How America is Losing The Great Game
Welcome to the June 1, 2006 edition of the Satya Center newsletter. Warm greetings from your Editor, Curtis Lang.
This newsletter focuses on new articles at Satya Center and on important news stories from around the world offering unusual insights into the immense waves of change engulfing our planet at this time of cultural, economic, religious, political and environmental transformation.
How America is Losing The Great Game
Perhaps the most important issue facing humanity today is the peak oil crisis, which has political, social, economic, cultural, technological and environmental implications so vast that many people, including America’s elected officials, simply refuse to deal with the reality of the situation.
The simple fact is that the world has only a limited supply of easily retrievable, easily refinable oil, and that our globalized 21st century economy is now expanding so rapidly that we can no longer provide cheap fuel for our present system of industrial agriculture and our current air and automotive based transportation infrastructure.
The strategic importance of the world’s oil fields has long been a pre-eminent policy issue among military analysts around the world. The major military campaigns and imperial ambitions of the major powers engaged in the Three World Wars of the Twentieth Century revolved around control of world oil supplies and supply lines.
As America ascended to its current position of global hegemon during these Three World Wars, the American “way of life” has been synonymous with cheap energy to sustain its suburban lifestyle, its global industrial agricultural system, its worldwide war machine, and the dominance of its global corporations, which all depend upon massive utilization of cheap energy resources to support their far-flung globalized supply lines.
Since the 1970s, when the OPEC nations unveiled their “oil weapon” and the Club of Rome predicted a future of booming population growth and looming shortages of natural resources, the facts have been readily available for those who chose to seek them out.
American oil companies reached their peak of domestic oil production in the 1970s, as predicted by the geologist King Hubbert, who created what is now known as peak oil theory. Hubbert predicted that we would reach peak oil production worldwide around this time, and that the future could only bring the end of cheap oil and the culture that depends upon it.
Since the Seventies, America has relied more and more heavily on imported oil, and since that time, America’s military presence and covert wars have impacted oil-producing countries around the world.
Any threat to cheap oil has rightly been seen by a succession of American Presidents as a threat to America’s Global Empire. Prior to the ascension of George Bush the Younger, America’s proxies, allies and pawns dominated the Middle East, the primary source of cheap oil, and American oil companies had their way North and South, East and West, certain that their interests would be bolstered and protected by American military might and America’s covert warriors. Regime change was effected around the world to insure the continuation of the cheap-oil lubricated Pax Americana.
Americans now burn 20+ million barrels of oil per day, and 12 million barrels of that amount are imported from 70 foreign countries, as crude oil and various refined products, but the American economic miracle has stalled for all but the wealthiest, most privileged twenty percent of Americans.
Meanwhile, economic growth in Korea, China, India and Japan is exploding, and the Asian powers collectively seek to insure the oil supplies necessary to continue fueling their drive to lift billions of impoverished Asians into an American Twentieth Century lifestyle. Their rapidly rising energy requirements combined with America’s energy profligacy are creating global energy demand that simply cannot be met with today’s existing supplies of easy-to-refine oil, today’s oil technologies and today’s worship of the consumption society.
Over the last forty years, numerous countries have realized the increasing value of their oil reserves and have nationalized their oil infrastructure. Mexico, Middle Eastern oil producers, Ecuador, Brazil and Venezuela have all taken control of their oil resources away from multi-national oil companies during this period.
All this constitutes a threat to US hegemony, but for America, the worst by far is soon to come. America’s dependence on foreign oil will soon prove its undoing.
Readers of this newsletter know that Russia, Iran, Japan, Venezuela and China are creating new energy partnerships and new pipelines are being built to provide Middle Eastern and Caspian Sea oil and natural gas to Asian powers at the expense of American interests.
Vladimir Putin, who wrote his graduate school thesis on the creation of a Russian natural gas company, is now creating a multi-national energy conglomerate with geo-strategic influence and has armed Russia with a potent oil weapon.
George Bush the Younger’s ill-fated war in Iraq has created a much more volatile Middle East, and turned public opinion in that region firmly against US interests.
Control of OPEC, long firmly in the hands of Saudi Arabian royalty, the Bush family’s personal friends and allies, is in danger of passing to the socialist oilman least beloved of George Bush the Younger – Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
Bush’s CIA has engineered at least one or two or three failed Venezuelan coup attempts so far, but Chavez has succeeded in consolidating South American political systems and public opinion behind a decidedly left-wing agenda and ideology.
On the energy front, Chavez had been as busy as Vladimir Putin, building an international energy conglomerate with partners in South America, Asia and in-between that constitutes the greatest immediate threat to Saudi-American energy hegemony.
Recently, as oil prices topped $70 a barrel, Chavez offered to sell over one trillion barrels of Venezuelan heavy crude oil for a guaranteed price of $50 a barrel, over the next 200 years, under one condition – that these reserves be counted as part of Venezuela’s official OPEC oil reserves. This accounting shift would give Chavez control of OPEC, which apportions power in its councils according to official oil reserves.
This new accounting procedure would make Venezuela officially the world’s 21st century swing oil producer eclipsing Saudi Arabia as the country with the ability to determine global oil prices by a mere turn of a valve. Many energy experts, including Bush advisor Matt Simmons, believe that Saudi reserves are overstated and that Saudi ability to produce more oil to meet growing demand is vastly overstated.
The US Energy Department agrees that Chavez holds the trump cards. The DOE believes Venezuela holds 90% of the world’s super-heavy tar oil reserves - an estimated total of 1,360,000,000,000 (1.36 trillion) barrels. This amounts to more oil than King Hubbert believed existed under the ground on the entirety of planet Earth when he made his peak oil predictions in the Seventies.
With prices soaring above $70 a barrel and set to go higher on global markets, Venezuelan heavy oil at $50 a barrel is quite economical. It would be no problem to take the extra time and money to refine this extra-heavy oil and deliver it to global markets at competitive prices. New refineries and supply lines have to built, but the future of oil is really in the hands of the Venezuelan strongman with the red beret.
America, meanwhile, has entered a free-market version of the Brezhnev era, the final era before Gorbachev admitted that the Soviet Emperor wore no clothes. Savvy global analysts are beginning to see the parallels between the endtime of the Soviet Empire and the waning years of Bush’s Imperial America.
Bush & Brezhnev: Separated at Birth?
However, socialism in the USSR was a fraud. By the time of Brezhnev, the country was not communitarian in spirit or everyday economic functionality. It was in fact a militaristic, despotic dictatorship with two very distinct classes -- Communist Party members and everyone else. Economically, the country was organized around a simple principle -- what's good for the political bureaucracy and the military is good for the USSR. The needs of the people were subservient to the needs of the Politburo, the Army and the Secret Police, who controlled the Empire through fear and a system of secret prisons known as gulags.
The USSR was a military Empire and simultaneously a Utopian representative democracy. During the Russian Revolution, local workers organized themselves into councils called "soviets" and these "soviets" elected representatives for regional "soviets". These regional soviets elected representatives for higher councils, on up to the Supreme Soviet. Elections were a farce, however, completely controlled by Communist Party bureaucrats who had transformed the soviets into a single party dominated patronage and surveillance system by the time of Brezhnev.
In a strking parallel to the Soviet Union during the Brezhnev era, America’s existing social, political, and economic systems appear to be dominant, immovable and totally geared toward preserving the status quo for those in power.
Just as in Brezhnev’s USSR, America’s economic system, based on an aggressive Utopian ideology out of touch with the real world, provides increasing rewards only for the privileged few.
Over the last twenty-five years in the US, a Utopian economic ideology, free-market laissez-faire capitalism, has been deified as the guiding principle for all segments of society and all forms of social interaction.
A small group of transnational corporations controls the "free market" for their own benefit. These oligopolies control the government agencies charged with regulating their behavior so they can socialize and externalize costs and privatize profits as much as possible.
America has developed a militarized society slavishly devoted to exporting its inflexible economic ideology of fundamentalist free market Utopianism to the rest of the world. Just as the Communists sought to export their Utopia at gunpoint around the world, America now promises to export American style "free market society" and “democracy” through a series of Imperial wars.
America promises to use all its military and economic power to force its own brand of Utopian corporate capitalism on societies everywhere on Earth. American spies, military commanders and diplomats work ceaselessly through a network of hundreds of military bases and through international banking organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization to consolidate corporate control of all societies around the world. All this is done in pursuit of a failed Utopia promised to appear as if by magic when societies agree to follow a set of worn-out neo-liberal economic formulas discredited through bitter experience wherever in the world they have been applied.
The American Empire's current President, George Bush the Younger, also aspires to spread American "democracy" around the world, using all the tools at his disposal, primarily the largest military machine in world history.
To facilitate the spread of American style democracy, Bush the Younger espouses a doctrine of pre-emptive warfare, which is synonymous with Imperial wars of aggression designed to displace governments disliked by America and install governments that will be subservient to American interests and serve at the pleasure of the American President.
George Bush the Younger stole the 2004 election from John Kerry. This is not a conspiracy theory, but rather an increasingly provable proposition, as further study and analysis continues to support the stolen election hypothesis. The fact that the Democratic Party has not contested the stolen election points to a fundamental failure of democracy in America.
In a recent Rolling Stone article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., laying out the growing mountain of evidence indicating massive voter fraud, Kennedy charges that the Republican Party engaged in massive, nationwide voter fraud in what appears to be a systematic way, similar to the type of manipulation common in Third World and Soviet dictatorships.
Kennedy also blames the American media for the 2004 election debacle. Over the last two decades the American news media have come all but completely under the control of a small media oligopoly. Kennedy points out that at the time of the 2004 election, exit polls showing Kerry victorious were dismissed by a compliant American media, reduced to their current role of propaganda machine for the Republican Party.
Kennedy points out that exit polls are considered so accurate that the US government and the American media often use them to provide evidence of voter fraud in Third World countries -- and to demand that fraudulently elected officials step down.
"What is most anomalous about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent: Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush," Kennedy explains. "After carefully examining the evidence, I've become convinced that the president's party mounted a massive, coordinated campaign to subvert the will of the people in 2004. Across the country, Republican election officials and party stalwarts employed a wide range of illegal and unethical tactics to fix the election. A review of the available data reveals that in Ohio alone, at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted in 2004 -- more than enough to shift the results of an election decided by 118,601 votes. (See Ohio's Missing Votes) In what may be the single most astounding fact from the election, one in every four Ohio citizens who registered to vote in 2004 showed up at the polls only to discover that they were not listed on the rolls, thanks to GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots. And that doesn?t even take into account the troubling evidence of outright fraud, which indicates that upwards of 80,000 votes for Kerry were counted instead for Bush. That alone is a swing of more than 160,000 votes -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House."
''It was terrible,'' says Sen. Christopher Dodd, who helped craft reforms in 2002 that were supposed to prevent such electoral abuses. ''People waiting in line for twelve hours to cast their ballots, people not being allowed to vote because they were in the wrong precinct -- it was an outrage. In Ohio, you had a secretary of state who was determined to guarantee a Republican outcome. I'm terribly disheartened.''
"Indeed, the extent of the GOP's effort to rig the vote shocked even the most experienced observers of American elections," Kennedy continues. '''Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen,' Lou Harris, the father of modern political polling, told me. 'You look at the turnout and votes in individual precincts, compared to the historic patterns in those counties, and you can tell where the discrepancies are. They stand out like a sore thumb.'"
Cracks in the Imperial Facade
Despite their disputed success in the 2004 elections, Bush the Younger and his Republican compadres have the lowest approval ratings of any administration in the last fifty years.
The disconnect between America's political, corporate and media elite and the common people is so great that parallels with Brezhnev's Soviet Union are no longer far-fetched. In Brezhnev's time, the Soviet elite refused to face reality about the limits of Soviet power. The economic health of the country was sacrificed on the altar of the military-industrial complex.
The ruble became a global joke. Environmental concerns and provision for basic necessities of the people were luxuries the Soviet elite felt they could no longer afford. Today, the American elite refuses to face reality about a number of critical problems facing the Imperium.
The end of cheap oil is coming. Global warming is upon us. Families and the nation are deeply in debt. The dollar is sliding amid talk of a more truly multi-currency global monetary system. America's health care system is broken. Social Security is under attack by the government itself. America is waging war on its own elders. Rising inequality is creating a two-class society similar to the sharply divided societies of the Soviet Union or Latin American Banana Republics.
Evidence of American incompetence is mounting everywhere one looks, and although America appears to be the invincible world hegemon, there are disturbing parallels between America's current position and the waning days of the Soviet Empire.
Under Brezhnev, the Soviet Union waged a diastrous war in Afghanistan that undermined Soviet pretensions to military invulnerability, cast the Soviet army as a an Imperial aggressor, and set the world's billions of Muslims against Soviet rule everywhere.
Under Bush, America is waging a disastrous war in Afghanistan and Iraq that is undermining American pretensions to military invulnerability, casting the American army as an Imperial aggressor, and setting the world's billions of Muslims against American interests everywhere.
In Brezhnev’s USSR, technology in the service of ideology produced monsters of inefficient design and engineering debacles on a regular basis.
America’s worship of technology divorced from social consequences is producing monsters such as the levees that broke in New Orleans, the technologies of surveillance and control that threaten human rights and the freedom of speech and the Internet, junk food, industrial agriculture, genetically modified foods, the Hummer and other SUVs that require American troops to oppress and invade oil producing countries to support obsolete engineering solutions that exacerbate the global energy, political and economic crises.
Brezhnev’s USSR relied on an oppressive political establishment, secret police, a militarized society, and a fossilized ideology dedicated to world domination to uphold communist rule. In America, the unholy ménage a trois between America’s fundamentalist Christian conservative political movement, the US military establishment and the Republican party threatens to undermine the institutions of American democracy and the foundations of American intellectual leadership -- allegations of rigged elections, attacks on basic scientific methodologies, increasingly overt police state tactics applied wholesale at home and abroad, contempt for human rights and international treaties and bloody culture civil wars escalate year by year.
The Soviets built the Berlin Wall, and the American Minutemen, with the help of a rabidly nationalistic and xenophobic Congress, are now in the initial stages of building a Great Wall around America, sealing the US off from the dire threats posed by Mexican immigrant laborers and Canadian tourists without portfolio.
America is moving further and further out of the global mainstream of 21st century culture, politics, economic theory and science. Increased reliance on military solutions to all international issues exacerbates this trend. The American failure to pacify Afghanistan and Iraq has been a most visible demonstration of the sharp limits to America’s ability to project power globally. The Iranian government and the Shiite fundamentalist movement across the Middle East are the only winners in these “wars against” terror so far.
As world energy demand continues to spike, America is becoming increasingly dependent upon unstable global energy supply lines originating in countries that are increasingly alienated, even hostile, to America’s hegemonic project.
More to the point, there is an evolving, ascending new constellation of energy power-brokers in Asia, the Middle East and South America who are united in their desire to cut American oil companies out of their business dealings and minimize American military interference in their backyards. They have much to gain from mutually supportive trade in oil, natural gas, and advanced weaponry.
Thus America’s sharp turn to the right during the reign of the autocratic cowboy, George Bush the Younger, will certainly make it increasingly difficult for America to import energy from the rest of the world on favorable terms of trade as the 21st century energy crisis unfolds.
This is the most important geo-strategic trend of the decade, and the trend most under-reported in the American media, which increasingly resembles the Brezhnev-era Soviet propaganda machine – ubiquitous, ideologically pure, aggressive and inquisitorial, but totally distrusted by the vast majority of citizens.
You can be sure that SatyaCenter.com will continue to bring you the news you won’t find in the American media.
Top Satya Center Stories of the Week
Peak oil analyst Richard Heinberg, author of “The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies,” presents Satya Center readers with a new article, “Energy Politics and the Decline of the American Empire”.
“With the decline of Washington’s ‘full-spectrum dominance’, and control of global energy resources, we are seeing the emergence of countervailing power blocs, primarily in Asia but also in South America,” reports Heinberg. “This is the end of an era.”
In this week’s remarkable piece, Heinberg provides an overview of the emerging new powers around the world, and a concise analysis of their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, he presents a series of insights detailing how the ongoing decline of the American Empire is progressing. This is a must read for all those interested in the global geo-strategic picture.
In “Immigrants’ Rights: The New Revolution”, renowned astrologer and political commentator Maya del Mar provides some acute insights into the astrological and sociological trends fueling the current confrontations about immigration in America, and offers some predictions about the future course of this sharply contested political debate, which threatens to restructure the very idea of what it means to be an “American”.
“Immigrants have been demonstrating by the hundreds of thousands all over the United States ever since the huge pro-immigrant march in Chicago on March 10,” Maya explains. “And they are still marching. . .The birth of a national immigrants' rights movement was triggered by the first of a two-year series of eclipses in Virgo and Pisces,” Maya explains. “Recent mass demonstrations are just the beginning of a long political process.”
Maya’s thoughtful article explains the economic, political and social implications of this “long process” and looks to astrological trends to shed some much-needed light on the road ahead.
Internationally recognized scientist and environmental advocate Dr. Mae-Wan Ho’s provides two new Satya Center articles this week. The first article asks the question “What Can You Believe About Bird Flu?”
“Anyone following the streamers of headlines on bird flu in the popular media will be thoroughly bewildered,” says Dr. Ho. “Experts and politicians have been telling us that a bird flu pandemic is bound to happen; all it takes is for the deadly H5N1 Asian strain of bird flu that kills more than half of its human victims to mutate so it can pass from human to human instead of from infected chickens to humans. That could happen at any time; a state of emergency is declared, and drugs and vaccines are being stockpiled around the world; all to the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry.”
Is a bird flu pandemic imminent?” asks Dr. Ho. “Evidence points to intensive poultry farming as the incubator for deadly bird flu viruses -- globalised trade in live birds and poultry products are the main routes of disease transmission.”
Read the article to get all the science left out of the mainstream media’s propaganda barrage.
In her other new article, “Fowl Play: What’s Behind the Phony Bird Flu Scare?”, Dr. Ho challenges the conventional wisdom underlying the news reports we’ve been reading that blame wild migratory birds and free-range chicken farms for bird flu.
“There is no evidence that wild migrating birds mixing with backyard flocks spreads bird flu,” contends Dr. Ho. “Transnational factory farms and the globalised trade in poultry products are to blame.”
Dr. Ho’s article examines the epidemiological and genetic evidence in her quest to pinpoint the origins of this threatening flu, and analyzes the effects of the scare on the world’s poultry industry. This is a must read article for anyone who eats poultry or is concerned about global environmental issues.
New Additions to the Satya Center Crystal Gallery
Jane and I have been busy gathering new tools for lightworkers over the last month or two, and we are taking a break from gardening now and then to post some of the best of what we’ve found.
There are some very interesting and unique new Lemurian healing crystals, Tibetan and Chinese scepters from the Himalayas, an assortment of startlingly beautiful new jewelry cut according to specifications of sacred geometry to maximize their metaphysical benefits, and more.
Check out the “New Inventory” and send us an email if we can help you find something special or help you in any way.
Breaking News Headlines 24/7 at Satya Center
Read breaking news stories updated 24/7 from Pacific News Service . Tune in to Satya Center’s 24/7 environmental news headlines and listen to environmental news radio from Environmental News Network at ENN EarthNews.
Top Stories From Around the Web
Please enjoy these excerpts with links to major stories about crucial global issues gathered around the web. All these stories are feature length, and contain invaluable information and deep analysis of today’s most important cultural, political, environmental and economic developments. You won’t find this type of writing (often) in the mainstream media. But when you do, it’ll be excerpted here! Please click on the links, because so much more is available in the original pieces.
May 05, 2006
It's Not About Oil
By Boris Kagarlitsky
The oil prices have once again gone up, exceeding the $70 per barrel margin. In the earlier years analysts would have talked about "another psychologically important barrier". Now this is no longer the case, as price increase is of no surprise for anyone. However, in Russia, the petrodollar flow produces controversial and neurotic reaction. On the one hand, everything seems fine. On the other hand, the things are getting scary. What is waiting ahead? Everyone gets a feeling that the end of the "oil era" is just around the corner.
. . . The crisis is not about the exhausted resources, but about the inability to use them efficiently in the given circumstances. This means that maintaining economic growth, using old methods, is not going to work. The increasing inefficiency gives rise to constant appreciation of the key resources, which is viewed as another evidence of their "disastrous shortage". By the way, the same thing happened in the USSR by the end of the Brezhnev époque, when the country, having abundant natural resources, practically lacked everything. The end to this was put by the Soviet system collapse, as we all know very well. Now a phenomenon of the similar kind is taking place on the world scale.
The sensation of the oil era ending provokes search of new alternative ene