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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 4, 2005 / 23 Adar I, 5765

Blood for oil?

By Victor Davis Hanson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Even in the face of spreading reform in the Middle East, Americans remain divided over the wisdom of removing Saddam Hussein and then staying on to foster democracy in Iraq. But petroleum should not be part of that controversy. Nevertheless, the most persistent smear of this war has been this idea of "blood for oil" — whether the so-called Afghanistan pipeline or Halliburton "grab" for concessions and profits.

True, our foreign policies, like those of all industrial powers, are in part guided by strategic considerations. Cheap gas, however, is not the supreme driving force behind American intervention. The lack of oil may explain our wrong decision to ignore Rwanda, but not our right choice to stop the dying in the Balkans, Somalia and Indonesia. In fact, China, not America, is already the world player most guided by Oilpolitik.

Whatever George Bush is, he is certainly no longer a realist oilman content with the status quo of propping up dictatorial Middle East regimes. Pulling troops out of Saudi Arabia and toppling Saddam — while putting Iran on notice — sent shivers up an oilman's spine. After the Americans invaded Baghdad, the price of petroleum skyrocketed, enraging voters back home. America currently pours billions into oil-rich Iraq, rather than siphoning Arab petroleum out. That is why the same critics who once claimed that we were thieves now deride us as dupes.

Invading Iraq was not to loot its oil treasure, but more likely to cease the recycling of its petrodollars that went to terrorists and weapons procurement. Oil revenue allowed Saddam to attack four countries. His oil money subsidized terrorists like Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas. He sent cash bounties to suicide murderers on the West Bank and helped al-Qaidists in Kurdistan. Petrodollars empowered him to butcher his own people, and thus indirectly led to endless Western patrolling of two-thirds of his airspace.

In contrast, Iraqi oil revenue is now transparent and under the control of an elected government. Reserves are no longer pledged by a dictator to France and Russia in sweetheart deals and at extortionist rates. Nor is petroleum diverted by greedy insiders of the U.N. Oil-for-Food program.

Oil, remember, is also not just an American interest. Japan, Europe, India and China depend on imported fossil fuels far more than does the United States. Impoverished Third World states need moderately priced petroleum to salvage their chronically weak economies. For all the pampered terrorists' bluster about "stealing our resources," the real moral onus is more often on the opulent oil producer like a Saudi Arabia, Iran or Kuwait rather than a destitute consumer like Bangladesh or Peru.

Oil is pumped out of the ground in the Middle East at costs of between $5 and $8 a barrel. Through the power of a cartel, it is then sold to the world for $50. The Saudis, Gulf States and Iranians - who sit atop it but neither developed it nor can pump it without foreign expertise - have exclusive rights of possession protected by international protocols and ultimately the U.S. Navy.

As thanks, the oil producers have formed a monopoly — every bit as ruthless as any 19th century creation of a John D. Rockefeller — in unison to cut production and jack up the world price. This price-fixing harms millions from rural Brazil to Albania. OPEC, not the United States, is the real cutthroat petroleum profiteer.

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Every gambling spree by a Saudi sheik in Monaco or outlandish $1,000 a night hotel in the Gulf comes in part from the income of a peasant in Bolivia or Chad. The money for mustard gas in Iraq, a nuclear reactor in Iran and hate-filled propaganda of the Saudi madrassas all derived from rigged oil prices and went to regimes that were neither elected nor capable of creating real wealth through the participation of a middle class.

Such an easy slur like "blood for oil" persists because the alternative explanation is apparently unpalatable. After Sept. 11, Bush abandoned the realist policies of his past and the Cold War calculus of a half-century, by zeroing in on the old pathology of the Middle East: dictators paying off theocrats and terrorists to redirect popular anger at their failures onto the United States.

If Bush's democratic gambit succeeds, the world will be a far better place. But until then as we work on reform in Iraq, let us also conserve, develop new sources and wean ourselves from foreign oil. Promoting democracy also means keeping astronomical profits out of the hands of both failed autocrats and killers. By reducing world demand to weaken the cartel, we will both help poorer nations and restore the financial integrity of the United States.

Those who scream "no blood for oil" would do better to chant "no oil money for bloody terrorists and dictators."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


02/24/05: Common ground
02/17/05: California: Last action state?
02/10/05: Nuclear Poker
02/03/05: Barbara Boxer's metaphor moment
01/27/05: The hard road to democracy
01/20/05: Illegal immigration is a moral issue
01/13/05: Islamicists hate us for who we are, not what we do
01/06/05: Pledging blood and treasure for popular reform in a death struggle with Islamic fascism






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