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Jeffords' Theory
April 11, 2005 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Jeffords' Theory: "U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords, the Vermont Independent, may face a clear field right now in a 2006 re-election bid, but his March 22 performance on Vermont Public Radio's Switchboard program raised a few eyebrows. I think it was all done to get oil, Jeffords said of invading Iraq. And the loss of life that we had, and the cost of it, was to me just a re-election move, and they're going to try to live off it. Probably start another war, wouldn't be surprised, next year. Probably in Iran, said Jeffords, echoing Seymour Hersch's words from January.
posted by jenleigh (84 comments total)

 
“That is the highest level of irresponsibility to suggest that the president has taken the nation to war and put thousands of lives at risk for political purposes,” Barnett said.

hahahaha
posted by fungible at 12:02 PM on April 11, 2005


In an interview this week, Jeffords spokesman Erik Smulson didn't back away from his boss's comments (which can be heard at vpr.net) and noted that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- the brother of the sitting president and son of former President George H.W. Bush -- is considered a possible 2008 GOP candidate for president.

As I've said in threads past, watch what is done by and for Jeb Bush in these lame duck years. Terri Schiavo and the connected GOP memo scandal was just the tip of the iceberg.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:02 PM on April 11, 2005


“That is the highest level of irresponsibility to suggest that the president has taken the nation to war and put thousands of lives at risk for political purposes,” Barnett said. “It's really outrageous, and reason enough that we ought to question Sen. Jeffords' ability to serve Vermonters in a way that makes us proud.”
No, it's the highest level of irresponsibility to take the nation to war and put thousands of lives at risk for political purposes.
Retard.
(On preview, hi fungible.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:03 PM on April 11, 2005


Send Jeffords to Guantanamo for detainment. He is obviously one of them
posted by poppo at 12:16 PM on April 11, 2005


what is done by and for Jeb Bush in these lame duck years

too bad that the poll numbers were immediately so clearly anti-GOP that they destroyed Bush and DeLay's circus. I would have loved to see Jebby send the National Guard to have the nurses reattach Schiavo's feeding tube at gunpoint.


the highest level of irresponsibility to suggest that the president has taken the nation to war and put thousands of lives at risk for political purposes

highest irresponsibility alert!
very much so.
posted by matteo at 12:17 PM on April 11, 2005


I bet a third of Vermont Public Radio's market share is made up of Republicans just waiting to hear statements like these.
posted by eatitlive at 12:18 PM on April 11, 2005


Holy crap that's my local newspaper! Jeffords is very good at saying what he thinks, not turning it into nasty name-calling bullshit [to the extent that is possible with touchy issues like this one] and encouraging people to debate him on facts, not aspersions. My boyfriend worked for him last Summer and Jim is a hell of a guy. His office is a mix of Republicans and Democrats and Erik who is quoted, if he's who I am thinking of, is a Republican. There was a lot of debate all over Vermont about the situation in Iraq since Vermont, with a very high National Guardsman sign-up rate, has lost a disproportionate amount of men in Iraq. Vermonters by and large are proud of the work Jeffords has done, even though some people are PO'ed at him for leaving the Republican party, many people understood why he did it. I think he'll win re-election handily.
posted by jessamyn at 12:21 PM on April 11, 2005


That makes me want to move to Vermont just so I could vote for Jeffords
posted by fshgrl at 12:22 PM on April 11, 2005


Since his real political threat [if any] would come from the left, this would be pretty smart politics, if politics were his motive at all...
posted by brucec at 12:41 PM on April 11, 2005


It's strange Jeffords didn't (couldn't?) elaborate on his idea that the war was being fought "for oil".
posted by dhoyt at 12:44 PM on April 11, 2005


It's strange Jeffords didn't (couldn't?) elaborate on his idea that the war was being fought "for oil".

Yeah. How stupid. The war was obviously not fought for oil. It was to remove an imminent threat rape rooms to spread democracy to free the iraqi people because saddam was an evil dictator so we don't fight the terrorists in our back yard what war?
posted by odinsdream at 12:50 PM on April 11, 2005


Brucec wins.
posted by gd779 at 12:52 PM on April 11, 2005


It's strange Jeffords didn't (couldn't?) elaborate on his idea that the war was being fought "for oil".

It's strange Bush didn't (couldn't) elaborate on his idea that the war was being fought "for WMDs" that weren't there. America is a strange country, sometimes. Lots of strangeness.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:57 PM on April 11, 2005


Nice work, Jim. I'm glad someone remembered to pack his balls when he went back to Washington this year. Maybe he can loan them out to some of the other Democrats?

dhoyt, why should he elaborate? Its pretty clear. And, given the utter lack of give a damn by ShrubCo that their justification for the war was wholly bullshit, I'd have to say, Bush should explain himself first before any naysayers need to defend their positions.
posted by fenriq at 1:03 PM on April 11, 2005



Yeah. How stupid. The war was obviously not fought for oil.

It's strange Bush didn't (couldn't) elaborate on his idea that the war was being fought "for WMDs"


Nice dodge, both of you, but seriously—with so many things to criticize about the war, how much water does the "no blood for oil" arguement hold at this point? And please no tired riposte about "..about as much water as Bush's statement on X".

dhoyt, why should he elaborate? Its pretty clear.

Are you saying it's pretty clear the war was for oil? Again I'm confused. Jeffords should elaborate because he's an elected official who claims to speak for a large number of people, and his statement was confusing. Though the data was tragically wrong, even Bush elaborated that he wanted a war because there was evidence Saddam Hussein was building an arsenal. We know now that the evidence was flawed. I'm wondering what evidence Jeffords has that Iraqis and Americans are dying "for oil". Do you all take him at his word?
posted by dhoyt at 1:09 PM on April 11, 2005


the other Democrats? Jeffords is an Independent. And he used to be a Republican.

One hell of a guy, though. He's going on my list of Favorite Senators.
posted by salad spork at 1:11 PM on April 11, 2005


I do not want to argue the point that the senator is making, but when the post cites Sy Hersch for backup, I suggest that a reader ought to check out what is at present being said about Hersch--he lies!
http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news/people/features/11719/
posted by Postroad at 1:17 PM on April 11, 2005


Are you saying it's pretty clear the war was for oil?

Well duh.
posted by clevershark at 1:20 PM on April 11, 2005


Nice dodge, both of you, but seriously—with so many things to criticize about the war, how much water does the "no blood for oil" arguement hold at this point?

Not much, if only because insurgents are setting the wells on fire, so we're not seeing much of our colony's sweet, sweet crude yet.
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:29 PM on April 11, 2005


Though the data was tragically wrong, even Bush elaborated that he wanted a war because there was evidence Saddam Hussein was building an arsenal.

I vaguely remember that, but I thought that now we are supposed to believe that we went to war to get rid of Saddam who allowed rape and torture. Or maybe that was 2004 belief and now we are to believe that we went to war because the Iraqis were hankering for democracy and freedom. Or maybe they wanted some changes in social security.

Whatever.
posted by leftcoastbob at 1:35 PM on April 11, 2005




Its pretty clear

Well duh.

so we're not seeing much of our colony's sweet, sweet crude yet.



If we're done snarking & evading, maybe we can get back to Jeffords' comments about how the war is being fought for oil. I'd thought that theory had just become one of those lines you hear repeated over and over (ie, "Saddam moved all the WMDs to Syria!", "They hate our freedom!") that you eventually have to tune out because the spouter in question never has any compelling evidence to back it up. To hear an elected official put forth a theory like that is a different story. Jeffords' words are pretty strong—for those who agree with his theory that the war is being fought for oil, can you help us out?
posted by dhoyt at 1:44 PM on April 11, 2005


"highest level of irresponsibility"
That's so true, why would anyone want to co-mingle political power and oil wealth?
What could possibly be gained?

The real question I suppose will be is it worth it? From an American standpoint (US) we could turn the middle east into the modern version of colonies and simply take all the oil.

The cost in deaths aside (looking at it purely mechanically) it will give US a few more years of luxury, and in the long term make American dominance more likely. From that standpoint I can't condemn the moves being made (from that standpoint).
Politically, it makes sense. But politics is like anything else just a tool. But the question is not one of dominance or luxury or even satisfaction.

The question should be - Would taking the oil ensure the long term survival of our species?

I just saw a show about Hernan Cortez. As he was pulling gold from the Aztecs (and committing genocide) I couldn't help but think "Why would the Spaniards do that? They don't even have electricity."

In the same vein, I doubt that survival question is being asked.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:49 PM on April 11, 2005


This is almost as bad as quoting Stalin to suggest murdering judges!

Oh wait, no. It's not.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:53 PM on April 11, 2005


The phrase "blood for oil" can be glib and misleading. The basic idea is that the U.S. went to war in Iraq to pursue its economic interests.

I can't completely vouch for the sources that I've pulled off the internets in the last few minutes. Note that I opted for "conservative" sources rather than "liberal" ones. Now consider:

U.S. occupation makes Iraq accessible to multinational corporations and ensures their access to oil resources. The costs of reconstruction will likely require Iraq to seek financing from institutions like the IMF and the World Bank, with attendant oversight and control. And some feel that, as a result of the invasion, the U.S. is entitled to a share of Iraq's oil resources.

The authors of these links all argue that there was no "war for oil." But I think that the facts stated by the authors all support an informed inference that the war was driven by the economic interests of the U.S. So I don't believe that Jeffords is entirely out of left field on this.
posted by Scooter at 2:02 PM on April 11, 2005


odinsdream writes "Yeah. How stupid. The war was obviously not fought for oil. It was to remove an imminent threat rape rooms to spread democracy to free the iraqi people because saddam was an evil dictator so we don't fight the terrorists in our back yard what war?"

Duuude.
posted by orthogonality at 2:04 PM on April 11, 2005


Too bad Jeffords left himself open to dissection. No reasonable person can say the war was entered into on honest pretenses. Whether it be for oil, middle-east stability, democracy, or the final push to win respect from daddy, lots of men and women were killed and maimed in an exercise that no objective observation suggests we are safer for undertaking.

I think the 'Blood for oil" mantra is trite and doesn't hold water, unfortunately, but worse, it distracts from a real scrutiny of what damage a bunch of zealous, shallow, and short-sighted morons can do with very little effort.
posted by docpops at 2:18 PM on April 11, 2005


dhoyt writes "Jeffords' words are pretty strong—for those who agree with his theory that the war is being fought for oil, can you help us out?"

Wasn't the neo-conservative Project for a New American Century plan -- dating back to when Clinton was in office -- to "stabilize" the Middle East with American power?

And wasn't that justified as being the only prudent course, given our -- and the whole industrialized world's -- dependence on oil, and the Middle East's near monopoly on oil, and the projected much greater demand for oil as simultaneously, reserves shrink and China massively industrializes?

Isn't saying it's a war for oil is nothing more than a simple but accurate summary of the whole PNAC plan?

Indeed, it's the only justification that makes any sort of sense:
  • It's not human rights or spreading "democracy". Since when have Republicans (or realpolitik Democrats, for that matter) been concerned enough with human rights to start a war? All this business about "spreading Democracy" is so much manure, and we all know it. Traditional conservatives have always been against nation-building, and DLC Democrats gave it the tiniest bit of lip-service and flinched as soon as a copter got shot down in Somalia. Most conservatives if they're being honest remember how badly British attempts to "build nations" and impose Western-style governments in Arabia failed, after WWI. If we really believed the bullshit about human rights and democracy -- if Bush really believes it -- why has our response to Darfur been nothing but to hand them a hanky and ask that they weep and wail a bit more quietly, please?
  • It's not WMDs. First, we know that there were no WMDS, and that our nation's intelligence services -- all of them -- are fucked. But even if you grant Bush a great big benefit of the doubt and say he was (oh let me wipe away a tear!) "tragically misled" by the same guy he afterward awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom to, even if we say that, it was clear to anyone before we went to war that Iran and North Korea and our "allies" Pakistan and India and Israel had nukes and Saddam didn't. And even as we ramped up for war, Saddam was letting UN Inspectors in. Even if you grant that Bush was more mislead than misleading about WMDs -- and I don't grant it -- there were a dozen better ways to deal with putative WMDs. (Since we said we knew where they were, what about aerial bombings or cruise missiles or Delta Force strikes? Why not do what we did in Gulf War I?) An invasion and an occupation weren't called for.
  • The only real possibility left is that we wanted a permanent military presence in Iraq. Now you can explain that as a permanent presence to ensure we get the oil at cut-rate prices from Iraq, or as a way to "subtly" threaten Iraq's oil-producing neighbors into keeping prices down, or just as a sign to China that Chinese strong-arm tactics in the region will be opposed. But it's the only credible reason to sacrifice 1500 American lives and leave another 30,000 crippled and to spend 200 billion in taxpayers' (grandchildren's) money.
Not only is the oil theory the only credible one, it's the only one that's remotely justifiable: if the Peak Oil predictions are right, and eventually it's us fighting the Chinese, for only enough oil to keep one of our countries industrialized, then one might, from a completely realpolitik standpoint, say that the Iraq War made sense in terms of the long-term security of the United States.

Because it doesn't make sense any other way: if we turned Iraq into a recruiting stand for Al Quaeda, a decision that will cost us in blood and treasure for at least a generation, in order to "give the gift of democracy" or to "eradicate" non-existent WMDs that Saddam wouldn't have used on us even if he'd had them, then there's no way to call the Iraq War anything other than an enormous miscalculation that does the United States far more harm than good.

Don't resist the "we went for oil" theory, dhoyt -- it's the only theory under which Bush's War can be justified at all.
posted by orthogonality at 2:45 PM on April 11, 2005


Yes. Jeffords is right. He seems to be one of the few conservatives left with any balls.

It is a fact that the survival of the our economy - based in cheap available oil - is critical for the survival of the US Consumer Republic. Further, strategic interests as critical as oil (in peril of being controlled by hostile Islamofacists) SHOULD be the ONLY reason to invade a country.

History has shown us that all nations go to war over the control of resources and geo-strategic position to those resources.

Logically it is the only reason TO enter a war of occupation.

This may seem shocking in light that I am against our current occupation and invasion of Iraq. But that is irrelevant to the truth of "our" motives behind this invasion.

To accept the other assertions Bush put forth is absurd and insulting to ones intelligence.

IOW. It's stupid to invade a country to "free" it's populace. People free themselves.

WORSE, it's stupid to invade with troops to stop an enemy from using a WMD weapon you are afraid he might otherwise use on you. If you invade conventionally you INSURE he will use the weapon against you if he can. That's what it is fucking FOR. And if he collapses you have no way of securing the weapon.

This is why we invented Mutually Assured Destruction as a strategic containment concept. And it WORKS.
posted by tkchrist at 2:47 PM on April 11, 2005


War is fought for profit. Period.
In what way would the Iraq war be different?
(Are we fighting a "war" in Afghanistan? Certainly there are some low intensity operations there, but....)
The nature of that profit is open to debate, but clearly even WWII was fought for profit - or to repel others from threatening it - even the "good war" mythos supports that.

Do people learn history in high school history class?
...no, wait, answered my own question there.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:49 PM on April 11, 2005


It is correct to say that the war in Iraq would not have happened for one factor alone. However it is touchingly naive to believe that oil had nothing to do with it.

There were four main factors behind the invasion --

1. Iraq has oil. Lots of it. Its reserves are the second largest in the world, and they can be exploited for relatively cheap (not counting daily instances of terrorism).
2. Iraq's military had been seriously weakened by a decade of economic and military sanctions. Essentially the invasion was (correctly) forecast as the equivalent of fighting a guy three weight classes below you, and who has his hands tied behind his back.
3. Iraqi politics made it "ideal" for a takeover. Essentially there were no political parties except for the Baath, and in Iraq the Baath were entirely dependent on one person running the show. There was therefore no one who could possibly assume power and lead the country once Saddam and his sons were either killed or on the run.
4. The US had a serious mess on its hands with Iraq. A decade of leading the sanctions charge had produced little tangible result except for lots of pictures of starving Iraqi babies, and its continuing bombing of Iraqi military targets made it look like the neighborhood bully.

There are other countries which were, in 2003, more deserving of "liberation" by America -- North Korea is #1 on that list -- but, not having oil, it lacks the fourth reason for attack, and that's one of two reasons why Kim Jong-Il can still threaten the world with actual weapons of mass destruction. After all, does anyone really think that an American President would put 150,000 of his countrymen in the direct line of fire of an enemy which he REALLY thought would have nuclear, biological and chemical weapons?
posted by clevershark at 2:52 PM on April 11, 2005


No reasonable person can say the war was entered into on honest pretenses.

I might be unreasonable, then ;)


I see what you mean, doc, but Bush & the PNAC folks are what many have labeled "true believers"—they seem to really believe in their own dumbass ideas, and will see them through at all costs. I genuinely think the guy wanted to get rid of banned weapons, depose a leader, create a terrorist battleground out of Iraq in order to flush out terrorists from all over, and in general take an extreme approach to solving "the MidEast problem". Was it naive & sloppily executed? Sure. But Cheney came to Bush about Iraq within 24 hours of Sept 11th—I really think they thought, early on, that Iraq was part of the Hydra and that bringing freedom & modernity to the Middle East would make terrorist factions see the US in a different light. I guess I'm skeptical that twenty four hours after 9/11, the admin was rubbing its hands together in anticipation of oil. I think they wanted to be heroes, and got more than they bargained for.

War is fought for profit. Period.
Logically it [oil]is the only reason TO enter a war of occupation.


Those are popular phrases to repeat, yet there are too many wars to list in the history of humanity that have nothing to do with money or oil, but with clashing ideologies.
posted by dhoyt at 2:53 PM on April 11, 2005


We know now that the evidence was flawed.

Actually, we knew all along. So did they.
posted by signal at 3:00 PM on April 11, 2005


I guess I'm skeptical that twenty four hours after 9/11, the admin was rubbing its hands together in anticipation of oil.

but orthogonality's point is that they were rubbing their hands before 9-11 had even happened.
9-11 was just the casus belli they needed so badly *. without that blood-stained battering ram, the project would have stayed just that, a project.

* just like, until or unless America is hit again, and hit bad, they'll never be able to invade Iran/Syria/France/whatever.
posted by matteo at 3:08 PM on April 11, 2005


I guess I'm skeptical that twenty four hours after 9/11, the admin was rubbing its hands together in anticipation of oil.

I, too, am skeptical. I believe it was planned out long before George Bush took office.
posted by leftcoastbob at 3:09 PM on April 11, 2005


dhoyt,

Your true believer comment rings true with me as well. I have seen Wolfowitz testify, and everything I've read about him makes me think at some level he felt the ends of a democratic Iraq justified the means of starting a war. In some perverse way it is easier to understand and find some rational context for the actions of a true believer. Bush, imo, is too weak, stupid, and shallow to call on any such trait.
posted by docpops at 3:09 PM on April 11, 2005


If they had just said "We have to go to Iraq to keep the Middle East from eventually falling into the hands of the Chinese, I would been able to respect them more than for all the Lie-de-Jour reasons they came up with. (Perhaps the Chinese might have had a problem with that?)

Of course, our Fealess Leaders have admitted the WMD story was the one they thought the American voters would swallow the easiest, and they were right. Isn't it obvious that they think the we're all childlike morons, because that's sure how they treat us.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 3:18 PM on April 11, 2005


All I have to say is "Aw! (d)Hoyt... How Could you???!!!"

And that's ten points to anyone who knows the reference.
posted by indiebass at 3:19 PM on April 11, 2005


Actually, we knew all along. So did they.


You didn't know. They didn't know. They hoped, and gambled, and were wrong. That's as dishonest as stating "we went to war for oil" as fact.

but orthogonality's point is that they were rubbing their hands before 9-11

As were many Clinton-era Democrats, before & after 9/11, but there's no evidence they were just hungry for oil either.

Bush, imo, is too weak, stupid, and shallow to call on any such trait.

Agree, but as we know, his strings are being pulled for him by True Believers all around.
posted by dhoyt at 3:23 PM on April 11, 2005


salad spork, thanks for the clarification on Jeffords being Independent. I'd gone on the natural assumption that anyone willing to speak out was on my side and, therefore, a Democrat.

dhoyt, they didn't gamble. George Bush went on TV and swore that he knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that Iraq had WMDs and posed a clear and imminent danger to this country. If he was wrong then maybe he should apologize for leading the nation to war on bad intel? No, that would be showing weakness.

Iraq was attacked because of its oil. The only buildings the military secured and protected during the taking of Baghdad were the Oil Ministeries. That's pretty clear to me. But you go on and keep finding loopholes to try and get through. The war was for oil, even with your fingers in your ears going Lalalalala, it will still be about oil.
posted by fenriq at 3:33 PM on April 11, 2005


"...too many wars to list in the history of humanity that have nothing to do with money or oil, but with clashing ideologies"

And those wars would be....?

Let's not be literal here, I wasn't talking about oil specifically. Presumably my Cortez reference would illustrate that. And not even money really, profit is how you define it. But on the whole it is the filthy lucre that fuels the war machines.

Yes, dhoyt the American civil war was really fought over slavery !
Get real.
(by the way, Lee Harvey Oswald, Richard Lawrence, and John Wilkes Booth were lone nuts, because those are the only people who would shoot a president)

The 'True Believers' are typically just the front men for the men with the money. Simply dupes or paying lip service to 'christianity' or some such ideal which justifies their taking of other peoples stuff and putting them into slavery.

While in the past I would concede that it was different and harder to descern the workings of profit because those who were visible often held real power and wealth, but it's not the case now.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:49 PM on April 11, 2005


Ten points?

I like games.
posted by AwkwardPause at 3:56 PM on April 11, 2005


dhoyt, they didn't gamble. George Bush went on TV and swore that he knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that Iraq had WMDs and posed a clear and imminent danger to this country.

He thought he knew, yet he didn't have photo-evidence or physical evidence of any WMDs, but he sent troops in anyway. That's called a gamble.

If he was wrong then maybe he should apologize for leading the nation to war on bad intel?


Agreed. Let's hope it happens. But among the arguements he made before the war, he also spoke of deposing Saddam and liberating Iraqis. He'll always have that to fall back on, so I doubt we'll get our wish.

Iraq was attacked because of its oil.


Stating your opinion as fact isn't very convincing, or interesting.

The only buildings the military secured and protected during the taking of Baghdad were the Oil Ministeries.

Perhaps because so many oilfields were immediately set afire the last time we invaded, and to disastrous results.

The war was for oil, even with your fingers in your ears going Lalalalala, it will still be about oil.

This is pure noise. Disagreeing with someone is not tantamount to sticking fingers in one's ears.
posted by dhoyt at 4:05 PM on April 11, 2005


are too many wars to list in the history of humanity that have nothing to do with money or oil, but with clashing ideologies

Name three. I DARE you.

War of the Roses? Clashing power structures USING ideology. Hundred Year War? territory and trade.

Hell, humanity has fought wars over Cod. But it boiled down to this: Resources. Territory. Food. Wealth. Whatever. A ruler somewhere wants stuff so he can... go out and get MORE stuff.

Name a war of "Invasion and Occupation" that was a only, or even mostly, about Ideology? Please. I'd love to have that for future arguments.
posted by tkchrist at 4:18 PM on April 11, 2005


dhoyt:
Are you saying it's pretty clear the war was for oil?
Analyzing foreign policy in denial of resources is like analyzing Monopoly in terms of your favorite color. Maybe that's how you prefer to play the game, but do you really believe that's how the winners will play? If you're asking someone to play it with real money, your money, how would you want them to play?

As for the rest of Jefford's "predictions": let's hope they prove to be inaccurate.

there are too many wars to list in the history of humanity that have nothing to do with money or oil, but with clashing ideologies.
I'd like to compare the length of these theoretical lists. Many ideological conflicts often boil down to "my tribe will control this resource." Many ideological battles are underwritten by economic opportunism. Many economic conflicts acquire an ideological character that may or may not outlive the economic impetus for armed confrontation, and different factions may have different reasons for supporting the war, and a faction with more economic interest would see no problem with fanning the flames of the more ideological factions... especially if the foe is economically hostile as well.

The bottom line is, do you really think that oil has played only a minor part in American policy towards the Middle Eastern countries for the last few decades? Do you think the Saudis play to the American side because of ideological affinity? (well...). Maybe Vietnam was anti-Communism in a pure ideological form, but I think America's policy in the middle east is more of a Great Game.

You can't just demand people present an argument to you full of facts while you do nothing. If the voices in your head are only strawmen with cartoony slogans -- which you easily dismiss to let you believe whatever you wanted to believe in the first place yet find yourself to be in a state of dissonance with the real world -- you should take that as a sign that you need to do some digging yourself.

they seem to really believe in their own dumbass ideas
The best salesmen often do.

I guess I'm skeptical that twenty four hours after 9/11, the admin was rubbing its hands together in anticipation of oil.
I imagine it was more like dusting off the plans they'd made under Bush I, so the hand-rubbing and anticipation had already happened. They probably did think they could pull it off, and that it would be in America's best interest. Of course a chief interest of America is economic health. The business of America ain't freedom, you know.

Ann Coulter at least has made the jump into honesty with herself: "Why not go to war just for oil? We need oil." To be fair, she's just a comedienne, and probably just Craig Kilborne in drag having us all on. But until this fact is revealed we'll say that one conservative pundit, at least, accepts the idea that it's permissible to fight a war for a precious resource.

And it might be. I'd like to hear it discussed. Isn't the economic well-being of a country worth dying for? From there it's a short little skip over telling some lies to get the masses to go for what's actually in their best interest.

But of course the Bushies could never sell this angle because it's painfully clear from their other domestic policies that the best interest of the citizenry isn't on their minds.

[rubbing hands] As were many Clinton-era Democrats, before & after 9/11, but there's no evidence they were just hungry for oil either.
Yet somehow we didn't invade. And there now appears to be evidence that the Clinton Administration did a good job keeping WMDs away from Saddam. So I'm not sure what you think those quotes are trying to show. It's the Democrats who led us to war? Yeah, that Nancy Pelosi and her selective intelligence cherrypicking, her faked up presentations to the U.N., her claims that Saddam was behind 9/11 way after everyone kinda knew that was B.S., her secret contracts and energy policy meetings with Halliburton, her incompetent war planning and her "Mission Accomplished" banners... she was no doubt exactly as eager for Iraqi oil as the Bush administration, because of that quote. Totally convincing.

He sent troops in anyway. That's called a gamble.

Some gambles are hugely stupid.
posted by fleacircus at 4:33 PM on April 11, 2005


I would like to think the we could agree the reasons for going to war have shifted over time. For example, "slam dunk" on the intelligence to removing a tyrant and then on to spreading freedom, etc. etc.

Now the full truth has been blessed via the Presidential committee that the US didn't know what the hell it was doing via intelligence going into the war. Not to matter, billions have been spent (overcharged), thousands dead and Mr. Bush is our leader. It will be 20 years before this is figured out and the profits will be well dispersed by then.

Osama is still out there.
The US superpower prestige is worth tin.
I paid 2.37/gallon for gas yesterday.
Oh yeah, the national debt is huge, I mean HUGE and Mr. Bush feels this is not a problem.

Okay, so why did we go to Iraq and not North Korea? Oh yeah, no oil. (And when I say 'go to' I mean pressure the regime, since war with NK would be suicide.)

Profit motive is the reason I give, and a select few are making it big. In terms of the larger picture, economic reasons point to oil, which reduces back down to profit anyways.
posted by fluffycreature at 4:37 PM on April 11, 2005


What if the Iraqis we liberated believe America is only there to steal their oil? If you can't reach westerners reading mefi with your obvious will to simply be contrary and nothing else dhoyt, how do you suppose the flawed but generally "good" Bush administration and our holy military expect to convince the very people we insist we liberated that we're not there for the oil at all? Who's the willfully ignorant?

A: The big modern country with the most overfed military/industrial complex on the planet that contains the majority of the profiteers who are looking to cash in on the racket?

Or. . .

B: The ethnically novel, seemingly primitive and downtrodden citizens of a petroleum rich swath of planet Earth that taken all together and under a particularly brutal dictator, just so happened to threaten us so?

Good God dhoyt, don't you at least want to understand the world in which you live?

Disagreeing with someone is not tantamount to sticking fingers in one's ears.

It is when what you're in disagreement about is pure absurdity.

Unlike the war for oil and corporate hegemony in Iraq, we're at least doing this here for your benefit. American to American. And we're telling you you're wrong. There's no doubt about it.
posted by crasspastor at 4:39 PM on April 11, 2005


fleacircus: And it might be. I'd like to hear it discussed. Isn't the economic well-being of a country worth dying for? From there it's a short little skip over telling some lies to get the masses to go for what's actually in their best interest.

Uh, no.
I think we could park the SUVs.
Raise the price of gas by a 1.00 to fund alternative fuel technology development.
Implement alternative fuel options (wind, solar, hybrid cars, etc)

What else? But going to war for our fat bellies. I vote no.

Perhaps it was a rhetorical, but I jumped...
posted by fluffycreature at 4:41 PM on April 11, 2005


Yeah, but a war can be fundamentally about resources without consciously being solely about resources, don't you all think? Painting the Iraq war as exclusively the product of oil lust doesn't make sense. The administration would be better at it. I think the Iraq war is proximately about a whole pile of ideological ground tests: from preventive war to unilateral "empire" to the neoconservative domino theory to free-market shock treatment, all of which, having succeeded, would bring the US (administration's ideology) prestige and, yes, oil. In a broad historical sense, yes, the Iraq war is about oil, in that we wouldn't be there, nor would any other of the chain of events have happened bringing Saddam to power, etc., etc. - but it's not just the product of secret corporate masterminds scheming after black gold.

In short, if the architects of the war weren't reasonably convinced the war was going to help the War on Terror and US prestige, they wouldn't have gone in right then just for the oil.
posted by furiousthought at 4:43 PM on April 11, 2005


god, I haven't believe we're having this discussion again.

or maybe it's just me being burnt out on trying to connect the dots for legions of smart folks who don't want to understand how the military industrial complex is connected to the energy industry is connected to the executive branch is connected to the military industrial complex.
posted by Embryo at 4:48 PM on April 11, 2005


can't*
posted by Embryo at 4:49 PM on April 11, 2005


are too many wars to list in the history of humanity that have nothing to do with money or oil, but with clashing ideologies

Name three. I DARE you.

Yes, I would also like to see a list of the "top 3" wars fought for non-economic reasons. Since there are so many, it should be easy to come up with 3 big ones.

Personally, I cannot think of a single one.

'Clashing ideologies' are usually code words for "how can I get common people on my side, so I can control the country/region/world".
posted by chaz at 4:57 PM on April 11, 2005


I wonder what it's like to be on the side of an ideology that has branded infallibility into you incessantly via the scientifically shoddy and emotional techniques of craven rightwing obscurants, opportunists and pundits, only to find out how utterly discredited everything they ever said was?

It must be painful.

That is why, this high water mark in everything the right has fought for for decades must be so painful. Once you got to the top, you realized it was all just smoke and mirrors and you weren't really at the top of anything at all. Your favorite thinkers, politicians, radio hosts and ideologues had sold you and your country down the river for their own insatiable greed. Now you're just one of us dhoyt. Sure, you're in denial. Who wouldn't be? But now you're just one of us -- one of the 250 million taxpayers with nothing to show but a starkly divided country, bankrupt federal and state governments and a glaring opening to what once was the perfectly fine and good CLOSED gates of hell. Nice one dude.

But nope not oil. Not greed. The rightwing of America just loves all of God's little children and wants to save us all from "Islamofascism". Too bad they created it.
posted by crasspastor at 4:57 PM on April 11, 2005


dhoyt,

it's amazing you would feel the need to make excuses for the WMD intelligence. There is no evidence that their was anything but sand and junk scattered to hell and gone over there. By your logic, they would be justified in speculating that any number of countries could be developing WMD. It only makes your arguments seem poorly informed to maintain a posture that supports there was anything even remotely honest in any administration officer's attestations that there were ever real concerns about WMD's.
posted by docpops at 5:01 PM on April 11, 2005


Nobody AFAIK has mentioned the pre-existing debt and oil contracts that Russia and France had with Saddam, Saddam moving his oil sales from USD to Euros, and the crumbling sanctions regime (put in place by the US and UK). Without the US/UK invasion the situ would have gone status quo ante by now.

The oil angle is part of it, but I see wars more from a currency bloc angle (WW2 was about Germany and Japan expanding their respective blocs, our Cold War interventions in eg. Vietnam was to keep SE Asia in our economic sphere), so only a tool or fool would argue this wasn't a major reason.

Whether it was THE reason depends on your judgement of Bush & Co's bona fides.

Given how they lie about anything and everything, I don't see any reason to give them the benefit of the doubt on this.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:11 PM on April 11, 2005


Isn't the economic well-being of a country worth dying for?
Good question. I asked it earlier.

If it is going to get us off planet, then I'd have to say yes. The U.S. seems to be on the forefront of space technology...still. Although we do seem to lack the gumption to get out of the cradle. All hat and no cattle talk about going to Mars from BushCo notwithstanding.

Otherwise, only maybe. If I saw a direct benefit to my family for me to charlie mike over in Iraq I'd re-up right now.

I really don't see it benefiting anyone but the oil companies.

Which is why you have to use nationalism, etc. etc. (the 'ideology' dhoyt mentioned) to get people to die for things.

But that pull is strong. I still get the chills listening to the national anthem. I sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic or God Bless America sometimes when I run.
And it's not bullshit. I believe in truth, justice and the American way (liberty for all), which makes it all the worse when we're lied to in the name of it.
But as knowlege is power, depriving others of knowlege is a path to power as well.
And that's justification for lying about the war, continued power (Orwell probably got into that subject the best).
posted by Smedleyman at 5:18 PM on April 11, 2005


We know now that the evidence was flawed.

dhoyt, you're a master of understatement.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:20 PM on April 11, 2005


Otherwise, only maybe. If I saw a direct benefit to my family for me to charlie mike over in Iraq I'd re-up right now.

That's the... funny (as in queer)... thing... it was a soft, 19th century version of Lebensraum that pushed our frontier over pre-existing peoples, displaced the Mexicans from Texas to California, won us a bunch of islands between Hawaii and the Phillipines inclusive, motivated us to police our quasi-colonial holdings in Central America with US Marines (and China for that matter), and in the postwar world it was our Policy to make the world safe for American multinationals in Cuba (oops), Iran, Chile, Guatemala, etc.

The Great Game is a very interesting topic. In some ways it is hypocritical to criticize Bush on this, since every city I've ever lived in here in the states has had a Spanish name...
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:46 PM on April 11, 2005


if the architects of the war weren't reasonably convinced the war was going to help the War on Terror and US prestige, they wouldn't have gone in right then just for the oil.

I forget. Does "helping the War on Terror" mean creating more terrorists or getting rid of them?

Oh yeah, Secret US Plans for Iraq Oil
posted by mrgrimm at 6:03 PM on April 11, 2005


What jessamyn said.

Also, as a Vermont I'd like to add that when it comes to elections, we like the incumbent. Howard Dean got to be governor when our previous governor dropped dead and he stayed governor almost entirely through the power of "Well, he's there already." Even were Jeffords only half as awesome as he seems, he'd get re-elected. Even were Jeffords a holstein, he'd get re-elected. We like to re-elect things. It's the way we've always done it.

Knowing this, it does make me feel a little cynical when he comes out and says "HEY GUYS! Teh war was for OIL!" I'd be amazed if he was the only Congressman with these convictions, but he can state them without much fear for consequence as he doesn't have to worry too much about opposition.

Also : Vermonters don't like the war, anyway. And I'd wager that whoever said "I bet 1/3 of Vermont Public Radio is Republicans" has never spent much time in Vermont. I can count a whole 2 Republicans that I know. On the other hand... crazy überliberal hippies, some of whom live "off the grid" and refuse to pay taxes... too many to count.

Also : it's weird to read my hometown newspaper. On the internet. In Iceland. WEIRD.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:14 PM on April 11, 2005


*as a Vermont-ER.

And as someone who apparently learned how to type yesterday.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:21 PM on April 11, 2005


30 years war?
posted by goethean at 6:23 PM on April 11, 2005


For Jeebus sake I might... slim might... have voted for Bush if would have just said it:

"We go'n to steal them Ay-rabs Erl and they ain't dad gum thang they kin do 'bout it"

I can float over to the Realpolitik side of the equation if I can see the utility of it... if I believe the average citizen gets something tangible for their blood.

So Jeffords actually says it and it's the GOP that gets all snooty? WTF?

They should give the guy a medal for actually being a REAL conservative.

Heywood - I must say your posts are really good.
posted by tkchrist at 6:24 PM on April 11, 2005


I'd be amazed if he was the only Congressman with these convictions

Perhaps, but he was definitely the only senator to draw a line at call bullshit on (scroll down to "WRONG ON THE TROOPS") awarding "war on terror" medals for soldiers deployed in Iraq.

"Those who support giving this medal to our troops in Iraq are once again trying to make a connection between Sept. 11 and Iraq that simply does not exist,’ Jeffords said"

If he is indeed secure in his position it's a bloody good thing for his sake, given the context on the site I linked.
posted by pieisexactlythree at 6:26 PM on April 11, 2005


Goethean - Yeah. Them crazy Europeans - before they all became tree-hugg'n-vegan-commies they used to slaughter one-another like crazy back in the day. They were damn good at it, too.

The Thirty Years War. Between 1618-1648 between the Habsburgs and... well, just about everybody else. Hard to keep track as everybody kept switching sides. That's what makes war for "ideology" claim so silly. Wars like this have been common.
posted by tkchrist at 6:33 PM on April 11, 2005


Hmm. By all appearances, a conversation with dhoyt about the GOP seems like a conversation with bevets about evolution.
posted by Rothko at 6:41 PM on April 11, 2005


I suspect that history will make this entire debate moot.

Either we won't have more terrorist attacks, in which case Iraq will be regarded as simply one (perhaps poorly managed) front in a successful war effort, or we will have more terrorist attacks, in which case the U.S. stance towards Arab nationalism and Islamism will toughen by at least the same margin (and with at least the same shift in paradigm/political possibility) as it did on 9/11, and all of this will be forgotten.
posted by MattD at 6:47 PM on April 11, 2005


...a conversation with dhoyt about the GOP seems like a conversation with bevets about evolution.

I was thinking more along the likes of "a conversation with a wall about western philosophy."
posted by five fresh fish at 7:17 PM on April 11, 2005


By all appearances, a conversation with dhoyt about the GOP seems like a conversation with bevets about evolution.

Bevets is invested strongly in his creationism beliefs. I've never voted for a Republican in my life, and as someone with purely liberal social beliefs, I've got no investment in the GOP whatsoever. I don't think what I'm saying is controversial, I just disagree with some of you on the degree of "lies" we are told, the degree of hatred for Bush, and the various reasons people go to war with other people. So I don't really get the Bevets analogy.

FWIW, just to take modern wars involving the US, I don't believe our efforst in WWII, The Korean War, Vietnam or Kosovo were masterminded by evil geniuses with dollar-signs in their eyes. I believe that for some historians, that became a fashionable claim to make much later on because it's "juicy" to emphasize the worst of human impulses: greed, hunger for power, whatever. Fighting to protect a way of life is not greedy, fighting to prevent fascism is not greedy, fighting to prevent the spread of a suicidal socioeconomic system is not greedy.

In short, I think invading Iraq, post 9/11—instead of creating a kind of aggressive international terrorism taskforce (something I argued for way back when)—was a mistake and I think rooting out terrorists in smarter ways from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan would have won over a lot more people. But the Bush admin thought Iraq would be a cakewalk, so that's what they opted for, and now they're suffering for their shortsightedness.

dhoyt, you're a master of understatement.
I was thinking more along the likes of "a conversation with a wall about western philosophy."


Your shallow contributions to the thread have certainly been forgettable. Don't worry, there's a thread about Snuffleupagus to go play in.
posted by dhoyt at 7:25 PM on April 11, 2005


of course Jeffords is right--the PNAC thing was the playbook. Whether you call it economic interests or even stabilizing the region, the biggest reason--economic and otherwise--is oil, and control thereof. Why have we been installing and/or propping up dictators there for so long? (Saddam being just one of them, along with the Shah, the whole Saudi bunch, etc)
posted by amberglow at 7:32 PM on April 11, 2005


Welcome to the Future
posted by troutfishing at 8:02 PM on April 11, 2005


the degree of hatred for Bush

Ya think it could be... rational? The man is totally trashing my country!
  • $500B+/yr deficits, on track to leave his successor with a $9T national debt (@ $500B/yr+ interest payments alone)
  • out of control defense spending/fraud/waste (again, zooming to $500B/yr)
  • sitting on his ass for 8 months before 9/11 then somehow becoming Mr National Defense
  • siding with a bunch of jokers wrt anti-evolution, anti-gay rights, pro-life extremists
  • ringleading a fraudulent march to war with Iraq
  • and a ideological inability to direct the force of the federal government as a force for good (eg. energy conservation, health insurance market failures)
  • playing up the SSTF assets as nonexistant while the lower four quintiles are still over-contributing ~$80B/yr
The only administration initiative that hasn't pissed me off entirely is the lowering of the capital gains and dividend tax rates. This is more AEI wankery but there is a theoretical argument for encouraging investment in this country (just wish there were offsetting real property taxes to work against the increasing concetration of wealth).

But the Bush admin thought Iraq would be a cakewalk, so that's what they opted for, and now they're suffering for their shortsightedness.

Rightly, too. The problem as I see it was trying to cut out too many existing power blocs from running the occupation.

Our occupation was kinda like Hitler's grab for Russia -- go for Moscow, the industrial centers, or the Oil down south. We had 3 targets but only one round in the chamber.

IOW, Rumsfeld did not put in enough troops to bend all of Iraq to our will wrt privatization and other AEI wankery.

But on May 1, 2003, the effort was looking pretty good cost/benefit-wise.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 8:02 PM on April 11, 2005


I don't believe our efforts in WWII, The Korean War, Vietnam or Kosovo were masterminded by evil geniuses with dollar-signs in their eyes.

AFAIK, the efforts to not go to war in WWII were strongly influenced by the corporate magnates who were so greatly profiting by that war: the Fords are one name that leap to mind.

And I also seem to recall that while the USA did ignore the Yugoslavian civil war forever and a day, it's also true that the world's wealthiest mineral mine is now in the control of US corporations.

So when you say that it's absurd to believe the oil-wealthy family of Bush decide to invade an oil-wealthy country on false pretenses... well, it pretty much astonishes me. How much more plain could it be made so that you would recognize things for what they are?

The only rational conclusion is that you are in irrational denial of the truth.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:14 PM on April 11, 2005


And, hell, throw in another aspect of it all: this war perfectly suits the needs of the religious right, particularly the fundamental literalists like Bush. They want an Armageddon to fulfill their faith's prophecy, and they aren't too shy about making it happen:



This war was to the benefit of the fortunes of the wealthy industrialists and the religious right, and those forces are its reason.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:18 PM on April 11, 2005


and now they're suffering for their shortsightedness.

they certainly aren't.
the kids who are fighting Bush's and Cheney's and Chalabi's war are suffering, but the White House is having a great time -- they won the election (because Kerry 30 years ago didn't bleed enough in Vietnam) as the "tough-on-terrah" party, almost nobody in the USA gave a happy fuck about the US military adopting a policy of torture for (dark-skinned) non-Americans.

also, in 3 and a half years they'll all be out of a cushy Federal job and they'll just join (or re-join) the energy and military-industrial corporate giants they have been serving so dutifully for all these years. oil tankers and airports will be named after these political giants.
they certainly aren't suffering.

kids who went to Iraq to capture those slimy wmd's and came back without wmd's and without various body parts, on the other hand, are picking up the tab for the White House's party. oh, American taxpayers are, too -- who needs communistic free health-care when you can have a nice Mesopotamian colony, after all

Your shallow contributions to the thread have certainly been forgettable.

ah, six-year-olds with Internet connections...
posted by matteo at 3:41 AM on April 12, 2005


It's a little harsh to suggest FFF's comments were like that of a six-year old, matteo. I just suggested his seemed like throwaway contributions in the midst of a decent discussion.
posted by dhoyt at 6:25 AM on April 12, 2005


Dudes. Here is my version of reality:

1. Wolfowitz and co. had this planned a long time ago, according to almost everyone.

2. The war is not about Iraq's oil, but about gaining enough control and stability in the middle east to control *all* the oil

3. Show me Democrats that lie less than Republicans. To be fair, you sort of have to hate them both. Partisanship distracts us from the Real Problems
posted by craniac at 7:29 AM on April 12, 2005


Actually, we knew all along. So did they.

You didn't know.


Actually, I did know, the same way I know that I won't actually be able to enlarge my penis if I click on the link in that email, or that I won't actually own the Brooklyn Bridge, no matter what the deed says.
It's called "smelling a scam".
So yes, I knew, they knew, the only people who didn't know didn't want to know, they wanted to believe.
posted by signal at 8:11 AM on April 12, 2005


And not to be too petty, but when the stark, naked, in-your-face truth about Bush's half-truths, obfuscation and outright lies started to come out, the spin his supporters put on in terms of "wow, who'd a thunk it, huh? Don't that beat it all, there where no WMDs, and there was no connection with Bin Laden. Oh, well, nobody saw that coming", was disingenuous, at best.
Yes, we knew, every child over the age of 5 on the face of the planet knew. And we incessantly said so, and staged the largest protests in recorded history to make the point.
I can see that you support Bush, but please, take the blinders off.
posted by signal at 8:16 AM on April 12, 2005


I don't think what I'm saying is controversial, I just disagree with some of you on the degree of "lies" we are told, the degree of hatred for Bush, and the various reasons people go to war with other people. So I don't really get the Bevets analogy.

Dhoyt, placing quotation marks around the word "lies" is somewhat controversial, given the serious consequences directly attributed to the falsehoods that were told:

• many thousands of soldiers and civilians have died or been tortured or maimed needlessly

• the financial cost of this campaign has been excessive to say the least; our generation and our children will be paying for this with reduced or eliminated Social Security benefits and increased taxation

• we have lost international respect and, more importantly, lost much in the way of being able to affect positive, lasting cultural changes that make this country and the world a safer place to live in

When you continue with a line of thought that puts "lies" in quotation marks, as if they meant nothing, and especially when you repeatedly do so in light of all evidence that the people involved knew that lies were told, and that the consequences have been dear despite the propaganda, you'll forgive me if I find the Bevets Complex comparison apt.

You fail to reason cause and effect properly. You've been given much evidence to allow you to figure these things out. Usually people who argue the devil's advocate position have some reasoned defense, but you've offered nothing but your personal dislike of people who question the lies we've been told.

Fair enough, but that does not invalidate the fact that we were lied to, that we are in a much worse situation for it in all respects, and that the people involved are likely to walk away from their crimes.

When will you finally grant that your defense of the GOP's activities has no basis in reality, other than your intense personal dislike of people on the left?
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:08 AM on April 12, 2005


dhoyt, you are teetering dangerously close to crossing from naivety to willful ignorance. I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, but it's getting harder with each comment.

You really, truly, believe that Bush and his immediates legitimately expected to find stockpiles of WMDs that had somehow eluded electronic surveillance and direct inspection by the UN?

My only surprise is that they haven't come up with a wily enough way to get planted devices out there to "discover".

There was loud protesting from the very first mention of WMD in Iraq from everybody starting with Joe Blogger all the way to the UN Weapons Inspector himself, coupled with underlings at the CIA trying desperately to prevent Powell from embarrassing himself and the US at the UN.

You're trying too hard dhoyt. There's something you're not telling us.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:36 AM on April 12, 2005


"I don't believe our efforst in WWII, The Korean War, Vietnam or Kosovo were masterminded by evil geniuses with dollar-signs in their eyes."
Gonna have to do better than "belief."

"I believe that for some historians, that became a fashionable claim to make much later on because it's "juicy" to emphasize the worst of human impulses: greed, hunger for power, whatever. Fighting to protect a way of life is not greedy, fighting to prevent fascism is not greedy, fighting to prevent the spread of a suicidal socioeconomic system is not greedy."

A. - I'm gonna have to side with the folks who have mountains of erudition put in on the subject rather than the apologists who 'believe' something.

B. - Greed does not equal profit. I kind of figured you were thinking this dhoyt, but I wasn't sure so I didn't address it.
Looks like we're defining terms differently, so your argument that not all war is greed based is relatively valid.
However those ideals you mentioned (protect a way of life, prevent fascism, etc) are simply not why wars are fought.
We did not fight the Nazis to prevent fascism or to rescue the Jews. We did not go into Korea or Vietnam to check communism and we didn't intervene in Kosovo to save lives.
(Pretty much to promote American centered world government)
Certainly those were cherry on top type of motivations.
Certainly it's not purely greed and greed alone.

But saying we fight wars for anything other than profit is like saying landscaping companies employ illegal immigrants because they want to promote multiculturalism.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:29 PM on April 12, 2005


"That's the... funny (as in queer)... thing... it was a soft, 19th century version of Lebensraum that pushed our frontier over pre-existing people"

Too true. I agree criticizing Bush is a bit hypocritical, but we're not all in this together.
A select few are going to make lots of money. Many of our own people are going to die, and lots of people are going to be impoverished because you can't simply loot the treasury directly.

And everything before the nukes became the final force in geopolitics is pre-history.
We could screw around to our heart's content before that and we were just a bunch of monkeys throwing rocks at each other. Now we can wipe out our species.
The time for playing great games is over. We need to put away childish things and conquest has to be the most outmoded form.
Seems to me we're just trying to get our final licks in before everything locks up.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:35 PM on April 12, 2005


just to take modern wars involving the US, I don't believe our effort in WWII, The Korean War, Vietnam or Kosovo were masterminded by evil geniuses with dollar-signs in their eyes.

You really disappoint me. What was Germany invading everybody for? Why was N. Korea invading the south for? To expand territory and accumulate resources. And why did we fight them? To stop them.

Vietnam? Dude. That is so sloppy. You ever hear of the Petronas Towers? Let me put it another way. The French had colonial interests in SE Asia. Were they there to spread ideological French culture? Hell no. They were there to steal resources - rubber, tin, rice, AND to the south, oil. There were also a number of US companies wishing to expand into the region as well and Communism made them nervous. We had vague political alliances with them through SEATO and using that we also gained some small geostrategic edge preventing the Soviets interest in exploiting the areas resources.

This is all moot. We specified wars of Occupation and Invasion. In these circumstances we were responding to others Occupations and Invasions. And the underlying motives in each case were the same. For the aggressor to expand territory and resource base. And to the defender to either stop this effort or to place them selves in a better position for much the same reasons.
posted by tkchrist at 1:46 PM on April 12, 2005


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