Mid East & Mid West

SUBHEAD: What we witness across the Arab World and our own middle America is part of the same phenomena - adjustment to poverty.  

By Juan Wilson on 27 February 2011 for Island Breath - 

Image above: We are all brothers. From (http://riadzany.blogspot.com/2010/06/death-of-interfaith-leader-sheikh.html).

Mid East
Like it or not, the world is adjusting to a new normal. The outbreak of dissatisfaction across the Arab World now includes Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Iran, Bahrain, Algeria, Yemen, Kuwait, Morocco, and Iraq. Tunisia and Egypt led the way with largely peaceful populist uprisings. Inflation, particularly rising food prices, drove the revolutions.

The price of wheat doubled in the last year and food can be half of a lower-middle class income in that part of the world. This food crisis has been due largely to Climate Change related disasters in grain producing areas such as Russia, China and Australia.

Population growth and lack of water in the Arab world exacerbates the the situation. Whatever hope the majority of the population in the Middle East had of upward mobility has been dashed by recent events.

They know they are being held down so that the elite in the G20 can thrive (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States). The political outcomes of these Arab upheavals has been to overthrow dictatorships that were "friendly" to the G20 interests (read stability in our oil fields).

The U.S. position of sitting on the fence to see which way the wind was blowing before taking sides has eroded our reputation and effectiveness in the region. We are too addicted to the crack-cocaine of industrialization - OIL - to see straight and act sensibly. As American influence and power wanes we will see more of the Middle East unravel in the next few months.

It is my opinion that Bahrain is the canary in the coalmine. It is a small oil producing Arab kingdom of 1.2 million people connected to Saudi Arabia by a vehicular causeway named King Fahd. The kingdom is run by Arab Sunnis that dominate a 70% Shiite minority. I believe that as Bahrain goes, so goes the 800 pound gorilla of the Middle East - Saudi Arabia, a G20 nation. A turnover of power there would redefine the world's industrial economy.

It is likely the U.S. dollar would no longer be the currency of oil trade and that the founding G6 nations (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) will suffer greatly. As the fever of "democracy" fans across the Middle East it may bring egalitarian changes but it won't solve the problems of food, water or population.  

Mid West
The takeover by Republicans of key midwestern states (Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania) was driven by self deluded dissatisfaction of the "Tea Party" and the hopeless. The new governors of those states have an agenda of breaking public employee unions as a means of avoiding bankruptcy (and insuring their own reelections).

The unions and their supporters have rallied against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's meathanded approach and are at the focus of the storm. Justice, fairness and equality are virtuous demands of the protesters, but the sad fact is that the middle class in the United States is witnessing, and are the victims of, the death of "The American Dream".

The upwardly mobile, better-off-than-your-parents expectations of the past are history. A new order is on the way. One that has a fraction of the energy and disposable income of the past. The resulting impoverishment will take us to a place not unlike Egypt or Tunisia.

Video above: A Tour of Detroit's Ghetto". From (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6WKMNmFsxM).

Our birthright as lords of the universe is just about up. The good part is that once the dust has settled the world will be a more balanced and sustainable place than the overburdened madhouse we occupy now. We are all brothers.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Rebel army forming to face Gadaffi 2/27/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Class War in Wisconsin 2/27/11 .

1 comment :

Janos Samu said...

A spectre is haunting the Middle East - the Spectre of Liberation. Isn't that a little bit similar to 1847 when a different spectre haunted Europe? I think it is the same spectre, just the name is different, because the purpose is the same - to get rid of the oppression and the tyranny of the super-rich. It might take a few months or maybe just a few weeks when the Arabs unite and decide to liberate their Palestinian brothers and sisters from their foreign oppressors. Maybe this is the true Roadmap to Peace that no impotent politician dared to foresee.

Those of the kind are not worried, because they have nothing to lose. They welcome the new world order that is more just and free than the one the American liberation forces are trying to impose on Iraq, Afgahnistan and elsewhere. If there were no US and NATO troops there the spectre would reach those countries too, although it still may...


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