They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Michael T. Klare: The Failed U.S. Mission to Capture Iraqi Petroleum

tomdispatch: It has long been an article of faith among America's senior policymakers - Democrats and Republicans alike - that military force is an effective tool for ensuring control over foreign sources of oil. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to embrace this view, in February 1945, when he promised King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia that the United States would establish a military protectorate over his country in return for privileged access to Saudi oil - a promise that continues to govern U.S. policy today. Every president since Roosevelt has endorsed this basic proposition, and has contributed in one way or another to the buildup of American military power in the greater Persian Gulf region.

American presidents have never hesitated to use this power when deemed necessary to protect U.S. oil interests in the Gulf. When, following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the first President Bush sent hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia in August 1990, he did so with absolute confidence that the application of American military power would eventually result in the safe delivery of ever-increasing quantities of Middle Eastern oil to the United States. This presumption was clearly a critical factor in the younger Bush's decision to invade Iraq in March 2003.

Now, more than two years after that invasion, the growing Iraqi quagmire has demonstrated that the application of military force can have the very opposite effect: It can diminish - rather than enhance - America's access to foreign oil. Read more - including Tom Engelhardt's commentary