|Friedman, sporting his Saddam style mustache|
This is actually a painful thing for me to do, since Friedman is usually wrong about every subject he writes on. But I distinctly recall one time that he was right. So, he deserves a brief word of praise.
That one time he was right was around five years ago, when he wrote a column in the NY Times that essentially said "The way to win the war on terror is to become energy independent. This means we should drill all our own oil and force the price of oil downward."
I forget the exact title of the Op-Ed piece, but it struck me as being such a complete and thoughtful analysis, that I still remember his key points. If anyone can supply a link to it, I'd be glad to post it here.
Friedman's theory was that terrorism is largely funded by oil money supplied by the oil rich Sheikdoms and Monarchies that are supposed to be our allies in the region. The higher the price of oil goes, the more discretionary money these Kings and despots have to divert to terrorist activities.
But in the overall scheme of things, funding terrorism is a luxury for them that they can only afford when the going price of oil is very high. Because they have other, much higher priorities that require funding first. Namely, their vast array of social services they provide their people to prevent insurrections.
|President Obama bows down to Saudi King|
Their people get free healthcare, free college educations, and even free air-conditioning.
These benefits include funding to offset high inflation and to aid young unemployed people studying abroad, as well the writing off some loans.
Overall these monarchies provide a lot more for their people than the western democracies do.Would you revolt against a government like that?
Their highest priority is preventing rebellions, and assuring the Royal Families stay in complete control of their nations. And it is very easy for these Monarchs to do this, plus fund terrorist groups when oil income is high.
But, when oil prices drop, then something has to go. And it won't be free healthcare or free air conditioning. It will be the money they donate to terrorist groups that gets cut first.
As long as we depend on foreign oil, then every time you fill up your gas tank you are donating money to Al-Qaeda. Force the price of oil back down around $40 a barrel, and the terror groups lose their funding.