#1
In response to a Globe and Mail article on the IPR by John Ibbitson, I passed on my own commentary and sent it to all our MPs. Why not, eh? More e-mail for their Trash Bin...

Meanwhile, Ibbitson commented positively on my "comprehensive critique".

Interestingly, I have recently had a cordial e-mail converstation with a top "defense analyst" from a high brow US Think Tank. We were discussing the Zarqawi issue and when it came to my comments on al-Qaeda and the US World Oil Police, I recieved what can be described as a wink and a nod.

But realistically these guys aren't fools, they are 'in the know'.

The International Policy Review: Were will we stand on foreign, defense, foreign-aid and trade issues?

As the release of the IPR has been delayed, this gives Canada time to review the world-outlook now that there will be a second Bush administration.

There are certainly many things to consider. But first and foremost, as with all industrialized nations of the west is Energy Security.

Throughout the world, countries have built alliances and signed long-term energy agreements realizing that uninterrupted energy supply is at minimum, essential for national sovereignty.

For insight and perspective, first we must look at the United States - the hegemon.

The Bush administration has taken aim at an array of international treaties that were regarded as constraints on U.S. military options and on U.S. corporate interests. Imperative of its ideological commitment to U.S. supremacy, the U.S. has taken an aggressive anti-multilateralism stance in its military endeavors, at international treaties and international forums.

The foreign, military, and economic policies of the second Bush administration will likely be felt throughout the world. No region or country will be unaffected by the administration’s pursuit of its agenda to restructure the global order in line with its sense of U.S. moral superiority, its confidence in U.S. military might and most importantly, in it’s pursuit of oil and gas resources.

The Middle East will remain central to U.S. foreign policy with military operations expected to include the seizure of Saudi oil fields. The seeds of discontent within Saudi society have been sown and the U.S. will appear to be simply responding to events.

The U.S. will become increasingly isolated as the global divide deepens. But yes, a few countries will stay onside for opportunistic reasons. Britain and Australia - as part of the Anglo-American world order and for their respective shares of oil supply. Japan will be driven for economic reasons to say onside. Pakistan’s Musharraf will continue to bond with the U.S. With internal dissention to overcome, Musharraf needs U.S. support. On the flipside, the U.S. needs this CIA outpost in the region - Pakistan is essentially another U.S. client regime.

Needless to say, Israel is part of parcel of the Imperial U.S. through is great influence in Washington.

Currently in play are Africa, Central Asia and Columbia in the U.S. quest for oil. The U.S. will intensify its efforts to drill the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.

Canada must realize that looming on the horizon of it’s largest trading partner will be intense international pressure to restructure its domestic economic policies to deal with unsustainable trade and budget deficits.

The U.S. dollar is declining and will continue to decline. This is unofficial policy.

The Bush administration is not an adherent to free trade philosophy but rather sees “free trade” as an instrument that usually advances the interests of Corporate America. NAFTA is a testament to this. Canada lost any hope of energy security with this agreement.

But the world is fighting back.

Inevitable is the demise of U.S. dollar hegemony as international financial forecasters see afoot the beginning of a move by European elitists to replace the US dollar as the world's reserve currency.

Recently Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the Kyoto protocol on climate change - clearing the way for the treaty to come into force next year - the crucial stamp of approval for Kyoto.

After the United States refused to ratify it, only Russia could enable this threshold to be passed. The significance here is clear. Limit greenhouse gas emissions and you limit economic growth. Limit economic growth and you undermine America's financial and economic vampire.

Realize that we are the largest energy supplier to the U.S. and 50% of our natural gas is exported to our southern neighbour. Note that that North America is on the verge of "a full-blown natural-gas crisis", and that the looming energy shortfall could be even worse in Canada than in the U.S. because 80 percent of homes here are heated with natural gas.

As well, when we signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, we gave up our right to cut back the amount of oil we export to the U.S. (unless we cut our own consumption the same amount).

Further, Vancouver based Julian Darley, author of High Noon for Natural Gas: The New Energy Crisis, who has been consulting with top Bush officials on the looming NG crisis, comments that every politician should regard energy--by that he also means food--as the most important issue. "We'll be in an energy crisis beyond belief by 2010."

Remember the cold January in eastern Canada this year when the NG generating plants almost ran out of natural gas feedstock. CNN reported that facilities in New England actually DID run out of fuel.

Canada’s view of the ‘tar sands’ as our oil savior is woefully misguided.

Tar sands production processes consume an enormous amount of natural gas and the Mackenzie Delta gas fields could be consumed before they ever reached the U.S. Realizing this is extremely important as many U.S. energy experts believe that this Arctic gas will help reduce the U.S. supply problems.

As well, some in the industry have suggested that if all the tar sands projects were in operation that would consume almost a quarter of current Canadian NG consumption.

The Arctic

Regarding a C.D. Howe report on Canada’s defenses, Dr. Jack Dr. Granatstein argues that the real threat posed by the deterioration of Canada's army, navy and air force is not from foreign invaders or terrorists, but from the United States.

He said Canada's military impotence threatens Canadian sovereignty because it invites the U.S. to take steps to defend itself against terrorist attacks, even to the point of sending troops onto Canadian soil.

"Although terrorism poses a real threat, it is not the most serious crisis… The danger lies in wearing blinkers about the United States at a time it is in a vengeful, anxious mood."

We must look back several weeks to the Canadian military exercise, Operation Narwhal, the largest Canadian military exercise ever held in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Needless to say, it was an embarrassment.

But what we must note is the United States does not recognize Canadian sovereignty over our Arctic sea passages. In fact, speaking off the record, scientists studying the current warming of the Arctic region (refer to the recent Arctic Climate Impact Assessment) intimated that some officials in the Bush administration saw the loss of Arctic ice and the resultant opening of sea channels such as the Northwest Passage of Canada as a good thing for the exploration and retrieval of oil and natural gas from the endangered region.

Enter the U.S. military?

Important to know, is that experts are wondering if this could be a year-round shipping route. Some small shipping companies are already making plans.

Lawson Brigham, the deputy director and Alaska office director of the US Arctic Research Commission comments that a trans-Arctic route could be of particular interest for transports of sensitive cargo, such as Japanese nuclear waste sent to Europe for treatment.

The stakes are at their highest. Nothing is out of the realm of possibility. Canada must realize that the end of the age of oil is upon us. How we manage the energy transition will predicate the future survival of Canadian society.

To reiterate, Energy Security is first and foremost on the domestic and foreign policy agenda of all western countries - it should be at the top of consideration of the International Policy Review.