A critical Error in a Critique of Fahrenheit 9/11
Long title eh? Over at counterpunch is an article entitled Stupid White Movie: What Michael Moore Misses About the Empire by Robert Jensen. Among Jensen's critique are the following:
Moore also suggests that the real motivation of the Bush administration in attacking Afghanistan was to secure a gas pipeline route from the Caspian Basin to the sea. It's true that Unocal had sought such a pipeline, and at one point Taliban officials were courted by the United States when it looked as if they could make such a deal happen. Moore points out that Taliban officials traveled to Texas in 1997 when Bush was governor. He fails to point out that all this happened with the Clinton administration at the negotiating table. It is highly unlikely that policymakers would go to war for a single pipeline, but even if that were plausible it is clear that both Democrats and Republicans alike have been mixed up in that particular scheme.
When the film addresses this question directly, what analysis does Moore offer of the reasons for the Iraq war? A family member of a soldier who died asks, "for what?" and Moore cuts to the subject of war profiteering. That segment appropriately highlights the vulture-like nature of businesses that benefit from war. But does Moore really want us to believe that a major war was launched so that Halliburton and other companies could increase its profits for a few years? Yes, war profiteering happens, but it is not the reason nations go to war. This kind of distorted analysis helps keep viewers' attention focused on the Bush administration, by noting the close ties between Bush officials and these companies, not the routine way in which corporate America makes money off the misnamed Department of Defense, no matter who is in the White House.
Apparently Mr. Jensen does not believe that the US or any other imperial power is going to waste resources over such small things as oil and money. It is clear that Mr. jensen is not familiar with history. The English in the 1800's did just this. At the begininng of the Industrial Revolution the lubrication for machines was Palm Oil. This Palm oil was souced from Nigeria. A clever Nigerian (who's name escapes me but I'll find it) Discovered that the British liked to play divide and conquer and would pit various sellers against each other to get the best price. This Nigerian made a pact with all the sellers that they would not sell below a certain price that he determined. The British were livid. How dare this "Negar" mess with their profits. So the crown decided to send a contingent of warships to Nigeria and they made war against this king and establlished a monopoly presence in Nigeria until of course petroleum came around.
Thus we have a clear example, among many, of where military might was used against black people (and other people of color) for the express purpose of feeding the energy and financial needs of the conquering country.
Everyone who is keeping up with events knows that China is the #2 consumer of Oil and is a large reason why Oil Prices have gone up. This coupled with drying reserves, means that there is a great incentive to "secure" US interests in the Middle East and having compliant governments in places with large reserves or land where oil must be piped over to reach ports, is extremely important.
It's not that far fetched