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

So replace talking suit Bush with talking suit Gore, change none of the words, and you’re happy? And you’re trying to paint Jim F., Kyle Wilson, milo, and me as the extremist?

No you wouldn’t.

Obviously, oil has something to do with the war. There are other leaders as bad or worse than Saddam; we aren’t trying to take them out. There are other countries attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction (let alone those that have a few and will soon have more). As far as I can see, we will attack Iraq because
[ul]
[li]we think we can get away with it;
[/li][li]we think his judgement is iffy and we are not sure he will be deterred;
[/li][li]he’s in a critical world region that includes both Israel and a lot of oil;
[/li][li]he’s a pretty bad guy, so it’s easier to sell his removal;
[/li][li]the president doesn’t have any better ideas;
[/li][/ul]

Am I missing anything? Extra reasons? (Thomas Friedman would argue we should remove SH to create a democratic regime in the Arab world, but I don’t believe this is Bush’s reason at all.)

No one is going to defend SH, but I think there are real risks, as well. How are we going to feel about it if the Arab backlash causes friendly regimes to fall?

All we can do is hope for the best. The president would give me more confidence if he could stick to the same justification from day to day. (It would also help if he could speak grammatical English sentences.)

You are kidding me right?

You really think Iraq will be democratic? Or, even if it is, that it won’t be under a US protectorate? Are you really that naive?

I think Iraq has put itself into a bad position where they’re easy to pick on. The attack on Kuwait, the ridiculous sanctions (have they ever worked against a determined enemy?) that of course would be broken - provide all the excuses anyone would want for an invasion. The reasons, of course, are about oil.

Anyway, I never said I wanted Gore. Why put words in my mouth? Like I said earlier, the American voting public has no control over the future of their nation with the two party, pick-between-the-equally-stupid-options system.

A big problem with the “Iraq is all about oil” thing is that the oil companies and hangers-on are opposed to the invasion. I’m not shitting you; google it.

Sounds just like Australia and every other democratic nation.

I have always thought the word “Democracy” was a nice way of saying “Communism”.

Instead of being slaves to a dictator we are slaves to the economy.

Huh? I always thought “democracy” meant just that, although it is often used as a shorthand for “democratic republic”.

I’d much rather be a “slave” to the economy than to a dictator. The economy doesn’t throw you in a gulag and torture you.

http://www.crikey.com.au/politics/2003/01/22/200301224x4.html

Try this article for some good perspective on the “war for oil” front. I think the author is being a bit bitter with the whole “SUV” thing, but for the most part the points are valid. Qenan has the right idea, there is no real reason not to go to war (from a GWB perspective). Oil, bad guy who will probably try and sponsor terrorism, easy victory etc. It’s almost if GWB shook a magic eight ball and it came back “all signs point to yes”. Actually, a magic eight ball, maybe that explains some things. Hmmm…

Iraq might end up democratic, it might not. Certainly if we actually go through with a full-fledged invasion it’s likely to end up with at least the appearance of a democracy – putting a strongman in charge would make the U.S. look bad. If the threat of invasion provokes a coup, well, that’s a different story.

Regardless, though, the United States is unlikely to put the oilfields under American control and start pumping ourselves free oil. Even if Iraq is an American protectorate, Iraqi oil will be controlled by Iraqi companies or the Iraqi government and they’ll sell it on the open market. The same way they’d like to do now, except that sanctions prevent it. If we really just wanted cheap oil, we’d just lift sanctions. And if we really wanted to help U.S. oil companies, we’d leave things just as they are now; the more expensive foreign oil gets, the happier domestic oil companies will be.

If the push for war has anything to do with oil, it’s this: if Saddam Hussein ever got nuclear weapons and decided to use them as a shield while he invaded Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the resulting conflagration would almost certainly trigger a terrible global recession. And, if that happened, the ensuing worldwide poverty would almost certainly kill more people than a possible invasion of Iraq would.

You know I COMPLETELY forgot that Iraq is ALREADY a Democracy! Remember the elections?? The people OBVIOUSLY want cuddly old Uncle Saddam to be their leader. I stand corrected.

I have always thought the word “Democracy” was a nice way of saying “Communism”.

Instead of being slaves to a dictator we are slaves to the economy.

Cause there’s NO need for a strong economy when you’re not in a democracy.
Throw out your dictionary please.

Yeah, that fuck the economy stuff really paned out well for the USSR.

What dictionary ?!

The one that told you ‘“Democracy” was a nice way of saying “Communism”.’

I don’t know, I’ve had the impression that Powell doesn’t really agree with a lot of what’s going on in the current administration. He stays on in the hope that he’ll be able to do at least some good. He doesn’t state his views forcefully in public partly out of loyalty and partly because he can only go so far and keep his position.

There were quite a number of articles before the original decision to take Iraq to the UN that talked about how Powell was the lone voice that didn’t want us to ignore the UN and go it alone. Rumsfeld and Cheney were all hot to trot and Powell was the voice of reason.

I trust Powell to try to do the right thing. I like him and I admire and respect him, but frankly I think Rumsfeld and Cheney have more power in the current administration and I think they’re both nuts. I was livid over Rumsfeld’s comments on how France and Germany were “old Europe”. He’s certainly welcome to think that if he wants. But for someone in his position to go off and shoot off his mouth in public is just pathetic. How did his comments help America? It just pissed off some people we might need to work with later and as far as I can see served no useful purpose.

Agreed on Powell, mostly. He sure opened up a can on the europeans last week, though.

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.[/quote]

Iraq only accounts for 8% of the world’s oil reserves. They current have proven reserves of 112,500 million barrels, which would last the U.S. roughly 15 years if we drained every single drop. Iraq is also currently producing 2.6 million barrels a day, which is a heck of a lot less than the nearly 20 million barrels a day that the U.S. currently uses.

So yeah, if OPEC says jump, we damn well better jump. If the member nations of OPEC decide to cut off the U.S. and the U.K. (because they will be helping with the war on Iraq), we’d be in a world of hurt. It would require the U.S. and U.K. to acquire oil from Canada and Russia which need a minimum of $16 a barrel to break even, meaning $20 a barrel is probably the lowest we could ever get from them (and since it’s supply and demand, I doubt $20 would happen).

It’s so easy to say “Yep, we’re marching into Iraq so we can take over their oil fields so we’re no longer reliant on other nations”. It’s also really easy to spend 5 minutes searching the Web to verify that attepmting to control Iraq’s oil fields would do nothing by decimate the U.S. economy.

The press likes to put columists on the air who are screaming about Iraqi oil being the main reason for the possible war. But these people don’t bother fact checking either. The press loves them because conspiracy sells. People don’t turn the channel when they think they are hearing something hush hush like “the secret reason the U.S. wants to invade Iraq!”

Yes, a stable Iraq government will lower oil prices. But not because the U.S. is “controlling” the oil production, but because if the market knows Iraq will religiously produce its 3 million barrels a day, investors feel warm and fuzzy. It won’t release us from the strangle hold of OPEC, but OPEC isn’t the reason oil prices are so high right now, the commodities market is the cause of that. A stable Iraqi government will make the commodities market happy and will lower prices. That is the only oil related benefit that a war on Iraq will gain, and that gain is more than offset by the cost of the invasion itself.

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

Jesus Christ, of course it’s about oil. Oil is one of the primary motive forces of the world economy. If we permit Saddam Hussein to dominate, threaten, and potentially destroy the world’s largest oil reserves, it’s going to be as bad for you, Sean Penn and, believe it or don’t, France as it will be for Dick Cheney. In fact, it’ll probably be worse for you, because Sean Penn, Dick Cheney, and France all have a lot of cash with which they may be able to weather the global depression that’ll happen if Saddam gets a wild falafel up his ass and turns Saudi Arabia and Kuwait into giant radioactive skating rinks.

I think, though, that when you say it’s about the oil, you don’t actually mean that it’s about - in a broader sense - the pretty uncontroversial defense of the precious substance that makes the wheels of the food truck go round and round. I’m pretty sure you mean that oil is the Bush junta’s personal, pocket-lining secret agenda. As I’ve said before, I have no idea whether or not war in Iraq is actually a big Bush estate planning operation. Until it becomes the agenda formerly known as secret, I won’t know.

But as long as we’re talking about top secret agendas, what about France? The last time they were required to stand up to a tyrant, the result was the Vichy government bidding a fond adieu to all the Jews they’d just herded into trains headed for Auschwitz. That actually isn’t relevant here, now that I think about it, but it’s one of those hurtful things that once you say it in the heat of argument, you can’t take it back, so I’m going to respect France enough to not even try. Here’s the point: If, regardless of any of its other merits, the case for war becomes unglued if it’s tainted by oil, why isn’t the case for a fragile peace likewise tainted? Depending on the week and whose numbers you’re looking at, France is the biggest or second biggest recipient of Iraqi money through the UN’s Oil-For-Food program. Total Fina Elf, a good name for a japanese console RPG and France’s biggest Big Oil Corporation, has reportedly inked a deal with Saddam to develop the the huge Majnoon and slightly less huge Nahr Umar oil fields - a deal they stand to lose if Saddam is no longer in charge. Hell, forget about going all crazy and deposing Saddam, in December 1999, Iraq threatened TotalFinaElf with the loss of their “preferential treatment” if France merely didn’t provide sufficient support to Iraq on the U.N. Security Council. Basically, France exhibits the greed of Big Money Grip, the cowardice of Grady, and the big fucking mouth of Aunt Esther. I could go on, but it’s clear that France is a combination of the worst traits of every character on Sanford and Son.

Speaking of peace: This year, serial kisser of despot ass, Jimmy Carter, received the Nobel Peace Prize from the Nobel Committee in Norway. Gunnar Berge, the committee’s chairman, stated that the award should be considered a “kick in the leg” to Bush’s “belligerent” foreign policy. Now that’s some pincipled dissent for your ass. Except that Norway is the world’s third largest exporter of oil and, when he’s not handing out prizes, Berge is the director general of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, a government organization traditionally opposed to actions likely to result in lower oil prices.

So is there a vast peace-for-oil conspiracy? Beats you. The evidence appears about as circumstantially compelling as the evidence that Bush is starting a war just so that he can convert his savings from something you could spend in just three or four lifetimes to an amount the bank will have to represent on his statement with the infinity symbol.

Besides, several people have pointed out today that the war in Iraq is actually all about the anti-gravity.

Erik:

I’m not arguing against the war. It just drives me nuts to see people regurgitate everything Bush says and actually believe him. Like, come on, you don’t know a (really, really bad) political lie when you see one?

Clinton, slimey rat that he is, could have handled this better, and still gone to war.

Christ, how naive can you be.

  1. OPEC limits production, oil prices go up. There’s your commodities market for you. Nice and open.
  2. Iraq is currently producing 2.6 million barrels per day. That’s not anywhere near their best. Before the Gulf War their production was 4.5 million, limited only by OPEC and how fast developers would build oil wells.
  3. Iraq has oil that’s cheap to extract.
  4. Iraq’s oil is cheap to refine.
  5. Iraq CURRENTLY exports 1/3 of the oil from the Middle East. Before the war, it was closer to half. Again, the key thing is not their production, but their reserves, which are very conservatively rated at being twice as large as what’s currently been discovered.

Off the subject a bit, but have you heard about “The Hunt for Zero Point”? It’s 300 odd pages of off-the-deep-end insanity like that article. At about page 200 it goes off the map altogether and pulls out the stops on stupidity and uninformed speculation. That it was written by an editor at Janes is just astounding.

Christ, how naive can you be.

  1. OPEC limits production, oil prices go up. There’s your commodities market for you. Nice and open.
  2. Iraq is currently producing 2.6 million barrels per day. That’s not anywhere near their best. Before the Gulf War their production was 4.5 million, limited only by OPEC and how fast developers would build oil wells.
  3. Iraq has oil that’s cheap to extract.
  4. Iraq’s oil is cheap to refine.
  5. Iraq CURRENTLY exports 1/3 of the oil from the Middle East. Before the war, it was closer to half. Again, the key thing is not their production, but their reserves, which are very conservatively rated at being twice as large as what’s currently been discovered.[/quote]

Wow, naive eh? I’m sorry that the recitation of printed facts can’t stand up to your Illuminati CIA black helicoptor sources.

Fact: the commodities market is driven by the price of ALL oil, not just what the U.S. purchases.
Fact: supply and demand drives prices, not your imaginary perception of the world.

So even if the U.S., to steal an advertising line, makes Iraq its bitch, this will still only have a cursory effect on the price of oil. Iraq would have to be made a vassel slave state ruled by the U.S. military providing the U.S. exclusively, and the U.S. would have to nationalize all U.S. based oil companies to prevent them from selling oil on the open market. It would then have to learn to ignore the tarriffs imposed by France and Russia after we cancel their Iraqi oil contracts.

The U.S. currently produces 7 million barrels per day of its own oil, so Iraq would have to be churning out 13 million barrels per day to keep up with the U.S. 20 million/day consumption. This would involve suspending the U.S. strategic reserve program as well.

So I guess if the U.S. is willing to cut itself off from the world, become a communist regime, and return to the dreams of empire of the early 19th century, then your theory holds water.

I’ll just say this one last time and then I’m done with it. The U.S. will benefit from having the oil fields controlled by a more resonable government in Iraq, there’s no arguing against that. But to say that the possible invasion of Iraq is driven by the desire to reduce oil prices is just…weird. The same thing can be accomplished for free by removing the Iraqi embargo and sending peace keepers to Venezuala.