Memo to Ian McEwan: You ought to read the Financial Times now and then. Here's Dr. Ian Rutledge digging up another smoking gun to show how not just Bush but the whole 'Establishment' power structure was pressing for an invasion of Iraq, long before 9/11 "changed the world." And the reasons they advanced -- openly, in somber reports by the Council for Foreign Relations, for example -- had absolutely nothing to do with "the tyranny of Saddam Hussein" or the "suffering of the Iraqi people." But they had everything to do with "reopening foreign [oil] investment in the Middle East and "ensuring our [oil] supply security."
It's worth reading the whole, short piece, but here's a choice cut. Rutledge writes: "So when, according to the former head of ExxonMobil's Gulf operations, 'Iraqi exiles approached us saying, you can have our oil if we can get back in there', the Bush administration decided to use its overwhelming military might to create a pliant - and dependable - oil protectorate in the Middle East and achieve that essential 'opening' of the Gulf oilfields." But in the words of another US oil company executive, 'it all turned out a lot more complicated than anyone had expected'."
How many have died? 100,000? 200,000? What did they die for? A "pliant and dependable oil protectorate in the Middle East." This plain, undeniable, criminal fact has been howling at us for years -- but remains lost in the cacaphony of blatant lies and witless diversion served up by the "great and good."