Is it War Yet?
I apologize for not being able to blog recently, there’s lots going on in the world, but alas, my Internet service as failed me miserably. We may very well be seeing the beginning of a world revolution on the streets of Cairo, and the only source of “news” I have most days is my television. Kinda like losing your glasses at the start of a sightseeing tour, I can make out dim shapes but that’s about it. On the other hand, hearing all the utter crap being spewed by the various “experts” in the mainstream media is heartening. I can do better than that, and I bet I do judging from the thoughtful educated comments I get.
So, since I don’t have time for in depth posts, here’s some wild speculation about how this is all going to turn out. OK, maybe it’s not that wild, I do actually know something about history and the region, but as I am sure I’ve said before, predicting the future is a fool’s game. If two months ago someone had suggested that millions of Egyptians would be taking to the streets in an attempt to oust Mubarak, I, and virtually every one else on the planet, would have said “not bloody likely.” Speculation about the future is always wild … but it can be lots of fun.
Well, option one is the West gets behind the democracy movement in Egypt and elsewhere, and does everything it can to support the nascent democratic governments that spring up. I mean, without the west’s support, most of the world’ dictators would be toast. Simultaneously the west would also have to launch a massive program to cut their dependence on foreign oil, since the free countries that would emerge in the Middle East would insist that the pofits from oil be re-invested in their countries, not the west. There would be some hardship and disruption at first no doubt, but in the long run it would be a good thing. Terrorism would decline over time as the grievances that have driven so many to terror would be addressed. And as education and wealth increased in former dictatorships, the market for western goods and services would blossom. Prosperity is not a zero sum game, there more prosperity there is in the world, the more prosperity that would create. Yeah, we would have to pay more for gas, but the increased trade and development in the world would only be good for the US and western economy in the long run.
Sadly, the chances of that happening are about zero. The west’s governments are about protecting the wealth of big corporations and the ultra-rich … no matter what the costs to everyone else, including their own populations. So there’s no chance the west will encourage true democracy and self-determination to spread throughout the world. It would really cut into oil and arms industry profits, enough said. It’s possible the west will finesse the establishment of faux democracies in Egypt and elsewhere, that’s certainly what they are going to try and do. A seamless transition into compliant western boot-licking “democracies” would be their wish. I’m pretty sure the cat is way to far out of the bag for that to fly though. The people of the world are more sophisticated, educated, and informed than ever in history, the era when they will be happy with lip service democracy and promises appears to be drawing to a close.
No, I fear something much uglier is in the offing. War. Big war. A big war with multiple purposes. To seize direct control of energy assets that are “threatened” by all this “instability,” including oil fields, pipelines, ports, the Suez canal, etc. And of course to install compliant quisling regimes in said countries. At the same time I fear that this will be used as an excuse to “transfer” millions of people out of Europe, the USA, and Israel’s occupied territories. This of course wold be ethnic cleansing by any other name, since the people so transferred would be Muslim in the case of Europe and Palestine, and Latino in the USA. And when it’s all over, no more “problems” with minorities or unemployment in the west, our oil supplies assured, and the Palestinian issue “solved” once and for all.
That at least would be the plan. The reality, God only knows. Which means, no one knows. The larger a war is, the less predictable its results. That’s never stopped anyone from starting big wars before, especially when they think they have “no choice.” And sadly when it comes to the ultra rich, anything is better than forgoing their power and profits. So in short, I think the west will do everything in it’s power to subvert or end this nascent movement for democracy and freedom in Egypt and elsewhere. And if it gets to the point where countries are truly declaring independence (and seizing assets such as oil fields and the Suez Canal,) we will see outright invasion and intervention along the lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. They’ll do it right this time of course, Afghanistan and Iraq were failures becasue we didn’t try hard enough. Snort.
Hang onto your hats people, this is going to get a lot scarier before it gets any better.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law, and I’m pretty sure it’s public domain to boot. It’s American Stuart tanks operating in North Africa in World War Two. Here’s hoping we don’t see American tanks in North Africa anytime soon.)