Multiple issues, here, Mike, as I believe you know.
You claim to be a free market kind of guy, but you shriek when somebody suggests the actual price of petroleum products be passed along to the public. As does most of the rest of the Republican party. That price includes the actual cost of clean-ups like this one and of the ecological damage the use of these high carbon fuels do to the economy and the ecology. An actual economic reckoning would price these fuels at a place where it would be a serious luxury item. This is one of the Free Lunch exceptions that the Republican Party has built into its free market ideology. When anybody makes an attempt to toss a little bit of reality into the price structure, the party squeals like a stuck pig.
It is paid to squeal like a stuck pig, truth be told, as is a large part of the Democratic party. That doesn't make it right. It's even less right for Republicans, because the Republicans worship at the altar of the market, and this is a major betrayal of their primary religious practice.
A real-market price for gas and oil would make alternative fuels much more competitive and would encourage research in alternative fuels at a pace that would likely result in some serious cost-effective break-throughs. The twenty-billion dollar fund that BP is supposed to be setting aside this year to supplement the funds to pay for economic damages for the gulf states may help. It would be a greater help all around, in the long run, if the costs were passed along to the consumers to reflect at least for a short while the real cost of the fuel that people are using everyday. I'm not holding my breath, though, also in the long run, that might be something of a help as well.
Long as the finest legislators money can buy are willing to stack the deck against safer power sources, the world is in big trouble, and your comment about the alternative-fuel first before cutting back drilling will actually have the superficial sound of sense. It does have that, I concede. It is also less than useful and suicidal in effect for the reasons I've gone over.
And, for what it's worth, a betrayal of the Republican idea of the Market Economy. That doesn't particularly bother me, since I think the market frequently needs management help, but it ought to be a serious burr under your saddle, that is if you take your ideals seriously.
As for your comments about international help, I don't know. You may have missed my comments earlier where I spoke about critical path stuff and the difficulty in knowing what stuff was important at which points in time, and how in retrospect the critical path and the appropriate choices seem much more clearly marked.
That was a response to what you were talking about. It's why I never felt that President Bush was particularly to blame for not identifying Saudi flight students despite being told by the FBI that there were strange things afoot.
I blame him for other things, of course, but there was no way he could have known that he had to look at that particular set of messages to get to the right conclusion at the right time.
Besides, he had a war he was planning at the time, and he was busy with that. I'm reasonably sure, though, that he would have stopped 9/11 if he could have. He'd have probably preferred a bloodless provocation, could he have found one. In my opinion.
I should probably research the Dutch paper more thoroughly myself and see what I can make of the story. It's unfair of me to ask you to do it for me at this point, I feel. I think there's probably something to the story, but I'm still pretty curious about it and it seems a bit odd to me in ways I can't put my finger on. It could be the nature of the American politics, the nature of President Obama or the nature of the Republican opposition, I simply don't know. I can say that I thank you for bringing the story to my attention.
Inquiring minds, and all that.