War is Too High a Price for Oil

War is Too High a Price for Oil

The broad United for Peace & Justice Coalition is calling for demonstrations on Febr. 4 that focus on the macro-enviromental impact of the war.

On that day, UfPJ is calling for demonstrations at gas stations all over America, urguing energy conservation and use of renewable energy rather than going to war for oil. I hope COEJL and its affiliates will take part in this effort, which expresses the most urgent and important part of our Torah of the Earth.

When I say this war will have "macro-environmental" effects, I don't mean just the danger of burning oil fields, depleted uranium bombs all over Iraq, etc etc. These are bad enough.

But this war is worse. You might say that in reality — not in rhetoric, of course — the Bush Administration is itching to start this war PRECISELY IN ORDER TO CREATE ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE FAR BEYOND THE WAR SCENE.

That is because the Bush Administration's reckless desire to plunge this country into this war clearly has a lot to do with the control of oil. And that means continuing and expanding the Oiloholic Economy that is now poisoning the earth, worse than any other single factor in the Global Scorching process.

We are facing an Oiloholic Administration that is ready to spill who knows how much blood to control and sell the lethal drug of oil and gasoline. They are like drug pushers who make you buy — or else. Or else the gun. The bazooka. The bomb.

Below is what United for Peace & Justice is urging.

Shalom, Arthur

Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director
The Shalom Center (www.theshalomcenter.org)

The Price of Oil is Too High--International Day of Action Tuesday, February 4th

Protest for peace at your local gas station. No war on Iraq!

ORGANIZE a demonstration for peace at your local gas station, on February 4th. On that day, hundreds of gas stations across the country and around the world will be targeted as we send a clear message that control over oil is not worth war.

Leafleting, vigils, street theater, and other forms of nonviolent educational direct action are all encouraged. Our intent is to communicate that clean energy alternatives to oil exist, and that they can increase our security and give us true energy independence (educational materials for distribution will be available at www.TargetOil.com).

We urge you to target BIG OIL companies such as ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, BP (Amoco and Arco), and Shell.

To organize a demonstration in your area, visit www.TargetOil.com to check for demonstrations in your area and register your rally. Also download key information regarding oil & war there and via links to the sponsoring organizations.


No conflict can ever be understood by looking at just one factor — factors other than oil (e.g. supposed links to terrorism and possible weapons of mass destruction) clearly contribute to the rationale for war — but the dominant economic interest in the region and Iraq has been, is, and will continue to be oil.

The peace movement's rallying cry of "No blood for oil" has resonance and power because it holds more than a grain of truth when talking about any proposed military action in Iraq. Is the Bush administration's push for war with Iraq motivated by its desire to gain control of Iraq's oil fields? As an oil industry consultant put it recently when asked if oil was part of the equation: "Of course it is. No doubt."


...Oil is unquestionably the vital interest of the United States, Europe, and Japan in the Persian Gulf. Two-thirds of the world's proven oil supplies are in the Persian Gulf. In a recent statement to Congress, General Anthony Zinni testified that the US "must have free access to the region's resources". As long as we are dependent on oil, we are dependent on this region.

..."[Going to war with Iraq] is clearly a decision that is motivated by George W. Bush's desire to please the arms and oil industries in the United States of America." — Nelson Mandela, September, 2002

— " US oil companies will almost certainly benefit from a regime change in Iraq," — Ahmed Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress (the most prominent opposition group). Chalabi also favors the creation of a consortium of US oil companies to develop Iraq's oil.

Iraq holds the world's second largest reserves of oil. Eleven percent of the world's known oil reserves are in Iraq. The US Energy Information Administration estimates Iraq's possible reserves at 220 billion barrels, or approximately 80% of current proven Saudi reserves. If sanctions were removed and new technology was brought in, Iraq would quickly be in a position to dramatically increase production. Having access to this oil would help insulate the US from any disruptions in supply from Saudi Arabia and/or Venezuela, something that the Bush/Cheney administration is very worried about.

Through clean energy sources like wind and solar power, and transportation options such as increasing fuel economy standards, gasoline-electric hybrids, biodiesel, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increase our security. We can have energy independence while preventing climate change and pollution in our air, creating new jobs, and helping the economy.



"If you are trying to talk about Iraq and if you were not encumbered by the fear that your actions would be linked to Exxon Mobil or the oil industry," said one Bush adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity, "you'd be talking about oil issues."- NY Times, November 26, 2002

For more information, or to register your rally by phone, contact:
Jason Kafoury, Democracy Rising, 202-387-8030
Jen Carr, Peace Action, 202-862-9740
Maria Ramos, Greenpeace, 202-319-2467
Steve Kretzmann, SEEN / IPS, 202-234-9382

To find out why we are targeting gas stations, go to:

Endorsing organizations: Amazon Watch, Citizen Works, Code Pink, Democracy Rising, Global Exchange, Greenpeace, Peace Action, Power Shift, Project Underground, Sierra Student Coalition, Sustainable Energy & Economy Network, Global Response, — visit www.TargetOil.com to have your organization endorse this day of action