Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 12:32:21 PM EST
In the year 2050, after petroleum became too rare and valuable to be legally burned anywhere on Earth, China, the American Union, the European Union, India and Russia looked back with satisfaction at how well they had handled the great Drawdown of Middle Eastern petro products.
Avoiding world war through a series of permitted localized wars, the ownership of the petroleum was always kept away from the Middle Eastern masses, and placed in the control of appointed local oligarchs instead.
The strategy was to view the nations of the Middle East as a collection of leaky buckets. The oil would inevitably flow, out of one bucket or another everyone knew, and so it was of no concern if this bucket or that one needed to be broken or kicked over now and again to keep the handle in approved hands. It would fill up again, and the oil would get to all the proper places in time. It was a matter of maintaining reliable local management.
In the wrong hands, in the hands of the uncouth natives of these leaky lands, oil monies would foment socialism, would dilute capital, and lead to global instability, above and beyond the local variety.
This was the key to the near unanimous policy of managed chaos in the Middle East that emerged in the opening years of the 21st Century, and continued through Depletion. The twin goals of preserving the petroleum for foreign nations while preserving it from the indigenous populations dictated all local politics, and all the local wars that followed.
These huge Muslim populations, destined for utter penury once their greatest natural resources were extracted and burned in distant engines of industry, merely needed to be kept in turmoil and internal jihad for the few brief decades it took for foreign pumps to drain their futures dusty dry.