Oil and War and Iraq
by Fred E. Foldvary, Senior Editor
Millions demonstrated against a war in Iraq on February 15, 2003. Thousands more demonstrated on, Sunday, February 16, in San Francisco. A common cry of the protesters is "No blood for oil!". The implication is that the chiefs of the USA seek primarily to control the oil fields in Iraq. The heart of the protest is that such economic motive is morally wrong.
This slogan and thought is most unfortunate. It just doesn't make sense. Oil is indeed involved in this conflict, but it is not the control of Iraqi oil. What good is control? What an economy needs is the consumption of oil, not its control. There is a global market for oil, and it is available at some price, and an economy can get all the oil it wants by paying the market price. Maybe the protesters think the US wants to steal the oil. But that would be politically impossible, as would any long-term control over the oil fields. The whole idea is intellectually empty. These protesters are reflexing rather than thinking.
What is in the interest of the US is that the great oil fields of the Middle East not be controlled by a hostile dictator. The chiefs of Iraq have shown themselves to be aggressive. They invaded Kuwait and waged a long war against Iran. They finance and promote terrorism against the State of Israel. Moreover, these Mesopotamian chiefs have shown themselves to have haughty pride. They could have withdrawn from Kuwait before being attacked, but chose not to.
Many people in the Middle East have been seduced by propaganda to believe they are superior to decadent, soft, and unvaliant European and North American peoples. They think the tough, fierce believing desert warriors will win against the morally corrupt infidels, especially with the Almighty on their side. They fail to understand history, which has shown that beneath the superficial fineries of Western civilization lies the most violent culture the world has ever known. This elegant European civilization massacred the American Indians, enslaved the Africans, and mass-murdered the Jews, and sought global domination. The history of Europe and their descendants is of conquest, slaughter, and persecution.
In their self-delusion, the chiefs of Iraq may believe that once they have nuclear bombs, along with chemical and biological weapons, they can march again into Kuwait and then to Arabia and seize half the world's oil supply. No power will then dare attack it, and the chiefs of Iraq will then achieve their dream, the complete destruction of Israel. This will make them the heroic leaders of the Arab and Muslim world. This is the real oil connection -- the chiefs of the USA fear Iraqi control over the Arabian oil fields and thus of the global oil supply.
The motivation for war in Iraq is overdetermined, meaning there are multiple inter-related causes. A major cause is the Iraqi financing of Palestinian terror against Israel; so long as that continues, it is impossible to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The chiefs of Iraq could stop doing this, and avoid war, but they won't, because that is their reason for living.
While the causes of war are overdetermined, they are not sufficient. The way to stop Iraq's financing of Palestinian terror is to present and impose a just peace plan. The peaceful way to prevent Iraqi domination of Arabian oil is to continue the United Nations inspections. The Iraqis can hide weapons, but they cannot deploy them while they are hidden.
The trigger for war in Gulf War II may be another large terror attack by Al Qaida. If the chiefs of the USA are clever, they are arranging the troops to be ready for attack, but will not actually do this so long as the US is itself not attacked. A credible threat to attack Iraq would then really be a defense against anther terrorist attack. Given the massive demonstrations against the war and the opposition world-wide, there are extreme political obstacles to an unprovoked attack. All this will vanish if the US gets provoked.
Unfortunately, the "No Blood for Oil" protesters weaken the case for peace by not presenting a more logical and coherent case against war. By making claims that are easily refuted, the protesters have lost moral capital and an opportunity to educate the world on peace. Moreover, all their efforts will be irrelevant if Al Qaida attacks again. Just maybe the terrorists realize this and the US military bluff will work to avoid both another terrorist attack and a war in Iraq.
-- Fred Foldvary
Copyright 2003 by Fred E. Foldvary. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system, without giving full credit to Fred Foldvary and The Progress Report.
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