WHO EXCLUSIVE: Gen. Wesley Clark on Oil, War and Activism

War for Oil
Oil well fires blaze out of control outside Kuwait City on March 23, 1991. Photo credit: US Army.

Recently, we ran video of a little-known 2007 talk by General Wesley Clark (Ret.). It was, to say the least, explosive. Clark said that shortly after 9/11, on a visit to the Pentagon, he was told of a memo laying out plans to use the 2001 attacks as a justification to invade seven countries in five years.

WhoWhatWhy now has an exclusive conversation with General Clark, filmed this year by our friend Mike Gray.  In it, Clark explicitly lays out the central role of oil in American military strategy, and advocates for increased use of clean energy alternatives. He also says that the only way to change policy on energy and the military is for a mass public movement to stand up to the oil industry, the richest and most powerful in history. He says young people have the most to gain, and will have to take the lead.

Watch Here:

Transcript:

So energy is about generating electricity. There you can move pretty quickly into solar and wind. Not only are the costs coming down through better engineering and better scientific development, but also battery technology is improving so you can store it and feed it into the power grid at the time you need it, not just when it’s generated.

But on the other hand, there is transportation fuel. And that’s mostly oil. And that’s mostly imported. And that’s what people fight wars about, mostly they don’t fight war about coal, they fight about oil.

In the summer of 1973 in Washington, I wrote three reports about the energy crisis for the Pentagon, one of which looked at the impact of being an oil-importing nation on the United Sates. And it was pretty clear even then that this would distort America’s foreign policy, spread lots of money abroad, and might ultimately require us to use U.S. troops to secure access to these energy supplies abroad.

Of course that’s exactly what happened. This led then to the creation of al Queda, 9/11, our invasion of Afghanistan, the Bush administration decision to invade Iraq. It’s led to expenditures of a couple of trillion dollars and more, much more to follow. And we’re not done yet.

Q: What would you estimate we’re spending annually on keeping the oil pipeline open?

Wesley Clark: Well, it’s 300 billion dollars of US foreign exchange to buy the oil, another 600 billion dollars for the defense budget. Not all of that is directed toward energy but you could say that 150 billion dollars a year we‘re spending on the wars is certainly about oil, directly or indirectly.

And you could probably say half of the rest of the defense budget is one way or another connected to stationing troops abroad, trying to protect access to oil, exercises, procurement of equipment. And then you could look at the bill for the Veterans Administration. So this comes out to be half a trillion dollars or more a year, is going to this. It’s been a tragic failure of policy and a failure of US leadership.

How can we replace these barrels of oil with other means of energy? The alternatives are there now, and bio fuels, compressed natural gas, electric automobiles increasingly, liquefied natural gas, coal to liquids. There’s lots of different ways to make liquid fuel.

So I think that it’s a matter of a struggle for political organizations. I think it does take the kind of movement that you’ve talked about. I think you have to mobilize young people. I think you have to, not just young people, but young people in particular. After all, they have the most to gain from the future – and the most to lose. And they need to speak up on behalf of these issues.

Because they’re going against some very, very powerful forces. Forces of big oil are the most powerful economic forces in the world. If you look at the entire wealth of mankind, the value of oil reserves in the ground is like 170 trillion dollars. It’s the most valuable commodity as currently priced in the world. You’re going against people who control those reserves. So this can only be done through a mass movement that overturns the established structure of energy markets. It can’t be done in a smooth transition.

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0 responses to “WHO EXCLUSIVE: Gen. Wesley Clark on Oil, War and Activism”

  1. Title

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated information, nonetheless actually really worth taking a appear, whoa did a single study about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]

  2. Basically – we use too much mass to move our butts around on the planet, and it is costing us heavily in energy consumed and used up in the case of the ICE, and wasted, no matter if we are using an Electric Vehicle (EV) in the form of a car at some 4X the Efficiency of the Average ICE Car! Sure – EV’s cut the energy used to get around by a factor of 4, but I believe – if we want to get out of dependency on Wars for Oil, we are going to have to move beyond just Cars and Pickups and SUV’s for general transportation of out selves, before we can get ahead of this energy consumption spiral!

  3. JosefH says:

    I think he leaked this old news just to get credibility. He pretends in his 07 speech to be angry about US plan to invade these 7 countries. That makes people trust him. He lies his head off in the above interview, saying that we had to invade Iraq to “secure US access to oil.” The US was buying, and greedily consuming, all the oil it wanted, from Sadaam Hussein’s Iraq and the other producers. If Sadaam ever refused to sell to us, who cared? Plenty of other countries are always willing to sell to the big buyer. So the “secure access to oil” is B.S.

    I think we invaded and occupy Iraq so the financial elite oil barrons that run this country could STEAL the oil. Take it for free or for some smaller payment “to Iraq” (i.e., to Halliburton and the other companies that have fat contracts to “rebuild” Iraq. So have wars always been. Young poor boys die to enrich the financial elite.

    We invaded Iraq also because Israel wanted it.
    For these same 2 reasons will the US invade Iran. The Neocons (including Clark) will claim once more that Iranians “hate us because we’re free,” have Weapons of Mass Destruction, and did some new False Flag “terrorist attack.” Why change the script when it worked perfectly in Vietnam (the Gulf of Tonkin fake attack was the FF), Iraq (9/11 was the FF)?

    Clark also lies above about 9/ll and Alcaida. The CIA runs Alcaida.

    Clark is a traitor. He should be tried and shot. Line him up on the same wall as Gen’l Meyers, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Powell, Bush I, Bush II, Obama… not enough ink to name them all.

  4. cammo99 says:

    Told of a memo?
    Santa will be coming in less than two weeks too; that’s in a memo somewhere too.

  5. Eric Lee Sanchez says:

    Hemp for victory, stop denying the truth from we the people… 

  6. Wendellwilliams22 says:

    Gen. Clark is 100% correct.

     And G.w. Bush should be put in jail for tricking our boys into dying for oil in Iraq. Thats called murder!

    Wendell H. Williams

    • Thyme_Marrie says:

      Absolutely agree. So does most of the modern world. There are warrants out for his arrest and Cheney too. They cannot leave US. Warranty for war crimes put forward by many countries.

  7. Jimbo says:

    Yes, I just saw his name mentioned in Greenwald’s de-terrorising MEK article.  While Clark may sound like he’s warning against intervening in so many middle-eastern countries he is actually an intervention advocate.  

  8. Matt Prather says:

    Good post.

    Wesley Clark will be considered a problematic source, by some on the one hand for having had a fast-track insider career and a (relatively speaking) “buck stops here”–level job at NATO in the 90’s, or by others on the other hand for his recent “sell-out”–job as a  cable-television reality TV host.

    But still, inscrutable as he and his motives seem to me (through my internal portal and my limited education), there’s a lot of patent, common-sense truth in what he says, and a lot of credibility too (albeit next to the seeming discredibility).

    If I had to hazard a mere guess of an estimation of him, I’d say he’s a guy who was repeatedly given the opportunity to join the true insiders’ network — from his Rhodes’ Scholar days, to his military career, to his retirement — but who just remained a little too self-principled and dense to ever actually join the savvy and opaque power elite network which gets to actually decide policy, and which never tells the public the truth…

    …and now he continues to go around relinquishing candid insights, uncomfortable truths, and incriminating memoirs. Such as the new exclusive posted above, or his 2007 “policy coup” revelation.  Released in a  indiscriminate fashion to the rough public — ourselves.

    Basically, I’d guess he was given as many opportunities as William Jefferson Clinton to join the globocratic, future-minded, established power elite, but he’s just been too “dumb” or “principled” to ever join their agenda on their terms (as did Clinton), and now he’s allowed to meander around in his pasture, alternately mooing at the non-mainstream media who recognize the gravity of certain of his memoirs, and alternately grazing on the luscious, lucrative, dollar-green grass offered to him by the same power elite whose nature and deeds he never did fully grasp,  nor fully indicted. The power elite are best-satisfied keeping him relatively stable and relatively passive, rather than taking aggressive action to silence or more fully discredit him.

    * * *

    “…for al-Qaeda is just a proxy, a patsy — a shield used to protect the  Caucasian planners, paymasters, and profiteers from the terror. If you simply replace  al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden with the regime in power, you will find that the regime, despite our initial reactions, has been telling us the truth. It’s pretty brilliant actually.

    “What they tell us is about 90% true, if you replace the proxy with the source — I mean ‘The Base’.

    “Al Qaeda is actually more like ‘the Heart’ if you think about it. It’s the engine that’s used to pump all the blood-money throughout the corrupt regime in power. 

    “And if you just ‘follow the money,’ like George H.W. Bush — I mean Deep Throat — once said, you will find the people, corporations, and the secret societies which were intimately involved in the planning, perpetration, and profiting from the events of September 11th.”

    -Richard Grove, 2006

    https://www.google.com/search?q=richard+grove+public+relations+parallel+realities+mp3
    [~23-24 minute mark]

  9. gogetem1 says:

    Clark makes good points and he seems to be telling the truth about what was revealed to him from the Pentagon following 9/11, but there’s this:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/1999/aug/02/balkans3

  10. jimmmmmy says:

    I’m not a big fan of Mr Clark . He’s too much of an insider . He would have made a good president however, better than what we ended up with. I’m always suspicious of his motives and consider him a democratic operative most of the time.

    • NeoRealist says:

      I suspect Clark would not have been allowed to be the good president he potentially could have been as he appears to oppose the agenda of the project for a new american century elites.

  11. Orangutan. says:

    FACT:

    The Energy Task Force chaired by Dick Cheney prior to 9/11 collected maps of Iraqi oil, Saudi and United Arab Emerates fields and potential suitors for that oil. And you might have heard that the oil bigs attended the Task Force meetings.

    Is that why Cheney – the guy in charge of all terror protection
    efforts before and on 9/11 – failed to effectively respond to 9/11 with
    normal air defense?  Was he too busy pining over Iraqi oil maps to pay
    any attention?

    More: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/08/911-criminal-incompetence-and-ass-covering-by-the-bush-administration.html

    • Thyme_Marrie says:

      Cheney was in charge of two things. Terrist prevention and oil company aid. In March, before 9/11, Cheney was drawing up a map of Irap marking which oil rigs he’d use to sell the oil to which countries. Cheney never had the first meeting to organize terrorist prevention (didn’t bother with it) until after 9/11. I saw a documentary showing the scratched up map on paper with VP Chaney header.