Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Is 9/11 Overblown?

I noticed that the media is throwing September 11th in every one's face. I got to thinking that I don't remember any one telling me when I grew up to remember Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. As many people died that day if not more and much more damage was done. The servicemen who died; their families got little compensation. Many of the victims of 9/11 had insurance and the airlines got bailed out. The airliners were insured in case of loss as were the businesses and buildings. I doubt that the Navy insured battleships or any warship.

We find ourselves in a war in two different countries. The real war is in Afghanistan and the mountains of Pakistan. We can't afford to lose that war. Yet, the costlier war is in Iraq, and that war only has significance if it alters the geopolitical balance of the Middle East. Likely the Iraq war will be known as Bush's Folly, the war that bankrupted the United States and signaled the beginning of the end of our superpower status. It is only noble in that we overthrew a third rate dictator, but the cost might have been too high in blood alone. We have certainly helped the Russians and OPEC by driving up the cost of oil, not to mention Halliburton. The Chinese now own us. Our leaders appear to be fools. Selling the country out for special interests and free trade at the expense of the economy and the Middle Class is the greatest folly of all - all due to greed.


Interesting post John

On the 9/11 issue I think the fact it happened in New York, on TV screens, on the commercial media, all make it different from Pearl Harbour. Footage of Pearl Harbour is grainy, it happened around the time of other great events eg the Blitz and Hiroshima. The fact Pearl Harbour happened 65 years ago would have to diminish its significance in the popular imagination.

On Iraq I wonder why the US (and Australia etc) are really staying on in Iraq after Saddam has been tried and executed - then I recall Iraq has vast amonths of rare, cheap oil - a somewhat more compelling reason for a $10 billion a month occupation than "democracy" and making the locals like each other. Have a look at this http://www.paulchefurka.ca/Iraq%20and%20Saudi%20Arabia.html



I believe that we are staying there because it, Iraq, is the perfect excuse to maintain high troop levels in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Also, Iraq would be a natural buffer against Iran as it was with Saddam. If the Iranians co-opt Iraq for their own purposes, then Iraq really would be a folly on Bush's part. The pipeline hypothesis is intriguing and it is known that the Bush administration offered Iraq to the oil companies, but they wouldn't touch it because they were afraid of losing their shirts. At the time in 2003, Russia and other places were opening up and weren't flexing their muscles, offering easier supplies, but Putin has squeezed Royal Dutch Shell very badly the last year. There is a claim that some deep water reserves could boost American production and I do know that the majors don't develop fields unless they have a billion barrels or more capacity. They are opening new fields in West Texas as we speak. At $60/barrel it's more than economical enough to pump oil out of low pressure reservoirs. They are even drilling gas wells locally here in Dallas-Ft. Worth right by the airport.

Considering that Rumsfield threw out the existing plan the Pentagon drafted for Iraq and post-occupation, and the poor planning that ensued wasted billions and cost lives, I can see why the majors might have been skitish about going in to exploit the Iraqi reserves. Then too, the assumptions didn't pan out. They thought that the Afghans would fight us and the Iraqis would welcome us and the opposite was the case. We (the US) haven't done enough to rebuild Afghanistan and likely we've helped destabilize Pakistan. Talk about an interesting dominoes effect! But then, this is what happens when you unilaterally march to war. Wars change things, sometimes in ways no one anticipated. The French monarchy never expected that their aid of our revolution would aid in large part to their downfall a few decades later.
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