Tuesday, August 05, 2003


Maurice Walsh of the BBC had an article (subscription required) in yesterday's Irish Times, which combines obvious facts with sleight of hand that is so common with the BBC.

Mr. Walsh quotes Donald Rumsfeld when he said on 60 Minutes (in response to a point being put to him about war with Iraq being about oil) that it had "literally nothing to do with oil". It's easy to say that Donald Rumsfeld overstepped things somewhat, since the US (& western) interest in the Persian Gulf area is about oil. However, it's also obvious that if Iraq were run by better people than the Baathists, led by a better man than Saddam, there would have been no war.

Oil was a contributing factor, obviously. The fact that Iraq was sitting on such a treasure chest is what made Saddam's threat more serious than the threat of Mugabe or Charles Taylor. And, the price to pay from waiting too long, as has happened with regards to N. Korea, was too great in the case of Iraq where there would have been no leverage whatsoever once Saddam's WMD dreams were fully realized.