An anti-war slogan used before and during the Gulf War in the early 1990s. It was widely believed by peace protestors that America's campaign against Iraq had less to do with the latter nation's invasion of Kuwait and more to do with a desire to keep oil flowing freely to the United States (and to American oil companies). Hence, "No blood for oil": "Do not wage war on the behalf of wealthy oil companies."

The slogan saw some increased use in 2002 and 2003 as President George W. Bush (the son of the George Bush who was president during the first Gulf War) tried to build support for an invasion of Iraq. Though Bush claimed that Iraq supports terrorism, many in the peace movement continued to believe that Bush was actually hoping to give America complete control of the Iraqi oil fields.

Okay, that was the (mostly) objective part of the writeup; now for the totally subjective opinion. I really, really don't like hearing protestors chant the "No blood for oil" thing in 2003, because I think it's a completely ineffective and factually incorrect slogan. See, if America wanted tons of Iraqi oil, they could bribe Saddam Hussein a certain amount of money and promise to leave him alone, and he'd be more than happy to let some American oil companies take over most of the oil fields. Hey, what's the guy want? Money and the right to torture his people as much as he wants. You think he gives a flying fuck about who's running the oil derricks? And you think the Bush administration cares beans about what happens to the Iraqi people? Dude, it's not like they're white, is it? So, no, as long as it would be cheaper to pay off Saddam than wage a Middle Eastern war, oil is not the motive. Not that I'm expecting the peace protestors to catch on; as far as I'm concerned, the only thing dumber than a peace protestor is a sports reporter.

Personally, I'd prefer that the protestors chanted "No blood for politics," because I think the drumbeating for war is more a political strategy than anything else -- popular wars (and be assured that militarily-strong USA vs. militarily-puny Iraq would be plenty popular) are always good for the party in power. And if the protestors wanted to get really insulting, they could go with "No blood for Daddy" to imply that the war was about avenging George Sr.'s honor.

Personal anecdote: I was in college during the first Gulf War. I didn't like the idea of the war, but I didn't go to any of the protests -- too many Baby Boomers reliving their glory days. But the kid who lived next door to me in the dorm was a big hawk and even worse, reminded me too much of myself in high school. So I made a point of muttering "No blood for oil" every time I passed him in the hallway. He didn't seem to care -- wrong slogan, I guess. They say it's important to "know your enemy," so after noting a few of his more prudish tendencies, I switched to a new slogan: "Make love, not war."

Never had anyone glare at me with such a perfect combination of fury and offended horror in all my life.

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