Shouts of “No Blood For Oil” are in vain until we take a serious look at why our government acts according to its people’s economic interest, and then change our behavior accordingly.
Our democracy may not be as effective as we would like it to be, but this recent midterm election has certainly illustrated that all hope is not lost.
If the American people demand something from the government, it will more than likely be provided. In fact, I wish to argue that this is the reason wars like Iraq occur.
The notion that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was connected with al-Qaeda is generally regarded as false, and I will take it as such. Consequently, I am left to consider two other reasons for going to war with Iraq.
The first is that they had weapons of mass destruction. Since North Korea and Iran, both of which seem to be more threatening than Iraq ever was, are also credited with such a capability, it is not a reason for action in Iraq.
Given the threat level, one would think Iraq would be last on the list, especially because we had it relatively contained for a decade when we invaded the country.
The reason separating Iraq from Iran and North Korea is that the first has a weak military and a lot of energy resources. That is, Iraq was thought to be an easy target that would more than pay for its costs.
What made the payoff so high? The most obvious answer is the oil. Still, why is the American government so interested in oil? The answer seems to be because Americans demand that their government provide them with such “necessities.”
For example, when gas prices went up to $3, everyone was upset and most Americans took it out on the government. They felt that the government had let them down and expected the situation to be rectified.
All politicians are well aware of the fact that Americans hold the government responsible for their economic situation, and if a politician believes that he has the ability to keep the economy going, which he almost never does, then he will act to achieve that goal. The Bush administration had just that sort of idea when it decided to invade Iraq.
If we want to put an end to wars like Iraq and Vietnam, we must do our part and stop giving our government reasons to engage in such military actions. Don’t blame the government for the supply and demand curve; blame those doing the demanding, namely everyone.
If we learn anything from this war, it should be that as long as we continue to demand that the government provide us with an upper-middle-class lifestyle, there will be wars for oil, wars for profit and wars for us.