ARABS SEE HIDDEN MOTIVES IN ANTITERRORIST WAR

A striking lesson of this tense first month of the war against terrorism is how suspicious people from elsewhere can be of US motives.

Who, to be particular about it, can explain expressions of concern from the Arab Middle East that imperialism lurks behind US attacks on Afghanistan?

This writer has traveled a number of times around in the oil-producing countries of the Middle East and thinks he harbors a respectful appreciation for the perspectives of people in that part of the world.

He was surprised, however, by a question from a group of Middle Eastern journalists visiting his office this week.

Would this writer not acknowledge, one of the visitors asked through an interpreter, that the US military action in Afghanistan is really part of a plan to take over Iraq for its oil reserves?

Well, no, he wouldn't acknowledge anything of the kind. In fact, he strongly believes there is no political support in the US for such a thing. The military action is about terrorism. That's all.

Listening to those answers, the Arab journalist scowled as though certain he was being lied to.

Maybe the guy's just particularly skeptical. But his question fits a pattern. Conspiracy theories seem to run wild in the Middle East.

But a US takeover of Iraq? Good grief.

It turns out, sad to say, that the theory isn't peculiar at all.

An article in the Oct. 10 Houston Chronicle described a similar experience by Fawaz A. Gerges, professor of Middle East and international affairs at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY.

Fawaz had attended a conference in Beirut on how Arabs and Muslims should respond to the campaign against terrorism. He described attendees as "leading political activists and politicians representing the broad spectrum of public opinion in the Muslim world."

They believe, Fawaz wrote, "that the United States has an overarching strategy that includes control of the oil and gas resources in Central Asia, encroachment on Chinese and Russian spheres of influence, destruction of the Iraqi regime, and consolidation of America's grip on the oil-producing Persian Gulf regimes."

Obviously, the Arabs and Mulsims at the conference don't believe US President George W. Bush's careful explanations of US behavior any more than the Arab journalist believed this writer's disapproval of the idea that the US wants to conquer Iraq.

What do you do when people simply refuse to believe you?

In his article, Fawaz calls for a diplomatic push in the Middle East, with investment in social infrastructure and an end to what the professor calls a "bunker mentality" of diplomats.

Those sound like good ideas. But you have to wonder: Would more-aggressive diplomacy really make Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East less inclined than they seem to be now to assume the worst about Americans?

It seems unlikely. Terrorists obviously linked to networks based in Afghanistan murder thousands of innocent people in New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania. Their ringleader appears on television to praise the abomination and to call for further killing of Americans.

That's all the motivation anybody should need for a military strike on the parts of Afghanistan that hide and support the terrorists. Americans face a demonstrated threat and need to eliminate it.

They don't need Iraq. They don't want it.

Arab Muslims who think otherwise are missing a very important point.

Related Articles

EIA: US proved oil, gas reserves continue to climb

12/15/2014 US proved reserves of oil and natural gas have increased by 9% and 10%, respectively, according a recent report from the US Energy Information Admi...

Falling prices may pose new test for China oil policies, speakers say

12/15/2014 China, which successfully revised its oil strategy in response to new technologies since 2008, could face fresh tests if prices stay low for a prol...

Encana plans to hit the ground running in Permian

12/12/2014 Encana Corp. has announced its second major acquisition in a Texas oil play this year, agreeing in September to acquire Permian basin-focused produ...

Uncertainty lingers about local content rules as Mexico prepares for competitive bid round

12/12/2014 The energy industry around the world has it eyes on Mexico as the country implements constitutional and legislative reforms that are set to open it...

Moody's: E&P spending to dip as crude oil prices slide

12/08/2014 Weakening crude oil prices will cut exploration and production spending by independent producers in the US next year and make integrated oil and ga...

US proved oil, gas reserves continue to climb

12/04/2014 US proved reserves of oil and natural gas have increased by 9% and 10%, respectively, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The 3....

US-African energy moves

12/01/2014 Getting electricity to more Africans is a top priority at the US Department of State's Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR), an official told a House F...

Global reserves, oil production show increases for 2014

12/01/2014 Oil & Gas Journal's annual look at worldwide proved reserves shows increases compared with a year ago. Reserves estimates for crude oil and lea...

Oil & Gas UK rebuts industry-subsidy claim

11/24/2014

Oil & Gas UK has issued a sharp rebuttal to reports that UK producers enjoy generous governmental subsidies.

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected