What if the Occupier Were to Come to this Land

What if it were you. What if, for example, a foreign country X decided that it was in its best interests to invade YOUR country. Let's use water as an example here. What if Country X was worried about running out of water. It's people were in danger, in the not so distant future, of not having sufficient water to live normally.

So Country X started to think about how important it is economically that mostly everyone have enough water to function normally. So they start to buy water from foreign countries. At first a little, then some more, then a lot. This goes on for some time, and most people are mostly happy. Country X starts to build a big military so that it can protect its water interests in the future, because it looks like there might not be enough for everyone in the world to have enough. And they want to make sure that they have access to enough for themselves.

At some point, Country X runs into some major water problems. There is fast approaching a point where there is just not enough supply to meet growing demands... And yuck, they even managed to contaminate large amounts of their own native supplies. Whoops. But damn, wasn't building that military a good idea. Because you know what, Country X is now able to go into other countries and take water without asking. In fact, this idea of using military conquest for resource control even has the potential to be lucrative for those who know how to work it.

What if this were to happen? What if it were to happen to you? What if you found soldiers from Country X in your city, hooking up hoses to your artesian well and shipping it back, perhaps even across an ocean to another continent. Hooking up to the water that you have always depended on for your quality of life in order to supply its own people with enough water so that they can function normally? Don't worry they say - they will start to pay you for the water once they hold elections and establish a new government.

This is what is happening in Iraq. The US is piping oil from Iraq to ships that then bring it to the USA.

I like the old adage that you get what you give.

I want the USA to be aware of how it wages wars for control over resources. Because it might come back to haunt "us" someday. Maybe there is a Country X somewhere out there, polluting its own water resources, watching its supplies struggle to keep up with demands in the face of a growing, and thirsty, population - and anticipating a time when it may be necessary to occupy other countries in order to ensure its own access to sufficient water supplies. Water, oil, air, land. Isn't it time that we figure out ways to use and share the resources of this planet responsibly so that aggressive wars of control over resources are not necessary in the first place?

There are other options besides fueling an addiction to easy petroleum. We need to explore those alternatives if we care about human rights and human dignity. There will be other options, in the future, besides waging wars over who gets access to the world's great water supplies. We can enable those options by speaking out against the great crime of our day - the aggressive crusade for control over oil in Iraq.

Water, unlike petroleum, is absolutely necessary to life on Earth. We need to learn how (if we care about the well-being of future generations) to share and use the Earth's resources responsibly before major wars over water erupt. Because it might just be us who wake up to occupiers in our own backyard.


  1. Since you use water in your parable, let's talk about water here at home. Southern CA uses water from northern CA and their population out runs the no cal so they call the shots---all democratically, by the way.
    Or, how about the siphoning of the Colorado River into the Los Angeles basin?
    Or, remember Garrison Keillor's riff about a water pipe line from the Great Lakes to Texas? Who needs all that water up north when there is such a need elsewhere? Isn't "sharing" okay?
    And, let's see what the consequences of the drought in Atlanta, GA, will be? Any guesses?
    And, have you looked at who's got the water sources in Israel/Palestine?

  2. This story is crossposted at OlyBlog, and there is continued discussion taking place there: continued discussion at olyblog.net.


Aldo Leopold: "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

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