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Oil as a motive for the Iraq war

September 20, 2007

Re "Bashing Bush with Greenspan," Opinion, Sept. 18

Although Jonah Goldberg may be right in highlighting a position that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was misquoted, there has never been a doubt in my mind that the Iraq war was started because of oil. The White House may not have framed it in those terms, but how often has it been truly honest about anything? It never could have sold a war for oil, hence the weapons-of-mass-destruction approach that conveniently morphed into the war on terror once Saddam Hussein was removed.

The whole Middle East situation -- except for Israel, Palestine and Lebanon -- is all about oil. What has the Middle East got to offer but oil? Surely the Western world isn't clamoring for Islam.

Steve Chandler

Santa Barbara

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Goldberg finally states a truth: "When it comes to bashing Bush about the war, no accusation is inaccurate. . . . Some say it's all about the Israel lobby. Others claim that Bush was trying to avenge his dad. Still others say Bush went to war because God told him to. Which is it?" The answer: All of the above, and oil certainly had a part in it.

Continues Goldberg: "It's disturbing how many people are willing to look for motives beyond the ones debated and voted on by our elected leaders." Not so disturbing, Jonah, because the motives put forth by President Bush and debated in good faith by our elected officials were quickly revealed as lies.

Joel Rapp

Los Angeles

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Goldberg seems very impatient with those of us who are confused about the reason we went to war in Iraq. He lists a number of possible reasons that have been put forward and scoffs at all of them -- and our confusion. The interesting thing about his article is what's missing. Nowhere does he venture a guess about what we're doing there, and nowhere do the words "weapons of mass destruction" appear. No wonder we're confused.

Chris Taber

Palm Spring

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Re "Greenspan's book asserts 'Iraq war is largely about oil,' " Sept. 17

Talk about spin. In the confusing run-up to the invasion, the president not only heard conflicting input about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but his highly respected then-Federal Reserve chairman is quoted as telling the Washington Post that "if somebody asked me, 'Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?' I would say it was essential." Furthermore, Greenspan reportedly said that he had presented the White House a case for why removing Hussein was important for the global economy.

So how can Bush -- and, as is the wont of the liberal left, only Bush -- still be solely blamed for wanting to invade Iraq "for oil" after all?

Harvey Pearson

Los Angeles

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