This hollow argument has been offered time and again by people like Tony Blair who habitually mislead and deny the bleeding obvious.
As Terry knows but casually didn't mention, Albertini in Vol III of his origins of the war series records that it was the British themselves
that asked the Greeks to allow the German battlecruiser Goeben to refuel in Greek waters. Quite sporting of them to tell a neutral government apparently willing to deny assistance to an enemy dreadnought to instead aid it in its flight from British forces, no? And really...did anyone notice that was about the most lackadaisical British pursuit of a flying enemy in the history of the British Empire?
Naturally, the British version is different (errors in the pursuit, and their naval attaché in Athens ‘went rogue’ or some other such patent stupidity) and the records even 100 years later are hazy...as is often the case when there really is a cock-up, as well as when the political torpedoes are in the water.
On top of which, did the oil fields in Iraq belong to British companies? If so surely it would be a case of imposing an embargo or a tariff system? Looking on the wiki's Mesopotamian campaign i note several things; the fighting in the Middle East did not start until several months following the European War
Given the pre-war transparent Russian intentions with regards to the Straights, it didn’t take a genius from the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to have concluded that if a world war broke out, there would be in the Middle East opportunities.
if the war was about oil why did the fighitng in the Middle East not start until several months following the European War
Because the war was not about oil. But that’s not to be confused with the fact that in July 1914 there could have been an awareness that if there was a war, that the long anticipated partition of the Ottoman Empire would result. After all, Grey did say on 3 August 1914 that for Britain being in the war was of such scant consequences that it was not easily to be distinguished from staying out of it.
Temperamentally I favour the cock-up theory of history too, the trouble that a lot of the cock-ups are conspiracies that have backfired.
Your average backstab in an office environment is often not some grand conspiracy, it is usually a tad more than purely innocent in origin. That's about what this case smells like too - not a grand conspiracy and not entirely innocent either.