Hands Across the Sands
On Saturday, TeamTudor had a great activist day. Throughout the past two-and-a-half years of our campaign to bring true representation to Florida’s 12th Congressional District, we have always known it is the grassroots supporters and activists, not the big money interests, which eventually bring about the change our nation needs. Saturday was no exception; indeed, it was a shining example.
I was extremely proud on Saturday to stand on St Pete Beach with hundreds of Tampa Bay residents to highlight “Hands Across The Sand.” During our time on the beach to make this symbolic stand, one thing was very evident; the enthusiasm of activism was matched only by the outrage against the destruction of our beaches by corporate profiteers. I have no doubt; our vision of an oil-free future will prevail. It won’t happen tomorrow, but we will prevail.
As so many of you know, I made a career in the military. Accordingly, I view most issues through a lens of national security. Today I have included a Letter-to-the-Editor penned and shared with me by Colonel Dan Nolan, U.S. Army (Retired). In 2002, Colonel Noland and I served together on the personal staff of General Tommy Franks; Commander, U.S. Central Command.
After you read this note, please consider contributing to our grassroots campaign to bring “Proven, Principled Leadership” to Washington.
Here’s the Colonel’s LTE:
Shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, pundits and political leaders raised the alarm that dependence on oil had brought this tragedy to our shores. The editorials and speeches against foreign oil filled every newsstand and podium. Despite all the heat, no light was shed on breaking that dependence.
The fact is, even if we Americans had the discipline and willingness to make the sacrifices required to break ourselves of our billion-dollar-a-day habit, other nations would quickly fill the gap and money would continue to flow to countries and regimes that did not have a great deal of love for America.
This debate is not about foreign oil; it is about all oil. For transportation, we have no option but oil. We have talked about it for decades, but invested little in it. We do provide about $35 billion annually to oil companies in the form of subsidies and tax breaks. Oil remains the only strategic commodity for which we will fight wars. Having spent 26 years in uniform with the attendant education and experience, I feel qualified to speak to the national security implications of our energy insecurity.
Today, almost a decade after the horrendous events of that Tuesday morning, another tragedy is coming to our shores. The disaster brought about by our unquenchable thirst and BP’s ineptness are bringing waves of oil to our shores. The impact of the heartbreaking sight of sea life and beautiful beaches being destroyed should spur in all of us desire to change. In military parlance, the purpose of tactics is to make the other guy run out of options first. We are the other guy and we have run out of options.
If we are serious about reducing our national security risk and the loss of the lives of our sons and daughters, we must be willing to sacrifice. If we want to keep at home the billion dollars a day we send overseas for oil we must pay the price for alternatives. If we want to prevent the next Deepwater Horizon we must eliminate the unquenchable thirst that forces us to suck our SUV life blood out of an ocean floor a mile down. We must hold our political leadership and ourselves accountable. We all know the litany of what must be done. The question is, do Americans still have what it takes to win this Gulf War?
Dan Nolan, Valrico