The State of the Enemy II
I agree with most of his addenda with some minor quibbles. He notes that, “it is not correct to describe our relationships with the “apostate regimes” [Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan] as having ‘drawn closer.’They are, in the main, very unhappy with the American democratization strategy, which is integral to the wider war.” I meant “closer” in the context of our war with Islamist terrorists. All those regimes have been forced to choose sides against the terrorists and to quit playing both ends against the middle. They are, understandably, not happy about it. I can live with that.
He also contends that I am “a bit too positive” in attributing most of the rise in the price of oil to factors external to the Middle East. I don’t disagree that terrorists have driven up prices “at the margin.” The sabotage of Iraqi facilities by guerrillas has had a marginal impact on world oil prices, for example, and surely the Iraq War and various uncertainties caused by it has had some impact. Still, as TigerHawk notes, efforts by the oil states to tighten the supply have largely been unsuccessful. Hurricane Katrina did more to oil prices than OPEC and al Qaeda combined.