what is the answer?

This is a post from beagle’s blog: Out of touch with Iraq Reality

We just passed the 3,600 US military personel killed in Iraq mark. I can’t help but think of the children and other family members of those who have died in this war.

Today president Bush said this (quoted from the New York Times):

“I fully understand that when you watch the violence on TV every night, people are saying, ‘Is it worth it, can we accomplish an objective?’ Well, first I want to tell you, yes, we can accomplish this fight and win in Iraq. And secondly, I want to tell you, we must, for the sake of our children and grandchildren.�

For the sake of our children and grandchildren? Oh really? Right.

My response to his post was this:

One version of reality is this: the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve currently holds about 570 million barrels of oil. Given that the U.S. imports about half of its oil, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve would run out in about 60 days if all our imports were suddenly cut off.

Iraq currently has 112 billion barrels of oil in it reserves – the world’s second largest proven reserve. Perhaps President Bush is thinking about more than the short-term. Imagine what would happen if our imports were cut-off? Can we afford to leave the nation exposed to that kind of risk?

War sucks! But as Clausewitz said, war is politcs by other means. We only have to read the history books to see that the reality of Iraq is not a new story. Nation-states act out of their own self-interest no matter how much they try to dress up the trimmings.

I’ve been a soldier and it’s bloody hard work and a deadly serious business. But we volunteered knowing the hazards of our chosen profession. General Macarthur once remarked that it is the soldiers who prays for peace the most for he is the one who must bare the burdens of war.

There are so many variables to consider. Choosing the right course of action is tough. What is the cost of peace? What is the cost of maintaining the way of life we take so much for granted?

Crude oil is used to produce fuel for cars, trucks, airplanes, boats and trains. It is also used for a wide variety of other products including asphalt for roads, lubricants for all kinds of machines, plastics for toys, bottles, food wrap and computers.

How many of us consider what it means to turn the key in our ignitions or hop on a bus or train to go to work or fly somewhere on holiday? We want access to these things, but do we know the true cost of having them? Would we be prepared to give these things up?

Perhaps we are just victims of our own cleverness. I don’t know. I also don’t know what the answer is.

peace,

clay

Comments

  1. Shinade

    I will be brave enough to answer. My son-in-law will soon be in Iraq—if he is not already over there. He already did his time in Desert Storm and then retired. He went back into the Guard because as a middle class working family they needed the money. I for one am willing to walk if it will save a soldier’s life. And, if President Bush wants to fight a war so bad—then use the regular Army—he is robbing our states of our National Guard. Eventually when he has been outwitted enough by the extremist and almost all of our military capability is over there—-they will strike again here—and, it will be bad. And, where will our protection be? In Iraq stuck in the middle of a civil war—which by the way–president Bush now wants to also arm the Sunnis. So our soldiers are over there in the middle of a civil war and our government is now trying to arm both sides. This is insanity. I have no definitive answer or solution—but, I do know that it does not lie within Iraq. ~jackie

  2. Shinade

    I didn’t mean to sound so rude—but, sometimes MoonDanzer comes out in shinade. I understand your point and my son-in-law is 100% Army—and has been since he was 18—we just didn’t expect him to face war again while serving in the National Guard. But, we are proud of him—he is not running to Canada….he is going and doing his duty. But, I do believe that if we could invest even 1/2 of the money that is being spent in this effort inside of Iraq to find alternatives to crude oil—we might just find some. But, then that wouldn’t serve the interest of President Bush’s family would it? There are answers—we just have to come together as a nation and force change. We have allowed the elite in this country to divide us for too long. Because if we ever all stand together—then where would all their riches be? America will survive this—but, it will be a long hard road for many generations to come. Peace`jackie

  3. Profile photo of Clay
    Clay Post author

    Hi Jackie,

    I took no offense from your response, nor did I consider your words to be rude. They are simply how you feel. And you’re right, one of the founding principles of democracy or representative government is that the people elect leaders whom they feel best represent their views and whom they trust to what is right for the good of the people they represent. When the leader no longer represents what the people want, then they have the right and the obligation to elect new leaders.

    On another note, a lot of my friends and former brothers-in-arms have been or are in Iraq. I pray for their safety and safe return and for the safe return of your son-in-law.

    peace and love,
    clay

  4. Tim Clague

    I read somewhere that the amount that the war has cost would mean that the US could have give $32,000 to every citizen in Iraq. That might be enough to have secured the supply.

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