Greenspan admits Iraq was about oil, as deaths put at 1.2m

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Alan Greenspan, libertarian Republican and former controversial skipper of the Federal Reserve system, has finally found his voice to denounce George W Bush, albeit 1.2 millions lives (and still counting) too late…Thank you, Alan.

By Peter Beaumont and Joanna Walters in New York
Sunday September 16, 2007
The Observer | GUARDIAN Unlimited [U.K.]

The man once regarded as the world’s most powerful banker has bluntly declared that the Iraq war was ‘largely’ about oil.
Appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1987 and retired last year after serving four presidents, Alan Greenspan has been the leading Republican economist for a generation and his utterings instantly moved world markets.

In his long-awaited memoir – out tomorrow in the US – Greenspan, 81, who served as chairman of the US Federal Reserve for almost two decades, writes: ‘I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.’

In The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, he is also crystal clear on his opinion of his last two bosses, harshly criticising George W Bush for ‘abandoning fiscal constraint’ and praising Bill Clinton’s anti-deficit policies during the Nineties as ‘an act of political courage’. He also speaks of Clinton’s sharp and ‘curious’ mind, and ‘old-fashioned’ caution about the dangers of debt.

Greenspan’s damning comments about the war come as a survey of Iraqis, which was released last week, claims that up to 1.2 million people may have died because of the conflict in Iraq – lending weight to a 2006 survey in the Lancet that reported similarly high levels.

More than one million deaths were already being suggested by anti-war campaigners, but such high counts have consistently been rejected by US and UK officials. The estimates, extrapolated from a sample of 1,461 adults around the country, were collected by a British polling agency, ORB, which asked a random selection of Iraqis how many people living in their household had died as a result of the violence rather than from natural causes.

Previous estimates gave a range between 390,000 and 940,000, the most prominent of which – collected by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and reported in the Lancet in October 2006 – suggested 654,965 deaths.

Although the household survey was carried out by a polling organisation, rather than researchers, it has again raised the spectre that the 2003 invasion has caused a far more substantial death toll than officially acknowledged.

The ORB survey follows an earlier report by the organisation which suggested that one in four Iraqi adults had lost a family member to violence. The latest survey suggests that in Baghdad that number is as high as one in two. If true, these latest figures would suggest the death toll in Iraq now exceeds that of the Rwandan genocide in which about 800,000 died.

The Lancet survey was criticised by some experts and by George Bush and British officials. In private, however, the Ministry of Defence’s chief scientific adviser Sir Roy Anderson described it as ‘close to best practice’.

2 comments on “Greenspan admits Iraq was about oil, as deaths put at 1.2m
  1. I just finished watching the latest 60 Minutes (CBS, 9.16.07) featuring only two stories, one on Alan Greenspan, former Fed reserve helmsman, and the other on sharks and their vanishing numbers due to unconscionable numbers being killed (often illegally) to supply Chinese restaurants with “sharkfin soup,” a coveted delicacy.

    While the latter report was impeccable for its balance, urgency, and truth, the report by Leslie Stahl, still a knockout at 65, and far prettier than she is a good journalist, was a heavy disappointment.
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    Essentially, Stahl’s report, which took an unusual 27 minutes, and which delved into many aspects of Greenspan’s life eschewed the most important piece of news attaching to Greenspan and his book, his candid admission that the Iraq Wars have all along been about oil.

    This important news, laid out in the above essay, has been circulating all over the Net for the last 48 hours and couldn”t possibly be missed by a major news organization such as CBS. It’s right there in the book. Here’s another typical report in wide circulation, which Leslie and her crew ever so-unbiased apparently “missed”:

    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.

    Greenspan, 81, is understood to believe that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the security of oil supplies in the Middle East.

    Britain and America have always insisted the war had nothing to do with oil. Bush said the aim was to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and end Saddam’s support for terrorism.

  2. Disgusting that contrary to all self-image about the “courageous Americans,” we’re taking all of this systemic criminality and corruption down on our knees. We are as cowardly as the conformist Germans who allowed their own liberties to be stolen little by little by the fascists because thet were intimidated or didn’t want to get involved.

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