Yes -- We Fight for Oil, Too
Do we fight wars for oil? Why, yes, yes we do, and for good reason. Without energy, any first-world nation would fall, crashing back nearly to the Bronze Age. Many third-world suppliers would land closer to the Stone Age. Japan was acutely aware of this in 1941 when they stopped laughing off U.S. protests over their occupation of China and turned panicky at our decision to stop the flow of oil to them. War was their immediate response. Hitler understood this when he made control of Romania and its oil fields a priority. Iraq invaded Kuwait for control of their oil fields. Sudanese civil strife centers around the oil-rich territories held by the wealthy southern Sudanese, Russian interests in occupying Ukraine revolve around the natural gas access to Europe it provides. The Egyptian-Israeli gas link of 1979 was considered one of the most significant outcomes of their peace treaty. Ongoing conflicts with China and its neighbors over the South China Sea are believed to be jockeying for rights to rich undersea gas and oil reserves. Recent decade’s conflicts between Argentina with Spain and Britain are entirely based in access to Argentina’s oil production.
Crude oil and its vast production uses are critical to the continued operation of modern society. 40% of textiles contain oil. That has a direct bearing on the clothes you wear, the furniture you sit on, and all textile uses that can be imagined. 40 billion liters of oil per year are used in the production of CD’s and DVD’s. The permuted uses of oil are mindboggling. Rubber, plastics, nylon, vinyl, polyester, detergents, plastics, heating oil for buildings and homes, synthetic fibers, pesticides, fertilizers, lubricants, paint, food additives, makeup, medicines and more are all products of petrochemicals. Plastics alone are critical to the medical and military fields. Medical and military devices and equipment are made from petrochemical products to save and protect lives even as ambulances, ships, planes, and trucks run on the fuels produced for the same purpose. Petrochemicals are even a critical component to chewing gum. Modern factories could not function without the plethora of petrochemical products used in manufacturing of everything. Modern medicine and technology would not exist without them. Even the discovery of alternative energy would not negate these needs. Now -- try to imagine a modern nation functioning without them. Society would decline to post-apocalyptic state.
Oil is not the only needed commodity which wars have been waged over. While Americans sought freedom, Europe’s interest was to hold onto commodities flowing from the colonies. India fought Britain under identical circumstances. The Finnish-Soviet war was fought over Stalin’s demand for their nickel. Venice fought and won a war against Genoa over salt access. The list is long and can vary from need to greed but in the case of modern society, oil remains a definite need. Thus, the answer to the question of blood for oil also remains a definite need for most. Given the option to continue advancing society or crashing backwards several centuries, most thinking people opt to remain relevant in the world.
John Ozanich, DD, CCDP, CCNP, MCP, is a former United States Marine Corps Anti-Terrorism Strike Team member with a seminary doctorate in Biblical Egyptology. John authors articles on religious history, constitutional issues, science, and religion. He has been awarded the IBM Authorship Award. He is a licensed and ordained minister with the United New Testament Church, International. He is an award-winning professional computer network design architect and I/T project manager who has worked for a variety of Fortune 500 companies and holds a business management certification. A student of eastern philosophies and a lifelong martial artist holding a 3rd Degree Black Belt awarded by the World Kyokushin Kobudo Organization and the World Full Contact Organization. He is an Advisory Board member of Voice of the Voiceless and The Jason Foundation.