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Monday, July 07, 2008

Re: Bush Accomplishing bin Laden's Mission

Missed this on the Fourth, and so neglected to add this to the post on how George Bush has delivered Osama bin Laden's call for $144/barrel oil, but Jerome a Paris had a diary up on Kos that linked to a really good retrospective of Al-Jazeera correspondent Jamal Abdul-Latif Ismail's 1999 interview with bin Laden, with this choice piece coming on page 5:
Ismail describes Bin-Laden's belief that America robs Saudi Arabia of its oil wealth. Bin-Laden explains that during the reign of King Faisal, the United States paid only 70 cents per barrel [of oil]. In the 1973 oil crisis, the Muslims asserted their economic power using oil as a weapon, and prices began to rise to $40 per barrel. When the [oil] prices leveled off to $36, the United States pressured Gulf countries to increase their production to lower prices. Bin-Laden labels this "the great swindle." Doing basic math, Bin-Laden explains that from $36 the price was lowered to $9 per barrel, he relates the retail price at $144 per barrel, or a loss of $135. He multiplied $135 by the 30 million barrels produced in the Islamic world daily, totaling a loss of $4.5 billion per day for Muslim nations. He breaks down the loss over 25 years to $30,000 for every Muslim man, woman, and child. Although this is an oversimplification of petroleum production and evolution of agreements between oil companies and oil-producing nations, it is highlighted to demonstrate the skill with which Bin-Laden panders to the disenfranchised, giving them an alternate history.
And, as a reminder, the quote Think Progress linked to from the NY Times in 2001, just over a month after the Towers fell:
''If bin Laden takes over and becomes king of Saudi Arabia, he'd turn off the tap,'' said Roger Diwan, a managing director of the Petroleum Finance Company, a consulting firm in Washington. ''He said at one point that he wants oil to be $144 a barrel'' -- about six times what it sells for now.
As Jerome says, Mission Accomplished, and he didn't even have to become king, nor turn off the tap. George Bush did all the legwork for him.

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