We were having a discussion on the Hopolophobia thread, and as so often happens, we started talking about everything but that.  It was getting hot and heavy on the subject of the U.S. role in the Middle East, and so I'm starting this thread to cover that subject.  Although I am not an expert in this area, I seem to have a completely different memory on the recent past on this subject.  The way I remember it was that in the early 1980s, Russia invaded the northern part of Afghanistan and was raising havoc with the local populace. 

American as part of a multi-national force supplied weapons and training to the Afghan forces to help them push Russia out.  After they pushed them out, they turned to us, and asked us to leave also, and we did.

Then the Taliban set up government, and immediately started killing their own citizens, and destroyed the farmlands.  Millions of Afghans escaped to Pakistan, and Iran where refugee camps weres set up.  America, along with other countries flew in food supplies to Pakistan for sure, and I can't remember if we flew supplies to Iran.  The Taliban would not allow us to fly food into Afghanistan.

Then the Twin Towers were demolished in New York, and Osama Bin Laden took responsibility for that.  We asked the Taliban to turn Bin Laden over to us.  They refused, and so a multi-national force, including the U.S., went in after him, and at the same time removed the Taliban from power. 

More recently, we were drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, when they got a new leader who asked us to prolong the draw down so their troops could get more training, and the government could become more stabalized..  President Obama agreed to extend our stay in that country.


Okay folks, speak up!!

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Don, if you read about seismographs you won't say stuff like I don't see how they could do it with bombs.

When the explosives detonate they send shock waves through the ground. These bounce off rock formations and back to the seismographs.

Geologists, like my gay cousin who died of AIDS 25 years ago, read the charts the seismographs printed and knew where the oil was.

Tom,  I was in the Navy Reserve from 1954 to 1959.  My two years of active duty were aboard the USS Yorktown (1955-1957), working on the flight deck.  During "recovery operations", that is when the planes are returning from their mission, all of the ships in that group maintain a strict formation.  Each ship has a specific job, such as prepare for a plane going into the ocean.  (We lost two on the Yorktown during this operation.  (In peacetime !!).  They really don't have time to be listening for bombs explosions.  And the ships are travelling at about 30 miles an hour. 

Go to google, and click on "images".  Then enter "vibrating trucks oil search".  Skim down through the photos.  There are one or two that show a diagram of how they search for oil at sea.    I think one of them said that a ship tows  3,000 sensors on 3,000 meters of line.

I gaurantee that they are not looking for oil during recovery operations.

Was it you, or the article that said the Rockefellers knew there was oil in the Tonkin Gulf in the 1950s?  Think about it.  They didn't do any bombing in the Tonkin Gulf until after The Tonkin Gulf Incident in 1964. That would be about 10 years too late to substantiate what the article said.

That is why I said the article was stupid.

They really don't have time to be listening for bombs explosions.

Don, who here wrote that carrier task forces do seismic studies?

Tom, on page 3, you told me to google "oil" and "Tonkin Gulf".  I did, and the only article that seemed to agree with what you were saying was the article I gave a URL for.

It said that after the planes bombed North Viet Nam, any unused bombs were dropped in an area designated for that purpose.  (To rid  themselves of bombs before returning to their ship.)  They used those bomb explosions for making echos so they could locate oil deposits.  Actually, they said salt domes, and linked those domes to oil deposits. 

If I didn't go to the URL that you were implying, please correct me, and give me the correct URL that said we knew there was oil in the Tonkin Gulf in the 1950s.

Don, I wrote in my post that the article I cited was in the SF Chronicle Business section AFTER the VN War, in the late 1970s.
You are confusing that article with a 1950s article someone else cited.

Tom, on Friday, the 6th, on page 5 of this thread, you wrote:

“Don, your theory has a problem when you use it in post-WW2 times.

In Viet Nam, after the French lost their colony in Indochina, why did America send in military advisors if not to secure the Tonkin Gulf's oil resources? The falling domino story was a lie.

The world's wealthiest nation didn't want to do what capitalism requires: buy the Tonkin Gulf oil we needed. So, our government lied us into a war there.

Google the terms "oil" and "Tonkin Gulf".

So, I googled “oil and Tonkin Gulf”.  The only listing that agreed with what you wrote above, was this URL: 



Further down on page 5, you wrote:

Soon after the Viet Nam War ended I was reading the business pages in the SF Chronicle, the city's morning newspaper. In a headline I saw the name Chevron and read the story.

It told of Chevron's negotiating with Red China for drilling rights in the Tonkin Gulf.

Your writing here has persuaded me that you will not accept that as evidence of America's real reason for escalating that war.

On Saturday the 7th on page 6, you wrote:

Don, if you read about seismographs you won't say stuff like I don't see how they could do it with bombs.

When the explosives detonate they send shock waves through the ground. These bounce off rock formations and back to the seismographs.

Geologists, like my gay cousin who died of AIDS 25 years ago, read the charts the seismographs printed and knew where the oil was.

Again on page 5, your wrote:

Don, who here wrote that carrier task forces do seismic studies?

My answer is the URL above that I assume you wanted me to read when you asked me to google “oil and Tonkin Gulf”.  I read that one because it is the only URL listed that agrees with what you had been saying.  Or, at least what I thought you were saying.  Weren’t you implying that we expanded the war in Viet Nam so we could get their oil without paying for it? 

Don, I'm saying we ENTERED Viet Nam so we could get their oil without paying market prices,  and expanded the war when he sent half a million troops into it.

I did the search three or four years ago and found nothing about events in the 1950s.

Don, I just did two searches.

1) "oil and tonkin gulf"

2) oil tonkin gulf

The first one showed me what you've been writing.

The second one showed me what I found several years ago when I did the search I have described here.

The quote marks make a difference.

Tom,  Please supply a URL for what you are trying to say.  As far as I can find, they didn't start looking for oil until the late 1970s, and as I pointed out earlier, you were saying that we went into Viet Nam to secure their oil assets for us in the 1950s.  How could we do that in the 1950s if they didn't start looking for oil until the 1970s?


I learned there were oil interests in Vietnam during my search in the mid '60s. I tried to find the documents I read then, but I can't find them. 

"Going back as far as 1924, our lubricants—then under the Texaco® brand—were sold throughout what was known as Indochina. By the 1950s, Caltex® gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene were being imported at a modern terminal in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City. After a hiatus of 19 years, we returned to Vietnam in the 1990s to renew product sales and begin exploration activities."

~ Vietnam Fact Sheet 

"We launched our exploration efforts in Vietnam in 1996 by signing our first production-sharing contract with Vietnam’s national oil company, PetroVietnam."

Vietnam Fact Sheet 


Here are some daily logs Oil and Gas Timeline

"1953        Mar, The US CIA’s Tehran station reported that an Iranian general had approached the US embassy for support in an army-led coup. Based on this information Allen Dulles, director of the CIA, approved $1 million to be used to help bring about the fall of Prime Minister Mossadegh. Pres. Eisenhower gave the CIA the ok to overthrow the elected government of PM Mohammad Mossadegh. Mossadegh had nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. after Britain refused to compromise and split profits 50-50. In 2003 Stephen Kinzer authored "All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of the Middle East Terror."
    (SFEC, 4/16/00, p.A18)(SSFC, 8/24/03, p.M6)"


"1953        Aug 19, Gen'l. Zahedi ousted PM Mossadegh and became the Premier of Iran in a bloody coup that left 300 dead. Britain and the US CIA under Allen Dulles planned a secret mission to overthrow the government. PM Mossadeq had sought to nationalize the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. The US government made a formal apology for the coup in 2000. A 1954 CIA description of the coup was made public in 2000. In 1979 Kermit Roosevelt (d.2000) published “Countercoup: The Struggle for the Control of Iran,” an account of his role in the coup.
    (SFC, 11/20/53, p.A1)(SFC, 11/15/99, p.E6)(SFC, 5/29/97, p.A4)(WSJ, 3/20/00, p.A1)(SFEC, 4/16/00, p.A18)(SFEC, 6/11/00, p.D6)(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)?


Here is a little bit of evidence of religion used to pacify native populations. 

"1987        In Ecuador members of the Tagaeri tribe killed Spanish Bishop Alejandro Lavaca and Colombian nun Ines Arango with poison-tipped spears. The 2 had been dropped in by an oil company helicopter to bring the word of god and discuss the arrival of oil workers.
    (SFC, 9/3/04, p.W2)"

"1992        Texaco quit drilling in Ecuador after nearly 30 years. It left behind a toxic dump of some 1.8 million gallons of spilled crude oil.
    (SFC, 5/1/03, A8)"


"1993        Shell Oil stopped pumping oil in the Ogoni Province, but continued to use pipelines that pass through it. The Ogonis are a 500,000-strong community in southwestern Nigeria. They maintain that oil production has polluted their land, destroying their livelihoods of fishing and farming. Shell canceled several community development projects. It had earlier agreed to spend $29 million per year on such projects. In 2011 a UN report said it could take 30 years and at least $1 billion to rid the poisoned mangroves of a black carpet of crude.
    (WSJ, 10/14/95, p.A-11)(WSJ, 11/15/95, p.A-1)(WSJ, 12/15/95, p.A-16)(Econ, 8/13/11, p.46)"


"1994        Aug 11, A US federal jury awarded $286.8 million to some 10,000 commercial fishermen for losses as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.
    (AP, 8/11/99)"

Oil and Gas Timeline


Correction noted, and I apologize. However, stupid is a word that has no utility. What does it mean? How does one work with the concept of stupid? Is it written poorly? Or does it misstate the facts? Or is the writer uninformed? 

I like the fact that you hang in here with so many of us piling up on you. It is my opinion that everyone has written respectfully, without name calling or blaming, etc. I am glad you are in this group because you have critical things to say, and I need to read. Although I don't agree with you on the necessity of violence to settle international disputes, I admit sometimes action is necessary. 

From what I can see, Western countries seem to be obsessed by destabilising secular regimes in the Middle East, creating power vacuums which then get filled by religious fanatics. Prior to the invasion of Iraq, Tariq Aziz said 'If you get rid of us, you will end up with something a lot worse'. How right he was. But we all sort of knew that would happen anyway, didn't we?


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