Wednesday, June 13, 2007

About Right, I Think

"You can’t be serious about getting out of Iraq if you’re not serious about getting off oil" ~ THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

8 Comments:

Blogger Bret said...

I personally think it's nearly exactly backwards.

Being in Iraq is inherently a national action (as in "We the People"/government).

"Getting off oil" could be a national action, but I think that would be a terrible mistake. I think it ought to be market driven.

I interpret the statement as implying that we (the people) ought to get off oil (or at least start the process) before we (the people) get out of Iraq.

In contrast, I think that getting out of Iraq can be considered by we (the people) completely independently of oil. Then, if we choose to get out of Iraq (which I don't think is a good idea anyway), and oil becomes more expensive, then the market will automatically cause using less oil (or at least more domestic oil) and adoption of alternative energy sources with no explicit action required by "We the People"/government.

June 13, 2007 7:29 AM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

I read it as "we're in Iraq again because we need access to Mid East oil, and unless we stop running our nation on oil, we'll be back sooner or later - just as we were in 2003, after leaving in 1991."

June 13, 2007 8:03 AM  
Blogger Bret said...

Again, who's "we"?

The economy can, in my opinion, adjust fairly rapidly if foreign oil supplies dwindle. "We" don't have to do anything at all for that adjustment to happen (except, perhaps, weather a bit of a recession).

Secondly, I think that the economy will only adjust if it has to. In other words, we'll keep using oil until it becomes less available.

If we went into Iraq only (or mostly) for oil, then I think that was a definite mistake.

June 13, 2007 8:11 AM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

Why else ?

June 13, 2007 8:31 AM  
Blogger Bret said...

To remove Saddam, an enemy of the United States.

June 13, 2007 9:16 AM  
Blogger Peter Burnet said...

And because, as we Canadians like to say, Americans believe their own bu-lsh-t.

Thank God.

June 13, 2007 9:35 AM  
Blogger David said...

Number of energy independent nations: 0.

June 13, 2007 1:39 PM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

Bret:

And why was Saddam an enemy of the U.S. ?

Was it because he attacked Iran? No.
Was it because he attacked Israel, by proxy? No.
Was it because he threatened the Saudi Entity, who control the third-largest oil reserves on Earth, and the first-easiest to produce... ?

Yes.

American involvement in the Middle East, Israel excepted, is all about the oil. There's no other reason.

Your position that we should let the market dictate our energy policies would be sound, if the market captured all of the externalities, which it fails to do by a long shot.

But perhaps the problem is simply that we've had Presidents who are willing to send troops to ensure American access to oil. If the next time we just don't bother, then we'll be able to see which was, in the long run, the better option.

But the dynamic of being proactive in securing oil supplies, instead of simply reactive, is exactly the same which led the U.S. to forcibly oppose the late, unlamented Soviet Union.

Are/were you opposed to American belligerence during the Cold War ?

David:

Which is to say, we're not serious about getting out of Iraq.

Peter:

Yes, thank God.

The attitudes may be unsophisticated, or even at times absurd, but they've still led to some lesser-evil outcomes over the 20th century.

June 13, 2007 7:41 PM  

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