If Cheney & Co. Had Really Plotted the 9/11 Attacks ...
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Cheney: Gentlemen, we stand at a crossroads.
Kristol: (whispering to Feith) I love it when we stand at a crossroads!
Feith: (giggling) Me, too. But I never know what to wear.
Cheney: Do you assholes mind?
Kristol: Sorry, Dick.
Feith: Me, too.
Cheney: Okay. (Clears throat). As I was saying, gentlemen, we stand at a crossroads ...
Kristol: (in Bill Murray-esque fashion, mimicking suspense-movie soundtrack) Dunh-dunh-dunh!
Feith: Dunh-dunh-dunh! Dunh ... duh-duh-dunh!
Cheney: Oh, for fuck's sake.
Kristol: (laughing) Okay, seriously, Dick, I'm sorry.
Feith: (still laughing) Duh-duh-duh ... .
Feith: Okay, okay. (to Cheney) No, it's okay, Dick, you can go on.
Cheney: You're sure? No more jokes to make? Guys want to do your goddamn Katherine Hepburn impersonations or something?
Kristol: (Channeling "On Golden Pond") Come on, Norman! Hurry up! The loons, the loons!
Feith: (whispering) Shut up, for Christ's sake! (to Cheney) Our lips are sealed, Dick. Honest.
Cheney: Okay. Jesus. As I was saying ... we, uh, stand at a crossroads. (Pauses warily, continues). As we head into the next millenium, America is the world's preeminent military and economic power, but the ground is not exactly solid beneath us. We are the inheritors of a great historical mantle, gentlemen, the rulers of the world's energy supply and therefore the rulers of world commerce. It is a mantle we inherited from the British, who rose to world power on a bed of coal, who in turn inherited it from the Dutch, who put a chokehold on Europe with their fleet of whaling ships. Our turn began when a discovery was made a little place called Oil Creek near Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859 ...
Wolfowitz: Dick, you can skip all that stuff. We had our Standard Oil theme party just six months ago. Lynne made the squid ink risotto, don't you remember?
Cheney: Right. Well, the point is ... I think we all know about Marion King Hubbert's projections about the future of oil reserves. We all know the deal: in every oil field there comes a time when half of the field's reachable oil has been extracted. After that point, exploitation becomes more and more expensive; as time goes on, it requires more and more energy just to extract one barrel of oil. Eventually, oil extraction becomes uneconomic, which is to say it requires a barrel of oil's worth of energy to extract a barrel of oil. When that time comes, gentlemen, our oil-based empire is fucked. And the clock begins ticking in that direction once we pass that halfway point with the world's oil reserves. Once oil "peaks," America -- an empire whose power is based almost entirely upon its oil dominance -- will officially be on the decline.
Feith: Yeah. And it doesn't help that the only reason the dollar is worth more than the peso is that OPEC still trades in dollars.
Cheney: Exactly. Without oil, we're like Bangladesh with fat people. And here's the problem: that failsafe point is upon us. I think we all know the oil production in the lower 48 states peaked in 1970, that Alaskan oil production peaked in 1988, Russia around the same time. Saudi Arabia may be just years from peaking, and in any case our political situation there is tenuous at best. Our guys at Halliburton now estimate that worldwide oil and gas production from existing reserves is declining by about 4 to 6 percent every year ...
Wolfowitz: So what's your point? We're all old anyway. Who cares what happens 20 years from now?