A Massive and Dangerous Shift
The Washington Post had a provocative article on the massive redistribution of oil wealth the new, record prices for oil, is causing.
The reality of shifting resources from one section of the world to another is not unusual, although this shift is the largest in history. Nor is it necessarily a bad thing for new countries to experience the bounty of controlling a vital natural resource. But what is disturbing about it is that it is mostly benefiting countries that wish to do us harm.
Our inability to wean ourselves from foreign oil has long been providing the financing for groups and countries that want to eliminate us, including terrorist organizations fed from the oil-rich nations. Former CIA director R. James Woolsey has been trying to drive that point home for years. The irony of financing our own destruction seems lost on most policy makers.
Even if one does not buy into the ecological stakes in the need to slash our oil consumption, the national security reasons should be compelling, and yet no one in this election year, Democrats or Republicans, is making that case. And the current administration certainly has not.
In short, we are delivering a $700 billion (at least, as prices are still rising) to the following nations: Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela. The implications are profound, and an orchestrated response by us is years away.
Iran not only has more cash with which to circumvent UN sanctions for its nuclear violations, but it is flush with cash for support of Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guard and other terrorist groups. Lebanon, Israel, Iraq and others will feel the impact of Iran’s financial security. There are already serious reports of the a major increase in Iran’s spending on weapons, some of which are ending up in Iraq.
The Sudanese government is the creation of the international Muslim Brotherhood and is responsible for the genocide in Darfur. Nice to know their financial needs are being met.
Saudi Arabia is building new cities with its money, but one can rest assured that the the spread of the wahhabist theology around the world will also benefit from a boost. That means mosques that spew hate, text books that promote intolerance and millions of dollars more through zakat money to charities that often align with terrorists. Comforting!
Russia is now flush enough with cash that Putin can continue his retreat from democracy without fear of international sanction. The pressure on the former Soviet republics will continue, and those like Viktor Bout who aid and abet terrorists when it suits Russian national interests (Iran/Hezbollah etc.) will continue to ply their lucrative trade.
In Venezuela, Chavez is freer than ever to install is Bolivarian revolution, which is looking increasingly like one-man and one party rule for the foreseeable future. He can cement his ties to the FARC in Colombia, regardless of international pressure, and cocaine shipments from Venezuelan air space have already increased dramatically in the past year.
It is a simple equation to understand, but one that has not been articulated except in small, isolated cases. Until we recognize how we are empowering our enemies, change will not come. And that might be too late.