[Vision2020] Federal Reserve Head Greenspan: Iraq Invasion ForOil

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Tue Sep 18 00:27:13 PDT 2007


The broad argument that the invasion of Iraq was motivated primarily to
control oil resources was never that Iraq's oil alone economically justified
the invasion, nor that the USA was directly critically dependent on Iraq oil
supplies at the time, or would be in the future.  Nor that Saddam was
threatening to cut off Iraq oil and/or threaten oil supply shipments.  I
question the specific argument, about Saddam possibly shutting down oil
shipments from anyone, as a motivation to invade.  The US military could
squash this with a "shock and awe" display rather quickly.  And Saddam
wanted the oil revenue.  But the oil resources of the entire region, in
Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, etc. must be factored in the
motivation to maintain a military presence in the Middle East, for the long
term (think 50 years ahead) goal of protecting these resources in a region
of the world with regimes either aggressively unfriendly (Iran) to the USA
or its allies, or with governments that could be replaced by regimes
unfriendly to the USA or its allies.  Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other nations
in this region could face upheavals from forces very unfriendly to the USA.
Yes, religion is one reason, let's not kid ourselves, like Wahhabism in
Saudi Arabia.  Consider the fact, rarely reported in the news, that many of
the suicide bombers and insurgents in Iraq are coming from Saudi Arabia's
religious extremists ranks.

I won't list a billion barrel total for the oil in these nations, but it
represents an astronomical wealth, especially thinking long term, when oil
will go over 100 dollars a barrel, as it eventually will.  Even if the USA
could supply all of its oil from other regions in the world, if the oil in
this region came more under the control of hostile regimes, it could
represent a major threat to the US in the game of global economic and
military hegemony.  Long term protection of Israel is certainly part of this
equation.  And given the fact our military bases in Saudi Arabia were
problematic for the Saudi ruling family, shifting our military bases to Iraq
was considered a better option by the neo-cons behind the Project For A New
American Century. Some of the neo-cons who were the primary architects
behind the invasion of Iraq actually believed, I think sincerely, that a
stable democracy friendly to the USA could be established.  Regime change in
Iran was then the next and more important goal.  A more powerful Iran, with
oil wealth and possibly nuclear weapons, was certainly viewed as the real
problem, not Saddam and Iraq, at the time of the invasion.  Saddam and Iraq
were already emasculated, with UN economic sanctions and weapon inspections,
routine coalition military fly overs, no fly zones for the Iraq military
(they did not even control their own air space!) in the northern Kurdish
region, and bombings of installations (radar, etc.) on a regular basis by
"coalition" forces.  The Bush Sr. war over Iraq's invasion of Kuwait never
really ended.  The later invasion was thus a continuation of the first war,
with Bush Jr. doing what many military hard liners wanted to begin with, to
"go all the way to Baghdad."

In the increasingly globalized economy, the massive integration of the US
economy into the economies of other nations, disruptions in oil supplies
to economic allies can seriously damage our economy.  Just as the USA
protects other nations militarily in alliances, we use our power to protect
the supplies of critical resources to allies.  And even if all of the US oil
needs and the needs of our economic allies were supplied by other regions,
control of Middle East oil is critical to ensure price stability, or to have
control pushing the price up or down, depending on need.  If the price of
oil could be dramatically controlled by Middle Eastern regimes unfriendly to
the USA, the problem is obvious.

One of the most cynical arguments (one that I think, even if a factor, alone
does not explain the invasion) that the Iraq war was motivated by oil, is
that it was known in advance that the war would be a disaster.  What an
opportunity for the oil industry world wide!  Oil markets would be disrupted
with uncertainty about the stability of the Middle East region, along with
disrupting oil flow from Iraq's 115 billion barrels, third largest in the
world, behind Saudi Arabia and Canada.  The price per barrel would surge to
record highs, and stay high... Gas costs in the USA would go dramatically
higher, and stay higher.  Everyone involved with the oil industry could make
more money.  Canada could push increasing development of the huge oil sands
reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia in total barrels as recognized as
practically economically recoverable by the oil industry, lessening
dependence on Middle East oil.  Exxon/Mobil, the world's largest oil
company, could made record profits.   Oil exploration and development that
previously was too expensive, would start to open up.  All of this has
occurred...Does Exxon/Mobil care that the US taxpayer is footing the bill
for the Iraq war?  They got tax breaks from Cheney, Bush and Company...

Ted Moffett

On 9/17/07, Sunil Ramalingam <sunilramalingam at hotmail.com> wrote:

> I disagree Glenn.  I think that many advocates for the war did think it
> would benefit Israel (though there are many Israelis who disagree with
> their
> position) but I don't think this was the main reason for the war, though
> some in the administration may have viewed it as a side benefit.
> I used to think the war was launched in order to control Iraq's oil
> reserves
> to boost production, but now I'm more persuaded by Greg Palast's argument
> that the reason was to control Iraq's reserves to prevent Hussein from
> producing more and destabilizing the market.  For me this comes closer to
> answering the question 'Why did Cheney change his mind about invading
> Iraq?'
> than the other theories.
> Ted's comments about the press failures prior to launching the war against
> Iraq are equally true when it comes to uncritical coverage of the current
> statements about Iran.
> Sunil
> >From: "Glenn Schwaller" <vpschwaller at gmail.com>
> >To: vision2020 at moscow.com
> >Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Federal Reserve Head Greenspan: Iraq Invasion
> >ForOil
> >Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 15:55:13 -0700
> >
> >The US net petroleum imports for 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006
> amounted
> >to 4208, 4476, 4811, 5055, and 4968 million barrels per year, and 2454
> >million barrels from January through June of 2007.  Over the same period
> of
> >time the Iraqi contributions were 168, 176, 240, 194, and 202 million
> >barrels per year, and 86 million barrels from January through June of
> 2007.
> >(
> >
> http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_impcus_a2_nus_ep00_im0_mbbl_m.htm
> >).  This constitutes 4%, 3.9%, 5%, 3.9 % 4.1% and 3.5% of our total oil
> >imports.  A case for going to war if I've ever seen one.
> >
> >The current cost of the war is around $455 billion give or take, and if
> we
> >were to defray this cost by levying an excise tax on Iraqi oil imports
> from
> >2003 to the present, it would amount to around $507 a barrel.  Assuming
> oil
> >imports remain steady over a 10 year period this would be about $51 a
> >barrel, and over 25 years, a little more than $20 a barrel.  How can
> anyone
> >possibly justify paying an excise tax of $20 per barrel for 25 years
> simply
> >to ensure a cheap supply of oil from Iraq?  Ludicrous!  War for oil –
> total
> >nonsense.  War for Israel – the real fulcrum of the Iraqi conflict.
> >
> >"The United States is strongly committed, and I am strongly committed, to
> >the security of Israel as a vibrant Jewish state. . . By defending the
> >freedom and prosperity and security of Israel, (we are) also serving the
> >cause of America."  (President Bush:  address to the American Israel
> Public
> >Affairs Committee, Washington DC, May 18, 2004).
> >
> >We have paid a high price in dollars, international prestige and in the
> >lives of our soldiers for the interests of a foreign state, and we will
> >continue to do so until the Jewish-Zionist hold on US political life is
> >finally broken.
> >
> >  GS
> >
> >
> >On 9/17/07, Ted Moffett <starbliss at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > >
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