After a decade of bleak and expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a repetitive push in the media and public discussion for a new conquest with Iran. The incentive is not only to have more control of the region’s oil distribution but also to limit Iran’s power as a nuclear threat. Iranians have the power to monkey wrench the flow of oil from the Middle East to the world by laying mines, threatening exports, or possibly closing down the Straight of Hormuz. This is a key point of access for commercial tankers to ship oil abroad. Interfering with this passageway could have a serious effect on oil production, especially for Europe and the United States.
Some credible suspicion that Iran’s nuclear program is quietly threatening has given Israel a reason to engage in some aggressive tactics, including the development of their own military weapons. As an ally of the United States, many feel that an Israel based conflict would inevitably involve American military also. Regardless of the politics involved, many regions in the Middle East including Israel are consistently swirling with potential for war while oil is quietly the catalyst for most of it.
Diplomacy and sanctions aside, the nuclear talk is the only sales point needed for neoconservatives and capitalist pundits to start touting the need for another bloody conquest in the Middle East. The bigger picture indicates that control of this massively powerful crossroad of resources makes the United States the major player in controlling India and China for the power to afford prospering industry. While China continues to expand financial prowess over the United States, it makes economic sense to lock down one of the world’s most lucrative oil supply lines, especially while there’s some kind of conflict already brewing. This is the same drum beat that prefaced the Iraq War where fear of a nuclear threat and the desire for retaliation dragged the US into that quagmire.
Media rarely quotes the figures for our many years invested in the Middle East, but the numbers do say much about our priorities as a country. To date we’ve spent over 8 billion dollars since 9/11 on enhanced security as well as two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The worst kind of loss is without a doubt the over 7,690 of our youngest and most patriotic troops since 2003. Iran is now the desired third chapter in a trilogy of wars not caused by real conflict, but rather an excuse to take what we really need in order to keep America driving on profit.