Friday, March 18, 2005

Secret U.S. Plans for Iraqi Oil

Greg Palast is at it again, finding (somehow) secret documents of enormous significance. In this case the documents relate to plans for disposition of the Iraqi oil after the U.S. invasion of that country.

You may remember that our dear President GW Bush promised on a stack of bibles that the invasion of Iraq was for pure motives. That it had nothing to do with the oil. Nope, no way.

At the same time he laid out a pack of lies claiming Iraq had involvement with the Terrorists and that therefore Iraq was culpable for the September 11, 2001 attack. But that's a bunch of crap, because Iraq and al Qaeda were bitter enemies. So, something else was the cause for invading Iraq, and clearly the cause is the black liquid stored beneath Iraq's ground. (hint: Oil)

This is where Greg Palast's latest bombshell revelation comes in.

The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq's oil before the 9/11 attacks sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil. Two years ago today – when President George Bush announced U.S., British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad – protestors claimed the U.S. had a secret plan for Iraq's oil once Saddam had been conquered. BBC's Newsnight reveals that, in fact, there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of "Big Oil" executives and U.S. State Department "pragmatists."

"Big Oil" appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the U.S. State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants. Insiders told Newsnight that planning began "within weeks" of Bush's first taking office in 2001, long before the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S.

An important point to remember around the decision to invade Iraq is the statements, reported by Richard Clarke, made on September 11, 2001. Richard Clarke was the chief of counterterrorism in the National Security Agency, and was the point man in the White House handling reaction to the "9/11" attack. In his book, Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror, he discusses how Vice President Cheney and others bluntly told him, on September 11, 2001 and again on September 12, 2001, to prove that Iraq did that attack, and to begin plans for hitting back at Iraq. This despite clear evidence immediately that it was al Qaeda operatives who performed the attack.

This has always been a curious point. It shows that Cheney and others in positions of power, the NeoCon's, were predisposed to attacking Iraq. As I discussed in Background Material (March 30, 2003), members of the thinktank Project for a New American Century have been pushing, for years, to launch a series of wars in the Middle East. The intent of these wars was to "install" moderate democracies in the Middle East, starting with Iraq because it is the middle of the Middle East. By starting in the "middle" they intend to foster the spread of moderate democracy through some kind of osmosis. So, who are these "brilliant" megalomaniacal strategists? Why, none other than Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Cheney, and others who are now holding positions of power in the Bush administration.

To say that they were predisposed to attacking Iraq is an understatement.

This whole war is nonsense ... how can you "install" democracy? Democracy is something a country chooses of its own free will! It's been obvious all along that this was about something else, and that it's about the oil.