Our worst enemy is us | TheUnion.com

Our worst enemy is us

The U.S. uses 26 percent of the world’s oil supply. We eschew the many ways to reduce this voracious consumption encouraged by skewed advertising concerned only with short-term profit. We have an executive on sabbatical from the oil industry who avoids conservation and other attempts to reduce our dependency on oil. We complain about the high cost of gasoline without realizing its true cost, which lies hidden in our taxes.

If we must guarantee our oil supply, we must be prepared to defend that supply with our military. Most analysts now agree that the Gulf War, while ostensibly fought to stop Iraqi aggression, was primarily fought to protect Middle East oil supplies. Those billions spent were, in a true sense, oil subsidies paid by taxpayers to supply “cheap” oil.

One organization estimated that were we to add these costs at the pump, the true cost of gasoline would be approximately $15 per gallon. Should this true cost be paid “up front” at the pump, it would provide tremendous incentive for both conservation and the search for energy alternatives.

Anther “cost” hardly mentioned when U.S. troops are deployed for oil protection is the lives disrupted and lost. Not just U.S. lives, but all lives lost. We are now on the verge of invading Iraq. Surely Saddam Hussein is an evil man with aggressive intent. While we are using this fact to prevent this man from using weapons of mass destruction, it is also a pretext to secure the Middle East’s oil which Mr. Hussein’s actions threaten. The U.S. government needs Middle East oil. If we secure it, we can continue our profligate ways, but earn the enmity of the masses there and increase the terrorist threat to this nation.

The next time you jump into your SUV and put the pedal to the medal, think of those sons and daughters who might very well be paying the ultimate price for your “right” to do that. As Pogo said years ago: “We have met the enemy, and it is us.”

Stuart Hoffmann

Grass Valley

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