First of all, the “war for oil” argument has never been, “The U.S. only wants lots of oil.” That’s strawman-making with a vengeance. The charge fully substantiated by the Bush gang’s own copious writings about their geopolitical ambitions (“Project for the New American Century,” et al) is that a group of elite interests in the U.S. want to control access to world energy resources in order to maintain and expand their own power and privilege (which they equate with “American interests”), and to put the squeeze on any potential rivals for geopolitical predominance in the coming decades, such as China and India. Whoever has their hand on the oil spigot or controls, by threats and bribes, those who do can shape the future to their own ends. This power is what the Bushist elite wants, not just the actual black stuff under the ground.
Second, it’s ridiculous to imagine that Bush could have gone to Congress and the American people and asked for $280 billion to buy oil futures. And even if he had, what if Saddam, or OPEC, or Hugo Chavez, or Putin, had refused to sell them? Why on earth would any of them have mortgaged their futures and guaranteed their subservience by selling one country “all the world’s oil for the next 50 years”? This is a ludicrous assertion.
No, the only Bush way could grab such enormous loot from the public treasury for his cronies was by frightening and manipulating the American people into war. And McEwan’s strawman reductionism also overlooks the fact that war is not only profitable for Bush’s oil allies (who are now pulling in unfathomable profits), but also (as mentioned in the previous post), the arms manufacturers, giant construction and servicing cartels like Bechtel and Halliburton, the “private equity firms” and investment houses like Carlyle, and so on.
Which is, of course, why the U.S. is making plans to create the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in the world in Baghdad: we’re there for the long haul, and not by accident. Remember, this was all laid out by the Project for a New American Century back in 2000:
Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.