So much for the US being almost self-sufficient in oil

http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,882517,00.html

All it took was Venezuela having a little strike.

So, how can anyone doubt now that this war is about oil and oil alone? Everything else is just a fluff excuse.

Was there ever any doubt ?

Of course Sept 11, Al Qaeda, and WMD’s have given the U.S. a legitimate excuse to attack Iraq in the eyes of the American people. But at the end of the day it always comes back to oil.

I guess the question is: are we talking about oil politics because we are planning to perform a “regime change” in Iraq, or are we planning the opperation because of oil politics? As the article indicates, we are currently able to get oil from Iraq (via corporations with contacts there), enough to stave off a crisis at least. I’m not sure this proves the latter argument. So, I guess I still doubt that it’s all about the oil and oil alone. I don’t know how you could plan an opperation in Iraq without considering the ramifications to the oil market and all of that. Which I suppose doesn’t prove the former argument either. All things being equal, and considering the completely valid non-oil-related reasons to invade and depose Saddam, I’m inclined to the former view, however. Maybe I’m just horribly naive.

The United States uses 19.5 million barrels of oil a day according to the Department of the Interior http://www.doi.gov/coalbed/watsed.htm

So while doubling the amount of oil the U.S. buys from Iraq sounds really important, the amount of the doubling (.5 million to 1.0 million) just takes the U.S. supply from Iraq from 2.5% to 5% of our daily consumption.

Now I’m rather curious as to what people are honestly expecting to see from the U.S. if the invasion of Iraq occurs. Do you really think that the U.S. is going to invade Iraq and then walk away with all of Iraq’s oil? The international backlash would slaughter the U.S. economy. OPEC would cut off all oil supplies to the U.S. in a heartbeat. Russia, China, and most of Europe would most likely impose punishing tarriffs if not straight up embargoes.

The only thing I can see happening with the oil is the U.S. setting up an Iraqi government that is more favorable to the U.S. While this is wrong, in my opinion, it would hardly provide the U.S. with free oil. Oil prices will still be regulated by the international market. So we would most likely see the price of oil drop from ~$33 a barrel down to ~$25 a barrel due to a more stable supply of oil, but that just doesn’t seem like enough of a reason for instigating a war. Especially if it costs the U.S. government $100 billion+ to begin the operation, not to mention the cost of setting up the new government in Iraq.

If the U.S. wanted to use the military to reduce the price of oil, the time would have been better spent sending a peace keeping force to Venezuala to end the strike and restore the 1.5 million barrel a day supply.

I know I shouldn’t get into this, but here I go anyway…

Yeah, it not like the fact that Saddam is an oppressive dictator who supports groups who would kill thousands of American citizens has anything to do with it. Nor does the fact that Saddam is not following the UN disarmement requirements that he agreed to. Let’s not forget that Saddam’s own reign of terror within Iraq’s own boundries has nothing to do with our desire for “regime change.” And that GWB announced an inititative to develop hydrogen powered cars is just a cover that he cleared with oil executive buddies so that they wouldn’t take offense.

I’m sorry, but I would take the Left a little more seriously if they would stop resorting to such shallow platitudes. I would venture to say that if you took a poll, you’d find that a large percentage of people think the whole “War for Oil” thing is a load of b_llsh_t. My advice for the Left would be to drop the mindless sloganering, and concentrate on valid criticisms of the potential war (of which there are many.) They’d gain a lot of traction if the Left would give us clear criticisms and rational alternatives instead of rolling out the tripe for one more rally season.

War for oil. Really? Do you really think that if we lost all of the Middle East oil imports, that the oil executives would stop making their profits? I have no doubt that if oil production expenses doubled, the consumer would bear most of the brunt, and not unjustifiably so.

War for oil. Really? Are you sure there’s no other reason? Why’d we go into Grenada, Somolia, or Yugoslavia?

Look, I’m not a hawk. Really. I believe that the best way to defend ourselves from terrorism is to not give the terrorists a reason in the first place. I wouldn’t have gone into Grenada, Somolia, Lebenon, or a hundred other places. (Would I have gone into Yugoslavia? Maybe, but probably not.) But when a regime thumbs it’s nose at UN agreements that it agreed to, when it funds terrorism against us, when it indiscriminately kills it own citizens, something needs to be done. Don’t tell me it’s “war for oil”, tell me what other avenues we can pursue.

{Edited because I did, indeed, forget about Yugoslavia}

No no no…

The US isn’t going to take the oil itself. It’s just going to move its companies in to take the oil. That way they guarantee future supplies. Sheesh.

Somalia was hardly a war. If the biggest conflict came over a downed Black Hawk, it doesn’t even qualify as a full-fledged battle.

Grenada is in the US sphere of influence, but more importantly, that was during the Cold War era where regime changes were frowned upon.

Finally, Yugoslavia, like Somalia, was shoved down American throats. Or have we forgotten about that?

Oil is a fungible commodity. It doesn’t matter very much whether the U.S. has access to Iraq’s oil or Venezuela’s oil. The only thing that matters is how much of the stuff gets pumped out of the ground and poured into little barrels.

If the U.S. only wanted to get more oil from Iraq, wouldn’t it be cheaper and simpler to end the sanctions and just buy the oil?

–milo
http://www.starshatter.com

Yes, but that wouldn’t guarantee US supplies for the future. It also would keep us at the mercy of Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Finally, it would fund Saddam Hussein.

I know I shouldn’t get into this, but here I go anyway…

Yeah, it not like the fact that Saddam is an oppressive dictator who supports groups who would kill thousands of American citizens has anything to do with it. Nor does the fact that Saddam is not following the UN disarmement requirements that he agreed to. Let’s not forget that Saddam’s own reign of terror within Iraq’s own boundries has nothing to do with our desire for “regime change.” And that GWB announced an inititative to develop hydrogen powered cars is just a cover that he cleared with oil executive buddies so that they wouldn’t take offense.

I’m sorry, but I would take the Left a little more seriously if they would stop resorting to such shallow platitudes. I would venture to say that if you took a poll, you’d find that a large percentage of people think the whole “War for Oil” thing is a load of b_llsh_t. My advice for the Left would be to drop the mindless sloganering, and concentrate on valid criticisms of the potential war (of which there are many.) They’d gain a lot of traction if the Left would give us clear criticisms and rational alternatives instead of rolling out the tripe for one more rally season.

War for oil. Really? Do you really think that if we lost all of the Middle East oil imports, that the oil executives would stop making their profits? I have no doubt that if oil production expenses doubled, the consumer would bear most of the brunt, and not unjustifiably so.

War for oil. Really? Are you sure there’s no other reason? Why’d we go into Grenada or Somolia?

Look, I’m not a hawk. Really. I believe that the best way to defend ourselves from terrorism is to not give the terrorists a reason in the first place. I wouldn’t have gone into Grenada, Somolia, Lebenon, or a hundred other places. But when a regime thumbs it’s nose at UN agreements that it agreed to, when it funds terrorism against us, when it indiscriminately kills it own citizens, something needs to be done. Don’t tell me it’s “war for oil”, tell me what other avenues we can pursue.[/quote]

Oh stop with the cretinous spewing of feel-good rhetoric.

Why Iraq? They’re nowhere near the threat that North Korea is, and Iraq threatens only Israel, not South Korea and Japan. Funny how Bush will negotiate with North Korea (what’s to be won by beating them up?) but is moving in on Iraq.

Maybe a large number of people in the US feel that war for oil is bullshit, but not the rest of the world. Then again, nobody ever said that the public was intelligent.

Finally, it’s not about oil company profits. Oil companies don’t run the country any more than the voting public does (which is to say: not at all.) It’s about guaranteeing oil for the future.

Why the hell does everyone have to take everything to extremes? If I bring up oil, suddenly I’m an oil conspiracy theorist? If I bring up opposition to the reasons for war, I’m a brainless soft-hearted peacenik just waiting to get taken over. If I say I don’t give a rat’s ass about the lives of any one, ten, thousand or million Iraqis, I’m suddenly Stalin.

Let’s just face the facts: nobody, least of all me and Dubya, would donate $1, never mind sacrifice lives, to save a bunch of cowards who can’t overthrow their own dictator to improve their lives. What I care about is having plenty of oil for my country until we don’t need it anymore. What Dubya cares about is the same. I just don’t like his idiotic methods of trying to start the war.

Erm, Iraq is a member of OPEC. They are bound by the same treaties as the other OPEC nations. Sure the U.S. can install a puppet government to ensure that Iraq never cuts off the U.S. from its supply of oil. If the U.S. attempts to pull Iraq out of OPEC, we’ll be shooting ourselves in the head. What good does that do if we piss off the other member countries of OPEC by setting up this puppet government?

OPEC only cares about the bottom line. If the U.S. tries to screw with that by flooding the market with cheap Iraqi oil, there will be a backlash that’s worse than anything Saddam has done economically. Look at the 70’s when OPEC decided that the U.S. wasn’t paying enough for oil. Now imagine that as a permanent state of affairs.

Yes, apparently there’s a great deal of doubt.

(In response, someone wrote a letter-to-the-editor response to this article saying that Bush was trying to help his oil-industry buddies by destroying the Iraqi oil fields and thereby driving up the price of oil. Which just goes to show how determined some people are to believe that it’s all about oil.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’m for a war on Iraq. I just feel that the motivation for Bush’s hardon for Iraq is less about the good of the United States and more about the good for his approval rating.

(and saying the the majority of the country is against an invasion of Iraq doesn’t make sense. Bush has an approval rating of almost 70% right now due mainly to his tough stance on Iraq. It keeps the public distracted from our spiking unemployement, bankrupt businesses, and a raging recession)

Yes, apparently there’s a great deal of doubt.

(In response, someone wrote a letter-to-the-editor response to this article saying that Bush was trying to help his oil-industry buddies by destroying the Iraqi oil fields and thereby driving up the price of oil. Which just goes to show how determined some people are to believe that it’s all about oil.)[/quote]

I don’t have or want registration to the Washington Post. But my point isn’t the author’s point. This is about controlling oil reserves, not driving up the price.

I’m all for a war on Iraq. Just not with Dubya at the helm of the thing. The guy gives me the creeps.

Just watching CNN, MSNBC and NBC news polls shows something like 60-40 against the war. I am sure it’s not about his approval rating. From day one he was ranting about the ‘axis of evil’.

If we control Iraq’s reserves (which are huge), OPEC can try to raise prices all it wants - but nobody will buy from them while Iraq’s around. This isn’t about prices either, it’s about supplies.

Yes, but that wouldn’t guarantee US supplies for the future. [/quote]

And LORD knows that George Bush Jr. is a man with an eye on the future of the country and NOT on how much money he can jam into his pockets.

Would you conspiracy people please get your stories straight??? Bush is either a one-man wrecking ball, destroying the environment and invading Iraq just to put money in his pocket and not thinking in a long-term manner. Or he’s an evil man who wants to go to war in order to assure the superiority of America’s position for years to come.

The one stumbling block I have in reference to the ‘all about oil’ arguments, is that I don’t see why Colin Powell would be for this war if that were the case. A war for oil wouldn’t benefit him, and he could retire at any time with a hefty pension. Hell, the only reason he’s not a FIVE star general is because HE turned it down. (If he had excepted, the only person who could overrule his orders would be George Washington, who was given dominion over ALL U.S. armies past, present, and future.)
That, and the French are already getting ready to surrender.

Since when does Colin Powell run the country? Remember, he was the odd man out in the cabinet until late last year because he disagreed with Bush.

And I’m sorry, I really don’t think that Bush is dumb enough to destroy Iraq’s oil production capability to raise prices by $10/barrel, cripple his own country’s economy, put the rest of the world at the mercy of OPEC and start World War III over the remaining oil reserves.

Then I’ll quote from the article you don’t want to register for, “It’s Not a War for Oil” by Thomas W. Lippman:

Finally, an American takeover of Iraq would not, in the long run, give the United States guaranteed access to Iraqi oil. A democratic Iraq might well decide that its future prosperity would be best served by a supply relationship with, say, China, now an importer of oil with rapidly growing demand. The days when industrialized countries acquired ownership of oil in producing countries are decades in the past. Conversely, a fragmented Iraq, breaking up along ethnic lines, might produce less oil than currently, rather than more.

In short, colonialism is dead. Mercantilism never really worked anyway. We live in an age of globalization, and we’re not going to be turning Iraq into the modern equivalent of an 18th-century European colony.

I didn’t say he ran the country, I just said that he’s a rational, intelligent man who has no self-interest in a war with Iraq. And frankly he’s MUCH closer to all of this than any of us. Personally I wouldn’t trust Bush to do what’s right, but I would trust Powell.

Why Iraq? They’re nowhere near the threat that North Korea is, and Iraq threatens only Israel, not South Korea and Japan. Funny how Bush will negotiate with North Korea (what’s to be won by beating them up?) but is moving in on Iraq.

Yeah, why WOULD we protect our ONE democratic ally in a very unstable region full of dictators and mad men? Especially since it’s a veritable island of peace in a region of non-stop civil war, uprisings and coups.

As for North Korea, to paraphrase John Stewart: Calm down, we’ll get to bombing them soon enough…read a magazine or something.

Oh stop with the cretinous spewing of feel-good rhetoric.[/quote]

Ok, you stop with the platitudes, and I’ll stop with the rhetoric.

I disagree with you that the US should treat every international incident equally. Let’s say you have two dogs (no offense meant, it’s just an analogy), a lap dog and a rabid pit bull. They both shit on your carpet. Do you treat them identically? North Korea is a complely different situation, and not because it doesn’t have any valuable natural resources. To say that we must treat both the same is more shortsighted than GWB is according to most people.

Nobody ever said the rest of the world was intelligent either. Look, just because the public (in the US or elsewhere) believes something, doesn’t make it true. If the public thinks this potential war is about oil, it’s mistaken.

Then why doesn’t GWB invade Alaska?

Claiming that this potential war is solely about oil is taking things to extremes. And I’m not saying anyone is a “oil conspiracy theorist.” I’m just saying that the “war for oil” chant is wrong and unconvincing. It’s not a reason for opposition, it’s a vague, stupid, vapid, shallow, unbelievable platitue. Tell me, instead, that we shouldn’t go to war because Saddam has followed the requirements of the UN resolution (except that he hasn’t.) Tell me that we need to give Saddam more time to comply with the resolution (fair enough, but can we agree to just one extension?) Tell me that unilateral action by the US without the UN will weaken our world standing (agreed.) Tell me that the US budget can’t handle a war while achieving it’s domestic goals. Tell me that the resulting instability in the Middle East will undermine Isreal. Tell me that the Muslim backlash will result in more terrorist attacks against the US. Tell me that US soldiers will get a nasty foot rash from the sand, but for the love of <deity> don’t tell me it’s a war for oil!

Do you get it? The Left says “It’s a war for oil!” GWB responds, “No, it’s not for oil, it’s for X, Y, and Z.” The Left then says, “It’s a war for oil!” Umm…guys, your argument just got blown out of the water, time to start talking about X, Y, and Z and quit with the oil shit.

Freeing the oppressed is a bonus in this situation. Sure it’s nice to have that moral high ground to stand on, but this is occuring because Saddam is not following the agreement that he agreed to twelve years ago.

I don’t believe this potential war isn’t about oil because there’s so many other ways to get it (Alaska, South America, other Middle East countries, ocean rigs, etc.), because Saddam’s regime has flouted international agreements, and because Iraq supports terrorists. Why do you refuse to believe it could be about anything else?