Point

Point/CounterpointPoliticswarmiddle eastenergy Feb 19, 2003

No Blood For Oil

By Susan Winger, President,

Contrary to what he would have you believe, President Bush's plans to invade Iraq have nothing to do with such high-minded goals as liberating the Iraqi people or saving the world from terrorism. His "principled" stand is actually just a thinly veiled attempt to gain control of the oil-rich Middle East at the cost of human lives. It is time for the people of the United States to rise up and say, "No blood for oil!"

Bush talks about freedom, but what kind? The freedom to drive gas-guzzling SUVs without worrying about the price of gas going above $2 a gallon? If we go to war, innocent lives will be lost to satisfy Generalissimo Bush's insatiable gaslust and line the bulging pockets of the corporate and oil interests that put him in office.

We've got to stand up and make our voices heard. This war is not what most Americans want. What's more, Bush is acting against not only the will of a majority of Americans, but also the will of the world. France and Germany have demanded to see more evidence of Iraq's attempts to conceal weapons of mass destruction, yet Bush continues to ram his warmongering agenda down everyone's throats, all for his precious black gold.

The president claims that Iraq is "a danger to the world," but it is the U.S. that represents the real danger. We are the ones who act like bullies, intimidating those who don't go along with our imperialist agenda with threats of invasion and worse. Unlike some countries I could name, Iraq never dropped an atomic bomb on anybody. The bottom line is, Bush has no right to wage a "preemptive" war against Iraq.

The White House continues to beat the war drum, frightening the American public into believing this war is necessary for the safety of the world. Bush is trying to scare up support for an invasion under the pretense that Saddam intends to unleash chemical, biological, or nuclear warfare on his enemies, but there is no real evidence that these are his plans. There is real evidence, on the other hand, that President Bush was put in office by Big Oil and would do anything to avoid having to develop responsible, earth-friendly alternative energy sources.

Most offensive of all, the tragic events of Sept. 11 are being manipulated by Bush to further his agenda. Under the guise of the "war on terrorism," Bush has declared that members of his "Axis of Evil" are a threat and subject to military attacks. Is it coincidence that the one Axis of Evil nation Bush has singled out for attack also holds the greatest opportunity for profit? I think not.

Let the U.N. inspections work. No blood for oil!

Counterpoint

Exactly How Much Oil Are We Talking About?

By Kenneth W. Parton, Americans For

I keep hearing the anti-war protesters chant, "No blood for oil! No blood for oil!" But what they never seem to say is exactly how much oil we're talking about. Don't you think that's pertinent information? Are we talking a gallon of oil for every 10 gallons of blood? Or is it more like 30 gallons of oil for every pint of blood? Because if it's the latter, maybe a blood-oil exchange would be a good idea.

In the first Gulf War, roughly 300 brave Americans lost their lives. Assuming that each of these soldiers shed an average of eight pints of blood, that works out to roughly a pint of American blood shed per 60 million barrels of Kuwaiti crude saved from the clutches of Saddam. If you ask me, that's a pretty darn good deal. If we can manage to swing a similar trade this time around, then I say, "Bombs away."

We should also know what kind of blood we're giving up. Is it O-positive, the universal donor? I'd be more reluctant to part with that than some useless AB junk. If Bush and Rumsfeld spill, say, 100,000 gallons of B-negative or AB-positive soldier blood for an equivalent amount of primo Mideast oil, that may be well worth considering.

So, you see, you can't argue in the abstract like those naïve protesters on college campuses are doing. You've got to look at the hard numbers if you're going to make an informed decision about a potential blood-for-oil swap.

Sending innocent young men and women into battle to die is the most difficult decision a president can make. But it's that much easier when you know what you're getting in return. If I were Bush, I'd definitely do it if we could get the price of a gallon of Amoco Ultra Unleaded down to $1.19. Maybe even $1.21. Anything higher would give me pause. But $1.21 is a great price for a gallon. I would take a lot more weekend roadtrips if gas were that cheap. I might even upgrade to one of those Lincoln Navigators I've been seeing ads for on TV. That's a beautiful car.

Nobody wants to see brave young Americans sent off to die. Nobody wants to see blood spilled for oil. But if it comes to that, wouldn't we all feel better knowing that their blood was spilled for a great deal of oil? I know I sure would.

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