The slumbering news media slowly evolves to reporting the real reason for going to war in Iraq. As the president runs out of defensible positions, he begins to slide:
Bush said: "The Duelfer report showed that Saddam was systematically gaming the system, using the U.N. oil-for-food program to try to influence countries and companies in an effort to undermine sanctions."
It's a war of attrition; the early rationales for the war -- WMD, 9-11 terrorism, liberation from a despot -- have gone by the wayside. Soon the administration and press will simultaneously arrive at the last and only predicate for conquest: control of oil.
Note last semester's scorecard (from Atrios)
If Bush is looking for a redo, today's quote will only get him half-credit on question #3.
Update: Is there any doubt within the deluded administration that the USA could have done a much better job controlling oil? From Znet, true effectiveness lies in the eyes of the beholder:
Iraq used to produce close to 3.5 million barrels of oil per day under the rule of Saddam Hussein. It exported about 2.5 million barrels daily within the now-defunct, United Nations-guided oil-for-food program. It produced another half a million barrels for its own internal consumption to feed its now-looted and destroyed refineries. And it managed to "smuggle" about 300,000-500,000 barrels a day to Iran, Jordan, Syria and Turkey, with the money going into Saddam's treasury.
The reason oil prices have been hovering around $50 a barrel now is that most of these Iraqi exports disappeared just as oil consumption began to skyrocket around the world.
To consider it "skyrocketing" may be exagerrating, as a slow inexorable rise coupled with continual depletion has the same effect, and in any case has caused us to enter an enormous briny pickle of a predicament.