My Appearance on WYPR’s The Mark Steiner Show

“They made me out to be this little girl Rambo from the hills of West Virginia who went down fighting, it was just not true.”
Jessica Lynch

My Appearance on WYPR’s The Mark Steiner Show
Joe Leonardi

This past Wednesday I had the honor of being asked to participate as a panelist on National Public Radio affiliate, WYPR’s The Mark Steiner Show out of Baltimore Maryland. Others on the panel were; writer for The Nation Joshua Kors and Sheldon Rampton, Research Director for the Center for Media & Democracy. I was invited because of my column, “True American Heroes”, regarding the not so factual initial claims concerning the death of Pat Tillman.

I must admit I was a little surprised when I received the phone call from WYPR. Considering I live in Northeast PA and, though I was a congressional candidate, I didn’t think I was recognized out of good old NEPA. However, the producer of the show came across my web site and after a brief conversation, I accepted his invitation. I didn’t do a lot of prep work as they called just a few hours before air time, however I get the impression I may have been called to offer the Conservative view on the topic under discussion. I was treated with a great deal of respect by host Mark Steiner. I really did not interact with Mr. Kors or Rampton, but the discourse was enlightening. Perhaps if we weren’t all in general agreement that the Bush administration, in an effort to solidify and increase support for the war, exaggerated and misled the American people concerning the aforementioned Patrick Tillman and Jessica Lynch, the exchanges may have been more direct and more heated.

There are very few things I am bipartisan about, if anything I relish partisanship. What is the point of a two party system if we are always in agreement. However, there are events that transcend partisan politics and I can not comprehend how there can be two sides of the mythification of Corporal Tillman’s death or Private Lynch’s capture and subsequent rescue.

I would like to take a moment on something two of the callers mentioned near the end of the show that I didn’t really have a chance to address. The callers made reference to how the news media is not covering the fact that “Big Oil” is behind the war. It was implied that there is some kind of conspiracy to hide this fact.

Listen up everyone; the reason the media is not reporting that part of the driving force behind the Iraq War is oil — it is not news. You either have to still be in kindergarten or living under the world’s largest rock not to realize that oil is behind every action that takes place in the Middle East. If not for oil there would be no interest in the vast desert expanses known as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, et al..

Of all the “reasons” given for our meddling in Iraq the one I would be able to live with the most would be to ensure the free flow of oil. The unfortunate truth is that oil is the lifeblood of the United States and most global economies. Crude is the lube that makes everything go. I just wish that all the folks who see conspiracies everywhere would take a moment and just think it out. You are not speaking some great revelation when you state that the war is about oil. When people state that it is being covered up, that there is a grand conspiracy they are, in fact, showing their illiteracy regarding geo-politics. When we roll our eyes at such revelations we aren’t rolling our eyes in disbelieve — we are rolling them at obvious naiveté.

To those who scream and chant no blood for oil — I challenge you to give up your car, give up your computer, don’t heat your home this winter, don’t take airplanes, and on and on. The free flow of oil is in our National interest. Please let us not forget that also when the price of oil goes up, it causes the price of everything else to increase.

Regretfully, there has been no stabilization of the global price of crude oil. The large swings in the world oil prices are another direct effect of the Bush administration’s failure to execute and manage the Iraq War and ensuing occupation. To that end we must break our reliance on foreign oil.

Joe Leonardi



Filed under cheney, Conservative, Democratic, Iraq, Jessica Lynch, Liberal, Mark Steiner, NeoCon, Pat Tillman, President Bush, Radio, Republican, War

4 responses to “My Appearance on WYPR’s The Mark Steiner Show

  1. Dale

    The reason media outlets do not come out and say “we are in it for the oil” is not because it is a glaringly obvious, it is because they are ashamed to do so. 3,200+ American soldiers have died to help secure oil can get to the global market, so Americans can have shiny sparkly things. The Iraq war has made me confront aspects of politics and life that are rude awakenings. Lifting “self” above our brothers and neighbors will lead to the demise of our great nation. Logic that states “I want a new car so we need to send soldiers to die” is unbelievable. I don’t accept this logic.

  2. Hi Dale,

    When you simplify it to I want a new car it makes no sense. However, when you factor in economic and national security implications it becomes complex and unfortunately necessary. I have no shame, nor did I have any qualm when I served, to fight to maintain the free flow of oil. At this time in our civilization oil is the life blood. Until we not only develop, but actually use other sources of energy, oil and the mid-east will dominate our international policies.

    When I ran for Congress I had a multi-point plan to decrease and eventually break or dependence on foreign oil. Most people didn’t seem that interested.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment
    Keep Up The Dialogue,


  3. Jim

    First Congratulations on the show! Now, this is long but enlightening I am sure!
    I have to tell you, it was obvious to a blind man that we were lied to about Jessica and Pat and why. They were only 2 of the exaggerations and lies in order to get people behind Bush’s cause and motivated.
    Oil was the reason for getting into the middle east from the beginning. Bush is almost prepared for his ultimate goal and that is going after Iran and he thinks finishing his control of the middle east and the oil. Wrong!
    Ever hear of this old but true story? Bush’s terrible plan for new middle east order! now I have the proof! This is not good!
    I was looking at the notes I took down last night from the various articles I had from Bush’s most recent Rant on Iraq. Like you, I find his senseless babble very disturbing. Especially knowing that he is going to say or do anything to follow his plan for new world order. Many of you know I have been saying for quite a while that Bush will do or say anything in order to follow his Russian Doctrine of Destruction for new societal, middle east, and world order. His plan at the link!

    I knew Bush purposely upset the middle east, Iraq would be lost, Iran attacked, and the entire middle east embroiled. Thanks to Shergald, a diarist on kos, I now have the proof.

    In this short policy memo, which Netanyahu, and his successor-Likud Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, totally adopted as the core strategy of their administrations, spelled out a four-pronged attack on the peace process and the entire Arab world. It has become a self-evident truth that, since the Bush “43” and Sharon governments came into power simultaneously in early 2001, “A Clean Break” has been the guiding strategic doctrine of both–particularly following the irregular warfare attacks on New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001.
    The Perle-Wurmser policy document demanded: 1) Destroy Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, blaming them for every act of Palestinian terrorism, including the attacks from Hamas, an organization which Sharon had helped launch during his early 1980’s tenure as Minister of Defense. 2) Induce the United States to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. 3) Launch war against Syria after Saddam’s regime is disposed of, including striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and targets in Syria proper. 4) Parlay the overthrow of the Ba’athist regimes in Baghdad and Damascus into the “democratization” of the entire Arab world, including through further military actions against Iran, Saudi Arabia, and “the ultimate prize,” Egypt

    The timeline for this is a little different than what we now know. As for the reality of what the real reasons and goals for all this, we will never know. I will again guarantee you that there will be a new middle east order. It will be total disorder and no one will like it. With Bush and Israel wanting their idea of a new middle east order and the so called Islamist’s wanting their conflicting version, they have guaranteed a disastrous result for the entire middle east and Bush promises to keep our troops in the middle of it regardless!
    With that all said I am afraid it is all going to backfire and there are those prepared to take advantage of it. Remember T Boone Pickens?
    I wrote this last July! Prices are moving rapidly now and just watch as middle east oil is tied up and Venezualan oil now totally under the control of Bush hating Chavez is kept from us. Please take the time to put all of this into perspective.
    Shale oil and oil sand being reexplored equal $5 Fuel before you Know It!
    I was researching this last night and woke up this morning to hear that oil and fuel stocks are the hot stocks today with a 12% increase overall. What a coincidence!
    I was a bit surprised to find out the following on Shale oil!
    A headline on an old newspaper reads: Oil Shale Development Imminent,”. That edition of the defunct Grand Junction News, was published at the dawn of the 20th century.
    More than a hundred years later, instability is roiling world oil markets, and Americans are paying $3 a gallon for gas. And oil shale fever is again rising in the geologic region known as the Piceance Basin, part of the Green River Formation
    that stretches across the rugged plains of northwestern Colorado and parts of Wyoming and Utah.

    There is no dispute that a thousand feet below the isolated ranch country here on Colorado’s western slope lie almost unimaginable oil riches. It’s locked in sedimentary rock — essentially immature oil that given a few million years under heat and pressure would produce pools of oil easy to extract.

    The Energy Department and private industry estimate that a trillion barrels are here in Colorado — about the same amount as the entire world’s known reserves of conventional oil. The entire Green River Formation might hold as much as 2 trillion barrels.

    supposedly secretly Pushed by the Bush administration and legislation from Congress last year, and spurred by oil prices above $70 a barrel, the energy industry is mobilizing to unlock the secret of oil shale. As it has before, oil shale holds out the hope of a USA no longer dependent on foreign oil. Shell Oil is engaged in a multiyear test of a new technology for extracting the oil. Previous efforts that were uneconomical and environmentally destructive entailed mining the rock, crushing it and heating it above ground to release the oil.

    Shell’s new process involves sinking heaters deep underground, cooking the rock at 700 degrees and recovering the oil and natural gas with conventional drilling.

    For a decade, Shell has been ramping up its research on private property here. It is also one of a handful of companies vying for research and development leases on larger tracts of federal land nearby. That could lead to full-scale development across 1,200 square miles of western Colorado.

    Early results are promising, says Terry O’Connor, a vice president in the oil giant’s unconventional resource division. But, he admits, “no one has been able to develop oil shale on a commercially sustainable basis.….

    That is $3 fuel that is here now, then I hear this a while back and more started making sense!

    Legendary oilman T Boone Pickens says he doesn’t believe that the oil sands are an effective substitute for our fuel needs. Pickens said Tuesday that huge development costs and a tight labor supply will prevent the Alberta oil sands and other unconventional means of production from covering the shortfall in supply. That said, Pickens holds a big stake in both the Canadian Oil Sands Trust [TSX:COS.UN] and Suncor Energy.….

    When Pickens was in the Alberta oil sand fields in the 60’s somebody said this isn’t going to work, it isn’t possible. It’ll all have to be subsidized to a level, said, before they’d make money you’d have to have $5 oil,” Pickens says laughing. “We never thought it would happen.”….

    Two years ago I did a story on shale oil and oil sand but it did not go over well because people felt it would never happen. Knowing all the research and development that has been put into these alternatives!

    Knowing that T Boone Pickens has invested multiple millions in this! Knowing that between us and Canada we have the more reserves than the entire world combined!

    Knowing that he said refining it would not be profitable until fuel hit $5 per gallon, you have to believe that $5 gas wall be here before you know it!
    My question is have the oil companies purposely been driving up the prices in order to justify retrieving this huge reserves at our expense? Also at the expense of the environment and alternative fuel sources!

    James Joiner
    Gardner, Ma

  4. Eric

    You can hear the audio version here and the date is 5/2.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s