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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Welcome to Pipelineistan

At one point last week, the price of a barrel of crude oil—which had risen as high as $147 last July and, with the global economic meltdown, hit a low of $32 in 2009—rebounded above $51. Prices at the local gas pump are expected to rise as well in the coming weeks. However, given a worldwide falloff in oil use, these price jumps may not hold for long. Still, cheap or not, oil and natural gas (as well as coal) are what drives global civilization, and that's clearly not going to change any time soon.

That, in turn, means the major powers are going to be no less eager to secure key energy reserves and control the flow of energy in bust times as they were in boom times, which is where Pepe Escobar comes in. In a long, typically vigorous essay just published in book form, "Obama Does Globalistan," he refers to his earlier book Globalistan as a "warped geopolitical travel book." That makes him a wonderfully "warped geopolitical traveler." In fact, he regularly circumnavigates the globe from Central Asia and the Middle East to Latin America, even sometimes landing in Washington, writing pyrotechnically for an online publication on which I have long been completely hooked, Asia Times. ...


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