Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Iraq war all about the oil

Someone in the administration better shut up Paul Wolfowitz before he lets even more cats outta the bag. According to the Guardian,

The US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz - who has already undermined Tony Blair's position over weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by describing them as a "bureaucratic" excuse for war - has now gone further by claiming the real motive was that Iraq is "swimming" in oil.

The latest comments were made by Mr Wolfowitz in an address to delegates at an Asian security summit in Singapore at the weekend, and reported today by German newspapers Der Tagesspiegel and Die Welt.

Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defence minister said: "Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."
Update: The Wolfowitz quote taken from the transcript of his remarks (linked above) isn't nearly as damning as the Guardian implies in this story. Nonetheless, the remarks still indicate that oil was a crucial factor in the administration's thinking on the runup to war.

Update II: The Guardian has retracted the story about Wolfowitz's oil comment.