By Sarah Palin
Am I the only one who wonders what could possibly be the agenda of any politician who would thwart our drive toward energy independence? Continuing to lock up America’s domestic energy reserves, including the energy-rich Last Frontier of Alaska, only equips dangerous foreign regimes as they fund terrorist organizations to harm us and our allies. I’m going to keep speaking and writing about this in the simplest of terms until someone can provide a simple answer as to why liberal Democrats don’t understand that we have safe, warehoused onshore and shallow water reserves waiting for permission to be extracted. They either choose not to understand the geology, science, and technology behind an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy security, or they understand it, yet for whatever frightening reason choose to be lap dogs to Chavez and Ahmadinejad.
Shoot, I must have lived such a doggoned sheltered life as a normal, independent American up there in the Last Frontier, schooled with only public education and a lowly state university degree, because obviously I haven’t learned enough to dismiss common sense (a prerequisite for power in Washington these days). Help me out, friends! Help someone like me – and the majority of Americans – understand why we would ever kowtow and bow to foreign regimes that hate us, instead of doing all we can to starve the beast of terrorism in our plight for security, prosperity, and peace.
There’s an obvious common sense answer to our need for security and energy independence, but don’t hold your breath waiting for common sense to surface in Washington – it’s an endangered species there. Obviously we must responsibly develop our God-given domestic oil and gas reserves right here, right now; we must conserve energy; and we must develop renewables that are based on sound science, not snake oil and favors for political pals.
Please read the following Newsmax article (posted below) summarizing GOP efforts to push the Obama Administration to produce a plan to potentially wean us off one source of dangerous foreign oil. (Of course, I think the prodding should be even more aggressive to shake up the naïve complacency of anti-development Democrats and some deer-in-the-headlights mainstream reporters who are finally realizing they’d been buffaloed into believing any politician had all the answers.)
We must understand the imperative nature of energy security, along with America’s life and death need to secure our borders. Baby, this is why I won’t sit down and shut up about the need to drill.
A dozen Republican senators have sent a letter challenging the Obama administration to explain what it knows about Venezuela’s support for terrorism and suggesting that the country be declared a “state sponsor of terrorism.”
“Hugo Chavez’s relationships with Iran and other foreign terrorist organizations continue to grow and pose a serious threat to our hemisphere,” Sen. George LeMieux of Florida, one signer of the letter, said of the Venezuelan president.
“I encourage the State Department to thoroughly evaluate Venezuela’s actions and determine if the country needs to be added to the official U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.”
John Ensign of Nevada, who drafted the letter along with LeMieux, declared: “It’s no secret to the American people that Venezuela wishes harm to the United States. What is secret is how many more ties to terrorist organizations and state sponsors of terrorism does Venezuela need to be declared a state sponsor of terrorism.”
The letter addressed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton points to a number of concerns raised by Chavez’s Venezuela:
- Surface-to-air missiles and other weapons have reportedly been provided by Venezuela to FARC guerrillas in Colombia. An arms cache captured from FARC in 2008 included Swedish-made anti-tank rocket launchers that had been sold to Venezuela.
- Venezuela provides cross-border sanctuaries for Colombian guerrillas.
- A United Nations report last year disclosed that nearly one-third of all cocaine produced in the Andean region passes through Venezuela. The senators question how much terrorist groups such as al-Qaida profit from trafficking drugs that originate in or flow through Venezuela.
- The U.S. has frozen the assets of two Venezuelans, including one working for Chavez, for providing direct support to the terrorist group Hezbollah. The senators ask the State Department for an assessment of the activities of Hezbollah inside Venezuela.
- Chavez’s “extensive support” of the Castro regime in Cuba is calculated to amount to $1 billion a year, and Cuban advisors are involved in the intelligence and security apparatus of the Venezuelan government.
- Chavez “has repeatedly expressed support” for Iran’s covert nuclear program and announced a plan for the construction of a “nuclear village” in Venezuela with Iranian assistance. Also, Chavez has pledged to provide Iran with 20,000 barrels of gasoline per day.
- As for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, “recent years have witnessed an increased presence in Latin America, particularly Venezuela.”
- Weekly flights connecting Iran, Syria, and Venezuela raise suspicions of “nefarious purposes” because passengers on these flights have been subject to only “cursory immigration and customs controls.”
Newsmax magazine’s May issue disclosed that Iranian security officers seal off the airport in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, two hours before Iran Air jets arrived. Those officers supervise cargo unloading with no inspection by local officials.
Iran could easily fly in highly enriched uranium that could then be carried into the U.S. from Mexico, increasing the risk of a terrorist attack with a nuclear weapon.
If the U.S. did declare Venezuela a state sponsor of terrorism, American arms sales to the country would be prohibited, as would U.S. economic assistance, and severe restrictions would be placed on bilateral trade.
“The Obama administration’s decision to pull the trigger on Venezuela may hinge on whether the United States can afford to forfeit petroleum exports from that South American country,” Roger F. Noriega, a former assistant secretary of state and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, observes on the Institute’s journal, The American.
“Anticipating the argument that Venezuela’s oil supply is too essential to the U.S. economy to risk slapping that country with the terrorist label, the senators ask the administration to explain its ‘contingency plan’ for dealing with a ‘sudden and prolonged unavailability of Venezuelan oil exports to the United States.’”
In answer to the question, the U.S. would likely find new sources of oil on the international market — but Venezuela’s economy will be crippled by the loss of oil revenue and consumer imports, Noriega notes, adding: “Since the last years of the George W. Bush administration, U.S. diplomats have steered clear of Chavez for fear of ‘provoking’ him. Thanks to congressional oversight, we are about to confront the terrible downside of that naïve, passive policy.”
Other senators who signed the letter include John McCain of Arizona, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and Republican Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona.