Woah. Tom Friedman is on fire. Of course you can’t read it unless you pay for Times $elect, so here are the relevant bits:

Sorry, but being green, focusing the nation on greater energy efficiency and conservation, is not some girlie-man issue. It is actually the most tough-minded, geostrategic, pro-growth and patriotic thing we can do. …

The biggest threat to America and its values today is not communism, authoritarianism or Islamism. It’s petrolism. Petrolism is my term for the corrupting, antidemocratic governing practices – in oil states from Russia to Nigeria and Iran – that result from a long run of $60-a-barrel oil. Petrolism is the politics of using oil income to buy off one’s citizens with subsidies and government jobs, using oil and gas exports to intimidate or buy off one’s enemies, and using oil profits to build up one’s internal security forces and army to keep oneself ensconced in power, without any transparency or checks and balances.

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No matter what happens in Iraq, we cannot dry up the swamps of authoritarianism and violent Islamism in the Middle East without also drying up our consumption of oil – thereby bringing down the price of crude. A democratization policy in the Middle East without a different energy policy at home is a waste of time, money and, most important, the lives of our young people.

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We need a president and a Congress with the guts not just to invade Iraq, but to also impose a gasoline tax and inspire conservation at home. That takes a real energy policy with long-term incentives for renewable energy – wind, solar, biofuels – rather than the welfare-for-oil-companies-and-special-interests that masqueraded last year as an energy bill.

Green is the new red, white and blue.

Amen, brother!

Update [2006-1-6 11:11:0 by David Roberts]: Just as a tangential side-note: I know how (conservative populism) and why (9/11) it happened, but nonetheless I find it utterly galling how completely our national dialogue has come to be dominated by arguments about who is more macho and who is a "sissy." (Note to Friedman: "sissy" is not a word that genuinely macho people use.) What about intelligence? Pragmatism? Anyone?