Saturday, September 3, 2005

Katrina, Europe and oil

The Republican Party these days, both its leaders and the rank-and-file, take an attitude toward the democratic countries of Europe ranging from cold to hostile.

But this past week, the Social Democratic government of Spain and the Social-Democratic/Green government of Germany agreed to release some of their emergency oil reserves to help ease oil shortages and price pressures created by Katrina's interruption of oil production and shipment in the Gulf of Mexico.

That would be the Spanish government that our zealous Republican war fans never tire of calling cowards and weaklings and appeasers who surrendered to The Terrorists because they pulled their troops out of Bush's Disaster in Iraq.  I guess we should call the Iraq War "Bush's Disaster I" now after the loss of New Orleans.

These actions were taken at the request of Dear Leader Bush for their assistance.

And that would be the same German government headed by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder that the Bush administration trashed because Schröder criticized Dear Leader's plans for the Iraq War in his election campaign in 2002.  Richard "Prince of Darkness" Perle, then head of Rummy's powerful Defense Policy Board, suggested that the newly-reelected Chancellor step down because he had displeased Dear Leader.

It always amazed me that Dear Leader and his administration seemed to think that the opposition, the coalition of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), would be more pro-American.  In fact, the CDU candidate in 2002 pledged to take an even harder line against German cooperation with the Iraq War.  And the FDP in that race was making a big point of criticizing Israel and its policies, hardly something compatible with the Christian Right pro-Likud/pro-settlement policy which has dominated Bush administration policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Now, the CDU/FDP coalition is in the middle of another election campaign, with polls showing them favorites to win later this month (two weeks from today, Sunday).  Again, this time the CDU is criticizing Schröder for agreeing to Dear Leader's request and releasing the oil: Kanzler verteidigt Öl-Freigabe: Regierung verweist auf US-Antrag bei Energieagentur / Schröder distanziert sich von Argumenten der Opposition Frankfurter Rundschau 04.09.05.

Let me repeat that.  The current Social-Democratic/Green government supports Dear Leader on the Katrina oil issue.  The opposition CDU/FDP conservatives oppose agreeing to Dear Leader's request and are attacking Schröder for doing so. 

One more time:  The Social Democrats and the Greens support helping Dear Leader on the oil issue.  The conservative Christian Democrats and Free Democrats oppose helping Dear Leader on the oil.

What do you bet you won't hear the story told that way on OxyContin radio or FOX News?

The Frankfurter Rundschau article also reports that Schröder  has publicly asked the oil companies to keep their prices down.  That's what we used to call "jawboning" in the US.  I guess we would still call it that if Presidents ever did it any more.

Dear Leader called on people not to drive any more than we have to over Labor Day weekend.  But that is a landmark move for him in one way: he's actually asking the general public explicitly to make a sacrifice for the general good.

These two Business Week articles of 09/01/05  report on how Katrina is likely to affect the oil supply: Katrina's Wake: In addition to the hurricane's human toll, damage to the nation's energy infrastructure could reverberate well into the future and Feeding the Oil Monster with a Dixie Cup: Tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a welcome move, but energy players and consumers still fear a supply squeeze and price hikes.


ereading7 said...

I'm surprised they would do this, just shows they are bigger than we are.  This administration probably would not do anything to help a country that defied them.

bmiller224 said...

It really does show in a dramatic way how out of touch the Republican propagandists are with the real world. - Bruce