The other day, President Obama gave the 2015 State of the Union speech before Congress, the newly Republican Controlled Congress. Where Obama focused on the value of middle class economics, that is focusing on the needs of the middle class and strengthening the middle class, did he talk the things we care about on The Long Tail Pipe? Electric vehicles and clean energy technology? Not really.
Before we get to that let’s take a not-quite-detour into Obama’s boasts about success in the War on Terror. That war is really a part of the global oil war, because the terrain being fought over has large oil reserves. The people of the Middle East are, after all, upset angry etc at the U.S. (and generally speaking The West) over our meddling with their politics, our occupation of their lands, and the practices used by Western Military in Iraq and elsewhere. For example the egregiously horrible torture regime at Abu Ghraib and other facilities horrified and angered the Middle East. Our purpose for invading the Middle East, toppling the Government of Iraq, etc, was about gaining access to oil fields in Iraq for Western Oil Companies.
With that in mind consider the rebuttal of Obama’s boasts by MSNBC Chief Foreign Correspondant Richard Engel. He was of course on camera from somewhere in Turkey, and pointed out that Obama wasn’t describing the reality-on-the-ground in the fight against ISIS but at best was describing his aspirations. Obama said we’re not being dragged into another ground war in Iraq, when the truth is, as Engel pointed out, there are now 2000+ newly landed US Troops in Iraq. And about having success at stopping ISIS, that’s not true either. For every ISIS soldier killed by Western Bombing of ISIS, Engel cited military sources to say ISIS was recruiting two new soldiers.
This fight in the Middle East, over access to oil fields, is just one of the many reasons that we collectively need to abandon the use of fossil fuels. It is a moral weight on all of us. We are collectively responsible for the pain and suffering being inflicted on the people in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East. That pain and suffering is in the name of bringing gasoline and other fossil oil products to Western countries.
Obama boasted “we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years” and of “booming energy production” while at the same time the economy is booming and gaining jobs faster than any time since 1999. How did that come about? Fracking.
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