Wednesday, January 10, 2007
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The energy follies, continued
I might need to create a new category for the blog: file under Utterly Stupid Moves by Energy-Abundant Regimes.
First, there's Venezuela. Simon Romero and Clifford Krauss explain in the New York Times:
Investors reacted with alarm here and in markets in the United States and throughout Latin America on Tuesday as they measured the impact of the plan by Mr. Chávez to nationalize crucial areas of the economy. Memories of past nationalizations during another turbulent era, in places like Cuba and Chile, helped drive down the Caracas stock exchange’s main index by almost 19 percent....Then there is Russia. [For forcing Belarus to pay higher prices for energy?--ed.] No, and let's be clear about this -- as with Ukraine last year, Russia is perfectly justified in switching to market rates for their energy exports. It's the way in which they go about trying to do this that's so wrong-footed. In the International Herald-Tribune, Judy Dempsey and Dan Bilefsky explain why Europe is so ticked off:
Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday publicly rebuked Russia for not consulting its European partners before suspending oil shipments destined for Poland and Germany in a dispute with Belarus.I don't understand the lack of consultation on this one. It's not like the European Union is going to be upset about squeezing the Belarusian leadership -- and with sufficient preparation, this could have been handled much more smoothly. Why not consult?
Finally, we have Iran. As the United States ratchets up its own sanctions, the Iranian leadership seems surprised that, like, they have alienated a lot of countries. In the Financial Times, Daniel Dombey and Gareth Smyth explain the confusion in Tehran:
[T]he new UN regime - which took months to negotiate in New York - appears to have surprised parts of Iran's leadership, with differences emerging on how best to respond. After a period in which Iran saw its regional influence increase at relatively little cost, Tehran now faces greater isolation....Even the Nelson Report observes that, "there’s no question that, along with the EU, Washington and Beijing are simultaneously taking a tough line on Iran. And the implicit 'message' of the arrival in China of Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, today, is clear to all concerned."
posted by Dan on 01.10.07 at 08:47 AM
implicit 'message' of the arrival in China of Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, today, is clear to all concerned." ....US military technology for sale!!!!!
No doubt our men and women in the USAID , VOA , and the other alphabet soup of agencies are hard at work nipping 'resource nationalism' in the bud.
For our sake, I hope all this works out better than all the other neolib/neocon projects
1) The invasion of Iraq
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