Excerpted from Other Words.

Greed for oil
Will make us fight;
Iran has got
Endless barrels in sight.

It seems increasingly likely that the United States will attack Iran. The pretext will be that country’s alleged nuclear threat to Western civilization.

Doesn’t that sound familiar? We followed the same script in Iraq a decade ago. Of course it’s a lie this time, just as before. But once the war starts, the policy will just be about supporting our troops.

The Iraq misadventure, it turns out, was enormously successful. No, not for the hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops and families whose lives have been lost or ruined, nor for the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, nor for the millions of Iraqis who have been displaced or impoverished.

No, the glorious success in Iraq is the return of Western oil companies to that country. Saddam Hussein had chased them out, but now they’re back. Although Iraq has yet to open all its fields for development, BP, Shell, and ExxonMobil have all landed big deals that could prove more lucrative in the future.

Surprise, surprise, this routine also seems to be the template proposed for Iran, with additional wrinkles earned in Libya.

To start, Washington will bomb their suspected nuclear sites. Iran will take umbrage and fight back. Then, the Pentagon will bomb every military and economic target in the country, except the oil wells.

To William Collins’s column in its entirety, visit OtherWords.

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