I'm sure I'm missing something here. The administration never cited imperialism as a reason to invade Iraq (or course we know they were lying), but you did, didn't you? Thrusting ourselves militarily into the internal affairs of another sovereign nation in order to control or wield influence over that nation's assets falls under the blanket of imperialism, does it not?
Ah, a reasonable argument. I'll respond to that.
Here is where I believe that my perspective differs from the current administration. First, they never mentioned oil, to my knowledge, as a reason to depose Saddam. Nor did the previous administration under whose leadership regime change in Iraq became official government policy. I understood their arguments, found them reasonable, but insufficient for direct military action. We needn't list them unless I failed to recall mention of Saddam's oft-stated goal of militarily controlling Middle east oil.
People may have fundamentally different reasons for wanting to accomplish the same goal. That is how it was, IMO, for me concerning the Clinton & Bush II administrations.
Also, I was and am not interested in controlling Iraqi oil. I would have been okay with Saddam quietly controlling his own oil as have been with Iran controlling it's own oil, KSA controlling it's Khaddafi controlling Libya's etc. If our country is so stupid as to heap gold on those God-benighted religiously fanatical cutthroats and bandits, we deserve to pay whatever price they ask.
Which takes me back to Saddam's oft-stated goal of military control of Middle East oil. Not only did he rattle his saber, he made use of it against Iran and against Kuwait. In his assault on Kuwait he made clear that KSA & the Emirates were his ultimate military goal.
What would it mean if, instead of a bunch of jealous, conniving, avaricious, religious fanatics who had been killing each other for over a thousand years squabbled over who could build the biggest palace in self-glorification, they were replaced by a secularist, militaristic megalomaniac?
Do you know why Hitler invaded North Africa and made a dash for Stalingrad?
Better to kill him now, before he controls worldwide oil than later, when he controls it all.
What would it mean if a secularist, militaristic megalomaniac controlled 75% of the proven planetary oil reserves? Well, we have plenty of oil right now, yet the prices have doubled in under a year. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that Saddam was truly honest in his goals and methods.
Thus, by any definition of imperialism that I have ever heard of, my goals were not imperialistic. they were (and are) precisely the opposite. I am not interested in any particular entity controlling the oil or oil prices. I'd prefer to have many independent sources all competing with each other rather than a single monopoly. Think of my particular goal as preventive trust-busting.