Recently I watched the Sandra Bullock movies, “Miss Congeniality” 1 & 2 with my family. A lot of laughs & it made me think about all the contestants asking for world peace. And don’t most people in the world want peace? But if so, why is there so much conflict? I think much of it in the Middle East is religious. There seem to be various factions of Islam that refuse to allow other factions of Islam, any Jews or Christians or any non- believers to live in peace (except as slaves). I don’t think we will be answering that one anytime soon.
But what about the rest of the conflicts/wars? And this may be part of the cause of M.E. strife. The first Gulf War as at least fought in part because Kuwait was overproducing oil and driving the price down which caused Iraq economic distress.(1) Russia has invaded former providence’s.(2) They have shut off and manipulated the oil, natural gas and coal they supply to Europe and these former Providences.(3 & 4) The US and many NATO partners have imposed sanctions on Russia in response to their aggressions. Crimea is again, part of Russia. Will Ukraine follow? It’s already a cold winter for them over there and energy (heat) supplies are scarce. I feel sorry for them and their situation, independence or freeze?
Consider also the impact other players have on world economics. The US is now the largest oil-producing nation and this has driven the price of oil down. OPEC has responded by NOT cutting production, which caused more price drops. While I think this is a good thing for the US and the world in general, Russia and the OPEC nations suffer because of the results. Ask yourself, how do you view Japan? Friend and we love their cars & TV’s? The same Japan that declared war on the USA as retaliation for the US cutting off oil sales. It did not work out for them as well as they planned, but there can be consequences for any action.
Another facet is currency manipulation. It’s funny that members of our government complain because China plays games with their monetary value while we announce our Quantitative Easing 1, 2 & 3 policy. Is it OK for the US because we came up with such a cool name? It seems every country is doing nearly the same.(5 & 6)
I for one, am an advocate of US energy independence or at least the pursuit of that goal. I think lowering the cost of energy is beneficial to the majority of the world in general, and especially for the US individually. Another benefit might be to reduce world conflicts, especially terrorism. If oil drops from “Black gold” to silver, there will be less funding for terrorists. Russia has also been increasing tensions with military flights comparable to the “cold war” era. Russia and OPEC have also been supporting some of the “green” agenda’s in the US. Imagine that, the Saudi’s are willing to pay for anti-fracking movements, film’s, etc…
At the same time I applaud what is happening to the energy market, I have reservations on the sanctions and currency manipulation that we engage. Oil price fluctuations are more a “free market” result. The others are deliberate actions of governments against other governments. They can be considered hostile acts. They can be grounds for war. It would be foolish for Iran, Russia or any other nation to directly attack America. But then, was the 9/11 a direct attack? No nation took credit or blame. Afghanistan was invaded for harboring the terrorists, not for the attack.
I wish I could think of a clever, sage closing to express my thoughts…. Maybe if I borrow from someone else? Venezuela’s President Nicholas Maduro described the move as imposing “insolent imperialist sanctions”.(7)