Did you ever wonder why the Empire has attracted so much "attention" from the various groups of Islamic freedom fighters? Considering the ridiculous explanations of the current Emperor on the subject, it is no wonder that many remain confused. (Yes, Chaos is feeling polite today...perhaps too much ranting over the past couple of days induces the need for balance...)
At any rate, the very excellent Michael Klare (author of Blood and Oil and sometime contributor to Tomdispatch) provides the befuddled with a brief yet comprehensive view of the role of oil in the history of the Middle East and the Empire's involvement with it. Take the recommendations at the end with a grain of salt (ethanol won't be our saviour in this regard), but the overall thrust of the piece is fine.
BTW, Tomdispatch today features an interesting look at the end of Abu Ghraib and the transfer of prisoners held without charges or trial to other "facilities" in Iraq. "A rose by any other name..."