Well, of course it was always about the oil (amongst other things):
The Howard Government has today admitted that securing oil supplies is a factor in Australia’s continued military involvement in Iraq.
Defence Minister Brendan Nelson said today oil was a factor in Australia’s contribution to the unpopular war, as “energy security” and stability in the Middle East would be crucial to the nation’s future.
Speaking ahead of today’s key foreign policy speech by Prime Minister John Howard, Dr Nelson said defence was about protecting the economy as well as physical security.
Dr Nelson also said it was important to support the “prestige” of the US and UK.
Back in 2002, Jay Bulworth wrote the following regarding this very issue:
This note is written in order to clear up a common misunderstanding about the war with Iraq.
It is becoming clear to more and more people that the imminent US war against Iraq is about oil. That’s a good thing. But there is still widespread confusion about the nature of the US interest in Iraqi (and Middle Eastern) oil.
The confusion relates to the difference between Control of oil and Access to oil.
‘Access to oil’ means that the US simply wishes to buy oil like any other country; that it wants oil at a reasonable price. Many peace groups think this is all the US is interested in. For example, the group known as SANE/FREEZE (which became Peace Action in 1993) claimed that the 1991 Gulf War was fought in order to guarantee “the free flow of oil to the US”. Other groups claimed that if the US became self-sufficient in oil (or another energy source), it would not need to fight in the Middle East.
But this belief is based on a total misunderstanding. The US is not waging a war over Access to oil. It is waging a war over Control of oil.
I’m sure the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis will be honoured to know that the Western powers are in their country to rape the natural resources. Liberation? Human rights? Don’t be stupid.