U.S. Involvement In Libya Is All About Oil

Chris Freind has kindly given permission to republish this article.

Recently on “Good Morning America,” Congresswoman and presidential contender Michelle Bachmann was asked, “What is America’s number one vital interest in the Middle East?”
She answered, “…our safety and security of people in the United States is always number one.”

Not only was Bachmann’s response a non-descript talking-point, but it didn’t even answer the question. Unfortunately, Bachmann missed a softball that she could have, and should have, knocked out of the park, one that would have separated herself from her colleagues.

Here’s the correct answer:
America’s vital interest in the Middle East can be summed up in three words: oil, oil and oil. That’s it. If that region wasn’t sitting on such huge reserves, America wouldn’t give it a second thought, with the exception of its security guarantee to Israel.

As a Republican and Tea Party leader, Bachmann should have instinctively talked of America’s unholy reliance on foreign oil, much of it from hostile nations in the Middle East, and aggressively pushed for energy-independence.

She could have talked about how the largest natural gas deposits in the world remain virtually untapped (the Marcellus and Utica Shale); the vast oil reserves in Alaska that are closed to drilling; the Bakken Formation in North Dakota that holds more than four billion barrels; the petroleum reserves under the Rockies that could well be the largest on the planet; the fact that we’re not drilling offshore , and that production has not yet resumed in the Gulf.

She could have then explained that, if we focused on these domestic sources, we wouldn’t be paying $4/gallon and watching inflation rise, nor would we be fretting about the Middle Eastern uprisings, and who we should be supporting.

But she didn’t. And that’s too bad, because otherwise, Bachmann’s voice on the national stage is an important one.

The fact is that if a leader doesn’t understand, or can’t articulate, solutions to the single-biggest problem facing America—being bent over a barrel because of our energy dependence—then their effectiveness is extremely limited.

And because neither Party, nor current and past Administrations, have done anything to achieve energy independence, America is now involved in yet another Middle Eastern conflict with no clear objectives. The only things being accomplished are creating more uncertainty in world markets and placing American military personnel in danger. And for what?

Several points to consider:

  • There is no question why the U.S. is involved. It’s not about stopping a brutal dictator, nor is it about civilian deaths. And it’s not about democracy and freedom for the Libyans. It’s simply because Libya produces a lot of oil. If it was really about any of the aforementioned reasons, we’d be forcefully engaged in most countries around the globe, since democracies are the exception. Just look at the Rwandan conflict: 20 percent of the population was slaughtered, but it had no oil. Result: no intervention. A little truth for why we are in Libya would go a long way.
  • So much for Obama’s campaign pledges of “no more wars of choice,” and “no blood for oil.”
  • Gaddafi, while certainly no angel, has not been the thorn in America’s side he once was. He admitted complicity in the Pan Am 103 bombing and paid reparations, dismantled his nuclear weapons program and, understanding the new world order after the 9/11 attacks, stopped harboring terrorists. As a result, Libya was taken off the U.S. government’s State Sponsor of Terrorism list by the Bush Administration, with then- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stating Libya was being rewarded for its “renunciation of terrorism and the excellent cooperation Libya has provided to the United States” in the war on terror. And the flow of Libyan oil has been unimpeded. So much for the brutal dictator theory.
  • Who exactly are the rebels we are supporting by bombing the country and establishing the No Fly Zone? Are they all James Madison-types looking to establish a democratic Republic? Or are they the Muslim Brotherhood—or worse? Given many Middle Easterners’ track record of viewing the United States as the Great Satan, the odds probably aren’t favorable that we’ll be singing Kumbaya with them a few months from now. UPDATE: Reports now state that eastern Libya (home of the rebels) sent more fighters to engage the U.S. in Iraq than anywhere else.
  • A No-Fly Zone does not make a democracy. Okay, we are preventing Gaddafi from using his aircraft. But what happens when he starts whipping the rebels anyway? Do we bomb his troops and tanks? Do we send in Special Forces? What happens when a pilot is shot down? More important, what happens when a similar situation arises in Saudi Arabia, and civilians get mowed down — as they will, since the King isn’t going quietly. Do we establish a No Fly Zone over The Kingdom? Do we bomb them, too? Not a chance in the world. Despite all the questions, there are no answers, and the coalition, if you can call it that, has already begun splitting apart.

We lose no matter how you slice it. The majority of Libyan oil is sold to Italy and France, yet America has been roped in to do their heavy lifting. Why? And as more Libyans die from allied airstrikes, America will get blamed on the Arab Street. Gaddafi’s claim of another “Crusade ” against a Muslim nation will hit home to millions of Muslims across the world, vastly undermining any goodwill that may have been generated over the last several years and bolstering terrorist recruitment. And the support of the worthless Arab League, whose officials are already back-tracking, means nothing. It’s not their planes doing the bombing, but ours. We get all the negatives and none of the positives while the Arab League gets the best of both worlds.

The United States’ involvement in Libya, a nation that in no manner attacked America or caused it harm, sets an extremely dangerous precedent. Ironically, this effort, executed with no foresight and one that has absolutely no endgame, further endangers our national security. Playing into the mentality of millions of Muslims that the U.S. seeks to dominate their countries will only enflame anti-American feelings.

George Washington could not have been more right when he advised against foreign entanglements and intervening in the internal affairs of sovereign nations. That wisdom is proof that modern advances will never be a substitute for old-fashioned common sense.

Delco Patriots To Meet March 24

The Delaware County Patriots, the county’s Tea Party group, will meet 7 p.m., Thursday, March 24 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 327 N. Newtown Street Road (Route 252), Newtown Square 19073.

Speaker is Paul Linkmeyer who will explain the importance of committee seats.

Bring a friend. Reservations are not necessary.

Education Revolution In Pa?

Education Revolution In Pa? — Tea Party activist Bob Guzzardi reports that the Pennsylvania State Senate Education Committee is preparing to consider, tomorrow, a revolutionary education reform package that could very well make the recent shrieking in Wisconsin by the special-interest child haters sound like whispers.

Among the reforms that Bob says will be addressed in a series of bills will be:

–Empowering school districts to furlough teachers if the economic conditions should warrant it

— Allowing districts to suspend non-essential reports to the state Department of Education in years state education funding declines

— Requiring a two-thirds vote by school boards to raise property taxes

–Allowing districts to hire registered nurses rather than school certified nurses

–Changing public advertising requirements to allow the use of the internet

–Allowing school districts to bid single prime on construction projects. (It has been estimated that this will cut construction costs by 10 percent)

–Allowing districts to hire those who have graduate degrees in business or finance as superintendents ending the incestuous education certification requirement.

–Ending the state mandate for 10 paid sick days and paid sabbatical leave for teachers.

The big one not on the table is once again empowering school boards to replace striking teachers but if the report is accurate tomorrow will be the start of something good.


Education Revolution In Pa?

IAEA: Jap Nuke Event Not ‘Serious Accident’

Much was made of the matter when the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was raised to level 5 on the The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

According to the scale Level 5 is considered to be an “accident with wider consequences”.

It’s a Level 6 it becomes a “serious accident”.

Level 7 is a “major accident”.

The casualty rate as per Wikipedia as of the morning of March 21 is 37 injured (none due to radiation) and two missing.

It seems it is much better to be in an old nuclear plant during a 9 magnitude earthquake followed by a 30-foot tsunami than. say, deep in a coal mine.

Enviro-Loons Force End To Lone OTC Asthma Inhaler

The federal government is forcing Primatene Mist, the sole  asthma inhaler that is available over-the-counter, off the market.

The announcement was made March 15.

Is it because it doesn’t work? No.

Is it because it is dangerous to health? No.

So why?

It’s because it uses chlorofluorocarbons to propel the medicine into one’s throat and as any mis-educated twit fast-tracked in the federal bureaucracy knows chlorofluorocarbons, even in the small amount used by asthma inhalers, offends Gaia.

The last day  the inhaler may be sold is Dec. 31, so if you suffer from asthma start stockpiling.

Pimatene Mist is made by Armstrong Pharmaceuticals which is a subsidiary of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc. which, unfortunately, is a privately held company in case one was so inclined to place a bet that the run on the market was going to drive the stock price up.

Obama Nixes A Third Of FOIA Request

Obama Nixes A Third Of FOIA Request — In a style more akin to Hugo Chavez than Woodward and Bernstein, the Obama administration  rejected a third of Freedom of Information Act Requests last year.

Whatever could they be hiding?


Obama Nixes A Third Of FOIA Request

Corbett College-Cut Critics Milk The Cash Cow

Gov. Corbett’s plan to cut $625 million in funds to collegiate bureaucrats and send some of the money directly to students as scholarships has sure caused some shrieks and howls.

Among the howlers whose cash cow is being gored are:

Penn State University President Graham Spanier whose salary is $620,000 not including benefits;

Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg, whose salary is $486,500 not including benefits and who just received a sweet $26,500 raise;

Temple President Ann Weaver Hart whose salary is $527,403 not including benefits;

Cheyney University President Michelle Howard-Vital, who got but a mere $193,800 not including benefits albeit that was in 2008 and she’s got a few raises since.

Oh, the humanity.

Among the defenders of the fat-cat educrats is Springfield’s own State Rep. Bill Adolph (R-165) who as House Appropriations Chairman earns about $90,000 per year and is in line for a $64,000 pension upon retirement.


Corbett College-Cut Critics Milk The Cash Cow

America Needs More Nuclear Power

America Needs More Nuclear Power — This article by Chris Freind is being published with his permission.

There is a story about a wealthy man who sought the world’s safest place in which to build his home, a place free from all dangers, natural and man-made. After expending a considerable sum researching such a location, he determined that a particular island in the South Atlantic fit the criteria.

The man spared no expense in constructing the most solid, fortified and beautiful home—one that was virtually impregnable.
But after planning for all contingencies, something happened for which he had not accounted.

The man found himself directly in the line of fire—of the Falkland Islands War.

The point? Life is full of risks, and despite some people’s naïve belief that risks are avoidable, they are not. Instead, our focus should be on mitigating those risks in common sense ways while still living in the real world.
But we don’t.

Already, we have heard the calls to reevaluate our nuclear power program (codespeak for phasing it out of existence) because of the situation in Japan. And God forbid that we should actually forge ahead with new nuclear plants, several of which have been recently approved. That would be dangerous and foolhardy, we are now told.

So let’s get that mentality straight. We should shelve nuclear expansion—a virtually zero emission power source that significantly reduces reliance on foreign oil from hostile nations—because of problems half a world away? Problems that directly resulted from Japan being front and center on the notorious Ring of Fire—home to 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes and 75 percent of its volcanos. And problems that, for the most part, America doesn’t have, since almost none of the country sits on that Ring.

That’s not just naïve. That’s self-inflicted stupidity.

The United States has 104 nuclear plants in operation, accounting for 20 percent of our electricity consumption. It should be double that number, but for decades, leadership has been sorely lacking in both political parties, and the American people are extremely shortsighted on all things energy.

So now that we’re facing $4/gallon fuel—with experts predicting $5 by next year, which significantly inflates the prices of almost everything due to increased transportation costs—what are our options? We have none.

Our drills in the Gulf sit idle, Alaska is pumping but a fraction of its resources, there is no drilling off our continental coasts, and natural gas companies are shutting down operations because the demand is so low.

And now, the stigma of Japanese nuclear problems, combined with political cowardice, will all but halt the expansion of our nuclear program.
We can’t have it both ways. If paying less at the pump, bolstering national security and reducing greenhouse emissions are important, then nuclear power is the only real alternative.

So instead of punting away such a proven and safe energy source, America’s leaders need to show political courage by telling the people the truth, not what they may want to hear.

And here is the truth:

1) Unequivocally, China will not allow its nuclear program to be sidetracked or slowed by the problems in Japan. They have 27 new plants under construction, including the most advanced reactors in the world. While we bury our heads in the sand and bog down any new construction with litigation, our biggest economic and military competitor will continue to challenge our status as the world’s only superpower. And because of their determination and mettle, they will surpass us in a decade.

2) Nuclear power plants are safe. As is the case with anything, risks exist, but with proper oversight and increased fail-safe measures, many of which were implemented after the September 11 attacks, those risks are well within acceptable limits. And for those who may think this author is a NIMBY—Not In My Back Yard—there are four nuclear plants that literally surround my region.

Outside of the Three Mile Island (TMI) incident in 1979, there has never been a major accident in the United States. And not to minimize the seriousness of TMI, but not only was no one hurt or killed, numerous independent evaluations, including a 13-year study of 32,000 people, concluded that there were no adverse effects to the surrounding population.

3) Numerous ships in the U.S. Navy are nuclear-powered (including all aircraft carriers and submarines), allowing them to travel nonstop at high speed without needing to refuel for 25 years. Not only do these vessels represent a huge cost savings and are environmentally friendly, since they forego two decades’ worth of oil, but they are an incalculable asset to America’s national security. And in more than 5,400 “reactor years” of operation with 500 reactors, and well over 130 million miles steamed, there has never been a nuclear accident.

4) Much of the damage to Japan’s plants was due to the tsunami after the earthquake. A common-sense policy might be to build American plants several miles inland from the sea and not on fault lines, especially on the more earthquake-prone West Coast. While the rest of the country is not immune to earthquakes and tidal waves, the likelihood of those events occurring on even a fraction of the scale in Japan is remote. And America’s nuclear facilities are designed to withstand the power of the largest earthquakes.

America’s nuclear energy policy cannot and must not be formulated by what happens in other parts of the world where natural disasters (Japan) or human incompetence (Chernobyl) exist.

Common sense tells us that we can increase our nuclear-power knowledge from Japan’s unfortunate series of events. Those “lessons learned,” combined with the huge technology advances that have been realized from the days of TMI, would make America’s nuclear program the envy of the world.

Incredibly, it has taken a Democratic president to push this initiative, despite the vehement objections of his party’s biggest constituencies.
With Republicans in control of the House and poised to take over the Senate, there is absolutely no excuse for not pushing ahead on the next generation of American nuclear power plants, which would be the first constructed in three decades.

With no end to soaring fuel prices and the Asian Tiger’s appetite growing every day, Americans should embrace nuclear power for what it is: a gift of clean and limitless energy.

To ignore this reality would be too great a risk.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com. Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.” Freind, whose column appears regularly in Philadelphia Magazine and nationally in Newsmax, also serves as a frequent guest commentator on talk radio and state/national television, most notably on FOX Philadelphia. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com.


America Needs More Nuclear Power

Jap Disaster Boon For Nuke Power?

Jap Disaster Boon For Nuke Power — Today’s lead headline in the New York Times reads in part “Nuclear Risks Loom” regarding the troubles in Japan, and an above-the-fold story says that “U.S. Nuclear Push May Be Impeded.”

Other major media outlets have said the same thing.

Is it true?

This article by Barry Brook on BraveClimate.Com, a pro nuclear power site, claims the Japanese plants have held up surprisingly well and that reports of a nuclear disaster are vastly overblown.

The truth will come out in the next few days but if what Brook says turns out to be correct the disaster will be anything but an impediment to the nuclearization of our energy supply. Considering that it would mean that the ancient plants maintained their integrity during  a 9 magnitude earthquake and 30-foot tsunami, it would actually be an incentive.

We will soon see.

Jap Disaster Boon For Nuke Power?

Jap Disaster Boon For Nuke Power?