Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Why are the Americans in Iraq?

This summer American Naval power circumnavigated the coast of Africa, and American air power was also employed to assist the Ethiopian army in the invasion of neighboring Somalia in order to expel the new Islamic fundamentalist government that had taken control of Somalia a few months prior. It is worth noting here that both Sudan, where the crisis in Dafur is located, and Somalia have oil resources, and in the case of Somalia these oil resources are mostly unexploited because of the endless turbulence and violence in that country. The African continent is now one of the world's new hot spots for oil exploration and production, which goes a long way towards explaining why Washington announced not long ago the formation of a new Africa Command similar to NATO in Europe.

There are those who might assume that the reason for this interest in oil, whether the oil be found in Iraq or Africa or any other country in the world can be explained as the result of pure greed for black gold. Certainly wherever this is gold to be found of any color there will also be found the greedy international investor, but greed is not the complete explanation.

People can be good people or they can be bad people or they can be somewhere in the middle, but when people participate in systems which are in place, the systems dictate their behavior, and so we could see even good people going bad when the system dictates such behavior. This is not a problem of 'originally sinful pigs' but rather a problem with the system itself.

Modern capitalism is a system based upon rivalry and competition, rather than planning and cooperation, and for this reason capitalism has always been found to sink to the lowest common denominator, and periodically even crash in ruins as the intractable difficulties introduced by the chaotic behavior of that system finally become insolvable.

It only takes one creepy bunch of capitalist with really bad morals to start a trend. We can see that in the previous centuries when greedy cabals of capitalists first decided to lower their input costs and raise their profits by invading technologically backwards countries and then ruthlessly exploiting their resources. Thus began the age of imperialist colonialism, and as we know it wasn't long before the entire planet was being invaded and ripped off, and at the height of the global invasion, as one capitalist nation after another lowered their costs by invading other countries around the world, Great Britain had invaded and was controlling about one quarter of the entire globe, with the rest of the globe being divided up between the rest of the European capitalist nations, while the United States kept up with the pack by invading countries like the Phillipines and repeatedly invaded countries in central and south America. The result of all this plundering and looting was the creation of what today is called the impoverished 'Third World', for such global poverty is not some kind of historical accident but the end result of the workings of the capitalist system over the previous centuries.

It was this process that then led to two major world wars, for Germany was not a nation until about 1870, when Bismarck led a military force that invaded and united all the little left over feudal fiefdoms and created the modern country of Germany in the process. By this time Germany was late for the party and there were no more countries in the world left to be invaded and conquered. Germany is a resource poor country which was reliant on imports and for this reason German capitalism was not very competitive on the international markets, and given the bleak future for the German economy this led to fierce battles with the other European powers. If you were to read the actual unedited texts of Hitlers speeches in various beer halls and other such venues, you would find that one topic he returned to over and over again was what he called the injustice that had resulted from the inequality that existed among the great powers, in that Germany had no imperialist colonies. Hitler was forced to attempt to rectify this situation by once again attacking the other European imperialist powers to clear the way for his true agenda, which was the invasion of Russian and her satellite states, which would then become imperialist colonies for Germany and provide those cheap raw resources that German capitalism required if it was to compete on the world markets. Unfortunately for Hitler, he was not able to invade technologically backwards countries, since none were left, and instead was locked into mortal combat with an industrialized modern state, and as we know in invading Russia he bit off more than he could chew.

Today we see a similar drive towards imperialist expansion in the world, and what is driving the behavior of the American government is found to be in the rivalries and competition of the global capitalist system. The last two decades have seen the rise of China, most notably, as well as the rise of India and this has led to tightening of the global oil markets and the rise of oil prices. Washington was faced with the choice of allowing Saddam Hussein to sell the oil of Iraq, which was required on the markets to prevent an even greater escalation in oil prices which would harm the global capitalist economy, or Washington could kick Saddam out, which is the choice they made, since they were unwilling to tolerate allowing Saddam to get back into the oil markets by lifting those sanctions. As for Africa and African oil, those countries are very impoverished, the result of previous centuries of imperialist exploitation, and this makes these countries very unstable, and if even one of those African countries becomes the victim of civil unrest which then interrupts the oil supply to world markets, this would then push up the price of oil even further, threatening the global capitalist economy.

For this reason politicians will supremely piss off the voters and do things that no one wants them to do, but which they will do no matter how damn much trouble they get into while they are doing these things, because their behavior is being dictated not by moral choices but rather by the constantly changing demands of the chaos produced by the rivalries and intense competition characteristic of that capitalist system.