Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Education Of Victor Davis Hanson

Our oil habit not only makes us dependent on some creepy suppliers, but we look like fools as we work nonstop to hand over our earnings to those who are rich by an accident of sitting atop oil someone else found and developed.

Consequences are a bitch. Hanson resents the fact that yes, monetary policy has them. Do you want an ever-rising stock market courtesy of Backstop Ben, or do you want lower oil prices? There's no free lunch.

If those consequences get worse, expect to hear more of this. Before you go ahead and take the oil, it helps to establish that it's not really theirs. (We can only hope China, with an ever-growing need for new sources of water, doesn't start referring to the Mississippi as ours "by accident.") Latter-day Lebensraum meets eminent domain....

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our oil habit not only makes us dependent on some creepy suppliers, but we look like fools as we work nonstop to hand over our earnings to those who are rich by an accident of sitting atop oil someone else found and developed.

Kinda reminds me of Jimmy Carter, circa 1979. At this rate, we can expect the typical right-wing nutcase to catch up to 2007 reality no later than mid-century. Progress!
-- sglover

11/13/2007 6:16 PM  
Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

It's VDH. He might know about ancient Greece, but not much about present day.

11/13/2007 9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, but by virtue of the dollar being the currency in which most oil is bought, the US can effectively get it for free. All it needs to do is magic a few numbers at the Fed and there's your oil. Sure, it'll debauch the currency a bit, but who's going to complain as long as they can drive that SUV? As soon as the dollar loses its status as the world's reserve currency, the US way of life (TM) will be toast. Bicycles anyone?

EmmArr

11/14/2007 3:19 AM  
Anonymous Doug said...

I find it amazing how much he identifies driving alot with our way of life. I like cars and all, but I had always thought it had more to do with our music, free press and stuff than the cars. Guess I am wrong.

11/14/2007 3:48 AM  
Anonymous John B. said...

well, the Chinese can't say that they have found and developed the Missipssippi River.....

11/14/2007 11:12 AM  
Blogger Gringo_Malo said...

Actually, I have no problem with taking the oil. British and American corporations developed the Middle Eastern oil industry. The primitive tribesmen who had been sitting on top of the oil nationalized it in the 1950s. I've never understood why the oil producers never said, "Look, Abdul! We're gonna be drillin' for oil here. You and your camels better keep away if you don't want to get shot."

An interesting article entitled "The Proposed Iranian Oil Bourse" explains, if accurate, why we invaded Iraq after being attacked by a bunch of Saudis, and why Bush and Cheney and other neocons (e.g., Hanson) are rattling their sabers at Iran. In effect, we have been paying for oil with Monopoly money since the 1970s.

Waging war to impose democracy by force on Muslims makes little sense to me. Of course, it might depend on what the meaning of democracy (not to mention the meaning of is) is. I suspect that the administration's definition of democracy emphatically excludes selling oil for non-dollar currencies.

11/14/2007 11:18 AM  
Blogger DrDave said...

Actions have consequences. Failure to act has consequences.
On 9/12/01, instead of planning to take down Saddam Hussein, they should have started figuring out how to end our dependence on Middle Eastern and other imported oil since we have legit political problems with most oil rich nations in the world other than the UK and Canada. Instead, they enacted legislation aimed at giving more gifts to the energy industry.

God bless George Bush. Where would we have been without him?

Amazing that Victor Davis Hanson was able to write this entire article without finding one criticism of the Administration but maybe he felt that would have made him look hypocritical or just plain ridiculous.

11/14/2007 11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On 9/12/01, instead of planning to take down Saddam Hussein, they should have started figuring out how to end our dependence on Middle Eastern and other imported oil since we have legit political problems with most oil rich nations in the world other than the UK and Canada.

In my lifetime, the ONLY President who tried to speak soberly and act consistently about such things was Jimmy Carter. For that (and other things, true), he met nothing bu derision. The central symptom of our political system's descent into neurosis is the 30 year refusal to confront the consequences of our energy habits.

Instead, they enacted legislation aimed at giving more gifts to the energy industry.

The "gifts to the energy industry" started almost from Day One of the Bush regime. I don't know what nefarious secret plans Cheney hatched in his secret meetings, but it was clear early on that the regime was solidly aligned with the old extractive industries.
-- sglover

11/15/2007 2:38 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

I suspect that the administration's definition of democracy emphatically excludes selling oil for non-dollar currencies.

Of course this is true...and we have basically stolen the oil. Compare US prices to Canadian and European prices...no it is not all taxes. Stealing middle eastern oil is what the Carter Doctrine is!!! The Carter Doctrine has only been expanded since he implemented it. Bush's policies are only the next step in the Carter Doctrine...Our masters feel like the are losing control so they had to put boots on the ground.

I don't agree with the policy and I think it is immoral though. I also think it is a short sighted policy. We are not going to get Iran's oil. We set up the Royal family in Saudi Arabia to be our stoodges. It has worked fantastically for us...except for the whole 9/11 thing...but what is a few dead Americans compared to all that oil wealth at our disposal. This is how you do these sort of things. You get the locals to police themselves. There is no other way...otherwise the people make life miserable for you. This is why life is miserable in Iraq for us...and very expensive. We are trying to do the dirty work ourselves. Very stupid from an imperial standpoint. The Iranian population won't stand for it. They threw our man out during the revolution and they are not going to allow themselves to be used in this manner again. Iraq will look like a picnic compared to Iran. They are still complaining about the whole Mossadegh thing and that was 50 years ago. There are limits to miliatry power. It is a very inconvenient fact for our masters in DC. Our current crop refuse to believe it so we continue to soldier on. If we engage in mass genocide...World opinion will turn in favor of China and Russia...they will become the new US...by default. We have pushed our military advantage to the practical limit...so the only question is...what's next? Do we continue this nonsense or do we start preparations for something else? Our government has been doing experimental work using nuclear power to create large comercial quantities of hydrogen. IMHO...we should have been doing this since the 70s. We would not be in the mess we are in if our leaders had an ounce of foresight.

11/15/2007 10:38 AM  
Blogger Gringo_Malo said...

James Howard Kunstler, in his book The Long Emergency, is pessimistic about the prospect of attaining self-sufficiency through alternative energy sources. According to Kunstler, a conversion to nuclear, solar, wind, or vegetable based power sources would itself be dependent on an abundance of petroleum. He uses the words clusterfuck and shitstorm to describe what will happen when petroleum is no longer available in abundance.

Of course, we still produce something like a third of our own petroleum. It might be possible, even at this late date, to make a national committment to freeing ourselves from energy dependence. It doesn't seem to be a campaign issue though, does it?

11/15/2007 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

Doug said...
I find it amazing how much he identifies driving alot with our way of life. I like cars and all, but I had always thought it had more to do with our music, free press and stuff than the cars. Guess I am wrong.


You shoulda heard Sean Hannity's radio show a few weeks ago. Wish I'd recorded it. A caller identified himself as conservative and suggested some kind of "simple 7-point plan for fighting terrorism" (I wasn't taking notes at that point, so my quotes may not be 100% reliable) -- but the gist of it was, mostly stuff Sean favored -- attack Iran just to "send a message", build a mile-high Maginot Line across the Mexican border... It was a typical Hannity love-fest, each agreeing that the other saw things so clearly. Then the caller's last point, very tentatively, he suggested we should "consider" re-instating the 55-mph speed limit, "just temporarily, for a few years, during this emergency" because it "really does save a lot of oil" and "it'd keep a lot of money out of the hands of these people who finance terrorism."

Sean totally exploded. No, no, no, no, no, a thousand times no, he said, that'd never work, that's not the way to go, Sean said he'd violate that law all the time if it was passed, oppresive restrictions on "American freedom" are just not the way to fight terrorism, it'd be totally counterproductive and hamstring the country just when we needed our economy to be strong, etc.

Again that isn't all direct quotes, I was driving and not taking notes... but boy, I wish I had recorded that. In other words, secret renditions and illegal search-and-seizures and wiretapping are all necessary, but a 55-mph speed limit is a totally unacceptable retreat from American Freedom and the principles of our Founding Fathers...

These people live life in an ironclad cocoon of their own design, and anytime reality knocks on their shell, they retreat further and deeper into it. Rome fell because one Emperor was fiddling, but today it seems like half the country are striking up a fiddling orchestra while our nation burns.

11/15/2007 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

Those free-marketeers on K Street and Pennsylvania Avenue can rest their heads on the soft, downy pillows of the $2.5 Trillion in public debt they've created in order to put a $20/bbl premium on Iraqi oil reserves, not to mention the thousands of lives paid in the bargain. Aren't free markets a bitch? Then Bush turned tail on Ahmedinejad a week before Russia cut the oil and gas deal of the century. Ahhhh, folly.

11/18/2007 4:22 AM  
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