The Connection Between War and Energy 


What is capital? The recently deceased economist David Fleming suggests that it is comprised of financial, natural, social, material, human and scientific/cultural assets. I, myself, would add energy assets in the mix because, obviously, those who control the energy supplies of the world control the world.  In fact, any country being in control of the brunt of energy supplies makes it practically invincible in relation to other lands. This being the case naturally leads many nations to form alliances to try to control and dominate the Middle East. The reasons for doing so are clear.

After all and as Noam Chomsky notes, “The State Department explained them frankly. They said Middle East energy reserves are the “most stupendous source of strategic power” and “one of the greatest material prizes in world history.” It’s strategically the most important area in the world, Eisenhower pointed out. And the reason is it controls – it has most of the world’s energy reserves, about two thirds. If you control that, it’s a lever of world control, and policy has been rammed toward that ever since.” –

Noam Chomsky discusses Iraq, May 4 | Latest Updates |

The only problem is that the main nation trying to grab the “prize” has to have a highly workable plan to obtain the coveted fossil fuel resources. It can’t be some fumbling, half-cocked scheme such as George W. Bush’s strategy that relied on a big fabrication that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. That in turn led to a costly invasion with the costs being in human and nonhuman life, the physical destruction of much of a country, uranium pollution, $5-6 billion dollars for US war expenses carried by taxpayers and an ongoing chaotic mess that Iraq is still experiencing socially, politically, economically, environmentally and in other ways.

Will it ever fully recover from the turmoil? Who knows? It’s certainly not I. And let’s recall: “And I think, in the end, that is the best definition of journalism I have heard; to challenge authority – all authority – especially so when governments and politicians take us to war, when they have decided that they will kill and others will die. “- Robert Fisk

Yes, the best journalism exposes the lies, the vicious schemes and the wrongs perpetuated by those in authority. And the public having that horror exposed might start working for positive change if they really see it clearly.

So what do we do with energy problems, especially an energy shortage? Well, we can’t ration energy as the public would not put up with it. Of course coronavirus  does force a change in the personal use of energy since many can’t afford much electricity for heating, cooling, lights at night, kitchen and laundry items and other needs. Therefore, the earth got a break in terms of the amount of climate change related gasses spewing forth during the Covid-19 times.

All the same, the general trend for energy use is that the more that we have, the more we want of it for our personal desires. Thus the renewable forms of energy instead of replacing fossil fuel derived energy are just supplementing it since the wish for ever more of it is always prevalent … or so I read.

While the other forms of accumulated assets are surely important, there is nothing quite like energy to make life run smoothly. At the same time, of course energy supplies are traded, are assigned a value and represent an increasing part of modern societies.

Yet humankind is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not only future energy woes will be had such as the recent power outage in Texas demonstrated. At the same time, when energy supplies are privately owned any price can be charged for them especially if competitive companies can’t provide it to a particular region.

When the majority of the water supply for my town was owned by one family, so I heard, the town government seized it. A lawsuit was had and the family was paid a tremendous sum of money to walk away from their treasure, the water that kept giving them a vast sum of money.

Now imagine if all of our schools, fire and police departments, highways and so on were privately owned. Imagine about what would happen to poor and middle class families if they had to pay exorbitant sums of money for basic necessary services.

Imagine if the USA doesn’t put together a program that fixes our highways, assorted kinds of pipelines,  our bridges and more upon which people rely in daily life and which are often taken for granted since they are so use to them. Imagine if the trains, the electrical grid, subway systems, public buses and more are no longer adequately supported or upgraded.  It may not be exciting to spend company or government money for long overdue maintenance, but imagine what state we’d be in if the crumbling infrastructure is left to further fall apart and the energy to carry out the fixing was not adequately available.

So we need lots of energy for personal use, improvement of the infrastructure and other public needs. Yet guess who is probably the biggest energy user in the world. It is probably the US military, which brings us right back to the Middle East as the US always has long standing incursions there that use energy so as to strive to get more energy as the bottomline. What a tragic racket and let’s not forget:

Alan Greenspan, without elaborating, wrote, “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” Yes, our country refuses to quit mucking around in the Middle East and the death toll, as always, will continue to be heavy for all in the energy war zones.

All in barely armed countries with fossil fuels are, obviously, in the crosshairs. If they are well armed like Iran or if energy rich countries make closed door deals with the US (i.e., to buy weapons of destruction from the US and “make nice” with Israel), there is obviously reluctance to invade, Yet what a horrendous and unacceptable situation exists between power, war and energy! Yet many of us are trapped in it one way or another since birth.

Sally Dugman writes from MA, USA.




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