April 10, 2008

Oh The Irony Runs Thick

Yesterday, David Petraeus, Commanding General of the Multi-National Force - Iraq (hell of a job title) sat before Congress to continue answering questions about the war in Iraq. Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) asked his constituents to provide him with questions for the general during his time. One of his constituents died in an attack on the Green Zone on Monday and his parents simply wanted to know, For what? For what had they lost their son? Congressman Wexler then followed up his question by asking for a definition of victory.

To his credit, General Petraeus may have given the most forthright and true answer that we've seen out of a government official in a long time. He stated that we were fighting for national interest, including the region's "importance to the global economy." (In my mind, a stunning admission of the true motives behind this war.)

He stated that they were trying to achieve a country that is "at peace with itself and its neighbors," "could defend itself" that was "reasonably representative of and broadly responsive to its citizens."

I'm going to highlight this because I think its important to note: These are not reasonable objectives. Over half of the countries around the world are unable to defend themselves. Pick any Southeast Asian country and ask them to put up an offensive against either China or Japan, hell Iran for that matter. They can't do it, because like every corner of the world there are regional keystone countries who have amassed enough wealth and military might (as well as peaceful time to build the army) to stabilize the region.

Many countries (including our own at times) deal with deep-reaching internal and external conflicts. Anybody remember the large scale riots in France last year? What about the assassination of Bhutto? Right now China is killing monks for protesting freedoms. Mexico is raging an internal war with drug lords which has killed hundreds of innocent bystanders.

And very few countries (including our own) are broadly responsive to its citizens (I find this point to be completely ironic since the Bush administration has ignored every indication of its citizens' will concerning the Iraq war).

So why are we willing to push these unrealistic goals upon Iraq and turn our heads to equally or worse atrocities (hello African genocide)? I don't think we'll ever have that question answered but Gen. Petraeus gave a pretty good clue by stating we're fighting for the "region's importance to the global economy" (read: oil). Why would we care if Mexico is in turmoil? If Brazil has lost control of its prisons and inmates? This administration doesn't care and is using the guise of caring about global stability to secure a much needed resource (again, read: oil). As long as Mexico and Brazil are wiling to produce our chemicals and deal with their hazards and wastes we will care very little about their internal or external policy.

I don't have any evidence behind this but I really believe the administration has set these lofty, unattainable goals for the sole purpose of justifying a continued presence in Iraq for the next 40-80 years. I'm not a psychic or a global strategist but I'm willing to put a lot of my reputation on the line to say when the oil supply gets tight in the coming years, many countries (instead of just us) will be willing to flex military might to secure the resource. Lets face it, our whole country revolves around the availability of oil and without it our economic machinery will fail.

Our government will not let this happen and is willing to sacrifice trillions of dollars and countless sons and daughters of this nation to keep the money machine rolling. If they were brighter they would be sinking trillions of dollars into a different energy source besides oil so when the world starts fighting over that last barrel we can sit back and reap the benefits.

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