Sunday, February 06, 2005
But a curious transformation is occurring in Washington, D.C., a split of
foreign policy and energy policy: Many of the leading neoconservatives who
pushed hard for the Iraq war are going green. James Woolsey, the former director
of the Central Intelligence Agency and staunch backer of the Iraq war, now
drives a 58-miles-per-gallon Toyota Prius and has two more hybrid vehicles on
order. Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy and
another neocon who championed the war, has been speaking regularly in Washington about fuel efficiency and plant-based bio-fuels.
The alliance of hawks and environmentalists is new but not entirely
surprising. The environmentalists are worried about global warming and air
pollution. But Woolsey and Gaffney—both members of the Project for the New
American Century, which began advocating military action against Saddam Hussein back in 1998—are going green for geopolitical reasons, not environmental ones.
They seek to reduce the flow of American dollars to oil-rich Islamic
theocracies, Saudi Arabia in particular. Petrodollars have made Saudi Arabia too
rich a source of terrorist funding and Islamic radicals. Last month, Gaffney
told a conference in Washington that America has become dependent on oil that is
imported from countries that, "by and large, are hostile to us." This fact, he
said, makes reducing oil imports "a national security imperative."
For Woolsey and Gaffney, the fact that energy efficiency and conservation
might help the environment is an unintended side benefit. They want to weaken
the Saudis, the Iranians, and the Syrians while also strengthening the Israelis.
Whether these ends are achieved with M-16s or hybrid automobiles doesn't seem to
matter to them.
Kinda hard to argue with that. Even without the issue of oil and petrochemical dominance, we'll still never extract ourselves from the Middle East while we remain allied with Israel. However, simply reducing our demand for imported oil might be the best way to reduce funding for terrorism and to reduce our meddling in the affairs of that region, which I believe can only help to reduce the likelihood of future problems (keeping in mind that many of our current problems are the indirect result of what appeared to be logical and wise actions decades ago).
It's nice to see the hawks catching on the concept that every true warrior should understand - resources need to be conserved, not spent in the process of flippin' the bird to your opponent. In other words, a Prius is more likely to contribute to the defeat of Al Queda than an Excursion. I fail to see why wastefulness should be considered patriotic and a national virture.