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More Blood for Oil

Posted 11/25/2009

I gleaned from your review of the The Messenger (Film, Nov. 18) that the film depicts the experiences of two soldiers who are assigned to give notice to the next of kin of soldiers lost in action in Iraq. As one who has long pondered the reasons behind the Iraq War, I came away from your review thinking it would be more appropriate if it were executives from Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, Total and their cohorts knocking on those doors. After all, Iraq was purely their war for oil.

Upon taking over the White House (if not before), the Bush/Cheney/Big Oil cabal, chafing under the knowledge that Saddam Hussein was sitting on one of the world's most valuable, untapped oil reserves, were finally in a position to take it away from him. The Sept. 11 event (semi-anticipated, as they knew a hit was coming, but not exactly what), combined with the totally manufactured- in-the-White House WMD scare became the cabal's public pretext.

Fast forward. Both The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 6) and The Baltimore Sun (Nov.5) have reported that the Iraqi oil ministry recently awarded a consortium led by Exxon Mobil the right to develop the West Qurna-1 oil field, per the WSJ, "representing the first American-led team gaining access to the country's oil patch." Never mind that "patch" cost over 4,000 U.S. servicemembers lost, 30,000 physically injured (and who knows how many psychologically injured), millions of Iraqis killed, injured, and displaced, and trillions of U.S. taxpayers' dollars, clearly the Bush/Cheney/Big Oil cabal has gotten what it was after.

Herman M. Heyn
Baltimore

P.S. There's an oil-pipeline story underlying the battle for Afghanistan.

Meet Ze Monsta

I was disappointed not to see some of my favorite bogeymen in City Paper's special Halloween masks feature ("Oooh, Scary!" Oct. 28). I missed such old-standby ghouls as The Junkie (who destroys entire neighborhoods with his strange preference for poppy derivatives over alcohol), The Dealer (who supplies The Junkie and makes a tempting target, especially since he can't advertise his wares in City Paper and other media), and The Gambler, who offends well-meaning liberals everywhere with his desire to spend his own money attempting to win more. I didn't even see The Child-Porn Fiend who haunts NASA and who, during breaks from wasting our tax money on questionable space adventures, wastes it downloading images of children doing God knows what. (And never mind that, according to local non-alternative paper The Baltimore Sun, "child porn" may migrate onto a computer without the user's knowledge. Oops!)

While I missed seeing those ever-popular phantoms in the Halloween feature, I'm not worried--I'm sure I'll be reading more about them in City Paper and elsewhere. After all, if we stopped blaming these convenient scapegoats, we might have to face the fact that society's problems are the responsibility of us all, and what could be more frightening than that?

Jon Swift
Baltimore

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