Mr. President, quit Fiddling Around
Nero supposedly fiddled while Rome burned, and President Obama is reported playing golf as the Mideast ramps up its self-destruction in the current resumption of ancient religious factional warfare. Pundits galore masticate the presumptive causes and cures.
An expert community organizer like the president may not have anticipated that the tactics of balkanization, pitting one group against another, and raising social and economic disparities to incite jealousy and class warfare might have more downside than upside in U.S. politics. His Mideast policies provide the tragic evidence that such policies are destructive to any society. By removing the stabilizing influence of the U.S. military in Iraq, the old religious feuds and grievances have come to the surface, and are acted out in deadly violence. Religious wars have no tidy solutions.
Concern over interruptions to Middle Eastern oil supplies has the White House staff brainstorming over policy decisions and publically acceptable response options. Maybe drones; maybe air support; but no -- or not too many -- troops on the ground… fly that past the media outlets and wait to see the reaction of the public.
One option obvious to any adult in that room would be to give the Keystone XL pipeline an emergency approval to start construction. Were the energy security of the U.S. an actual concern of this administration, they would remove their political roadblocks on this path to lessening our oil dependence on the chronically unstable Mideast. Radical environmentalists, the Sierra Club, the National Resources Defense Council, and wealthy environmental ideologues are just a few of those who seem to place the energy security of our country second to a variety of computer-generated climate scare scenarios, to fears of population growth, and to economic prosperity at all levels. The White House could finally find a winning strategy amid all the political fallout pilling up in its front yard… the IRS scandal, the Veterans Administration scandal, the Benghazi scandal...
It worked before; it might work again… Mr. President, tear down this wall of false ideology… build the pipeline.
Charles Battig, MD , Piedmont Chapter president, VA-Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment (VA-SEEE). His website is www.climateis.com