Sunday, May 9, 2010

Words from the Otherside

This oil spill just plain sucks. It is interesting how political it's become. Sarah Palin is getting backlash for "Drill, baby, drill," and, although Obama recently flipped his long standing position on off shore drilling to now agree with Palin and others, he's mostly getting a pass on any backlash for it. What he's going to do now, I don't know. He's damned either way, I think. His environmental supporters on the left might not give him a pass if he still supports off shore drilling despite the accident at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. On the other hand, if he caves to populist pressure and announces no new drilling, he'll appear weak for flip flopping twice.

Keep in mind, there's over 5 thousand off shore oil rigs operating in the world right now. Thousands in the Gulf of Mexico alone. If *we* decide to stop drilling, the other countries in the area that are already drilling are just going to fill the void. So the drilling isn't going to stop just because we choose not to.

But if we could stop everyone from doing it, which we can't, what would the alternative be? Well, we can stop driving our cars and grow our own food. Yeah, that's not going to happen. We can continue to buy oil from the Middle East which means our money ends up in the hands of people that hate us. Or we can invest in nuclear power. We still need some fossil fuels to put in trucks to haul the food from the farms to the stores.

Some people think we can just build windmills and solar panels. Here's the problem with that. Both take a lot of energy to build. And the ratio of energy to create versus energy created, is not very good. It's a positive number, sure, but would be a massive undertaking. Windmills are also expensive to maintain. And since they cover a wide area, you need a small army of techs in gas powered jeeps driving around fixing them all the time. Still, it's a positive gain, so it's not a bad idea. It's just that the amount of wind power we would realistically create would end up being a drop in the bucket compared to what we need.

This brings us back to oil. There's a lot of misinformation floating around by different people spinning their propaganda for political gain. Why the hell is oil such a political issue? Why do people care so much? I've heard people say that we'll eventually run out of oil and if we haven't moved to solar / wind / nuclear by then, we'll end up in the dark ages. And yet, we find new reserves of oil all the time. There is a finite amount, sure, but we're not going to near the end of it for centuries. It's certainly not a bad idea to have a back up plan, but the obsession with hating oil is silly. This all goes back to some whacked out liberals who hate big business and want to break the back of capitalism. Same with the global warming hoax.

No blood for oil! Remember that? I was in high school when people were mad at GH Bush for going to war with Saddam after Iraq attacked our ally Kuwait. A few years before the invasion, Saddam was making news for using weapons of mass destruction against the Kurds. I remember reading about it. I used to cut class and go to the library and read news articles. Yeah, I was a weird kid. But I remember all the Liberals at the time mad about the human rights violations of Saddam using weapons of mass destruction and the US not doing anything about it. I saw a political cartoon--I don't know why I still remember it years later, but it had a picture of some arabs yelling out "Help!" and GH Bush shrugging, saying, "Sorry, I don't speak Kurdish."

So a couple years later, the Kuwait thing happens and we go to war. The Kurds, seeing us as liberators, rise up to help fight Saddam. But as soon as Kuwait is freed, we turn our backs on the Kurds, and leave. Saddam, weakened, but not defeated, vents his frustration on the Kurds for rising up, and we see one of the worst cases of genocide in my life time.

Fast forward a decade and this time it's GW Bush as president. The UN has since passed a resolution ordering Saddam to destroy all his weapons of mass destruction, and he claims he has. He stalls and plays games with UN weapons inspectors, not letting them verify it to be the case. Bush said he thinks Saddam still has his weapons and pointed to evidence that he was deliberately hiding them. I remember when this was happening too. I saw the photos on the news of the weapons taken with aerial photos and satellites. It made sense to me. I was right along with him saying Saddam should be stopped. GH Bush should have done it back when Saddam was using weapons of mass destruction against the Kurds. Now his son will finish the job.

Only, one problem. Saddam actually did destroy his weapons and was complying fully with the UN resolution. Huh? Why the hell was he hiding it then? Well, Saddam kept a sort of journal. And it turns out, he was scared of Iran--his enemy--finding out he didn't still have his weapons. After all, Iran has a more dangerous army, and the only thing that kept Iran from feeling like they could wipe out Saddam, was the fear of Saddam's weapons. Wow, the irony. So Saddam pretended to still have his weapons to scare Iran away from attacking, and yet that had the exact opposite affect on the US who did exactly what he feared Iran would do.

Of course, Saddam said at his trial, he complied completely with the UN resolution, and that Bush was the one that should be on trial. As much as this sounds like, "a simple misunderstanding," thousands of people died in this "oops." It's hard for me to defend W Bush for this, even though at the time, I was right on board with it. Saddam's death is a great thing for the world, and although Iraq has had a tough time of things during this period, they're better off now. Still, a lot of innocence people had to die. And was it our place to play God with which leaders live and which die? It's a hard question to answer even you believe the result was worth the loss.

As a side note, of course Liberals objected to the war in Iraq--including Obama. It is interesting that some Liberals were mad H Bush didn't go to war with Saddam after he used weapons of mass destruction. And ten years later, when W Bush goes in to finish the job, Liberals were mad. Come on guys. Which is it? Of course, Liberals are not some monolithic group that all think the same. But it's still sort of funny. Well, the war wasn't funny.

I was thinking about all this the other day because I recently saw another anti capitalism propaganda film. I've seen several of them. But it was another about how the US only goes to war over oil. This one guy on there even said Bush purposely lied as Saddam never had weapons of mass destruction in the first place. I couldn't help but laugh. Such blatantly wrong information for what looks like an otherwise big-ish budget "documentary."

It reminds me of people that finish watching a Michael Moore movie and think it's real. Just frightening. Of course propaganda is used by all sides of every issue. The times you spot it the most is when it's used by "the other side."

My counter to the no blood for oil thing, I'm not aware of too much oil in Afghanistan. But on the same token, when the Taliban violently took over major cities there a couple years before 9/11, no one seemed to care. I actually don't even remember seeing anything about it in the news at the time.

Oh, something else. And this might make people mad. But during Clinton's administration, he was using predator drones to attack Afghanistan--a country we were not at war with. These same people we were bombing, decided to put together the 9/11 plot. I really don't want to make people mad here, but it's not factually accurate to call 9/11 an unprovoked attack. They definitely took it up a notch, but the notion that they attacked us first isn't entirely true. The difference is we were trying to avoid civilian casualties. They sought to maximize them.

No comments:

Post a Comment