Academic Writings

Beyond Stalemate revised My Honour’s thesis, dealing with the genocide perpetrated in Indochina by the US. Now revised a bit.

CONTEXT OF IRAQ GENOCIDE A far from perfect attempt to provide a comprehensive context for the genocide perpetrated by the US on the people of Iraq from 1990 onwards.

Genocide Scholarship A scholarly article partly taken from the above thesis, then tidied up a bit. Primarily this is a critique and a direct challenge intended for genocide scholars themselves.  I believe, despite great individual merit, they are collectively participants in an imperialist intellectual orthodoxy which subverts their intentions and renders them as effective promoters of genocide.

US empire fragment An orphan fragment from an abandoned draft dealing with attributes of US imperialism. Grafted on to the end is another orphan fragment about the qualities which made Iraq a natural target for US genocide in the imperial context.

Empire fragment II – Neocolonialism Another orphan fragment.

2 thoughts on “Academic Writings

  1. Hi there Kieran,

    very interesting website you have here.

    I have a question. You suggest in one of the above papers that the US has tried to suppress Iraqi oil production. I was under the impression that the Iraq war (Gulf War 2) was launched in order to jack up oil production, in line with the recommendations of the Cheney Energy Task Force, which called for oil production to be increased in Iraq to accommodate the projected needs of the US economy and to help the US buffer itself from OPEC reluctance to increase production. Since Saddam Hussein was standing in the way of that, This is detailed in his Michael Schwartz’s “War without end”, and a similar analysis can be found in the books by Michael Klare (“Blood and Oil”). Have you read Schwartz’s book at all? If so, what do you think of it?

    I’d be interested to know more of your thoughts on this topic.

    Sam

    • Hi Sam,

      Thank you for your interest. I am familiar with both of the works you mention, but it feels like a lifetime since I read them. I did note the similarities between the two, and I felt extremely frustrated and disappointed by both books – most acutely by Blood and Oil. They impose a preconceived notion of a nationalistic imperial geopolitics that is completely unsupportable with regard to US imperialism. The interests of empire are not those of nation.

      Taking Cheney at his word in any context is a mistake regardless. His Energy Task Force was designed to corral oil sector support for a neocon programme of military interventions that would be repugnant to many elites, including some oil execs. The US went through a similar process in the early to mid-1960s, but is was all a confidence trick which appealed to greed. People are credulous if you can convince them that they can profit through moral transgression. In fact, then as now, some selected interests did make enormous profits – not from the promised looting of the victim country, but from the US taxpayer. Most US capitalists actually lose out because of the economic drain on the national economy. In the case of Iraq, the oil companies made record profits but that was due to the increased prices justified by the insecurity created in the Gulf. They didn’t make those profits by selling Iraq’s oil.

      Oil is no longer a singular factor in underpinning US dollar hegemony. Yet even now, and more so 12 years ago, the US ability to effect strategic denial of most petroleum globally is a key underpinning of US hegemony. Strategic denial works in conjunction with other ways of manipulating supply, such as with the original oil shocks or by increasing output in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere. The fracking bubble in the US has been just such a manipulation.

      I don’t imagine that I have convincingly answered you concerns, but I am afraid I haven’t the time to do a better job. I would just recommend that you start to question paradigms based on notions of materialist and realist notions of “capitalism” and US nationalism. For a decade after the Cold War ended we started to develop a coherent knowledge of contemporary imperialism, but that has been destroyed since 2001. Now everyone has their niche explanation for US foreign policy – all of which are exceptionalist tropes based on historical amnesia and selective vision. For some it is the fight against terrorism; for some its is all happening because the Israel Lobby controls the US; for some it is the inevitable Clash of Civilisations; for some it is Realpolitik on the Grand Chessboard; for some it is eternal war for the benefit of the military-industrial complex and the oil sector. Most people take a pick-n-mix approach, as if combining several wrong answers will make a right one.

      Kieran.

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