Monday, March 17, 2008


We’ll wait for George Bush to provide us some answers through an anonymous blog on why the invasion was, in his distinct vision, an overwhelmingly brilliant epiphany. Perhaps another manifestation will materialize, or perhaps veracity will prevail, and he’ll just come out and tell us. Meantime, since the momentous event, oil prices have soared a multiple of 3.5 times, billions have found their way into oil pumping and processing hands, and Iraq’s output is at only a third of what it could provide. Under the vast Iraqi sands, lay at rest what may be the globe’s largest reserves of the cheapest to extract and refine sweet crude. As Cheney calls the mission a “successful endeavor,” and the tax payers bail out another investment bank, an enormous undignified white elephant darkens American cerebration pondering that very viscous, yet beckoning, light sweet crude. Whether in the long haul trucker filling his tank, or in the graduate scrambling for her next student loan payment, minds entertain what might have been one pillar of George’s epiphany, “shouldn’t we get that oil, we’ve more than paid for it.”

On every single objective one can conjure up for the administration’s decision to invade Iraq, the outcome has had the exact diametrically opposite result. Whether it was a grand plan for hegemony, for democracy, for reducing oil prices in America, or breaking OPEC, the absolute worst desired effect took hold. Most of us aren’t predisposed to crystal ball access, nevertheless, we can all predict with some certainty that the “who knew?” methodology for answering any criticism or questions will become overused. Most Bush White House constituents and apologists attended Rumsfeld’s Course on Obfuscation and Bewilderment 101, and took notes. While the dissimulation persists, the Iraq oil question remains, unclaimed and unanswered. “Do we?” “Should we?”

“Can we?” is less significant because it only requires assessment of practicality, security and infrastructure capacity, and NOT what’s right.

Rationalizations are ample, yet not satisfying. “We liberated them from Sadam. They owe us.” Nope. They don’t, although you could argue for a moral debt and ask it be repaid in oil, but that’s not tasteful and the amount would be difficult to negotiate since it would drain Iraq of its only income for generations. How about, “we paid dearly for our democracy, you should pay for yours.” No, again. Back to how much, or arguing with, “we didn’t ask for it.” There is also the argument being floated about remaining forever until we just take enough and for long enough to be satisfied. The cost of that not so subtle approach would be more than the value of the oil extracted, . . . so no again.

So there the elephant sits. Getting bigger by the day.

Geopolitical realities being what they are, that Iraqi light sweet crude sits under Iraqi soil and no one else’s. It is Iraq’s to do with as it will, currently disorganized as it may be. Even if not another drop of oil comes out, that decision rests in the hands of a sovereign nation that is desperately seeking avenues to respect for its autonomy and peace for its neighborhoods. Plain and simple . . . the elephant shouldn’t exist.


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