From the Archives: Plaza of the Martyrs to Petrodollar Profits

2010 October 22
by Ando Arike

[Editor’s note: As oil-fueled global capitalism spins inexorably towards a reckoning with the planet’s finite resources, it seemed fitting to republish the following “modest proposal,” first appearing in our 2002 “Cultural Collapse” issue. We need to continually remind ourselves that behind the smoke and mirrors of the War on Terror is the crucial fact that much of the world’s remaining oil and natural gas lies in the Middle East and Central Asia. ]

A Modest Proposal for the 9/11 Memorial

Architect's rendering of the Plaza of the Martyrs to Petrodollar Profits--a memorial to those innocents who died for U.S. oil imperialism

In the understandable rush to memorialize those who perished in last September’s attack on the World Trade Center, architects and designers have generally minimized the larger geopolitical issue looming behind the catastrophe – the continuous conflict over oil which has engulfed the Mideast for the past half-century and longer. Last year, as he launched the “War on Terrorism,” the Texas oilman turned U.S. President gave the world this ultimatum: “Either you’re with us, or you’re with the terrorists.” Isn’t it time to look beyond such simple-minded formulas towards the bigger picture?
With 5% of the world’s population, the U.S. consumes 26% of its yearly production of oil, 2/3 of which is burned in transportation. How much longer can we afford to ignore the human costs and ecological consequences of the American addiction to oil? How much longer can we afford to go to war over petrodollar profits?

[Nine years after 9/11 and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan, and seven years after the invasion of Iraq, the Obama administration seems hellbent on loosing yet more bloodshed and misery upon the world with its murderous attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, and Iran–attacks that seem increasingly likely to produce 9/11-type blowback. Will Americans finally learn to identify the real enemy–i.e. our dependence on other people’s energy resources–before we drag the world into another apocalyptic orgy of violence?–Editor.]

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.