By Tom Waterman.-Dow Jones Wireless New York, NY - I was just wondering as I awoke to crude oil surging past $87 per barrel in overnight trading if the politicians in Washington are aware that the U.S. economy is about to implode based on renegade investment in the "oil" game. One must ask the question; why haven't we heard from the oil ministers from Iran, Nigeria or Venezuela in recent weeks? The answer is simple. Their rhetoric is not required to keep prices moving higher. The irrational exuberance that has been the hallmark of the industry for almost four years has been replaced by a simple strategy. Buy every dip, and keep prices moving higher. The partners in this strategy, two of which are cozying up in Tehran this week (Russia and Iran), probably include Venezuela and maybe even Nigeria and Libya. Unwittingly, eternal bulls like Goldman Sachs are complicit. What better way to punish the U.S and its Western partners than to continue to drive oil prices higher, make a lot more money along the way, and push the U.S. economy off the cliff. So as our politicians awaken this morning, perhaps it's time to pay attention to what is going on. Rome is burning and Washington hasn't a clue. Energy Secretary Bodman continues to tour the country and talk about how fundamentally imbalanced the market is, when in fact it is imbalanced, but not the way our Energy Secretary sees it. There is talk of a shortfall of crude oil totaling 1.8 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter. Really? That's just not the reality. Both political parties are out on the stump to see who will be next in line to be "clueless in Washington." CNN is doing its part, asking consumers what they will do about these high prices and the American consumer overwhelmingly says it will cut back. In fact consumers have been cutting back, or at least as much as oil-driven economy allows. However, CNN still gives us information provided by the very architects of this insanity, the supposed "analysts" of Wall Street, that are simply "talking the book." This is a national security crisis. Russia will use the "energy" weapon to increase and consolidate power. This is no longer a corrupt country on its knees. It is now a corrupt country standing tall and seeking to spread its influence beyond its borders. President Putin is going to be around indefinitely in some capacity, and this ex-KGB agent has Washington fooled. Suddenly Russia and Iran have something in common. They both have countries that are getting healthier and wealthier, at the expense of the U.S. economy and of course the rest of the world. The game is the futures markets, which can no longer be called a risk management tool. The speculation is out of control and not representative of the underlying market it represents. And it's inexpensive. There are a couple of ways that oil producers can influence the price of oil. One way, the traditional way, was to withhold product from the market. This is OPEC methodology 101, but it has pitfalls. The first is the producer sells less oil. The second is that inevitably, greed creeps in and partners in the scheme cheat. To those renegade regimes that have no problem with prices at ridiculous levels, there must be a better way. Enter electronic futures trading 2007. Out of reach of CFTC or the SEC oversight (not that it matters much), electronic platforms enable a few with huge petro-dollars behind them to keep urging the markets higher. Simply buy the dips. Keep the momentum in one direction. Everyone will follow. A wise old trader once told me that if enough people believe that prices are moving higher, prices will move higher. The occasional hype, threats and snags, which collectively never amount to anything, provide the momentum. The renegades just need to tweak the markets occasionally, adding the buying here and there, and then they know that Western capitalism will take over. It's time for Washington to wake up to this game before it's too late. We have a weapon of our own and at times of crisis we use it. This is a time of crisis. The President should step up and announce to the world that the U.S. will open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to all buyers for a period of three months, taking us into the first quarter of 2008. The SPR is not needed, and certainly very little would be utilized. But it's time to fight fire with fire. The renegades are using our financial tools against us and manipulating the worldwide price of oil in a plot that Orwell would have loved. You fight fire with fire, so just the suggestion of opening the SPR is all that is needed. This is straight out of the al Qaeda manual, use Western freedoms against the West. In this case, it's the free market concept. Even if we depleted 1.8 million barrels per day starting tomorrow, that would be 136.8 million barrels, or roughly 19% of the SPR by December 31, and Mr. Bush, your economic miracle would be at hand. The fact is, we would not use very much of the SPR, if any. If Russia is willing to use the energy weapon, we need to show that we have one too.