So, now we see why we need leaders with common sense and some knowledge of history.
Gasoline is almost unbelievably expensive, at least here in Southern California.
We now have premium at $6.50 a gallon — self serve.
I cannot bring myself to buy an electric car because I do not want to have to wait hours for a refill if I run low on the highway. But my Audi burns gasoline at a rate that’s breathtaking.
To be honest, it also has a super powerful twin turbo V8, and it goes like a bat out of hell. So, I pay the price.
Why do I have to pay such a high price? Just a year ago, we were overflowing with supply. We were producing so much oil that we were in a position to export it.
Today, we are on our hands and knees begging OPEC, never our friend, to pump more oil. We are even pleading with Russia, certainly not our friend, to produce more hydrocarbons and sell them to western Europe — making Europe ever more dependent on Russia.
The problem was President Joe Biden and his nutty environmentalist friends. Without any evidence, they shut down fracking as a supposed environmental hazard. It never was, but it was a way to greatly strengthen the United States of America.
America’s immense resources of oil were an extremely important part of how and why the Allies won the Second World War. Oil, not solar, not wind, is what powers great economies.
The Nazis lost in major part because they had almost no oil. Their Wehrmacht were superb fighters, but without oil, they were stifled.
To me, just as to many other Americans, there never was any hope that wind and solar power could possibly replace oil at any time, let alone within a few months. Oil and gas are just amazingly more efficient producers of energy than wind and solar.
Nevertheless, we have this crisis. It was easily foreseeable by any intelligent, well-informed man or woman. Yet the president ignored all data and just went with pleasing his pals in the Sierra Club.
We faced a similar crisis in Afghanistan.
For a long time, Afghanistan was a remote but stable country ruled by a king. Then the fundamentalist Muslims seized power. They created a reign of terror against women or anyone who did not support the strictest forms of Mohammedanism.
They were also fiercely anti-communist. This frightened the leaders of the USSR, a close neighbor of Afghanistan.
During the years of President Jimmy Carter, they invaded Afghanistan with a huge force of the Red Army and air force. The Muslims stood up to them.
At some point in the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the United States armed the Muslims in a big way. In a fairly short time, the Soviets were suffering far more casualties than they could afford.
They withdrew from Afghanistan to the cheers of both the Muslim extremists and the Russian people. The shock of it all helped cause the end of the USSR.
Then, after we discovered that the terrorists of al-Qaida were sheltering and training in Afghanistan to prepare for the horror attack of 9/11, we invaded Afghanistan. In very little time, the U.S. was running that sad country.
But the extremists never gave up. They fought, bombed, assassinated, and little by little, persuaded the Americans that the game was not worth the candle.
Former President Donald J. Trump made a "peace deal" with the Taliban.
He threatened to bomb them in a big way if they advanced beyond a certain line.
The Taliban cared far more about winning than we did.
It was their country and they were willing to die for their cause.
Biden decided to leave Afghanistan altogether. It was not a foolish decision. But it was completely foreseeable that once we left, the Afghan government and army would not be able to defeat the fundamentalists.
We would lose Kabul and we had to get our people out, Americans and friends, right away. Biden didn’t do it. Presumably, he was sleeping.
Once again, as in Saigon in 1975, the U.S. left with our tail between our legs. We didn’t try to save as many friendly Afghans as we could, and some surely died screaming.
I don’t blame Biden for getting out of that horrible place. But I do blame him for not doing it slowly and methodically. I do blame him for our national humiliation.
As Winston Churchill said after the important loss of Tobruk in World War II: "Defeat is one thing; disgrace is another."
Kabul 2021 was a disgrace. That was what could have been avoided.
It’s been a bad year. Too much of it was caused by simple refusal to look at data: Invaders never win in Afghanistan. Just ask Rudyard Kipling.
This column originally published in October's Newsmax Magazine.
Ben Stein is a writer, an actor, and a lawyer who served as a speechwriter in the Nixon administration as the Watergate scandal unfolded. He began his unlikely road to stardom when director John Hughes hired him as the numbingly dull economics teacher in the urban comedy, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Read more more reports from Ben Stein — Click Here Now.
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