Our American government's moral campaign against the evil empire of Saddam has backfired based on the following evidence:

1. The policy has divided and fractured NATO, our most important world alliance.

2. The policy has turned the 9/11 near unanimous support of the world 180 degrees against America.

3. The policy has polarized America, leaving a nation divided against itself.

4. The policy has stranded our troops in the desert, waiting for a consensus that may never materialize. Even promises of massive U.S. taxpayer foreign aid has not been able to stem the tide of world opinion against the Bush Administration's planned attack against the nation of Iraq. What's gone wrong?

Why is this administration obsessed with Saddam Hussein, a relatively weak Third World dictator? Are the American people being told the whole story? Consider the following.

"Recent assessments of remaining oil reserves show the world will soon face a relentless oil supply crisis. Within the next 15 years, worldwide production of conventional crude oil is projected to peak and decline irreversibly," according to E. Hunter Herron, president of Petroleum Equities.

In 1995, Colin Campbell writing for the Scientific American March 1998, stated: "Our analysis of the discovery and production of oil fields around the world suggests that within the next decade, the supply of conventional oil will be unable to keep up with demand."

Is the Bush Administration, top heavy with former oil executives, developing an anti-terrorist policy driven by the need for foreign oil? The mere thought of blood for oil should be repugnant to all true Americans. Consider the evidence.

In May 2001, the U.S. Energy Department frightened politicians with a study known as the Cheney Report (Vice President Dick Cheney former head of Halliburton Oil). Cheney predicted imported oil would rise from the present 10.4 million barrels a day to 16.7 million barrels a day by 2020. The U.S. is the largest oil importer in the world and our way of life requires more than 20 million barrels a day, one half imported.

America grows it food on fertilizer made from oil. American industry and motorists use oil at a rate that outstrips the rest of the world. The Arab oil embargo of 1973 demonstrated America's dependence on foreign oil, at that time one-third of oil needs. Presently America is dependent on foreign oil for one-half of our supply. At the present rate America will be required to import two-thirds of our oil from foreign sources in two decades. Why has America failed to develop a prudent conservative energy policy? May I offer a hint? Oil is the gold of the present industrial civilization. Why would oil executives willingly yield their financial and political sovereignty?

America presently exports most of its foreign oil from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, but political unrest has severely curtailed Venezuela oil and Saudi Arabia according to insiders is a political powder keg about to blow due to Muslim fundamentalist ideologists. The greatest proven oil reserves in the world are found in the Middle East/Caspian Sea area.

On May 30, 2002, Afghan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan will build a Trans-Afghan pipe gasoline to pump the oil reserves out of the Caspian Sea (16 percent of the earth's proven oil reserves) across Afghanistan to the port of Islamabad. Prior to America's invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban had refused passage of the north/south pipeline through the nation. Now U.S soldiers will protect the pipeline and Halliburton (Cheney's former oil company) will develop the oil fields.

The strategy worked in Afghanistan, what about Iraq? Iraq has the second largest proven oil reserves, after Saudi Arabia, yet due to U.N. restrictions only pumps 1.5 million barrels a day. Iraq's high quality, low sulfur oil reserves are coveted by the world and could with western technology be increased to 6 billion barrels per day. No wonder Iraq is in the spotlight of the world.

America's oil barons have made no effort to wean America off foreign oil. Without foreign oil America grinds to a halt. Fadel Gheit, a former Mobil chemical engineer, compares America under the political manipulation of oil barons to "a patient on oil dialysis." So I pose the real question. Is the Bush Administration's oil policy cloaked in an anti-terrorist campaign to rid the world of terrorist nations?

Saddam Hussein is an evil ruler, but the world is full of evil rulers. Saddam's Ba'ath party is a deeply secular socialist ideology that Al Qaeda Islamic extremists find repugnant to their cause. That is why no link has been found between Al Qaeda and Saddam. In contrast, evil empires that do not export oil (North Korea, Red China ) have received the red carpet treatment of appeasement from the Bush Administration.

I believe in America and our heritage. I believe we must be willing to bear arms if need be to protect our country and our way of life. I feel it is imperative we support our armed forces. America is willing to fight to protect our liberty, but most Americans would find it unconscionable to shed one soldier's blood for another nations oil reserves.

A majority of the world's citizens believe America's war on terrorism is really a war of RISK to gain control of strategic energy reserves of the world. A war against Iraq would inflame Islamic hatred for America, increase terrorist activity against Americans and pressure Americans to yield our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms in exchange for enforced security from our government.

Should America declare war be prepared for a second Patriot Act with greatly restricted citizen constitutional rights in the name of protecting America. I concur with conservative talk show hosts (Rush Limbaugh, Lars Larson, Michael Reagan) that America must return to the moral and spiritual values found in the Bible. I disagree fervently with these talk show hosts that America will win the present battle with the God of armaments and fortifications. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit says the Lord."

Stuart Dick is a contractor and writer living Pendleton.

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