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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Wring the peepers

The right-wingers have climbed aboard the energy cacophony with insane ramblings. I especially like how they try to downplay serious issues while measuring their own patriotic greatness with strawman arguments. The nano-sized Instapundit quotes Max Boot:
Of the top 14 oil exporters, only one is a well-established liberal democracy -- Norway. Two others have recently made a transition to democracy -- Mexico and Nigeria. Iraq is trying to follow in their footsteps. That's it. Every other major oil exporter is a dictatorship -- and the run-up in oil prices has been a tremendous boon to them.
Forgetting to mention that the USA at one time had all the oil it could use, yet never turned into a dictatorship. Er, I mean imperial presidency. Well, you get the idea. (I hate when that happens)

Tim Lambert at Deltoid pointed to some of this gibberish, which leads to a veritable treasure trove of inanities. This allows us to follow Instapundit as he goes completely circular on us and reveals the real reason for the war:
Of course, if we seized the Saudi and Iranian oil fields and ran the pumps full speed, oil prices would plummet, dictators would be broke, and poor nations would benefit from cheap energy. But we'd be called imperialist oppressors, then.
And he uses Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams to back him up. Unfortunately, for the Instapundit, he somehow forgets that Mr. Adams has a thriving career as a satirist.
War for Money

When people say America attacked Iraq "for money" or "for oil," they're talking about two different but related concepts:

1. President Bush attacked Iraq to make his evil capitalist overlord friends richer.

2. President Bush attacked Iraq to protect the overall economy.

While I do not approve of starting wars to make evil capitalist overlords richer, an argument can be made that the well-being of much of the planet depends on economics. Poverty kills lots of people.

In theory, a well chosen war "for money" can save a huge amount of lives in the long run.

Suppose you believed that the world is soon reaching an oil supply crisis. Many experts believe that. And suppose the consensus of economists is that unless the oil supply problem is solved, America will be plunged into a spiral of depression the likes of which has never been seen.

If America goes down, the rest of the industrial world will too. Starvation will follow. Health services will crumble. Crime will soar. Lots of people will die. Imagine China losing half of its customer base in a year. Could 100 million people die from a large economic disaster? I think so.

Now suppose America's experts thought that a smallish war to depose an evil Iraqi dictator was all that was needed to buy another 20 years of reliable oil supply -- long enough to develop alternative energy sources that are economical.

Under my hypothetical scenario, would America have a moral obligation to attack Iraq under false pretences if its experts believed that doing so protects the most lives in the long run?

Now sit back and enjoy seeing how few people can deal with a hypothetical question designed to clarify thinking. Bonus points to the first idiot to point out that the real situation wasn't at all like my hypothetical.

Of course, Mr. Adams readers' catch on pretty quick to cartoonish strawmen.
Scott - can I call you Scott? - suppose you are Japan, and your only export is cars. American Cars suddenly become hot again. Wouldn't a full-scale attack on Detroit, like the Pearl Harbor invasion, be justified? At least until Japan's economy could diversify? Hypothetically.
Think of what has happened recently. In a few short weeks, the tepid backwaters of the right-wing lagoons have transformed from a dead zone of energy talk into a chorus of spring peepers. Saying nothing important, but saying it all in unison. Of course, with the beginning of summer, and along with some market corrections, the sounds will die off. In right-wing land, short-term memory loss will set in ... until we see it repeated next go-round.

As Mike Malloy of AAR would say, "Have I told you yet today how much I hate these people?".


Professor Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess that makes Canada, the #1 source of U.S. imported oil, a wacko-nutbar-leftwing dictatorship too. Suggest we invade, but let's do it in the summer, winters are too damn cold.

8:35 PM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Touche! Er, I mean "Tuque!"

9:01 PM  
Professor Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please - these are nice little frogs - sweet pure voices - one of the most reliable harbingers of Spring. Can't you find something else to which to compare these freepers?

5:36 PM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Jeepers, I didn't realize comparing the freepers to peepers would give some sheeple the creepers.

6:02 PM  

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