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Volume 68, Issue 105, Thursday, February 27, 2003


Bush wants oil, not safety

Samira Zaidi
Opinion Columnist

How would you respond to a country that threatened to attack your territory and also openly announced they possess nuclear weapons?

Why, with diplomacy of course.

Despite North Koreais notorious membership in the "Axis of Evil" club, the fact that they have nuclear warheads and their threats to the United States that any sanctions would be considered an act of war, the United States has said it will not call for U.N. sanctions against North Korea. Instead, it wants to pursue a diplomatic solution.

This clearly indicates that President Bush is only after Iraq for its oil ? not to save the world from Saddam Hussein and his nuclear stash.

Even if Iraq did have nuclear capability ? which it doesnit ? U.S. government officials have said it would take about five years to implement a program to create missiles that would get them here. Iraqis outdated missiles couldnit reach American soil unless Saddam invested in a huge slingshot.

U.S. Deputy Ambassador Richard Williamson has said possible sanctions against North Korea are not even an issue right now.

North Korea shocked the United States in October by admitting it had a clandestine nuclear program. All the while, U.S. officials are trying to place Iraq under a microscope. 

U.S. intelligence officials have warned that North Korea, unlike Iraq, does have an untested ballistic missile capable of reaching the western United States.

Michael Renner of the Worldwatch Institute said, "U.S. oil deposits are increasingly depleted, and many other non-OPEC fields are beginning to run dry. The bulk of future supplies will have to come from the Gulf region." 

Hmmm, Iraq perhaps?

About 70 percent of the world's known oil reserves are in the Middle East, where the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Companies dominates ? and we all know about Bush soft spot for oil companies and corporations.

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohammed ElBaradei insists that a peaceful solution can be reached, and even U.N. weapons inspection chief Hans Blix has started saying Iraq is cooperating more with his team.

So, when Bush angrily warns that he will not tolerate Saddam and mutters something about protecting the United States, what does he really mean? He means he wonit tolerate Iraq having so much oil and he wants to protect the United States from being less than the No. 1 country in the world.

Now, that wasnit so bad, was it? Honesty is just so much easier.

With all those protestors chanting "No blood for oil," even kids know whatis going on ? in fact, Americans are supporting a regime change at home. Obviously they arenit blind to Bushis preschool antics. 

I donit need to flaunt statistics ? just read of the hundreds who are losing their jobs. Read about badly needed police officers being laid off and universities unable to hire new faculty. 

These are real issues. Instead of picking a fight and pumping billions into the military budget, Bush should take a look at home. 

This isnit about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" because, if it were, we would be bombing Israel by now. In fact, Israel is the only country in the Middle East to outright refuse to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. And remember North Korea brazenly waving its nuclear weapons in our face and sticking its tongue out at us?

Alas, as of today Bush is six votes away from a U.N. approval of war. Yes, even with all that cash looted from our schools and pension funds in hopes of monetarily persuading other countries to join our ranks in waging war, it seems like the United States will be going at this alone -- with Britain as its trusty sidekick, mind you. 

Zaidi, a senior communication major, can be reached at



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