Iran, Russia, and The Peoples Republic of China are fermenting unrest throughout the world. In actuality, Iran is the point of this troubling spear and Russia and China are the enablers. Both Russia and China have important trade arrangements with Iran. Oil, again, is the root of the unresolved Iranian nuclear problem. China obtains most of its oil from Iran and this oil is critically necessary to fuel China’s growing economy and military—China will protect this oil life line fiercely. Russia has a lucrative trade export arrangement with Iran. This trade includes conventional arms, among other manufactured goods, making Iran one of its key export partners.
Neither China nor Russia is interested in an embargo of Iran because they depend heavily on Iranian trade. Thus Iran has been able to buy time and hold off the international community in its effort to develop a nuclear weapon. Without the strongest support of China and Russia, the international community including the United States is neutralized. Take note of today’s announcement at the international G20 meeting by the leaders of the U.S., the U.K., and France about sanctions, in that neither Russia nor China was present.
The Europeans are afraid of pushing Iran hard and are more interested in appeasement due to the Strait of Hormuz and Iran’s grip on the world’s oil supply. Back in March of 2008, I wrote: Oil, It will destroy us!
“Have you noticed that there is a direct correlation between worldwide tensions and oil? If you might be wondering why Russia’s Vladimir Putin [now Medvedev and Putin] has started to flex his muscles and become obstinate in the fight against global terror…you should be. If you are wondering why Iran has become so independent and belligerent of late…you should be. Have you looked at our own hemisphere lately? Take a good look at Venezuela and how Chavez is as bold as can be in creating an anti-U.S. socialist state more powerful than Cuba ever was….Well! It is all about oil!
Ask any military strategist and they will tell you that one of the reasons we cannot leave Iraq as we want to, is that we are afraid Iran will…make Iraq a satellite country in its attempt to create a worldwide caliphate (A caliphate is a fundamentalist theocratic form of tyrannical government, that unites all Muslims covering a wide swath of geography in the world, under one rule). This is not a good thing for the west. This could place Iran in a position to directly control 10% of the world’s oil (includes oil equivalent products in the production) and to indirectly control 44% of the world’s oil exports which are shipped through the Strait of Hormuz, by shutting down the Strait or creating the caliphate. In addition, today the group of thugs known as Russia, Iran, Venezuela could conceivably directly control 29% (with Iraq, 32%) of the world’s oil production, and indirectly control exports, when the Strait is included, to bring the overall control to 66% of world oil exports. An Iran controlling Iraq and the Strait of Hormuz would be one very powerful entity–an entity that has a culture and a philosophy directly opposite ours. Iran is a country that does not do well with negotiation, especially when we are in a position to lose and they are in a position to gain. Is it possible to successfully negotiate from weakness? NO! Are we in a position of weakness in such a negotiation? YES!
Considering that since our oil import consumption is at 31% of the world’s oil exports, and the control of 66% of the world’s oil exports by Iran and its new very cash rich friends can be a quick reality, we should be worried and reactive. Yet we are not!…
What do we do? In the short term we are powerless and our national oil policy has been the problem. Had we had a robust domestic drilling program for oil and natural gas, we would be in a position to sell China its much needed oil and natural gas. Instead we allowed China to become dependent on Iran for its economic lifeblood, crude oil, and Iran knows this.
Selling China that oil and natural gas that we have under our land and off shore, and did not go after, would have had far reaching effects internationally:
First it would have made China less dependent on Iran, allowing China to support intense pressure on Iran and have avoided the thwarting of the international community’s efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. In addition, China could also have put pressure on North Korea to keep that rogue power from selling missile technology and parts to Iran. These missiles are the delivery vehicle for the nuclear weapons.
Second, by selling China oil, we would have had an opportunity to balance our trade deficit with China. China would have been an equal trade partner and not our banker/lender.
Instead we chose to be flat out dumb on the use of our abundant untapped offshore and arctic natural resources, oil and natural gas. It is not too late to work toward making China an equal trade partner, rather than the one sided arrangement we currently have. It may be too late to solve the Iranian matter, but there will be other international troubles, including North Korea. China can be instrumental in providing support to manage those matters. They are a pragmatic country when it comes to protecting their self interests and this can work in our favor.
Our country continues to eschew the leverage oil would bring us as an international policy driver. Why do we continue to do this? I know, we want to save the planet, but if we don’t obtain the leverage necessary to control the spread of nuclear weapons we may not have a planet to save. Right now oil and natural gas are the best tools God has given this nation to keep world peace and we are blind to it. As a peacemaker, oil and natural gas in the right hands are the keys to world stability. In the wrong hands they are a flash point.