Monday, January 31, 2011

The New Crusades

President George Bush made a general hash of his period in office by most accounts. He was known for his Bush-isms:

"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test." -Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001
On one subject he pretty much had it right, despite himself, when a week after the destruction of the Twin Towers he described the US response as a "crusade." It could have been a Bush-ism, or it could have been a Freudian slip, but in any event US allies prevailed and the crusade remark was withdrawn. And now whether we like it or not we seem to be getting sucked into a new world order that pits us in the west against them in the east, Christians versus Muslims. Were I a Muslim in the US I'd be packing my bags and looking for someplace else to raise a family.
That the Middle east conflagration has gone almost unreported in the US is no surprise. Who amongst us knows who the Hashemites are, or how they relate to the Wahhabi's. What the hell they're all rag heads. Yet there is no doubt that the revolutions that have been promised for a very long time are starting to break out everywhere. They call it "Unrest" in Egypt when the dictator, a "friend" of the US abolishes his government and promises reform, even as his capital city is taken over by protesters and armed civilians. Egypt has no oil.
Jordan is facing thousands in the streets protesting the dictator, a US friendly "King" whose rule has held back the people. Jordan has no oil.
Lebanon faces a new future, Iran friendly with Hezbollah out in the open leading the government. Lebanon has no oil.
Tunisia has lost a dictator and has opened it's doors to all the rebels who opposed the US friendly head of state. The BBC reports the exiled head of Tunisia's Islamic rebels has come home after two decades. His name isn't Khomeini, but it might as well be. Tunisia has no oil.
Yemen is bubbling over with rage, the poorest to Arab states with huge poverty, a place where rebellion foments with ease. Yemen has no oil.
And so the Middle East starts it's transformation into a new world order. Until Saudi Arabia topples and Iran controls the flow of all oil we shall sit on the sidelines and tremble. We fight a hopeless war in Afghanistan and a lost cause in Iraq and we have no strength left to fight one more fight for oil. Extremists only have to shut down the oil for us to collapse- they have no interest in making money if the alternative is to win the crusade. To win the crusade all they have to do is control the oil and now revolution has the source of the bulk of the oil surrounded in a crescent from Tunisia, to Sudan and Egypt, across the water to Yemen, and across the water again to Iran and Afghanistan and up to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Turkey, rejected for so long by the Europeans no doubt knows which side it's bread is buttered on, and it ain't with the West.
The crusade is lost. It's just a matter of time. Alternative energy anyone? Conservation? Reduction? We need 18 million barrels of oil daily and we produce about 5 million. Do the math especially considering that the government and the military will get first dibs. I need to refurbish my bicycle.

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