Chechen crisis (from LM 127)

Russell Grinker grinker at
Mon Dec 20 10:39:17 MST 1999

OK so it's all about oil is it?  On the basis of an understanding of
"political economy" what was behind the following "humanitarian"
interventions around the world?

Iraq 1991; Somalia 1993; Bosnia 1993-5; Rwanda 1994; Iraq 1992-9; Yugoslavia

It seems far from obvious that military intervention in Iraq secured a
greater slice of the region's oil wealth.  In fact Iraqi oil production has
been slashed.  Subsequent interventions also don't seem to fit a nineteenth
century imperialist pattern of plundering natural resources.  In fact the
war zones in the list above have been some of the poorest in the world, not
the richest. So what exactly is an explanation of the real motives behind
the humanitarian rhetoric?  What was the strategic importance of these
regions for the West?

Lou Proyect  wrote:
>Utterly banal observations. Doesn't anybody in Furedi-ville have an
>interest in political economy anymore? Instead of considering access to
>petroleum, we get an analysis that revolves around "face-saving" and other
>quasi-psychological explanations. For people too young to remember, this
>was exactly the kind of empty-headed liberal explanations most of us
>received about the war in Vietnam until some of us were lucky enough to
>stumble across somebody like Isaac Deutscher or Ernest Mandel at a

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