Tom Tomorrow gives props to Bob Herbert for pointing out the obvious - it's the oil, stupid:
But the whole point of this war, it seems, was to establish a long-term military presence in Iraq to ensure American domination of the Middle East and its precious oil reserves, which have been described, the author Daniel Yergin tells us, as "the greatest single prize in all history."Tom on the wingnut response:
You can run through all the wildly varying rationales for this war: the weapons of mass destruction (that were never found), the need to remove the unmitigated evil of Saddam (whom we had once cozied up to), the connection to Al Qaeda (which was bogus), and one of President Bush's favorites, the need to fight the terrorists "over there" so we won't have to fight them here at home.
All the rationales have to genuflect before "The Prize," which was the title of Mr. Yergin's Pulitzer-Prize-winning book.
It's the oil, stupid.
What has so often gotten lost in all the talk about terror and weapons of mass destruction is the fact that for so many of the most influential members of the Bush administration, the obsessive desire to invade Iraq preceded the Sept. 11 attacks. It preceded the Bush administration. The neoconservatives were beating the war drums on Iraq as far back as the late 1990's.
... the invasion of Iraq was part of a much larger, long-term policy that had to do with the U.S. imposing its will, militarily when necessary, throughout the Middle East and beyond. The war has gone badly, and the viciousness of the Iraq insurgency has put the torch to the idea of further pre-emptive adventures by the Bush administration.
But dreams of empire die hard. American G.I.'s are dug into Iraq, and the bases have been built for a long stay. The war may be going badly, but the primary consideration is that there is still a tremendous amount of oil at stake, the second-largest reserves on the planet. And neocon fantasies aside, the global competition for the planet's finite oil reserves intensifies by the hour.
... That should be understood by the people who think that the formation of a permanent Iraqi government will lead to the withdrawal of American troops. There is no real withdrawal plan. The fighting and the dying will continue indefinitely.
You'd think it would be difficult to argue with the paper trail the neo's themselves left behind, pre-9/11, but the pro-war types always have a thoughtful rejoinder at hand--i.e., typing the word "oil" in all caps, repeating each letter multiple times. It's one of the automatic reflexes that passes for thought on that side of the ideological divide.Anyone who thinks that the fact that Iraq is sitting on top of the mother of all oil reserves is just one big fucking coincidence ... I don't know, either do some research or just go back to reading Power Line or whatever.