Today, Andrew Sullivan praised this Newsweek article which argues that our dependence on foreign oil is helping the sponsors of terror, and thus the terrorists. The article and Sullivan seem particularly contemptuous of SUV owners.
I think that the argument (and it isn’t new) that the choices of Americans to drive SUVs rather than slightly more fuel efficient cars is a major problem in the fight against terrorism is even worse than the argument that drug users are to blame for helping support terrorists. And that argument was terrible!
Yes, I’m sure that some terrorists are helped by some beneficiaries of crude oil sales. But many other beneficiaries help to fight the spread of terrorism in many ways that are much more difficult to trace. The costs of radically changing our consumption patterns are huge, and the benefits are questionable. And, the major issues involved in the spread of terrorism are ideological, not financial.
As with global warming, I don’t think a serious case has been made that even a massive change in fuel usage by Americans would have a significant effect on terrorism. I think this is just another case of people who don’t like the choices of others trying to shame and scare them into making different choices.
I’m just waiting for someone to figure out why our eating too much fast food is helping terrorism.