Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bush Admits Iraq War Is About Oil

I thought that the Iraq war is not about oil. At least that's what the White House has insisted all along.

Not any more.

As he barnstorms across the country campaigning for Republican candidates in Tuesday's elections, Bush has been citing oil as a reason to stay in Iraq. If the United States pulled its troops out prematurely and surrendered the country to insurgents, he warns audiences, it would effectively hand over Iraq's considerable petroleum reserves to terrorists who would use it as a weapon against other countries.

"You can imagine a world in which these extremists and radicals got control of energy resources," he said at a rally here Saturday for Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.). "And then you can imagine them saying, 'We're going to pull a bunch of oil off the market to run your price of oil up unless you do the following. And the following would be along the lines of, well, 'Retreat and let us continue to expand our dark vision.' "

Bush said extremists controlling Iraq "would use energy as economic blackmail" and try to pressure the United States to abandon its alliance with Israel. At a stop in Missouri on Friday, he suggested that such radicals would be "able to pull millions of barrels of oil off the market, driving the price up to $300 or $400 a barrel." ...

Some analysts, however, said that Bush is exaggerating the impact of Iraq's oil production on world markets. Iraq has more than 112 billion barrels of oil, the second-largest proven reserves in the world. But it currently pumps just 2.3 million barrels per day and exports 1.6 million of that, according to the State Department's tracking report on the country, still short of what it produced before the invasion.

That represents a fraction of the 85 million barrels produced around the world each day and less than the surplus capacity of Saudi Arabia and other Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, meaning in a crisis they could ramp up their wells to make up for the shortfall, analysts said. The United States also has 688 million barrels of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, enough to counter a disruption of Iraqi oil for 14 months.

Even if Iraq did not sell oil to the United States, it would not matter as long as it sold it to someone because the international market is fungible and what counts is the overall supply and overall demand, according to analysts. If Iraq cut off exports altogether, it still would not have the dire effect on the world market that Bush predicts, they said. ...

The world, in fact, has already seen what would happen if Iraqi oil were cut off entirely, as Bush suggests radicals might do. Iraq effectively stopped pumping oil altogether in the months immediately after the invasion. And yet the price of oil has never topped $80, much less come anywhere near the $300 or $400 a barrel Bush cited as a possible consequence of a radical Iraqi regime withholding the country's oil.

"They're a minor exporter," said Edward Morse, managing director and chief energy economist at Lehman Brothers. "They have potential to be a greater exporter. But it's ludicrous to suggest someone could hold the world hostage by withholding oil from the market, especially a regime that needs money."

5 Comments:

Blogger Bloodstomper Barbie said...

Yes, it was about oil. It was also about letting some of our teens blow off a little steam over there. Better they burn shit down over there than burn it down over here. The more dying kids there are over there crying for their mamas or Jesus or whoever, the less moonbat liberal voters we'll have. Rock on, Rumsfeld.

11/05/2006 2:25 PM  
Blogger DrewL said...

Iraq is a minor exporter of oil, and a bellicose regime would only be cutting off its nose to spite its face by taking its oil off the world market. That would hurt Iraq a hell of a lot more than it would hurt the world's oil buyers.

It's the same old nonsense from Bush. Neither he nor his supporters know what the hell is going on.

11/05/2006 11:17 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

DrewL:

You are right that it is bullshit. But I'm thinking that he knows quite well that he is lying.

11/06/2006 9:24 AM  
Blogger Fox Slater said...

Typical left-winger: you twist words. The White House denied allegations that the war was about the United States OBTAINING oil from Iraq. No one ever said the war wasn't about protecting oil from terrorists.

12/19/2006 8:41 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Fox Slater:

Saddam Hussein was protecting the oil from terrorists perfectly well.

With strategists like you, it is no wonder that the U.S. is losing the war.

Any other bright ideas?

12/20/2006 9:27 AM  

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