Dec 4, 2005

The Price of Oil

I'm watching an A&E special on the movie Syriana.
What IS the price of oil? What are we willing to let our leaders do to keep our vast supply of oil (25% of the world's usage is in the United States) flowing from the Middle East straight to our cars and shampoos and power outlets? Do we even want to know what they do? Or what they've done?
Every action, every action, by the United States in the Middle East is motivated by oil. On this special, former CIA agents talk about how there's absolutely no interest for the U.S. there if not for oil. None. How can our leaders justify thousands of United States soldiers dying in Iraq then? They said it wasn't for oil. They said it was for weapons. No weapons? They said it was for civil rights abuses. I'm all for civil rights, but there are millions of other people who are being oppressed much worse than the situation in Iraq. Dictators in Africa commit genocide; do we invade? North Korea started a nuclear weapons program; do we invade? No. Because the greatest foreign policy motivator for the United States is oil. Another CIA agent talked about how there was NO intelligence on Saudi Arabia from the mid-eighties into the mid-nineties. None at all. Why? Because we didn't want to jeopardize our oil interests there. It's shocking when you think about it.
What are the motivations of suicide bombers, of terrorists? Why are we scared of asking that question? It's dangerous, to even think about looking at anything from their point of view, but understanding them is the first step to stopping the death and destruction that is a result of their efforts. No one can condone what they do, but they do have reasons beyond fundamentalism. Religion may pay a part, but what else? There's more. There's so much more. Bin Laden has talked about appropriate prices for oil: $100/barrel is his target price. Does anyone know that?
Watch Syriana. Don't stop there. Think about it.
If anyone wants to watch the A&E program, I taped it; just ask me.


The Anonymous said...

So sad, but true. I may eventually ask you for that tape, assumedly after I reveal myself. It's amazing what the government is able to "get away with," and how pathetically they attempt to cover it up.

The war in Iraq reminds me all too much of 1984 when the wars would change between Eurasia and Eastasia and "no one noticed." The excuse for the war has changed multiple times, and yet people still support it. First WMDs, then (and some what now) terrorism, Saddam (though we found him two years ago on December 14th), and now civil rights, as you said. Yet some still blindly support the war. At least some people recognize these discrepancy; doesn't mean we've been able to prevent it, though. It's especially upsetting because looking at anything about the situation there and here, it is obvious that the war is wholly motivated by oil.

Unfortunately it's hard to find respect for one's opinions while under the age of 18, and therefore some what difficult to discuss and attempt to bring about change. That doesn't mean I don't try, though.

Nirav said...

Thanks for your comment, again. Interesting reference to 1984; I hadn't thought about it like that. Good book, by the way.

The Anonymous said...

Very good book, I agree. While I was reading it I though about all the scary and intimidating parallelisms you can see in today's society and political problems.

Unfortunately, I had to restrain myself from discussing these as openly as I wish I could have when I read it in English II because, first of all, several people in my class were pro everything I was against, but mainly because the teacher was even more strongly against my views than my friends. Though I don't think she would have looked at me too differently had I said all of the similarities I found, I still didn't want to risk it. So, instead I discussed the differences with my like-minded mom. I know that it's "against the rules" for a teacher to discriminate against their students for something like that, but it doesn't mean that they don't subconsciously think some what differently of the student as a person (which can be strongly reflected in their role as a student, of course.)

(Oh, and a typo in my first comment: "these discrepancIES" Oops!)