(Text of the flyer for the regular monthly demonstration by the Anti-War Anti-Racism Effort of Champaign IL, 6 Feb 2010)
It’s not “because of 9/11” or to “stop terrorism,” as President Obama now says. The war is neither just nor legal: the real reason for it seems to be the long-standing U.S. policy of control over the largest oil-producing region of the world. And not because we need the oil ourselves; the US imports very little oil from the Middle East for use here at home. Most of the energy resources that we consume in the US come from the Americas and West Africa. But control of Mideast oil and gas gives the US government a powerful bargaining chip in its relations with its real economic competitors in the world – the European Union and East Asia (China and Japan). That has been American policy for a long time. The National Security Advisor in President Jimmy Carter’s administration (1977-81), Zbigniew Brzezinski (he was also a foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign), observed that control of Mideast energy provides the US with “critical leverage” over its industrial rivals in Europe and Asia, an idea of American government planners that goes back to the end of World War II, in 1945.