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  • Monday, October 23, 2006


    Iraq: It's the Oil, Stupid!

    Aside from his laughable claim that, with regard to Iraq policy, "we've never been stay the course," [are you KIDDING me? yes, he really said that!] President George W. Bush, in an interview aired on ABC television on October 22, 2006, let some truth slip about why the U.S. really went to war in Iraq.

    In his usual inarticulate manner, President Bush appears to have said, in essence, that it is important to establish a democracy in Iraq because that would be a defeat for "the terrorists" and that control of Iraq by "the terrorists" is a threat because "I can conceivably see a world in which radicals and extremists control oil. And they would say to the West: You either abandon Israel, for example, or we're going to run the price of oil up. Or withdraw…"

    These words from President Bush appear to strongly support the contention that the entire Iraq debacle was and continues to be about ensuring United States access to, control over, and/or development of, Iraq's vast oil reserves, the second-largest amount of proven oil reserves in the world.

    To minimize claims of my taking the President's words out of context, below is the context. The entire interview transcript is here.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But whatever you call it, aren't American men and women now dying to prevent Sunnis and Shiites from killing each other?

    BUSH: No. George, I — it's dangerous. And you're right, no matter what you call it.

    The fundamental question is: Are we on our way to achieving a goal, which is an Iraq that can defend itself, sustain itself and govern itself and be an ally in the war on terror in the heart of the Middle East.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: It seems like, every month, we're going farther from that.

    BUSH: Well, I don't know why you would say that. I mean…

    STEPHANOPOULOS: The casualties are going up.

    BUSH: … if that's the definition of success or failure, the number of casualties, then you're right. But that's what the enemy knows. See, they try to define success or failure.

    I define success or failure as to whether or not the Iraqis will be able to defend themselves. I define success or failure as whether the unity government's making difficult — the difficult decisions necessary to unite the country.

    I define success or failure as whether schools are being built, or hospitals are being opened. I define success or failure as whether we're seeing a democracy grow in the heart of the Middle East.

    Because a democracy in the Middle East, a society based upon liberty, will be a defeat for the terrorists, who have clearly said they want a safe haven from which to launch attacks against America, a safe haven from which to topple moderate governments in the Middle East, a safe haven from which to spread their jihadist point of view, which is that there are no freedoms in the world; we will dictate to you how you think.

    I know some Americans don't think that is a threat. I view it as a threat because — and the reason it's a threat is I can conceivably see a world in which radicals and extremists control oil. And they would say to the West: You either abandon Israel, for example, or we're going to run the price of oil up. Or withdraw…

    I might have guessed that this utterance by President Bush was inadvertent, but I would have been wrong. President Bush was merely echoing a theme he included in a speech he gave on October 20, 2006 at a National Senatorial Committee Reception in Washington, D.C., in which he stated:

    Imagine a world in which radical extremists not only topple moderate governments so they can have territory from which to plan, plot, and attack America and our allies, but they have the capacity to control oil resources, which they would be more than willing to use in order to blackmail America and our allies into further retreat. You can imagine a circumstance in which these radicals say, we'll run up the price of oil by denying oil on the markets unless you abandon your allies such as Israel, or unless you further withdraw from the world. And compound that with a nuclear Iran, and the world 20 or 30 years from now is going to say, what happened to them in 2006? How come they couldn't see the threat? What blinded these people in order that they did not do their job?

    It appears the Bush Administration is fighting back against being ridiculed for its apparently disastrous policy in Iraq by finally disclosing the actual rationale for the entire Iraq invasion, regime-change, and nation-building enterprise: control of oil resources! Ironically, if you analyze the President's remarks, Iraq was not a moderate government, and it was not toppled by the radical extremists Bush is referring to. Iraq's government was toppled by the United States. [But the U.S. is not radical extremists, is it?] Bush appears to be referring to the perceived threat of radical extremists toppling the moderate government in the Middle East with the largest amount of proven oil reserves in the world, i.e., Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia does not have much, if any, military of its own. Good thing the U.S. has thousands of troops nearby in case any radical extremists were to threaten Saudi oil reserves!

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