Bush admits: It’s the oil, stupid!

In his Aug. 30 speech overwhelmingly focusing on his World War II analogy, Bush did let slip this one telling line at North Island Naval Air Station:

“If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks; they’d seize oil fields to fund their ambitions; they could recruit more terrorists by claiming an historic victory over the United States and our coalition.” (White House transcript.)

Ah yes, the oil. We always suspected it had a little to do with the oil. And not (as we have repeatedly emphasized) merely with oil company profits, still less with access to cheap oil for US consumers—but with strategic control of oil, and preventing it from falling into hands hostile to Washington. Bush followed up:

“Our goal is clear, as well. We will defeat the terrorists. We’ll build a free Iraq that will fight terrorists instead of giving them aid and sanctuary.”

Of course this is the ultimate perversity: it was Bush’s very invasion and destabilization of Iraq that has made the country a “sanctuary” for jihadis—who Saddam Hussein had been successfully repressing. Life’s little ironies.

See our last post on the global oil shock, and the Iraq war.

  1. Why You Are Way Off Base
    I refer you to the chief argument against the War: 1. There was no LINK between Saddam-Iraq and al Q’aida. 2. There was no link between Saddam-Iraq and 9-11. Think again.

    What Hath This President Wrought?

    And finally, do not, whatever you do, think back to 1998 and PL105-338:
    or Bill Clinton’s speech of December 16, 1998:

    Bice site Bill, but what the fuck are you doing?

    1. What base am I off exactly?
      If you are going to be so critical, please at least make your argument clear. I can’t even tell from that post if you are for the war or against it.

      And I’m glad you think our site is “Bice,” but what does the Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement have to do with it?

      Are all of our readers semi-literate wingnuts?

  2. What does this mean?
    This was obviously no slip-up, it was part of a prepared speech. Perhaps, now that none of the official justifications for the invasion of Iraq are still taken seriously by anyone, the Bush administration has decided to be honest. With all of the media attention being paid to high gas prices, maybe the administration thinks that the only way to maintain support for the occupation is to tell people that oil prices (and consequently, the economy, jobs and incomes) will be adversely affected. And it shouldn’t be too surprising, considering the reaction to Pat Robertson’s recent call for the assassination of Chavez. The administration probably took note of the fact that while the call for assassination itself was (almost) universally condemned, the fact that it was explicitly linked by Robertson with Venezuela’s importance as a main oil producer didn’t even raise an eyebrow. Here are the last few sentences of the infamous quote:

    “And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.”

    To me, it is the first sentence in the quote, which was actually edited out of most of the news articles, that is the most remarkable part. If I am interpreting this correctly, what Robertson means to say is that Chavez is a threat much more because of his control over oil than for any other reason and that it is because of this that he must be killed. And maybe this is a stretch, but Robertson seems also to be implying that the Iraq (“$200 Billion”) war happened for largely the same reasons. Maybe the Bush administration noticed that nobody seemed to care about this, only about the call for assassination itself.

    So the question is: does this mean that the administration (and the propaganda machine in general) has reached a whole new degree of cynicism about the US public? Or, instead, could it be that this reflects an extreme desperation and fear that public opinion is quickly moving against the war, and that it will take something very special to turn things around?