"When you say (Iraq is) about controlling the oil, that's not the same as saying that the oil companies themselves -- ExxonMobil, Shell, etc. -- want to own the oil in the ground or want more generous concessions from the governments. They probably do. But I don't think this is what that's about. The oil companies, in case you haven't noticed, make a decent amount of money under the current system of working with the local oligarchies and kleptocracies in the countries in question.maybe... maybe not
This is about the US controlling the region itself, having troops on the ground and structures in place so that none of the nominal governments in the region can act on their own without US assent. That's a whole different question than which companies have the right to pump the stuff out of the ground."
"Why Do We Stay In Iraq?
Josh Marshall heads down the path to madness in order to try to answer that question.
The answer is unknowable because there isn't one. There are a variety of powerful actors who have different motives. It's as true, if not more true, for the continued occupation as it was for the initial invasion.
George Bush started the war because Saddam tried to killed his Dad and because he wanted to prance around on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit. He later got stubborn about the whole thing when those mean Democrats started criticizing him, and he began to buy into the transformational rhetoric due to his increasing messianic bent. And, now, it's about his "legacy."
Dick Cheney started the war because of his insatiable lust for the black stuff. Dick Cheney keeps us in Iraq because of his insatiable lust for the black stuff.
Don Rumsfeld went to war to prove that he could achieve any military result with 3 marines, an armed aerial drone, and his left pinky. He stayed in Iraq because George Bush told him to and because he still needed to prove his awesomeness.
AEI and Viceroy Jerry went to war because they were excited about their new libertarian paradise laboratory.
Paul Wolfowitz had grand dreams about transforming the Middle East into who knows what.
Tom Friedman and others went to war because they have the mentality of 5 years olds and they thought that the smartest thing we could do was whip out our giant schlong and wave it around for awhile. Tom Friedman and others stay in Iraq because they think that if they don't keep popping cialis ("If your occupation lasts longer than 6 months...") the world will notice our little tiny shriveled up thingy.
Karl Rove went to war so his boy could prance on the aircraft carrier and win re-election. He stays because leaving Iraq will anger wingnuttia.
Lots of other people stay in Iraq just because they don't like to admit they're wrong. Their egos are more important anything.
The sensible liberals at Brookings were so stupid they thought Saddam was a threat. They were the stupidest people of all, because that was about the only thing which had nothing to do with why we invaded Iraq. They stay in Iraq because they're unable to accept responsibility for their actions.
Democrats went to war because they were scared of losing their elections. They stay there because they're scared of losing elections.
Ultimately it's all centered around oil, the endless needs of the military industrial complex, and various other financial interests masquerading as ideology. But there isn't one reason, just a grand harmonic convergence of wingnuttery."
"Israel Dismisses Truce Talks, Launches Attacks
In Israel and the Occupied Territories, Israel has dismissed the prospect of a truce with Palestinian militants and continued its bombing attacks on Gaza. On Wednesday, two Hamas militants were killed in an Israeli strike. Meanwhile the quartet of Middle East peace mediators urged support for the ceasefire at a meeting in Berlin.UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon: "Looking ahead, the quartet discussed the calendar for the coming months to support and encourage progress on the bilateral and regional tracks. The quartet principles agree to meet in the region in turn with the Israelis and Palestinians to review progress and discuss the way forward. The quartet also agreed to meet in the region with members of the Arab League to follow up on the Arab peace initiative and efforts to advance the regional track."The appeal came as Israeli forces carried out what is being described as an extrajudicial execution in the middle of a crowded Palestinian street. Witnesses say undercover Israeli troops ambushed an off-duty Palestinian security officer in broad daylight in Ramallah. The officer, Mohamed Abdul Halim, was shot twenty-four times. Halim was reportedly carring a weapon but never attempted to open fire. Palestinian information minister Mustafa Barghouti was present on the scene and had shots fired at his vehicle."