Just waiting for my main machine to get free'd up… I've been rendering video all morning and making menus and such — I've managed to squeeze four hours (all three PONTA movies) onto a single DVD-R and it actually looks surprisingly good.
Anyway, as most people probably know, Germany and France are most loudly protesting the war on Iraq. Yesterday the statement was made in the forum that the reason this is the case is because those two nations get the majority of their oil supply from Iraq's “Oil for Food” program, and thereby “profit” from continued sanctions… Now, that's a pretty hateful assertion to make, but, given the corrupt actions of other governments, I'd taken it at face value.
This morning I had some time to kill so I thought I'd check the assertion.
Germany consumes about a billion barrels of oil per year, and France consumes about 750 million. It should be noted though that Germany's oil consumption is dropping rapidly as it switches over to veggie oil and similar products*. In addition, it's important to note that both France and Germany have continually called for the lifting of sanctions against Iraq (which would of course end the oil-for-food program they're said to be profitting from).
In any case, between 1996 and 2003, a total of 2.2 billion barrels of oil have been exported, an average of about 360 million barrels a year. Assuming for a moment that ALL of that oil was going to France and Germany (which isn't even remotely true), it would still only meet twenty percent of their oil needs (far from a majority, even if we use an absurdly biased foundation). According to the US Dept of State, they are the single largest purchaser of Iraqi oil, having purchased 100 million barrels in the first half of 2002 alone. Keep in mind also that much of the oil is purchased by other Middle Eastern nations who then resell it to the US at a markup.
So please! Come on! If you're going to post counter arguments, please don't just make them up, and don't assume that if you post a smear argument that someone isn't going to call your bluff.
* As a point of trivia, Germany is not an oil producing nation. It encourages people converting their cars to run on veggie oil. Britain on the other hand is an oil producing nation, and prosecutes citizens that make this same conversion. The US offers tax credits to consumers that buy gas-guzzling SUVs, etc.