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Over on Animation Nation I posted the same article I posted here on my LJ about women in Saudi Arabia and bascially got told that because I didn't have a solution to go along with my outrage I was merely flaming feminists and should just shut up.

I'm upset that we're in bed with a country that treats women like sh*t and I'm accused of flaming feminists for doing nothing?

Maybe I'm mostly upset because I'm pretty darn sure that if it were blacks or some other minority that were being treated like that the vocal outrage would be a cacaphony of noise (Darfur anyone?) but because it's WOMEN I'm supposed to just respect their culture?

SCREW THAT.

So thinking about it (and I think that's a stupid premise to begin with...what, you're not allowed to be upset about something without having a concrete plan on how to fix it?  Yes you are, unless you're a politician and then it's your freaking JOB to propose solutions and then implement them,) I have come up with a solution on how to solve this and every other freaking problem in the middle east.

The basic problem as I see it is we are exchanging 21st century money to a region with a 7th century mentality in exchange for oil.  Saudi Arabia gets our money, Iraq gets our money, heck IRAN gets our money.  However...they also get China's money...India's money...and a number of other countries money.  So even if we summarily pulled out, they'd still be pretty well funded.

Here is my solution:

Start drilling for oil HERE in the US and quit buying it over there.  Make the United States THE #1 producer of cheap energy in the WORLD (helloooo nuclear!)
Make energy so freaking cheap there is no reason for any country *anywhere* to want to buy oil from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran or any of the other oil producing countries.

Cut them off completely from American dollars...and Euros...and Chinese dollars...and Japanese Yen...and every other form of currency from countries that BUY OIL.  All those countries following market pressures would start buying energy from THE UNITED STATES because we're doing it CHEAPER (and cleaner) than anything over there.

Take away the bazillions of dollars sent over there and they *would* suddenly be in that 7th century the radicals so long for...and after a taste of that...they'll be much more ameniable to change themselves from the inside when we not so politely tell them we don't do business with barbarians.

THAT'S my solution.

Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
onceupon
Jun. 8th, 2007 06:37 pm (UTC)
The US does produce a pretty good amount of oil but, unfortunately, a lot of it is underneath ecosystems. So unless we're willing to sacrifice the endangered wildlife of Alaska....

I do agree that being upset is good, whether or not you have a solution. I don't think it's our place (helloooooo, cultural imperialism) to go impose our own value systems, but I see change coming - it's been happening and it's happening because women and men who are a part of the culture are seeing that there are alternatives and demanding changes. I FULL ON support that, you know?

Oil is such disgusting big business that the alternative energy markets really are being ignored and I'm not just talking about "nookular" energy, either. The southeast is the only part of our country that doesn't have sufficient wind to general wind power. But we've got tons of opportunities for solar power that are being ignored. Geothermal energy, hydroelectric energy.... There ARE other sources. But oil is, in many ways, cheaper than developing more efficient process for alternate fuels. Unless the government is willing to subsidize research and development, a lot of this stuff is just going to fall by the wayside - especially if the government continues to push oil as the only example.

I DO think we ought to be just as mad about the way women are still treated in our own country. Our system here is broken, too.
jatg
Jun. 8th, 2007 07:01 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - onceupon - Jun. 8th, 2007 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
new_iconoclast
Jun. 8th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
unless we're willing to sacrifice the endangered wildlife of Alaska

ANWR comprises 19 million acres, of which about 1.5 million are open for development. Less than 2000 acres would actually be affected by drilling. That area is about 100 miles from Prudhoe Bay, the head of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the largest oilfield in the US. We've been drilling in Prudhoe and surrounding fields since the late '60s without destroying the ecosystem, and in fact we've learned a whole lot about low-impact drilling in those 40 years. Expanding domestic oil production is not an either/or choice; there's no "sacrificing" of Alaska's wildlife (which is not all endangered) involved.

The problems with solar and other alternative sources are myriad. Mostly, they are terribly inefficient, especially solar - the cost of the setup and transmission far exceeds the value of the power produced. (There's a reason why we still use oil - the market prices it cheaper than the alternatives.) The same environmentalists who won't let you drill in ANWR now won't let you put up windpower towers because they do the Cuisinart number on birds with scary regularity.
(no subject) - onceupon - Jun. 8th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jatg - Jun. 8th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onceupon - Jun. 8th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jatg - Jun. 8th, 2007 09:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onceupon - Jun. 8th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jatg - Jun. 8th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onceupon - Jun. 8th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - new_iconoclast - Jun. 9th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC) - Expand
onceupon
Jun. 8th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
Also, women in Japan and China aren't treated much better. Women in Africa? Some would argue they have it worst of all.

jatg
Jun. 8th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
And if they want to buy dirt cheap energy from the US they'd have to start treating them better. My US policy would be "we don't do trade with barbarians."

Make something they HAVE to HAVE...and pressure to change will happen internally.
onceupon
Jun. 8th, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
Refusing to trade with Cuba didn't accomplish anything. It just made people MORE opposed to American culture. You can't change people's mind with brute force and willpower.
(no subject) - jatg - Jun. 8th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - new_iconoclast - Jun. 8th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onceupon - Jun. 8th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - new_iconoclast - Jun. 9th, 2007 02:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onceupon - Jun. 9th, 2007 02:03 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - new_iconoclast - Jun. 9th, 2007 02:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onceupon - Jun. 8th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - new_iconoclast - Jun. 9th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - uppity_woman - Jun. 8th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jatg - Jun. 8th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - uppity_woman - Jun. 8th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onceupon - Jun. 8th, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jatg - Jun. 8th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onceupon - Jun. 8th, 2007 08:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jatg - Jun. 8th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onceupon - Jun. 8th, 2007 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
new_iconoclast
Jun. 8th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, those same inactive feminists are in bed (politically) with the groups that will fight hard against domestic and offshore drilling, drilling in ANWR, and expanding nuclear power. And despite their inactivity on the Saudi front, they will fight you on those issues.

So, to compound your outrage, they're not just inactive, they
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<i.actively>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

Unfortunately, those same inactive feminists are in bed (politically) with the groups that will fight hard against domestic and offshore drilling, drilling in ANWR, and expanding nuclear power. And despite their inactivity on the Saudi front, they <I>will</I> fight you on those issues.

So, to compound your outrage, they're not just <I>inactive</I>, they <i.actively support the Saudi way of life</I> by opposing the most obvious and viable alternatives to Middle Eastern oil.

It might bear mentioning that a boycott of Islamic oil might hurt the people of those countries, including the women, more than it helps drive change. What you're talking about may be a good idea from an American policy standpoint (unless you're a liberal, of course) but it is a disengagement policy, not a change-effecting policy, <I>vis-a-vis</I> the Middle Eastern oil producers.
jatg
Jun. 8th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC)
I'm sadly aware of the bed modern feminism seems to be in. Once they forgave Bill Clinton (hey, he can fool around with an intern barely older than his daughter as long as he votes the right way,)I knew I couldn't really support their groups in any way.

As for boycotting Islamic oil because it might hurt the people...frankly, I don't see how how it can get much worse. Not very much of that money actually makes it TO the people and instead stays with the royal Saudi family.

I'm sure they don't want the status quo to change...I don't think the royals really want a hard core jihad against the US...(because hey, that would disrupt the flow of cash!) but they don't really want to crack down on them in their own country either...because then the populace might see how decadent their own leaders are...and not really sharing the wealth. It's a lot easier (for populace control) to let your "unwashed masses" be mad at the US than really look at their own leaders.

Sure, it'll get brutal there once they are cut off from the rest of the world's currency and yeah initially it *would* be a disengagement policy...but eventually we would hopefully be able to REengage once it's been determined they are a people and culture the US could deal with.

Right now I'm willing to let them go back to the 7th century and have 7th century money.

As for the rest of the world...I think it would definitely be in the US's best interest to become the world's provider of cheap clean energy. The market WORKS...and if countries want to be buying that cheap energy they're going to be much more ameniable to the US because we are providing something they really WANT...and NEED.

new_iconoclast
Jun. 8th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
we would hopefully be able to REengage once it's been determined they are a people and culture the US could deal with.

Right now I'm willing to let them go back to the 7th century and have 7th century money.


There's an inherent contradiction between these two statements. The fact is, it's the Saudi culture that is backward and discriminatory and all of that stuff. The government is actually walking a fine line between moderation and jihad, as you rightly point out.
(no subject) - jatg - Jun. 8th, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - new_iconoclast - Jun. 9th, 2007 01:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jatg - Jun. 9th, 2007 05:16 am (UTC) - Expand
onceupon
Jun. 8th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
I think it's irresponsible to treat feminism as a totally homogeneous and monolithic structure. Feminism is a blanket term for many, MANY schools of thought.
jatg
Jun. 8th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
Point taken.

Where is the female outrage over how women are being treated in cultures we do a crazy amount of business with? Or did I just answer my own question?
(no subject) - onceupon - Jun. 8th, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - new_iconoclast - Jun. 9th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC) - Expand
uppity_woman
Jun. 8th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
I don't think we have to choose between being worried about women in africa or the middle east or american women. I don't think we have to choose between feminism and darfur. We can be worried and work to help all of these situations.

I think the US would be better served to lower it's dependency on oil all together, than trying to compete with the middle east's oil supply. We are outnumbered and have much less oil available than the east does, and the oil we have is of a differant quailty than eastern oil, and requires more processing (I'm in houston, it's big bussiness here, drilling in texas and offshore in the gulf). I think longterm we would be better serving our envoirnment and american quality of life if we found a cleaner energy source.

My problem wiht cutting people off and 'punishing' them is that it tends not to work. Much like the current war, trying to police the world doesn't work if america is trying to do it on it's own. You either need the majority of 1st world nations to agree and help, or the revolution to come from within. culture is difficult if not impossible to change from the outside. Revolutions come from within.

I think we have a better chance of modernising nations by giveing them examples of the BEST of our country, democracy, and the good things that come with freedom. The people will see it and want it. Look at china, and how far it has come. Look at the fall of the wall in germany. If you storm into countries, or cut them off to punish them, you make them more resolute (look at cuba).

Much like with small children, praise goes farther than punishment when you are trying to change behaviors...
onceupon
Jun. 8th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
I agree.
deronimo
Jun. 10th, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with you. Heck, there are many many many sources of fuel other than oil that companies have bought and locked up to keep the oil business going. New technology to flood the market- even if we didn't make the other countries change, it'd be a good change for us!
jatg
Jun. 10th, 2007 08:52 pm (UTC)
I'm not a big conspiracy theorists when it comes to "cheap energy solutions kept under lock and key," in fact I believe the cheap energy solution has been thwarted for decades by fear mongering environmentalists... but I DO agree that getting the US not only self sustaining on energy but have such an excess that WE can provide it cheaply would benefit the freakin' WORLD.
( 45 comments — Leave a comment )

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