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-   -   US blindsided by events in the middle east again (https://www.englishforum.ch/international-affairs-politics/105253-us-blindsided-events-middle-east-again.html)

dino 03.02.2011 14:38

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
This gets more unbelievable by the hour... the military forces have completely disappeared from the scene. Mubarak has apparently decided that the best course of action is to let the mob take over, and when enough blood has been shed, he will send in the guns and 'clean up', thereby reasserting his authority and legitimacy.

Politicians everywhere meanwhile are mouthing platitudes and scratching their b@lls... :confused:

colinwheeler 03.02.2011 14:43

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dino (Post 1091361)
Politicians everywhere meanwhile are mouthing platitudes and scratching their b@lls... :confused:

It is all that they are good for I tell you!

04.02.2011 00:06

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
So this is where the title of this thread came from:D
US blindsided by Egypt unrest



You know RT really must make their minds up, here's another RT report saying that the US ORCHESTRATED IT.


My2pups 04.02.2011 02:30

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
The word "most" does not show up until your 7th paragraph...

fduvall

Quote:

Originally Posted by FCBarca (Post 1090806)
Had I not chosen a qualifier like most then perhaps your comment would be accurate


phdoofus 04.02.2011 07:46

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hoppy (Post 1092088)
So this is where the title of this thread came from

Who's getting their news from RT? :rofl:
RT's so anti-American it even makes Khruschev smile.

marton 04.02.2011 11:22

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dino (Post 1091361)
This gets more unbelievable by the hour... the military forces have completely disappeared from the scene. Mubarak has apparently decided that the best course of action is to let the mob take over, and when enough blood has been shed, he will send in the guns and 'clean up', thereby reasserting his authority and legitimacy.

Politicians everywhere meanwhile are mouthing platitudes and scratching their b@lls... :confused:

Dangerous tactic
Clears the way for a military coup where the military could use exactly the same approach & strategy & do it more convincingly than Mubarek.

dino 04.02.2011 12:41

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by marton (Post 1092462)
Dangerous tactic
Clears the way for a military coup where the military could use exactly the same approach & strategy & do it more convincingly than Mubarek.

very true Marton.... except it's not clear where Mubarak ends and the military begins...

He now claims he's fed up and wants to leave, but cannot because that would lead to chaos... Hello?? LEAD TO??? Have you not been watching CNN, Mr President?? :confused:

It sounds to me like I would like to leave but $40Bn is nearly not enough for a good life... besides the good life in Saudi is not very good at all .. :p

dino 04.02.2011 12:43

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hoppy (Post 1092088)
So this is where the title of this thread came from:D
US blindsided by Egypt unrest

First, I don't watch RT, whatever that is...
second, I knew that word already ;)

marton 04.02.2011 12:43

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dino (Post 1092559)
very true Marton.... except it's not clear where Mubarak ends and the military begins...

He now claims he's fed up and wants to leave, but cannot because that would lead to chaos... Hello?? LEAD TO??? Have you not been watching CNN, Mr President?? :confused:

It sounds to me like I would like to leave but $40Bn is nearly not enough for a good life... besides the good life in Saudi is not very good at all .. :p

Depends on the ambitions of the military & whether they think they will get more with, or without, Mr M.

Wasted 04.02.2011 13:48

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
The situation in Middle East was the same about 30 years ago and after various political assassinations in most Mid East countries, US friendly governments were installed to help with Dollar superiority.

Same situation again, just that people are more aware and populations have grown. US is not blindsided, only the politcal frontmen maybe. Israel will be sacrificed to win back Arab support and another few decades of economic boom, unless Iran does it first and swings the power centre Eastwards.

dino 10.02.2011 18:56

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wasted (Post 1092681)
US is not blindsided, only the politcal frontmen maybe. Israel will be sacrificed to win back Arab support and another few decades of economic boom, unless Iran does it first and swings the power centre Eastwards.

Your ignorance, Sir, is monumental...

dino 10.02.2011 18:58

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Mindboggling ... Obama is still encouraging Mubarak to 'begin the transition' .. Maybe if he watched CNN, he might learn that Mubarak is on his way out already!

marton 10.02.2011 23:35

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dino (Post 1099855)
Mindboggling ... Obama is still encouraging Mubarak to 'begin the transition' .. Maybe if he watched CNN, he might learn that Mubarak is on his way out already!

Looks like nobody informed Mubarak that he is on the way out......
Leaves a bit of a gap between hopes & reality.

Obama is smarter than you are! :thumbup::thumbup:

Treverus 11.02.2011 01:30

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dino (Post 1099855)
Mindboggling ... Obama is still encouraging Mubarak to 'begin the transition' .. Maybe if he watched CNN, he might learn that Mubarak is on his way out already!

What's so mind boggling - people just need to read the articles that do not make it to the front page: The Saudi king had several calls with Obama and made it very clear that he considers the Egyptian president a personal and close friend. He apparently reminded Obama quite angrily and directly that if Egypt goes down Saudi Arabia would be the only large US friendly Arab state left and that it is his personal wish that Mubarak can leave "in dignity". He even threaten that he would use his money to counter any form of US pressure or sanctions - if the US would stop the military aid, the Saudis would pay it! In short: Obama should better think twice...

However, I do not see why everyone is discussing politics in this thread - the reason for the riots in the Arab world are far simpler: People do not suddenly realize that they are living in a dictatorship after many decades. In the last months did their situation simply get so much worse that they cannot take it anymore. What is happening? Food prices are exploding in the last months, here is a chart. This has little to do with politicians or even supply and demand. It has a lot to do with the interest rates being low and capital cheap and available - many speculators made and are currently making a fortune through futures on food... It happened before in 2008 but then the "financial crisis" came which stopped the availability of capital for a moment.

The large scale speculations are artificially driving up the prices to a level where people in developing countries are not able to afford their basics anymore. Probably the worst part of a globalized market and I pesonally believe that at least when it comes to some basics we should maybe globally outlaw speculations on food. There is enough other stuff people can trade in and bet on... we don't really need to make people starve if there is actually sufficient supply.

11.02.2011 03:50

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Treverus (Post 1100288)
What's so mind boggling - people just need to read the articles that do not make it to the front page: The Saudi king had several calls with Obama and made it very clear that he considers the Egyptian president a personal and close friend. He apparently reminded Obama quite angrily and directly that if Egypt goes down Saudi Arabia would be the only large US friendly Arab state left and that it is his personal wish that Mubarak can leave "in dignity". He even threaten that he would use his money to counter any form of US pressure or sanctions - if the US would stop the military aid, the Saudis would pay it! In short: Obama should better think twice...

However, I do not see why everyone is discussing politics in this thread - the reason for the riots in the Arab world are far simpler: People do not suddenly realize that they are living in a dictatorship after many decades. In the last months did their situation simply get so much worse that they cannot take it anymore. What is happening? Food prices are exploding in the last months, here is a chart. This has little to do with politicians or even supply and demand. It has a lot to do with the interest rates being low and capital cheap and available - many speculators made and are currently making a fortune through futures on food... It happened before in 2008 but then the "financial crisis" came which stopped the availability of capital for a moment.

The large scale speculations are artificially driving up the prices to a level where people in developing countries are not able to afford their basics anymore. Probably the worst part of a globalized market and I pesonally believe that at least when it comes to some basics we should maybe globally outlaw speculations on food. There is enough other stuff people can trade in and bet on... we don't really need to make people starve if there is actually sufficient supply.

This is why I was trying to track the $60Billion arms deal. It should have been a done deal in October, but it seems that it is being held up, for whatever reason- just minor technicalities. Saudi Arabia could get their hardware from the UK (and the British Government would love that) but the truth is that in the arms business, in terms of quality or quantity, they can't compete with the US. So Saudi Arabia can stir up their Republican lobbyists in the US, but Obama still holds that trump card doesn't he? What do you think?

Saudi Arabia has its own problems and if the dominoes start to fall they might be next.

Obama is about to start investing heavily in rail (a bit late) but it will help our dependence on oil. Plus the US has its own oil. It doesn't cost me 80 pounds sterling to fill up my gas tank like it does in the UK.

Perhaps one the biggest concerns just like the Straits of Hormuz is the Suez Canal.
I am guessing that Obama is in discussion with the Egyptian military. Perhaps some of that military aid should be put to use in providing the generals with a generous early retirement package to repay them for the their loyalty to the US.
Plus if Saudi Arabia doesn't want to be loyal then we have $60 Billion worth of toys for the new generals. But where will Muburak flee to then?

So near ad yet so far:

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisr...udi-Arms-Deal/

11.02.2011 04:14

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
It seems as if closure of the Suez Canal will not affect the US- it may affect Israel. At least that's what Israel claims. It is I believe a trade route for Asia to Europe.

marton 11.02.2011 10:46

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Treverus (Post 1100288)
What's so mind boggling - people just need to read the articles that do not make it to the front page: The Saudi king had several calls with Obama and made it very clear that he considers the Egyptian president a personal and close friend. He apparently reminded Obama quite angrily and directly that if Egypt goes down Saudi Arabia would be the only large US friendly Arab state left and that it is his personal wish that Mubarak can leave "in dignity". He even threaten that he would use his money to counter any form of US pressure or sanctions - if the US would stop the military aid, the Saudis would pay it! In short: Obama should better think twice...

However, I do not see why everyone is discussing politics in this thread - the reason for the riots in the Arab world are far simpler: People do not suddenly realize that they are living in a dictatorship after many decades. In the last months did their situation simply get so much worse that they cannot take it anymore. What is happening? Food prices are exploding in the last months, here is a chart. This has little to do with politicians or even supply and demand. It has a lot to do with the interest rates being low and capital cheap and available - many speculators made and are currently making a fortune through futures on food... It happened before in 2008 but then the "financial crisis" came which stopped the availability of capital for a moment.

The large scale speculations are artificially driving up the prices to a level where people in developing countries are not able to afford their basics anymore. Probably the worst part of a globalized market and I pesonally believe that at least when it comes to some basics we should maybe globally outlaw speculations on food. There is enough other stuff people can trade in and bet on... we don't really need to make people starve if there is actually sufficient supply.

About "if the US would stop the military aid, the Saudis would pay it!"

If I were Obama I would take that offer; sounds like win/win.

For food prices there are more factors than speculation. Some are;
  • poor harvest in China, freezing conditiosn in USA, last years fires in Russia
  • increasing use of land for bio-fuels instead of food crops
  • Financial crisis making it difficult for farmers to buy seeds, etc. in many countries (majority of farmers worldwide are in "poor" countries & have little surplus to sell; subsistence farming)
  • Opposition to new technologies like GM seeds & chemicals
  • increasing world population
  • Some countries limiting exports

Treverus 11.02.2011 11:17

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by marton (Post 1100516)

For food prices there are more factors than speculation. Some are;
  • poor harvest in China, freezing conditiosn in USA, last years fires in Russia
  • increasing use of land for bio-fuels instead of food crops
  • Financial crisis making it difficult for farmers to buy seeds, etc. in many countries (majority of farmers worldwide are in "poor" countries & have little surplus to sell; subsistence farming)
  • Opposition to new technologies like GM seeds & chemicals
  • increasing world population
  • Some countries limiting exports

I agree to all factors - excpet the opposition to GM technology, you can produce food very well without it..

Except of the poor harvests, none of those factors has a short term impact. They are all slow developments that cannot at all explain why prices suddenly jump up 50%. It is not a secret and fully legal to speculate on food. And it is not a secret either that the speculations are currently on a very high level. It is a topic in Germany as some minister wants to ban speculations on specific staple foods. Therefore the media is full of it and I have seen some interviews on ARD lately with traders talking openly on the futures they trade in Chicago.

The speculation on food was a big topic just before the banking crisis and nothing has changed. Just as the US is depending on oil imports are countries like Egypt depending on grain imports... so speculations on grain harms egypt while another oil crisis would hurt the US.

An that is the exact reason why pissing off the Saudi king is not a win-win for Obama...

nigelr 11.02.2011 11:30

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
I am not a fan of US policy but to say they were blindsided is a bit unfair. The US wouldn't have to get involved at all if the countries in the area had the balls to sit down and talk things through in an adult way.

This is not a US problem, but they probably haven't helped by their actions of the last 30 years or so. The one thing for sure is that it is unlikely to end happily ever after, but let's just hope it does.

Phil_MCR 11.02.2011 11:55

Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Treverus (Post 1100576)
I agree to all factors - excpet the opposition to GM technology, you can produce food very well without it..

Except of the poor harvests, none of those factors has a short term impact. They are all slow developments that cannot at all explain why prices suddenly jump up 50%. It is not a secret and fully legal to speculate on food. And it is not a secret either that the speculations are currently on a very high level. It is a topic in Germany as some minister wants to ban speculations on specific staple foods. Therefore the media is full of it and I have seen some interviews on ARD lately with traders talking openly on the futures they trade in Chicago.

The speculation on food was a big topic just before the banking crisis and nothing has changed. Just as the US is depending on oil imports are countries like Egypt depending on grain imports... so speculations on grain harms egypt while another oil crisis would hurt the US.

An that is the exact reason why pissing off the Saudi king is not a win-win for Obama...

i don't think there's anything wrong in speculating in agricultural commodities. i looked into it myself but decided against it (bad decision in retrospect).

as i looked at it, there were several factors to favour investing:

- growing world population yet not expanding production to meet this demand
- wealtheir people in india and china especially - resulting in more meat consumption which requires a lot more feedstock production
- devaluation of major currencies (USD, Sterling) and commodities in general would be a good hedge
- misguided use of bio-fuels which further reduce food production

you also need to remember that when a hedge fund buys billions in grain or suger, they don't consume this food themselves, the food is still there and exists.

also, for everyone betting on higher food prices, there is someone betting on lower food prices.


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