There is no doubt that our resistance to the global jihad is severely hampered by our continued purchase of oil from the Saudis, who have done so much to finance the same jihad. And now six and a half years after 9/11, the President of the United States cannot cajole the Saudi King into agreeing to lower oil prices, as gasoline approaches the four-dollar-a-gallon mark, and yet he has done nothing to initiate any coherent plan to free us from this energy dependence.
It doesn't have to be this way. The Alaskan oil reserves could have been opened up years ago, over environmentalist objections, as a matter of national security. The U.S. could have pursued other oil options much more aggressively than it did, while undertaking a full-scale Manhattan Project to find viable new energy sources. And now in Energy Victory: Winning the War On Terror By Breaking Free of Oil, Robert Zubrin outlines what we can and should do now to keep from continuing to pay at the gas pump for our own destruction.
Zubrin, who holds a doctorate in nuclear engineering and was for many years a senior engineer at Lockheed Martin, here outlines a clear and practical program for achieving American energy independence within ten years. He explains in detail that even a non-specialist like me can understand (at least partially!) that a rapid transition to high-alcohol fuels -- methanol and ethanol -- is both practically feasible and desirable.
Zubrin also includes, however, a chapter entitled "Corrupting Washington," in which he details how the Saudis have done their best not only to sabotage efforts to wean the U.S. from oil, but also have bought influence in Washington so as to deflect scrutiny of the hollowness of their alliance with the U.S., and to keep American policy moving in a direction that the Saudis find useful. "The Saudis," he declares, "have been looting our economy on a massive scale and are using the proceeds to fund a global war against civilization" -- and he traces the sorry history of the supine American response to this challenge.
The continuing Saudi influence will be, of course, the chief obstacle to the implementation of any of Zubrin's proposals, unless we find somewhere a President and a Congress willing to grasp this nettle. But the informed citizen can begin to call these matters to the attention of his or her representatives -- and that is why this book is so urgently needed.
UPDATE: Zubrin presents a summary of his plan to break the oil cartel in an article he wrote recently for National Review Online.