In 2000 President Bush ran on a platform of lowered standards and in 2004 was reelected on a promise of “decisiveness” and a bias towards action over strategic thinking. President Bush’s followers communicated support for his ability to talk plainly as to not intimidate the folks. John F. Kerry, on the other hand, was constantly criticized for nuanced thoughts, and “Republicans” scoffed at his inability to deliver simple and concise statements. While I was no fan of Kerry, I have always been a fan of thought, and it frustrated me immensely that supporters of George W. Bush credited themselves and their leader as being practical thinkers when they were anything but.
As a result – it does not surprise me that America literally ignored the glaringly obvious strategy for WINNING the war on terror in a decisive way: Cutting off the cash.
The prospect of hunting down terrorists wherever they may exist throughout the world is totally foolish. Have we learned nothing from the David and Goliath stories of history? Large armies have consistently been defeated throughout history by smaller armies that employ guerrilla warfare – and a smarter strategy is called for.
First a question – is a terrorist that does not have the means to perpetuate violence really a terrorist? The answer is no. A prerequisite for an act to be deemed a “terrorist” act is for there to be a violent action of some sort. The impact of fists are minimal, and so guns, missiles, chemicals, and other cash-intensive equipment is required to perpetuate terrorism. To purchase such means-of-terrorism money is required.
Thus, to end terrorism, simply take away the money.
We must ask ourselves – where does the money that finances terrorism come from? The answer is simple: OIL. With the exception of oil Arab countries have largely existed in a state of subsistence over the past 200 years. I mean no offense to my Arab friends, but before oil, Arabs in Arab countries lived in desert tents, not hundred million-dollar palaces. Without petro dollars there would be no money to fund terrorism, and so to end terrorism we must simply reduce and eventually eliminate petro dollars.
In contrast, the policies of the United States government have led to monstrous windfall profits for the Arab world. President Bush’s friends in big oil must surely appreciate that. The cash that has fallen into the hands of those in the Arab world has financed terror cells and has allowed Arab investors to diversify their interests by purchasing shares in major American companies like Citibank. With each passing day, and with each penny increase in the price of oil, we continue to help Arab interests to diversify their economy and to continue a flow of cash that has historically ended up in the hands of terrorists and aggressors. Without this oil money Iran certainly would not be building nuclear weapons… they would be constructing tents.
The secret to Winning the War on Terror is reducing the price of oil by reducing demand for it. The way to do it is NOT by invading Arab countries like Iraq and Iran (yes I am contradicting my previous post) which unsettles the market and creates demand for oil. Rather, the way to reduce the price of gasoline is to invest in technology and to bring viable energy alternatives to market as soon as possible. The result would be a collapse in oil prices and less money in the hands of governments that consistently support terrorism.
Rather than think strategically and identify an intelligent long-term approach to winning the war on terror, President Bush has literally played into the hands of terrorists by attacking Iraq and wasting precious lives, along with an enormous amount of money. This was the exact response the terrorists were hoping for. As a result it would not be inappropriate to call President Bush a terrorist, in effect. Not a terrorist in a true sense of the word – but a terrorist in terms of the result of his actions. More people… more American people… and more people throughout the world… have and will die because of President Bush and the people that put him in office than as a result of all terrorist acts in the past hundred years combined.
If the money that was spent fighting the “war on terror” was invested into technology, it is conceivable that we would be demonstrably winning the war on terror. Further, the technology that would have come from that research could have spurred yet another economic boom placing the United States at the forefront and creating high-paying jobs.
Thousands of lives and too many billions later… the option discussed above is still our best option… and I would like to see both candidates for president adopt the following platform:
– Invest hundreds of billions in alternative energy research. (edit: Ensure the government is not getting in the way of private alternative energy research)
– Get out of Iraq in 3 months.
– Bank on the fact that without money they are not a threat to us.
Let’s win the war on terror by investing in productive achievement. We’re Americans dammit! We’re creative, resourceful, and entrepreneurial people. Let’s act like it.
This is why George W. Bush should be impeached. His strategic failures served only the oil companies at the expense of innocent lives throughout the world.