Critics of Bush and Cheney May Be Too Generous
by Devin Nordberg
A growing number of critics accuse the Bush administration of inciting war against Iraq to divert attention from our crumbling economy, corporate corruption and Bush's attacks on environmental protections and our personal freedoms.
After all, we call several other brutal dictatorships our allies, including Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan, so why is Bush so determined to topple Saddam Hussein?
Perhaps the critics are too generous to suspect merely political gamesmanship or settling a score for dad, for the allies and enemies that Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney choose are exactly those of the oil industry they still serve.
Iraq crossed western oil corporations 30 years ago, and the oil executives have long memories. In 1972, Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath party nationalized the oil holdings of the Iraq Petroleum Company, which actually was owned by a group of western oil companies including Royal Dutch and American and French firms.
The U.S. and Britain launched an embargo of Iraq in an attempt to persuade Hussein to re-privatize oil - a tactic that succeeded for the U.S. when it embargoed Iran in retaliation for nationalizing its oil industry in 1951. In that case the economic squeeze was topped off with a CIA-assisted coup and "regime change," which instituted the Shah as the new leader in 1953. Obediently, the Shah agreed to let British and American oil companies take over oil production again.