Monday, January 15, 2007

Tomgram: Klare, The Pentagon as an Energy-Protection Racket

This January, Tomdispatch has been focusing on the Pentagon, the imperial path, and militarization. Last week, Nick Turse explored the way Pentagon strategists, having taken possession of our future, are writing their own dystopian science fiction scenarios about how to fight in Baghdad 2025 and other urban megaslums of the planet (as American troops may soon be doing in Baghdad's huge Shiite slum of Sadr City). Then, Frida Berrigan considered the massively profitable business operation the Pentagon was running off fictional futures and the all-too-real weapons systems that will result from it.

Today, Michael Klare, an expert on resource wars and the author of the indispensable Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependence on Imported Petroleum, offers a startling vision of the grim energy future that the Pentagon is actually helping to create -- as well as the ruthless scrambles for energy resources, the Great Power energy races, and the kind of Big Brotherhood that may lie in our near future. This is the first of a major two-part Tomdispatch series on the possible emergence of a new phenomenon in our world that Klare dubs "Energo-fascism." Tom

Is Energo-fascism in Your Future?

The Global Energy Race and Its Consequences (Part 1)
By Michael T. Klare

It has once again become fashionable for the dwindling supporters of President Bush's futile war in Iraq to stress the danger of "Islamo-fascism" and the supposed drive by followers of Osama bin Laden to establish a monolithic, Taliban-like regime -- a "Caliphate" -- stretching from Gibraltar to Indonesia. The President himself has employed this term on occasion over the years, using it to describe efforts by Muslim extremists to create "a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom." While there may indeed be hundreds, even thousands, of disturbed and suicidal individuals who share this delusional vision, the world actually faces a far more substantial and universal threat, which might be dubbed: Energo-fascism, or the militarization of the global struggle over ever-diminishing supplies of energy.

Unlike Islamo-fascism, Energo-fascism will, in time, affect nearly every person on the planet. Either we will be compelled to participate in or finance foreign wars to secure vital supplies of energy, such as the current conflict in Iraq; or we will be at the mercy of those who control the energy spigot, like the customers of the Russian energy juggernaut Gazprom in Ukraine, Belarus, and Georgia; or sooner or later we may find ourselves under constant state surveillance, lest we consume more than our allotted share of fuel or engage in illicit energy transactions. This is not simply some future dystopian nightmare, but a potentially all-encompassing reality whose basic features, largely unnoticed, are developing today.

These include:

* The transformation of the U.S. military into a global oil protection service whose primary mission is to defend America's overseas sources of oil and natural gas, while patrolling the world's major pipelines and supply routes.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

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