Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It really is the collapse of an empire

It has been embarrassing to watch the United States attempting to bully Russia over its annexation of Crimea, a tiny nation that is now part of Russia, and will remain so.

It is embarrassing because it is so obvious to everyone watching that the US's military threats were empty, and so were the threats of economic sanctions on Russia.  Vladimir Putin shrugged them off, and I think most of the world kind of smiled into their palms to see it.

Everywhere, it seems, we are witnessing the erosion of American power.  The collapse of a vast global military empire.  The US may reclaim its economic domination; never its political domination.  That ship sailed.

And I believe it marks the fall of the last great world empire, and it is high time.  The American news media wants to make much of Russia's new empirical ambition but there is nothing to that.  Russia's influence and power will grow, true, but not through territorial acquisition.  Russia is a net oil exporter, a producer of wealth, not primarily a consumer of wealth. And other countries will bind themselves to Russia for their common good. 

That is one reason why there's a frantic campaign underway now to reverse the public opinion that the United States is dependent on import fuel for its energy needs.  Why, with the miracle of hydro-fracking, it is being projected that the US could soon achieve full energy independence in just a few years and could be providing as much as 8% of all liquid natural gas (LNG) exports worldwide by 2020! 

And if you believe that; you don't need to be trying to sell it to me; you need to be quietly investing everything you can in natural gas extraction.

That could be hype; it could be real.  But what is certainly real is that Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Central Asia (the states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), and I'm going to include the future Afghanistan (which will eventually enter the Russian sphere) are creating a massive oligopoly on the oil and gas exports of the world.  Wealth creators.  The US, the UK, most of Europe, are their dependents. 

I've heard it over and over again ... that "Canada needs the US as a market for its resources."   There's truth to that, but it implies a one-way dependency that doesn't exist.  When one nation has something, in surplus, that another nation desperately needs, the dependency relationship is quite clear.

Look, the Russian Federation is by far the largest exporter of oil and natural gas to the European Union.  Russia supplies 33% of the EU's total oil imports and 39% of the EU's natural gas imports. [ verify it ]

Russia isn't "dependent on the EU for a market for its oil."  The dependency relationship is quite clear.

And while the US is desperately telling the EU, "We'll take care of you!  You NEED us!", the EU knows very well upon which side its bread is buttered.  That is why Germany's Prime Minister talks privately with Vladimir Putin in both German and Russian (she speaks Russian fluently) about the American meltdown.

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