Right in Two

February 21, 2008
There is an old saying that claims money is the root of all evil, but even older than that is a bloody trail tainting the pages of history, exposing that fundamentally human trait that, instead, of money plays a role as the nexus of wickedness that seems, since the dawn of man, to have always plagued the Earth. So basic, so natural, greed has always surfaced to shatter the thin veil of civility in the face of natural resources. A quick glance at the past confirms, beyond a shadow of a doubt the place natural resources have played in history is one riddled with strife and suffering. But perhaps a solution exists, perhaps there is a way to end the bloodshed and purge the world of the costly effect greed has had on humanity. By analyzing past conflicts, two in particular, the answer is clear even through the fog of bitterness.
After 27 years of fighting and the loss of one and a half million lives, the civil war in Angola , Africa ended. UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), a corrupt political group who sought to control the amazing amount of goods in Angola , funded the fighting by the sale of illegal diamonds. Interestingly enough it was not the greed of inhabitants that sustained the bloodshed, but that of our very own America, China, and apartheid South Africa, who cared more about valuable natural resources offered by the suffering state, than the thousands of civilians who paid the price. A fragile peace now exists, barely sustained by the collapse of UNITA. However, despite the end of the civil war, corruption and unrest still plague Angola , still fueled by the sale of its diamonds and oil, and still bought at the great cost of citizens, by America .
Everyone has heard of the tragedy of Pearl Harbor , but many, when asked why it happened seem to be at a loss for words. What most don’t know is that Pearl Harbor ’s roots rest, at least in part, by that leviathan of natural resources, oil. After Japan ’s 1941 invasion of China the U.S. decided to limit oil exports to Japan, which relied heavily upon such exports to power its Navy. Angry, the Japanese government attacked Pearl Harbor, and in search of new sources of oil to fuel its ships, Japan also invaded oil rich Indonesian islands. Since the end of World War II Japan relies heavily on Middle Eastern countries for oil.
In both cases, many lives were lost-not just foreign-and the ones who suffered most, were actually part of the state or country that needed more resources to feed the fire of war. Whether it is money, or oil, the effect seems to be the only focus in history books. No one seems to look to the cause, which ultimately is the most important place to look when searching for a solution. In each case natural resources were the base, and greed, roots of the vine that sucks the life out of everything it touches.
The only solution that exists is changing the very essence of the way humanity thinks. Going all the way back to the rawest part of our nature, and shifting that immovable motive that drives us again and again, to divide ourselves right in two.

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