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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Oil is reason for Iraq War

    As our involvement in Iraq drags on year after year, many people still ask the same questions they’ve been asking for a while: Can we leave Iraq now? Why are we still in Iraq? Why did Bush start this whole Iraqi thing in the first place?
    I’ve always been confused about why we’re in Iraq because I know the president and his staff are not telling us all of his motives. I know that since we’ve started the Iraqi War we can’t pull out until everything is done, but I still wish America hadn’t gotten involved in the first place.
    In fact, why are we involved in the Middle East? Many talk about weapons of mass destruction and regimes. However, many of the regimes have been placed with American and European help. Many talk about crimes against human rights. However, we spend most of our time overthrowing political regimes and less time with real social reform.
    So why do we keep meddling in Middle Eastern politics? One word: oil.
    Without oil, our country could not function. The primary source of transportation is gasoline. We need it to survive. We worry about gasoline more than we worry about food. During Hurricane Katrina, while people were starving, homeless and without fresh water, we rushed to gas stations because we believed that we wouldn’t have enough gas to get to work the next day.
    Of course gas is a legitimate concern. After all, and especially in the semi-rural South, most of us cannot get anywhere without a car. When I had recent car troubles, I had to face life without transportation, and that life really stank. Living off-campus, I had no public transportation. Sometimes I had to beg rides off my friends just to get home from school. And if I needed something from the grocery store? Tough luck.
    And I was a lucky one. At least I have money to go to the grocery store. Around here, even the people who have to rely on welfare for enough money to buy food cannot go without a car. This money-burning, oft-unreliable personal vehicle can easily become the lord of our existence, and we can do nothing about it.
    But I digress. I’m not saying that we should convert to only public transportation or live close enough to everything to either walk or ride a bike. That is impossible for everyone. However, I have a problem with only being able to buy cars that operate on gasoline. Gas prices climb, we may complain, but we still have to pay the gas pump.
    So how can we dig our way out of the gas trap? Even an idiot could say that we need an alternative form of power to replace gasoline entirely. Environmentalists have been pushing for cleaner sources of energy for more than 40 years. But nothing has changed.
    Sure, we have some hybrid cars coming out. I applaud the carmakers for taking this step. But it’s not enough.
    So how can we get the government to change things-to put actual money into the development of an alternate energy source?
    First, remember what I said about the Middle East. America concerns itself with the Middle East mostly for oil. We don’t want to dig up Alaska, so we go to them for oil. We meddle in their politics. We pay their prices. We fight them in wars. And ultimately, America is beholden to them.
    That is language that politicians can understand, especially the Republicans that have traditionally not made the environment a high priority. That is the way we should start selling the idea of an alternate energy source. That is the way to get this idea out of Greenpeace meetings and into Congress.
    Yes, this doesn’t sound very altruistic, but let’s face the fact that the American government is less interested in altruism and more interested in money and politics. The only important thing right now is to convince the government about the importance of an alternate, clean energy source. Then maybe we’ll be able to take a breath of fresh air when we’re 90 years old.

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    Oil is reason for Iraq War