“Energy Independence” and the Perpetuation of America’s Hegemonic Delusions

Last month, Flynt gave a presentation on “Energy Independence” as part of the U.S. Army War College’s “Great Decisions” lecture series.  The Army War College has posted a video of Flynt’s presentation on its You Tube channel (yes, the U.S. Army War College has a You Tube channel); we share it here and above.

In recent years, talk about “energy independence” in the United States has taken on a more assertive, even triumphalist tone as American elites embrace the proposition that the so-called “shale revolution” will revive America as energy superpower and enable it to vanquish pesky, uncooperative hydrocarbon powers like Iran, Russia, and Venezuela.  Flynt offers a radically contrarian take on the shale revolution’s strategic impact, and warns that Washington should not let unrealistic views of the global energy balance prompt it to double down on its longstanding—and failing—drive for the illusion of global hegemony.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

74 Responses to ““Energy Independence” and the Perpetuation of America’s Hegemonic Delusions”

  1. Empty says:

    Thank you for the post. It’s important that the false propaganda about oil shale and potential reserves are exposed. Repost of last year’s comments about this topic.
    >>>>>>

    Empty says:

    December 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Sammy,

    RE: “This is really going to be a crazy scenario….By William Engdahl an excellent energy expert….”

    I hope you are not too impressed by the uncritical (and very likely propaganda) article re; these oil/gas reserve pronouncements. Since 1987, the classification definitions for oil and gas reserves (worldwide) have been changed and used as political tools for oil and gas price manipulation, sales of extremely expensive oil and gas technology and services (read snake oil) to unsuspecting countries in the world.

    Empty says:

    December 25, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Sammy (part II),
    Please take the time to review a chronology of the definition changes and motivations for these changes undertaken by Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the World Petroleum Congresses (WPC) mainly and a few others following — remove the spaces and visit the link www dot spe dot org slash industry slash reserves dot php … Then, follow the world events and what was happening (psychological marketing, price manipulation, and military interventions) right before, during, and then after each of these redefinitions (1965 – original definitions; 1981 minor changes to original definition; 1987 – major revision under the guise of standardizing; 1994 another change (Emerging markets in Central Asia and after the fall of the Soviet Union); 2000, 2001, 2005, and 2007)

    Empty says:

    December 25, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Sammy (Part III),

    Here are simple statements to just accept:

    Fact No.1) There has been NO significant qualitative and quantitative changes in the amount of tangible, measurable, and logically extractable reserves since the first definition in 1965 worldwide. At the rate we are burning these fuels and turning them into irreversible energy forms (heat and pollution), we’ll end our own physical existence and the reserves at the same time and very soon (follow the “fracking” practices and their consequences in the US and Canada.

    Empty says:

    December 25, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Sammy (Part IV) — [Sorry, it is not allowing me to post in one chunk. Not sure why]

    Fact No.2) The technology and expertise (read snake oil) that the western companies sold to south American and then newly independent Central Asian countries after each “redefinition” to “help” them extract all those “newly discovered” resources all came to a bunch of hot air (no pun intended) and a whole bunch of social, economic, and environmental disasters for each of those countries and the regions as a whole.

    Empty says:

    December 25, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Sammy (Part V),

    Fact No.3) Because of 3 decades of sanctions (a true blessing) the only country that has an estimated oil/gas reserves very close to its actual reserves is Iran thus a hot target for attack. As we say in Farsi, دیر و زود داره ولی سوخت و سوز نداره “it might be sooner, it might be later; that is not definite. But it definitely WILL BE without an iota of change in substance.

  2. Pirouz says:

    Great to see Flynt at Army War College!

    I’ve been a subscriber of their YouTube channel since about its time of inception.

  3. Sammy says:

    Empty , I am honored for your comprehensive post and please blame it on my lack of knowledge for not being able to reply to you in a proper and objective manner.
    I am studying the link you have posted , let’s see what I can get out of it.
    Fortunately I have a friend who is an petrochemical expert and obsessed with the so called “Shale gas revolution” in the US and who also writes for “Donyayeh Eghtesad” , thus I need to start another round of discussion with him to be able to come up with a proper judgment. ( and this might take some time )

  4. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    Anecdotal evidence is not scientific evidence.

    Scientific evidence shows that the chances of genetic defects in cousin marriages is 4-5% higher than in non-cousin marriages- statistically insignificant.

    Close this file and move on to another subject to pontificate about.

  5. Sammy says:

    @Empty

    “But it definitely WILL BE without an iota of change in substance.”

    Please clarify ‘change of substance’ ?….

  6. Sammy says:

    One of the most commented articles in PressTV I have seen so far , the following comment got the highest likes : ( 2 versions of the same article by W.Engdahl)

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/04/18/359119/dollar-dying-multipolar-world-in-offing/

    //http://www.presstv.com/detail/2014/04/18/359119/dollar-dying-multipolar-world-in-offing/

    “Jim in ZOG Amerika

    Apr 18, 2014 6:26 PM

    The seeds of destruction for the fiat dollar was baked into the Faustian Deal that Reagan and the Bush Crime Syndicate made with the Anglo-Zionist banking mafia. In short, we proposed that if the global banking mafia would give unlimited credit to the Governing Corporation, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INC.”, then we would build the Imperial War Machine and deliver the world into the banksters’ hands. The first tranche of that credit was used by Reagan to outspend the Soviets and to create toxic derivatives designed to ruin the Russian ruble. The Jews looted the Soviet estate, which financed the false 1990’s bubble and grew the PNAC War Machine. The Machine was ready when Lord Bush and Viceroy Cheney staged the Inside Job of 9/11. The dollar was saved by war, lies, mortgage bubble, and extortion. Naked robbery saved the dollar in 2008 but, now they believe a war with Russia will save it.”

  7. nico says:

    Repost from provious thread.

    James Canning says:
    April 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    “”You appear to be arguing that the Gulf monarchies feared too much”“Subversion” is in the eye of the beholder. In Saudi Arabia, women driving cars is subversive.”

    Fair enough.
    However the issue with your sophist kind is that you insidiously distort words and their meaning to perfidiously turn values upside down, to justify supremacism and all deeds from “allies” and to apply dual standard.

    That is the main core issue of western degeneration.LIES, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, INVERSION OF VALUES, INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY, CRUDE IMMORALITY, UNACCOUNTBILITY.
    And you are happily swiming in such water that you squirt in everyone eyes.

    Well daddy is not happy about that …

    Would you be willing to inject a modicum sum of honesty in your squirts you would have posted something like…

    “The backward arab dictators of the PG felt threatened during the Iranian revolution by a people based outcry for social justice and representative society. In that circumstance the US patron and stooge schemed a plan to snuff out the new born Iranian democracy”

    Well that is much closer to reality than your disgusting satanic version … Iran “PROMOTING” subversion

    M. Canning, you and your kind are the enemy of truth, moral and justice.You hold satanic position and promote satanism under the guise of nice words and allegedly reasonable posts.Good for you.
    But do no think you will not be held accountable here.

  8. M. Ali says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    April 20, 2014 at 3:21 am

    There is something strange about the world today, when cousin marriages are seen as eek and unnatural, while being accepting of homosexual marriages is seen as being tolerant and modern.

    One wonders, what would be better for the child, to have parents that are culturally close, with grandparents & uncles that interact and have strong relationships with each other, or have two dads?

    And for what? A study in Saudi Arabia (al-Abdulkareem AA, 1998) where there is a strong sample base to more accuratly study the matter shows that, “The mean birth weight of the offspring of consanguineous couples was not statistically significant being less than that of the non-consanguineous. However, within the consanguineous groups the more closely related couples had smaller babies on average. No significant differences were noted for the rates of inherited diseases and reproductive wastage”

    A study called, “Genetic Counseling and Screening of Consanguineous
    Couples and Their Offspring: Recommendations
    of the National Society of Genetic Counselors” in the Journal of Genetic Counseling (2002) shows that most of the fears against it is unwarranted, and it seems that the psychological impact due to the stigma has more of a damaging effect.

    They came to the conclusion that, “The offspring of first cousin unions are estimated to have about a 1.7–2.8% increased risk for congenital defects above the population background risk” even though they have said that even this number might not be accurate enough since it doesn’t take multiple variables into account.

    Genetic screenings probably would help make parents make better decisions rather than force them into marriages that might not be beneficial to them or to society.

    In regards to divoce, I found one Pakistani study (Consanguineous Marriages in Pakistan, 1994) that shows that while Pakistanis have very low divorce rates (at least back in 1994), the divorce rates for cousin marriages were lower than non-cousins. I could make it sound scary by saying that non-cousins have a 35% higher chance of being divorced, but to be honest, its not that significient, because only 1.2% of the cousin marriages got divorce, while 1.6% of non-cousins got divorced. In regards to child mortality, the figures were also not that important. Non-cousins had 0.10% child mortality while cousins had 0.12%. If the study just compares the figures from their last 5 years (from 1994 that is) then the figure is 0.7% for cousins, and 0.6% for non-cousins. Rural child mortalty is higher than Urban, and over 35 years old pregnancies are higher than less than that, meaning that both these factors are more important than cousins/non-cousins. For Child Morbity, again, the numbers are close, 0.43% for non-cousins, a slightly higher 0.46% for cousins.

    A professor seems to say that humans are evolutionary made to prefer mates close to us, “But Patrick Bateson, a professor of ethology at Cambridge University, argues that outbreeding has at times been hazardous for humans too. For instance, the size and shape of our teeth is a strongly inherited trait. So is jaw size and shape. But the two traits aren’t inherited together. If a woman with small jaws and small teeth marries a man with big jaws and big teeth, their grandchildren may end up with a mouthful of gnashers in a Tinkertoy jaw. Before dentistry was commonplace, Bateson adds, “ill-fitting teeth were probably a serious cause of mortality because it increased the likelihood of abscesses in the mouth.” Marrying a cousin was one way to avoid a potentially lethal mismatch.
    Bateson suggests that while youngsters imprinting on their siblings lose sexual interest in one another they may also gain a search image for a mate—someone who’s not a sibling but like a sibling. Studies have shown that people overwhelmingly choose spouses similar to themselves, a phenomenon called assortative mating. The similarities are social, psychological, and physical, even down to traits like earlobe length. Cousins, Bateson says, perfectly fit this human preference for “slight novelty.” ”

    Finally, here is another study on miscarriages,
    “Consanguinity is common in Arab countries. The Sultanate of Oman has a relatively small population with a high prevalence of consanguineous marriages. This is a retrospective study of women who had three or more consecutive miscarriages between January 2002 and December 2008, investigated in the non-pregnant state. Age, parity, menstrual history, number of miscarriages, personal and family history, history of consanguinity and investigations were collected for 141 patients. The mean number of miscarriages was 3.4; 53% of the women had a consanguineous marriage, 42% were non-consanguineous and in 5% the marital interrelationship was unknown. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of parental karyotype abnormalities, anticardiolipin antibodies, antinuclear antibodies, thyroid disorders, or lupus between the consanguineous and non-consanguineous couples. Consanguinity appeared not to play a significant role in the etiology of recurrent spontaneous miscarriage.”

    For Qatar,
    “The present authors have studied the possible relationship between recurrent miscarriage and consanguinity in the Qatari population, where the prevalence of first cousin marriage is 47%. The maternal of three or more early pregnancy losses were compared with those of 92 non-consanguineous women from the same population and with the same obstetrical history, matched for maternal age. The retrospective investigation showed no difference in the rate of previous pregnancy loss and maternal disorders, including diabetes, thyroid dysfunction and immunity, abnormal uterine and ovarian anatomy or thrombophilia. There was also no evidence of familial clustering of recurrent miscarriage in both groups. The prospective study showed no difference in the rate of subsequent pregnancy loss and the median gestational age and fetal weight at delivery in ongoing pregnancies. The absence of a relationship between recurrent miscarriage and consanguinity in Qatar could be due to the particular characteristics of the native Qatari population, in which rare recessive genes are uncommon, or overall to the absence of an association between recurrent miscarriage and consanguinity.”

    None of this is that important but fyi, fyi.

  9. A-B says:

    Re. ‘Orientalism’(previous thread) as in the Arrogant objectifying the Other, which makes a KNOWN mass-murdering savage like Donald Rumsfeld a possibility in a surreal (as in ‘UNKNOWN’) world (cf. Errol Morris’ film ‘The Unknown Known’) and why such scum actually do represent Westerners (as a democratically elect) when reading the viewpoint of some posters, I’m left with no choice other than to use my ‘strong language’, yet again, in an example in order to deprive ‘Orientalism’ of its Oriental and leave the Western innate racism high and dry.

    Suppose a psychopathic rapist shamelessly justifies rape of a woman by saying “surely you must understand that her breasts PRovoked [as in ‘PR’!] rape”. And since it’s futile to reason with the freak on why rape is fundamentally wrong (or as in the mentioned film; you simply don’t care to ask the relevant question) you’d argue that “but she was covered up; in fact she wore a burqa, so what ‘breasts’?”, then the Rapist would say “surely she had SOMETHING to hide under that burqa and I HAD to find out. Besides, those burqas are impractical and must be done away with, not least in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘human rights’, don’t you agree?” So, again you’d say the obvious “but then surely you found out that the woman actually did NOT have ‘bazookas’ [as in WMD] under that burqa, so what provocation?” to which the Rapist would respond “yes, but I couldn’t know, could I? Besides during the process of disrobing [her], SHE WAS already raped [by me], so surely SHE PROVOKED me with the PROMISE [as in ‘PR’!!] of big boobs, but you know how those treacherous women [as in Orientals] are! SHE ‘TRICKST’ ME!!”

  10. Sammy says:

    A-B says:
    April 20, 2014 at 6:32 am

    GRANDIOSE…..

  11. Rehmat says:

    America’s wars in the Middle East are all about Israel and has nothing to do with the huge oil/gas reserves in that Muslim region.

    The US Energy Information Administration reported in November 2011 that Canada was the top crude oil supplier to the US (2,829 thousand barrels per day) followed by Mexico (1,216 thousand barrels per day) and Saudi Arabia (1,099 thousand barrels per day). In fact there are only two Middle Eastern countries (Saudi Arabia and Iraq) among America’s top ten crude oil suppliers. Thus, oil is not the carrot which attracts America to the Middle East.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/10/14/whose-interests-us-guards-in-the-middle-east/

  12. Rehmat says:

    On Friday, Barack Obama signed into law the ‘kosher bill’ passed by the AIPAC controlled Congress to bar Dr. Hamid Aboutalebi, the new Iranian ambassador to United Nations to have residence in New York City which has the largest Jewish population outside Israel.

    There is another anti-Iran ‘Ponzi scheme’ being carried out in New York Manhattan Jewish district without much fanfare. It was here on the 17th floor of the Lipstick Building where Bernard Madoff (Jewish) executed his $50 billion fraud. He stole money from investors and deposited it mostly into Israeli banks.

    Recently, US Marshal Service has put a 36-storey (382,500 sq. ft.) office tower on Fifth Avenue for sale. The building was built by the Pahlavi Foundation, a non-profit Iranian charity in the 1970s. Currently, it’s owned by Iran’s Alavi Foundation whose accounts are handled by Iran’s Milli Bank, which is under US sanctions. The tower generated over $228 million in rent payments between 1996 and 2008.

    The tower along with several mosques and other bank accounts linked to the Islamic Republic are on sale to compensate hundreds of victims of Israeli terrorism blamed on Iran or Lebanese Hizbullah by Israel and its Jewish lobby groups in western nations.

    In September 2013, US District Court Judge Katherine Forrest issued a ruling approving US government’s forfeiture action. Last Thursday, she ordered that the latest ‘Holocaust survivors’ should be given priority over the sale of the property.

    The families which fought the case since 2008 involved the victims of September 11, Beirut Marine barracks bombing, and Buenos Aires bombing of Jewish Center.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/04/20/jews-want-irans-slice-of-manhattan/

  13. nico says:

    Rehmat says:
    April 20, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Oil having nothing to do with the US presence in the ME ?
    What about the petrodollar ?

  14. fyi says:

    M. Ali says:

    April 20, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Dr. Ali Sarvari and his performed actual research in village around Isphahan. Their results was published in a book sometime in 1371 – if I am not mistaken.

    Perhaps you will first take the effort to obtain that book, read it, and then make statements.

    I have read that book.

  15. fyi says:

    M. Ali says:

    April 20, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Dr. Ali Sarvari and his research performed actual research in villages around Isphahan. Their results was published in a book sometime in 1371 – if I am not mistaken.

    Perhaps you will first take the effort to obtain that book, read it, and then make statements.

    I have read that book; the author knows what he is talking about.

  16. fyi says:

    Rehmat says:

    April 20, 2014 at 10:07 am

    It is an undertaking with a large religious component.

    But US is not alone in it; EU, Canada, Australia are there too the boot in it.

    You have to understand that the Anglo-Saxons are in it due to a religious commitment of various protestant sects to Israel, ancient and Modern (but curiously not to Judaism itself,)

    The continental Europeans, on the other hand, think that religion is for backward people except Jews – they are the only ones entitled to have a religion and be respected for it.

    So, we have protestants and atheists united against Islam; Shia, Zaidi, Sunni does not matter.

    Significantly, the dead-dog Sufis are the only Muslims they (Axis Powers thinkers) find palatable.

    The late Mr. Khomeini, and the founders of the Safavid state before him were Sufis – but fighting Sufis.

    Axis Powers will not want that type of Sufis.

    The Western Civilization has been attempting to turn every other state and civilization to the level of a proletarian/slave/servant.

    Iran rejected that, China did as well, and now their plans for doing the same thing to Russia blew up in their faces.

    Japan was another state that for a while was successfully resisting Western Civilization’s attempt at subjugation; she failed, ultimately.

  17. fyi says:

    All:

    Early, pre-war (against Iran) propaganda:

    http://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/current

    We read – towards the end of this diatribe:

    “…30 years of sponsoring attacks on America with impunity—from the Hezbollah bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon in 1983 to the 9/11 attack, prior to which some of the hijackers received their final pre-flight training in Iran…”

  18. Nasser says:

    fyi says: April 20, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Is Japan really a subjugated country? Surely she is not South Korea. And I would say that westerners even in their infinite arrogance do not regard themselves as superior to the Japanese (protests against whaling aside) as they do with regard to Muslims, Hindus, Russians or Chinese.

    I remember Dr. Brzezinski warning that potentially the most serious challenge to US position in Eurasia, even more so than a renewed Sino Russian Alliance would be if the Chinese and Japanese together decided to resist the US in East Asia.

  19. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I did not argue that Iran was “prompting subversion” in the Gulf after the 1979 revolution. I said that FEAR of subversion, on the part of Gulf monarchs, helped to cause them to back Saddam Hussein’s 1980 attack on Iran.

  20. fyi says:

    M. Ali says:

    April 20, 2014 at 6:30 am

    http://www.med.mui.ac.ir/wf/genstaff/sorouri.htm

  21. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You think I am an “enemy” of “truth”? Nonsense. I like the facts to be established. No matter how unpleasant the message one might perceive from those facts.

  22. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    The US has indeed very little need for oil from the Middle East.

  23. nico says:

    Beyond ideological ground, here is the geopolitical explanation for the ME dominance issue.
    Dealing xith Eurasia, China, petrodollar and gold.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-20/fueling-new-world-order-where-does-china-import-its-crude-oil

    And interesting comments from readers…

    About avoiding the strait Malacca : “The Sunda Strait is unsuitable and dangerous for oil tankers also easily blocked. Running south of Java to go around has its challenges as well. I worked these waters back in the 70’s positioning oil rigs with the first GPS system or SatNav as it was known back then.Not insurmountable but taking a tanker outside of safe known passage in SE Asia is very high risk.”

    And another comment…

    “halting seaborne trade routes at the Strait of Malacca would hobble the entire Chinese economy overnight, something the Chinese leadership is surely aware of.

    The flip side to this is that China seeks to reactivate the overland “Silk Road” to Russia and beyond to Europe. Pipelines have already been laid along this route and a rail connection is progressing.Of course once this set of logisitcs channels are in place the USSA will lose the abilty to “turn off the tap” at the Strait of Malacca chokepoint. When this happens the ability of the USSA to exert military pressure against China will diminish significantly. At the same time the economic links between China, Russia, and Europe will increase.

    One way for the USSA to frustrate such a development would be to pick a large country on the Russia / Europe border, create social unrest, reignite the need for militarism, and create enough of a panic to shut the entire new Silk Road venture down.Ukraine is a large country on the border between Europe and Russia. You figure it out.”

  24. Nasser says:

    Ambassador Chas Freeman on this very topic

    “North America and China in the New Energy Age”
    http://www.mepc.org/articles-commentary/speeches/north-america-and-china-new-energy-age

    Darn it! If such reasonable people as the good ambassador get their way we may not got to see a pivot to confront China.

  25. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    April 20, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Yes, they are; look no further than how much Japan has wound herself in her relations with Iran – she obeyed – like Turkey, or India, or Australia or Georgia….

    The number of truly independent polities that are willing to pay the price of that strategic autonomy is very small on this planet: Iran, Russia, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, US, UK, and France.

    Some states such as Mexico, Brazil, India, Pakistan, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, Argentina, Turkey and Algeria have some of the material ingredients to say “No” to Axis Powers but they lack the national cohesion and the moral courage for that.

    The above states – so far – have not had a major reason to say “no” – the hare-brained schemes of the Mad King & His Barons had not hurt them – or hurt them so much – to warrant an open break.

    And then there are defeated countries of WII – Italy, Japan and Germany – which will are semi-sovereign

    I think you can see why – even neglecting religious reasons – Axis Powers must destroy independent Iranian geo-political autonomy. The Shia Crescent – after the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, is the third most significant center of power opposing Axis Powers.

    They have to crush the Shia Crescent and Iran – for religious and geopolitical reasons.

  26. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    April 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    This is a zero-sum game; a US confrontation with China is in the interest of the Shia Crescent, the Russian Federation and assorted other actors on the international arena.

  27. James Canning says:

    Robert Parry of Consortium News has fine piece April 19th: “The dangerous neocon role in Ukraine”. (Also avaiable at Readersupportednews.org)

  28. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You need to explain why the US supports the Iraqi central government, if “crushing the Shia Crescent” is the game plan, as you claim time and time again.

  29. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    US policy is of course to keep the sea lanes open, for oil tankers heading toward China.

  30. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    April 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    In what manner does US support the Iraqi government?

  31. Nasser says:

    fyi says:

    “I think you can see why – even neglecting religious reasons – Axis Powers must destroy independent Iranian geo-political autonomy. The Shia Crescent – after the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, is the third most significant center of power opposing Axis Powers.
    They have to crush the Shia Crescent and Iran – for religious and geopolitical reasons.”

    – I am in complete agreement.

    I have said before and I will say again at the bare minimum Iran needs to have nuclear weapons pointed at Tel Aviv, Haifa and Riyadh to avoid military destruction.

    But I am not opposed to a temporary cease fire where Iran gets a break while the West gets in a tussle with the Russians.

    The only question left that only time can answer is whether the Americans will make enemies out of the Han people as they have done with the Russians and the Muslims and thus end their unopposed reign over planet Earth?

  32. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    M Ali,

    His repeated posting of this study- which I commented on earlier- shows he understands that there is no real scientific basis for his statement.

    As you said, he doesn’t really care about the overwhelming scientific evidence if it refutes his prejudices. For him scientific evidence is only good if it confirms his prejudices.

    Like many Iranians his age and generation he has an ogde against most things traditional and religious- including traditional family systems- thanks to the Pahlavi indoctrinations.

    You see this is because he is “modern”, “urbane” and “civilized”, while the rest are illiterate superstitious dahati peasant barbarians. See how that works.

    Every religion and moral code that humans have ever had has condemned homosexuality and none of them has ever sanctioned homosexual marriage.

    But apparently “modern” man has figured something out nobody else figured out.

    Individualism, no children, homosexuality- way to build a community, society and civilization!

    Like I said, controlling wombs, limiting female employment in child-bearing age and heavily subsidizing child birth is the only way to go. Barbarian enough for you?

    In any case their are many advantages and positive points in marrying one’s cousin.

    For the record, I didn’t marry any of my cousins. But as Muslim I have the option of adding one or two of them to the “harem”…alhamdulillah rabb al-alameen.

  33. Nasser says:

    nico says: April 20, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you for the link.

    China already has pipelines connecting her to Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

    Hypothetically speaking, if Iran and Iraq too joined in then China’s entire energy need could easily be met without reliance on maritime shipments.

    But the Chinese leaders have repeatedly given assurances that they won’t make an enemy out of the US until and unless the US chooses to do so first.

  34. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    nico,

    Oh yes suddenly he wasn’t saying that Iranian revolution was subversive, but FEAR of subversion…blah blah blah.

    What a fuckin bullshitter!

    You see James Canning doesn’t have the intellectual honesty and courage to clearly state his view on the basic question being discussed:

    Which model of social-political organization is morally/ethically preferable, absolute medieval hereditary monarchy like in Saudi Arabia or an Islamic Republic like in Iran?

    He will never give a clear and straightforward answer to this because he’s a paid bitch of Ale Saud and like his future king earns his living doing lap dances for them.

    nico-jan, when the crown-prince and elites of the once mighty British Empire are forced to perform lap dances for a bunch of bedouins in order to keep their industry afloat, when they are willing to disregard the basic foundation of British political culture- rule of law and independent judiciary- to protect Bandar- when we witness all these things- then we should be happy because this means that there is no such thing left as “Great Britain” in substance, only rituals, media spinning, yellow journalism based on stories of the royals gonads and general dumbassification (in the words of Prof. Chuck D).

    nico-jan, be happy that shit called Britain is dead with people like Prince Charles and Canning as elites. The only thing left for them is to send Willy and Katie to Australia to show off Georgie’s soiled diapers.

    Sing along! “Rule Britannia, Britannia rule the waves…blah, blah, blah…bullshit, bullshit…”.

  35. nico says:

    Nasser says:
    April 20, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    “If Iran and Iraq too joined in then China’s entire energy need could easily be met without reliance on maritime shipments.”

    By the way is there any causal connection with the US imposed war on Afghanistan ?
    Or do you deem reasonable to believe the US theory about fight for freedom and chasing terrorists in the tora bora caves ?

    As a consequence do you believe the 9/11 to be a false flag perpetrated by a group of cold war type supremacist neocon embedded in the US deep sate with strong if direct links with Israel ?

    As a consequence do you think Obama is unaware of that or rather complicit ?

  36. nico says:

    Nasser,

    Hint…
    See the General Wesley Clark youtube confession and the PNAC document about a mysterious catalizing event.
    Wide open for everybody to see.

  37. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    You appear to have difficulty reading. My point all along was that FEAR of Iranian subversion helped to drive Gulf Arabs to back Saddam Hussein’s attack on Iran in 1980.

    Only a fool would deny this.

  38. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    And I have said that fear of war in the Gulf, arising from Iran’s nuclear programme (and related dispute) helped to bring about civil war in Syria.

    Only a fool would deny this.

  39. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Do I take it you concede Iran’s oil minister said that excessive staffing of Iran’s nat’l oil co. is a large problem for Iran?

  40. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    You appear to forget that Russia and China want to ensure Iran does not build nukes.

  41. nico says:

    James Canning says:April 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm
    “Do I take it you concede Iran’s oil minister said that excessive staffing of Iran’s nat’l oil co. is a large problem for Iran?”

    Do I take you concede that the opposite parties in the UK have different policies and claim that the other/opposing party is incompetent ?

    You are pathetic…

  42. Nasser says:

    James Canning says: April 20, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    I don’t forget.

    I remember though that stopping Iran’s nuclear development is not a priority for Moscow or Beijing as it is for Washington or London or Paris or Tel Aviv.

    In any case, Iran should make its own security decisions. To hell with what anyone else thinks!

  43. Irshad says:

    Fyi – whats your take on the likelihood of the BJP coming to power in India, affect geostrategic and geopolitical situation vis-a-vis Iran, Syrian and Afghanistan?

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/19/india-elections-hardliners-narendra-modi

  44. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Iran of course must make its own decisions on national security. With a view toward achieving security, obviously.

  45. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I take it you contend the Iranian oil minister simply is mistaken, and that what he sees as a hugely bloated workforce (in Iran’s nat’l oil co.) is actually an appropriate staffing level. In your judgment.

  46. paul says:

    Canning has such a charming take on world affairs, very CFR-appropriate, but he is entirely right that US policy is to keep sea-lanes open, if by ‘keeping sea lanes open’ he means “control sea lanes”. He is also right that the US doesn’t need Middle East oil; it seeks to control trade in middle east oil. He is also right that the Saudi regime feared and fears Iranian subversion, assuming he means that they fear any challenge to their despotic rule by their people, for which reason it is entirely reasonable that they ally closely with other despotic regimes, such as Saddam’s Iraq, formerly, and Israel, these days. Yes, Canning is often right, as long as one corrects for his establishmentarian spin.

    I think he’s not quite right about Russia and China being worried about Iranian nukes. It’s very unlikely that they are concerned at all about that, anymore than they are concerned about Syrian chemical weapons. What they are concerned about is appeasing the US, and who can blame them? The US has demonstrated it’s recklessness over and over again. The adroitness of Chinese and Russian leaders, as they deal with endless bullying and provocations from the US, is something to behold, but really, Russia should have provided the s-300s to Iran and Syria. Now Russia is facing an almost impossible situation in the Ukraine. Putin’s chess moves have been masterful, but it doesn’t change the fact that Nato seems to smell blood in the water.

  47. Sammy says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    April 21, 2014 at 2:46 am

    In the picture , baby George looks quite ugly in deed , almost like a non-human.
    This is the reason why the Royals have been warned of excessive incest , which is very common in the UK , also among the banking elites in the City 🙂

  48. nico says:

    About the impossibility for the US to replace Russia as a significant gas supplier to Europe.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-20/us-gas-will-never-replace-russian-gas-europe

  49. nico says:

    Nasser says:
    April 20, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    “I think you mistakenly believe that the Arabs attacked Iran because of fear and paranoia of Iranian subversion.

    They attacked because they sensed an opportunity; they thought Iran would be too weak to defend herself because of the revolutionary mess.”

    Your point is factually correct but logically lacking consistency.
    Policy needs a goals and means.
    Opportunity explains the circumstances and possibilities.
    However that does not explain the motivation.

    By focusing on opportunity you play on Canning ground about moral unaccountability.
    However, what is important is the rational and the motivation, not the circumstances.

  50. Jay says:

    “Hegemonic Delusions” is not an accurate description. The small group of influencers that dominate policy in the West and the US are driven more by their lust for more influence and power. These folks may be “selling” a delusion, but they are not delusional themselves.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10769041/The-US-is-an-oligarchy-study-concludes.html

  51. nico says:

    Jay says :

    Well at the end of the day that is all related to the western moral final corruption.

    Be it economic corruption.
    Be it foreign policy corruption.
    Be it social justice corruption.

    Life is hard. Life is difficult.
    To live one’s life and achieve success one needs to make sacrifice, effort and respect one’s surrounding.
    One need to control one’s urge and work hard.
    Be it to build a family, to make a living.

    The issue with the western moral corruption is that the west abandonned all common rules of social and economic justice.

    That is the celebration of easy money encouraged by the “dumbassification” of the oligarchic MSM.
    With all basic rules of accountability and sanity being broken down by corrupt leadership and intellectuals

    The bank TBTF not being held accountable is among exactly the same issue of moral corruption.
    The USD thugish system and manipulation of Libor or gold not being held accountable are among exactly the same issue of moral corruption.
    Allowing financial rate of return higher than the real growth of the economy through lies and make believe like the job offshoring is exactly among the same moral corruption.
    Allowing same sex marriage against all reality of social and demographic consequences is exactly among the same moral corruption.
    And so on, and on, an on, and on…

    To quote one reader’s comment on Zerohedge.

    “There is no easy solution”.
    Wrong.
    To quote G. Edward Griffith,
    WE MUST NOT BE LIKE CATS
    One of the most profound differences between dogs and cats is that cats focus on effects while dogs focus on causes. If you toss a pebble at a cat, it will look at the pebble. If you toss it at a dog, it will look at you.
    In this respect, too many people are like cats. They are preoccupied with the details of their loss of security, freedom, and privacy, and they flutter like wing-clipped pigeons, complaining about this and that without knowing why these things are happening. He was talking about the loss of personal freedoms, but the same goes for “why do I feel so poor”; we all need to stop bitching about the itch, and start working on the base issue. Our system of laws and governance creates, supports and promotes inequality.   There is no level playing field, and that is the problem.

    Wealth obtained thru diligence, genius, hard work, hell, even just plain luck, is something to be celebrated.
    Wealth obtained because the government plays favorites, churns the gut.”

    Immoral behaviours sustained by lies, dual standard, unnacountability are the root cause of the corruption.

    Suffice to listen western leaders speech half a minute to see where lies the corruption.
    That is all lies, hypocrisy, manipulation, unprincipled stances, illogical reasoning, dual standard, and so on…
    In two words or with a thousand…
    MORAL CORRUPTION.

  52. fyi says:

    Irshad says:

    April 20, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    The last BJP government had very good relations with Iran.

    But that was before the nuclear crisis, Iraq invasions by US and so on.

    I think BJP and Mr. Mody will win the elections.

    I do not think there would be much change; Indians are desirous of capital and technology and they cannot get either in sufficient quantities except from Axis Powers.

    They will make the usual noises about Palestinians, Civilizational ties with Iran, non-aligned movement etc. but they will be solidly aligned with the United States.

    An analogous calculation was made by the Mexican leaders 30 years ago which ended in NAFTA as well as any pretentions of a geopolitically independent Mexico.

    India can live with whatever prevails in Afghanistan and her relationship with Iran – at the strategic level – cannot be reconstructed. India was not there in the hour of need of Iran and she, in fact, contributed to Iran’s problems in significant ways.

    [India is even more strategically isolated than Iran – Iranians expanded into Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan – Indians are sandwiched between China and Pakistan and have decide that they have no place to go but US and Axis Powers.]

    For India to realize her dream of Western investment, she has to convince foreigners that the sabotage in Bhopal and the ruination of Enron’s investments in Gujarat are things of the past.

    She won’t be able to so easily; under BJP or Congress.

    As for Mr. Mody, he should be tried by a competent court for facilitation of mass-murder of Muslims.

  53. Jay says:

    nico says:
    April 21, 2014 at 9:33 am

    I suggest that you consider stratifying the moral corruption you refer to as a root cause. For example, there are those who design and orchestrate corruption, those who facilitate, and those who have been sold the corrupt message. The designers and the facilitators are a tiny minority, in my view. The vast majority are victims of corruption that is sold to them as a form of religion.

  54. nico says:

    Jay says:
    April 21, 2014 at 9:59 am

    “The designers and the facilitators are a tiny minority, in my view.”

    And who are they according to you ?

    I already provided my opinion about that.
    My take is that the west is glued together by banksters and other financiers as well as freemason like social liberal ideologs.

  55. Jay says:

    nico says:
    April 21, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Capital in the Twenty-First Century
    by Thomas Piketty

  56. Karl.. says:

    Ukraine sounds like Israel

    Ukraine calls for US military support
    http://presstv.com/detail/2014/04/20/359390/ukraine-calls-for-us-military-support/

  57. Nasser says:

    Dmitri Trenin on potential for Russia-Japan cooperation. His take is similar to Stratfor’s. I suppose this will prove without doubt how subservient or independent Japan truly is from Washington’s diktats.

    http://carnegie.ru/eurasiaoutlook/?fa=55384

  58. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Sammy,

    Calling the banking elites incestuous is an insult to the incestuous. They are the evil fuckers of this planet.

    Like all babies, little Georgie is cute and that’s because his genetic pool was freshened up by his commoner mom genes.

    Like vampires yearning for fresh blood, the royals had to bring in some healthy commoner genes from the Middletons to counteract the horse-face syndrome of the House of Hanover…oh pardon me…House of Windsor, an operation which began with Charlie’s sham marriage to the lovely Diana- although Diana wasn’t technically a commoner, but had enough commoner blood to look like a normal human being.

    You see horse-faces are irresistabley drawn to each other, so that while he was banging hot Diana, he was closing his eyes and thinking about horse-face Camilla.

    Don’t ask me, I will never understand that one.

    Of course Willi is technically a House of Greece and Denmark (a whole effed-up story related to Greek independence from the Ottomans giving us the totally weird Denmark- Greece combo.)

    Anyways these are all part of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg- I shit you not, that’s the full name- which includes the current King of Norway, Queen of Denmark, the future King of England (Charles), the titular King of Greece, Iceland, Principalities, Dukedoms, Earldoms etc. etc. etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Gl%C3%BCcksburg

    The whole thing can be summed up under the heading: “The Medieval Lucky Sperm Club”- incestuous idiots with a shit-load of undeserved money and privileges.

    Off with their heads…

  59. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    The Greeks chose a German prince to be their king, after achieving independence from the Ottoman Empire. They would not tolerate a Greek as their king. Later, this king was replaced by a Danish prince.

  60. James Canning says:

    paul,

    You apparently are not aware that most western oil companies doing oil business in Iraq are finding it unrewarding, and gradually they are getting out (as things stand today). However, the US supports Iraq’s central government even though its inefficiency and corruption are driving out western oil companies. Is this what you see as the determination of the US to “control” Middle East oil?

  61. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The US provides weapons and intelligence to Iraqi central government. The Iraqi ambassador to the US complains the US does not provide as much support as Iraq seeks.

  62. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Saddam Hussein did see what he thought was an opportunity to hit Iran while it was in a state of confusion, in 1980. And he mistakenly counted on substantial support from the Arab minority in SW Iran.

  63. nico says:

    Jay says:April 21, 2014 at 11:13 am

    “Capital in the Twenty-First Century
    by Thomas Piketty”

    Mmmmh…
    I heard about that book previously and read a detailed summary in an amazon comment.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/review/067443000X/R37LB6G67XKES0/ref=mw_dp_cr?cursor=2&sort=rd

    Well my impression (not having read the book in full) is that there is nothing new or interesting in the content.
    It maybe hold some academic value as a reference document.

    Piketty, as the title of the book reveals (marxist analysis about capital against labor), analyses data confirming that accumulation of capital is faster than the economic growth and specially the wages…

    And he says that (partial) equality between citizens can only be achieved with redistribution process managed by the nation state or similar mechanism.

    Big news indeed !

    For such brilliant analysis to be put at the forefront of current economic and intellectual analysis… Well it says much about the pathetic state of the western thinking.

    Let me quote here a post from Sammy from the last thread.

    “Mass or collective amnesia is a constant process in our society. Politically, it enables the elite to simply reproduce and replicate previous, provenly-defective, guaranteed-failure policies and programs”

    What we are seeing is the roaring 20ies and 1929 redux with unaccountable finance and social injustice.

    You know where it led.

    Obviously the current globalization and all ultra liberal policies are a failure and doomed to collapse.

    To be honest, everybody with a functioning brain can undestand that the ultra liberal globalization is a social crime.
    Actually, when one can understand that a society is composed of various layers of populations from the less to the most educated and wealthy.
    And when you offshore the manufacturing jobs in low cost countries that were intended to the less advantaged people with as consequence the offshoring of management jobs to follow suit… Well you understand that you are destroying the very fabric and social organization of a country.

    No need for Piketty book to be aware of that.

    In France the BNP bank is offshoring in India accounting and back office jobs for services intended to western customer.
    Is that responsible and wise policy ?

    Add to that the free flow of capital without state control… That came with the financial liberalization in the 80s
    Well you have you have sought… the Invasion of the capitalist cricket who destroy everything and leave in the dark of the night wity the pockets full.

    Am I a genius to say that ?
    No, that is just common sense and common place.

    No need for Piketty blablabla.

    And then as a consequence for the west to maintain the standard of living with production gone abroad, you have the accumulation of debt.

    You know how it finished in 1930s ?

    With National Socialism.
    Meaning national production for social justice…
    It worked so well that Germany became a power again while they crumbled under heavy debts burden and financial crisis.
    And you know how the Wall Street and City financiers finished that off.

    My take is that much of the demonization of the WWII’s Germany is propaganda.
    Just like Iran or Russia today.
    You know just like Iran being willing to wipe Israel off the map…

    Not that Nazis were nice people. But no worse than the US or the Soviets at that time.

  64. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    April 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    So the policy is incoherent; fighting the Shia in Iran and in Lebanon, helping their enemies in Syria and then selling weapons to them in Iraq.

    May be all of this makes sense to someone in Washington DC.

  65. kooshy says:

    I think Flynt is right to think is very stupid idea if the US thinks can fight another Cold War which for sure this time will be a multi dimensional Cold War, when US and her allies are not even sufficient never less the self sufficient on their energy supplies, or more importantly (as has been seen in past decade) can control or regulate energy prices. In past Cold War US for most part was energy suffice and had the command of regulating energy prices based on her political objectives meaning implementing a burden on USSR while financing her expenses at a minimum cost. That equation no longer exists, or if it does the cost is increasing if not on her on her close allies.

  66. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Do you remember the Arab Oil Embargo (triggered by US support for Israel in 1973 war)? It brought on a serious recession.

  67. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Various US policies do often enough work at cross-purposes, as you note. I don’t think the US is doing much in Lebanon to harm Shia interests. Maybe it depends upon who defines those interests.

  68. Jay says:

    nico says:
    April 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I am pleased that you have learned the important content of the book from Amazon comments. I opted for reading the book and I have found it illuminating so far. From what I learned earlier this evening on Bill Moyer’s show, the nobel prize winner Paul Krugman has also found the book enlightening. This is a tour de force that moved me beyond the anecdotal – it made the subject science. Lots of things we think we know about influence and power are no longer operative! If Amazon reviews did not satisfy you, I highly recommend the book.

  69. Sammy says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    April 21, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    BiB , I can tell you I was laughing for hours when I read your comment , brilliantly expressed.

    “”The whole thing can be summed up under the heading: “The Medieval Lucky Sperm Club”-incestuous idiots with a shit-load of undeserved money and privileges.””

    Probably I will never forget this sentence , exquisite .

  70. Karl.. says:

    Meanwhile US trying to get that war started
    http://presstv.com/detail/2014/04/22/359638/russia-holds-countries-to-ransom-uk-minister/

    What strikes me is that US sacrifice relations with Moscow for a bunch of facists in Ukraine. For what?

  71. Nasser says:

    “Whatever happens to him, his ongoing case highlights a singular fact: that there is but one crime for which anyone in America’s national security state can be held accountable in a court of law, and that’s leaking information that might put those in it in a bad light or simply let the American public know something more about what its government is really doing. ”

    http://atimes.com/atimes/World/WOR-01-220414.html

  72. Xavier Best says:

    This was a great lecture that touched on many of the distortions that have become so commonplace in American discourse about “energy independence.” Nevertheless, there were some issues that I think were overlooked in this lecture that might deserve some attention.

    One is the fact that Mr. Leverett doesn’t say anything about the potential environmental impacts of the US continuing in its reliance on fossil fuels. Even the Pentagon has recognized that climate change now poses a national security threat to the US. Are there ways we can promote energy interdependence without prolonging our addiction to fossil fuels and wouldn’t this be a more socially responsible alternative to the LNG or oil model?

    The second concern is that Mr. Leverett says he would prefer the US continue in its role as a world power. He goes on to say those who advocate for energy independence are undermining the US role as a world power. But what if you are against the role of the US as a world power but you also advocate energy interdependence.

    As someone who identifies as an anti-imperialist, I think the US role in world affairs has been overwhelmingly negative and has resulted in the oppression of millions of people around the globe. The invasion of Iraq is a recent example of this. Is there a way to have energy interdependence within a cooperative framework instead of a hegemonic one? And it it inevitable that weaker countries will be victimized as a result of the US enhancing its role as a global power?