Monday, September 29, 2008

Missing from the first debate: honesty about OIL & foreign policy

In the first presidential debate, this little nugget by John McCain caught my attention:

That wasn't just about a problem between Georgia and Russia. It had everything to do with energy.

There's a pipeline that runs from the Caspian through Georgia through Turkey. And, of course, we know that the Russians control other sources of energy into Europe, which they have used from time to time.

John McCain in presidential debate Sep. 26, 2008

You would think there would be nothing noteworthy about talking about how oil effects our foreign policy--except that was the ONLY specific reference to it in the debate apart from both McCain and Obama making very indirect references to "breaking our dependence on foreign oil."

That's a nice thought, but I'd rather hear some specifics like:

  • Did the oil industry prevent us from punishing Saudi Arabia for 9/11? The Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 found that the Saudi government was responsible, but Bush classified that section of the report, and nothing else was ever said about it again.

  • For McCain & Biden: did you vote for the Iraq War because someone quietly convinced you that controlling Iraq's oil would somehow benefit average Americans, or did you know it was only meant to help oil companies?

  • Why haven't any of the candidates addressed the Hydrocarbon Law Bush tried to push on the Iraqis that would have given 88% of their oil profits to American big oil companies, and given those companies a seat on the committee that made decisions on their oil reserves? Don't you think that might have pissed off some Iraqis enough to take a shot at our troops?

  • What do you expect to happen to the price of oil if we attack Iran?

  • Do you plan to try to occupy Iran?

  • Is it a wise foreign policy to kill so many people, making enemies that will last long after the last drop of oil is gone?

  • Why do you talk to us like fucking children about terrorist boogeymen instead of the real geopolitical motives for what we are doing in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Basin: trying to gain control of the last spigots of the world's diminishing oil supplies?

  • Speaking of which, exactly how did you expect Russia to react if we tried to take over their oil trade with Europe and the rest of the world?

  • How do you expect both Russia and China to react if we achieve our goal of controlling all of the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea oil flow? If we were them, would take it quietly?

  • The cliche about "breaking our dependence foreign oil" implies that our wars in the Middle East are to secure oil to run our economy. However, if that was our motive couldn't we simply do what China is doing in Canada, Venezuela, and the Sudan: buy it with long term contracts?

  • Isn't war to secure oil only necessary if another world power has it and is withholding it, OR if an oil company wants to force terms on the natives that they wouldn't accept without a gun to their heads?
To the extent that those running for the highest elected office in America DON'T talk honestly about this, they are castrating our democracy by withholding what would allow us to make an informed decision about who to vote for, and showing loyalty to a constituency in a smoke-filled room at the country club and not to American citizens as a whole.

Sort of like what happened when they tried to give away $700 billion of our hard-earned tax dollars to the already wealthy.

No comments: