Tuesday, March 08, 2011

War and oil

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Peninsula readers' letters: March 8

From Daily News Group readers
Posted: 03/07/2011 06:13:22 PM PST
Updated: 03/08/2011 12:01:44 AM PST

War and oil

Dear Editor: James Madison's often quoted dictum, "No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare," reflected a view that was widely shared by the founders. That concept was a basis for our Constitution's provision that only Congress can declare war. Yet, today, America's presidents start wars as if they were kings in old Europe. (Those wars, it should be noted, were a major reason our forefathers risked all to leave Europe.)

The United States produces 9 percent of the world's total oil. In 2009, the U.S. imported about 52 percent of the crude oil and refined the petroleum products that it used. In other words, America could have saved that much oil simply by being more conservative in its consumption rather than having to go to war to try to get it back. But it would rather go to war and lose tens of thousands of lives and all the billions of dollars a war will cost, and God only knows what else.

We take a stand for the principle in Thomas Jefferson's first inaugural address: "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." Imagine how much this war is costing. If they would double the price of gasoline for years and years, that still will only be a minute drop in the bucket to what this war is costing.

Ted Rudow III, MA

Palo Alto

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