Why We Must Leave Iraq ASAP: It's the Only Way to Fight Our Real Enemy

The first awful, horrendous truth is we don't know our own real enemy. It's not Al Qaeda, it's not Saddam Hussein, and it's not terror. None of these pose a threat to the existence of our democracy. Properly managed, Al Qaeda has far less ability to inflict physical injury on Americans than do Americans who misuse hand guns and automatic weapons. In 2005, handguns killed over 30,000 people in America. Even with these deaths, we do not feel our democracy is in danger.

The second awful, horrendous truth is that almost all our elected Democratic and Republican leaders incorrectly believe there is no enemy. They do correctly understand that we are not fighting the war in Iraq against an enemy, but rather for a reason-a strategic objective: the control of Middle Eastern oil. But our elected leaders are wrong in thinking there is no enemy.

The third awful, horrendous truth is that almost all our elected Democratic and Republican leaders secretly agree that the control of Middle Eastern oil is a valid reason for going to war. In 1999, Bill Clinton's defense department secretly identified oil as a valid rationale for war. In 2003, George Bush told the nation he was taking our country into war to protect us against weapons of mass destruction and to fight Al Qaeda, but we now know that the administration knew that neither rationale was supported by fact. The real rationale, the secret the Bush administration engineered false intelligence to cover up, was oil.

Everyone knows we went to war for oil, but no one acknowledges this fact because our elected leaders on both sides of the aisle agree that taking control of Iraqi oil is good for America.

That's why presently the Iraqi parliament is contemplating legislation that will open 80% of Iraqi oil reserves to the market under terms that almost guarantee the largest American-based oil companies will control them for decades to come. That's why the U.S. congress makes no comment on this oil-theft arrangement, stays stone silent on the obvious need for complete nationalization of Iraqi oil in order to fund the reconstruction that the Bush administration has bungled, and pushes instead for "milestones" that require the Iraqi government to accept an all but wholesale privatization of its largest natural resource.

Because our elected leaders all think taking control of Iraqi oil is good for America, none of them understand why we really do have an enemy and just who that enemy is.

Trading Principle for Mistaken Self-Interest: The reason taking control of Iraqi oil is bad for America is that it is bad for American democracy. Democratic principles do not allow our government to take by unprovoked force a people's natural resources just because we find it in our "vital self-interest" to do so. The war for oil rationale argues that it is ok to put self-interest ahead of democratic principle when it is necessary for our survival.

First off, war for oil is not in the least necessary for our survival. Second, even if it were, the idea that survival is more important than retaining the integrity of one's principles is highly controversial and ought to be subject to considerable debate before being acted upon.

Consider the Trade of the Classroom of Children: If a gun was pointed at your head in a class room of children and you were given a gun and told to kill them or die, what would you do? Murder of children is against your principles. Is survival worth it to you if you must become a mass-child-murderer to do so?

I would venture to say that at least 50% of the people would say that under such circumstances they would cling to the integrity of their principles in death rather than kill to survive.

So if oil is really necessary to the survival of America as a nation, we should all be aware that we are killing tens and tens of thousands of children to survive. This is what we are choosing to do, without a doubt, because, the rationale goes, we think it is necessary to our survival. If we survive, however, we will no longer be a democratic nation. We will be a child murdering one, instead. So long as we fail to retract our troops, this is what we have become.

Although our elected leaders all believe that taking control of oil is good for America, none dare say so because they know it is an indefensible violation of our democratic principles. Our elected leaders simply think that the integrity of our democratic principles is not really that important where the amount of killing done and the amount of oil stolen can be covered up with false political rhetoric. No other rationale explains their silence on the theft of Iraqi oil.

Sadly, these politicians not only sin against democracy in trading principle for self-interest, they gravely mistake whose interest the oil will really serve.

The fourth awful, horrendous truth is that the control of oil achieved by the war in Iraq will not be American-it will be private, corporate control by a tiny, elite, incredibly rich portion of our population who are themselves an enemy to American democracy.

The time has come for the American voter to recognize that what's good for Big Oil has nothing to do with what's good for America.

The time has come for the American voter to recognize that Big Oil is a declared enemy of American democracy, creating false and monopolistic market pressures to drive up prices, funding the campaigns and election thefts of our government leaders, bankrolling billions of dollars of pseudo-science to mislead the public on global warming, and using the Cheney Energy Task Force and the National Security Agency to plot post-war control of Iraqi oil.

Big Oil has record profits and the world's biggest corporations, but what have we got? We have over three thousand dead soldiers, tens of thousands of American wounded, the blood of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis on our hands, an unprecedented budget deficit, a twice un-elected and incompetent president, and the highest gas prices our nation has ever seen.

All this boils down to why we have to get out of Iraq, ASAP.

Every day we are in Iraq is a day we are enabling the global aspirations of Big Oil. Al Qaeda is not a stable or sizeable entity, Saddam is dead, Terror is an empty threat compared to the annual toll of breast cancer. What on earth has the capacity and the conscious motive to present itself as a realistic enemy to American Democracy? Only the world's largest oil corporations hungry for ever greater concentration of wealth and power and possessed of a long history of corrupting government for personal profit at the expense of the public health, safety and welfare.

Our democracy is already on life-support. The more powerful Big Oil becomes, the more our democratic government is in danger. Little else has the size, sophistication, and means to overthrow are hard won government by the people. Big Oil is our real enemy.

Every day in Iraq is another day this enemy like a tick grows fatter on the blood and oil of Iraq. If we want to fight our real enemy, we will pull out of Iraq and keep our young men and women from serving as Big Oil's henchmen for keeping the Iraqi people and government in line. Big Oil cannot pump oil from Iraqi oilfields where there is no security, infrastructure or stability. If Iraqis provide this security, infrastructure and stability on their own, they will quickly decide to kick Big Oil out of their precious oil fields.

For the Sake of the Iraqi People: Although chaos and violence will exist after America withdraws until the Iraqi people find a common purpose in rebuilding their society, all this chaos and violence has a cure so long as the soul of Iraq remains free. The oppression and poverty that will result from Big Oil control of the Iraqi economy, by contrast, has no cure but the end of Big Oil control over the Iraqi economy and the release of the Iraqi soul from Big Oil's imperial army-ours. Therefore, for the sake of the Iraqi people as well as for the sake of American democracy, we need to pull our troops out of Iraq ASAP.

You can judge your politician by his or her willingness to: (1) defend Iraqi's right to national control of oil, (2) to identify the need to remove Big Oil from the disastrous formula that is the

U.S. occupation of Iraq, and (3) to explain how the U.S. occupation serves to enable Big Oil to cheat the Iraqi people under the false cover of trying to "protect them."

I propose that American voters form a voting coalition that will apply this standard as a test. Every U.S. congressperson and every U.S. senator should be given one month to issue a statement that unambiguously meets this standard. All members of the coalition should promise in the next election to vote against any member of congress who fails to issue an adequate statement within that one month period.

The time has come for voters to demand democratic principles be defended with integrity rather than traded for mistaken and corrupt conceptions of "American" self-interest. The time has come for voters to demand candor from our elected officials. The time has come for the people to unite against one of the only real threats to American democracy: Big Oil. And the time has come to leave Iraq-one more time-ASAP.

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