ejca, et al,
The "Oil Argument" is merely one reason for the invasion of Iraq. But it is not the only reason. In order to understand just some of the impacts coming to bare, I offer the following insight in pieces.
The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was a very influential "Think Tank." Its membership represented a fully spectrum of diplomatic, political and quasi-military personalities; --- and included some very notable and prominent members of the business community. First, let me shed some light on the personalities involved (Partial List) - and a glimpse into the influence factor.
- Elliott Abrams: Former assistant secretary of state in the Reagan administration and received the secretary of state's Distinguished Service Award from Secretary George P. Shultz.
- Gary Bauer: Formerly White House Office of Policy Development
- William J. Bennett; One of America's most important, influential and respected voices on cultural, political, and education issues.
- Dick Cheney: Former Vice President
- Eliot A. Cohen: Professor of Strategic Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University and founding director of the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies
- Midge Decter: Author and editor whose essays and reviews have appeared in Harper's, The Atlantic, National Review, The New Republic, and The Weekly Standard. Member of the board of the Heritage Foundation, the Center for Security Policy
- Paula Dobriansky: Formerly Under Secretary, Global Affairs
- Steve Forbes
- Aaron Friedberg: Formerly with the office of the Vice President as deputy assistant for national-security affairs and director of policy planning.
- Francis Fukuyama: Former member of the Policy Planning Staff of the US Department of State, member specializing in Middle East affairs, and Deputy Director for European political-military affairs.
- Frank Gaffney: Founder and President Center for Security Policy, Formerly Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy
- Fred C. Ikle: Former Undersecretary of Defense
- Zalmay Khalilzad: Former Ambassador Afghanistan & Iraq, National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Islamic Outreach and Southwest Asia Initiatives, and prior to that as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Southwest Asia, Near East, and North African Affairs.
- I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby: Former chief of staff and national security advisor to U.S. vice president Dick Cheney
- Norman Podhoretz: Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, co-founded the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD)
- Dan Quayle: Former Vice President
- Donald Rumsfeld: Former Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush from 2001-06; and Secretary of Defense under Gerald Ford from 1975-77
- Paul Wolfowitz: Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, head of the U. S. State Department’s Policy Planning Office and three-and-a-half years as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs,
- Richard Perle: Former chairman of the Defense Policy Board, assistant secretary of defense for international security policy,
- R. James Woolsey: Former Director of Central Intelligence, Mr. Woolsey has served in the U.S. government as: Ambassador to the Negotiation on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE),
- John Bolton: Former ambassador to the United Nations, general counsel for the U.S. Agency for International Development
- Richard L. Armitage: Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and Deputy Secretary of State
As early as 1998, the PNAC began a concerted effort to push American Policy towards invasion. The PNAC had a vision and it encompassed the furtherance of the American Hegemony.
These policy statements sound benign in isolation. But when meshed with the concept of a Political-Military Hegemony, the statements become very aggressive in nature. Their execution becomes extremely dependent on extending the shadow of American Military influence in direct support of diplomatic goals and objectives.Originally Posted by PNAC Statement of Principles 1997
The idea was --- for the US to amplify and extend its military influence over the entire Middle East and Persian Gulf Regions. The plan was to capitalize on establishing a large military presents in the center of the region, such that, US diplomatic initiatives would have an obvious and credible military support activity within immediate striking distances (the carrot and stick); and Iraq was an ideal location to support these initiatives for 1500 miles in any direction.Originally Posted by PNAC LTR to POTUS: January 26, 1998
Such an endeavor would require overwhelming domestic support by the people, acquired through the influence of the media, and key personalities. This was originally thought to be justified by the demonization of Saddam Hussein and the accentuated fear from Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) - an idea from the mid-1990's. Strong industrial support was envisioned by the prospects of oil contracts in support and supply. Unfortunately 911 occurred and set the stage for all the pieces to fall into place. Terrorism became the magic word and the invasion was on. The new conditions set by 911 and the subsequent Congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) was the tool. WMD was the means to secure domestic support and the major oil companies and defense industry saw an extended profitable opportunity. The media had a story, the population was in fear, the threat was said to be real, and the military was going to war (promotions all around) - new equipment, awards and decorations; and industry was going to profit (all kinds of contracts). Everyone was happy. Between Afghanistan and Iraq, it would last more than a decade. But, more importantly, it was believed that the grateful people of Iraq would be so happy that they would welcome the establishment of a huge military complex in their country. And with that thought in mind, the influence of America's Hegemony would be extended and reenforce the diplomatic influence over the region.