Sunday, March 12, 2006

The US, Dubai, Iraq, Osama, and Oil--A Lesson for Americans

By now, anyone who is paying any attention to the news has heard about the Dubai Port deal that would have allowed an Arab country, UAE, to manage our ports. I like most Americans have a problem with this idea post 9-11. Not because I hate Arabs, but because it appears that some Arabs have an intense disliking for Americans. Our response to the idea of letting this foreign country to come into our homeland and control something that is vital to the interests of this country made me stop and reflect on how the Arabs must feel about us being in their countries running their businesses. If I’m not mistaken, I think that this is one of Osama’s and Al Qaeda’s gripe with our country.

They want us out of their country as much as we wanted them out of our ports. We run their oil business, we invade their land, and we push our foreign policies on them. How would we feel if they did the same to us?

The backlash to this proposed business transactions had politicians bending over backwards to try to calm down their constituencies. Perhaps we should stop and consider that the Iraq people do not want us in their country either.

Unfortunately we need their oil so we can’t leave. We need a pro-democracy, pro-American government that will allow us to continue purchasing the cheap oil we need to make our economy grow. Therein lies the rub. Our county would come to a grinding halt if the oil supply was threatened. I hear that we have a one year supply for emergencies and there are other countries that can sell oil. But this would be a major speed-bump in the world economy and the march toward globalization.

It seems the only sensible thing to do is to begin a major effort to wean ourselves off of foreign oil. The corner-stone of the Bush energy plan has been to drill for oil in the Artic Wild Life Refuge. This would buy them time but it will not solve the problem. The Democrats can’t fully embrace the alternative energy plan because the oil companies’ holdings represent a huge chunk of economy, and people’s livelihood and savings are connected to their success. Huge amounts capital invested in the oil infrastructure contributes to maintaining the status quo.

One of the things we need in this country is an honest debate about our reasons for being in the Middle East. Osama and the Arab’s who don’t want us in their country will continue to resist, just as the Afghan Mujahideen did to the Russians. The Mujahideen were eventually successful in driving out the Russians and the Taliban grew and thrived. This puts us right back to 9/11. Our interest in Afghanistan was an oil pipeline. The Taliban was friendly to Osama who was trying to drive the infidels out of the Middle East which inspired the attack of 9/11.

This war is about natural resources, capitalism and who controls what. We can not walk away from Iraq unless we are can be certain that we will not lose our access to the oil in the region. We want a pro-American government that will be pro-capital. Oil is the life-blood of this country. Without it our economy is doomed.

So is there a win-win situation for everyone? Let’s hope so. In the mean time, beware of any politician who says that the answer to our energy needs is to drill for oil in the Artic Wild Life Refuge.

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