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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Saudi oil war against Russia, Iran and the US

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from RT. 

Escobar enters the discussion among geopolitical experts as to what geopolitical strategies are behind the current complex and bizarre Middle East events, and the world at large. (For other participants in this discussion, see my Tuesday's posting "Oil Price War Throws the Fed into Crisis Mode".) 

Escobar is one of the advocates of a "multi-polar world", and as such he sees the growing power of mostly the BRIC countries as progress toward a better world. As I see it, it is only progress toward a far more dangerous world, a world in which various capitalist gangs armed with nuclear weapons fight it out for world domination as they did in the first half of the 20th century. I have little confidence that these ruling classes will forever fore-go the use of such weapons.
The House of Saud is applying a highly predatory pricing strategy, which boils down to reducing market share of its competitors, in the middle- to long-term. At least in theory, this could make life miserable for a lot of players – from the US (energy development, fracking and deepwater drilling become unprofitable) to producers of heavy, sour crude such as Iran and Venezuela. Yet the key target, make no mistake, is Russia.
A strategy that simultaneously hurts Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Ecuador and Russia cannot escape the temptation of being regarded as an “Empire of Chaos” power play, as in Washington cutting a deal with Riyadh. A deal would imply bombing ISIS/ISIL/Daesh leader Caliph Ibrahim is just a prelude to bombing Bashar al-Assad’s forces; in exchange, the Saudis squeeze oil prices to hurt the enemies of the “Empire of Chaos.”