Keeping Those Gas Tanks Full
(Promoted from the comments — Michael Duran wrote what I think is a very smart and quite comprehensive rundown of the real reasons the Bush Administration made the decision to go to war in Iraq):
Given that the plan to invade Iraq was made in full before 9/11/01, and given that parts of those plans had been on the drawing board for more than a decade before that in various incarnations, I think that the war planners had more than one clear goal in mind. In fact, I think that such profiteering was planned, as was the oil grab, as were military bases to secure the middle east in our name (esp Saudi Arabia) and Iran was considered next. That’s why they wanted the war so bad, why they pushed for it so hard to the extent that they lied to the public, congress, fabricated “intelligence,” the whole lot.
In fact, I would say that one could categorize the various intentions for the Iraq war and their beneficiaries as:
1) Halliburton, etc., and the “Insiders” circle of Big Dick and the people on his Rolodex.
2) Oil companies, and their officers, on the Rolodex of the Bush/Cheney families.
3) Oil availability from Iraq, for the members of the outer circle of US government, i.e. most of congress, who would have implicitly understood the first problem with invading Iraq : money. But they would “understand” that oil prices could be manipulated better by us (instead of the Cartel) and with more homeland preference after an American war than they were even during the sanctions, and that this would therefore offset expense for the war (which we know it hasn’t )
4) Iraq as a backdoor to Saudi Arabia. The Buskin circle knows very well how much oil there is left in the world, and that Saudi has most of it and is extremely unstable. Regime change in Saudi would be a mess for us and the world economy. We’ve known this since the 1940’s (when Truman set up alliances with them after having won WWII largely on petroleum supply strategies) through the so-called Carter Doctrine where Carter promised military force to keep our access to Saudi oil secure; through the end of the cold war, which had a lot to do with our cutting off of energy access for the Soviets and how that affected their economy; to our military presence in Saudi since 1990 which has pissed off people like Bin Laden so much. The importance of Saudi stability is so important, and is no secret to the members of government, that this imperative was surely on the minds of many voting for the Iraq war.
5) Iraq as a staging ground for war on Iran and Syria; again oil reserves, as well as pipeline routes (ala Afghanistan) from the Caspian area to the Persian Gulf, as well as to secure shipping routes through the gulf for Saudi and other oil, which could well be threatened. This again benefits the American way of life (lets it continue) as well as financially benefits the inner circle and their stockholders, those who resell the oil, and therefore would have its direct and indirect supporters.
6) Securing oil from competitors, such as China and Russia, and why not Europe too if need be. That is at least one reason why Europe did not support our war. Again an implicit benefit surely in the minds of many supporters who know their stuff.
7) It will benefit the Iraqis. The only reason this was important to the planners is that it should have made the endeavor easier, they thought, and therefore successful despite our other intentions above. The administration members are hardly ignorant of the tremendous suffering and mass death the people within the borders of Iraq had taken under Hussein; just as they knew that most of the American as well as Iraqi public was ignorant of the fact that Hussein was literally kept in power and supported with money, weapons, and rhetoric by America, almost from the beginning, through his torture and assinations, through his chemical warfare experiments, through the UN sanctions which the US spearheaded in the UN which killed > million, up to the eve of war. The administration thought that we would be welcomed with open arms for putting an end to what we had perpetuated. Well, it worked in this country. Until a relative few Americans died, then maybe we didn’t like the idea so much.
The public of this country falls into a few general categories on the war: 1) those who are educated in history and politics a bit, and know what control in the middle east means to our way of life regardless of any suffering born by the brown people far away in barbarian land. These people drive Suburbans and say things like “white man’s burdern, Lloyd, white man’s burden. 2) The vast majority who are raised on sitcoms, fast food, and cheery fantasies about America’s role in the world and their own futures. For these people, Machiavelli and Leo Strauss have a plan. 3) The rest of us.
In other words, they wanted this war so bad because success promised everything: to increase the wealth of the planners; to do what is “right” for the American standard of life; and, oh yeah, help out some brown people, whatever.