Thingish Things

Obama’s Strategic Political Reserve

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jun• 23•11

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President Obama is under fire today for ignoring the advice of his generals in Afghanistan in announcing a 30,000 troop withdrawal from that country within the next 18 months. The President is accused of doing it for political reasons — the last of those surge troops should be back home right around Election Day 2012.

His decision doesn’t bother me.  The President is the Commander in Chief. He gets to make these calls. Truman overruled Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War.  He went so far as to fire the popular general when MacArthur publicly insisted that the U.S. enter China (Chinese troops had entered into the fight in North Korea.)  If the situation  in Afghanistan deteriorates rapidly after the surge troops are removed, President Obama will be held responsible, just as he will get credit if it does not.

But what really bugs me today is President Obama’s unexpected and blatantly political decision to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It has nothing to do with a national emergency — or a tough military call — and everything to do with lowering gas prices to the stem the hemorrhaging of the President’s poll numbers. That oil is supposed to be for national emergencies, not to artificially swing petroleum market prices.

The release of 30 million barrels of U.S oil is ostensibly part of a 28-nation effort to replace petroleum on the world market currently unavailable because of the civil war in Libya.  But if the idea of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is to have energy in reserve in case of an absolute emergency, doesn’t the situation in Libya demand we hold onto every drop?  What if war breaks out in another oil producing country?  What if fighting breaks out in volatile Iran?  Or if war breaks out with Israel and the entire region gets disrupted?  What if Chavez cuts exports when he gets back from a hospital stay in Cuba to prove he still has hair on his chest? These are all real possibilities.

With Libyan oil unavailable, depleting the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by a single drop is madness.  The Obama Administration is doing the nation a real disservice on this one.


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  1. Your Friend says:

    Research, Billy, research. This represents less than 5% of the reserve. It’s the same amount of oil that the country would use in one and a half days. The sky is not falling. You shouldn’t pretend it is.

  2. Precedence. Precedence.

  3. Your Friend says:

    The precedence is that GWB over-filled it. One of his many unnecessary over-extensions…

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