WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED IN UKRAINE IF THE ENGLISH SPEAKING WORLD WAS UNITED AND COORDINATED
NAMAZU Giant Japanese Catfish, former demigod, analyst
Sometimes my biped friends you can be a grave disappointment. The Russians have taken the Chimera from the Ukraine and things are going pretty much as predicted in my posting of March 2, 2014. You can read the details of the most recent events at AOL. The Western reaction while not exactly the same as my tongue in cheek description of March 2nd so far is just as ineffective. (March 2nd I wrote: "Obama will bluster, then consult with all of the EU leadership who don't trust him, and then threaten Russia with pulling their Domino Pizza advertising on the sides of their space launch vehicles if they don't give the Ukraine back their sovereign territory. If that doesn't scare the Bear into good behavior he may threaten their ability to buy Pepsi franchises. The EU will yammer about the situation, rattle something sounding vaguely like a saber all the while lobbying Obama to do something effective. Obama will still be standing there slack jawed on April 24, when China puts the final nail in the coffin for any peaceful "New World Order.")
So far Russia has done exactly as it pleases and NATO has done nothing officially while some NATO members near Russian borders have propped up their border defenses unilaterally. The United States and Germany quickly tossed the beleaguered government in Kiev a few billion, that at least the U.S. really can't afford. Obama proposed economic sanctions, Putin announced that such would damage both sides, and Great Britain announced that they would not support economic sanctions.
What a disappointment, I was counting on the Queen to see the similarity to what Russia is doing in the Ukraine with the German invasion into Poland in WWII, and maybe rally a sleeping English speaking world. Why did the EU collapse so quickly with just a few words from Putin? The answer is simple; oil and gas, the life blood of modern economies. The Russians are Europe's biggest suppliers. You can boycott all the fur coats, caviar, and vodka you want but Russia's real wealth is in exported hydrocarbon energy and they provide a direct pipeline to Europe. To stop buying Russia's oil and gas would cripple the Bear, but it would also cripple Europe. Yet there was a way, and there still is a way to force the Russians to eat their oil and gas.
There was one man who blocked the preparedness of the United States and Great Britain to lead the way in this crisis and teach the bear a lesson that didn't involve combat. There is one man standing in the way of implementing the one plan that would stand the Bear on its ear and make it want to never again consider expansion by conquest. That man is the present President of the United States.
The United States should have been in a position to sell all the natural gas needed to Europe and under cut Russian prices but for one policy that was in effect at the time of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine's sovereign territory. The United States has only one export terminal working right now for the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG), though we can produce more of it than we can ever use over the next couple of hundred years. Before the recent discoveries, the U.S. was a net LNG importing nation. Nine of ten U.S. LNG facilities are still configured for import and are thus idle. The permits to reverse engineer these LNG terminals for export has been held up for years on the President's desk while he tries to figure a "Chicago angle" on them. Surely an astute Chicago machine politician won't let anything as potentially valuable as those permits go for just the standard fees to the regulators for the permits. Surely there must be a legal way to squeeze the permit seekers for millions of dollars for Democratic party coffers. Meanwhile holding up the permits makes the radical environmental lobby happy, as well as the resident "greenies" in the Obama camp. Had those terminals been open when the Bear crossed the border the United States would have been in an instant position to insulate European allies from the cataclysmic effects of a Russian pipeline service interruption in terms of natural gas.
As we write this the United States is already the largest exporter of refined petroleum products. However, the U.S. can only maintain that position by refining and exporting products made from foreign crude stocks despite the fact that the U.S. now has the largest proven reserves of oil in the world, more than all the Middle East combined . In a previous post I explained how Obama would have a difficult time blocking this oil from coming on the market because it is mostly on private lands. Indeed it is coming on the market but for only U.S. consumption though we have more reserves than we can use in over 100 years. There is a 40 year old ban on the export of U.S. produced oil that dates back to the trends of thought focused on scarcity after the gasoline shortages of the 1970s. This ban needs to be lifted in order for U.S. oil to be exported. If the President wasn't so negative on U.S. oil and gas self sufficiency and so fixed on pie in the sky alternative energy sources this ban would have been lifted. Again, for a short period if these foolish and short sighted strategically flawed polices had not been in place; the U.S. response to the Russian troop movement could have been a simple offer to supply Europe with oil and gas slightly cheaper than Russia was demanding at the moment. Then Europe could have quickly joined in bans on vodka, furs, caviar. That would pretty much leave the Russians with selling weapons to Syria and Iran for export revenues. Russia would rather quickly have to change behavior to less aggressive forms, ruling out expansion through invasion ( that is so 19th century), and probably start offering oil and gas through the pipeline at more competitive prices.
Even if U.S. domestic oil production had not increased sufficiently to produce this outcome by the time the need arose, if the Keystone pipeline to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries had been built Canadian and American oil together could have kept Europe open for business while isolating Russia. There was one man who blocked the pipeline, the current resident of the White House. It was surprising to many Americans that Great Britain was so fast to reject the American proposal for economic sanctions. Americans were accustomed to a special relationship between Great Britain and the United States, what happened? Like most things that Obama does this drew little news attention but a few months back he publicly repudiated the "special relationship", announcing that the U.S. had no more special relationship with Great Britain than it had with France. Right, France, with its on again / off again relationship with NATO, France which is cooperating with China in its currency manipulations to unseat the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency. That France we have a special relationship with that is as important as that with Great Britain; the same Great Britain who has sent troops into Iraq and Afghanistan, and most other places where the U.S. has sent troops for the last 70 years? No American thinks so, except the one in the White House.
Face it, English speaking bipeds America has no leadership in government at the moment. The occupant of the White House is unqualified and ill prepared to lead the Western Alliance. The Congress of the United States is divided and ineffective with idiots of both parties leading the squabbling and in fighting, reckless spending, and the constant assault on the values and beliefs, and wallets of the American people who have no constitutional mechanism for declaring "no confidence" in their government and calling for new elections. The President will live out his term ( notice we didn't say work out his term) occupying space in the White House. The Congress will rotate seats on their constitutionally mandated schedule and three years from now things will be just as ineffective as they are today.
Someone else must take the moral and strategic leadership of the English speaking world and drag the United States along. The U.S. is the military and economic colossus of the English speaking world and has to be on board, but it can not lead for the foreseeable future. Great Britain needs to reverse it seemingly unequivocal stand on economic sanctions, the prime ministers of both Canada and the UK should seek out an opportunity to address the United States Congress to urge the immediate repeal of the oil export ban and the reverse engineering of the LNG terminals and the immediate construction of the Key Stone pipeline so that perhaps two years from now the English speaking nations might have a chance to unite Europe in the face of the next Russian generated land grab. But beware, as we mentioned in our March 2, 2014 post of the coming sucker punch from the Dragon. As all of the bear generated troubles are hitting the fan, the Dragon has globe shattering currency manipulation plans. These are going forward no matter what; we'll know how fast come April 24th when they reveal their next 5 year plan.
The English speaking nations alone, if they could act in concert, can contain the Bear and the Dragon until they learn good behavior and the many other nations would join in the effort if such unity could be shown. Unfortunately, the leadership will not come from the United States any sooner than 3 years from now assuming that some how the People of the United States can repopulate Washington DC with some actual responsible adults over time. There must be a people to people out reach to U.S. citizens to vote responsibly and to actually turn out for elections and ignore the candidates that have been purchased by the elites. Younger retired folks , veterans, people with common sense have to decide to run for office to cast out the political class that has formed in the United States over the last 50 years. The West will be devoured alternately by either the Bear or the Dragon depending on geographic proximity and trading patterns, then consumed in their war with each other for dominance. Some how the United States must be pulled into a closely coordinated and cooperative English speaking alliance, and for a while led to intelligent behavior. It is a dark day for the world when America is ill led and America today is ill led, not just at the white house but in the Congress and the Bureaucracy and at many state houses. The English speaking world must talk some sense into their giant muscular cousin who has had its brain rattled by taking several kinds of steroids, shake him up and push him to the front for this next battle for the survival of Freedom in the world; the three way featuring the Bear, the Dragon, and Peacock against freedom, and if they win, eventually against each other.