Our Oil?

Many people say that American troops are in Iraq protecting "our oil." This article from The Angry Economist talks about the farce that our troops are dying in Iraq while protecting America’s oil. I agree with the author that if it truly were America’s oil, that America would get the oil before any other countries, or that other countries wouldn’t be able to buy the oil until America bought all the oil it needed.


Blake said...

While I don't completely agree with all of the comments contained within your linked article, I do find some elements of truth to it. For instance, no one can tell me, that our country is in Iraq only in the almighty pursuit of fighting terrorism. I am very convinced that Bush had some alterior motives for sending troops to Iraq, including oil. Bush has made many decisions in his presidency that seem more related to the almighty dollar, than actual sound policy. That being said, his decisions haven't netted any real benefit. In fact, our deficit is growing exponentially. It is so troubling to me that before he ran our country we were operating at a surplus, and now we are trillions of dollars in debt! Oil, or no oil, Bush needs to re-assess his priorities!

Anonymous said...

Do you really think that operating at a surplus means that the nation was not already trillions of dollars in debt? There is a difference. It's not like the trillions of dollars you are talking about came from George W.

Jake said...

My friends that are serving in Iraq aren't positioned near oil fields and haven't seen a drop in a year! The deployment of troops in Iraq has no correlation with the location of oil fields or facilities. I may not know why our troops are in Iraq, but it's not for the oil!

Seth said...

It is interesting to me that the link in the cited blog is a year old and about President Hugo Chavez. I don’t mean to slander Mr. Chavez but if you have read any of his speeches you know his opinions are quite outrageous to most Americans. Mr. Chavez is in a position to affect our economy. We import a significant amount of oil from Venezuela and Mr. Chavez has used that country’s oil to reward his political allies. I don’t think he’s above using oil to punish his opponents.
Getting back to Iraq, in a way we are there because of oil. Oil was one of the main reasons Iraq invaded Kuwait. Iraq had just ended a very costly war with Iran and needed money. Most of Iraq’s money came from oil and the real price of oil (as adjusted for inflation) was about as low as it has ever been. A successful annex of Kuwait would have give Saddam a greater market share, higher prices, and advanced that Pan-Arabic policy of the Ba’th Party. Oil may have been a cause but it is not a motivating factor for our being in Iraq, national security is. Did we misinterpret information? Yes, we made honest mistakes.

Ashton said...

I think that there are so many people out there that want to make Bush look as bad as possible. Oil was not the reason we went to war. There is lots of oil in our own country and I really don't believe that our president would send people to die before trying everything possible to get the oil that we have in our own country. I would hope that no president would ever send people to die in order to secure oil.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Seth's comment for a grammatical error.

Oil is a fungible commodity. Anyone who thinks in terms of "our oil" is probably clueless.

The way to generate profits from something is to restrict its supply. Therefore the people who are interested in profiting from the situation are those who are trying to reduce supply. Since Zarqawi has been blowing up pipelines and terminals, and the U.S. has not, it is the former who are after the power that control of oil might bring.

Blake: our deficit is supposed to grow exponentially. This is what happens when you measure it in nominal terms - its not different than the money in your savings account growing exponentially.