Oil in the Middle East
26th, January 2013
The global importance of the Middle East lies in its oil, as nearly all world countries depend on oil for energy. Being the world’s largest producer of oil, the importance of the Middle East is shown by how most countries today over-rely on it to supply their oil needs. The depletion of fossil fuel and its non-renewable nature raises concerns about the future of oil in the Middle East and the future of the global economy. There is a relationship between oil reserves in the Middle East, economic decadence, and conflicts in the area. Most would expect that a rich product as oil would boost a country’s economy and stability. However, this has not been the case in the Middle East, as oil in this area, is the root cause of all the conflicts experienced in the area, thus, making the area more volatile and unstable. It is right to then think of oil in the Middle East as a curse, and not a blessing, considering all the wars and conflicts that have taken place in the past, and today because of oil (Gunderson, 2003).
It is probable that as long as oil continues to exist in the Middle East, conflict will persist in the area. From its history, the Middle East has been facing its own internal conflicts, especially the historical conflict between Arabs and Israel. The powerful foreign countries such as the USA and Britain have capitalized on this conflict to control the oil resources in the Middle East. If there would have been no oil in the region, it is likely that these powerful nations would have less or no interest in the Arab-Israel conflict. In order to gain favor of the oil producing countries in the Middle East, the powerful nations have bought and supplied arms to these countries, and even funded their terrorist activities in the conflict (“Top Documentary Films”).
The media does not expose the stakes of the West in the Middle East, but presents the West as wanting peace to prevail in the area. While the media presents the interest of the West as attainment of peace in the area, the opposite is the case. However, the USA is interested in maintaining the use of US Dollars in the oil rich countries in the Middle East, and in the global market. To achieve this, the USA manipulates the heads of states of these countries to price their oil in dollars in order for the USA to protect them. Today, the USA continues to dominate the world market, because oil is priced in the US Dollars. For this reason, the West does not want a stable government in the oil producing countries, as this might reduce their dominance in the area. Conflict in the Middle East is therefore, likely to persist, as it favors the West, and gives them a chance to control the oil fields in the area (“Top Documentary Films”).
Foreign powerful countries aim at controlling the oil in the Middle East, so that their nations receive a constant supply of oil, and at a relatively lower price compared to other countries. Today, the USA troops are stationed at the Persian Gulf region, where they control the supply of oil from the area to other world regions. In addition, the controversial war between Iraq and the USA under the Bush administration was inspired by oil. At the start of the war, what the US troops did first was to seize all the oil fields in Iraq. Similarly, it is believed that the USA fabricated the removal of Saddam Hussein for reasons related to oil, especially when Saddam switched oil currency of his country from the US Dollars to the Euro (“Top Documentary Films”).
The resolution of conflicts in the Middle East might be hard to achieve in future. This is because of the USA, which wants to retain its superpower and dominance in the world. Since oil is considered both a power and political product, the USA and other powerful countries will continue fighting to have total control of oil in the Middle East. To ensure that oil is supplied to the West at low prices, and is priced in US Dollars, these Western nations will work at ensuring that they keep corrupt and undemocratic governments in power, in the oil producing companies, as these are more likely to serve the interests of the USA and other powerful nations of the West. Additionally, the revenue these Arab countries obtain from oil is spent on their defense and purchase of arms from the West, to use in their Arab-Israel conflict. Other oil revenue is invested privately in the West, at the expense of stabilizing their ailing economies. It is therefore, evident that the presence of oil in the Middle East has led to more problems than peace. The interests of the West in the Middle East are inspired by presence of oil in the area, and these have intensified the conflict between Arabs and Israelis. Since oil is a defining aspect of USA power, it is more likely that oil struggles in the Middle East will continue (Shwadran, 1977).
Top Documentary Films (n.d). “The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror.” Retrieved 26
January 2013 http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-oil-factor/
Gunderson, C. (2003). “The Need for Oil.” New Jersey: ABDO.
Shwadran, B. (1977). “Middle East Oil: Issues and Problems.” New York: Transaction
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