Scott Horton Interviews Eric Margolis

Scott Horton, August 14, 2008

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Eric Margolis, foreign correspondent for Canada’s Sun National Media and author of War at the Top of the World, discusses the complicated politics of the Caucasus region, U.S. and Israeli arming and training of Georgian troops, the Ossetia fiasco, McCain’s foreign policy handler Randy Scheunemann and his relationship with the Saakashvili regime, the fight within the military industrial pentagon complex over whether to focus on imperial occupations or preparing for war with great powers, the dangerous foolishness of NATO expansion, the self-serving hypocrisy of America and Russia’s leaders, the ignored U.S. sponsored regime change in Somalia, McCain’s 3AM moment and emulation of the Kaiser, the rift between Pakistan and India over religion, Kashmir and Afghanistan, Dick Armitage’s threat to totally destroy Pakistan after 9/11 and the new great game in Central Asia.

MP3 here. (38:08)

Award winning author, columnist, and broadcaster Eric S. Margolis has covered 14 wars and is a leading authority on military affairs, the Middle East, South Asia, and Islamic movements.

10 Responses to “Eric Margolis”

  1. That was fun, thanks!

  2. Everybody please Email Congressmen/women asking them to vote No to HR 362 and Senators asking them to vote No to SR 580 because they are virtually a Declaration of War as Congressman Ron Paul stated. They demand that the president impose a blockade on Iran=Declaration of War. Apparently they have lost their minds collectively.

  3. Great discussion by foreign correspondent Eric Margolis on what this whole conflict in Georgia is really about.

  4. It seems to be an American trait to want to meddle in other’s affairs. Most of the older societies have learned their lessons about this destructive behavior. America’s time is drawing nigh…

  5. It is interesting, really, to see this train wreck of an American Empire come to an end, in exceedingly slow motion.

  6. Great interview with Eric Margolis. I try to read all of his articles. On another note, it seems the name “Washington” should no longer be applied to the (among other curses) cesspool of interventionist intrigue on the Potomac. It has become an insult to George Washington to continue naming that outhouse of social engineers and hypocrites after the courageous, dedicated and wise man from Mount Vernon.

  7. Another insightful show on developments that are not otherwise easy to keep up with. The interchange near the end in which both Scott and Eric appealed to the common idea that it is not necessary to own the oil under foreign lands, since it is a commodity that is available for purchase, and since it’s in those countries’ own interest to sell it to us, is arguably naive in certain important respects. It doesn’t follow from the fact that the U.S. _has been_ able to reliably maintain its consumption of 25 percent of the world’s daily oil output, most of it imported, that it _will be_ able to do so. To the contrary, the simple fact of its enormous dependence on an exhaustible resource, argues that it _won’t be_ able to do so. And a closer inspection of actual circumstances makes this even more clear.

    Regarding the notion that Middle East oil producing countries “can’t drink it” – and therefore must sell it – it’s important to realize that exporting countries only sell what comes off the top, _after_ their domestic consumption. This means that once production begins to decline, _exportable_ oil tends to drop rapidly toward zero, even if domestic consumption only remains flat. Or even if production remains flat, while domestic consumption goes up, exportable oil can rapidly diminish. Both effects are being observed now: Rapid increases in domestic consumption are particularly notable in the Middle East, with rapidly rising populations, and rising domestic spending related to the increases in oil price – meaning that the internal populations of the region rank up there with China as competitors for the remaining suplies. Even with publicized efforts to restrain domestic consumption, for example, Iran is on a course to lose its capacity to export oil by about 2015, production from its four largest fields having peaked in the period 1967-1977, like the country as a whole (1974) – which means that the current trends are not just the result of political disruptions or lack of investment – indeed US recognition of Iran’s need for nuclear power dates to exactly the same period. The conclusion of a 2006 Australian senate report was no doubt reasonable, namely that “It should not be assumed that surplus energy will be available for purchase, even if countries like Australia and the U.S. have the finance.” They had in mind specifically the efforts of China particularly to “lock in” supplies through “long-term energy supply agreements that are in effect treaties,” but many other considerations point in the same direction: Australian oil production is down 35% from its 2000 peak, its former #1 source of oil imports, Indonesia, has, in the space of a few years, become a net oil importer, and three of its current top five sources of oil imports are now showing precipitous declines in oil exports (http://anz.theoildrum.com/node/3657).

    As for the U.S. situation, Mexican production and exports are declining rapidly, the latter on course to reach zero within three to five years. Exports from Venezuela and Nigeria are also declining for a mixture of reasons. As of 2006, those were #3, 4 and 5 as sources to the U.S. of imported oil. #2 Saudi Arabia, has also shown declining net exports for the last two years of data, despite production having risen recently (though it remains below 2005 levels, according to what I understand). As for #1 Canada, that status is an illusion, as Canada imports more than half the quantity of oil it exports to the U.S., much of it from OPEC (as the infamous mid-1970s congressional report “Oilfields as military objectives: a feasibility study” had already noted). Its net exports declined 1.3 percent over the last year of data. Meanwhile _global_ net exports of oil have declined by a small but accelerating amount over the past two years. (http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4092)

    Yes, the War Party’s determination to seize control of dwindling supplies of hydrocarbons, provoking World War III if necessary, threatens everyone’s survival, and is by no means to be counted among the sane responses to the real threat to business-as-usual which they correctly perceive. Yet their actions take on a macabre aspect of rationality if one recognizes that in all likelihood they are not anticipating oil at $300 or $400 on world markets after the shooting starts; probably they are anticipating the day when global commodity markets cease to play a major role in allocating the remaining oil.

  8. pat buchanan made similar argument, http://antiwar.com/pat/

    “Americans have many fine qualities. A capacity to see ourselves as others see us is not high among them.
    Imagine a world that never knew Ronald Reagan, where Europe had opted out of the Cold War after Moscow installed those SS-20 missiles east of the Elbe. And Europe had abandoned NATO, told us to go home and become subservient to Moscow.
    How would we have reacted if Moscow had brought Western Europe into the Warsaw Pact, established bases in Mexico and Panama, put missile defense radars and rockets in Cuba, and joined with China to build pipelines to transfer Mexican and Venezuelan oil to Pacific ports for shipment to Asia? And cut us out? If there were Russian and Chinese advisers training Latin American armies, the way we are in the former Soviet republics, how would we react? Would we look with bemusement on such Russian behavior?”

    i must add to that, the russians have not even started yet… so far, no gas or oil valves are involved… no us bonds owned russians are put on sale… no us$ in the russian stabilization fund or centrobank deposits in us$ are thrown to the market…
    as a matter of fact, russia provided some not-insignificant amount from accumulated petro-dollars to bail out some american banks from mortgage crisis…

    as margolis has pointed out, warmongering rhetoric of us ruling circles is of course nothing new… what’s new now that the russians don’t care… capitalism sold the soul of american people to new masters – the russians

  9. [...] America’s Destructive Asian EmpireĀ Scott Horton interviews Eric Margolis [...]

  10. I think he is your best value guest. Always interesting and smart and no ideological hammer to get you down.

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