Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves - The assault on Iraq was prepared many months before September 11 and Big Oil Corporations had a lot to do with the push for Petroleum
News Flash: Iraq War Was About Oil
by Ray McGovern
April 23, 2011
News Flash: Iraq War Was About Oil
Some excerpts :
Oil researcher Greg Muttitt’s new book Fuel on Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq presents that evidence, since Muttitt had better luck than his American counterparts in getting responses to his Freedom of Information requests.
After a five-year struggle, he obtained more than 1,000 official documents which — how to say this — do not reflect well on the peerage, the captains of the oil industry, and the government of Tony Blair.
On April 19, the British Independent published a major story about these disclosures, which America’s Fawning Corporate Media has avoided like the plague.
They show then-British Trade Minister, Lady Symons, agreeing that British oil companies must not lose out in competing for Iraqi oil, particularly "if the U.K. had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the U.S. government throughout the crisis."
As early as May 2003, (in the heady days of "Mission Accomplished"), then Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz nonchalantly responded to a question about why Bush attacked Iraq, but not North Korea, by noting that Iraq "floats on a sea of oil."
At that early stage, Wolfowitz apparently still thought the Iraq war would be the "cakewalk" predicted by his neoconservative ally Kenneth Adelman. With the war supposedly won – and with Americans famously tolerant of the behavior of winners – Wolfowitz might have thought some candor wouldn’t raise many eyebrows.
At that point, the Bush team still harbored hope that convicted felon/conman extraordinaire Ahmed Chalabi could be put in power in Baghdad, open the door to Western oil companies, and — not incidentally — recognize Israel.
Wolfowitz, Adelman, and the neoconservative crowd would have been wiser to temper their hubris with a smidgeon of common sense. The notion that Chalabi had, or could garner, a significant following in Iraq was a pipe dream.
The State Department conducted a poll of Iraqis in 2003, finding Chalabi to be the only listed political leader whose unfavorable ratings exceeded his favorable ones. And small wonder. Chalabi and his wealthy family had left Iraq in 1956.
Despite Chalabi’s lack of Iraqi roots, the neoconservative movers and shakers in Washington and Baghdad still helped get him appointed in 2005 as Deputy Prime Minister and Chair of the Iraq Energy Council, which directed Iraqi oil policy. Chalabi was also in and out as acting Oil Minister.
Insiders Reveal Oil Role
Bush’s first Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, who was fired in late 2002 after disagreeing with Bush on tax cuts and Iraq, was one of the first insiders to detail the administration’s Iraqi oil obsession, tracing it back to the days after Bush’s inauguration as Bush’s advisers planned how to divvy up Iraq’s oil wealth.
O’Neill told author Ron Suskind for his 2004 book, The Price of Loyalty, that Bush’s first National Security Council meeting just days into his presidency included a discussion of invading Iraq. O’Neill said even at that early date, the message from Bush was "find a way to do this."
Subsequent disclosures have corroborated O’Neill’s account about the importance of oil in Bush’s calculation. Though Freedom of Information requests in the United States have been nowhere near as successful as those in London, one did hit pay dirt.
A FOIA lawsuit forced the Commerce Department to fork over some documents of Cheney’s Energy Task Force documents from March 2001, including a map of Iraqi oilfield, pipelines, refineries, terminals, and potential areas for exploration.
There also was a Pentagon chart titled "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts," and one chart detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects.
As the years wore on and the Bush administration struggled to control the violent resistance to the U.S. occupation of Iraq, other prominent Americans began acknowledging the obvious importance of oil in the U.S. calculation for war.
Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan in his 2007 book The Age of Turbulence wrote: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."
In a talk at Stanford on Oct. 13, 2007, former CENTCOM commander Gen. John Abizaid seconded Greenspan. "Of course it [Iraq] is all about oil," Abizaid said.
–"Kick Their Ass and Take Their Gas!" (prominent placard held by local Texans counter-demonstrating against supporters of Cindy Sheehan, August 2005);
–"We go to war for oil. It’s a good reason to go to war." (Ann Coulter, speech at Carnegie Institute, Washington, DC, April 21, 2011).