Friday, September 28, 2007

Re: No Blood For Oil! Why Not?

Byron takes some issue with our the post directly below titled No Blood For Oil! Why Not?. His comments are on our Feedback page.

I should add that I agree with him that our long term goals should be the sorts of solutions he suggests, but the post was really geared more to addressing the question how we free ourselves from dependence on Middle Eastern oil in the meantime, within the next ten years or so.

And while we're taking these measures we need to ask whether the objection summed up in the cry, "No blood for oil" has any validity in the current circumstances we find ourselves in.


No Blood For Oil! Why Not?

We often hear that the Iraq war is all about oil. Alan Greenspan is said to have made the comment in his recent book, although he has since claimed that he's being misunderstood and that although oil is the reason why Iraq is important, it's not the reason Bush launched the invasion.

Be that as it may, even if it were the reason we are in Iraq what, exactly, is wrong with fighting over oil? The left declaims that there must be "no blood for oil," and the idea that we are in Iraq, as we were in Kuwait, to protect our access to oil causes steam to shoot from their ears like exhaust from a jet engine. But why?

Suppose it were not oil but some other resource that was at issue. Suppose the Middle East had the bulk of the world's drinking water, or food, and suppose a bunch of psychopathic terrorists threatened to seize total control of this resource and use it as a lever to insure their will be done around the world. Would it it be worth fighting to prevent that from happening?

If the answer is yes then how is oil any different? If our oil supply were to dry up our civilization would die just as surely as if our water were to dry up. It would take longer, but the end would be the same. Oil is the life-blood of the modern world, and we can't survive without it. Without oil there'd be no way to do agriculture on a scale large enough to feed 300 million people, much less get the food to market. Without oil most people would have no way to get to their employment and most businesses and industries would not be able to operate. Nor would we be able to heat many of our homes in the winter or maintain our schools and hospitals. It's simply naive to suggest that oil is not worth fighting over.

We can all agree that as long as we are dependent upon foreign oil we are vulnerable, but the left's solution to reducing that vulnerability is to force Americans to use less oil by raising the gasoline tax to the point where it becomes prohibitively expensive for all but the well-off. It's hard to see how this would reduce our dependency upon oil since we'd still need it. It's not hard to see, though, that though higher gas prices would reduce consumption, they would raise the price of everything else we need which would cause people to be thrown out of work, and our economy to be thrown into recession.

There are other measures we could take to reduce our dependence upon foreign oil, but the left vigorously opposes them. We could build new refineries, allow oil companies to drill offshore, open up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and build new nuclear plants. My environmentalist friends are aghast at the very mention of these options, but the serious harm any of them would cause to the natural environment would be minimal, as far as I have been able to determine. Meanwhile, the harm done to the United States by our continued dependence upon foreign oil or the consequences of inflation and recession, are, and would be, enormous.


Good Ol' Boys

Red State Update has a funny parody of the Lee Bollinger/Ahmadinejad contretemps.