say it ain't so, joe
Up until now, I've resisted the "it's just about oil" theory for the Bush administration's obsession with Iraq. But this Newsday article quotes Administration sources as eyeing the Iraqi oil supply as a "spoil of war":
Bush administration officials are seriously considering proposals that the United States tap Iraq's oil to help pay the cost of a military occupation, a move that likely would prove highly inflammatory in an Arab world already suspicious of U.S. motives in Iraq.
Officially, the White House agrees that oil revenue would play an important role during an occupation period, but only for the benefit of Iraqis, according to a National Security Council spokesman.
Yet there are strong advocates inside the administration, including the White House, for appropriating the oil funds as "spoils of war,” according to a source who has been briefed by participants in the dialogue.
"There are people in the White House who take the position that it's all the spoils of war,” said the source, who asked not to be further identified. "We [the United States] take all the oil money until there is a new democratic government [in Iraq].”
...Another source who has worked closely with the office of Vice President Dick Cheney said that a number of officials there too are urging that Iraq's oil funds be used to defray the cost of occupation.
Jennifer Millerwise, a Cheney spokeswoman, declined to talk about "internal policy discussions.”
That last sentence, especially, is an unsettlingly vague non-denial.
My friend Dodd's recent argument against the "it's about oil" concept was that if it were true, the Administration would drop sanctions and buy all it could. But free oil as a result of an invasion...that's another matter.
What's profoundly worrying about this is, should it prove true, the US's international support would collapse, and the Arab would would be furious. Even acknowledging Iraq as a security concern, is an invasion really worth the damage these actions would cause to the US's relations with practically every other country in the world?
(via CalPundit, Body and Soul, and Blog Left)