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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Where Does the State of the Union Leave the Rest of Us?


Richard O Rawe • 31 January 2007

President George W. Bush's recent State of the Union speech makes for interesting reading.

For a government which declined to sign up to the Kyoto Treaty on climate change, and which refused to accept that climate-change was occurring, the speech is a huge departure.

Central to the administration's new energy policy is the 'Twenty in Ten Plan'. By this, the government hopes to reduce America's dependency on oil by 20 percent in 10 years. To do this, the president has asked Congress for increased funding for the supply and development of alternative fuels like corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, methanol, butanol and hydrogen, so that, by 2017, America will be generating five times the present production target of alternative fuels. Ironically, the president said that "…these technologies will help us be better stewards of the environment, and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change."

However, the real crux of the Twenty in Ten Plan is found in the paragraph where the president says:

"For too long our nation has been dependent on foreign oil. And this dependence leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes and to terrorists - who cause huge disruptions of oil shipments, and raise the price of oil, and do great harm to our economy."

Link that sentence up with the president's assertion that the Twenty in Ten Plan will "…cut our total imports by the equivalent of three-quarters of all the oil we now import from the Middle East," and the true significance of what is being proposed emerges from dewy mists of benign altruism.

As stated by President Bush, the administration envisages by the Twenty in Ten Plan, and its successors, the effective breaking of the oil stranglehold that Middle Eastern countries have on America. And crucially, if America becomes independent of Middle East oil, which it eventually will, then it would have no need to send its sons and daughters to die on foreign soil in the defence of oil fields and oil markets that are of no immediate strategic or economic value to them. Equally, ensuring that sympathetic regimes remained in place in that region would not be the priority it is now. Certainly, the American public would think twice about endorsing a belligerent administration like Bush's again, after having experienced the death-toll and quagmire that is Iraq and Afghanistan. Why should they if the Twenty in Ten plan lives up to its promise?

The American administration knows it cannot win the war on terrorism. It doesn't take a genius to work out that Iraq's a disaster. And Afghanistan promises nothing but years of grinding conflict, at the end of which, victory is far from certain. As General Brent Scowcroft said in September 2002, "There is going to be no peace treaty on the battleship Missouri in the war on terrorism." That is an acknowledgement, at least, of the prospect of perpetual war with the Jihadis.

The American Intelligence Services, the CIA and NSA can probably limit the effects of Jihadism on downtown America through vigilance and rigid security controls.

A policy of non-interventionism would be very attractive to the American people. The U.S. has to date spent over $18 billion dollars in propping up the fragile Iraqi government and providing a limited degree of infrastructure. That's a lot of greenbacks. And who knows what the final bill will be before American forces are pulled out? The point is: with America's oil dependency on the Middle East removed, dollars that might have been spent in fighting terrorism around the world would be re-directed into the American economy.

It could be that the world's policeman has decided to hand in his badge and stay at home rather than walk the beat. Would that be a good thing? I don't know. One thing is certain; bin Laden sees himself as the next Caesar. His Jihad is nothing short of a nefarious attempt to intimidate and bomb mankind into becoming Muslims and in doing so foist Shariah Law on us. He has to be resisted, but who's going to be in vanguard, if not the Americans?





























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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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6 March 2007

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Richard O'Rawe

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