Friday, May 13, 2005

The other foot

What if the shoe were on it?

I've talked to several war supporters lately who've said variations on the theme: THE 9/11 TERRORISTS DID WHAT THEY DID BECAUSE THEY HATE US AND OUR WAY OF LIFE....

To which I've said, Oh really? They've said that? It's not because they fear a lone superpower that makes the rules and sets the norms for the rest of the world whether they want it or not?

And so I'm asking them to think about what we might do if we were in their shoes.

What if we offended all of the Middle East oil countries by some of our actions and they decided to no longer sell oil to us. Seeking to strike out at Bush, Venezuela (the other place we get a lot of our oil) also refuses to sell to us. These countries can afford to do this now, because of increased global demand - particularly from China.

Suddenly, our economy collapses. Just like that.

Our trucks and planes stop delivering to our Walmarts, which are quickly emptied. The collapse of Walmart, McDonalds, Starbucks and UPS puts millions of people out of jobs... You get the idea. If the oil were suddenly cut off, we'd be hurting. People would be out of work. Soon, people would be starving, right here in the US. After all, our big agribusinesses are based on petroleum, right?

This is not illegal for these countries decided to stop selling us oil. That oil belongs to the countries of origin. It is totally within their rights to choose to not sell oil to us. Sometimes, Darwinian Economics sucks. Especially when you're no longer "the fittest."

What would our response be? Would we go to war to get access to oil, even though the oil isn't ours and those countries had done nothing wrong? Would we begin bombing simply because we're hungry?

Yes, unfortunately we would. There would be no pretense of nobility (well, of course, it would be spun that way, but we'd know better), no Greater Cause. It'd be just to take what wasn't ours, but what we felt we had a right to. This is what we've come to.

Well, if you can see how we - in all our unjustness - would wage war to take what wasn't ours, to end our hunger and destitution, can you also see how some who are currently economically oppressed or fear oppression by the lone superpower also resort to war? And how, not having the resources to wage a "respectable" war, they resort to terrorism?

Damn! That walking a mile in another's mocassins is hard.


There have been three totalitarian forces in our lifetime: the totalitarianism of Fascism, of Communism, and now of Capitalism.

-Jose Bove


Kim said...


Good points...

Thank you :)

Sky Niangua said...

Great expression of thought and fact.
So very sad/so very true.

ricklibrarian said...

So well said. So much to think about. Thanks, Dan.