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NRDC's Cinematic Case for Isolationism
The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness recently asserted that the movie "Syriana taps one of the darkest paleoconservative beliefs, isolationism." Although America's foremost movie critic disagreed with CRE's assessment, NRDC appears to have a similar view of the movie's message.

More specifically, NRDC claims "America's dependence on oil compromises our security, economy and moral stature in the world. ... That's why NRDC and Participant Productions, the makers of Syriana, have teamed up to spotlight opportunities to break the chains of oil dependence. ... We cannot drill our way to energy security."

Irrespective of NRDC's wishes regarding for an oil independent America, the reality is that U.S will require imported oil for the foreseeable future. While pie-in-the-sky fantasies may have their purpose, a serious energy policy requires a recognition of global economic interdependence.

If we do not drill our way to energy security, other countries will drill their way to the oil we need.

Concerns about isolationism were also raised by Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen who thought "the cynicism of ‘Syriana' is out of time and place, a homage to John le Carre, who himself is dated. To read George Packer's "The Assassin's Gate" is to be reminded that the Iraq war is not the product of oil avarice, or CIA evil, but of a surfeit of altruism, a naive compulsion to do good. ... The left's criticism of the war from the very start was too often a porridge of inanities about oil or empire or Halliburton -- or isolationism by another name."

There are honest differences in opinion over Syriana's political sub-text, just as there are uncertainties and legitimate differences over how best to achieve energy security. However, one fact is certain; America cannot retreat from the world.
  • Click here to see NRDC Syriana page
  • Click here to see Richard Cohen column
  • Click here to see criticism of CRE review


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