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Why Dick changed his mind

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LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 05:45 PM
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Why Dick changed his mind

This is a guest article by David Strahan, author of The Last Oil Shock.

In a widely viewed You Tube clip, taken from a C-Span interview conducted in 1994, Dick Cheney argues persuasively that the United States was right not to topple Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War. He cites the potential disintegration of the country and the risk of American casualties as good reasons for the decision not to take Baghdad. So what was it that changed his mind by the turn of the century? An acute awareness of impending peak oil.

In a world of looming oil shortage, Iraq represented a unique opportunity. With 115 billion barrels (officially) Iraq had the worlds third biggest reserves, and after years of war and sanctions they were also the most underexploited. In the late 1990s Iraqi oil production averaged about 2 million barrels per day, but with the necessary investment it was thought its reserves could support three times that output. Not only were sanctions stopping Iraqi production from growing, but also actively damaging the countrys petroleum geology by denying the national oil company access to essential chemicals and equipment. In one of a series of reports to the Security Council, UN specialist inspectors warned in January 2000 that sanctions had already caused irreversible damage to Iraqs reservoirs, and would continue to lead to the permanent loss of huge reserves of oil. But sanctions could not be lifted with Saddam still in place, so if Iraqs oil was to help defer the onset of global decline, the monster so long supported by the West would have to go.

As I reveal in The Last Oil Shock, the CIA was also well aware of Iraqs unique value, having secretly paid for new maps of its petroleum geology to be drawn as early as 1998. Cheney also knew, fretting publicly about global oil depletion at a speech in London the following year, where he noted that the Middle East with two thirds of the worlds oil and lowest cost is still where the prize ultimately lies. Blair too had reason to be anxious about oil: British North Sea output had peaked in 1999 - and has been falling ever since - while the petrol protests of 2000 had made the importance of maintaining the fuel supply excruciatingly obvious.

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http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2898


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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 05:47 PM
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1. He didn't change it
He had it replaced with a TRS-80 computer.
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