From the article that Juan Cole linked to:
The former Shell oil boss agrees. In Houston, he told Newsnight: "Many neo conservatives are people who have certain ideological beliefs about markets, about democracy, about this, that and the other. International oil companies, without exception, are very pragmatic commercial organizations. They don't have a theology."
BBC - Newsnight
This is straight-up true. We have this idea of corporate profit-mongers as evil men intent on taking over the world. Yet every indication shows them to be short-term, visionless people who are primarily interested in meeting the next quarter's expectations. They don't undertake long-term, risky ventures for the same reason that Vin Diesel and Eddie Murphy are more likely to get their films made rather than my three-part epic "Caligula Versus George Washington" (I'm still looking for backers for that, in case you're interested).
Except for corporate hucksters like Bernie Ebbers and Ken Lay who prefer wild-eyed speculation to hide their trickery, corporate leaders prefer stability and managed-growth. And the bigger the organization, the more stability and visionless they want to be. These are people who will purposefully increase quarterly expenses in order to shave off pennies from their earnings report to match Wall Street expectations; as Wall Street punishes companies who perform much better than they were expected to. As Juan Cole stated in his post, these people prefer to have as smooth a business cycle as possible; and risky strategies lead to unsmooth cycles.
The key to the corporate world these days is managing expectations, and stability is the key to that. They see the obvious risks in raping Iraqi's of their oil. They've got their established wells and their deep-sea exploration and their high oil prices and their full-capacity refineries, and they like it. It's the risk-taking morons like Wolfowitz, Perle, Cheney, and Bush who couldn't cut it in the business world who want to steal the oil for their own evil purposes.
And the irony is that, in the end, it's the corporate world's short-term strategies which have the long-term advantage over the neo-cons long-term plans. And with corporate oil fascists attempting to rein-in the politicians and Pentagon leaders, O'Henry couldn't have written it better.