FOREIGN ENTANGLEMENTS- 09.15.2021
September 15, 2021
Good Wednesday morning. I'm author Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California. Welcome to Rupp's Notes/FBI Special Agent Hartman Series posts.
In my novel SKYWARD, the Bowman family built their fortune on oil. And, while that fortune was being amassed, the U.S. developed the concept of "Oil Diplomacy." As my story evolves, Norm Bowman recommends to his mother, Daniela, that they start devesting the oil investments in the family trust. Why did he make this recommendation? Note: The timeline on my sci-fi story is now in current times.
This is from an article in yesterday's LA TIMES – "The U.S. has removed most of its most advanced missile defense system and patriot batteries from Saudi Arabis." Why?
Why were those batteries put there in the first place? Oil!!!
Oil Diplomacy or Petroleum Politics has been an essential aspect in the geopolitics of the Middle East since the early 20th century. But with the advent of alternative fuel sources and concerns regarding climate change, the balance of powers regarding Oil Diplomacy has changed. The rise in alternative fuels is rendering Oil Diplomacy Obsolete. Former oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia are expected to lose power. In contrast, former fossil fuel importers and countries rich in renewable energy resources are expected to strengthen. It is mainly because of Oil Diplomacy that the U.S. became heavily involved in foreign entanglements.
Again from the LA TIMES article - "Perceptions matter whether or not they're rooted in a cold, cold reality. And the perception is very clear that the U.S. is not as committed to the gulf as it used to be in the views of many people in decision-making authority in the region," said Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. . . .' From the Saudi point of view, they now see Obama, Trump, and Biden — three successive presidents — taking decisions that signify to some extent an abandonment,' he said.
In thinking about recent news articles, my mind went way back to a paper I wrote in high school (1954-56). Sometime during those years, I wrote an essay for Mr. Russell Wilson's Social Studies class at Hollywood High School about the problem of converting an evolving nation to democracy. My conclusion was that democracy takes an educated society. That educational process requires the country to go through a period of communism or dictatorship before being ready for democracy. In that paper, I also remember referring to George Washingtons' avoid foreign entanglements quote – "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world." Trying to be hands-on nation builders is not in our genes. We have been better at being a dynamic symbol that people wanted to come to or mirror than using force to take them in a direction that is not easily understood. Think about the feeling people get when they see the Statue of Liberty. Then think about the feeling people get watching drones kill their families and destroy their homes and businesses. Unfortunately, I believe our attempt at nation-building has set our nation back at what we were best at. Being a shining light! Leading by example!
Even more worrisome is where is the United States as respects a democracy? This is from an article by Reginald Pulliam with the ALABAMA MEDIA GROUP –
" According to Lord Tytler, a Scottish Historian, the average age of the world's democracies is around 200 years. After two hundred years, the nations collapse due to various economic policies and were followed by a dictatorship. Lord Tytler identified 'Eight Stages of a Democracy' from beginning to end. The eight stages go from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence, and finally from dependence back to bondage. Life and our universe move in cycles, and history is no different. So, in our Democratic form of a Republic, which stage do you suppose we are in?"
The journal LANCET PLANETARY HEALTH linked government inaction on climate change to psychological distress and climate anxiety in young people. In that survey, which involved 10,000 children and young people across 10 countries, 74 percent of the respondents said they believe that "the future is frightening.
My SKYWARD, story, and characters embrace all of the above.
Going back to the nostalgia mode, the industry I retired from – insurance, regained my interest with the fine print at the bottom of some Progressive Casualty Insurance Company TV ads. What the heck does – "Prices vary on how you buy" or "Not available in all situations" mean?
Apparently, I was not the only one who wondered this. This is from the Progressive website –
Why Insurance Prices May Vary
"Progressive offers choices so you can reach us whenever, wherever, and however it's most convenient. You can choose how you want to buy your car or other vehicle insurance: directly from a Progressive company (online, by phone, or on a mobile device), or through an independent agent or broker.
Because there are differences in expenses or other business aspects among these sales channels, prices may vary based on how you buy. For example, if you buy through an agent or broker, your car insurance price includes the commission paid to the agent or broker selling the policy. If you buy directly from a Progressive company, your car insurance price reflects the cost of staffing and maintaining the sales centers and a larger portion of our marketing costs."
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What are you trying to tell me about your pricing? Should I buy through an agent? On the phone? My computer? Or, maybe I should try them all. Do some competitive shopping on Progressive policies. There is no explanation as to what "Not available in all situations" means. I'm really curious about this one. Did this replace, "Not available in all states?" What types of situations are you talking about? I love attorneys.
It's time to go back to working on my novel SKYWARD.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright©2021 by Richard V. Rupp