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A New Plan For Iraq – Give It To The Chinese

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Let's start out by assuming that the dream of building a new, better, and democratic Iraq has pretty much fallen by the wayside. That being the case, we're left with a messy situation and we have to find a way to salvage whatever we can for the Iraqi people and for the interests of the United States and other involved nations.

Right now, the problem with Iraq is that the Shiites are winning and that means that Iran is winning. If we were to pull out of Iraq today the Maliki government would bring in full scale Iranian support and crush the Sunnis. Kurdistan would become independent (the one bright point) because the Iranians know better than to try to fight the Kurds, but the rest of Iraq would become an Iranian puppet state. Once they consolidated their gains the Iranians would then move south and seize the oilfields in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and perhaps even the United Arab Emirates, just as Saddam attempted to do. Unlike Saddam, the Iranians would be competent and the bruised and bloodied US, having already written off involvement in the area, would not intervene, so the Saudis would pull back into the desert and be virtually unable to fight back.

The upside of this would be a guaranteed holy war between Sunnis and Shiites all over the region, mainly taking the form of terrorist attacks against Iran, which would be a nice change of pace. The downside would be that the Iranians would have an empire, controlling most of the oil in the Persian Gulf and wielding enormous international power. Once they consolidated their gains, their oil wealth and enlarged territory and population would make them a major player in world politics and the international economy at least on a par with India or any of the major European nations, and probably more powerful economically. Their victory would also establish a real legitimacy for Iran as the premier state in worldwide Islam and they would likely have a claim on the support and resources of a network of other nations from Indonesia to Morocco. They would be the new Caliphate that so many Muslims have been yearning for.

Chinese womens soccer team wearing iranian flag bikinis - god only knows why, but it sure must have pissed off the Iranians at the World CupThat future of a super-powerful Iran is what we here in the 'Great Satan' really want to prevent the most – far more than we want to help the Iraqis or protect the flow of oil. Without a draft we don't have the manpower to increase our presence in Iraq or fight Iran directly, and financially we really can't afford a unilateral war with Iran, even if it's fought through surrogates. That means we can't stay in Iraq forever or escalate our efforts enough to make Iraq stand on its own. The question we face is how do we stop Iran if we write off Iraq and our involvement there.

One radical solution which no one has suggested yet is to get someone else to do our dirty work. You might wonder who on earth would want to take up the financial and military burdens of fighting Iran in the Persian Gulf. Certainly no one would want to do it for the quasi-altruistic (dumb and idealistic) reasons which motivated the US to get involved, but there are countries which might do it out of that most powerful of motivations, self-interest.

Saudi Arabia has already indicated its intent to resist the expansion of Iran. They have been doing this with financial and material support for Sunni militias in Iraq, and through their alliance with the United States. They know that with the US out of the picture they would be in serious trouble, and although they have a fine military they just don't have the manpower to actually go toe to toe with Iran. It appears that as US resolve weakens and the situation in Iraq worsens, the Saudis are shopping around desperately for another solution, to essentially buy their way out of trouble with their vast financial resources.

What the Saudis need is a country with a lot of soldiers and desperate need for oil, which would be a perfect description of China. China is anticipating an enormous oil shortage as a result of its growing industry and population, a shortage like nothing the world has ever seen. It's the one thing standing between them and what they perceive as their economic destiny. China has the largest army in the world with 2.8 million soldiers. They aren't the best trained or equipped, but there are a hell of a lot of them. The Saudis have the oil the Chinese need and the money to outfit at least part of their army with more modern hardware, and the Chinese would have none of the manpower problems the US has had. If doubling the troops in Iraq would solve the problems there, well that's just 1/10th of their available forces.

The Chinese have more than just the need for oil to motivate them. They've already got problems with domestic Islamic minorities like the 16 million Uighur in Xinjiang province who could easily fall into the Iranian sphere of influence. They don't much want a huge theocratic empire controlling most of the world's oil and sitting pretty much on their western border.

This isn't something the United States could do on our own, but we could certainly act as a matchmaker to bring Riyadh and Beijing together for their mutual interest. So why not invite the Chinese into the Persian Gulf? Offer them control of the Iraqi oil fields, with a certain amount to be paid to the people of Iraq, along with the requirement that they provide security for the region, which means putting Shia-dominated southern Iraq under the control of the Chinese Red Army. This would essentially be another partitioning plan, with the Sunnis retaining control of the 'Sunni triangle' with the help of the US and other international forces, but with the added clout of the Chinese thrown in. And while the Red Army may not be as well trained as the superb US military, they likely have more experience and more appropriate training for suppressing unruly civilian populations which is something our military just isn't trained to do.

You could start a plan like this out relatively subtly. Instead of offering the Iraqi oil contracts to various multinational oil companies, you offer management of the oil fields and disposition of their output to the China National Petroleum Corporation. Since they're a Chinese company they're largely state owned, which means from the very start they're going to bring in the Red Army to provide security. And to be secure they need to control more than just the oil fields. They need to control Basra and the other ports and they need to establish a secure perimeter, which means controlling a lot of territory around the oil fields and refineries.

They also need to stop terrorist attacks on the infrastructure, which means subduing the terrorists in the region and establishing an extended secure perimeter. They'll also eventually need local sources of supply which means a functioning local economy, which is only really possible with peace, would also be an objective. There are probably some long term complications, both good and bad. Just giving China unfettered access to middle east oil is a bit daunting, but they're going to get oil from somewhere and this way they pay a meaningful price for it.

It's a big job, but they've got a big army to do it with. If the Chinese are still leery after we've pointed out that an Iranian superpower would be a threat to them, and after we've offered them the Iraqi oil, then we push the Saudis forward with suitcases full of money and more exclusive oil contracts to bribe them into participation. Iraq may indeed be a horrible mess, but if there's one country in the world for which getting involved there might be a smart move, it's China.

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About Dave Nalle

  • Lumpy

    You may be wishing for pie in the sky and maybe I’m missing something, ut this actually sounds like a damned good idea. I wonder if anyone in the halls of power has considered it.

  • Les Slater

    The U.S. will not only not encourage such a scheme, but would do its utmost to prevent an outcome as described.

    The first concern is that if China had a foothold, including sizable military, in much of this oil producing territory, the U.S. would be much less able to threaten China or its allies.

    If China was being threatened they could take over, and nationalize the whole area.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I did say there were possible shortcomings, Les. But the risk of China getting its hands on some oil would be more than outweighed by the dual benefits of really fucking over the Iranians and sticking the Chinese with having to deal with the terrorist maniacs currently infesting the area. Plus the way the Chinese would deal with the situation will put the US treatment of detainees and civilians in stark perspective.

    Dave

  • Les Slater

    Dave,

    The whole tone of your article is pessimistic, defeatist. You really do believe imperialism is weaker and weakening. Otherwise you wouldn’t be suggesting ‘communist’ China come to the rescue.

    Imperialism may be weaker, weakening and pessimistic, but they are not defeatists. They will fight. We’ll see how it plays out but I am sure they will not cede the region to the Chinese.

    Les

  • JR

    Wow. Quite possibly the worst idea ever.

    The most important reason for a U.S. presence in Iraq, in fact the most important reason for the invasion in the first place, is to keep China from getting at that oil and keeping it from the West. And they will do what it takes to get the Iraqis to cooperate, undeterred by any silly qualms we Americans may have about life and liberty. Keep in mind a little incident in their own capital a few years back – think the Chinese value those rowdy Iraqis any higher than they value their own university students?

    Get this straight. There simply aren’t enough energy resources to both maintain Western civilization and satisfy China’s ambitions. It’s them or us; to assume otherwise is suicidally optimistic.

    And this: “Once they consolidated their gains the Iranians would then move south and seize the oilfields in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and perhaps even the United Arab Emirates, just as Saddam attempted to do.” Won’t happen. Iran only invaded Iraq in response to Saddam’s aggression, and even then Iran failed to gain any ground. They’ve learned their lesson. They’ll take what power, influence and wealth they get out of Iraq and be quite happy.

    Besides, the Saudi royal family considers the Arabian oil their personal, God-given birthright; and they will blow all the wells before they let anyone else have it.

  • Ray

    This is a bad idea, and wishful thinking at best. If China, or any other country wanted to get into this mess, they would have done it long ago, as part of Bush’s coalition of the willing. Obviously, China, like other countries, didn’t agree with the pretext of going to war in Iraq, in search of the so-called WMD.

    USA must reap what it sows, and pay the horrible price for this mistake, as neither China, or any other country is liable to salvage this mistake for USA. Perhaps the next time USA feels it can unilaterally use pre-emptive actions to attack other sovereign countries, they might learn from this failure and humble itself not to engage Cowboy Diplomacy. But I’m skeptical USA can learn from past mistakes, since Bush and his Neo Con cronies apparently forgot the lessons of Vietnam.

    Furthermore, China doesn’t depend heavily on Iraqi oil. It is sourcing oil from Africa, Canada, South America, and many other parts of the world, to insulate it from the supply risks of being too dependent on Iraqi oil. While there is some self-interest to see the Iraqi debacle resolve itself so oil supplies can further stablize, that leverage is overstated since China’s sourcing is more diverse, both horizontally as it has oil deals around the world, but vertically as it participates in many joint venture deals to jointed explore and develop available natural resources.

  • STM

    Dave, this is one of your better ideas. You should be giving policy advice in Washington on the strength of this. There’s nothing wrong with a bloody good flying pig either.

  • adam

    You write like you think it is USA that should decide how and who Iraq, Iran etc. can and should sell their oil to. Sorry, but US is just an occupier, as the oil and natural resources doesn’t belong to US. It’s not up to US to decide what will happen with Iraq, Iran, and the oil in the Middle East. Morally, the oil and other natural resources belong to those countries and they can decide for themselves what is best for them, without interlopers interfering.

    Secondly, we already know US is looking for a way out of this Iraqi quagmire. It’s not a question of if USA will leave, but just when, since we do not have enough military personnel to maintain and sustain this type of occupation.

    Thirdly, with Iran proposing its own Oil Bourse (proposed but not reality), it has already prompted Russia to have its own bourse, which can create a new exchange for oil done in currency other than US dollars. Therefore, the invasion of Iraq, was more about trying to pre-empt countries in the Middle East to stay with Petrodollars, and not embrace PetroEuros, or PetroRubles, etc. This is understandable since how else can US fund its massive debts, unfunded liabilities, record current account deficits, trade deficits, budget deficits, etc. if the rest of the world had viable alternatives to Petrodollars?

    Hopefully, US will get its act together after this failure in Iraq, stop trying to tell other sovereign countries what to do, and provide a good moral example worthy of other countries to follow, devoid of the hypocrisy of past and present foreign policies that undermine its credibility around the world.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The whole tone of your article is pessimistic, defeatist. You really do believe imperialism is weaker and weakening. Otherwise you wouldn’t be suggesting ‘communist’ China come to the rescue.

    Imperialism may be weaker, weakening and pessimistic, but they are not defeatists. They will fight. We’ll see how it plays out but I am sure they will not cede the region to the Chinese.

    Les, the only imperialistic nation we’re talking about here is Iran. And I think their imperialism is only getting stronger. I do agree that they would want to resist a Chinese presence in their personal playground pretty vigorously, though.

    Dave

  • Mohjho

    Well Dave, its..umm..a plan.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Wow, this thread has really brought out the America hating loonies. Guess that’s a good thing in some ways.

    JR opines naively:

    The most important reason for a U.S. presence in Iraq, in fact the most important reason for the invasion in the first place, is to keep China from getting at that oil and keeping it from the West.

    As I’ve said a million times before, Oil is a fungible resource. It doesn’t matter where it comes from so long as it’s available for purchase.

    And they will do what it takes to get the Iraqis to cooperate, undeterred by any silly qualms we Americans may have about life and liberty. Keep in mind a little incident in their own capital a few years back – think the Chinese value those rowdy Iraqis any higher than they value their own university students?

    That’s kind of what I had in mind. If the Chinese want the oil they should be willing to go in there and work for it. We don’t need it nearly as much as they do, so let them do the work.

    Get this straight. There simply aren’t enough energy resources to both maintain Western civilization and satisfy China’s ambitions. It’s them or us; to assume otherwise is suicidally optimistic.

    Which is why we should encourage China to continue down the dead-end of a petroleum based economy while we convert as quickly as we can to alternative power sources.

    And this: “Once they consolidated their gains the Iranians would then move south and seize the oilfields in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and perhaps even the United Arab Emirates, just as Saddam attempted to do.” Won’t happen. Iran only invaded Iraq in response to Saddam’s aggression, and even then Iran failed to gain any ground. They’ve learned their lesson. They’ll take what power, influence and wealth they get out of Iraq and be quite happy.

    This is so naive it scares me. I hope there aren’t a lot of people who are this misinformed about Iran’s ultimate intentions.

    Besides, the Saudi royal family considers the Arabian oil their personal, God-given birthright; and they will blow all the wells before they let anyone else have it.

    Which is only a temporary deterrent. Plenty of wells have been blown up and reopened before.

    Dave

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    There are so many delusions in this piece as to render it little more than a pipedream…

  • SHARK

    Ah, the slippery slope of Moral Relativity.

    QUIZ TIME

    Q: Wanna see a self-righteous blowhard abandon his “principles” faster than Donald Rumsfeld can pen a “Cover-Yer-Ass” memo on his way out the door and into the dustbin of History?

    A: Then give an incredibly Greedy Bastard a chance to sell someone else’s grandmother in a deal with the devil.

    Q: Wanna see a hypocritical pedant turn “American patriotism” into International Whore-mongering?

    A: Then ask a desperate Post-Neo-Con Conservative how to salvage Iraq now that Baby Bush has completely fucked it up.

    Q: What does an insane chickenshit do when he desperately Wants Something — and yet he’s too scared to volunteer and too ‘politically astute’ to suggest instigating the Draft?

    A: “…Hello, China? What are you doing this weekend?”

    ========

    Dave, without a doubt, this is firm evidence of what we’ve suspected all along: that you are barking mad, batshit crazy.

    But who loves ya, babe!?

  • SHARK

    BTW, Dave:

    If you had a lick of humor or creativity, you could have turned this ridiculous title into a hilarious satirical essay.

    Kinda like the stuff I used to do — as illustrated by Shark’s much more realistic and perceptive solution to Bush’s Iraq Blunder.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    I hope you aren’t being serious about this, Dave.

    There are two possibilities:

    1 – China laughs at us and tells us to go fuck ourselves. We are embarrassed, and the situation on the ground does not change a bit. I think that’s about 90% likely.

    Or…

    2 – China takes us up on the offer. (About 10% likely.) What we have done then is just take a region of the world that is at least currently somewhat within our sphere of influence, and HANDED IT OVER to the RED CHINESE. The Chi-Comms, for goodness sake. In other words, our ENEMY.

    They take control, slaughter anyone and everyone who opposes them, and they veto any UN action against them in response to the butchery. US forces are now outnumbered and are forced to flee Iraq. China now has complete control over massive oil reserves. They ship everything back home. The surplus oil (if there is any) is sold back to us at a premium. They make “deals” with other nations in the region to oppose US foreign policy.

    When China decides to invade Taiwan, we are unable to respond lest our oil supplies be cut off. We are also unable to do anything meaningful at the UN. Taiwan falls. North Korea is fed a free flow of oil by their Commie allies, and they are encouraged to menace and distract us while China consolidates its gains in the Middle East.

    Sure, a lot of Chinese die in the process. But do they care? No. There are plenty more where they came from! And there is no free media in China to report on this, and bring the Chinese people into the streets in opposition. (That’s a rather huge advantage they have over us…)

    So, the end result is a bunch of former “allies” in the Middle East who now are overt enemies; Less US control of global oil supplies; Increased power for Red China; Humiliation for the US; Roll-back of democracy; and energy prices for the West even higher than they are now.

    Hey, sounds like a winning plan! :-/

  • SHARK

    Nalle: “…the problem with Iraq is that the Shiites are winning…”

    Just *one classic line of incredible FUCKING IRONY from the above essay — given the following uncomfortable facts:

    ++ Shiites’ are 60 percent of the popultion in Iraq

    ++ Some 3000 Americans have died to give them “democracy”

    ——

    *to be continued!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Honestly, I thought this was satire at first. If you wanna see really lunatic satire, read this.

  • SHARK

    MORE FUCKING DESPICABLE IRONY:

    Nalle: “Wow, this thread has really brought out the America hating loonies”

    This, from a guy who suggests America play Romantic Matchmaker with Saudi Arabia (aka “Wahhabi, Inc”) and China so that a nation of 1 billion “commie-socialists” can secure the international oil supply for a nation of medieval, pig-headed, misogynistic, America-hating Islamic nutbars in a proxy war/occupation for their good friend Uncle Sam.

    ======

    Dave, seriously, either you’re bi-polar — or you don’t read the shit you write.

  • SHARK

    Nalle: “…Let’s start out by assuming that the dream of building a new, better, and democratic Iraq has pretty much fallen by the wayside.”

    “Fallen by the wayside”???!!!!

    So Dave, what would you call the sinking of the Titanic?

    A minor “boating incident”?

    Just for the record, Nalle, many of us knew the Iraq invasion would fail before it even began.

    A lot more figured it out about April 10th, 2003, when nation-wide looting and anarchy began.

    It only took you *over three and a half years.

    You’re a bright boy– that’s why we trust your intelligence and insight!

    *since “Mission Accomplished” by the way

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dave, in this interesting analysis, the Audis get a stick up their butts (good), the Americans lose Arab oil altoghether (so what?), and the Chinese get to be only 17 hours from Jerusalem by tank (not so good).

    For an atheist, you’re doing one hell of a job of drawing up how biblical prophecy can be fultilled…

  • S.T.M

    Bloody hell Dave, you’ve copped a nice flogging on this one. Good to see everything’s back to normal.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Q: What does an insane chickenshit do when he desperately Wants Something — and yet he’s too scared to volunteer and too ‘politically astute’ to suggest instigating the Draft?

    Shark, I marched against the draft as a teenager in the early 70s and against draft registration ten years later, despite not being eligible for either. What were you doing about the draft?

    If you had a lick of humor or creativity, you could have turned this ridiculous title into a hilarious satirical essay.

    It’s not the lack of humor and creativity, it’s the lack of energy. It’s just harder to write humor.

    I freely admit my suggestion here is extreme, but it’s not illogical, now is it?

    Dave

  • troll

    *As I’ve said a million times before, Oil is a fungible resource. It doesn’t matter where it comes from so long as it’s available for purchase.*

    oil is a fungible product…the conflict is over who gets to pocket the surplus value generated in the processes of production

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    RJ. As usual, you’re not looking at the big picture. The US faces two threats in the next couple of decades. One is radical Islam as embodied by the Saudis and the Iranians. The other is the Chinese. The former have an unconcealed desire to destroy us utterly. The latter merely want to compete with us for world economic power.

    What better way to fuck both of them over than by putting them in direct competition and proximity with each other?

    The truth is that the Chinese have more of a stake in Iraqi oil than we do, so the scenario I propose is not unrealistic for them. It’s also clear that anyone who takes up the long-term burden of trying to pacify that part of the world is going to have resources and manpower sucked away at a prodigious rate.

    In effect we are currently securing that oil FOR the Chinese because of the way the fungible market works. Why not make them do that work themselves?

    Dave

  • Thomas Vanadium

    Why would we give Iraq to China? They are simply imperialist, and would just spread communism. Besides, do you want America to appear weak?

  • SHARK

    Dave: “Shark, I marched against the draft as a teenager in the early 70s and against draft registration ten years later, despite not being eligible for either. What were you doing about the draft?”

    I’m lobbying to have it reinstated; if Americans wanna protect/preserve their nation by preemptively invading other nations — and playing the World’s Policeman — then we should redistribute the responsibility and sacrifices required.

    In addition, I think that the rich should be required to serve on the Front Lines in armed combat — and the richer you are — the longer you should have to serve.

    ie. the greater your advantages derived from this Democracy/Capitalist nation, the greater your responsibility to defend it.

    ~NEXT!

  • SHARK

    PS: Dave, that means you should be patrolling the streets of Falluja with hand-knitted body armor — while Shark would be peeling potatos in Beeville, Texas.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    Wow.

    Well….

    Ummm…

    It’s very hard to even know quite where to start with this one…

    You want to trade an annoying, irritating scrappy brushfire war (that the US could crush quite throughly, if they actually committed the resources to crushing it) and open the door to active military involvement of a not-quite-totally-trustworthy (and communist to boot – albeit ‘commercial communists” now), burgeoning power (i.e. China!), right beside a significant portion of the world’s most valuable resource real estate?

    on the plus side, it would give the US an real incentive on reducing that oil dependence thing……

    Perhaps you need to radically reduce your intake of sugar cookies prior to the holidays.

    Wow.

  • MCH

    “Shark, I marched against the draft as a teenager in the early 70s and against draft registration ten years later, despite not being eligible for either. What were you doing about the draft?”
    – Dave Nalle

    How could you have been “ineligible” for the draft in your late 20s, Nalle?

  • D’oh

    Oh yeah, there’s a brain dead answer, give the Iraqi/Iranian oil resources to the Chinese government.

    While in an open market, oil may indeed be a fungible resource, Dave completely forgets that China is NOT an open market, capitalist society.

    They call it Communism, you might want to look that up.

    Even more remarkable is the fact that Dave rightly notes that the Chinese government owns their oil company, thus recognizing that it is the government which would control the resource.

    Now, Dave also notes that the need for oil resources in China is expanding far faster than the market will be able to respond to China’s need, other than raising prices, but fails to conceive, or mention, the high probability that the national Chinese oil company would keep ALL the oil reserves they can find or control for their own consumption.

    Now, for your homework, take a look at how much of the world’s reserves are within the borders of Iran and Iraq, and realize the Kurds would be decimated by the theoretical incursion of the Chinese military, so no hope for them either.

    All in all, this seems like about as brilliant a plan as the rest of the neocon imperialist agenda.

    Just as stupid, and just as doomed.

  • JR

    D’oh: All in all, this seems like about as brilliant a plan as the rest of the neocon imperialist agenda.

    No, even the neocon imperialist agenda is better than handing the Middle East to China.

  • D’oh

    JR, good point.
    The difference is competence.

    Where the neocons truly fucked up was in not finishing the job in Afghanistan, and turning that into their showpiece of installed democracy. Instead they embraced the premature ejaculation of U.S. troops and resources, not to mention the international good will and unification behind the U.S. that was squandered, and went into Iraq in a similar half assed fashion.

    All the while, apparently oblivious to the very realpolitik fact that Iraq was a counter balance to Iran, and had been keeping the Persians in check since the 80’s. Removing that check on Iran, without having a suitable replacement threatens to place the entire region under Iranian influence.

    Now, whether a new Caliphate or an oil empowered China is a larger threat is up for debate and discussion.

    But either outcome is deterimental to the U.S.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’m lobbying to have it reinstated;

    Then much to everyone’s surprise you turn out to be what we called a ‘fascist pig’ back in the old days. Turn your tye dye in at the counter and take your leisure suit.

    Dave

  • Ray

    This was a terrible idea. USA has no leverage to actualize what you are proposing, so it is nothing more than wishful thinking. No country needs to step into this hornet’s nest since they already know US cannot sustain this occupation indefinitely. The cost for the war is currently at about half trillion. Our debts are currently about $9 trillion. We also don’t have enough military personnel to continue this occupation, despite recycling troop rotations.

    USA has 5% of the world’s population but currently uses about 25% of the world’s oil resources. China has about 22% of the world’s population but it doesn’t use 25% of the world’s oil resources. Therefore, it is USA that has a greater dependence for oil, not China. Check your facts before you try to imply otherwise.

    If countries like Russia and Iran, etc. had their way, they will create their own bourse (Russia already has their own bourse but it remains to be seen if it can be viable) and transact oil either in their own currency, or some other currency besides US dollars. Therefore, this battle isn’t just about who controls the oil, but who controls Petrocurrency. If Russia, Iran, or other countries are successful in creating an alternative and viable bourse to the US and London Exchange, then it may be the end to Petrodollar recycling. China currently holds about 1 trillion dollars in cash reserves, which is the most in the world. Just think for a moment. If other countries can buy oil in other currencies other than dollars, they will reduce dollar reserves. There goes our relatively cheap financing for our massive debts and deficits. I haven’t even talked about our massive unfunded liabilities (mainly from Medicare and SSI), estimated at between $45 to $70 trillion dollars, depending on actuarial assumptions.

    Some of you guys are so insular, using labels like Commie Chinese, when it is the Chinese who is funding a large portion of our debts and deficits. You guys would really benefit from reading Peter Peterson’s book, “Running on Empty”, since he goes into much more details than I care to do here.

    Dave, your fantasy was an amusing trip, in a self-serving insular way, since you neither recognized US’s lack of real leverage in this world, lack of credibility as an honest peace broker, and lack the moral standing to credibly tell others what to do. Not surprisingly, Bush’s recently trips aboard netted nothing more than empty rhetoric.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dave, you’re big problem here is that you weren’t raised Jewish. Had you been, you’d have realized from the git-go that this idea was satire and black humor with very little needed to funny it up.

    I’s too late now. You may be brilliant, but you’re stuck with a “goyisher kup”.

    That reminds me, where the hell is Schannon? Haven’t seen his comments around lately. Is he alright?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    How could you have been “ineligible” for the draft in your late 20s, Nalle?

    You really need to take some remedial reading classes, MCH. There was no draft when I was in my 20s. There was a mandatory draft registration, as there is now. Because of when I was born I fall in a fairly small group of people who were too young to be eligible for the draft in Vietnam and too old to be required to register for a potential future draft starting in 1980.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    While in an open market, oil may indeed be a fungible resource, Dave completely forgets that China is NOT an open market, capitalist society.

    They call it Communism, you might want to look that up.

    So? They’re going to get oil one way or another. If necessary they will just pay more for it and raise the worldwide price for everyone. The fact that they’re communists doesn’t change their status as oil consumers in any meaningful way.

    Even more remarkable is the fact that Dave rightly notes that the Chinese government owns their oil company, thus recognizing that it is the government which would control the resource.

    Which is already true of these countries anyway. How is a chinese communist government controlling the oil any worse than a terrorist sponsoring islamist government?

    Now, Dave also notes that the need for oil resources in China is expanding far faster than the market will be able to respond to China’s need, other than raising prices, but fails to conceive, or mention, the high probability that the national Chinese oil company would keep ALL the oil reserves they can find or control for their own consumption.

    Yes, but as I pointed out before, oil remains a fungible resource, so every barrell of oil the Chinese get for themselves is one less barrell we have to pay an inflated price for or compete with them for in the world market.

    Now, for your homework, take a look at how much of the world’s reserves are within the borders of Iran and Iraq, and realize the Kurds would be decimated by the theoretical incursion of the Chinese military, so no hope for them either.

    Iran and Iraq together have about 1/3 of the world’s reserves of oil, but their role as producers is much, much lower. If the Iranians were to seize Iraq, Kuwait and the Saudi oil fields – which is a very real possibility, they would control 50% of the world’s oil reserves and one quarter of the world’s daily production. China could never match that just by taking the Iraqi oil fields. They could only do it by conquering Iran – and good luck with that.

    All in all, this seems like about as brilliant a plan as the rest of the neocon imperialist agenda.

    So long as you note that it’s about as opposite as you can get from anything the Neocons have ever proposed.

    Dave

  • JR

    Dave Nalle: How is a chinese communist government controlling the oil any worse than a terrorist sponsoring islamist government?

    The Islamists have to sell the oil to sponsor terrorism, which is already a defeatist tactic – terrorists can’t invade countries and impose totalitarian government on their victims, they can only increase the risk in free societies and perhaps lower the standard of living.

    The Chinese can put the oil into their ships, tanks and aircraft, and do what they’re doing in Tibet to Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, South America or wherever else they need to go to get the resources necessary achieve their goals.

    Ray: USA has 5% of the world’s population but currently uses about 25% of the world’s oil resources. China has about 22% of the world’s population…

    Bingo. China needs about 110% of the world’s oil resources to match it’s standard of living to that of the USA.

    Oh, but I’m sure they’ll settle for second best…

  • Les Slater

    Ray #34

    “…this battle isn’t just about who controls the oil, but who controls Petrocurrency.”

    This was one of the accomplishments of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Prior Iraqi oil was sold in Euros, now U.S. dollars.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The Islamists have to sell the oil to sponsor terrorism, which is already a defeatist tactic – terrorists can’t invade countries and impose totalitarian government on their victims, they can only increase the risk in free societies and perhaps lower the standard of living.

    Tell that to the governments overthrown by terrorists or under threat of terrorist overthrow and to the people constantly threatened by them. Tell it to the Chechens and the Azerbaijanis and the Somalis and the Sudanese and the Iraqis and the Israelis and the Lebanese and the Afghans and for that matter the Iranians. In addition, Iran HAS a large and fairly functional army. The fact that they haven’t invaded their neighbors directly yet doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot. Their activities in Iraq and Lebanon and Israel clearly demonstrate their intentions.

    The Chinese can put the oil into their ships, tanks and aircraft, and do what they’re doing in Tibet to Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, South America or wherever else they need to go to get the resources necessary achieve their goals.

    Last I checked China hadn’t invaded anyone in a hell of a long time. Their involvement in Tibet goes back generations, and they sure haven’t invaded anywhere else, especially not in South America or Japan.

    Dave

  • MCH

    “You really need to take some remedial reading classes, MCH. There was no draft when I was in my 20s. There was a mandatory draft registration, as there is now. Because of when I was born I fall in a fairly small group of people who were too young to be eligible for the draft in Vietnam and TOO OLD TO BE REQUIRED TO REGISTER FOR A POTENTIAL FUTURE DRAFT STARTING IN 1980.”
    – Dave Nalle

    ————————-

    So 26 was “too old” for the draft? (or were you younger than that in ’80?)

    What a chickenshit excuse for not serving, considering that Canadian born Glenn Ford served two tours of combat in Vietnam while in his mid-50s…

  • JR

    Dave Nalle:

    Iran: The fact that they haven’t invaded their neighbors directly yet doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot.

    China: Last I checked China hadn’t invaded anyone in a hell of a long time.

    Let’s just admit that Iran and China have both shown significant hostility to the U.S. I see two key differences between the two.

    1) Iran simply doesn’t have the means to establish or maintain an empire beyond the Middle East (in my opinion it will take them years just to consolidate what we’ve apparently just given them); nor can they exert a significant influence on world politics. They are a threat to the price of oil, not to freedom.

    China is huge. It has a large and rapidly growing military and a great need for wealth and resources just to support its population. In pursuit of those resources, they are already negatively impacting politics in such far-flung places as Sudan.

    2) Iran has deep historic ties and even affinities to Western culture. The people have experience in participatory government (they even have a pretty decent history of civil rights movements) and they remain politically engaged. Take out the Ayatollahs, and there’s at least some chance they end up something like a modern democracy.

    China has a long and continuing history of excluding the people from the governing process. They have a totalitarian government operating in a society with a long statist tradition. Take out the current leadership and who knows what you get (probably collapse), but it won’t likely be anything with which we can find common cause.

  • troll

    JR – Iran and China are close trade partners…China’s government is contracted to develop Iran’s Yadavaran oil field…Iran is already one of China’s major markets for manufactured goods

    a defense pact can’t be far off

  • JR

    Yeah, that’s a real problem. It’s too bad Iran is moving away from us; it doesn’t have to go that way. It’s not entirely our fault, but we sure could have done with some clever foreign policy over the last five years.

  • Ray

    Les Slater:

    It is only a small victory to convert the trade from Euros back to dollars since the oil volume from war torn Iraq is relatively low. The Iraqis already know the real reason wasn’t WMDs or Democratization, but oil. After the fall of Saddam, the first thing the military was guarding, wasn’t the ammo dumps, or Iraq’s cultural treasures, or safeguarding the people, they were safeguarding the oil infrastructure, and the contractors who work for these industries. It was blatantly transparent, so it’s not surprising how sectarian violence has increase the longer USA stays. But this tiny victory, if one can call it that (as I’m sure the Iraqis would disagree), came at a very high cost in USA military lives, money, and resources, and is therefore, hardly an equitable indemnification. If you must look to this tiny victory for solace, then I know things are bad, and as the Iraq Study Group just concluded, getting worse.

    No smart country is stupid enough to send their sons and daughters to die in the Iraq war now. It would be smarter for people like Dave to figure out how to realistically retain the few countries who still remain in Bush’s so-called Coalition of the Willing, and encourage them to stay in the Iraq theatre, to stem the exodus of support. How many countries have already withdrawn their initial troop commitment?

    Dave Nile:

    Hopefully for your sake, you were just writing a fairy tale, and not actually attempting to be serious, since no reasonable, sane, and fair-minded person would have the temerity to offer such an outlandish proposal, given USA’s lack of leverage.

  • Ray

    Speaking of the Iran Oil Bourse……….

    So how is USA going to realistically stop Iran, and Russia, now that are going away from Petrodollars? Any smart cogent and realistic ideas?

    Iran replaces dollar with euro in most oil dealings

    TEHRAN, Dec. 5 (MNA) — Iran has started replacing dollar with euro in majority of its crude oil exchanges in the last several months, an informed source with Iran’s Oil Ministry said here on Tuesday.
    Oil Ministry has taken the policy to substitute dollar with euro, and begun to implement it for most of its oil dealings, the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the Mehr News Agency.

    “This can maintain the real value of Iranian oil,” he added.

    The majority of Iran crude’s customers are Asian and European states, the source noted.

    Iran is the number two oil producing member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). It also stands second behind Russia in terms of gas reserves in the world.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    So 26 was “too old” for the draft? (or were you younger than that in ’80?)

    If I had been 26 in 1980 then I would have been eligible for the draft lottery for vietnam. You really need some math help.

    What a chickenshit excuse for not serving, considering that Canadian born Glenn Ford served two tours of combat in Vietnam while in his mid-50s…

    That’s great for him. I didn’t support the war in vietnam and I was 15 when it ended anyway. In the 1980s I supported the dissolution of the US Military and was morally opposed to all use of military force so I felt no qualms about not volunteering and quite happy that I was born in the 6 year period where I didn’t even have to register.

    That clear enough for you?

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    1) Iran simply doesn’t have the means to establish or maintain an empire beyond the Middle East (in my opinion it will take them years just to consolidate what we’ve apparently just given them); nor can they exert a significant influence on world politics. They are a threat to the price of oil, not to freedom.

    You’re terribly misinformed. They already have enormous influence outside the middle east in central asia and southeast asia, and if they were to take over countries with large, sympathetic native populations they could assimilate them quickly. I don’t really expect them to start conquering the world, but they could develop a powerful sphere of influence with allied countries and puppet states.

    China is huge. It has a large and rapidly growing military

    China’s military is NOT growing. They have one of the smallest militaries in the world relative to the size of their population. What they are focusing on now is modernization and improving hardware, not increasing the size of their military.

    BTW, are you aware that Iran has the largest military in the world, and they are one of the most highly militarized nations in the world. 18% of their population is in the active military or reserves.

    2) Iran has deep historic ties and even affinities to Western culture.

    It did, but the Mullahs are doing their best to get rid of them, plus most of those loyal to the west fled the country and live here now.

    The people have experience in participatory government (they even have a pretty decent history of civil rights movements) and they remain politically engaged. Take out the Ayatollahs, and there’s at least some chance they end up something like a modern democracy.

    A modern ISLAMIC democracy. And a good example of why democracy is a disastrous form of government. And BTW, the Ayatollahs aren’t going anywhere.

    China has a long and continuing history of excluding the people from the governing process. They have a totalitarian government operating in a society with a long statist tradition. Take out the current leadership and who knows what you get (probably collapse), but it won’t likely be anything with which we can find common cause.

    My idea here wans’t finding common cause with China. Note that I specifically did not suggest bringing them in as an ally. We hand them the hot potato and let them be the ones who have to be the target of the international Jihad for a while.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    So how is USA going to realistically stop Iran, and Russia, now that are going away from Petrodollars? Any smart cogent and realistic ideas?

    We have to abandon them too. We need to go entirely energy independent within the next 5 years. That’s enough time to build the nuclear plants we need, replace gas with ethanol and biodiesel and tell the oil barons to go to hell.

    Dave

  • Les Slater

    Dave,

    You an isolationist?

    Les

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Not wanting to invade other countries or have a standing federal military makes me an isolationist? Hardly. I’m all for international trade and diplomacy.

    Dave

  • Ray

    Abandoning them is hardly a realistic or smart strategy. When countries like Iran and Russia can create their own bourse, thereby bypassing US petrodollars, what’s to stop other countries like Venezuela, other Middle East countries, and countries in Africa from doing likewise, or at a minimum, use Russia’s bourse to conduct business without US petrodollars? Morally, since these other countries do own the oil, they rightly can decide for themselves whether they want to sell their oil, exchange it, barter it, or accept whatever currency they want in exchange for their oil. You don’t seem to understand that it is US petrodollars that are mainly responsible for supporting the US economy, and providing the demand for US dollars and dollar denominated assets. If the majority in the world had a viable alternative or alternatives to US petrodollar, to buy oil, then there goes the demand for US dollars, and it is very real that without this monopolistic and artificial demand, we can see a collapse of the US economy. Do yourself a favor and read “Running on Empty”, because you don’t sound informed, since abandonment is a viable option.

    You asserted “We need to go entirely energy independent within the next 5 years. That’s enough time to build nuclear power plants”.

    My reply: What we need to do, and what we can realistically do, is two very different things. USA is the largest consumer of oil in the world, so going entirely energy independent within 5 years, is unrealistic and wishful thinking. We have a population that waste energy and use too much energy to the point that we have no leverage with other major oil rich countries. We are the oil addicts, and they are the oil pimps. I will agree with you that we need to move towards energy independence. Our government needs to give more incentives to encourage more R&D for renewable energy, and other alternative sources of energy so we can one day free ourselves from this unhealthy dependence.

    It is unrealistic to expect that we can build enough nuclear power plants in the next five years, when we have not even built one new nuclear power plant in the last 30+ years. Get real and aim for one plant approved and built, before you unrealistically stretch and expect nuclear power plants built in the next five years.

  • Ray

    correcting a typo:

    Abandonment is not a viable option.

  • D’oh

    “build nuclear power plants”

    Excuse me, but where are you going to put the trash?

    I mean, of course, the spent fuel rods for those reactors? Only some of the deadliest material in the history of the world, where will you be putting it all? We don’t have storage for what is laying around currently, literally tons of the stuff sitting in pools in non-secure sites right at this moment.

    Will that ethanol be from wheat or should we do as Brazil did and go to the much more efficient sugar base?

    The biodiesel is good, all for it, the trick will be to get the gas stations to carry it, contrary to their own financial interests since most gas stations are owned by oil companies.

    And how about coal making a comeback? All these new commercials trying to sell us on the idea that coal is “clean”. I’d dearly enjoy making those bastards drink about a gallon of acid rain for every lie they are trying to spew.

  • Clavos

    The biodiesel is good, all for it, the trick will be to get the gas stations to carry it, contrary to their own financial interests since most gas stations are owned by oil companies.

    Probably not too difficult, if it offers them another source of profits. They can continue to sell the oil to the rest of the world.

    Remember how the tobacco companies made a similar adjustment by shifting their core business into food, while still maintaining their overseas tobacco markets.

    The oil companies will figure it out. They did in Brasil.

  • D’oh

    We can only hope, Clavos.

    The difficulty lies in the difference in the relationship between those companies and the respective governments.

    The funny thing is that biodiesel is nothing new, the original diesel engine ran on peanut oil. Almost 100 years later, and still nobody has twigged to that, and gotten it going.

    So, let’s form the BC biodiesel corp., buy a few gas stations, and sell kits to tractor trailer drivers cheap to promote conversion of the merchant trucking fleets.

    It’s a start.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    You don’t seem to understand that it is US petrodollars that are mainly responsible for supporting the US economy, and providing the demand for US dollars and dollar denominated assets.

    There’s a gap in the logic here. The oil market certainly creates demand for US Dollars, but the impact on the US economy is mostly indirect. It’s only one of many factors driving the economy, and hardly dominant by itself. What’s more, we’re talking about virtual dollars here, not hard currency. If some countries changed to another currency it would hardly be devastating.

    If the majority in the world had a viable alternative or alternatives to US petrodollar, to buy oil, then there goes the demand for US dollars, and it is very real that without this monopolistic and artificial demand, we can see a collapse of the US economy.

    This argument just doesn’t make sense. Given the number of real and virtual dollars in circulation oil sales are such a tiny fraction, that they vanish in the massive circulation of dollars for other purposes. The driving force behind to dollar is investment in US bonds and other debt instruments, 48% of which are now owned by international banks or foreign investors. That commitment to the dollar is enormously more significant than the oil trade.

    My reply: What we need to do, and what we can realistically do, is two very different things.

    We CAN build enough nuclear power plants to supply our needs in 5 years. The question is whether we have the will to do it.

    USA is the largest consumer of oil in the world, so going entirely energy independent within 5 years, is unrealistic and wishful thinking.

    It’s technically possible to reduce our oil consumption to the point where it could be filled with domestic production. The problem is the lack of resolve in our government to do the things necessary to make it happen.

    We have a population that waste energy and use too much energy to the point that we have no leverage with other major oil rich countries. We are the oil addicts, and they are the oil pimps.

    If the addict stops buying that puts a LOT of pressure on the supplier. He can’t CREATE customers for his product if he starts to lose the existing ones.

    It is unrealistic to expect that we can build enough nuclear power plants in the next five years, when we have not even built one new nuclear power plant in the last 30+ years.

    The unwillingness to build them doesn’t mean the capability doesn’t exist.

    Get real and aim for one plant approved and built, before you unrealistically stretch and expect nuclear power plants built in the next five years.

    It’s not meaningfully more difficult to build 100 plants than it is to build one. The key thing is the decision to build any at all.

    Oh and as for the question of what to do with spent fuel rods and waste that someone brought up earlier, there’s an awful lot of room for nuclear waste in the middle east. We could just drop it on any country we don’t like, such as Iran.

    Dave

  • D’oh

    Dave posits, “If the addict stops buying that puts a LOT of pressure on the supplier. He can’t CREATE customers for his product if he starts to lose the existing ones.”

    It appears Dave knows very little about addicts or pushers. Just take crack or heroin for example, addicts are indeed made by pushers via cheap initial rates and free samples until the victim is addicted.

    Who would the new victims be? Try India, China, PacRim nations and others. Now if the U.S. could offer a cheap alternative, such as biodiesel, we could beat the pushers and prevent addictions from continuing, or even forming.

    As for my very legitimate question regarding nuclear waste, and the very real dangers in disposing of such waste being an impediment to making all those nuclear power plants;
    Dave retorts, “Oh and as for the question of what to do with spent fuel rods and waste that someone brought up earlier, there’s an awful lot of room for nuclear waste in the middle east. We could just drop it on any country we don’t like, such as Iran.”

    Flippant, facile and NO answer of any kind. What Dave sarcastically suggests is deliberately poisoning others as part of an “energy plan”.

    Here I had thought the discussion was about changing the paradigm for the better, not stay the course.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    D’oh, I may have been sarcastic, but there are real ways to get rid of nuclear waste. The middle east might even play into a real plan, because there are some large deserts there where waste could be buried and be removed from the water table and human contact. And some of the countries there might Better deserts would probably be found in China, Africa and here in the US, though. Failing that, I’ve always liked the idea of firing nuclear waste into space or into the sun.

    As for offering alternatives to petroleum, take a look at the use of Ethanol in some of the south american countries. Switching over entirely to a renewable fuel IS a realistic possibility.

    Dave

  • D’oh

    Dave, I can agree on spacing the waste, I’d even go as far as saying to place it on the Moon in case we figure otu how to use it later.

    But short of that, there is NO safe and secure way to handle it terrestrially over the long term. Hence my skepticism, you need to solve that problem before new reactors are brought online.

    I am well aware of the Brazillian move to ethanol, I even asked whether you had the sugar based fuel, which is much more efficient, or the wheat based fiasco currently in use in the U.S.

    I do think that getting weaned from petrochemical fuels is possible, even required, but what I am attempting to address is that we need to make damn sure that the answers are not worse than what we are replacing.

    Like those spent fuel rods.

  • MCH

    “If I had been 26 in 1980 then I would have been eligible for the draft lottery for vietnam. You really need some math help.”
    – Dave Nalle

    Since you were younger than 26 in 1980, then your statement that you were “TOO OLD TO BE REQUIRED TO REGISTER FOR A POTENTIAL FUTURE DRAFT STARTING IN 1980″ is a lie.

    You really need some help with telling the truth, Nalle.

  • troll

    D’oh says – *I do think that getting weaned from petrochemical fuels is possible, even required, but what I am attempting to address is that we need to make damn sure that the answers are not worse than what we are replacing.*

    agreed – and there is positive news on some fronts…every 5% helps

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Since you were younger than 26 in 1980, then your statement that you were “TOO OLD TO BE REQUIRED TO REGISTER FOR A POTENTIAL FUTURE DRAFT STARTING IN 1980″ is a lie.

    Is your foot surginally implanted in your mouth? You seem not to be able to remove it. The draft registration bill in 1980 applied ONLY to those whose 18th birthday fell in 1981 or any subsequent year. It did not apply to those who turned 18 in 1977 as I did.

    Dave

  • MCH

    “If I had been 26 in 1980 then I would have been eligible for the draft lottery for vietnam. You really need some math help.”
    – Dave Nalle

    Since the last draft took place in 1972 (for those 19 and older), 8 years before 1980 (1980 minus 1972 equals 8), had you been 26 in 1980, you would’ve been 18 in 1972 (26 minus 8 equals 18), and therefore too young for Vietnam’s draft lottery.

    So…who “really needs help in math”…?

    ————————–

    “Is your foot surginally implanted in your mouth? You seem not to be able to remove it. The draft registration bill in 1980 applied ONLY to those whose 18th birthday fell in 1981 or any subsequent year. It did not apply to those who turned 18 in 1977 as I did.”
    – Dave Nalle

    And, since the draft usually includes all able-bodied men up to 30 years of age, and you were only 22 in 1981, I still contend that this statement is a bald-faced lie: “Because of when I was born I fall in a fairly small group of people who were too young to be eligible for the draft in Vietnam and TOO OLD TO BE REQUIRED TO REGISTER FOR A POTENTIAL FUTURE DRAFT STARTING IN 1980.”

    —————————-

    But the point is actually moot, since you’ve already proven that you’ll avoiding serving when your country needs you (Desert Storm), so therefore you would’ve found one way or another to dodge the draft, regardless.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The vietnam draft lottery was for 18 year olds as I recall, but perhaps they changed that in 1972.

    As for the draft registration, as I said before, but you seem to have failed to comprehend, only people who were 18 during 1981 were required to register. Since that time everyone has been required to register when they turned 18. No one over 18 in 1981 was required to register. Is that clear enough for you?

    Dave

  • MCH

    Hey Know-it-all…the Vietnam lottery draft of 1972 was for 19 years of age and over, OK?

    Since you were over 18 and under 30 in 1981, your statement that you would have been “ineligible” for the draft in 1981 because you were “too old” is a FUCKING LIE.

    OK?

    —————————–

    And as I’ve said before, because you avoided service when your country needed you during Desert Storm, and since you’ve supported the decision of guys like Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney to evade service during Vietnam, there’s no doubt in my mind that you would’ve used some phoney excuse to dodge the draft, regardless.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    MCH, nothing you typed above makes me a liar, you moron. Regardless of what the cutoff was for the Vietnam draft, I was too young by years.

    The issue is the draft registration which started in 1981 which DID NOT REQUIRE ANYONE but 18 year olds to register. So anyone who turned 18 between 1974 (because registration continued for 2 years after the draft ended) and 1980 never hard to register to be drafted at all.

    End of story.

    As for avoiding the draft, if there had been one when I was of proper age I certainly would have avoided it – the same way you did, by enlisting. I’d have followed my father and grandfather into the Navy as an officer after college and might have ended up like John Kerry, but most likely would have ended up as a REMF. I’ve got no basic objection to war or to the military, but like a lot of people I wasn’t a big fan of Vietnam, and I don’t blame anyone for that because it was a bad idea poorly executed.

    Dave

  • Ray

    There is no logic gap here. It’s clear to me that economic is not your forte or acumen. I can tell from your writing you don’t really understand economics. That’s why I wrote, “Do yourself a favor and read “Running on Empty by Peter Peterson”. Peterson was the chairman of the New York Federal Reserve (a Republican if that makes any difference for you).

    What you wrote about virtual dollars show me you don’t know what you are attempting to write about. It looks like you are trying to write about fiat dollars, but you cannot even get the term correct. I’m not going to go into details because this is not an economics forum.

    US created an artificial and monopolistic demand for US dollars, making it a de facto world Petrocurrency. So long as there is demand for US dollars, US can continue to run up massive debts and deficits. But when countries like Iran, Russia, and perhaps others in the future create their own bourse to bypass dollars as the petrocurrency, central bankers around the world don’t need to hold so much dollar reserves, thereby significantly reducing demand for the dollar, and the ensuing cheap financing of the existing debts and deficits. Without central bankers around the world buy US dollars and dollar denominated assets, US cannot keep printing fiat dollars. It is this artificial demand for US dollars and dollar denominated assets that keep the interest rates lower, and stop US from going into hyperinflation. There are too many examples in economic history, like Germany in the 30’s, to Argentina more recently, who tried to print money beyond actual demand, to print their way out of their economic problems. It didn’t work for those economies, and it isn’t working for the US economy either.

    Go read the book, because it is embarrassing for you to write about economic matters. I can tell just from your few writing on this topic, that you are not well versed in international economics.

    I didn’t question USA’s ability to build nuclear power plants. Clearly, US have built power plants in the past, so ability is not the issue. You can say there is no will, or that the environmentalists stop any new plans from even getting off the ground. I will not debate that since it is fact. But regardless of all the different reasons, the fact is no new plants have been built in the last 30+ years, so to assert that power plants can be built in the next five, is but a major stretch into the realm of unrealistic fantasy. You got to at least show the ability to build one in the last 30+ years, before you realistically assert that US can build more than one in the next five years.

    I agree there isn’t resolve in our government to solve this energy problem. There is too much conflict of interest and lobby money, so the big oil companies get energy policies that favor them making more money, at the people’s expense.

    I disagree with your assertion that if the addict doesn’t buy, the pusher can’t create customers for his product. There is an insatiable demand for oil from many other countries beside US. If the US addict was gone, other countries will fill the demand, and the oil pimps just continue their cash cow.

    One reason there are people around the world who don’t like Americans, is because of selfishly insular people like you, Dave. You don’t like the death and failure of the American military in Iraq, so it’s selfishly okay for you to send the Chinese. You don’t like the toxic spent fuel rods, so it’s selfishly okay to dump that toxic garbage in someone else’s backyard. Do you even read some of the nonsense, selfishly insular, fact less assertions that you write here? For your sake, I hope you are not actually being serious, because if you are, that is embarrassingly sad. You reinforce existing negative stereotypes about the selfishly insular American who only sees from his own perspective, and to hell with others. With Americans like you, there is no surprise why there is so much animosity against the US, from all around the world.

  • MCH

    “I’d have followed my father and grandfather into the Navy as an officer after college and might have ended up like John Kerry, but most likely would have ended up as a REMF.”
    – Dave Nalle

    First of all, I don’t believe you, I think you’re lying again. Secondly, it’s actually more realistic that you’d have ended up like Captain Queeg…you know, “Old Yellowstain.”

  • MCH

    “MCH, nothing you typed above makes me a liar, you moron. Regardless of what the cutoff was for the Vietnam draft, I was too young by years.”
    – Dave Nalle

    I never said you were old enough for the Vietnam draft, you chickenhawk. What I said is, that contrary to your lies, you would NOT have been “ineligible” for a possible draft in 1980.

  • Clavos

    First of all, I don’t believe you, I think you’re lying again.

    And what proof would you have of that, emmy?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Clavos,

    The inability of some to count on fingers and toes, much lesws properly perceive age, has been displayed at other articles in the magazine. One hotblooded latina staying in the Middle East these days seems to think you are 13. You should be flattered…

  • troll

    Native American not latina

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    What I said is, that contrary to your lies, you would NOT have been “ineligible” for a possible draft in 1980.

    I never said I wouldn’t be eligible for a draft if there had been one, I said that I was not required to REGISTER for the draft because of when I was born. Maybe you aren’t aware of it, but starting in 1981 every American male has been required to register for the draft when he turned 18.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ray, I’m not sure from your muddled response if you are even responding to this article, or to some combination of comments or to something else alltogether.

    I’m familiar with the Petersen book, and have a pretty firm grounding in economics. Because you’re incapable of or choose not to understand what I’m talking about, that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the topic I’m discussing.

    Frankly, I’m just not sure what point you’re trying to make. You seem mainly interested in argument for its own sake.

    Dave

  • IgnatiusReilly

    What’s more than likely is that Nalle would have ended up like Niedermeyer from Animal House.

  • Ray

    Dave Nalle

    There is nothing muddled about my responses. I’ve already answered your article by showing it is unrealistic. I follow by writing my counterpoints. If you feel I’m going off track, it’s because you are going off track, since I’m mainly countering the points you attempted to make.

    If you are familiar with Peterson’s book, you sure don’t show it here! What is Peterson’s main thesis? Do you even know?

    I bring up larger issues, because it underscores the ridiculousness of your original idea. USA doesn’t have leverage in the Middle East, nor does it have leverage with China. Wake up! You are living in the past, thinking US can dictate hegemonic plans to others in the world. Your selfish ideas, just reinforces what many in the world already feel about the selfish American. Is it any wonder there is such animosity around the world towards USA?

    You are writing a blog, which a reader like me can agree or disagree. I’ve given you many counterpoints to expose larger issues, so hopefully you can see how unrealistic your idea is in terms of using others to bail out the US in Iraq.

    If you prefer to have just agreeable people respond to your blog, then you are better off not writing a blog, and instead go get yourself a journal and write for your eyes only. But if you do write a public blog, then expect that not everyone will agree with you, as some can and do challenge your opinions with counterpoints, just to see if you can answer the counterpoints fairly and cogently.

    So make up your mind, do you need a journal for monologs, or a blog, for dialogs?

  • LettheCommiesIn

    Look at Iraq now. The government there is a theocracy run by Sharia law. People are being arrested and executed for being homosexuals. The situation is even worse in Afghanistan.

    It would be a lot better if they were communist instead. Theocracy is worse than communism. At least communists won’t tolerate spousal rape and won’t execute homosexuals(might discriminate but unlikely to execute). Heck, communists will bring literacy and education for all including women, and will modernize industry and healthcare. Let the communists have these countries for a good 30-40 years and then they’ll be ready for democracy. And we won’t have to worry about them becoming sharia law theocracies. Albania was once mostly Muslim, the communists took over after WWII and even though they’ve left most people there are still atheists because they didn’t grow up with religion. They’ll replace fanatical, theocratic cultures with cultures of thoughtful intellectuals.

    Do we really want a new theocracy in Afghanistan and a theocracy where none existed before in Iraq so these two regimes can become the new Taliban so we have to go in there again down the road? At least communists don’t run planes into buildings, they just spy and hope to stoke the fires of revolution in other countries. But c’mon like there’s ever going to be a communist revolution in the US.