Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cheaper Invasions?

You are of course well aware of those “evil foreign dictators”, whose “monopoly” control over our oil imports threatens our national security. You must be aware of them, every member of Congress, the Presidential candidates, their operatives, the pundits, and the media meat puppets are constantly talking about them. Sen Chuck Schumer (NY) was going to sue them if his co-sponsored Consumer-First Energy Act was passed back in June. It certainly is an issue of concern: these undemocratic, foreign potentates in distant lands whose nefarious plans to exploit US energy needs threaten the future of the nation. You know: “them”.

“They” are also a threat to our national security not only because of their “near monopoly powers”, but because of their support for terrorist organizations and the unremitting oppression of their own people, which encourages further resentment and terrorist action against the US. Indeed, their profiteering and price gouging is a major cause of the current economic recession and constitutes a virtual act of war by other means against the country. In fact, as Paul Wolfowitz (subsequently US Deputy Secretary of Defense and a leading “Neo-Con”) noted in 1994, “The United States and the entire industrialized world have an enormous stake in the security of the Persian Gulf, not primarily in order to save a few dollars per gallon of gasoline but rather because a hostile regime in control of those resources could wreak untold damage on the world's economy, and could apply that wealth to purposes that would endanger peace globally.” As of May of this year, the United States had imported 398,714,000 barrels of oil. Indeed, with daily US oil production at just over 5 million barrels/day and it’s oil needs at just over 19 million barrels/day, imports will remain critical for the economy.

The situation is very clear. Foreign control of oil necessary for the economic well-being of the United States represents a clear and present danger to the national security of the country. The only possible response should be the invasion of those countries that pose such a grave threat to the US and the confiscation of their oil resources. But wait, Iraq is only contributing about 600,000 barrels/day of the nearly 14 million barrels/day in imports required by the US – at market prices. There has to be a better solution. From where does the US get most of its foreign oil? Well the top three despotic, monopoly suppliers of oil are: Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico. Saudi Arabia has many of the same problems as Iraq. It’s far away, hot and dusty, and full of people that despise America and aren't opposed to a dynamite vest for the cause. Next on the list is Venezuela at roughly 1 million barrels/day of oil exports to the US. So, Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela combined make up about 3 million barrels/day of US energy needs. Hmmmm….

“Canada's trade surplus widened for a second straight month in June as exports of energy products such as crude petroleum and natural gas surged and car shipments rebounded.

The surplus widened to C$5.76 billion ($5.41 billion) from a revised C$5.22 billion in May, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Exports and imports both rose to records in June, gaining 3.1 percent and 2 percent respectively, and the trade surplus with the U.S. was the widest since January 2006.”

Hold on. Canada has been a steadfast ally of the US ever since the last time the US tried to invade them in 1812. They are the US’ leading trading partner and a part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). And while they do tend to be a little goody-goody and socialist, ruthless oppressors and supporters of terrorism, they are not. There’s always Mexico. Almost every night, CNN anchor Lou Dobbs, that paragon of intellect, is on television urging that the US go to war with Mexico, right after the hundreds of millions of illegal Mexican immigrants (most of whom are saboteurs infiltrated by the Mexican government) are gathered up in concentration camps. Mexico is currently good for almost 1.5 million barrels/day and, under occupation, they could certainly be counted on for up to 5 million barrels/day without truly undue suffering by the civilian population. And there is a history of invasion and successful annexation of Mexican lands between the US. The problem is that not only is Mexico a member of NAFTA and, Lou Dobbs aside, a friend and ally, they are rather fond of their independence. And, as General Pershing noted following his 1915 invasion of Mexico, the Mexicans are rather good insurgency fighters.

Ah, Venezuela. In 2007 it averaged 2.4 million barrels/day production and should be relatively easy to bump up above the 3 million barrels/day mark. Lead by the loveable Hugo Chavez, the Neo-Communist and attempted dictator-for-life who aspires to Fidel Castro’s mantel, here is a country whose leadership does indeed oppress its people, that certainly supports organizations with a professed antipathy to the United States, and whose arms dealing with Iran might be stretched to support for terrorism. Certainly, with a little creative writing by the intelligence community, Chavez could be shown to be in search of WMD. Chavez’ relationship with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, himself involved in nuclear arms proliferation, would certainly lend credence to any such claims, while the fact of his conventional arms build-up, his aggression toward US ally Colombia, and his support for allegedly socialist but clearly anti-US political movements across Latin America and the Caribbean, all help make the case.

So, Venezuela it is! Or….perhaps there are some things that might be considered before such an invasion to alleviate the energy crisis and improve the US economy. Maybe some improved deficit management to strengthen the dollar? Maybe some diminished government expenditures? Maybe steps towards a realistic alternative energy policy based on rewards for sustainable energy alternatives to oil imports (as opposed to incentives to pursue energy objectives and strategies set by Congress). Food for thought?

The Bleeding Heart thinks so. “Hugo Chavez is the replacement for an ailing, and possibly already dead, Fidel Castro in the iconography of Neo-Con ‘boogey-men’ created by this administration. The real issue is not how to get cheap oil by invading yet another country, but how to reduce dependence on imported oil, whether imported from friend and ally or foreign despot. The market simply doesn’t work and Congress needs to be allowed to deveolop an effective energy policy that incentivizes sustainable types of energy production.”
The Bloated Plutocrat is less certain. “Congress is the last refuge of the scoundrel and the incompetent. Their idea of energy policy is to spin the ‘wheel of populist nonsense’ and see where the dart lands – that’s the new energy policy this week. The market does and will work. If Congress wants to break with tradition and do something useful, providing tax credits and other rewards for initiatives that provide measurable, sustainable offsets against oil imports may be helpful. Mostly, they can stop talking nonsense about the price of gasoline being the result of oil company speculation.”

Let us hope that further military adventure is not seen by this or coming administrations as a viable mechanism for alleviation of the so-called energy crisis. Perhaps the market can find solutions. This, for example, may not be the answer, but at least someone is thinking: http://www.pickensplan.com/


NOTE: Your Genteel Moderator apologizes for the dearth of postings in recent weeks but work, travel, and holiday schedules have made coordination with the Bleeding Heart and Bloated Plutocrat impossible. Now, your Genteel Moderator himself heads to Portugal’s beautiful Algarve for several weeks and will not be available to write. Please enjoy the last of our summer weeks and look forward to new and more consistent posting in September.

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