Two things to think about regarding Iraq.

Q.1) Do the environmentalists regret not letting us drill for oil in Alaska now? (regarding the assumption that we are in it for the oil)

Q.2) Do things change once we declare war? If we attack Iraq, will a terrorist from Iraq now be considered a soldier? That is, if they retaliate with terrorist like activities in the US they are just trying to defend thier country and would be treated as soldiers, no? If captured, would they be considered POW`s?

  1. I doubt it. Prove there is ANY indication lack of drilling in Alaska led to anything in Iraq, and maybe somone would think twice, but I can’t see the connection. Besides, hasn’t GWB been working to open up some places for drilling anyway?

  2. I think any Iraqi terrorists taking actions on US soil would be treated more as spies,which have fewer rights than POWs; we can assume that yer average terrorist will not be wearing an iraqi uniform. That is assuming we don’t classify them as that newly discovered type of baddie ‘illegal combatant’, which seem to have no rights at all.

My opinion of the whole oil thing:

It’s not that we’re concerned about getting out crude oil from Iraq (after all, we only get 308,000 barrels a day from them, out of 9,551,000 total barrels per day (stats as of November, 2002)), but that we’re strategically trying to stabilize a country and a region with very, very rich oil reserves. Hussein is sitting very close to Saudi Arabia, and if he were to use WMD’s to take over, damage, or eliminate Arab oil production, THEN we’d be in a world of hurt.

Sure, this war is about oil. Are we OK with that? If not, what do we do about it? Start pouring money (finally) into alternative energy research? Wouldn’t our backing away from oil too quickly result in worldwide economic devastation? If so, what do we do in the meantime.

We stabilize the supplies that exist, that’s what.

There’s no way you can blame the closure of ANWR as a motive for Iraqi oil; with as much as 40 times as much oil as ANWR. Iraq is a much more attractive target all by itself.

Iraq’s oil reserves, estimate by US Department of Energy

ANWR Oil Reserves – DOE estimate

This is Cheney’s war, and Dubya is just the bagman.

Wait. Tell me again why “war for oil” (stabilizing the region for a steady supply of the most vital natural resource in the world) is necessarily a bad thing?

But would our actiion, by invading, actually stabilize the region…or unstabilize it?

(Did the war in Vietnam stabilize SE Asia? No… But did the invasion of Panam stabilize central America? Yes…)

I have questions…but no answers…


Um… Panama… Not Pan-Am… A nation, not a defunct airline…

Oh, phoo.


Err, because it implies that black flammable liquid is worth more than human life?

No, it implies that a large supply of the black, flammable liquid is worth more than a few human lives…which, realistically, it is.

And Trinopus, I believe that in the long run, our action would stabilize the region.

I would have thought that the most vital natural resources are clean air and clean water.

Before we start drilling in protected wilderness areas, maybe we should consider a national-wide effort to cut back on our use of oil.

I truly do not understand how anyone could advocate the slaughter of human beings so that some Americans can continue to waste energy resources.

Zoe, believe it or not, I agree. But unfortunately, it has to be a very slow process. Weaning ourselves off oil immediately would send the world economy (WAG here, folks, not a secret “in” with the Illuminati) into a freefall…and how many thousands or millions of lives might that cost?

What happens in the meantime? We still need a stable world oil supply. So does the rest of the world.

Plus, I don’t understand how you can possibly equate air and water (each largely ubiquitous and unlimited, and where water isn’t ubiquitous, it most certainly is a source of conflict…see Israel’s conflict with Jordan over water rights, or for that matter, Alabama’s conflict with Georgia and Florida) to petroleum. Petroleum exists in a few places in the world, not everywhere.

Finally, I’m not advocating slaughter for the sake of waste. I’m advocating stabilizing the world’s largest supply of oil for the sake of being able to relatively cheaply transport cargo by ship, plane, and truck, to run farm equipment, to transport food to market, etc.

I’m not even a Republican.

Ah, and I missed something else. I’m certainly not saying that we should drill in ANWR…I’m dead-set against it. ANWR’s petroleum reserves are a pittance compared to the Middle-East’s. We’d motor throught those reserves in a huge hurry and most likely leave the delicate boreal ecology devastated. Not worth it.

There’s something like a six months supply of oil in ANWR and it would take 8-10 years to get it out of there. Alaskan oil reserves are really of no value to us. It was just supposed to be a pay-off to Bush family oil cronies for helping to buy the election-- no connection to Iraq.

Point the First: I don’t think anyone can speak for “the environmentalists” - it’s a pretty mixed crowd.

Point the Second: If war is declared (or just started), a terrorist is still a terrorist. A few years ago, they’d probably just be considered criminals - but the introduction of “enemy combatant”, military tribunals etc. means that there’s really no saying. If they continue with their current MO, they’ll certainly not be entitled to the protections that soldiers are entitled to under the conventions.

If someone was to take up the fight by common military means - i.e. wear weapons openly, wear uniforms, be under Iraqui command, attack legal targets only, not maneuver under the guise of being civilians etc. etc., they could theoretically claim to be soldiers and demand to be considered POWs if caught. In practice, don’t be silly.

Well, there is this weird thing, admittedly a bit vague sometimes, called “international law” that includes ideas such a national sovereignty and that a country should not invade another country just because they covet that other countries natural resources and want a region to be stabilized to insure a flow of such resources. See, some folks think that just because we are the biggest guy on the block doesn’t mean that we get to make up all the rules and decide whose resources get used for what.

Well, OK. Let me a bit more specific, then. This war is certainly about oil. No question. But it is not only about oil. It’s also about enforcing UN resolutions, or admitting that the UN is a paper tiger. It’s also about Hussein’s excesses in Iraq, and even if the whole “liberation for Iraq” angle was a PR scam dreamed up by the right, it would still be a noble thing to do, since it would ultimately result in Iraq’s liberation.

Realistically, I can not see how we can reasonably predict that any military action will be able to stabilise and democratise Iraq.
I should think it just as likely that Iraq will collapse into a vicious civil war as soon as any occupying force leaves, if not before.
I hope I am wrong, but I think there is a chance that this war (and the aftermath) will not be nearly as simple as they have been portrayed.

From MEBuckner in a related thread; (this thread)

“The Geneva Convention recognizes as legitimate combatants “[m]embers of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions: (a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; © That of carrying arms openly; (d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war”. (Whether or not this would be recognized by a hypothetical foreign invander of the U.S. mainland is another question.) Also, officially speaking all able-bodied male U.S. citizens between the ages of 17 and 45 are members of the “unorganized militia” (13 U.S.C. 311).”

Enemy combatant goes back to before the American revolution. It is a category for spies and sabotuers. If you catch someone trying to blow up your munitions you can shoot to kill regardless of whether or not the person is in uniform. Ex parte Milligan deals with such a ruling form the civil war.
Incidently, my reading of the decision looks like what’s happening to Padilla et al look very illegal.