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The mess in Iraq

June 13, 2014

The whole Iraq mess is a bit of a problem, especially if you are part of the isolationist crowd. And while that label has never been specifically applied to President Obama, his entire presidency has been spent trying to get out of dealing with or in world affairs.

The problem is, now he has a conundrum.

On the one hand, a heck of a lot of Americans don’t give a damn about who gets killed in Iraq and the surrounding areas, as long as it isn’t Americans.

That’s kind of a natural reaction, given that a large part of that area is still living in the 10th century philosophically and religiously, and those folks main aim seems to be killing anybody they don’t like or agree with, especially us. Given that they have twice acted against the U.S. using that motive on 9/11, sympathy for inter-tribal warfare victims is somewhat lacking.

People who study that area concede, even if privately, that short of turning the whole area into a big glassy parking lot, nothing is going to stop the inter-tribal killing. Not this year, not in a decade, and not in this century. These people hate each other, and those they hate they kill. It’s that simple.

On the other hand, American do care about the price of gas, and every time the Middle East blows up in another conflict the price at the pump goes up here.

The President’s answer to that is to declare war, not on jihadists, but on fossil fuels.

However, regardless of the pen and the phone, we can’t do without oil at this stage of our existence, and right now we get a lot of it from the Middle East.

We could put a serious dent in that dependency if that “horrible” transcontinental pipeline was approved, but then, how would the President’s party get campaign donations from the people that oppose it?

On the other hand, what about liberals that aren’t rabid environmentalists?  The people who need gas to deliver food or drive to rallies and the like? How about the union members that drive trucks or buses or cabs? They aren’t going to like five or six dollar gas much. And of course there is the problem of rest of us. Even the ones that really couldn’t care less about politics do care about the price of gas.

Ah, the unfairness of it all! It must be tough to be caught between two solutions that require the application of common sense instead of romantic idealism.

One solution means putting a lot of American blood and treasure back into the Middle East ironically, to protect a fossil fuel supplier.

The other means moving much more quickly toward energy independence, and the ability to step completely away from the never-ending Middle East wars unless they directly affect us.

How hard can that decision be?

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