Sunday, August 21, 2005

It's All About the Oil

Clearly one of the unstated reasons for the invasion of Iraq was a cheap and reliable source of oil for the US. After all, Iraq apparently has the second largest proven oil reserves in the world.

The current administration assumed it would be a cake walk: Iraq never really recovered from its wars with Iran and the allied forces in Gulf War I. It was further weakened by years of UN sanctions. Shock and Awe would remove Saddam and open the access to Iraq's oil for the US. Permanent bases in Iraq would ensure the oil kept flowing from Iraq and would stabilize the Middle East so that all oil producers could keep pumping and shipping the black gold.

Unfortunately for the US, this invasion was not a cake walk, and the mismanagement attendant to the 'pre-emptive war' has resulted in thousands of US deaths, Iraqi deaths, and some real problems in getting the oil out of Iraq. Our military is dangerously close to being 'broke' because of the long repetitive tours of duty for not only the regular army, but also the National Guard and Reserves.

But, wait: there's more. As China Daily points out, by invading and getting bogged down in Iraq, we've allowed ourselves to be hamstrung in our diplomatic efforts in the region. The US is seriously concerned about Iran's insistence on nuclear development, as is the European Union. The EU has been working hard to work out the problem diplomatically, but the US has hardly been helpful (especially with President Bush announcing that the military option is still on the table with respect to this issue).

Any sanctions or military action against Iran would not be welcomed. Teheran has cleverly played the oil card, pulling all of the big powers, save Washington, into its oil and gas market. Iran is also in control of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, with the military power to cut off the oil supply. With this kind of power and oil prices rising on the international market, no one wants to see chaos in Iran.

Among the nations that have entered the Iranian energy market is China, perhaps our biggest competitor for oil. Even assuming the US had the military strength to take on Iran (which it surely does not), the conflict could very well result in the complete shutdown of the flow of oil from the Middle East.

Complicating matters even further is the complete disarray in our relations with Venezuela, another major source for US oil. La Hora, a Venezuelan newspaper, gives us the perspective of President Hugo Chavez on the behavior of the current US administration.

Hugo Chavez, the president of the Republic, has assured people that the American market is not essential to Venezuela, and he declared that if the aggression against his government continued to increase, diplomatic ties between the two countries would be at risk.

He said that President Bush cannot seem to take an accurate measure of the situation, and that either he has bad advisers or there is something wrong with his head.

The chief executive said that if he stopped sending petroleum to United States, the Americans must know that the price of a gallon of gasoline would rise to $10. Nevertheless, he was careful to explain that he doesn’t want to cause harm to the Americans ...

Chavez asserted that there has never been an empire more brutal, more cruel, more cynical, more savage, more hypocritical, and more dangerous than the one led by his counterpart, George Bush.
[Emphasis added]

The ineptitude of the current maladministration in international relations has become more than laughable. It's now dangerous in all sorts of ways. One is left with the conclusion that this group of yahoos are simply incapable of doing anything right, and it's going to take years, perhaps decades, to undo the damage.

3 Comments:

Blogger Elmo said...

Very nice read. Look for Ford's executive order banning assassinations to be overturned in the middle of some cold wet night.

Watch your back Hugo Chavez!

10:55 AM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

good post...and I am sure more to come..Chinadaily article interesting....check out http://watergatesummer.blogspot.com/ has some interesting Aug.poll numbers Mainstream media is not covering

11:38 AM  
Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

They already overturned the assassinations thing and quite a few people have been assissinated already like the group in Yemen.

3:48 PM  

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