The arrogance of oil producers is becoming limitless and increasingly dangerous. Libya, currently supplying 50% of Switzerland's crude oil imports, has halted shipments to Switzerland. You see, Switzerland had the audacity and bad form to arrest Hannibal Gadhafi and his wife for allegedly physically beating their service staff with a belt and a hanger at a five star Geneva hotel. Arraigned and released on bail they promptly fled to Libya. Papa Muammar al-Gadhafi, Libya's defacto head of state set out to teach the Swiss a lesson for their inhospitality, breaching supply commitments of long standing and throwing whatever reputation Libya had as a reliable partner and supplier of a basic raw material into the trash bin. Not leaving bad enough alone they threatened "...unless the Swiss authorities issue an official apology to Gadhafi, his son and the Libyan people, escalating measures will be taken". Thereby teaching the Alp dwelling Swiss not to mess with anyone named "Hannibal."
While Gadhafi was venting his indignation on the Swiss, the New York Times reported on July 23rd that president Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and President Dimitri Medvedev of Russia would coordinate their actions on global oil and gas markets seeking to counter American influence in that sphere. To seal the love fest, Chavez placed an order for at least an additional $1 billion worth of Russian arms calling for the two nations to become "strategic partners" to defend against the "American threat to his country."
Then in caricature of the "los dos banditos", continuing to turn the screw, Medvedev expressed interest in joining with Venezuela and other gas producing states in the formation of an OPEC style gas cartel. He then proceeded to parrot OPEC double talk mumbo jumbo pontificating that such "cooperation" would "help guarantee energy security".
But wait, don't go away. There's more, and of a much more sinister nature. In an augury of the "Cuban Missile Crisis" redux, the Russian news agency, Interfax, quoted Chavez as saying "If Russian armed forces would like to be present in Venezuela, they will be welcomed warmly" responding to a question by reporters whether Russia could put bases in Venezuela . Chavez continued, "we will raise flags, beat drums and sing songs, because our allies will come, with whom we have a common worldview". Shortly thereafter, in the light of day the Venezuelan government lamely tried to distance itself from their President's invitation. But there you have it as clear as clear can be. The level of arrogance being facilitated by our pathetic dependency on oil and our ineffectual policies in dealing with an issue that poses an increasing and ominous threat to our national security, worsening with every passing day.
Perhaps we will have to leave it up to the Swiss to show us the way!