U.S. Self-Interest and Oil Crisis in Persian Gulf

Two hundred years ago, Americans fought to rid themselves of monarchy; now they are dangled as bait in defense of one. For centuries, Europeans have plundered the world's resources, acting out of rapacious greed and a self-devised sense of entitlement. A hundred years ago, Japan, unable to beat them, joined them. The voracious forces of these industrialized nations, interrupted only by periodic internecine squabbles called world wars, have operated continuously to prevent the advancement of the Third World.

Given our dismal history, it is sad to see our public enthusiasm so easily whipped by rhetoric and yellow journalism, writing the instant history of the day. Our enemy is always a distant "madman." Iraq's Saddam Hussein was not a madman when we supported his war against madman Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran. And, had Saddam invaded Syria, we would have stood and watched.

When pragmatism is defined wholly by shortsighted self-interest, the practical consequences inevitably carry us further and further from any governing principles. Our cynical claim to Arab resources has no basis and our support for acquiescent governments that do not represent their people will cause some of these governments to fall. The oil in question must belong to the Arab people to sell for their common betterment.

However this oil crisis affects our complacent economy, we should not be so eager to spend lives in order to moderate prices at the pump. Blood is thicker than water; it should be thicker than oil.

MICHAEL YEOMANS

Goleta

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