The most recent and successful US covert operation against the terrorist mastermind is justice. President Obama, who made this his number one CIA priority and who made the call with all the risks involved, deserves the most credit along with all the military, spies and Navy seals who carried it out: these service members deserve our abiding gratitude. Also CIA Director Leon Panetta and Defense Secretary Gates along with the whole national security team (who kept this absolutely top secret from Pakistan and our media) deserve lasting commendation. It is a patriotic moment, and also one the whole world can celebrate. Ultimately, the hope is that all of this news is part of a broader and much greater story and trajectory of success and responsibility on the part of the United States. In order to make this hope a perpetual reality and in order to strike the greatest and most lasting blow to terrorism (not to mention the profound benefits for energy security, economic security, health security, environmental secuirty, etc.), the United States should now lead the greatest campaign the world has ever seen for energy stewardship, for clean power and for energy independence. Please refer to the following declaration written in early 2004 for a more complete elaboration:
A Vision for Global Leadership and Responsibility
These unprecedented times call for unprecedented action. I am a husband, father and concerned citizen of the United States. I do not want my newborn children to grow up in a world where their native country pursues war as the principal means of addressing the threat of terrorism. Such a path is inherently unstable the further down we go. The fateful policy of unilateral preemption against Iraq must be the exception and stop there. Otherwise our national consciousness will become blinded in imperialism, bankrupt of imagination and frail in terms of mustering integrity-based leadership.
I know in my heart that as a beacon of freedom (freedom from oppression and intolerance, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of ideas, freedom to strive for daring dreams) we were founded for greatness. September 11th was a wake up call for us to live up to who we really are, as we have done crisis after crisis in our history. Now – at the dawn of the 21st century in a world that is as interconnected, as insecure, and as opportune as ever – is the time to be bolder and brighter than ever.
I summon my country to assert true leadership by waging a colossal campaign for energy stewardship. This means that we bravely become energy independent at home as soon as possible through unparalleled acts of efficiency and conservation and by massively tapping our unlimited reserves of renewable energy. In the mean time, we import energy only from responsible nations and absolutely not from states that in any way support terrorism; our national policy should be to boycott fossil fuel energy from Iran, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere as determined by verifiable intelligence. In doing this, the U.S. will lead by setting a remarkable example, and we will not act alone. We will work deliberately and effectively in concert with other nations and multinational institutions.
The impacts of this courageous operation will be powerful and empowering beyond measure.
At home, we will enlist our fellow citizens to sacrifice with higher energy costs in the short term; but ultimately through innovation we will stimulate our economy to levels never seen before – millions of satisfying jobs will be created in the energy industry, economic development (especially in hard pressed rural areas) will soar as we develop more efficient solar, wind, biomass and, in the transition, natural gas (allowing no clean water act and clean air act waivers), and revenue will stream in to the point of enabling surpluses as far as the eye can see.
On the terrorist front, we will transcend mere symptomatic responses and advance more to the sources of solution: overcoming our hypocrisy by once and for all demonstrating true responsibility in the world and non-violently debilitating the unaccountable regimes that spawn terrorist acts of immoral desperation. A strong and broad coalition of nations unequivocally boycotting these regimes’ oil – which is what accounts for their corrupt existence in the first place – will fundamentally disrupt their essential element of control. This will meaningfully contribute to the genuine rise of civil society and self-governance as well as human welfare because the people will be compelled to be resourceful without the impeding crutch and tyranny of oil.
In the global horizon, our profound policy will restore the sanctity of international law and cooperation: in a united front we will whole heartedly address the global problem of human-induced climate change, which if not proactively resolved would wreak more havok on human civilization than terrorism ever has or ever will. At last we will lead the way on a most honorable journey to benefit all of humankind and life itself.
We are destined for greatness: to embark on, give our all for, and pass to the next generation the quest for harmony on earth. I believe that in this most meaningful endeavor – because the human spirit and power of freedom are so deeply engrained in us – we will prevail humbly and triumphantly for all.