The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim

Tue. Dec 10, 2002

No Blood For Oil

No Blood For Oil – The Sarge deconstructs that simple four word phrase; “The slogan implies that living and dying in a brutal dictatorship is a far better alternative than being accidentally killed by Americans attempting to remove the aforementioned dictator (to get at his oil, no doubt). Again, Joe Blow would think the slogan bullshit because it doesn’t seem honest. If you really cared about the lives of the people, then you’d rather see them given a chance to live life with a relaxed sphincter than remain under the brutal suppression of a sociopathic asshole. The reasons for his removal would be academic [...] You could chant something along the lines of, ’No War for Evermore’ or put forth a position that implies a solid, philosophical opposition to wars of aggression or war in general. By going with a catchy slogan that does neither, you’ve inadvertently stated that you don’t mind war as long as it’s for something more dignified than oil.”

Peanut Gallery

1  Matt McIrvin wrote:

There are different things that might be construed as fighting Iraq over oil. One is the scenario frequently put forth in which the whole thing is a ploy to steal Iraq's oil reserves outright for the profit of American oil companies. For reasons that many others have explained better than I could, this is an unlikely motivation. Iraq has some respectable oilfields, but nothing like what's available elsewhere, and in fact oil companies seem more worried about the risks involved in a regional war than enthusiastic about the possibility. Another "blood for oil" motivation is something I consider both far more likely, and also considerably less reprehensible: that the Bush administration fears that Saddam Hussein will one day obtain nuclear weapons and use the threat of them as a means of conquering the whole Arabian peninsula and maybe Iran too. This would actually put him in control of a significant fraction of the world's oil reserves and the consequent revenue, which would be very bad. Is that possibility alone realistic enough and dire enough to be a sufficient motivation for war? I think both sides could reasonably be argued, but it's not dismissable out of hand. I do think that, given Hussein's past behavior, the Sovietesque nuclear-backed Arabian invasion scenario is a much more likely possibility than his nuking the United States through terrorist proxies. Certainly I wouldn't rule out either... especially if the man dies and Uday takes over.

2  PhotoDude wrote:

Matt, your points are valid, but they do not represent my primary concern over Iraq. A lot of people seem to be totally keyed on the nuclear question. While I believe Saddam will always make efforts to progress towards nuclear weapons, I'm not convinced that he is far enough along to require pre-emption (though he was in the early 80's, but only briefly, thanks to the Israeli's). Nor am I convinced that if he had one nuclear weapon (or even a few), he would [a] be able to deliver it against the US, or [b] offer it up to a third party. He would likely retain it either for his own neighborhood offense/defense, or a strike against Israel (which he surely thinks would bring him closer to his desired Caliph status). These are real concerns, but they do not yet have a factual foundation. However, we are virtually certain he has chemical and biological weapons. There's real history there, concrete finds, and thousands of graves containing victims of these Iraqi weapons. The threat that he has, and will pass on to Al Qaeda, a biological weapon like smallpox ("The C.I.A. is investigating an informant's accusation that Iraq obtained a particularly virulent strain of smallpox from a Russian scientist who worked in a smallpox lab in Moscow during Soviet times, senior American officials and foreign scientists say"), or a chemical weapon like VX ("U.S. officials have received uncorroborated information about a possible transfer of a chemical weapons agent from Iraq to Islamic extremists affiliated with al Qaeda several weeks ago but are uncertain of the reliability of the information, administration officials tell CNN"), is very real, and in the news. In my opinion, those are current factual threats, involving two parties (Iraq and Al Qaeda) who have a strong desire to do damage to us, on a massive scale. That is indeed worthy of preemption. If we find evidence of a nuclear program, that is merely the icing on an already deadly cake.

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