Monday, April 8, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 125



Oil is a resource worth fighting for

Richard Whitrock

Saturday night, Daylight Savings Time allowed all of America to push its clocks one hour forward, giving an extra hour of daytime. In that spirit, I will turn the clock backward to shed light on a crisis that has many people criticizing America ... again.

In 1991, the United States entered into a war against Iraq. The public relations machine for the United States spun the idea that the war was about
expelling the invading Iraqis from Kuwait, but virtually every living American knows that the war was really about oil. America did not want Iraq to cut off
the oil supply from Kuwait, nor did it want to give Saddam Hussein that kind of power.

In response, hordes of people in both America and the Middle East denounced America's actions. In the years following the overwhelming victory in the
Gulf War, it became increasingly popular to denounce it. People in America alleged that America should never have gotten involved, and nearly
everyone claimed that America's greed for oil was wrong.

Continuing that trend, most everyone who criticizes America's Mideast actions gives the same standard cry: "It's all about oil." Critics of American policy
allege that oil is behind America's war on terror, and that if we go after Saddam again, then all the Middle East will know it.

So let's get a few things straight. First, the harshest criticism from the Middle East is saved for our traditional support of Israel. Second, Hussein is an
evil man who should not even have power over an ant bed. That said, I am not going to lie: Along with our hatred of Hussein, a major motivating factor
for wanting to oust him is oil. And what's more, it's a good reason.

As far as America's traditional support of Israel, I don't pretend to know enough about the situation to be heard. Better men then I have tried to solve it,
and they failed. My personal view is that Israel deserves a nation. Jews don't believe in Christ or in Muhammad, and being Christian, I have the same
problems with Israel occupying the Holy Land that Muslims do. I just don't let that allow me to forget that the survivors of the Holocaust deserved the
land, period.

I do not support the expansion of Israel, but I also do not support terrorist tactics against it. Such acts are acts of war, and if the Israelis take over the
Palestinians' land in winning that war, then so be it. To the victor go the spoils, and the Palestinians aren't doing anything but picking a fight. 

As far as Hussein goes, I really don't need to waste space telling my readers how evil he is; it's common knowledge. I believe he harbors weapons of
mass destruction, and America should protect itself from Iraq's use of those weapons and the possibility of Iraq allowing terrorist groups to use them
against us. Those two facts alone are enough for me to justify squashing Iraq, but the oil situation pushes it way over the edge.

As I said, oil is justifiably a major factor for the decision to go to war. Open history books and take a look at why Germany lost World War II. Yes, it was
stupid to go after Russia in the middle of winter. Apart from that, Germany would still have lost the war. Why? Because it didn't have control over enough
oil. That's right, its lack of oil crippled its army. Toward the end of the war, oil was more precious than diamonds.

There is not one major weapon of war that does not use oil. Tanks require oil. Submarines require oil. Airplanes, ships, manufacturing equipment and
even guns all require oil.

In other words, a lack of oil directly affects America's ability to wage war. If we can't get it, we are sitting ducks. That is why it's important for America to
keep people like Hussein from getting control over our oil supply. When was the last time a war was won with sticks and stones?

Whitrock, a sophomore university studies 
student, can be reached at

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