Friday, February 28, 2003

I posted the following to No War Blog a few days ago. The first bit is regarding the idea that the coming war is for oil. The second bit is regarding why so much protest now. I would be interested to see what anyone who reads this has to say about what I've written (not that they are particularly insightful, mind you).

It seems to me that in the SHORT term it would be unwise for those interested in oil to have this war. The oil companies, obviously, are more satisfied with some sort of stabilty in pricing and shipping, so as to be better able to plan.

In the LONG term, however, the U.S. having a literal hold on oil exports from the Gulf region (rather than a figurative and tennuous one, which they have now) would make good sense from the perspective of those in the government who are aiming for a long term empire-like situation.

It is, I think, strategery.

In other words it is less about oil now than oil later.


My hunch is that the upswing in protests against this war is the product of two big factors (and a few smaller ones).

Big factor one: starting with Seattle a few years ago, we have been living in a period of "protest chic" in the US and Europe. It seems like there are times, like the late 60s and early 80s, when protest marches and the like become interesting to a broader population than is otherwise the case. I have no idea why this happens, but I wonder if it has to do with population bubbles and the like.

Big factor two: there has been a relatively long and slow buildup to this war. The Bush/Blair team started publicizing their intent as long as a year ago, and this has allowed people to have time to come to a decision on the war. In Clinton's wars, there was usually less time for consideration before the thing happened (and the lack of protest chic). In Gulf War One, there was a lack of protest chic AND a rather abrupt start to the action (Iraq's invasion) AND a much clearer reason on the part of the US government.

Smaller factors include the inability of the Bush/Blair governments to convince enough people to support them, Iraq fatigue (to borrow Bush's phrase, "we've seen this movie before"), and (no mistaking it) the generally smaller reservoir of benefit of the doubt many people (especially liberals and leftists) have for Bush than the did for his predecessors (even his dad).

Those are my guesses, anyway.

Of course, there are people who have been against EVERY military action (and more people who have been against most military actions). They (or we, since I'm one of the folks who have been against most) have just got more people on their/our side this time than they/we normally do.


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