We need energy independence; Why is China getting the oil we fought for? And what I got out of “The Hurt Locker”

Back during the presidential campaign the mantra from the Republican right (and elsewhere) was “drill baby drill“, meaning we should drill anywhere and everywhere, including off pristine and not-so-pristine beaches and the Alaskan wilderness for oil to make America energy independent.

Well, with some limits — I’m not a big fan of offshore drilling (it’s ugly and the ocean is too valuable to mess up) — I think that is not a bad idea.

It’s a lot better than sending thousands of troops to Iraq (and Kuwait earlier) to die or be maimed for life in the name of oil — and that is what it has all been for.

And what really burns me up is the fact that we have put so much military effort into Iraq and now China is reaping the rewards with big oil contracts there. And why the China oil grab is not getting more press is beyond me.

Did the U.S. not earn the rights to Iraqi oil with our thousands of deaths there? If not, what was it all about? While I am not sure taking over a nation for its oil is legal or right, that is kind of what war is all about or at least the only logical thing that one could have been about.

And about being energy independent, turns out there is a lot of oil right under LA. I went to the La Brea Tar Pits when I was a kid. Turns out there is still even more oil than anyone ever knew about right under LA and some of the fields might get new development and already be grandfathered in so there won’t have to be any new environmental studies done (although I think that is being challenged).

We need to keep searching for and researching about other energy sources. But meantime we have to use what we know works.

And one piece I read recently stated that for our economy to prosper as it has in the past, we have to have a relatively cheap source of energy. So some of this new “green” type energy or some of the more bizarre ideas (you know, getting energy from the ocean waves) may not be economically feasible.

But again, this China thing. While we do have this symbiotic relationship with China — they produce everything we used to and we buy it — make no mistake, China is our competitor (for one it’s still Communist China) and no doubt sees itself as our successor as the world’s great power.

During the first Gulf War it was unsuccessfully argued that we should not jump in because we were not fighting to save Kuwait (and it was not a democracy, but a kingdom) but to protect our oil supply and that was not a good enough reason to risk the lives of our soldiers (actually many would think it was, but would perhaps be ashamed to argue such).

Then George W. followed the neo-con blueprint for making the Middle East our domain and protecting our oil supply, and the rest is history. We shed the blood and now China, who shed none, reaps much of the reward.

And now I’ll switch gears slightly and note that I just watched the award winning movie “The Hurt Locker” .

The message I got from the movie was two-fold. One was that some are attracted to war because of the adrenaline rush and the excitement that just can’t be gained any other way for them.

The other is that war is largely senseless. You sit there and watch the movie, which really has little story line or plot, and ask yourself: what is this all about?

Well war is fought when two parties vie for power and resources and get or I should say dupe third parties into shedding the blood.

There may be times when war is unpreventable. An example might be if the nation is actually attacked in force (and I don’t mean a one-time hit by terrorists).

And there’s even confusion in that. Japan attacked the United States, but not before we tried to choke off its oil supply, and that because of the terrible things it was doing in China, but Japan wasn’t doing anything in China western powers had not done there before (okay that might be debatable, but that’s not really the point here) and it felt it had been left out of the spoils of war it was supposed to share with western powers after World War l.

Germany did not attack the U.S. (although it might well have eventually).

North Korea did not attack the United States.

North Vietnam did not attack the U.S. But we bombed and burned and killed all over South Vietnam and North Vietnam to save South Vietnam. Decades later, Vietnam, now one country, and all under Communist rule, is finally recovering quite nicely from our help.

Of course we all know that those two just mentioned wars were really hot war proxy fights between primarily the U.S. and the old Soviet Union, and to some extent Communist China too, as part of the Cold War.

It takes a brave president to stand up to our enemies. But politically I think it would take an even braver president to stand up to those who insist we fight unnecessary wars.

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