Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Must read Winer :
See, that's the joke. We all know it's about the oil, we want the oil, we're taking it by force and we know it, no one wants to say it, and no one is complaining.

Update : I'm mystified that Bill Seitz thinks Winer's commentators do a good job of countering his claims.

Of all the attempts to counter Dave's argument there, the "we could have just bought the oil" is the most naive.

Of course the US couldn't have just *bought* the oil from Saddam Hussain. It would have a) given Saddam rivers of cash, b) let him spend that cash rearming, and so c) put US interests (and military presence) in Kuwait and Saudi at risk again. After 9/11 and two years a year of FAIL against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, at least the Neocons (crazy as they were) were smart enough to realize that the US was caught in a trap : they couldn't stay in Saudi indefinitely (that was a pressure cooker) nor could they leave, giving up the no-fly zones and punitive attacks and containment of Iraq; and so allowing Saddam to regather his strength.

Something drastic had to be done. Their Big Hairy Audacious Goal (which was always a kind of open secret) was to re-organize the middle-east entirely : to rescue the comparatively secular people of Iraq from Saddam, thereby creating a pro-American democracy in the heart of the middle-east, which would represent American interest, offer a role model for reforming Arabs in neighbouring countries etc. etc.

Of course, being able to blag the Iraqi oil industry for big business was a useful sweetener, it probably looked pretty good to influencial media barons and helped persuade politicians and their lobbyist masters to get behind the program. But, sure, straight larceny wasn't the strategic objective.

But the fact that this part of the world was considered so important to the US? The fact that the US had to have troops there. That it went to war to roll-back Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. That it "cared" enough about the suffering people of Iraq to throw billions of dollars into fighting Saddam. These are all, ultimately, driven by the requirement for preferential access to a reliable, cost effective, supply of oil.

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