Paul Jay: Welcome back to our interview with Aijaz Ahmad, asking a question: “what would a rational US foreign policy for the United States look like?” Aijaz, at the core of much of US foreign policy is the assumption that the United States needs its military prowess to defend its oil interests, whether it’s directly the interests of oil companies or whether it’s a question of pipelines or just sort of geopolitical, strategic objectives. What would a rational policy on oil be?
Aijaz Ahmad: . . . We should recognize that oil is no more important for the United States than it is for any other countries, especially other industrialized countries, or industrializing countries. In fact, the US has many advantages that Japan or China don’t have, . . . including domestic production, and having resources of oil very close to the United States. . . . China, or Japan, or India are obtaining their needs of hydrocarbons peacefully by going to any country anywhere in the world that they can, to essentially market forces. That’s what you need to do. You also have to recognize that those who produce oil and gas have one strategic interest only, which is to sell it. So it’s not as if oil supplies and gas supplies are going to disappear if you don’t police them. They’ll be on the world market. Other countries have reconciled themselves to buying their oil and gas on the world market. The United States should do the same.
Paul Jay: It’s not like the US dominance in the Middle East is reducing the price of oil. It’s actually . . .
Aijaz Ahmad: Quite the opposite. Our experience is that every time there is an exercise of threat, or exercise of US military power, the price of oil goes up.
This program was broadcast on TheRealNews, 20 July 2008. The text above is a partial transcript of the program.