Monday, September 17, 2007

Greenspan Says Iraq War was for Oil

From the Times of London:

AMERICA’s elder statesman of finance, Alan Greenspan, has shaken the White House by declaring that the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil.

In his long-awaited memoir, to be published tomorrow, Greenspan, a Republican whose 18-year tenure as head of the US Federal Reserve was widely admired, will also deliver a stinging critique of President George W Bush’s economic policies.

However, it is his view on the motive for the 2003 Iraq invasion that is likely to provoke the most controversy. “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,” he says.

Anyone see this reported in the US News programs? pretty big deal, I think.

The part here that gets me is the 'everybody knows' phrase. I think a majority of the people, particularly those who supported the President's war, think this isn't true. the main rationale? I hear the phrase "That couldn't be true". as if its too bad to be real (or I couldn't have been so wrong about the guy) is a rationale. I guess you take the better of two evils when "profound incompetence" is the other choice on the table. The problem is that they aren't mutually exclusive.


John Leek said...

Good Catch:

John Leek said...

My Link To Your Post

Rocho said...

While I am glad that a fairly unimpeachable source is making this claim I think the tenor of the claim needs to be considered as well. Based on that quote, Greenspan isn't upset that our major reason for going to war was oil, he is bothered that we can't admit that our major reason for going to war was oil.

Polly said...

well, the problem he has is the one i have. do it or not, just don't lie to yourself about it. otherwise, you end up using the wrong calculus in deciding whether the risk is worth the benefit. additionally, i think if we had that clarity, we wouldn't be there. just like we'd have a VASTLY different view if we had a draft, where a real live son or daughter could be tied to each of those yellow ribbon stickers.

To me, the rationale is much more forgivable than the political assumption that the invasion wouldn't result in a failed state. it seems missing that shows profound incompetence...and ever action and mis-step can be traced to that root cause.

brd said...

If we openly embraced that reason--oil as motivation--even now, I wonder if the strategy would change, and perhaps even improve.

However, I don't think that "most" Americans consciously think that this was the motivation. There is a huge Pollyanna factor for the "common folk" in regard to motivation.