Saturday, May 12, 2007

Reconsidering Iraq

[Note: this is a World Without Oil post. This post is a work of fiction based on a hypothetical scenario.]

I never expected to see this in a liberal town like Portland, where there have been large anti-war protests for years, but now there are growing demonstrations in favor of the occupation of Iraq. I've seen groups downtown carrying signs saying things like "Guard the oil, stay in Iraq!" and "Never surrender!" They argue that if the U.S. pulls out of Iraq, the oil fields will be even more vulnerable to terrorism, and oil supplies could be cut off as an economic attack against the U.S. I interviewed a demonstrator who only gave his first name: Mike.

Me: Were you in favor of the U.S. invasion of Iraq all along?

Mike: No, not at all, in fact two years ago I protested against the war.

Me: So what changed your mind?

Mike: Look at what's been happening this year. Oil prices up, blackouts, violence. And our military, in Iraq, we need them to stay there to guard the oil fields. Or things get worse, way worse.

Me: Some people would say you're being hypocritical. You were against the war, but as soon as oil prices inconvenience you personally, you're for it.

Mike: First of all, inconvenience? What? Look around, we're talking about our whole world breaking down! And yeah, I can see how people could think that, sure, but I don't think of it as hypocrisy, I think it's more like waking up to reality, getting a clue. Look, I was naive before. I didn't understand how much of our society depended on oil. This year has been a slap in the face. It's like a sinking ship, and oil is our life boat, and Iraq is where the oil is. We have to make sure the oil stays safe.

Me: But is that why we invaded? I thought . . .

Mike: Stop, I know what you're going to say, there were no WMD's, all that. Look, maybe we went there for the wrong reasons. Maybe so. I won't argue that. What I'm saying is, now we're there, and with the energy situation the way it is, we'd be insane to leave. Do you honestly think we'd be better off, at a time like this, if we handed over the oil fields to people chanting "Death to America"? Can you look me in the eye and tell me that? We'd be better off?

Me: So you're saying the invasion was a mistake, but so is leaving?

Mike: Uh, yeah.

Me: And so we have the right to stay in their country forever and take their oil?

Mike: Look, I'm not talking about stealing the oil. At least, I hope it doesn't come to that. I'm talking about protecting it from terrorists blowing it up, and making it so that they can't cut off our supplies even more as a way to destroy us.

Me: Thanks for talking with me.

Mike: Sure. Go to your web site, or whatever it is, and let people know, they have to wake up before it's too late.

[Image generated with the custom sign generator.]

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