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Sunday, September 16, 2007

He May Be Stating the Obvious but Greenspan Should be Taken Seriously-Links US quest for oil to Iraq War

Trust me when I say that investors literally viewed former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan as a deity during my brief stint in the securities industry. His consistent lowering of interest rates to spur market activity forever marked him as a savior during the historic run of the bulls of the stock market during the Clinton administration. Now Mr. Greenspan is touting a new book and one of his revelations is his belief that the war in Iraq is more about oil than the spread of democracy. Let's take a look at an excerpt from the AFP:

Greenspan memoir links Iraq war to US thirst for oil

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, for years an inscrutable seer on the economy, is causing a stir by alleging in his new memoir that "the Iraq war is largely about oil."

Greenspan, who as head of the US central bank was famous for his tight-lipped reserve, is uncharacteristically direct, also accusing President George W. Bush of abandoning Republican principles on the economy.

"I'm saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows -- the Iraq war is largely about oil," he wrote in reported excerpts of "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World," which is set for release on Monday.

Greenspan's memoir appears 18 months after he left the Fed following a career that spanned 1987 to 2006, with the US economy at a crossroads, and ahead of a critical central bank meeting under the chairmanship of his successor, Ben Bernanke.

The man dubbed "The Oracle" tells his own tale of nearly two decades at the helm of one of the world's most powerful financial institutions, and includes surprising swipes at the Bush administration.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, while explaining his "respect" for Greenspan, rejected the charge that a thirst for crude explained the decision to invade Iraq in March 2003.

"I know the same allegation was made about the Gulf War in 1991, and I just don't believe it's true," he said on ABC television Sunday.

"I think that it's really about stability in the Gulf. It's about rogue regimes trying to develop weapons of mass destruction," he said.

Members of the US Congress, who by a broad majority also voted to authorize the use of military force against Iraq, also dismissed Greenspan's assertion.

"I don't believe that 77 United States senators on a broad, bipartisan basis would have authorized the use of force ... if it was only about oil," Republican senator John Cornyn told CNN.

"This is about our national security and not just about oil," he said.

And the AFP continues here:

Greenspan memoir links Iraq war to US thirst for oil

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