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Oil and Foreign Policy After Bush

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Oil and Foreign Policy After Bush

The Bush Administration has failed miserably to construct a logical, workable, long-term foreign policy to deal with our national dependence on imported oil. Our trade policies are creating strong deflationary pressure on the US Dollar in world trade. Our lack of government provided national healthcare puts our manufacturers at an extreme disadvantage in competition with foreign manufacturers. Our government has not promoted energy conservation or the systematic promotion of alternative, renewable energy industries. Our national dependence on imported oil is a critical weakness of and threat to American global interests.

Our trade deficits in both manufactured products and energy imports are undermining our currency and our national security. If oil producers completely abandon trade in American dollars, our energy import costs could explode in dollar terms. Our nation would likely suffer runaway inflation, energy shortages and a sharp drop in economic output. Unemployment will soar. Our national debt and trade deficits would rise rapidly.

In terms of protracted global war, we are no longer as self-reliant as we were during the 20th Century. Our heavy industry has been battered by corporate outsourcing and unfair international trade deals. Steel, automobile manufacturing, electronics and other industries supply the war materials needed in a protracted armed conflict. Additionally, our military and manufacturing is dependent on imported energy supplies.

The United States needs to try to mend our international relationships with key oil exporters in the short-term. In the long-term, we need to invest heavily in alternative energy development. We need to promote by government policy the conservation of energy. We need to curtail imports of manufactured goods and oil. We should take the burden of employee healthcare costs off the backs of American business. American government needs to meet American healthcare needs instead of our manufacturers.

Our nation needs to mend our relationships with Venezuela, Iran and Russia. We do not have to be close friends but the rhetoric of hostility on all sides is not constructive.

The Bush Administration was absolutely stupid to support the attempted overthrow of the elected leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. It will likely take a new elected Democratic American President to put US-Venezuelan governmental relations on a new, more positive footing. Both nations need each other in terms of international trade.

Iran is in geopolitical terms a natural ally of the United States. It is very unfortunate that our government supported the former Shah of Iran when he overthrew an elected government. We are still paying a huge price for our past support of a brutal dictatorship. We do not have to approve of foreign governments to engage in international trade. Trade with Iran might promote peace in the Middle East. The past 30 years of Iranian-American tensions have not served our interests.

The Bush Administration complicated reconciliation with Iran greatly by occupying Iraq. Iran has close ties with the Shiites in Iraq. The American military looks like a potential invasion threat by the Iranian leadership. The Iranian nuclear program looks like a response to the perceived American military threat. Bush worries the Iranian leadership because of his record of military adventures. Bush and his Neo-Con allies look like war-mongers to most of the world. Improvements between Iran and the United States are unlikely until after a new American Democratic President is installed in office.

Russian-American relations could be better but are not as bad as those with Iran and Venezuela. Russian energy production is vital to meeting European and Asian needs. We want to promote Russian democracy and anti-corruption efforts. We should encourage American investment in Russian energy production but discourage authoritarian tendencies from the Putin government.

The Bush Administration needs to look for equal partners seeking mutual benefits. We need to stop trying to be dominant and control our trading partners. We need to reorganize our economy and government to meet the international demands of a multi-polar of the 21st Century World.

Written by Stephen Crockett (co-host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com .) Mail: P.O. Box 283, Earleville, Maryland 21919. Phone: 443-907-2367. Email: midsouthcm@aol.com .

Feel free to publish without prior approval.
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Stephen Crockett is co-host of Democratic Talk Radio and author of the Democratic Voices opinion column.

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