Book Review

Insane U.S. Oil Glut Wars

By Glen Ford

The people who rule the United States have determined that, the only way for the U.S. to maintain its hegemony in the world is to engineer the economic collapse of its rivals. The likelihood that such economic warfare will wind up dragging the entire planet into chaos and catastrophe does not seems to phase the Lords of Capital, who are so rich they can only be made poor at the point of a firing squad. Having surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s biggest producer of oil and natural gas, the Americans are now flooding the planet with fuel that no one needs in order to keep prices so low that Russia, Iran and Venezuela will suffer regime change. Washington is also eager to deploy its military and dirty tricks of all kinds to break its rivals’ will to resist U.S. Empire.

The problem is, it’s very difficult to aim an oil and gas weapon. The effects tend to be general, rather than targeted. It’s kind of like poison gas; the wind blows death into everybody’s face, including the guy who popped the canister. The Americans have soaked the entire world with gasoline, and now they’re running around with matches between their fingers, laughing like maniacs, thinking they have the ultimate power because they can burn the whole place down. Yes, it is conceivable that the regimes in Russia, Iran and Venezuela could be brought low, broken, through years of depressed prices—but oil and gas prices can only be kept low if the world economy is also depressed, locked in stagnation. The destruction of energy exporting economies will only intensify the global recession that has already begun. Chaos, instability, unintended—and even unimaginable—consequences will surely characterize the next, purposely created crisis: a deliberate economic crime against humanity.

It has already become clear to the nations of the Caribbean and Central America that the disruptions imposed by the oil glut go beyond the drilling platforms of Venezuela. The 17 members of Petrocaribe have for years enjoyed access to Venezuelan fuel at cut-rate prices, with the best of credit terms, as part of the socialist country’s policy of solidarity with its neighbors. Venezuela even accepted payment in commodities, a kind of barter system. The Petrocaribe program was losing Venezuela about $2.3 billion a year, and with the collapse in world prices, Venezuela may have to scale back its generosity. Meanwhile, the U.S. is licking its chops, hoping to make the whole region dependent on American liquefied natural gas. But, we all know what dependence on the United States means in the Caribbean and Central America. It means the end of sovereignty, the end of dignity, and the certainty of continued misery for the masses of the people.

The artificial oil glut, on top of global economic stagnation, will also cause insane things to happen to a U.S. economy whose only bright spot—besides the Wall Street casinos—is an energy industry that keeps on churning out oil and gas that a stagnant world can’t use, just to spite other countries that have oil. How crazy is that? And how long can that go on?

Black Agenda Report, January 28, 2015