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.

Without elaborating, he writes, "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

More on Greenspan's book from the New York Times.

UPDATE: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday rejected former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's statement that the Iraq war "is largely about oil."

For you new folks (if there are any) coming in: the primers are up at the top of the main page and in the right sidebar if you are just starting to learn about peak oil. We hope you find them informative.

Us MSM carefully avoids the three letter word.

not on page 2 of that's the same quote.

You made me go and look again, you are right, it's there if much less prominently.

I guess I have so much of a dislike for him that I only pay the most superficial attention to what he says.
He can claim whatever he wants, but he was the one that put the Titanic on a collision course with the iceberg.

"He can claim whatever he wants, but he was the one that put the Titanic on a collision course with the iceberg."

I could not agree more.

I think Greenspan should be sentenced to Death by Stoning - with the stone throwers made up of all the "little people" he used for financial cannon fodder to prop up his serial bubbles.

Greenspan is the ultimate Confidence Man, which made him a perfect candidate for fed chief, obtuse Oz-speak and all.

But what really amazes me, is that even now his fairy tale version of the Greatest Monetary Fraud in history sells and the PTB and MSM continue to treat this monetary golum as some sort of hero.

Yes, Iraq was about Oil -DUH!. And Greenspan aided and abetted the crime. Unfortunately, the sick phuck turned "whistleblower" years too late. And in keeping with is tradition, he turned whistleblower for the sole purpose of trying to salvage his reputation.

My hope is that others come forward and tell the REAL story of the Greenspan Fed - hopefully in a court of law where his Greenspeak will not save him or impress a jury (assuming the jury is not made up of congressional airhead politicians).

Greenspan didn't speak out against Bush and Co, he speaks for them.

He is the "look at the hand" guy who can at this point credibly say things that need to be made public, but can't be through Bush's or Cheney's mouth. He is then the puppet's puppet.

Ali Samsam Bakhtiari looks to be a similar figure. Seemingly turning against a regime, but in reality simple delivering their message. Look for people of high standing, who have recently retired, and you'll see this puppet function everywhere.

ilargi -interesting speculations...

However it's been edited out of the Newsweek version:

They couldn't have him blathering on for a whole boring 2 pages, so they cut it. Neither of the words "oil" nor "war" appears in that story.

The problem will solve itself.
But not in a nice way.

So lets see ... a bank run in Britain ... the former chairman of the Fed speaks up about the Bush administration ... and how much was the gigantic put on the European market?

Something wicked this way comes ... we heard the tremors in advance, but someone knew.

Care to expand on this comment? What exactly were the first and last events?

1) Northen Rock bank, at UK had problems (yesterday's top news here).

2) The current top news.

3) The EU Central Bank have just trow a few bilion euros to save Northen Rock (again, you can find that at yesterday's DrumBeat).

One more:

B-52's "accidentally" loaded with nuclear weapons inserted in their delivery system.

Against signed US treaties; airborne alert of nuclear weapons was canceled in 1968.

In other words, pilots in combat aircraft have not carried live nuclear weapons for decades. Merely putting them on a B-52 as opposed to a secured cargo container would be an extraordinary event, and furthermore the pilots of the bomber would have been instantly alerted by their display as to the status and kind of every munition.

People who have experience dealing with USAF procedures previously have written on blogs and forums at their utter incredulity at the official "accidental" explanation; that there is no possible way this was an accident, and that the safety and procedural checks are immense and stupendously redundant, requring multiple authorizations and serial number checks

And yes, apparently six warheads left. Five were found.

Given all of the supposed safeguards (and I believe they are numerous), and given the incident was entirely within established military operations...

How did this event become public? (who leaked it)

Or perhaps:

Why did this event become public? (why the leak)

I'm not looking for a conspiracy rant, but some educated opinions would be appreciated.

According to the initial news report the source was one or more military officers:

Commander disciplined for nuclear mistake

By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Sep 7, 2007 19:02:15 EDT

The Air Force continued handing out disciplinary actions in response to the six nuclear warheads mistakenly flown on a B-52 Stratofortress bomber from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30. The squadron commander in charge of Minot’s munitions crews was relieved of all duties pending the investigation.

It was originally reported that five nuclear warheads were transported, but officers who tipped Military Times to the incident who have asked to remain anonymous since they are not authorized to discuss the incident, have since updated that number to six.

Other comments on the web suggest that they reported it because of thier concern over: 1) unauthorized movement of nuclear weapons; 2) concern with personnel outside the regular chain of command seeking to bypass normal checks on weapon movements for purposes unknown.

Incredible. This is the "Office of Special Plans" racket all over again. Americans need to wake up that the current administration is composed of dangerous kooks.

What we have in Northern Rock is an absolutely classic bank run. The first, old, story is about how people don't believe a word they are told:

The second, new twist, is about how internet access can be turned off. Depositors who have a internet only account can be ignored:

Payouts are being slowed - a classic technique to buy time in a bank run. People who get to the front of the queue are being given checks but how good are they?

What matters now is the quality of the loan book (mostly mortgages). If it's ok, and IF someone actually wants to increase their exposure to the UK mortgage market, then Northern Rock will be taken over Monday. If not, then we have a full blown secondary banking crisis which will spread to other building societies.

Remember. Panic early because the exit isn't big enough for all.

Actually the quality of the loan book may be irrelevant even if decent, the problem is that they need to fund it with short term loans in a saturated or falling market.

Sunday entry

My, what a surprise.

Oh come off it :P Aside from the crack pot Republicans, who DIDN'T think the war was all about oil? :P

Republicans I know understand clearly it's about oil, but don't say so because those lines aren't in the script.

Oh, OK. Not crackpots then. Sock puppets.

The problem will solve itself.
But not in a nice way.

Forget the tiger! Put 1.2 million Iraqis in your tank!

Greenspan's damning comments about the war come as a survey of Iraqis, which was released last week, claims that up to 1.2 million people may have died because of the conflict in Iraq - lending weight to a 2006 survey in the Lancet that reported similarly high levels.,,2170237,00.html

This is more killing than Saddham accomplished. A proud accomplishment for America and Americans.

For numerical perspective:

In 1991 after the Iraqi forces were expelled from Kuwait, the regime of Saddam Hussein cracked down on uprisings in the Kurdish north and Shia south. It is stated between this time over 40,000 Kurds were executed and 60,000 or more Shi'ites.

It should be noted that some of this killing was undertaken with chemical weapons. The precursor chemicals and related technology had been supplied to Saddam by the USA.

It is a good thing that the western nations have immense respect for the sanctity of life and that the term "genocide" has no application to ragheads.

saddam was trying to rule people, not kill them all.

It is much easier to create a colony if you eliminate the existing population. Ask the Israelis' George Washington:


"Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly." Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine, Complete Diaries, June 12, 1895 entry.


In fairness, his contemporary Jabotinsky said the Arabs had to be wiped out as the Americans had the Indians. So it's not like we haven't done this before.

Especially if you can eliminate the existing population without leaving home:

The Air Force plans to deploy 170 Predators and 70 Reapers over the next three years. "It is possible that in our lifetime we will be able to run a war without ever leaving the US," Lt Col David Branham told the New York Times.

The result of the stepped up air war, according to the London-based organization Iraq Body Count, is an increase in civilian casualties. A Lancet study of "excess deaths" caused by the Iraq war found that air attacks were responsible for 13% of the deaths — 76,000 as of June 2006 — and that 50% of the deaths of children under 15 were caused by air strikes.

And the Americans wonder why the Iraqis are trying to kill them and drive them out of Iraq. And Der BushFuhrer claims that this is making the American people safer?

I didn't. I always tought it was mainly about moving govenrment's money into private (contractors) hands.

But I am much more surprised to see that the US governemnt really belived that war was a viable solution than simply discovering that it was all about oil. There is no better way to spend oil than wars.

who DIDN'T think the war was all about oil

I do not.

Many interests are at play.

1) Economy 'needing a bubble' to avoid recession - putting money into items that are consumed/destroyed/does not produce additional productivity is a fine 'sink' for money
2) If you are on the "military" side of the "military industrial Congressional complex." means a check will be written to you.
3) The People and The Constitution cuts a "war time President" slack/gives The Leader extra-special power.
4) Sadam:
4a) Made a mistake of believing another Bush's statement - the one about foreign adventurism
4b) Wanted to break the dollar's power - and did what he could.
5) A previously pliable leader was becoming less flexible - why not replace him?

And one that gets little play:

6) Potable water. Iraq has "more" than many in that region. One web page back 2-3 years ago made a claim that global rainfall changes will only help Iraq's rainfall changes - but I have no idea how true that is, what with GW and rainfall being in the future and all.

The comment deserves a little bit of analysis. What saddens him? Not the war, but the political inconvenience of having to falsely present it, even though everyone knows what it is really about. Why is it politically inconvenient? Because to tell the truth would be to admit that it is an unjustified and naked act of aggression. But if everyone already knows its for oil, then everyone also knows this already. Still, what saddens him? Not the war. And not that people don't know, because they do. What saddens him? That the people cannot yet be directly told the war is about oil. Still, what saddens him? What difference does it make if we play this little game? What's to get sad about?

There's only one possible conclusion: he would rather it be possible that the war aims could be directly spelled out. But again, what's preferable about that? How would things be better? What would be better if it were possible to directly tell the American people: this is a war for oil -- let's go get it?

That would be better because it would mean an end to the debate about the morality of the war -- there would be those who support the empire and its objectives, and those who don't who would be obliged, minimally, to just shut up. It would mean that a majority of the American people had imbibed the spirit if not the letter of Ayn Rand's teachings.

I think it is about oil with respect to the point that Iraq would have been ignored if its primary export were, say, cauliflower. On the other hand, wasn't this war very much about Israel? That doesn't preclude the war being very much about oil, but if Iraq were not near Israel, would it have been perceived as much of a threat?

Further, to say the war is about Israel is not necessarily say it was wrong but to just state one of the primary causes.

Regardless, however, the war was wrong, especially if it was about oil and especially if we were lied to. If we choose to be an empire, let's be up front about it so we can debate the issue on its merits. Empires that pretend not to be empires seem more odious that empires which make no apologies.

We will continue to fight these wars about oil, of course, as long as we see it as our God given right to continue happy motoring and do things like build 5,000 plus foot McMansions. It would be refreshing to see a bumper sticker which read, "Damn Right, It's About Oil, How Do You Think I'm Going To Run This Gas Hog?"

But this was has also been about the neo con wet dream, the wet dream of privatizing the world, starting with Iraq. This war has also been about outsourcing the government and the military and the attendant obscence profits thereto.

What saddens him? What about the idea that obviously democracy is dying?

Democracy is supposedly based on the free distribution of information and competition of ideas. The fact such an immensely important truth can not be spelled out freely and debated, is symptomatic to that democracy is dying. The corruption inherent to our econo-political system is slowly suffocating it... or what is left of it.

Rule by the people is Democracy. This can be fiddle flocked in an infinite number of reasoned diatribes until we all get bluefaced and blown beyond...The bottom line is this; The United States was never intended to be some all inclusive Democracy. It is/was to be a Republic. Now, regardless of whatever abstract leadership has been deemed/supplanted to service this ongoing unworkable political farce does not really matter. Why? Once a societie's money/currency is unnaccountable, then it really does not matter which side of thee said political sphere one rest their bleated opinions upon. The core of honest currency is the stone landing in the great pond (thee Epi center of honest weights and measures)--The preponderances, effects, propositioned motivations, indebtfulness for consumed nonsense, and on and on and on is thus the rippled outcomes stemming from either this false core or this honest core. The outliers will let us know probably when it is much too late. Patching up the donkey or elephant's ass with a new greenish plaid diaper doesnt mean it still wont be quickly filled with more shit.

There is a sovereign currency solution. Great societies are not borne from collective thinktank claptrap nor will their problems be solved by ongoing governmental orders when their issuance of currency is a growing fallacy.

The empire building nonsense and conjecture has this currency fallacy being mimed as a sturdy foundation.... Whatever. BS begets BS until the bluff is called in.

Shrub bashing is comical to me, because the same overwhelming democratic/repub/makes no damned difference majority, will basicly be phucked if another alliance is allowed to guard those ME black goo reserves. This society can not even begin to comprehend the truth, yet they lambaste the efforts of shrub and company like it is for some opaque distanced cause that wollers well beneath their superior green prius panderings. Laughable indeed. I have never been a supporter of any Clintons or Bushes and I find it beyond laughable that the elite fiat money launderers expect us to choke on these two families for a quarter of century-- our wonderous offered up selections for ongoing leadership...Whatever again, Greenspunspin or not.

I will write in Ron Paul, or cast my vote by not voting :o) I know better.


I agree with at leasts some of this. Those arguing in favor of going and getting what oil is left ought have the decency to openly admit the motivation. Someone mentioned a bumper sticker. I like: Damn right were taking their oil!

Democratic candidates arguing against the war I think are ethically bound to
1) exlain why we are there
2) put forth an alternative strategy of dealing with our oil dependancy and explicitly stating it means less "stuff".

Do you want war or a garden? I'll go with the latter.

I hear what you are saying, but you raise a question here. Because I am sad in the same way you surmise Greenspan is sad. Because we all know what it is about - oil - but we cannot talk about it honestly and we have to dance the dance, play the game.

I made a somewhat crude comment a while back in a different forum that if you still think this war is not about oil your judgment is not just suspect, it's been tried convicted and is serving life in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison (with thanks to Office Space).

But people still out there hide behind this trigger for cognitive dissonance supported by the pronouncements of our leaders and the Washington elite who figure that everyone knows the truth so we can keep playing the game.

But it is only by having the honest conversation that we can make the American people ask honestly whether it is worth it. i.e. this is the only thing that gives them the clear understanding of how serious it is what we are doing, and honestly how the rest of the world views us (hint: we AIN'T number one, and they don't all love us because of our rock'n'roll and blue jeans)

This will force the American people to ask - why the heck are we persevering here? This would force the leaders to make their case. Just why is it they feel it's so damn important to seize this all - aren't we flush with oil? isn't it going to last centuries? can't our lifestyles go on forever?

Then we can have a grown up peak oil conversation. I have said for a long time that an honest presidential platform would be good about now. Someone that says:

1. Here's what's meant by Peak Oil
2. Here's when we think it's coming
3. Here's the consequences
4. Yeah oh shit!
5. So, I am gonna give you a referendum where you have two choices a) you completely change your lifestyles in every way and we make a WWII style effort to get off oil and save as many of us as we can in the post-Peak crash; b) we go on killing brown-skinned people - I'll do whatever you choose, but there's no skirting responsibility for this. You the American people got us here. You the American people have to take ownership for the mess.

Ain't gonna happen. But I, too, am sad in a similar way to the way you attribute to Greenspan. And I ain't read Ayn Rand.
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

I'd vote for option A - if anyone would actually ask me, which they won't.

yeah me too

plus the truth is option b at best buys time before you have to take option a anyway
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Nice sincere thoughts. :o)

"I'll do whatever you choose, but there's no skirting responsibility for this. You the American people got us here. You the American people have to take ownership for the mess."

This is absolutely it.
This is why I harp on honest mediums of trade and currency/money.

What is involved in this ownership mess? Really? Just what is it? Is it not the eventual outcome of a societal fallacy built on unaccountable fiat with a clause of ever increased cheap energy providing ever increased happiness?

Consult the initial splash if you want anything close to the truth...Thee otherwised proclaimed geniuses' have many different reverberations/revelations inbetween the progression of outward ripples of thee latest fiat splashdowns of mind abduction.

The real test will be known once the liquid mobility resources peaks and speaks. The reaction will also bring into focus that black mammoned & darkened ideal without as much greased up faux greenery substance behind it. (Unbacked fiat) This is that abstract nonsense we have all been chasing in the growth marathon of so-called life squinting existence. And, yet we have all of this in a world with many more fiat billions of populace chasing that same easy liquid energy component into a better mobility of getting some-nowhere as quickly as possible....Really, what is the rush?

Kunstler's previous book title sums it up best as the "long emergency". Very true, there is not going to be a snapping point of "all awakening" in my humble estimation. It will be this long parade of events working from sequence to sequence as if it were just some big fateful mystery unto life as we knew it....Ongoing shit meeting fan-blades will be just another part of that adjustment.

Human laws only can sustainably work when they do not tramp and run beyond the laws of nature.


Holy smokes! Next thing you know, Cheney will admit that the Native American genocide was "largely about land" or China will spill the beans that the Mongol invasion of Europe was "largely about plunder."

or China will spill the beans that the Mongol invasion of Europe was "largely about plunder."

Or as Forrest Gump would say.

A Plunder is as a Plunder Does

I do not wish to be picky, but the Mongols did not have anything whatsoever to do with China, that is, until they conquered it and (amongst other things) forced Chinese males to adopt ridiculous haircuts on pain of death. So the analogy is not exactly apt.

The Mongols conquered China----
Is our children learning?
But most Americans could not identify Mongolia on a map-
Inner or Outer.

If you want to be really picky, Cheney's ancestors probably had no personal hand in killing Native Americans, either. Thanks for suggestions about better analogies! :)

The foreign press (e.g. Israel and Britain) have been covering this war for oil pretty frankly. The fact that Greenspan's comment would SHOCK! anyone is proof that America lacks a free press.

The haircuts thing was the Manchu not the Mogols same style of warfare and they had Mongol allies, they became the Qing dynasty in 1644. The Mongols were the Yuan Dynasty from 1271 to 1368.

Tahoevallylines ASPO article 374 Second Dimension Surface Transport Logistics Platform

Just as we getting an understanding of living with Ike's Military-Industrial Complex, we are now shifting to the new reality- the Oil Empire. (With apologies to THAT website) Or is it one and the same with a new marquee?

The task is to do some fundamental re-orientation of oil consumption to survive this, or survive as long as possible, maybe. The Greenspan methodology is to tweak things, so here is a tweak on the way we use oil, something to throw the Oil Tarbaby off guard so we can keep moving, maybe. The USA had a mix of transportation modes in the first 2/3rds of the last century, much the same stuff as now, except the rail component was much more in evident.

To use an example that can be readily researched, see the Pacific Electric System in Southern CA, LA & the inland empire, as it was called- Pasadena, Redlands, Gardena, etc. A comprehensive matrix of daytime passenger rail lines, night freight and victuals, local produce terminals for truck pick-up & delivery. All over the USA we can still find remnants of branchline rail corridor, some with the rails still in rusty repose.

What we need to make our way through the initial Peaking Oil impacts is a program that permits deliberate and orderly shift from long-haul trucking and other 100% highway dependent transport. This will, with much effort and adjustment to be sure, get us into a new flow of commerce and distribution habits that can directly link a renewables generation expansion to electric railways, vastly expanded in capacity & reach.

The wonderful thing about the rail branchline rehab methodology is the local nature of the myriad branch corridors, lending to local initiative and partnerships with regional rail operators large & small, to get the rehab process going. Uncle Sap will have to play catch-up. and figure a way to capitalize some of the larger features with financing actually dedicated or collateralized with the project(s) themselves. Sort of like B of A partnered with locals to underwrite the Golden Gate Bridge.

In the case of the railway rehab program, collateralization is predicated on future traffic shifts, income from freight and mail, package shipments with UPS, FedEx, etc. Wal-Mart for another possible partner at the get-go, as they protect their warehouse on wheels- now more trains and fewer trucking miles.

Let's start a dialogue on the actual things we can start doing between now and 2020; we should be well under way by 2010 to succeed... Is there a Presidential candidate that knows the meaning of "Second Dimension Surface Transport Logistics Platform"? I wonder...

Railroads mean unions - and independent industrial unions are as dangerous to Republicans as they are to communists. Think about it - and keep in mind that socialist Europe, where unions still play a major role, except in the Great Britain Thatcher created, is considered to be the ultimate example of a failing society, either because of Eurabia fantasies (consider for a moment how a quarter of Europe will be muslim in less than generation from its ca. 4% - that is a lot of islamic sex, to put it mildly) or because of its long vacation times, decent unemployment benefits, universal health care, and still functioning democratic institutions.

Perhaps no one else has noticed, but the Republicans are welded to the neocons and their nonsensical world view on one side, and the disloyal Christian Right and their nonsensical view on the other. They're not dead yet, but they might as well be if they can't remake themselves, and I don't think their base will let them.

You just can't get elected with 25% of the voters supporting you unless there is election rigging and Senator Leahy seems inclined to slowly barbecue those who've involved themselves in such things ...

Railroads don't have to mean unions. There's no reason for it, it's just always been that way. But we got a verification to how bloody irrational employers (be they hard-core capitalists or communists, or something in between) can be about unions, here in Norway:
There is one state railroad company, NSB, and one small independent one, the Oslo airport train. The latter pays a lot more, so much more that half of all railroad personnel educated last year was snapped up by them (and they run a single line!). Sweden also pays very well. NSB pilots are aging, and have been warning for years about the lack pf recruitement. Recently it came to a head: lots of people simply quit, and more refused to do overtime. Result: delays and cancellations all over the place.
They dug their own grave in NSB. Apparently their hatred of unions was so strong that they were determined to punish their employees with sub-market wages, even at great cost to themselves. I can think of no better explanation for their utter idiocy.

The private Oslo airport train runs only one line, the one that can be made profitable (aiport, anyone).

If you want to make the whole country be accessible via rail, one must subsidize from the profitable lines to the unprofitable lines. Balance is the key.

The alternative is that you only operate rails where it makes profit and let the rest of the people rot where they are.

Another similar situation is with postal services, which might be hit by liquid fuel crisis issues in the coming years.

No private postal operator wants to deal with the whole of the country. They only want to deliver postal services where it makes a lot of money (most dense, biggest cities, logistical hubs).

But countries do not function, if only their most dense cities function.

I do admit that public service utilities (railways can be seen as such) can be badly run, but the alternative, private way of doing isn't always the better. Look at what happened to British rail: quality went down, customer complaints went up, most of the money was embezzled in one way or another and the private train companies went bankrupt. Hurray for the both the public/private way of doing things!

One has to be able to find working balance, if one is to make a working system.

All partisan ideological mumbo-jumbo about 'free markets are the best' or 'only public services can offer acceptable prices' must be forgotten.

But are we ready for that? With rail? With Oil? With nuclear energy?

The challenges we are facing in coming decades are such in magnitude and depth that we need to start moving past these ideological potholes quickly and find the most likely working solutions, based on science, not on political ideology.

Unfortunately, I see no sign of seeing that happening.

Even with Greenspan saying out loud the obvious (in order to draw attention to himself and his new book?).

There is a third way that could work better: Nationalize all toll goods (rail, postal, electric, etc.) and set up each under a directly elected board of trustees. By having the trustees directly elected by the people, the tension between cost of service and quality of service can be resolved through the feedback of the voters, who are also the owners, who are also the customers.

When such enterprises are run directly by the government under state socialism, you lose this feedback loop. They are just one more program to be managed or mismanaged for other political ends. When such enterprises are run by private sector corporations, they cream off the most profitable customers with high quality & low cost service, and ignore the rest -- even the majority -- of the population.

Unfortunately, the scheme I have described has hardly been tried anywhere.

A more ambitious program would nationalize all network based systems. Owing to metcalfs law:

all incumbents participating who have previously built large networks are not usurpable by newcomers. These are typically called natural monopolies.

The peoples government should be responsible for the underlying infrastructure of gas/hydro/electricity/fuel/internet/phoneline/fiber/roads else the natural result is monopoly and degraded service.

By having the trustees directly elected by the people, the tension between cost of service and quality of service can be resolved

That may work in a theoretical, intelligent and homogeneous society. In a place like the US with heavy numbers in the centers of cities you would end up with the inmates voting themselves the asylum.

In actual empirical fact, it seems that the inmates currently vote themselves miles of highway concrete in sparsely populated conservative areas.

A little attention to rail and center cities seems quite appropriate to me.

And why the assumed prejudice against cities? It seems so fashionable.

> And why the assumed prejudice against cities? It seems so fashionable.

Rural areas have more voting power by (extremely stupid) design. Thus politicians want to favorise them. However, they also have to spend quite some effort justifying this, because they don't want to lose the weaker city votes either.

Since politicians are quite convincing (especially when they agree, as they do on this), a lot of people go around believing it's actually _fair_ that square kilometers should have votes instead of people.

That a lot of city prejudice comes out of this should not be suprising; surely we'd have more than 1/3 of a rural vote if we weren't such twats?

It sounds a lot like America's state university systems, and I would say that's historically the best part of America's education system compared to the rest of the world. Yeah, their operations are sometimes political, but they do the hard work of remedial education for unqualified high school grads, the costs (until recently) were manageable for most American families, and I would put state schools like Michigan and Texas up against any in the achievement of educating a wide variety of people in a vast number of fields.

I vote for the California system. With two separate university networks and a fabulous junior college program, California has probably given more people better educations for less money than any other place in the world. But it, too, is becoming too expensive for a growing part of the population. In the late sixties a semester at a California junior college cost 5 bucks. That's per semester, not per class or per unit. At the same time the state university system was charging about $60 per semester. My calculus book was less than $10.

Last year I wanted to take an economics class at the jc in Santa Rosa. Tuition, books and parking would have been over $300 for a single 3 unit class. I went to the county library and checked out a book instead.


Check out Alan Drake's Electrification of Rail plan. He's been making some wonderful progress in getting it noticed, and its the best plan I've seen. Alan's giving a workshop at the ASPO-USA Houston Conference October 17-20th. Alan tends to post in the morning, so if you'll check back here around 8 AM California time tomorrow I'm certain he'll answer you. Bob Ebersole

A valid POV, with a different emphasis than mine.

The ton-miles are on the Class I RR mainlines (80/20 rule).

My first emphasis is to electrify and otherwise expand capacity on the large arteries, and expand the capillaries "later" (absolutely nothing against rebuilding local lines, just not my first priority).

I think of the CSX proposal for Washington DC to Miami (completely grade separated, straightened, two freight tracks for 50 to 70 mph general freight, 1 passenger/low & medium density freight track for up to 110 mph service (avg 87 mph with stops) Richmond to Miami, 2 pax tracks Richmond to DC) and I want this template on a number of other main lines. Unplug and speed up the main lines to better serve the branch lines & intermodal "last mile".

Best Hopes for More & Better Rail,

Alan Drake

Is there a Presidential candidate that knows the meaning of "Second Dimension Surface Transport Logistics Platform"? I wonder...

Ummm.. if they were reading US Army logistics handbooks from the 1950's maybe so, on the other hand if you just said "railways" then I suspect they would, those are the things used to move coal and corn to the ethanol plants where the farm voters live, right? :}

However, it must be noted that this is from a man that thinks the fall of communism caused the housing bubble - without noticing that the Chinese are still communists.

Of course both Iraq wars were about oil, something so obvious that I don't need confirmation about it from anyone.

The Chinese communists are trying to bury their customers. Not even Khrushchov was that ambitious, but that won't stop them trying. Other than that, Greenspan still doesn't get the finite nature of resources.

No, the Chinese communists, being the last true heirs of Leninist thought, will drive the running dog capitalists into the ground through the power of the working classes - 'The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.' -- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

A couple more from Lenin's monster top 20 hits -
'Capitalists are no more capable of self-sacrifice than a man is capable of lifting himself up by his own bootstraps.'

'The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.'

'It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.'

'Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in ancient Greek republics: Freedom for slave owners.'

OK, I must be missing the humour here, as expat is a very smart guy. Blame it on the drink (you all think I can bear to trawl through 100-plus possibly 'it's all population!' posts without being hammered?). But, the Chinese are only _nominally_ communists. Communism, indeed socialism, indeed even _the most miserable equivalent of the Anglo-Saxon welfare state_, does not exist in China. The CCP recently admitted _capitalists_ to party membership ... as if the Pope were to say that Satanists and atheists could all be members of the Church. Really.

There are no communists in China, at least not ones that aren't marginalized, serving out jail sentences, or under house arrest. _China is a capitalist society_. Which is why it is so utterly vile and foul and degraded.

"Which is why it is so utterly vile and foul and degraded."

Which is an upturn, eh?

An improvement from utterly vile and foul and degraded and foolish.

Sorry - the humor is more a matter of perspective than anything else. The Chinese are not really Leninists, but ever since the Cold War ended, a certain segment of the American military-industrial complex has been looking for the next opponent to justify its existence. Further, when Clinton was president, his dealings with the 'communists' in terms of satellite/aviation technology was among a litany of complaints by conservatives against him.

Yet, it is pretty much beyond dispute that the Chinese are now a major source of American 'wealth.' Lenin's insight can actually be applied if you merely replace it with a possibly more universal formulation 'the rich will always sell the rope to hang the poor with.' Then you avoid the discussion of whether the American elite are capitalists or the Chinese elite socialists.

I need a drink, actually.

Please consider the fundamentals:
1. At what point in time does killing people turn from criminal murder to crimes against humanity? You pick the point, but at that point the United Nations, if it is to have meaning, must hold leaders in contempt. Sadam far exceeded that point.
2. The al-Qeada battle plan was to insight sectarian violence so they can leverage forces far beyond their ability to recruit. Congress is striving with every breath to surrender to the success of that battle plan.
3. There are more plans.

I was in Iraq. My business partners son died there. My college roommate’s on was badly injured there. None of us did it for oil, we did it for you. 911 is a day in a sequence of days.

There is a time to hold political leaders accountable for their mistakes. When soldiers are in the field is not the time. The vast majority of American’s were in favor of war when we started this. We broke it, we own it until it is fixed.

The vast majority of Congress voted to go to war. “I was mis-led.” Is the worst kind of whining from leaders whose oath is to lead. My experience as a military commander is that leaders are accountable for everything they do or failed to do. There are no “do-overs.”

Perhaps we need universal service; everyone should have a child at risk. Then maybe we would choose our wars more carefully. Maybe then when we go to war, we will go to win.

Peak Oil, if we do not act in advance to mitigate it, is more likely than less to propagate a sequence of wars.
It costs less to move less

You are fooling yourself if you think you did it for me. Next time, ask me first, and I will save you the trouble.


You are right. I believe most of us did/are doing it for people who care about liberty in the world.

Make no mistake; we have mismanaged Iraq and it should be accounted for at some point in time. But not when surrendering to al-Qeada's battle plan is the result.

McCain understands the cost of failure. Please listen.

Peak oil, if not mitigated, is going to precipitate wars on an incredible scale.

Peak oil, if not mitigated, is going to precipitate wars on an incredible scale.

Well, I see NO evidence that PO will be mitigated so therefore we will see wars that will dwarf all others.

It's sad really.

I think we need to work very hard, immediately.

Why worry about payback, when payback is survival.

It is best to dig the well before you are thirsty.

I had a think about this and came to the conclusion that a world war is unlikely for the simple reason that nothing has changed, nuclear wars means the destruction of everything.

We still possess the mutual destruction deterrent.

It may end up being variation of the prisoner's dilemma.
I'm hoping the major powers will realise that a little bit is better than nothing.
If Russia and the USA or some other major countries get together it may deter any exchanges.

Who the hell knows really, just guessing.......

Conflict will probably be local and severe.
Fights in a line at the gas station will be the start of it.
Then fights at the supermarket.
Then fights at the soup kitchen.
Then civil war.
Then ongoing guerilla war.
Then Kevin Costner will be the postman.

I have a best case hope but I expect the worst and hope for the best.

I have been working for 10 years to build solar powered mobility networks.

I believe they will substantially provide for the niche of highly repetitive travel. Why move a ton to move a person?

There is a great study commissioned by the US Senate in 1974 asking how to permanently so oil risk. The 1975 answer from DOT was automated guideways. Our networking capabilities have expanded far beyond anything thought of at that time.

We can build a Physical-Internet, a packet switched network that move more than data packets. Fully loaded vehicles require 6.4 kw. Solar collectors mounted on the rails can collect 7.4 kw. Energy neutral mobiltiy. But as with the Internet, we have to do our homework and build sustainable infrastructure.

There is a synergy between the distributed need of the transportation network for power and the distributed ability of the sun to deliver that power.

Gadgetbahn, almost certainly not practical and cost effective.

A distraction and diversion away from practical and workable solutions.


When you like rail so much, why are you so hostile to ultra-light rail?

As for diverting attention, we are spending our money not taxpayer's. If the network at Heathrow fails, if our effort at the Mall of America fails, then we will fade away.

Personally, I think we need to adopt policies of trying nearly all possible solutions and keep those that work. We are in serious trouble.

There are several cities today that would have workable Light Rail lines were it not for the distractions of promises by gadgetbahn advocates (all of which disappeared very quickly after the rail vote lost or the movement towards workable rail stalled in FUD).

Austin Texas would be opening a 20 mile Light Rail line just about now, if 1,004 out of more than a quarter million votes had changed from No to Yes. The difference was promoters for PRT and monorail making wildly unrealistic claims for better technology during the campaign. Said promoters packed and left just after the referendum and their promises evaporated into nothingness.

We cannot "Crash Everything". jPods are almost certainly uneconomic and full of bugs that will takes a number of years to even get operating properly. Why waste capital and energy on a near certain failure, distracting us (see Austin) from real solutions ?

Let the Japanese, Brits or whoever, build, operate and debug the latest gadgetbahn technology and then, if it makes sense (economic & operating), the backward USA can import it.

I do not, and cannot, know your motivations, but I judge that your efforts are quite harmful in effect.

You follow in the footsteps of many earlier gadgetbahn du jour promoters who have done significant harm.


FUD = Fear Uncertainty Doubt


You seem to view expansion of electric rail (both light and heavy) as the most effective way of preserving transportation services in the face of fossil fuel decline. According to the EIA the US electricity generation mix in the first half of 2007 was 72% fossil fuel, 18% nuclear, 6% hydroelectric, and 3% other. The fossil fuel portion is primarily coal and natural gas. From what I understand about North American natural gas supplies it seem likely that the contribution from natural gas will decline over the next decade or so. From the point of view of global warming, ocean acidification etc. it seem desirable that coal’s contribution should decline as well. What do you view as the long term source of power for the grid?

Today 0.19% of US electricity is used for transportation (NYC, DC, Philly, Chicago, Atlanta, LA etc subways + Light Rail + Amtraks NE Corridor + LIRR). A ROUGH guesstimate is that 6% to 7% of current (about 35x as much) electrical consumption, could get us by.

I stalled in creating a non-GHG North American grid. That last 10% of FF is a difficult problem to solve economically !

Wind 51%
Hydro 19%
Nuclear 26%
Pumped Storage 15%
Pumped Storage -19%
Net Pumped Storage -4%
Solar PV 5%
Solar Thermal 3%
Geothermal 2%
Biomass 1%
Multi-Year Storage -3%

is my latest allocation by GWh/year.


Roger K and Alan

Here are the numbers for Ultra-light rail. Applicable for highly repetitive short distance movement of people and goods:

JPod power consumption is about 4 kW at 25 mph.

It takes 2.4 minutes to travel a mile, or 0.04 hours. Energy consumed to travel a mile is 4 kW x 0.04 hr or 0.16 kW-hr.

This is 160 Watt-hours. Electricity at $0.0747 per kW-hr, which includes taxes. Power cost to move the JPod one mile is thus 0.16 kW-hr x $0.0747 / kW-hr = $0.012. Slightly more than a penny per mile.

Solar collectors mounted on the top of the rails harvests between 55-100 kw-hr per mile. For the most part, there is a synergy between the transportation networks distributed need for power with the distributed availability of sunshine to provide that power.


Both Alan and Bill's pet projects have merits. I judge Alan's to be an easily decidable national initiative and I agree that the whole gadgetbahn du jour stuff is an issue - distraction from the need to economize serves the status quo. Rail electrification has to go in first when bulk travel is the issue.

I've talked at length with Bill and while I don't agree that the whole planet is going to get jpods I think there are some applications where it is absolutely the right thing. In particular the overhead lines will play well in areas where telecom fiber needs to be placed. Airports, high density foot traffic areas (Seattle waterfront?), and any place that would like the additional security of visitors arriving with nothing more than backpacks as opposed to driving are all obvious candidates.

We have overhead people movers for fun in a couple of locations here in Iowa and they do well in that role. Perhaps an amusement park is the natural first installation location?

I'd like to see a linear jpod install done and then the next steps taken for routing cars. I recall very clearly when DIA stood for Doesn't Include Airplanes rather than Denver International Airport, and all this was due to automatic baggage routing issues. A city with tremendous traffic problems and perhaps water obstacles is the obvious first target for anything more than a novelty install - Seattle, Portland, or some other location like that ... or perhaps Bill's first target of the Mall of America in the Minneapolis St. Paul area.

Just my implementation engineer's $0.02 ... something to displease both sides of the discussion :-)

Alan--gadgetbahn seems to be a term of easy dismissal. So far no modern form of Personal Rapid Transit has been built, but efforts are underway to try. Certain applications may be quite beneficial where light rail is ineffective or very expensive. Certainly light rail does much better than its critics credit, but it is not the right choice in every circumstance. IF the Heathrow application proves valuable, airports and other congested areas might be better served by PRT than by buses or light rail. The fact that there are bugs to be worked out ought not to be a reason to block its development. Have there been no bugs in airplanes? Light rail? Buses? Many airport rail systems have been incredibly expensive for the service they deliver. If PRT can deliver better service at lower cost, why not? On the other hand, overpromising and underdelivering seems to be par with PRT so far. We shall see.

The Japanese seem to have a significant cultural bias towards tinkering with gadgetbahn. The Japanese have an excellent existing rail infrastructure (not so true for the other major form of existing non-oil transportation, bicycles).

A number of other nations also have excellent non-oil transportation systems and may be inclined to develop PRT.

My POV, is let those with the luxury of an installed infrastructure experiment with, debug and develop PRT to "fill in the gaps". By the time that they do, the USA may have a basic infrastructure in place and we can order a few.

The USA does not need to "fill in the gaps". We have a few isolated Urban Rail systems (perhaps 5, NYC, DC, Boston, Philly, Chicago, soon Portland) and some more isolated lines AND THAT IS IT !

The USA does not have gaps to fill, we have nothing or next to nothing in most US cities.

Let us build the basics first, the lines that will be direly needed post-Peak Oil. And only then worry about filling in the gaps. I reflect again of the 20 mile Austin Texas light rail system that could be opening just about now. Add another 35 to 70 miles (Austin is also moving forward on bicycles) and Austin would have the basics of a good non-oil transportation system. THEN buy a Japanese PRT system if one is needed for a specific application.

But PRT & monorail promoters sold PRT (and monorail) as alternatives/substitutes for Light Rail. Result is a minor commuter rail line (conventional) in Austin of questionable utility several years from now.

That was also the sales pitch of Bill James of jPod at first if memory serves.

BTW, FAA procedures and funding almost guarantee high cost, low functionality gadgetbahn.



There is a public meeting this week set to discuss the Atlanta/Chattanooga bullet train proposal. I understand that the train is supposed to connect Atlanta airport to Chattanooga airport. I like the idea of an Atlanta/Chattanooga rail connection but I have my doubts about the wisdom of spending this huge amount of money just to connect two airports which are not near anything in either city. It is being promoted locally as a way to boost traffic out of the Chattanooga airport by relieving some pressure from Hartsville(Atlanta), this in a county that is asking for a variance from EPA to avoid being declared out of compliance on air quality again and therefore losing significant federal funding. I suppose that since Chattanooga has no significant public transportation (only buses) at the moment, that the airport could become the hub of a public transportation system, but it would seem that the downtown would be better for a hub.

The train would connect Atlanta visitors to MARTA (Atlanta subway) at the airport but I see little to recommend this. In some respects, a solution looking for a problem (at lest with my limited local knowledge).

Best Hopes,


So far no modern form of Personal Rapid Transit has been built

Nope. For under 1.5 kWs I can go 25 MPH already. If I put myself in a wind screen, that number drops.

AQ wasn't in Iraq until we invaded.

Doing it for people who care about liberty is bullshit. It is their job to get it, not ours to give it to them. Try worrying about our liberty, as it was given us in something called the Constitution.

al-Qeada is a network. Learn about networks.

There are touch points everywhere. There are points of synergy everywhere.

Look at the American Revolution. Two disconnected points, Washington crossing the Delaware and Thomas Paine's Common Sense were connected but not coordinated. Combined, they made our present future.

If you think the future is a coordinated one, then you deserve it.

Both the US and al-Qeada have defined the battle as Iraq. We As such, and as much as I wish it were not so, Iraq is most likely the future of the world.

Shrub, not AQ, defined the battle as Iraq. They weren't there until we invaded. They were in Afghanistan, where we should be.

Darn, am glad you helped educate me.

I did not know that the Achille Lauro, the US embassies in Kenny and Tansznia and the USS Cole were all in Afghanistan.

I would have sworn the World Trade Centers were in New York.

It is a network, touch points of synergy. I think we better rally our faster than they do theirs.

I am pretty sure it is a race. Global Warming and Peak Oil just add to the consequences.

I see, so you're saying that we should declare war on everyone, since their network has "touch points" everywhere? Hmm, but we only declared war on the minor "touch point" of Iraq. I prefer Greenspan's explanation.

No. I hate that the military is being thrown into the breach because we did not fine-tune with the political, intelligent and special operations options.

Anytime we use the military, is because we failed at other options. War is a spectrum of events. Like Peak Oil, did does not come at you by surprise.

I've never seen such a deluded mind in here. Do you really believe that you fought for freedom?

Do you really believe in everything that papa tells you?

Do you believe that the rethorics of a leader are equal to his real intentions?

Do you think you can't be misled by anyone, just because you've been there?

And do you think that a person that kills to steal their oil is somehow a freedom fighter?

Why didn't you invade Cuba then, if you are so inclined to save liberty? Couldn't be that hard.

I can hear your thoughts. "He doesn't understand, he's just another idiot patronizing me"

And I lend you my thoughts. You are just another denier. Just like the germans were in post-war, just like the communists after knowing about the gulags or Tianammen, or just like the americans post vietnam war.

I can hear you:

    "you WANT the truth?
    you CAN'T HANDLE the truth!"

And I can hear your soul:

    Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

For the record, I am entitled to the truth and to the freedom you so aspire to serve and miserably fail to do so. I am entitled to not being invaded just because you want my backyard stuff. I am entitled to call you on justice. Because all the nazis that were in court in Nuremberg, they also said, we're given orders. You, on the other hand, helped to commit those crimes, and still you really believe in what you've done. Ignorance is bliss and the main engine of devious cruelty. The main engine of millions' death. You are guilty my friend. Guilty of ignorance and denial.

Learn. Have the pain. It will heal you. But not before crumbling everything you have always believed to be true.

Only then are you prepared to face the future. By now, you are nothing more than a dangerous sheep that will do everything papa tells you to do, convinced of his good faith and reason.

Congress, not me voted to start the war.

My point is that once you break something, abandoning it is likely to cost more than fixing it.

But it is hard to say for sure.

As for standing on a wall, my personal belief is that we should have universal service similar to the Swedes and Swiss.

The military is the greatest concentration of power controlled by the fewest people. For it to remain subservient to the nation, it needs to be an integral aspect of the nation. For the citizen to be a wise ruler, there should be a personal experience to know if what is claimed as "national security" seem true or not.

In 1857, the people of India rose up in brutal rebellion against the theft of their lands by the most evil corporation in history, the British East India Company and its mercenaries. After a massive bloodbath, the British government conquered India and conveniently replaced "free enterprise" with white supremacy as a justification for British tyranny. But its atrocities against the Indian freedom fighters were so hideous that Queen Victoria actually apologized after winning her valuable prize - and she had the sickening gall to say as part of that apology that Britain would make it up to India by ruling it.

90 years later the Brits got the hell out before their weakened army could be slaughtered. In the interim, they abandoned free trade for an oppressive global bureaucracy designed to relieve the pressure from their own hideously unjust domestic class system by creating colonial jobs for redneck henchmen. Their need to justify exploitation of brown people reversed their ideology from the freeing of slaves in the 1830s to the proclamation of white supremacy. And their success in this atrocity tempted all white lands, Europe and the US, to terrorize the world, glorify militarism, and eventually build the rivalries and weapons that exploded in World War I. I see parallels to all these crimes in Bush's America.

On September 12, 2001, I wrote in an e-mail about the Indian Mutiny, because I knew it was coming again, somewhere. Why? Because we are a bunch of reactionary liars who want to bring back all the worst aspects of the Victorian Age to profit our fatcat masters and thus ensure our own investments. Do you really think all the hundreds of billions of stolen dollars in Iraq were not planned in advance by Bush's campaign contributors? This is all intentional, not the unpleasant necessity of Peak Oil that you make it out to be.

You know, it's sort of interesting how we hear echoes of that "white man's burden" bullcrap in the current discussion of IQ: "These poor dumb sods can't manage their own affairs, so we'll have to appoint a viceroy to properly govern them". ... and so it goes.

Meanwhile they just haven't had the time to fix that meter thingy on the oil pipe.

The problem will solve itself.
But not in a nice way.

My point is that once you break something, abandoning it is likely to cost more than fixing it.

I can't see staying a minute longer in a country where the overwhelming majority of its inhabitants want us to leave.

Most things, once broken, cannot be fixed. They can be remade or replaced.

If you want the functionality of a drinking glass, and the glass shatters, there are three ways to go about addressing the problem. Buy a new glass, or gather all the pieces and reforge the silicon into a new glass, or glue the pieces together.

Only the first two options will give you the functionality you seek.

The outside-the-box option involves abandoning the the functionality of a glass altogether, and you will instead drink from rivers or use your cupped hands.

Congress, not me voted to start the war.

Did they? This member of the US House says you are wrong.

The last time Congress declared war was on December 11, 1941, against Germany in response to its formal declaration of war against the United States. This was accomplished with wording that took less than one-third of a page, without any nitpicking arguments over precise language, yet it was a clear declaration of who the enemy was and what had to be done. And in three-and-a-half years, this was accomplished. A similar resolve came from the declaration of war against Japan three days earlier. Likewise, a clear-cut victory was achieved against Japan.

For 60 years, islamic extremists have attempted to remove Israel from the face of the earth. Israel is right there in the area, they have undergone numerous wars, daily attacks and every form of pressure that exists.

They are still there. Why the hell would anyone think that islamic extremists are a threat to the United States? External extremists are no more a threat to the United States than are little green men from mars. We can only be destroyed by internal pressures and internal extremists (neocons).

With his economic and military policies, Bush has done more to threaten the future of United States than Germany and Japan ever dreamed of during WWII. Germany and Japan never had any thought that they could destroy America.

We are not adapting as quickly as al-Qeada; that failing must be resolved.

I think Peak Oil and Global Warming are unbelievably dangerous. Neither Democrats nor Republicans have exercised any substantial leadership.

I hated the State Department incompetence when I was in Iraq.

But the reality is we broke it. Abandoning it while broken, I believe will have military consequences at greater disadvantage than our current problems.

..."we broke it, so we have to fix it" mentality is


Why not let the Iraqi's fix it,

and send us the bill.

Mr Bush, your sheikh is dead
By Pepe Escobar

Some may call it divine providence, some may call it Allah's bidding; in the end it was up to real Iraq to intervene and shatter the "surge is a success" story sold to US and world public opinion by President George W Bush and his top man in Iraq, General David Petraeus.

Only hours before Bush recommended to the nation and the world what he had told Petraeus to recommend to Congress - in

essence his roadmap toward counterinsurgency and endless military occupation of Iraq - a key player in the "success" story was killed, significantly right at the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha - along with his two bodyguards - was killed by a roadside bomb planted near his home in Ramadi, the capital of an Anbar province Petraeus had sworn was "pacified".

Abu Risha, 37, was the leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, renamed Anbar Awakening - an alliance of about 200 Sunni sheikhs drawn mostly from the Dulaimi tribe and dozens of sub-clans who were fighting against al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers.

In his speech, Bush outlined the plan to leave more than 130,000 troops in the battle zone in Iraq next year, unless Petraeus and Bush decide further withdrawals are possible before that.

With regard to Abu Risha's killing, as far as the White House is concerned it was the work of al-Qaeda (12 mentions of "al-Qaeda" in Bush's speech). Were this to be the case, the "don't mess with us" al-Qaeda message couldn't be more devastating. Consider the chain of events of the past few days.
In a carefully stage-managed piece of theater, Bush visits al-Asad military air base in Anbar (not real Iraq) to stress his "surge" is working. He personally meets Abu Risha.
Osama bin Laden, looking like a clone of himself with a stick-on beard, releases his first video in almost three years, proving he's alive and kicking. The video may or may be not be a fake.
Petraeus and US Ambassador in Iraq Ryan Crocker start their presentation in front of Congress, assuring the US and the world the "surge" is a "success".
Bin Laden releases his second tape in four days, praising one of the September 11, 2001, "martyrs". His image is on freeze-frame; his lips do not move.
Bush announces he will recommend to the nation what he told Petraeus to recommend to Congress: not a drawdown, but the actual extension of the "surge" until next summer.
Abu Risha, the man Petraeus relied on for the "success" of the "surge", is killed in Anbar. No wonder Petraeus defined it as "a tragic loss".

The hit on Bush's sheikh happened just 10 days after they met. Al-Qaeda had plenty of motives to order the hit. But so did other key players.

No Iraqi guerrilla or jihadist group claimed responsibility. Abu Risha was the most visible of the 200 or so sheikhs in Anbar Awakening. They were mostly from the Dulaimi tribe. Al-Qaeda has a close bond with the Mashadani tribe. This could well have been an inter-tribal payback. Sheikh Jubeir Rashid, also part of the council, cryptically said that "such an attack was expected", but they "are determined to strike back".

Abu Risha may have also been killed by one of the top Sunni Iraqi-nationalist guerrilla groups for which throwing the occupation out remains the top priority - way beyond fighting the Shi'ite-dominated government in the Green Zone or Shi'ite militias. Al-Qaeda may boast a maximum of 800 or so jihadis in Iraq. The Sunni resistance has more than 100,000 fighters. The White House hurricane of spinning has simply erased the anti-occupation Sunni resistance masses from the ground.

Marc Lynch, an expert on Arab media and Sunni politics at George Washington University in Washington, called remarks by Petraeus on Abu Risha's importance "a leap to judgment emblematic of all which is wrong with America's current views of the Sunnis of Iraq", Jim Lobe of Inter Press Service reported.

"In reality, there are a plethora of likely suspects, reflecting the reality of an intensely factionalized and divided community which little resembles the picture offered by the administration's defenders," Lynch said.

"Leaders of other tribes deeply resented Abu Risha's prominence. Leaders of the major insurgency factions had for weeks been warning against allowing people such as Abu Risha to illegitimately reap the fruits of their jihad against the occupation," Lynch said.

Abandoning it while broken, I believe will have military consequences at greater disadvantage than our current problems.

Can you please post the copies of the letters you've penned to your elected representatives calling for raising taxes to pay for the fixing you are asking for?

"I did not know that the Achille Lauro, the US embassies in Kenny and Tansznia and the USS Cole were all in Afghanistan."

They weren't; but the people responsible were there, not in Iraq. And, those places weren't in Iraq, either.

"I would have sworn the World Trade Centers were in New York."
They were, until Saudis financed and organized by a Saudi living in Afghanistan atacked them. A Saudi now apparently living in Pakistan, not Iraq.

The basis of the "network" is mass grievance.

Name me one single movement that has ever swept the world without being supported by vast numbers of ordinary people who had been genuinely screwed by evil elites.

For 100 years, every challenge to the global capitalist empire has come from people and societies that were crushed, humiliated, "obsoleted", ethnically cleansed, bombed, "liberated", "shock treated", and cheated by an aristocracy whose headquarters was once London, and now is New York.

It's simple, Bill James. No corporate gunboat diplomacy, no eternal war in Central America (google General Smedley Butler, author of "War is a Racket"). No pan-European imperialist race to conquer the world, no World War I and no Lenin. No hypocritical British and French imperial punishment of postwar Germany, no Nazis. No treacherous Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, no Tojo.
No monstrous British record of opium racketeering and imperial partition, no Mao. No American imperial placement of Israel and the Saud clan as the unnatural and hated co-masters of the Arab world, no al-Qaeda.

If we'd exterminated all these people until only ragged remnants existed, like the American Indians, then we'd have gotten away with all these crimes and you'd be very happy. So the real blame for al-Qaeda is your failure to see that you serve an empire, and all empires commit mass murder for a living. Thankfully, there are real Americans who intend to rectify that situation in Iran soon by lying their asses off, knowing that you will believe them yet again.

The Achille Lauro?

Seriously - you are gonna throw that in there with the others? Why not the IRA while you're at it?
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Every one of those touch points of synergy is also an energy draw, they do in fact consume energy to sustain their position on the network.

And every insufficiently managed connection in a network requires additional resources, now or later, to clean up the unintended effects of unmanaged complexity.

As civilization has "progressed" toward being more integrated, has our resource draw on the planet decreased? Is the environment doing better than when we started? Are quality of life conditions improving for the bulk of humanity?

Doing it for people who care about liberty is bullshit. It is their job to get it, not ours to give it to them.

That is the argument that turned Germany, after World War I over to Hitler. Fortunately, after World War II, the Marshall Plan implement a better way. It follow the example of Grant and Sherman after the Civil War.

“Try worrying about our liberty” is the problem. As with al-Qeada, liberty is a network. You are right we cannot give it, but we can nurture it. The future will depend on whose network is stronger.

As for the Constitution, I have sworn and administered an oath that seem sacred to me. This is a simple declaration that I am responsible to be first a patriot, second a citizen and then a soldier:

" I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me”

Building a network that enables people to believe and achieve this for themselves seems worthy to me.

It follow the example of Grant and Sherman after the Civil War

I can agree with you there. US tactics in Iraq do bear a resemblance to Sherman's tactics in Georgia. His March to the Sea was "Democracy by Scorched Earth" and was bitterly remembered for generations.

And the US Occupation in Iraq will become as large a failure as Reconstruction was in the South. Nine years after "Mission Accomplished" at Appomattox

On September 14, 1874, the Crescent City White League mounted an insurrection against Louisiana's Reconstruction government, then seated in New Orleans. The insurrectionists routed an overmatched, racially integrated militia and metropolitan police force and held sway in the city for three days, until Federal troops arrived to reinstate the elected government

It was almost a century after "Mission Accomplished" before black people got a free and effective vote in much of the South.

Yes, I can see the similarities !



Alan is correct in so many ways. A review of the American approach to slavery mimics our handling of countries that we decide are not worth it.

1) Disparage their beliefs;
2) War on them economically; and, if that fails
3) Punk on them militarily.

America - The Christian Hypocrisy!

After surrender, Grant and Sherman pardoned the defeated soldiers, allowed them to keep their weapons and sent them home.

It was the integration of the military that substantially broke segregation. Soldiers are bonded by trust of their comrades. Racial prejudices threaten that bond.

There is enough bad in the world, why not appreciate what good there is?

If civilians functioned under a system of personal responsibility, even playing field and no free rides like the military we would have much less of a problem.

What is the personally responsible reaction to events well outside of one's sphere of influence that affect one on an individual level?

How does the individual "responsibly" fight corporatism, fascism, inequity, and torture, all affecting the individual, when those who wield those effects also wield orders of magnitude more power and resources?

How do you separate the process of the gas chamber from the gas chamber attendant? Where does the functionally addressable difference lie between the fascist police state and the lone officer who is just trying to put food on the table for his family?

Humans never do well completely on their own, and the idea of "personal responsibility" seems to do just that: put the individual completely on his/her own.

There is no onus, fault, or blame laid on the heads of teaching and education, ministry and religion, or most importantly parenting and community.

Or lack thereof.

"No man is an island, entire unto itself ... " -- John Donne

"If you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror." -- V for Vendetta

"It's a fair cop, but society is to blame." -- Monty Python

A view from another service person.

The Patriots

By Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret.,

We've gotten into this fix because our presidents, of both parties, have been servants of the global investors, and because our representatives in Congress, again of both parties, have abdicated their Constitutional responsibilities and subjected themselves to an imperial presidency.

A "patriot" is defined as one who loves, supports, and defends his country. The Latin and Greek roots refer to "father." If, for a moment, we ignore the sexist nature of the ancient civilizations giving birth to the word, it is clear that to be a "patriot" is to have a parental love for the people of one's tribe or nation. One cannot have a "patriotic love" for the corporations in one's


Based on the above, I contend that should some civilian order you to initiate a nuclear attack on Iran (for example), you are duty-bound to refuse that order. I might also suggest that you should consider whether the circumstances demand that you arrest whoever gave the order as a war criminal.


Also in hindsight, President Bush could be court-martialed for abuse of power as Commander-in-Chief. Vice President Cheney could probably be court-martialed for his performance as Acting Commander-in-Chief in the White House bunker the morning of September 11, 2001 .


We in the U.S. military would never consider a military coup, removing an elected president and installing one of our own. But following our oath of office, obeying the Nuremberg Principles, and preventing a rogue president from committing a war crime is not a military coup. If it requires the detention of executive branch officials, we will not impose a military dictatorship. We will let the Constitutional succession take place. This is what we are sworn to.


Unfortunately, real Americans like this are being replaced in the Air Force officer corps by Christian fanatics, operating out of their shared turf in Colorado Springs. The Christian Dominionist faction seems to feel that taking over the Air Force is more amendable to its secret plans than the Army or Marine Corps. What does this tell us about those plans?


I was at eight war protests before the attempted conquest of Iraq, plus I've been at numerous protests since. Our protests were ignored and concealed by the media until a year and a half ago. My argument is not with our military. Our military performed their duties very well, but rather the people who sent them into an unwinable situation with no actual plan and concealed war aims.

Our professional military has done a wonderful job, but they should. They have taken the country's pay for years in exchange for agreeing to go into danger and protecting the country and constitution, its a matter of honor, both ours and theirs. The non-professional military has also done splendidly. Most of them joined because they wanted an education and were willing to give their service to earn the education. They are amoung the best element of the kids in the US today as they are willing to work for their education.

As far as I'm concerned, the US military has been horribly abused by this war. They are victims of the greed and ambitions of the neocons.

But just as the Military sees their duty to serve, I see it as my duty to protest the war. I think its important to stop policies that threaten the United States, and our war policy will result in the whole world opposing the US. And, protests against ongoing wars have been a part of US history since the War of 1812 twenty years after the adoption of the Constitution. How else can we change? Bob Ebersole

Our protests were ignored and concealed by the media until a year and a half ago.

No they weren't - everyone I knew, at least, was well aware that large protests were going on. It was the US government that ignored them, not the US media.

As far as I'm concerned, the US military has been horribly abused by this war. They are victims of the greed and ambitions of the neocons.

Agreed. The lack of planning was atrocious. Worse than none - as I recall, plans developed by the State Department were actually thrown out because they didn't fit the ideological mold of the neocons.

As in so many other cases with this government, ideology was allowed to trump reality. And, as in so many other cases, reality won.

But just as the Military sees their duty to serve, I see it as my duty to protest the war.

And good for you for doing so - democracy is best when it's not a spectator sport.

Why can't you see that Bush and Cheney have desired nothing more since the day they came into office than a dictatorship? The world sees it that way. So much for our network.

Read about the Project for a New American Century and tell me that we're led by innocent victims, not the Reichstag arsonists.


You mean the fellow that committed political suicide when he advocated felony forgiveness and amnesty for illegals legislation?

He couldn't get elected for dog catcher in his home state now.

Politics is not always reality. If it were, us kooks would not be the only ones talking about Peak Oil.

You really think this ever had anything to do with liberty? That's just what you were told.

Of all the peoples in the world who could be "liberated" from their despotic rulers, why this one? Why now?

Ask the people of Iraq how happy they are with their "liberty" (since it's now too late to ask them beforehand).

You really think this ever had anything to do with liberty?

Oh you silly lizard brain you.
Of course it is all about liberty, truth, justice and the non-negotiable American way of life.

Why do you think our troops are in North Korea at this very moment to give life, liberty, truth, and justice to all those NK's dying of starvation in the streets of NK? Democracy is on the march! (Drum roll please).

Why do you think our troops are in Darfur at this very moment to give life, liberty, truth, and justice to all those dark skinned folk dying of starvation and genocide? Democracy is relentlessly on the march! (Fifes and bugles please).

Why do you think our troops are in Red China at this very moment to give life, liberty, truth, and freedom of worship to all those slant eyed folk working in slave camps to produce our Walmart goodies? Democracy is advancing on all fronts! (Full orchestra please breaking out in heart thumping patriotic music).

[/sarcasm off]
[resume processing in neo cortical part of brain --if at all possible]

[the rest of you lemmings may continue rushing forward towards the cliff's edge ... err, I mean making the ultimate sacrifice for God, country and our illustrious Fuhrer]

Your definition of liberty is what America has been becoming since 1980 - a corporate aristocracy in which citizens degenerate into whores. The signs were all around you conservatives, yet the Moral Majority and other Christo-fascist militias kept whining about moral decay as though it were entirely separate from the amorality of total marketplace economics.

Dig it, Karl Marx called it the commoditization of all relationships. He saw the day coming when every human emotion would be replaced by a form of greed. Marriages, reproduction, patriotism, nothing would remain but calculations of gain. What he failed to see was the use of cheap fossil fuels to create an economy driven more by wants than by needs. So instead of becoming cold-blooded adding machines looking merely to survive, we've been intentionally molded into babies with endless urges and fears, the perfect consumers. Instead of religion and patriotism dying off as he expected, they have become our Mommy and Daddy, who we subconsciously worship as the tyrants who keep the goodies coming.

Bush didn't mismanage Iraq, he intentionally started it to dismantle the Bill of Rights as a war emergency measure - a war designed to go on forever to deal with Peak Oil. We traded oil straight up for our freedoms. After 9/11 Bush told us to beat the terrorists by continuing to shop. That's everything you need to know about the difference between Bush's liberty and Franklin Roosevelt's liberty. The country you bravely defended no longer exists.

"Bush didn't mismanage Iraq, he intentionally started it to dismantle the Bill of Rights as a war emergency measure - a war designed to go on forever to deal with Peak Oil. We traded oil straight up for our freedoms. After 9/11 Bush told us to beat the terrorists by continuing to shop. That's everything you need to know about the difference between Bush's liberty and Franklin Roosevelt's liberty. The country you bravely defended no longer exists."

Yes. Our money is now only as good as the growth of consumption propelling it.... I remember that Bushy comment well, and I thought it rather odd and very revealing insofar as the expectations for the future.

These people know our current programmed plight. They know the oil card. They know the currency card. But, the Bill of Rights has little to do with either, unless those rights are ONLY built on mammonized states of cheap oil consumption and currency fallacy.

What FDR's caretaker claptrap philosophy has to offer into this otherwise well spoken observation is beyond me. FDR's liberty was based on growing black goo energy with fireside chats not only with thee American public but with the Saudi Mullah. Marxist protocals are rather easily engineered under a new fiat disaster relief regime coupled with power of excess energy in tow...None of this is the same today. And, also, the media was a rather tight knitted curtain of control back in those yester yored daze.

"Bush didn't mismanage Iraq, he intentionally started it to dismantle the Bill of Rights as a war emergency measure - a war designed to go on forever to deal with Peak Oil. We traded oil straight up for our freedoms. After 9/11 Bush told us to beat the terrorists by continuing to shop. That's everything you need to know about the difference between Bush's liberty and Franklin Roosevelt's liberty. The country you bravely defended no longer exists."

Yes. Our money is now only as good as the growth of consumption propelling it.... I remember that Bushy comment well, and I thought it rather odd and very revealing insofar as the expectations for the future.

These people know our current programmed plight. They know the oil card. They know the currency card. But, the Bill of Rights has little to do with either, unless those rights are ONLY built on mammonized states of cheap oil consumption and currency fallacy.

What FDR's caretaker claptrap philosophy has to offer into this otherwise well spoken observation is beyond me. FDR's liberty was based on growing black goo energy with fireside chats not only with thee American public but with the Saudi Mullah. Marxist protocals are rather easily engineered under a new fiat disaster relief regime coupled with power of excess energy in tow...None of this is the same today. And, also, the media was a rather tight knitted curtain of control back in those yester yored daze.

Bill James,

I respect John McCain more than any of the rest of the men running for the Republican nomination He is undoubtedly a real hero who has dedicted his whole life to service of the US. McCain is right about the penalty for loss in Iraq. Once our troops leave Iraq there will never be another American military presence inside the Straight of Hormuz.Its only about 15 miles wide and could be blockaded very easily.

McCain's error is thinking that anything can be won in Iraq. Whatever could have been won was thrown away at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. These abominations were ordered at the highest levels, most likely in the White House.The actions there totally alienated the rest of the world from any respect for America.

There's also the Iraqii casualties, now estimated by the Lancet as 1,200,000 people plus the dead from the food and medicine embargo which is another 2 million dead, which certainly exceed Saddam Hussein's grim totals.

There is certainly no good end to this for the USA. No amount of oil is worth even one life, in my opinion. Its already destroying the soul of the country I love, and has destroyed the country of Iraq. My plan, were I the emperor, would be to announce the immediate cessation of hostilities to the world and to begin to withdraw. The first bunch would be the mercenaries, and replace the US troops with UN peacekeepers as quickly as possible. The second act would be to arrest our war criminals and give them up for trial, with particular emphasis on people like Alberto Gonzales, Karl Rove, the two Bushes and Dick Cheney. They have stolen our republic and become mass murderers under both US law and international law. And then we need to ask the Iraqiis what they would have us do to begin to repair the damage to their country and to the world.

You forgot the disposal of excess cluster munitions by dropping them on a certain facility in North Carolina, the revocation of ABC's broadcast license, Bill O'Reilly on his knees scrubbing toilets for eighty four days straight at Fort Bragg while random airborne rangers plant their jump boots on his private parts, a hundred and fifty Regent's University scumbags being cuffed and stuffed, and a hundred other forms of much needed poetic justice for the Bush administration and their enablers ...

Consider the fundamentals:

1. Killing is always killing. Only military people try to cover it up with patriotism, just war propaganda and what not. US should have bombed Saudi Arabia based on 911, and you know it well yourself, but because it was about oil, US chose to attack Iraq.

2. Al Qaeda did not exist in the extent (of the concept or the network) before US attacked Iraq. Doesn't this make US indirectly responsible for the strengthening of Al Qaeda (both the concept and the network). How convenient for the military. Do not confuse the timelines with Pentagon 'military intelligence' (what an oxymoron).

3. There are always plans. US plans to attack Syria. Plans to attack Iran. Plans to attack Venezuela. etc. So what.

FUD about terrorism will not work on this board. Let's agree to stick to discussion about peak oil.

If you want, you can start by proving that an oil war is a net energy positive action and not an energy sink :)

US should have bombed Saudi Arabia based on 911, ... US chose to attack Iraq.

Whoever said USA is the "brains" behind this operation and does any "choosing"?

KSA isn't so stupid as to have more than 19 of its own people die for access to and control of Iraqi oil reserves. Do you honestly think the college educated among the 19 did it because they truly believed in the 72 virgins fable? Or did they do it for love of country, their country? If American soldiers can patriotically love and die for their country, what makes you think other people can't do it for their country --KSA? And what makes you think they didn't win?

Do you honestly think the college educated among the 19 did it because they truly believed in the 72 virgins fable?


OK, the educated zealots' theology may be more sophisticated but one shouldn't estimate the depth of the religious devotion and seriousness of their fanaticism and worldview.

Or did they do it for love of country, their country? If American soldiers can patriotically love and die for their country, what makes you think other people can't do it for their country --KSA?

For one, Mohammed Atta was Egyptian. And the rulers of Saudi Arabia are enemies of al-Qaeda, and the existence of the state in modern form---as opposed to Caliphate---is antithetical to al-Qaeda and other Salafists.

And this specific philosophy is most certainly NOT nationalistic, indeed al-Zawahiri etc have decried Hamas(!) for using excessively nationalistic and political arguments and motivations instead of exclusively religious ones.

US should have bombed Saudi Arabia based on 911

Interesting. So you would say that the US should have bombed the US based on Oklahoma City?

Or do you realize that a country usually isn't responsible for the actions of every one of its private citizens?

because it was about oil, US chose to attack Iraq.

An alternative explanation is simply that the US administration truly believed all the ridiculous nonsense they were telling us prior to the invasion; certainly, some people I know truly believed that there was a legitimate casus belli.

As the saying goes, never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence. And, if nothing else, it's likely most people here will agree that there's certainly no shortage of that in the high-level handling of the Iraq war.

Pitt: Incredible sums of money have and are being made by these "incompetents" out of this Iraq adventure. You say they are stupid- how would they judge you?

Incredible sums of money have and are being made by these "incompetents" out of this Iraq adventure. You say they are stupid- how would they judge you?

Poor, most likely.

However, I have yet to see evidence that any of the policymakers in the US administration materially and substantially benefitted from the invasion. How did Bush, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Wolfowitz, Tenet, or Rove earn money from this?

While it's true that enormous amounts of money have been poured into the war, and that large amounts have been paid under rather shaky billing circumstances, there's little or no indication that any of that money went to the actual decision-makers in government. Hypothesizing that one of the reasons for this war was to line their own pockets is, again, assuming malice where incompetence will suffice, and moreover appears to be contradicted by the financial evidence available, which tends to be pretty well-known for major government officials. Indeed, despite Cheney's ties to Halliburton, even he doesn't seem to have received significant monetary benefit from the war.

So, unless you have some evidence, I don't buy the notion that personal financial gain played a role in the decision to go to war.

Well, if nothing else, there are all the book deals.

I remember a story told to me when I first moved to Alabama:

Governor Wallace never took a bribe, but whenever he needed something, it was made available to him. He never actually took possession of the house, car, boat, airplane... So it never really was a bribe. His "friends" just always made sure he was "taken care of".

(I have no idea how true the story is.)

Well, if nothing else, there are all the book deals.

Fair point. :)

And then there are the speaking fees.

Everyone will want to know why he did it (kind of like OJ). W will make a fortune on the speaking circuit.

"Interesting. So you would say that the US should have bombed the US based on Oklahoma City?"

If US actually _acted_ on the principles it claims, then yes, of course.

Do you not see where this is going?

The excuses given for attacks were just that: excuses and lies.

"We attack anybody who is or harbors a terrorist". Sure, why not yourself?

The principles are just a smoke screen. The real reason is elsewhere.

"An alternative explanation is simply that the US administration truly believed all the ridiculous nonsense they were telling us prior to the invasion"

You have to read the news:

"Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction"

Salon exclusive: Two former CIA officers say the president squelched top-secret intelligence, and a briefing by George Tenet, months before invading Iraq.

Although I wouldn't give Bush so much credibility as to think that he actually runs the show down there...

Look, even Greenspan admitted it. Maybe it's time the rest of you did so too :)

"We attack anybody who is or harbors a terrorist". Sure, why not yourself?

Because the US was not "harboring" McVeigh any more than Saudi Arabia was "harboring" bin Laden.

(Of course, Iraq wasn't either, but that's beside the point, which is simply that bombing Saudi Arabia in retaliation for 9/11 would have been stupid.)

"Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction"

The headline is misleading; if Bush did not believe the information he was given, then he could hardly be said to know that information, at least according to standard epistemological definitions of knowledge. And, indeed, the article you cite states that Bush "dismissed as worthless this information", showing that he did not believe it to be true.

Just as a man who is utterly convinced that the moon landings were staged cannot be said to "know" NASA astronauts walked on the moon - his delusions prevent him from accepting that information - invasion-era Bush did not "know" that no WMDs existed. He should have known, and his deep self-delusions rendered him grossly unfit for his job, but that's different from believing information and ignoring it anyway. It's arguably just as bad, though.

most IRA terrorist activity was funded by Americans

these terrorists and murderers were harbored at the highest levels
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

most IRA terrorist activity was funded by Americans

The Libyan government and private American citizens were the two largest suppliers of money and arms to the IRA (link).

The terrorist attacks against the US in 2001 functionally killed the IRA, since support from Libya was no longer available and it suddenly became clear to Irish-Americans that supporting terrorists was not something they wanted to do.

exactly the point i was making

IRA terrorist funders were known and protected inside the US - which was the point responding to the upthread comments
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

What I've read suggests IRA support came from individual citizens, and there was no support from the US government. It would be a substantial stretch to say "the US" knew about and protected funders of terrorism.

It isn't a stretch at all

For example, Ted Kennedy used to attend fundraisers as did many other prominent people looking for votes in Boston.

MI6 knew the big fundraisers and undoubtedly made the US aware of them...

The point is the US was clearly harboring them. Was made aware of their presence. So the logic of attacking those who harbor terrorists is applicable.

Not saying I buy into that logic - just using an obvious example.
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

1) The Invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with al Queda. N*O*T*H*I*N*G Osama and Saddam did not get along.

2) al Queda in Iraq came in later as a target of opportunity. The US Invasion of Iraq was a gift from Allah for al Queda It was the second best thing that ever happened for al Queda (WTC was #1).

The US Army pulled out Special Forces units searching for al Queda stragglers (and OBL) less than a week after Tora Bora to prepare for Iraq.

3) The Invasion of Iraq succeeded. We have eliminated all risk of WMDs in the hands of Saddam Hussein !

That was the causa belli remember.

4) A couple of Washington Post exposes have shown that intelligence was "pushed" Very good intelligence that Iraq had stopped all efforts towards WMDs was suppressed and not given to Congress or the American public.

5) The Occupation of Iraq will almost certainly fail.

Almost 20% of the population has been forced out of their homes, 1% to 4% of them may have been killed directly or indirectly by the US & UK, the middle class and professional classes have pretty much left the country, deep hatred and bitterness have developed since our invasion. All these factors work very strongly against a viable united democracy.

A group of proven and arrogant incompetents will oversee our occupation for another 16 months (You should see what Petraus's commanding officer Adm. Fallon thinks of him ! But our Decider-in-Chief likes loyal bootlickers that tell him what he wants to hear).

6) al Queda will be forced out of Iraq after the US leaves. Saudi financial support and mainly Saudi young men will not be attracted to an Arab Civil War as they are by an invasion by "Crusaders". The issues or right and wrong are FAR less clear. So very few reinforcements and almost no money.

Local Iraqi/Sunni populations will not want foreign occupation, even if these occupiers pray five times/day towards Mecca.

7) The Invasion and Occupation of Iraq was about controlling oil. See Cheney's Energy Task Force

Download this pdf map and see the the 9 unexplored blocks mapped out by Cheney et al. I presume as ready for bidding.

Even without this "smoking gun" evidence, all else points to Blood for Oil. Would Alan Greenspan lie to us ?

8) Your business partner's son, and roughly one million Iraqi civilians, will have died for nothing.

The past is history. The question now is just how many MORE will die as GWB & Cheney "run out the clock".

Make Levees, not War !


Well put, IMHO.

I'd just like to speak to your point #8.

Our solders who went to Iraq in order to do what they thought was right for their/our country deserve our respect, thanks, and support.

The fact that they were lied to and misused by their political commanders was not their fault.

Lots of us have, or have been willing to, put our lives at risk to serve what we hold dear. Thankfully we generally can trust those who are in decision making positions to make moral and just decisions.

Yes, our leaders can make mistakes. But those who intentionally mislead should be tried. And if those intentional actions proven, severely punished.

(And all of us are likely to be punished for our parts in allowing this gang of criminals to harm our country and the world. We will be punished by higher oil prices, among other consequences.)

But our system for punishment is screwed up.

For instance, were the 5 million+ Germans who obeyed their draft notices in World War II morally different than the 5 million+ Germans who obeyed their draft notices in World War I? In 1914 Germany had real multi-party elections, and real rule by law. That's the reason the Kaiser and the Vons were becoming so psychotic - they had come to hype war and militarism more and more to stave off the inevitable demographic triumph of the Social Democratic party, but they genuinely didn't want a full-scale war. Germany was legally no more responsible for WW1 than any other great power, though it then violated the Belgian neutrality pact. But Hitler was another matter entirely, in ways I don't need to explain here.

The Germans themselves, though, obeyed and got the hell punished out of them both times.

That's the importance of the American-sponsored Nuremburg Trials. I rather think the US had already pre-determined the principles they set forth, but I also agree with those principles:

People are morally responsible to recognize a war of agression, despite the overwhelming government propaganda machine, by simply using common sense. Germany in WW1, no. Germany in WW2, yes.

When those people carry guns in the name of that government, they can be held responsible for killing foreigners who are only trying to defend their lands and society.

Most importantly, even if you conquered a country out of self-defense, you are NOT ALLOWED to profit from its Occupation. That's international law, sponsored by the USA, for the obvious reason of taking the profit out of war before it gets us all killed.

It is not a coincidence that the Bush Administration has declared war on the principles left behind by the Truman Administration.

Bob and everyone, if you haven't seen the PBS FRONTLINE episode, "The Dark Side," yet, watch it. It explains who needs to be arrested and put on trial for the lives of those killed in the Iraq War -

The entire special can be seen on the PBS site and an 8 minute excerpt can be seen here -


Mr. James:

Thank you for your service to our country. Please do not take offense if some of us believe that our country's leadership has not served YOU and your comrades-in-arms well at all. One of the duties of those of us remaining behind on the home front should be to make sure that our people in uniform are not abused or misused. The sad fact is that our forces have been very badly, shamefully misused and abused, and there are many of us that will not stand for it without objecting.


I do not take offense at all. I think most questions of our policies are valid. The fact an oil grab is part of the package is stupid. The fact that we used proxy forces in Afghanistan is stupid.

But we now have a firm grasp of this tar baby. Thinking we can abandon it and get a “do over” seems even more unstable. It might be the right answer, but it seems more dangerous.

I think millions will die or be displaced with ethnic cleansing that will follow surrender. I do not think the Europeans will help Iraq. I think Saudi Arabia and Iran will be pulled into the war.

Surrendering to al-Qaeda's battle plan of sectarian violence seems like it will encourage more sectarian violence. They do not seem squeamish about the cost.

I think millions will die or be displaced with ethnic cleansing that will follow surrender. I do not think the Europeans will help Iraq. I think Saudi Arabia and Iran will be pulled into the war.

Bill: With all due respect, millions of Iraqis and others have already died and have already been displaced because the US has been and continues to be there. Only our leaving would likely ease the suffering.

And, for your information, "ethnic cleansing" in Iraq and particularly in Baghdad is progressing quite well under our noses as we speak. In fact, it is nearly completed as it was part of the US plan during the surge. Who do you think was behind putting up all of the partitions in the various neighborhoods in Baghdad? We've been letting the cleansing occur.

Also, Iran and Saudi Arabia have already been pulled into the war. If you don't think they are intimately involved in supporting various factions and militias now, you need to think again.

The only solution to the points you raised is to get out.

I, however, doubt seriously that the US will ever leave Iraq - at least in the next 50 years. We are there for the long haul. We have committed to dominating Mid-East oil. The only thing that will get us out would be a US dollar collapse or a military coup.

And, for your information, "ethnic cleansing" in Iraq and particularly in Baghdad is progressing quite well under our noses as we speak.

Indeed. And it seems that all sides accuse the US military as being allied with their enemies and want the US to go. It's the only point of agreement.

In fact, it is nearly completed as it was part of the US plan during the surge.

Now that's going to far. The escalation was for political reasons and to delay the decisions and fallout to a new administration.

You are correct, but part of achieving those ends involved the partitioning of Baghdad in the hopes that it would reduce violence and essentially accelerate one of the objectives of the civil war - ethnic cleansing. In that sense, ethnic cleansing was part of the surge objective.

Faced with an ever-more ruthless insurgency in Baghdad - despite President George Bush's "surge" in troops - US forces in the city are now planning a massive and highly controversial counter- insurgency operation that will seal off vast areas of the city, enclosing whole neighbourhoods with barricades and allowing only Iraqis with newly issued ID cards to enter.

The campaign of "gated communities" - whose genesis was in the Vietnam War - will involve up to 30 of the city's 89 official districts and will be the most ambitious counter-insurgency pro- gramme yet mounted by the US in Iraq.

The US partition plan for Baghdad during the surge was reported fairly widely last spring.

I do not see how we will leave either. We only recently reduced forces in Europe.

I do not think we prepared well for Iraq. My time it the military was in the Army, Infantry. What I was in Iraq to do was to use technology to help build the economy.

My disagreement with the Army and State Department when I was there was they were trying to plan the economy instead of empowering it.

Here is a link if you are interested to building an economy by empowering small businesses.

I also believe we need airships, a way to suppress militias and death squads without collateral damage. Currently, we surrender the streets to militias at night. Or when dealing with them we have a choice of doing nothing or throwing in a 500 pound Hellfire missle. To that end I pulled together a group of airship manufacturers and offered the Army the a means of testing and deploying them. Airships

US is a hostile force occupying a country through a unilateral declaration of war, which has resulted in 1E6 casualties and 4E6 displaced.

How on earth can anyone justify continued occupation of Iraq on any other grounds but oil?

War on terror? Gimme a break! The longer US continues in Iraq, the more terrorist you will get. Even a big faction of US intelligence has been saying this for ages now!

As for US war crimes. Do some background research, please.

None one office has been prosecuted and tried for systematic torture of civilians at Abu Ghraib, even though all the methods used were know up to and including Rumsfeld.

Unfounded accusations of what?

There are over 20 film documentaries, more than 100 tv newscasts, hundreds of eyewitness reports and thousands of pictures of US Military and it's contractors abducting, raping, torturing and executing women, children and assumed enemy soldiers.*

Please open your eyes and use the Internet/library for a while, if you don't believe me. Hell there are even books you can buy on the subject. Or watch a documentary on dvd. There are more than a dozen out there.

* Just so that people understand. This is what usually happens in chaotic war situations. It happened in Bosnia, in Rwanda, in Vietnam in countless of other places. US is not anymore 'evil' in this regard as any other army, however neither it is any less evil. It just is, but that is no excuse to let these catastrophes drag out. People are dying, if that matters to you at all. You know, human beings. Think about it, before spouting any more of that military control speak.

"I think millions will die or be displaced with ethnic cleansing that will follow surrender. "

This has already happened and continues to happen. How can you use this as a point to defend further occupation when it has been a current result of said occupation? It makes you sound out of touch with reality in my opinion.

We here in the United States are badly handicapped by our own civil war. Besides being well in the past it was also an organized conflict between two well defined states. That we think this is civil war does us a great disservice, because the rest of the world doesn't go at it that way.

Most civil wars involve more than one group, as does Iraq. Most civil wars involving ragged or nonexistence divisions of territory, as does Iraq. Most civil wars are either instigated or fueled by outside meddling as Iraq is experiencing.

The power sharing structure the United States has attempted to impose in Iraq will work ... after the parties involved have fought themselves to exhaustion ... and then if and only if they do not succeed in partitioning the country first. They will partition due to ethnic and sectarian rivalries and fairly clean dividing lines, so our continued presence there is butt stupid, as the young people say.

Don't take my word for it - go dig up the Foreign Affairs from a cycle or two back and see what the most influential foreign policy publication in the world has to say about the situation ...

There is a time to hold political leaders accountable for their mistakes. When soldiers are in the field is not the time

That excuse could have been used by German people during the Nazi era. An utterly moronic statement. So, if our troops are committing crimes against international law and against humanity we should support them until the action is over? People like you make criminal regimes possible.

Your global comment that our troops are committing crimes is not valid. The few crimes that are committed, are generally prosecuted.

The only good thing I can see about our lack of preparation for Peak Oil is that security issues will require personal involvement by nearly everyone and within 10 years. That education, if we survive it, will curtail such unfounded accusations for a little while.

Bruce - Dead on! - Professor Churchill called it early and check out the price he is paying to defend the Constitution.

Wake up Military - Did you understand the OATH?.

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic

When soldiers are in the field, it is ever more imperative to hold political leaders accountable for their mistakes, because the risk is ever higher.

Although saddend at your losses, Once and for all:

9/11 has nothing at all to do with Saddam's Iraq.

This is simply the 'big lie'.

Al Quaeda was loathed by Saddam and the feeling was mutual.

They hated each other as only a Social-Nazi Tyrant can hate a Religious fundamentalist. And vice versa.

I find it truly amazing that the entire continent of the US could have swallowed this lie, hook , line and sinker.

First, it was 'drain the swamp'
Then: 'Weapons of Minor Distraction'.
Then 'Bring democracy and peace to the middle east'.

Truly, Rove et al had mastered the art of Goebbels: 'The bigger the lie, the more they fall for it'...

Still... Where was Greenspan when it needed saying?

Also: Where was General Sir Mike Jackson in 2003 when the Iraq occupation was clearly an impending catastrophe?

Pilfered from Ghost-Busters:

'If there is a steady pay cheque in it, I will believe what you want'...

I find it truly amazing that the entire continent of the US could have swallowed this lie, hook , line and sinker. [Repeat: 9/11 had nothing at all to do with Saddam's Iraq.]

WE Merry-Xmas-Cans are no different than humans found round the world.
We are frightened monkey brains locked up in a cognitive cage.

Those who love their powers in Washington D.C. know this.

They appeal to our primitive lizard brains.

The lizard brain is fearful.
Terrified of terror.
Terrified of losing freedom due to actions by the unknown "they" who hate our freedoms.
It will do anything to rid itself of the terror.
Even crazy irrational things.

Thought you don't say it explicitly I assume you mean you were there in the military not in a mercenary capacity.

In which case, sadly I believe you are confusing the reasons you volunteered to serve and chose to accept your orders and deployment - which were undoubtedly noble - and the reasons you were deployed in the manner you were and the military was used in the manner it was.

The reasons you choose to serve and the reasons the leaders have for deploying the military have no need for any causal relationship in our system of governance.
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

But don't get me wrong... as someone who recognized the true aims of this war early and the fallacious reasoning involved, I now also recognize the dangers of precipitous withdrawal.

But that's a different thing than what you appear to be saying.
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

As far as I'm concerned, Bush, Cheney, Greenspan et al are all a bunch of war criminals and traitors. We're up to 68% of our oil as imports, and only Canada as a reliable supplier. Even Mexico seems to be running full tilt off the cliff with the pipeline bombings and decreased production and close to open revolution in many states. The dollar is collapsing, and with it much of the economy of the world

And I have no idea what we're going to do in this country or the world, as I don't think its reversable with any of them in power.

And I have no idea what we're going to do in this country or the world,

Which "we" are you referring to?

You and I will be turned into crispy fried bupkis while Dick Cheney and the war criminals will descend into their underground cities.


If its quick I doubt I'll even notice the bombs. I live in the Houston-Galveston area, and I'm sure there are bombs targeted for here because destroying the refining capacity here will destroy the war making capability of the USA and the economy in very short order There's only four ports with much in the way of oil imports-the others are New York, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. Take them out and the whole US economy is completely down the tubes

Frankly, your power down scenario scares me worse. As an insulin dependent diabetic I'm dead there too, but a lot more slowly and painfully. That's the nature of human life-we're all dead anyway in a few years, and mostly in not very pleasant ways, quick and painless is the best we can hope for. And if there really is pie in the sky when we die, it still doesn't concern my tasks as a human being, which are always done in the eternal now.

You asked who I meant by "we". I am a human, and an American. It includes we the citizens of the world and we the people of the United States of America.

On The Oil Drum we are members of an elite, very few people have the intelligence, education and opportunity to understand the dire situation of the world with reguards to peak oil and the climate change crisis, and most of these are in denial like Alan Greenspan. Some, like Dick Cheney, George H.W. Bush, Karl Rove and James Baker are just plain evil, so locked into selfishness and narcicism that they are willing to do anything to gain personal advantage and therefore killing millions in Iraq, Nicaragua and the untold misery of sub-Saharan Africa.

I've got my doubts that human life has a divine meaning, but there is the meaning which we give to it by our actions. You try to help others prepare for the oil crash and by informing a lot of others. Myself, since I won't survive a crash am focused on mitigation by developing a method of locating onshore prospects for tertiary oil development and assembling the first one. Its not that I'm in denial that a crash is a real possibility, but rather that I need to do what I can to divert the crash or at least make it long and slow where our civization might survive. Others have other plans, but TOD is a place where we all hang out and support each other. Bob Ebersole

Another one ignorant of nuclear weapons... *sighs*

While there are numerous targets around you, Bob, you will almost certainly NOT die in a bright flash of light. The odds of you dieing in the fireball are infinitesimally small. If you die in the first few minutes of bombing it will almost 99% be because of impact injuries (like those from an automobile wreck) if a blast wave is close enough to smack you down, which means that you then lay there and bleed to death over hours or even days. Odds are, though, with you living in Galveston, that the most you will get are some cracked windows as the overpressure from the blast will likely be almost completely dissipated before it reaches you. This means that you get to die the slow, ugly way - from fallout/radiation, as your guts begin to bleed from the insides, and your gums begin to bleed, and you begin to pass the insides of your intestines out your anus. And mind you, this will probably take anywhere from 2 to 7 days so enjoy your death.

Or... you can learn something useful about fallout and radiation and not die at all. But if you want to die in a bright flash, then you need to go buy a house right outside the front gates of one of the local refineries. Then maybe, just maybe, you might get your wish. (Odds are though that you'd still die to the blast wave instead of the fireball, especially since refineries are "soft" targets and would be hit with air bursts, which don't even have the fireball touching the earth.)

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Dr. Albert Bartlett
Into the Grey Zone

If its quick I doubt I'll even notice the bombs.

Oh, what a rationalization. Let the nukes fly because I'm likely to die quick.

As an insulin dependent diabetic I'm dead there too, but a lot more slowly and painfully.

So you wanna die quickly.

That's the nature of human life-we're all dead anyway in a few years,

So you admit that in the long run we are all dead, but YOU would PREFER a poisoned biosphere.

Did you have a poor diet that brought on your diabetes?

The significance of this cannot be underestimated.

This is bad news.

Alan freakin Greenspan has just turned on his prior masters. He saw that they were setting him up to be blamed for all the economic troubles that are occuring now and he took pre-emptive action. He is a smart man after all. He seems determined to save his good name.

After all, he just followed along with the plan and facilitated it as he was told. I don't believe the FED is as independent as it would seem.

So anyway.....why do I say this is Bad News??
Here's why: So far the economy has weathered this fairly well, no major problems for Joe Public as a whole. So why would Greenspan risk all-out character war with his former masters over what we've seen so far? It doesn't seem worth it. BUT....if he knows it's going to get a lot worse, and Maybe REALLY bad it does make some sense. Deflect the blame early before the old masters get up a head of steam to blame 'ol Greenspan. Cut 'em off at the pass so to speak. Save whatever legacy he can.

Now, you might think I'm nuts but think about this....why would Greenspan, normally reserved, talks in circles, never really commits to issues....WHY would he say this? This is a real risk for him, a risk that TPTB will turn on him an he will be seen as a rogue mercy...

I give him kudos though...I didn't think he had the balls to do something this inflammatory...

This is bad news.

I would disagree with this. People still listen to what Greenspan says the way we used to watch who did what at the Kremlin thirty years ago. Him stepping up and saying something like this is a sledgehammer from the shadows for the Bush administration. Do you really think they're going to try to swiftboat him? I don't think they could even if they tried - too many money men view him as a solid player, and Bush does not have that perception.

The only rats left on the foundering Bush barge are the neocons, who will never be taken seriously again after Iraq, and the disloyal Christian Right, who will either be marginalized ... or we'll end up with a nice little civil war with religious overtones.

I don't think he did this because he cares about the U.S. citizens or the people of the world at large - this is some positioning within the corporatocracy, but we do get the benefit of a huge black eye for the Bush administration and the possibility of some relief before the 2008 election. The days count now, given what is coming ...

I disagree with your disagreement. BushCo are being cornered and "outed" by many big players that were "in the know" of their world plans. A cornered animal is a dangerous beast, willing to strike out and make desparate attempts to survive.

Greenspans new stance is a major shift in the discourse and increases the level of potential danger in the grand game.

Kabuki by the israel first crowd?

They want to force us into Iran against the better judgment of almost all of the professional military.

The whole world complains about our unilteralism and rightly so, but there are puppet masters behind the Bush administration and they're cutting him lose. Do you really think he and Cheney will move without their approval? This is why there is constant spin about Iran - trying to sell the people on this ...

Or am I seeing things? We'd normally have to wait a few decades until the historians got hold of them, but I don't know how many history books are going to be published in 2050 the way things are headed ...

This is a real risk for him, a risk that TPTB will turn on him an he will be seen as a rogue mercy...

Fox News is dissing the oil war claim (and by extension, scoffing at this latest traitor), as you speak.

Why is he doing this? Why now?

Uh, maybe because a book about the intricate workings of monetary policy might sell, say, a few dozen copies, while a book picking a very public spat with the Bush administration might sell, say, several hundred thousand copies?

Would you have even noticed that his book was out were it not for this masterfully engineered buzz?

If Mr. Irrational Exuberance had gradually reduced the amount that can be borrowed when buying stocks he would not have pushed rates negative following the dotcom crash. If he did not keep rates so low so long, and if he had insisted that lending standards not go into the toilet, we would not have the sub prime disaster we have now. And, how much credit should he be given for blasting bush now for allowing all the deficit spending to go on as opposed to being more forceful earlier? And, lets not forget that he agreed with the bush tax cuts in 2000 not least because he wanted another nomination, and he knew that to get it he had to be a team player.

Being saddened by what everybody knows is just his way to shift the focus from his various failings to someone else's.

Greenspan solved every problem he met with low rates and barrels of cash, pushing markets ever higher and becoming a popular folk hero. And, he had the good sense to get out just before his birds came home to roost.

But he wanted to avoid deflation. He only did it to save us. Really, he did.


US peak: 1971; UK peak 1999; Australia peak 2000
Coalition of the peaking

Hahhahah! That's good one. Funny, if it weren't so painful.

"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."

OH MY!!!!! That would mean there was a CONSPIRACY going on about the Iraq war. I thought TOD didn’t engage in CONSPIRACY THEORIES. All the chemical engineers PHDs etc etc know there are no conspiracies. Shame on you all!!

“What we call progress is a mysterious marriage of creativity and plunder. Civilization has flowered when human beings have devised ingenious new ways to organize production and social life, but such organization has usually been accomplished with stolen goods…. Under girding [its] extraordinary achievements in art philosophy, literature, and statecraft [are] military power and conquest.”
~Richard J Barnet


Hey AC,

Don't be a stranger, post anytime.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hello TODers,

I just read an excerpt from his new book:
The World in 2030
Greenspan charts our economic course in 'The Age of Turbulence.' An excerpt.
No mention of Peakoil, or Peak Anything.

IMO, a very serious and fundamental flaw to his analysis. I find it very difficult to believe that he is not Peakoil aware [in fairness: maybe he discusses Peakoil in the other chapters].

Thus, his disclosure that the Iraqi invasion was for the oil is confusing to me when compared to this above-linked predictive excerpt.

I would hope that ASPO would extend an invitation to Greenspan to attend the upcoming Houston Conference: if he is truly Peakoil ignorant--> his conference participation would quickly get him up to Peakoil speed.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Of course Greenspan knows about PO. For example, Jerome’s close reading of Greenspan 2005: eurotrib

Or Greenspan, testimony to Senate, 2006, PDF:

"Oil prices had been persistently edging higher since 2002 as increases in global oil consumption progressively absorbed the buffer of several million barrels a day in excess capacity that stood between production and demand. Today world oil production stands at about 85 million barrels a day, and little excess capacity remains. Just how much excess capacity, and of what quality oil, is a matter of debate. But no matter what the precise answer, the buffer between supply and demand is much too small to absorb shutdowns of even a small part of the world’s production.


Hypothetically, if we still had the 10 million barrels a day of spare capacity that existed two decades ago, neither surges in demand nor temporary shutdowns of output from violence, hurricanes or unscheduled maintenance would be having much, if any, impact on price. Returning to such a level of spare capacity appears wholly out of reach for the foreseeable future, however."

He continues with the obligatory spin, bold as you please:

"This is not because there is any shortage of oil in the ground. The problem is that aside from Saudi-Aramco, few, if any, of national oil companies which own most of the world’s proved oil reserves are investing enough of their surging cash flow to convert the reserves into crude oil productive capacity. .." link

Imho, Greenspan understands the relation between 'the economy', geological fact, and war very well. Why he suddenly comes out about Iraq is another matter.

There were no WMD's. There were no direct quotes of Sadaam threatening to blow up his neighbors. There were no nukes. The Niger uranium documents contained the names of people who did not work for the Niger government. The anthrax sent to a Democratic leader of Congress came from a U.S. Army weapons facility in Maryland that was cultivating anthrax in violation of international arms treaties. The place where Powell alleged WMD's were being hidden underground turned out to be a rubbish dump full of garbage.

What George Bush stated would be a $40 billion dollar war is expected to pass $500 billion. The national debt passed nine trillion dollars. Cheney watched his Halliburton stock soar as all other oil service companies were prohibited from bidding on the Iraq oil field developement contracts.

It was safe to go to church on Sunday before the war, now it is not safe to go to a food market in Iraq. There have been close to 100,000 military and non-military deaths, many more wounded, 2 million Iraqis in foreign nations unable to get work permits, hundreds of thousands of refugees within Iraq, and a tragic loss of freedom.

The U.S. violated international law by doing a preemptive war based on fraudulent testimomny and ought to be withdrawing instead of trying to grab oil on someone elses land. There were less destructive ways to earn a living than trying to steal oilfields for no-bid contracts.

This is what I mean when I say that by the standard set by the Nuremburg trials, our citizens can be held responsible for aiding and abetting a war of aggression. None of the facts you listed were unavailable to the public.

You bring up the Nuremberg Trials. What issues formed the basis of the Nuremberg trials?

The main charges in the indictment were:

(1) Conspiracy to wage wars of aggression Check. The Downing Street memo clearly states that US leaders were manipulating the intelligence to make the cause for war. They were assisted in this effort by Blair's government. This constitutes conspiracy to wage a war of agression.

(2) Crimes against peace Check. Iraq was the most western of Middle East nations. It is now a failed state descending into a pre-feudal mad-max horror. This would constitute a crime against peace.

(3) War crimes: for example, murder and ill-treatment of civilians and prisoners of war, deportation of civilians for slave labour, and killing of hostages Check. An estimated 1.2 million civilian deaths, indefinite incarceration for no reason, CIA rendition flights, documented killing of prisoners, prison torture - all justify a charge of war crimes. Der BushFuhrer recognized this fact and sought to have the AG draft legislation with the specific purpose of avoiding liability for war crimes.

(4) Crimes against humanity: for example, mass murder of the Jews and other peoples, and murder and ill-treatment of political opponents. Check. I think the Arabs constitute "other peoples." I believe that 1.2 million dead are sufficient to qualify as a crime against humanity. There are reports of Special Forces being tasked with the elimination of political opponents.

Annoyed by their lack of progress in hunting down America’s enemies, Donald Rumsfeld, the then US defence secretary, in 2002 directed them to “find, fix and finish” terrorists. This order was secretly backed up by President George W Bush. Lethal force was declared legal, with or without resistance – although in some eyes this contravenes international law.

The people directing this activity believe they are carrying out these actions on your behalf. If you continue to permit that delusion then you are complicit in the the crime.

None of the facts you listed were unavailable to the public.

Actually, almost all of them were functionally unavailable to the public:

  • No WMDs: it was not until later that it became public knowledge the administration's sources were unreliable (e.g., Curveball).
  • Niger document: not only was this not available to the public, most people have no way to verify for themselves who does or does not work for a foreign government.
  • Powell's presentation: by all indications, he didn't know his "facts" were bogus; how was the public to know?

Of course, it's also true that no actual evidence was presented to the public - it was all simply a big, fat "trust me" from the government, and it turned out that they were utterly untrustworthy in this regard. Especially considering the heavy media blitz, trusting the government in this regard was hardly a war crime, stupid as it may have been.

Those who were actively complicit in the deception, however, bear greater responsibility. And everyone who said to themselves "they wouldn't say they had evidence without actually having it" should take that as a much-needed lesson to be more skeptical in the future.

Niger document: not only was this not available to the public, most people have no way to verify for themselves who does or does not work for a foreign government.

Within 14 days of the documents 'being made public' - before the TV lit up with the announcement that 'the attack has begun' the web site Metafilter covered the 'errors'.

Just because *YOU* did not see it, or chose to ignore the issue does not make your position correct.

That was March 8; by then it was pretty clear that the US was committed to the invasion, and nothing could be done to halt it. It would have been comical to watch the US make demands, Iraq scurry to fulfill them, and the US always boom "not enough!" if war hadn't been at stake.

At any rate, that does nothing to bolster the case that average Americans should be held culpable for the war, which was the point.

In a semi-related way:
The Times covers Israeli raid on Syrian nuclear material:

If we can go to the moon ...
Then surely ...
We can find Fossett !!!!

(Let's rename it Fossitt Fuels in honor of the man and legend.)

Power, not oil, Mr Greenspan

The real reason for the war was Saddam’s defiance and the projection of US power after 9/11.

Lets just realize Iraq is one of those things that seems perfect from a naive viewpoint:

He tried to kill my dad
They have lots of oil
They want to sell oil in euros

Anything else put on top of this is gobbledy-gook. There were no WMDs(zero, they were destroyed). No connection with 9/11, al-queda, or secret organizations. He was a dictator who ran the most progressive country in the middle east keeping factions at bay who would harm each other.

If it wasn't about the oil, what was it about? If you are sold an empty box, told it was full, that is fraud. The entire fiasco is fraud from beginning to end. Think it through, none of this administrations claims will likely end up ever being verified, some are likely unverifiable.


I thought I read here that Iraq tried to set up a bourse using yen right before we hit them in 1991. I believe this post dated the Kuwait invasion so it was reaction rather than cause ...

I just love the way that some of these Very Important People finally get an attack of conscience long after they are retired from government and comfortable ensconced in some cushy corporate position.

Robert McNamarra didn't come forth to admit that he considered the Vietnam War unwinnable till some 20+years and thousands of lives later.

Colin Powell only now admits that the case for invading Iraq was largely bogus and known to be bogus by all involved in selling the buildup.

And now we have Greenspan telling us that the invasion of Iraq was largely about oil.

None of the above had the guts to jeopardize their careers by telling the truth at the time it could have affected the outcome. Well, thanks fellas, that does us all a lot of good now!

A pox upon all three!

In the movie "Fog of War" McNamara also admitted that the firebombing of Japan was a war crime, again some 40+ years after the fact.

I agree. With the exception of one or two diplomats, one of which I believe was the ambassador to Greece who resigned, not a single member of this administration ever voiced an objection to what was going on with Iraq. They can sing all they want now for all the difference it will make.
Powell should have resigned and he knows it. I hope he finds it tough to live with himself.


Outside of the range of US media hypno-influence, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq are obvious for what they are; a flanking maneuver preceding invasion of Iran and the Caspian oil fields - "The Prize".

If our leaders really believed their own predictions, as listed in "Rebuilding America's Defenses", then they thought it would be fast and easy. That prediction, it now seems, was wrong.

The decision that now must be made is whether to adopt Plan B (permanent occupation/reconstruction and governance of Iraq and Afghanistan) or just tell the public what it was really about, draft a million troops, and invade Iran. So what is Greenspan trying to tell us?

A permanent solar/nuclear infrastructure could be bought for about the price, human and dollar, of a Caspian War, and would set an example that Asia would follow. It would not make north america any less secure, AND HAS TO BE DONE EVENTUALLY ANYWAY. Why not start now?

Because the oil that remains is still far, far cheaper and eroi-positive than solar and nuclear? Not just because of the quality of the fuel itself, but because we have trillions invested in oil-only infrastucture?

Whoever controls the cheap energy source, effectively controls the world.

War & oil are much more profitable than solar & nuclear & rail. It is as simple as that.

A permanent solar/nuclear infrastructure could be bought for about the price, human and dollar, of a Caspian War, and would set an example that Asia would follow. It would not make north america [sic] any less secure, AND HAS TO BE DONE EVENTUALLY ANYWAY. Why not start now?

Well said. Unfortunately, that approach doesn't appear to be in the script.

Peak oil needs people like Greenspan to come out and speak truth to power. The revolution is now.


Go hang a clothesline.

100th. If Greedscam has truly repented of his crimes he should send back that stupid medal.

I always thought the best piece of evidence supporting the Peak Oil theory was the US invasion of Iraq. All the wars are about resources. Evidence was fabricated or at least enhanced in order for the mass to believe that the Iraq war was about WMDs and a bad Arab guy. Now, the same intelligence agencies are blaming the insurgency on Al-Qaeda as if any dead insurgent is caring a membership card, should we believe them?


I watched Greenspan on 60 Minutes tonight and realized crypticism was a hallmark of his tenure. His cryptic comments were meant to remain ambiguous so as to not influence markets one way or another.

The same thing with Iraq -- so not only shouldn't we believe what they say, we shouldn't probably even try to figure out what they are trying to say.

This is probably the most important bit of information that I have gained in the last two decades.

Actions speak louder than words.


I first learned about peak oil (and discovered this site) while trying to figure out why we went to war with Iraq. The past/current/coming peak is the only explanation that makes sense.

The 'why' can be considered all over the map. Look into the Iraq past - a man called Mr. 5%.

So Calouste Gulbenkian was a clever businessman who made obscene amounts of money arranging contracts for the development of middle east oil to western oil companies.

I think I need another clue.

think I need another clue.

How about the part where Iraq was 'agreed to' be the last in production - my guess would be because of the potable water and the three factions that could be set upon each other to help maintain control.

And the more one reads of the history, the more a quote about how nothing is accidental in politics seems to ring true.

I think we need to examine Greenspan's comment about the invasion of Iraq being mostly about oil in a slightly different perspective. Greenspan has recently damned Bush's overall economic policy of recklessly cutting taxes and spending and borrowing like there's no tomorrow, and fighting a hugely expensive war without putting the US economy on a proper wartime footing and introducing potentially unpopular though necessary measures, like higher taxes to pay for the war. Only this is difficult when so many Americans are opposed to the war, or sceptical of the methods and ultimate war aims.

Greenspan has called himself a 'libertarian, conservative, Republican', he is apparently trying to send a message to the American people. That is, Bush and the clique around him are not 'libertarian, conservative, Republicans'. They are something else, something far more dangerous and sinister.

So, Greenspan seems to be trying to function like an oracle. He is trying to warn us about the dangers we face in the future and is that we should be on our guard, wary and sceptical of the current regime which has hijacked the Republican party and is leading America towards disaster if it isn't stopped in time.

Greenspan's greed-is-good values in every way facilitated the degeneration of an American citizenry into the sort of venal, short-sighted cowards whom Bush could rule.

And it also facilitated Peak Oil, here and in all the countries that tried to emulate our success.

Indeed. In addition, his target audience almost certainly are the power brokers on Wall Street, not the average American. He realizes that, when all is said and done, the Bush Administration policies and errors may ultimately bring Wall Street to its knees. (Of course, it could be argued that the Fed's policies are leading to the same sorry result.) The end game may be near when the elites start the blame game.

One of the sadder things I heard today was the idea that if someone other than General Franks had been in command, Iraq might have gone differently. This was sad because it came from an officer who was decorated in Iraq. The cycle of blame is finding a range of targets but I remember Franks putting quite a lot of effort into providing security to people who were looking for WMD. I'm not so sure any other commander would have done differently. That was suppose to be the mission.

I think that what Greenspan is saying jives a lot better with looking higher up. I remember Colin Powel saying that the Iraq arms declaration was false before it had been delivered. That is, before anyone in the US could have examined its contents to make such a determination. At that point it was clear that the weapons issue was a pretext and known to be a pretext at the cabinet level. But at the theater level, it would seem to me that the weapons issue was taken pretty seriously.

With the administration deliberately misleading the military as well as the congress and the people, it is not too difficult to understand that the mission was not well defined and has run into difficulty because of this. But, unless Greenspan is willing to say he was a party to the deception, or that those who plotted the deception have come clean to him, his comments seem to me to be just more opinion.


Oedipal rage.
Fantasies of domination.
Fantasies of revenge.

If it was all about oil- well we
ain't got the oil yet.

And it's been some expensive oil.

Greenspan can't admit he's spent
a good part of his life working for
mentally defective incompetents.

UPDATE 1-Russia to raise oil exports by 50,000 bpd in Q4

I posted this link over on the Net Export thread. This story really deserves some kind of award for most misleading headline. Buried in the story--you have to get through all the verbiage--is this little nugget: Russia crude oil exports, from Q3 2006 to Q3 2007, appear to have declined at a rate of 9.2%/year. I don't know what total liquids exports looked like.

Missing from the table in the article, Russian exports were 55.8 tonnes in Q3 2006.

Note that the alleged increase in Q4 crude oil exports is a forecast, which appears to be optimistic, especially given the following comment:

"This will be a tough quarter, especially October. People
rushed to evacuate as much crude as possible before the
introduction of new duties, so stocks are empty now," said a
trader with a Russian major.

As noted on the Net Export thread, based on the model and based on historical analogues once net exports start declining, the rate of decline tends to accelerate with time

Don’t Worry Westexas.

Another resource rich, hard currencied, nuclear tipped superpower will be along in a minute….

Worth the entire read. Truly.

The world is a turning place…

Tomorrow belongs to...THEM.

Vladimir Putin's global warning
Less than a decade after its humiliating debt default, Russia’s economy is booming as never before. But President Putin is using his country’s newfound wealth to boost the military, stoke nationalism and, increasingly, to confront the West. Is this the beginning of a new cold war?

Report by Brian Moynahan

Moscow has been washed all summer by the northern sun, lingering over the gilded onion domes of St Basil’s and glowing softly off the cobblestones of Red Square.
The shoppers are out until late in the elegant galleries and boutiques around the Kremlin wall. Green parasols shade open-air diners, and laughter drifts from the beer gardens. Moscow has never had it so good.
It is just little things, seen and heard, that jar. Posters, Soviet-style, with heroic figures and slogans in retro typefaces, advertise a Kremlin-backed youth group, Nashi. A sense of control is growing, on television, in business, even out driving. Traffic police no longer fine them for their own pocket, motorists say. Shakedowns are now professional, regulated from on high.
Lenin never vanished from Red Square. His mausoleum remains, his museum is being redecorated, and a lookalike has long stood at the entrance to the square, posing for photographs for a few roubles. Stalin was different: reviled as the killer of millions within three years of his death, his body plucked from its place of honour next to Lenin and secretly reburied in 1961.

Funny. Whenever someone - be it Russia or China tries to persue independent policy and goals it is being attacked as a quest for "superpower". Like they don't know that the sole superpower's place is reserved and is God-given to us. I mean US.

What a hypocrisy.

The master of all bubbles and the teacher of "Helicopter Ben" is appealing for financial conservativeness and criticizing Republicans for the fiscal irresponsibility he participated himself.

Then he takes the time to criticize China's lack of democracy without noticing how his own country is becoming like China with the Republicratic party getting the place of the Communist party and Faux News becoming the new Pravda. Oh well, he is "saddened" that we "can not spell out the truth" about Iraq, but how much good does his sadness do now, after he's retired???

And then he endorses hedge funds with all the instability they bring to the markets and their lack of responsibility towards other people's money. In the same breath with that "fiscal conservativeness" plead I presume.


Maybe he couldn't live with himself--
After being the water boy for corporate capitalism and a "ponzanista capitalist" enabler, he had to speak out against the delusion and destructive policies of greed he helped his Republican and Democratic "pigs at the trough" , "free market capitalists" steal from the working proletariat.
Let's hope this trend toward morality and truth continues.

Oh, please, I don't think he has shown up to the privilege of benevolence.

If Stalin or Pol Pot were to retire I am certain that they would have explained in their memoirs how good and noble their intentions were and how it was all "other's" fault. I'm not comparing Alan to them, just showing that it is always easy to find explanations when you are not in charge and if this does not work - you can always pin it to the others. And his emphasize on the "fiscal conservativeness" problem is way too suspicious as to what he expects to seek indulgence for.

In the end his "Austrian school" style comments show that he has hardly bulged on the path of reconciliation. The same crap that has turned us in consumerist zombies and the third world and the environment into a waste bin, only with a slight bit of regret about the most apparent excesses... gosh

You are probably right--
Capitalism rewards the worst of human traits, and he was one who augmented this despicable practice and delusion--
Maybe he was trying to salvage some sort of history for himself?
All this is speculation, and we can only observer the material results--
The rest is mental masturbation.

Capitalism cannot prosper without a hard-working, hard-saving working class.

And America's is called The People's Republic of China.

Capitalism cannot function at all without growth, and growth requires acquisition of resources. Those resources are inanimate (ores), natural (wood, oil, animal domestication), and human (wage slavery).

Do not discount the extent to which American capitalism preys on the American people.


You capsulised our problem very well.
What will the lack of oil lead to though?
There is...........
All capitalistic symptoms of an economy in distress.
Which one, all or combination of and in what order will these symptoms occur?
Is it possible to avoid all or any?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday rejected former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's statement that the Iraq war "is largely about oil."

Even the military is starting to defect:
"Admiral Fallon called General Petraeus a "ass-kissing little chicken sh*t!" "
That is historically when a elite can no longer maintain control (through violence). One can point to the Russian and French Revolutions- the ruling elite lost support of the army.

A very interesting analogy to the problem of Iraq:

Economics professors have a standard game they use to demonstrate how apparently rational decisions can create a disastrous result. They call it a "dollar auction." The rules are simple. The professor offers a dollar for sale to the highest bidder, with only one wrinkle: the second-highest bidder has to pay up on their losing bid as well. Several students almost always get sucked in. The first bids a penny, looking to make 99 cents. The second bids 2 cents, the third 3 cents, and so on, each feeling they have a chance at something good on the cheap. The early stages are fun, and the bidders wonder what possessed the professor to be willing to lose some money.

The problem surfaces when the bidders get up close to a dollar. After 99 cents the last vestige of profitability disappears, but the bidding continues between the two highest players. They now realize that they stand to lose no matter what, but that they can still buffer their losses by winning the dollar. They just have to outlast the other player. Following this strategy, the two hapless students usually run the bid up several dollars, turning the apparent shot at easy money into a ghastly battle of spiraling disaster.

Theoretically, there is no stable outcome once the dynamic gets going. The only clear limit is the exhaustion of one of the player's total funds. In the classroom, the auction generally ends with the grudging decision of one player to "irrationally" accept the larger loss and get out of the terrible spiral. Economists call the dollar auction pattern an irrational escalation of commitment. We might also call it the war in Iraq.

Nice comment. I tried not to read ahead and figure out the consequences; I imagined that it would happen pretty much like you laid out.

The important point is that the people who had figured out that the war would end badly used used a similar logical deduction years ago, and tried to warn everyone not to fall for the trap. Whereas the idiots who let it spiral out of control are the same impulsive fools who fall for the economics professor's version of 3-Card Monte.

I am apparently one of the rare people in the peak oil camp who believe that the Iraq war was not primarily about oil. I say not "primarily", because Iraq's central location in the middle of the world's main oil-producing region greatly increases its importance - I just don't think oil was the main reason for the war.

I would like to ask a question of those who think the war was about oil - what was the objective with respect to oil? I've heard the following ideas suggested on TOD: (1) the objective was to increase Iraq's oil output, (2) the objective was to suppress Iraq's oil output so we could use it later, (3) the objective was to steal Iraq's oil for ourselves. Now its not real clear that any of these things are currently happening, as Iraq's oil output is a little less than before the war, but still at significant levels, and they are selling it to countries all over the world.

I think this is a fair question to ask. It's easy to get everybody on TOD riled up yelling "no blood for oil", but in what sense was it about oil? What were we really trying to do?

Originally it was thought that saddam was hated, we would be welcomed as liberators, Iraqis would rush to hand juicy exploration and production contracts to halliburton while dedicating the lion's share of exports to the liberators. Problem is, only the kurds and shias were put down by saddam, his sunnis were on top and many of them, particluarly the baath party leaders, naturally did not like losing their privledged positoin at the top of the heap. Many were happy, even some sunnis, to see saddam fall, and much of what the neocoms hoped for might have come to pass, but rumsfeld et al went against the plans of the field comanders and fired not just the top police and military leaders, but the rank and file as well, creating in one stroke an unemployed army of well trained insurgents. Imagine if the iraqi police and military, mostly sunni, had been working for us since the liberation... bush might be quite popular today, mccain would likely be in line as successor, etc.

It seems simple up to a point-

It is for position for later in the game.

Yep... setting up bases for future use.


What were we really trying to do?

About time someone asked that question.

There is strong evidence that the conflict with Iraq was being planned almost from the start of the Bush administration. It is also clear that crucial evidence to support the war was "cooked up." The Niger yellow cake letter was quickly identified as a fraud as soon as it became public. Yet it was reviewed by at least 3 intelligence services and none of them was able to detect this same fraud? And when Wilson moved to clarify the issue the Administration quickly acted to denounce him and destroy his wife's livelihood.

There is a clear difference between my telling you something which I believe to be true because I am a fool and something that I tell you because I believe you are a fool and will be easily misled by my misdirection and lies. The administration's actions were of the latter type, not the former. If what they said was not true then what has been left unsaid must be closer to the truth.

One key element is the fact that in the initial attack, US units arriving in Bagdhad immediately secured the Oil Ministry and placed it under armed guard. It was one of the few, perhaps the only, government office not looted. At the same time the US military was extending protection to a single government office, they left unprotected Iraqi army weapons dumps. Reporters visting these dumps found them being looted. When they reported this to US military units no action to secure them was taken. By its inaction the US military allowed the insurgency to arm itself.

If you attack a nation under the belief that it has WMD would you not make every effort to seize its arms depots so as to ensure these deadly weapons are secured? What military would seize and secure an office building and allow the public the free run of weapons depots? Does this sound at all intelligent to you?

We know the VP held extensive meetings with oil industry executives early in the first term. There has been little published on what was discussed. What is interesting is that oil markets are much tighter today, oil is daily making new highs, and the adminsitration is not engaged in any similar meetings. I suspect these meetings also concerned Iraq and the potential disruption to world supply and/or were part of an internal PO assesment that formed the secret rationale for the invasion.

But the real kicker is that after 4+ years, 1.2 million Iraqi dead and almost 4,000 military dead, it is still necessary to ask the question what was it we were really trying to do?

The outing of Valerie Plame was treason. We used to hang people for that ...

NASA: I can understand posters such as yourself not agreeing that the Iraq adventure was always about self-interest (and certainly not yours, so I have no idea why you persist on using the word "we")but what is flabbergasting is that you appear not even to accept it as a possibility. First and foremost, the USA is about making money (power and money are linked almost perfectly in the society). Are you unable to understand this or afraid to understand?

BrianT, I didn't say the war was not about self-interest; I actually agree with you that it was. I just said I don't think it was primarily about oil.

It's about keeping the Middle East oil options secure- atleast with hopes of full-flowing undictatorial spicketed waivers in possession. A controlled option of reserves on hold so to speak. (stealing oil is not a proper empire-like tactic in this daze. Nor is it a needed option when it can be bought with useless paper) Mostly though, it is about not having a possible takeover by any other unfriendly oil grubbing national alliances like ourselves. (we need much more black goo to survive than any other, thus, we can not afford to have this area up for controlled grabs) It is about making sure we control the trade of liquid black honey money...And of course, to deburden and rid these downtrodden peoples of saddamistic suffering, replaced with the spirit of democrazy freedom and justice for all....Sarcanol...?

Greetings All:

Might I suggest that we all take a moment to ponder how influential Ayn Rand and OBJECTIVISM (described in her 'Atlas Shrugged' Manifesto) has invaded the US Government mindthink?

And led us on this disastrous path?

Is it finally going to be demonstrated how wretched Objectivism really is?

Check out this NYT link -


Its not just about oil its about Peak OIL.

Cheney knows it ... Haliburton knows it .... Exon knows it.. and have known for some time.

They are not stupid.

Its resource wars ... nothing new ...

do you want to keep your standard of living or not ??

Rand describes three sorts of people in Atlas Shrugged - builders, moochers, and looters. I would contend that the Bush administration has a few looters, many moochers who follow them around, and not a soul who embodies Rand's concept of the builder.

But I will agree that it has been misused, much as Christianity has ...

UPDATE: Greenspan 'clarifies' remarks about Iraq and Oil

"I was not saying that that's the administration's motive," Greenspan said in the interview conducted on Saturday. "I'm just saying that if somebody asked me, 'Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?' I would say it was essential."

Ah well, it was nice while it lasted. Honesty that is.

from Bob Woodward of the Washington Post

In the interview, he clarified that sentence in his 531-page book, saying that while securing global oil supplies was "not the administration's motive," he had presented the White House with the case for why removing Hussein was important for the global economy


Greenspan appears to have believed that killing Hussein was key to changing Iraq's policy which he surmised was aimed at disrupting oil supplies. He also thought Hussein was acting guilty about WMD so he must have had them. Since he claims also that his views were not heeded in his area of expertise, it is hard to see why he would think that his insistence on the need for violence against Hussein would carry a lot of weight. If he had instead argued that containment was working and oil supplies were not threatened things would not have been different. So, this is not realy news.

I think Krugman's take on the book, that it is fundementally dishonest, is the main news here.


As Groucho Marx said: "I have principles. . . And if you don't like those, I have other principles!"

Someone might want to add this to the top:

Report: Greenspan says euro could replace U.S. dollar as reserve currency of choice

NEW THREAD UP TOP on the update...