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Why must we dirty our hands with evil at all?

Reader comment on item: Support the lesser evil [in Saudi Arabia]

Submitted by Jonathan Rick (United States), Jan 11, 2005 at 14:44

Isn't this a false alternative? Why must we dirty our hands with evil at all—making the world safe for monarchy? Why not support no evil?

I realize of course that if the Ikhwan prevail, as you wrote in 1992 of Saddam (http://www.danielpipes.org/article/215), they would then be "in a position to obstruct the supplies of the world's most vital commodity and thus manipulate the price." This would give them "immense leverage over the global economy. Instead of the price of oil being $18 a barrel and falling, it would likely be $50 a barrel and rising; the consequences . . . especially to the world's poorest countries and to the struggling democracies of the ex-Soviet bloc, is almost incalculable."

But if the Ikhwan commandeer and hoard Saudi oil—and make the '73 embargo pale in comparison—by what moral right can Americans intervene?

Practically, in the short-term, this would be spell disaster. But in the long-term it would be a great incentive for what Tom Friedman calls an energy Manhattan project—the development of alternative sources to fossil fuels. Moreover, this would cause Americans to decrease our dependence on the duplicitous House of Saud—whose oil, although abundant and thus cheap, is terribly pricey, given the vast funds the U.S. government spends to protect our interests there.

Jonathan Rick

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