Sunday, January 30, 2011

A weekend change of pace

It's a Sunday, the one day of blessed relief from the moncton Tand T. So let's look at something else. You might as well read it here because you'll never find it in the TandT.

The rioting in Egypt is something we should all be scared of.

 Egypt is a key ally of both the US and Israel in the middle east. Indeed, the present government of Egypt is essential to Israel in its blockade of Palestine. The government of Egypt, though it pretends to be democratic, is a dictatorship and a paid hand of the US. It ranks with Israel as a recipient of US "aid", largely mlitary and graft. That payoff is the only reason Egypt has been an ally with Israel.

It's hard to see where Obama goes on this one. He cannot tolerate a genuine democracy in Egypt any more than other American governments could tolerate democracy in places like Haiti, Guatemala or Venezuela. Religion is not really the concern. After all, the US is closely allied with the Saudi Arabian monarchy whose religious views make the Taliban look moderate. The issue is control - mostly for oil. Any democratic government in the middle east would certainly look for more of its oil money to stay in its own country. And no American government will tolerate that any more than the British and French would in their heyday.

So what is Obama to do? If he cuts off aid, Russia and China will be happy to rush in waving cheques. But American business (which pays the bills for both the Republicans and Democrats) would not allow him to continue aid payments to anything but a puppet state. Obama is a bought president as much as Egypt was a bought ally. The same is true of Congress.

Nor can he intervene militarily. Contrary to news in the western press, American military performance has been pretty dismal for at least fifty years. Even the defeat of Barbados was a comic opera war marked by dreadful incompetence on the US side.  Nor are the economy or the American people ready for yet another war.

The shift of global economic and military power away from the west is not new. It began over a century ago with the Russo-Japanese War, and was underlined by the Japanese defeat of the British at Singapore in 1942.

What is happening now is a frantic stepping up of the pace of that shift. It's not just Egypt. The withering of American military power for a conventional war has been obvious since Vietnam. The unrest we're seeing in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia... could well spread over the whole region, even Saudi Arabia.

We've all known they was a shift in global dominance from west to east. Egypt is the warning that it's happening a lot more quickly than we had expected - and maybe a great deal messier.

1 comment:

  1. "Casino's prime goal is fun", reports the headline on the front page of Monday's T&T. Perhaps sosmeone should inform the owners of the casino......they thought the prime goal was to separate the suckers from their money!!!