Exxon and the profit of war

Exxon and the profit of war
With gas prices topping $3 per gallon out here in San Diego, it’s hard to hear that Exxon had a year of record profit, raking in $36 billion. And no matter where your political allegiances lie, when American servicemen and Iraqi civilians are being killed in a drawn-out war that has less ties to WMD’s and perhaps a bit more to American oil interests, it’s even harder to hear that its newly-retired Exxon CEO Lee Raymond received a $400 million retirement package today. Out of violence, a corporation reaped great profits.

Something’s not right. I’m not usually into woes and curses, but I think we’ve been taken advantage of.

Four thousand years ago, God exhorted a fledgling nation, “Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin. I am the Lord your God…” Many centuries later, God inspired a prophet to rebuke a king, saying “Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice…” He said a lot more in the past — against injustice, against oppression, against taking advantage of others. I wonder what God might say today.

I know I’m a part of this — as a consumer of oil to power my car and to heat my apartment. We live in an oil-dependent culture. But I long for the day when we have alternative fuels. Yet while we’re here, it’s a terrible fact that people profit from war — it stinks to high heaven. And though it smells, it looks like Exxon doesn’t mind rubbing the American nose in it.