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Letters to the Editor

Oil motive

September 18, 2007

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To the editor:

"I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil," from Alan Greenspan's book (Sept. 16, Journal-World). Are Americans ready to spend their blood (30,067 dead or injured) and treasure (over $452 billion) on an "oil war"? Would Americans calmly see 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed and 4.2 million displaced so the corporations funding our politicians could secure control of a prime source of the essential life-blood of our superpower?

Bush and Cheney have supplied alternative narratives: dangerous weaponry, freedom from tyranny, democratic beacon. The new story is, it doesn't matter why we went in. We can't leave until the country is stabilized. They have worked hard to "catapult the propaganda" (George W. Bush, May 24, 2005), and succeeded in making people confused and still half-willing to believe official press releases.

Interestingly, since the Iraqi legislature failed to pass a "benchmark" oil law, written by the Cheney-Bush administration, granting hugely favorable terms to U.S. oil interests, Hunt Oil (CEO and President Ray L. Hunt is a close political ally of Bush and member of the president's foreign intelligence advisory board) just signed an oil deal with the Kurds.

Meanwhile, the situation in Afghanistan grows worse by the day, and Osama bin Laden puts out new videos.

It is crucial to know why we really went in to Iraq, because until everyone knows what Alan Greenspan knows, we can't really talk about how, when or even if this war will ever end.

Malika Lyon

Lawrence

Comments

KS 7 years ago

Another armchair quaterback!

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Mkh 7 years ago

This LTE is completely on the money. The new Iraqi Oil legislation, the "Iraqi Hydrocarbon Law", which was written by the Elites in America, is being pushed through the Iraqi Congress admist tremendous rebellion. The major news never mentions this, but one of the main reasons for the Iraqi Insurgency is this Oil Law, which gives exlcusive power of Iraq's oil to American and European companies.

The Iraq War (and the larger War on Terror) is mostly about the control of Oil resources. The US wanted to take advantage of a first strike to control the region before rivals such as China and Russia could do the same. The Administration, as well as those previous, are well aware of the Peak Oil crisis, and this is the underlining factor guiding this foreign policy.

The current point of view among the Elites is that this military agression is absolutely necessary to sustain the global oil-based economy a little while longer. These wars are the first of a series that will occur over Oil resources in this new century.

p>www.peakoil.com http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/ http://www.hubbertpeak.com/ http://www.theoildrum.com/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbert_...
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crono 7 years ago

I'm sick and tired of this war. It's time to stop pouring out the blood of America's sons and daughters because Sunnis and Shiites can't resolve some doctrinal disputes.

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TheYetiSpeaks 7 years ago

Because, as everyone knows, Alan Greenspan knows everything.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"Because, as everyone knows, Alan Greenspan knows everything."

Maybe, maybe not. But anybody who thinks this war hasn't always primarily been about oil doesn't know much of anything.

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paladin 7 years ago

Finally! But, We can't talk about Oil. Its not allowed.

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Oracle_of_Rhode 7 years ago

If there were no oil in the Middle East, that region wouldn't be in our strategic interest. This is a war for control of energy resources and private profit.

Y'all are the best -- thanks for reading my post as always.

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any 7 years ago

So obviously it is a war about oil. So my question is, what are you doing about it? We all can complain and talk to our representatives, but at the same time we still drive, we still consume everything at lightning pace. Driving uses petroleum products, plastic uses petroleum products...and the list goes on. If we were to deal with this problem here in the US, then it wouldn't be a big deal what is happening in Iraq. But as most Americans seem unwilling to cut back on petroleum usage, then yes, the government sees fit to secure oil. We can blame W Bush, we can blame the oil lobby's, but really, just look in the mirror and chances are you can find someone there to blame as well. Even with the increasing gas prices, the US consumption continues to increase. Take the initiative; find ways to cut back on petroleum usage and encourage others. If we decrease the demand than there is no reason for the government to secure a supply.

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Hoots 7 years ago

Most here miss the point.They hate this war and our involvement in the Middle East but drive a 6000 pound bricks that get 8 mpg. Statistically at least half of all vehicles on our roads are trucks or SUV's. You can't have it both ways folks. I'm sick of people acting like they need that bus to haul around a couple of small children or even a dog. I've never seen Fiddo or Little Inga strapped to the top of one of those small cars in Europe, so I guess they make due somehow. We consume too much and we have worked ourselves into this corner. You don't see our land yachts most places on the planet except where?...in oil rich countries that have fuel gushing from the ground. Like filling a swimming pool when you don't have enough to drink. We are a silly, selfish nation, and in ways big or small we are all to blame. We have become a bunch of FAT people, with FAT cars, FAT kids, FAT dogs, FAT cats, and most Americans couldn't find Iraq on a map if lives depended on it, yet we know all there is to know about Brittney and OJ. So turn off the TV, take those Cheetos away from Junior, take your dog for a walk, make your kid read a book, buy a Volkswagen Rabbit, shut up, and this will be a better place.

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Richard Heckler 7 years ago

It is still a war to control the profits that flow from oil at the expense of death and destruction which is abuse and mismanagement of our military,their families,mideast families and our tax dollars.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/06/03/142249

http://www.counterpunch.org/rai02032003.html

http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1016/p01s01-uspo.html

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/56672/

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doc1 7 years ago

another tree hugger.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

When BushCo invaded, they said Iraqi oil would pay for the reconstruction. So far, it looks like it'll be at least a decade before any meaningful production comes from Iraq-- considerably below what Iraq provided before the invasion and colonization.

So while this war is about oil, it's also yet another demonstration of the amazing incompetence of the Neocons.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"But wait until Saddam HAD disprupted oil flow;"

Saddam was in a cage, and had little or no ability to disrupt the oil supply, as most intelligence before and since has shown, although BushCo did it's best to ignore it and/or cook it to their liking. Besides, he was filthy rich from all the Iraqi oil that was being sold before the invasion, but which has now been removed from the world oil market.

As usual, RT, your unbending fealty to ideology doesn't make any real world sense.

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imastinker 7 years ago

I think ANY is the only person on here that really gets it.

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BrianR 7 years ago

Saddam posed a threat to Saudi hegemony in the area. The US has been coddling the Saudi's for quite some time even though the Saudis are robbing us blind with their oil prices. If Iraq and Iran begin full production, the price will fall, the Saudis will lose and big oil will lose.

If the US pulled out of Iraq tomorrow, Iran would move in, crush the insurgency even if it meant killing half the country and start pumping crude.

Oil is the primary reason the US government is so opposed to the government of Venezuala and the friendship between Iran and Venezuala really makes the US/big oil/Saudi Arabia.

Osama bin Laden hates Iran more that the US. Think about the only thing in the Middle East that is more divisive than oil; the Saudis are Sunni Muslims and Iraq and Iran are Shi'ites.

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BrianR 7 years ago

Because I was thinking faster than I was typing, my third paragraph should say:

Oil is the primary reason the US government is so opposed to the government of Venezuala and the friendship between Iran and Venezuala really makes the US/big oil/Saudi Arabia nervous.

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Speakout 7 years ago

RT again you make no sense. Bush did NOT form a "defense" he formed an offense and invaded a country without provocation. Aren't there laws about doing things like that? WHat is the difference between invading Iraq and the Germans invading Poland in 1939? Are we going to start sending Sunnis to the gas chambers or Shia? What is the matter with you? America started a war with a strike on this country, destroyed the ancient and revered shrines and historical relics, killed the people, and destroyed the whole infrastructure of the country, not to mention the young and brave Americans who followed the bombing and were killed. What price is OIL? Who now the price of their dear blood doth owe?

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TheYetiSpeaks 7 years ago

To everyone who slammed me and immediately labeled me:

I never said anything about my stance on the war. I was simply commenting on the troubling behavior of believing everything you read or hear. You people might think its just Republicans (believing heart and soul everything BushCo says), but the liberals immediate defense of Greenspan here makes it quite obvious that the door swings both ways. When you guys formulate your own thoughts, come and talk to me. Have a nice day not thinking for yourself.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Kontum1972 7 years ago

they still have not proved that those hijackers were gifts from Saddam...

bin laden and saddam were not buddies.....

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SloMo 7 years ago

Malika,

Thank you for bringing up what needs to be talked about - whether folks agree or disagree with you, we need to talk about our (as in the world's) dependence on oil, and just what to do about Iraq, without losing sight of the real deal (oil) there and in the region. I'm seeing a lot of valid points being made on all sides - the region needs to be made as secure as possible, the remaining oil needs to be distributed as fairly as possible, and we all (the whole world) need to start conserving as much as possible. All these things need to happen, or we're all done for.

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Mkh 7 years ago

Any,

Basically the problem you are describing is Peak Oil, refer to my original post for further information on that. But the issue you are describing is based on our need for Oil consumption and the inability to produce it fast enough. This is not to say that oil is totalling running out, it is just becoming harder to find/produce and thus much more expensive.

This situation is poised to become a full blown crisis within the coming decade. We are entering what will most likely be the largest transition period in the history of our nation, the end of Cheap Oil. The way inwhich we are ignoring the problem suggests that this transition will be extremely difficult and will ultimately change many ways of life that we take for granted.

However, here is the real difficulty, and what the government and industry are terrified of, getting the educated population to understand and prepare for Peak Oil without causing massive panic and complete lack of faith in the oil-based economy. How do you calmly tell people that their entire way of life is about to radically change and outright end as they know it?

Nevertheless, it is absolutely imperative that the educated population begin to understand and prepare for Peak Oil. And this must happen now! We have already wasted decades, this information is not new, we have known it for a while and it's been ignored...this is no longer possible. If we do not change our oil consumption, it will be changed for us, by force, due the fact that we will not be able to afford to comsume at the rate we do. Obviously this will shut down many aspects of society which now fully depend on oil products.

So back to what I assumed was your question, what can we do about it? Well, two main things must happen. First take individual responsibility to reduce your own oil consumption. Second, educate as many family, friends, co-workers, and strangers as possible about Peak Oil. Everyone needs to know about this. The media and politicians are too afraid to discuss it, it is up to the citizens to teach themselves in order to save themselves.

Other than that, start to plan for your family's future with the knowledge that Cheap Oil will soon be gone, obviously there are many aspects of preparation that can be taken. But please, make sure your family is not unprepared for this crisis. Further important things are the developement of alternative resources. One of the positive attributes of capitalism is that the consumer has power to dictate to some extent. Make sure your dollars go to help companies get more alternative energy online.

Resource wars in the Middle East will create cheap oil for a little while longer, but as we have seen they are incredibly costly on many levels, and do not solve the core problems of Peak Oil, but actually will only help us get there sooner.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

Looks like more random post removals from the staff.

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BrianR 7 years ago

"Energy security" is a euphemism for western control of the oil fields.

One recurring theme in most of the posts I've read regarding oil, energy, energy dependance, etc., is "What are we gonna do about it?"

That is the important question, not who does or does not have the infinite details of the situation completely sorted out and correct.

I wish I had an answer. I read stuff about developing alternative energy sources but, aside from a few intrepid inventors, it's mostly talk.

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monkeyspunk 7 years ago

Blah blah blah.

Even Greenspan said it, "everyone knows." Well apparently it caught the LTE author by surprise.

I, and I know this sounds cold, have no problem with fighting a war to secure a supply of a natural resource. It has been happening for thousands of years, why stop now? I do have a problem with dressing it up and calling it something else. But I think Bush and Co. and countless leaders from all over the world (past and present) do so because the average citizen is too daft to understand that it is all about resources and it always has been. They tug at our heart strings and try to give us additional reasons. Bush and Co. just suck at it.

Not trying to justify our war in Iraq, because I think it was a crappy and costly idea. I just believe as a people, unless we are prepared to make hard choices regarding how we live and what we consume, we should get very used to many more "resource wars" in our near future. They are happening all over already, and they will only get worse.

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monkeyspunk 7 years ago

BrianR: it is very sad about how much "talk" there is about alternative energy sources. Also, every time there is something put on the table, someone complains about how difficult it is, or its not very cost effective at the moment.

It really is amazing that this type of attitude has survived the gene pool all these millenia. I picture our ancient ancestors, coming out of the trees looking out across the fields of beasts ready for the slaughter. Mankinds predecesors gazing across the fields at their future and thinking...

"Screw that! That looks hard. I am going back to my tree."

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kugrad 7 years ago

A graduate student studying the number of rationales for the war presented by President Bush, Vice Pres. Cheney and their proxies (members of their cabinet, Press sec. etc.) found that there were over 100 rationales given for the war. This was never about fighting terrorism. This was never a war on Terror. Al Qaida was not even in Iraq prior to our invasion. Al Qaida in Iraq did not exist before the war. This war is about protecting American interests in oil in the region. That makes it a war of aggression. It was wrong to start the war.

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shockchalk 7 years ago

It is amazing to me how many people in this country are livid about our interest in oil fields in the mideast but apparently have no problem with radical islamic terrorist who have the same interest in the same oil fields. Where do you think terrorist activities, civil wars, and genocide get funded from? OIL. Don't take my word for it.........ask an expert and they will explain it to you.

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c_dubya 7 years ago

This was probably already covered, but just in case:

"Greenspan claims that the quote was taken out of context. Greenspan called the Post -- Bob Woodward, no less -- to say that, in fact, he didn't think the White House was motivated by oil. Rather, he was. A Post story Monday explained that Greenspan had long favored Saddam Hussein's ouster because the Iraqi dictator was a threat to the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world's oil passes every day."

...In other words, Greenspan favored the war on the grounds that it would stabilize the flow of oil, even though that wasn't the war's political underpinning. "I was not saying that that's the administration's motive," Greenspan told Woodward, "I'm just saying that if somebody asked me, 'Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?' I would say it was essential."

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-goldberg18sep18,0,3784.column?coll=la-home-commentary

In case it hadn't happened already I thought someone should debunk the original letter. You all can get back to your barking now.

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gccs14r 7 years ago

Western control of Iraqi oil goes back to 1927. Their goal is to keep Iraqi oil in the ground and so far, they've succeeded.

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Mkh 7 years ago

Btw, crude oil prices have risen to over $81 a barrel today.

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paladin 7 years ago

What price is too high, in terms of young American lives and the lives of many others, to maintain our petroleum based and dependent society and lifestyle? Is 5000 too high, 10,000, 50,000, 100,000, 1,000,000? What price are we willing to pay, in human terms, for $3.00 a gallon gas rather than $6.00 a gallon or even higher? Doesn't this nullify our profession of Christianity and its moral foundation and ethical principles on which our society is supposedly based? Is all the blood on all our hands? Are we, ourselves, responsible? Best not to talk about oil, to maintain the denial, perpetuate further distraction, continue the lies, send the poor and expendable off to war, shout out patriotic slogans and wave the flag, try to believe its somebody else's fault. To keep us safe from ourselves.

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kugrad 7 years ago

Inscient writes: """KUgrad, The world is the way it is, and if you don't understand that, the world still is the way it is. The way of the world is force. Laws are enforced by force. Local, national and international will is imposed individually and collectively by force. Iraq and Iran are threats to our economic security. We took out the threat formerly known as Saddam. We are containing the Iranian threat. Prudent, strong, vissionary foriegn policy. Sounds like GWB is doing a good job, one we elected him to do. Protect our way of life. The threat to our economic security required action and leadership""

The way of the world is also diplomacy.  
Laws? We broke every international law there is by attacking a soverign nation without provocation. 
 Saddam was not a serious threat to our economic security. We were not in danger from Saddam. We are in danger now that we have increased the amount of terrorism worldwide.
We did not elect GWB to start a war of agression over oil. In fact, a majority of people voted against him, so he can claim no mandate whatsoever with regards to starting the war.  Your argument that the threat of Saddam "required" action and leadership is equal to justifying the war by saying Saddam was such a serious threat we had no other choice. Every rational person in the world knows this is false. We had choices. We made a poor one. Your justifications

are poor rationalizations at best.

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kugrad 7 years ago

Rightthinker, quit playing stupid semantic games. Obviously, a war that is started without provocation, a pre-emptive attack with no forthcoming attack to pre-empt, is quite different in terms of aggression than a war where we are defending ourselves from attack.
For example, fighting to prevent Japanese expansionism was quite different from attacking Iraq.

Even fighting in Afghanistan, where the Taliban supported terrorists who attacked up and gave them safe haven, is quite different from attacking Iraq.

I know you understand the difference between a war of aggression and other types of war.

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Mkh 7 years ago

http://www.globalpublicmedia.com/DOCS/2004/04/Cheney_PeakOil_FCD.pdf

speech at the London Institute of Petroleum Autumn lunch in 1999, while he was CEO of Halliburton, Cheney said "Producing oil is obviously a self-depleting activity.... For the world as a whole, oil companies are expected to keep finding and developing enough oil to offset our seventy one million plus barrel a day of oil depletion, but also to meet new demand. By some estimates there will be an average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead along with conservatively a three per cent natural decline in production from existing reserves. That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from?"

http://can.mailarchive.ca/taxes/2004-10/0858.html

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waydownsouth 7 years ago

I agree with Any on this. Americans as a whole are to blame not just certain people. But one thing i find confusing is we are fighting in another country for oil however the prices of milk are staggering. And the cows are in america. I can fill up my SUV cheaper then i can buy milk. And yes i own a SUV a big one and i'm not giving it up. I am a admitted spoiled american. At least i admit it.

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kugrad 7 years ago

inscient, your philosophy is sickening. Public opinion DOES make a difference. It can PREVENT wars. War is not an inevitability. That is senseless. Public opinion has changed Civil Rights, the Right of Women and Minorities to Vote, The right to a free and appropriate public education, and so much more. You are simply a hawk who rationalizes war with excuses as though we have no options. We damn well had an option in this war, we never had to start it.

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paladin 7 years ago

Most sociopathic personalities would be quite comfortable and even eager to wage unjust, immoral, and illegal devastation on any and all people, especially when they are not directly involved, in order to maintain American decadence. This fundamental, dis-functional view of life is self-absorbed and selfishly motivated, opportunistic, dishonest, obsessed with self-gratification and is ultimately self-destructive and will ensure that our society will eventually destroy itself, as have many others throughout history. It is probably inevitable that, continuing on our present course, our society will eat itself up.

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mick 7 years ago

If this 'war' is really about oil then Bu##sh$$, Cheney and company are guilty of treason. Better to wait until their time is up and then bring the charges.

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mick 7 years ago

I think it's a lot more likely that this "war" is about an aipac/pnac agenda. In that case it is still treason. The penalty should be death. Bu##sh##, Cheney, Kristol, Perle, Rumsfeld etal.

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pomegranate 7 years ago

Hey all you pecans who think this war is about oil. Did you ever stop to think that if it was, we would have just taken over and taken the oil? We easily could have put hundreds more troops over there and overtaken the gov't, and therefore the oil.

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paladin 7 years ago

The American Public must be deluded in order to be led and manipulated and fleeced. The truth may set one free, but it sometimes fosters rebellion. The rabble must be subverted and kept down for the sake of profit, continuing power, and unaccountability. And law and order.

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scott3460 7 years ago

"Peace, love and understanding will get you killed these days."

Well, not really. Please someone, provide an example of peace, love and understanding getting anyone killed. Blind faith in these neocon "leaders" and the "government" they impose, now that will get some folks killed. Several thousand of our folks, and, well, I guess we've quit counting the number of Iraqi citizens.

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Mkh 7 years ago

pomegranate (Anonymous) says:

"Hey all you pecans who think this war is about oil. Did you ever stop to think that if it was, we would have just taken over and taken the oil? We easily could have put hundreds more troops over there and overtaken the gov't, and therefore the oil."

Hey you pomegranate. Did you ever stop and think that taking over the oil is exactly what we did? Why don't you try doing some research or opening a real newspaper sometime.

One of the first things the US Military secured was the Iraqi oil fields. The Iraqi Hydrocarbon Law is being pushed through Parliamant right now admist tremndous upheavel. This document essentialy grants total control over Iraqi Oil to Western Oil Companies for the next 35 years.

http://www.gp.org/press/pr_2007_03_05.shtml http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/11/AR2006091100206.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_oil_law_(2007)

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paladin 7 years ago

America has a representative government and its current "leaders" seem to pretty much represent the contemporary, decadent public. Often, people get the leaders they deserve. Sometimes, even when you win, you lose. You guys win. I'm done.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

Captain Obvious--

People like you make mass suicide seem like a good option. Although that appears to be where BushCo is headed.

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fliesinyoureyes 7 years ago

Super Solar Cells

An idea: gov't subsidizes super solar cells and an power inverter for every homeowner. Each house is pumps free electricity into the power grid that we use to charge hybrid cars and power our lights and heaters at night. If you contribute more than you use, you get paid. If you use more than you contribute, you pay.

The reason new cells are the answer is that they are cheap. True, they are not as efficient as silicone solar cells, but at a fraction of the cost, so what? They will advance. If the compensation model is fair, average Joes with more money and land space to invest in solar collectors can make money in the long run.

It costs $25-50k to outfit a house with silicone solar collectors and a fuel cell. Cut the need for the fuel cell by instead dumping power into the grid and use the cheap collectors. We're talking $5-10k per house.

A few more nuclear reactors helps to power everything the sun does not. We will still need and use oil, but drastically less.

US Gov't foots about half of the bill = $2k, one time fee, per household to fix the problem.

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Mkh 7 years ago

Hoot, I see your point. However, I have to point out that none of us are innocent from criticism involving consumption of oil, even you. Even if you ride a bike, you consume an incredible amount of oil just existing in our society. Transportation is only a part of the equation to consider. Our entire system is based on oil, our entire economy, Everything!

If you go to work, get a pay check and then buy goods and services you are an oil guzzler. Do you eat non-organic food? That's oil. How about your clothes? That's oil. Got any products containing plastic in your house? That's oil. Cosmetics? That's oil. That computor you typed on is oil. Out of all the things you buy and own, what percentage came from outside of Douglas County? How about outside the U.S.? You guessed it, that's Oil.

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Hoots 7 years ago

Like I said "WE are ALL to blame" I didn't exclude myself but I do what I can to make less of an impact.

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Mkh 7 years ago

Okay, I guess that didn't seem to come across to after reading your post. Thanks for clarifying. But again, everything we need to function is society is based on oil, so I suppose one could evoke the age old excuse that it's "societies fault". All we have ever known is oil consumption for almost 150 years, as well as coal and natural gas. That is why this transition will be so dramatic and millions of people will not be prepared for it. Which leaves the future extremely uncertain.

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Charles L Bloss Jr 7 years ago

If we didn't have to sit so long at those damn traffic signals, we wouldn't use nearly as much gas. Traffic wastes huge amounts of oil and gasoline. Lets all ride scooters. Thank you, Lynn

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Nick Yoho 6 years, 12 months ago

Humans are a terrible steward of the Earth.

Our greed is killing us.

For those who don't know what I mean.Just go shopping,watch TV and fill your SUV.But please stop complaining about the wars,.your supporting them.

religious extremism was an excuse(though now IS a problem)Hell,our black Ops could of taken out all of al quada (a couple hundred folks)without the general population KNOWING about it!Before 9-11 woke the beast,that is.

MKH,Hoots,Any thanks for your posts.

funny how nobody connects oil and pollution here.We have two good reasons to use less.

We are programmed to consume.Its not all our fault....but it feels so good....

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