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Bloviating Zeppelin: Behind The Curtain

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Behind The Curtain

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," roared the Wizard of Oz.

Such it would be with OPEC, if you believed them. The curtain was drawn aside this past week and its inner workings were embarrassingly revealed:

OPEC heads of state converged on Riyadh for a rare summit opening Saturday with the organisation divided over the falling US dollar and attempts to give a political impetus to the oil-exporting cartel.

In a gaffe late Friday, a private meeting of ministers from the 12 members of the cartel was mistakenly broadcast to journalists, revealing a spat between Saudi
and anti-US members Iran and Venezuela about the waning US currency.

Journalists witnessed Iran request that the final declaration to be issued by OPEC leaders at the end of the summit on Sunday express the concern of member states about the falling US currency and its impact on oil revenues.

Reacting to the proposal, which was backed by Venezuela, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal warned against mentioning the US currency.

"There are media people outside waiting to catch this point and they will add to it (exaggerate) and we may find that the dollar collapses," Prince Saud said.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who arrives later Saturday, has also called on OPEC to take on a stronger "political and geopolitical" role and return to its stance of the 1970s when it tightened the screws on consumer nations.

Saudi Arabia appeared to have prevailed in the debate about the dollar and the issue is not expected to be mentioned, but the incident highlights sharp differences at the heart of the group.

"It's the second meeting when OPEC is showing its dissension and there are clear divisions and fissures emerging," said Yasser Elguindi, a manager at oil brokerage SIG, referring to discord about output at a meeting in September.

"It's a gaffe. Nobody likes to air their dirty laundry in public," he said.

The remarkable insight into the inner workings of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Friday, which produces 40 percent of world oil, ended when a furious official emerged to switch off the television.

The fall of the dollar, which has declined by about 15 percent in 12 months, has affected the revenues of OPEC members because most of them price and sell their oil exports in the US currency.

This OPEC meeting comes at a time of concerted stress on global oil markets, with the OPEC cartel under pressure from many sides (foremost by the US) to increase its output to help calm record crude prices that threatened to breach $100 dollars a barrel for the first time last week.

And Saudi Arabia cannot afford to be privately or publicly seen to support America, trust me.

If we didn't "get it" then, we should "get it" now: Iran and Venezuela are our enemies. And Saudi Arabia took an actual bit of a stand for the US. But make no mistake: Chavez and Ahmadinejad will do all they can to see us burn.



Blogger Ranando said...

I think it's time to know who's really our enemies. I feel that we have two enemies and Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, North Korea and all the others are nothing but puppet enemies of the big two.

Russia and China.

If we don't support them one of these big two does.

Maybe it's time to not worry about the puppets and start looking at the big two.

Tue Nov 20, 07:20:00 AM PST  
Blogger Gayle said...

Ranando may have a point, but I still don't see how we can ignore Iran. What gets me is the liberals, and I know some of them personally, unfortunately. I don't understand what part of "Death to America" they don't understand.

Well, anyway, just dropped by to let you know I'm still alive and kicking. No new posts, just wanted to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. I did ask you a question on my comment section though. I'll bet you can guess what it is! :)

Tue Nov 20, 08:21:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

They would be the PuppetMasters, but those smaller countries constitute the more immediate threat. But then again, this opens up another HUGE box that could only be addressed by a series of more detailed posts.


Tue Nov 20, 02:09:00 PM PST  
Blogger shoprat said...

Russian and China are a problem but Iran will betray both of them as they don't fit into Iran's plans and they won't be able to control Iran once it's armed.

Chavez has declared war on us. Where are the headlines.

Tue Nov 20, 09:09:00 PM PST  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Just remember that Iran's economy, especially the oil part is on the skids. They have less than a decade and most likely less than 5 years until their internal consumption of oil goes past their internal production of it. The *E* in OPEC is EXPORTING. It won't be there much longer.

Chavez has done the exact same thing to *his* oil sector and it will take a few years, but the lower basis for production and consumption yields similar results. That is why Iran and Venezuela are on an arms-buying spree and have been for awhile. The billions sent to Russia and China for arms may be their last chance to arm up before their economies tank. Iran has set up a new Hezbollah funding base in TBA S. America, and the coalition for narcotics production and sales is starting to see a power axis there: Hezbollah, FARC and Venezuela. This is bad news for Columbia, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Hezbollah is already better armed than Syria and better trained (not that this says much, overall)... Syria, however, has a ruthless Ba'ath party so an 'arrangement of power' there may happen as Iran cannot figure out how to undermine the place directly. If Venezuela and/or Iran collapses internally, for any reason, expect to see an old style 'resources war' in South America. Hezbollah has been redesigned since the 1980's to be semi-autonomous and self-funding for its non-Lebanese components, and that may actually be turning a *profit* in S. America.

Russia is heading back to authoritarianism, this time under a consortium of corrupt public officials and the Red Mafia. It is strange to say it, but I will: the Red Mafia is more capitalist savvy than Putin is. The West, especially the US, has proven to be a fertile operating environment for the Red Mafia and they will *not* want that endangered. For all of its grotesque and brutal violence, it is actually better at managing things economically than the entire Soviet arrangement of things. It is not an enemy of the West, nor friend either, but a parasite that also produces useful goods and services for profit (although lower than criminal profit, money is money). Increased corruption of Western companies is an expected outcome of this, and supplying those organizations that have cash to pay for their wares. An attempt to regain a major power standing by Russia will take longer than it has taken to *lose it*, that is due to the Red Mafia, also, which seeks to protect its production rackets. Hey, if it can get you to the #3 producer of aluminum *globally* it has to be good for *something*.

With China heading to the mother of all bubble economies, I do scratch my head when it is put forth they are a threat. So many hear about the Black Knight and worry... I see a bloke with two arms and a leg gone... 'What are you going to do, bleed on me?' Yes it is a big Nation and has huge problems even larger than its population. I can think of no other Nation on earth that can afford to lose $2.5billion in production due to pollution... due to pollution in Beijing. With 30-60% of GDP underwritten by bad loans and lost productivity around 15-30% of GDP, China has the double-whammy of inefficient production and corrupt banking. If you think lead in toys, plastic bags and contaminated pet food is bad in the West, you do not want to know how bad it is inside China. The regime there is buying up anything it can to help prop things up another few years... but reform the banking system where there is *money* involved? Heavens, no.

Biggest long-term threat outside of the collapse of China (you do know Islamists are training in western China, right?), some resource war in S. America, Iran imploding, Saudi Arabia exporting terror somewhere *else*, Syria continuing on unscathed, North Korea heading to oblivion, Russia heading for a Mafia takeover, Mexico cracking under pressure from further south, Pakistan perhaps going Islamist (terrorism with Nukes, oh joy!), Japan greying out with a robotic based system internally, and Europe either collapsing or heading to the hard right (that is the normal mode there, in case you hadn't noticed)..... why the world is such a safe and wonderful place!

Can we start supporting our Friends and Allies now? We need Australia, India, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Eastern Europe, UK, Israel, Canada and Iraq to come out right. France we shall see about, more than happy if they rediscover that they are part of the West and not the socialist part, either, but lotsa luck. That is our ALLIES LIST of folks we can more or less depend on in a pinch. You see the rest of that map?

It isn't all that nice to us.

And if we go tranzi multi-culti, then that will be all she wrote for liberty, freedom and democracy.

I am a Nationalist.

We could use a few of them if you like that liberty bit... it is the only guarantee we have to continue it and lasts up to the moment we stop being a Nation and just want to be 'a citizen of the world'.

Thu Nov 22, 08:37:00 AM PST  

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