When did it become de rigueur to apologize for saying, "I told you so" -- if, in fact, one did tell you so? My parents said it to me often and they never apologized, always nursing the usually futile hope that one fine day I would wake up and heed their warnings about wrong and ill-advised ventures.
The time has come for many of us -- pre-eminently Dennis J. Kucinich, the most qualified person never to be seriously considered for the Presidency -- to say, unapologetically, "I told you so."
It was the oil, stupid. Yes, Mr. and Mrs. America, your sons and daughters bled and died in Iraq for oil.
Every week, when we gathered for Peace and marched silently around the federal building, one or more someones in the group carried a sign saying, "No war for oil." You spat on us, mooned us and flashed middle fingers at us. When the war for oil actually began you pasted little flags and "Support Our Troops" ribbons on your SUVs and called us traitors.
You had to believe that your sons and daughters were being sent abroad to protect us from terrorists, to bring democracy to the poor, stupid people of the Middle East, where Saddam Hussein had a great store of WMDs ready to rain upon us. "If we don't fight 'em there," you told us, "we'll have to fight 'em here." You would not, could not, believe that your kids were fighting and dying over there so that a handful of Americans stakeholders in megacorporations could become filthy rich on Iraqi oil.
Now the truth is seeping out.
Peter W. Galbraith, a former American ambassador and son of the respected economist John Kenneth Galbraith, brought his clout and his membership in the Democratic party to an alliance with the Bush administration hawks to promote the war with Iraq. "It is time to remove Saddam Hussein and his regime from power," he prattled in the influential op-ed opages of the New York Times. "Regime change is not an end in itself but a means to an end."
When we had occupied the country, fetched Hussein from his hole in the ground and Mr. Bush had declared fatuously, "Mission Accomplished," Mr. Galbraith became a key member of the commission that crafted our puppet government in Iraq and drafted its constitution. He took good care of the Kurds, with whom he had a long history of profitable relationships.
Now the Times tells us, in another of its sorry sequence of "oopses" about its own sorry role in promoting this sorriest of American war initiatives, Mr. Galbraith did all these things while quietly building a major stake in a Norwegian oil company whose Kurdish oil rights will net Mr. Galbraith a profit of more than 100 million dollars.
But that's peanuts in the Iraq oil takeover game.
Remember the "leadership" of British Prime Minister Tony Blair in forming the "coalition of the willing" to invade Iraq? His own intelligence people warned him that U.S. intelligence was being "cooked to fit the policy" of going to war under whatever justification could be made to fly. But Blair risked scathing rebuke in Commons to take Britain into that war. Blair is now a fat cat in the Carlyle Group, the shadowy super-investment cartel with staggering oil interests all over the globe. British Petroleum, which owned him as PM, won the first of the enormous contracts to exploit Iraqi oil that are being awarded by our puppet government there.
Then there's our own Exxon-Mobil, whose profits during the economic meltdown that sent millions of Americans into poverty and homelessness were greater than any ever made by a United States corporation. Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell recently won the right to develop one of Iraq's most prized oil fields, the West Qurna Stage 1 field. How many Americans died to liberate that piece of the Middle East?
There are many more lucrative oil contracts to be awarded in Iraq. Virtually every key member of the two Bush Administrations has large personal holdings in Carlyle, Haliburton, big oil companies or their major suppliers.
Timmy Russert, who played the role of "journalist" on a TV entertainment called "Meet the Press," was a favorite in the Bush White House. Whenever the administration wanted to plant a particularly smelly piece of bullshit, a toady would call Timmy Titmouse and arrange for someone in the administration to appear on "Meet the Press" to answer planted softball questions.
As evidence of his good conscience, Timmy occasionally brought a Democrat onto his TV show. He invited Kucinich in February of 2003.
Quoting from the transcript of that show:
MR. RUSSERT: Congressman, you made a very strong charge against the administration and let me show you what you said on January 19. "Why is the Administration targeting Iraq? Oil." What do you base that on?
REP. KUCINICH: I base that on the fact that there is $5 trillion worth of oil above and in the ground in Iraq, that individuals involved in the administration have been involved in the oil industry, that the oil industry certainly would benefit from having the administration control Iraq, and that the fact is that, since no other case has been made to go to war against Iraq, for this nation to go to war against Iraq, oil represents the strongest incentive."
He told you so.