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.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
November 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Meet Ukraine: America’s Newest “Strategic Ally”
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Frankenstein Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Ukraine in the Membrane
Jonathan Steele
The OPCW and Douma: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors
Kathleen Wallace
A Gangster for Capitalism: Next Up, Bolivia
Andrew Levine
Get Trump First, But Then…
Thomas Knapp
Trump’s Democratic Critics Want it Both Ways on Biden, Clinton
Ipek S. Burnett
The United States Needs Citizens Like You, Dreamer
Michael Welton
Fundamentalism as Speechlessness
David Rosen
A Century of Prohibition
Nino Pagliccia
Morales: Bolivia Suffers an Assault on the Power of the People
Dave Lindorff
When an Elected Government Falls in South America, as in Bolivia, Look For a US Role
John Grant
Drones, Guns and Abject Heroes in America
Clark T. Scott
Bolivia and the Loud Silence
Manuel García, Jr.
The Truthiest Reality of Global Warming
Ramzy Baroud
A Lesson for the Palestinian Leadership: Real Reasons behind Israel’s Arrest and Release of Labadi, Mi’ri
Charles McKelvey
The USA “Defends” Its Blockade, and Cuba Responds
Louis Proyect
Noel Ignatiev: Remembering a Comrade and a Friend
John W. Whitehead
Casualties of War: Military Veterans Have Become America’s Walking Wounded
Patrick Bond
As Brazil’s ex-President Lula is Set Free and BRICS Leaders Summit, What Lessons From the Workers Party for Fighting Global Neoliberalism?
Alexandra Early
Labor Opponents of Single Payer Don’t  Speak For Low Wage Union Members
Pete Dolack
Resisting Misleading Narratives About Pacifica Radio
Edward Hunt
It’s Still Not Too Late for Rojava
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Why Aren’t Americans Rising up Like the People of Chile and Lebanon?
Nicolas Lalaguna
Voting on the Future of Life on Earth
Jill Richardson
The EPA’s War on Science Continues
Lawrence Davidson
The Problem of Localized Ethics
Richard Hardigan
Europe’s Shameful Treatment of Refugees: Fire in Greek Camp Highlights Appalling Conditions
Judith Deutsch
Permanent War: the Drive to Emasculate
David Swanson
Why War Deaths Increase After Wars
Raouf Halaby
94 Well-Lived Years and the $27 Traffic Fine
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Coups-for-Green-Energy Added to Wars-For-Oil
Andrea Flynn
What Breast Cancer Taught Me About Health Care
Negin Owliaei
Time for a Billionaire Ban
Binoy Kampmark
Business as Usual: Evo Morales and the Coup Condition
Bernard Marszalek
Toward a Counterculture of Rebellion
Brian Horejsi
The Benefits of Environmental Citizenship
Brian Cloughley
All That Gunsmoke
Graham Peebles
Why is there so Much Wrong in Our Society?
Jonah Raskin
Black, Blue, Jazzy and Beat Down to His Bones: Being Bob Kaufman
John Kendall Hawkins
Treason as a Lifestyle: I’ll Drink to That
Manuel García, Jr.
Heartrending Antiwar Songs
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
Poetry and Political Struggle: The Dialectics of Rhyme
Ben Terrall
The Rise of Silicon Valley
David Yearsley
Performance Anxiety
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail