At Australia's very own Department for Historical Truth and Ideological Purity, one Michael Costello has responded to Brendan Nelson's gaffe about oil by blithely asserting that the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with oil:
If control of vital oil supplies were to end up in the hands of our enemies, who
choose to use it to blackmail us and our friends and allies, or to further
causes hostile to us, that would be a disaster for us and many others.
is weird, however, is the ludicrous leap of illogic that says that to state this
self-evident proposition is to automatically imply that the real reason we went
to war with Saddam Hussein's regime in March 2003 was oil.
If oil were our
dominant interest, we would have done exactly the opposite. We would have done a
deal with Saddam that accepted the continuation of his brutal regime and we
would have turned a blind eye to his return, with renewed vigour, to the pursuit
of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
Recall that while no evidence
of such weapons was found by inspectors after the 2003 attacks, evidence was
found of Saddam's determination to resume those programs as soon as he could
complete the undermining of UN sanctions and remove the UN inspection regime.
What would the US have got in return for accommodating Saddam in this way?
Oil, as much as it wanted, at discount prices.
Costello also cites Bob Hawke, out of context, in defense of the Coalition of the Drilling. In response, I posted a reply to this latest piece of asshattery. I provide it here, in full, should it fail to see the light of day on the News Limited website:
This is an extraordinarily disingenuous article, even by The Australian's standards.
Firstly, Hawke's comments were in a rather different context to the present day, or 2003, for that matter. The invasion of 2003 occurred after years of sanctions, against a country with a heavily-depleted military, surrounded by no-fly zones, and who, in contrast to 1991, had not issued any violent provocation.
Secondly, Saddam was planning to trade oil in Euros, not the greenback, which could have been expected to have had significant ramifications for the US economy.
Thirdly, unlike the other despots with whom the US coquettes, US interests were not in a position to simply make a deal and receive 'discount oil'. The oil was already contracted to a number of nations who opposed the US invasion, such as France, China, and Russia.
Clearly, oil was not the sole motivating factor for Iraq's liberation - other factors include geo-political strategy, the neoconservative ideology of 'failed states' and 'democracy building', and US domestic politics. Nonetheless, to suggest that Iraq's invasion had nothing to do with oil, that it would have been of 'interest' if its chief export were bottle tops, is a monstrous piece of revisionist fiction, the likes of which would make even Stalin blush with shame.
It is not for nothing that Howard, Bush and Blair have all been subject to widespread public cynicism. Irrespective of Howard's frantic back-pedalling, the gaffe-prone Nelson was only confirming what many Australians take as self-evident.
We shall see if it appears.