Waging War at $75 A Barrel

Most of us are aware that America pays for terrorism, but we don't like to think about it. Every time we buy gasoline, part of every tank to fill up the SUV goes to Hezbollah, Al-Qaida, and any other terrorist group that is being covertly financed by Saudi Arabia and Iran. Our oil companies profit from the same $75 a barrel for crude oil that we pay to the Arabs, so they get a piece of the terrorist action, too. If we somehow get the new Iraqi government to survive, it will funnel its oil reserves to the same causes, since ironically enough, the power players in Iraq are Shi'ites, the sect that controls both Iran and Hezbollah. This has become a classic case of the snake biting its tail.

The latest installment has gotten even more complicated and ironical.
Hezbollah, we are told, is winning new friends in Lebanon by aiding the victims of war and becoming a major party in rebuilding local devastation. So instead of being hurt by Israel's invasion, Hezbollah is helped. And the Lebanese government, far form joining in the U.N. resolution to take away Hezbollah's weapons, calls the group its only defense against Israel. This isn't an outcome the U.S. wanted, but somewhere in the whole mess companies like Haliburton will no doubt bid for contracts to rebuild highways and other parts of Lebanon's crushed infrastructure.

The snake keeps biting its tail because of money. With the price of oil at all-time highs, a single country like Saudi Arabia got a windfall of over $800 billion in excess profits from the U.S. last year. That pays for a lot of anti-Americanism when those dollars find their way into extremist hands. Can we do anything to stop it? War hasn't worked. Our huge military budget of $441 billion hasn't worked, even though it's more than the next 16 countries in the world combined. Our dependence on Arab oil has trumped the fact that we are supposed to be the world's only superpower.

The world's real superpower is oil. If that's true, then the U.S. needs to lead the world in disarmament and a serious attempt to stop profiting form arms deals and war-making in every guise. Our leaders need to abandon the rhetoric of militarism entirely. We are waging war against ourselves at $75 a barrel, encouraging fiascos like the destruction of Lebanon, and at the same time insuring that the world-wide jihad grows fat on our money.