OK, asides from the fact that "We're right, they're wrong." what's the real differences between islam and christianity? Really, asides from some minor things, both seem to preach the exact same message of misogyny, oppression, tyranny, intolerance, fear, hate, war, conquest and ignorance.
What's the real, structural differences-IF ANY!- between islam and christianity?
The marketplace itself is (fairly) open and unrestricted. However, the supply into the marketplace is restricted, which has an impact on the price in the marketplace.
Allow me to explain on a graph. If the below image had been an accurate reflection of the real marketplace, restricting supply would move the blue curve to the left (i.e. from S2 to S1), and (ceteris paribus), price increases from P2 to P1. The space between P2 and P1 is what is referred to as monopolistic profit.
The US is a victim of the Opec cartel's price fixing scheme.
Again, remember what happens when the US is not fuelled by oil. The immediate effect is that you would probably not be allowed modern niceties such as a car, fridge, hot water heater etc., on realistic threat of jailtime. US economy would probably be set back at least 20%, which means no public healthcare, schools, infrastructure falling apart, mass unemployment, and generally massive public discontent.
Guess who would benefit most from such a scenario - inside the US it would be extremist Christianity and in the OPEC world it would be extremist Socialist/Communists/Islamists depending on country.
(OPEC does have the right to restrict supply, and it's a pretty good idea since the market price for oil does not reflect its true cost due to negative externalities. But US military action against states have generally not been against nationalisation per se, but rather the restriction of international trade in strategic commodities caused by nationalisation.)
Sorry the arguments are long winded, but the situation is a lot more complex than you let on to.
"Actually, whether or not the U.S. was off destabilizing foreign governments to secure cheaper oil for itself wouldn't have much effect on the oil supply for my country because we don't import."
Yes it does. Oil prices are determined by supply and demand. 99% of Canadian oil exports are to the US, and the price is not determined by US-Canadian relations but by the common marketplace for crudes. (There is no crude price, there are crude prices depending on light/heavy and sweet/sour, among other factors.) In addition, the three main hydrocarbon products fuels, lubricants, and chemicals require different refineries to process into usable products. Canada does not have a good refining capacity for all.
Canada is not cut adrift as the slightly sane hat on top of the US, it is part of World Politics. Everything the US does have an impact on Canada and vice versa. "Butterfly effect".
In addition, Canada might be a net exporter, but is still a major importer of oil:
Even though Canada is a net oil exporter, it imports sizable quantities of crude oil and refined products. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Canada imported around 1.2 million bbl/d of crude oil and refined products in 2006. Canada’s major population centers in the eastern part of the country are not well connected to its principle production facilities in the western interior, meaning that it is often easier to import oil along the coastlines rather than transport it domestically. Most oil imports come from Algeria (crude oil), Norway (crude oil) and the U.S. (refined products).
"So what are they doing there then?"
Depends on which time scale you wish to look at. In general, the Iraq war is just cleaning up the mess left behind after British colonialism in the region. Remember the British was forced to pull out too quickly and left power vacuumes all across the region, hence today's fucked up state of the Middle East. The British merely filled the vacuum of the Ottoman Empire, which just filled the vacuum left by the Mameluks etc, etc.
US involvement is attempting mostly to keep Sunnis and Shiites from killing eachother, because when they do, the US gets caught in the crossfire (hence 9/11 being mostly related to internal issues in the Islamic world.)
It's the "Global" part of Global Islamic Terrorism. Everything is allowed in bringing back the Khalifate, and everyone is a potential target including civilians. The "terror" part relates to civilians being intentionally targeted. The "Islamic" part indicates the purpose.
"procure more favorable conditions for their oil acquisitions,"
They have been there to ensure access to foreign markets in general and specifically oil. If the US goal is to ensure as much and as cheap oil as possible, they are not exactly being very efficient.
If the US wanted a control prices in any way, it could easily overrun Saudi militarily, depose the leaders, and add it as the 51st state without anyone being able to object. A subject state (vassal/dependent territory/etc) wouldn't be allowed to vote for their leaders, they would have a governor appointed by the President of the US directly.
That's how a mercantilistic imperialist country (and not a free trade based one) would logically react as evident from almost all previously imperialistic mercantile regimes, especially Britain, France, and Belgium.