Foreign Policy and Oil Reserves: An Oil Analogy of Fear, Greed and Beer

2 simple equations with massive implications:
Greed+Oil= Power
Power+Oil=Ecological & Humanitarian Destabilization

As early as the 1920s superpowers such as Britain have been trying to colonize Oil rich regions. Conquests of the political boundaries they’ve created, such as Iraq, are coded in words such as stabilize, civilize or democratize. The U.S., victorious after WWII, picked up Britain’s nation building in the mid-east along with conquests in South America and again in Iraq. If you read outside the lines of history it becomes evident to what extent industry dominates political policy especially in the foreign arena. Hence a broad interlinked connection between what is now called “terrorism” (security policy) and the global race for dominance (foreign policy) over resources (energy policy). Oil has become a false sense of security and power for industrialized nations, an antagonistic vice to sustainability in ecological and humanitarian efforts.

Michael Klare, Professor of World Peace Studies and Security, is one of many leading policy thinkers who links Oil, War and U.S. Foreign Policy, this is concisely captured in a video from With so much evidence on an intellectual and historical level, what’s at stake in human lives becomes necessary to contemplate. In issues of war, economy and environment this natural resource has center stage, but trying to confirm publicly available geological statistics, that also agree, is near impossible. Masked as ideological warfare, it becomes a challenge to look beyond false beliefs blinding us with fear tactics of profit-controlled media.

Pub Crawl to the Desert
A most potent analogy of the global Oil fiasco comes from a Website project by Professor Bill Kovarik at Radford University, as well as Dr. Colin Campbell of ASPO. Here is an elaborated version of the analogy where Kovarik and Campbell ask us to imagine oil reserves as the Beer supply on a street full of Irish Pubs:

Drinking merrily along, Patrons find that each Pub raises the price of Beer per glass. Their suspicion is that supply is running out, but at the same time advertising for St. Patrick’s Day is brainwashing us to buy more green beer. Pointing to the almost empty shelves the bartenders display a dwindling stock. The Town Council becomes concerned, offering allowances and tax breaks to the Pubs. When this is not enough, the Sheriff’s department comes in and rallies up an angry drunk mob. Marching off to another town they plan to invade another Pubs’ beer making facilities and claim seats at the already crowded bars. Meanwhile the Town Council and owners make empty promises to help bar patrons ease off their beer dependence and convert to water bars. What is not revealed however is that just down the street in the warehouse is enough beer to supply the party into the next century.

So all conspiracy theories aside, we, the average bar going public, are probably being misled and misinformed by forces of greed. Multiply the historical relevance of the Tobacco trade and their eventual falling out a billion fold, it equates what the Oil industry could face. What this means for individuals is the question of what we do on a daily basis to lessen our dependence on Oil? The broader solution is a detox of economic and cultural forces at a very local and personal level. Pundits and Presidents call it an Oil addiction, so stretch the Tobacco analogy a bit more and ask what was it that kept Phillip Morris puffing profits?

Culturally there is advertising forcing the desire for unneeded trips to the stores for unnecessary products. When that commercial break ends and the news program comes back on, what messages are hammered into our minds? What are we forced to think about and what is left out of the message? No, its not a Global conspiracy involving sadistic extraterrestrials, but yes, we are a potentially angry mob that giant corporations and governments occasional pacify, but to what extent? If we care enough to educate choices into informed decisions, that pacifying control becomes limiting and eventually harmful.

President Bush’s recent heroics to be designated driver for America’s oil addiction is valiant, but his policy decisions are drunk with power. Alas, the finger pointing is up to you, as greed is a ubiquitous force and humanity is always in need of raising questions that will eventually lead to solutions. Something to ponder over some green beer with corned beef and cabbage.

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