It's time for the people to decide

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.

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 the 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, 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 through limitless 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.

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 Venezuela.

Eliminating America's dependence on Middle East oil, thus our support of repressive Arab regimes, would enhance the establishment of a Palestinian state and co-existence with the State of Israel, and eliminate the reasons for any further terrorist activity against the United States.

If the extremes of pride and prejudice cannot be controlled, and the only alternative seems to be taking on the ugly reality of World War III, the inescapable conclusion, it seems, is that our government's careless foreign policy and selfish interests are leading us to the point of no return, without lifting the finger that matters: Democracy.

When our government fails us and America's survival is at stake, the people (the collective judgment of a truthfully informed electorate) should decide what is best for our common good, and what is not.

Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center