These moves would solve many problems

I offer the following proposal to lower gasoline prices; end the Iraq war while keeping an eye on Iran; and ensuring Social Security's viability well into the future:

- Erect American-owned offshore oil-drilling platforms in international waters off the oil rich coasts of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Iran. We already have the technology to erect the platforms, and we have multimillion-gallon tanker ships importing oil from that area every day.

- Pull all U.S. military and tax dollars out of Iraq.

- Leave U.S. Air Force and Navy forces in those international waters to protect our oil-drilling platforms and monitor threats from Iran.

- Use the hundreds of millions of dollars saved from the war in Iraq for Social Security.

These progressive steps would drastically reduce the cost of crude oil; allow the United States to control the flow of oil without being held hostage to Arab countries; and reduce the environmental threat in U.S. coastal waters, while saving Social Security.

Hopefully, the new Democratic president will enact these suggestions in 2009.

Paul L. Cook, Augusta

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