Andrew Sullivan gets into how we define success in Iraq, reading an article by a fellow named Jim Holt in the London Review of Books. Specifically, Holt digs into Alan Greenspan's assertion that, despite the hullabaloo, the war was indeed all about oil.
Who will get Iraq’s oil? One of the Bush administration’s ‘benchmarks’ for the Iraqi government is the passage of a law to distribute oil revenues. The draft law that the US has written for the Iraqi congress would cede nearly all the oil to Western companies. The Iraq National Oil Company would retain control of 17 of Iraq’s 80 existing oilfields, leaving the rest – including all yet to be discovered oil – under foreign corporate control for 30 years.
The goal, therefore, is to establish that permanent US presence, and use US troops to protect the taxpayers' investment in those oil fields.
I sort of knew all this before, but this particular article really drives it home. Iraq isn't the next Germany, the next Japan, the next Vietnam, or even the next Bosnia. It's something far worse: the next Nigeria.