For all the greenies who blame government interference or lack of taxpayer support for the relative dearth of green-friendly energy sources, limited government funds could never fuel the necessary technological innovation. Private capital markets, however, have far more on hand to fund comprehensive?and expensive?research.
There just needs to be an incentive to open the floodgates?and soaring oil prices might be the best one.
No one understands this better than the Saudis. Thus while they obviously would like sky-high oil prices, the reality is that long-term considerations place the ceiling substantially lower.
So if the Saudis face market pressures that force them to keep oil prices in check, why does the U.S. State Department go to tragic-comic lengths to keep them happy?
For all the talk about President Bush?s ties to the House of Saud, it is the State Department that grants the everyday favor that collectively constitute a record of humiliating obsequiousness.
State ignores the rash of Saudi fathers who have kidnapped American children from American mothers, holding them hostage in the desert prison.
Even when an American mother is with her two children on U.S. soil at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh?as 24-year-old Sarah Saga was last year?State fights Americans? interests and sides with the Saudis.
Religious freedoms of Christians and Shi?ite Muslims?the majority population of the oil-rich Eastern Province?are routinely and often brutally suppressed, yet State sees no evil.
Some of State?s pandering, though, has far graver consequences.
In late 2001, after State discovered that 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis?and that all of them had submitted applications that never should have been approved under the law?it sent out a press release saying that the U.S. had ?not changed its procedures or policies in determining visa eligibility as a result of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.?
Sadly, State was telling the truth. And to this day, that pledge still largely holds true.
Which means that the current trading situation boils down to the following: they export oil, and we import terrorists. What a deal.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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