Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Well, whaddya know?

It was all about the oil.
President Bush answered growing antiwar protests yesterday with a fresh reason for US troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.


Bill Blankmeyer said...

It wasn't all about the oil and it isn't now. That isn't what he's saying.

He's saying we need to stay in Iraq for a number of reasons. To help the Iraqis establish a democratic government. To Defeat the terrorists.

"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. A free Iraq will offer people throughout the Middle East a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology being peddled by the terrorists. A free Iraq will show that when America gives its word, America keeps its word."

Right before he says that he also says:

"The terrorists and insurgents are now waging a brutal campaign of terror in Iraq. They kill innocent men and women and children in the hopes of intimidating Iraqis. They're trying to scare them away from democracy. They're trying to break the will of the American people. Their goal is to turn Iraq into a failed state like Afghanistan was under the Taliban. 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."

Now you mentioned part of that paragraph (coincidentally, the part that you use to try to say this was all about oil), but you skip the other parts. About how the terrorists want Iraq to be the new Afghanistan, a state where terrorists can seek safe haven and control a people in a tyrannical system. Yes he mentions oil fields, but he doesn't say we went in to protect them. He says if we fail the terrorists will use the oil fields to fund their operations.

Otto Man said...

Bill, I'll let I-Rod speak for himself, but I think his point was that after two years of war supporters mocking the "no blood for oil" trope, the president listing oil fields as a reason for the fighting was kind of ironic. I doubt he thinks it's that simple.

As far as the larger issues of the stated goals of the war go, we clearly disagree. This war was proposed to the American people on the grounds that Saddam had WMDs and he was going to take us out with them. That's a fact. Go look at the president's major October 2002 speech for the war -- 90% of it is about the imminent threat of WMDs, and all the other things you're grasping at are window dressing.

Once it became clear that there were no WMDs in Iraq, we saw all these other excuses trotted out one by one. We were there to stop human rights abuses until Abu Ghraib popped up. Then we were there to spread democracy, and now it looks like we're installing a sharia. We were supposed to be liberating women, and now they're worse off than under Saddam. Etc. etc.

I didn't buy any of the past excuses, and I'm not buying the new ones. Honestly, if we were worried that Bin Laden and Zarqawi might gain control of a destablized Iraq, then maybe -- just maybe -- we shouldn't have simultaneously destablized it and let Bin Laden drop off our radar.

Whatever happened to bringing him in "dead or alive"? You know, the guy who actually attacked us? The guy we supposedly have to keep fighting in Iraq to keep at bay? Why didn't we hunt that bastard down and kill him?

InanimateCarbonRod said...

Otto Man makes all the points eloquently. I never believed this war was "about the oil," but I think it's screamingly hilarious (in that tragic way that this administration has) that after their first 425 reasons for going to war have evaporated, Bush basically admits that all those "wild-eyed loony lefties" were right all along. I'm not sure how well this will play in Mosul: what's the difference between an army invading a country to "protect" its natural resources and an occupation? And if I wanted to make sure that a country doesn't become a failed state, I'd do a little planning for the post-blowing everything up period.