It's the Oil Stupid

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Robert Scheer writes that Ike was right and the Iraq war is not about oil, but about the military-industrial complex. Ike was right but Scheer's logic is flawed. His premise explains the plan for endless war and would be more appropriately applied the deceptively named "war on terror." But why Iraq? We could be fighting anywhere on trumped up reasons just to keep lining the pockets of war profiteers. Afghanistan is perfect terrain for bankrupting a national treasury. Just ask the former Soviet Union. It makes a very decent sink hole for our tax dollars and could be far more easily justified to the American people. Yet Bushco moved heaven and earth to convince us that we needed to leave Afghanistan on the back burner and open yet another theater in Iraq. It has been argued by many that our efforts in Afghanistan are collapsing, largely unnoticed by television cameras, because we shifted our focus and our dollars to Iraq. I don't know that the fight in Afghanistan was winnable. Again, the former Soviet Union might be a good place to start looking for that answer.

Make no mistake. We are in Iraq for oil. Not that there aren't numerous, intertwining agendas at work, including the interests of those military contractors and the many Congresspeople who live in their pockets. But "Occam's razor" dictates that it comes down to oil. Put the money aside for a moment and follow the logic. Iraq is sitting on the second largest proven oil reserve in the world and it's sweet crude. Both President and Vice are oil whores. They and most of their cronies -- including the much abused James Baker who helped place the dauphin on the throne -- owe the bulk of their fortunes to the oil industry. Yet pundit after pundit acts as if it's somehow too obvious to be true that oil is the key motivator for an administration that has been hell bent on getting into Iraq on any dubious rationale it could sell, since before it was even elected. Scheer's is just the latest attempt at pretzel logic to dissuade the reader from the most simple and obvious deduction.


RoseCovered Glasses said...

There are good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armaments”

The Pentagon is a giant, incredibly complex establishment, budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Administrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the new Sec. Def.Mr. Gates, understand such complexity, particularly if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

Answer- he can’t. Therefore he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

This situation is unfortunate but it is absolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen until it hits a brick wall at high speed.

We will then have to run a Volkswagen instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.