Political ethics and ethical oil

Tar sand is an environmental disaster. How can this be ethical?! (Photo by TastyCakes - Source Wikipedia)

The invasion of Iraq was viewed by many Muslims as war on Islam. Many people, both in the Muslim world and in the west think of it now as a war for oil. The “official” justification for it, however, changed through three phases.

At the beginning the rhetoric was that “terrorism is the enemy, and Iraq is connected to Al-Qaida, so the US needs to go there and do some damage.” A claim only few dared to challenge in the condensed illusions at that time.

Then when no connection was found between Al-Qaida and Saddam’s regime, the Bush administration came out with a new justification – preventing a dictatorship from owning weapons of mass destruction. And those who opposed that were ridiculed and accused of ignorance and naivety by standing against the American efforts to prevent a dictator from potentially launching attacks on the America.

Eventually, when no one was able to find those WMD, politicians didn’t just come out and say: “yeah, you know what? We just went there for oil, deal with it.” No, instead, they came out with yet another noble cause: “Spreading democracy!” – How convenient!

As it turns out, politician’s biggest game is not in their actions, but rather in how these actions are called. Politics, in a nutshell, is calling bad actions good names, and then accusing whoever opposes this action of attacking the good thing that this name represents.

War for oil for example is called war on terror. War on public liberties is called “Patriot Act”! War on the poor is called free market… etcetera. One could argue that many of the world’s problems are caused by people’s inability to really understand that.

The reason why people continue to lose for politicians is that they play their game according to their own rules. The argument with politicians should never be carried out while using the same names for whatever they want to do, because if you do use their own name for it, you have already lost the debate. The argument should instead focus on the legitimacy of the definition itself, and insist on tagging that action with the accurate name that describes its true nature.

A closer example is the ‘ethical oil’ dispute that sparked between the conservatives and the Saudis. In some devious way, the Tories want to link this tar sand to a ‘war’ with a “dictatorship that wants to dictate to Canadians what they can say or do”, or “to a war to liberate the free west from their dependence on the oil from the violent Middle Eastern monarchies”, or something else down that line. In some way, attacking the monstrosity of the tar sand project, is beginning to be associated with attacking Canadian ‘ethics’, freedom of speech, and human rights!

The idea seems to be viewing the tar sands as ethical oil only in comparison with whatever Saudis do to their women, instead of what this tar sand is doing to Canadian environment and natural life!

I am not exactly defending Saudis here, they, like any third world country, have many issues to work on. But Canada, as a democracy, and a country of the first world, should know better not to ruin its own environment. These are incomparable things. Crimes against human rights do not justify crimes against the environment.

This whole “ethical oil” noise with the Saudis is just an attempt to invest in a boogeyman called Islamophobia to distract people by human rights violations in a third world country from environmental disaster here at home. It was done before by other politicians, and it will continue to be done here at home. And this action, by itself, is unethical. Viewing human rights issues in other countries just in terms of how this serves their own interest has been the mantra of politicians in the west for a very long time. Otherwise, why didn’t the conservatives speak out against these human right issues before they needed them to portray their tar sand as “ethical” oil?!

Those who do not see this are either extremely deluded, or are choosing not to see it, because they are extremely deluded by other lies.

Politicians will always try to seize any chance to invest in any division we allow them to use, and in any fear we sign in for, and any ignorance or misconception that we have about each other to push their agenda. They will never stop doing this, and come out one day, and start calling things their own names.

These lethal manipulations will continue to happen, and continue to affect global harmony until moderate people send a strong message to let these politicians know that these tricks will no longer work. Until that happens, we will continue to live in a world where nations deal with each other according to the “ethics” of politicians.

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