One of Usama bin Laden's primary beefs with the West, with the non-Muslim world, is the presence of Western troops, namely Americans, on the Arabian Peninsula — the site of Muslim holy cities, particularly Medina and Mecca.This is viewed by bin Laden and his ilk as an offense against God.

Secondarily — but part of this particular complaint — is the objection by some Muslims that the U.S. supports a corrupt, non-democratic regime: The house of Saud, a.k.a. the Saudi royal family.

You may have noticed Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld going off to visit the Saudis. He's not visiting the Saudi man on the street. He's visiting the royal family, an odd bunch of billionaires who feel entitled to luxuries like jewel-encrusted, gold-plated airports.

Not kidding there. The royal family gives itself a private airport done up in sapphires and rubies and a bunch of gold. We kowtow to them because they have their finger on the oil spigot, and bin Laden's mad about all that.

Okay, here's the deal: We really don't care about the Saudi royal family. We don't care about any royal family. The Brit royals give us headlines and occasional heartaches, but they are entirely the headache of the Brits, not us.

If the Saudi people want to rid themselves of this so-called royal family, as far as I'm concerned, they are welcome to do so … on one condition.

That condition is oil. As long as gas stays about two bucks a gallon, they can dump the royals, keep the royals, or put the royals on display in a glass case. Does that make me a selfish imperialist?

No. It makes me a realist. The world runs on oil at a certain price. The world needs oil to remain at a certain, stable price. If those people who think bin Laden is right about Western influences in the midst of Islam can keep oil at a stable worldwide price — and that also means a stable, reliable supply — they can unseat any royals or other Western-friendly despots they want.

But we cannot let Saddam Hussein, or bin Laden, or any other of their sort, ruin world economies and world civilizations by unseating Western-friendly regimes and then jacking us all around on the price of oil.

Can't happen. Not gonna stand. We went to war over it once and we'll do it again. Honestly, does anybody think we fought the Gulf War for democracy in Kuwait? Not a chance.

After we off Usama for his offenses — all seven, or eight or 10-thousand of his murders, we can talk about this business of dictators in Muslim countries.

Our desires are simple and not negotiable. Heads up Usama wannabes: The deal is two bucks a gallon, tops.

And one more thing ... keep your filthy terrorists at home.

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