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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Sunday, April 10, 2005

It wasn’t about the Oil, stupid!

Prologue: I got forwarded this quote yesterday by Josie, who asked me what I thought of it. I was enraged by its stupidity and ecstatic at the same time because it gave me something that I wanted to address here for a while now but never had the chance: The whole “The Iraq War was fought for Oil” stupid argument. I am so excited! Let’s get this started! "I think it was all done to get oil. And the loss of life that we had, & the cost of it, was to me just a re-election move, & they're going to try to live off it. Probably start another war, wouldn't be surprised, next year. Probably in Iran." Sen. James Jeffords (I-VT), quoted by the Valley News, on the war in Iraq. Yes, cause as we all know, Jim Jeffords is the supreme authority on the truth in America. And the fact that he defected from the Republican Party has nothing to do with anything. Nor does the fact that he is up for re-election in Vermont, which is very Anti-Iraq war and very anti-Bush. Pot, Kettle, Black! Anyway.. Ok, here is the flaw in the "It was all done for oil" argument: The math doesn't add up. This war has cost the US over 175 Billion dollars and is projected to end up costing more then 500 Billion dollars over the next 2 years . No matter how big the Iraqi oil reserves are, there isn’t an economical way to sell enough of it for the next 10 years to just cover this cost and breakeven right now. Even if they increased the production to make up more money, the increased supply to a constant demand would bring the price of oil down, which brings you back to slot 1. If this was for oil, and to make money off of it for the "imperialist good of America", then it is the dumbest economical plan in existence. It would’ve been cheaper and less controversial to get the Oil through the UN Oil for Food program, which in case you didn’t know, had US companies as the #1 purchaser of Iraqi Oil. So let’s say this again and see if you get it: The US didn’t have to invade Iraq to get its Oil, cause they already were getting it cheap and hell of a lot cheaper then it costs right now. Not to mention, the Iraq oil money, will be needed for the reconstruction of Iraq. You think the Iraqis would let you just steal their oil and be ok with it? Right! Cause they are such docile toothless puppies. As for the re-election, let's be honest, the Iraq war was Bush's weakest point up to the election. It was his most vulnerable side at the time, cause let's face it, back then it wasn't going very well. There was no Iraqi election or democratically elected Iraqi government. Just a US death toll. Yeah, Bush went to a highly expensive war that caused daily US death toll and divided a nation cause it would secure his re-election. Right! That makes perfect sense! Not to mention, another War? With what Troops? The majority of the infantry is in Iraq and they are the ones who you need for ground control( that's why Iran and Syria support the insurgency with financing and agents; cause as long as the Americans are in Iraq, they are not in Iran or Syria). Not to mention, who would approve of another war while this one is still going on? You think the American people can take another War right now? You think anyone on both the left or the right would be for it? And with what money? How would they finance such a war anyway? Grr, I hate stupid people who say stupid illogical shit like that without thinking first. Look, I know that it is tough to accept, especially since you all saw that Michael Moore movie and he did win an Oscar and all, but….but have you ever considered the possibility that Bush might be honest about that plan to transform the middle-east of his? That maybe, just maybe he chose Saddam cause he is by far the worst of all Arabs dictators and his regime was the most brutal, and by creating a functional democracy in Iraq it might cause a ripple effect affecting the rest of the countries in the region? That maybe by doing so and by having an American troop presence in Iraq, it will help embolden all of those Arabs that want democracy in their countries and will force their despotic regimes to actually listen to the demands and wishes of their people and give them democratic and free elections? No? Try it some times. You will find it makes hell of a lot more sense then any conspiracy involving Halliburton or how it’s all part of the grand Zionist scheme to create a Greater Israel. Just saying…


At 4/10/2005 08:58:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

AWESOME post, Sam!

I'm updating my post with a link to this!

At 4/10/2005 09:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you, I don't think it was "about" oil. He did the right thing and finished the job that should have been finished in the first Gulf war.

Look back one thousand years, the Arab peoples were the most advanced and enlightened in the world - the argument that they can't be that way now is something foisted upon them by supporters of dictators, usually those who benefit from the dictators.

Good for you, I will read your blog every day, and have added you to my blogroll.

At 4/10/2005 01:02:00 PM, Blogger stefania said...

Great blog !! A New Wind is blowing accross the Middle East

At 4/10/2005 01:03:00 PM, Blogger Tom Dilatush said...

Nice blog! And I agree with Beth: awesome post! Trackback to JamulBlog

At 4/10/2005 01:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

*Thank* you. I've been saying the exact same thing (about the cost-benefit analysis) all along to my friends, but they haven't been listening to me. Great post.

At 4/10/2005 02:15:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Amazing analysis! I found you through Iraq the Model, and I like what I'm seeing. Especially the whole "cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey" bit--right up my alley. And this post has shown me right off the bat how intelligent you are!

Up on the blogroll you shall go.

At 4/10/2005 03:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this blog through Iraq the Model also.

In the last three and a half years we have seen the most shocking demonstration of people's ability to believe what they want to believe. Even as it's happening right in front of their eyes some people deny that things are changing for the better. As an American it's embarrassing to me. I don't even like President Bush very much but I'm grown up enough to admit that he did some things right.

At 4/10/2005 05:46:00 PM, Blogger Solomon2 said...

That maybe by doing so and by having an American troop presence in Iraq, it will help embolden all of those Arabs that want democracy in their countries and will force their despotic regimes to actually listen to the demands and wishes of their people and give them democratic and free elections?


At 4/10/2005 07:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In the last three and a half years we have seen the most shocking demonstration of people's ability to believe what they want to believe."

I certainly never believed the WMDs claim or that Iraq was a threat to USA or UK. What utter nonsense!!

I also don't believe Bush is there to bring freedom and democracy. I think it is to control the area and the resources, and make sure China doesn't get to buy all that oil.

At 4/10/2005 07:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the post..thanks and I hope there are more people out there just like you that beleive that Bush wants democracy in the Middle East..

At 4/10/2005 09:05:00 PM, Blogger Od1kenob said...

Ahhh, so now it's about Bush's clandestine plan to ace out China. Bet they didn't see that one coming. Here they are distracted about talks with N. Korea and US ties to Taiwan and BOOM! we cut off all the precious Iraqi oil crippling the mighty Chinese military/industrial complex.


He's pretty sneaky for an idiot.

Sandmonkey, prepare for the ITM-link surge.

At 4/10/2005 09:36:00 PM, Blogger Dan Sherman said...

I agreed with your assessment of the reasons for war and how it wasn't for oil. However, don't be too sure we're not going to do SOMETHING militarily in Iran. We have much more resources than you think regarding the military. Our military is designed to conduct two major wars, globally separated, simultaneously with enough left over to keep other countries at bay.

Don't believe the "stretched troops" hype. That's all.

Good luck with your blog and I appreciate your voice on the web.

At 4/10/2005 10:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan, that's bullshit. The NG and the Tampons are not able to serve through two conflicts. The system has been broken and does need some time. We are can function but there will not be another invasion.

anon, that oil thing is still a bit cynical buddy. By now you should know that we do not plan ahead in the States.

At 4/10/2005 10:35:00 PM, Blogger Tina said...

They sound like a bunch of parrots, don't they?

"It's the oil, it's the oil" squwak "Haliburton, Haliburton" "Polly want a cracker?"

At 4/11/2005 12:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny you should mention Haliburton.

Anyone with a lick of sense knows they need oil and lots of it for their Tsunami and Earthquake generator.

Red Adair

At 4/11/2005 03:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

During the first desert strom war I heard the 'It's for the oil' crap. I always replied, if we where doing it just for oil, we would have just taken Kuwait while we had all our troops there. Kuwait has almost as much oil, yet they would have been a much easier target, and we wouldn't have to drive far to get it.

At 4/11/2005 05:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Senate debate that authorised OIF, there were 23 reasons listed for the Invasion and Liberation of Iraq. Do a google on it. Some were more valid then others, but the volumn speaks for itself.
BTW, the USA has about 15% of it's total combat strength committed in Iraq. The "We are over stretched" arguement was part of a ploy by the Socialist Left to defeat America in Iraq.
And, yes, it is highly likly that the USA will take military action against Iran. At least it won't be to get President Bush reelected, although the Left will no doubt make that claim.
Sod off, Swampy

At 4/11/2005 06:40:00 AM, Blogger Grizzly Mama said...

Well I don't know about you, but I'M getting MY free oil! $2.25 p/gallon is what I'm paying for gasoline. Hurrah for free oil!! Hurrah!!

At 4/11/2005 06:44:00 AM, Blogger keri said...

LOVE your posts! You are completely on target with your arguments. It is you and the people of your region like you that are truly the catalysts for change! keep it up..
Just two corrections:
1. Michael Moore did NOT win an Oscar.. he was completely shut out!! WOO HOO!
2. it's Pot, Kettle, Black.. (cattle are bulls and cows, kettle's are large iron pots that were used to boil things in)..
Keep up the good work!

At 4/11/2005 07:08:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Keri, he won an oscar for Bowling for columbine. It gives him that aoscar award winning director credibility that he used to validate the mess that was Fehrenheit 9/11.

Ohh,and thanks for corretcing me on the kettle thing. I blame Spell check.

At 4/11/2005 07:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To expand on what Keri said:

The funniest part of the story for me was that Moore wanted to win best picture, so he refused to put it up for best documentary. Pride goeth before the fall...

At 4/11/2005 07:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Post.

I am a Vet of the Desert storm and of Iraqi Freedom, and as far as our military being stretched thin, I beg to differ.

We have a standing Military force of 1.9 million troops and support personel, we have 150,000 troops and support in Iraq today and 75,000 in Afgan... by my count we still have a few hundred thousand to spare If you do not consider the fact that we have dutys in South Korea to help keep Kim IL at bay, and a sitting forces in Germany and Italy providing the EU with there defense (errr I mean aid to there defense.). That being said we still have assets to handle hot spot situations, but I do not think we could manage another Invasion of any nation. And to be honest I don't think there is a need to Invade any other nation at this current time.

But we do have a ton of assets that dont involve group troops, Lets a say 30 some odd B-2 Stealth bombers that can take off from Denver and fly around the earth twice and then hit there target and fly home with only one refuel.

That threat alone should be enough to keep dumbasses in check, or one would hope.

anyways, Great Post Sandmonkey, I salute you for your openess and honesty.

The only truth in this world is freedom and it is the U.S. only major export :)

(If we went to war with say Mexico do you think the chant would be no War for Taco's? or no blood for Burritos?)

At 4/11/2005 07:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Winston Churchill said, "You can always trust the Americans to do the right thing ... after they've tried everything else."

I agree Sandmonkey. We finally stumbled into the right thing again.

I do think there was one sneaky subplot to the Iraq war though. Bush has even alluded to it, left-handedly. I suspect the private strategy was more like:

Take out Saddam (a good thing) and in the process we have troops in the Middle East, which will attract the fanatic bombers, thus giving our troops an enemy walking into their guns. Best of all, the fanatics are concentrating on the Middle East, not America's Mid-West.

At 4/11/2005 10:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post.

The US would not even have to buy through oil-for-food.

If the US only cared about the oil, it could just buy as much as it wanted from Saddam, already from 1991. He would be very happy to sell. Why bother with oil-for-food?

The US initiated first a full boycott of Iraq, and then later the oil-for-food program.

It is obvious that security concerns were a lot more important to the US than oil. And it still is.


At 4/11/2005 10:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I hate stupid people who say stupid illogical shit like that without thinking first."

The scary part, monkey, is that the quote your post is about, probably was thought out and received well by the audience it was intended for.

At 4/11/2005 12:46:00 PM, Blogger TLG said...

Yes, yes and DOUBLE YES. Of course, you know this. I know this. Most of your other commenters know this. But if you try to explain this to an "it was all done for oil, bla bla bla" person, they just don't hear what we're saying. They hear a Peanuts adult talking. "womp womp womp womp womp..." And then we pause to draw breath and they chime in with "BUSH LIED!!" Sigh.

At 4/11/2005 02:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That idiotic "it's all about oil!" No matter how you slice it--oil access, oil ownership, oil price, oil company services--it's still baloney!

What you may not realize, is that this nonsense has been going on for 40 YEARS!!!

"It's All About Oil" was begun by the Left in the US during the Vietnam War. Why? Because the Vietnam War was "All About Oil." Oh, you hadn't learned that in history? Well, the Left wrote most of the history about Vietnam, but even their habitual dishonesty and gall was inadequate to maintaining THAT lie. At this point, the details are a little vague, but I recall that the claim was that there were some islands in the South China Sea that belonged to Vietnam and that had some petroleum potential. The Left then inferred that this was THE US motive for the war. How much oil does Vietnam produce today?

Come 1991, the Gulf War, and "it's all about oil," again. This time, the critics had a point, well, half a point. I think that April Glaspee's disastrous tete a tete with Sad Damn pretty accurately reflected the US interest in the rights of the Kuwaiti people and in the territorial integrity and independence of Kuwait. Not non-existent, but not worth a big fuss.
Ol' Mustache rapes Kuwait and suddenly a penny drops in Washington: Hmm, there's some oil around there, isn't there? Where could this all lead? So, the Gulf War was "all about" at least two things: aggression and oil.

Michael in Framingham

At 4/11/2005 03:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More "about oil:"

Most of the people who cried "it's all about oil" (I'm sick of typing their nonsense; abbreviate it as 'iaao.') at Gulf War I and most of the people who cried iaao ath GW II are identical. I say that the two claims are contradictory.

To see this, one should start by realizing that the iaao types are in tenuous contact with reality. In their minds the US administration is infinitely devious, farsighted, decisive, secretive, greedy, insincere, clever, and ruthless--unrealistically so. Now, iaao types agree with most other people that the US & Co. won GW I. There is a widespread notion that the US could have rolled on to Baghdad fairly easily; in fact, the main debate on the subject has been whether they SHOULD have (not whether they could have). I have never heard an iaao type question the capability. An immediate conclusion is that the US had the POWER to do whatever it wanted to Saddam and, in particular, to dictate whatever terms, public or secret, with respect to oil that it wished. Since it was infinitely farsighted, clever, decisive, and so forth, there was no obstacle, either external or self-imposed, to doing so. So, it did do so.

In other words, if GW I and GW II were both aao, then GW II had to be unfinished business from GW I. The only way the Bush I could have left unfinished oil business for Bush II (this IS rather symmetric, isn't it?) was for the Bush I administration to have suffered some lapse in cleverness, ruthlessness, and the like. That, in turn, is a contradiction of the assumptions of the iaao types.

Michael in Framingham

At 4/11/2005 04:58:00 PM, Blogger Josie said...

Wow, look at all the comments! :) Well Sam I have a couple of questions for you (and whoever else wants to answer)...

(1) Next to KSA, which country on earth produces the most oil?

(2) Of the USA's total oil imports, what percent comes from middle east countries?

At 4/11/2005 11:33:00 PM, Blogger mamapajamas said...

Great post, Sam :)

Another item to add to your list of reasons why the war isn't about oil:

The us EXports more oil than we import.

The real situation is shipping logistics, not supply. Oil from the western regions of the US go to the Pacific Rim nations that have none or very little (including China, Anonymous at 7:33 PM), and we import from the North Sea, the Middle East, and the eastern parts of South America to make up some of the difference. This saves companies like those in the North Sea from having to ship oil all the way around Asia to reach a viable market. So the Scots and Arabs and Venezulans have a large customer for their oil, and the Japanese have power to run their wonderful electronic gadgets, and everyone's happy (until the ignorant start groaning!).

The fact is that if the US stopped exporting/importing oil, shut down the ports, and used our own oil ourselves, we'd have a supply of known reserves that would last us about 600 years at current usage. But doing that would throw the world's oil markets into chaos and bring the shipping problems into focus. The people who would be hurt the most would be the 3rd Worlders, who would be thrown back into the Stone Age if the price got too high. It's important to keep the balance of trade on oil.

Now... about that 600 years for known reserves in the US... we don't know how much oil there is under the Gulf of Mexico.

For years, we've been pumping oil off the coasts of Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana. However, oil slicks that had been blamed on dirty shipping for years were investigated by Florida State University because scuba divers reported seeing oil bubbling up from fissures on the floor of the Gulf off the coast of Florida. They tested oil from the slicks and found that it was crude, not leakage from shipping. Surveys of the Gulf haven't been completed, so we don't yet know how much oil is down there. It could be one of the biggest finds outside the Middle East.

Josie: 1) The US 2) 14%

At 4/12/2005 10:14:00 AM, Blogger Josie said...


As far as I can find, yes the USA is #2 oil producer following Saudi Arabia. According to www.nationmaster.com, the USA produced 7,698 thousand barrels/day in 2002. (KSA produced 8,680) However it also says that US imported 10.4 MILLION barrels a day. The top oil exporter was Saudi Arabia (6.71 million barrels/day), I don't even see the USA on the list of the top 50 exporters. In January 2005, according to Dept of Energy, the US imported about 25% of its oil from the middle east. So that means 75% is coming from places like: Canada, Venezuela, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, etc.

At 4/12/2005 11:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GREAT POST! First one I have read and YEE HAW keep it up!

You know my other favorite "bullshit reason for the war" is one I hear daily!
"Bush only went after Saddam since his Daddy couldn't do the job when he was in office"

I think everyone forgets how quickly the gulf war was won. Or was it won? Or did we even go?
Seriously if we had done this to get rid of Saddam, someone could of gone over there shot his ass and came home and boom DONE! Its not about that! Its about FREEDOM!

At least thats what I think.

Personally everyone gets all hyped up an says WE SHOULD NOT BE IN IRAQ! Since they all think the ONLY person on our list is OSAMA!
Umm yeah keep watching the news ding bats, take it all as gold. stack it all up and take it to the bank. See how much it will get you!

At 1/23/2006 10:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before i say anything ... the war on iraq is not & will never be Justified

You cannot bring democracy to a country by destroying it with armed forces.

I don't blame fellow americans as they don't know and don't want to know anything about anyone but themselves but i blame the stupid goverment no not stupid .. the evil goverment...

In my humble opinion i think that the main objective of war on iraq is remove it from the list of threats ... threat on other country and not on USA of course.

Why i don't blame americans? the point of view of many people in america(and in any strong country too): ... why the hell should i care? let them(the goverment) take iraq down... let them take the all the arabs down they ain't americans... as long as my needs are satisfied as long as i live the way i like why i should even bother myself with thinking.

May be you call that greedy or inhumane but unfortunately that is the situation.

What i hope? i hope a change in american look to the arabs & muslims... that it is illogical to take on the millions by the doings of some freakin' terrorists ...
Anyway i got drifted away from the subject but as i said why mister Bush would love to see democracy in middle-east?why bother?

And yes in case you asked .. i'm Egyptian

At 2/09/2006 05:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My relative just returned from Iraq- you are wrong.

Iraqis' do not want our "help". Of course Saddam was a bad guy-however-you are Egyptian, not Iraqi. Most Iraqis' at least had water, food, gasoline and electricity before this illegal invasion. T

he rest of the world didn't back this war for damn good reasons. Every reason they gave us not to do it, has come about.

My relative spoke with hundreds of Iraqis'-they KNOW it was the oil-by God, it was the first place troops guarded-NOT the people.

And what about Fallujah? Shame on you for supporting this illegal war-WE don't even blame the Iraqi people for wanting us gone. You also overlook Americans were told OIL revenues would pay for this "liberation" in which troops were greeted with roses in the streets.

Democracy WILL NEVER happen-we are losing in here in our own country.

Many educated Arabs seem to find the extreme right wing in this country to be to their liking. Keep your right wing ideas in your own country.

I am an American and I LIKE my freedom- which is quickly dwindling under this president.

Perhaps my next writing, I will tell you how to run YOUR country...

At 2/20/2006 05:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh boy, I'm begining to love that monkey for real*giggles*. this is the most immature, incoherent, childish, optimistic analysis I've ever gone through so far Moneky!!!. congratulations man, keep up with that stuff!.
oh by the way, we can sit here predicting the reason behind the war for all eternities, and we'd never figure out, simpley, we DID NOT WAGE IT.*giggles* and why would we be in need for the gracious US to take our hands and show us the way to democracy? they could have just sat a good example for us, we do have eyes, and we still have this ape insiticts of mimicing. we could have done it on our own!! hehe.
it's just so0 naive, and yet wonderful to think the way you do Monkey. I'm really loving it.

At 3/05/2006 01:24:00 PM, Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

I stumbled across your post on this (& no way to tell if it's gone dead since 2005: no dates), but I respectfully disagree.
I have posted an opposing viewpoint here:
I feel you're terribly incorrect on this point.
Thanks for listening.

At 3/21/2011 12:48:00 AM, Anonymous Adrien said...

The math doesn't add up. This war has cost the US over 175 Billion dollars and is projected to end up costing more then 500 Billion dollars over the next 2 years

The flaw in this argument is that the US taxpayer and those who obtain the most benefit from gaining access to Iraqi oil are not the same group.


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