Sunday, September 17, 2006



During a radio interview last week, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in an effort to come up with the umpteenth justification for going to war in Iraq, now says that oil and gas prices would basically be out of control if they hadn't taken Saddam out. Here's what he said:
The fact of the matter is - if Saddam Hussein were still in power in Iraq, he would be rolling in petrol dollars. Think of the price of oil today. He would have so much money.

Let me first say that I would assume that Don Rumsfeld has not had to fill up his own tank of gas in over six years, so I could certainly understand if this was some kind of a "gotcha" question like when a faux-sly reporter hits a presidential candidate by asking how much a gallon of milk costs. But for him to posit that without the ongoing debacle in Iraq that current gas prices would be high and that Saddam would have "so much money" just smacks of ignorance. Two quick points come to mind. The reason why gas prices are so high is because of the instability in the Middle east which is in large part due to your piss-poor war planning and this administration's horrendous policies. Secondly, Saddam already had 'so much money'. What's a couple more billion among corrupt world leaders - just ask Cheney and his Halliburton stock. And besides, why would Saddam be profiting from higher worldwide oil prices? I'm not an expert but I thought that we had that whole oil embargo thing going with Iraqi oil. Wouldn't that sort of depress any monetary windfall that Saddam might have received assuming that gas prices would be skyrocketing in this bizarro parallel world where 2684 American soldiers haven't lost their lives to depose an impotent despot?
As a public service for Secretary Rumsfeld, because I know that he's a regular reader here at AMERICA'S LEAST WANTED, I took a look at gasoline prices along the gulf coast during the Bush years. (Here's a government site that tracks the prices.) When Bush took office in January of 2001, the price in the gulf coast region was about $1.41. A week after 9/11, the prices was $1.40. By the time we invaded Afghanistan, the price had dropped to $1.01. Around the time that we invaded Iraq, the price had skyrocketed to $1.61. One year after Saddam was removed from power, the price was $1.68. A year after that, the price was $2.19. A year after that, in April of 2006, the price was $2.86. In this region, the price topped out at $2.95 the week of August 7, 2006. Gee, imagine if we hadn't invaded Iraq, huh Rummy? Those gas prices would be ghastly then, wouldn't they?

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