« So The War Isn't About Oil, Eh? »

On the eve of the second anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, I was perusing the Iraq timeline on Cooperative Research dot ORG and found this morsel of information. Cooperative Research dot ORG is also home to the findings of one Paul Thompson, who wrote a book called "The Terror Timeline" that chronicles about 25 years of events that have made mainstream news, and once put in some order, tell a convincing story that 9/11 was not inevitable or unpreventable. Even Richard Clarke (ex-counterterrorism expert) now uses that book to help teach his Harvard class. So it carries some legitimate weight. It also happens that Paul (aka Harlan) Thompson is a member of my church, or used to be when he lived here before he went to Stanford. His mother and father are still regular core members of my church, and I see them each week. Harlan now lives in New Zealand after years of working in southeast Asia. He is only about six years older than I am. Once upon a time, we were in the same Sunday school group together.

Anyhow, here is something that can be found on the website. I don't know if this is his own research, but it's compelling. The sources are cited and the articles are linked to from Cooperative Research. This one bit is about halfway down the page, but there are other interesting things along the way.

April 2001. A report commissioned by former US Secretary of State James Baker and the Council on Foreign Relations titled, “Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century” is submitted to Vice President Cheney. “The report is linked to a veritable who's who of US hawks, oilmen and corporate bigwigs.” The report says the “central dilemma” for the US administration is that “the American people continue to demand plentiful and cheap energy without sacrifice or inconvenience.” It warns that the US is running out of oil, with a painful end to cheap fuel already in sight. It argues that “the United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma,” and that one of the “consequences” of this is a “need for military intervention” to secure its oil supply. It argues that Iraq needs to be overthrown so the US can control its oil. [Sunday Herald, 10/05/02; Sydney Morning Herald, 12/26/02 Sources: Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century]

Okay. I hope everyone is happy that we got brave men fighting for that oil. I've said for a while that it's a double edged sword that the Bushies are at war—they really are fighting for us, they just didn't tell us the real reason. It would be nice if they would have just said, 'people, we gotta go get the oil so you can drive that Hummer, or so that NASCAR can keep burning gas senselessly, or so that a million businesses can stay open around the clock, or at least leave their lights on all the time.' People are rightfully pissed that the war was sold to them under false pretenses, but they really aren't ready to hear the real reasons for it, nor are they ready to find out what it would take to prevent such wars.

So two years have gone by now and we've lost 1520 guys, and injured many thousands more, not to mention all the "collateral damage" deaths of untold Iraqis. And yet the Hummers keep rolling off the lines, and NASCAR keeps on running. People keep flying for cheap to Disney World and Las Vegas. My question is, when will this pursuit for oil finally go out of style because getting the stuff costs too much? I'm not talking about the $50 or $80 barrels of crude. I'm talking about dead guys. When will people finally have lost enough brothers and fathers and sons to this war that maybe they think its not such a good idea to be energy pigs, and to vote for idiots such as those who rule our country now? Okay, the Hummer costs $55,000 and you can afford it. Great. Maybe you wouldn't mind sending your son over to the war to get the oil you need to run that POS. Maybe you voted Republican in the last election. Great, go fight the war that you asked for. I didn't ask for that war. I don't have enemies in Iraq. I'm willing to not be stupidly arrogant in my energy consumption. Maybe the price will rise to unbearable levels and people will wake the fuck up.

I've heard it said that the only thing worse than running out of oil is NOT running out of oil. If we keep getting the stuff for cheap, we will continue to abuse it, and each other in the pursuit of it. It will continue polluting our environment, it will continue allowing wanton destruction of land, it will continue the nightmare that is globalization, it will continue the power plays in business and politics. If that isn't scary enough, maybe we'll all get stuck in traffic. Evidently all the other stuff doesn't register with most people, so maybe the threat of losing more of our valuable time to sitting on the freeway will jostle people out of their slumbers.

WTF? Why do I even try? The nation will be bankrupt even before peak oil gets us.

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