Saturday, April 15, 2006

Why We Really Went To War

Sure it's in an editorial, but hey at least someone is saying it out loud:
As China, U.S. Vie for More Oil, Diplomatic Friction May Follow
Wasn't about Saddam (well a little), wasn't about WMD, wasn't that we needed the oil for ourselves... it was because China and India, the 2 largest populations on the planet, are rapidly industrializing and becoming voracious consumers.
Think of next week's meeting between President Bush and China's President Hu Jintao as a summit of the planet's most voracious energy user and the planet's fastest-growing energy user. In a world of limited oil resources, that could strain U.S.-China relations as much as any issue.

China's oil industry has wooed countries that the United States has tried to isolate for political reasons -- such as Sudan, Iran and Burma -- potentially undermining the isolation efforts. Three of China's major oil companies have been aggressively pursuing long-term supply arrangements in such places as Venezuela, Nigeria, Gabon and Angola.

Even Saudi Arabia, despite its long-standing tight relationship with U.S. oil companies, is turning toward China and is today its largest oil supplier. In 2004, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., also known as Sinopec, became one of just five companies to win the right to explore for natural gas in the uninviting desert known as the Empty Quarter, edging out U.S. companies interested in the area. The kingdom has invested in Chinese refinery projects, and in January, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz visited Hu in Beijing.
But wait, this is the best bit...
"Saudi Arabia is taking a Chinese wife," said Charles W. Freeman Jr., a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia who has extensive diplomatic experience in China. "The Saudis are not divorcing us. In Islam you can have more than one wife and they can manage that."

But can the United States? Many U.S. policymakers are nervous about China's quest for energy supplies around the world.
Hey, aren't you watching BIG LOVE? All we have to do is move to somewhere out of the way in Utah (which is pretty much the whole state outside of downtown Salt Lake) and we'll be cool.

"I can tell you that nothing has really taken me aback more as secretary of state than the way that the politics of energy is -- I will use the word 'warping' -- diplomacy around the world," said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 5. "It is sending some states that are growing very rapidly in an all-out search for energy -- states like China, states like India -- that is, really sending them into parts of the world where they've not been seen before, and challenging, I think, for our diplomacy."
... And yet more proof that I was right all along in thinking that Condoleezza Rice knows nothing about how the world works and was useless once the Soviet Union fell apart.