Political Conflict

Mithra bull slaughter
Close Mithra bull slaughter

Carving of Mithra slaughtering a bull

The last subject that we will explore is war. This is a controversial subject because every nation promotes a unique version of history designed to frame their benevolence. (link) I will do my best to offer you, dear reader, thorough research on views which fly in the face of everything you were taught in school.

According to Dr. Will Tuttle and others, the entire origins of western culture were rooted in the control and domestication of animals. Historical documents such as the Old Testament and the epic of Gilgamesh record the transition from gatherer tribes to herding cultures over the centuries. As certain cultures became more attached to the control of animals, the relationship changed from one of honouring and worshipping life - to one of seeing animals and the gifts of nature as a form of currency. (link) These cultures became more powerful through domination of other humans and eventually came to conquer all nearby civilizations in Europe and the Mediterranean. (link)

This greed for wealth caused an evolution toward the domination of land and eventually to domination of elements consumed by humans (termed ‘resources’). The resource wars eventually came to encompass not just elements used for sustenance but to precious metals and finally to fuel sources.

Spongebob saves Mideast

Nearly everyone in the world clearly understands that the wars between the United States and Iraq were fought in order to protect the oil supply (if you don’t see the connection, then this source from the George Bush administration should prove the point).

What is less well known is that for over a century, the most destructive wars that we’ve ever seen have been tied to oil.

Berlin Baghdad rail route

At the turn of the 20th century, both Britain and Germany were seeing the value of oil as a better fuel their ships. Both nations were vying for control of the Iraq oil fields (sound familiar?) as a rich source of oil after it was discovered there in 1908.
Britain through the Anglo-Persian oil company, and Germany through the Berlin-Baghdad railway.

Close History of Berlin Baghdad Railway

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Sykes-Picot line
Close Sykes-Picot line

Sykes-Picot agreement - Arbitrary line in the sand Wikipedia

In 1916 Britain and France signed the Sykes-Picot agreement which arbitrarily divided the Middle east and the British convinced the Arabians to overthrow the ruling party so that they could take over the oil resources there. It was this competition for oil resources which helped to set off the first ‘great war.’ (link)

In the years leading to World War Two, Hitler spent vast resources supporting Germany’s artificial oil program since the country had no natural oil fields (Britain had put a halt to Germany’s railway). It was only with the assurance of a reliable fuel source that Hitler felt confident enough to launch the first Blitzkrieg.

Meanwhile Japan decided to attack Hawaii only after the U.S. imposed an embargo on it’s oil supply. After the attack, Japan immediately moved to control Vietnam and the Indonesian oil fields. (link) Unknown to most people, oil was also the cause for the only direct control of U.S. soil by Japan during the war. (link)

Close Germany's synthetic oil program

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Wheelboot tank

After the war’s conclusion, the U.S. and Britain orchestrated an overthrow of the Iranian government in order to prevent Iran’s Prime Minister from reducing access to their oil supply. (link)

Vietnam oilfields

Then came Vietnam. Interestingly, there is information that American oil companies believed there to be vast fields of petroleum off the Vietnamese coast (as there was in Indonesia), however the local government was slow to offer lease options. (link) (link) The information on this is murky and opinions are divided, so a little uncertainty still remains.

No regrets

Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, the government of Indonesia brutally invaded the small island of Timor with U.S. weapons and additional support from France, Canada, and Australia. ‘It was estimated at the time that the seabed between East Timor and Australia, the ‘Timor Gap’, contained one of the richest oil and natural gas fields in the world.’

Oil was an essential element in a horrible civil war within the democratic Congo. Offshore petroleum resources that were previously held by French companies were offered to Occidental Petroleum which offended the former colonial nation. (link)

Oil also played a role in the 30 year Angola civil war which pitted the interests of the USSR against the USA for influence and control over resources there. (link)

In 1984 the Iran/Iraq war expanded to include shipping of oil in the Persian Gulf. This threatened western supply lines and the U.S. got involved in an embarrassing political situation. (link)

Soldiers guard oil terminal
Close Soldiers guard oil terminal

Navy Mobile Security Force guards Basrah oil terminal

In the modern age, less powerful countries all over the world have suffered huge political upheavals due to this almost ubiquitous addiction to fossil fuels. (link). U.S. forces fighting in Afghanistan have lost one person, killed or wounded, for every 24 fuel convoys it runs. During the U.S. war in Afghanistan, hundreds and hundreds of these convoys were needed to truck fuel – to run air-conditioners and power diesel generators – to remote bases all over Afghanistan. (link)

U.S. forces take Syria oil fields
Close U.S. forces take Syria oil fields

U.S. forces take Syria oil field The Grey Zone

The new millenium has brought little relief to the less afluent nations of the world. As one region or another becomes exhausted, conflicts over oil in extreme climates and politically unstable regions is becoming even more intense. (link) In regions as far flung as Venezuela, Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine. Wherever oil is found, and wherever a key oil delivery corridor is proposed, conflict is certain to follow.

As global warming becomes more intense, conflicts will errupt over more then just profitable energy sources.

Groceries jet fighter
Close Groceries jet fighter

Screenshot from ‘Hot Shots’ The Movie ©20th Century Fox

Recently, battles over the most essential resources such as water, food, and farmland are being fought throughout the world. However they often fall under the radar because they’re less likely to involve expensive jet fighters.
The huge disparities around both water and food distribution favour the countries with enough money and fuel to maintain military control. The enormous populations which are denied basic needs because of the resources given to animals continues to be a major factor sparking violence throughout the world.