Saturday, February 26, 2005


What the wingnuts don't get and, it seems, neither does the White House, is that opening conflicts in Afghanitstan and Iraq have caused other nations to take a look at their security situations. I commented over at another blog (I forget which; short-term memory thing) on this the other day.

Many nations see the U.S.' conflicts for what they are, essentially a land grab in the heart of Middle East. Nobody but the 51% of us believes this 'spreading democracy' bullshit. They know that Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, and Tajikistan are all jumping off points for the U.S. military to impose Washington's will in the region.

To counter this, nations in the area will look to neutralize the U.S. threat by realigning with other allies in common cause. India soon, growing by leaps and bounds, will see a large increase in its petroleum consumption, just as China is now. Have we noticed most of the OPEC nations are pumping at nearly full capacity as it is? Well, yes and no.

It seems that Bush knows, otherwise he wouldn't want such a large presence in the area, wouldn't be sucking up to Prince Bandar (Why do you think he pulled U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia?). The Chimp might be a failed oil man, but he's still an oil man. He knows what it takes to get the shit out of the ground and he's got to know about the economic forecast. Do you think the only reason we went to Iraq is becasue Saddam 'tried to kill mah daddy'? No, Iraq is sitting over the second largest oil reserve in the world. He's smart in that way. He knows oil will be harder to come by in the future and he's gonna secure his piece of real estate. If he would have just come out and say that, maybe I'd have supported the war in Iraq. What Dim Bulb didn't think about was that others would figure it out.

What do you think other oil-dependent nations see? Do you think they're like the brainwashed sheep in this country? They're all going to act to assure their flow isn't reduced to a trickle as U.S. demands require the lion's share of the supply. Do you think they'll let us get away with it?

China is fast becoming a superpower and their oil demand is fast approaching ours. I'm certain their leaders see the same forecast and they have two options. Look to Siberia, which may have larger resrves than the Middle East but are exponentially more expensive to mine, thanks to the cold, or compete with the U.S. for the Middle East reserves. A U.S. presence in Iraq (military bases), and our close alliance with the Saudi royal family, could be deemed as threat to China's national security.

India, on the other hand, has been making overtures to Iran, unprecedented joint naval exercises took place late last year. They too have to look outward for their energy and an Iran/India alliance in the future could be profitable for both. India, for a possible source of petroleum should supply tighten, and Iran, for an ally against U.S. domination of the region.

There are also minor regional players, serving to complicate the equation. Syria, fearing for its security, has already formed an alliance with Iran against U.S. interference thanks to saber-rattling by Washington. Not a threat to the U.S. military but, partnered with Iran, able to keep the situation in Iraq unstable for years into the future, drawing more and more American capital toward counterinsurgency duties.

As our deficits grow, more and more money is directed toward our warfighting capability. Economically, we cannot maintain this pace. It won't be long before the bottom falls out. Look at what happened to the dollar this week on the news that the South Korean central bank moved more of its reserves out of dollars and into Euros.

The dollar is getting weaker and our military is stretched thin. Were I an opposing general, I'd say America is almost ripe for the picking. What say the Chinese attacked Taiwan? What say the North Koreans attacked South Korea and Japan? What if both scenarios occurred at once? In what position would that leave our military and our economy? Could we afford it? Could we field the army required? Looks like with 45% of our troops in Iraq being Guards and Reserves, we can't. Not if we're faced with an army that doesn't respond to 'shock and awe' the way the Iraqi army did. My dad fought the Chinese and they were formidable 50 years ago. Now they have nukes. So do the Indians and Pakistanis, so do the North Koreans.

From my experience in the world, I believe this nation's leadership has left us exposed, both militarily and economically, and put this country in a vulnerable situation. When Bush took office in 2001, no nation could threaten us. Now, four years later, powerplays by other countries considered unthinkable then are now within the realm of possibility. It would not take much to topple what has become a hollow empire and if we're not careful, someone might give us a fatal shove.

Update: 15:50:

Via SH from AlterNet:

[. . .]

China has begun to negotiate directly with our largest long-time oil suppliers to lock up future supplies. Canada is currently our largest supplier. Virtually all Canadian oil pipelines go south to satisfy the energy needs of a thirsty U.S. Midwest. That will soon change. Chinese and Canadian companies are negotiating to build a pipeline from northern Alberta west to British Columbia. Murray Smith, Alberta's former energy minister candidly observes, "The China outlet would change our dynamic."

In December, China signed a deal with Venezuela and neighboring Colombia to construct a pipeline linking Venezuelan oil fields to ports along Colombia's Pacific coast. This will allow China to bypass the U.S.-dominated Panama Canal. Venezuela is our fourth biggest supplier of oil. Congress has asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate the potential impact the Chinese pact might have on our oil imports.

China is protecting its energy interests with a string of military bases and diplomatic ties from the Middle East to southern China. Recently, it signed a 25-year oil and gas deal with Iran. Currently, about 80 percent of China's oil imports pass through the Straits of Malacca. China views that sea corridor as under U.S. Navy control. It is investigating the construction of a canal across the Isthmus of Kra in southern Thailand that would allow it to bypass the Straits.

[. . .]

I might be an idiot mechanic, but I know how the world works.