The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan

JulianD's picture
Submitted by JulianD on Sun, 2007-09-16 00:13

For those who haven’t heard, Alan Greenspan will tomorrow publish The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World.

He says of his book…

“There was also a personal story to tell. I’d known every president from Richard Nixon to Reagan, Ford, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. And what about all those other assorted characters from my childhood in New York, my years as a jazz musician, my complete career switch to economics – and my friendship with Ayn Rand? I wanted to make the leap from writing economic analysis to writing in the first person about what I’d experienced. And after years of talking “Fedspeak” in carefully calibrated congressional testimony – I could finally use my own voice!”

UPDATE:

In the following segment on 60 minutes, Alan Greenspan shows his first copy of Atlas Shrugged and makes some comments which Rand would no doubt disagree with.


( categories: )

Under assumed conditions, a somewhat negative tendency may...

James S. Valliant's picture

Greenspeak is a bad habit, and a hard one to overcome, it seems. He may not actually be denying the existence of "social climbers" at all, only denying that he is one. All other things being equal, doesn't someone prefer to be "approved of" rather than the opposite? Of course, this still points to the continued intentional ambiguities of the real politician -- and the psycho-epistemological wreckage left in the wake of such a career.

Far worse, Greenspan seems to have bought into the Warming Globaloney --which only reminds me of the classic cartoon of the praying man who recites, "And, God, please let Alan Greenspan accept the things he cannot change, give him the courage to change the things he can and the wisdom to know the difference."

"It will be a fairly short

Peter Cresswell's picture

"It will be a fairly short review consisting of a single sentence... "A great work of fiction""

Call me picky, but I was hoping for something just a tad more substantial.

;^)

I

Elijah Lineberry's picture

purchased a copy this morning at Whitcoulls and had a read for much of today.

Ummmmmm....?!?!.. I would have thought that if I was friends with someone for 30 years until their death, I would manage to mention them a bit more than 3 pages in my autobiography, as is the case with Greenspan and Ayn Rand. Puzzled

Rather a surprise! gosh! sorry if you were too busy slobbering over Bill Clinton, Alan, but was expecting a bit more on the Ayn Rand front.

Also rather annoyed at the maliciously bitchy comments about Richard Nixon..and..for the record ....(as criticism of President Nixon incurs my extreme anger and bitter response)...contrary to Mr Greenspan's delusional nastiness, Nixon refused to have Greenspan in his Administration, rather than the "I refused to serve" comments...(re-writing history is so childish)...and President Nixon was in the position of saying 'Alan who?' Eye

If Peter Cresswell wants someone to write a review for Free Radical, I am happy to oblige.
It will be a fairly short review consisting of a single sentence... "A great work of fiction" Barf!

(May I have my $65 back?)

Goldspan now denies backing Bush's tax cuts.

Marcus's picture

Thanks for that clip Julian, but while looking I to my dismay saw this clip too where Greenspan now distances himself from G.W. Bush's tax cuts.

alan greenspan on george w. bush, taxcuts, and cheney.

Gold Standard comments by Greenspan

JulianD's picture

Greenspan makes some comments here on the Gold Standard, inflation, and Central Banks.

Excerpts about Ayn Rand from Greenspan memoir

Stuart Hayashi's picture

Over on YouTube, the Canadian Objectivist called "qtronman" posted a two-part video series in which he reads out loud the excerpts from Greenspan's autobiography that are about Ayn Rand.

Part 1 of 2.

Part 2 of 2.

Interesting stuff.

Really Laurie?

Marcus's picture

You don't think the following statement (as if fact) a bit weird coming from anyone other than a socialist?

"The large tax revenues that have emerged have been used by the Labour Government to counter the income inequality that is an inevitable by-product of increasing technologically-oriented financial competition."

1) As if the Labour Government can counter "income inequality" or that it would be perfectly acceptable to attempt to do so.

2) That "income inequality" is a loaded term often used by socilaists as if to say that this is unfair.

3) I don't undertand how "increasing technologically-oriented financial competition" in particular is responsible for it - unless Greenspan adheres to a modern socialist type fear of technology.

Huh?

Laure Chipman's picture

Marcus, I don't see how you get "Greenspan is a socialist" from the excerpt you posted.

Greenspan is a socialist!!!

Marcus's picture

Judging by this excerpt from Greenspan's book published in the Daily Telegraph he is something of a wonky socialist with his justification of the state combating "income inequality that is an inevitable by-product of increasing technologically-oriented financial competition". Sadly, he cannot have learned or retained anything useful from Ayn Rand all those years ago Sad

Excerpt from The Age of Turbulence: Chapter two

"Turning to the outlook for the rest of the world, the United Kingdom has had a remarkable renaissance since Margaret Thatcher's decisive freeing up of market competition in Britain starting in the 1980s. The success was dramatic and, to its credit, New Labour under the leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown embraced the new freedoms, tempering their party's historical Fabian socialist ethos with a fresh emphasis on opportunity.

Britain has welcomed foreign investment and takeovers of British corporate icons. The current Government recognised that aside from issues of national security and pride, the nationality of British corporate shareholders has little impact on the standard of living of the average citizen.

Today London is arguably the world's leader in cross-border finance, though New York, by financing much of the vast economy of the United States, remains the financial capital of the world. Inventive technologies have dramatically improved the effectiveness with which global savings have been employed to finance global investment in plant and equipment. That improved productivity of capital has engendered increased incomes for financial expertise, and UK finance has prospered.

The large tax revenues that have emerged have been used by the Labour Government to counter the income inequality that is an inevitable by-product of increasing technologically-oriented financial competition. The per capita GDP of the United Kingdom has recently outdistanced those of Germany and France.

Britain's demographics are not so dire as those of the Continent, though its education of its children has many of the shortcomings of the American system. If Britain continues its new openness (a highly reasonable expectation), it should do well in the world of 2030."

link

Early Reviews of "The Age of Turbulence"

Orson's picture

I'm glad you pointed out this drivel, Linz. I saw it at the bookstore too.

As for Greenspan, his memoir is testiment to his eyewitness of a lot of intersting history.

Robert Samuelson reviews it, focusing on economic policy and results. He argues that "The Age of Turbulence" is really "An Age of Tranquility." It is misnamed, but it is hard to name it better because so much ultimately went right! So much surprised so many. And throughout, Greenspan grows enormously.

He starts out interested in microeconomics, unimpressed by Keynes and not fixated on "The Big Picture" as others were. From the 50s until her death in 1982, Rand contributes a refocusing of his technical skills upon the larger human and cultural parade of life and ideas. Greenspan's lens widens and so does his professional reach.

"Rand persuaded me to look at human being, their values, how they work, what they do and why they do it, and how they think and why they think. This broadened my horizons far beyond the models of economics I'd learned. I began to study how societies form and how cultures behave, and to realize that economics depend on such knowledge - different cultures grow and create wealth in profoundly different ways. All this started for me with Ayn Rand." (53)

In effect, Rand revolutionized his appreciation of life. And so we see how Greenspan became an inside player, developing policy-making and macro-economic tools to suit needs. For example, when President Ford's administration faced recession in 1975, Greenspan needed tools for how to steer policy-making responses.

GNP was only produced by the government quarterly. But this would be of no use; more like steering by looking in the review mirror instead of forward-vision. What to do? Through his youthful mastery of company numbers gleaned from (business-labor association) The Conference Board's library in New York City in the early 1950s, Greenspan explains that he had made monthly GNP estimates available to corporate clients under his firm Townsend-Greenspan conslting before joining government. He explains how he used these skills and experience to devise weekly GNP estimates, and thus policy-making moves that well-matched the circumstanial necessity.

Another highlight is the many movers and shakers Greenspan meets and knows, from Joan Blumenthal in the Collective to another Federal Reserve Chairman, Paul Volcker. Columbia economist Arthur Burns. Presidents. There is a theme of knowledge and decisions made, informed by the currents of cutting edge trends in economics and the muddying of politics.

But the opening chapter on what he knew and thought as 9/11 occured, while in the air from Zurich after a bankers meeting. Gripping stuff. It properly sets the tone for what's to come: a fly on the wall appreciation of decisions of great consequence.

If one wants an introduction to economic history in the last century, you could easily do worse than the first 2 to 4 episodes of Daniel Yergin's DVD "The Commanding Heights" and Greenspan's "The Age of Turbulence." Both are ultra lucid and reinforce the evolving dynamics of political-capitalism and its strategic management. Alan Greenspan emerges as one of the most important leaders of at least the last three decades of the 20th century.

We have come so far so fast, as a nation, as a planetary civilization. The post-9/11 era asks of us this: will you keep and improve upon it? That's a gripping a charge of responsibility as I can imagine to bestow upon the young.

Despite Greenspan's recognition that the larger Objectivist ediface was compelling, "I reluctantly began to realize if there were qualifications to my {pro-caplitalist] intellectual edifice [such as the immorality of taxation], I couldn't argue that other should readily accept it." Will Hsiehkovians, Kelley-ites, Brandenians and Valliant supporters do the Kum-bye-ah around these words? Of course not. But the amusing thought aoccurred to me that they ought to consider these simple conciliatory words once more before rejecting them.

I

Elijah Lineberry's picture

gather the Clinton's were happy enough to "receive" various several hundred thousand dollars in gifts for their new home when they departed the White House in 2001. Eye

These two are such hypocrites and liars I almost wish that B. Hussein Obama would beat Hillary in the Primary Elections next year.

Excuse me while I wipe the vomit from my chin

Lance's picture

"how they realized it was better to give than to receive"

I've always had a real problem with that saying, aside from the obvious. If they really, truly, sincerely believe that, what is that saying about the people who are 'receiving' their 'gifts'? If giving is better and they are so 'selfless', how dare they inflict 'receiving' on some poor soul?

Sanctimonious, confused, delusional, pricks!

Stomach-churning!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I just went to amazon to order the Greenspan book and the Reagan Diaries. While there I noticed a new offering by Bill Clinton, called Giving, pitched as follows (barf-bucket necessary):

What he has produced in Giving is his own version of It Takes a Village, and with an initial print run of 750,000, Knopf clearly hopes to duplicate Hillary Clinton's publishing success. (An unspecified portion of the proceeds will go to the causes mentioned in the book.) But Giving is not so much a book as an extended public service announcement masquerading as a book. It is essentially a long laundry list of efforts funded by the Clinton Foundation or admired by its founder, punctuated by entreaties to the reader to follow their example. They're doing it, why can't you? To explore why people devote time, money and energy to public causes, the author turns to celebrity friends such as Oprah Winfrey, Andre Agassi and Warren Buffett for a few sentences about how they realized it was better to give than to receive. He also gives shout-outs to some of his favorite fundraising and business buddies, such as supermarket mogul Ron Burkle and Indian businessman Rajat Gupta. And he strokes some who might be helpful to his wife's campaign, lavishing praise, for instance, on his former vice president, Al Gore, who remains on the electoral sidelines with a potent following.

Greenspan

jtgagnon's picture

"...And then, on some gray, middle-aged morning, such a man realizes suddenly that he has betrayed all the values he had loved in his distant spring, and wonders how it happened, and slams his mind shut to the answer..." - AR, VOS-1962

GETTING BACK TO the TOPIC...

Orson's picture

It seems the establishment Left-liberals have used Greenspan to bash Bush. (Funny how when prominent Dems attack fellow Dems, no news seems to follow? Case in point: certain Dems reversed on "The Surge," while Pubblies who didn't reverse were reported as if they had.)

That's the story we now see with Greenspan. Here's the inside scoop, as reported by Jonah Goldberg:

Greenspan claims that the quote was taken out of context. Greenspan called the Post -- Bob Woodward, no less -- to say that, in fact, he didn't think the White House was motivated by oil. Rather, he was. A Post story Monday explained that Greenspan had long favored Saddam Hussein's ouster because the Iraqi dictator was a threat to the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world's oil passes every day. Hussein could have sent the price of oil way past $100 a barrel, which would have inflicted chaos on the global economy.

In other words, Greenspan favored the war on the grounds that it would stabilize the flow of oil, even though that wasn't the war's political underpinning. "I was not saying that that's the administration's motive," Greenspan told Woodward, "I'm just saying that if somebody asked me, 'Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?' I would say it was essential."

The irony of this is that when the inscrutable Greenspan finally speaks plainly, he's used by the media like a political football to bash the pro-Iraq war president. How convenient is that?

Awesome Chris

Bill Visconti's picture

Especially this:

"Now we can't decide whether fighting Islamic crazies in Iraq is better than backing out and leaving the competing Islamic crazies to devour each other and leaving us to fight the Islamic crazies on some other front sometime probably in the near future. Bush is just playing into this mess and into enemy hands without addressing the real problem, and you act like he's got something on the Dems."

This is what Hugh Fitzgerald has been arguing over at JihadWatch (Robert Spencer's site). I agree with the idea that the West in general and America in particular would benefit from the Muslims fighting and killing each other. We shouldn't spend lives and treasure trying to build a "multi-national Iraq" (which is a Neo-Con pipe dream). We should be dividing and conquering and encouraging a Suni-Shia regional civil war; just as long as we secure the oil fields which would probably require some form of annexation. That is what would weaken the camp of Islam which is our real enemy.

Linz and Tracinski and the Pro-Bush Objectivist crowd have bought into the whole line of thinking that a stable ME is necessary for American and Western security. No it isn't! Not if the destablization were handled the right way. But where I disagree with Chris is that I don't think that Bush's pragmatism is driven by his cronie-ism. I think it is driven by his altruism (as well as the general culture).

Proud Member Of The "Bomb-Them-Into-Oblivion" School Of Foreign Policy

How does that follow?

Chris Cathcart's picture

From "he behaved as though he had them" how does it follow that he's got to be taken out? There may well be -- I'm not claiming to know -- strategic reasons for us to leave him in place behaving like that.

The whole thing smacks of disenguousness on the part of our policymakers. The guy was put in there by past administrations to be a ruthless foil to Iran. He behaves as he was supposed to under that plan and now that's an unacceptable threat. We go fund Islamic crazies in Afghanistan against the Soviets and then cry foul when they take over and harbor Islamic crazies who attacked us. Install/fund evil to fight evil until the installed/funded evil becomes too bad and we've got to circle the wagons. C'mon, the U.S. hasn't gotten its foreign policy straight in decades, and is just reaping the consequences. Pragmatism up the wazoo in an era without a consistent guiding philosophy to confront evil on right principle. Now we can't decide whether fighting Islamic crazies in Iraq is better than backing out and leaving the competing Islamic crazies to devour each other and leaving us to fight the Islamic crazies on some other front sometime probably in the near future. Bush is just playing into this mess and into enemy hands without addressing the real problem, and you act like he's got something on the Dems.

"Hard-wired" ?

Bill Visconti's picture

"His claim that we're all hard-wired to seek the approval of others first and foremost I find revolting (though amply attested to by the behaviour I've seen within Objectivism, let alone outside it)."

Putting aside what is yet another swipe at Peikoff and Diana, my question here is if Greenspan ever tried saying something like that to Rand? From what I have read she seemed to think that Greenspan was very intelligent. Didn't she call him "my kind of person"? If he ever said something like "we are all hard wired for altruism, approval, etc" wouldn't she have thought very little of him? What I am getting at here is that it seems that Alan always thought this way but hid it from Rand and he just used her for influence and prestige. This makes him really dispicable in my book; every bit as corrupt as Branden.

Proud Member Of The "Bomb-Them-Into-Oblivion" School Of Foreign Policy

Chris

Bill Visconti's picture

"The administration has too many ties to oil and military contractors, and other political motives, to pin some kind of "altruistic" label on his activities. He's acting as you'd expect a politician to act when a politician can get away with it."

This seems to me to be a restatement of that old debate as to whether powerlusters (of any degree from dictators to welfare-state Presidents) believe the ideology they spew or are they just using it to further their interests or the interests of their cronies. Just recently this very issue was discussed on HBL with regards to Mao. Some HBLers argued that Mao was just a gangster and an oportunist but HB (and others) argued that Mao was an "ideological gangster"; ie that the gangsterish activities he took were entirely consistent - in fact mandated - by his ideology.

I think the same of Bush. Yes this war is undoubtedly benefitting Haliburton and other "military-industrial complex" type firms. But I do not believe that Bush entered the war and chose to fight it the way he has because of some clever plot to make his buddies rich. First off, that is what the Leftists and Libertarians think and they are *always* wrong. Second, I dont think Bush is that smart or daring. No, Bush is fighting this war in the only way his philosophy - yes, all that Christianity stuff Linz thinks is irrelevant - will allow. And that goes to his choice of target (Iraq over Iran) to his weak-willed way of fighting it (ie, Just War Theory), etc.

"If Saddam himself and his ties to terrorism were enough, then that's what they should have used as their argument."

I completely agree. Bush should have said we are invading Iraq because it is involved with Islamic terrorism and is a perfect base of operations (just look at a map of the middle east Mr. and Ms. American) for further operations in the war against Islamic Jihad which include *Iran*. But altruism, especially as it has worked itself into military tactics in the form of the disgusting Just War Theory, will not allow self-interested motiviations for waging war. That is the big difference between the 1940s and now.

"Bush isn't responsible for an honest intelligence failure, but he is responsible if he doesn't overhaul the intelligence system in response to make it more reliable in giving us accurate information ot act on."

I agree. But remember our intelligence gathering institutions have been castrated by the Left. The CIA and "Foggy Bottom" are riddled with New Leftists and a massive web of regulations that make anything associated with national security far, far, far more difficult than it ever need be.

"Linz seems to be siding with Bush on the basis of doing something militarily that involves fighting and killing Islamo-fascist filth with no end in sight, while Bush's opposition don't seem to offer anything specific beyond retreat from this fight."

100% correct and thank you for saying it.

"I would have thought that Linz and Diana, Peikoff, et al could agree on that one point -- that the framework itself in which we have been operating is broken. Bush is just a symptom, not a cause of the problem."

I think they do agree with that but what comes after that is where they split.

Proud Member Of The "Bomb-Them-Into-Oblivion" School Of Foreign Policy

Fascinating!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

His claim that we're all hard-wired to seek the approval of others first and foremost I find revolting (though amply attested to by the behaviour I've seen within Objectivism, let alone outside it). Social climbers are the lowest form of life. But I was delighted to hear his take on Saddam and WMDs—he "behaved as though he had them." 'Nuff said, on its own, let alone all the other good reasons for taking the bastard out.

Greenspan on 60 Minutes

JulianD's picture

In the following segment on 60 minutes, Alan Greenspan shows his first copy of Atlas Shrugged and makes some comments which Rand would no doubt disagree with.

I assume that the essay he wished to show his bride to be on his first date was his essay from CTUI.

And here, Greenspan clarifies his views on why taking Saddam out was critical.

Bill

Chris Cathcart's picture

The WMD argument is such a waste of time. It doesn't matter if Saddam had them. We know that he used terrible weapons (poison gas) to kill over 100,000 Kurds. Saddam *himself* was a WMD - with ties to terrorism. We needed no advanced "intelligence" to know this.

Waste of time or not, it -- the argument pertaining to his weapons-programs aspirations, not some argument pertaining to Saddam himself -- was what was used by our country's leadership to justify going into Iraq. If Saddam himself and his ties to terrorism were enough, then that's what they should have used as their argument. (That has to do with preserving credibility, not the question of the honesty or lack thereof in cooking up a case against a known murderer.)

Also, the standard with nuclear or other WMDs shouldn't be "imminent" it should be "potential." If a hostile dictatorship is potentially likely to acquire WMDs then we should take them out. No if, ands or buts.

Doesn't sound context-sensitive. The question here is what the credibility of the threat is and which of the available alternative scenarios we face is in our best national interest. Yes, a nuclear-armed Saddam would be a scenario we'd have tons of reasons to want to prevent even if it meant getting into the mess that we are now. The determining question is whether this move made us safer than we were before (safety being affected by both imminent as well as potential threat, as you say), but that question revolved around whether Saddam was really after WMD. Otherwise, whether you want to call Saddam himself a WMD, and whether or not he's a murderous dictator, our actions should be guided by what's in our best interest: is a a non-nuclear-armed Saddam remaining in power worse by this standard than the situation we have now? If it were, W wouldn't need to dig up "intelligence" on nuclear programs to justify going in.

So bashing Bush for "intelligence failure" is pure bullshit.

Bush isn't responsible for an honest intelligence failure, but he is responsible if he doesn't overhaul the intelligence system in response to make it more reliable in giving us accurate information ot act on. But I quite doubt that there was some honest failure; there was no failure, period. More than likely, the results of honest intelligence findings were distorted by the admin.

Bashing Bush for his altruistic, Christian war however is not only permissable but it is warranted despite the bullshit spewed by Linz on a daily basis.

The administration has too many ties to oil and military contractors, and other political motives, to pin some kind of "altruistic" label on his activities. He's acting as you'd expect a politician to act when a politician can get away with it. Yes, the cause of the present situation is intellectual at root, but I think it mis-identifies the cause to blame something more concrete and immediate like the way that this war is being conducted, and to try to interpret it as being knowingly or explicitly conducted as some "altruistic, Christian" endeavor. Bush has a deeper intellectual failing in finding a common ground with his enemy in unreason, which paralyzes his ability to handle this war at an intellectual level, where it could be fought and won if the nation had the will. It's this underlying cause that has us dealing with the enemy at a military and short-term level, with all kinds of wild and ungruided opinions as to how that's best carried out.

Linz seems to be siding with Bush on the basis of doing something militarily that involves fighting and killing Islamo-fascist filth with no end in sight, while Bush's opposition don't seem to offer anything specific beyond retreat from this fight. That looks like a pretty sad state of affairs as to what our politically-realistic options are, and it seems kind of silly to be arguing within this broken framework rather than taking ths issue to where it needs to be fought. I would have thought that Linz and Diana, Peikoff, et al could agree on that one point -- that the framework itself in which we have been operating is broken. Bush is just a symptom, not a cause of the problem.

Bill

Mitch's picture

"How did this man ever pull the wool over Ayn Rand's eyes? That's what I want to know."

What's that saying about contradictions? Smiling

WMD

Bill Visconti's picture

The WMD argument is such a waste of time. It doesn't matter if Saddam had them. We know that he used terrible weapons (poison gas) to kill over 100,000 Kurds. Saddam *himself* was a WMD - with ties to terrorism. We needed no advanced "intelligence" to know this.

Also, the standard with nuclear or other WMDs shouldn't be "imminent" it should be "potential." If a hostile dictatorship is potentially likely to acquire WMDs then we should take them out. No if, ands or buts. Once again, "intelligence" doesn't need to be perfect. When can it ever be? You are dealing with espionage. There are no guarantees in that realm.

So bashing Bush for "intelligence failure" is pure bullshit. Bashing Bush for his altruistic, Christian war however is not only permissable but it is warranted despite the bullshit spewed by Linz on a daily basis.

As for Greenspan, the basic point with him is that he is not a capitalist. He has Marxist, Keynsian, and Austrian premises all wrapped up in a Peter Keating psychology. He (along with libertarianism generally) has done more harm to Objectivism and capitalism than any socialist intellectual could dream.

How did this man ever pull the wool over Ayn Rand's eyes? That's what I want to know.

Proud Member Of The "Bomb-Them-Into-Oblivion" School Of Foreign Policy

What about Scott Ritter?

Gerald's picture

"I've pointed out, re WMDs, a million times—all the experts thought Saddam had them, and he behaved as though he had them. Not entitled to the benefit of the doubt."

All the experts except the former chief weapons inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter.

Gerald

Linz

Chris Cathcart's picture

... why I'm supposed to become a DOHUT over this. I would hope the war was about oil, at least in part—shows, contra Saddamite, treasonist Dem-scum-voting Hsiekovians, there was indeed self-interest there.

But let's integrate this with a wider picture. If the war actually is about oil, and Bush & co. aren't being straight-up about that, we should have a tough time trusting them to run this war honestly with the nation's best interests in mind. It's a credibility issue.

I've pointed out, re WMDs, a million times—all the experts thought Saddam had them, and he behaved as though he had them. Not entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

This points to one of two conclusions:

(1) the intelligence community is competent enough to figure out and know with a very high degree of confidence whether Saddam really had WMD or a credible WMD program, and that this intelligence was cooked to achieve a desired picture.

(2) the intelligence community really isn't all that competent to figure these things out, in which case we have another credibility problem: false positives and false negatives, no actual knowledge of the real threats.

Either way, Bush's appeal to "the intelligence" in Iraq has killed his credibility on the Iraq war and the general war on terror.

Should we believe that the CIA doesn't have close enough tabs on enough things to know for damn sure about the state of a country's weapons programs? We sure as shit better hope it does, else we're running foreign policy blindly.

As bad as the allegedly treasonous Dem-scum may be, we can't trust this President to run policy in the nation's best interests.

Greenspan is Full of Shit

Bill Visconti's picture

Thoroughly. If he believed in the importance of securing America's and the West's oil supply why did he never in 18 years attack *ENVIRONMENTALISM* and call for a fully free market in domestic oil production? Its as if Greenspan read The Fountainhead and thought that Peter Keating was the hero.

If Ayn Rand were alive to see what Greenspan became, she would despise and condemn him. He is a total disgrace.

Proud Member Of The "Bomb-Them-Into-Oblivion" School Of Foreign Policy

GREENSPAN elaborates remark

Orson's picture

Chris Cathcart-

The US never goes to war for a single reason. Obviously, oil was a BIG reason for toppling Saddam instead of Kim Jong Il. But it was hardly the only reason!

Oil matters because the US is the world’s single largest oil importer today. How could it be in our interest to see it locked up (via sanctions), or used to fund terrorism against the West?

Iraq has the second largest proven reserves, and between the largest (Saudi Arabia) and its primary threat (Iran) remains a key state in the Persian Gulf. Thus, the US self-interest isn’t so much in oil per se, but rather the free flow of oil. In other words, free and secure markets in oil.

President Clinton wrote and signed the Iraq Liberation Act after Congress passed it in October of 1998. It called for regime change and installing a democratic government in Iraq. Oil was never mentioned – only Saddam’s persistent threats to neighbors and the US. Bush merely chose the timing to carry out this act.

The problem 9/11 forced the US to face is the failure of Islamic nations generally, but Arabic speaking ones especially, to evolve freer cultural politics. Since these people want one of the keys they see to Western superiority, it is also in our interest to see our Jihadist enemies preoccupied with the challenge.

On Monday, an amplification of the story appears in the Washington Post:

[Greenspan] made the striking comment in a new memoir out today that "the Iraq War is largely about oil." In the interview, he clarified that sentence in his 531-page book, saying that while securing global oil supplies was "not the administration's motive," he had presented the White House with the case for why removing Hussein was important for the global economy.

"I was not saying that that's the administration's motive," Greenspan said in an interview Saturday, "I'm just saying that if somebody asked me, 'Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?' I would say it was essential."

He said that in his discussions with President Bush and Vice President Cheney, "I have never heard them basically say, 'We've got to protect the oil supplies of the world,' but that would have been my motive." Greenspan said that he made his economic argument to White House officials and that one lower-level official, whom he declined to identify, told him, "Well, unfortunately, we can't talk about oil." Asked if he had made his point to Cheney specifically, Greenspan said yes, then added, "I talked to everybody about that."

Greenspan said he had backed Hussein's ouster, either through war or covert action. "I wasn't arguing for war per se," he said. But "to take [Hussein] out, in my judgment, it was something important for the West to do and essential, but I never saw Plan B" -- an alternative to war.

Thus, Greenspan says oil security would have been his motive for deposing Saddam, but it was not - to his knowledge - the Bush Admnistration's.

I'm not sure ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... why I'm supposed to become a DOHUT over this. I would hope the war was about oil, at least in part—shows, contra Saddamite, treasonist Dem-scum-voting Hsiekovians, there was indeed self-interest there.

I've pointed out, re WMDs, a million times—all the experts thought Saddam had them, and he behaved as though he had them. Not entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

Can't wait to get Greenspan's book. Sounds as though he roasts Dubya for spending OPM like there was no tomorrow. Now that is reason to go after him! But not to vote for cut-and-run Dem-scum.

Linz

What, no umbrage?

Chris Cathcart's picture

Greenspan lays down the bombshell that the Iraq war was started over oil, and not the line presented about WMD etc. Surely our host wants to take issue with that?

(Currently listening: Delius, A Song of Summer)

Review?

Peter Cresswell's picture

Anybody care to review it for The Free Radical?

PC

Oh

Elijah Lineberry's picture

good! it does cover his time with Rand...splendid, I had been wondering about that.

Cannot wait to purchase a copy.

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