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A barrel of crude fell to $55 this morning.  It is the lowest price in nearly two years and less than twice the amount at the height of the Carter-Khomeini oil crisis almost three decades ago.  In one sense, of course, this is not good news: it reflects sluggish economies in the industrial countries.

But, more and more, the oil producers will be stymied in carrying out their systematic mobilization against the democracies.  Well, Dr. A'jad and President Chavez, how does it feel to be cornered by your own habits?