All is unquestionably clear. Deniability is no longer an option.
A truth even more inconvenient than global warming is that the Oil Age is passing before our eyes.
The case is abundantly supported by the recent Swiss-produced documentary "A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash." As one of the taglines says, "If you're not worried about peak oil, you will be after watching this film."
Far from alarmist and apocalyptic, the film is sensible and sobering, the consequences real and tangible. I strongly suggest that ALL Kossacks take the time to find and watch it, then discuss. And then spread the word to those Amurricans who still believe that taking out Saddam was a noble "mission" of liberation.
"A Crude Awakening" reminds with stark imagery, uncontestable numbers and blunt interviews with analysts, oil executives and governmental officials that our collective thirst for oil remains unquenchable, but the dwindling supply of cheap crude is being sought by an increasing number of users around the globe.
It also makes shockingly clear that NO other energy alternative -- nuclear (10,000 power stations needed; only a 20-year supply of uranium available; risky), solar (a land mass of California required), coal (plenty but dirty; airplanes can't use it), biofuels (requires more energy to create than they produce) -- comes close to providing the concentrated, accessible and transportable power of oil.
In other words, anyone who believed the White House when it said the invasion of Iraq "isn't about the oil" had their head in the proverbial sand. This administration's energy policy is summed up in three words: blood for oil.
Remember, it was Dick Cheney who said in 1999:
By some estimates, there will be an average of two-percent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead, along with, conservatively, a three-percent natural decline in production from existing reserves. That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional 50 million barrels a day.
Seen through the prism of oil, under a government run by oilmen, it should be crystal-clear to anyone that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was vital and inevitable. American interests are its needs and its wants: an economy and defense system that cannot exist without oil, and a way of life that won't live without it.
The Bush-Cheney-Rovian manipulation of the American public, so vulnerable after 9/11, was bold and brilliant. The masses fell for the religious implications of fighting "evil" terrorists -- the rapture-believing base being especially receptive to the emotional but false conflation of Al-Qaeda's band of fundamentalist cave brothers with Saddam's secular regime and his nonexistent WMDs.
Clearly the Bushies feel the faith-based rhetoric still has an effect. Dubya brings out the emotional ammunition at every opportunity. Even yesterday after Sen. Harry Reid called Bush "an incompetent and isolated war strategist," the White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, "Mr. Reid was the one 'in denial,' about the kind of enemy the United States faces, the nature of the war against Al Qaeda and the wisdom of 'a surrender date.'"
Sure, the neo-conmen believe in their ideology of democracy -- but democracy as it applies to energy security. Big Bad Dictators are everywhere -- but it's only the ones in the Middle East, corrupted by the corruptibility of oil, that interest us.
Which brings me to my main point in this brief diary, not wanting want to get in over my head on petroleum issues and energy policies (which many of you out there are much more knowledgeable about than I):
As many of you know, my son just returned from Iraq, having survived his first deployment with the U.S. Marines. My son enlisted of his own free will, believing with a patriotic fervor so common among the young that it was his duty to defend his country in these chaotic times.
That's all fine and good and admirable, and while I disagreed with his choice, I've accepted the reality of it -- and I'm proud of my son's integrity and altruism.
However, if we are to call the invasion of Iraq by its real name, the first war over resources in the 21st century, a war to maintain and defend the U.S. economy and way of life, then the burden should be borne by all.
Which means bringing back the draft.
As Rep. John Murtha, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, said only last week:
"The president asks the impossible and the burden continues to fall on the very few. The pressure must be taken off the current force and their families who have already sacrificed so much. If the president insists on continuing the current operational tempo and policy, then he should call for a military draft. That is the responsible thing to do."
Naturally, there are those who will say that war shouldn't be necessary, that diplomacy could have provided the "un-war" solution by a President Gore or a President Kerry. I fervently agree. But as long as powerful corporations, all stakeholders in the military-industrial complex, put oil-connected sock puppets like George W. Bush in the White House, war is what we're going to get, no matter what the feeling of the electorate.
As a letter writer responded to a New York Times editorial on the draft last Nov. 21:
"The war in Iraq has been waged with entirely too little consequence for the vast majority of Americans who are not connected to the military. Unlike the situation in World War II, there are no war bonds or victory gardens or any sense of shared national sacrifice beyond crass yellow ribbon stickers placed on the back of oil-guzzling automobiles."
Of course the upside to a draft would be a stronger collective aversion to war among ALL the classes. Diplomacy would be given a greater chance to prevail. Politicians would be forced to think and wait.
One can dream.
Meanwhile, though, we have been rudely, crudely awakened to a new reality. Oil is dwindling, our current leadership knows it, has known it, and clearly prefers grabbing over negotiating. And if the U.S. prefers this type of leadership, then everyone should bear the burden of securing "American interests," not just the young, the few and the brave.