Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Black Gold

As the price of oil nears the seventy dollars a barrel in the US (and over a dollar CDN per litre) it's damn well time people started to accept some of the real reasons behind the Iraq war. Sure Saddam will stand trial for his crimes, and with a constituiton in sight the democratic ideal seems to be creeping into the collective minds of the Iraqi people. But don't kid yourself, the horror that is Iraq isn't going away and, mark my words, it'll get worse before it gets better. As the casualties rise and the cost of the war balloons to almost inconceivable numbers ask yourself if it's all worth it? If "it" is the end of terror, it ain't going to happen no matter how secure the Iraqi vote is. As an aside, when did the focus of the war on terror shift away from Bin Laden, who has yet to be caught and wasn't mentioned once in the State of The Union speech. If "it" is making Saddam pay, then once he's jailed the army should be gone right? Again, it's not going to happen. WMDs? Give me a break. Even if he did have them there was still the problem of deployment. Was Saddam's army going to slingshot them over the Atlantic into Washington? Maybe an army of carrier pigeons? Oh wait they're extinct, but that's beside the point. So then what is "it"? What was the catalyst behind the original intent to go into Iraq and the subsequent continued desire to stay there? I urge you to read the following:
As justification after justification has fallen away, nothing of any real value to Americans remains in Iraq besides the oil itself, nearly a ninth of the world’s proven reserves. Without that oil, all that remains is a terrifying landscape of sand and soldiers with nothing to fight for but their own existence. Although our desire for Iraqi oil may seem a distasteful explanation for war, it is the only explanation by which we may continue to believe that we live in a rational universe. Put another way: if this war is not about oil, then truly we stand poised at the abyss...We consume 25 percent of the world’s oil and produce only 8 percent of it. Changing that ratio would require radically reinventing the U.S. economy, an option no president has ever presented to his people. Maintaining that ratio, on the other hand, not only keeps the economy growing; it keeps Americans happy. This may not be the best part of what democracy is about, but neither is it an undemocratic goal. “Oil, enough oil, within our certain grasp seemed ardently necessary to greatness and independence in the twentieth century,” wrote the economist Herbert Feis in 1946, when it was becoming clear that the United States would soon be unable to produce from within its own borders all the oil it required. Ever since then, the story of the Middle East has been the story of one president after another attempting to maintain that “certain grasp.”...In fact, our preferred method of assuring access to Gulf oil has been to “guarantee the sovereignty” of some oil-producing nation, thereby allowing us to treat any threat to the oil system as a threat to a state, which provides a useful political framework for our financial transactions. The history of American client states is well known. Harry Truman promised King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia—the largest producer of oil on earth then and now—that no threat to its sovereignty “could occur which would not be a matter of immediate concern to the United States.” Dwight Eisenhower expanded the pledge. “Our country supports without reservation the full sovereignty and independence of each and every nation of the Middle East,” he said, and would back it with the full force of the U.S. military...If we view the current occupation through the lens of fifty years of U.S. policy, we can begin to construct a rationale for war that is not charming but at least has the benefit of coherence. Our best client state, Saudi Arabia, is in danger of collapsing under the weight of a thousand fattened princes, and our friendship is further troubled by the fact that fifteen of its citizens killed nearly 3,000 of ours...Soon we will be at war with Iraq for no other reason than that the people there are shooting at our soldiers. - Harpers
Why is this so to believe? Wake up people and smell the oil.

Heaven In A Bottle

Like sweet ambrosia from the gods Sam Adams has blessed us mortals with our own heavenly brew:
Samuel Adams is releasing 8,000 bottles of the kettle-shaped bottle reminiscent of the copper brewing kettles used by brewmasters for hundreds of years. The Utopia is 25% alcohol and therefore the “strongest beer in the world.” ...The Samuel Adams Utopias 2005 edition costs $100 per bottle which sounds pricey but the brew is meant to be consumed in two-ounce servings like a port or dessert wine. - Luxist.com
The bottle looks pretty sweet. It's too bad I lack the cashish for such a luxuriant purchase. I guess it's more of Ye Olde Faithful for my benders.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Weapon Of Choice 2008

Considering Bush's approval rating has fallen to a catastrophic new low, the voting public might want to consider a new kind of no nonsense leaderhsip:

"Our great country is in a terrible downward spiral. We're outsourcing jobs, bankrupting social security, and losing lives at war. We need to focus on what's important-- paying attention to our children, our citizens, our future. We need to think about improving our failing educational system, making better use of our resources, and helping to promote a stable, safe, and tolerant global society. It's time to be smart about our politics. It's time to get America back on track." - Walken For President