In a recent TIME interview, McCain defended his support for the war by declaring “I can only imagine what Saddam Hussein would be doing with the wealth he would acquire with oil at $110 and $120 a barrel.”
The key word here is “imagine,” because if the U.S. hadn’t invaded Iraq, it’s very likely that oil wouldn’t be anywhere near $120 a barrel. According to a leading oil economist, the Iraq war “tripled the price of oil…costing the world a staggering $6 trillion in higher energy prices alone”:
Dr Mamdouh Salameh, who advises both the World Bank and the UN Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), told The Independent…that the price of oil would now be no more than $40 a barrel, less than a third of the record $135 a barrel reached last week, if it had not been for the Iraq war.
As I wrote a few weeks ago when Christopher Hitchens first trotted out this crude ex post facto casus belli, it is patently ridiculous to defend the Iraq war on the grounds that it prevented Saddam Hussein from profiting from the skyrocketing oil prices that have resulted from the war to remove Saddam Hussein.