(New Republic) Peter Beinart - The "this war is really about oil" thesis may be marginal in Washington, but it's pervasive beyond America's shores. According to the thesis, the United States could force a pliant post-Saddam Hussein regime to spurn OPEC's production quotas and flood the market with cheap crude, boosting the U.S. economy, potentially wrecking the international cartel that keeps oil relatively expensive, and reducing U.S. dependence on a Saudi Arabian monarchy the American right no longer trusts. It's a seductive thesis, but why not simply lift sanctions? Attacking Saddam, after all, entails huge financial costs, risks American lives, and could prompt civil war in precisely those parts of Iraq where oil companies want to drill.

2002-10-03 00:00:00

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