FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Oil Demons are Out of the Box

 

In case you missed it, we lost the war on terror this week. The decisive battle took place in Nigeria when local groups threatened to attack international oil facilities. This sent the price of crude rocketting through the ceiling. In fact, there were no attacks, which proves that even the mere hint of a disruption in the flow of oil is now enough to propel “hyperventilating markets into an uncontrollable lather.

$50 a barrel; that’s the “red flag that shot up the pole on Tues, Sept 28. It signaled that jittery markets are “stretched to the max and ready to bounce around like a seismologist’s needle with any small fluctuation in production.

Think the terrorists might be watching? Think that every insurgent, rebel, “non-state player and potential malcontent with a beef against the US might be “connecting the dots and spotting America’s new “vulnerability?

When the war on terror was first conceived the neocon lunies imagined they had anticipated every possible obstacle. They believed that if they stripped potential enemies of WMD, they’d be home free. Neither Congress nor the UN nor massive public protests nor insurgency would be able to stop them from their inexorable march to secure the world’s dwindling resources. $50 per barrel means their plan has hit a major bump in the road.

Oil is the empire’s Achilles heel. With facilities stretched across the globe, America’s soft underbelly is fully exposed to the myriad hazards posed by would-be troublemakers. Whether it is terrorists in Riyadh, or Marxist rebels in Bogotá, or disenchanted laborers in Aceh; the effect promises to be the same. Anxious investors have already begun to cannibalize the market with the mere suggestion of a disruption. What will happen when there is a concerted effort to send the whole system up in a column of black smoke?

The Bush Administration doesn’t really grasp the war they have begun. Terrorism (resistance?) is a zero-sum game. It establishes an entirely new paradigm, where the adversary’s objectives become increasingly muddled by constant engagement with the overwhelming force of the superpower. This produces an implacable rage and a sense that if we cannot have a just world, then we’ll have no world at all. We are now facing a scorched earth policy that will place the world’s oil supplies firmly in the crosshairs of groups who wish us harm.

The terrorist’s willingness to sacrifice himself for his cause transforms his life into the poor man’s WMD. This weapon became a key part of geopolitical landscape this week when oil burst through the $50 mark. Now, any disgruntled, unemployed day-laborer can pick up a Kalashnikov and jolt world markets just by blowing up an oil depot.

Maybe this is what Bush had in mind when he introduced his “global democratic revolution?” Now, everyone gets a shot at equal representation by casting their ballot at the local pipeline. Indeed, this new development is the Pandora version of egalitarian government–chaos by design, the Bush legacy.

We are now engaged in a battle that cannot be won by conventional warfare. America’s enemies are bound to focus on this new weakness and exploit it with ferocious intensity. The war that was devised to put every thimbleful of oil under US control is quickly degenerating into a frantic attempt to stabilize nervous markets.

Wait until oil hits $100 a barrel.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

 

More articles by:

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

August 13, 2020
David Correia, Justin Bendell, and Ernesto Longa
Nine Mile Ride: Why Police Reform Always Results in More Police Violence, Not Less
Vijay Prashad
Why a Growing Force in Brazil Is Charging That President Jair Bolsonaro Has Committed Crimes Against Humanity
Brett Wilkins
Teaching Torture: The Death and Legacy of Dan Mitrione
Joseph Scalia III
Yellowstone Imperiled by Compromise
Binoy Kampmark
Don’t Stigmatise the Nuke! Opponents of the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty
Margot Rathke
The Stimulus Deal Should Include Free College
Thomas Knapp
America Doesn’t Have Real Presidential Debates, But It Should
George Ochenski
Time to Face – and Plan for – Our Very Different Future
Ted Rall
Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential Pick is … ZZZZZ
Purusottam Thakur
‘If We Don’t Work, Who’ll Produce the Harvest?’
Robert Dreyfuss
October Surprise: Will War with Iran Be Trump’s Election Eve Shocker?
Gary Leupp
The RCP, Fascism, and Chairman Bob’s Endorsement of Biden for President
James Haught
The Pandemic Disproves God
Robert Koehler
Election Theft and the Reluctant Democracy
August 12, 2020
Melvin Goodman
Trump’s War On Arms Control and Disarmament
P. Sainath
“We Didn’t Bleed Him Enough”: When Normal is the Problem
Riva Enteen
Kamala Harris? Really? Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
Kenneth Surin
The Decrepit UK Political System
Robert Hunziker
Freakish Arctic Fires Alarmingly Intensify
Ramzy Baroud
The Likud Conspiracy: Israel in the Throes of a Major Political Crisis
Sam Pizzigati
Within Health Care USA, Risk and Reward Have Never Been More Out of Kilter
John Perry
The US Contracts Out Its Regime Change Operation in Nicaragua
Binoy Kampmark
Selective Maritime Rules: The United States, Diego Garcia and International Law
Manuel García, Jr.
The Improbability of CO2 Removal From the Atmosphere
Khury Petersen-Smith
The Road to Portland: The Two Decades of ‘Homeland Security’
Raouf Halaby
Teaching Palestinian Children to Love Beethoven, Bizet, and Mozart is a Threat to a Depraved Israeli Society
Jeff Mackler
Which Way for Today’s Mass Radicalization? Capitalism’s Impending Catastrophe…or a Socialist Future
Tom Engelhardt
It Could Have Been Different
Stephen Cooper
Santa Davis and the “Stalag 17” Riddim
August 11, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
Why Capitalism is in Constant Conflict With Democracy
Paul Street
Defund Fascism, Blue and Orange
Richard C. Gross
Americans Scorned
Andrew Levine
Trump and Biden, Two Ignoble Minds Here O’erthrown
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Nationalism Has Led to the Increased Repression of Minorities
Sonali Kolhatkar
Trump’s Presidency is a Death Cult
Colin Todhunter
Pushing GMO Crops into India: Experts Debunk High-Level Claims of Bt Cotton Success
Valerie Croft
How Indigenous Peoples are Using Ancestral Organizing Practices to Fight Mining Corporations and Covid-19
David Rovics
Tear Gas Ted Has a Tantrum in Portland
Dean Baker
There is No Evidence That Generous Unemployment Benefits are Making It Difficult to Find Workers
Robert Fantina
War on Truth: How Kashmir Struggles for Freedom of Press
Dave Lindorff
Trump Launches Attack on Social Security and Medicare
Elizabeth Schmidt
COVID-19 Poses a Huge Threat to Stability in Africa
Parth M.N.
Coping With a Deadly Virus, a Social One, Too
Thomas Knapp
The “Election Interference” Fearmongers Think You’re Stupid
Binoy Kampmark
Mealy-Mouthed Universities: Academic Freedom and the Pavlou Problem Down Under
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail