This morning's news is filled with alarm about the collapse of Iraq, with pundits of every stripe debating the merits of the US choosing this or that tactical response. Everyone has an opinion, especially those who see profit in neverending war. And what is the reason for so much angst? It's the same as it ever was: our insatiable oil habit.
Too many Americans have stopped thinking about the real cause of our military interventions in the Middle East. They attribute our past actions to either sheer stupidity, or perhaps to our enthusiasm for Israeli real estate development. Neither of these explanations hold water. The hard truth is, America's interest in Iraq is and always has been about oil. There is no other explanation for spending more than $2 trillion dollars and wasting more than 200,000 lives.
What if, instead of launching shock and awe, we had embarked on a 10-year-plan for renewable energy progress, as Germany has done, so our economy would no longer be held hostage to oil-producing nations?
Given what we know about our leaders and their monied interests, that "what-if" is an entirely absurd question. These oh-so-serious people are scheming to hold together our house of cards, operating under the illusion that we can accurately predict the consequences of our actions. We arm one group to suppress another, always guessing wrong over the long haul, no matter how sophisticated our insights and models.
In the face of such grave uncertainty, the only effective course of action is to choose options that would make sense no matter what may come. Aggressive investment in renewable energy is the only choice that would create value under any imaginable future. Our representatives in Congress and in Raleigh refuse to see this truth. And having lost sight of strategy, they are mired in fruitless tactics. For this and this alone, they deserve our deepest scorn.