Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (American Empire Project)
a book by Michael Klare
(our site's book review)
The Amazon blurb says that In his pathbreaking Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict With a New Introduction by the Author, world security expert Michael Klare alerted us to the role of resources in conflicts in the post-cold-war world. Now, in Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (American Empire Project), he concentrates on a single precious commodity, petroleum, while issuing a warning to the United States—its most powerful, and most dependent, global consumer.
Since September 11 and the commencement of the "war on terror," the world's attention has been focused on the relationship between U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the oceans of crude oil that lie beneath the region's soil. Klare traces oil's impact on international affairs since World War II, revealing its influence on the Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Carter doctrines. He shows how America's own wells are drying up as our demand increases; by 2010 the United States will need to import 60 percent of its oil. And since most of this supply will have to come from chronically unstable, often violently anti-American zones—the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, Latin America, and Africa—our dependency is bound to lead to recurrent military involvement.
Klare delineates the United States' resources predicament and cautions that it is time to change our energy and military policies, before we spend the next few decades paying for oil with blood
With clarity and urgency, Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum delineates the United States' predicament and cautions that it is time to change our energy policies, before we spend the next decades paying for oil with blood.
So says Michael Klare, but reality is a bit different:
Klare says 'America's own wells are drying up as our demand increases' which is obsolete information—it's not so, in 2018
This book is alarmist and already obsolete, a 2005 book 13 years out of date. United States oil production is doing great and ramping up. See US oil production tops 10 million barrels a day for first time since 1970. On the other hand, Klare nails it that resources are at the root of most conflicts. Many have predicted that as resources dry up, they will be the source of conflict. Iraq has oil and the U.S. attacked them when our oil dependency was a big issue in 2003. Afghanistan has a trillion dollars worth of minerals and other resources, as well as being the main producer of heroin in the world (and the CIA is in bed with them, controlling this illegal drug trade but denying it).
An oil tanker
Beginning with Thailand in the 1950s, Americans have become accustomed to the CIA's alliances with drug traffickers (and their bankers) to install and sustain right-wing governments. The pattern has repeated itself in Laos, Vietnam, Italy, Mexico, Thailand, Nigeria, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Panama, Honduras, Turkey, Pakistan, and now Afghanistan. U.S. backdoor covert foreign policy has been the largest single cause of the illicit drugs flooding the world today. It isn't a war ON drugs, it's a war FOR drugs. Why? Why else? Money, control, and power. See American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan.
No wonder our citizens are so confused and clueless and full of false beliefs—they're choking on misinformation!
It should be noted that the few Americans that research the matter are aware of all this, and they note how different these truths are from the propaganda from the mainstream media. Most people have no clue how much propaganda and misinformation they've absorbed in their lives and how seriously this information differs from the actual truth. Most people think we live in a democracy (we don't) and have a free press (we don't) and the media give us either right-slanted or left-slanted news, but not propaganda and misinformation (but they do). They live a "Disneyland" existence where the U.S. are the good guys and the people in the axis of evil (as Reagan called them) "over there" are the bad guys. Hollywood mostly supports this delusion—if the government and our leaders and our generals and our media say it's true, it must be true. See Freedom of the Press—an American Delusion, Democracy—an American Delusion, and Media Control, Second Edition: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda.
The inept leadership of presidents Dubya and Obomb'em and now Trump so misunderstood and mishandled the Afghanistan War (where we wasted a trillion dollars for nothing) that the end result was a lost war, empowerment of the Taliban, a huge increase in heroin production, females being oppressed more than ever, everyone in the Middle East learning to hate the U.S. with a passion, more terrorism, thousands more U.S. military deaths and wounded soldiers, and a trillion dollar increase in the debt. If our leadership this century had wanted to accomplish all these negative things, they couldn't possibly have done a better job of it. What does it tell you about U.S. leadership when the exact opposite of our goals is what we accomplish when we invade a country? Perhaps American empire building is a stupid goal in the first place, even though that is not a goal we admit. See Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire.
In clear, lucid prose, Klare lays out a disheartening and damning indictment of U.S. foreign policy which has led to blood for oil
" . . . Klare painstakingly describes a nation controlled by its unquenchable thirst for oil. Rather than setting out a strategy for energy independence, he finds a roadmap for further U.S. dependence on imported oil, more exposure for the U.S. military overseas and, as a result, less safety for Americans at home and abroad. While Klare offers some positive suggestions for solving the problem, in tone and detail this work sounds a dire warning about the future of the world. . . . In clear, lucid prose, Klare lays out a disheartening and damning indictment of U.S. foreign policy." (Source: BLOOD AND OIL: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency, Publishers Weekly)
Klare painstakingly describes a nation controlled by its unquenchable thirst for oil
Klare bemoans the nation's boneheaded energy behavior which is dominated by four key trends:
- An increasing need for imported oil—but this is not accurate: it's decreasing currently
- A pronounced shift toward unstable and unfriendly suppliers in dangerous parts of the world
- A greater risk of anti-American or civil violence here and abroad
- Increased competition for what will likely be a diminishing supply pool (ALL fossil fuels will be exhausted somewhere between 2050 and 2100, including oil, gas, and coal, which means a lot more wind, sun, and nuclear powered energy, and more biomass fuel, hydroelectrics, fuel cells, etc.)
We're here to rob you of your oil. Any objections?????!!!!!
“Our military policy and our energy policy have become intertwined. They have become one and the same… And if we continue to rely on military force to solve our resource needs, we’re in for a very bloody and dangerous and painful century indeed,” says Klare.
"Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (American Empire Project) is an indispensable primer on the role of oil in driving US military policy. Every peace activist, every environmental activist, and every concerned citizen should see this film for the perspective it provides on how to free the US and the world of our addiction to oil."—William Hartung, New America Foundation
Every concerned citizen should see Blood and Oil (or read the book) for the perspective it provides on how to free the U.S. and the world of our addiction to oil
Overconsumption of oil leads to merciless imperial interventions and to support of rightwing dictators, making us the target of "terrorist" attacks from citizens who don't like being killed, robbed, tortured, and attacked by drones, which in turn lead to more imperial interventions—the polite way to refer to U.S. terrorism.
U.S. terrorism—a.k.a. The War on Terror—is creating an increasing supply of terrorists; it functions as a terrorist factory
The Media Education Foundation's movie, Blood and Oil, quotes Klare: With Saddam Hussein left in power at the end of the Gulf War, Klare explains, President George H.W. Bush decided the United States would need to keep a significant number of American troops in Saudi Arabia to effectively prevent Hussein from further regional aggression. The presence of these American military personnel enraged many religiously conservative Saudis, including Osama bin Laden, who then created the terrorist network Al Qaeda. Bin Laden immediately began calling on his followers to attack US interests in the Middle East as well as the United States itself.
Unless we delink our energy and military policies, we face a future of increasingly dangerous competition over the control of oil and natural gas between the United States and rising powers like Russia and China, says Klare.
I know it came as a shock to some to hear a Texan stand up there in front of the country and say 'We got a real problem. America is addicted to oil.' But I meant it, cause it’s a true fact and we’ve got to do something about it now
Dubya Bush said “I know it came as a shock to some to hear a Texan stand up there in front of the country and say 'We got a real problem. America is addicted to oil.' But I meant it, cause it’s a true fact and we’ve got to do something about it now." What he thought but didn't say is "America is willing to do whatever it takes to keep the supply going, no matter how much blood needs spilling.
America is addicted to oil and is willing to do whatever it takes to keep the supply going, no matter how much blood needs spilling
"The NEPDG issued its final report, the National Energy Policy (also known as the Cheney Report), in May, 2001. How the group arrived at its final assessment is a matter of some speculation, as the administration has refused to make its deliberations public, but its conclusions are incontrovertible: rather than stress conservation and the rapid development of renewable energy sources, the report called for increased U.S. reliance on petroleum. . . . While President Bush is likely to respond to a new energy crisis, as he has in the past, with renewed calls for drilling in ANWR [Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] and the further relaxation of U.S. environmental standards, nothing he has proposed to date even suggests a viable exit strategy from perpetual crisis." (Source: Tomgram: Michael Klare on the Coming Energy Crisis , Tom Engelhardt, tomdispatch.com)
"Americans as well as citizens of other countries should be concerned about the United States’s militarization of its own, and the world’s, energy crisis. As recently as the second world war, the United States could present itself as the disinterested guardian of prosperity and justice for all. Today it prefers the posture of a 'lone superpower' – understood as 'a country that chooses to spends more on military power than anyone else'. When such a national leadership seeks to retain a wildly disproportionate share of a dwindling world resource by force and the threat of force, refusing to make any serious effort to restrain its consumption of that resource, it is no surprise that it and the government it leads is far less attractive to others than the great, generous democracy of 1945." (Source: Oil and American politics , Godfrey Hodgson )
As Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict With a New Introduction by the Author author and International security expert Michael T. Klare argues: In the early decades of the new millennium, wars will be fought not over ideology but over access to dwindling supplies of precious natural commodities. The political divisions of the Cold War, Klare asserts, have given way to a global scramble for oil, natural gas, minerals, and water. And as armies throughout the world define resource security as a primary objective, widespread instability is bound to follow, especially in those areas where competition for essential materials overlaps with long-standing territorial and religious disputes.
In Trumpland, Citizens Getting Sick from Cancer and Respiritory Diseases Is a Non-Issue
The EPA has become the Environmental Perversion Agency, deregulating everything so that the polluters and exploiters and contaminaters are having a field day
The problem with U.S. energy policy is that Trump and his Republican accomplices have redefined it so that in order to have a decent oil supply that is less dependent on foreign oil, the environment and the health of the citizens have been dumped from the equation. In Trumpland, citizens getting sick from cancer and respiritory diseases is a non-issue, as long as he and his minions don't have to live around oil fracking areas. Contamination of ground water so that livestock and people get sick is also a non-issue. The EPA has become the Environmental Perversion Agency, deregulating everything so that the polluters and exploiters and contaminaters are having a field day. The U.S.'s decent oil supply will occur because of offshore drilling and wildlife area exploitation to a degree, but even more because of fracking.
In Trumpland, citizens getting sick from cancer and respiritory diseases is a non-issue, as long as he and his minions don't have to live around oil fracking areas. Citizens near fracking are feeling like the sky is falling
The overall cause for that surge in oil reserves is that America's shale oil plays—the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Permian Basin—are now being unlocked through horizontal drilling technology and fracking. The booming US oil and gas extraction industry has created a million new jobs since 2007, but "scientists tell us we need to reduce our global carbon dioxide emissions if we're to avoid dangerous climate change, which means less oil products use, not more. If we have to avoid drastic climate change by lowering emissions, the quickest and best way to do that is to shift away from fossil fuels altogether in favor of clean renewable energy and energy efficiency. Although the frackers claim that there have been no cases of groundwater contamination to date, those claims are hotly disputed by local people living near wells who report water contamination." (Source: Fracking, Chris Woodford)
The scientists tell us we need to reduce our global carbon dioxide emissions if we're to avoid dangerous climate change
Gas line in the 1970s
"Virtually all increases in U.S. energy production since 2009 are the result of fracking. Oil and gas wells that have been fracked constitute over one-half of the crude oil and natural gas being produced in the U. S. When fracking started being used all over the United States, including areas where the shale holds crude oil as well as natural gas, the U.S. quickly moved from being a fairly minor producer that was thought to be running out of oil and gas to the country with the largest crude oil and natural gas reserves in the world. A recently released study by Rystad Energy estimated the United States has 264 billion barrels of oil, which is 8 billion barrels more than Russia and 52 billion barrels ahead of Saudi Arabia." (Source: Despite debate about banning it, fracking is essential in today's world, Ed Ireland )
You can see why we say that Klare misstated when he said "America's own wells are drying up as our demand increases." This is obsolete information—it's not so, in 2018. Fossil fuels will last until 2050-2100. The fracking innovation has given new life to our country's wells. The use of fracking will be great for the economy and our nation's energy picture but lousy for our environment, including air and water quality—which is and will be negatively impacting public health. Electing politicians who actually care about our health, rather than pretending to care about it, will be a huge step upwards in this country.
Texas Barnett Shale gas drilling (fracking) rig near Alvarado, Texas
"Environmental concerns about fracking began to take hold in the United States when Josh Fox released Gasland in 2010, a documentary on the social and environmental impacts of fracking. Actor Mark Ruffalo, who lives in New York City, became a major opponent to fracking. Ruffalo laid out his full case against fracking in a piece co-authored with Phil Radford on CNN.com, where he argued solar and wind are here now, and using fracked natural gas instead of cleaner sources of energy will result in more faucets on fire, methane leaks that cause global warming, groundwater contamination, and cancer causing chemicals in communities." (Source: Anti-fracking movement)
U.S. Needs More Emphasis on Renewables Like Biomass
Nuclear Energy: Pros and Cons is a site furnishing good info on over a dozen types of energy. It is well worth reading to see the pros and cons of each resource.
Note—we need more emphasis on renewables like biomass: "Biomass is organic material that comes from plants and animals, and it is a renewable source of energy. Biomass contains stored energy from the sun. Plants absorb the sun's energy in a process called photosynthesis. When biomass is burned, the chemical energy in biomass is released as heat. Biomass can be burned directly or converted to liquid biofuels or biogas that can be burned as fuels. . . . Biomass can be converted to other useable forms of energy such as methane gas or transportation fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. . . . Crops such as corn and sugar cane are fermented to produce fuel ethanol for use in vehicles. Biodiesel, another transportation fuel, is produced from vegetable oils and animal fats. . . . Biomass fuels provided about 5% of the primary energy used in the United States in 2016." (Source: Biomass—renewable energy from plants and animals, U.S. Energy Information Administration)
Michael Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., and the author, most recently, of Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency, which shows why oil is bought with blood, making the world situation less secure by the week.