wwwHIGHTOWER: Iraqi Crude

In our government's latest Iraq Attack, both President Bill Clinton and GOP nominee Bob Dole were unified in their public declarations that the military strike was necessary to "humiliate Saddam Hussein."Well, Saddam is a bloodthirsty dictator and is certifiably bull-goose crazy, but it seems to me that we hardly humiliated him. Indeed, it's arguable that he won, since he got what he wanted in the factional fight among the Kurds, and his prestige in the Mideast as a stand-up guy against "Yankee Imperialism" was enhanced.Meanwhile, what did we gain? Our country is now even more entangled in the ancient fueds between Iraqis, Kurds, Iranians, Turks and a host of other nations we can't even find on the map. Our prestige in the mideast went down, and -- did you notice -- not one single ally joined with us in the action.So why did the U.S. reach out to slap Saddam at this particular time? Politics of course, since the move helps Clinton look strong as commander-in-chief. But, there's another big factor that the establishment media didn't cover: oil.Call me a cynic, but isn't it a curious coincidence that this is the very month that Iraq was to be allowed by the United Nations to start shipping 700,000 barrels a day of their crude oil into the international pipelines?This flow of Iraqi crude was not altogether welcomed by the world's oil giants, who have been enjoying high gasoline and other fuel prices because of relatively tight supplies. More oil could have lowered prices at the pump . . . but we'll never know, because, after our Iraq Attack, no Iraqi oil will be allowed to flow.Analysts now say our gasoline, diesel and heating oil will cost more this fall. The real winners are the Oil Companies -- stock prices for Texaco are up $3, Exxon is up $2.25, Mobil is up $2.37.

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