France and Russia have oil companies and interests in Iraq. They should be told that if they are of assistance in moving Iraq towards decent government, we'll do the best we can to ensure that the new government and American companies will work with them. If they throw their lot with Saddam, it will be difficult to the point of impossible to persuade the new Iraq government to work with them. Former CIA director James Woolsey, quoted in The Washington Post, September 15, 2002. So there you have it. The Bush administration may be telling the world that the reason the UN Security Council has to approve an allied attack on Iraq is because of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability, but the real reason France and Russia are being told to get on board the US military bandwagon is Iraq's oil reserves.
According to The Washington Post, all five permanent members of the Security Council - the US, Britain, France, Russia and China - have international oil companies with major stakes in a change of leadership in Baghdad. The Washington Post is one of the major media vehicles through which members of the American establishment talk to each other.
It is clear the real issue here is who controls Iraqi oil.