I keep hearing the anti-war protesters chant, "No blood for oil! No blood for oil!" But what they never seem to say is exactly how much oil we're talking about. Don't you think that's pertinent information? Are we talking a gallon of oil for every 10 gallons of blood? Or is it more like 30 gallons of oil for every pint of blood? Because if it's the latter, maybe a blood-oil exchange would be a good idea.

In the first Gulf War, roughly 300 brave Americans lost their lives. Assuming that each of these soldiers shed an average of eight pints of blood, that works out to roughly a pint of American blood shed per 60 million barrels of Kuwaiti crude saved from the clutches of Saddam. If you ask me, that's a pretty darn good deal. If we can manage to swing a similar trade this time around, then I say, "Bombs away."

We should also know what kind of blood we're giving up. Is it O-positive, the universal donor? I'd be more reluctant to part with that than some useless AB junk. If Bush and Rumsfeld spill, say, 100,000 gallons of B-negative or AB-positive soldier blood for an equivalent amount of primo Mideast oil, that may be well worth considering.

So, you see, you can't argue in the abstract like those na´ve protesters on college campuses are doing. You've got to look at the hard numbers if you're going to make an informed decision about a potential blood-for-oil swap.

Sending innocent young men and women into battle to die is the most difficult decision a president can make. But it's that much easier when you know what you're getting in return. If I were Bush, I'd definitely do it if we could get the price of a gallon of Amoco Ultra Unleaded down to $1.19. Maybe even $1.21. Anything higher would give me pause. But $1.21 is a great price for a gallon. I would take a lot more weekend roadtrips if gas were that cheap. I might even upgrade to one of those Lincoln Navigators I've been seeing ads for on TV. That's a beautiful car.

Nobody wants to see brave young Americans sent off to die. Nobody wants to see blood spilled for oil. But if it comes to that, wouldn't we all feel better knowing that their blood was spilled for a great deal of oil? I know I sure would.

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