Thursday, July 05, 2007

They said it

Australian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson on why Australia is in Iraq:

"The defence update we're releasing today sets out many priorities for Australia's defence and security, and resource security is one of them," he said.

"Obviously the Middle East itself, not only Iraq but the entire region, is an important supplier of energy, oil in particular, to the rest of the world."

So, there you have it: it is all about oil, at least as far as the Australian government is concerned. It will be interesting to see how the few remaining dead-enders in the pro-war camp try and explain this away.

Meanwhile, Larvatus Prodeo points out the toxic underpinnings of this position: a presumption that a country's natural resources are not theirs to exploit in any way they see fit, but that instead they must do so on terms dictated by the major powers. But while they point out that, if the Australian government is to be consistent, this must also apply to Australia, they stop short of stating the obvious conclusion: that if Australia can say "all your oil is belong to us" to Iraq, then China can say exactly the same thing about Australia's coal and Uranium.

But then, consistency never applies to bullies, does it?