It’s The Oil by Jim Holt (a conservative Republican) puts us in the picture. While his pitch is depressing it’s also realistic and underlies all the concerns about the quagmire of Iraq. Bush/Cheney (or should we say Cheney/Bush) got what they wanted from their boondoggle to Iraq – oil and money. And the reason they’ve not been held to task is because they used some of their windfall to share among cronies. They will continue to benefit from a supply of Iraqi oil because of the US hegemony supported by military bases. And with oil prices rising, even anti-war protesters in the US may quieten down. As Jim Holt concludes:
The costs – a few billion dollars a month plus a few dozen American fatalities (a figure which will probably diminish, and which is in any case comparable to the number of US motorcyclists killed because of repealed helmet laws) – are negligible compared to $30 trillion in oil wealth, assured American geopolitical supremacy and cheap gas for voters. In terms of realpolitik, the invasion of Iraq is not a fiasco; it is a resounding success.
The only counter balance to the US in Iraq is Iran, which is hamstrung by geopolitical sentiment and impotent on its own anyway, and China, which is loathe to embark upon any military confrontation and will pursue economic confrontation in its own modest way.
The sad conclusion: Iraq, the cradle of western civilisation is incapacitated, decapitated and being sucked dry of its resources. It will be dead by the time the US leaves.