So what's gonna happen now?
Four years ago I wrote condoleances to my US pen pal and foretold him that his new president would go to war at the first possible opportunity. What will I tell him now?
I think that what we are seeing is the predictions of the Club of Rome gradually becoming reality during our lifetime. Oil (and other mineral) resources are dwindling while demand (especially from developing economies like China) is growing.
The sensible and farsighted thing to do would be to invest heavily in sustainable alternative resources and spread the technology as far and wide as possible. However, we know that the Bush administration is doing the contrary: the US are consuming more oil and other resources than any other nation on earth. Americans drive bigger and bigger gas guzzlers and petrol prices are kept low. Why? What's the idea?
I think it is partly bread and games and it is partly the interests of the oil industry. Every sane person knows that the oil is going to run out sooner or later, so oil becomes a rare commodity and control of the resource will be of great strategic importance. Therefore the Bush clique seek to use the might of the world's only superpower to gain control of the oil. That way they can check China's future threat (unless the Chinese develop alternative energy sources).
The thing is that the majority of the oil producing nations are muslim. Therefore, in order to explain going to war against these countries we must make islam the enemy. Osama fits the bill perfectly. Naturally, we do not want to destroy him, because then people might think the threat is over, so we must cultivate the enemy, the war must be endless so that we can use it as a tool to remain power (in 4 year's time you can bet your buttocks that Jeb will be a contender), divide the people and spread fear, fear keeps people in a stranglehold and makes them easy to rule.
The war in Iraq is not going to end soon, but Bush will try to "Iraquify" the fighting so that it will be Iraquis killing each other and if that doesn't work properly he will try to escalate the conflict to the neighbouring countries, preferably Iran, which also has large oil reserves and borders on Afghanistan. Direct or indirect control of the oil is the goal and with the hand on that rare resource the US power will be assured for the immediate future, the EU and China will be at the mercy of the US oil barons in the White House.
The good that might come from this is perhaps that the rest of the world will be keener to develop new energy sources and that the EU will draw closer together in the face of the antagonistic, go it alone policies of Bush (but I think myself that he can rely on the talent of the Europeans to be divided among themselves until kingdom comes).
At home Bush will continue to cultivate his hard core right wing support, i.e. the military industrial big shots and the fundamentalist Christians, especially the latter are a very reliable base of voting cattle and cannon fodder. So you can expect that the supreme court will turn more conservative and that Roe vs Wade will come under serious attack. I think that social security will deteriorate even further and that education will not improve, for as these elections have shown, the ignorance of the people works in favour of the powerful. Stupid people will happily go off to fight in countries that they couldn't even find on a map if their life depended on it (and it may, sadly). But as Schiller stated long ago: Against stupidity the Gods themselves contend in vain.