Greenspan Taken out of Context on "War for Oil" Comment

The internet was abuzz yesterday about an article in the Times Online whose headline blared "Alan Greenspan Claims Iraq War Was Really For Oil."

AMERICA’s elder statesman of finance, Alan Greenspan, has shaken the White House by declaring that the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil.
In his long-awaited memoir, to be published tomorrow, Greenspan, a Republican whose 18-year tenure as head of the US Federal Reserve was widely admired, will also deliver a stinging critique of President George W Bush’s economic policies. However, it is his view on the motive for the 2003 Iraq invasion that is likely to provoke the most controversy. “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,” he says
. Shocking, if true. However, that's not all Greenspan said nor does the quote accurately reflect what the former Fed chairman was trying to get across:
Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, said in an interview that the removal of Saddam Hussein had been "essential" to secure world oil supplies, a point he emphasized to the White House in private conversations before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Greenspan, who was the country's top voice on monetary policy at the time Bush decided to go to war in Iraq, has refrained from extensive public comment on it until now, but he made the striking comment in a new memoir out today that "the Iraq War is largely about oil."

In the interview, he clarified that sentence in his 531-page book, saying that while securing global oil supplies was "not the administration's motive," he had presented the White House with the case for why removing Hussein was important for the global economy.

"I was not saying that that's the administration's motive," Greenspan said in an interview Saturday, "I'm just saying that if somebody asked me, 'Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?' I would say it was essential."
That's a huge difference. Unfortunately, the truth is having a hard time catching up to the lie so that most people who have read or heard of Greenspan's book, probably think he is accusing the Administration of going to war in order to secure oil supplies.

We aren't at that point yet, not by a long shot. But in the lead up to the war, Bush repeatedly made the point that Saddam's covetousness of neighbors like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia made his removal important to our national security. Having an avowed enemy in control of the bulk of the world's oil supply would have been unacceptable.

No doubt access to oil in the Middle East will continue to play a large part in our security calculations, as well it should. Only the ill-informed would posit the notion that we should be unconcerned about who controls the flow of oil in the Middle East. It is as important to us as food is to many countries. For that reason, "no blood for oil" may be the most ridiculous slogan ever uttered by the left.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky
The internet was abuzz yesterday about an article in the Times Online whose headline blared "Alan Greenspan Claims Iraq War Was Really For Oil."

AMERICA’s elder statesman of finance, Alan Greenspan, has shaken the White House by declaring that the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil.
In his long-awaited memoir, to be published tomorrow, Greenspan, a Republican whose 18-year tenure as head of the US Federal Reserve was widely admired, will also deliver a stinging critique of President George W Bush’s economic policies. However, it is his view on the motive for the 2003 Iraq invasion that is likely to provoke the most controversy. “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,” he says
. Shocking, if true. However, that's not all Greenspan said nor does the quote accurately reflect what the former Fed chairman was trying to get across:
Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, said in an interview that the removal of Saddam Hussein had been "essential" to secure world oil supplies, a point he emphasized to the White House in private conversations before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Greenspan, who was the country's top voice on monetary policy at the time Bush decided to go to war in Iraq, has refrained from extensive public comment on it until now, but he made the striking comment in a new memoir out today that "the Iraq War is largely about oil."

In the interview, he clarified that sentence in his 531-page book, saying that while securing global oil supplies was "not the administration's motive," he had presented the White House with the case for why removing Hussein was important for the global economy.

"I was not saying that that's the administration's motive," Greenspan said in an interview Saturday, "I'm just saying that if somebody asked me, 'Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?' I would say it was essential."
That's a huge difference. Unfortunately, the truth is having a hard time catching up to the lie so that most people who have read or heard of Greenspan's book, probably think he is accusing the Administration of going to war in order to secure oil supplies.

We aren't at that point yet, not by a long shot. But in the lead up to the war, Bush repeatedly made the point that Saddam's covetousness of neighbors like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia made his removal important to our national security. Having an avowed enemy in control of the bulk of the world's oil supply would have been unacceptable.

No doubt access to oil in the Middle East will continue to play a large part in our security calculations, as well it should. Only the ill-informed would posit the notion that we should be unconcerned about who controls the flow of oil in the Middle East. It is as important to us as food is to many countries. For that reason, "no blood for oil" may be the most ridiculous slogan ever uttered by the left.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky