Chuck Hagel: Oil did spark Iraq war

AS CHUCK HAGEL is about to be nominated for the defense secretary post,  neocons and the Israel lobby have got their knives out. These henchmen of the Israeli right-wing masterminded the disastrous Iraq war. Most of us knew the war’s twofold goals: To take out Saddam Hussein because he was Israel’s fiercest and strongest Arab enemy; and to secure Iraq’s oil reserve – the fourth-largest in the world – for the West.

Most American politicians and media outlets, scared of the Israel lobby, kept their mouths shut about it.  Among those who spoke out about the motives behind the Iraq invasion was then Republican Senator Chuck Hagel.

Now The Lobby sees Hagel’s nomination hearing its payback time. Kristol and other right-wingers  have waged a vicious and baseless propaganda war to derail his nomination. The issue on which they’re raising hell the most is Hagel’s remark that the United States was “fighting for oil” in Iraq.  The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, a vacuous but high-profile neocon, blasted the former Nebraska senator’s remark as “vulgar and disgusting” and predicted that it “could be the straw that breaks the back of Hagel’s chances” to become the next U.S. defense secretary.

It turns out that it wasn’t just Bush administration critics who cited oil, along with Israel, as the main cause of the I2003 Iraq invasion, heavyweights within the Bush administration and its other supporters were saying it aloud, too. In a letter to Kristol, Michael Moore has reminded him of some of their comments:

“I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,” Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, writes in his memoir.

“Of course we should go to war for oil. It’s like saying, you’re going to war just for oxygen, just for food. We need oil. That’s a good reason to go to war,”  Ann Coulter, right-wing columnist.

“Of course it’s about oil, it’s very much about oil, and we can’t really deny that,”  Gen. John Abizaid, former  CENTCOM commander.

Here’s a link to Moore’s letter:



Mustafa Malik
Mustafa Malik
Mustafa Malik, the host of the blog ',' is a journalist, writer and blogger, based in Washington. He writes mostly about international affairs, liberalism and neoliberalism, U.S. policy toward Muslim societies, religious fundamentalism and Islamic renewal. Over the years Malik's writings have been published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Atlanta Constitution, Miami Herald and other American newspapers and journals and in a host of Middle Eastern and South Asian publications. He has conducted field research in Europe, the Middle East, Turkey and the Indian subcontinent as a fellow of the University of Chicago Middle East Center, German Marshall Fund of the United States and American Friends Service Committee. His recent research projects focused on the Palestinian-Israeli imbroglio, America's campaign against terrorism and Islamic movements, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the nationalist projects in the Indian subcontinent. Malik continually gives lectures and media interviews on U.S. foreign policy, Islam and international affairs and has served as a panelist at seminars in the United States, Europe, Pakistan and India. He worked 16 years as a reporter, editor, columnist and London bureau chief for the Hartford Courant, Washington Times, Glasgow Herald and Pakistan Observer newspapers; as news editor of then Bengali-language biweekly Nao-Belal of Dhaka, Bangladesh; and as the European correspondent for the defunct newsmagazine Pakistan Monitor, published in Lahore, Pakistan. Malik also served as speechwriter for the late Pakistani Prime Minister Nurul Amin and carried out diplomatic assignments from the Pakistani government at the United Nations and in several European and the Middle Eastern countries. Malik was born in India and lives in the Washington suburbs.
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