that sentence up with the president's assertion
that the Twenty in Ten Plan will "
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.
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?
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.
American Intelligence Services, the CIA and NSA
can probably limit the effects of Jihadism on
downtown America through vigilance and rigid security
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