An article about the increasing boldness of oil-rich states in the global political arena: Oil-rich countries tap into new political power
The parts that were new to me, and don’t get much media attention here, were the developments in South America with Venezuela.
The summary is that the countries now getting more and more money from oil are proving more assertive. Iran has been less willing to budge on it’s nuclear issue and Venezuela has been giving the US the finger for a while. Russia is no longer dependent on Western handouts so can take it’s own path.
It all makes sense though, and shouldn’t be a shocker. These countries are gaining independence from the major US lever in applying political pressure. The US has been maintaining control of most of the world, where it hasn’t had a physical military presence, through economics. This isn’t some crazy “leftist” theory – I’d love to hear any attempts at disproving it. Every country in the world is afraid of the US in one of two ways: a) fear of military action, or b) losing access to US markets, and/or other markets due to US pressure. Most countries will jump at anything President Bush says, most often due to the economic issue.
What else could a country in a position like that ask for than an abundance of a product that has essentially unlimited demand, low risk of losing customers, and whose price can be adjusted by the seller? Venezuela doesn’t care if they piss of the US. Bush could stop buying Venezuelan oil and unless he convinced every other country to do so, it wouldn’t shut down their economy. Bush would only be hurting himself in that situation because the price of oil would rise.
Plus, the countries and oil cartels that provided the terrorists for 9/11 are reaping larger profits than ever. (I’m not supposing you could blame a country for the actions of a few citizens, in the absense of any real evidence, but if you can invade a country based on the same premise, this should hold as well)
Given this situation, what would you do? Advise your citizens to keep using more oil? Brilliant! I really think not striving for oil independence in the “West” over the last 30 years has been one of the biggest political mistakes ever. Look where it’s gotten us already, and just imagine how much farther it will go.