Den Beste gazes at his crystal ball. A few of his main points:
We’ll probably start hostilities on 1/31 or 2/1. The U.S. may use anti-transistor weapons early on to disable Iraqi equipment and force a surrender with a minimum of bloodshed. In 1991, we treated surrendering Iraqi soldiers better than their own country. If we are met with force, there will be a slaughter. This is war, not Candyland.
Yes, an early move in the war will be to secure Iraqi oil fields. Remember when Saddam torched the fields of Kuwait on his way out? We don’t want that. The oil fields are worth something to the Iraqi people, and could help fund the reconstruction of Iraq. Colin Powell sez they’ll be held in trust for the Iraqi people:
“If we are the occupying power, it will be held for the benefit of the Iraqi people and it will be operated for the benefit of the Iraqi people,” he said.
Yes, the U.S. will control Iraqi oil output. Political turmoil in Iran and Saudi Arabia could result in wild fluctuations in the price of oil that would result in a worldwide depression. In this case, the U.S. will make sure that Iraq (for the first time in a long while) would no longer the Middle East’s basketcase whipping boy. The oil will be sold on the market at the prevailing rate.
Den Beste doesn’t believe rumors that the U.S. would sell Iraqi oil to recoup its own war costs. Words are cheap. I don’t believe the rumors either, and will be appalled if this becomes the case.