Plan B

Glenn Reynolds:

Of course, if we seized the Saudi and Iranian oil fields and ran the pumps full speed, oil prices would plummet, dictators would be broke, and poor nations would benefit from cheap energy.

Yeah, because that’s pretty much the way it worked out in Iraq.

Update: Rob Sama on the same Reynolds post:

Was just listening to Rush. As usual, it sounded like a regurgitation of the best that the blogosphere has to offer. He quoted this newspaper column by Max Boot, which was also quoted by Instapundit this morning. Rush read the same quote that Instapundit cited, but then he went on, reading REYNOLDS COMMENTS that followed AS IF THEY WERE PART OF THE BOOT ARTICLE!!!

He never cited Glenn Reynolds or Instapundit.

I’ve said before that Limbaugh steals. At least he’s stealing quality, but he’s still a thief.

Quality.

Update 2 More here.

Comments

  1. #1 Alex
    May 3, 2006

    My God, is that a new record in stupidity? Has anyone ever suggested anything that stupid before?

  2. #2 An Enquiring Mind
    May 3, 2006

    I love this argument by the righttards. Some how they think that if the oil companies’ control all the oil, they’ll lower prices. I piss my pants every time I hear this’un.

  3. #3 jerry
    May 3, 2006

    You have misread Reynolds. He was clearly channeling Spock and trying to destroy Max Boot’s connection to his evil Robot commander.

    Spock, I Mudd

  4. #4 djlicious
    May 3, 2006

    The stupidity is compounded by the fact that he didn’t also wish for a pony. So sad.

  5. #5 Jim Henley
    May 3, 2006

    There used to be people called “libertarians” who were very concerned about, what did we call them? Oh! Property rights! They were really against taking other people’s stuff by force (aka “stealing”). I wonder what Glenn Reynolds would make of “libertarians” if he met one.

  6. #6 john
    May 3, 2006

    And the oil would smell like flowers!

  7. #7 unconvinced
    May 3, 2006

    ….fffrrrrroommm the HALLSS OF MONTEZUMAAA TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLIIIIIII….

    Ah, the sound of the Special Keyboard Forces calling up our brave lads and lasses to invade Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. so they can offset the cost of their unaffordable leased Hummers with cheap gas prices, it’s like music, man!

    We maybe got it wrong in Iraq, but I bet, given several more chances, we can get it right in Iran or Syria (Is there oil in Syria? If not, scratch that.)

    Yes, didn’t you know, Iraq was our global conquest mulligan. We bagsy another chance to perfect our invasions. Yes, we’ll make this one work better than ever. This time our torture will be done PROPERLY. I bet we’ll only kill a hundred thousand civilians this time. We’ll rename Tehran: Halliburtonville. Gas will cost pennies (FIVE-HUNDRED pennies) per gallon. Our oil company CEO’s will be able to retire with decent severance packages unlike that pittance they threw at the retiring Mobil/Exxon dude. $400 mil! That don’t buy shit. It doesn’t even get you the Republican arm of the House.

    Yeah, Iran, man, Iran….

    SEMPER FI, KEYBOARDERS, SEMPER FI!

  8. #8 ronin
    May 3, 2006

    So where’s my plumetting oil prices?

    Did it occur to instablunder that oil prices are rising in part because of fears of supply interruption due to, um, a war with Iran?

  9. #9 kharma
    May 3, 2006

    But..but..brown people don’t even know how to manage oil. I trust Exxon to do what is right with America’s rightfully deserved source of fuel. After all, God put that oil there for America, then Satan came along and put those nasty brown people there to guard it, just after he hid all of the fake dinosaur bones all over to fool the idiot intellectuals.

  10. #10 Barry Ragin
    May 3, 2006

    Glenn’s right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.”

  11. #11 A.X.
    May 3, 2006

    “Yeah, because that’s pretty much the way it worked out in Iraq.”

    Huh? Lambert’s comment is nonsequitur. We didn’t even attempt to do in Iraq what Glenn proposed.

    Nice strawman, Lambert!

  12. #12 Begeegs
    May 3, 2006

    What a clever person! Why didn’t I think of that?

    Of course, the poster should think about enlisting as well as all of the other idiots that hide behind their keyboard screaming bloody murder!

  13. #13 The Liberal Avenger
    May 3, 2006

    Patchouli oil

  14. #14 Scott Lemieux
    May 3, 2006

    Don’t forget about the sweets! The pipelines will carrying them at full capacity as well…

  15. #15 Dave
    May 3, 2006

    I don’t kow about Iran’s situation, but Glenn might want to read Twilight in the Desert first. It’s likely that Saudia Arabia can’t produce oil much faster than they are now without grave risk of rendering their oil fields unusable (and even at today’s rates things are looking pretty dodgy).

    There really isn’t any significant spare oil capacity anywhere, and that’s not likely to get better, ever.

  16. #16 markg
    May 3, 2006

    He forgot Venezuela.

  17. #17 aunt deb
    May 3, 2006

    I realize this man is simply raving, but really. What does he think the Saudis are doing with their oil fields as I type? Turning off the spigots? And what precisely does he mean about ‘full bore’ operation? Because sure, you can pump in water like mad to get that sweet oil out, but this almost inevitably means more oil is permanently lost to recovery because of the collapse/entrapment caused by the water injection.

    Or maybe he’s advocating the Bolivian solution. We’ll invade and then nationalize!! Yeah.

  18. #18 phil
    May 3, 2006

    Why not just declare war on mother nature until she speeds up the formation of new oil deposits. Oh, wait.

  19. #19 Captain Video
    May 3, 2006

    Somehow it just does not occur to these people that the people living in those countries will fight back, the way they have in Iraq.

  20. #20 kalkaino
    May 3, 2006

    This is so monumentally stupid that we can be virtually certain it represents a lot of the thinking within the White House.

    After we nuke Iran, and all Moslem-controlled oil is cut off and our economy totally craters, the unemployed will line up early to enlist in the invasion of the oil fields. Bet on it.

  21. #21 Jeff Fecke
    May 3, 2006

    My favorite is his, ahem, clarification:

    >Various people (with various degrees of enthusiasm) see the above as a call for invasion. It was, rather, a comment on the vacuity of the “imperialist oppressors” language. Though I was probably wrong there anyway: If we really were imperialist oppressors, the critics would be sucking up.

    Yeah! They’d be on their knees! Kneel before Glenn!

    And no, I’m not buying it.

  22. #22 renato
    May 3, 2006

    We don’t know absolutely for sure, but it’s highly likely that the Saudis have in place a ‘self-destruct’ mechanism such that if anyone tried to invade and take the oil fields and petroleum infrastructure… they would blow it all up.

    I know if I were the Saudis, that’s what I would do.

  23. #23 ent lord
    May 3, 2006

    The really scary people are the ones who advocate bombing Iran into submission. One interview with a think tank heavy thinker went like this:
    “If Iran will not stop its nuclear ambitions, we should saturation bomb selected areas for two days and then give them the chance to see common sense”
    Question: if they don’t relent?
    “We bomb primary targets for another two days and so on until they either give up or we run out of primary targets.”
    Question: and when we run out of primary targets?
    “We move to secondary and tertiary targets until they either relent or we bomb the country into a parking lot”
    I disremember which think tank he represented but he seemed to think that bombing a soveriegn nation was not an act of war but an assertion of privilege by the US. .

  24. #24 renato
    May 3, 2006

    Professor Lloyd Christmas should really consult someone who knows something about petroleum engineering before spouting this nonsense. “Running the pumps full out”? They are pretty much doing that already. And if you pump an oil reservoir too quickly, you ruin it. That’s what Saddam did in Iraq, and in 2004 the NYTimes published an article that estimated it would take $20 billion to repair the damage Saddam did to Iraqi oil fields by pumping the oil too quickly.

    It’s one of the reasons Iraqi oil production is so far below pre-war levels.

  25. #25 renato
    May 3, 2006

    Is it OK to call these people Nazis now? I mean, Nazi Germany invaded sovereign countries because they believed they were superior by nature and had the God-given right to take land and resources from other peoples if they wished.

    How is that philosophy any different from that espoused by InstaNazi and his brownshirted keyboard komrades?

  26. #26 Gary Frazier
    May 3, 2006

    Is it OK to call these people Nazis now? I mean, Nazi Germany invaded sovereign countries because they believed they were superior by nature and had the God-given right to take land and resources from other peoples if they wished.

    renato, as far as I’m concerned, Godwin’s Law has been suspended for the duration of this maladministration, and all succeeding ones if they’re GOP.

  27. #27 clb72
    May 3, 2006

    Does he have any competent government contractors in mind to run those oil pumps? Apparently they got outbid by the corrupt incompetent ones we’ve shoveling money to in Iraq.

  28. #28 melior (in Austin)
    May 3, 2006

    Yes, Bush Jr. can hold hands with Prince Bandar as the 1st bombs fall on his palace.

  29. #29 Adrian
    May 3, 2006

    Saudi Arabia have already admitted they cannot raise oil production because they are doing all they can to prevent an 8% decline from their mature fields:

    http://www.platts.com/Oil/News/8377179.xml

    Even with technology and investment this decline can only be reduced to 2%. Not reversed.

  30. #30 PopeRatzo
    May 3, 2006

    Yesterday, Hugh Hewitt had one of his extremely rare critical callers who asked him “where’s all the cheap oil you said we were going to get once Saddam was gone.” Hugh, of course, answered with the predictable “I never said that”.

    But in fact, he did say it. Hewitt was one of the great thinkers who told us that a “free” Iraq was going to stabilize the entire middle east, and, get this, put Iran it it’s place. Hewitt said that once Iran saw how big and bad we were in Iraq, they’d never cause trouble again.

    You’d think that at some point a guy like Hugh Hewitt would just get a little bit ashamed. But I guess after working in the Nixon Administration, there’s just not much that can elicit shame for someone like him.

  31. #31 Hitler's Little Mustache
    May 3, 2006

    “Of course, if we seized the Saudi and Iranian oil fields and ran the pumps full speed, oil prices would plummet, dictators would be broke, and poor nations would benefit from cheap energy.”

    But First, of course, we must annex the Sudatenland…..

  32. #32 renato
    May 3, 2006

    It’s not even an oil shortage; it’s a refinery shortage.

    I say we follow Glenn’s lead and nationalize the oil industry by force, and have Halliburton build new refineries.

  33. #33 Gummitch
    May 3, 2006

    OT, but FYI:

    (From Wikipedia)
    Until around the late 1980s, the word was commonly spelled Moslem, a spelling which has since fallen into disuse. Muslims do not recommend this spelling because it is often pronounced “mawzlem” /mɒzlɛm/ which sounds somewhat similar to an Arabic word for “oppressor” (Za’lem in Arabic). The word is pronounced /muslem/ in Arabic, but often /mʊzlɪm/ in English. The word is now most commonly written “Muslim”.

  34. #34 SkookumPlanet
    May 3, 2006

    Come on! Don’t you see? I’ll spell it out for you morons. It’s m-u-l-t-i-t-a-s-k-i-n-g.

    We not only get the oil but we keep it away from China! Ha! That’ll teach those ch…..inese to manipulate us to go into hock to them. Whadda they think they are, a credit card company?

    Not only China! The entire lot of those anti-capitalist, anti-Bush, “multicultural”, loser nations will be so sorry. U.S. RULES!! The entire world will have to grovel to get oil! Except for our allies, of course. And as long as they’re, you know, allies and don’t elect idiots.

    Another task accomplished is getting the rest of the world to shut up. “Oh, another 10-million-person anti-U.S. march in Paris, huh? Okay, suck on your new $20-per-gallon gasoline.” Ah, peace and quiet.

    We can avoid heavy G.I. casualties this time. Just nuke the oilfields. Bet you post-9-11 pomo pansy America-hating eggheads didn’t think about that, did you? [So much for a "saudi self-destruct mechanism"! You gotta think out of the box. Haven't you learned anything from Iraq?]

    Isn’t it time we taught the Islams a lesson? Not the good ones. Somebody’s got to work the oil fields.

    Now, I am correct that this isn’t the same Plan B that’s going to create teenage sex cults in America? Right, it’s not? Because then I don’t think it would be worth getting all the oil. I mean, free oil in exchange for forcing free sex on teenagers. Where’s our nation’s morality?

  35. #35 The Ghost Of Adam Smith
    May 3, 2006

    “Of course, if we seized the Saudi and Iranian oil fields and ran the pumps full speed, oil prices would plummet”

    I don’t what’s funnier, Tim Lambert’s incredulity of the concept that increased supply would reduce prices or the thirty sheep who post more or less interchangeble comments in agreement.

  36. #36 FlyingSpaghettiFriend
    May 3, 2006

    The little ponies tell me that seizing the Saudi and Iranian oilfields will be a cakewalk.

  37. #37 BroD
    May 3, 2006

    Better idea: why don’t we just seize the oil companies and banks? Then we’d have all the oil and money.

  38. #38 Mithrandir
    May 3, 2006

    The funniest of all, is the blithe assumption that the Saudi and Iranian oil field production can be significantly speeded up. Now there’s a howler.

    Oh wait, that wasn’t Tim Lambert who made that assumption…

  39. #39 The Ghost Of Adam Smith
    May 3, 2006

    All these years OPEC have wasted trying to influence the price of oil by increasing or decreasing the production could have been avoided if only Mithrandir had explained that production couldn’t be significantly increased anyway. It’s good to see the expertise of this blog and its readers isn’t restricted to economics.

  40. #40 Ian Gould
    May 3, 2006

    “There used to be people called “libertarians” who were very concerned about, what did we call them? Oh! Property rights! They were really against taking other people’s stuff by force (aka “stealing”).”

    Yes but althoguh they didn’t admit it outright most of them had no problem with stealing entire continents from their original inhabitnats and I must have missed all their articles about how the massive denial of Palestinian property rights was fuelling the intifada.

  41. #41 Ian Gould
    May 3, 2006

    “”Of course, if we seized the Saudi and Iranian oil fields and ran the pumps full speed, oil prices would plummet”

    I don’t what’s funnier, Tim Lambert’s incredulity of the concept that increased supply would reduce prices or the thirty sheep who post more or less interchangeble comments in agreement.”

    Several of those “sheep” advanced plausible reasons for assuming that it impractical to radically increase Saudi oil output.

    You, on the other hand, contribute nothing to the debate but personal abuse.

  42. #42 renato
    May 3, 2006

    TGOAS, read up on ‘peak oil’ then come back and tell us what you’ve learned.

  43. #43 Kevin Hayden
    May 3, 2006

    if we seized the Saudi and Iranian oil fields then we could double production like we did in Iraq, eliminate terrorism like we did in Afghanistan, turn the Middle East into a shining beacon on the hill like we did to New Orleans, and gas would drop to 50 cents/gallon.

    But let’s try seizing Reynold’s peyote stash first, so we all can see it clearly.

  44. #44 Tim Lambert
    May 3, 2006

    TGOAS, invading Iraq and seizing the oil fields has resulted in *less* production (and hence higher prices), on account of all those pesky insurgents. Seems that you are the only person commenting who is unaware of this. How come?

  45. #45 krusty
    May 3, 2006

    Adam Smith is cringing in his grave at the calibre of numbskulls who misappropriate and misuse his name these days.

  46. #46 Pixy Misa
    May 3, 2006

    We didn’t seize the oil fields you illiterate fuckwit.

    Best wishes,

    Pixy

  47. #47 Tim Lambert
    May 4, 2006

    Oh sorry, Pixy. I wasn’t being Politically Correct. Of course we liberated the oil fields. Forgive me.

  48. #48 Jim Henley
    May 4, 2006

    I must have missed all their articles about how the massive denial of Palestinian property rights was fuelling the intifada.

    Actually, I’ve written about this more than once. Admittedly they were only blog posts, but if you search the publications of real rather than ersatz libertarians you’ll find quite a lot about the denial of Palestinian property rights.

  49. #49 Bill O'Slatter
    May 4, 2006

    Seems you are having trouble with literacy yourself Pixy.
    I’ll go very , very slowly for you.
    Reynolds asserts a couple of propositions.

    1. It is possible to seize ( take control of ) the Iranian and Saudi oil fields. (Note that the Saudi royal family is not an enemy of the U.S.)

    2. It is then possible to extract oil at a rate commensurate with demand. This would mean that oil prices would perhaps stabilize or decrease.

    3. The effect on dictators and third world energy supplies must be a rhetorical flourish as it has not been previously observed.

    A moment’s reflection and you would realize that propositions 1 and 2 are merely wishful thinking.

    Lambert’s assertions about the “seizure” of Iraq’s oil can be debated , but it can’t be debated that the effective control of Iraq’s oil is in U.S. hands.

  50. #50 Ian Gould
    May 4, 2006

    Let’s note too that in order for the US to be a net beneficiary, the lower oil prices have to offset the cost to the invasion.

    The cost of the invasion of Iraq is currently estimated at $500 billion and rising.

    Assuming the US simply steals the oil, sells it and pockets the proceeds they’d need to pump around 7 billion barrels at current oil prices around $70 per barrel to cover that cost.

    The lower the oil price falls the more oil it’d take.

    anyone who thinks an invasion of Iran would be cheaper than the invasion of Iraq should consider the following: Iran is roughly three times the area of Iraq and three times the population and has a military that hasn’t been crippled by a decade of sanctions.

  51. #51 guthrie
    May 4, 2006

    I note that Reynolds now says that actually all us lefties are evil because we arent calling for invasions of all the dictatorial countries that will benefit from the oil wealth. I presume he doesnt realise that most of us think that a democracy is a good thing and invading other countries is bad, leading to major problems and excess deaths. So when will he stop trying to smear us all this way?

    I expect never.
    (And lets not get into the small fact that if the USA was really into spreading democracy around the world, they would have invaded Burma by now.)

  52. #52 Pixy Misa
    May 4, 2006

    Sorry about my previous comment, Tim. Though I may disagree with pretty much everything you say, it was uncalled for, and I apologise.

    But no, we didn’t “liberate” the oil fields either. We didn’t, really, do anything to the oil fields. To Iraq as a whole, sure. To the oil fields specifically, no.

  53. #53 Ian Gould
    May 4, 2006

    Pixy, when the invasion happened one of the first things the US did was send in special forces to secure the oilfields to prevent sabotage.

    Then they appointed an oil minister and issued a multi-billion dollar contract ot KBR to repair them.

    To this day, US forces are involved in guarding the oil facilities and US contractors are working in the industry.

    You can argue semantics but it is simply inaccurate to say “we didn’t really do anything” to them.

    Reynolds talks airly about “seizing” the oil-fields but there’s no detail, so I’m at a loss as to how you can be so sure that what he’s proposing is radically different to what happened in Iraq.

  54. #54 Gus
    May 4, 2006

    Reynolds sure has Lambert pegged when it comes to inaccuracy – hit the Instapundit link above for update. Good on Reynolds for resisting the urge to link to TL’s trolling for attention.

  55. #55 shargash
    May 4, 2006

    I think we should conquer the entire world and kill all the bad men. Then everyone would live in peace and happiness ever after.

    Amen.

  56. #56 z
    May 4, 2006

    “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.” -Ann Coulter

  57. #57 SkookumPlanet
    May 4, 2006

    Ghost of Adam Smith

    If Reynolds was concerned about his comment being misinterpreted, he should have been more explicit. The quote of Reynolds above necessitates success at the following, at least.

    1. Militarily seizing the Saudi oil fields.

    2. Militarily seizing the Iranian oil fields.

    3. Doing both without disrupting oil outflow significantly.

    4. Holding the fields militarily, inside two hostile nations inside a hostile region, on the other side of the planet, indefinitely, and still–

    A. Running pumps at “full speed”.

    B. Operating pipelines at full capacity.

    C. Running a commensurate support infrastructure at full speed.

    D. Getting the rest of the players in the highly international oil business to cooperate in all this.

    E. Not causing unintended consequences that offset or exceed any monetary gains.

    5. That under such circumstances more oil can get to the market.

    6. That this will cause oil prices to plummet.

    7. The quote implies —

    either quiescent populations in conquered nations/region

    or running oil fields, pipelines, shipping and all infrastructure as an extension of U.S. soil, like an aircraft carrier [even embassies rely on local suppliers]. Go spend a day watching the semis backed up at the supply entrance to a carrier’s naval base.

    Tim’s response, verbatim, “Yeah, because that’s pretty much the way it worked out in Iraq.”

    Now, where, exactly does he express “incredulity of the concept that increased supply would reduce prices”? Reynold’s idea includes numerous fantasies to be incredulous about. But, Tim’s reference to Iraq might indicate he’s targeting something beyond supply and demand in the oil market, something larger even than Reynolds’ fantasy, something it’s a piece of.

    You ain’t a.s.’s ghost. He could think. And read.

  58. #58 Barry
    May 5, 2006

    “It’s not even an oil shortage; it’s a refinery shortage.

    I say we follow Glenn’s lead and nationalize the oil industry by force, and have Halliburton build new refineries.”

    Posted by: renato

    That’s odd; if it were a refinery shortage, we shouldn’t be seeing extremely high crude oil priced.

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    May 23, 2006

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  60. #60 Tim Lambert
    May 23, 2006

    I’m leaving the comment from the [419 scammer](http://www.419eater.com/) up. It seems strangely appropriate.

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