Letters to the Portland editor: April 11, 2008
Joseph Stiglitz fails to support his assertion that the connection between the Iraq invasion and oil is not plausible (see "Iraq: Five Years Later," by Peter Kadzis, March 28). That the invasion might have failed at keeping the price of oil low does not prove that it was not attempted for that purpose.
But contrary to his naked dismissal that “we are not living in the 19th century, where one country marches into another and seizes its oil,” that was exactly our motivation. Upon entering the country our first and only act to secure Iraqi assets was to guard the oil fields. Museums were looted, hospitals destroyed, the army disbanded, but to the extent that we could we did indeed seize the oil; and we have been attempting ever since to force the government we forced on the Iraqi people to enact legislation that would legally transfer oil rights to multinational oil corporations.
The goal was not to keep the price low for the citizenry: the twofold goal was to enable the corporations to control the oil, thereby securing their ever-growing profit free from inconvenient competition (a goal entirely consistent with Bush’s general support for corporate interests); and to ensure that no other nation could control one of the only two resources that matter (the other being water).
Of course the Bush Administration did not publicly make this connection — the only way to get and maintain support for invading a country that had no apparent connection with 9/11 while ignoring countries that did (Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia) was to create a public-safety justification. The American government indeed miscalculated the cost of such an endeavor, but it is doing what it intended to. That someone as well-informed as Stiglitz intentionally leaves these dots unconnected, to use his phrase, makes one wonder what his agenda really is.
, Politics, U.S. Politics, Joseph Stiglitz