Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wishful Thinking

I'm curious what exactly Amr Hamzaway is talking about:
US policies in the region are in the grip of a severe credibility crisis. I am not talking about the campaign to spread democracy, to which the Bush administration had hardly adhered before the Hamas victory in the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006 and that it abandoned entirely afterwards. Rather, I am speaking of the conventional role that Washington has played since the end of World War II, which is to protect its allies -- Israel above all -- and to steer the collective security arrangements in the Gulf in order to safeguard the flow of oil. Many of America's allies have begun to question the efficacy of Washington's polices and, in some cases, now believe these policies cause more problems than they solve.
What kind of role does he expect Washington to play? Is he really so delusional as to think that anything meaningful will come of Arab flirtations with other (rather mysterious) powers? The "allies" to whom he is referring may believe what they like. They have long been free to do so. The more important question is, what are they going to do about it?

Obama will pursue a different kind of foreign policy in the region than Bush. But he will certainly not stop protecting Washington's allies or the flow of oil.


Nobody said...

Well. You have to give it to America that this time they have really tried something very unconventional on the Middle East. First the Yankees have wrecked themselves, then by the Domino effect half of the world went down taking with it the price of oil and energy markets. In this sense you can say that the US is getting too unpredictable to allow the steady flow of oil. Next we may have to watch Obama's attempt to do something about alternative energies though I am not holding my breath.

At least with the Chinese and Indians you can be sure that the oil demand will keep growing steadily, let alone that both are still subsidizing oil products for their domestic markets. Some predictability at least.

Amos said...

Yah, but I don't see the Chinese or Indian navies securing strategic shipping lanes.

Nobody said...

By the way, regarding flirtations with rather mysterious powers, Russians seem to be very hard hit. Without their rainy day funds they would have collapsed by now. They still have something around 500 billion dollars, but this is down from 600 and it does not look like their bailouts work. At this rate they may run within a year through all their funds. Never mind that they seem to be heading fast towards another war in the Caucasus, this time in Ingushetia.

Amos said...

I saw the reports of a bombing in Vladikavkaz. Will they blame it on Georgian terrorists?

Nobody said...

They can. They used to accuse the Georgians of sheltering Chechen separatists which is apparently true.

On the other hand they have daily attacks in Ingushetia. Another thing is that they said that the bus was destroyed by a suicide bomber. The Georgians don't do these things. They are Christians.