1
   

Was the Iraq War a "war for oil"?

 
 
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 10:52 am
Was the Iraq war a "war for oil" as the left kept telling us it was?

 Iraq wasn't a war for oil, but the oil fields are the nation's best hope for recovery. - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,349 • Replies: 89
No top replies

 
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 11:31 am
@kennethamy,
No, there wasn't any problem with securing oil prior to that invasion. The intention was to democratize the middle east. There was a perception middle-easterners want that. Post-911 the west did too.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 11:38 am
@kennethamy,
People, if given the choice, would rather entertain themselves with conspiracy theories than acknowledge the truth.
josh0335
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 01:34 pm
@Zetherin,
The author seemed to miss the fact that the US returned Iraqi oil sales to dollar denomination and converted back into dollars all Iraqi foreign currency reserves, which had been in euros prior to the war. But I expected nothing less from Christopher Hitchens.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 04:55 pm
@josh0335,
josh0335;111557 wrote:
The author seemed to miss the fact that the US returned Iraqi oil sales to dollar denomination and converted back into dollars all Iraqi foreign currency reserves, which had been in euros prior to the war. But I expected nothing less from Christopher Hitchens.


What has the currency to do with it? The charge was that the United States would grab the oil. It didn't It is Iraq's oid, and Iraq is selling it. (I think you may mean, "else", not "less").
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 05:02 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111526 wrote:
Was the Iraq war a "war for oil" as the left kept telling us it was?


It was for oil, and for a certain nation in the middle east which appears to own our government...
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 06:46 pm
@Fido,
Fido;111583 wrote:
It was for oil, and for a certain nation in the middle east which appears to own our government...


And your evidence?
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 09:17 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111615 wrote:
And your evidence?

How about one simple fact...Since before the first gulf war we have paid more every year to keep a fleet in the Persian Gulf than we have paid for the oil we have taken out of the region...Do you suppose there would be a good reason to pay twice for the same product??? The only reason is that the money spent on the fleet does not interfere with the profits of our oil companies and guarantees the supply, and so the price...Tell me who owns the oil in Iraq??? It was once considered the property of the people, and now it has been privatized... It isn't all about Iraqi oil, but beating the crap out of them sends a message to Iran, that just like this country of ours, if we want their damned oil we will have it... Do I have any proof that Israel has any part in the affair??? They have already attacked Iraq once, and they are chomping at the bit to get at Iraq...They are like a coward in a bar telling everyone to hold him back...They don't want any part of Iran, really...Neither do we; but if Israel can get us to attack the place they will not cry over our dead...
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 09:45 pm
@kennethamy,
Fido, I believe he asked for evidence and not circumstantial conjecture. Oil is part of our involvement there, but so are issues of global diplomacy and military strategy.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 09:56 pm
@kennethamy,
I would venture to suggest that if there were no "oil" in the middle east and Israel was somewhere else in the world, it would not get all the "attention" it gets now. There are lots of places in the world where democracy and human rights are in danger but mostly those places with other "natural resources" get most of the attention.
I do not think that is too cynical or too far from the facts?
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 10:03 pm
@kennethamy,
This neglects the basic fact that there was a lot of interest in that part of the world loooong before there was ever an Israel or ever a demand for oil. Part of WWI was fought there. Everyone from Alexander the Great through the Crusaders stormed through there. It is a crossroads between numerous major civilizations and it's at the junction of three continents and two oceans.

Sure, oil and Israel have something to do with it. But you make it sound as if before 1947 no one had ever noticed the place.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 10:17 pm
@prothero,
prothero;111678 wrote:
I would venture to suggest that if there were no "oil" in the middle east and Israel was somewhere else in the world, it would not get all the "attention" it gets now. There are lots of places in the world where democracy and human rights are in danger but mostly those places with other "natural resources" get most of the attention.
I do not think that is too cynical or too far from the facts?


Well, of course. Who would deny that? It is not cynical at all. It is clearly true. But that is no argument that it was all about oil. That's confusing necessary conditions with sufficient conditions. Oil was a necessary condition. But it was not a sufficient condition. And, it was not that the United States wanted to grab the oil for itself (as was yelled about). It was that it was vital that the oil should be available to the industrial nations of the world at reasonable prices. Otherwise, there would be nothing left of the world's economy.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 10:20 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;111682 wrote:
This neglects the basic fact that there was a lot of interest in that part of the world loooong before there was ever an Israel or ever a demand for oil. Part of WWI was fought there. Everyone from Alexander the Great through the Crusaders stormed through there. It is a crossroads between numerous major civilizations and it's at the junction of three continents and two oceans.

Sure, oil and Israel have something to do with it. But you make it sound as if before 1947 no one had ever noticed the place.
Well that is true but it has always been about something other than "democracy" and "human rights". It has always been an "imperial" interest of some sort.
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 10:24 pm
@prothero,
prothero;111690 wrote:
Well that is true but it has always been about something other than "democracy" and "human rights". It has always been an "imperial" interest of some sort.
I agree... though one can make the argument about nearly every major international endeavor in human history up until maybe the peacekeeping missions in the 1990s.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 10:30 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;111675 wrote:
Fido, I believe he asked for evidence and not circumstantial conjecture. Oil is part of our involvement there, but so are issues of global diplomacy and military strategy.

Non sense...What part of statagy involves the immobility and destruction of ones fighting capacity??? That is anti stratagy... And the military is there to facilitate diplomacy, not as a substitute for...We never bargained in good faith with Saddam... When we were asking him to allow inspectors in we had already contracted the shipping for our war machine... The inspectors said there was no evidence of weapons of mass destruction, but all the better to charge right in...The most basic lessons of warfare were lost on our generals...
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 10:33 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111688 wrote:
Well, of course. Who would deny that? It is not cynical at all. It is clearly true. But that is no argument that it was all about oil. That's confusing necessary conditions with sufficient conditions. Oil was a necessary condition. But it was not a sufficient condition. And, it was not that the United States wanted to grab the oil for itself (as was yelled about). It was that it was vital that the oil should be available to the industrial nations of the world at reasonable prices. Otherwise, there would be nothing left of the world's economy.
I think if somehow middle eastern oil was "shut off" to the U.S. we would use our military to "secure access". That it is a "strategic neccesity". I am willing to bet there are military contingency plans for just such an event. We shold not be naive about the necessity of "oil" for the US economy and way of life. Ending this dependency should be a high priority on the national security agenda. The irony is it is possible to end our depency and the costs of ending it would be fair less than the costs of a war to continue it.
It was not "all about" oil in Iraq but it was certainly not "all about" democray and human rights either. What do you think 50/50, 70/30 ?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 10:57 pm
@prothero,
prothero;111690 wrote:
Well that is true but it has always been about something other than "democracy" and "human rights". It has always been an "imperial" interest of some sort.


But that doesn't mean that it was not also about democracy and human rights, does it? Why cannot the motives of nations be varied and mixed? Just like those of individuals? And, the preservation of available and reasonable oil is not imperialism. It is the preservation of the economic well being of the world. Where do you think even the very poor nations of the world would be if the rich nations of the world collapsed economically? They would be far worse off then they now are. To think that the motives of the United States are simple is to be very naive, I think.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 11:03 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111711 wrote:
But that doesn't mean that it was not also about democracy and human rights, does it? Why cannot the motives of nations be varied and mixed? Just like those of individuals? And, the preservation of available and reasonable oil is not imperialism. It is the preservation of the economic well being of the world. Where do you think even the very poor nations of the world would be if the rich nations of the world collapsed economically? They would be far worse off then they now are. To think that the motives of the United States are simple is to be very naive, I think.
Well a short answer forum like this, does not lend itself to complex analysis of all the factors
but
Im guessing no oil, no war in Iraq. I do not think one can ever really know, eh?
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 11:04 pm
@prothero,
prothero;111701 wrote:
I think if somehow middle eastern oil was "shut off" to the U.S. we would use our military to "secure access". That it is a "strategic neccesity". I am willing to bet there are military contingency plans for just such an event.


All I can do is to repeat, "well of course, who would be so silly as to think otherwise?". What do you think we would do. Just die economically? If our oil were shut off, it would be as great a danger as an attack by Russia or China. We would defend ourselves against either a physical attack or an economic attack of such proportions. Who would think we would do otherwise? And of course there are such plans. If there aren't, those who are responsible for making such plans ought to be tried for neglect of duty, and punished severely. What kind of a world do you think we inhabit. Disneyland? Every important nation has contingency plans. For all I know, there are contingency plans for a joint attack on us by Finland and Denmark. Probably there are.

---------- Post added 12-16-2009 at 12:20 AM ----------

Aedes;111682 wrote:
This neglects the basic fact that there was a lot of interest in that part of the world loooong before there was ever an Israel or ever a demand for oil. Part of WWI was fought there. Everyone from Alexander the Great through the Crusaders stormed through there. It is a crossroads between numerous major civilizations and it's at the junction of three continents and two oceans.

Sure, oil and Israel have something to do with it. But you make it sound as if before 1947 no one had ever noticed the place.


But now, the most important reason the place is "noticed" is oil. But this, then, has further ramifications. Long term stability to make it more probable that oil will continue to flow at reasonable prices would argue for making the governments of the Middle East more democratic. Democracies tend to cooperate with one another. They don't go to war against each other. To say that oil is important is just a truth. But that does not mean that only oil is important. And, neither does it mean that the importance of oil does not have important further political effects.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 12:25 am
@kennethamy,
My feeling about it - OK this is subjective - is that after 9/11, Afghanistan just wasn't a big enough target. The US wanted revenge: it had to show the world, and 'the terrorists' in particular, that the kind of attack that had been made had real consequences. It saw this attack as an act of war; although the problem is, in the 21st Century, the very definition of 'war' is much less clear cut. But anyway, there had to be a military response. The only question was, against whom? Afghanistan is just a bunch of hill tribes in a mountanous desert; you could go in an blow the Taliban to smithereens, but so what? Afghanistan is always at war. It doesn't make much difference.

Blair has just said, come right out and said, OK the 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' were just a pretext. If we had known they weren't there, we would have found another reason.

Don't get me wrong. Sadam Hussein was a merciless evil tyrant and if anyone deserved to be shot, it was him and his odious sons. But it is perfectly clear now, if it wasn't before, that the rationale that was given for the invasion was a falsehood. There were no nuclear stockpiles or chemical weapons factories. But the US was itching for a fight, so who was it going to be?

I think everything else was just a footnote to the main rationale.

It was a revenge attack, pure and simple.

---------- Post added 12-16-2009 at 05:32 PM ----------

The reasoning was, if we don't find the weapons, people will forget that it was the reason that was given. And then, the oil fields will be liberated, and the economic benefits will be so great, we will be able to justify it in hindsight by saying 'We didn't go to war for the oil, but look at the benefits...'

Which is exactly what Hitchens is saying. I think he is sticking to the script.

One of my favourite words, which I learned from Tenessee Williams plays - and I like it for its connotations of both deceipt and menace - is 'mendacity'. And I think the then US administration engaged in a considerable amount of it in order to embark on that adventure. I never demonstrated on the streets, or argued against it. But I think as history is witness now, there was considerable mendacity, and duplicity, involved in it.
 

Related Topics

T'Pring is Dead - Discussion by Brandon9000
Another Calif. shooting spree: 4 dead - Discussion by Lustig Andrei
Friends don't let friends fat-talk - Discussion by hawkeye10
Before you criticize the media - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Fatal Baloon Accident - Discussion by 33export
The Day Ferguson Cops Were Caught in a Bloody Lie - Discussion by bobsal u1553115
Robin Williams is dead - Discussion by Butrflynet
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Was the Iraq War a "war for oil"?
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 08/13/2022 at 03:19:45