Elias presents ... a worm!    Thoughts on family, philosophy,
and technology


Monday, October 18, 2004

Iraqi oil

Here's some comments I made in another blog about the question of who should get rights to the Iraqi oil. The idea floated in the blog was that the oil wealth should be divided among the Iraqis. I'm repeating my comments here so that they don't get lost, and let me admit it, I like to read my own stuff, especially when true.

That oil rightfully belongs primarily to the US. Western technology developed it, and Western wealth and blood has retrieved it from decades of looting.

Being born near it does not constitute a property right. See Locke.

Concessions to those who fantasize that civilization's self-assertion is immoral will not make the world a better place.


Actually there's lots of foreign investment into "our" resources. That the resources are "ours" doesn't mean they're the property of Americans, just that American laws govern them. Correct me if I'm wrong, but a Japanese-owned company can purchase logging rights to a stand in Oregon.

The same should be true of Iraqi oil. Now that it has been transformed from booty into property, the ownership of those who turned it into property should be acknowledged.

What the heck does Iraqi oil have to do with the random Iraqi citizen? About as much as Alaskan oil has to do with me.


I guess you are saying our motives will be questioned less if we take nothing out of Iraq. That's true. But I think it is for others to question our motives until the end of time, no matter how enormous our sacrifice, and it is for us to know and validate our actual purpose.

If our leaders really were to start taking us on military adventures for booty, we'd need to vote them out. Besides our own conviction, there is no god to judge us, and global opinion is a poor substitute.


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