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Bush & Cheney Always Saw Iraq as a Sweetheart Oil Deal

by Editors

By Noam Chomsky, Khaleej Times Online. Posted July 12, 2008.

U.S. war planners want an obedient client state that will house major U.S. military bases, right at the heart of the world’s major energy reserves.

The deal just taking shape between Iraq’s Oil Ministry and four Western oil companies raises critical questions about the nature of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq — questions that should certainly be addressed by presidential candidates and seriously discussed in the United States, and of course in occupied Iraq, where it appears that the population has little if any role in determining the future of its country.

Read the rest of the article here:


What Chomsky writes is undoubtedly true: we invaded Iraq so that we could control its oil and set up permanent military bases to protect our investment. This is really no surprise. Several writers saw through the smokescreen and said the same thing before our invasion. I wrote a commentary in a local newspaper saying exactly that in 2003–and was excoriated by a swarm of right-wing letter writers.

Chomsky doesn’t mention another facet to our invasion, which is that it was designed to strengthen Israel’s hand, our military partner in the Middle East, one that could be depended on to inflict severe damage on Iran, Syria, or Lebanon, should these states protest against the American hegemony. In return for its help, Israel gets to run roughshod over Palestine and gobble up the entire West Bank–all this while Washington turns out fancy phrases in protest, as well as a blind eye.

What should also be obvious, but apparently isn’t, is that Bush, Cheney, and the neocons were not alone in their illegal war. The American Congress, with only a few courageous exceptions, went along with their war-making plans, and only recently have some of the war enablers come around to say the invasion was a mistake–Hillary Clinton being a notable example. My take on this is that Congress, as well, wanted us to control that oil and didn’t care what means were used.

Even today, long after the Downing Street memo has proved conclusively that the intelligence was fitted around the policy, Nancy Pelosi is dragging her feet on Dennis Kucinich’s impeachment articles, hoping to bury them in John Conyers’ Judiciary Committee. Why would she do this? Why would Conyers sit on these articles? The only rational conclusion is that not only Republicans, but high-ranking Democrats, as well, were and are in collusion with the Bush Administration to steal another country’s oil.

The American people aren’t stupid. I suspect that low approval ratings for Congress are in large measure due to its hypocrisy in pretending to be against the Bush-Cheney war and occupation, but are in reality continuing to enable this Administration in its illicit behavior. These Democratic critics give lip service to a desire to remove our troops from Iraq, but they want a Status of Forces Agreement and a sweet oil deal no less than the Bush team does.

It is a progressive’s hope that a new Administration will sweep away all the Congressional war enablers, remove our troops from Iraq, dismantle our bases, tell Israel to pull in its horns, and begin to search for peace in the Middle East and not another country’s natural resources. Judging from past experience, however, the chances are slim.

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