I often hear people charge that the US went to war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya over oil. What reason do I have to believe that this is the case? I haven't heard a single report of the US extracting any oil at all from these countries.
No, maybe "abstract" wasn't the right word. What I meant was that sometimes we go to war to protect the supply of oil. But we've never seized the oil for our own profit, despite conspiracy theories that we would.
it's a mistake to think about the actual dollar price of the petroleum (you really need to include natural gas here), you need to think about the cost to the economy of having supply interrupted. that cost is many times greater than how much the actual sticker price is.
as far as controlling that supply, the US seems to have a thing for "free markets". our biggest villains in mainstream press seem to be those who nationalize or speak of nationalizing their petroleum. like Chavez. also, the Lockerbie bomber was released not long after Ghaddafi made some noise about nationalization.
there's also something in my blog if you're interested.