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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Blinded By Oil

Yesterday, Hugh Hewitt interviewed University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos about the war in Iraq. Hewitt asked Campos about his December 7th, 2004 column in the Rocky Mountain News excerpted below:

To the owner of the Ford Excursion who implores us to Support Our Troops I say this: You, sir, (or madam) are a monumental jackass. At this moment, American troops are risking their lives to protect your inalienable right to live your life in an impenetrable fog of selfishness and stupidity.

If not for the need to service this grotesque monstrosity on which you squander your money and that of the taxpayers who subsidize your comfortably numb life, those troops you support would not be getting killed and maimed in a country I doubt you could find on a map.

I sometimes wonder if anything short of dynamite can shatter your complacent fantasy that the Iraq war is about bringing democracy to the Middle East.

Campos invoked the popular refrain from the fringe left – "it's all about oil". From Hewitt's

Hewitt: So you think the invasion of Iraq was about oil?

Campos: Well, ultimately, if Iraq didn't have oil, there's absolutely zero chance that our troops would be in that country. I don't think there's any real question about that.

Hewitt: Our troops are in Afghanistan. They don't have any oil.

Campos: Well, but Afghanistan is where al Qaeda was. And so, I'm sure if a country has oil or al Qaeda, yeah, then those are two reasons for invading them. I'm in favor of the invasion of Afghanistan, because I think it's a good thing to invade a country whose government was protecting al Qaeda.
Ever since President Bush (41) liberated Kuwait, we have heard the baseless charge that Bush fought Iraq because he wanted their oil. To this day they cannot demonstrate how President Bush or his "oil buddies" benefited from Kuwait's oil fields. After putting out the fires that Saddam set, did he confiscate a few rigs for U.S. consumption? No.

Today, the left continues to make this hilarious charge against President Bush (43). Attention liberals: Please explain how this works. How does President Bush benefit from Iraq's oil fields?

Now they expand the argument beyond the personal profit of the Bush family. The left claims that we fight Iraq because we depend on their oil. But this doesn't make sense.

First, our dependency is self imposed. There is plenty of oil in our own backyard under frozen tundra in Alaska and at sea dozens of miles off our shoreline. It would be far easier and cheaper to go get this oil than to fight for Iraq's.

Second, it would have been cheaper and politically safer to buy the oil from Saddam – as France and Russia did (albeit while violating U.N. sanctions and greasing the palms of state officials).

Further, it would have made sense to make a sweetheart deal with Iraq for a certain percentage of oil production to offset U.S. costs for their liberation. Instead, the President has endorsed giving Iraq a clean start by forgiving all their debts. It was President Bush who suggested that Iraq and Iraq alone should benefit from their oil fields.

However, the left has backed into an element of truth. There is an oil component to the war in Iraq. Oil made Saddam rich, powerful, and dangerous.

Oil gave Saddam the financial resources to build his army and develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapon facilities. We have learned from the Oil for Food scandal that Saddam was building a financial war chest to resume his nuclear program. France and Russia were complicit in this scam. They got oil cheap and their government officials got rich. Saddam not only garnered the revenues from oil sales, but the favor of France and Russia to support lifting U.N. sanctions. Once lifted, Saddam could cook his WMDs in private.

President Bush (43) invaded Iraq to thwart the threat that Saddam posed against his neighbors and against the U.S. After the Taliban fell in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda needed a new home. As the Clinton administration demonstrated, Iraq was already friendly to these terrorists. They trained in Iraq and they sought refuge there after fleeing Afghanistan. Bin Laden's heir apparent, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was based in Iraq long before our troops crossed its borders. Today, al-Zarqawi organizes the "insurgency" of foreign fighters to attack civilians and U.S. Troops.

Campos concedes "it's a good thing to invade a country whose government was protecting al Qaeda". But, he fails to see that Saddam was indeed protecting Al Qaeda and that both were allied in there declared war on the U.S.


Blogger Right Hook said...

Paul Harvey reported this morning that the price of oil hit a two week low today on news that Iraqi al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has assumed ambient temperature, courtesy of the US military.

This is a secondary benefit to the fact that a murderous terrorist and several of his associates will never kill again.

God bless our troops and their allies.

6/08/2006 9:45 AM  

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