Our own Hanoi Jane

I find it frustrating and discouraging to pick up the paper each day and read the misinformation and distortions about the oil business which spews forth from the misinformed liberal left – most recently from Ms. Sue Gray – Carbondale’s very own Hanoi Jane.

I have no problem with Ms. Gray and her group questioning the policies of our government – in fact I applaud them in their efforts. I, too, do not wish our country to be involved in a senseless and meaningless war in which innocent people on both sides will suffer.

I wish the Iraqi people no harm, however the world cannot stand idly by and allow their leader, a murderer in the class of Hitler or Stalin, to develop weapons of mass destruction for use against innocents within his own country and abroad. If it is proven that he possesses such weapons and will not relinquish them, then he must be stopped. I fear, given his megalomaniac personality, an invasion of Iraq will be the only option.

Back, however, to Ms. Gray’s fixation on Big Oil. Firstly Ms. Gray, do you know that four of the seven largest oil companies in the world are European? So which Big Oil do you suppose our administration wishes to help – Dutch Oil, French Oil, English Oil, Russian Oil or American Oil?

Secondly, you obviously know nothing about the business or you couldn’t possible connect a war in Iraq with “helping those in the administration with connections to Big Oil” – I would be fascinated to hear your “logic” on that one.

The only plausible avenue I can come up with is to have your new best friend, Saddam, blow up his oilfields and those of any of his neighbors, which he could attack (remember Kuwait in 1991). This would cause a temporary disruption in world supply, which would cause a temporary price increase but that’s about it.

Do you think for one minute that America could just start loading up tankers with Iraqi oil and shipping it home – i.e. to the victors go the spoils? Get real. You are also probably unaware that the Iraqis have in place long-term contracts with the Russians and the French to develop Iraqi oil fields. Maybe we could just take out Russia and France since we will have an army in the area.

Thirdly Ms. Gray, have you ever heard of the 1907 Hague Convention titled “Regulations Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land” to which the United States are signatories? How about the 1956 U.S. Department of Army, directive titled “The Law of Land Warfare” which incorporates the Hague regulations and other treaties?

Maybe you aren’t aware of the Japanese use of the Dutch East Indies oilfields to fuel their military campaign in WWII and which was ruled illegal under International Law. Maybe you don’t recall the U.S. State Department reaction to Israel’s use of Sinai oil in 1967, “An occupant’s rights do not include the right to develop a new oilfield.”

In fact, Ms. Gray, only last week, Colin Powell addressed the possibility of the U.S. occupying Iraq by saying that the U.S. would hold the Iraqi oil sector “in trust” for the Iraqi people, and that “whatever we do, will be consistent with International Law with respect to the responsibilities of an occupying power.”

This sounds better to me than Saddam stealing the oil revenue, building another half dozen palaces and funding his mass destruction program.

Ms. Gray, I applaud your support of peace but don’t blame war on oil – that’s just not the issue. The issue is how far do we let Saddam go in his bloodthirsty quest for power. To quote a recent commentator on the subject, “Do you arrest the drunk driver when he leaves the bar or do you wait until he kills someone on the way home?”

Finally in your last letter you berated the local populace to “do their homework – read about what’s happening” so I did little research of my own. One definition of the word traitor is “one who aids or cooperates with the enemy.” By traipsing around Iraq, you played right into Saddam’s strong suit, which is propaganda. You have been used, Ms. Gray! By your action I believe you bring disgrace to our community and our country.

By the way, since I doubt that you and your pals walked, swam, rode a horse or cycled to Iraq I can only presume that you rode on an airplane. Tell me, Ms. Gray, was it fueled by jet fuel (read big oil) or was it one of those amazing new models that burns reformulated spotted owl shit?

Bill Myers