Holt argues this convincingly, though he tacitly admits that this is in a sense a conspiracy theory which, like all such theories, calls for a level of foresight, cunning and general brilliance which the conspirators are unlikely to possess. You can judge the validity of his theory by reading the article, but he does quote a number of incontrovertible facts which tend to support him. Among these are:
- Iraq’s known oil reserves are five times the total in the United States.
- If current estimates are correct, US forces are now sitting on one quarter of the world’s oil resources, with a value of $30 trillion at today’s prices.
- The projected total cost of the US invasion/occupation is around $1 trillion.
- The draft law that the US has written for the Iraqi Congress would cede nearly all the oil to Western countries.
- The US can maintain hegemony over Iraqi oil by establishing permanent military bases in Iraq; five self-sufficient ‘super-bases’ are in various stages of completion; their main day-to-day function will be to protect the oil infrastructure.
- The beneficiaries of the continued occupation of Iraq and the exploitation of its oil will be: oil-services companies like Halliburton; US voters, who will be guaranteed price stability at the gas pump; and Europe and Japan, which will both benefit from Western control of such a large part of the world’s oil reserves.
[These are depressing facts, but Bird and Fortune had a lot of fun with them in a sketch they did in Rory Bremner's programme on Channel 4 just after after I posted the above.]