Sunday, August 03, 2008

Guarding the Oil

This report from Al-Jazeera International describes the activities of American troops and Coast Guard guarding Iraqi off-shore oil rigs. They drive away any ship that comes too close, and constantly training to repel attackers.

It is reports that this which make me laugh at anyone who thinks that oil had nothing to do with the reasoning of the Iraq War. It may not have been the only reason, but it certainly played a part in the Bush Administration's thinking. You can't tell the Iraqis not to suspect our motives when their major oil rigs are surrounded by American troops. As long as we have our troops there, we continue creating a negative impression.

True, it can be argued that with oil prices as high as they are, it is necessary to guard these sites from an attack that could place further pressure on the American and world economies. Nevertheless, having our troops on these rigs gives us quite a bit of power over the Iraqis. (Imagine if we decided not to hand the rigs over to them, citing "security concerns.") The report mentions that we are training Iraqi troops for an eventual handover. Our government, or a successor administration, should see that it happens soon.

Thanks to Juan Cole's Informed Comment blog for posting this video.

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