Monday, July 10, 2006

Oil and Foreign Policy

Alex Epstein has a good editorial out on Oil and American foreign policy. I particularly like the observation in the last paragraph of this section:
One means of ending the Iranian and Saudi threat would be to issue an ultimatum to these regimes: cease all anti-American aggression immediately, or be destroyed. Many, witnessing the Iraqi quagmire, might scoff at this option. But such a course is eminently practical if America's unsurpassed military forces are committed to the task, not of "rebuilding" or "liberating" these states, but of making their inhabitants fear threatening America ever again.

Another means of addressing the threat would be to remove Middle Eastern oil fields from Iranian and Saudi control, put them in the hands of private companies, and then employ surveillance and troops to secure that oil supply. Contrary to popular assumption, Middle Eastern dictatorships have no right to their nationalized oil fields, which should be private property--the property of individuals who work to find and extract the oil.

Still another option might be a comprehensive, all-out embargo by the United States and its allies to starve the leader of the enemy, Iran, until the regime crumbles and the Islamic totalitarians lose their will to fight.

Which policy is best is for military strategists to determine--but our politicians and intellectuals refuse to consider any of these options. Instead, they decry our "addiction to oil," condemn us for not all wanting to drive Priuses, and urge, as penance, that we cut ourselves from the world oil market. Can anyone honestly believe that such asceticism will protect us from attack--given that Saudi Arabia and Iran both actively sponsored terrorism when oil was $10 a barrel?

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