It’s not all that surprising to see dumb people come up with some really boneheaded comments. But when I see people with an IQ I’d need an abacus to calculate come up with a truly jaw-dropping gem of stupidity, I’m stunned into speechlessness.

Well, not completely.

Enter Alan Greenspan, former chairman for almost 20 years of the U.S. Federal Reserve and BDS sufferer. In his new book, he opined that President Bush invaded Iraq because of oil. The UK Times sums it up.

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 Saddams support for terrorism.

So Greenspan says we went into Iraq to get the oil. That would explain why we are swimming in all that oil we are pulling out of there.

Uh, really?

Dumb comment, Alan. Really dumb. If it were all about oil, how come Kuwait isn’t the 51st state? After kicking the Iraqis out in 1991, we essentially owned Kuwait. Had we chosen to make it ours in fact, no nation could have stopped us. And after having won Kuwait, we gave it back to the Kuwaitis. A decade later, we raced into Iraq and toppled Saddam’s regime. But the dust had barely settled when we were talking to the Iraqis about elections and their taking control back again. And while we are interested in getting the Iraqi oil fields up and running at capacity, we are buying the oil, not taking it.

So how again was the war largely about oil, Alan?

The sad part about Alan Greenspan’s comment is how they will add fuel to the fire of the 9/11 truthers who happily applaud any boneheaded belief stated by the dumb, the genius, and anyone in between.

UPDATE (9/17/2007 8:27:07 AM):I wrote this post last night and scheduled it to be posted this morning. And now I wake up to see that Alan Greenspan is spinning his comments, as reported in the LA Times:

Greenspan clarified his remarks in an interview with the Washington Post, telling the newspaper that although securing global oil supplies was “not the administration’s motive,” he had presented the White House with a case for why removing Hussein was important for the global economy.

“I was not saying that that’s the administration’s motive,” Greenspan said. “I’m just saying that if somebody asked me, ‘Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?,’ I would say it was essential.”

He said that in his discussions with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, “I have never heard them basically say, ‘We’ve got to protect the oil supplies of the world,’ but that would have been my motive.”

So, when he said “everyone knows” that we went into Iraq because of oil, he was attributing to “everyone” what he believed. That’s not a smart thing to do.

If that’s what he really believed, then why didn’t he make it clear in his book. That was his venue to make sure his story were properly presented to the world, and he muffed it. Again, that’s not a smart thing to do.

As I see it, he either did a poor job on his book, or his “clarification” is fancy backpedaling. Neither option reflects well on Alan Greenspan.

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that speaks volumes in just three lines. The problem is that one word turns the whole bumper sticker into a pile of peacenik propaganda and not something I could support. Here’s a quick HTML rendition of the bumper sticker:


I certainly believe in honoring our dead, particularly our military dead. As our national anthem says, they stood “Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.” And we are forever in their debt for their ultimate sacrifice. I certainly cannot argue with the call to honor our dead.

And I certainly believe in healing our wounded. Since our military men and women have placed themselves in harm’s way for us, we as a nation have the responsibility to heal them when they are wounded. Shoddy care for our wounded is a stain on our nation’s honor, and it is a stain on our government’s honor, both on the elected representatives and the faceless bureaucrats who manage our military’s care centers. And it is not acceptable. If I were President, I would submit a budget to Congress that placed a higher priority on taking care of the health of our military.

But it is the last sentence that twists the previous valid statements into craptastic peacenik propaganda. Notice that it says “END the war,” not “WIN the war.” It’s a trivial task to end any war if you’re willing to run away from the fight. If we were to run away from Iraq, *poof* the war would be over, and these useful idiots could link their arms and sing “Kumbaya” in onanistic joy.


Contrary to what the bumpersticker crowd would have you believe, merely ending the war will not result in lasting peace. Only winning a war results in peace. I explained how this works a year ago:

Peace comes through winning the war and making the loser beg to sit at the negotiation table. Peace does not come from going to the negotiation table and signing some documents, unless the war has already been fought and won. Don’t believe me? In an attempt to appease the Germans, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain sat down at the negotiation table with Hitler, but there was no peace. Germany annexed the Sudetenland that same year, invaded Poland the next, and invaded the rest of Europe by 1940. That was no peace. But after Japan signed the terms of surrender on the USS Missouri, there was peace between the U.S. and Japan for more than 60 years.

I’ll take real and lasting peace through victory any time.

I want peace. Peace is preferable to war, but as long as there are zealous Islamic nutjobs willing to kill men, women, and children to further their goals of a world-wide Islamic state, we will not have peace. We may have brief lulls between fighting, but we will not have peace.

While I don’t put bumper stickers on my car, and I doubt I ever will, the following is a bumper sticker that I could agree with 100%:


I was talking politics with some co-workers, and the conversation turned to the burning of Paris and France. After I expressed my opinion that the French were reaping some of what their policies have sown, my friend commented, “It sounds like you don’t like the French.” She was right, but only partially. I have no beef (or boeuf) with the French people. I don’t know them, but I assume that they are composed of saints and sinners, much like citizens of the U.S. My sister-in-law spent 18 months living in France, and loved it there. I have visited Paris several times, but I am no more qualified to judge the French people after my visits there than foreign tourists are fit to judge the entire U.S. after a handful of visits to Washington D.C. Hereafter, when I say I have a problem with the French or that I dislike the French, I am referring specifically to the French government and not to the French people as a whole.

I have inherited some of my dislike of the French from my father. He remembers flying missions over the harbor of Hanoi in Vietnam and seeing merchant ships flying the French flag, providing supplies to the North Vietnamese. The term for what they did is “giving aid and comfort” to our enemies. If an American company had done what France did during that war, it would be considered treason.

Since France has given aid and comfort to our enemies, can we truly consider France to be our ally? How many times does a friend have to stab you in the back before you take him off your Christmas card list? While it’s true that France came to our aid during our fight for independence from England, any lingering debt for that aid was paid in full with American blood during both World Wars.

I bring up the instance of France working against us in Vietnam because they appear to be backstabbing the U.S. again. During the run-up to the war against Saddam Hussein, French President Jacques Chirac told President Bush privately that France would stand with the United States. France’s Foreign Minister–and later Prime Minister–Dominique de Villepin told then-Secretary of State Colin Powell the same thing. Then the French proceeded to stab both men in the back by announcing publicly that France would never support the use of force against Iraq.

At the same time, the U.S. came by a document suggesting that Saddam Hussein wanted to buy yellow-cake uranium from Niger. Sec. Powell used this document as one of the reasons why Saddam Hussein needed to be removed from power. Once Powell had publicly voiced support for the document, word was leaked that the document was actually a fake. Rocco Matino, the Italian who brought the document to light, revealed in court that it had been created by the French and handed to him to pass around to various intelligence agencies. Why would the French want to pass off bogus documents to the U.S.? I believe they sought to publicly embarrass the U.S. They didn’t want to support our fight against Saddam Hussein, and the continuing Oil for Food scandal suggests that many French officials were benefiting financially from the status quo in Iraq. They did not want the U.S. to step in and stop the flow of money from their Iraqi cash cow. So the French first planted the document and then exposed it as a fake to slap at the U.S. and muddy the waters.

To this day, liberals point to the 2003 State of the Union address and its now infamous 16 words, “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” The British still stand by their assessment of Saddam’s desire for uranium, and the discovery of tons of yellow-cake uranium in Iraq shows that Saddam Hussein had purchased it. But France was still successful in angering many Europeans and turning them against the U.S. This was the political equivalent of letting loose with a nasty fart and blaming the guy next to you. And getting away with it.

At this point in the story, enters the liberal cause célèbre — Joseph Wilson IV. The forged documents happened after Wilson went to Niger, so they could not have been the reason he was sent. James Lewis points out in his article in The American Thinker why Wilson went:

The reason why Wilson had to travel to Niger in person to “investigate,” while drinking mint tea with his uranium mining friends, was to establish his bona fides – to make him an instant “expert witness” on Saddam’s dealings with Niger. Did French intelligence urge Wilson to make his trip and enlist his wife Valerie to propose him? Without that trip, Joseph C. Wilson had no special claim to any expertise about Saddam’s weapons. It was Valerie Plame who was the CIA WMD expert, but it was Wilson who became the front man.

Notice that the modus operandi for the Wilson trip was much the same as for the Niger forgery: a classic con game. Find a sucker, tell him what he wants to hear, and use that credulous embrance[sic] by the mark to destroy your enemy. In the first case the sucker was Colin Powell. In the second case it was the New York Times Op-Ed page. In both cases the enemy to be shafted was George W. Bush and the administration. This is how disinformation is supposed to work.

Joseph Wilson has succeeded in generating a huge media storm and becoming the enfant terrible who spawned the brouhaha over the revelation that his wife, Valerie Plame, works for the CIA. Liberals and the press (but I repeat myself) have called for heads to roll over her “outing,” but I’m sure this is not in the literal Islamofascist sense.

Wilson has a multitude of French connections, so the idea that he is operating under French direction is not inconceivable. He met his first wife in Washington D.C. at the French embassy. His second wife was a French diplomat. His third wife, Plame, wrote in a CIA memo, “my husband has good relations with both the [Prime Minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts)…”

Lewis points out that there isn’t a smoking gun which proves Wilson is a French tool, “but it is certainly at minimum, an interesting coincidence that a man with such extensive and intimate French connections should be conducting a ferocious nationwide crusade against the President of the United States, who also happens to be hated by the French government.” Lewis also wrote, “While we do not know all the facts, there is no question that Joseph Wilson has acted precisely as we might expect from an agent provocateur.”

To some extent, I can understand why the French might be doing what they appear to be doing. After all, France has its own agenda: it desires to lead the European Union and act in opposition to the United States. Raising a political stink with faked documents and with misinformation from the Francophile Wilson I recognize as normal nation-statecraft, but when the opposition turns deadly or provides aid and comfort to America’s enemies, a certain line has been crossed. Lewis points out how France has moved into the second category:

French hatred of American power is the reason why France pressured Turkey (anxious to enter the EU) to block the US IV Infantry Division from crossing Iraq’s northern border to help knock over Saddam Hussein. Had the IV ID hit Saddam from the North while Tommy Franks attacked from the South, the current Iraqi insurrection might have been crushed even before it got started, the Baathist hardcore unable to flee north to the Sunni Triangle and entrench itself among the small percentage of Iraqis who benefited from Saddam’s rule. The original plan envisioned just such a pincer movement. We therefore owe many of our 2,000 soldiers’ deaths to deliberate and malicious French sabotage, with thanks to Dominique de Villepin and Jacques Chirac.

Is there concrete proof? No, but these events do seem to have a whole mess of French fingerprints all over them. I didn’t see French ships aiding America’s enemy as my Dad did in Vietnam, but I am starting to see enough suggestions that France is working to thwart our efforts to make Iraq a better place.

Now you know why I don’t like the French government very much.