Anyway, they are all in a fuss about Johann Hari's latest attack on their simple mindedness. It really isn't that difficult to work out what the Iraq war was about - dress it up in pretty language if you like and start with ad-hominen pedantic attacks on a writer's use of grammar to deflect attention from the real issues, but at the end of the day this is pretty simple.
Those who defend US neocons and the invasion of Iraq say it was nothing to do with oil (or if it was to do with oil it was just to prevent a dictator using the revenues to oppress his people).
The neocons they argue, are a decent lot who value democracy and just want to spread its liberating force to places like Iraq. In fact they argue, we have a duty to invade countries to do this.
To keep a straight face and argue this is some accomplishment because I do believe that Nick, Oliver and others are a bit cleverer than that. Which is worse I do not know, those who take this argument seriously or charlatans like Kamm? It is a tough choice.
I do wish they were right about the intentions of Bush et al, but there are obvious problems. Firstly the history of the neocons/ US administration quite pointedly shows that democracy is far from their agenda both internally and definitely in their foreign policy. Democracies have been overthrowed throughout the world (including Iraq and Iran) in the name of shoring up the economic and business prospects of the US led West. In fact looking at their actions you couldn't help but deduce anything other than that they PREFER dictatorships.
To the Eustonites this is mere historical detail and all in the past - the neocons have learned their lesson and are now all sugar and spice. All very plausible I am sure..
But why Iraq and not also Zimbabwe, Sudan, North Korea, Saudi Arabia - all these countries are severely lacking in democracy with brutal regimes oppressing their citizens.
They answer to this, that you have to start somewhere and Iraq seemed a good place to start - it was nothing to do with Iraq's vast reserves of oil being priced in Euros, it was about weapons of mass destruction. Ummm..All very plausible I am sure..
(It didn't take a genius to deduce that the US invasion was planned in a hurry to forestall any imminent weapons inspector's categorical findings on WMD. Also it was plainly obvious that no skud missile could reach anywhere near the West - so 45 mins stuff was pathetic).
Finally they say, the people of Iraq will reap the benefits of democracy with better living standards than under Saddam. Nobody would argue that is currently the situation and I wonder how far off this improvement in standards is when most of the oil profits have just been signed over to Western companies by the Iraqi parliament (against the people's obvious best interests).
I think when it comes to choosing the motives of Bush (the most corrupt US administration since President Harding (no not me!) in the 1920s). Oil or Democracy? - it is pretty clear which was the priority. As it is with all wars - economics lies somewhere in the root cause.