The War For Oil Myth

Now that the tenth anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom has arrived, the American left has taken another opportunity to revive the trope that going to war in that nation “was all about oil.” The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald is one such revivalist. In a column on Monday he’s magnanimous enough to concede that saying the war in Iraq was fought strictly for oil is an “oversimplification.” Yet just as quickly, he can’t contain himself. “But the fact that oil is a major factor in every Western military action in the Middle East is so self-evident that it’s astonishing that it’s even considered debatable, let alone some fringe and edgy idea,” he contends. The war for oil mantra may be self-evident to Greenwald and his fellow travelers, but the facts say otherwise.

If oil were a major factor for prosecuting war in Iraq, it stands to reason the United States would be getting substantial amounts of it. It may come as a shock to Greenwald as well as a number of other Americans, but with regard to importing oil, the overwhelming percentage of our imported oil does not come from the Middle East. Canada and Latin America provide the United States with 34.7 percent of our imported oil. Africa provides another 10.3 percent. The entire Persian Gulf, led by Saudi Arabia at 8.1 percent, provides us with a total of 12.9 percent of our imported oil.

As recently as December 2012, Iraq provided the United States with approximately 14.3 million barrels of oil out of a total of about 298 million barrels imported, or 4.8 percent of our total imports. And as this chart indicates, we were importing the highest amount of oil from Iraq before we went to war to oust Saddam Hussein.

Furthermore, the United States fully supported the United Nations’ oil embargo against Iraq, imposed when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, despite the reality that we were far more dependent on imported oil then than we are now. We continued to support it even when it was revealed that the eventual softening of those sanctions, known as the oil for food program, revealed that Russia, France and a number of other nations were collaborating with Saddam Hussein to violate sanctions in return for billions of dollars of ill-gotten gains. Of the 52 countries named in a report compiled by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker detailing the scandal, only 28 even wanted the evidence, and the United States led the way in prosecuting those implicated.

In 2010, the UN Security Council lifted most of the remaining sanctions. The Security Council said it “recognizes that the situation now existing in Iraq is significantly different from that which existed at the time of the adoption of resolution 661″ in 1990. In other words, they recognized that Butcher of Baghdad and his brutal dictatorship had been tossed on the ash heap of history, and a relatively stable government had taken its place. The Council also voted to return control of Iraq’s oil and natural gas revenue to the government by June 30 of that year. “Iraq is on the cusp of something remarkable–a stable, self-reliant nation,” said Vice President Joe Biden, who chaired the meeting.

It is precisely that self-reliant nation–not an oil-rich client state of America–that Iraq is becoming.

If America went to war in Iraq mostly for oil, it would stand to reason that we would maintain a stranglehold on both their supply and production. Ten years after the war began, China has emerged as one of the main beneficiaries of a relatively stable Iraqi government and a country that, after two decades, is poised to become the world’s third largest oil exporter. Trade between Iraq and China has doubled almost 34 times, soaring from $517 million in 2002, to $17.5 billion by the end of last year. If current trends continue, it will replace the U.S. as Iraq’s largest trading partner.

Furthermore, the first postwar oil license awarded by the Iraqi government in 2008 was to the state-run China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), in the form of a $3.5 billion development contract for Iraqi oil field Al-Ahdab. In December 2009, in the second round of bids to develop Iraq’s vast untapped oil reserves (following a June auction allowing foreign companies the chance to increase production at existing fields), China and Russia emerged with the lion’s share of the contracts. At the time, Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani envisioned a bright future. “Our principal objective is to increase our oil production from 2.4 million barrels per day to more than four million in the next five years,” he said.

The country is well on its way. Last December, Iraq reached a milestone, breaking the 3 million barrel threshold for the first time since 1990, reaching 3.4 million barrels a day. Moreover, unlike Western oil reserves that require sophisticated technology or deep-sea drilling to acquire, Iraq is awash in untapped reserves that can still be reached using conventional, and far cheaper methods of extraction. As a result, the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that Iraq will double its current production to 6.1 million barrels a day by 2020, and 8.3 million by 2030, surpassing Russia as the world’s second largest oil exporter, with the capability of supplying 45 percent of the increase in global demands for oil by 2035.

And once again, emphasizing the reality of where Iraqi oil will be headed, the IEA projects that most of the nation’s oil will be exported to China and other Asian markets.

So why does the war for oil meme remain so popular with the Left? The Bush Derangement Syndrome, which also includes an almost pathological hatred for former Vice President Dick Cheney, remains alive and well. So does the Left’s irrational antipathy for “Big Oil,” a term that represents the archetypical symbol of corporate greed and evil. Throw in the fact that both Bush and Cheney were oilmen, and the trifecta hate-inducing symbolism is almost too much to resist.

Yet for the sake of argument, let’s assume every accusation made by the Left regarding a war for oil is true. At the same time, let’s introduce one inarguable reality into the mix: right now, fossil fuels such as oil remain the only viable source of energy that will allow Americans to maintain their current standard of living. Maybe someday we’ll have the technology to radically alter that reality, but not now.

Let’s also introduce another unarguably reality into the mix: the American Left, and its alliance with radical environmentalism, has made it almost impossible for this nation to become energy-independent. In other words, if we did go to war for oil in Iraq, the American Left is as complicit as anyone in engendering that reality–unless there has been some mass movement on their part to completely abandon petroleum-dependent technology, such as cars, computers, or (heaven forbid) iPhones, that has remained under the national radar.

Leftists, despite all their noble intentions, still want to enjoy the highest standard of living in the world, even as they bite the hand of those who endeavor to provide it — and even as they fight tooth and nail to keep this nation at least partially the mercy of people who hate us.

As for the war in Iraq in general, people can disagree about whether removing Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do. And they can certainly question the necessity of nation-building, “winning hearts and minds,” and all the other politically correct nonsense. But it is simply revisionist history to suggest that anti-oil Democratic politicians, many of whom are quoted here, weren’t every bit as concerned with the danger the Saddam Hussein regime posed as Republicans were. Authorizing the use of force was a bipartisan effort based on a shared interpretation of the same security intelligence. To assert that Democrats were hoping for a Big Oil payday is simply absurd.

As for oil, if getting it was one of the primary reasons we liberated Iraq, subsequent developments have demonstrated that effort was a colossal failure. What we did get is something too many Americans conveniently forget: in the twelve years we’ve aggressively pursued terror, nothing remotely approaching a repeat of 9/11 has happened here. That so many Americans have forgotten the genuine context that precipitated war in both Afghanistan and Iraq is staggering.

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  • AdinaK

    It was decidedly the case, oil was not the driving force. Not at all. But it has also been the case, that entering Iraq, without first dealing the Iranian menace, was a terrible mistake. So much so, the real winners are Iran's Hitlerite regime. As to Saddam, of course he was a monster, but importing democracy, into the Mid East, was more than idiocy. In fact, it was an attempt to remake a sow's ear into a silk purse.
    The fact of the matter is that Sharia Law, which is the driving force in the region, is diametrically opposed to western democracy, in any form. This is why they elect – via their "democracy" – Islamist after Islamist to lead them, and bloody handed ones at that!
    Simply put, Islam's relationship to blood requires strongmen to lead them, regardless of its impolitic nature –
    BTW, Jerusalem wanted Bush to deal with Iran, NOT Iraq, in case anyone is wondering.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel

    • davarino

      I totally agree with you Adina. At the time the war was gearing up I read Natan Sharansky's book, The Case For Democracy, and bought into the premise. All they needed was democracy and everything would be magically delicious. Well, Iraq has proved that to be wrong, as well as Egypt, Libya,…..etc. These people need strongmen like Mubarak to keep a lid on the "religion of peace".

    • Chezwick

      MSM bullsh*t alert…

      I just watched a BBC program called 'Iraq: !0 Years On'. In the intro, there was a BBC reporter giving a synopsis of the last 10 years. In it, he touched on the uprising in Fallujah, and how "America killed insurgent and civilian indiscriminately." I thought back at the actual course of events, how the US forces surrounded the city and then allowed the civilian population (along with many insurgent leaders) evacuate before the fighting started.

      How telling that a stellar example of US humanitarianism was portrayed exactly the opposite by this BBC reporter, whoever the F he was. A pox on his house.

  • Jaz

    Wow wow and the right wonders why the rest of the US think you are comepletely insane.
    I implore you to please read more on yhus subject before writing such inacurate and delusional blogs

    • gerry

      Very interesting this oil story.Hubert Vedrine The French foreign minister stater about 5-6 years ago that the US did not invade Irak for the oil.Quite interesting coming from someone who is anti American,coined the term Hyper power and during a diplomatic function tuned is back on Bill Clinton!

    • Jazz

      I implore you to state who got the il contracts and how that helps Exxon, Shell (Dutch-British), BP (British) or some of the American companies that I have not mentioned.

      Maybe you can tell us that China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) is really Exxon

      or maybe that Exxon benefits when CMPC gets lucrative contracts

      or maybe you are deranged.

      • Drakken

        Exxon pulled out of Iraq you ignoramus, there are no us based oil companies in Iraq right now, but that may change in the Kurdish ruled north.

    • Mary Sue

      ok then smarty pants, what are YOU reading and why can we trust it? Care to share?

  • Smote

    I wish the oil would run out. Then the Middle East would lose its one and only bargaining chip.

    Time to switch from oil to something that is, more sustainable and, frankly, not from a part of the world where women are treated with less respect than camels.


      There lies the U.S. strategy that I have rarely disclosed. "If the rest of the world runs out while we keep ours in the ground, we can then blackmail them." You can guarantee that we have found huge oil reserves but keep them quiet or untapped. ANWAR has how much oil? Those protesters complaining about an animal that would be hurt from our drilling could be hired by the U.S. government. Then we have all the oil around our shores. Now Obama has moratoriums.

      Even though the gas prices are killing the economy, and most family budgets, THEY don't care BUT now is not the time to $crew us with the price of gas while DREAMING of a "more sustainable" energy that can remove the dependence on oil. A battery-powered car that goes only sixty miles per charge, with all lights, AC, radio, everything off, is not the solution. When THEY come up with one that we can convert the cars we have now, then that would be the wave of the future. Until then, we need oil and THEY want everyone else to run out of theirs before we tap ours.

      (This is for your eyes only.)

      • Flash287

        Dubai in 1960 was exporting Pearls and was impoverished. Now they principally sell oil. The country has the highest per-capita income anywhere. They got rich on our dollars thanks to the environmental whachos.
        We should exploit our abundant oil resources and flood the world market with cheap American oil. We all will get rich if OPEC can no longer control world prices. Cheap gas in the US will result in massive discretionary spending. That will create business expansion, jobs and prosperity. Just like it was in the 1950's before the hippies came along and gave birth to Obama and the Clinton progressives (another word for socialists).
        The author is wrong. We did go into iraq for oil. Nt iraqi oil tho. But to prevent saddams expansion from Kuwait to saudi Arabia. if Saddam took over all Mideast oil(his plan) he would control the US economy.

      • John

        Steven Chavez

        This scenario doesn't work if they have used the money in the meantime to build up their militaries, export Islam, emmigrate, etc.

        Besides I think Democrats are much simpler. They use environmentla, AGW, fairness & other cr@p to control people. That is their grand strategy. Keeping oil in the ground last is not one of their strategies I think.

    • Rifleman

      Wish in one hand…
      Someone will always buy their oil, as long as they have any. The time to switch from oil is when something better comes along, and not one moment before. That day hasn't come.

  • WatcherOntheWall

    If the 'leftist,' commenting above, would 'allow' the U.S. to extract it's oil, we would not be at the mercy of the Middle East. The thought processes described above is precisely why we are tied to Arab countries that hate us and seek to destroy us. The United States has more oil than Saudi Arabia, but the environmentalist will not 'allow' us to obtain it. They are systematically causing poverty, distress, malaise and ultimately the destruction of this country. Alaska received so much monetary compensation that they sent a $2000.00 check to each resident from the profit they gained by using the God given natural resources that are there for the taking. "I wish the oil would run out." Do you also wish that plastic would cease to exist? Would you have us go back to the Dark Ages? Just because you dream of a fantasy that "something else" exist that is more "sustainable" doesn't make it a reality. The U.S. has enough oil to "sustain" us for 400 years. Do your own research, please! Get off the bandwagon of 'leftist' reflex, emotional thinking. Grow up. Quit putting "right" thinking down. Division will not solve anything. This is not a 'right' and 'left' problem, this is an American problem, and we the people own the answers to this problem. Why not fight for our oil independence instead of fighting us? It seems as though people are h_ll bent on destroying this country. It is with this mindset that Obama was re-elected. Well, I hate to say it, but I must, whoever voted for this man whose sole desire is to bring this nation to it's knees, had two choices, a choice for Obama, or a choice for America. You can't have both! You two above will be the first to cry when the sh_t hits the fan. How "sane" is that?

    • RiverFred

      Excellent response. Also, we have enough natural gas to make us energy independent and enough to export to help pay down the debt. We should convert autos, etc. to natural gas. Unfortunately we are not allowed to develop our national resources on federal lands (thank you Obozo,) especially in California who is broke. Gov't. pension plans will surely bankrupt us all.

  • Smote

    My reply was deleted by the administrator. I suppose free press is only for those who can afford to make donations. The most deadly sharks wear the best suits.

    Read Animal Farm by George Orwell. How prescient he was. RIP.


      If you take too long writing a post, it won't post. I always copy it, go back to main page, click on article, and then post. It will also catch cuss words so I put spaces and other symbols to replace the letters.

      • Smote

        Maybe, Mr Chavez. Thanks, anyway. However, I've never had this particular problem on this website before. Maybe it's my fault: I trod upon toes that should not be trodden upon.

        We live in strange and disturbing times.

        • Mary Sue

          nah man it's completely automated. Random.

          • Smote

            As the Russians say: nyet! I get what you're saying. However… we are enslaved.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "I trod upon toes that should not be trodden upon."

          The system is designed to be rules-based with human intervention only after violating those rules or the admins get a complaint. You can't run a discussion forum any other way.

          My stuff has been deleted many times often over the most innocent remarks. This one may get deleted. Plus we don't know if you really got chopped by rules-based admin software or maybe your page timed out.

          Don't be paranoid man. Very few of us here want any filtering at all. We want to defeat leftism in the open where people can see it.

      • Rifleman

        Just hitting refresh usually works for me, but there are a few other bugs that will keep me from posting, or replying to a post. Sometimes they'll languish in moderation 'til (I suspect) a human can review them, and I don't expect anyone to spend too much time doing that. Sometimes I have to break them up into separate posts, sometimes I don't. It can be frustrating, but comments are a courtesy (and often a pain for the host), it's a free site, and I've seen much buggier.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "It will also catch cuss words so I put spaces and other symbols to replace the letters."

        They even have common alternative spellings in the filters. Plus there are lots of complex rules that are not worth discussing but basically there is no chance of bias unless the bias is built in to the word based filters (not ideas). I think that a few word combinations are more likely to get audited though, like "Jew" with the Nat Soc slur. I'm really not sure though because I've sure seen people get away with it.

        It makes me wonder what you do have to say to get deleted by a human on this site. You have to be a seriously obnoxious troll I would think.

  • Godagesil

    People need to read up on the politics behind oil, the markets, the producers and what drives the industry. I have worked in the industry for 31 years and thought I knew pretty much everything until I read Daniel Yergin's book, "The Prize". It shattered a lot of misconceptions I had. I have not read the latest edition, and hopefully he has updated the part oil played in the fall of the Soviet Union, when it was first written classified documents had not been released on Reagan and Bill Casey's collusion with the e Saudi's to cause the momentous drop in oil price in 1986 that gave the final shove to the teetering Soviet system. Starting as far back as the 1930's the US has been the keeper of the world oil markets. Even when we were oil independent our surplus oil production was what kept Europe supplied when politics in the oil producing nations curtailed supply.

  • Godagesil

    The US filled the gap. We did it in WWII. I see the two wars we fought in the Middle East, not as up securing oil for ourselves, we have plenty in our own hemisphere, I see us as trying to stabilize the market by keeping others from obtaining undue influence over supplies, such as Sadaam tried to do. The Saudis like 'em or hate 'em, are pragmatic, and have been in bed with the US since the 1940's. There is no coincidence that the Brits were side by side with us in both wars, their influence in the region has a longer track record than ours, dating back to the first oil concession in Iraq, and the formation of the Anglo Iranian Oil company, based in Basra, which incidentally was their area of operation in the second Gulf war.

  • Godagesil

    With the increasing success of the Unconventional Resource oil and gas play in the US and worldwide, it is anticipated that the US could be oil independent again in as little as 10 years if the Federal government does not try to throttle the baby in its crib by putting fracking permitting under the EPA. The success of fracking, geosteering and horizontal drilling technology scares the crap out of the oil producing Arabs. So much so, the Kuwaitis funded Matt Damon's lame propaganda feature film Promised Land, which is nothing more than a love letter to the environmental movement and an attempt to smear the companies active in the unconventional resource play and terrorize owners of prospective acreage.

  • Godagesil

    The ignorance, stupidity and pie in the sky idiocy that the libertard posters exibit is mind blowing and sickening. They mouth talking points without a clue of what drives the real world and makes their lives livable. I suppose in their perfect world we would all be riding horses again, never travel more than a day's ride (20 miles) from home and burn wood to heat our homes and harvest whales to light them. They are technologically illiterate. They do not know what it took to get our culture to where it is today, and know nothing about what life was like a mere 50 years ago. I suppose they want to go back to the days where indoor plumbing and central air and heating were a rarity. My grandparents in 1966 had none of those conveniences that everyone now takes for granted and they lived a short 1 hour drive from Washington DC.

  • Godagesil

    . Politics drove out involvement in Iraq, a desire for political stability, nothing more. Their oil will supply Europe and Asia. We were paying billions annually to keep troops in Saudia Arabia after Gulf War I and saw an opportunity to build a bulwark in Iraq against Iran and a moderate buffer state between them and unstable Syria. Bush and Cheney gambled, and it is too early to know it the gamble will pay off. Give me a decision maker/risk taker over an incompetent, do nothing narcicistic like Barry any day of the week.


    OUR RED BLOOD ALLOWED IRAQ TO HAVE PURPLE FINGERS! People voted for the first time and they proudly held up their purple-stained fingers which avoided voter fraud. (MAYBE WE SHOULD TRY OUR OWN MEDICINE!!!! It could stop many Democrats from voting SIX TIMES!)

    DID KUWAIT, and now Iraq, send us a couple of barrels of oil as a "THANK YOU" for liberating their countries? I don't recall their leaders coming to the U.S. or anywhere to thank us. Shouldn't their Day of Liberation be full of U.S. flags and people throwing flowers?

    SINCE 4500 SOLDIERS DIED, a tanker full of oil can be delivered to each family to somewhat compensate for their loss. DID MALAKI SEND A CARD?

    • BS77

      The author of this article states that America "won" the war in Iraq. Oh really? I don't recall any victory parades or confetti raining down. Since American withdrew, the violence, terror bombings and chaos continues to this day….as it will in Afghanistan after US forces are withdrawn. Trying to promote democracy and rationalism in countries like these, and others, like Sudan, Somalia, Egypt, Iran….doomed to failure given the culture of oppressive conformism and religious fanaticism.

  • WatcherOntheWall

    "Hating energy is another form of hating humanity."
    Quote from Alan Caruba, "An Hour of Darkness. Or Light!" 03/22/2013

    To become educated about how, why and what Keystone will do for America, please research:

    We the People can make this happen!

  • flash287

    The author is wrong. We did go into Iraq for oil. Not for Iraqi oil tho. But to prevent saddams expansion from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia. if Saddam took over all Mideast oil (his plan) he would control the US economy. Bush knew, this but could not so express. doing so would have created massive demonstrations by the LEFT with "No Blood for oil" mantras.. They are dumb and don't see how oil controls our economy and standard of living. That's what bush protected. To keeping the Saudi oil flowing becuse the Left had restricted domestic recovery. BTW: That why our economy stinks..

  • Smote

    Oh, I get it now! If we can agree, then we agree. But if we don't agree, we will disagree. But if we still disagree, then I am wrong. If I am wrong, then we can't agree. Then, maybe we can agree to disagree, or, maybe, disagree to agree. You work it out.

    And you call me a Leftie!

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "And you call me a Leftie!"

      You are the one talking to yourself.

  • Rifleman

    Technically, we were already at war with Iraq, and had a slew of reasons to topple the regime, before Bush even became president.

  • Tim

    I only read a few paragraphs before I began scanning this ridiculous piece, unfortunately Mr. Ahlert is fundamentally unqualified to comment on the simplest features of macro-economics. He needs to pay some kid in a 100 level class to explain to him how the spot market works. The simple availability of oil on the world market effects the global price. China would still be buying if Iraq wasn't offering any barrels and would thus drive up the spot and futures prices. There are plenty of other reasons that could motivate people inside the beltway to foment war for oil but missing this point renders the writer completely out of his depth. He makes no valid case and Greenwald's points are as relevant as ever.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Tim: Yada yada, oil is fungible.

      We know.

      • Tim

        So then you are agreeing the article is wrong and debunked? Greenwald, as usual, gives the most comprehensive treatment of his subject, Ahlert is unqualified to cover it. Given the windedness of most of these idiotic, and often sub-literate, comments the yada yada must mean anyone exposing lies you like is a bore. I'll take that as a compliment from you.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "So then you are agreeing the article is wrong and debunked? "

          I think you took some of the statements too literally and think that the author and his audience are idiots. Defense of the status quo vis-a-vis global global supplies was a trivial factor and in itself not enough to warrant war at that moment if ever. If you look at the policies and decisions of virtually every president, none of them show such overt single-minded focus on oil as the leftist simpletons accuse.

          OTOH, if you factor in the lobbying and deception activities funded by oil revenue, all of modern American politics is tainted by oil. If you want to have a nuanced discussion that's fine but you don't need to insult people to launch it. If oil is a vital part of the economy, and our lives are vitally affected by the economy, you could simply say that war was about our vital interests in continuing to live in the freedom and prosperity deserved by hardworking free people not subject to tyrants.

          But that's not what the anti-war posters say, not what the leftists cry. Why don't you have nuanced conversations with them?

          "Given the windedness of most of these idiotic, and often sub-literate, comments the yada yada must mean anyone exposing lies you like is a bore."

          Delusion is your friend too. The "yada yada" was trying help you understand that you wasted your breath.

          • Tim

            Not knowing what you meant by "yada yada" is delusion? There are many ":nuanced" views of the Bush regimes motives in attacking Baghdad. I don't know what a "nuanced" conversation is. Classify that with "yada yada." I fail to see how you have defended this shallow unqualified piece of writing. The author is out his depth in very simple subject matter and that's an end of it. As to thinking the audience are idiots as of now I'm only convinced in one case.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Not knowing what you meant by "yada yada" is delusion?"

            No. That would be "confusion." Either you have poor reading comprehension or you're looking for reasons to misunderstand people to allow yourself to feel superior.

            "There are many ":nuanced" views of the Bush regimes motives in attacking Baghdad. I don't know what a "nuanced" conversation is."


            "Classify that with "yada yada.""

            I don't know the origins of that expression. It basically means we had no need to listen. You wasted your breath.

            "I fail to see how you have defended this shallow unqualified piece of writing. "

            It is relatively shallow. That's not to say shallow is always wrong or evil. Is it "unqualified?" Who is supposed to qualify it other than the readers. Did the core audience get any value from reading it? I would guess yes.

            "The author is out his depth in very simple subject matter and that's an end of it."

            The author is unqualified to express his opinions and reference the statistics he used? I disagree completely.

            "As to thinking the audience are idiots as of now I'm only convinced in one case."

            Well good luck with that. Just be careful because it might be you.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "I don't know what a "nuanced" conversation is."

            Definition of NUANCE

            1: a subtle distinction or variation
            2: a subtle quality : nicety
            3: sensibility to, awareness of, or ability to express delicate shadings (as of meaning, feeling, or value)
            — nu·anced adjective

  • Ghostwriter

    I don't have an opinion of the Iraq War anyway. I've been relatively neutral throughout.

  • jmz

    i wish it would have been for oil. oil is at least an achievable and tangeble goal. its something for something. instead we are fighting for what? a bunch of inferior savages who want to destroy and enslave the world? we dispose of a ruthless dictator who we can work with in favor of the mussie trash installing another ruthless dictator who wants to destroy us? we arent even at war! a war dictactes fighting and strategy and winners. we are in a bloddy PR campaign to get people who hate and diametricaly opposed to our lifestyle to somehow like us? I WISH IT WAS FOR OIL. there would be a strip joint and bbq pulled pork place right where mecca is.

  • Nigel Waddington

    "It is precisely that self-reliant nation–not an oil-rich client state of America–that Iraq is becoming."

    One thing which the "radical left" and "conservative right" are united on, is creating a massive smokescreen intended to cloak one of the primary agendas behind the Iraq war. Namely, converting Iraq into Iran's Westernmost province.

    Hasn't anyone noticed?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "One thing which the "radical left" and "conservative right" are united on, is creating a massive smokescreen intended to cloak one of the primary agendas behind the Iraq war. Namely, converting Iraq into Iran's Westernmost province."

      So the Bush's are pro-Shia? Do you know how much the Saudis hate Iran? They're just a bunch of dupes.

      "Islam is a religion of peace. They wouldn't support my campaigns if it wasn't true."

  • welldoneson

    The left stick with "war for oil" because that's the language their punk constituency understand. They will never accept any claim of fighting for freedom or eliminating a human rights cesspool, because they think they own those values. Therefore, their political opponents can NOT own those values. Just look at the continuing claims that Iraq had no WMD. Not only did all Western intel sources say that was true, but reports at the time from eyewitnesses said the run-up to the first invasion were preceded by massive convoys from Iraq into Syria. Guess what those trucks were hauling? Now, with Syria inevitably falling into chaos, we're going to see those WMD in use. Watch the left pretend they appeared from nowhere.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "The left stick with "war for oil" because that's the language their punk constituency understand. "

      Exactly. It's as if the simple accusation in itself means something. The first reaction I had when I heard this was, "Well, sort of but it's not even close to that simple." You have to fit it on the little poster though and then pretend the conversation is over. They're a bunch of little dupes of wannabe tyrants.

  • gavin

    If every person in the world took a solid and devoted stand against all oil producers and their joint monopoly over the price and supply of crude oil. Only then we can take back and have a say as to how we pollute/protect our planet.

    If we boycott any purchase of petrol and diesel by all individuals for 1 week in September 2013, then all Governments and multinationals will have to sit down and listen.

    The benefits of a total world boycott could be numerous but not limited to the following
    Reduction in inflation –
    Increased employment
    Suppressed new forms of energy being heard
    New ideas to be brought forward
    Life style changes
    Health advantages
    Etc. etc.

  • cynthia curran

    What is interesting is Pew Hispanic Poll take a sruvey of Hispanics and they opposed US involvement more than whites as a group. you do see the white leftist out protesting more but as a whole survey's show that whites supported US involvement more than Blacks, Hispanics or Asians. Its interesting that neo-cons support more of a legaliation of Hisapnics but if they want a storng defense them they probably should opposed legalizaing Hispanics, by the way Mexico opposed US involvement in Iraq and Afganastan.

  • ApolloSpeaks


    allegedly masquarading as disarming Saddam of his nonexistent WMDs and preventing another 9/11 actually saved the Middle East and the world from that dangerous man greatly increasing his wealth to the benefit of terrorist allies and detriment of US security. For what was selling for $20 per barrel in 2003 was up to $100 per barrel in 2005. What do you think Saddam would have done with all that wealth?

  • ApolloSpeaks

    CORRECTION: $100 per barrel in 2008.

  • Araceli

    buyers about their licensed defense beneath the law and obligations, and also to represent

  • Mike Jones

    What a bunch of hooey. The U.S. invaded Iraq because Dubya was mad at Saddam for trying to kill his poppy so to get revenge he had the U.S. invade Iraq and it cost millions of innocent women and children their lives and thousands of U.S. soldiers as well. Yes they also invaded for oil but you say they didn’t because why they tell you they didn’t LOL yeah right like we should believe anything the U.S. or any puppet government they installed says. Why don’t you read the Wiki Leaks of the U.S.’s own documents stating how they tortured and murdered innocent civilians despite the fact they knew these people had nothing to do with terrorism. Don’t forget the fact they installed more permanent bases so they could invade any other country in the reigon who doesn’t co-operate with everything the U.S. says no mater how wrong or illegal it is and willingly had over all their natural resources to them. The U.S. is the planet’s evil empire and the real bad guys who should be stopped.

    • Danny b

      You are a biblical Mong it’s so common these days it’s worrying

    • Mark Wittkowski

      What in the heck rag tabloid are you reading?! Mike you epitomize one of the biggest and most serious struggles for our future and our efforts to fix the problems from the ground up. I guess, don’t feel bad since you’re far from alone. On the flip side, it’s never too late to wake up, do your research, and get on board the movement. (coming soon

      Iraq was starting to sell oil on the open market for euros. That’s been a no-no since Nixon (I think it was) worked a deal out with the opec nations, where they could ONLY sell oil in USD. This was shortly after taking the dollar of gold standard, so I assume it was the new support for the USD and it did became the de facto world reserve currency. This has been the primary reason for most of the wars since, along with controlling the supply to support higher prices per barrel, other resources/minerals, trade routes, and to a lesser degree drugs, opium mostly.

      The rest of the world is wide awake to this and the negotiators on the ground under the guild of the IMF, World Bank, UN, etc…used to to take control of countries through lending and usury (interest of vast sums of money lent to them) and when they can’t pay it back we slide in and take economic control (I shouldn’t say we, it’s most international banksters and financiers) and if there’s any resistance a different, quite, small, shadow military works with local rebels to make it happen. These battles however, you’ll never see broadcast on CNN. Funny, well not really funny, but this very thing is going on right now, under your nose, quietly and completely out of earshot of our media, long taken hostage away from any semblance of free speech.

      The American people need to wake up, and wake up fully NOW. A good history lesson focusing on banking, listening to speeches, and reading documents and quotes from our leaders, especially within the last 100 years, prior to the Kennedy assassination, and the attempt on Reagan is a good start! That day, March 30, 1981, forever castrated one of my favorite Presidents behind JFK and Lincoln.

      In all fairness, NO President since that day has been anything but a puppet figure head to this ruling power elite oligarchy, parading around as modern day aristocrats, lording over their globalised Neocolonialism system. And, I’m very pleased to be part of a massive worldwide movement to unseat these bastards using any means necessary.

      • James Hay

        Your facts seem to be of the liberal type. It seems to me that FDR took us off the gold standard in ’33 and the euro was first issued in 1999, 66 years later. Not quite “shortly after” as stated above. With mistakes like that I find it hard to trust the rest of your post.
        Take care and keep your powder dry.

        • Mark Wittkowski

          Liberal…conservative…it makes NO difference!! It’s just an illusion that we stand for something and have some say in any of the 3 branches of our gov’t. Nothing is further from the truth and a big mistake, that just keeps the masses distracted. Have you noticed whether we have a REP or DEM in the Presidency or one controls the congress, no matter what… NOTHING changes and the status quo continues? Now for some history, you need to brush up there. I have no idea what you’re talking about? Are you thinking about the New Deal that sunk our country into perpetual debt but more importantly a massive effort to get American’s “hooked” on government? And, judging by the numbers today it sure has come to fruition, bigger than life.

          Nixon took us off the gold standard in 1971 and the world has been going to shit ever since. NOT FDR in 1933.

          Nixon (though mostly a puppet of the system like those since) and his cronies Rockefeller, Kissinger, Bush, Smith, Lindsay, etc. began a massive power infusion of the CFR while the IMF was becoming a worldwide financial force driving a huge amount of military actions and coups from that point on. They now had a “NO limit” money supply to fund a massively expanding military-industrial complex and the most Imperialistic country since the Roman Empire, with a desperate hungry world willing to play the game.

    • uc

      you should be thankful russia or china is not in control…

  • dhymers

    “The country is well on its way. Last December, Iraq reached a milestone, breaking the 3 million barrel threshold for the first time since 1990, reaching 3.4 million barrels a day. Moreover, unlike Western oil reserves that require sophisticated technology or deep-sea drilling to acquire, Iraq is awash in untapped reserves that can still be reached using conventional, and far cheaper methods of extraction. As a result, the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that Iraq will double its current production to 6.1 million barrels a day by 2020, and 8.3 million by 2030, surpassing Russia as the world’s second largest oil exporter, with the capability of supplying 45 percent of the increase in global demands for oil by 2035.

    And once again, emphasizing the reality of where Iraqi oil will be headed, the IEA projects that most of the nation’s oil will be exported to China and other Asian markets.”

    And how does this not help our interests ? …. quenching Asian demand is almost as important as receiving direct imports. Oil is a fungible commodity. This development would have taken decades more if Saddam was left in power. Ergo, war for oil, as the peak of world production looms.

    No, you don’t have to believe peak economic oil theory, but Cheney does. I don’t harbor a psychopathic hatred for the man, only disdain for his actions faced with an eventual supply shortage problem which needed to be eased, perhaps decades hence.

    Dick Cheney’s speech to the Institute of Petroleum in London, 1999

    “Dick Cheney: “From the standpoint of the oil industry obviously – and I’ll talk a little later on about gas – for over a hundred years we as an industry have had to deal with the pesky problem that once you find oil and pump it out of the ground you’ve got to turn around and find more or go out of business. Producing oil is obviously a self-depleting activity.
    Every year you’ve got to find and develop reserves equal to your output just to stand still, just to stay even. This is as true for companies as well in the broader economic sense it is for the world. A new merged company like Exxon-Mobil will have to secure over a billion and a half barrels of new oil equivalent reserves every year just to replace existing production.
    It’s like making one hundred per cent interest; discovering another major field of some five hundred million barrels equivalent every four months or finding two Hibernias a year. For the world as a whole, oil companies are expected to keep finding and developing enough oil to offset our seventy one million plus barrel a day of oil depletion, but also to meet new demand. By some estimates there will be an average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead along with conservatively a three per cent natural decline in production from existing reserves.
    That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from? Governments and the national oil companies are obviously in control of about ninety per cent of the assets. Oil remains fundamentally a government business.
    While many regions of the world offer greet oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies, even though companies are anxious for greeter access there, progress continues to be slow. ”

    Yes, “Leftists” may thank Cheney one day as Iraq becomes Saudi Arabia in terms of market stability and excess capacity, this still doesn’t make it right and certainly doesn’t remove the label “war for oil”.

    If George and Dick hadn’t pulled it off, Obama would likely be doing it now although with a lot of discussion from liberal interventionists on the ground showing us how many schools and clinics we’re building.

    And if the US, by some twist of economic history was not in a position, or had no inclination to help open up Iraq, I’m sure Russia/China would have taken some sort of crack with their own coalition of the willing.

    Lets not kid ourselves that resource wars aren’t inevitable or change the labels post-realization that they don’t go as planned over the time period we choose.

    • Eric

      Brilliant! Best piece I have read on that criminal debacle.

    • Esther Sch

      Sharing Dick Cheney’s speech on another thread. Thank you!

  • seaside

    In 2020, China will be the largest oil importer in the world. They already consume more coal than te world put together.
    The U.S does better than Europe mostly due to their cheaper energy. It cost two to three times more in Europe for energy than in the US.This fact is making US products more competitive b/c they are cheaper to make energy-wise.
    My guess is since the US owes China so much, providing them with the opportunity to extract oil in Iraq could be a compromise to ease the debt or any secret agreement.You don’t need to be friends to make business.
    China’s economy will profit more from having this energetic security than having the money back and having difficulties providing themselves with oil for good money.
    That’s why I say that war was fought for oil. You cannot just invade a country and loot it with the pressure from the international body and your own citizens.This is the 21st century, it’s harder to hide things so following the number 1 rule of strategy is always adviced…DECEPTION. Make them focus on something else while you operate on the opposite flanck.. I don’t want to say terrorism doesn’t exost b/c it does, but I am suspicious as to whom the real or most influential party in it is. It’s become more and more okay to invade arab countries. I’m a christian but I do not really practice my faith and agree what some civilizations practice does not fit with my feelings and upbringing but I also think the solutions brought to solve the problem is an overreaction. We talk about how tolerant the world has become but it hasn’t.It’s still the same, we just descriminate other things like religion, nature , and other people’s hard work. Muslim are like a social outcast in the global opinion and people don’t hide their wicked opinions about what should happen to islamic soceities. But this is only making this fascist-like ideology even stronger.Those countries feel hated for their identity which is Islam and become aggressive as a result.
    Fighting those wars has only seen terrorist groups triple in number ad expand to other continents.One day, this hatred will go too far for any reconciliation to be poosible and yet the world would not have improved compared to 2000 years ago.
    I am no expert and I am at least open minded to know I don’t have enough experience(I don’t work in those domains) to say I am stating facts. I just wish people stop stating their feelings as facts or what they read without testing it for “trueness”

  • Cereal Killer

    It’s not about the oil, it’s about maintaining dollar hegemony. The US will go to any length necessary to make sure the entire world uses US dollars to purchase oil. The petrodollar is key to making sure the value of the dollar remains high. Hence the reason why Iraq, Iran,Venezuela, Libya, etc., became enemies of the US when they either went off the dollar standard or threatened to go off the dollar standard.

    • Brice

      Iraq invaded an American allied country. Iran and Libya support terrorism. Venezuela has done nothing but circle the drain as they continue to destroy their economy with foolish economic decisions causing instability in the South American continent. That’s enough for another country to dislike them.

  • जय नेपाल

    Well, ahem…Definitely you were not in Iraq for oil. Also not to place a oil-reach thug in the helm. You never did that and won’t do.

    I am sure you were in Iraq for spreading democracy and for promoting human rights just the way Belgians were spreading and promoting “Civilization” in Congo during the colonial era. Who counts how many millions of people were slaughtered?

    You, sir, are definitely an angel appointed by God to promote democracy in Iraq and elsewhere. No doubt about that.

    • James Hay

      That’s what my son was there for, democracy and freedom and to kill enemies of our country. Your on-the-job boy pres. cheapened my son’s and many others’ sacrifice by pulling out completely, the same as his “plans”n for Afghanistan. Personally, had I been young enough I would have gladly gone just to rid the earth of the radical rag heads that hate anything modern. If you are one, you’re lucky. I can still hit a chicken sized silhouette at 800 meters with iron sights.

      • Esther Sch

        Those who believed in the cause of democracy and freedom made a genuine sacrifice. But that does NOT mean the war OF terror was waged in the name of those values. It had nothing to do with 9/11. We have been lied to by our governments and by the corporate media. And the ‘radicals’ are a tiny percentage of the population in the Middle East.
        Rhetorical question: Are you aware that you want to murder people because “they hate anything that is modern” ?

        • Esther Sch

          “The fantasy of an enlightened West that spreads civilization to a savage world of religious fanatics is not supported by history. The worst genocides and slaughters of the last century were perpetrated by highly industrialized nations. Muslims, including those of Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime, have a long way to go before they reach the body count of the secular regimes of the Nazis, the
          Soviet Union, or the Chinese communists. It was, in fact, the Muslim-led government in Bosnia that protected minorities during the war while the Serbian Orthodox Christians carried out mass executions, campaigns of genocide, and ethnic cleansing that left
          250,000 dead.” (Chris Hedges, The World as It Is)

  • Kealy

    It’s not about necessarily OWNING the oil. It’s about getting it to market to drive down demand and thus, worldwide price. They didn’t care who gets the oil as long as it gets to market and for a “reasonable” price.

    • Mark Wittkowski

      Actually, it’s a LOT more than that. A simpler way to look at it is “control” of the oil sales to preserve the petrodollar deal Nixon set up with OPEC that allowed us to also go off the gold-standard and move into hyper-Imperialism mode the likes not seen since the Roman Empire. The idea was simple, the plan massive and complex. The idea was to derive the value of the USD from world demand, seemingly backed in some way by oil since EVERY barrel out of the Middle East had to be in USD, instead of gold prior to 1971. This opened the flood gates (see my post above) for U.S. and Western Europe Imperialism, that together with the IMF and CFR then sunk the hook in deep with massive loans and asset purchases that put us, one way or another depending on any resistance, in full control way beyond our borders!

      Thank God the gig is up…it has been overseas for years…and now the U.S. and rest of the Western Populous is finally waking up! It’s about damn time! BITCOIN is a serious long-term threat to this control and hegemony…and we all need your help! Just take time to learn more and move a little value into BITCOIN move it off the PC and keep it safe as gold! You’ll be glad you did, years from now. And, I’m not talking about much. Learn more in my bio. We are also soon launching an “all-bitcoin” direct selling business any week now, that is the most exciting and impactful project I’ve ever been involved in!

    • Mark Wittkowski

      I didn’t want to leave this without any details! The first is a wonderful, and eye opening for some, presentation by Stefan Molyneux at the TNW Europe Conference this April. The most truth heard in any, less than 30 min, piece I’ve heard in a long time!

      Bitcoin vs. Political Power: The Cryptocurrency Revolution

      LeWeb ’13 Paris: The Future of Bitcoin and Math-Based Currencies (first 4 min a good intro, just dated a bit)

      A decent short Bitcoin overview by CTS

  • atlantarunner

    We are debating on why we went to war with Iraq. That means by default then that whatever reason was given to us by GW Bush was then nothing but a lie and we have to sit here and debate what might be the real reason. If it’s 10 years later and we still don’t know for sure..then it definitely wasn’t worth it and I smell something rotten. Why wasn’t it a clear reason? There is no reason that justifies today the $6 trillion cost of that war. Since nobody really wants to come out and give us the real clear reason, it’s safe to assume there were ulterior motives directly linked to abuse of power, personal gain and kickbacks under the table for the GOP.

  • Ocean View

    The war in Iraq was ‘simply’ to put forces strategically located throughout the world to contain China as well as to prevent them from cornering vast oil supplies.

  • Bobd06

    Facts are irrelevant to the left when they collide with the “narrative”.

  • Insight_Incite

    Excellent piece.