I used to visit the Drudge Report fairly often, maybe once a week, just to catch up on the latest Republican propaganda lines. Today, I popped over and found a couple of surprises...
Inflation worries push consumer confidence lower...
Home prices STILL falling in cities...
Okay, which is it? Are prices going up or down?Libya
. Drudge seems to celebrate
reverses by the Libyan rebels. Do you remember 2003, when we lefties were considered unpatriotic if we did not support the illegal invasion of Iraq? So what, exactly, has changed since then?
(Ah, memories! "Why won't you support our troops?" "Why do you hate America?"
And then we had Ann Coulter's assurances that new Venona-style revelations would reveal that America's lefties were all in Saddam's pay...)
Casuistry fans will enjoy the right's attempts to justify Bush's invasion (which did not have U.N. support) while condemning Obama's role in the current U.N. efforts in Libya. Take Fox News, for example: Fact: Bush Had 2 Times More Coalition Partners in Iraq Than Obama Has in Libya.
Fox won't tell you that Bush's "Coalition of the Willing" all had to be bribed (and bribed well) in order to be willing. That is not the case today.
Today's right-wing drive to support Our Pal Ghaddafy seems particularly bizarre when you recall the role Ghaddafy played in Reaganite demonology back in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, much of the left pretends that Obama has initiated another Bush-style oil-grab. No. Not true. If this effort were an oil grab, the U.N. and the Arab League wouldn't support it.
Frankly, I think the big oil companies would simply prefer to buy Libyan oil from a stable government. They don't really care who runs that government, as long as the oil keeps flowing. For all my mistrust of Obama, I don't believe that anyone in this White House harbors radical fantasies of conquering Libya and imposing Friedmanism on the entire economy.
So this isn't about oil. I'm cautiously persuaded by Juan Cole's argument
There is no advantage to the oil sector of removing Qaddafi. Indeed, a new government may be more difficult to deal with and may not honor Qaddafi’s commitments. There is no prospect of Western companies being allowed to own Libyan petroleum fields, which were nationalized long ago. Finally, it is not always in the interests of Big Oil to have more petroleum on the market, since that reduces the price and, potentially, company profits.
That last sentence sent me into paranoia mode. I do some of my best thinking in paranoia mode. (Also some of my worst, so read with caution.)
Remember the price of oil in 2003? Remember what it was by 2007? In 2003, Americans all thought that "owning" Iraq would initiate a new era of really cheap energy. Instead, things went the other way. Arguably, the Iraq war lost support not because of the body count but because the price of gas rose above three bucks a gallon.
The dramatic price rise occurred for a number of reasons, and not least among those reasons was the continual sabotage of Iraq's oil fields by the Iraqi resistance. At least, "sabotage" was the story we got from the media. Here's
an example from 2004. And here's an example from just last month
. For seven years, it has been nothing but sabatoge, sabatoge, sabotage.
But who are these saboteurs? In whose interests do they operate? Let's repeat Cole's observation...
Finally, it is not always in the interests of Big Oil to have more petroleum on the market, since that reduces the price and, potentially, company profits.
Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering...?