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Palast's explanation for the war

As organizers gear up for what they're billing as a major anti-war protest at Boston Common at noon on Saturday, it's a good time to consider some of the alternative views of how we wound up in this mess.

N4N has been reading Armed Madhouse, journalist Greg Palast's account of the current Bush administration, and it's loaded with lots of provocative and underreported information. Here's a sample:

The last thing the oil industry wanted from Iraq in 2001 was a lot more oil. Therefore, we can rule out the West's desire for Iraq's oil as the decisive motive to invade Iraq. . . . What, then, made Saddam so easy to hug in the 1980s, unbearable in the 1990s?

Saddam had to go, but why?

They held meetings about it. Beginning just after Bush's Florida victory in December 2000, the shepherds of the planet's assets got together to plan our energy future under the weighty aegis of the Joint Task Force on Petroleum of the James A. Baker III Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations . . .

The final report detailed Saddam's crimes. Gassing Kurds and Iranians? No. James A. Baker was Reagan's chief of staff when the US provided Saddam the intelligence to better target his chemical weapons. Weapons of mass destruction? Not since this crowd stopped selling him components.

In the sanitary words of the Council on Foreign Relations' report . . . Saddam's problem was that he was a "swinger."

Tight markets have increased US and global vulnerability to disruption and provided adversaries undue potential influence over the price of oi. Iraq has become a key "swing" producer, posing a difficult situation for the US government.

Now hold on a minute. Why is our government in a "difficult" position if Iraq is a "swing producer" of oil?

The answer was that Saddam was jerking the oil market up and down. . . .

"Control is what it's all about," [Lewis] Lapham told me. "It's not about getting the oil, it's about controlling oil's price."

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