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
June 14, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
Bruce E. Levine
Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry
Jason Hirthler
Mainstream 101: Supporting Imperialism, Suppressing Socialism
T.J. Coles
How Much Do Humans Pollute? A Breakdown of Industrial, Vehicular and Household C02 Emissions
Andrew Levine
Whither The Trump Paradox?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of 10,000 Talkers, All With Broken Tongues
Pete Dolack
Look to U.S. Executive Suites, Not Beijing, For Why Production is Moved
Paul Street
It Can’t Happen Here: From Buzz Windrip and Doremus Jessup to Donald Trump and MSNBC
Rob Urie
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Richard Moser
The Climate Counter-Offensive: Secrecy, Deception and Disarming the Green New Deal
Naman Habtom-Desta
Up in the Air: the Fallacy of Aerial Campaigns
Ramzy Baroud
Kushner as a Colonial Administrator: Let’s Talk About the ‘Israeli Model’
Mark Hand
Residents of Toxic W.Va. Town Keep Hope Alive
John Kendall Hawkins
Alias Anything You Please: a Lifetime of Dylan
Linn Washington Jr.
Bigots in Blue: Philadelphia Police Department is a Home For Hate
David Macaray
UAW Faces Its Moment of Truth
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Horace G. Campbell
Edward Seaga and the Institutionalization of Thuggery, Violence and Dehumanization in Jamaica
Graham Peebles
Zero Waste: The Global Plastics Crisis
Michael Schwalbe
Oppose Inequality, Not Cops
Ron Jacobs
Scott Noble’s History of Resistance
Olivia Alperstein
The Climate Crisis is Also a Health Emergency
David Rosen
Time to Break Up the 21st Century Tech Trusts
George Wuerthner
The Highest Use of Public Forests: Carbon Storage
Ralph Nader
It is Time to Rediscover Print Newspapers
Nick Licata
How SDS Imploded: an Inside Account
Rachel Smolker – Anne Peterman
The GE American Chestnut: Restoration of a Beloved Species or Trojan Horse for Tree Biotechnology?
Sam Pizzigati
Can Society Survive Without Empathy?
Manuel E. Yepe
China and Russia in Strategic Alliance
Patrick Walker
Green New Deal “Climate Kids” Should Hijack the Impeachment Conversation
Colin Todhunter
Encouraging Illegal Planting of Bt Brinjal in India
Robert Koehler
The Armed Bureaucracy
David Swanson
Anyone Who’d Rather Not be Shot Should Read this Book
Jonathan Power
To St. Petersburg With Love
Marc Levy
How to Tell a Joke in Combat
Thomas Knapp
Pork is Not the Problem
Manuel García, Jr.
Global Warming and Solar Minimum: a Response to Renee Parsons
Jill Richardson
Straight People Don’t Need a Parade
B. R. Gowani
The Indian Subcontinent’s Third Partition
Adolf Alzuphar
Diary: The Black Body in LA
Jonah Raskin
‘69 and All That Weird Shit
Michael Doliner
My Surprise Party
Stephen Cooper
The Fullness of Half Pint
Charles R. Larson
Review: Chris Arnade’s “Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America”
David Yearsley
Sword and Sheath Songs
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail