Let the world change you... and you can change the world

A No Win Situation

To say that the current situation in Iraq is a clusterf@#k is an obvious understatement. It’s hard to get a grasp on just how bad the Bush administration has messed up here — historians are certainly going to have a field day with the issue. But it is quite clear that there are only bad solutions and worse solutions. And of course, BushCo is steadily pursuing the worst of the worst solutions while Congress is vainly trying to at least start steering the situation to one of the “less worse” solutions. Yet there’s no doubt that even the best that can be hoped for there is going to be very ugly. That’s the legacy that Bush will leave — he took what was all things considered a quite stable situation and turned it in to a horrifically ugly situation with no possibility for any good solutions.

Given what we have been told so far, there seems little doubt that some form of withdrawal is the best answer. But even then, you do have to worry about what will happen after that. What I find amazing about the current discussion of just what to do in Iraq is the fact that even today, four plus years after the start of the war, we still refuse to discuss exactly why we invaded Iraq to begin with. It seems to me that you can’t come up with some type of exit strategy — or even a “stay the course” (or whatever it’s called these days) strategy — until you have an honest discussion of why we were there in the first place. By now there’s no doubt at all that every single reason we were given was an outright fabrication or total lie. So why did we really start this war? It’s absolutely mind-boggling that no one has an answer for that question. So all we can do is hypothesize what was going on in the minds of Bush-Cheney when they initiated the war. And as I’ve said all along, the only reason that passes the common sense test is oil. Isn’t it time we finally admit this and start having an honest discussion about it?

Here’s what bothers me — there are essentially two scenarios that I can come up with that make some sense. But which one is accurate makes the world of difference as to what strategy we pursue from here on out. One scenario is that this whole invasion was nothing more than a power grab by Big Oil — the more control they have over the Middle East, the more reliable their revenue stream is, and the higher their profits. The war is all about corporate greed, pure and simple. That theory certainly passes the common sense test with flying colors.

But here’s another theory — what if all the advocates of the “peak oil” theory are right, and we are on the tipping point — maybe even passed it — where the supply of oil is going to start going downhill dramatically while demand continues to skyrocket? If that is the case, particularly if we’re well on the downside of peak oil, we have a major problem on our hands. We’re so far up the creek with our national addiction to oil, any major disruption in the supply-demand curve could imperil the country. It’s not hard to imagine World War III breaking out over oil, as it’s the life blood of every developed country in the world. So maybe that’s what is really going on here? Maybe Bush is right, this is indeed the “fight of our generation”. But only it’s not really about terrorism, it’s about oil.

Now if that is why we really are at war in the Mid East, then the whole idea of withdrawal is indeed scary. We might be buying some short-term peace and stability, but at the cost of even more turmoil in the not-too-distant future. But if this is what is going on, then the real issue that needs to be addressed is our dependence on oil. And the real answer is a massive investment of funds and resources in developing alternative sources of energy — as long term, that’s the way to disengage from the Middle East. Which of course brings us full circle back to the fact that Big Oil is running the country and calling the shots. They’re not interested in anything other than draining the last bit of profits out of oil, and the future of the country can be damned.

Bottom line is that we’re screwed.