Great Op-Ed by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times today, who likens General Motors to a “crack dealer looking to keep his addicts on a tight leash”, after the company announced its “fuel price protection program” that guarantees gasoline at a capped price of $1.99 a gallon, with no limit on mileage.

Vehicles on offer include the 6,400-pound Hummer H2 that averages around nine miles per gallon. “Our military is in a war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan with an enemy who is fueled by our gasoline purchases. So we are financing both sides in the war on terror” … Friedman points out the irony of the fact that GM is promoting cheap fuel as well as cheap cars to U.S. military personnel on its website.

That’s really touching” he says. “First G.M. offers a gasoline subsidy so more Americans can get hooked on nine-mile-per-gallon Hummers, and then it offers a discount to the soldiers who have to protect the oil lines to keep G.M.’s gas guzzlers guzzling. Here’s a rule of thumb: The more Hummers we have on the road in America, the more military Humvees we will need in the Middle East”.

“This whole thing is a travesty” he adds. “We can’t keep asking young Americans to make the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan if we as a society are not ready to make even the most minimal sacrifice to help them”.