Most thinking folk have always realized that oil is one of the main barganing chips in almost all international negotiations, especially when dealing with the Middle East. Wars have been fought over its possession and countries have gone broke because of it while others have attained great financial wealth due to it; while all the time the entire world's population has been killing themselves and its own environment by using it. But -- Oil remains today's king-maker and back-room decision-dealer.
This fact became crystal clear this week after it was acknowledged that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's decision to let Lockerbi bombing terrorist Abdel Baset al-Megrahi leave the Scottish prison system and return home to a Lybian hero's welcome from Libia's people and leader Muammar al-Qaddafi, was not based on humanitarian reasons as was first released to the press, but for some kind of special deal from Lybia pertaining to some very lucrative oil contracts.
Abdel Baset al-Megrahi is reportedly suffering from prostate cancer and wished to die in his home country of Lybia. I'm sure all 270 passengers aboard Pan Am Flight 103 were wishing the same thing about 10 seconds before it plummeted into the icy waters.
One must begin to ask the question of just what value are we as a human race willing to place on our lives, the lives of our children and all those who are yet to come? How many barrels of oil would buy 270 lives? I guess we will soon know the answer to that one once the real dollar (sterling pound) amount of those lucrative contracts is finally revealed. At least the next time I board a plane for a domestic or international flight I will have some idea what the governments of this world think my value as a human being is. That should give me great comfort when I'm cruising at 30,000 feet.