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© November 3, 2001

At the start of the 21st century, America is faced with an enemy who is both seen and unseen. The stark reality is that unless our nation embarks upon a path to destroy the root causes of the evil that visited us on September 11, 2001, we will forever be involved in a guerrilla style war with no end in sight. When one clears their mind from the fog of political correctness and looks objectively at the dilemma facing our generation we can see that there are specific reasons that radical Islamic terror is allowed to fester: continued United States dependence of middle eastern oil, lack of political freedom in Arab states, and lack of economic freedom. Unless a maximum effort is taken to alter these conditions the very future of western civilization could be at stake.

The circumstances that lead to America and other western states being so dependent on middle eastern oil is a tangled web that has been woven since the first World War. That being said, while it took decades to bring us to this point in time, it need not take nearly as long to alter the variables to bring about a new set of realities. The principal reason why our reliance on cheap oil from the middle east is so dangerous is that it leaves us at the mercy of states who would claim to support us in one breathe and yet sponsor terrorist activities behind the scene against our nation. It is our billions of dollars spent each year on oil that funds the very governments who wish us harm. An intricate long term aspect of the fight against terror is denying the middle east by reducing our consumption of their oil. To be blunt, oil is essentially the only commodity of value the middle east has presently. The path which leads to depriving these states of the revenue generated from oil is open for debate, but the destination should not be.

The more difficult part of curing the cancer that has infected our world will be to bring about more political freedom for the people of the Arab states. The simple fact is that other than Turkey, no other Islamic nation in the middle east has an open political system. Extensive corruption exists on all levels, from the Royal family of Saudi Arabia, to the dictator of Iraq. It is essentially a question of degree. It is this political oppression that creates anger at America. The fact that America, the beacon of freedom, the nation who spent fifty years fighting the cold war for ideals that we hold to be true turns a blind eye to the obvious oppression taking place in the middle east is hypocritical to say the least. Complicating the matter is our active support of these nations' current political leadership, ambivalence at best, farcical at it's worst. The people of the middle east see this and while there is no outlet to vent their anger at their own governments, they are actively encouraged to blame America for their ills. We turn a blind eye to this because we become worried about the instability of our oil supplies as previously mentioned.

So we continue to play a chess game where by; for instance the Saudi Royal Family is allowed to let students be taught in elementary school to distrust Christians and Jews, so that they don't question their own governments, thereby possibly bringing about a revolution. Never mind that the schools being built with government money were ultimately paid for with oil revenue. This political arrangement is utterly broken and is beyond repair. America must deflect the anger of millions of Arab males who are in their late teenage years from us to their own governments. We should let the chips fall where they may, and make every effort to once and for all liberate the populace of the Arab community. If this means actively promoting revolutions in various nations then we must. Knowing that all dictatorial regimes have fallen eventually in history, it is far more preferable for the United States to control and influence the revolution to come, then to let it take place and develop a life of its own. Given a choice between two dramatic events, the previous is far more desirable to the later.

Finally, the last element of ending this scourge of hate and uncontrollable violence against America is to promote in conjunction with political freedom the economic openness and transparentness of the Arabian states. From Iraq to Egypt there has never been a more disparity in income between the lower and upper classes of the population. Amid a sea of wealth generated by oil revenues the governments of these nations squander it for their royal families and palaces. This generates even more anger and hopelessness among a relatively young and restless population of the world. In the 1990's the cold war ended and economic freedom spread around the globe from Moscow to Rio de Janeiro. Borders came down and world trade exploded. It seemed as though the world was finally moving in tandem with a set of generally accepted beliefs in the wisdom of capitalism. Yet amid all of this prosperity there remained an island, a place where people deep down share the same aspirations of the rest of humanity. A place where people would be forced to wonder when they too could participate in the sharing of opportunities all around them, yet always just out of reach. It would be folly to promote either militarily or diplomatically the change of governments in these nations without ensuring that a change in the mismanaged economic systems of those countries are relegated to the dust bin of history.

Taken in totality we can see how the amalgamation of circumstances creates a fertile ground for violence and unspeakable acts of aggression to take place against our country. If our generation does not think big and attack the causes of this aggression against us we will slowly be one step behind those who would send us ill winds. If we continue to deal only with the after effects of events we could slowly let ourselves be dragged into a world war that could potentially be prevented. It will only be averted by dramatic action taken here and now. America is the worlds last best hope for freedom, and the world is looking to that beacon for guidance and leadership.

When it is needed most, will we now forsake the challenge presented to us?

 

James William Stansell

© November 3, 2001