I think I've been pretty clear in the past regarding my intense dislike of President Bush. But lately, I've been doing some thinking. It occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, Bush isn't entirely bad for America after all. Maybe he's actually doing what he should be doing, in an evil genius sort of way. It's no secret that my philosophy toward politics and government is extremely libertarian. As Henry David Thoreau once said, "I heartily accept the motto, 'That government is best which governs least'; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, 'That government is best which governs not at all'; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have." But that we have a strong government that does make use of its power cannot now be changed. That is a battle that was lost a long time ago. So the question then becomes, now that we have this powerful government, what do we want it to do with all that power?
The Bush administration has been widely criticized for going to war with Iraq largely for oil. This is difficult to dispute. Iraq contains a substantial portion of the world's oil supply. American strategists, including many of the so-called "neoconservatives" who now make up a large part of Bush's inner circle of advisers, have been looking for a way to gain a foothold in the region since even before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as can be seen in the 2000 report "Rebuilding America's Defenses." Oil is simply the only reason that makes sense to start a war with Iraq. The justification of "liberating the Iraqi people" is a hollow one. There are plenty of countries whose people are just as, if not more, oppressed. Yet the United States does nothing to stop them. Assuming they are not actively supporting those countries. The link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaida also fails to provide a suitable reason, as such a link is practically non-existent. And, in fact, Bush has admitted as much himself. Finally, the main defense for the war, that Iraq had a massive stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, is inadequate. The fact of the matter, as most people now know, is that Iraq did not have such stockpiles. And this is something that everyone in the know in the U.S. intelligence agencies had said even before the war began. Conservatives often claim ignorance on this issue, but it is hard to imagine the president, or at the very least his closest advisers, not knowing that Iraq did not have such weapons.
So we come back then to oil. Because oil is worth fighting a war over. All wars are basically fought not for ideology, but for resources. Whatever is the "bottleneck" resource is what people will fight over. Throughout most of human history, this resource has been land. In order to continue expanding, civilizations needed land on which to farm. This changed with the advent of petroleum-powered machinery. Oil allowed people to produce more with the land they had.
What people fail to understand is that when a country like the United States goes to war for oil, the consequences are of a far greater magnitude than merely lining the pockets of oil executives (although I'm sure that didn't hurt Texas George's decision-making any). It's also about more than simply how we're going to get to work in the morning. Civilization currently spends about 10 calories for every 1 calorie of food it produces. The reason it is able to spend so much more energy than it gets back in return is because of the use of machinery. Machinery that runs on gasoline. Machinery that makes it possible to support a population of 6 billion people. So if that oil were to suddenly go away, things would turn ugly very fast.
This is why countries are willing to go to war for oil. And then, we also must take into consideration that we are talking about a resource that is limited in supply. So as Matt Damon's character so succinctly put in the 2005 film Syriana, "It's running out... and ninety percent of what's left is in the Middle East. This is a fight to the death." By most estimates, we are either already past or are very rapidly approaching Peak Oil. So what happens in the next few years will be crucial.
Obviously, I have no way of knowing for sure what goes on behind closed doors or inside the minds of Bush administration officials. But just indulge me as I present my theory on what is really going on.
The neoconservatives recognized that the United States was fast approaching a crisis with the oil supply. They realized that if they were to have any hope of weathering the storm, they needed to gain a strategic foothold in the Middle East. If they could control what was left of the world's oil supply, they might be able to delay catastrophe long enough to find a solution. And when the 9/11 attacks happened, they knew that this was their opportunity.
And here we come back to the issue of what we want our government to be doing. Because as callous as it may seem to start a war over oil, it is not as though the government has many options open to it. Would Gore, McCain, Kerry, or any other politician have done differently? Unlikely. The United States needs this oil if civilization is to keep going. There is no other choice.
Of course, there is a fatal flaw in the neoconservatives' reasoning. That is that simply because we need a technological fix does not mean that one will present itself. Such thinking is merely the result of having watched too many episodes of Star Trek. I certainly will not rule out the all-powerful x factor. In fact, I probably give more weight to the x factor than most others around here. But it hardly constitutes a strategy. And given the alternatives that are currently on the table, it seems unlikely that a suitable solution to the problem of peak oil will be found in the time that is left.
However, the Bush administration might be successful in at least delaying the coming storm by a few years. Of course, some might say that by delaying it, you only make it worse when it actually does hit. But can it be delayed by so long that the amount by which the effects worsen are significant? On the other hand, how many individual people will survive because the extra time that the government bought them allowed them to prepare for what was coming?
The question then becomes how much worse would a delay make a potential collapse versus how many people would survive because of it? I don't have any answers to these questions, but it certainly makes one stop and think.
33 Responses to "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bush Administration"Bubba says: April 11th, 2006 at 2:44 pm
Enjoyed your article. That is the question, delay = more time to prepare, but at what cost? I'm not sure if it matters debating it much, since its unlikely that the nations of the world, will listen to reason & work towards a economic system that leaves less of an ecological footprint upon the earth.
I'm in the camp of 'give us some extra time' and maybe, just maybe the landing will be a bit softer...if it lasts long enough that global-industrialism can continue for 10years+ and populations increase by another Billion (or close to it) than it will be a hard fall...but is their really anyway to insulate the masses from it? It's kind of like Nuclear warfare discussions, the usually end as a moot point, since any large scale launching will be the Knock-out blow to the ecosystems.JimFive says: April 11th, 2006 at 3:10 pm
Mike,It's an interesting thought. If this is about oil (and it only makes sense that it is), then this wasn't the best way to achieve a desired result. The best we could have hoped to get out of invading Iraq is a military base in a friendly country in the middle east. We might be able to get that in Afghanistan. We might have been able to get that in Iraq under Sadaam (for some reasonable concessions). There is no way we are going to get that in Iraq now. So, even if they are doing it for 'all the right reasons' they're still doing all the wrong things.Mike Godesky says: April 11th, 2006 at 3:22 pm
Unless they wanted Iraq to descend into civil war. Because they don't need to control the whole country. They just need to control the oil. And as long as the country is in chaos, they can maintain a military presence in the region indefinitely.perianwyr says: April 11th, 2006 at 5:19 pm
Civil war makes it more difficult to extract the oil.
No, I will chalk this one up to simple ideologically induced blindness.Peter D says: April 11th, 2006 at 6:05 pm
I just started to read William Clark's book Petrodollar Warfare. He argues that not only was the war about gaining access to Iraq's oil, but also ensuring that oil continues to be purchased in American dollars. In 2000, Hussein openly talked about selling Iraqi oil in Euros and was starting a movement within OPEC to move away from petrodollars to petroeuros. All in all, this move would be devestating for the American economy, who depend on the surplus petrodollars being invested in their country.Peter D says: April 11th, 2006 at 6:06 pm
Here is a link to Clark's article on the Energy Bulletin:April 11th, 2006 at 9:17 pm
If their strategy was really about delaying the big oil crunch, I'd expect to see more in the way of conservation efforts. But Bush can't even get away with telling americans that our society is addicted to oil; his spin doctor had to come on and blow a bit of smoke up our collective asses to make us feel like things aren't really so bad.
I think the administration's actions are based around shortsighted protection of the modern American standard of living above all else. There's been no serious effort to get people to sacrifice any part of their affluent consumerist lifestyles. I suspect that the politicians in charge are just like most people who love civilization - techno-optimists.Mike Godesky says: April 11th, 2006 at 9:44 pm
You can't tell people that how bad the crisis is. Most people don't realize what's going on or the full consequences of it. They think that this is just another one of those rough periods that we'll manage to work our way through.
This is a plan that depends on such ignorance. It depends on people doing exactly as they've always done. Because if you tell people how bad things are, they panic. Consumers start saving all they can rather than putting their money back into the economy. Investors pull all of their money out of the energy companies. The whole thing just collapses that much faster.
Thus, Bush will do everything he can to convince the public that there is no problem at all.Rick Larson says: April 11th, 2006 at 9:46 pm
Your right, the action was about controlling Iraq's oil. And do hope the landing is slow and methodical, allowing every human on the planet the time to think this through. Of course, they are all addicted to the power of oil and most will disagree with the premise (of collapse) to begin with, which insures collapse.
There is nothing anyone discussing this on Anthropik, nor anyone in halls of power that can do anything about the fact there are too many people because of oil, and that oil, as a resource, is finite.Jase says: April 12th, 2006 at 4:39 am
Responding to Mike Godesky's title piece -
So Mike Godesky in their relevance or otherwise to your opinion piece on Bush's administration, what do you make of these pieces linked to below and of Alexandra Robbins' 2002 book "Secrets of the Tomb"?
************************************************Skull and Bones, heart of darkness in America.http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1086105944"Skull and Bones, heart of darkness in America.
Posted: June 01, 2004by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today
SAN CARLOS, Ariz. - President George W. Bush, Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry and Homeland Security counsel Ed McNally are all members of the Yale secret society Skull and Bones. So where does that leave America? San Carlos Apache elder Raleigh Thompson said the current darkness in America and the world stems from Skull and Bones, a far-reaching brotherhood of power, which defiled the remains of Geronimo...."
**********************************************Yale Bonesmen engaged in macabre business.http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1065807370"Yale Bonesmen engaged in macabre business.
Posted: October 10, 2003by: David Melmer / Indian Country Today
RAPID CITY, S.D. - A secret society at Yale University boasts of harboring skulls and bones of humans and members of that society have become some of the most powerful people in America by virtue of the network established by the society.
President George W. Bush, his father and grandfather are and were members of the Skull and Bones Society.
Recent news articles in Indian Country Today, national publications and on the national CBS television program "60 Minutes" exposed some of the inner workings of the society. Books have been written about the society and the Bonesmen, as they are called. Author Alexandra Robbins told CBS correspondent Morley Safer she was threatened and harassed for asking members to reveal information about the society. Some members did open up to her.
The secrecy of the society is what prompts journalists to pry into workings of any fraternal group or organization and Ron Rosenbaum, author and columnist for the New York Observer is obsessed with finding the chink in the code of silence.
It's because of the mistrust for anything cloaked in secrecy that America has, he said.
What is disturbing about a society that collects skulls and bones is the fact that a moral dilemma exists as to whether it is appropriate to archive someone's ancestor as an object used in initiation rituals and then remains on display in a basement tomb for all members to casually observe...."
*****************************************************Congress petitioned for return of Geronimo's remainshttp://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096412153
"Congress petitioned for return of Geronimo's remains
Posted: December 25, 2005by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today
SAN CARLOS, Ariz. - American Indians are petitioning Congress to investigate the elite Skull and Bones society at Yale University and return the remains of Chiricahua Apache warrior Geronimo to Apaches for reburial.
The online petition describes the desecration of Geronimo's grave in 1918 by members of the society, including President George W. Bush's grandfather, Sen. Prescott Bush. The men removed Geronimo's head and a prized silver bridle, which had been buried with him.
''Using acid and amid laughter, they stripped Geronimo's head of hair and flesh. They then took their 'trophies' back to Yale University and put them on display in the clubhouse of the secret fraternity 'Skull and Bones,''' states the petition.
Outraged American Indian tribal members from across the nation and indigenous people from around the world are signing the petition with plans to pressure Congress to act.
Apache leaders want Geronimo to be buried, as he requested, in tribal lands in the mountains of San Carlos.
''Geronimo left his rifle and peace pipe here when they took him away,'' Thompson said. ''When Geronimo was taken from this land, he wanted to come back and be buried on San Carlos in the Triplet Mountains.''
Skull and Bones admitted to San Carlos Apache leaders almost 20 years ago that it was in possession of a skull it called Geronimo's in its secret ''museum'' in New Haven, Conn.
Raleigh Thompson, who served as San Carlos Apache tribal councilman for 16 years, told Indian Country Today that he was among the Apache tribal leaders with whom Skull and Bones officials met in New York in a series of meetings beginning in 1986. He said the society, of which Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, are members, admitted that it held Geronimo's remains.
San Carlos Apache Chairman Ned Anderson and tribal attorney Joe Sparks were also members of the Apache delegation that met with the society in New York. Anderson and Thompson said the delegation met with Skull and Bones officials and Jonathan Bush, brother of George H.W. Bush.
Thompson said Prescott Bush was among a group of six Army soldiers who dug up Geronimo's remains at Fort Sill, Okla., in 1918. The San Carlos Apache Tribe received a copy of a logbook describing the graverobbing and a photograph of a skull on display before meeting with the board in New York.
Thompson said the society attempted to return a skull - that of a child - which the Apache delegation rejected. Skull and Bones members subsequently threatened legal action if the photograph were not returned.
Attorney Endicott Davison, representing Skull and Bones, denied that the society had Geronimo's skull. He claimed the logbook was a hoax.
Alexandra Robbins, a former staff member of The New Yorker magazine and author of ''Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League and the Hidden Paths of Power,'' told ICT that her research supports the Apache leaders' statements. Robbins believes that Geronimo's skull is in the society's tomb.
The petition for the return and reburial of Geronimo's skull states that Skull and Bones is a secret society founded at Yale in 1832. Its history is intertwined with that of the German Illuminati and the Nazi Party, according to the petition.
''They maintain a windowless building called 'The Tomb' at 64 High Street, New Haven, Connecticut. The club's assets are controlled by a front company, The Russell Trust Association Inc. Every year, 15 Yale juniors are 'tapped' for Skull & Bones membership. They are indoctrinated into the cultish society with elaborate rituals steeped in satanic theatricism and latent homosexuality.
''The goal of this fraternity is to create the ultimate network of 'good ole boys' around the world. Their alumni include Prescott Bush's son [George H.W.] and grandson [George W.] as well as heads of state and leaders of numerous intelligence agencies, trading companies, business empires and law firms,'' according to the petition...."
http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1090594169"Harjo: Dancing on graves of missing Native AmericansPosted: July 23, 2004
A bunch of white folks are dancing on the graves of missing Native Americans these days. The bodies are stashed in laboratories and other surrogate tombs, where adults experiment on them and use them in bizarre rituals...."
http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1067005491"Missing heads and red faces: Charges against secret society embarrass schoolPosted: October 24, 2003
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Macabre stories about the ultra-secret Skull and Bones senior society have always struck the vast majority of Yale University's ivy-encrusted campus as either an embarrassment or a joke. But no one is finding much humor in the latest round of reports that the windowless headquarters of this self-described elite holds the skulls of Apache leader Geronimo and Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa...."scruff says: April 12th, 2006 at 8:19 am
Mike, you're right, but it doesn't have to start with officials informing the general populace about the situation. It could have begun with fuel efficiency standards, better public transportaion, reusable product packaging laws, or any other kind of change on the supply side. That kind of thing wouldn't have sparked a panic, and although it wouldn't save civilization, it would have been the prudent thing to do for any forward-looking pols.JimFive says: April 12th, 2006 at 8:25 am
Re: Skull and Bones
You know, when I was in college all the conspiracy theories were about how ALL of the presidents have been Masons.Mike Godesky says: April 12th, 2006 at 9:30 am
Yeah, I never really put much stock into the whole Skull and Bones thing. So Bush and Kerry belonged to the same fraternity of rich white kids. Big deal.Rory says: April 12th, 2006 at 10:39 am
"So Bush and Kerry belonged to the same fraternity of rich white kids. Big deal."
Along with every president since Roosevelt II.
As a side note, why do some find the idea of a conspiracy so ludicrous? Conspiracies are a part of daily life. i'll give an example.
If you and a friend make a secret plan to get so-and-so a date with that hot lady, that is a conspiracy.
Ever thrown a suprise party? conspiracy
in the criminal justice system, conspiracy to commit X is an often used charge.
Why is it hard to imagine that powerful men make secret plans about govt policy?
seems ludicrous to me to think they DON'T do it, all the time.Mike Godesky says: April 12th, 2006 at 11:08 am
Along with every president since Roosevelt II.
Are you sure about that? It's been a while since I've looked at their list of prominent members, but that doesn't sound right to me.
Regardless, people on the same level, in the same fields, generally run in the same circles. They belong to the same clubs. They send their kids to the same schools. It's not really all that surprising.
As a side note, why do some find the idea of a conspiracy so ludicrous? Conspiracies are a part of daily life.
I don't think it's the idea of a conspiracy itself that's ludicrous as much as it is the theories that people come up with. Usually when people give their "conspiracy theories," they are theories that are completely off the wall with absolutely no evidence to back them up.
The fact that all of these powerful people once belonged to the same club does not, in itself, suggest anything sinister. There's no evidence of any vast conspiracy on their part to take over the world. From what I can tell, all this Skull and Bones society does is look real cryptic while pulling a lot of stupid, fratboy pranks. Pranks that may be in incredibly poor taste, granted, but stupid, fratboy pranks nonetheless.Rory says: April 12th, 2006 at 11:17 am
"The fact that all of these powerful people once belonged to the same club does not, in itself, suggest anything sinister. There's no evidence of any vast conspiracy on their part to take over the world."
you are right, just b/c they are in the same club doesn't mean it's sinister. i will say that if it is a given that they are assholes who do "evil" things, it would be plausible their club is "evil" too.
evidence of a conspiracy to take over the world is there, if you are willing to see it.
but, this is not a conspiracy site, or even remotely connected to CTs, so i will not burden your reading public with a laundry list of information on this subject.
Keep up the good work, Mike. I mean that. I love ya'll's site.John Michael Greer says: April 12th, 2006 at 2:46 pm
Er, you need to do some research outside the conspiracy theory literature. The only US presidents who belonged to Skull & Bones (real name: the Eulogian Society) are William H. Taft, George Bush, and George W. Bush. The Elks have done better (five presidents have been Elks), and the Masons better still, with fourteen. Of course the last Masonic president was Gerald Ford, which may not exactly be a feather in the cap of the Craft.
Conspiracy theory has become big business these days. I sometimes wonder why it is, if the world is supposedly run by secret societies who control the media and the big corporations, that people who bash secret societies get million-dollar book contracts and free airtime by the hour...and when's the last time you heard something positive about secret societies on the mass media?
The sad thing is that the old secret societies were the neotribal movement of the 18th and 19th century, and did a huge amount to make life better for ordinary people in an age when industrialism hadn't yet had a pretty face pasted on it. In 1900 more than 50% of all Americans, counting both genders and all ethnic groups, belonged to at least one secret society, and the working class had a higher percentage of membership than any other class. Bet you won't find those facts mentioned anywhere in David Icke's books...John Michael Greer says: April 12th, 2006 at 2:49 pm
More generally, the spread of conspiracy theories in the US recently is not a good sign. As a culture, we're far too quick to go hunting for scapegoats; it's a good way to try to duck out of taking responsibility for the consequences of our own actions. As we teeter further down the slope toward catabolic collapse, that's all too likely to accelerate.Rory says: April 12th, 2006 at 4:36 pm
excellent point, Mr. GreerMike Godesky says: April 12th, 2006 at 5:22 pm
Rory - Thank you for the kind words.
Greer - Good points. But just to play devil's advocate for the paranoid, you could also view the spread of conspiracy theories as a sign of society maintaining a healthy dose of skepticism. And isn't it better to err on the side of skepticism than on the side of unquestioning acceptance?Jake K says: April 12th, 2006 at 9:49 pm
Interesting ideas, makes more sense than the Dubya's a moron theory. have you considered that the primary interest in gaining control of the Iraqi oil fields by force thereby to extend Ameri