Monday, December 12, 2005

RCP on Syriana

Real Clear Politics has an article by Dan Gainor on the Movie Syriana. The article is titled, "‘Syriana’: ‘Realism’ or a Left-Wing Assault on Oil?" The gist of the article is that Syriana is a movie that is not necessarily based in reality, but a lot of left-wingers have embraced it because it depicts the oil industry in an unfavorable light. Here is a quote I find problematic:
In a discussion session after a December 7 preview showing in Washington, D.C., director Gaghan said he tried to keep from being an advocate: “I don’t think anybody wants to be preached to, least of all by a Hollywood filmmaker.” Gaghan did add that he had a different, more upbeat ending originally but that offered “too much hope for these times.”However, Gaghan has used the film as part of an effort to complain about American dependence on oil. His discussion session included representatives from left-wing environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, as well as self-described conservatives. Those groups are involved in an initiative called “Set America Free” that claims “the United States can immediately begin to introduce a global economy based on next-generation fuels and vehicles that can utilize them.”

The question I have after reading that quote is, is this a bad thing? Is it a bad thing for conservatives like me to agree with the Sierra Club and other environmental groups? I think a lot of other conservatives are so bothered by environmentalism that they can't stand to agree with anything an environmental group might agree with. It's a knee-jerk, reflexive response that probably comes from years of opposing environmental groups on other issues.
That our oil consumption funds terrorism against us is patently obvious. Which is why it is so baffling that there is so much defensiveness about oil consumption, from people who usually claim to be serious about our national security. If you resist change to alternative fuels and forms of energy, you are unserious about democratizing the Middle East and striking at the root of terrorism in our time. Period.
If you oppose initiatives to steer the U.S. away from its current patterns of oil consumption, then you must also admit that you are okay with the astounding transfers of wealth from the U.S. to the Middle East that occur every time there is a spike in oil prices, with portions of that money funding the logistics and weaponry involved in killing our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the funding the planning of attacks on our own soil.
If this makes you less uncomfortable than the idea of agreeing with environmentalists on an issue, then that's fine. Just don't claim that you are an individual who is serious about our national security.

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