Monday, June 28, 2004
Next Step: Saudi Arabia
For final victory, Americans are going to have to suck it up and buy more SUVs.
THE AMERICAN WAY. Now that we've handed over power in Iraq to the transition government, the first domino has fallen in the target list of oppressive Arab states. A new ideal has been manifested: impotent self rule in the heart of the Islamofascist empire. The question we must all start answering today is, how can we keep a good thing going? We have a suggestion, dramatic perhaps, but simple in its essence: Use up all the oil.
Saudi Arabia is the colossus of Araby, standing astride the middle east on towering legs made of billions of petrodollars. For too long, we have seen our leaders forced to compromise with, if not kowtow to, double-dealing sheiks who live double lives at our expense, at home they parade around in their barbarian robes dispensing cash to terrorists and the terrorist incubators called madrassas; abroad, they slip into silky western suits and shop for Bentleys, Beverly Hills mansions, and unscrupulous bankers. Everyone knows we have to break their economic stranglehold on the world economy. But most delude themselves with the folly that this can be accomplished by conservation and farsighted investment in new energy technologies. This scenario just isn't going to happen. Energy companies aren't going to get serious about developing alternative energy sources until they absolutely have to; that's capitalism. American consumers aren't interested in tightening their belts for the sake of some long-term objective that none of the rich and powerful are seriously pursuing. And why should they tighten their belts? The American Way is to do what we want to do, regardless of what anyone else thinks. It usually works out for the best, and it will this time, too.
Our national objective should be to consume all that Arab oil as quickly as possible. At the moment, the U.S. acquires a measly 15 percent of its oil from Saudi Arabia. We can do much much better than that. Shut down domestic oil production. Buy more SUVs. Build more oil-fired power plants. Switch home heating systems away from electric and gas to oil. In short, put the hammer down and suck the oil out of the middle east until the wells are as dry as the sand above them, and then see what happens to the two-faced princes of Saud. Yes, they'll have some cash on hand for a while, but they'll be like American sports stars or rap sensations, hooked on absurd spending habits long after their ability to produce income has vanished. OPEC will become the equivalent of a London men's club, irrelevant refuge for the artifacts of defunct empire.
Meanwhile, the energy companies will be doing what they always do when the long-term crisis has landed with a thump on their short-term plates. They'll find new kinds of energy for us to use. We don't really have to worry about the what and how right now. When they can't make money any other way, they'll figure out how to generate billions of GigaWatts by burning water or some damn thing. It's possible there will be a few difficult years of transition, but hey, that's in the future, and in the meantime think of the fun we'll have, kicking the great American shopping machine into high gear. We need more plastic stuff, of course, because plastic is made from oil. LOTS more plastic stuff. The automotive giants of Detroit should experience a tremendous windfall, provided they can respond to the short-term challenge. We need SUVs twice the size of the Lincoln Navigator, capable of fuel inefficiencies in the two-to-three mpg range.We need snowmobiles as big as tanks, motorcycles with six-liter V-8 engines, gas-powered carving knives, blenders, and toasters. And we've got to make a much larger national commitment to RV'ing and speedboating. The federal and state governments will have to help out us loyal consumers, of course, by eliminating gas taxes, but that will be a far easier policy to sell than Kerry's old plan of doubling taxes on fuel.
Best of all, we the people will have the satisfaction of practicing our favorite pursuits, buying and wasting stuff, while knowing that in doing so we are behaving in the most patriotic possible manner. Why try to defeat the enemy with sacrifice when it can be done so much more easily and effectively with our in-born talent for self-indulgence?
And just imagine the day when all the western troops and trucks and fancy high-tech equipment can be packed up and brought home from the plague lands of the middle east. The Arabs will be able to get down to the serious business of killing each other for nothing, and we can ignore it all completely, confident that whatever they choose to teach their spawn in the madrassas, none of the little bastards will be able to afford a plane ticket out of hell.
We'll leave it to the brainy types to work out the details. Our job is the 'Vision Thing.'