Gaddafi vows to die a martyr, I for one hope he gets the first part of his wish
And by the way, we’re all so screwed by what’s going on now. I should be at work but I just need to keep watching the news and following developments in Libya and elsewhere. Well, mostly reading stuff on line, watching the broadcast news is pretty annoying but I do so for the images they broadcast. Otherwise it’s like watching the Olympics on US TV, all they talk about is how this is all going to affect the USA. Yeah, well, putting our (corporate) interests first is a big part of what made this mess in the first place.
Anyhow, back to Gaddafi. If I ever said anything in defence of him, I retract it. Most dictators are content to flee their country with a few suitcases of gold when the people take to the streets, not order troops to attack the protesters. And in this case, possibly hire foreign mercenaries to attack protesters. If there’s any truth to that, it will evaporate what support he has left. I mean think about it, if Obama or Bush refused to leave office and brought in foreign troops to shoot people who protested, how many Americans would still support either of them? Gaddafi’s days are numbered, and I can only hope it’s a very low number.
However, while it’s great that people are taking their lives and futures into their on hands, boy, I think we’re all going to go through some really rough times in the next few years. And that’s even if no does does anything stupid, but back to that in a bit. There’s two pretty much set-in-stone aspects to this that spell economic and social turmoil on a global scale. The first is that on so many levels, there’s no slack to the system so to speak. The second is what I call the “ripple effect” for want of a better name.
So, firstly, there’s no slack to the system. World food supplies are at record lows with record high prices. There are more mouths to feed at any time in history. The world financial system is a mess, with most governments on the planet horribly in debt. Oil is scarcer and more expensive all the time. And a huge amount of money has been wasted on stuff that has no practical use. Like tanks in Bahrain, what the hell does a tiny island nation need for tanks, tanks are for fighting other tanks? One can’t drill for oil with a tank, or grow food, or anything practical at all. Yet all over the third world satrap dictators, like the ones recently overthrown in Tunisia and Egypt, spent what foreign currency they had on crap like weapons and airliners, instead of development and infrastructure in their lands. IE they are not only allowing their nation’s resources to be essentially stolen, they are essentially colluding in transferring much of the wealth they do generate to the west by buying big ticket items from the west that they don’t need. Or putting it all together, the world’s wealth has been transferring upwards for decades, (or centuries?) and there’s only so long that can go on.
Secondly, the ripple effect. It’s not a perfect analogy, there’s no such thing as a perfect analogy, but when one chucks a boulder in a pond, the ripples eventually go everywhere. The most obvious thing here would be the price of oil, as it goes up people everywhere and in practically all industries are affected negatively. There are less measurable, yet nonetheless real ways, that the disruption from these ongoing events spread. Millions of people aren’t going to work for one thing. Foreign businesses that did business in revolutionary countries have to be hurting. Lack of tourism has effects both locally and abroad. Refugees fleeing these countries strain the resources of nearby countries. Unlike Vegas, what happens in Libya doesn’t stay in Libya. And just the fact that millions of people are stressed out of their minds can’t be helping, and of course unrest is spreading to other dictatorships.
Then of course there’s the possibility that people will try to spread the disruption, there are reports that Gaddafi has ordered oil infrastructure to be sabotaged for example. One guess how the world’s stock markets will react to that if it turns out to be true. Have I made the case yet that we should be very concerned about how this all will affect us? And I don’t think there’s a hell of a lot we can do about it except brace ourselves. The USA and the west dug their way into this hole, more digging isn’t going to help.
I also think it’s important to note that people around the world are going to try and figure out if they can get away with shit while the world’s eyes are on Libya. It’s not at all unusual for this to happen, Georgia’s attack on its breakaway provinces during the Olympic opening ceremonies is a great example of same. I don’t even want to venture a guess on the possibilities here, but they are myriad. I even wonder if the attack on the unions now taking place in several US states is an example of this.
So in conclusion, we’re screwed, thank you. I know one of the themes of my blog is “The sky is falling,” it is Doug’s Darkworld for god’s sake. And yeah, sometimes I think I freak out every spring, certainly others have pointed this out. Still, when they are right, extremists are valuable people to have around. And if I’m right about how bad this could get even here in the USA, well, I’m the guy who will be selling canned food for silver to the people who didn’t heed my warning. Buy and store food now, and remember, you’re just stocking up before the hoarders get to the store.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit and its use here in no way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. Credit and copyright: GALLO/GETTY It’s a photograph from Tunisia judging from the flag. I chose it because it’s a striking image and it illustrates what is going on in the Arab world, the Arab people are waking up and defying their oppressors. I got it from this highly recommended analysis of US policy and current events in the Middle East: The project for a new Arab century.)