Saudi Arabia

This country sits on a sea of oil and is a staunch ally in the war on terror. Just a few months before his death in 1945, shortly before the end of World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt made a deal with the Kingdom. The United States would provide security, keeping the ruling royal family in power if the ruling House of Saud sold oil to the United States at below market prices. With only a very few misunderstandings, this arrangement has stayed in place.

Saudi Arabia is also a genuine Kingdom with a ruling Royal family with crown princes to spare. Crown Princes get the best jobs, hold all positions of power The press is tightly controlled and just recently, men only (sorry, Burka Babes, women not invited) were allowed to vote at the local level. Much of the petrodollars that the Royal family receives are used to buy expensive weapon systems that it doesn’t need from United States defense contractors. The primary defender of the Royal family is the Saudi National Guard, American trained and armed and all of its soldiers related to the ruling Royal family. Saudi Arabia does have an army, but it is never issued live ammunition for the constant fear of a coup. The Royal Family also uses much of its petrodollars to pay off the notorious Wahhabi sect of Islamic fanatics with good jobs and teaching positions at Islamic schools for terrorists who hate Americans. As long as the bribes keep coming, the Royals are safe for the moment from the bloody coup that boils daily under the hot desert sun. The Bush administration has no fear, however; the fall of the Royal family would be just the excuse needed for the United States to invade and take over the oil fields.

Kuwait

The United Sates fought the first Gulf War to replace the solid gold fixtures in the Kuwaiti king’s bathroom, looted by renegade Iraqi troops in the initial invasion. Kuwaiti citizens of all military ages cheered on the attacking Americans from numerous European discos. Kuwait is described as best as “semi-free,” with 15 percent of the population being permitted to vote. It is cited by Amnesty International as the perpetrator of widespread human rights violations” since the first Gulf War. These include disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrests, and extrajudicial killings. The invading armies of the first war were involved with the forced removal of 407 Kuwaitis and other individuals to Iraq. In 2003 and 2004, the bodies of 199 of those individuals who had been taken to Iraq were discovered. See http://www.amnestyusa.org/ countries/kuwait/document. do?id=78878DD21FBD918280256F860047AD1E.

Nigeria

Since Independence in the early 1960s, Nigeria has suffered from one military dictatorship to the next. Last summer, an actual civilian government was actually voted into place, but time will tell how long before another greedy disaffected general stages another coup. Nigeria does sit on a sea of oil, much of which is sold to the United States. Corruption is a way of life in this oil-soaked region of West Africa. The British and American oil companies in the country routinely pay off local officials to look the other way when it comes to nasty stuff, such as pollution and bulldozing villages to make way for the next pipeline. Native Nigerians have lately been protesting their not being given a piece of the millions of dollars in revenue, and the most vocal get shot for their trouble. Nigeria is a great place for a private military contractor that the oil companies are hiring.

Central Asian Dictatorships

Also known by their very appropriate nickname of “Petrostans,” the former members of the Soviet Union are definitely floating on a sea of oil. They are also very much engaged in helping Bush fight his war on terror. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have allowed the American military to use their air space and lease some of their own military facilities. They have also allowed the United States to construct some of its own military facilities. The Bush administration has poured billions into these countries’ military and domestic economies, allowing these brutal dictators to skim as much as they want, while keeping the pesky populations under their collective heels. One of these brutes is reported to boil his dwindling pool of political opponents in oil. No joke, boiled in oil.

Pakistan

This country doesn’t have any oil to speak of, but it does have the next-best thing: plenty of nuclear weapons. The plethora of warheads, plus the extra help provided to the United States in the war on terror, trumps the lack of petroleum. Current strongman/president Pervez Musharraf has a tenuous grip on power as he is at the mercy of the generals in his army and of the notorious Pakistani Inter service intelligence agency. As long as the ISI can smuggle Afghani opium, and the generals are allowed to test fire a long range missile into the Arabian Sea to provoke the Indian government across the border, Musharraf will keep his job. He occasionally tosses a bone to the Bush administration in the form of the usual terrorists suspects, and the Bush administration rewards him by forgiving much of Pakistan’s debt.

Muslims still loyal to Osama Bin Laden dot the countryside. Most of Pakistan’s northwest territories are not controlled by the Pakistani federal government, but a loose group of clans, warlords, drug smugglers, and the assorted bunch of bandits. But Afghanistan is just across the border and the U.S. military is given full cooperation in chasing the Afghani Thug Of The Day (Thug Du Jour). This gives mainstream American reporters the chance to get off by flying in military helicopters over spectacular mountain terrain dressed in bush jackets and aviator sun glasses and filing hard-hitting reports from the front line of the “war on terror.”

Iran

This country, one of the three main characters in Bush’s “Axis of Evil,” sits on a sea of oil. It has proven to be very helpful to the Bush administration in its “war on terror” by providing the next “evil empire” for the Neo-con cabal in charge to attack. Every imperial government needs an enemy, and Iran is stepping right up to the plate. The mad Mullahs of Tehran have declared their intention to pursue the development of nuclear weapons, partly for national pride but mostly to help them deter aggression from Tel Aviv or Washington. But the Iranians have not been idle. They have cemented relationships with other nations in the area who fear U.S. imperialism. That includes all of the governments in the Mid East except Israel. It even includes some elements in occupied Iraq.

North Korea

Even though North Korea has been labeled part of the infamous “axis of evil,” this poor, starving country has no oil at all. No oil means no money, no contracts to develop new oil fields, no cash to bribe the United Nations, and no money to buy expensive weapons systems and spare parts. North Korea can rattle all the sabers that it wants, launch whatever it wants over the South China Sea, scare the Japanese, and kidnap hundreds of South Korean citizens, but the Pentagon isn’t going to pull the trigger. Every trial lawyer knows that you sue somebody who can pay.

Even though North Korea is probably the worst offender on this list, its maniacal, reclusive, barbarous strongman can torture and starve his people and the United States will only respond with tepid attempts at diplomacy. Secretary of State (sic) Condi Rice might complain, but no one is going to attack. Sorry, North Korea, you will remain little more than the retarded, Communist stepchild of Asia. You even embarrass Beijing.

Venezuela

Don’t look back; a CIA engineered coup is gaining on you. By Grady Hawkins

President George W. Bush’s second State of the Union address was filled with grand sentiments regarding America’s mission to spread freedom around the globe. The irony is that the Bush administration supports and funds some of the worst dictatorships on the planet in its effort to fight the “war on terror” and fill the coffers of the Bush administration’s corporate sponsors.

The odds are that, if your country floats on a sea of oil of any size, it is probably being ruled by some sort of brutal dictatorship. If your country sits on a sea of oil and also helps the Bush administration in its “War on Terror,” then the bloody dictator in charge can pretty much do what ever he wants to his own citizens, secure in the knowledge that America will not interfere with pesky notions, such as human rights, voting, democracy, freedom of the press, or political dissent. This is true, even if some of these same citizens should mysteriously disappear and then turn up later in a mass grave. Even those dictators who oppose Bush and his neo-con nation have their uses.

Here are a few of them.