For The Love Of Oil

by Kate OíConnor © 2001

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"Before September 11, 2001, I was mostly unaware of issues in the Middle East beyond the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. After September 11, I wanted to know why people could hate us enough to murder 3 - 4000 innocent Americans. I read a lot, went online, bought books and listened to experts from many sources. I found out how I've been an unwitting participant in this story of oil, which provided many answers to my questions.

"In the 1940's, before the end of World War II, American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made a pact with the king of Saudi Arabia. This pact agreed that for cheap and easy access to Saudi Arabian oil, the United States would protect and maintain the monarchy in Saudi Arabia no matter what. The Saudi Arabian monarchy, which America still supports, functions as a dictatorship. Saudi Arabian citizens don't get to vote or have any voice in their government. There is no freedom of the press. Women in Saudi Arabia live in virtual slavery. A woman in Saudi Arabia could describe her life this way: "I must be covered from head to foot anytime I am not at home. I cannot leave my home without a male relative. If I go to school or work I must always be segregated from men. I may not drive or choose who I marry or make decisions about my life or my children's lives." The Saudi Arabian monarchy imprisons or kills its citizens who rebel or express their dissatisfaction with their social system or their government.

"Women in other Arabic countries that became more open quickly embraced freedom, education and a wide range of employment. One of these countries was Afghanistan, where thousands of women who had enjoyed these freedoms died by murder and by being denied access to health care when the brutally oppressive Taliban government came to power, with weapons and training they had been given by the United States government. Even with full knowledge of the Taliban's cruelty towards women, and knowing that the Taliban harbored terrorist Osama Bin Laden, the United States government supported pipeline negotiations between the Taliban and a United States oil company in the years between 1997 and 2000.

"I believe the world would become a safer place if the United States government would only support and allow trade with countries that allow their citizens to enjoy freedom and equality. I wish the United States would stop supporting governments that perpetuate oppression, poverty and hopelessness for these are the breeding grounds for terrorism. Here is my story about the unhealthy relationship I've had with oil.

I've been in love with a sticky viscous mass. 
It gets me where I wanna go when I pump it out as gas.
But it's causing people misery halfway round the globe, 
Because my country keeps the pipelines flowing.

For the love of oil, we've lost our world trade towers, 
For the love of oil, a half million Iraqi kids have died. 
For the love of oil, earth's temperature is rising, 
Our coastlines will drown with the growing tides.

My country's strength protects my freedom. 
We've got the best equipped army the world has ever seen.
But it still runs on flesh and blood, Americans must die, 
Because my country keeps the pipelines flowing.

For the love of oil, I could lose my son or daughter. 
For the love of oil, millions more Arab kids could die.
For the love of oil, the sun sets brown in Houston. 
The time has come to clear the smog out of my eyes.

Our money trained the madmen, our leaders gave them cash. 
They thought they could exploit them for their subterranean stash.
When rulers kill their people our leaders say itís no concern to us,
As long as we get our hands on that greasy slimy stuff.

For the love of oil, we lost 4000 people. 
For the love of oil, how many more will die?
For the love of oil, we're roasting our green planet.  
It's not worth all the tears I've had to cry.

For the ease of oil, once I was pleased with oil, 
Now I know the cost, too many lives are lost
It's not worth all the tears that have been cried. 
It's not worth all the tears that have been cried. 
"My Dear Oil, It's been fun, but you're too dangerous and dirty for me to be in love with you anymore. I'm asking my leaders to stop propping up horrible oppressive governments for you. I'm asking my leaders to hook me up with alternative energy sources so I can find a new love to take me on long trips, cook me romantic dinners and keep me warm at night. Goodbye oil, I'm making dates with a solar collector and some cute fuel cells. I'm not going to miss you at all."

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