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Bush Didn't Bungle Iraq, You Fools


by Greg Palast
for The Guardian

20 March 2006

Get off it. All the carping, belly-aching and complaining about
George Bush's incompetence in Iraq, from both the Left and now the
Right, is just dead wrong.

On the third anniversary of the tanks rolling over Iraq's border,
most of the 59 million Homer Simpsons who voted for Bush are
beginning to doubt if his mission was accomplished.

But don't kid yourself -- Bush and his co-conspirator, Dick Cheney,
accomplished exactly what they set out to do. In case you've
forgotten what their real mission was, let me remind you of White
House spokesman Ari Fleisher's original announcement, three years
ago, launching of what he called,


O.I.L. How droll of them, how cute. Then, Karl Rove made the giggling
boys in the White House change it to "OIF" -- Operation Iraqi
Freedom. But the 101st Airborne wasn't sent to Basra to get its hands
on Iraq's OIF.

"It's about oil," Robert Ebel told me. Who is Ebel? Formerly the
CIA's top oil analyst, he was sent by the Pentagon, about a month
before the invasion, to a secret confab in London with Saddam's
former oil minister to finalize the plans for "liberating" Iraq's oil
industry. In London, Bush's emissary Ebel also instructed Ibrahim
Bahr al-Ulum, the man the Pentagon would choose as post-OIF oil
minister for Iraq, on the correct method of disposing Iraq's crude.

And what did the USA want Iraq to do with Iraq's oil? The answer will
surprise many of you: and it is uglier, more twisted, devilish and
devious than anything imagined by the most conspiracy-addicted
blogger. The answer can be found in a 323-page plan for Iraq's oil
secretly drafted by the State Department. Our team got a hold of a
copy; how, doesn't matter. The key thing is what's inside this thick
Bush diktat: a directive to Iraqis to maintain a state oil company
that will "enhance its relationship with OPEC."

Enhance its relationship with OPEC??? How strange: the government of
the United States ordering Iraq to support the very OPEC oil cartel
which is strangling our nation with outrageously high prices for

Specifically, the system ordered up by the Bush cabal would keep a
lid on Iraq's oil production -- limiting Iraq's oil pumping to the
tight quota set by Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel.

There you have it. Yes, Bush went in for the oil -- not to get MORE
of Iraq's oil, but to prevent Iraq producing TOO MUCH of it.

You must keep in mind who paid for George's ranch and Dick's bunker:
Big Oil. And Big Oil -- and their buck-buddies, the Saudis -- don't
make money from pumping more oil, but from pumping LESS of it. The
lower the supply, the higher the price.

It's Economics 101. The oil industry is run by a cartel, OPEC, and
what economists call an "oligopoly" -- a tiny handful of operators
who make more money when there's less oil, not more of it. So, every
time the "insurgents" blow up a pipeline in Basra, every time Mad
Mahmoud in Tehran threatens to cut supply, the price of oil leaps.
And Dick and George just LOVE it.

Dick and George didn't want more oil from Iraq, they wanted less. I
know some of you, no matter what I write, insist that our President
and his Veep are on the hunt for more crude so you can cheaply fill
your family Hummer; that somehow, these two oil-patch babies are
concerned that the price of gas in the USA is bumping up to $3 a

No so, gentle souls. Three bucks a gallon in the States (and a quid a
litre in Britain) means colossal profits for Big Oil, and that makes
Dick's ticker go pitty-pat with joy. The top oily-gopolists, the five
largest oil companies, pulled in $113 billion in profit in 2005 --
compared to a piddly $34 billion in 2002 before Operation Iraqi
Liberation. In other words, it's been a good war for Big Oil.

As per Plan Bush, Bahr Al-Ulum became Iraq's occupation oil minister;
the conquered nation "enhanced its relationship with OPEC;" and the
price of oil, from Clinton peace-time to Bush war-time, shot up 317%.

In other words, on the third anniversary of invasion, we can say the
attack and occupation is, indeed, a Mission Accomplished. However, it
wasn't America's mission, nor the Iraqis'. It was an Mission
Accomplished for OPEC and Big Oil.