Over the past few months, the Bushies have been telling us nonstop how much of a threat Saddam Hussein is to the United States.
Hussein must be overthrown, they say, because he is hoarding weapons of mass destruction and also because of gross violations of human rights against the Iraqi people.
Why, then, is the United States not planning a bombing campaign against Indonesia?
Saudi Arabia remains on our list of close allies.
Pakistan, led by a military dictator who actually has nuclear weapons and the technology to use them, has been our buddy since they started cooperating in our never-ending crusade against terrorism.
In August, the U.S. Department of State recommended that a lawsuit brought by the International Labor Rights Fund on behalf of 11 Indonesian villagers against Exxon-Mobil be dismissed on the grounds that it would hurt U.S. interests in Indonesia.
The villagers accused Exxon of standing idly by as the Indonesian army, which Exxon-Mobil pays to guard its oil refining operations in the country, went on a rape, torture and murder spree in Aceh province, where the refinery is located.
The State Department asked that the suit be dropped because it would hurt Bush’s war on terror, as well as frighten U.S. investment away from Indonesia.
The department’s legal advisor, William H. Taft IV, said that if Exxon-Mobil were forced out of Indonesia, Chinese oil companies would take over Indonesian oil production.
This is not the only case where the United States allows human rights violations as long as American energy companies are turning a profit at the cost of human blood and dignity.
During the Clinton administration, the United States had been conducting negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan to build a natural gas pipeline across the country.
A company called UNOCAL (formerly Union Oil Company of California) was the company tagged to build the pipeline.
Negotiations broke off in 1998 only after Clinton ordered the bombing of terrorist camps in the country after a pair of bombings against U.S. embassies in Africa.
Fast forward to 2002: Now that Afghanistan has been “liberated,” one of the first things that they had the liberty to do was resume negotiations on an Afghan gas pipeline.
Hamid Karzai, the interim Afghan Prime Minister, was a paid UNOCAL consultant in 1996 and 1997 under the Taliban regime, when the United States was conducting its pipeline negotiations with the Taliban.
Not only is Afghanistan’s leader a former UNOCAL employee, but so is Bush’s special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalizad.
On May 30, an agreement was reached between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, where much of the natural gas is located, and Pakistan, the destination for the gas, to build such a pipeline.
Karazai’s oil minister named UNOCAL as the best candidate for construction of the pipeline.
The United States is practicing a foreign policy of hypocrisy.
The only reason Bush wants to go after Hussein is that he is not a malleable puppet who will give us a steady supply of cheap oil.
The American people should think long and hard before supporting a war that will benefit some of Bush’s best friends in the oil industry.
Brian White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org