Washington -- Bush administration officials are seriously considering proposals that the United States tap Iraq's oil to help pay the cost of a military occupation, a move that likely would prove highly inflammatory in an Arab world already suspicious of U.S. motives in Iraq.
Officially, the White House agrees that oil revenue would play an important role during an occupation period, but only for the benefit of Iraqis, according to a National Security Council spokesman.
Yet there are strong advocates inside the administration, including the White House, for appropriating the oil funds as "spoils of war,” according to a source who has been briefed by participants in the dialogue.
"There are people in the White House who take the position that it's all the spoils of war,” said the source, who asked not to be further identified. "We (the United States) take all the oil money until there is a new democratic government (in Iraq).”
Oliver Willis has more.