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July 08, 2005

 

CAUSE THEY WON'T BE BACK 'TIL ITS OVER, OVER HERE

There have recently been many excellent letters about America’s need for oil and the Iraq war.

I agree with Peter W. that this war is self serving, illegal and unethical, i.e. for oil. Our history is that, if our “savages”, (Native Americans), had built a dam to deny water to ranching interests a popular pretext would be cooked up and an “oh so just war” would ensue, as in Iraq.

However, my dilemma before the war began is the same as my dilemma today.

The 15 million barrels a day exiting the Persian Gulf arguably keeps commerce, as we know it, alive and the wheels turning for the majority of the opposable thumbs on this planet. China, Japan, S. Korea and India as major oil importers come to mind as well as the USA which imports 12% of its total oil needs from the Persian Gulf. And, given that sixty five to sixty nine percent*, two thirds if you will, of the World’s Proven Conventional Oil Reserves are in five countries, (Saudi, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait & the UAE), the planet’s reliance on Gulf countries will not abate soon. If one backs out North American, European and Russian oil production and consumption from world’ totals that would leave the Gulf countries’ exports as representing 30% of the mostly lesser developed world’s oil requirements.(*all oil data from US Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Agency. eia.doe.gov)

The Saudis, who are the heart of the Persian Gulf reserves and production, certainly wanted “boots on the ground” in the Middle East (see, so to speak: ‘holding hands at Crawford Ranch’.) For terrorist threat consider that 15 Saudis participated in 911, Osama is Saudi and that U.S. forces present in the land of Mecca is the greatest grievance of Al Quaida.

A brief side question here: having personally, as a banker, made several hundred million dollars in loans to Texas oil companies and knowing a D.C. figure or two, I ask with an element of both seriousness and humor, which was the greater of Sadaam’s sins, attempting to assassinate Bush ‘41 or destroying by fire a billion barrels of oil on his retreat from Kuwait?

Peter V. writes that Iraq oil is not vital to our national interest. He is correct. Our usual imports are around 500,000 BLS a day, ( 2.5% of US total oil needs), although we have imported less. But, as described above, of the world’s 82 million BLSD appetite Gulf countries supply one fifth and control two thirds of known oil. Iraq, also, is capable of two and a half million barrels a day with time, safe conditions and technical support.

The dilemma, then and now, is my vote. Which way to vote? “Invade or Not?” WMD’s be damned, and believing that a “gaming” scenario would indicate a clear twenty per cent chance existed for Sadaam or his psychopathic sons to materially disrupt the Gulf supply I am inclined to think that I would vote yes. Yes accepts that war in Iraq is illegal and unethical but given that Sadaam attacked Iran with two million deaths therefrom, slaughtered Kurds, invaded Kuwait and potentially threatened the livelihood of billions of planet earth’s denizens, yes is not clearly an immoral decision.

No less than Ted Kennedy has said that the Straight of Hormuz (where the Persian Gulf oil passes to the Arabian Sea) is an area of the USA’s national security interest. Even he would use troops to protect the road to the ranch, so to speak. Securing Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for the Iraqi people was not likely to have been the aim of our Police Action but it is now the only way we have to achieve Mid East stability.

There is however another way to achieve world energy stability.

John McHale’s ‘Letter’ hit the nail on the head. “...conditions for this war partly were set by the failure of Congress to address the problem of America’s dependence on foreign oil. Therefore any meaningful discussion of Iraq needs to include consideration of strategies to create alternative sources of renewable energy.”

Amen. If we want a just War, it should be a national and international “War for Independence.” The major oil companies have access to a Trillion dollars in capital to transform themselves into multi-energy firms. If governments have to tax non renewable energy sources to guarantee these firms an equitable rate of return, so be it. Ten, twenty, eighty billion a year to achieve energy independence beats $80 Billion a year to see our teens die. Congress needs to put its collective hands back in their pockets and tell the car manufacturing and energy interest lobbyists that the game is over. If we have to put a ten cent tax on oil payable to our Senators and Representatives to wean them off the lobby lard let’s get it on.

Our troops will not be coming home from Iraq for years. The Middle East is enormously less stable than when we commenced our police action. Consider that we now have US Military on three of Iran’s four borders. What consequences do we not even imagine?

Today the media abuses the troops and their parents by fomenting a great hue and cry about deadlines for leaving Iraq. The Democrats naturally join in to pummel the Republicans. Some Republicans join in to pander to disheartened Americans. But, we are there or elsewhere overseas for years to come to protect world oil security. Capitalism by its very nature will not fix our dependence problem until alternate energy resources contribute more to the bottom line than does oil today. Meanwhile American youth, to some degree, fulfill the role of paid mercenaries to vested interests while the American taxpayer picks up the tab. All national discussion of an Iraq pull out as long as world oil demand substantially meets or exceeds supply is poppycock. It is a media and political charade and a waste of the nation’s time and energy.

If there is a political will to get our troops home it must be focused on the “War for Independence.” The song once was; “Over There, Over There, ..Send the Word,.. that The Yanks are coming ..And we won’t come back ‘til it’s over, Over There.”

“Moms of America!” pick up the song , ... ask the Moral Values folks to put their mouth where their money is, ....ask the Liberals who supposedly champion the little guy to step up, DEMAND ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, ....and sing, with love or anger as required;

Over Here, Over Here, Our boys aren’t coming,
Cause They Won’t be Back ’til its Over, Over Here.
.

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