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not all is equal. what choice will you make?
10

A world at the mercy of Iran’s conflict oil

Ethical Oil December 30, 2011

Not everyone cares about the conflict footprint that comes with oil from Iran’s loathsome regime. Plenty of countries are content to patronize a government that not only brutally tramples basic human rights, degrades women and persecutes gays, but also uses the currency it collects from oil sales to build nuclear weapons so it can threaten and potentially attack its neighbors. When France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, recently floated the idea of slapping an embargo on Iranian oil to pressure the mullahs to stop their dangerous and illegal nuclear arms race, he won support from Britain, but the rest of the European Union wasn’t hot on the idea. They’re just fine punishing ethical Canadian oil, but not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s.

But supporting conflict oil doesn’t just mean promoting terror and persecution and murder and war — though it certainly does mean all those things. It also means promoting instability and risk. That’s what the Europeans, and other importers of Iranian oil, are discovering right now. That’s because the Iranian autocrats have declared that if the world continues to bring pressure to bear on them over their illegal nuclear program, they’ll choke off world oil supplies by closing off the Strait of Hormuz.

In short, that could be disastrous to a world economy that’s already perilously fragile. The Strait of Hormuz is the main channel through which Middle Eastern tankers transport oil for export from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq. In addition, about 15.5 million barrels — or a third of all ocean-transported oil and liquefied gas worldwide — moves through the six kilometer wide Strait. Even for those countries, like the U.S. and Canada, who aren’t clients of the shariah oil state, the spike in oil prices that would be caused by such a major disruption of supply could be devastating.

This is what a world at the mercy of conflict oil looks like. It’s a hostage situation. We either directly support the horrendous rule of the worst dictators on earth and, if we don’t, they can cause the entire world great economic pain and, potentially, even spark warfare. As the National Post reports, Iran’s decision could very well “trigger military conflict with economies dependent on Gulf oil.”

Canadian oil isn’t just ethical because it comes from a nation that stands for the highest standards of human rights, gender equality, minority protection, environmental conservation, democracy, accountability and peace. It’s ethical because we don’t use oil as a weapon. Canada wants nothing more than a secure, stable oil supply — the same thing oil importing countries desperately want, too.

Countries that shrug off the vast ethical difference between Canadian oil and conflict oil from countries like Iran can typically afford to do so because it doesn’t usually affect them directly. Most of the time the difference is psychological: it’s about values and the fate of persecuted people in foreign lands. Once in awhile the cost of choosing conflict oil becomes very palpable and very direct. 9/11 was one of those times, when Saudi oil money was linked to Al-Qaeda. If the world economy ends up ruined by a belligerent Iranian regime bent on nuclear domination, we’ll all be paying dearly for the decision of some countries to support Iran’s conflict oil, too.

Comments (10)

  1. Mr. Harper has all the power in Canada. He must be on the side of Canadians. It is obvious that we need to continue develop the oil sands. It is also obvious that we need to sell our oil and gas to the emerging markets in SE Asia.

    So my question is: Why is there a problem with these loons of the left who are funded by foreigners? Why not just shut them down and out and order up the pipeline. There is NO REASON to take those anti oil sands groups seriously. They are mostly old hippie foot soldiers with diminished brain power and energy.

    Mr. Harper … do something and do it now! Your job is to work in the best interest of Canadians and it is in our best interest to have the oil sands continue.

  2. When will “Ethical Oil” stop sabotaging Canada’s environment with its foreign fricking fracking?

  3. 1) Close the straight of Hormuz… what a load of horse pucky… they can’t and won’t even try… it would be an open invitation to being bombed into the stone age by the UN security council… not going to happen…

    2) “Canadian oil isn’t just ethical because it comes from a nation that stands for the highest standards of human rights, gender equality, minority protection, environmental conservation, democracy, accountability and peace. It’s ethical because we don’t use oil as a weapon.” again what a load of horse pucky…

    ah yes standing up for “human rights etc…” reminds me….

    Canada sold 525 Piranha APC’s to Saudi Arabia between 1990 and 2011… Helping the Saudi’s to put down civil unrest… damned ethical of us don’t you think!

    http://armstrade.sipri.org/arm

    stop this utter crap about us being an ethical source for oil… standing on our moral high perch while we throw stones… all the while we quietly sell weapons to many of these OPEC nations you claim to revile… expose our truly ethical position…

    • It’s not about guns but oil. Ethical Oil. If you want it to be about guns then you have to think of the countries currently involved unrest. Mostly in the Mid-East where years of brutal Dictatorships, regimes that killed stoned and tortured at will and are still doing so, Syria for instance, -that’s ethical isn’t it?-were/are supported by their oil exports. We now have the opportunity to make a choice for what we believe in. Namely freedom and rights and everything that goes along with them.We can choose to continue supporting these dictatorships and continue repressing and killing and stoning people at whim by buying their oil or we can buy and export Ethical Oil. Your choice. As for the 525 APC’s Canada sold Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia didn’t have to use them. That was their choice. That’s like me selling you a car then you decide to kill someone with it and blame me for it . Wrong.

      • WTF55…

        I do agree with a lot of your statement about supporting those regimes hell… even tolerating them… I’d be the first person to suggest forceful regime change with weapons in many of those cases… however, that isn’t the way the ball bounces in international politics…

        I disagree whole heartedly with your point of view on the APC’s… we are selling weapons to a regime who we know has brutal policies when dealing with their people… yet… we sell them the tools to use against their people… let me put it this way… your neighbor is a violent guy… he regularily beats his wife and children, often near to death… he’s a paranoid kind of guy though so you say hey… I’ve got a great way to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling buy this here gun… he subsequently uses it on his wife and kid and kills them… who’s the idiot for selling him the gun???

  4. hmmm… I guess I have to give the government some credit here… the last shipment of military class equipment to Iran was in 1991… hmmm… but wait… so they must have been good guys from 1979 when they replaced the Shaw to 1991… right we sold them controlled equipment… must have been good guys back then??? hhmmm… I wonder… our Minister of Defense the coast guard heli hitch hiking, 5 star hotel on tax payer dime mans man about town… Mr.Mackay himself married Nazanin Afshin-Jam who has spent her life talking about how good this government was/is… I guess she must have seen something different than our government did back then???

  5. I guess I better be clear here… this is sarcasm… Nazanin Afshin-Jam who has spent her life talking about how good this government was/is…(insert a NOT!!!! here) I guess she must have seen something different than our government did back then???

  6. By continuing to support the oil industry, and through projects such as the tarsands, these groups, regimes and dictatorships will continue terrorizing the world; wait for the economic terror generated against the majority of people around the planet, without the means to afford hydrocarbon based fuel, that can only get more expensive and out of reach, then tell me who the terrorists are.

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