"The Thirty-Year Itch" (March/ April) does a good job of distinguishing between oil for fuel (oil as profits for American oil companies) versus oil for power (oil as a way for the United States to control Europe and China). Clearly, Iraq is about oil as power. But author Robert Dreyfuss could have done more to draw out the role of the oil companies in planning an occupation of the Middle East. Focusing so much on the Bush administration and the Republicans could lead us into the arms of Democratic "moderates" who are just as interested in long-term occupation of the Middle East for oil (as power), but want to delay until they can convince the American people and foreign powers to support it.
MICHAEL LYON San Francisco, California
Control the world's oil supply, Dreyfuss suggests, and you control the world. Well, why not, if we can do it easily? It's a mighty hard prospect to resist. If we don't, others will, and the longer we wait, the harder it will get. It might be time for some good old manifest destiny. We could bring developing countries a lot more resources than they have now, and they can give us new markets to develop.
KEVIN MCELROY Waterbury, Connecticut
I wish to commend you on an extremely well-researched investigation of U.S. global expansion. My only criticism is that you failed to mention the strategic importance of the Caspian region, which may contain up to 200 billion barrels of oil reserves. Some of those reserves are slated to flow through the Baku pipeline to refineries in Turkey. Basing U.S. forces in Turkey would therefore have served a dual role: providing a front line in the invasion of Iraq, and guarding the flow of oil against disruptions caused by those opposed to the devastation of the Caspian ecosystem.
ROBERT OVETZ Sausalito, California
Your article is dead-on. The effect of a war in Iraq will be to subsidize the price of oil at the pump through military expenditures, causing us to bum up the world's reserves at an artificially rapid pace. Allowing the oilproducing states to charge a fair price for their product, and perhaps even imposing an additional tax, might give us time to adjust to the looming environmental catastrophe. Instead, we are intent on stealing resources that belong to others and handing them over to suv owners.
WILLIAM ROOD Rochester, Minnesota
Your article about the war with Iraq is extremely comprehensive and factual. …