Anybody see this coming?
August 25, 2003 12:04 PM   Subscribe

Anybody see this coming? The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.
posted by FormlessOne (28 comments total)
Psst, your link...gone.

iirc, seems I did see something similar mentioned, plan to have oil pumped to Iseral in an article(can't recall, yet most likely saw it here), about the time Baghdad fell.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:13 PM on August 25, 2003

posted by thomcatspike at 12:14 PM on August 25, 2003

pentagon board meeting:

"Alright people... all those war-hating-baby-killing liberals have been saying all along that we're only in it for the oil.... now lets all brain storm the *best* way to prove them right and raise up a holy shit-storm."
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 12:15 PM on August 25, 2003

the way I heard it, it was the blood of little muslim babies they were going to be pumping to Israel. That can't be right, can it?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:20 PM on August 25, 2003

The Pentagon makes the baby Jesus cry.

As I recall, this pipeline was installed by the Brits many years ago and was the subject of controversy back around the first of this year.

Anyone surprised?

Better yet, what are the odds on this pipeline getting blown regularly should any attempt be made to put it into service?
posted by nofundy at 12:27 PM on August 25, 2003

Ummmm, what's everyone's problem with this?
posted by pjgulliver at 12:30 PM on August 25, 2003

Pardon my ignorance, but is haaretz a reliable news source? This is a pretty mystifying story, I don't know my respected israeli news sites, and I can't seem to find this story reported anywhere else...

pjgulliver: Because its a amazingly, fantastically, downright awe-inspiring bit of public relations idiocy. If you sat down on tried to think of the way to piss off the arab world the most, this would probably be #2, right after "bombing mecca".
posted by malphigian at 12:33 PM on August 25, 2003

Wait. We already trade with Israel. So does Jordan. So does Egypt. So will the new Iraq. All they are trying to do is reestablish an old pipeline to put redundancy in Iraqi oil infrastructure. Again, what's the problem?
posted by pjgulliver at 12:35 PM on August 25, 2003

I thought the Iraqi government was supposed to be the people's government? How do you know they are going to choose to trade with Israel? If they do decide to trade, how do you know they want to give a "bonus" (in the articles words) to Israel, and not send their oil exports through other countries?

Think I'm playing dumb? I'm sure you are too. You know exactly why this is an inflamatory move, just like I know exactly why the "iraqi people" aren't the ones deciding where their oil contracts are going.
posted by malphigian at 12:40 PM on August 25, 2003

Yes, Ha'aretz is a respected paper.

Sabotaged pipeline in 3...2...
posted by goethean at 12:49 PM on August 25, 2003

I've come to the conclusion that the Bush Administration - for it's own sickly twisted purposes - is intentionally doing all that it can to provoke Anti-American sentiments in the Middle East. I think the NeoCons want to encourage terrorism.

So - they might as well start pumping the blood of Iraqi infants to Israel. It wouldn't be much less popular than pumping Iraqi oil there.
posted by troutfishing at 1:15 PM on August 25, 2003

We have the most advanced military in the world.

Israel buys most of the stuff from the most advanced military in the world.

And they are communicating by telegram? What, they couldn't get Aunt Bea off the party line?
posted by obfusciatrist at 1:15 PM on August 25, 2003

And you know, I'd almost think the saboteurs were right to do so. Almost. Way to hand justification to terrorists.
posted by orange swan at 1:16 PM on August 25, 2003

Why does orange swan hate America so much?
posted by Espoo2 at 1:41 PM on August 25, 2003

I don't hate America at all. It's the U.S. administration that leaves me choking on my own feathers.
posted by orange swan at 1:46 PM on August 25, 2003

my [/sarcasm] tags didn't show up?
posted by Espoo2 at 1:48 PM on August 25, 2003

Just call me a birdbrain. (Hopes HER sarcasm tags show up.)
posted by orange swan at 1:56 PM on August 25, 2003

I don't know. I'm beginning to hate us a little bit. I mean, no one wants to admit that their dad is an asshole, right? But there are plenty of assholes who have kids...
posted by jpoulos at 2:04 PM on August 25, 2003

chew your food.
posted by Satapher at 2:09 PM on August 25, 2003

If you read the article, it says that the telegram was an official telegram specifically requested by Israel. Israel feels they deserve some payback (besides the $10bn or so in loan guarantees) for backing America (and providing bases, intelligence, etc. etc) during the Iraq war, and that this pipeline would be just the ticket. The pipeline would be a massive windfall for Israel strategically and financially.

The US is considering it and the Israelis are worried that America will renege on its 'promise' or suggested promise, so they are requesting some official documents to bolster their case and get things in motion.

As for the idea that it existed some time ago, and therefor shouldn't be controversial, you should remember that 'some time ago' in this case also translates into 'before the state of Israel existed'.
posted by cell divide at 2:34 PM on August 25, 2003

This is basically sound and fury, given that:

The minister noted, however, that "due to pan-Arab concerns, it will be hard for the Jordanians to agree to the flow of Iraqi oil via Jordan and Israel."

Notch that one up as understatement of the week.

King Abdullah may be friendly to the West, but he also rules over about 1.7m Palestinian refugees, not to mention the other 5m or so Jordanians who may look unfavourably on such a project. And 150km of pipeline will be just a little bit tricky to guard while current circumstances prevail.

Anyway, it's the thought that counts: meaning that it's good to see the US trying to make Iraq safe... for its corporate and ideological interests. It's odd, though, to see another historical parallel: Russia was hardly the ideal testing-ground for communism, with well-documented results; and Iraq seems particularly unsuited as a playground for neo-con dreams.
posted by riviera at 3:44 PM on August 25, 2003

Looking at it from a purely economic sense, Israel can become Iraq's short-term business buddy--logistically able to provide literally tons of whatever it is Iraq can pay for, with a pretty direct land route through Jordan. Jordan, in turn, makes a pretty penny to transfer the goods.
This means that Iraq can have bulging stores sooner rather than later, and Israel can have the energy it needs at (probably more than) reasonable prices.

The biggest winners would be peace and prosperity.
posted by kablam at 7:01 PM on August 25, 2003

The biggest winners would be peace and prosperity.

You are a very funny guy! That was a joke, right?

Peace and prosperity by piping oil to Israel? Hahaha! Whoo! Does Leno know about you?

How do you spell peace and prosperity? KABOOM!!
posted by nofundy at 6:22 AM on August 26, 2003

Maybe now these freakin' gas prices will fall. Why not take oil out of there? How much money are we pumping in to rebuild? Oil is a nice payback.

Granted, we should be working on alternative fuels so we don't rely on oil, but that's another discussion.
posted by MediaMan at 6:24 AM on August 26, 2003

Was that the "Cheney secret energy policy meetings with top oil execs" discussion?
posted by troutfishing at 8:16 AM on August 26, 2003

Of course true conspiracy nuts saw this coming in January 2001. I give you Operation Shekhinah!. Sadly neither the Knights Templar or Bilderberg seem to be directly involved.
posted by Damienmce at 1:26 PM on August 26, 2003

nofundy: okay, you had your cheap shot against my comment, now back it up with substance or shut up. That is, unless all you have is peanut gallery raspberries.
posted by kablam at 5:25 PM on August 26, 2003

May be the US were in for the oil. So what? That'll be barely enough to pay for the tab of ousting their dictator and rebuild Iraq. We will all benefit from a more stable energy price anyway if the oil from Iraq can counter-balance the monopolistic pricing practices of the oil cartel that is OPEC.

Kablam says "The biggest winners would be peace and prosperity," and I second that.
posted by VeGiTo at 6:40 PM on August 26, 2003

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