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Sunday, 25 May 2008 20:09

Did McCain Really Say the Iraq War Is About Oil?

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RefineryHas the United States gone to war in the Middle East for oil? That allegation has generally emanated from opponents of our military interventions in the Middle East, and it has been dismissed by the neoconservatives who have supported those interventions as far-leftist propaganda.

But all that changed on May 2, when Iraq War supporter John McCain told a town hall meeting in Denver: “My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will — that will then prevent us — that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.”

Asked about this statement later in the day after he had flown from Denver to Phoenix, McCain told reporters he was referring to “the first Gulf War for several reasons” — one of them being “we didn’t want them to have control over the oil, and that part of the world is critical to us because of our dependency on foreign oil.” However, when he was later asked during the same exchange with reporters if he “were thinking about the first Gulf War,” McCain answered: “No, I was thinking about … our dependency on foreign oil.”

He also stated: “I hope that there’s no confusion about my support for the war in Iraq, and it wasn’t to do with oil, it had to do with Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction.”

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