Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Saudi Arabia owns us

Are you surprised by the difference between our military actions in Libya and our muted response to the protests in Bahrain?  You shouldn't be. Saudi Arabia owns America.

Come on! That can't be a surprise. Our foreign oil addiction was clearly demonstrated during the Arab Oil Embargo in the 1970s, but as long as our fix kept coming (though at ever-higher prices), we refused to do anything about it.

We've had nearly 40 years to end our addiction to oil, but we couldn't muster the will or the wisdom to fight it. We could have started a new Manhattan Project or Race to the Moon - a dedicated, well-funded attempt to research and develop energy alternatives.

But instead, we took the path of Ronald Reagan and his spiritual (and political) descendants:  Don't worry, be happy. Cut taxes and watch a Rambo movie. Don't bother to create a great America when you can just fantasize about how great we already are, instead. Read your horoscope and pray that Jesus will return before the oil runs out. And ignore those annoying scientists.

After all, work is just too much... work. And it costs money to actually invest in America. Sure, it will pay for itself in the long-term, but why should we care about our children and grandchildren? Besides, I want to spend the money now.

Like every other addict, we've got plenty of excuses. Basically, most of us would prefer to believe what we want to believe, rather than face reality. In other words, we tend to be foolish and short-sighted cowards. But we insist that everyone acknowledge how exceptional we are. Heh, heh. Yeah, I'm real impressed.

OK, I love my country, and we do a lot of things right. Heck, we elected a black man to the presidency. That is progress. And recent polls show that a majority of Americans support gay marriage. That's not just progress, it's progress at lightning speed. I'm astonished - and impressed - at how quickly attitudes are changing when it comes to gay rights.

But we're still embarrassingly ignorant, superstitious, bigoted, apathetic, short-sighted, and yes, cowardly. We need to stand up and face reality, and then work to create the kind of future which will make us proud. Forget the excuses. This is our chance to make a better world. We'll never have another opportunity. This is it. Use it or lose it.

Saudi Arabia owns us. It didn't have to be this way. And it doesn't have to be that way in the future. But it gets harder and harder to change as time goes by,... and we've wasted 40 years already.


codfanatic13 said...

saudi could build up a military stronger than russia or america with their great economy cos of the oil they would own u and wipe u of the face of the earth but thats no way to treat our customer

WCG said...

Heh, heh. Actually, no. Saudi Arabia does not have a "great economy." Far from it, in fact. All it has is oil.

It doesn't have a large population, either - yet it still denies half of its citizenry the opportunity to participate. And I suspect that its educational system is woefully substandard even for the other half. Certainly, it seems to be mired in superstition (admittedly, so is much of America).

No, a modern military requires more than money, so I imagine that Saudi Arabia is always going to depend on someone else to defend it. Well, everyone needs oil, so there's no shortage of potential defenders. Saudi Arabian leaders almost certainly fear a revolt by their own people more than an invasion by some other country.

Of course, if you really were Saudi Arabian, you'd know all this, right?