Iraq The War for Oil

Readers will be aware that my esteemed predecessor Adam Price invested a large part of his Westminster career in exposing the lies that the previous Labour UK Government led by Tony Blair used to justify the terrible war in Iraq. Adam described it as the worst foreign policy decision since Suez. At the heart of his critique was our over riding concern that this was an economic imperial war for the oil reserves of Iraq – which happen to be the second largest in the world.

Last week the Independent newspaper published a series of documents which proved Adam and Plaid Cymru’s case. These documents released under Freedom of Information legislation revealed how Labour UK Government Ministers and oil companies were in detailed discussions about the exploitation of Iraqi oil reserves a full year before the invasion of 2003.

Previous to these disclosures, former Labour Ministers had always denied that there was any ‘oil motive’ involved in the decision to go to war and the subsequent occupation which has cost nearly million civilian lives according to the respected Lancet publication.

The lies Labour told to justify their invasion of Iraq should never be forgotten. The war had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction; it was a grab for the natural resources of another nation state to secure profits for large multi national companies and the economic elite paid for in the blood of innocent Iraqi civilians.

Last month I supported the UN resolution backed action in Libya purely on the grounds of averting a civilian slaughter in Benghazi. At the time I warned the UK Government that involvement based on the UN resolution would more than likely lead to stalemate in what is essentially a civil war. I also stated that starting a conflict is the easy part – end games and exit strategies are always far more difficult as the nightmare in Afghanistan highlights. In particular I expressed concerns at the dangers of mission creep.

The subsequent ‘regime change’ rhetoric of the Prime Minister and the deployment of military advisers are therefore very worrying.

Lybia is another oil rich country – especially the Eastern half held by the so called rebels. David Cameron should be wary of not undermining the support for humanitarian intervention. He should be in no doubt that there is little support for another economic imperial war in the Middle East.

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