The Middle East has been a totally messy war zone for as long as I've been alive. In college, I took a class at UCLA covering the history of the Middle East up to the current environment at the time (1980's) and I walked away from that class with a clear understanding of one thing: It's been a disaster historically, and it is likely to be a disaster forever. "Peace in the Middle East" has been something that both Democrats and Republican administrations have put forward as an international policy goal for as long as we can remember. I remember thinking then that peace in the Middle East was a pipe dream, and so far, I've been right. There has never been peace there and there won't be peace there for as long as I'm alive.
Here's how crazy it is: We don't like ISIS, and we don't like Assad in Syria, so we have to chose who we hate more and get behind them. It's come out in the last few weeks that the US has actually been backing ISIS and other rebels in Syria attempting to overthrow Assad, even though ISIS has stated that they want all Americans to simply die - and work daily to kill us here and abroad. STRANGE BEDFELLOWS. A choice that must turn the stomach of those in government that have to make it. We fund rebels, including ISIS, and give them weapons in this fight against Assad, and before that fight is over, they can flow those weapons to elements that are killing us and our own troops elsewhere in the world.
So what to do?
Get energy independent - fully - and let the looney tunes in the middle east kill each other? Sounds good, except it leaves a vacuum for ISIS to flourish and become a world power. That wouldn't be good. But the alternative is to become embedded into a lifetime of war in a region that will never, ever see peace. This is where we are today! Do you want to send our boys over to be killed every year forever and ever? I don't. But to be honest, I don't have a total solution that brings them all home, forever. I just don't. And I've been thinking about it since I was in college. That's how messy the Middle East truly is. We can't abandon it because it becomes a hotbed of radical nutjobs that want to kill all Americans. We can't bomb it to Hades because, well, we just don't do that unless absolutely necessary...like Japan. Obama has tried the other approach, which is try to become their friend, but instead, these nutjobs see that as weakness and just take advantage of us and keep on killing us and working hard to overthrow the US in any way they can.
Maybe we should give a warning: If you don't get out of Syria or Afganistan by a certain date, we're going to assume you're a bad guy. Then we turn the sand in those places to glass. You know...hit the reset button. It's a thought.
We have to stop thinking about the place - and its people - as redeemable or logical where everyone can get along. That's not realistic. They are not logical, they are not redeemable. They don't think like you and I think. They're whacked out nutjobs. They don't care about money, food, oil, or life itself.
We have to simply think about one thing: What's best for us as a country and maintain our interest in that. I think to a large extent, that's what we've been doing anyway, but it means we have troops in the sand forever. And frankly, I don't know a solution to that. We have to back the guys that are gong to be the most friendly to the US and give us what we want. If that's oil, we need to simply admit that and use our military force and other influence to make sure we have access to it or own it in some way. A secondary, but very important element, we need to become free from reliance on that screwed up region for our energy.
This doesn't mean I'm a fan of alternative energy although advancements there are welcome as long as they truly make sense, are sustainable, and cost effective - which most are not yet. First, pulling energy from our own lands and generating energy from our own technology at home should be primary. Second, developing technology around the most abundant fuels, like natural gas, should be funded. Third, developing energy form renewable sustainable sources like solar, hydro, kelp, or any other damn thing that makes sense should be pursued.
The smartest guy in the energy world is T. Boone Pickens. Pickens has long said that we can be independent within 10 years using natural gas, and that we have so much natural gas in the US that if we focus on using that for our cars, our factories, our trucking and our electricity production, we simply cannot run out of it in two lifetimes. It's massively abundant here in the US and its a lot cleaner than oil. China has spent $236 billion all over the world to tie up oil reserves into the future. They have a plan. We don't.
The Pickens Plan calls for us to worry about our own energy needs FIRST before we worry about any other countries. Imagine the financially responsible power of NOT spending $400 billion a year on oil imports, and instead, being a net EXPORTER of oil to the world because we largely use natural gas for our energy, drawn directly from our own reserves. Imagine the power of putting money into the US bank account instead of running a trade deficit with these countries, most of whom hate us to begin with! Imagine selling oil to Mexico, to Canada, to Europe and being able to use our oil production to support our allies and strengthen bonds with them.
Energy independence is something that all administrations have been talking about. The elite political class is all the same. They talk about it and they do next to nothing to make it happen. The truth is, they're lousy at it. They need to let private enterprise do the work to develop the natural gas superhighway in the US, develop the alternative energy technology, and there's a very simple way to make that happen. You give great big tax incentives to investors that support the development of all of this, which is really focused on one goal - 100% total energy independence as fast as we possibly can. Hell, we landed on the moon within a few short years of a President telling us we could and we would. We can do this, too! Trust me, if you give tax incentives to investors to back this plan, it will happen. And fast. Because the money will flow to the smartest people in that field, and they will create amazing breakthroughs in energy technology that you and I have ever seen.
TAX CREDITS TO INVESTORS IN ENERGY INDEPENDENCE CHALLENGE
MONEY FLOWS TO SMARTEST MINDS AND COMPANIES
TECHNOLOGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE IS CREATED
ENERGY INDEPENDENCE OCCURS, leads to:
USA BECOMES A NET EXPORTER OF OIL leads to:
STOP FINANCIALLY SUPPORTING COUNTRIES THAT HATE US leads to:
NEVER FIGHT OVER OIL AGAIN leads to:
MORE FINANCIALLY SECURE USA leads to:
SAFER, MORE SECURE HOMELAND
WE HAVE MONEY TO FUND ACTIONS THAT FURTHER SECURE THE HOMELAND