Be careful what you wish for. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

President Bush wants democracy to take root in the Middle East and so it has. This week, Palestinians elected a terrorist organization, Hamas, to do their bidding. So now we have democracy actually hurting peace.

Hamas supporters dancing around today have no intention of trying to find a way to live with Israel. They want to destroy Israel and they use the ballot box to demonstrate that wish.

What this should tell all Americans is that freedom comes with responsibility. Democracy doesn't automatically mean good things. Remember, the Germans voted for Hitler in the early 30's, the Italians for Mussolini.

Even in Iraq where American service people are dying, there's no guarantee the people there will elect anybody good. The U.S. is giving the Iraqis a chance but God, or Allah, only knows if an enlightened government will emerge over there.

So now it's time for President Bush and all Americans to stop the rhetoric and begin defending this nation.

• Item: Millions of Muslims all over the world hate the U.S.A. And that hatred will exist as long as America supports Arab oil states and supports Israel, which we must.

• Item: The U.S.A. is utterly dependent on Arab oil. And much of the money we spend to buy it goes to terrorists and brutal dictators.

• Item: The Bush administration, like the Clinton administration before it, has done little to create energy independence. We have the technology to get away from oil, but we don't have the will.

• Item: Many Americans continue to waste energy by operating gas-guzzling vehicles and failing to conserve. The oil companies understand that and price their product as high as they can without getting indicted.

• Item: The price of oil will continue to rise and continue to hammer working Americans because China and India need much more oil than they once did. Thus, the U.S. economy will soon be under enormous pressure, almost everything will rise in price and Americans will be tapped out.

The Bush administration has badly damaged Al Qaeda and deserves a lot of credit for doing that. But now the president must deal with the coming energy crisis in the same aggressive way. It will be interesting to see if he addresses it in next Tuesday's State of the Union.

Summing up, no matter your politics, you should understand that America's dependence on foreign energy will soon become disastrous and will lead the nation into armed conflicts. That will happen unless things change fast.

And that's "The Memo."

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