September 17, 2007

Greenspan Clarifies

Over the weekend, an Alan Greenspan quote got plenty of mileage in the blogosphere. Greenspan wrote in his new book that "The Iraq war is largely about oil," but Greenspan says that quote has been taken out of context.

At Heading Right, I provide the missing context. In fact, Greenspan meant almost the opposite of how the quote got reported and interpreted. Had the media read the book more closely, they would have discovered who actually made that argument to the administration, and who rejected it. It also calls into question the motives of those who decry "blood for oil" but leave us vulnerable to petroleum-based extortion.

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Comments (25)

Posted by rbj | September 17, 2007 9:03 AM

The MSM taking something out of context to make the Bush administration look bad? I'm shocked.

Posted by Silvio Canto, Jr. | September 17, 2007 9:19 AM


I guess that it pays to read the book first.....

Posted by tolkein | September 17, 2007 9:22 AM

Dear Ed

I think the cartoon by Chris Muir yesterday was unnecessarily offensive. I'm Christian and I thought it was puerile. There are plenty of reasons to attack the behaviour of Islamists, and criticising religions and beliefs is OK, too. But being deliberately offensive just makes those doing the offending look immature. What, after all, is wrong with civility and courtesy in public life?

Posted by sherlock | September 17, 2007 9:24 AM

Any media outlet that goes with this quote out of context has no standing to be questioning anyone else's honesty. Pay attention to who says what, and remember it carefully when you hear other news from them.

Posted by Mike | September 17, 2007 9:34 AM

tolkein, the Chris Muir cartoon might have seemed unnecessary to you, and I'm sure it was offensive to Muslims, but it is one of the wonderful things about a free society. We can do things that are not necessary, and which others don't appreciate. If we are reduced to only the necessary, we then must understand that there will always be someone out there to define what that means for us. Like you, for example.

Posted by Immolate | September 17, 2007 9:48 AM

Ed,

Even if the US had sufficient internal oil supply to meet its internal oil demand, we would still be vulnerable to disruption in the world oil market. First, oil is fungible, as you yourself have previously noted. Unless oil is government-owned and controlled, the owners of the oil will still sell to the highest bidder, and that will prevent the US from keeping its own supply inviolate. Second, and most importantly, every good and service that we receive is touched by international oil prices. Some goods, because they are produced overseas, are directly effected. All other goods and services are indirectly impacted as Americans who provide those goods and services depend on foreign goods in their work-place and in their every-day lives.

So... while I'm in favor of fully utilizing the fossil fuel resources that are available to us, I also understand that, until we or someone else develops a source of energy that is cheap, readily available and difficult to exhaust, we will be vulnerable, both economically and physically, to unstable elements of the Middle East.

Posted by Terry Gain | September 17, 2007 9:53 AM

Am I glad that, unlike filistro, I didn't make an uninformed comment on this story, to wit.


..."Meanwhile the Iraqi "government" has lost its parliamentary majority, Alan Greenspan says the Republicans deserve to lose because of their reckless fiscal policy (GO ALAN!!! He also says the Iraq war was all about oil)... and after a strenuous week of campaigning Fred Thompson decides to take next week off. So am I back up to speed?" ...

Definitely back up to speed. Unfortunately it's the speed of a liberal.

Posted by JAT | September 17, 2007 10:21 AM

The intent taken out of context now includes Hillary would make a better POTUS. It seems that the left reads too little. But it sure can deduce what was said is what was meant.

Posted by Sue | September 17, 2007 2:41 PM

This is precisely the problem when OLD (read elderly) men marry much younger ultra liberal women, if they don't say what the little missus wants, they don't get some of the pitifully little they do get. Greenspan stayed 10 years too long.

tolkein: Like jesus in urine? Like Mary with crap on her? This type of "childish" behavior is always complained about when the right does it. Where were you when the above were touted by the MSM.

Read? You mean tinfoil hatted leftist loon actually can read? I thought they had been so brainwashed they wouldn't be able to tell the difference about the world they "think" they're in.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | September 17, 2007 3:44 PM

Had the media read the book more closely, they would have discovered who actually made that argument to the administration, and who rejected it.

Captain, that would mean the MSM would have to find out what the facts really are before publishing. This would seriously threaten "the narrative was right but the facts were wrong" bubble the MSM lives in.

Remember - we are losing in Iraq, even though the facts say otherwise. No WMDs were found in Iraq, even though we found 500+ WMDs in Iraq. Low Democrat Congress poll numbers are due to insufficient partisanship on the part of Democrats. Narrative always trumps reality in MSM-land.

Posted by Eric | September 17, 2007 4:03 PM

Believe me, a lot of liberals took Greenspans comment out of context and started using it to prove that Bush Lied and People Died for ….filthy oil.

On September 15th, on this site on another subject, I asked the liberal Dave what he thought about Bush. His reply:

Posted by David | September 15, 2007 1:44 PM
Bush?
Incompetent, not a deep thinker, a person that surrounds himself with "YESMEN", mistakes PR slogans for real leadership and is in WAY over his head as Commander in Chief.
How's that Erik?
Btw, it's funny how you people expect the Iraqi people to come together when the Right-Wing would like nothing better than to forever crush dissent in America because, of course, they are the only true Americans.

He then backs up this argument as follows:

Posted by David | September 15, 2007 2:11 PM
Btw Eric, Alan Greenspan agrees with me.

Now I will reply to David, should he be reading:
No, Allen Greenspan doesn’t agree with you, and yes, you’re correct, we are the only true Americans.

Posted by Eric | September 17, 2007 4:09 PM

Immolate says:
So... while I'm in favor of fully utilizing the fossil fuel resources that are available to us, I also understand that, until we or someone else develops a source of energy that is cheap, readily available and difficult to exhaust, we will be vulnerable, both economically and physically, to unstable elements of the Middle East.

Eric says:
I think what you’re suggesting is the single most important and powerful step that America can take right now to improve our security, our environment, our standard of living, and the lives of our citizens. Health care doesn't come anywhere close to the size of our energy bill, and as such, energy should take first place in our priorities. I think a bad day is coming in regards to our energy supply. I really do.

Posted by Eric | September 17, 2007 4:23 PM

Posted by tolkein:
Dear Ed
I think the cartoon by Chris Muir yesterday was unnecessarily offensive. I'm Christian and I thought it was puerile. There are plenty of reasons to attack the behaviour of Islamists, and criticising religions and beliefs is OK, too. But being deliberately offensive just makes those doing the offending look immature. What, after all, is wrong with civility and courtesy in public life?

Eric says:
You're correct. It was pornographic (although only mildly so.) I don't like it when people do it to my God. I'm not in favor of offending for the sake of offending. Isn't that best left to the liberals? As follows:

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/09/16/hot-air-video-infiltrating-the-moonbats-in-dc/

Posted by Sue:
tolkein: Like jesus in urine? Like Mary with crap on her? This type of "childish" behavior is always complained about when the right does it. Where were you when the above were touted by the MSM.

Eric says:
That’s not Tolkein’s fault. Two wrongs don’t make a right. He's not in charge of the MSM. If he is, let's find him and make start reporting things better.

Tolkein...fess-up. Are you in charge of the MSM?

Posted by tolkein | September 17, 2007 4:32 PM

Mike and Sue

I'm not in favour of censorship of free speech. That gives me a right to complain about incivility and discourtesy in public life. Puerility by the right - and I didn't realise the Chris Muir cartoon was a right political cartoon, just on this occasion, a poor taste cartoon - is not justified because leftists are also puerile or scatological.

As a practising Christian I get deeply hurt and upset over the insults to our Lord or His mother, and I regard those insults as puerile as well. Are you saying that it's OK to be incivil and discourteous because others are too?

Posted by reliapundit | September 17, 2007 6:28 PM

i clarified greenspan BEFORE anyone else ANYWHERE - on saturday - three days ago!

here's the link - use it; it's a good post:

http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2007/09/yawn-alan-greenspan-agrees-with-jimmy.html

Posted by chip | September 17, 2007 7:57 PM

Here's Bloomberg's take on its website at the time I write this:

"In another potential embarrassment for Bush and the Republicans, Greenspan asserted that the need for secure oil supplies from the Middle East was the true rationale for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003."
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=aJ1U8eTzSOj8&refer=home

Along with the misrepresentation a whole day after Greenspan clarified, note the embarrassment is for Republicans only, not the majority of Democrats who voted for the war.

Of course, Bloomberg News' Editor in chief, Matt Winkler, is a donor to the Democrat Party and even attended its last convention as a supporter, not a journalist. So I guess we shouldn't be surprised.

Posted by gaffo | September 17, 2007 8:42 PM

"So... while I'm in favor of fully utilizing the fossil fuel resources that are available to us, I also understand that, until we or someone else develops a source of energy that is cheap, readily available and difficult to exhaust, we will be vulnerable, both economically and physically, to unstable elements of the Middle East."

utter derriliction of duty.

no mention of conservation

no mention of increasing fuel efficiency (get rid of Hummers/SUVs)

no mention of a Nation campaign to promote the above

no mention of alternative and renewable energy incentives for home builders.

no vision

....
just "lets suck up more oil and not plan for the future using a little belt tightening".


no wonder the Republicans are the minority party.

Posted by gaffo | September 17, 2007 8:49 PM

"I think what you’re suggesting is the single most important and powerful step that America can take right now to improve our security, our environment, our standard of living, and the lives of our citizens. Health care doesn't come anywhere close to the size of our energy bill, and as such, energy should take first place in our priorities. I think a bad day is coming in regards to our energy supply. I really do."

Absolutely!

that is why we need LEADERSHIP

A National Campaign - make Conservation, fuel efficiency and alternative enery TOP and immediate NATIONAL goals.

1. Give tax breaks to all who buy motorscooters/motorcyles.

2. give tax breaks to all cars taht use 3-cylender engines or fewer and/or wiegh under 1500 pounds. - i.e. promote Microcars. I see single folks driving SUVs and see a man/women who does not care about the future of America.

3. give tax breaks for homebuilders and homeowers who install "green" products and solar/wind power.

..................


bush has had 8 YEARS to go on National TV and proclaim the above as a Patriotic DUTY!!!! - and instead he has mired us in Iraq and quandered our future with an even higher addiction to oil.

bush is the poorest of the poor in Leadership ability - history will not look to him (nor his enablers kindly).

2008 cannot come soon enough.

Posted by Eric | September 17, 2007 9:04 PM

gaffo:
Those ideas are all valid and very important as well. Don't critisize people who are making the same argument as you, but going at it from a different direction.

Posted by Eric | September 17, 2007 9:15 PM

Gaffo says:
bush has had 8 YEARS to go on National TV and proclaim the above as a Patriotic DUTY!!!! - and instead he has mired us in Iraq and quandered our future with an even higher addiction to oil.

bush is the poorest of the poor in Leadership ability - history will not look to him (nor his enablers kindly).

2008 cannot come soon enough.

Eric says:
Well...don't vote for him in 08.

Seriously, you made a good point until you decided to blame everything on the President. You obviously don't know anything about anything. Ethanol from nothing to 6 billion in 8 years. Wind, solar up so dramatically during Bush. The most land ever reserved for National Wild Sanctuaries (More than all Presidents combined.) The restoration of the Florida Everglades -- the largest and most successful environmental project ever...yep, GW Bush.

It’s like Newt says: “if it were not for the environmentalist, everybody would want to be an environmentalist.” Your bad info just puts a lot of stink on the subject.

Let me do the talking about environmentalism and conservation from this point on, okay?


Posted by gaffo | September 17, 2007 10:11 PM

provide a link that shows all that Bush has done to promote alternative energy.

yes Wind is up to 2-percent in TX at least. this is a good thing.

now show me that Bush provided incentives for this.

show me his nation policy for the other stuff i mentioned.

lets see he have a Tax rebate for buying hummers a few years ago. thats sure helpful for America's future enoery addition.

now show me those same tax incentives for folks who go out and buy a motorcycle-scooter.

where are all those tax incentives for folks buying small cars like a Yaris?

well? - show me what the Boy Wonder has done to help american enery dependence.

show me a transcript from our Pres in any speech that promotes conservation. Auto fuel efficiency etc...

and no hydrogen cars and switch grass pie inthe sky - not for another 50 years or more miricle fix it cure don't count. giv me a link for our pres addressing what each and everyone ofus can do RIGHT NOW.

A national address about using lower wattage lighting, turning lights off in rooms that you are not in, turning the thermostat down inwinter and up in summer.......you know all that pragmatic boring crap that WORKS.

you can't - cause Americans hate frugality if any kind and the pres only talks fantasy talk about hydrogen cars and flying to Mars!!

Posted by Eric | September 17, 2007 10:14 PM

Do your own research.

Posted by docjim505 | September 18, 2007 6:25 AM

tolkein: There are plenty of reasons to attack the behaviour of Islamists, and criticising religions and beliefs is OK, too. But being deliberately offensive just makes those doing the offending look immature. What, after all, is wrong with civility and courtesy in public life?

Well, I'm not big into civility where libs are concerned, but otherwise I agree with you. It's difficult to seperate the Muslim religion from the despicable actions of some Muslims, but the effort should be made.

I offer this weak defense of Muir's cartoon: I suspect that the target was not Islam per se, but rather the poltically-correct crowd who would never DREAM of insulting Islam even though they have no trouble insulting any other religion.

Posted by Mike | September 18, 2007 8:24 AM

Tolkein, I am not at all saying it is OK to be incivil (sic) and discourteous, for any reason. But I am saying that civility and courtesy are things that can never be mandated and remain genuine. As a practicing Christian myself, I have come to understand that the story of Christ, indeed the story of man’s relationship with God, is all about choices. Going all the way back to the story of the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden, God has shown us that there is good and evil, right and wrong, sin and virtue; but has always left the choice up to us. He could have just not created that one tree, but it was important that Adam and Eve do the right thing by choice; so the choice had to exist.

Now you, as a practicing Christian, have an obligation to stand for right and against wrong, but not by working to force people to do what you think is right. Chris Muir must be allowed to make his own decisions about what he does and does not write and draw. You are allowed the choice of reading his work or not. Beyond that I think you might want to consider WHY Muir would inject such an image into his work. Was it that he really thinks that about the subject depicted, or did he wish to start us wondering about how we feel about being intimidated into silence by the radical bastards who would, if allowed, remove all those choices.

Posted by naftali | September 18, 2007 9:03 AM

I'm not sure what Muir has to do with Greenspan, but I'll jump in.

First, any statement attributed to Greenspan that could easily fit into a newspaper headline has to be misquoted. If I were lost and needed directions, and the only man who could give those directions was Alan Greenspan, I'm staying lost. Oh, I'm sure he knows how to get to the place, but that's just not how he speaks.

Second, it you argue with Muir, at least understand his point. It was not to be offensive, rather it was to bring the western trend of self-censorship into sharp clarity. The big question from his cartoon, is how will AMERICANS react if Iran pronounces a fatwah on an American citizen? That is possibly the most important cultural question we face. We know how the Europeans react, by hiding the cartoonist and apologizing. Is that what we are going to do? I don't know the answer. And Chris Muir figured it was time to find out.

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