It is fitting that today’s deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq’s cities coincides with a meeting in Baghdad to auction off some of the country’s largest oil fields to companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and British Petroleum.
It is a reminder of the real motives for the 2003 invasion and in whose interests over one million Iraqis and 4,634 American and other Western troops have been killed. The Iraq war was, and continues to be, an imperialist war waged by the American ruling elite for control of oil and geo-strategic advantage. [Oil and Iraq Withdrawal– WSWS]
Some interesting comments from Reddit entry
What seldom gets mentioned in discussions like this is no conspiracy or planning is necessary. This sort of thing has happened in dozens of countries all over the world starting most famously in the Hawaiian Islands. It’s called American Economic Imperialism and it’s a well-documented and studied subject, especially outside of the US and by the likes of Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, etc.
It goes something like this:
- US companies (or in the case of Iraq, western multinationals) have some problem doing business in a country. That is, they’re having trouble enslaving the locals and paying effective bribes to the national leadership. (In Iraq, Saddam kicked the multinationals out in 1975. That wasn’t enough because he was still politically useful, no one had the strength or political will to do anything, and there was the specter of Iran. Before Iraq War II, Saddam famously started trading oil in Euros. The first country to do so, if I remember correctly. They were invaded within months – an invasion so hastily thrown together that for years later the US was still fighting "insurgents".
- Companies complain to their respective governments, "Call a WAAAAMMMMMM-bulance! X is an evil dictator! He won’t let us enslave the locals and take all their natural resources for the price of a bribe!" These same companies might try to plant stories in the media as well in order to sway popular opinion.
- National governments – most likely democracies which make decisions based on popular opinion – decide that X is an evil dictator. Pretty soon shit is all God wined. An attack is all but inevitable at this point.
- X is Hitler! No, X is worse than Hitler! We must kill X! X’s country is invaded. X is deposed. The US (in modern times the US always leads the invasion) installs a puppet government that lets multinationals enslave the locals and take whatever resources they want for the price of a bribe. Now everyone is happy.
Of course, it’s hard to reduce this sort of thing. There were multiple financial incentives for the US to invade Iraq – not just oil.
The US, and the entire western world (see "colonialism") have a hundreds-year-old history of using their military might to force trade on other nations and to maintain economic superiority. Basic history, folks. What you’re seeing in Iraq is no different than anything European powers did during the colonial era. To not be able to see something this obvious makes me wonder if someone is completely ignorant of the basics of history, politics or economics.
For the most blatant example of US economic Imperialism, look up Admiral Perry and Japan.
With that all said, if the US wanted to stay rich, this was the best move. With Iraq selling their plentiful and cheap oil in dollars only the dollar’s reserve currency status is improved drastically. Opening up Iraq to US and international commerce is just a nice bonus. Unless you want the US to be as poor as Mexico, invading Iraq was a smart move. But please no illusions – like almost every other war ever fought, Iraq was about money. [interrogative]
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