HomeArticleSatirical ‘Onion’ Headline About Saudi Oil Now Just A Regular News Report

Satirical ‘Onion’ Headline About Saudi Oil Now Just A Regular News Report

Four months ago the satirical news site The Onion posted the headline, “John Bolton: ‘An Attack On Two Saudi Oil Tankers Is An Attack On All Americans’”.

I remember the post because it cracked me up a the time. Like many Onion headlines, the joke came from a cartoonish exaggeration of something that we all kind of know to be basically true but which no official would actually say, in this case the fact that the drivers of the US war machine are always trying to spin their imperialist resource control agendas as something which protects ordinary Americans instead of plutocratic investments and geostrategic hegemony. It was quite clever, and it was very clearly satirical.

At the time.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday about an attack on a Saudi Aramco oil refinery last weekend, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo proclaimed that not only was the attack definitely perpetrated by Iran, but that it was an “act of war” and a threat to American lives.

“This was an Iranian attack,” Pompeo claimed without evidence. “We were blessed there were no Americans killed in this attack, but anytime you have an act of war of this nature, there’s always a risk that could happen.”

Indeed, despite the Saudi government hilariously labeling the wounding of an Aramco facility “their 9/11“, nobody was killed in the incident at all. The most significant casualty of the attack was Saudi oil export capacity, which has reportedly been cut in half for the few weeks it will likely take to repair the damage. Yet Pompeo is rendering the art of satire obsolete by claiming it was an “act of war” against which Americans must be defended.

The government-owned Saudi Aramco is reportedly the single most profitable corporation in the world, and while it’s difficult to know for certain behind the veils of government opacity it may be worth trillions of dollars. If you’ve ever wondered how the Saudi royals can afford extravagances like arming violent extremist militias in rival governments and a relentless genocide in Yemen, that’s how. This blood-soaked Saudi corporation is the thing that the US government is attempting to conflate with “America” right now.

Which is refreshingly honest, in a way. The idea that we’re in a corporate global empire where the lines between nations mean nothing to the elites who actually run things was once broadly considered the purview of hoarse-voiced Infowars tirades; now they’re just coming right out and saying it. As I’ve said before, in some ways the Trump administration is the most honest presidency of all time.

We’re seeing the same kind of startlingly frank admission that Washington, DC is the capital of a globe-spanning empire in the way US officials are reacting to the decision of the Solomon Islands to shift its diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China. Based on what you were taught in school about what nations are and how the world works, you would assume that a sovereign state on the other side of the planet pivoting diplomatically from Taipei to Beijing would have nothing to do with the United States, yet we’re seeing a hostile reaction from the US government of the sort you’d expect to see if Alaska or Hawaii seceded from the union.

“U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has canceled plans to meet with the leader of the Solomon Islands to discuss development partnerships after the Pacific island cut ties with Taiwan in favor of China this week,” a senior US official told Reuters on Tuesday, adding that “the decision by the Solomon Islands to change its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China has consequences.”

“And now I will begin exploring ways to cut off ties with #SolomonIslands including potentially ending financial assistance and restricting access to U.S. dollars and banking,” tweeted Senator Marco Rubio in response to the news.

“The senator is threatening to penalize a small country for switching their diplomatic ties from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China,” wrote The American Conservative‘s Daniel Larison of Rubio’s reaction. “Not only is this a heavy-handed and stupid response to growing Chinese influence, since it would guarantee that the Solomons become even more dependent on China, but it is utter hypocrisy for an American politician to berate another government for doing what our government did forty years ago. It is also a good example of how many hawks view the sovereignty and independence of small states. As long as small states take the ‘right’ foreign policy positions, the hawks say they have every right to make their own foreign policy without interference, but as soon as they do something that hawks don’t like they will be targeted for punishment. It is crude bullying against one of the poorest countries in the world, and Floridians should be embarrassed to be represented by someone who engages in it.”

Things are becoming more transparent, and the gears of the empire are becoming easier to point to. It’s scary, it’s bizarre, and it will put the satirists right out of business. But ultimately, I think, it will wake people up.

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Latest comments

  • I thought this was an Onion article when I saw the headline. Hilarious. Surely we can think of bigger slaps to our co-called ‘democracy’ then this.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/sean-spicer-abc-s-dancing-stars-2019-slap-face-every-ncna1045001?cid=sm_npd_nn_fb_ma&fbclid=IwAR3PrSgdPBFRxQNukI7FPZneSjRjuLxt_nD8tlPFbq0EjerNpWiNHU08Qqs

  • “U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has canceled plans to meet with the leader of the Solomon Islands to discuss development partnerships after the Pacific island cut ties with Taiwan in favor of China this week,”

    And a feeling of relief washes over those islands, as entertaining TupPence would probably have cost them multi millions in providing security.

  • Ummmmm, doesn’t the US itself have a full-fledged, de jure embassy in Beijing but only a de facto embassy substitute in Taipei?

    Also, “U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has canceled plans to meet with the leader of the Solomon Islands….” Sounds like a win-win for the Solomon Islands, to me, or, you know, at least for their leader. I’d rather have a root canal than meet with Mike Pence.

    I think my favorite Onion article of all time was about Planned Parenthood’s new “$8 billion Abortionplex” in Topeka, Kansas. Some pro-lifer politician somewhere took it at face value and went off on a wild public rant about Planned Parenthood and its industry of death. Priceless.

    • That was my first thought as well! How many other countries will learn of this and say, “Wow, that’s all it takes to keep Pence away? Get China on the phone ASAP!” .

    • “I’d rather have a ROOT CANAL than meet with Mike Pence”. PRICELESS !!

  • Of course it was an act of war! It may have escaped Secretary of State/War/Everything Pompeo’s notice – after all, he has only a few tens of thousands of highly-paid diplomats and civil servants to keep him informed – but Saudi Arabia declared war on Yemen five or six years ago. Since then, it has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and done its level best to “bomb Yemen back into the Stone Age”, in the best traditions of the Pentagon.

    So the Yemenis attacked a target in Saudi Arabia – and suddenly that’s news? That’s alarming? That’s wicked?

    Since 1945 the US government has attacked about half the nations in the UN, and since peace has never been declared with any of them, the USA is legally at war with half the world.

    Any of those nations could legally set off a hydrogen bomb in Washington or New York, and that would be a legitimate act of war.

  • American politicians have reached the pinnacle of stupidity, it was a peace of cake, they don’t have any competition these days!

  • ‘ ‘ Waking up ‘ ‘ isn’t going to help very much.

    Why Congress Won’t Act on Gun Violence, Climate Change, Impeaching Trump or Anything Else:
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/06/here-is-exactly-why-congress-wont-act-on-gun-violence-climate-change-impeaching-trump-or-anything-else/

  • Is anyone able to recognize the sociopaths now?

    https://russia-insider.com/en/society/sociopaths-most-privileged-and-promoted-class-us-political-industrial-systems/ri27665

    Pompeo is exposing himself and the Trump administration as a private club of sociopaths with the morally insane claim that an attack on a Saudi oil facility is an attack on America! Chances are it was the Mossad behind the attack anyway, which is designed to get the U.S. to beat up Israel’s hated enemy Iran, while Israel cheers safely from the sidelines. Remember the USS Liberty? Same false-flag tactic by the same deceivers.

    • Israel has been playing, ‘let’s you and them fight’ since day one.

  • No, these things that call themselves Americans will never wake up. That’s why our government keeps them well supplied with weed, cocaine, heroine and other such needed medication. You’d think, but no, even in 2025, when most of them will already be dead, the only thought will be, ‘this is a great high’; we’re not really human over here. Like Amstel Rothschild and Henry David Thoreau said; ‘we’re just a bunch of animal manure’, so don’t be expecting anything but the same from here.

    • Actually, in my experience, weed makes people less willing to accept rationalizations of others’ bullshit and less likely to be affected by harassment and abuse. You are aware that the anti-drug movement, all the way back to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, was pharma’s initiative to have permanent representation in the UN by way of the INCB?

  • http://www.johndayblog.com/2019/09/glass-house-dwellers-house-of-saud-has.html
    Japan says they don’t know of any evidence that Iran attacked Saudi Arabia, and believe that the Yemenis did it, like they said.
    (It could be more than one attack, and Israel could have done the second one. Yemen made 10 holes. Who made the other 7 holes?)​
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-aramco-attacks-japan-idUSKBN1W30KV

    ​Iran tells Saudi Arabia it should see missile strike on its oil facilities as a WARNING and end its war with Yemen
    ​Sounds like reasonable advice. The House of Saud should pay for some food, medicine, electricity, water, sewer, and hospitals, too.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7476507/Iran-tells-Saudi-Arabia-missile-strike-oil-facilities-WARNING.html

  • The abundant absurdities of the Donald Trump administration may make a lot of United States citizens realize just what ” our governments real priorities are “; but unfortunately the general mindset of our population has given up and surrendered to ” the owners and the masters ” and our governmental evilness. In our present form there is no way to change our worship of money no matter how ” dirty ” it is! To my old mind I think that the people of Saudi Arabia just might be wondering right now if their leaders attachment to the United States and Israel are good policies or not.

  • Yes,
    the sad, sad Solomon Islands. The flip to Mainland China is long over due, the yanks never helped the Solomon Islands, their war leftovers still blow up people!
    I lived in SI for many years.
    The people are at the mercy of merciless forces, again, but maybe the PRC will give a better deal.

    Taiwan has openly bribed all politicians for many years, very little aid ever reached the jungle village, everything is crumbling, or stolen. The fat cats repatriate their loot to Brisbane.

    Solomon Island certainly needs REAL assistance. Their doctors are often trained in Cuba – when John Carey found out he dropped in to warn the nation!;
    Japan builds the roads & ports and plunder fish stocks for sushi;
    NZ builds the bridges;
    Canberra owns the comprador SI bureaucracy;
    NGO’s white ant the place;
    Malaysia rapes the timber.

    Most of the political ‘leaders’ are political prostitutes, corrupt and degenerate.
    Mainland China is a new spin of the wheel, perhaps hope.
    That’s what the USA fears!

  • Hi

    You wrote “But ultimately, I think, it will wake people up.”

    nope….somebody will make a movie about this event that will portray US mercenaries as heroes defending the Homeland by responding to the attack at the Saudi facility….the heroes follow orders from Saudi handlers, hunting and killing terrorist suspects. viewers will cheer……

    the movie will portray the antagonists as generic terrorists who bear a remarkable resemblance to middle-eastern/persian folks.

  • What reporters were you talking to on Wednesday?

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