Victor Davis Hanson writes a clear-headed explanation of the central factor in the rising influence of thug nations (such as Iran and Venezuela) and of the perceived economic woes of Western nations. Oil, of course, is the heart of it all. Without oil, Hanson argues, tyrants like Mohammed Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez would be nothing more than whining little lambs in the wilderness.
But the problem of rising oil prices is deeper than that, Hanson argues: ". . . huge petroleum profits dont just empower dictators, subsidize nuclear proliferation, and curtail economic reform. They also have pernicious psychological effects. Americans hit with gasoline price hikes of nearly a dollar a gallon have fallen to despairing over our economy." Further, it warps our foreign policy as we must dance around not offending "allies" like Saudi Arabia and the like.
Hanson concludes that clearer thinking is needed on this issue on both sides of the aisle: "Next time we whine that we cannot drill in the Arctic or off our coasts, that nuclear power is too dangerous, that government-encouraged conservation violates free enterprise, or that gasification from coal and shale is too costly, we should remember: There are insidious--and dangerous--costs in todays oil trade too." In short, perhaps we all need to give in a little here. Conservatives should be more open to conservation measures and Liberals need to wake up to the reality that demands we shake our dependence on foreign oil by producing our own.