Further Reflections on Oil & Force
I HAVE always thought it a sound practice to allow a considered expression of one’s view to speak for itself. Once committed to print, such expression will have in any event a life of its own. Subsequent attempts to qualify or even to elaborate are all too often seen as an effort to shore up a position the vulnerabilities of which have been detected by others. The suspicion invariably arises that “further reflections” are little more than a spurious form of retrospective wisdom a chastened author has received, usually without proper acknowledgment, from his critics.
It is for these reasons that the following pages have been written with some misgivings. In departing from a practice heretofore observed, I do so because of the unusual nature of the press reaction to my essay, “Oil: The Issue of American Intervention” (in which I inquired into the use of military force as a possible means of resolving the oil crisis), the many questions that reaction raised, and the need to respond to at least some of these questions. In so responding, I do not enter a denial of further reflections, in the sense of having learned nothing from critics. Only a fool could address himself to so complex and novel a situation as the one we are presently confronted by in the oil crisis and believe that he has nothing to learn from those views which differ markedly-even radically-from his own.
About the Author