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On The Road With Johnny B ...Not Learning From History

As Winston Churchill said in a 1948 speech "If we don't learn from history we are doomed to repeat it" Ole Winnie was a real smart Bloke. I'm sure his words were not meant for decades away gas shortage. His words were intended for a war ravaged Europe that if unchecked and not learning from history another Mad Man could rise to power.

Fuel shortages or rationing were perhaps one of the key factors in the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor. FDR had sanctioned Japan due their aggression in Asia. Besides seizing assets they held in the USA FDR turned off Japan's oil supply. When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor it was in an attempt to control Asian waterways, cripple the American fleet and turn back on the oil spigot. On the day they bombed Pearl Harbor Japan was less than 45 days away from being out of oil. Funny what people or even a nation will do to get much needed crude oil.

Moving thru the years the USA became fat, foreign dependent on oil, built massive gas guzzling road hogs, grand highways to move these behemoths and why would we care? Fuel was plentiful, gas was 35 cents a gallon and the American Car Companies ignored the need for a good small car.

In other parts of the world such as Germany and Japan (our former WWII foes) fuel was not so cheap. In fact 3 to 4 times that of Ethyl in the USA. This forced companies such as VW, Datsun and Toyota to build good small cars. Sure the VW Beetle become and icon and a Hippie Mobile. By the late 60's and early 70's Datsun's and Toyota's were look upon as odd and quirky. They sold in small numbers.

During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed an embargo against the United States in retaliation for the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military and to gain leverage in the post-war peace negotiations. In other words they turned of the spigot.