03-15-2011 by L. S. Carbonell
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is in Cairo meeting with the transitional government. Early Tuesday morning, local time, she made an unannounced trip into Libya to meet with opposition leaders there. Following that meeting, she announced that the United States will not support a no-fly zone, at least not without United Nations approval. Clinton tossed the ball to the U. N., which is not known for anything that resembles speed.
The student protest leaders in Egypt refused to meet with her, citing the U.S.’s long support of Hosni Mubarak and the use of American-made tear gas and weapons against the protesters in Tahrir Square.
The United States is now proverbially “between a rock and a hard place.” Our moral imperative is to support democracy movements anywhere in the world. Our gas prices demand that we support the Saudi Royal Family. The Saudi’s have sent troops into Bahrain to help put down the protests there, and Tuesday it was reported that Saudi helicopters are firing on the protesters. Originally, the Saudi’s claimed that they were there only to protect the Bahraini Royals. The messages from the Saudis are getting a bit foggy. They support a no-fly zone over Libya, but as long as Libya is in a state of civil war, the Saudis are going to increase their oil production to compensate for the loss of Libya’s oil in the world market.
The United States also has a moral imperative to prevent attacks on civilians, as we did in Bosnia. The Libyan air force are bombing civilians as Libyan warships are lobbing shells into residential areas of rebel-held cities. These are attacks on civilians. Backing off the no-fly zone is not compatible with our highly-touted moral superiority as a free nation.
Secretary Clinton is trying to imitate Michael Flatley dancing between our necessary oil-based alliances and our nation reputation as a defender of democracy. No matter which way she steps, she’s in the shit up to her ankles. She is also saddled with a President who doesn’t do anything any more quickly than the U.N. Releasing the national oil reserves would only provide a quick fix, but doing something radical to open those 3,000 capped wells in the Gulf of Mexico would go a long way to setting us free from OPEC. We do not need to “drill baby drill” in the ANWAR to liberate ourselves from OPEC. All we need to do is cut off the ability of the oil companies to sit on the land they are already leasing for tax breaks, get in bed with Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico and finally acknowledge that the Western Hemisphere can be oil-independent if we choose to be. As long as we continue to lease our oil land to multi-nationals like BP, we will be tied hand and foot to the World Oil Market. We don’t need to be.
The people who are dying for liberty in the Middle East need us to liberate ourselves from the control the oil nations of the Middle East has over our foreign policy. As long as Saudi Arabia holds the world hostage with its oil, no one in the Middle East will be free.