We head into New Year celebrations enjoying a few extra dollars to spend, or put away for future needs, grateful that gasoline prices at the pump have eased enough to be felt. We also wish for continuation in this trend so that each of us can bask in a little relief from the ever-escalating costs on foods and daily necessities. Grateful, yes, but to whom, and more importantly, why?
There is little to be gained in listening to the confusion radiating from most of our MSM on the significance of oil’s price collapse. Its leader is too focused on golfing and has not taken the time to provide useful talking points. Incredibly, some publications, unable to place “actions and decisions” at the hands of Obama, generically refer to some unsourced desires of the United States such as “seeking to punish Russia,” or “put pressure on Iran.” No one knows what this feckless President’s strategy really is, but the ever-helpful MSM imbues his non-existent strategy with “objectives” which will sound good to his ideological base.
Today, in order to pretend that Obama is clued-in, National Public Radio claim that in an interview it asked Obama if the U.S. had collapsed oil prices to create problems for Russia. In a most nauseating claim and to beat his chest, he inferred that it was “part of our rationale.” Whatever that meant, flew by NPR. It is a weak attempt at an ego’s revenge for Putin appearing to have upped him on the international stage over the past few years. Reality shouts that the state of the world and foreign affairs are beyond, no, . . . far far beyond this President’s range of interests. Furthermore, he had and has no strategy on oil, other than to fight oil industry companies. Pretending through doublespeak, to have remotely been involved in leading an oil fuelled charge against Putin, is insane. Nevertheless, into the leadership void we have foreign potentates and lunatics leaping in and flexing their muscles.
The world knows Saudi Arabia’s decision to hold production levels has been a major factor in a confluence of events, such as U.S. production increases, Libyan, Algerian and Iraqi output increases and reduced consumption, that have led to the financial damage caused to many oil-dependent dictatorships. Such impact will not lead to demands for leadership changes in most countries feeling the stress. Putin is a good such example — his popularity apparently rises as his countrymen’s standards of living slide.
Putin invades, Iran nuclearizes. Iraq becomes slaughter-central overnight with Afghanistan not far behind up that ladder of infamy. Lybia, Egypt and the rest of the Middle East are still looking up the Obama definition of “spring,” in full knowledge that there is no “red line in the sand.”
Venezuela’s Dictator for the day, Maduro, has been partially fooled. He thinks the oil price drop is a Saudi / U.S. strategy intended, “To harm Russia.” There is no doubt that current oil price levels are wreaking havoc on Putin’s empire, however, the harm to the already isolated Iran will be much more extensive if oil prices remain at current levels or go lower. This is principally a strategy rooted in Saudi Arabia, and a continuation of the Al Saud family’s long term policy for self-preservation. Keep in mind, Iran is its principal enemy. The Al Sauds are striking at the heart of Iran — not at the heart of North American oil independence, shale oil. The Saudis may be annoyed with America for not going all-in on Assad, or others of their ancient enemies, but Iran is the subject of their attack. The greater the financial harm Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States can inflict on Iran, the longer Iran will take to deploy nuclear bombs, the less it will export terrorism and the weaker it will be. The cause is a financial one, with deep roots in religious doctrine.
Iran is the Shia’s principal nation and represents the foremost Sunni antagonist. The Baathists are a pan-Arabic socialist movement which has waged war against monarchies such as the Al Sauds who fought them in Iraq and ultimately toppled Saddam Hussein with U.S. military taking the lead. But let’s remember that Saddam Hussein was once upon a time supported by the Saudis in a long war against Iran. Next on the Saudi hit list was another Baathist, Assad. Off with his head, . . . well not quite yet, but soon enough. And who has been supporting him? . . . Iran. So the time has come for the Al Sauds to tighten the vise on Iran. Oil and cash are the movable jaws. Iran is in trouble. Is that it?
Not a chance. Remember the Saudi-backed Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? Remember how Obama got excited and provided airstrikes to fuel his “Arab Spring” across the Middle East from Yemen to Algeria? The Egyptian military wanted none of it and squashed it in Egypt. So long to the Brotherhood in Egypt, and things aren’t going so well for them and their Saudi backers on the Syrian front, although they have succeeded in destroying the country once known as Syria.
With confusion prevailing in the ME, ISIS coagulated into an effective force with financial backing from Qatar, Kuwait and our close friends the Saudis. Why? Because their roots are, . . . surprise, Sunni. They’re busy slaughtering Christian, Shia and Kurd populations in effort toward forming a new extremist Sunni state composed of Iraq, Syria and a small corner of Turkey. Iraq is in play just as much as Syria. Who will be the major players in their dismemberment? Iran and Turkey, with Saudi Arabia fighting without firing a single bullet.
What else might the Al Sauds be up to with oil in the mid fifties per barrel and dropping? A disengagement of King Dollar from oil? Now that’s the play of the century.
It’s also a play we must not allow traction. The bankers have led us into enough of a mess as it is.