Sunday, September 16, 2007
"The Iraq war is largely about oil."
This ought to matter greatly, not only because it seems true, but also because of who said this: Alan Greenspan. I'd like to believe that this revelation will result in substantial changes soon in terms of our troops being withdrawn from Iraq. My hopes are not high. Bush would like to see a semi-permanent presence of around 50,000 troops somewhere in the region, probably in the massive bases built in Iraq. He analogized it to South Korea. I suppose in the fervor in the wake of 9/11, if Bush had described building a firewall against terrorists in the Middle East to last for decades, he still may have received bipartisan support. Even if everything had turned out just as it has, we might be exactly where we are today. Bush and the Republicans might even be less unpopular, because most people now suspect that Bush knew or should have known that Saddam had no WMD and that Bush knew or should have known that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. So, even if the invasion of Iraq created a front in the war on terror and terrorists in Iraq that had not been there before, most Americans might have accepted those costs as reasonable in an effort to protect our country from terrorism. What I shall never accept, however, is that most Americans would have accepted the costs, human, financial, and constitutional, if Bush said an invasion was necessary to secure access to oil. In fact, given the way Greenspan has self-servingly expressed other regrets about taxes and fiscal policy, I think it's fair to wonder if his revelation about oil isn't just the last available cover for the real reasons we invaded Iraq, which not only would have been unacceptable to most Americans but also would have been so outrageous to even suggest that the post-9/11 anger would have been redirected at Bush. I won't speculate, because I don't know, why we invaded Iraq, but it seems obvious to me that the only justifiable response by Congress is to take power away from Bush, at least by exercising control over funding, if not by impeachment. Any further delay at this point makes Congress complicit in at best the biggest mistake in U.S. foreign policy history and at worst major war crimes.