All week we’ve been meaning to direct readers to an interesting post over at The Torch, Canada’s indispensable military blog, with regards to Lawrence Martin‘s July 2 column raising the prospect of Canadian troops fighting to protect a recently agreed-upon trans-Afghanistan pipeline.
Canadians would not find this a “savoury” prospect, Martin ventured. “The Afghan war wasn’t all about oil,” he wrote. “But that has certainly been among Washington’s motivations and now, with the pipeline deal, it will be front and centre”—particularly, he added, since Iraq’s oilfields are now open for bids from Western companies.
That’s about as close as you can come to calling it an oil pipeline without calling it an oil pipeline. And it’s not an oil pipeline, as Torch contributor Mark Collins points out. It’s a gas pipeline. To Collins, this reduces Martin’s piece to the status of “perfervid nonsense.”
We didn’t think much of Martin’s argument in the first place—chiefly because it’s all about optics and dubious public opinion, which is what Martin usually says he hates about Canadian political journalism—but we wouldn’t go as far as that. Wouldn’t people be just as happy to rail against a war for oil and gas as they would against a war for oil alone? But that just highlights what a weird omission it was, really. In any case, a valuable clarification from the ever-vigilant gang at The Torch.