Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Warsocialism and the Price of Oil

Oil Wars - Not only are the raging wars in the Middle East responsible for energy price inflation, they are also responsible for price inflation of many other commodities, especially grains and other foodstuff, whose production and transportation depend on fuel. According to the World Bank, food prices have more than doubled over the past three years. The price of rice, the staple for billions of Asians, is up 147% over the past year alone. The mounting food prices have caused hunger and deadly violence in many countries, including Haiti, Egypt, Thailand, Indonesia, Senegal, and Malaysia.[...]

Neoconservative forces in and around the Bush administration and beneficiaries of war dividends—wishing to deflect attention away from war as the main culprit for the skyrocketing energy prices—tend to blame secondary or marginally relevant factors: OPEC, China and India for their increased demand for energy, or supply-demand imbalances in global markets.[...]

It is not surprising, then, that many elected officials with input or voting power in the process of the appropriation of the Pentagon budget find themselves in the pocket of defense contractors. Neither is it surprising that these dubious relationships should serve as breeding grounds for the near legendary levels of waste, inefficiency, and corruption that surround the military-industrial-congressional complex.

Two major conclusions follow from this discussion. The first is that, as pointed out earlier, war and political instability in the Middle East are the major driving forces behind the soaring price of oil; and that, therefore, to contain or reverse the rising trend of energy prices requires bringing U.S. troops home. The second conclusion is that achievement of this goal, the goal of ending U.S. wars of aggression, is possible only if (a) money or profits are taken out of war, and (b) money is taken out of elections.