Under the previous despotic police state of the Shah, Iran did follow US desires and privatized the oil resources, allowing American and British oil companies to make huge profits. However, the Shah was overthrown in 1953 and Mossadegh nationalized the oil. This is an intolerable act to the US government, so strongly influenced by the political power of some of the richest corporations on Earth. The CIA organized a coup which overthrew Mossadegh and brought the Shah back to power. Naturally, the oil was once again privatized. Unfortunately for the oil companies, the Shah was overthrown again by a growing fundamentalist Islamic movement led by Ayatollah Khomeini. Once again the oil was nationalized and relations between the US and Iran have been hostile ever since that time.
One should analyze why the nationalization of oil is so important to the United States and to the large oil companies. When John D. Rockefeller built his empire on oil, he realized that the most profit could be made by having a vertical monopoly. That is, the oil companies should own all the operations from the oil rigs through the refineries to the distribution and sales operations. When oil is nationalized it eliminates one of these profit-making steps and foreign governments profit from the sale of their oil. If it is a country like Saudi Arabia, which spends these profits on supporting the US stock and bond markets and helping to finance the growing US deficits caused by wars and military spending, there is little US protest. On the contrary, if the country is Venezuela and utilizes the sale of its nationalized oil to benefit Venezuela's poor people by bringing them medical care, building schools, providing clean drinking water and sanitation and elevating their standard of living, the US government grows very upset, the CIA plans coups against Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and a torrent of derogatory corporate propaganda is launched against him. He becomes a communist, another of those corporate bogeymen like terrorists.
Air America commentator Randi Rhodes believes that the reason for the Iraq war was that Saddam Hussein intended to trade oil for Euros instead of the dollar and also that the large oil companies wanted to keep Iraqi oil off the market for a time to substantially increase its price. I don't disagree with this theory, but when this oil is eventually sold, companies like Exxon-Mobil, Shell, British Petroleum, Chevron and others want ownership and a vertical monopoly to increase their profits. They hate nationalized oil with a passion.
The hostility toward Iran has nothing to do with its fundamentalist Islamic leadership. The CIA used fundamentalist Islamic groups like Al-Oaeda to drive the Soviet Union from Afghanistan and to fight the Serbs in Bosnia. The US also is very friendly toward an exceedingly fundamentalist, undemocratic regime in Saudi Arabia. The most ridiculous thing in the world is when George W. Bush talks about bringing democracy to the Middle East. He even lectured Vladimir Putin about Russia becoming democratic like Iraq. Notice that when a group which is a hindrance to US and Israeli influence comes to power in democratic elections, as Hamas and Hezbollah did, all this talk about democracy flies out the window.
In the spring of 2006, columnist Seymour Hersch revealed US plans for an attack on Iran. However, the weapons of mass destruction excuse used for the Iraq invasion was not so easily accepted by European governments, Russia and China in relation to Iran. One can easily see the double standard in allowing the despotic regime in Pakistan, which came to power in a coup, to possess nuclear weapons, while complaining and threatening sanctions and war over any nuclear development by Iran. Of course, Pakistan follows orders from Washington, DC and Iran does not. It makes a world of difference.
Israel has now massively bombed the cities of Lebanon, supposedly over the capture of two Israeli soldiers. The problem is that these captures have occurred many times in the past and have simply resulted in prisoner exchanges with Hezbollah. What was different this time? It is obvious that this operation had been planned long in advance by Israel. History if full of examples of nations using either fabricated incidents or actual minor hostilities for the start of wars planned for completely different reasons than the stated ones. Now, all the American news channels, especially Fox, are blaming Hezbollah for the destruction of Lebanon and always state that Syria and particularly Iran are backing Hezbollah. Notice that after all the death and destruction in Lebanon, this provides an additional excuse for either Israel or the US or both to attack Iran and Syria besides the supposed nuclear program in Iran. Nothing is mentioned about the large shipments of American weapons to Israel and Turkey, only the aid to Hezbollah from Iran. In fact, the United States has been recently shipping large numbers of bunker-busting bombs to Israel, undoubtedly those with depleted uranium warheads, which will add to the devastation of the region. This could escalate to a situation where just before the congressional elections in November, George W. Bush launches a war against Iran and depends on American patriotism to get his Republican cronies reelected and improve his poll ratings. I hope I am completely wrong because Iran has some advanced weapons and could probably sink American warships. If that happened, would the United States use nuclear weapons? It is a very frightening scenario.
It is exceedingly ironic and sad that Israel is using two techniques that the Nazis used against them and other occupied people in World War II. One of these war crimes is bombing civilian infrastructure and denying water, electricity, medical care and sanitation to people. The other crime that was practiced by the Nazis and now by Israel is collective punishment. All Lebanese are paying dearly for the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah. When two Czech exiles executed the Gestapo chief Reinhard Heydrich, also called "Hangman Heydrich," the whole village of Lidice in Czechoslovakia was obliterated from the face of the Earth by the Nazis. It seems Israelis do not learn any more lessons from their own history than do Americans. Of course, Israel denies it is attacking civilians, just as the United States denied using white phosphorus on Fallujah and bombing the city into rubble or torturing prisoners at Guantanamo. These criminals and their lackeys in the corporate media lie like they breath.
The United States is so powerful over Israel that it could end this slaughter in Lebanon with a phone call. Israel is accomplishing aims which are in accordance with the objectives of the administration of George W. Bush. Notice how Condoleeza Rice is proceeding at such a leisurely pace to the Middle East. Does anyone remember the last time something like this happened? When Israel invaded the refugee camps on the West Bank like Jenin and was conducting a mass slaughter of Palestinians and bulldozing houses, Colin Powell stalled and stalled on his way to the area in order that Israel be allowed to accomplish all its murderous objectives. I doubt if any Americans remember this bit of history. As Gore Vidal states: "It is the United States of Amnesia."
When I see the world being driven to the precipice of disaster by the greed of a very few oil barons and their responsibility for the pictures of wounded and burned children and a thousand other crimes, I am furious, but also despondent. I realize most people don't understand the world as I do and are completely deceived by corporate propaganda and the attractive news models who tell lie after lie with a smiling face. I wonder if these corporate whores ever think what repeating everything put in front of them is costing their children. Probably not-that requires intelligence. I am also depressed by the lack of outrage among people who are dissidents in this nation. It is as if the CIA sprayed a vast cloud of valium all over the country. There should be hundreds of thousands of people in the streets protesting these Israeli atrocities and there aren't. The corporate propagandists have turned reality upside down. By their arguments, it is not the United States, Britain and Israel who are the imperialists, but Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. Those fighting imperialism have been transformed into imperialists. I would like to think it is just the heat, but I am afraid Zionist propaganda has had an effect. I would change some of the words of the Communist Manifesto to "Working people of the world unite. Before we allow ourselves and the environment to be destroyed and commit an unpardonable sin against future generations."