USS Clueless - Political energy independence

Stardate 20020923.1627

(Captain's log): When I quote an email here, I follow a standard policy on referring to the writer. If they have a web site, I'll give a full name or pseudonym and a link. If they don't, I refer to them only by first name so that they can take credit with people they know if they want, or can deny it if they need to. (Not everyone feels comfortable revealing their true political opinions to those around them, and I don't want to put any correspondent on the spot.)

Unfortunately, in this case the writer only used an initial for their first name. So "M." wrote:

The solution that we need is not culture which is only a by-product of our beliefs. The real solution should be new technology that moves US from its oil dependence. Imagine if we were to say to the Mid-East, we got our own oil but thanks. shut down the importing of oil...what would happen? Maybe we would then have the gumption to stop importing china made goods. Have a consumers war for 3 years we target the Mid-East followed by a 3 year comsumers war against china because they vetoed our use of weapons.

the engineers and technologists that keep Saudia Arabia running would have to come back home. all illegal immigrants would be dropped off in their place of residence in SA...and if they have learned...studied...can pass an English exam...have skills to offer us....they are in...taxable US citizens who will appreciate this country because they have seen another where class rule predominates

If you agree with my analysis (part 1, part 2) of why we're being attacked, then this wouldn't do anything useful. Even if it were possible for us to develop new technology which did what M. says, it wouldn't address the real problem. (I'm forced to cite the old Engineering aphorism that nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself. It's easy to postulate new technology like that if you're not an engineer.)

The problem isn't oil. The problem isn't our trade with them. The problem is that they are failures and they hate us for being successes. How would ceasing to buy their oil change that?

But instead of billions of dollars going to our country's defense why not invest in building our economy. What did we get for all our nuke race technology with the Soviets.

Building our economy would highlight their failure worse, making them hate us more. Not to say that I'm against building our economy, but decreasing defense spending in order to do that would leave us more vulnerable, not less.

I'm afraid we're going to be needing more defense spending over the next few years, not less. Most of it will be going to purchase the mountain of matériel that we're going to be expending in the wars I think are unavoidable.

The one big disadvantage of an information-age military is that it is grossly expensive to fight a major war with one. Of course, all the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. This war is going to be extremely expensive, and we're not going to be getting any important financial support from other nations. It's going to affect our economy, at least for a few years. But it's worth paying a high price to defend our nation, and you also have to add up how much attacks on us cost.

The economic damage, directly and indirectly, from the attack on the WTC towers in NYC is going to be vast. For one thing, the changes in the travel industry may well cause some major airlines to go under. For another, the damage done to all the companies which had offices in or near the WTC was tremendous. Some estimates have been that war in Iraq could cost us $200 billion, but I've seen estimates for the total economic damage from the WTC attack above a trillion dollars.

Building up our economy is a good thing, but doing so in a way that makes it easy for others to tear it down again violently isn't wise. First we need to accept that we're in danger, accept what the cause of the danger truly is, and remove it.

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