Friday, January 28, 2011

Unrest in the Mideast finds a Jimmy Carter clone mucking up US foreign policy

The situation in Egypt is very unstable. Mubarek is old and sick and his sons are reported to have just defected to the U.K. with the rest of his family.The Tunisian example makes all regimes unstable and the people, largely young, suffer from umemployment and food shortages. Just as in the Iranian Revolution, a revolution that started off secular is likely to transmute into a religious revolution with the Muslim Brotherhood a clear winner, as were the mullahs in Iran in 1979. Obama is likely, as did Carter, to stay hands off as radical elements take over. Support for El Baradej might do some good if the CIA is on top of the situation ( which, unfortunately, they probably are not.) Obama's position is inconsistent and, amazingly, so far wrong. A year ago, there was a potential revolution in Iran and Obama pissed away the opportunity to endorse it. It was a dominated decision for anyone but an Obama because the regime in power is unalterably hostile to our interests so ANY CHANGE would have been for the better. So Obama endorses the status quo. There was no downside because, even had the wrong side won ( as it did anyway ), those against the mullahs would have remembered and thought they could on the U.S. (Reagan supported the Solidarity Movement in Poland at a speech but then got shot immediately thereafter so it was forgotten...except by Lech Walesa who subsequently said that he drew great support from Reagan's words. ) Carter undermined the Shah and boosted the Ayatollah, without knowing that Iran was going from the frying pan into the fire. Obama should act gingerly until he knows ( assuming his "people" know and that they can convince him ) who is going to replace Mubarek. The difference between Egypt now and Iran a year ago is that Mubarek is presently an ally and the Ahmadinejad was ( and is ) definitely NOT.

It is reflexive but stupid for Obama and Clinton to urge Egypt to reconnect the internet and social networks that were instrumental in spreading the Iranian revolt of a year ago.

The price of oil is likely to go up both because of unrest among oil-producing countries but also because the Suez Canal is at risk. Oil producers well outside the region of instability are likely to profit, provided they can expand their production. This excludes American domestic producers who are hampered by the Obama administration, itself. More promising by far is PBR and STO, the national oil companies of Brazil and Norway, respectively. Other forms of available energy ( i.e. not the blue sky versions of Obamamians ) like coal and natural gas should benefit since they are expandable.

Gold and silver are likely to benefit from the uncertainty as are agricultural commodities because of the food shortages and threat to transportation through the Suez.US aid to Egypt has been largely to aid the military ( which is peculiar given that it is likely directed against Israel with whom the US has counted on Egypt maintaining peace. ) Aid should be redirected to food and consumer goods that might mitigate complaints. Ironically, it might be Bernanke whose policies have exported inflation to other countries resulting in rising food prices in Egypt and other places.

If, as is likely, the Muslim Brotherhood achieves power ( or, at least, great influence ) peace between Egypt and Israel is threatened and more military aid ( albeit not, one hopes, for Egypt ) will be required. That means defense companies will get increased business at least for those things that don't involve American military personnel but, rather, materiEl that will have to be supplied to Israel and other allies in the MidEast with Turkey being a potential hotspot, probably more critical than Egypt because its government has already turned Islamist.

Oil is going 'way up; probably gold as well since inflation will spike all over.Domestic American oil companies will still be hobbled by the environuts of the Obama administration.

No comments:

Post a Comment