Power Line – Puzzlement

May 29, 2005

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Puzzlement
Date: Sat, 28 May 2005 19:43:54 -0700
From: David Barrett <dbarrett@quinthar.com>
To: powerlinefeedback@gmail.com

Hi there. You said: “I’m a little puzzled, though, by what the show’s
organizers considered to be a “relevant political message,” i.e., how
the oil companies “abuse” the United States.”

I doubt you are truly as puzzled as you state (feigning ignorance is a
powerful, albeit deceptive tactic), but in case you are I think their
basic argument goes as such:

1) Oil companies are very reliant upon stability in the Middle East for
business.

2) Middle-eastern stability is currently maintained only through harsh
authoritarian governments.

3) These authoritarian governments remain in power due to a combination
of the US turning a “blind eye” to their tactics, or even through direct
US military aid.

4) The “abuse” the author might have been referring to is forcing the US
to support governments that violate the core tenets that the US holds
dear. In other words, the American people are abused because their
money funds people who violate their principles.

5) The US endures this abuse because (ie, supports these governments
against the principles of the American people) because if it didn’t, at
the very least oil prices would suffer, and at worst there would be
chaos caused by the region imploding.

Now, you could argue that it’s not the oil companies who are abusing the
US people, but the authoritarian governments in the middle east. But
given the tight relationships between those governments and the oil
companies, it’s not wholly unreasonable to associate the two.

Incidentally, I’d like to ask you the favor of trying to give the
“childish leftists” a bit more professional treatment. Even if you
think they are stupid — and even if they are — it’s your
responsibility to go learn why they think the way they think. Touting
your ignorance only highlights your unwillingness to learn the opposing
position or, even worse, your inability to debate in a rational fashion
(which involves understanding both sides of the argument).

-david

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