There's a lot of attention right now, and rightly so, to former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's revelations
about the president, his tax policies and Iraq. Getting particular attention is the claim that the Iraq war was in the cards in early 2001.
I don't think that's exactly right. I think the administration was closely divided (as it would be after 9/11) and the antis were having some success in putting the genie back in the bottle. 9/11 decisively changed the equation, allowing the war-hawks to control the day.
More broadly, though, of course this is true
. This is getting a lot of attention and it should. But it is also an example of the common pattern by which open secrets only get discussed by the press once a prominent person states them publicly.
Along these lines too, I've never been one who believes that oil -- in a direct sense -- was a key cause of this war. (By 'direct sense' I mean, the desire to have direct financial control over oil reserves as opposed to a general recognition that stability and friendly states at the key supply points of the world's oil supplies is of vital concern to the US.) But big decisions like this always have a myriad of motivations behind them and multiple parentage. Explanations tend to be quite over-determined. But I hear more and more about what's in those Cheney energy task force records. Might be time to revisit that.