Firstly, a nod to Mod
on excellent writeups. As far as the naiive "No blood for oil!
" chanting goes, you guys are absolutely correct: a war purely to increase the amount of oil moving from Iraq to the US, or to get that oil at a cheaper price, would barely be a break-even war for the US. But there are deeper issues involved.
We all know of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Companies, a consortium of countries currently consisting of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Qatar, Indonesia, Libya, the UAE, Algeria, and Nigeria. They basically get together and decide things together, like what price they'll sell their oil for, who to, how much, and (most importantly for the purposes of this writeup) what currency they'll trade oil on. Now take a guess what currency oil is traded on. You got it: for the most part, the dollar.
Ever wondered why the dollar is so strong? If you want to buy oil, you buy it in dollars. Just about every country on the face of the planet needs to buy oil, which means that every country has to keep dollars in its coffers. Billions of dollars are invested in countries all over the world so that they can purchase oil. This keeps demand for the dollar very high, and so the price stays very high and very stable.
Recently, Iraq switched to the Euro. Venezuela and Iran are strongly considering it, and indeed it is an issue current in all of OPEC. If all of OPEC switches to the Euro, imagine what will happen to the dollar. Demand will plummet, because countries that need to buy oil will no longer find it so necessary to have dollars in their reserves. The price of the dollar will fall drastically, leading to inflation and a pretty hard decline in the US economy.
So this explains a lot of things. It explains why Bush pushed so hard for the war. It explains why France and Germany were so hard against the war. And it explains why Blair joined Bush, because Britain hasn't adopted the Euro.
So the chant should probably be more along the lines of "No blood for the dollar!" but that really doesn't quite have the same ring, now does it?