Loyal to Oil

Been off the grid for a while having a LOT of computer problems.  During my hiatus the Middle East has exploded.  It seems there is a limit to how much repression people can take.  Tunisia and Egypt have “interim” army forces in charge until there are elections.  Other countries are in varying degrees of expressing their outrage.

As I’ve watched this unfold I was reminded of something I read years ago:  The U.S. will support dictators and kings as long as they can get oil.  Thus over many decades the Arab world has been mostly run by despots, tyrants and dictators who have exercised ruthless control over freedoms that we take for granted.  The countries are characterized by poor health, lousy economies, worse education, high unemployment and very few civil liberties. For the most part, the oil revenues line the pockets of those who repress the majority.

It’s a choice our country has made over many administrations…we are loyal to oil.  As the people of these countries wage their fight for survival it will be interesting to see where our loyalties lie.  So far we have made the obligatory speeches about “we detest killing people”, “citizens should be allowed their freedom” but haven’t really done much else.  And that pattern has been repeated many times in the past when the occasional uprising has occurred.  We really don’t like all the killing and the dictatorships; but we want our oil even more.  When push has come to shove we have opted to support repressive regimes in order to keep the oil flowing. 

Let’s hope this time is different.

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