We won!

To defeat terrorism, specifically the most impressive attacks, you must cut off the terrorists' sources of funds. Mission accomplished. In fact, thanks to the mortgage meltdown, we cut off everyone's funding.

I heard on 60 Minutes that Saudi Arabia needs oil to be at $55 a barrel just to pay the bills. With oil near $40 a barrel they are in trouble. I assume other oil producing countries are in the same leaky boat.

When oil prices were high, most people assumed prices would stay high. So oil rich countries started investing and spending like crazy, getting their citizens and friends addicted to higher standards of living. When those countries need to pull back on that spending, where do you think they will cut first? I think it will be hard to fund terrorists when you can't afford to pay the garbage man. And keep in mind that a successful terrorist attack on U.S. financial infrastructure could further lower the demand for oil.

I'm overstating the case, as I like to do, but I have to think it is becoming clear to everyone that a frail U.S. economy is bad news for everyone who would prefer driving a car over riding a camel.

On a related note, you haven't heard much bravado from Chavez and Putin lately.
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Jan 10, 2009
Sorry to inform you that your glee will be short lived. Oil will be expensive again, and that they dont make us buy the oil. They dont put the 19 year old girl in a truck, we do. They dont tell us to buy a 5000 sf house, we do. And low oil prices are only a prolongation of our dependence on oil. We consume 24% of the world daily production. So the world is producing oil for the US 3 Month a year.

A very shallow and overstated narrative, not researched, and not too deep.

We can defeat terrorism by killing them. How about that.
Jan 2, 2009
Nice post !

In addition to the oil effect, terrorists could start to notice how dependant they are on the US economy.

I don't say they should make ads for Wallmart but at least they should stop crashing on wall street...
Dec 30, 2008
Wall Street Journal had a similiar editorial today 12/30 "Wizards of Oil." The Health Journal also had a blurb regarding your Spasmodic Dysphonia.
Dec 30, 2008
This is totally off the topic of your post, but I wanted to say that I love that the RSS feed is giving the full post text and including advertisements at the bottom of the post now. It makes it easy to stay abreast of what you're posting AND still click some links for you to hopefully help you out!
Dec 29, 2008
Well, it seems that even the crisis got a positive side, hehehe…. And what is gonna happen with the Latinamerican illegal groups, and with Venezuela's Clown-President? have they realized that the crisis is giving them a hard time, that their funding is decreasing?

Well that’s all Scott…

+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 28, 2008
I'm glad the prices are low. In this region, there is an indian reservation where gas is sold even lower and it's available to the tribal members (who get an additional discount) and the white man alike....normally 15 cents to 20 cents lower than all the other surrounding gas stations....because they are non taxable of course, and can afford to pass the savings along to the people who want to fill up.I still don't understand how Hugo Chavez still has all the Citgo gas stations distributing his product though.
Dec 28, 2008
I think, one way to cut down terrorism is for US, not to sell the deadly weapons for short term money gains. If you could just cut down on the weapon sales to the "terror" prone nations, it could do a lot of good.

US might term "Pakistan" as a terror prone nation, but at the same time, would supply weapons of destruction to the same!
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Dec 28, 2008
That's the dumbest thing I've heard.

Because I think of all these reasons:

1. Third world countries (including terrorist nations) can afford to live on a dollar a day. It is a mere question of efficiency.
2. Terrorist nations get covert funding from some of these nations themselves. However, on the outlook, they will pretend to stop terrorism and put on a show.
3. Terrorists don't follow the one thing called 'Law' and they can afford to rob people and live on it.
4. Even if they did get locked in economically by every country in the world, it is a matter of time before terrorists took to farming and eco-friendly electricity. They might steal some communication lines or maybe launch their own satellites too. With the supposed kind of money they have today, they might be able to bootstrap such a system for themselves if they planned today.

Not that I'm in favour of any of this, but this isn't going to go away by the collapse of _one_ inefficient economy in the world.
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Dec 26, 2008
I agree that the power of terrorists will be weakened and this we can be glad for. However, we now have more rational things to fear.
Dec 26, 2008
EMP is what's scary - Electro Magnetic Pulse (from a small nuclear device set off in space), knocking out all our electronic gizmos. How would we get our blog and cartoons?
Dec 26, 2008
Six years ago, when the president was telling us that invading Iraq would make us safer, I knew it wasn't true, because I remember Ollie North.

You remember Ollie North? He was a guy who wanted to support terrorist (except he called them "freedom fighters"), and even though not sanctioned by the Official Government, was able to fund his project by diverting some weapons here, seeling them there, and getting the money where he wanted it to go. And this guy wiorked for US!!!

Back then, I imagined a similar guyl Ahmed East let's call him, who would work for a very Democratic free Iraq, maybe working in the oil ministry. With the billions of dollars flowing through his spreadsheets, how hard do you think it would be to divert some small portion of that cash here and there, into and out of accounts, to wind up into the hands of someone who isn't a puppet of the US.

Even if the government doesn't have enough money to pay for schools, whether it's short $125M or $126M, no one would notice. But that $1 million difference would buy a lot of box cutters and plane tickets.
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 25, 2008
I still don't understand why so many Americans, including Scott, consider terrorism to be an actual problem in the first place. As far as I know, far less than 1000 americans die each year due to terrorist attacks on average, whereas more than 40'000 die in car accidents, 500'000 die from from cancer, 400'000 get robbed, and over 15'000 get murdered. Even if we had one terrorist-driven plane crashing into a fully occupied building each month, I don't see why anybody should worry about it more than they should worry about killing themselves in a traffic accident. (And I don't know anybody who does.)

I think the reason why so many Americans are still afraid of terrorism today is the emotionally impressive media coverage that happened during 9/11, and of course what the administration made of it. The only real effect that terrorism has on everybody's life are some hugely inconvenient new airport security checks and restrictions. And those certainly got worse after 9/11, and they probably cost billions of dollars worldwide in time and resources. In that respect, you could certainly say that terrorism has scored a big victory against the rest of humanity.
Dec 25, 2008
It is a fact that the Middle Eastern oil producers and the other OPEC members have always had a problem. They can control the amount of oil production, but they cannot control demand. As the world economy slows so does the demand for oil.

This is why it is vital that the United States push aggressively forward with its conservation efforts. We need to dramatically increasing renewable energy capacity in all its forms. It is important to step up domestic oil exploration on and off shore. We should push hard for clean coal gasification, extensive increase in research and development for nuclear waste handling for new atomic power plants.

I cannot feel sorry that some oil sheik who has to cut back on the number of wives and Rolls Royces he can maintain. Sure would be nice that once we become less energy dependent we could cut our armed forces budget as it would be less likely to have to go off and fight for oil around the world.

As our economy rebounds then we could afford to spend more money at home to revitalize a very weakened infrastructure and address many unmet social needs. But hey, I want a perpetual motion machine too. Wonder what the new administration will do to make the above happen? I hope they see the mandate they received from the voters as an opportunity for real change. It is not going to be easy.
Dec 24, 2008
Another funny thing about oil rich countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE. They finance a lot of our debt.

When they can't afford to do that anymore....well...
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Dec 24, 2008
You obviously missed the latest summit of South American states where there were call to send home all American ambassadors.
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Dec 24, 2008
Terrorist's get plenty of funding from selling drugs.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 24, 2008
It's a savagely beautiful thing, the economy right now. I won't assume that your predictions are correct - but I won't necessarily denounce them, either, because I could see it very easily.

I especially like seeing oil prices plummet, and hearing that they are having trouble paying THEIR bills. Not just because it makes driving places easier on me, either. Frankly, if you want to be in control of a commodity that this country pretty much breaths with, then you deserve to crash when things go down, because you've been toying with the prices for so long, thinking that it would never end.

Well game over, man. Game over.

But, it's not enough. I say our next target for Economic Failure specifically hurt the people who REALLY annoy us: Spam. E-mail and television advertisements for blatant, fraudulent services and products - You know, the "Make all the money you want working from home with a computer!" deals. (Leaving aside the quasi-legitimate work that you yourself do, Scott, with a computer from home).

If the economy gets so bad that THEY go out of business because they can't afford to advertise, then I think we're in good shape. Kinda. Well, maybe not, but I'm getting sick of it all anyway. That's a group of people that should be stuffed into burlap sacks and beaten with oars.

Dec 24, 2008
burnsauce, scott!
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 24, 2008
If you are correct, then a successful terrorist attack harms the financial interests of terrorists themselves. While you may have uncovered a cruel irony, it's far from comforting, for our current enemies are not motivated by money but by a fanatical version of Islam.
Dec 24, 2008

It's about return on the dollar.

If you can't afford to keep everyone in luxury, but you can spend a small amount of money to destract them from their falling lifestyle by increasing anti-Westernism or anti-Americanism, wouldn't that be a surivival strategy for the ruling regime?

Doesn't terrorism spending become MORE of a priority, wiht oil prices falling?

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