No matter how badly things will continue to go in the Middle East and in the world in general as a result of the greed, incredibly piss-poor judgment and cowboy politics that have governed this great country for the last 8 years, the Bush/Chaney cabal can't lose.
What??? Yes, you read it correctly. Whatever happens, they can't lose.
First, they and their supporters will always say they weren't to blame for what I consider to be an absolute, utter and complete failure of their administration. They have become the masters of deception. They have taken every advantage at every turn to create and leverage fear in the minds of what used to be a rational populace. What I think is that their "failure" has been premeditated and warrants impeachment.
They and their supporters will always say ridiculous things like "Better to have fought them over there than over here", "Hussein presented a threat to Americans", and "We need to open up ANWR and the continental shelves to oil and gas production".
As for the whole "Better to have fought them over there", it's as if we all suddenly found ourselves in some bad World War II movie and were in jeopardy of a Normandy-like invasion. I had and still have no argument with removing the Taliban from power. They clearly were involved in the heinous crime of 911. The events of 911, however, were and always will be just that - criminal acts. They should have been viewed through the prism of law enforcement not some Bush-contrived declaration of war by some foreign government or sovereign nation. Just because some idiot like bin Laden "declares war" doesn't mean that war has been declared....unless, of course, such a declaration is exactly what is wanted.
Yes, the combined military forces of free nations under the auspices of the U.N. was the right move with Afghanistan. Everyone in the free world was in support of America on September 11, 2001. Everyone in the free world knew that we were the one country that could lead a global movement to address terrorism. Everyone was behind us starting that movement with the Taliban as it would send a clear signal to any government who harbors and supports terrorists that the world - not just America, but the world - would no longer stand for it.
Where we lost all credibility in the world was when Bush, Chaney, Rumsfeld, Powell and all the rest of them conjured up lies in order to justify their indefensible and inconceivable left turn into Iraq.
Bush and his supporters will continue most certainly cling to the lies about what a serious threat Hussein was because of his ties to terrorism and WMD programs. The facts are in. There weren't any of either. (http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/index.htm and http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1435)
And when it comes to oil, they'll keep saying that, in addition to Mideast instability (which they've done nothing but exacerbate), part of the reason oil is so high is because companies are being kept from opening new domestic fields. There's no debate if anyone's willing to look at the facts.
The amount of oil in places like ANWR and the continental shelves will have very little effect on the price of a commodity that is dictated by a global market. All anyone has to do is the math.
According to the CIA (yes, *the* CIA), 2005 estimates of American oil consumption are just over 20million barrels of oil a day (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/us.html). The best estimates of domestic reserves in ANWR and the outer continental shelves (OCS) that are currently off limits are 42 billion barrels and 18 billion barrels, respectively. http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/analysis_publications/arctic_national_wildlife_refuge/html/preface.html and http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/otheranalysis/ongr.html
Sounds like a lot of oil until you consider:
1. The technically-recoverable oil is more like 15.6 billion in ANWR, making for a total of ANWR and OCS of about 24 billion barrels. 24 billion (if it were even possible to have it all at once) divided by 20 million barrels consumed per day (making the silly assumption that consumption hasn't changed since 2005 estimates) works out to be 1200 days, or about 3 years and 3 months.
2. It will take years before even the first barrels reach the market and puts at risk eco-systems that can never be replaced.
3. Oil is a fungible. No matter what our paltry reserves are, they aren't enough to drive global markets on way or another.
So, in my opinion, there's one thing we can all be fairly certain about. No matter how unstable things become in the Middle East and around the world, Bush and Chaney can't lose. They will keep doing what they've always done - blaming every and anyone but themselves for failed political leadership - while personally profiting from the mess they've created.
What, after all, could be better for a couple of oil men financially and politically than a growing global demand for oil in the face of an ever-shrinking supply, coupled with political turmoil and social unrest which they helped to create, all of which combines to keep oil prices rising?