Is the U.S. occupation of Iraq really keeping gas from shooting to $9 a gallon?

Following a trip to Iraq, Nevada Republican Representative Jon Porter said this week that if American occupation forces were to be withdrawn from that country, U.S. gas prices could jump up to $9 a gallon for gasoline.

I'm not sure how Porter can make such a statement - and he did hedge his bets by telling Las Vegas Review-Journal writer Tony Batt that "can't speculate directly" on the issue - but he claims that U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Iraqi Deputy President Tariq al-Hashimi and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh all said the same thing regarding prices.

As Batt writes, Porter said, "To a person, they said there would be genocide, gas prices in the U.S. would rise to eight or nine dollars a gallon, al-Qaida would continue its expansion, and Iran would take over that portion of the world if we leave." A spokesman later clarified that the price trebling "makes sense if Iran moves into Iraq."


I'm not sure where to start with this. Is it fear-mongering? Is it a reasonable prediction? Are low gas prices a good reason to occupy a country? So many questions. For now, I'll just make the comment - before opening up the floor to you - that there must certainly be a contingent of people who would like U.S. troops out even quicker now that we have this new information. You mean we can bring the troops home and seriously encourage higher-mileage cars and gas conservation? That's a win-win for a lot of people.

[Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal / Tony Batt]

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