Intolerable Addiction

Western dependence on tyrant controlled oil

Published: February 24th 2011
in Economics » World

Oil Pumpjack

Can you stop fueling your cars?


Suppose that for the next week you are told to stop using your car. No driving to work, school, or anywhere else. You can walk, cycle, or take any mean of public transportation excluding cabs.


How many of us are willing to pay the price of comfort and convenience in order to reduce our dependence on fuel that, as has been made painfully clear to us from these recent Middle East uprisings, come from places that are ruled by tyrants which use the exuberant profit from their countries’ natural resources on themselves and their families, while their citizens starve.


Against the wishes of the majority of their citizens, the international community and, in some cases their own cabinet, these rulers are unwilling to leave the life of luxury they have grown so accustomed to and haven’t hesitated to attack their own people.


As per common course in these countries, most of the airplanes, ships and tanks that these rulers are using were bought from western governments in the name of "world stability" and "correct bilateral" international relationships.


The fact is that most of us are not willing to change our habits in the name of political ideology. The western world is in some perspective a slave of its own high living standards. Part of this selfishness is our addiction to fuel and to the convenience it brings to our lives.


Gaddafi's terror against his own people


The news from the North African Arab state is horrible. Very rough estimations, seeing as no media is allowed in Libya, have mentioned more than 2,000 casualties. Military and hired mercenaries have been ordered to kill, and are using any means to do so, including gunships and jet fighters to bomb unarmed civilians.


Sadly, the west has shown no urgency in invading Libya and helping protect her people. Indeed, many western leaders have condemned the events in Libya and called for sanctions but for leaders like Gaddafi, especially at this moment, these threats mean less than nothing. Where the urgency does seem to lie is in the surging fuel prices which have reached over $100 per barrel and its damage on the fragile economy.


Our addicted society is more worried about its financial portfolio and the prices at the gas station than the young Libyans who sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom; the freedom that the western culture is based on but has long ago forgotten to appreciate.


Supporting Hezbollah and Iran


Uzi Landau is the Israeli minister of National Infrastructures and a member of the Likud Party. Landau said earlier this week that each time we fuel our cars, 30 per cent of the amount we pay reach the bank accounts of Hezbollah and the Iranian nuclear program. "The west is addicted to oil" said Landau. "It is a struggle between culture and we can win it without shooting a single bullet", he added.


Landau believes that putting electric cars into Israel's roads is a national priority task. According to Landau, our consumption addiction and behavior stimulates the extremists in the Islamic world who eventually use our money against us.


What to do?


The solutions are there and are already widely accepted, but what is needed are courageous decisions by western leaders to implement these solutions.


The recent events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Amman, Bahrain and wherever follows next, show that the world can no longer depend on "Oil Barons" and keep its eyes closed in the name of their economy.


Many political crises in the past have been followed by economic crises. The current brutal riots in the Arab world are just one example out of many.


If the pattern doesn't change, then sooner or later new tyrants will take control of these Arab countries. All that has happened over the last month will be for naught. They will keep selling their fuel to the addicted west and the west will find the reasons to support their regimes and equip them with arms.


The western world should actively encourage the democratic process in the Arab world and at the same time dramatically reduce its dependence on the Arab Oil. The west must "Rehab" from fuel.

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