This is a very interesting hypothesis I found on the causes of the Iraq war. The author contends that the war was not precipitated by actual control of oil, but in which currency oil is bought and sold in (dollars vs. euros). The main currency for oil is dollars, if there were to be a switch from the dollar to the euro, it would be disastrous to the US economy (along the same lines of China selling all of it US currency it holds). I highly recommend the read as an alternative hypothesis.
Revisited - The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq:
A Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth
by William Clark
Although apparently suppressed in the U.S. media, one of the answers to the Iraq enigma is simple yet shocking. The upcoming war in Iraq war is mostly about how the CIA, the Federal Reserve and the Bush/Cheney administration view hydrocarbons at the geo-strategic level, and the unspoken but overarching macroeconomic threats to the U.S. dollar from the euro. The Real Reasons for this upcoming war is this administration's goal of preventing further OPEC momentum towards the euro as an oil transaction currency standard, and to secure control of Iraq's oil before the onset of Peak Oil (predicted to occur around 2010). However, in order to pre-empt OPEC, they need to gain geo-strategic control of Iraq along with its 2nd largest proven oil reserves. This essay will discuss the macroeconomics of the `petrodollar' and the unpublicized but real threat to U.S. economic hegemony from the euro as an alternative oil transaction currency. The following is how an individual very well versed in the nuances of macroeconomics alluded to the unspoken truth about this upcoming war with Iraq:
"The Federal Reserve's greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in Nov. 2000 (when the euro was worth around 82 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar's steady depreciation against the euro. (Note: the dollar declined 17% against the euro in 2002.)
"The real reason the Bush administration wants a puppet government in Iraq -- or more importantly, the reason why the corporate-military-industrial network conglomerate wants a puppet government in Iraq -- is so that it will revert back to a dollar standard and stay that way." (While also hoping to veto any wider OPEC momentum towards the euro, especially from Iran -- the 2nd largest OPEC producer who is actively discussing a switch to euros for its oil exports)."
Although a collective switch by OPEC would be extremely unlikely barring a major panic on the U.S. dollar, it would appear that a gradual transition is quite plausible. Furthermore, despite Saudi Arabia being our `client state,' the Saudi regime appears increasingly weak/threatened from massive civil unrest. Some analysts believe civil unrest might unfold in Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Gulf states in the aftermath of an unpopular U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq . Undoubtedly, the Bush administration is acutely aware of these risks. Hence, the neo-conservative framework entails a large and permanent military presence in the Persian Gulf region in a post-Saddam era, just in case we need to surround and control Saudi's large Ghawar oil fields in the event of a Saudi coup by an anti-western group. But first back to Iraq.
"Saddam sealed his fate when he decided to switch to the euro in late 2000 (and later converted his $10 billion reserve fund at the U.N. to euros) -- at that point, another manufactured Gulf War become inevitable under Bush II. Only the most extreme circumstances could possibly stop that now and I strongly doubt anything can -- short of Saddam getting replaced with a pliant regime.
"Big Picture Perspective: Everything else aside from the reserve currency and the Saudi/Iran oil issues (i.e. domestic political issues and international criticism) is peripheral and of marginal consequence to this administration. Further, the dollar-euro threat is powerful enough that they will rather risk much of the economic backlash in the short-term to stave off the long-term dollar crash of an OPEC transaction standard change from dollars to euros. All of this fits into the broader Great Game that encompasses Russia, India, China."
This information about Iraq's oil currency is not discussed by the U.S. media or the Bush administration as the truth could potentially curtail both investor and consumer confidence, reduce consumer borrowing/spending, create political pressure to form a new energy policy that slowly weans us off Middle-Eastern oil, and of course stop our march towards a war with Iraq. This quasi `state secret' is addressed in a Radio Free Europe article that discussed Saddam's switch for his oil sales from dollars to the euros, to be effective November 6, 2000:
"Baghdad's switch from the dollar to the euro for oil trading is intended to rebuke Washington's hard-line on sanctions and encourage Europeans to challenge it. But the political message will cost Iraq millions in lost revenue. RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel looks at what Baghdad will gain and lose, and the impact of the decision to go with the European currency."