April 20, 2002

Now that the United States has declared international war against terrorism, the escalation of the winless war between Israel, Palestinian and neighboring terrorists have embroiled America in what could easily become a regional war that could unleash sustained terrorist attacks on our country.

But before our government does something foolish, like relenting to pressures being applied by some who want direct military intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the cause of Mideast hatred against America should be carefully examined. Indeed, the reasons are abundantly clear: The United States' dependence on Middle East oil created America's support of repressive Arab regimes, the Gulf War, America's military presence in Saudi Arabia and, of course, America's longtime support of Israel as our only strategic friend in the region.

The results have been terrorist acts against America to force United States power, presence and influence out of the Middle East. Unless the United States eliminates its unnecessary dependence on Middle East oil, the war against terrorism will become just as winless as the never-ending war between Israeli hard-liners and Palestinian fanatics.

Consequently, America is caught-up in a deadly dilemma of rapidly growing numbers of terrorists and their supporters who will not give up until they drive Israelis into the sea and force United States involvement out of the Middle East altogether.

Rather than stumbling back and forth through the same old political and foreign policy mine fields the United States and the American people should de-fang terrorists, and the regimes who support them, by immediately reducing our oil consumption as much as possible, and replacing all oil imports from the Middle East with increased imports from other oil-producing countries and increased domestic production from sources such as Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.

For starters, Saddam Hussein's 30-day oil embargo against America should be immediately reversed and made permanent by cutting off Iraq with increased oil imports from Canada, Mexico and other non-OPEC countries. Next on the list should be Iran, who is calling for a 1973-style Arab oil embargo against the United States.

Eliminating America's dependence on Middle East oil, thus eliminating the need to deal with any Middle East regimes, would also eliminate the reasons for any further terrorist activity against the United States. Crisis over.

Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center