Oil and the Business of Terror

After almost three years of work, I am excited to announce the publication of our new paper, Oil and the Business of Terror.  It’s been a strange journey, with a few “eureka” moments blending into many hours of questioning whether I had lost my mind for looking into a subject that has been discussed by individuals far smarter and more credentialed than me.

I am an amateur scholar, unaffiliated with any academic, political or media organization.  But, like many Americans, I have been puzzled and troubled by the events that have taken place in the world since September 11th, 2001.  I have sought answers to several profoundly important questions: Why did the United States really invade Iraq? And, once there, why was the war so poorly executed?  Why was there such an unprecedented surge in terrorism in that region during the war? Thousands of American soldiers died in that war.  Tens of thousands were maimed or psychologically traumatized.  For what?

What is driving these events?  The explanations given for these bewildering events are at best incomplete. If invading Iraq was, as those on the Right suggests, necessary for the “War on Terror,” why was its execution so incredibly botched?  Why did occupation aggravate the terror problem rather than diminish it?   And if, as the Left says, the Iraq war was “about oil” – a resource grab by oil companies – why did it take 6 years for Iraqi production to come back to pre-invasion levels.

What I have come up with is a deeper look into the theory that the war was driven, in large part, but a desire to manipulate crude oil prices.  The war and its aftermath precipitated an unprecedented increase in the price of oil.  And, it’s fair to say that the war was about oil, just not in the way that most commentators have described.  The war was more about manipulating oil prices and profits than it was about controlling the resource itself.

Though it’s a complicated story, the paper is based on four significant but seldom discussed facts:

  • Oil is a commodity. Its price only goes up when there is a shortage or fear of a future shortage.
  • Terror violence and instability in oil producing countries tend to raise the price of crude oil by taking oil production offline or creating fear that supplies will be disrupted in the future.
  • The higher the price of crude oil, the more money the Saudi Royal Family, the Emir of Qatar and others earn from oil production.
  • Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, which benefit from terror-related oil price increases are the same entities who fund the terror groups that are sowing the mayhem.

My position is that terrorism is a silent component of the oil industry business model.  The more destruction and death you have in oil producing countries, the more money earned by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.  The supermajor oil companies and Wall Street banks profit passively, but I suspect knowingly, from carnage that is caused to create artificial shortages – or the fear of future shortages – in the oil market.

The Bush and Obama White Houses appear to be enabling this destruction to occur.  Indeed, if you look at the perplexing events of the last fifteen years through the lens of oil price manipulation, a few things become a lot easier to understand.  If the goal was to create instability that profited the Bush administration’s biggest backers, a long war that seemed deliberately mismanaged begins to make a lot more sense.  And, it’s not over.  Today’s debates over the Benghazi incident, attacking ISIS and invading Iran are simply the latest round in this long saga.

You can download a free ebook copy of it on the form to your right.

You can also get a Kindle version or printed paperback at amazon.com.



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