Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's All About Oil. Or Something like that.

Consistent with the delusional embarassment that went up at Tyee last week, here's the latest version of the delerium, where the demented logic works in this fashion:

a) "Washington has long promoted a gas pipeline south from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. It would pass through Kandahar."

b) "Realistic or not, construction is planned to start in 2010, and Canadian Forces are committed until December 2011." Defence Minister Peter MacKay has said that if the Taliban attack a pipeline and our troops are still there, "then yes we will play a role."

c) The United States identifies one of its goals in Afghanistan as stabilizing the country, and that includes assisting with energy links through South and Central Asia. Therefore - drum roll, please - we come to. . .

d) "Unwittingly or willingly, Canadian forces are supporting American goals."


There's a second shell game at work in the essay as well:

a) "U.S. strategic thinking is to get other NATO countries involved in guarding the world's oil and gas supplies."

b) Prime Minister Harper says energy security requires "unprecedented international co-operation [in] protecting and maintaining the world's energy supply system."

c) Therefore, "Canada is in danger of being drawn into long-term military commitments relating to energy," which means. . .

d) "Militarizing energy is a long-term recipe for disaster."

Okay then. Let's not. (Sound of crickets).

I do agree with Foster here: "Energy geopolitics are worthy of public discussion."

The problem is that Foster's essay does nothing to contribute to anything even vaguely resembling a rational, sane, sensible public discussion.


Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

The TAPI pipeline will mainly benefit Turkmenistan, Afstan, Pakistan and India (Hindustan for congruence?). But "Unwittingly or willingly, Canadian forces are supporting Turkmen, Afghan, Pakistani and Indian goals" just doesn't have the same, er, resonance for a certain type of Canadian.

And surely those countries' improving their economies is something we should favour?


12:18 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

"And surely those countries' improving their economies is something we should favour?"

Yes, but: If the Americans want it, it must be wrong.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

What an evil construct, especially when we have peace (Oops! Out of Afstan!), order (Caledonia), and good government (enough said at all levels).

One may fail often to achieve aspirational goals, but failing to achieve pedestrian ones is rather more telling I should think.


4:50 PM  
Blogger bp said...

What irks me even more than the "we're advancing American goals" line is the sentiment that the existence of a pipeline project today must be the "real" reason that Afghanistan was invaded in the first place.

I was once told by an otherwise intelligent person that America had military plans for Afghanistan long before 9/11, which is hilarious because if you read any decent books on the subject, the the one thing that sticks out about America's strategy towards Afghanistan in the 90s is that there was none.

The stupidity that results when people hear the words "America" and "oil" together is incredible.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

bp: Especially when it's all about natural gas and not oil. Oh well, I guess a pipeline is a pipeline is a pipeline is Bushcheney, Halliburton, Unocal, or something.

And all that in the world of Google. Lazy bums, I say.


7:12 PM  
Blogger steve said...

it appears it is ok for the Russians to cut oil supplies or the Taliban to blow pipelines up, but not for anyone to protect the supplies.

4:10 AM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

Kudos to Lewis for telling it like it is:

3:05 PM  

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