Alan Greenspan, Dale Bumpers & H.L. Menken
Monday, September 17, 2007 by Dave Winer.
Yesterday, former top US central banker Alan Greenspan, a very respected public official, said: "I'm saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows -- the Iraq war is largely about oil."
Dale Bumpers, former US Senator from Arkansas, defended President Bill Clinton when he was on trial. He said, memorably: "H.L. Mencken said one time, 'When you hear somebody say, This is not about money, it's about money.' And when you hear somebody say, 'This is not about sex,' it's about sex."
Bumpers might say today: When you hear somebody say the war in Iraq is not about oil, it's about oil.
And Greenspan was absolutely right. Everyone knows that so many US trops and so much US money would not be deployed in Iraq if it weren't in the middle of the oil reserves of the world and if Iraq itself didn't have so much oil. It's ridiculous to argue otherwise. Yet, this admission is causing a major recalc in US political discourse. Had Greenspan said something so obviously true in 2003 or 2004, we might have avoided this national catastrophe. And I think this says more about us, and our desire to be misled, to have our lives simplified, to delegate our intellectual existence.
Postscript: The Bumpers speech is worth watching again, for its eloquence and simplicity. It wasn't so long ago that we rose to this level of discourse.
Seth of the Obstructionist: "There's still some people in this country who, alas, still believe in it's values."