There Are No Accidental Winners
When it comes to geo-politics and war, there are no accidental winners, but rather those who profit by design. The best history teachers teach their students to “follow the money” when looking for the “why” of historical events. Our invasion of Iraq is no different, although we didn’t have to wait decades for the “why” to become clear.
Amidst the media attention surrounding the bungled execution of Saddam Hussein and the anticipation of the details (rhetoric) of Bush’s “new way forward” in Iraq, the real story is the new law coming before the Iraqi Parliament this week that will open the oil spigots, allowing foreign oil companies (from the US and Britain of course) to seize control of Iraqi oil despite Bush’s repeated assurances that, “that oil belongs to the Iraqi people.” But what our president says and what he does are often at odds.
Are we really to believe that the American oil companies that have been drooling for decades over the prospect of getting their greedy little hands on Iraqi oil fields are getting their chance purely by accident? That with oil(y) men like Dick Cheney and the Bush boys at the helm, this war that made no sense to anyone outside their inner circle was not executed for this very purpose? Sorry, but I’ve had several great history teachers in my life and I’m not buying that load of bull.
Now, what the rest of us have to come to terms with is that there are direct benefits to us once American interests take over the flow of Iraqi oil. Yes it’s ugly, but it’s also true. Even though this administration lied to Congress and to the American people about their reasons for invading Iraq, all of us, even the supporters of this war, had to know the truth, that this is a resource war. We are rabid consumers of oil and we need more to sustain the lifestyle that we’ve become accustomed to. We may not want to admit it, but it was either this (invading a sovereign nation and stealing their resources) or making adjustments to our lavish American lifestyle and, god forbid, practicing conservation and embracing sacrifice for the greater good.
Bush and Cheney made the choice for us, but like every other choice they’ve made, it wasn’t made with our best interests in mind. They are steeped in the crude world, it is what they know and it is where their wealth comes from (well, that and greedily feasting at the public trough). They can’t see a future without oil, but increasingly, the rest of us can’t see a future with it.
During the funeral services for Gerald Ford, there was a lot of talk about America getting “the right leader at the right time”, like Washington refusing the title of King, Lincoln fighting to preserve the Union, FDR inspiring the country out of a depression, Ford healing the partisan wounds after Nixon, but what we have now is the worst possible leadership for our times. It’s almost as if we’re living through history’s little practical joke. What we need more than anything is a radical realignment of how we produce and consume energy. What we need is leadership that isn’t afraid to look forward. We need a president that is able to absorb information, that has respect for science and that believes in the possibility of a better future on this planet.
What we don’t need is Bush, a man of questionable intellect, that lacks curiosity and that believes in fairy tale endings where the magic man in the sky will return to Earth and hoover up the true believers and install them in heaven. What the fuck were we thinking?