Friday, July 11, 2008

Learning from History!

Raise your right hand and repeat after me:

The economy of the United States of America will implode if we do not abandon our military exploits in the Middle East.

The mighty Soviet Union fell under the expense of trying to conquer Afghanistan. We have undertaken to simultaneously conquer TWO historically unconquerable lands in Afghanistan AND Iraq. In every single case in American history, wars have meant tax increases for the American people. This time we have sold the Chinese and other countries on the order of $1 trillion of U.S. Treasury bonds - essentially printing money out of thin air to the point that the value of the U.S. currency has become so diluted that its value is much less.

With a devalued dollar, the rubber meets the road when we try to buy hard goods and commodities whose prices are set by global trade markets around the world - grain and oil in particular. A barrel of oil was $25 when we invaded Iraq. Last week it peaked at $147. Since oil is used to make and move everything we own and eat, our economy is going to be permanently impacted by this change, as well as any subsequent increased.

The price of oil has also changed the geopolitical balance.

Russia, which has been actively developing Siberian oil fields and iron-shod contracts with neighboring republics, suddenly holds the world's largest energy reserves while forming pacts with Syria, Iran, Libya and Venezuela. They recently made it quite clear that they no longer felt any obligation to pretend to care what the USA thinks. Like it or not, the price of oil has shot Russia back into superpower status.

Likewise, Iran - the world's second largest gas and oil power, suddenly funds itself with the value of its assets increased five-fold thanks to the United States' comprehensive destabilization of the region, which means they now hold a five-fold increase in ability to develop nuclear weapons, fund terrorism and otherwise attack us. It is estimated that our current saber rattling and ongoing covert war of public terrorism in Iran is responsible for $30 to $40 of the current per-barrel price of oil.

Freeing ourselves from dependence on oil is the only way to break free of this death spiral, in which our enemies increasingly hold our lifeline of energy even while the price is driven up the fantastic growth in India and China. China is expected to have matched the United States in number of cars on the road within 10 years. All the oil in ANWR and the Florida cost will not make a difference when global demand reaches that level.

President Bush's legacy could have been wildly reversed in the 2006 State of the Union address if he had taken action with space race intensity after his proclamation "America is addicted to oil." Instead within the week he was holding hands with Saudi Arabian King Abdullah on his Texas ranch. And so here we are two years later and our spiral into the black hole continues.

Now is the time to heed the call made by Al Gore, to set ourselves free within 10 years. For all of human history we have prospered by burning a part of the planet - wood, coal, oil. It is time now to do the hard work necessary to move from the Era of the Flame to the Era of the Sun.

Impossible? Consider that in five years we have spent a trillion dollars in Iraq. If we'd spent that at we could have put solar power systems on 62.5 million rooftops - 49% of the households in the nation delivering 168 gigawatts of power to the electrical grid. How much electricity could we generate by covering the sun baked land of the western deserts into solar and wind farms?

What could we accomplish with the funds that could be liberated if we were to slash our military expenditures to just the levels of China, France, U.K. and Japan combined?

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