Thursday, February 27, 2003

New Anti-SUV Campaign Guzzling Misinformation
By Alexander Marriott
UNLV Rebel Yell: January 21, 2003

The Detroit Project, funded by liberal Norman Lear and supported by conservative journalist Ariana Huffington, has begun an ad campaign against SUV's with the assertion that when you fill up at the pump you are giving money to countries that then give that money to terrorists.

The suggestion is that one should then not drive SUV's because they use more gas than a smaller car. But does this response or even the entire premise make any sense at all?

Starting with the premise: the poor gas mileage of an SUV is funding terrorism; therefore stop driving them. The huge hole though is that even if you buy a smaller car, you're still buying gas and therefore supporting terrorism, just a fraction less. Not to mention even if you ride a bike or walk, chances are good that the street or sidewalk, or a part on your bike is made with or from oil products, i.e. plastic, so you're are still supporting terrorism. Not to mention much of the oil the United States uses doesn't come from the Middle East, it comes from OPEC countries, but OPEC isn't an exclusively Arab organization. Mexico and Venezuela, and now potentially Russia, are and will be our main sources of crude oil.

As for the solution to the perceived problem the commercials bring up, punishing ourselves by not buying the cars we want to buy. How is this justifiable? If there are countries funding terrorism as the commercials allege then those countries are waging war against us through the proxy of terrorism and the proper response would be to defend ourselves through war and not selling the SUV.

Or, take away the unconstitutional land restrictions the congress has imposed (through national parks and protected lands) and allow the market to decide how the land will be used, whether it's for conservation or oil exploration. But it is a logical leap to say that since we are being attacked through terrorism which is bankrolled by countries that sell oil that we should stop using it. What message is sent to the terrorists when we punish ourselves through restricting our own liberties rather than killing them? It's the same message the Arab countries got when they stole the oil fields and a military response was stopped by the United States. That message is, "keep doing it, we won't punish you for it."

There is no difference here in restricting what we can buy and drive and in taking away our civil liberties, they are part of the same philosophy, "freedom has caused these attacks, curtail it." But where is the ACLU and other liberal watchdog groups that claim to care about freedom? Ooops, this issue involves the freedom of evil "multi-national" corporations to sell products people wish to buy or in other words, they don't care and probably whole-heartedly support these proposals. If you wish to protect your rights, to free speech and privacy then protest not only the crazy state of airport security, the tips program, or some other Ashcroft chicanery, but also any of these equally pernicious suggestions to restrict our free market whether they are from Bush or television producers.

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