For 40 years the West's biggest foreign threats have come from oil states.
Putin. Assad. Gaddafi. Saddam. The Saudis’ spread of an extreme version of Islam worldwide. ISIS. Al Qaeda. Iran’s incessant support for terrorism. The Soviets’ nuclear surge in the 80s.
With Clean Trade, America can counter the ‘Western crusader' narrative that's motivating so many terrorist attacks.
The American people will take a public stand with the people of oil states—and stop sending money to the authoritarians and armed groups who are causing them and us so much trouble.
Clean Trade can further other priorities as well--creating good American jobs by developing America’s own energy, transitioning from ‘Authoritarians to Alternatives,’ and reducing our military spend in the Middle East.
Congress should pass a Clean Trade Act now.
Why is this happening?
An archaic law turns oil into absolute power.
This law is literally ‘Might Makes Right.'
All countries today still make it legal to buy oil from whoever can control the wells by force. So when Gaddafi took over Libya in a coup, Americans started buying Libya’s oil from Gaddafi. Then in 2011 when armed rebels took over some of those same wells, Americans started buying Libya’s oil from the rebels.
This bad old law legalizes theft. It puts Americans into business with whoever can be the most violent abroad. It incentivizes more violence. And the money we send to these violent men ends up funding threats to Americans.
Last year the average American household sent over $100 to authoritarians and armed groups, just by filling up.
The better rule is Lincoln's Principle: A country's resources belong first to its people.
So only governments accountable to the people should sell us the oil.
Popular Resource Sovereignty
Leaders worldwide already publicly affirm popular resource sovereignty. Its language is declared in major treaties already ratified by nearly every country (US, China, India, etc.) covering 98% of the world’s population. The principle is friendly to resource privatization, as in the US.
Basic test for Popular Resource Sovereignty: Can citizens can hold officials accountable for resource decisions without fearing for their liberty or their lives (e.g., Freedom House 'Free' or 'Partly Free').
Lincoln's Principle is good strategy.
History shows no threats to America from oil states where the government is accountable to citizens through basic civil liberties and political rights
Historic Global Leadership.
In the 17th century, ‘Might Makes Right’ was the rule for all of international law.
The international rule even for human beings was ‘whoever can control them by force can sell them to us.’ This made the Atlantic slave trade legal.
Until the 20th century, ‘Might Makes Right’ also made colonial rule and apartheid legal.
Through heroic campaigns, the slave trade, colonial rule and apartheid are now violations of international law.
‘Might Makes Right’ for oil is one of the few unreformed remnants of the old, violence-based international system.