All I see are quotes from publicised documents.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 01:18
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Grim

The oil part of Shell is as Dutch as windmills, hookers, clogs and "coffee shops" - the UK bit of the company was mostly transport. The petroleum company started in the Dutch East Indies and the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company was formed - that merged with Shell Transport to become Royal Dutch Shell in the 1900s (split 60/40 in favour of the "cloggies").

In my mind they are more Dutch than British - but then again BP and BAES have more non-UK workers than ones from our fair isles.

If we really did go to war for the Global Company benefits then Bliar and the cycloptic jock are even worse than I thought! Thank God that it looks like Cameron is going to veto Brown's bid to lead the IMF - we'd be proper f00cked if that happened.

There might after all be a God
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 01:40
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Putting Brown in charge of the IMF. Now who thought that bright idea up ?

No good in any of the Gov't jobs he did so is this a case of promote the incompetent to get them out of the way ?
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 02:53
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British troops warned of Vietnam-like committment?

Errrrrr....last time I checked you lot sat that one out!

The Aussies showed up along with the Thai's, Korean's and Philippino's...but not the folks from Blighty!
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 03:35
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SASless

Since when did Vietnam fall into the UK's area of defence or NATO ?

Aust has an agreement with the US which means our pollies
blindly follow the Blind US Pollies.

In that era, the UK obviously had more sense !!!


In any case, makes up for the US sitting on the fence for a while in WW11.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 04:12
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SASLess:

The "Vietnam like" situation is a symbolic phrase not an act. There is no suggestion that the UK was directly involved in Vietnam.

Mate it is symbolism.....
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 04:24
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It was about oil: Quelle Surprise
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