A Chevron oil tanker formerly named for our Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, was quoted on an NPR story this morning as saying, "Nothing has really taken me aback more as Secretary of State than the way that politics of energy is, I will use the word 'warping', diplomacy around the world."
Properly interpreted, one assumes Rice is referring to the tightening competition for diminishing oil supplies in the face of rising global demand. And what she probably finds so diplomatically 'warping' is this means the U.S. bombing the shit out of Iran in the months ahead will seriously impact global oil markets and may actually end up hurting the Bush administration as prices at the gas pumps continue to rise while world opinion of the U.S. continues to dramatically drop.
The oil tanker went on to say of her surprise re the politics of oil, " It has given extraordinary power to some states that are using that power in ah, not very good ways for the international system. States that would otherwise have very little power."
I think what Rice is saying here is, she resents little, otherwise "nothing," states like Venezuela from wielding so much power just because they happen to sit atop beaucoup stores of oil. And "not using that power in very good ways for the international system" means they're not using it in the best interests of the United States! How dare those arrogant little bastards place their own national interests ahead of our own, Rice says!
NPR went on to quote David Victor of the Council on Foreign Relations saying Russia (which sits on large supplies of oil) has also been emboldened by high energy prices which have allowed a much more activist policy in its region and on the world stage.
Jesus goddamned Christ! How freakin' audacious is that of the Russians? Victor made the point that back in the early nineties when oil was $10 or $12/barrel, Russia was actually in receivorship. It's ironic the difference a few years make. Now it would appear it's the U.S. on the verge of receivorship struggling for global domination in vain with wars it can't afford and an economy financed by unsustainable deficits being floated with borrowed money from creditors like Japan and China.
So it appears the U.S. is in an ever tightening vise between the jaws of nations with oil and nations needing more oil. Nations like China and India which Rice concedes is "really sending, ah, them into parts of the world where they've not been seen before and, ah, challenging for our diplomacy."
And so our Chevron oil tanker formerly known as Condoleezza Rice expresses how taken aback she is by the politics of energy--even more so then the "tactical errors, thousands of them" she confessed to regarding Iraq just 12 days ago.
Maybe Rice just isn't up to speed. Maybe she's not up to the job, although credit must be given for the admission of Iraq failures and her difficulties with the politics of energy.
But it was inevitable it would come to this. For the past third of a century we knew oil supplies would eventually dry up. Rather than choosing to do something about it, we chose to continue down our path of oil gluttony. Now the sows at the trough compete for the diminishing slop available. Sadly, the last thing one wants to hear from a very high ranking member of its government is this has "taken me aback" like she was born yesterday.
Quoting from Richard Heinberg's, The Party's Over, Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies:
"From a geostrategic point of view, an alliance between Russia, Europe, and perhaps China would be America's ultimate nightmare. But this is exactly what is emerging, and the US has only itself to blame."
What Rice and her bosses need to try to understand is the US is pursuing policies that are not in the nation's best interests but, rather, actually expediting its decline. Increasingly, pressure on nation states in the face of declining energy resources and those nations refusal to pursue policies that would lessen the total collapse of societies globally will render such states increasingly more meaningless as people rely more and more on local conditions and entities for their survival and well being. (That is, if policies of nations don't blow them into oblivion first.) What we don't need is leadership "taken aback" at the politics of energy that we've known were coming for more than 30 years but did nothing about.
Best everyone just 'hang in there' as events unfold. Oh, and try not to be too "taken aback."