"America should play a major role in this effort," Kissinger and Feldstein write. "Rather than wait passively for the next blow to fall, the major consuming nations -- the Group of 7, together with India, China and Brazil -- should establish a coordinating group to shift the long-term trends of supply and demand in their favor and to end the blackmail of the strong by the weak. Russia should be invited to participate in this effort."
This paragraph caught my eye because of the startling last sentence, in which it is inexplicably suggested that Russia -- arguably the energy-producing state that has benefited the most from this massive transfer of wealth and that has pursued the most actively inimical policies -- actually be invited into the "oil-consumers" cartel and be enlisted in the effort "to end the blackmail of the strong by the weak."
Kissinger has long been known for his close ties with high-level Russian officials, up to and including Putin himself, and for arguing that the West would do well to form closer ties with Russia. In July, he published a piece in the "International Herald Tribune" that claimed "we are witnessing one of the most promising periods in Russian history" and lauded the many opportunities for "strategic cooperation between the erstwhile Cold War adversaries." One wishes that his consulting firm, Kissinger and Associates, was not so secretive about its client list.
When the Kissinger-Feldstein piece was republished in "The Washington Post" today the sentence about inviting Russia into the "coordinating group" was among the 250 words or so that had been deleted from the original text. Perhaps some copy editor noticed how absurd it sounded. After all, "The Washington Post" itself reported on May 22: "[High oil prices] are damaging the profits of oil-intensive industries [in the United States], tearing holes in the pockets of American consumers, offsetting the stimulant effect of tax breaks, sapping more than $1.5 billion a day out of the U.S. economy for oil imports and diverting ever-bigger gushers of dollars to oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, and Venezuela."
-- Robert Coalson