“Lets Make A Deal!” – Part 2


deal2

You might be wondering, where’s Part 1.  Well, before I point you to the direction to read Part 1 (and you truly should read it) here’s a little bit of an intro to put it all in place.  Trump’s recent selection of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as the new Secretary of State made me contemplate and reflect a bit on an “old” idea I had decades ago.  As would be expected there’s a lot of harangue going on about the usual conflicts of interest now so prevalent with the President-elect and the new Trump administration appointments.  This post is not about debating all that nor is this yet another attempt to invalidate Trump’s win in the election (if that disappoints you, I apologize in advance).

Tillerson is being both praised and chastised for having ties with Putin from past oil deals.  In fact, Tillerson has been with Exxon since 1975.. all his professional life.  Apparently in his career in making oil deals with countries for decades has suggested this part of his resume is perfect for making political deals and negotiating on behalf of the government.. and not Exxon anymore.  Well, a lot of this remains to be seen.  But this does open up some possibilities.

 

NOW… go read Part 1 here…. (because if you don’t you will loose context)  https://dougsboomerrants.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/isis-rather-than-fight-em-lets-make-a-deal/

 

Ok.. if you are reading this line then you’ve read Part 1.  Let’s continue………

All through American history business, generally big business, has been the machine that runs our politics.  We prefer to call it our free market approach.  It all started with those guys who signed our Declaration of Independence and framed our Constitution, and has been the bulwark of our American foreign policy.  Yes, I know, we prefer to think of ourselves as being benevolent and righteous proponents of freedom and democracy, carrying the beacon of human rights around the world.  Well, no matter what political party is in power, it’s always been about “…truth, justice, and the American way.”   Most of our war endeavors and frontier discoveries were about business… the making of money.

And truly, there’s nothing overtly “wrong” with that.  We and our ancestors have created the most powerful nation since the beginning of time in that pursuit (not suggesting that only might makes right).

dealsneppbook2As with my suggestion to solve the Isis crisis in Part 1, we can adapt this concept with Trump’s team of businessmen-as-politicians.  I am reminded of a book I read back in the late 1970’s titled Decent Interval.  It was authored by Frank Snepp, a former CIA employee (Saigon station operative) during the Vietnam years.  The book was an insider’s expose’ of our Vietnam policy and the embarrassment of our departure.  He was the first intelligence whistleblower of sorts as he is allegedly accused of having revealed many secrets and hypocrisies of CIA operations.  President Carter authorized him to be brought to court, and his case went to the Supreme Court and he lost.  While his “crime” was not criminal, the court (because he violated that signed security clause in his hiring contract) did grab at his book earnings (it was a best seller at the time) and scrutiny of any future books he may write.  Not quite the Snowden of his day, but his case did force some changes in how to handle violators of security agreements.

(Read his story here… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Snepp  )

Frank Snepp, 1981

Frank Snepp, 1981

Ok.. to the point here…

As I recall one chapter, Snepp describes the Angolan civil war of the 1970’s.  There were many fragmented insurgent groups but U.S. policy dictated that our government would support the non-Cuban faction.  This was a time when Cuba was actually sending troops to fight with one of the rebel factions (sometimes referred to as Cuba’s Vietnam) .  Anyway, Standard Oil/Chevron was courting the Angolan government for drilling rights off the coast. .. to the tune of something like $6 million a year.  The CIA was aiding the rebels, who were fighting the government forces and Cubans, to the tune of $1 million a year.  Doing the math, you can see who was controlling the outcome in spite of U.S. foreign policy.. big oil.  The U.S. was fighting itself.

Tillerson with Putin

Tillerson with Putin

Now.. we fast forward to Tillerson and his 2011 adventure with the Kurds.  Exxon wanted a deal for oil in Kurdistan rather than dealing directly with the Iraqi government.  At the objection of then U.S. foreign policy and Iraqi sovereignty over the region, Tillerson cut a deal with the Kurds.  It’s all about money.  In the midst of that Tillerson is getting friendhip medals from Putin for making an Arctic oil deal with the Russkies, but it’s currently being held up due to U.S. sanctions to Russia.

(Read about that here…. http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/13/politics/rex-tillerson-secretary-of-state-controversy/index.html  )

SO.. given money is the universal motivator, imagine if you will, Trump and his foreign policy team, “buying” our political goals.  “Hey, Putin, we will remove the Arctic oil sanction if you be a good boy and give us.. say, Crimea?”  Or  “Hey, Putin, let Exxon build a couple refineries over there, we will split the profit, they employ a few thousand of your workers to give the impression you are creating Russian jobs, and all you do is make those human rights issues vanish.”

I mean, think of it.Hey, China… how about Exxon take over that military installation in the South China Sea to drill for oil, you get 50% of the revenue, we will call it a scientific research station, tensions in the area will lower and you are still calling the shots… and look at all the new Chinese jobs!  Everybody wins!”

C’mon, China.. quit messin’ with the currency.  If you stop we will reduce sending military equipment to Taiwan.”

Hey, Saudi Arabia.. you want a Disneyland over there to go with all that new tourism?  Then put a stop on the extended royal family funding Al Queda and Isis.”

Hey, Iran… how about we build you a couple nuclear reactors for power generation, we can run it, you can keep the money, your people can build/rebuild your electric grid thus creating new jobs.  All you gotta do is stop this nuclear weapon development.”

Hey, North Korea… how about we give Dear Leader a billion bucks to just go away, or, we give the billion bucks to the head of the military to make that happen?”

The ideas are limited only by one’s imagination (and our ability to wave money around in the right national capitols).   You never know… they might be republicans!

Hell, re-name the Central Intelligence Agency to the Cash In Action agency.

dealsneppquote

 

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2 thoughts on ““Lets Make A Deal!” – Part 2

  1. Some great ideas here Doug. Trouble is, some of those countries just wouldn’t do the deal out of principle. (I think there are a few of those principles still knocking around. But you have to look hard to find them.)
    Best wishes, Pete.

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