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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

May 31, 2003

America's Vital Interests.

Iraq war waged due to economic not military threat.
Asia Times reports on the lifting of sanctions
[...] Further threatening to this "US vital interest" were Saddam's ongoing promises to grant foreign oil contracts to Russian and French corporations, which would edge out US companies. This is to say, if Saddam Hussein posed any sort of threat to the United States, it was economic, not military.

[...] Such a contradiction (Iraq represented economic benefits to France and Russia and a threat to US oil interests and security interests) across the Atlantic had hung over the United States for some time, but two major external events coincided to prompt the administration of President George W Bush to transform a sanctions/containment policy into a policy of forcible, unilateral regime replacement: 1) France and Russia threatened to make the sanctions irrelevant by closing oil deals with Iraq outside the Oil for Food Program; 2) Iraq's production capacity was approaching pre-Gulf War levels, and cash from oil smuggling to Turkey, Syria and Jordan constituted a perceived threat to regional balance of power - economically, politically and eventually militarily.