"No Blood for Oil" reducing credibility?

I could somewhat understand the “No Blood for Oil” protests for the first Gulf War, but since the likely upcoming Gulf War II is more about other issues than oil (as manhattan and others argued in this thread), I’ve often dismissed the current “No Blood for Oil” protesters as people who, at best, in their desire to find a protest slogan have simply repeated the older, if now innacurate, one; at worst, people who want to prevent war but don’t understand what’s really going on.

However, today’s Doonesbury shows Reverend what’s-his-name getting ready to protest the war with “No Blood for Oil” signs. I’ve always thought of Gary Trudeau as an intelligent man, despite the fact that I disagree with him most of the time. Seeing this, though, has reduced my respect for him.

This leads me to wonder, does the “No Blood for Oil” protest reduce the credibility of the anti-war camp?

Here’s my trouble with that slogan: isn’t “oil” worth some level of “blood”? I ask that in earnest.

If you don’t think oil is a major factor in this war (water being the other one, apparently), I have nothing else to say.

Would you trade your blood so somebody else could have oil?

Wait a minute. The phrase “Blood for Oil” implies a trade of some sort. If the Iraqis are giving up oil, who is trading it for their own blood? The US?

This is making less sense every day.

I don’t think anyone can honestly deny that oil is a factor in this war. What I don’t understand are those people who are convinced that it is the ONLY factor.

Yeah, oil is a major factor in this war…for France and Russia.

Frankly, I share the OP’s opinion that the statement “this war is all about oil” is oversimplistic, somewhat ignorant of the other factors involved, and really getting old fast. If a bunch of Hollywood celebritities are smart enough to come up with an argument, it’s probably too simplistic :wink:

Surely there are better reasons to oppose a war than questioning the motivations for the war, aren’t the motivations logically irrelevant? Perhaps rather than question motivations, a tactic employed to appeal to people with poor reasoning skills who only have the attention for soundbites, the anti-war crowd would be better off pointing out whether the consequences of the war will be good or bad for the people and nations involved, or whether the war violates innate principles that supersede a consequentialist analysis.

For the record, I am not pro-war, but I would never want to be associated with the bunch of simplistic fools who appear to be the public face of the anti-war crowd. People on this board have better arguments than the simpletons who are actually out there in the trenches holding their signs.

Convolution noun: Responding to a post that claims that Garry Trudeau is deserving of respect. At all. Ever. Guy’s a loser.

This is a direct quote from TBone’s Unabridged (you can abridge it if you want to) Lexicon of Modern American Stuff.

Once in a while, I run across a newspaper that prints Doonesbury on the comics page. Nothing could be more comical.

There are “watershed” issues, like abortion and gun control, that separate the conservatives from the liberals. When it comes to newspapers, the litmus test is simple: where is Doonesbury? If it’s on the op-ed page, OK, we’re looking at a balanced staff. If it’s in the funnies, WHOA!!! These editors are so whacked out they think Doonesbury is funny!

Doonesbury is a liberal political rag cartoon. It has no relevance in real life. Garry Trudeau is a liberal cartoon hack. He also has no relevance in real life.

Although I pretty much much disagree with a W’s war on Iraq, I don’t have have a strong desire to join the anti-war crowd because of all their over-simplified and misleading claims. In addition to the oil slant, the whole tieing in racism or anti-globalization with signs like “Stop war, end racism” ruins any participation in the cause for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan racism, I just don’t see how it has to do with Iraq. As for globalization, the fact that I don’t really have any desire to join the anti-WTO crowd alienates me from the anti-war crowd because many of them are trying to tie the two issues together. Lastly signs that say “War = terrorism” are about on the same level of stupid black and white thinking as Bush’s whole good vs. evil posturing.

Some of the people on this board ARE the people out in the trenches holding their signs. Even the ones who have the better arguments. Just because some idiots protest doesn’t mean that all who protest are idiots.

And I personally believe that this war is just as much about oil as the last one. For everyone involved.

However, the idea that fighting a war for oil is dishonorable is pretty ignorant. Oil is the lifeblood of modern civilization, and comes on the list of necessities just after water and food. Oil puts gasoline in your car to go to work. It runs the ships that bring the corn to markets in Africa, it powers the ambulance that takes you to the hospital.

Oil IS IMPORTANT, oil IS worth fighting for. However, in this case I don’t think it is necessary. I think that the cost outweighs the benefit.

“No Blood For Oil” is a slogan, and like every slogan it is impossible for it to address every issue. I think attacking a slogan for being a slogan is pretty narrow minded. What do you want their bumper stickers to say?

“I think that it’s improper to attack Iraq because there is the possibility of destabilizing the region, and upsetting the delicate balance that keeps OPEC around, hurting the economies of the oil producing nations in the region, causing increased marginilization of their lower classes leading to more terrorism at home and abroad. Also, I think the fact that we haven’t addressed the issue satisfactorily of the Russian, French or Chinese oil contracts in Iraq prior to a US run regime change, will only damage foreign relations with some of our most important partners in the international scene for decades to come. Furthermore, I think that UN weapons inspectors should be allowed more time to do their work prior to any US led invasion.”

Would you read all that while you were driving behind someone on I-40? No, therefore “No Blood for Oil” is necessary to alert others that there is someone in their vicinity that feels that war on Iraq for the reasons of oil, are unreasonable. To paint every person who sports a “No Blood for Oil” sticker as an unthinking moron is an ignorant assumption. You don’t know how well informed they are or are not on the issue. Perhaps they are uninformed and are just a freshman in college with pacifist idealism running around their brains. That’s possible. Perhaps they are a grad student who has studied at length on the subject. Perhaps they are a housewife who has LIVED in Iraq, because she or her husband had some kind of job there. You just don’t know.

In fact, (though I don’t have a cite handy) former Secretary of State; James Baker (who has MASSIVE oil interests in his name) has gone on record as saying that everything must be done to make sure that this is not seen, now or by history as a grab for oil.

This is a war for oil, and no it’s not that simple, but oil is one of the major factors, as it cannot avoid being, simply because of the fact that there is a tremendous amount of oil there, and oil is the lifeblood of an industrialized civilization.


TitoBenito: It’s a shame, because a lot of dialogue goes on at protests and your voice could reach these people who are not educated, or are misguided, if you were there to talk to them about it, even if you don’t agree with their stance.

I believe that globalization is an all-important goal, but I am against a war in Iraq. I can go there armed with what I know, find commonality in a distaste for war with Iraq, and discuss the benefits of globalization with the protestors, many of whom ARE highly educated.

Fear of being lumped in with the idiots is a valid reason not to attend an anti-globalization rally, however, if you truly do not believe in a war in Iraq, then you should join the masses to protest it, to show that it’s not a minority movement, and that mainstream society IS IN FACT opposed to war on Iraq. There have been many large protests here, and I have avoided them for the basic reason that I was undecided on the Iraq issue. Now that I am decided, I will attend.


—Surely there are better reasons to oppose a war than questioning the motivations for the war, aren’t the motivations logically irrelevant?—

Uh, no. Not unless you think we should randomly declare war on anyone we feel like it.

I just had to add this, from the Onion:

“Saddam Enrages Bush With Full Compliance
WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush expressed frustration and anger Monday over a U.N. report stating that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein is now fully complying with weapons inspections. “Enough is enough,” a determined Bush told reporters. “We are not fooled by Saddam’s devious attempts to sway world opinion by doing everything the U.N. asked him to do. We will not be intimidated into backing down and, if we have any say in the matter, neither will Saddam.” Bush added that any further Iraqi attempt to meet the demands of the U.N. or U.S. will be regarded as “an act of war.””

The problem is that the anti-war protests are drawing a sort of person I don’t want to associate with, and perhaps Tito feels the same way. I’m presently against the war because I’m an isolationist libertarian, and I don’t think we have the right to meddle, provoke reaction, and then claim self-defense with a first-strike. (Alot like the way certain people act when Pitting fundies :wink: ) I think that clearly goes against both isolationism and libertarianism. However, even the more intellectual types at one of these present anti-war rallies are most likely to be self-described “social and environmental justice” advocates, people who in most ways could not be further from me ideologically.

It’s unlike what I encounter when I go to a protest against the death penalty. I have my reasons, the Quakers have theirs, the Amnesty folks have theirs. But at the death penalty protests, all that is pretty much put aside to focus on the singular goal. We all understand that we have different reasons for wanting the outcome. But these anti-war rallies seem to be “packaging” the anti-war message with a violent hostilitity to the entire Bush administration and idealistic pacifism.

Suppose for a second that you were alive in the 40’s and strongly supported the war against Germany (I won’t just assume you would, I myself think the European theatre was none of our business, but most people are for it in retrospect.) If you were for it, and thought it was a justified war, and the outcomes of the war were positive (or at least outweighed the negatives), would the motivation matter? If all the conditions were exactly as we believe them to be, and the outcomes as we know them to be from history, would it really matter if FDR had declared war on Germany because he didn’t like Hitler’s stupid haircut and ugly moustache? If it stopped German dominance of the continent and ended the holocaust, would we really care what specific motivation FDR or any of the leaders had?

RexDart: That is not the impression I have of people who go to the anti-war rallies. Certainly some people will be pushing alternative agendas, but the overall goal is not overshadowed in my opinion.

I mean, I never marched in a rally but I have stood across the street and observed them, and I’ve walked among the people gathering in the parks and observed what they’ve had to say.


RexDart: heh, I was in the middle of posting when you posted that second reply. And I think it’s incorrect for the simple reason that the motivations for going into the war, determine the policies that will affect you, after. So yes, the motivations are eternally important.


Meh, maybe. The problem with asserting that is that post-war policy has alot more civillian oversight than the actual war. After the smoke has cleared, the administration of the conquered area might very well be affected by the original motivations, but there is a whole public full of people and civillian legislators who are there to keep that in check. If we took over Iraq and then signed an exclusive arrangement to send all of its oil straight to us, then the American people would know what part of the motives were and could actually prevent the specific policies they object to. At this point, with the war not even fought, and during the actual course of the war, the motives won’t matter so much.

Certainly. But I feel the need for qualification of your question:

I would trade my life (aka “blood”) so that citizens of the U.S. can maintain their aggregate standard of living (based on “oil”).

The way you phrased the question, it seemed like you were asking me to trade my life so that ONE INDIVIDUAL would have oil.

A few quotes to begin with:

Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For the 21st Century, a report by an independent task force headed by James Baker III.

"Chapter 8: Strengthening Global Alliances", from the White House National Energy Policy

Bush Will Act Globally to Lock In US Supply, Michael T. Klare - Pacific News Service, 15 Apr 2002

Sizing up the Iraq war scenario, Anthony H. Cordesman - Washington (DC) Times, 1 Aug 2002.

True, oil is not the only factor in the impending war on Iraq, but it is at the heart of it. US servicemen and -women will be sent to Iraq and put their lives at risk to effect a “regime change”, the main effect of which will be to provide the US with greater access to and control over the largest chunk of oil reserves in the world. And since Europe and Japan are far more dependent on Middle East oil than the US, a successful invasion and occupation means the US has far greater control over how much oil its main economic rivals get.

Of course, US military aren’t the only ones at risk of losing life and limb. Iraqi civilians are on the receiving end of the bombs and artillery used during and since the First Gulf War. Their blood will get spilled in far greater quantities than that of the US soldiers.

So, to sum up - blood will be spilled to ensure US has greater control of Iraqi oil. Hundreds of thousands of people here in the US, and millions around the world, oppose that. The slogan “No Blood for Oil” neatly encapsulates that opposition. While it may be true that not everyone who chants this slogan at demonstrations knows or understands the full argument behind it, that doesn’t mean that nobody chanting it on a demonstration - or wearing it on a T-shirt or carrying it on a sign - knows and/or understands the argument. Every slogan has reasons and arguments to support it - if you don’t know them, ask around until you get the answers you’re looking for.

It’s very hard not to think oil is an issue here.
Is it the only issue? Probably not, but you can’t expect the anti-war crowd to march up and down with 100 foot signs explaining all the reasons why this war is (according to them) wrong.