June 2, 2004
The truth about the Mid-East
I am not an alarmist. I tend to be a pragmitist. And to have faith in complex systems ability to fix themselves and be fairly resilient to attacks. The post-WWII world economy has been such a fairly resilient system. Until the OPEC oil embargo showed a major weekness. Then the cartel and the consumers reached a sort of compromise that allowed the wheels to keep on churning and the mid-east to get fantastically rich. But along the way, the governments that own those resources and control the cartel got very corrupt and got pushed to extremes to hold onto power and control their restless populations (especially the less fortunate ones). A recent article in The Atlantic The fall of the House of Saud. excerpts Robert Baer's 2003 book, Sleeping With the Devil. The short version is required reading if you are to understand how fragile the world economic system is. And why we had to go into Iraq. Remember what the Taliban did in Afgahanistan. They took away all modern conveniences and put the country back 1,000 years. Many of the extremist want to do that to the entire Mid East. To take away all forms of modern temptations and intergration with their neighbors. This includes the next guy in line to rule Saudi Arabia. It may be time to start getting a little paranoid.
Don't let anyone spin Iraq in the simple enlightened liberal western terms around human rights and the like. It is not as simple as "bring our boys home" and "I am against violence". I am starting to believe that these things have a material impact on the overall world economy. And that the adversary's objective is to blast as much of the world as they can back to the stone age. A truly frightening thought.
Posted by Martin at June 2, 2004 8:42 PM
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