We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, October 13, 2014

Obama’s New Oil Wars

Click here to access article by Michael T. Klare from TomDispatch. (You will need to scroll down to the article which follows Englehardt's introduction.)

Klare puts the spotlight on the latest weapon of choice that is being wielded by the Empire against its main recalcitrant opponents such as Russia and Iran--oil. The current (and temporary) abundance of oil from shale fracking within the US has apparently inspired the recent aggressive moves against Russia. Klare provides many of the details of this new offensive, and the risks that it entails, risks that as usual will mostly impact the lives of the world's Ninety-Nine percent. So, once again, fasten your seat-belts everybody! The top dog in the global capitalist world is on a rampage to punish the lessor dogs in the dog-eat-dog world we are forced to share with them.
As with any application of force, however, use of the oil weapon entails substantial risk. For one thing, despite the rise in domestic crude production, the U.S. will remain dependent on oil imports for the foreseeable future and so could still suffer if other countries were to deny it exports. More significant is the possibility that this new version of the oil wars Washington has been fighting since the 1990s could someday result in a genuine contraction in global supplies, driving prices skyward and so threatening the health of the U.S. economy. And who’s to say that, seeing Washington’s growing reliance on aggressive oil tactics to impose its sway, other countries won’t find their own innovative ways to wield the oil weapon to their advantage and to Washington’s ultimate detriment?