Former US Central Bank Chief Says Iraq war is about oil
17 Sep 2007
The bombshell could not have come at a worse time for the Bush administration and especially when it came from no other than the credible former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board (FRB). “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” Wrote the 81-year old Alan Greenspan in a book due to be published today.
At a time when the popularity of George W Bush is very low and the American society is polarized over the war in Iraq, Greenspan’s candid talk will only add fuel to the smoldering political discourse on the issue in America. The Bush administration will find it extremely hard to dismiss the views of Greenspan who has served six US presidents in different capacities including nineteen years at the helm of the US Central bank.
The Americans and British have always insisted that they led the invasion of Iraq to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction and end Saddam Hussein’s alleged support for terrorism. With the passage of time, neither have weapons of mass destruction been found nor has there been any credible link established between the late Saddam and terrorism.
On the contrary, the invasion destroyed the secular nature of Iraq, created insurgents and sectarian violence and sucked America into an intractable civil conflict to which she has committed 168000 troops, suffered more than 3700 fatalities and spent over $500 billion.
The Iraqi people have suffered even worse indignities. Estimates of civilians killed range from 50,000-600,000. Over 2 million Iraqis have been displaced internally and more than 1.3 million are refugees in neighboring Syria and Jordan. 40% of Iraqi professionals have left the country since 2003 and an overwhelming number of Iraqis oppose the presence of coalition forces on their territory according to statistics obtained from various online sources. Worse still, the people of Iraq have become hostages to fear because their country has become a theatre of blind violence.
In a pattern of shifting ground, the Bush administration now says that Iraq has become one of the frontlines for fighting Al Qaeda-a phenomenon created in Iraq by the invasion in the first place. They also claim that one of their reasons for being in Iraq was to nurture a democratic government there. All these developments are gradually pushing Americans to continue questioning whether their government knowingly fabricated the reasons to justify the invasion of Iraq? For now the Bush administration tenuously hangs on the version that blames faulty intelligence for her decision to invade Iraq. The substance of this line of defense is evaporating with each memoir written by Bush’s past collaborators. The former CIA boss George Tenet on whose head hung the blame for faulty intelligence has debunked the core claim in his own book ‘At the Center of the Storm’. In it Tenet wrote, “There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat.” Adding that there was never a “significant discussion” about the possibility of containing Iraq without an invasion.
On Sunday, Californian Democratic Congressman Tom Lantos went further to say on CNN that the main reason for going to war was based on “false premise- namely the existence of weapons of mass destruction” and that “the administration created a set of false facts with which to justify the war.”
There are larger implications beyond tarnishing the prestige of the US and the credibility of the Bush administration. The invasion of Iraq was a major foreign policy blunder committed by the US. The scandals (that are emerging in installments) connected to the reason for invasion could be potentially more dangerous than the war itself. We now find ourselves in a situation where the world’s only superpower deliberately cried wolf when there was none. The implications are that when the real wolf appears, few will listen to the cry and that is dangerous for global security.
Can the Bush administration understand why few are paying attention to her cry about Uranium enrichment in Iran?
Njei Moses Timah