Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

The Bush dynasty put the oil tycoons first even during the First Gulf War. That was the war that George H.W. Bush justified with a single word: "Hydrocarbons."

It should be pointed out that when the purpose of a war is to get "access" to oil, the motive is not to make this resource cheaper for consumers. No, the motive is to make sure that the right corporations own it, namely, those that are managed by cronies of the Bush family. This is why there was no competitive bidding before the contracts were granted: to enable the contract holders to squeeze money out of us as only true oligarchs can.

When we understand that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was fought not for us but for them, then we can understand why Bush and his inner circle can continue to call this bloody debacle a success. Surely it is a success, but only for them, not for us.

Eric Paul Jacobsen

West Saint Paul, MN

Jul 12 2008 - 9:31am

Web Letter

You lefties think that everyone operates on the basis of Economic Man. Peter Drucker told us that Economic Man was dead in 1939. He's still dead. When will you learn what real people are motivated by?

Norman Ravitch

Savannah, GA

Jul 9 2008 - 2:46pm

Web Letter

Meaty article.

I think there is another strategic issue to look out for: that the ultimate goal of the Iraq War is to break up OPEC. What better way for the West to influence OPEC than having a "friendly" (compliant) government in Iraq?

The growth of demand (China rising), restrictions on drilling etc. coincide with the 1990s when Iraq was central to the neocon agenda. Demand will only grow. The fuel needs of the world are not going to be reduced overnight by electric engines, biofuels etc.

Turse brings up a very good point: the truth is in the contracts. US and Western oil companies sell their service to other oil-producing nations too. But where the fab five came into the middle east through colonial "concessions" the first time around, they come in as hired contractors in the post-nationalized era. So comparisons of the contracts, who controls and owns what etc. will be critical, as will the Iraqi oil law (when finalized).

BTW, in 1991, the State Department formally protested the build-up of Iraqi troops on Kuwait's borders, but prevailing conventional wisdom said Hussein wouldn't dare invade. At the same time, leading energy newsletters said Iraq would invade within three days. And it did.

Carlyn Meyer

Chicago, IL

Jul 9 2008 - 11:55am