History in Review
Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil
By Robert Zubrin
Prometheus Books. Amherst, New York: 2007
ISBN 13: 978-1-59102-591-7
Reviewed by Anna Dogole - December 12, 2007
America is an addict, and its drug of choice is oil! Self-destructive, and insidious, this addiction affects both the American government as whole, and the individual citizens of the country. Breaking this addiction will be difficult, but it must be done and in Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil Robert Zubrin lays out a clear and intelligent plan that will help wean us off oil. As important, decreasing our dependence on oil will not only make the United States a more powerful and self-sustaining nation, but it will also deny terrorist groups, and terrorist states, the billions of dollars in oil revenues that are currently flowing into their coffers.
Zubrin is the President of both the Pioneer Astronautics (an aerospace engineering R&D firm) and the Mars Society. He worked as a senior engineer with Lockheed Martin, he has a doctorate in nuclear engineering, and he has authored a wealth of nonfiction books, in addition to several gripping fiction titles. In Energy Victory, Zubrin outlines a cogent plan for America to break its oil addiction. Step one is simple, congress must pass a law that would require that all cars sold in the U.S. to be flex-fuel models that could run on either ethanol or methanol. This simple step would break the Mideast oil cartel, and while it would not eliminate our entire need for petroleum-based fuels, it would be a major step in the right direction. Along the way, Zubrin paints a vivid picture about how oil has corrupted the American political system and impacted America's actions in the Middle East. Zubrin also analyzes how oil monies, especially the billions sent to Saudi Arabia, which are being used to fund terrorist organizations and Wahhabi schools where Anti-American, Anti-Jewish, Anti-Israeli, and Anti-Western attitudes are fostered. Most telling, Zubrin examines the historical record, and exposes how dependency on oil has not only caused wars, but also impacted their outcome.
Within the pages of Energy Victory, Zubrin outlines why being held hostage by the oil cartels damages America's self-sufficiency and political prowess on the world stage. In addition, he explains in detail how America is helping to fund, with petro-dollars, the very same terrorists that are out to destroy our way of life, and that of our allies. He also examines the various energy alternatives that exist, and he explains in clear language, how the various types of fuel alternatives are produced, distributed, and how they can be used as a fuel source for cars. He offers a concise overview of the pros and cons of each alternative fuel, and why he feels that methanol and ethanol are the most logical and prudent choices as a fuel for automobiles. He also examines how, thanks to new technologies, bio-fuels can be economically and effectively used to meet not only our fuel needs, but also many of our other energy needs currently being met with oil. In addition to helping break our oil addiction, Zubrin's plan also has a host of beneficial side-effects, from helping the environment by decreasing carbon emission and eliminating the danger posed by oil spills (bio-fuels are biodegradable) to helping third world farmers by allowing them to export 'biomass' products for the new flex-fuel energy market.
Energy Victory is a ground-breaking and authoritative book that clearly delineates the problems associated with America's oil-dependence. More important, he lays out a clear, straightforward, and a workable plan to rapidly and successfully break our oil addiction. This book should be read by everyone fed up with the oil cartels and the hold they, and their lobbyists, have on American foreign and domestic policies. If you are not familiar with the role that oil plays in American governmental policies, this book will be an eye-opener! This book should also be read by anyone who is simply tired of the steady rise in gas prices and our tenuous hold on oil reserves in times of natural or man-made disasters (think Katrina). Energy Victory is a timely, and effective clarion call to arms. If we are to break our oil dependency, the time is now. The need is obvious, and we have the technology to produce cost-effective and efficient biomass fuels, and the cars that can run on them. The only question is, do we have the will to take the necessary steps to save ourselves, from ourselves? Read this book, then call your representatives in Washington and prod them into working on Zubrin's plan, and share this book with your friends - before it is too late!
Water in the Middle East, edited by K. David Hambright, F. Jamil Ragep, and Joseph Ginat.
Cooperation and Technological Solutions in the Jordan Valley. Eighteen essays that deal with the political and social significance of water in the Middle East and its role in Middle East conflicts.
A History of The Middle East,By Peter Mansfield.
This work provides a sweeping survey of Middle Eastern history from the time of Napoleon's invasion of Egypt, in 1798, until the start of the Gulf War in the 1990's.
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