Actually, it is about the oil
Also in the NYT (but behind the $elect wall), Ted Koppel (who I guess is looking for new ways to spend his time) points out the obvious:
Keeping oil flowing out of the Persian Gulf and through the Strait of Hormuz has been bedrock American foreign policy for more than a half-century.
Perhaps the day will come when the United States is no longer addicted to imported oil; but that day is still many years off. For now, the reason for America’s rapt attention to the security of the Persian Gulf is what it has always been. It’s about the oil.
Why else would we be building permanent bases in Iraq?
And why are statements like this still viewed as vaguely conspiratorial and wacky? If we can’t openly discuss the plain truth, we’ll never get anywhere.