As Bush Ship Continues To Sink
Alan Greenspan Claims Iraq War Was Really For Oil
White House Emperor Has Few Clothes Left

16 September 2007

Greenspan3.jpg (11810 bytes)

Former Chairman Of The US Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan Comes Clean
On A Taboo Subject In His Memoirs

Bringing More Shame On Those Politicians And Journalists Who Have Cowardly Avoided Discussion Of This Matter As Millions Suffer And Die In The Middle East

“I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge
everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

Alan Greenspan, Chairman Of The US Federal Reserve 1987 - 2006
Sunday Times, 16 September 2007

Sunday Times, 16 September 2007

Alan Greenspan claims Iraq war was really for oil

AMERICA’s elder statesman of finance, Alan Greenspan, has shaken the White House by declaring that the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil.

In his long-awaited memoir, to be published tomorrow, Greenspan, a Republican whose 18-year tenure as head of the US Federal Reserve was widely admired, will also deliver a stinging critique of President George W Bush’s economic policies.

However, it is his view on the motive for the 2003 Iraq invasion that is likely to provoke the most controversy. “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,” he says.

Greenspan, 81, is understood to believe that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the security of oil supplies in the Middle East.

Britain and America have always insisted the war had nothing to do with oil. Bush said the aim was to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and end Saddam’s support for terrorism.

It's The Oil Stupid

"International oil markets have become so tight that even small acts of sabotage could result in further large price rises, Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, said yesterday. 'The balance of world oil supply and demand has become so precarious that even small acts of sabotage or local insurrection have a significant impact on oil prices,' he said. Mr Greenspan painted a bleak picture of the world's rising vulnerability to high crude oil prices, saying he was sceptical that oil producers could pump enough crude to meet future demand.... Mr Greenspan, who now runs a private consultancy, said there were few good short-term policy options for bringing down energy prices, saying it was 'not a choice between good and bad' but 'between not so good and worse'".
Former Fed chief warns on oil supply
Financial Times, 8 June 2006

But Not Only The Oil

"Evidence of continuing tightness in the crude oil market followed a warning from Alan Greenspan that America faces a growing shortage of natural gas. The chairman of the Federal Reserve Board gave warning that gas prices could exceed $7.50 per million btu in the peak heating season next January, three times the level of July 2000. The US gas price is currently $6.31, almost twice the level of a year ago, because of falling US production and physical constraints on imports..... Mr Greenspan said that America needed better access to world gas reserves if the market was to avoid soaring prices".
Oil price tops $32 as US crude stocks fall
London Times, 12 June 2003

"Mr.Greenspan told the House Energy and Commerce Committee on June 10 that the country could not expect Canada to make up for falling production in the United States, and that new facilities were needed to import liquefied natural gas from Asia, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union."
Canada Is Losing Ability to Fill U.S. Natural Gas Needs
The Ledger, Florida, 26 June 2003

"Iraq holds more than 112 billion barrels of oil - the world's second largest proven reserves. Iraq also contains 110 trillion cubic feet of natural gas....."
Iraq, Country Analysis Brief, February 2003
US Energy Information Administration

The Story So Far

"We're there because the fact of the matter is that part of the world controls the world supply of oil, and whoever controls the supply of oil, especially if it were a man like Saddam Hussein, with a large army and sophisticated weapons, would have a stranglehold on the American economy and on — indeed on the world economy."
Dick Cheney, US Secretary of Defense 1990
New York Times, 24 February 2006

"Oil ruled the 20th century; the shortage of oil will rule the 21st.... Last Tuesday the lead story in The Financial Times was the latest report from the International Energy Agency. The FT quoted the IEA as saying: 'Oil looks extremely tight in five years’ time,' and that there are 'prospects of even tighter natural gas markets at the turn of the decade'. For an international agency, that is inflammatory language....  27 of the 51 oil-producing nations listed in BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy reported output declines in 2006. One projection of world crude oil production actually forecasts a 10 per cent reduction in total world output between 2005 and 2015. That would be a revolution..... Some analysts think that the peak oil moment has already been reached; some still think that it will not come until 2020 – which is itself only 12 years away. Market trends and the statistics both support the IEA’s view that consumption is accelerating and supplies falling faster than expected. Of course, if the 'crunch' point is only five years’ away for oil, and closer for natural gas, it has, for practical purposes, already arrived....The shortage of oil and natural gas, relative to demand, had already changed the balance of world power. Historians may well conclude that the US decision to invade Iraq was primarily motivated by the desire to gain physical control of Iraq’s oil and to provide defence support to other Middle Eastern oil powers. Political motivations are always mixed, but oil is an essential national interest of the United States. If the US is now deciding to withdraw from Iraq, the price will have to be paid in terms of loss of access to oil.... The world is coming to the end of the age of oil, which produced its own technology, its balance of power, its own economy, its pattern of society. It does not greatly matter whether the oil supply has peaked already or is going to peak in five or 12 years’ time. There is a huge adjustment to be made. There will be some benefits, including higher efficiencies and perhaps a better approach to global warming. But nothing will take us back towards the innocent expectation of indefinite expansion of the first months of the new millennium."
Lord William Rees-Mogg
Are these the last days of the Oil Age?
London Times, 16 July 2007

Bush Administration Made Plans For War
And Iraq's Oil Before 9/11 Attacks

Neocons Planned To Destroy OPEC By Boosting
Iraqi Oil Production

"The United States may want to keep a long-term military presence in Iraq to bolster moderates against extremists in the region and protect oil supplies, the army general overseeing US operations in Iraq has said. While the Bush administration has downplayed prospects for permanent US bases in Iraq, General John Abizaid told a House of Representatives subcommittee on Tuesday he could not rule that out.... Abizaid cited the need to fight al-Qaida and other extremists groups and 'the need to be able to deter ambitions of an expansionistic Iran' as potential reasons to keep some level of troops in the region in the long term.... 'Clearly our long-term vision for a military presence in the region requires a robust counter-terrorist capability,' Abizaid said.... Abizaid also said the United States and its allies have a vital interest in the oil-rich region. 'Ultimately it comes down to the free flow of goods and resources on which the prosperity of our own nation and everybody else in the world depend,' he said.... Representative David Price, a North Carolina Democrat, questioned 'what kind of signal that sends to the American people and to the Iraqis and the region ... if somehow there is ambiguity on our ultimate designs in terms of a military presence in Iraq'".
US 'may want to keep Iraq bases'
Reuters, 15 March 2006

"... we've been in the Middle East more than 50 years. We've been in the Middle East ever since the -- however you would like to call the dependency upon oil has developed. And our forces have been there either as naval, air or land forces in one way or another for an awful long time. And once the British pulled out the Arabian gulf, it became more and more necessary for us to provide more and more force in the region..... And ultimately, it comes down to the free flow of goods and resources on which the prosperity of our own nation and everybody else's depends upon.... We need to maintain a presence that protects the small nations and ensures the continued stability of the region and the flow of those resources that are essential to our well-being."
General John Abizaid, Commander of the United States Central Command overseeing US operations in Iraq, confirming to a US Congressional Committee that the United States needs permanent military bases in Iraq in order to maintain access to Gulf oil

Iraq As Permanent US 'Protectorate'
US War Bill Deletes Prohibition On
Permanent Military Bases In Iraq

Get The Picture?
'It's The Oil Stupid! Stupid!'

"Through cultivation of Saddam Hussein's government, China sought to develop some of Iraq's more promising [oil] reserves. Beijing advocated lifting the United Nations sanctions that prevented investment in Iraq's oil patch and limited sales of its production. Then the United States went to war in Iraq in 2003, wiping out China's stakes... In little more than a decade, China has changed from a net exporter of oil into the world's second-largest importer, trailing only the United States. Concern is mounting about future prospects for China's domestic oil production, which supplies about two-thirds of the country's crude oil needs. China's government estimates that it will need 600 million tons of crude oil a year by 2020, more than triple its expected output... 'Many people argue that oil interests are the driving force behind the Iraq war,' said Zhu Feng, a security expert at Beijing University. 'For China, it has been a reminder and a warning about how geopolitical changes can affect its own energy interests. So China has decided to focus much more intently to address its security.'... 'If the world oil stocks were exceeded by growth, who would provide energy to China?' said Shen Dingli, an international relations expert at Fudan University, who advises the government on security policy. 'America would protect its own energy supply. The U.S. is China's major competitor.' Such fears involve Taiwan, the self-governing island claimed by China. The United States has pledged to help Taiwan should China attack. Officials in Beijing envision being cut off from energy supplies by the U.S. Navy in the event of war... The Iraq war substantially intensified the foreign push. Most immediately, it destroyed China's hopes of developing large assets in Iraq... With so much competition for assets, China has pursued deals with international pariah states that are off-limits to Western oil companies because of sanctions, security concerns or the threat of bad publicity.... Last year, China signed a $70 billion oil and gas purchase agreement with Iran, undercutting efforts by the United States and Europe to isolate Teheran and force it to give up plans for nuclear weapons."
Big Shift in China's Oil Policy
Washington Post, 13 July 2005

"The global market will need increasing volumes of oil from members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries after non-OPEC production reaches a maximum of about 50 million b/d between 2007 and 2011... A question crucial to future oil supply, therefore is: Can OPEC's old fields deliver....  Most of the supergiant oil fields have had water or gas injection installed to maintain pressure for 20-30 years. Handling produced injection fluids is a growing problem in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and in older fields in Iraq (Kirkuk, Zubair, and Rumailah).... The oil fields of Iraq are the least depleted and least developed of any of the Persian Gulf oil producing countries, and Iraq has the potential to rapidly increase oil output.... Combined with earlier results, these predictions for OPEC yield an estimate of the world's ultimate recoverable oil reserves of 2.5-2.9 trillion bbl, with 1.29-1.66 trillion bbl remaining (1.224 trillion bbl produced to end 2003)..... It seems unlikely that OPEC can increase production at the rate that was possible in the 1960s and 1970s, when the fields were fresh and initial well production rates were higher... Only Iraq has undeveloped supergiant oil fields (West Qurna, Majnoon, and East Baghdad) and the potential to rapidly increase production to 8-10 million b/d...... As the different components of supply reach their maximum production rate, a series of crises in oil supply is likely over the coming decades. The first, related to the peak and decline of non-OPEC production, is practically upon us and underpins the currently high oil prices. Other factors are burgeoning world oil demand, driven primarily by China and the USA, and restricted output from Iraq. The imminent inability of non-OPEC production to meet incremental demand and its decline after 2010 precipitates the second crisis as OPEC’s diminishing spare capacity (even with Iraq’s production back to preinvasion levels) becomes less and less able to accommodate short-term fluctuations. The timing and depth of the crisis depend on world oil demand and OPEC investment in new capacity. While OPEC countries will have every incentive to make the necessary investments, the pace of past decision-making is not encouraging, and enough spare capacity may not be available in time. The third crisis, due to OPEC’s incremental supply being unable to meet incremental demand, follows in the first half of the next decade. This assumes that OPEC’s reserves are as published. If OPEC’s reserves are higher than published, this crisis may not occur until the latter half of the next decade and may be muted, particularly if demand moderates. These crises will have global economic and geopolitical significance: The oil price will be high and volatile, and demand growth will have to be curtailed..."
Oil Supply Challenges - 2: What Can OPEC Deliver?
Oil and Gas Journal, 7 March 2005

"Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix has said that oil was one of the reasons for the US-led invasion of Iraq, a Swedish news agency reports. 'I did not think so at first. But the US is incredibly dependent on oil,' news agency TT quoted Blix as saying at a security seminar in Stockholm. 'They wanted to secure oil in case competition on the world market becomes too hard.' Blix, who helped oversee the dismantling of Iraq's weapons programs before the war, said another reason for the invasion was a need to move US troops from Saudi Arabia, TT reported. Competition over oil is creating tension between the United States and China, Blix said........."
Blix says war motivated by oil
Australian Associated Press, 7 April 2005

Israel As Cheney Pawn
In The Real Struggle For The Middle East And Central Asia

America's Battle Against China
For Control Of Persian Gulf And Caspian Energy Resources
Iran And Syria Next In Firing Line In Global Energy War

The Story To Come?

"The U.S. and China, the world's top two oil consuming nations, must work together to avoid a competition for foreign supplies that might lead to military conflict, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman said.... China's demand for oil is forecast to grow 2.9 percent a year between now and 2025, and U.S. demand will grow 1.5 percent a year. Efforts by each nation to use imports to meet growing demand may escalate competition for oil to something 'as hot and dangerous' as the nuclear arms race between the U.S. and Soviet Union, Lieberman, 63, said in a speech today in Washington.... 'There is a problem because China, like the United States, is tying its energy deals to military assistance,' said Michael Klare, author of   'Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum.' 'In the short term, it's more a case of stirring up local conflicts, where the U.S. and China are competing for the loyalty of oil producing countries, but that does have a tendency over time to escalate into something bigger,' said Klare, a professor at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts."
U.S., China Must Cooperate or Risk Oil Conflict, Lieberman Says
Bloomberg, 30 November 2005

".... if you look around and see what the world is now facing I don't think  in the last two or three hundred years we've faced such a concatenation of  problems all at the same time.....[including] the inevitability, it seems to me, of resource wars....   if we are to solve the issues that are ahead of us, we are going to need to think in completely different ways. And the probability, it seems to me, is that the next 20 or 30 years are going to see a period of great instability... I fear the [current] era of small wars is merely the precursor, the pre-shock, for something rather larger to come... we need to find new ways to be able to live together on an overcrowded earth."
Paddy Ashdown, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina 2002 -2006

BBC Radio 4, 'Start The Week', 30 April 2007

So  What Are We Going To Do About It?



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