by Jerry Landay 5/11/07

AFTER WORLD WAR II, the president’s national security council propounded a policy that would shape the world’s geopolitical future: “Oil operations are, for all practical purposes, instruments of our foreign policy.”

More than a half-century later, that policy has not changed.

With the invasion of Iraq already secretly being planned, freshly selected President George W. Bush listed “energy security” as his first action priority.

Energy security is the invisible elephant in Washington, guiding Bush policy on Iraq, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. It explains the “surge,” the absence of an exit strategy from Iraq, the stubborn resistance of the Bush-Cheney team to efforts by the Congressional Democrats to impose a withdrawal deadline for 170,000 American soldiers, as well as the ongoing construction of permanent military bases in Iraq, and the costly stationing of thousands of American troops on foreign soil from Kuwait to Djibouti.

Energy security is the invisible presence shaping what the 2008 presidential candidates say or don’t say about oil and energy. Energy security is the reason Hillary Clinton refuses to embrace a withdrawal deadline and why Republican presidential hopeful John McCain declares that there is “no alternative Plan B” to the ongoing build-up of American forces.

In short, the American occupation and the maintenance of a shaky Iraqi government are the insurance policy for American control and access to the second largest untapped reserve of petroleum in the world. The politicians don’t say much about an energy-security policy based on foreign oil. The news media don’t report very much on it.

The Big Five oil companies don’t proclaim it in their self-promoting institutional advertising campaigns.Yet the so-called “Majors” – U.S.-based Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips; the Dutch Shell Oil; and the British-owned British Petroleum – would be the principal beneficiaries of a new hydrocarbon law before the Iraqi Parliament that the press rarely mentions.

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From: The Providence Journal