Sunday, August 10, 2008
The New Munich
The Russians have invaded Georgia! Aunt Pittypat has refugeed to Macon and Rhett and Scarlett are loading Miss Melly into the buckboard as a wave of clanking T-34s lead lines of screaming infantry forward across the landscape. The scream of Stalin Organs and the earthquake-rumble of massed artillery echoes through the peach orchards. Have they gotten to Atlanta or Savannah yet? Well, no, they've gotten as far as Abkhazia and South Ossetia...wait a second, I can't find those places in my 'Georgia' triple A travel guide. What? Oh, that Georgia! Who cares about that Georgia? What's it got to do with me?
The answer is PLENTY! Why are the retread KGB agents running Russia under the leadership of Vladimir Putin engaged in a piece of bloody and vicious aggression against it's tiny neighbor?
It's not like they want a few million more angry Muslims to plant bombs in apartment buildings and movie theaters. Georgia isn't exactly a juicy plum holding out the prospect of rich loot and economic advantage so what's the deal?
The oil price has dropped. For dictators like Putin, Ahmadinejad, and Chavez that's really bad news. They can't compete with the advanced economies when it comes to producing heavy machinery or computer systems, they can't compete with and are even dependent on food grown by the three agri-business giants (The US, Canada, and Australia), they can't compete with Asia and especially China when it comes to consumer goods production and exporting; their moribund economies rise and fall in the price of one commodity, OIL! In the last couple of weeks the price of that commodity has fallen precipitously from $148 a barrel to around $116, with speculators still selling short and analysts talking about $60-80 being the support level.
Do you expect thugs like Putin to sit around and just let that happen while the economies of their countries sag like one of Obama's underinflated tires? Not in this universe. All of a sudden Russian airplanes are bombing civilians and Russian tanks are pouring across the border in an area which is crossed by a pipeline that carries 1% of the total world production of oil. Russian planes bombed the pipeline but 'missed'. In the age of JDAMs its impossible to imagine a relatively modern air force attacking an undefended target that they had plenty of time to assess and missing it completely. This isn't the Zimbabwean Air Force here. The Russians have had plenty of practice bombing apartment buildings in Chechnya to get any problems with their aiming technology worked out.
It's obvious what's going on. This is a blatant attempt to raise oil prices. It will work, too; just like the provocative actions by the Iranians in the Gulf raised the spot market price every time it started to slide. The Iranians are a bit inhibited because they don't want to provoke the cowardly democracies into pressing for a strike against their nuclear facilities so its the Russkies' turn. And when it gets right down to it, what do they have to lose? Nobody's going to do anything. Europe gets most of it's natural gas from Russia. Russia provides millions of barrels of oil to the world market every day. Their production has sagged since they expropriated the privately owned and foreign companies but they are still a major player.
The Demo-Obama solution, of course, is diplomacy. They think that talking to this bloodthirsty dictator, who has a veto in the UN, is going to make him betray the economic and political interests of his country. 'Persuasion is the tactic of the weak, but the weak are rarely persuasive,' said Gibbon in the ultimate refutation of the Power diplomacy of the degenerate socialists.
What would constitute strength in this case. Beyond a bit of sword-rattling it might be instructive to these dictators to know that the United States had just gone into high gear looking for oil and building nuclear power plants. A superpower that was exploiting it's vast energy sources would be a threat to the high prices these creeps have become hooked on and would have leverage in any negotiations that took place. With Putin and the boys threatening Georgia and the Ukraine the result of not stopping them now will create a monster that will certainly threaten the weak, degenerate, unarmed bunnies in the aging states of Europe. Our inability to act will compromise all sources of oil from the Eastern hemisphere; another pressing reason to start drilling NOW!
I've been hanging out at these supposedly right-wing blog sites where the policies of the Democrats are regularly castigated as unAmerican and serving to weaken our country. In many ways the people who are saying those things are right. But it's now becoming increasingly clear that every day, every hour, every minute we delay trying to become as petroleum-independent as we can threatens our national existence. The anti-drilling policies of the Democratic party have now become a threat to that continued existence. These tiny incidents are just a harbinger of the final showdown, the day the oil stops flowing. If we haven't done anything to stop this trainwreck from happening in the next few years we are going to be overwhelmed by a disaster unprecedented in our history.