It might be a little more complicated than that, but not to the majority of Americans.
Americans say Iraq War over oil
Ben Lando, January 25, 2007 (UPI)
- Most Americans think President Bush invaded Iraq at least partly because of its oil -- a war more than half rate him as "poor" in handling and nearly all say has affected the price of gas at the pump.
- The UPI/Zogby International interactive poll…found 32.7 percent considered Iraq's oil supply a "major factor" and 23.7 percent "not a factor" in the decision to invade the country…40.7 percent were split…2.9 percent were "not sure."
- …Iraq's draft oil law -- still mired in factional fighting -- …is one of Bush's benchmarks for success for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and if the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds agree on it, it is seen as a pathway for easing tensions…
- Iraq has 115 billion barrels of proven crude reserves, third most in the world, and analysts say much more is undiscovered. But its industry suffers from decades of misuse and mismanagement, U.N. sanctions and war.
- A federal hydrocarbon law that would lay the groundwork for investment and contracts for further exploration and extraction of Iraqi oil and gas is stuck in a skirmish between the central and regional powers over control and revenue sharing…
- A former U.S. official close to Iraq oil law negotiations told UPI on condition of anonymity "there's a lawyer there that works as part of our (U.S.) efforts ... he's an oil lawyer," adding "does that mean we're going to write that agreement? No."
- "Our policy since the beginning of the war is that it's their oil, it's their decision," said Michael Makovsky, special assistant in the Office of Secretary of Defense on Iraqi energy policy from 2002 to 2006…
- But U.S. eyes have been on Iraq's oil since before the war…Documents obtained in a 2002 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch found Vice President Dick Cheney's secret Energy Task Force included maps and charts of Iraq's oil infrastructure and projects as well as a list of "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts."
- A pre-war oil and energy working group of the U.S. State Department's Future of Iraq project also focused on Iraq's oil sector.
- The U.S. Agency for International Development in 2004 announced an Iraq contract with McLean, Va.-based consultant BearingPoint for "broad economic reform," BearingPoint spokesman Steve Lunceford told UPI Oct. 18…it included "privatization of the oil industry."
- …Current Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani met with international oil company officials last July at the U.S. Energy Department to talk about Iraq's oil sector.
And this month, despite federal oil law negotiations still ongoing, Bush commented numerous times on what should be done with the oil revenue…
- "The Bush administration has consistently placed enormous pressure on the al-Maliki government to pass an oil law that would open Iraq from a nationalized oil system to one that would transform to allow private foreign investment and the only thing being debated at this point is the extent private companies would have access to the Iraqi oil market," said Antonia Juhasz, visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington and author of "The Bush Agenda."
- …When asked to rate Bush's handling of the war, 55.3 percent in the UPI/Zogby poll said "poor" and only 7.3 percent said the war had "no impact" on U.S. gas prices.