William Hamilton – Hormuz and Malacca: Dire straits?
October 20, 2009
Americans who care about such things tend to be focused on the Obama administration’s attempt to pass a major revision as to how Americans obtain health care and on the administration’s attempt to push Cap and Trade legislation – AKA Crap on Trade.
Both of these attempts are the result of two of the most improbable hoaxes ever foisted on a largely unsuspecting electorate. More than 83-percent of Rasmussen poll respondents are reasonably happy with their current health-care arrangements. Health-care “reform” is nowhere near the top of voter concerns. Unless, of course, your side figures forcing the majority to pay for the health care of a distinct minority is the way to secure future elections. Then, it makes sense.
Crap on Trade is based on the most elaborate hoax of all: that human activity is causing the planet to warm at an alarming rate. Colorado State University’s climatology expert, Bill Gray, says that our planet stopped warming in 1998 and has been cooling ever since. While it is amusing that the global-warming crowd finally had to hold their conference in tropical Bali in order to avoid the ice and snow that had plagued earlier conferences, there is a factual and serious side to all this.
Global cooling carried to the point of the Little Ice Age (roughly, 1150-1850) could cause serious disruptions in the world economy, even famine. The global warming vs. global cooling arguments aside, it makes good sense to take better care of our one and only planet. Throwing carbon-based stuff up into the atmosphere is not a good thing. But for the United States to go it alone with Crap on Trade makes us act as naïve as some Europeans think we are.
The biggest polluters are Red China, Russia and India and all those little cooking fires burning 24/7/365 across the Third World. If the goal is to reduce the United States as a world economic power, then for the United States to unilaterally embrace Crap on Trade is the way to do it.
Meanwhile, the Democrat-controlled Congress and the Obamessiahs must not have taken Mr. Bailey’s 9th grade science class. They think carbon dioxide (CO2) is a pollutant that they must eradicate. Maybe they have confused carbon dioxide with the deadly carbon monoxide. In fact, trees and plants need carbon dioxide to survive. Trees and plants respond to carbon dioxide by producing the oxygen we breathe. It’s called: photosynthesis.
There is, however, a valid reason to adopt many of the measures promoted by both the global warmers and the global coolers: In the interest of a safe and secure America, we must reduce our dependence on oil from the Middle East. That means drilling for our own petroleum resources, and it means seeking alternative sources of energy.
But the most immediate threat could come as a consequence of what those lunatics who run Iran are doing with their nuclear weapons development program. The United Nations and the United States appear helpless to stop it. Russia, Red China and North Korea are actively helping the Iranians go forward.
At some point, Israel cannot afford to sit idly by while Iran prepares to destroy it. Whether the Israelis act unilaterally or the Israelis and the United States act jointly to put a stop to the Iranian nuclear madness, the unavoidable fact is that the two important straits through which most of the world’s crude oil passes will be closed: the Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca.
Iran has the naval capability to close the Strait of Hormuz until the U.S Navy can force it back open. The U.S. Navy might close the Strait of Malacca as part of an international oil-chess game that would force the Malacca-dependent Japan and Red China to side with the United States and Israel over the destruction of the Iranian nuclear production facilities.
If all that happens, we could, indeed, be in dire straits.
– Nationally syndicated columnist William Hamilton is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval War College and Harvard’s JFK School of Government.