Iraq and Saudi Arabia: Political Plate Tectonics Middle East (Part 1)

The amount of information by an inevitable and imminent war between the West and Iran has recently increased very much; even in the face of the familiar, yet not exactly  quiet, background with all the prophecies, warnings, threats, and the “accidentally” published secret plans.

One reads from a journalistic feather but actually never the question, what all this really does mean at all. What is it that could happen in near future, which the Israeli leadership suddenly throws all the rest of rational thinking over board and is heading like a bulldozer inexorably to a war – heading to a war, in which Israel would definitely not come out unscathed?

If, then there are at best nebulous considerations of completely irrational factors, which are finally no facts; this goes even towards considerations, that war is simply the best medicine (remedy) against times of crisis.

For the year 2012, the growth of the Gross domestic product (GDP) is actually estimated much worse than in previous years, but the situation is not quite catastrophic. Anyway, that’s not a crisis, whose only solution would be a war. Domestically, everything is clear so far, the only reason that Sharon’s Kadima is crumbling is the fact that this party was conceived from the outset as a governing party, adapted (tailored) to a specific leader.

Much like the Russian “Yedinaya Rossiya”. The other parties even keep their feet calm, and for the Israel’s leaders, it would be quite atypical to start a war in order to be few months longer in office.

With regard to the Iranian nuclear weapons, which are said to roll off the production line already tomorrow, it is downright embarrassing to really ponder about this. Such nonsense, Netanyahu could at beast sell to some pupils who had to repeat a year in the third grade. Already middle school students would laugh in his face.

But that is the reason why one asks this question – what does this sudden activity really mean, why this pawing of the ground, that goes down to absurd performances by puppeteers? No apparent reasons, and yet this aggressiveness. Almost paradoxical.

Apparently one has to hide the ongoing events briefly, and try to return to the so-called “basics”. First, the geography of the region – this is already the base parameter for each political, economic, cultural, ethnic, religious, and so on and so forth… processes.

One should probably start with the country that has already been completely wiped out from the list of independently acting subjects of Middle Eastern politics for quite a while and thereby almost ultimately – and that is Iraq.

And we take initially a look at the boring numbers: In 1980, the oil flow there (in Iraq) has included 3.6 million barrels per day. The two Iraq wars with the subsequent (so-called) “liberation” brought this amount down to a modest amount of 2 million barrels per day. The proven reserves of Iraq amount to slightly more than 100 billion barrels, and this is the point where it gets interesting. The interesting thing here was already known in the year 2007 – this suggests, that it has been internally dealt already long before.

According to a new research by the Americans, which was carried out after the invasion of Iraq, it is said that additional of 100 billion barrels of oil reserves are stored there, which roughly doubled its inventories:

Doubling Iraq’s oil reserves would mean an increase of 100 billion barrels of oil, which would make it the second-biggest source of oil reserves in the world, after Saudi Arabia and ahead of Iran, the FT said. Iraq is currently third on that list with 116 billion barrels of reserves.

IHS also said that Iraq could double its current rate of production in five years to four million barrels of oil a day, if international investment into Iraq increases.

In order to not quote too much now, let’s just filter out only the dry sediment of this information:

According to this information, the Iraq would be able, under certain conditions, to triple its oil output in the comparison to today’s volumes and to increase it to about 6-7 million barrels a day. There is compelling evidence, that it has been exactly this possibility that has led to the situation, that Saddam Hussein was given the political (and physical) “endodontic treatment”, because such information raises the issues of security and the survival of entire states of this region on a different level.

If one is considering this information, for example, the attitude of Saudi Arabia in the war against Iraq will appear in a totally different light. Saddam’s Iraq has been a wonderful buffer zone against the Shiite Iran for Saudi Arabia. A friendship with Saddam, who, though, a nationalist, but Sunni, has guaranteed the Kingdom (Saudi Arabia), that the Ayatollahs will be bogged in the fight with the Iraq, after which the field would be free for any combination, which the Saudis would like to play.

El Comandante
El Comandant

Saddam’s attack on the house of al-Sabah was an unpleasant thing for the Saudis, of course, but ultimately not much more than family disputes. For such a small thing it would have been foolish to topple Saddam and, instead of an Iraq with a fairly docile Shiite population, to get an independent, Shiite-dominated topic, that would favor Iran, but would be of a hostile mind towards the Saudis.

One might naturally think here that Saudi Arabia would be a puppet: Bush moves his little finger, and the emirs race in order to show their devotion. But this would be quite a simplification. Saudi Arabia has completely calculated it and has abandoned a benefit for another benefit.

Saddam Hussein with 3 million barrels of oil per day and the same person with 6-7 million barrels of oil per day – these are two quite different sizes. After the annexation of Kuwait, which is nothing more than a sand pit over huge oil deposits, Saddam would have ascended into the realm of the Saudis, who are chosen by Allah. And, of course, such an imposition (request) can only be punished with a rope around the neck.

However, the solution to this problem has not eliminated the reasons, namely the oil reserves, of course. The Americans, who have made a “failed state” out of Iraq, dorky Shiites, who have immediately started to suppress the Sunni minority, Sunni terrorists, who have blasted mosques and bazaars – by this, the Saudis have won more time, for now.

Perhaps for about 10-15 years. Of course, there is nobody, who would be mad enough, to open up new Iraqi deposits under such political conditions. But no earthly joy is everlasting. There comes a time to roll up the sleeves.

Source: Politische Plattentektonik Nahost (Teil 1)

Syria and Iran: Political Plate Tectonics Middle East (Part 2)
Turkey and Syria: Political Plate Tectonics Middle East (Part 3)
Israelis and Wahhabis: Political Plate Tectonics Middle East (Final)


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