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Ain't that the nuts....,
why ask why:
Paul Craig Roberts asks why: "$300 billion would have bought the oil without getting anyone killed... Does [Bush] even know?". United States Ambassador to the European Office of the United Nations from 1979 through 1981, Gerald B. Helman, answers,
the Administration has not yet given up its hope of turning Iraq into a long-term strategic base and asset allowing control of the Middle East and the oil that goes with it.
Emphasis added. You can either figure the Bush clan is completely out of its gourd insane, or you can figure they're making a bid for geopolitical power. As is often the case one looks much the same as the other. "Geopolitical power" can be roughly abbreviated to "oil", but it's a matter of control, not access, and likewise the oft stated - this is buried in the public policy documents afterall - strategy of forward basing and force projection, which almost a goal in and of itself.
In circles of respectable opinion this is all called "democratization" or even less honestly "protecting American interests" (how is creating "a whole new generation of master terrorists" in American interests?) , which - when replacing a monster like Saddam should make relative gains in political freedom pretty easy - some was finally allowed only because the population was in a position to insist upon it and public opinion in the West wouldn't tolerate large-scale massacres of peacefully demonstrating Iraqis they were told we were liberating.
But as in the past all that's in the past:
"For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region, here in the Middle East, and we achieved neither," she said. "Now, we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspiration of all people."
Ah, the Change of Course! How often do we get that kind of rhetoric? They were changing course three years ago when they were trumping up the case for invading Iraq, they're still changing course, we're never quite on that new heading. While Condi Rice was "pulling her punches" on Mubarak's dictatorship I watched a crowd on the BBC beat the shit out of a man on the street, visciously kicking him in the face. The announcer informed us that the man being beaten was from the democratic opposition. Ya think the billions we continue to send to Mubarak in aid made it a bit easier for him to hire thugs to stomp on that man's face?
The other plausible answer to why is 'everything is politics to these people', where short term gains lead to long term victories, and the war is only a tool to use during election seasons. They'll catapult the propaganda again in six months to try and boost congressional election efforts, painting all who oppose as traitors to the country rather than the policy, and given the viscious success of past efforts to bolshevize the nation they'll probably win again doing it. Raising the question of what people plan to do about it.