War and hegemony
Alan Greenspan, the former head of the US Federal Reserve, has been in the news lately with the publication of his memoirs, in which he claimed that that Bush’s invasion of Iraq was about oil, not weapons of mass destruction.
Counterpunch disagrees, however,
It is certainly the case that Iraq was not invaded because of WMD, which the Bush administration knew did not exist. But the oil pretext is also phony. The US could have purchased a lot of oil for the trillion [billion] dollars that the Iraq invasion has already cost in out-of-pocket expenses and already incurred future expenses.
and goes on to say that
Bush’s wars are about American hegemony, not oil. The oil companies did not write the neoconservatives’ “Project for a New American Century,” which calls for US/Israeli hegemony over the entire Middle East, a hegemony that would conveniently remove obstacles to Israeli territorial expansion.”
And it is on that point that the policies of the two major American parties are almost exactly the same. Americans seem to get hugely antagonistic about their politics, tossing puerile insults at the other side (one gets tired of seeing “DemocRATS” and “Repugs” all over the Internet), and yet to people outside the USA, they are as alike as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, fighting over the claim the one had spoiled the other’s nice new rattle. American politicians do indeed seem to be like children fighting over toys, the toys, in this case, being America’s military hardware.
Bush bombed Baghdad, but Clinton bombed Belgrade, and Blair joined in the bombing of both. And Madeleine Albright thought the death of half a million Iraqi children was a price worth paying to ensure American hegemony in the Middle East. And it was her Democratic Party administration that bombed a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan using the false pretext that it was being used for the manufacture of WMD.
The counterpunch article is misinformed. Buying oil only makes sense when there is an abundant supply; it was precisely because the Bush administration was fully informed about the extent of Peak Oil that they have acted to exercise control of the largest untapped oil resource left in the world.
I suppose that Greenspan may have been more privy to the policy motivations of the US government than CounterPunch so that is something to be said for his interpretation as well.
The problem with Bush and his ilk is that they think they can mess up the world because the Rapture is coming soon…
American imperialism is one explanation for the invasion of Iraq; another is that it is the source of the region’s water: therefore, control Iraq and you control the Middle East.