Two may not disagree, regardless of the perspective they take to the crisis of Qatar's brothers in the past and current foes that the rift is fabricated in terms of its essence and appearance and that the accusations on which it is built are flimsy. However, this does not prevent wise observers from exploring the underlying causes that were hidden in the folds of the crisis that were not addressed by any media outlets, neither directly nor indirectly.
The first of these reasons may be directly linked to the equation of the oil prices and the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who served as chairman of one of the world's largest oil companies, ExxonMobil. He remained in his position until the moment he moved to the State Department chair in a surprise and unique move. Trump handed over the position to someone whose company funded election campaigns of House of Representatives and Senate members, thus helping control who's in power. They are also tasked with ensuring that their work continues in accordance with the rules of the game that are politically programmed according to their demand by funding lobbying groups, groups that ruin reputations, and the political burning for those who sway one iota away from their orders. Such attacks are carried out via scandals, such as that of Monica Lewinsky and former US President, Bill Clinton, as well as David Petraeus and his mistress while he served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
In the words of pioneering journalist Glenn Greenwald, Trump's choice of Tillerson as secretary of state has clearly demonstrated that the real rulers of the US economy, society and politics, have to take over rather than leaving things to those they usually mandate to play their parts expertly, such as the Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan, who became president of the US and performed his representative duties, such as all his predecessors, which he said explicitly in a rare candid moment that was not planned.
To further illustrate this, these real leaders named by US President Eisenhower in 1961 as "the military industrial complex", which currently includes six poles that are divided among the oil industry, arms manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and health care, insurance, technology and communications and major financial and banking institutions. These companies compete against each other to enhance their respective share of the cake, draining the resources of the entire planet, including the United States of course, without affecting the agreement between them to unite against all threats to its authority and dominance in the US and in the world. This resulted in groups of political followers of each of these poles. For example, Hillary Clinton is funded by pharmaceutical companies, health, insurance, technology and communications and the financial institutions, which were later lured appallingly by Trump by means of appointing their icons in all the vital American institutions.
On the other hand, Trump was openly supported by arms manufacturers such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, as well as the oil companies, represented by the Koch Brothers' empire.
It is this last remark that allows us to read the role of the American secretary of state in the fabricated Qatari crisis. In 2012, ExxonMobil, headed by Rex Tillerson himself made a phenomenal profit of $45 billion when oil prices were close to $100 a barrel. This led the company to gamble with a large part of its financial reserves to buy oil exploration rights and shale and heavy oil in Canada, which discovered one-third of the company's oil reserves located in the shale oil fields in Canada's Alberta, according to Canadian journalist Naomi Klein. The extraction of shale oil is very costly, sometimes costing up to $90 per barrel, technically meaning that oil prices must remain at $100 a barrel as a minimum so that ExxonMobil can make profits from its investment gambles.
However, the winds did not blow in Tillerson and his partners' favour in 2014, leading to a drop in oil prices to less than $50 a barrel due to Saudi Arabia's flooding of the market as part of the proxy war in the Bahraini and Syrian arenas with Russia and Iran to achieve economic exhaustion. In addition to Saudi Arabia's fear of its strategic significance to the US ending if America becomes the first producer of oil globally using its shale oil and becomes self sufficient and independent from Middle Eastern oil, according to Obama himself. This resulted in the fall of ExxonMobil's profit by 80 per cent, reaching less than $8 billion in 2016.
This created a disaster for the company's then president and current US secretary of state, who throughout his four decades of working in the company – was able to realise that there is no better way to raise the oil prices globally in order to compensate for the losses of his company's gambling and the source of his inexhaustible personal wealth, after having received a parting gift of appreciation amounting to a modest $260 million – than creating a crisis in the Middle East, particularly in the Arabian Gulf.
He also realised that it would be even better if this would lead to a war reinforcing the demands to purchase American weapons and hinder the oil supply globally. This would require a rise in the oil prices globally, which was the case after Libya was removed from the oil production circle after its stillborn revolution. This also explains the negative American role in maintaining the failed state in Libya and decoding the rabid attempts to create a crisis with Qatar, which without the presence of the Turkish bases in its territories, would have suffered a more dramatic crisis. This is also a result of the Saudi military's rapid and exaggerated mobilisation and the American urging of the Kingdom's leaders to bang the war drums of direct confrontation with Iran after those engaged in the proxy war exhausted the blood of the oppressed Syrians and Yemenis.
All the hidden facts show that there is no option for the US secretary of state to escape unscathed. Meanwhile the benefactors are waiting for the disaster that will cause oil prices to rise globally in order to restore their position on the thrones of the most profitable companies in modern American history, at the expense of the lives and future of helpless Arab people.
This article first appeared in Arabic on Arabi21 on 1 August 2017.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.