Is Obama's Energy In right Place With Mubarak, Muslim Brotherhood?
Written by  // Tuesday, 01 February 2011 14:30 //

Ron ChapmanThe Middle East and Africa are unstable and uncertain.  Events unfolding in Tunisia and Egypt have spread throughout the region: Jordan, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Gabon, Sudan, etc.   All are ruled by entrenched families who maintain control through security forces and drain the public treasury for personal gain.   They live high while most of the population lives below the United Nations official poverty line of $2 per day.  In Egypt, 40% fall into this category. A reaction was long overdue.

Behind many of these popular uprisings lay the Muslim Brotherhood (www.ikwanweb.com).  This shadowy organization professes to seek peaceful change, but too many jihadists are influenced by its preaching’s to believe there is no connection. Despite denials, they are the intellectual spring from which jihadists quench their thirst.  It should be noted that a young Osama bin Laden was taught by members of the Muslim Brotherhood exiled from Egypt living in Saudi Arabia.


What began in Tunisia has spread to Egypt.  It may reach throughout the Arab world overturning traditional leaders and leaving nations exposed to the potential rule by Islamic extremists, like Iran in1979.   These groups are highly organized and have no concerns about spilling blood to achieve their aims. Democracy could prove to be merely a transitional phase. Anwar Sadat, the assassinated leader of Egypt (1981), expressed it best:”Fear is, I believe, a most effective tool in destroying the soul of an individual – and the soul of a people."


The end result of this would be a radicalization of attitudes against Israel and the United States with the consequent likelihood of terrorist attacks and oil embargoes.


With such deep uncertainty in the Middle East it is all that more important that the United States explore and make use of every energy resource available.    It is critical to insulate our nation from the potential financial and social disruptions shortages of energy and rampant inflation would cause.


Our nation must anticipate every potential calamity that could arise and design means to protect our national security. But there is a major disconnect between this administration and reality. America lacks a real energy policy. We have not even issued a permit to explore for offshore oil since last May


President Obama also seems to have no clue about the interconnectedness of foreign policy and our nation’s energy needs. The twoy go hand in hand.  Failure to recognize the risks could result in unimaginable future problems.


In his State of the Union Address the President made the statement “So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrows’.” Does this man really believe that fossil fuels are “yesterdays” energy source?  The fact remains that oil is the basis of our entire economy and will remain so for many decades to come.    America should strive for energy independence at all costs.

This generation does not remember the gas lines of the 1970s when an oil embargo cut off America’s access to fuel.   America then depended upon foreign nations for 28% of its energy needs.  Today we import 53% of our oil. Any sudden interruption would cause a major crisis.


American is rich.  It has enough oil, natural gas, and coal to meet our needs for the foreseeable future.  We should capitalize on these resources and fast track investments in nuclear power as well.  Money saved from imports could be employed to develop alternative energy sources.  This is the beginning of a comprehensive energy plan.  Something we sorely lack.


Realizing our dependency on oil and our subsequent vulnerability to foreign influences should be seen as our “Sputnik Moment”… not some vague reference to investments in research. 


America is protected by two oceans…we cannot be invaded.  America is a gross exporter of food…we have no fear of food riots.  America has more energy resources than any other nation in the world…but we have refused to make use of them and are, therefore, unnecessarily vulnerable to an energy crisis.


At some point in time this administration needs a reality check. Energy independence is key to national security and a President’s primary role is to strengthen America’s national security.  Do your job Mr. President!

Opinion by Ron Chapman

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