The oil thing

Charles Jannuzi b_rieux at
Mon Jan 20 19:54:21 MST 2003

C. Brown wrote:

>>But this regular capitalist conduct is now
beginning to be overlaid with ,
yes , their becoming aware that a neo-Malthusian
trap is hatching.<<

I've started a new title because LP said he
didn't want the list to look like Duff Henwood's
e-mail Jerry Springer show.

I said that I had said my last on this, but I
don't remember ever discussing the issue with CB,
so I feel I owe him at least this brief reply.

Certainly any rational person would have to
accept the idea that fossil fuels are being
depleted. That being said, I've seen some
'scientists' arguing that oil wasn't really a
product of biology and photosynthesis but was a
near limitless liquid deep beneath the earth's
crust and we only had to drill deep enough. So I
suppose you could get 'rational' people to
believe such scenarios because they appeal to

However, all my reading convinces me that it is
both too simplistic to say , for example, a war
on Iraq (or in 2001, Afghanistan) is all about
Iraq's oil. And if you think saying 'it is all
about their oil' is going to sell a peace
movement in the US, you have got to be kidding
yourself anyway. Paint a doom and gloom
Malthusian scenarios over oil, and many Americans
will more than gladly support the Bush and Cheney
oil, construction and defense mafias (and nothing
like an artificial shortage to drive the point
home as the Bush weenie clamors for war). It
certainly isn't about 'cheap oil', since cheap
oil doesn't make the national security interests
a lot of money.

Right now the national security state of the US
wants higher priced oil. It wants higher priced
oil because it thinks that this will help stem
deflation, will shore up profits among a core
group of US companies, and will help pay for
future development of oil--such as in the Caspian

Iraq is just too good not to have a war against.
First, the US thinks it can, in part, pay for
military costs with their higher oil. And a war
in Iraq is going to do that--cause still higher
oil prices--even as the US hasn't got all those
problems in Venezuela sorted out (and have no
doubt that the problems aren't being sorted out
because the US supports those creating the
crisis). Second, Iraq's position is just too
strategic to ignore. It is, in fact, one of the
most strategically located countries you could
possibly imagine. Not only does it have a large
oil supply, but it neighbors most of the world's
key oil suppliers. Moreover, Iraq has long been
identified as key in securing multiple routes for
Caspian oil and gas, the security of which has
been explicitly stated US foreign and energy
policy for years.

So US foreign and military and energy policy is
not going ahead with the idea that oil and gas
are going to run out anytime soon (remember,
these people also thought that energy market
deregulation and Enron would bring about a new
era both in terms of economic strength to the US
and in terms of 'more efficient' energy markets).
On the contrary, they are going ahead with the
idea that the developed and developing world's
INCREASING dependence on fossil fuels is the
reason the US should continue as the world's only
'hyperpower' both in terms of military but also
in business and finance (e.g., global companies,
capital markets, etc.).

Suggested reading:

Charles Jannuzi
Fukui, Japan

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