Are we going to war for oil, or not?

Regarding the Jan. 23 opinion piece "Being antiwar isn't about the oil": Brendan O'Neill has painted a picture of antiwar protesters lazily duped into a simplistic reasoning for Bush's rush to war. Mr. O'Neill should first check out the figures on worldwide oil depletion, which show that the globe's supply of oil has peaked. This means that the global economy, which is inextricably tied to cheap oil, has also peaked and is in the first stages of a period of irreversible shrinkage. This is the underlying determination for the addictive insistence on war. The world consumes more than 70 million barrels of oil daily with nearly 20 million going to US consumption. Only a few countries in the Middle East have the capacity to substantially influence this thirst. This, not greed, is the reason why war looms in the region. The oil cartel fully realizes this far deeper economic reality.

Does O'Neill think that we would have ignored North Korea if they were sitting on the second-largest oil reserve in the world? Once one sees the issue from the perspective of oil depletion, the horrific dance of violence, lies, and ignoring national sovereignty makes very real, very grim sense.
David Bacon Santa Fe, N.M.

Regarding "What kind of antiwar movement is this?" (Opinion, Dec 13.): Brendan O'Neill misses the point of the antiwar movement. Going to marches is the least of what we do. I call the White House every day with a different reason against the war. In St. Louis, we distribute yard signs saying: "Instead of war ... invest in people." We publish the cost of a war in Iraq compared with the cost of what US priorities should be. We rally in churches and on campuses. We know why we are against this war. It has nothing to do with clearing our consciences.
Yvonne Logan
St. Louis

If the US must go it alone, so be it

In response to your Jan. 23 editorial: "Lonely saber rattling": Saber rattling and the eventual use of force in Iraq will set a tremendous example to the rest of the world, including terrorists, that the US is serious about its war on terrorism and liberating people from oppressive governments. The US should lead by example and ignore weak-minded countries like France and Germany. Their weakness strengthens terrorism and provides cover for all others not interested in fighting this war. US support appears to be coming from Eastern European countries that are grateful to the US. If we have to go it alone, so be it. In the end, the world will be a better place. President Bush understands this and has the ethics to execute his plan.
Patrick DeSimone
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Cut wasteful laws before raising taxes

Your Jan. 10 article "State hikes may offset Bush plan" indicates that states from California to Kentucky may be forced to slash budgets and raise taxes.

Another option: Get rid of ridiculous laws that force government to overpay and waste lots of taxpayer dollars. For example, the budget crisis in New York state should cause state officials to consider abolishing the cumbersome and wasteful Wicks Law, which forces localities and school districts to use multiple contractors. The result is that the cost of constructing a government building in New York State can be 30 percent more expensive than the cost of constructing the same building for the private sector.

The town of Greenburgh, N.Y., may be forced to overspend $3 million on an expanded library and new town hall as a result of the Wicks Law. Maybe the new fiscal crisis will force the state's elected officials to get some common sense.
Paul Feiner
Greenburgh, N.Y.

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