Monday, September 10, 2007

Winning hearts and minds

"No blood for oil" is a popular refrain among opponents of the war in Iraq--the idea that we invaded Iraq solely for its rich, precious petrol. I never really believed that; there were other explanations that sounded much more plausible to me. But even if oil wasn't the reason we invaded, it's certainly a priority now. Our top priority, in fact:
David Kilcullen, an Australian counter-insurgency adviser who served on Petraeus's staff...drew up a list of core American interests in Iraq, which he later gave to senior officials at the White House and the State Department. In order of priority, the list contained the following items: maintain the flow of oil and gas in the region; prevent the establishment of an Al Qaeda safe haven in Iraq; contain Iranian influence; prevent a regional war; prevent a humanitarian catastrophe on the scale of Rwanda; and restore American credibility in the region and in the world (which Kilcullen called "the master interest," and which doing all the others would go a long way toward achieving).

As Jonathan Schwarz said,
They do care! Human life is on the list! Right there after their four higher priorities!

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