ISIS Shakes The World! (Russia, China And The Oily Arabs, Not So Much … Yet)

News we receive seems fixed upon ISIS to the exclusion of much else, now that Ebola has evidently been fought to a standstill. We hear little of Russia’s de facto invasion of Ukrarine and essentially nothing of China’s current invasion of the Spratly Islands. And even less about the Gulf Arabs attack on Russia, Venezuela, various others and oh yes: the U.S.The silence over that one is deafening.

ISIS is a Sunni Moslem rebellion against the Shiite Moslem takeover of Iraq, coupled with a grab for a chunk of Syria. In geopolitical terms, it is a local sideshow and now that the West has intervened, ISIS is losing, though it will be a while yet. It is serving to distract folks from their declining lifestyles, the oncoming nuclear proliferation and Russian and Chinese bellicosity.

Some recall the sang froid with which Western Europe met Hitler’s grab for Eastern Europe. Not much different from Putin’s grab of Eastern Ukraine. In the South China Sea, the Spratlys have long been considered Philippine, (though a few of them have other claimants) but oil is suspected and now remote China is suddenly fortifying them. Russia’s Crimea grab and China’s Tibet takeover were apparently not enough. And China is demanding (and sending troops into) a substantial chunk Of India. of how many of those has the “News” been informing you?

The largest and least reported is the Arab attack, an economic war over oil. We all heard of the U.S. fracking bonanza, how it was putting America back on top as an oil supplier. The oily Arabs do not approve. So they have quietly hiked up their non-fracked, standard drilling output, drowning the world in cheap oil and stopping comparatively costly fracking dead in its tracks. You’ve seen the result at the gas pump.

The U.S. oil Rig count is down,  Oil   drillers are cutting spending plans and the government and Challenger are reporting quite different Employment numbers from the oil fields. Severely declining oilfield employment probably doesn’t fit so well with a pipeline veto and “recovery.” Nor do you wish to report an oil war with the folks you’re partnered up with over ISIS.

The Arabs have their own constraints: They are demolishing the economies of Russia, Venezuela and several other oil-dependent but higher cost producers and stymying fracking in the U.S. and Canada. Fine, so far. But they are doing it by pouring out nearly free oil; they are reducing their future and have cut their own oil income to do it. Add that as soon as they let prices rise again by reducing production, fracking will restart. Of course, they have an awful lot of oil under them.

There’s another side to this: all the cheap oil is empowering a bunch of folk who use a lot of it; they are having a world-wide party at Arab expense. China and Japan wouldn’t have bet a plugged nickel for the chances of something like this occurring in real life. India as well, and others. And in America, just look at a gas pump. And party.

In the meantime, cheap oil won’t save the international financial system from its decades of mismanagement or save Russia and China’s neighbors from being gobble up to distract from their inept economies.

But none of that is news; flip the dial and discover the latest on ISIS!

driller cuts spending plan.down in US t (oil) per BLS and Challenger

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About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much)
This entry was posted in Geopolitics, Oil, War and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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