This is what the Japanese dared to start a war over, back when they created the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere in the 1930s.
Since the island nation lacked raw materials of its own, it determined that it was of vital national interest never to let its economy be held hostage to a shortage of natural resources and commodities.
Japan’s methodology in subjugating and brutalizing the peoples of a vast region was contemptible, but at times like these we can certainly appreciate her motives.
We like to think of ourselves as the most powerful nation on earth, yet our fragile economic recovery risks being strangled by, of all things, the reluctance of a semi-obscure North African madman to vacate his seat of power. Every day that he counterattacks and digs in is an extra day of turbulence and uncertainly in the world’s oil futures markets, with direct consequences to the prices of everything we consume here at home.
One could not blame the average American taxpayer for questioning the expenditure of so much of our treasure on the greatest defense machine in the history of mankind if we remain so vulnerable to discrete events in far-flung places.
One way out of this mess is to begin thinking of “national defense spending ” as something other than a series of jobs programs for defense workers scattered throughout a collection of congressional districts.
Hard as it might be for our representatives in Washington to get their minds around this, the fact is that every dollar spent on energy independence is a dollar we don’t have to spend worrying about keeping our oil supply lines open.
It’s up to us to educate our politicians that a salary earned by a voter manufacturing, say, photovoltaic cells consists of the same legal tender as a salary earned building tanks or bombers.