We can see a milder form of this envy and resentment expressed everyday in the media towards Alberta, whose crime has been to have oil and to attract Canadians from all over to work there for their share of the wealth.
So should Al-Qaeda's threat to attack Alberta's oil and gas facilities come to pass, the chattering classes will consider it fair punishment for Alberta's sins:
Al-Qaeda has called for terrorist strikes against Canada's oil and natural gas facilities to "choke the U.S. economy."
An online message, posted by The Al-Qaeda Organization in the Arabian Peninsula, declares "we should strike petroleum interests in all areas which supply the United States ... like Canada," the No. 1 supplier of both fuels to the U.S.
"The biggest party hurt will be the industrial nations, and on top of them, the United States," it said.
The group, the Saudi arm of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, claimed responsibility for a thwarted February 2006 suicide attack on the world's largest oil processing facility at Abqaiq in Saudi Arabia's eastern province. The group also is believed responsible for other attacks against the Saudi energy sector.
Since 2000, he said, Canada's proven oil reserves have risen from about five billion barrels of oil to more than 180 billion barrels. That puts Canada in the No. 2 position as an oil reserve country, second only to Saudi Arabia and significantly ahead of other states such as Iraq, Kuwait or Iran.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called attention to the growing role of his home province of Alberta by telling international audiences that Canada is emerging as an "energy superpower" with the sole politically stable source of growing oil production on the planet.
Industry installations in Alberta include airport tower-like control rooms for pipelines that deliver about 15 per cent of the natural gas and 10 per cent of the oil consumed in the U.S. as well as most Canadian supplies.
Such attacks would damage the U.S. economy, but they would cripple Canada's even more, and drive Alberta's into recession if not outright depression. Even if the physical damage could be readily repaired, the psychological damage to Canada would be far slower in healing--and that, more than anything, can prolong an economic downturn.
But no doubt the chattering classes would alternate between breast-beating over what we did to deserve such attacks and schadenfreude over those Alberta rednecks getting their comeuppance.