Students and teachers at UCSB, it’s time for us to break away from the matrix of the American media’s propaganda machine. Oil has been and always will be the United States’ only objective in the Middle East. The U.S. rulers have started another war for oil, this time in Afghanistan, and much like the first one in the Persian Gulf they are again fighting their own “Frankenstein.” Like Saddam, bin Laden and his followers learned all their tricks from the master terrorists: the CIA.

American bombing and sanctions on Iraq have led to the death of almost one million Iraqis, many of them children. How many more will die in this latest crusade for oil?

The U.S. is temporarily targeting Afghanistan, but their strategic goal is to secure the Middle East. They are disguising this war as a “crusade against international terrorism,” when the real aim is to control the entire Middle East’s oil. The profits of Exxon Mobil Corp. are now more seriously threatened than ever.

The first sign came with the takeover of Iran in 1979 by Islamic fundamentalist holy rollers. They used nationalism and religion as a cover for taking control of the oil there after booting out the murderous U.S. puppet, the Shah.

In 1991, U.S. rulers butchered hundreds of thousands of Iraqi workers to prevent Saddam Hussein from raising oil prices and making deals with U.S. competitors.

A decade and hundreds of thousands of deaths later, Hussein still rules Iraq and the U.S. continues to plan another war to destroy him and bring Iraq into the Exxon Mobil orbit. Afghanistan is just the first step in this imperialist war, which has dollar signs in the eyes of oil execs around the world. How many of our friends and fellow students will die to achieve these ends?

The U.S. is instituting fascist reforms in this country under the guise of “protecting the Homeland” (Homeland? does that remind anyone of the Fatherland of Nazi Germany?) and like their Nazi brethren, U.S. rulers are taking this opportunity to attack any opposition.

In a speech made to Congress just a week ago (available at the FBI’s website) Louis Freeh made it clear that anyone with an opposing view of U.S. policy is someone he considers a terrorist. “These groups occupy the extreme fringes of animal rights, pro-life, environmental, anti-nuclear and other political and social movements.” If you care about the environment, animals or humans you could be a target.

This, coupled with the FBI’s new freedom to invade the privacy of anyone they feel like, is coming now because they see we are all worried about the victims of attacks!

In closing, I would like to encourage all students and real teachers to fight against these attacks on humanity. CNN and some of the right-wing sycophant professors who shame the name “teacher” would like us be fooled into thinking that this war is about the human rights we all care about, but it is not. Like all U.S. imperialist crusades, this is about fattening the pockets of the rich at the expense of regular people around the world.

David Weston is a senior political science major.