I don't see why some people -- including many conservatives and the Bush Administration -- are so reluctant to admit that the war in Iraq was partly about oil. It's a strange twist of history that the majority of the world's cheap oil sits under tyrannical, Islamofascist countries... but that's how it is.

We need oil to live, therefore we need these tyrants to be cooperative. Being a generally peace-loving people who would rather make deals than wars, we tend to do what we can to buy the oil we need. Unfortunately, the people who sell the oil are somewhat insane, unpredictable, and tend to overestimate their importance.

If there weren't oil under the Middle Eastern deserts, we wouldn't be fighting a War on Terror because the terrorists wouldn't have the resources to threaten us. They'd be living in tents in the desert, tending their camels and sheep. If we had stolen/conquered the oil fields instead of buying the oil, we'd be similarly safe. For better or for worse we didn't, so here we are.

A war for "oil" is really a war for modern life. Modern life requires energy, and right now energy requires oil. (Maybe it won't in the future, which will be great.) Oil means cars, trucks, trains, planes, electricity, plastic, rubber, lubricants, and countless other products that our civilization requires. Some might argue that our society would be better without these things, but they'd have a hard time convincing a majority of Americans.

So the war in Iraq, and the War on Terror more broadly, isn't just about oil, but it's partly about oil, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. It might sound selfish, but civilizations are supposed to be selfish -- you can bet the Islamofascists are selfishly working to destroy us, and if we aren't willing to stand up for ourselves then who will?

Update:

Eric at Classical Values beat me to it. Alas, I'd echo his final thought...

I try to be patient, but reading these things makes me tend to lose all patience, because it's such a steady barrage. Writing blog posts does not make it stop. The best I can do is attempt to find humor in it.

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