Monday, September 17, 2007

Greenspan: The smoking gun that didn’t

Opponents of the war in Iraq thought their moment had finally come yesterday. This was it: the culmination of all their hopes and dreams of the last five years. This was their Adlai Stevenson moment.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan had apparently confirmed what they’d known all along: that the Iraq war was all about oil. And this wasn’t some disgruntled junior flunky blowing the whistle on the administration – this was a man who’d been at the heart of government for the past 18 years.

The game was finally up for Bush, Cheney and co, thought the lefties. The media – their media – would have this story all over the airwaves and the internet for the next week. The more the Whitehouse tried to play it down, the more guilty they’d look. There would be apologies, resignations and, ultimately, impeachment.

They were burning the midnight oil at the HuffPo and Kos comments boards. ‘Greenspan’s admission confirms that the U.S. is merely slitting the throats of the Iraqis to get their wealth, like any common thug,’ said one commenter. ‘Moment of truth!’ exclaimed another.

Then, as suddenly as it had begun, it was all over. This morning, Greenspan confirmed that securing global oil supplies was "not the administration's motive," although he said he had presented the White House with the case for why removing Hussein was important for the global economy.

This wasn’t in the script. Surely, Greenspan had been bundled into a stealth helicopter by elite Blackwater paramilitaries, and whisked off to a Haliburton bunker deep in the Appalachians, where he was waterboarded into withdrawing his ‘all about oil’ claim? Surely it couldn’t simply be that a retired public figure with a book to sell made a remark that was taken out of context?

Of course, it would be wrong to say that concerns over oil supplies don't play a part in framing American policy in the Middle East. As Jules Crittenden and Say Anything, among others, have eloquently pointed out, oil has always been a factor, and it always will be until those windmills, solar panels and biofuels can meet the energy needs of the West, or US oil companies are allowed to exploit more domestic sources.

But the Iraq war is about a lot more than oil. It’s about turning the Middle East from a haven for dictators and terrorists into a fully functioning part of the civilised world. And it’s worth pointing out that there’s no oil in Afghanistan (I was going to joke that maybe the US is there so that they can seize control of the world’s heroin trade, but no doubt many on the Left already think the CIA is running that show).

After its brief moment in the sun, the 'blood for oil' conspiracy theory has been restored to its proper place on the far-left of the blogosphere. The nutroots are still raging, but once again no one’s listening.

Update: Lordy! Pajamas and Ace of Spades, and now Instapundit! The kids are gettin' shoes! Welcome, and please have a good root around while you're here. This is the post Pajamas and Ace linked to, here's one on MoveOn and the Dems shooting themselves in the feet, and I've adopted this 9/11 post as my mission statement.

Do call again!

Update 2: Thanks to Will for the correction on Greenspan's position. It's been a long day (I'm in the UK so past my bedtime!)

Update 3: Do we have anyone in from Canada this evening? Yes? Then Go Support Your Troops!


Will said...

Just for the record, Greenspan was never Secretary of the Treasury. He was Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Otherwise, quite right. The lefty spin machine tried to make it more than it was.

Reliapundit said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Don't forget, there are still many moonbats who believe that we invaded Afghanistan in order to help the oil companies build pipelines across it to Pakistan.

I'm still waiting for construction to start.

Anonymous said...

Got here from Instapundit and i agree that Greenspans comments were taken out of context by the MSM (BIG surprise :).

Bill Peschel said...

The Washington Post story today (Monday) implied that the only thing Greenspan wrote about Iraq was that "war was about oil" sentence, which means that Bob Woodward (who wrote the "breaking" story) blew up one sentence in a 581-page book into a weekend's worth of nonsense.

But at its heart, the "no blood for oil" argument is fundamentally flawed. In a capitalist system, price is mostly irrelevant. It is set based on supply and demand. Saddam was pumping oil and selling it for whatever the market will bear. There was no indication that he, or OPEC for that matter, would ever consider shutting off the taps. They learned back in '73 that doing that caused enormous disruptions ... to the Arab states. While they were sitting on their oil, the rest of the world, after the shock wore off, responded like good capitalists should. They cut back. They learned how to make do with less oil. Fuel-sipping cars hit the road. Oil consumption dropped, and the market was flooded. The price of oil dropped.

So where does "blood for oil" fit into that? It doesn't. There's no reason any national leader would spend billions of dollars and risk political annihilation, merely to secure oil supplies already freely available on the open market.

Mike said...

Reliapundit: Sorry I've had to delete your comment. I've only been blogging a few weeks, but I believe it's not considered good form to dump an extremely long post in its entirety into someone else's comments just because you're peeved that you didn't get linked. I've worked hard to try and promote this blog, and I've never dreamed of doing what you did to try and grab a few extra hits. Yes, I did visit your blog a week or so ago. I believe there were about ten bloggers posting, and I don't know if I read any of your posts, not that it's got anything to do with anything anyway. If you'd like to leave a more respectful comment, and your link, that would be cool. Hope I'm not being too hard – maybe someone who knows about this stuff could advise?

MarkJ said...

Methinks the KosBats now believe the real reason Greenspan suddenly flipped was because Dick Cheney pulled him aside and did his own version of the "Shawshank Redemption" shower scene:

Cheney: Hey, anybody come at you yet? Anybody get to you yet?
[Greenspan looks at him in puzzlement]
Cheney: Hey, we all need friends inside the Beltway. I could be a friend to you.
[Greenspan, shaken, walks away]
Cheney: Hey... Hard to get. I like that...


Anonymous said...

Claiming there was only one reason is ridiculously simplistic.

For example, I've always thought it was more about the "price" of Oil than the Oil itself - specifically what currency the Oil is priced in.

Wasn't Saddam insisting on pricing and selling his Oil in Euros? And more to the point, wasn't he also encouraging all the other Oil producers to follow suit? In other words, economic warfare against the status of the Dollar as World Reserve Currency.

Couple that with a Messianic zeal to export Democracy by force in an effort to stabilise the Middle Eastern Hell Hole - now what was that about the Road to Hell being paved with Good Intentions?

David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 09/18/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Anonymous said...

Left gatekeepers propagated the myth the war was about oil. The truth is zionists like Greenspan have dragged the West into The Middle East Conflict on Israel’s side, on the back of a series of false flag terror attacks in the West blamed on ‘Muslim Terror’. Thats the truth. Thats why you don’t hear it.