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guyman1966

This Is A War About OUR Freedom

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(as posted on VIP)

I am very tired of hearing how this war is about oil, Israel and the economy. This war is about terrorism. This war is about freedom. This war is about the first American President to finally open his eyes and see the true horror that exists half way around the world. When President Bush stood at ground zero, I saw a changed man. A man who found his calling. A man who would lead us on a mission to ensure that this can never happen again.

For years the world has criticized Israel for being proactive in dealing with these terrorist elements. In 1981 when the Israeli Air Force destroyed the Nuclear reactor in Iraq, the world condemned them. Now, the United States thanks them for their effort. Israel learned first what it is like to have civilians targeted and killed. It took 9-11 for the USA to see that there are NO CIVILLANS anymore. We are all potential casualties of war. The most disturbing fact is that as I write this, our armed forces are taking unprecedented measures to ensure that a minimum of Iraqi civilians die. We are doing this and putting our forces at greater risk. In my opinion this is a waste. Know one will appreciate it in the end. The rest of the world will always look at the USA in a negative light.

Iraq has sworn to bring the U.S. to its knees. President Bush hears these threats and now takes them very seriously. 9-11 has taught us that “words†do in fact have meaning. We should take every threat seriously and actively destroy our enemies. If countries don’t want to be attacked, they should not make idle threats. They should not seek out the means of mass destruction. Saddam would have been happy to provided Nukes and/or chemical weapons to any terrorist group that opposes the U.S.

It’s a nice concept to hold hands and walk for peace. Where were YOU peace freaks after 9-11. Did you walk and rally in Mexico City to support the U.S. after the Towers fell? Did you march in Montreal or Paris? Now that we are being proactive to many people are against us. To many of the people we have helped over the years and call us friends when they want our support have turned their backs. Whenever there is a crisis in the world the U.S. sends money and support. You all expect it. And, from where I sit you are ungrateful.

I am grateful for our President, armed forces and supporters. To our enemies, may God have mercy on your soul.

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1) In what way, shape or form is Saddam Hussein obstructing our freedom?

2) Ground zero - caused by Al Queda terrorists. Even wayyy before 9/11 they called themselves sworn enemies of the UNited States. Again, I ask, when did Saddam say he wanted to attack US citizens? Or when did he declare war on the US? Other than a weak attempt at killing Bush senior which seems more like personal vendetta than anything else!

3) ISrael was being "pro-active"? What they did, can amount to an act of war. ISrael is also the same country that dropped a one ton bomb on a heavily crowded civilian neighbourhood because they wanted to kill ONE man. They should hardly be the people we look upto. They're just a tiny bit less barbaric than the Palestinians.

4) This guy calls the efforts to prevent civilian casualties a "waste". Yeah, sure, he's right "on target"! :rolleyes:

5) "Iraq has sworn to bring the US to its knees"! WTF is this guy smoking? Last I heard it was Al Queda which wanted to bring the US to its knees. Show me links and newspaper article quotes that show that Saddam said this.

6) WMD - I have yet to see hard evidence of this.

Please forward this to whomever it was who wrote this on VIP. This person has swallowed whole the propaganda that has been fed him by the wonderful republican party!

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Originally posted by raver_mania

2) Ground zero - caused by Al Queda terrorists. Even wayyy before 9/11 they called themselves sworn enemies of the UNited States. Again, I ask, when did Saddam say he wanted to attack US citizens? Or when did he declare war on the US? Other than a weak attempt at killing Bush senior which seems more like personal vendetta than anything else!

I would like to know what your reaction is to this shrine that was found in Iraq.. heres the picture.. It is an iraqi airplane going into the world trade..That tells me Saddam wanted, wants to attack US citizens.OK so he didn't outright say it but come on dude, give me a fucking break here, I am even smart enough to realize that he wants to harm the US;) ground zero, yes caused by al queda terrorists , but Saddam hussein is of the same nature, same mindset as al queda as you can also see by this picture. I can't believe you are sticking up for a bunch of hateful terrrorist murderers.

(6) WMD - I have yet to see hard evidence of this.

Hard evidence? There was enough evidence to get where we are now.The decision to go to war wasn't based on nothing. your one of those people that has to see the whole state of New york blow up before you are absolutely convinced eh? Well I am glad that the president didn't wait for that to happen because i want my children and my family to live...

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Originally posted by girly

Originally posted by raver_mania

2) Ground zero - caused by Al Queda terrorists. Even wayyy before 9/11 they called themselves sworn enemies of the UNited States. Again, I ask, when did Saddam say he wanted to attack US citizens? Or when did he declare war on the US? Other than a weak attempt at killing Bush senior which seems more like personal vendetta than anything else!

I would like to know what your reation is to this shrine that was found in Iraq.. heres the picture.. It is an iraqi airplane going into the world trade..That tells me Saddam wanted, wants to attack US citizens.OK so he didn't outright say it but come on dude, give me a fucking break here, I am even smart enough to realize that he wants to harm the US;) ground zero, yes caused by al queda terrorists , but Saddam hussein is of the same nature, same mindset as al queda as you can also see by this picture. I can't believe you are sticking up for a bunch of hateful terrrorist murderers.

(6) WMD - I have yet to see hard evidence of this.

Hard evidence? There was enough evidence to get where we are now.The decision to go to war wasn't based on nothing. your one of those people that has to see the whole state of New york blow up before you are absolutely convinced eh? Well I am glad that the president didn't wait for that to happen because i want my children and my family to live...

a

;)

Alright girly - let me ask you this, since you're soooo convinced Saddam is just dyyyinng to use WMD's on us - please show me an article or newspiece, preferably at more than one time period, where Saddam has said he wants to bring "American to its knees".

In case you didn't know, our judicial system is based on proof of guilt...something, unfortunately, that American does not extend to the rest of the world.

Let me ask you, and I ask you to give me YOUR opinion, not stuff regurgitated from O'Reilley...how did you arrive at the conclusion that Saddam is going cause "another 9/11"?

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Originally posted by raver_mania

Alright girly - let me ask you this, since you're soooo convinced Saddam is just dyyyinng to use WMD's on us - please show me an article or newspiece, preferably at more than one time period, where Saddam has said he wants to bring "American to its knees".

have you been watching the news and reading the news sites the last 24 hrs? They found a shrine in Iraq which is what I was just talking about but can't upload the pic, with an iraqi plane crashing into the WTC.. That clearly shows Saddam "saying" he wants to bring America to its knees... Also please reread what you just typed.. you are attempting to stick up for Saddam Hussein? why? I understand you liberals will always take the side of the less fortunate and the underdog but Saddam Hussein? All these arguments are just getting weaker and weaker...

Let me ask you, and I ask you to give me YOUR opinion, not stuff regurgitated from O'Reilley...how did you arrive at the conclusion that Saddam is going cause "another 9/11"?

When someone like him has weapons, they are a threat to everyone and anyone.. ..And that is my simple opinion.. thats it..there is no proof of anything??? well again i ask you, are you waiting for the whole state of New york to blow up so you have proof??

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Originally posted by girly

Originally posted by raver_mania

Alright girly - let me ask you this, since you're soooo convinced Saddam is just dyyyinng to use WMD's on us - please show me an article or newspiece, preferably at more than one time period, where Saddam has said he wants to bring "American to its knees".

have you been watching the news and reading the news sites the last 24 hrs? They found a shrine in Iraq which is what I was just talking about but can't upload the pic, with an iraqi plane crashing into the WTC.. That clearly shows Saddam "saying" he wants to bring America to its knees... Also please reread what you just typed.. you are attempting to stick up for Saddam Hussein? why? I understand you liberals will always take the side of the less fortunate and the underdog but Saddam Hussein? All these arguments are just getting weaker and weaker...

Let me ask you, and I ask you to give me YOUR opinion, not stuff regurgitated from O'Reilley...how did you arrive at the conclusion that Saddam is going cause "another 9/11"?

When someone like him has weapons, they are a threat to everyone and anyone.. ..And that is my simple opinion.. thats it..there is no proof of anything??? well again i ask you, are you waiting for the whole state of New york to blow up so you have proof??

a "shrine" with the WTC towers? First of all, I don't think they've confirmed them to be WTC towers...second of all it was a mural, which could have easily been made AFTER 9/11/2001. Again, you fail to understand...there is a difference between hating, and actively seeking to destroy. Please do some research between the relationship between Al Queda (ie, religious fundamentalists) and Saddam Hussein.

I'm not standing up for Hussein, only for the innocents who are written off as "collateral damage". I AM against the principles of this war - not only is it extremely arrogant, but it does set a dangerous precedent for other countries.

No, I don't want to wait for New York to blow up - but going ahead with this war is probably only going make that possibility more likely! You have to look at the bigger picture too girly, not just whats right in front of you. That is, its not just as simple as "Oh, OK, we've killed Saddam in this war, all's well, the threat's gone". You have to look at the wider ranging implications this war is going to have on ME-US relations, and whether its going to cause more anti-US sentiment amongst the ME masses.

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This war is about OUR freedom? Oh really, I had no idea. If we are going by what the media says and our president, is this war not about the "freedom" of the iraqi people or about disarming Iraq. I think its rather foolish and selfish to bring up WTC as an excuse or what some of you like to refer as the "American checklist for reasons to go to war". Cause really thats what it all comes down to. You can not go into another country and change regimes and say that this mission is about our freedom? I can not fathom how any individual can equate these actions as actions to "protect us from terrorism" or "protect our freedom". Further, there is no proof that after all is said and done we will be protected or sheltered in any way. Like someone mentioned it may actually fuel anti american sentiments, and if Saddam is killed it may turn him into a Martyr. Now I enjoy seeing all sides of the spectrum, and maybe someone here sees something that I do not. If so please explain how this war is about "protecting our freedom". I will admit I am wrong at times, I am guilty of having a limited capacity on the information I read or am exposed to. So I ask for someone to enlighten me.

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Originally posted by starvingartist

This war is about OUR freedom? Oh really, I had no idea. If we are going by what the media says and our president, is this war not about the "freedom" of the iraqi people or about disarming Iraq. I think its rather foolish and selfish to bring up WTC as an excuse or what some of you like to refer as the "American checklist for reasons to go to war". Cause really thats what it all comes down to. You can not go into another country and change regimes and say that this mission is about our freedom? I can not fathom how any individual can equate these actions as actions to "protect us from terrorism" or "protect our freedom". Further, there is no proof that after all is said and done we will be protected or sheltered in any way. Like someone mentioned it may actually fuel anti american sentiments, and if Saddam is killed it may turn him into a Martyr. Now I enjoy seeing all sides of the spectrum, and maybe someone here sees something that I do not. If so please explain how this war is about "protecting our freedom". I will admit I am wrong at times, I am guilty of having a limited capacity on the information I read or am exposed to. So I ask for someone to enlighten me.

well said. it is obviously not about iraq threatening our freedom. iraq doesnt even have weapons to threaten us with. N. korea on the other hand does. if it is all about our safety, why arent we doing anything about the people who have the WMD & threaten to use them???!?!

i also agree that this is going to (already has) create unnecessary anti-american sentiment, and not just in the middle east.

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Originally posted by guyman1966

(as posted on VIP)

I am very tired of hearing how this war is about oil, Israel and the economy. This war is about terrorism. This war is about freedom. This war is about the first American President to finally open his eyes and see the true horror that exists half way around the world. When President Bush stood at ground zero, I saw a changed man. A man who found his calling. A man who would lead us on a mission to ensure that this can never happen again.

For years the world has criticized Israel for being proactive in dealing with these terrorist elements. In 1981 when the Israeli Air Force destroyed the Nuclear reactor in Iraq, the world condemned them. Now, the United States thanks them for their effort. Israel learned first what it is like to have civilians targeted and killed. It took 9-11 for the USA to see that there are NO CIVILLANS anymore. We are all potential casualties of war. The most disturbing fact is that as I write this, our armed forces are taking unprecedented measures to ensure that a minimum of Iraqi civilians die. We are doing this and putting our forces at greater risk. In my opinion this is a waste. Know one will appreciate it in the end. The rest of the world will always look at the USA in a negative light.

Lots of passion in this guyman :aright: I don't agree with it but I totally understand where your coming from.

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Originally posted by raver_mania

a "shrine" with the WTC towers? First of all, I don't think they've confirmed them to be WTC towers...second of all it was a mural, which could have easily been made AFTER 9/11/2001. Again, you fail to understand...there is a difference between hating, and actively seeking to destroy. Please do some research between the relationship between Al Queda (ie, religious fundamentalists) and Saddam Hussein.

I'm not standing up for Hussein, only for the innocents who are written off as "collateral damage". I AM against the principles of this war - not only is it extremely arrogant, but it does set a dangerous precedent for other countries.

No, I don't want to wait for New York to blow up - but going ahead with this war is probably only going make that possibility more likely! You have to look at the bigger picture too girly, not just whats right in front of you. That is, its not just as simple as "Oh, OK, we've killed Saddam in this war, all's well, the threat's gone". You have to look at the wider ranging implications this war is going to have on ME-US relations, and whether its going to cause more anti-US sentiment amongst the ME masses.

I understand that this war will have alot of repurcussions, and right now, most of the world does not agree with what we're doing.. I do not agree with Bush going over the heads of the UN, but I understand why he did it. I understand you're against the war.. but I'm interested to know what you would have done if you were in Bush's shoes.. let Saddam dance around and ignore the UN resolutions??... wait for another national tragedy??

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Originally posted by chrishaolin

I understand that this war will have alot of repurcussions, and right now, most of the world does not agree with what we're doing.. I do not agree with Bush going over the heads of the UN, but I understand why he did it. I understand you're against the war.. but I'm interested to know what you would have done if you were in Bush's shoes.. let Saddam dance around and ignore the UN resolutions??... wait for another national tragedy??

Saddam has never done anything against the US. Why now? Also, the last time he actively engaged in aggression was over 12 years ago. We waited that long...why not a little longer and convince the UN? Why not gather more proof?

And don't give me that "another 9/11" stuff - because Hussein never was the cause of that, and there are NO indications that he wants to do anything like that.

Just does not fly by me.

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Originally posted by raver_mania

Saddam has never done anything against the US. Why now? Also, the last time he actively engaged in aggression was over 12 years ago. We waited that long...why not a little longer and convince the UN? Why not gather more proof?

And don't give me that "another 9/11" stuff - because Hussein never was the cause of that, and there are NO indications that he wants to do anything like that.

Just does not fly by me.

Like I said, I do not agree with Bush not waiting for UN support, he should not have set that precedent. Don't write off the chance of another tragedy, just because he hasn't done anything YET..

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Originally posted by raver_mania

Saddam has never done anything against the US. Why now? Also, the last time he actively engaged in aggression was over 12 years ago. We waited that long...why not a little longer and convince the UN? Why not gather more proof?

And don't give me that "another 9/11" stuff - because Hussein never was the cause of that, and there are NO indications that he wants to do anything like that.

Just does not fly by me.

Why now and not later? Simple military advantage, and why wait till the UN decides there is no proof (which is one of the possible outcomes). If this happens, then engaging in war would be an outright disregard for the U.N. Also you ask why now? Why not. There may be no proof that Saddam was linked. However someone of power and money from Iraq did in fact help fund this terrorist group. Now I ask you this in what market do people in these countries acquire wealth, power, and political influence. Oil. Oil funds terrorism. Whomever controls oil has power. Power over the economy, power over the global economy. This power is greater then any army, any bomb, any weapon of mass destruction. We are a world that is seeing globalization right before our very eyes. We are also more aware of our unlimited supply of natural resources. Globalization means dependence in many ways. Now these are facts. The fact is Iraq's power over the global economy will continue to increase each year. This has been apparent for many years. Actually decades. Now if you look at the way our Government as well as other nations deal with problems of global significance, its usually put it off till later or at least till after I'm dead. Shit I wont be alive why start worrying the public now. Or why invest in these projects which we will not see any financial gain any time soon, or any century soon. By doing so our own economy and currency will lose value especially since other countries do not seem to want to take the problems of the entire world upon their own hands, why should we? Ok let me get back on track, hehe. So the fact of Iraq's potential power to unleash crippling economic effects on the world has been known for quite some time. Now Clinton was again one of those put it off till it becomes a problem types, and did in fact have a somewhat ok relationship with Saddam. The economy was doing great an all time longest period of growth. Well it didnt stay that way for very long. Now anti American sentiments have been especially growing stronger around 99 all around the globe. Why because being able to own a shop in another country pay the employees peanuts ship it back to U.S. and still make millions in profits was a reality. A reality in which many markets were now more able then ever before to exploit other countries and gain a profit. So then what happens a long time enemy with a long history of threats agains the U.S. makes his threats a reality. A reality in which not only killed millions but crippled our economy the real reason not to "threaten our freedom". So you ask why now? Why hasnt he brought all these charges against Saddam sooner? Well simply because the potential threat Saddam was all along was being sweapt under the carpet. Because this threat is a global one not one that can be expressed with right and wrong and be decided amongst a jury. Simply the U.S. is the only opponent as of right now that can challenge Iraq before it is too late or more damage has been done. Why would the U.S. willingly allow someone to have power over them? Especially if they are able to beat them with brut now? Yes it can be said it is selfish or what not to try and take this power. But would you rather see a dictator from across the ocean control what could be the most powerful tool used against us or even the world? Of course it is not as simple as killing Saddam because Iraq is a country in which those who are wealthy are because of political or military ties. Now the same can be said about the U.S. And the old argument of a just government existing is not possible. Well I do believe the little influence and involvement that every citizen is given as a right to be something. This may not empower me to make decisions that effect the entire country and possibly the entire world. But it is in fact more then what other people have in other parts of the world. It is also more realistic to move about in the class system in the U.S. then most of the world. It may rarely happen and injustices exists however it is possible. It is more possible at least in theory then in other parts of the world where your last name dictates your social class. Or in other countries where only the "rich" or politically involved receive any type of education. It is more possible to make a difference in your own standard of living or in the rules and regulations that you must follow every day. This is why I live here, and this is why I support the war. Because in the near future those who control natural resources, or other globally interdependent goods or services. Will have the power to dramatically change the every day life, the standard of living of not only those who live in their country and are governed by their laws but everyone in the entire world. This is why I am pro war. Globalization means that those in power by money, politics, military, etc are even further empowered. To the point where any attack, embargos, and military capabilities not only effect those that were directly in the line of fire but the entire economy of the entire world. If you do not believe me and your an economist look at the history of economics and final chapter that a few pages have been written on what the future holds. If you are an accountant and you do not believe me look closely at how a financial anaylsis of what something will cost and the overall budget never seem to be the reality. If you are an environmentalist and you do not agree with me, look at the earth and the changes that must be done on a much larger scale then nationally. If you are a historian and do not agree with what I am saying, pick up a history book and read the facts about the fates of those who lived in a country or an era in which the people were governed with no voice. The U.S. government is not perfect and most of the time it is not what it sells itself as. But there are things I do value greatly. The ability to vote, to run, and to hold demonstrations or protests. These things are not available to people of other governments. An anti war protest or even the discussion of doing so, could have you killed, your family, and voice to never be heard. There is no judge, no jury, and more importantly there is no defendent. Most of us have never lived in a state of mind in which our very opinions and views on the government have been silenced by fears we have lived our entire lives with. And the few that have tried to face the fears have met death. Preservation of life has never been used as an every day tool against us in exchange for our silence and our acceptance of things, life, government and the world of how it is and how it should be in your mind. Now I have written my case on why I believe in our political system to be the fairest. And this is why I am pro war. Because someone will have to control the movement of goods and services and their new global role in todays world and the future. Right now I cant say I fully trust the U.S. government to make the best decisions for our country or for the world. But I do belive the system we have that empowers people like Bush, congress, senators, mayors, who make these decisions offer more then what other systems do. This is why I am for war because the time is now. And in the future there will have to be a global government created in order to govern the world and the new challenges it faces. This is the only hope for a future in which government will serve the people and not be left in the hands of one leader, one belief, or one group to abuse it to its fullest having unsurmountable effects felt worldwide. I believe in our government over those in other countries. I have lived, traveled in many places. And of course it is not a democracy as defined or in reality. But the effort and the ability to do something even if it is to hold a sign that says fuck bush, it is what makes all the difference in the world. War is not a good thing, I will never falsely make this statement. However peaceful actions can not take one's capability and power away. Including the capability to destory the entire earth with a nuclear weapon. but one can work towards empowering those with these capabilities taken from an election. One can also participate in the government to change the laws and rules that govern the country. This is why I am for war because I accept that I do not know the entire truth, and that there are concepts beyond my personal grasps or limited information that a leader has access to. And I may not trust Bush as a man, and I may not trust our entire government completely. But the one thing I can say for certain I trust our Government to protect us more then I do any other country, island, territory on the map. It may not be the wealth fare of the entire nation that drives most behaviors however the welfare of this nation to be economically safe, sound, and secure is a motive that our leaders have even if it is driven by personal gain. And this is what I know and all I need to know to support this war.

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i agree with some of it...the latter i don't.

who put us in this position? the gov't with their actions. they don't care about us. they care about themselves ie, getting re-elected, their fat paychecks, etc...

your post was really long, i still need to digest it...but overall, you have some good points.

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Originally posted by guyman1966

(as posted on VIP)

I am very tired of hearing how this war is about oil, Israel and the economy. This war is about terrorism. This war is about freedom. This war is about the first American President to finally open his eyes and see the true horror that exists half way around the world. When President Bush stood at ground zero, I saw a changed man. A man who found his calling. A man who would lead us on a mission to ensure that this can never happen again.

For years the world has criticized Israel for being proactive in dealing with these terrorist elements. In 1981 when the Israeli Air Force destroyed the Nuclear reactor in Iraq, the world condemned them. Now, the United States thanks them for their effort. Israel learned first what it is like to have civilians targeted and killed. It took 9-11 for the USA to see that there are NO CIVILLANS anymore. We are all potential casualties of war. The most disturbing fact is that as I write this, our armed forces are taking unprecedented measures to ensure that a minimum of Iraqi civilians die. We are doing this and putting our forces at greater risk. In my opinion this is a waste. Know one will appreciate it in the end. The rest of the world will always look at the USA in a negative light.

Iraq has sworn to bring the U.S. to its knees. President Bush hears these threats and now takes them very seriously. 9-11 has taught us that “words†do in fact have meaning. We should take every threat seriously and actively destroy our enemies. If countries don’t want to be attacked, they should not make idle threats. They should not seek out the means of mass destruction. Saddam would have been happy to provided Nukes and/or chemical weapons to any terrorist group that opposes the U.S.

It’s a nice concept to hold hands and walk for peace. Where were YOU peace freaks after 9-11. Did you walk and rally in Mexico City to support the U.S. after the Towers fell? Did you march in Montreal or Paris? Now that we are being proactive to many people are against us. To many of the people we have helped over the years and call us friends when they want our support have turned their backs. Whenever there is a crisis in the world the U.S. sends money and support. You all expect it. And, from where I sit you are ungrateful.

I am grateful for our President, armed forces and supporters. To our enemies, may God have mercy on your soul.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A18841-2002Sep14?language=printer

In Iraqi War Scenario, Oil Is Key Issue

U.S. Drillers Eye Huge Petroleum Pool

By Dan Morgan and David B. Ottaway

Washington Post Staff Writers

Sunday, September 15, 2002; Page A01

A U.S.-led ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could open a bonanza for American oil companies long banished from Iraq, scuttling oil deals between Baghdad and Russia, France and other countries, and reshuffling world petroleum markets, according to industry officials and leaders of the Iraqi opposition.

Although senior Bush administration officials say they have not begun to focus on the issues involving oil and Iraq, American and foreign oil companies have already begun maneuvering for a stake in the country's huge proven reserves of 112 billion barrels of crude oil, the largest in the world outside Saudi Arabia.

The importance of Iraq's oil has made it potentially one of the administration's biggest bargaining chips in negotiations to win backing from the U.N. Security Council and Western allies for President Bush's call for tough international action against Hussein. All five permanent members of the Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- have international oil companies with major stakes in a change of leadership in Baghdad.

"It's pretty straightforward," said former CIA director R. James Woolsey, who has been one of the leading advocates of forcing Hussein from power. "France and Russia have oil companies and interests in Iraq. They should be told that if they are of assistance in moving Iraq toward decent government, we'll do the best we can to ensure that the new government and American companies work closely with them."

But he added: "If they throw in their lot with Saddam, it will be difficult to the point of impossible to persuade the new Iraqi government to work with them."

Indeed, the mere prospect of a new Iraqi government has fanned concerns by non-American oil companies that they will be excluded by the United States, which almost certainly would be the dominant foreign power in Iraq in the aftermath of Hussein's fall. Representatives of many foreign oil concerns have been meeting with leaders of the Iraqi opposition to make their case for a future stake and to sound them out about their intentions.

Since the Persian Gulf War in 1991, companies from more than a dozen nations, including France, Russia, China, India, Italy, Vietnam and Algeria, have either reached or sought to reach agreements in principle to develop Iraqi oil fields, refurbish existing facilities or explore undeveloped tracts. Most of the deals are on hold until the lifting of U.N. sanctions.

But Iraqi opposition officials made clear in interviews last week that they will not be bound by any of the deals.

"We will review all these agreements, definitely," said Faisal Qaragholi, a petroleum engineer who directs the London office of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an umbrella organization of opposition groups that is backed by the United States. "Our oil policies should be decided by a government in Iraq elected by the people."

Ahmed Chalabi, the INC leader, went even further, saying he favored the creation of a U.S.-led consortium to develop Iraq's oil fields, which have deteriorated under more than a decade of sanctions. "American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil," Chalabi said.

The INC, however, said it has not taken a formal position on the structure of Iraq's oil industry in event of a change of leadership.

While the Bush administration's campaign against Hussein is presenting vast possibilities for multinational oil giants, it poses major risks and uncertainties for the global oil market, according to industry analysts.

Access to Iraqi oil and profits will depend on the nature and intentions of a new government. Whether Iraq remains a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, for example, or seeks an independent role, free of the OPEC cartel's quotas, will have an impact on oil prices and the flow of investments to competitors such as Russia, Venezuela and Angola.

While Russian oil companies such as Lukoil have a major financial interest in developing Iraqi fields, the low prices that could result from a flood of Iraqi oil into world markets could set back Russian government efforts to attract foreign investment in its untapped domestic fields. That is because low world oil prices could make costly ventures to unlock Siberia's oil treasures far less appealing.

Bush and Vice President Cheney have worked in the oil business and have long-standing ties to the industry. But despite the buzz about the future of Iraqi oil among oil companies, the administration, preoccupied with military planning and making the case about Hussein's potential threat, has yet to take up the issue in a substantive way, according to U.S. officials.

The Future of Iraq Group, a task force set up at the State Department, does not have oil on its list of issues, a department spokesman said last week. An official with the National Security Council declined to say whether oil had been discussed during consultations on Iraq that Bush has had over the past several weeks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Western leaders.

On Friday, a State Department delegation concluded a three-day visit to Moscow in connection with Iraq. In early October, U.S. and Russian officials are to hold an energy summit in Houston, at which more than 100 Russian and American energy companies are expected.

Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) said Bush is keenly aware of Russia's economic interests in Iraq, stemming from a $7 billion to $8 billion debt that Iraq ran up with Moscow before the Gulf War. Weldon, who has cultivated close ties to Putin and Russian parliamentarians, said he believed the Russian leader will support U.S. action in Iraq if he can get private assurances from Bush that Russia "will be made whole" financially.

Officials of the Iraqi National Congress said last week that the INC's Washington director, Entifadh K. Qanbar, met with Russian Embassy officials here last month and urged Moscow to begin a dialogue with opponents of Hussein's government.

But even with such groundwork, the chances of a tidy transition in the oil sector appear highly problematic. Rival ethnic groups in Iraq's north are already squabbling over the the giant Kirkuk oil field, which Arabs, Kurds and minority Turkmen tribesmen are eyeing in the event of Hussein's fall.

Although the volumes have dwindled in recent months, the United States was importing nearly 1 million barrels of Iraqi oil a day at the start of the year. Even so, American oil companies have been banished from direct involvement in Iraq since the late 1980s, when relations soured between Washington and Baghdad.

Hussein in the 1990s turned to non-American companies to repair fields damaged in the Gulf War and Iraq's earlier war against Iran, and to tap undeveloped reserves, but U.S. government studies say the results have been disappointing.

While Russia's Lukoil negotiated a $4 billion deal in 1997 to develop the 15-billion-barrel West Qurna field in southern Iraq, Lukoil had not commenced work because of U.N. sanctions. Iraq has threatened to void the agreement unless work began immediately.

Last October, the Russian oil services company Slavneft reportedly signed a $52 million service contract to drill at the Tuba field, also in southern Iraq. A proposed $40 billion Iraqi-Russian economic agreement also reportedly includes opportunities for Russian companies to explore for oil in Iraq's western desert.

The French company Total Fina Elf has negotiated for rights to develop the huge Majnoon field, near the Iranian border, which may contain up to 30 billion barrels of oil. But in July 2001, Iraq announced it would no longer give French firms priority in the award of such contracts because of its decision to abide by the sanctions.

Officials of several major firms said they were taking care to avoiding playing any role in the debate in Washington over how to proceed on Iraq. "There's no real upside for American oil companies to take a very aggressive stance at this stage. There'll be plenty of time in the future," said James Lucier, an oil analyst with Prudential Securities.

But with the end of sanctions that likely would come with Hussein's ouster, companies such as ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco would almost assuredly play a role, industry officials said. "There's not an oil company out there that wouldn't be interested in Iraq," one analyst said.

Staff writer Ken Bredemeier contributed to this report.

© 2002 The Washington Post Company

I can see where you're coming from. You made some good points in your comment and I cannot deny that. Yes this war is against terrorism and this war is for freedom, but who's freedom is the question. It appears to me that that freedom we're fighting for is the freedom for the special interest, namely the oil companies. To fight for freedom be advised that that freedom being fought for should be the freedom of the American people as a whole meaning all freedoms including the right to express our opinions pro/con. Though I agree with some of the things you say in your post I disagree with other parts but either way your opinion is respected.

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