- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 22, 2005

Since September 11, it is assumed we are at war. As such, you would think politicians and the media would take a few things seriously, including a minimal effort to collect facts, analyze them carefully and justify one’s conclusions. Celebrity and vice could be excused from such deliberations, but not matters of war and peace. Alas, such is not the case. Myth is portrayed as fact, prejudice as sound judgment and partisanship as statesmanship.

Let’s start with terrorism. Some of the September 11 hijackers were in the country on expired visas, but law enforcement was unable to access the information even while stopping them for traffic violations. We did not connect the dots. The post-September 11 congressional resolution gave the president more power to do so. Since our president takes his responsibility to protect America seriously, we have intercepted conversations between terrorists overseas and their agents here at home. The judiciary and members of Congress were notified.

But the media, intent on a story and not the facts, run reckless stories of wiretapping “thousands” of American citizens. The myth — that the administration, like all conservatives, must be putting together a police state — must be kept alive. The result is also a delay in the Patriot Act on the day it comes up for extension, followed by a fundraising letter sent out by one political party afterhavingboastedthatit “killed” the legislation. How serious can these people be? We are told the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq is really about greed for oil—apipelineacross Afghanistan and gaining control of the Iraqi oil fields. Didn’t the president and vice president work for “big oil”? But Iraq’s oil would flow much freer without sanctions and war and the Afghani pipeline talks ended nearly a decade ago.

But despite these facts, the enduring myth must be pushed — that the United States consumes too much of the “world’s resources,” thus this greed (and the war) has to be stopped. Thus, oil exploration has been blocked in a territory known as Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, with upwards of 20 billion barrels of oil. The result? We will punish our own people by making America more dependent on imported oil, driving prices higher, and give our enemy (think Iran and Venezuela) more power over our economy.

The opponents of economic liberty, having camouflaged their goals behind a smokescreen of concern over alleged “environmental” harm that will come to the frozen tundra of ANWR, give us the very result they warn us about — a dependence on overseas oil for which they say we went to war. Boy, are these people serious? President Reagan knew how to defeat totalitarianism: The U.S. economy had to be strong. His pursuit of lowered tax rates, welfare reform and crime control created America’s 43 million new jobs and began the reversal of creeping socialism that was threatening to undermine our economy. Is any of this referenced by the media mavens that cling so closely to the opponents of these achievements? Of course not.

For myth number three is equally important to these folks. We are repeatedly told “the American dream is a fraud”:Jobs are not available, those that are pay some 1/400th of chief-executive salaries, (a figure recently dreamed up by comparing compensation extended over years to annual wages of part-time workers in low-paying employment fields), while the criminal-justice system is unfair and racist. They complain that despite the major cut in crime, the “prisons are full.”

Serious people would understand that a strong U.S. economy is critical to a secure America, to say nothing of our friends around the world. But the myth of “no opportunity” in America has to be sustained. For only with such an enduring myth can socialism seek to expand. Thus, the U.S. combined economic growth, employment and low inflation, while the best in the industrialized world, is not deemed newsworthy by the myth-keepers in our midst.

Of course, if we are unable to explore for new sources of energy — see above — we must do with less. But this is not really a bad thing, because reducing the emissions from the use of energy will save the planet from “global warming,” and who can be against that? And so we are bombarded daily with calls to enact “Kyoto,” the treaty proposed to deal with our overconsumption.

But here again, the mythmakers want nothing to do with the facts. Kyoto will at best reduce average temperatures some 6/10ths of one degree centigrade over the next few decades. Whoopee! In so doing we will end up slamming the breaks on the U.S. economy and with it jobs and wealth creation upon which our ability to provide for our security depends. How this helps is beyond me. But I forgot. These are not serious people.

Peter Huessy is president of GeoStrategic Analysis.

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