Yesterday (Jan. 9th), I was listening to an NPR interview with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and was stunned to hear what appears to be a little known fact concerning our involvement in Iraq. I was stunned insofar as this fact has not been made very public and not given the degree of attention that it so richly deserves. The first time that I heard it mentioned from what can be regarded as a highly respected source was just yesterday. That it hasn't been given the range of public airing that it so richly deserves is astonishing. To paraphrase Speaker Pelosi, the little known but HUGE fact is simply this: the Bush administration has stipulated or mandated that the Iraqi government must grant U.S. oil companies control of 75% of Iraq's oil production as a fundamental prerequisite or requirement. Let me repeat this because it is stunning: U.S. oil companies must be granted the rights to control 75% of Iraq's oil production.
We've all heard so many different reasons or justifications for our involvement in Iraq from the Bush administration over the past four years that by now, many of us forget what our original "official motivation" for intervention was. Well, the original officially sanctioned motivation promulgated by both the Bush administration and the very compliant mainstream news media was to depose the despot Saddam Hussein and destroy his arsenal of "weapons of mass destruction" before the despicable tyrant had a chance to use them against us. The original motivation could then be summed up as "self-preservation". (Remember the Condi Rice comment to the effect that it was imperative for us to act quickly against Saddam's Iraq or that smoking gun may very well turn out to be a mushroom cloud.) Such preposterous nonsense. It's despicable. Yes, Bush's Orwellian Ministry of Mistruth has been working overtime, hasn't it.
Turns out that what many suspected all along is the real reason behind our involvment -- our "pre-emptive" invasion of Iraq was motivated by just plain, good old fashioned greed. Yep, Black Gold. Texas Tea. All of those noble ideas about democratizing Iraq as a precursor to regional democratization and stability was just a possible side-effect and not the primary reason for our involvement. And let's not forget one of Bush's most recent arguments against leaving Iraq in the lurch anytime soon: Iraqi rebels will use the money derived from its oil reserves to finance hostilities against the U.S. and its allies.
Questions for Pres. Bush
What's next, Mr. President? What does the next chapter hold? More looting of our public treasury perhaps? More American lives needlessly lost because of your poor judgement and your administration's gross ineptitude and foolish arrogance? Do you plan to pass your Iraqi Baton of Failure on to the next president of the U.S. and by so doing hope to avoid personal responsibility for your unspeakable failure?
Clearly, any window of opportunity for victory in Iraq has long since closed. The simple truth is that without the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, there can be no victory. When more than 70% of the Iraqi population would not mind seeing U.S. soldiers killed, it becomes rather difficult to regain their trust and support, don't you think? Or, Mr. President, are you arguing for an extended stay in Iraq where we will militarily enforce our will on the Iraqi people? Does might make right, Mr. President? Are we now to subjugate the soverign interests of the Iraqi people to the political and economic interests of the United States? (Where's the democracy in that?) How will the rest of the Middle East respond to such a posture? My suspicion is "not very well". It will only serve to buttress, support and bolster the recruitment efforts of various and sundry terrorist factions and organizations in the region. It will only serve to make the U.S. far less safe and far less secure, and not the opposite. You will have created a new group of enemies for us to worry about. Was that your secret goal Mr. Bush?
Is it your goal to perpetuate the "war on terror" so that the "Patriot Act" will become the new operational document or instrument by which our country is organized and motivated? Are we to toss the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights aside as quaint documents of the past that have outlived their usefulness? No, Mr. President, Americans will not stand for such treason by allowing our sacred freedoms and way of life to be so easily swept aside by a crass, manipulative culture of fear and oppression. For it would only serve to motivate a nation of true Patriots to Act against such vile attacks to their integrity and sense of purpose. Give me liberty or give me death or, as they say in New Hampshire, Live Free or Die will continue to resonate strongly with true Americans -- true Patriots.