Friday, May 15, 2009

Who Is Chakib Khelil?

Answer: One of the most important men on Earth. You will not find him on TIME’s annual list of the 100 most influential people. Chakib Khelil is Algeria’s oil minister and he runs OPEC. When oil prices go down around the globe, OPEC slashes production in order to raise the price of a barrel of crude.

In what manner should this be legal, ethical or acceptable to the rest of the world? In America this comes under the definition of racketeering.

The global economy is no longer edging toward recession. We’re here. One of the direct consequences of the erosion of finance/ which erodes industry/ which erodes jobs/ which erodes consumer spending/ which further erodes industry back again and so on, is that the fear of diminishing oil supplies has been superseded by an enormous decrease in use and demand. In any other industry, rational capitalists would say that the laws of supply and demand were at work and that the fall in prices (consequences of fall in demand) were a natural, even a necessary consequence.

Not where OPEC is concerned.

When the great demand for oil is not there, OPEC creates an artificial scarcity in supply; which while not creating a greater use or demand, simply gouges the prices already paid.

This is ridiculous. It is naked gangsterism on the world stage and every single president, Fed Chairman and Treasury Secretary we have ever had just sits back and smiles like a jack ass while these crooks collude and disrupt the world economy. If you’ve ever wondered whether the actions of the World Bank, WTO and IMF make “freedom” a relative term around the world, OPEC deserves the same skepticism and suspicion... maybe more so.

Of all of the solutions and policies aggressively opposed by the Establishment in America, like healthcare reform, progressive taxation, Social Security, environmental causes, increasing investments in public education: opposition to fuel alternative initiatives and the obstruction of energy independence are among the most indefensible. Lack of alternatives to importing oil have made the entire populations of nations the world over into indentured pawns of OPEC; their governments mere flunkies in tow. The United States and the United Kingdom in particular find themselves in a strange place in this new century, whereupon the petrol spending of their citizens enriches the most fascistic and hierarchical of nation-states in history, like Saudi Arabia, while their Royal families and respective administrations abet and encourage religious fanatics to blame the West for all of the inequities (whether social, cultural, political, economic) in their region in a brilliant and diabolical distraction from the fact that they will not apportion the region’s oil wealth to help the working classes and the poor (Kuwait is a notable exception to this norm.) Thanks to the Carlyle Group and the efforts of about three generations worth of Bushes in America, the issue of how oil is generated, priced and foisted on the world will never be as transparent as it should. The fact of the matter is it’s never even discussed. Rises in the prices of oil are greeted with the same dumbstruck wonder as would a sudden squall in the Florida Keys.

I believe there is a strong likelihood that OPEC’s manipulation of crude prices will make the ongoing global recession worse in the coming months and years. I cannot think of a better reason for the United States and other countries to stop buying foreign oil, and stop buying it now. The 9/11 attacks didn’t seem to be a great enough incentive for Americans to stop driving enormous SUVs and making OPEC’s constituent members richer than they’ve ever been: making the terrorist organizations in those countries bolder still. Instead the last Bush administration worked to reclassify SUVs as light trucks… no one batted an eyelash. No one questions why trillions of dollars fly out of this country, to enrich nations that think nothing of letting violently radical elements in their society kill people on their way to work around the world. I’ve never heard George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle or Paul Wolfowitz complain about it once since September 11, 2001. I guess they think it’s perfectly fine for Americans to keep indirectly subsidizing their own mass murder while the Royal families of the oil producing nations buy ever bigger monster yachts and jewel bedecked Bentleys with the gas money made from Western nations. When the ever growing unemployed, poor youth in Saudi Arabia ask why there is no fresh water in their villages and towns, the House of Saud will probably shrug and point to the West. I’m sure Osama Bin Laden laughs his ass off every time his countrymen turn the screws on us. Only an American dependence on his construction business would be a greater injurious irony.

The nations of Earth need to conserve; set strict mileage standards for all new cars; develop renewable energy sources and move away from an economy and way of life that sees driving two hours every single day as “normal.”

OPEC is a cartel.
Their drug is oil.

Just say no to OPEC’s oil.



Mycue23 said...

While I have no love for the OPEC nations, I do wonder what would happen to them if the world were to stop using oil. The oil will run out at some point and I guess we'll find out. Until then they do control a big part of the supply. We can build more efficient cars, drive less and conserve energy, but at the end of the day, we're still going to have to import the majority of our oil. Of course we do import more oil from Canada than from OPEC, so maybe you should shine your light on our neighbors to the north as well.

SJ said...

If OPEC nations lost the US as a customer, I think they'd conscentrate on getting the BRIC nations to be the next out-of-control buyers, which won't work because Brazil in particular has been developing low mileage cars and hybrids as soon as their automaking industry got up and running. Even American car makers down in Brazil like Ford, are creating more fuel effcient cars than they are for their home market. It's disgusting.
Russia is a big oil supplier itself, leaving India and China up for grabs.

The oil will run out.

This nation had better have a plan by then, or we'll have much bigger problems in any case.
The control and manipulation of pricing and production of oil by OPEC is the problem right now. It destabilizes world markets on a monthly, sometimes weekly basis, to the point that no one even questions it.
We must build more efficient cars, drive less and conserve energy and get away from importing any fuel including oil. It can be done. But the US will propbably wait until its back is up against the wall to do anything.
As far as Canada is concerned, OPEC has attempted to woo them and get them to join several times over the last couple of years to no avail.
The current members of OPEC are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela (Indonesia quit a few years back I think).
Dealing with a singular country's industry is one thing; hell we buy a tremendous amount of fuel from Russia, -but neither of these two country's collude with each other, or OPEC (although both of these oil producing nations benefit from their price gouging indirectly, another issue) to inflate prices.
When the economy is down or uncertain, the first thing any individual needs to do is get out of any mutable contracts, or interest paying agreements that can escalate at the whim of the lender. The US is in such a relationship with OPEC.
If 1973 is any indication, OPEC can't be counted on to give a shit when their actions throw the world further into recession.

Jack Jodell said...

I share your outrage completely. OPEC ruined the prosperity of the '60s by creating the bullshit oil shortages of the '70s which had poor consequences for the world economy back then. They are doing the same thing again and we will once more see the same result. That is why the US MUST find alternative energy sources as T. Boone Pickens and Barack Obama have insisted, and we must do it QUICKLY! Brazil managed to free itself from OPEC's tentacles years ago, and it stands as a great example for us to follow. To hell with all these WTO, World Bank, IMF, Carlisle Group, and other new-world-order Bushie groups dedicated to a one-world economy controlled by a narrow economic elite!

SJ said...

thanks, I tend to forget that the oil crisis was one the things that directly overshadowed the awareness and progress brought about by the 1960s. The only upside is: if OPEC gets greedy in the shortterm and drives gas prices way up, it will make Americans far less passive about hybrids, electric cars and fuel alternatives. Let's hope OPEC has enough rope to hang themselves with.