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Well, on the one hand North and South America depended on Pax Britannia for its peace and security, and on the other hand not all of the world today depends on Pax Americana for peace and security.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Apr 30th, 2012 at 12:58:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What parts of the world today do not depend upon the US for peace and security?  Even China, or especially China, depends upon the US for its ability to secure trade related economic growth and the resources it needs to feed its growing middle class.  
by santiago on Tue May 1st, 2012 at 04:54:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
South America. Africa. The old USSR. Southeast Asia.
by asdf on Tue May 1st, 2012 at 07:10:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe old USSR, but the other three are definitely subsidized by US power, even Venezuela.
by santiago on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 08:38:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I submit countries that have been subjected to US-sponsored coups in the past 10 years might not feel that their well-being depends on American power.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 08:41:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would submit that such countries might feel that way even more than anyone else because of such interventions.  But even outside of that Venezuela is uniquely dependent because it sells most of its low-grade oil to the US.  China hasn't been able get anything out of Venezuela yet.
by santiago on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 12:02:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Venezuela is uniquely dependent because it sells most of its low-grade oil to the US

Is that really a dependency of Venezuela? Given the US failure to declare an oil embargo in Venezuela, it seems the other way around.

China hasn't been able get anything out of Venezuela yet.

Really?

Venezuela Sees Rising Oil Exports To China; PdVSA Revenue Jumps - WSJ.com

As part of its repayment for the loans, Venezuela sends oil shipments to China, which on Thursday, Ramirez said have reached 460,000 barrels a day.

"We are going to sell China one million barrels a day by 2015," by which time the Asian economy will be buying just as much oil as the U.S., said Ramirez, who doubles as PdVSA chief.

The future plans aren't empty talk, either, and it's not just China:

Venezuelan oil: bring it on to Asia | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times - FT.com

...on Friday construction began of an $8.3bn refinery in China's Guangdong province able to process 400,000 barrels a day of extra-heavy crude from Venezuela's Orinoco Belt, in a 60/40 joint venture between China National Petroleum Corp and PDVSA, the Venezuelan state oil company.

But it's not just the Chinese who want to tap into the OPEC country's vast oil riches. In the last week alone, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam have all signed major deals with Venezuela that will help it increase sales to Asian markets and diversify its oil exports away from its biggest client - and ideological enemy number one - the US.

Most impressively, South Korean companies have agreed to participate in infrastructure projects in Venezuela that could be worth more than $11bn.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 02:01:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting reports, but I don't believe it because I have personal experience with this. I've been involved with people in Venezuela's oil industry, and they may talk a good game, but China has yet to receive that much oil from Venezuela despite billions invested there, and is largely abandoning the country. Anyone with oil industry experience has to laughing at those news reports right now.  Chavez is a hustler, and he's hustled some of the biggest powers in the world so far.  A simple visit to the facilities in Venezuela will show that it's simply not physically possible for China to get the oil that's being reported.  Everything is pretty much shut down and in need of parts and repair.

The US is dependent on oil, and it can get it from enemies and allies alike.  That's dependency on oil, not on a foreign power.

by santiago on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 02:14:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't believe it because I have personal experience with this.

Well that's info I can't check. But your claims of China abandoning the country don't rhyme with that refinery.

That's dependency on oil, not on a foreign power.

If the USA can't give up on oil from a single country then yes it is dependence on a foreign power.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 02:25:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I can't validate it, especially because my experience was courtesy of the government of Venezuela, so I don't submit it as evidence -- just to register my surprise and incredulity at the news reports you cited.  

The US has no reason to give up Venezuelan oil.  Venezuela is not a threat to the US in any way and hasn't done anything to warrant an embargo of any kind, so the proposition that it cannot give it up remains untested.  The Obama administration might also like to give up oil from Texas, which hates Washington right now too, but not doing so does not mean that Texas is not dependent upon Washington for its well being.  Venezuela is in a similar category of an otherwise allied country being led at the present time by a person who, like the Tea Party, gets political support by harmlessly haranguing Washington.

by santiago on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 03:35:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hasn't done anything to warrant an embargo of any kind

LOL.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 07:23:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. Sanctions Against Venezuela :: Gatestone Institute

In May, the U.S. State Department imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) for trading with Iran. The press release states that between December 2010 and March 2011 the PDVSA delivered to Iran at least two cargoes of reformate (i.e. a blending component that improves the quality of gasoline), worth approximately $50 million.

The sanctions prohibit PDVSA from competing for U.S. government procurement contracts, from securing financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and from obtaining U.S. export licenses. However, the sanctions do not apply to PDVSA subsidiaries and do not prohibit the export of crude oil to the United States.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 07:26:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And?  The US imposed the same kind of sanctions on a Venezuelan company that it also imposes on other companies that do the same thing. What's your point?  It certainly wasn't a violation that should require a general embargo on oil from Venezuela.
by santiago on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:16:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't see how South America is subsidised by US power. I think that's a backward-looking remark. It forms its own preferential trade zone; political convergence is increasing; China has rapidly become the major trading partner; independence from the US-dominated financial institutions has been demonstrated, most notably by Argentina.

Short of actually toppling a couple of governments, pour encourager les autres, I can't see how the US is going to recover its lost hegemony over its back yard.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 12:07:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Almost all of the South American countries still count the US as the most important trade partner, even more than their immediate neighbors. To the extent that they trade with other parts of the world, that trade is subsidized by US naval resources which, since WWII, have prevented any naval conflicts from interrupting trade.  Why is trade so possible and so cheap today? Largely because the risks of doing so have been reduced by lack of naval conflict - a public good provided only by US military dominance at a global level.  This is particularly the case in South American history where rival countries often upset each others' trade and reduced investment and development.  No other power has the capability of guaranteeing safe passage on the high seas, or has ever had it until post-WWII US.
by santiago on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 02:03:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What parts do? The way I see it, only the security situation of Taiwan, Korea and Japan is substantially influenced for the better by significant US presence. Western and Central Europe is not under threat, the colonial adventures of Iraq and Afghanistan proved failures and even the puppet governments the US installed got animated and turned on them (well the ones in Iraq were pro-Iran forces from the start who submitted to the US for tactical reasons), the Arab Spring and the South Ossetian war proved that the mere presence of representatives of the hegemon behind local allies won't deter rival powers or democracy-minded populations anymore, and Chávez proved that the hegemon can now be challenged outright by a small power with impunity.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 03:20:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All trade requires two things -- a set of institutions -- rules and customs -- for how to go about doing it, and safe travel.  Both of these are provided by the US and have been, in increasing amounts, since WWII. Before WWII, international trade occurred mostly within the commonwealths of various colonial empires, not between them.  With a US security/institutional umbrella now worldwide, trade occurs worldwide.  
by santiago on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 08:37:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rules for trade and safe travel provided by the US? And exclusively so? That's news to me...

Before WWII, international trade occurred mostly within the commonwealths of various colonial empires, not between them.

I'd like to see this quantified, especially for before WWI. I strongly doubt it, considering the significant trans-European export of both raw materials and machines I know about.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 08:52:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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