Last updated on: 6/4/2008 1:14:00 PM PST
Was control of Iraq's oil a reason for the US to attack Iraq?



PRO (yes)

Dr. Mohammed Al-Douri, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Iraq to the UN, stated in a Mar. 3, 2003 UN Security Council open meeting on the 'Situation in Iraq":

"The objective is the complete takeover of Iraq's oil, domination of the entire Arab region, politically and economically."

Mar. 3, 2003 - Mohammed al-Douri, PhD 



Dennis Kucinich, MA, US Congressman (D-OH), stated in a Sep. 17, 2002 interview on NBC's Meet the Press:

"I base that on the fact that there is $5 trillion worth of oil above and in the ground in Iraq, that individuals involved in the administration have been involved in the oil industry, that the oil industry certainly would benefit from having the administration control Iraq, and that the fact is that, since no other case has been made to go to war against Iraq, for this nation to go to war against Iraq, represents the strongest incentive.

I believe most sincerely that one of the motivating factors involved in this effort to strike against Iraq is the desire on the part of some to be at the control the oil interests in Iraq, I believe that."


Sep. 17, 2002 - Dennis Kucinich, MA 



Thomas L. Friedman, MA, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, stated in a Jan. 6, 2003 Op-Ed article "Hold Your Applause" in the New York Times:

"Any war we launch in Iraq will certainly be -- in part -- about oil. To deny that is laughable. But whether it is seen to be only about oil will depend on how we behave before an invasion and what we try to build once we're there.

The primary reason the Bush team is more focused on Saddam is because if he were to acquire weapons of mass destruction, it might give him the leverage he has long sought -- not to attack us, but to extend his influence over the world's largest source of oil, the Persian Gulf."


Jan. 6, 2003 - Thomas L. Friedman, MA 



Ali al-Rawi, Head of the Economics Department at Baghdad University, was quoted on Jan. 23, 2003 in the Guardian Unlimited:

"Our oil is the main reason America wants to attack Iraq. They want to control our oil and control price and production levels. They know the future oil resources for the world will come from this area for many years."

Jan. 23, 2003 - Ali al-Rawi 



Eric Margolis, Journalist for the Toronto Sun, stated in a Mar. 14, 2004 Toronto Sun article titled "Bush's War Is a Financial Disaster":

"In my view, two primary objectives drove the U.S. invasion of Iraq: oil and its support for Israel.

The CIA estimates China's and India's surging, oil-hungry economies will cause world oil shortages by 2030 - or sooner.

Accordingly, the Bush administration moved to assure America's global hegemony by seizing Mideast and Central Asian oil before the impending crisis. Doing so required occupying Iraq and Afghanistan."


Mar. 14, 2004 - Eric S. Margolis 



CON (no)

Paul Wolfowitz, PhD, former US Deputy Secretary of Defense, stated at a Mar. 11, 2003 convention for Veterans of Foreign Wars in Washington DC:

"Those very weapons are the source of our concern. The issue is not about Iraqi oil. If the United States had wanted access to Iraqi oil, we would have dropped our whole policy 12 years ago, lifted sanctions, and let Saddam Hussein keep his weapons of mass destruction."

Mar. 11, 2003 - Paul Wolfowitz, PhD 



Richard Perle, MA, former Chairman of the Defense Policy Board, stated in a Feb. 23, 2003 interview on NBC's Meet the Press:

"I find the accusation that this administration has embarked upon this policy for oil to be an outrageous, scurrilous charge for which, when you asked for evidence, you will note that there was none. There was simply the suggestion that, because there is oil in the ground and some administration officials have had connections with the oil industry in the past, therefore, it is the policy of the United States to take control of Iraqi oil. It is a lie, Congressman (Kucinich). It is an out and out lie. And I'm sorry to see you give credence to it."

Feb. 23, 2003 - Richard N. Perle, MA 



Valerie Marcel, PhD, Senior Research Fellow at the Chatham House, and John V. Mitchell, MA, Associate Fellow with the Sustainable Development Programme, stated in the Apr. 2003 paper "Iraq's Oil Tomorrow," published on the website for the Royal Institute of International Affairs:

"A second element of public concern over America’s motivations for striking Iraq is the suspicion that Washington wants to seize Iraq’s oil fields to pump the oil itself. Seizing oil fields doesn't do anything for American oil security. The crucial requisite for energy security is to get the oil on the market and to prevent any disruptions to supply. In terms of the energy security of importing states, it is irrelevant who sells the oil and who buys it. Oil is a global commodity and the price is not set in Baghdad."

Apr. 2003 - John V. Mitchell, MA 
Valerie Marcel, PhD 



J. Robinson West, JD, Chairman and Founder of PFC Energy, stated in a Feb. 14, 2003 live online discussion for the Washington Post:

"The issue of war for oil is constantly being raised, but is simply not accurate. Particularly if you mean it is a war for oil companies and their enrichment. Keep in mind that by executive order US companies are barred from any negotiations with Iraq or companies holding licenses in Iraq. There has been a consistent policy to isolate Iraq and US companies have been held to this, unlike European or Asian companies. To date the administration has done nothing to benefit US companies either in Iraq or elsewhere."

Feb. 14, 2003 - J. Robinson West, JD 



Dave O'Reilly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ChevronTexaco Corporation, stated in a Dec. 21, 2003 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle:

"If it was a war for oil, we wouldn't have done it.

Because if you look at the consequences – Iraq is now producing less oil, it's more unstable, it has led to disruptions in the market. Even today, nine months later, Iraq is producing – and I don't have firsthand knowledge – less than two-thirds of what it was producing before the war.

So it just doesn't work for me. There has got to be another reason. I assume that the reason is global security."


Dec. 21, 2003 - Dave O'Reilly