The smugness and sense of invincibility that characterizes comment on the CNBC stock market reporting cable channel was absent on Monday morning, September 16, 2019 when stock-picker Jim Cramer observed immediately after the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange that oil production plants around the world appear to be shockingly vulnerable to drone attacks because there doesn’t seem to be any defense against them.
To underscore the danger to oil production globally, including the U.S., he said that there are now solar-powered drones that can travel 5,000 miles. (He did not cite a source for this observation, but perhaps he was referring to this: https://www.iflscience.com/technology/solar-powered-drone-could-fly-nonstop-five-years/)
Cramer was responding, of course, to the Yemeni Houthi resistance group’s reported drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities on the previous Saturday, spiking oil prices https://www.cnn.com/middleeast/live-news/saudi-oil-attack-dle-intl/index.html and threatening to further economic slowdown worldwide.
While the stock market overall was off $121.00 by 11 am on the 16th, due to the attack, shares of military contractor Raytheon were up $5.90, or 3 percent; as were share prices of other arms makers, such as Lockheed Martin, up $6.03 or 1.57%; and L3Harris, up $3.21 or 1.55%.
This in response to the Trump administration’s threat of war against Iran, based on the notion that Iran supplied the Houthis with drones and that this threatens the global economy.
What Cramer did not say, and this may underlie his drone fear, is that relatively poor people of color who have been under relentless U.S. drone surveillance and attack, including Yemenis starting in 2012, may now have found in drones an extraordinarily powerful weapon of self-defense and retaliation, a weapon that can make oil production a liability not a benefit.
Of course, this use of drones raises the potential for spreading war and for nuclear war, as is completely obvious in the Trump threat against Iran.
We are now also confronted with the very real possibility that thousands of U.S. ground troops will be sent to Yemen and the near certainty that U.S. drone surveillance and attack will again become routine in Yemen.
The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are likely to be more determined to bomb their way to peace in Yemen, with the hope that peace will amount to Saudi colonization of Yemen. This path leads not only to more suffering but more disruption in oil production and shipping.
Perhaps, this new reality will cause the U.S. presidential candidates and members of Congress to be more interested in stopping U.S. support for Saudi slaughter in their war against Yemen as well as taking a look at a global ban on weaponized drones, particularly since people living under U.S. wars of corporate resource extraction have access to drones.
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