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Economic Warfare: Hitting bin Laden's Target

Usama bin Laden's target price for Arab crude oil ten years ago was roughly today's price: $144.

Of course, this figure is not adjusted for inflation and was made at a time when the market price of crude was in the neighborhood of $20 per barrel. But the Congressional testimony of Anne Korin should grab your attention today, as we hit bin Laden's goal.

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, about ten years ago, Osama bin Laden stated that his target price for oil is $144 a barrel and that the American people, who allegedly robbed the Muslim people of their oil, owe each Muslim man, woman, and child $30,000 in back payments. At the time, $144 a barrel seemed farfetched to most. Today, bin Laden is a mere $20 a barrel short of his target and there is little doubt it will be attained. I would like to impress upon this Committee that $144 a barrel oil will be perceived as a victory for the Jihadist movement and a reaffirmation that the economic warfare component of its campaign against the West is a resounding success. There is no need to elaborate on the implications of such a victory in terms of loss of U.S. prestige and our ability to prevail in the Long War of the 21st century. It is therefore imperative that the U.S. Congress do its utmost to forestall such a setback.

When the president of Iran says the United States can and will be defeated (and Israel destroyed) soon, when bin Laden and others say that the United States will be defeated, when Hugo Chavez makes his obscene grand gestures of impending American doom, this is how they intend to do bring about the fall of America - economically through our Achilles heel: Energy.

We fail to exploit our own resources at our great peril. We fail to develop alternatives in parallel and in earnest at our great peril.

Most importantly, we continue our own infighting on energy policy in a zero-sum death match at our great peril. The solution is decidedly not one or the other. It is both approaches simultaneously.

Yet so many who argue publicly for more drilling do so without the inclusion of alternative development. Or, just as often, they do pose this context but are not portrayed as such. Likewise, those whose energy policy solution is alternative development far more often than not complete dismiss exploitation of our fossil resources, demonizing the energy companies in the process.

We'd better get a grip on this in short order and stop the economic lunacy of zero-sum all-or-nothing approaches. Such only feeds our enemies through our own inaction.