Posted: 3:23 am
July 25, 2008
NEWS that a terror-linked imam is behind an in- your-face Islamic subway- ad blitz should spark one thought: oil.
What’s the link? Maybe none.
But petro-dollars have bought a lot of extremist Muslim influence here and elsewhere. They’ve also helped fund our enemies and assorted terror movements.
Fortunately, the “J-ihad train” campaign comes as perfect-storm conditions push Americans, finally, to do something about oil.
No, there’s no evidence that black gold is funding the ads, a project of the Islamic Circle of North America in Queens. Nor is there anything nefarious per se about the ads’ proselytizing – though terror experts have cited the ICNA’s past support for terror groups, and The Post reported Monday that the imam was linked to the ’93 World Trade Center bombing and plans for other attacks.
But consider what oil dollars are buying: It’s not just huge stakes in US financial concerns and real-estate assets.
Saudi petro-millions have funded madrassas, mosques and Islamic centers here and elsewhere, many with an anti-Western bent – not to mention terrorists in the Mideast. The Saudis have also spent mountains of cash to get places like Harvard and Georgetown to hire faculty friendly to their point of view.
Oil revenues account for 85 percent of the Iranian government’s income – much, used to fund anti-US and anti-Israel terror, destabilize Iraq and Afghanistan and pursue military programs, including (no doubt) nukes. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez would be a no-name despot but for his oil.
Indeed, so alarmed is oilman T. Boone Pickens that he’s launched a multimillion-dollar campaign to raise red flags. On Tuesday he told Congress of dangers that flow “directly from our overwhelming dependence on foreign oil” – much of which “comes from countries that are not our friends.” This puts us, he says, “in the position of paying for the tools these countries use to embrace, export and manifest” an ideology meant “to see us fail.”
Nor is national security all that’s at stake: Barring price shifts, Pickens says, Americans will send $700 billion abroad this year. In 10 years, this could total $10 trillion – “the greatest transfer of wealth” in history.
Analyst Gal Luft notes that “at current oil prices, it would take OPEC just six days to buy GM and three years to buy a 20 percent voting block in every S&P company. It is hard to see how such buying power amassed by oil producers would not upset the West’s economic and political sovereignty.”
Meanwhile, global-warming zealots continue to push non-fossil-fuel energy. Last week, Al Gore called for all US electricity to be carbon-free in 10 years.
The most powerful motivator: $4 gas. We like our SUVs – but not spending a week’s paycheck to fill them.
Gore rightly notes that disparate constituencies are uniting: hawks, who see foreign oil as a security threat; warming warriors, who fear greenhouse gases – and everybody else, left and right, who fume when they visit the pump.
And the movement is nearing critical mass: Polls show energy concerns soaring. Groups like SetAmericaFree.org are mushrooming. (Check out the funny video at nozzle- rage.com.) Pickens is pushing wind power and natural gas, building turbines that will pump out 4,000 megawatts of juice by 2014. Eco-pols, like Mayor Bloomberg, are weaning governments and constituents.
Recently, President Bush lifted the executive ban on offshore oil exploration, spotlighting congressional roadblocks like Nancy Pelosi. Both presidential candidates have made energy a priority.
And you can bet the private sector is busy with R&D.
For years, some thought OPEC kept supplies up and prices down to keep the world hooked on its oil. Today, with roaring demand from Asia, supplies are lagging – and tectonic economic shifts are afoot.
It’s not clear where all this will lead, but surely things are headed in the right direction: i.e., toward less US dependence on foreign oil.
Just fantasize the possibilities: Terror, bankrupt. Iran, shriveled. Chavez, history. Gore shuts up.
And SUVs rule.
All without firing a single bullet.
Oil’s well that ends well? Here’s hoping.