I watched some of the BBC’s Langham on Iraq program.
One of the American soldiers said something very interesting. He said. “We probably wouldn’t have invaded Iraq if it had a MacDonald’s. Or a Burger King or Pizza Hut but it doesn’t ” He then gave the example that Kuwait does have a MacDonald’s and America Protected it.
I didn’t really agree with him on the MacDonald’s thing but I did think that he was correct in one or two things.
The war in Iraq is a war on values. The values of America, (and the UK to a lesser extent), being correct. The western economic model, of free markets, being such a sacred cow it is the only civilised way to do business.
This leads us onto the Oil situation. Oil prices are sky high. Blah blah. The details are the French and Russian Oil companies own all the rights to the Oil from the Iraqi Oil fields. So America far from going in to preserve American oil concerns just have make it more dangerous for the French and Russian to get the oil out, there by causing this large oil price hike which the American government didn’t want. (By American I mean the government of America. Not every one is like this.)
Freedom for Iraqi’s from Saddams’ evil ways of ruling the country yes. But to what? The imposed western values of a ruling force of soldiers who don’t speak the language or respect the customs of the local people? Hardly sounds like freedom to me. The TV reporter asked an American soldier this question. Freedom from Saddam is good but what if the people demand freedom from the American soldiers and forces. The soldier wanted to say they can’t have that but couldn’t. He didn’t answer.
Global markets are such that things in the Middle East do have some effect on America. I wonder about how much this is the case though. If the American Government raised the level of tax on petrol (American gas) to the same level as in the UK. America would become much richer. People would start driving smaller more economic cars, The environment would be improved, No one would really notice, The public transport system would get used more. To the extent where America would be self sufficient in petrol. Therefore the Middle East would be less of an issue of American direct concern. America would be richer, healthier and more environmentally helpful. Heck they could almost sign the Kyoto Agreement on the Environment.
I suppose what I am saying is Make me president. I will make the country richer, Americans fitter, healthier and more environmentally friendly.