A War for Oil ?

The meme travelling through blogs from Scott Adam’s to Andrew Sullivan’s this week is that the high cost of oil proves that the war in Iraq was not about oil.

The proof goes something like this

  1. If we (the US) wanted cheaper oil
  2. Invading Iraq was a bad way to go about it because
  3. Oil prices are now higher
  4. QED

That first step is a doozy. I don’t believe that the US invaded Iraq for any single reason and I certainly never believed that the US invaded Iraq to get cheaper oil. But, consider this.

Most people would probably agree that america’s foreign policy is closely tied up with its energy policy (as it should be) and most people would probably agree that both are closely related to america’s relationship with the middle east.

My theory is that the administration thought they could replace an unfriendly dictator with a friendly democracy thus increasing america’s influence in the region and improving america’s future access to the region’s oil. Doesn’t make it a war for oil – doesn’t make it not a war for oil either.

On one point, I do agree with Andrew though :

The high price of gas is the best thing to have happened to the U.S. in a very long time. It alone, given the paralysis of the government, will force a market-driven push into new energy technologies, deter SUVs, and provoke the kind of technological research which will benefit us in the future.

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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