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  #61  
Old 11.02.2011, 12:14
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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i don't think there's anything wrong in speculating in agricultural commodities.
Because you do not really need to worry about the price of a bread.

I am not at all against investing in commodities - or buy some Syngenta stocks instead. The demographics make sure that over the coming years the prices will at least be stable and therefore probably a safer bet than most other industries. But I am against short term margin trading on some staple foods. If a fund does invest Billions in there, they do not consume the food, they bet on a raising price and only want to cash in the price difference between today and the date of their future. Thanks to the large investment do they in fact raise the price themselves.

I hope we can all agree that stock markets are not logical - the prices are a wild mix of facts and emotional guess work. So if enough people believe that the price will go up it does in fact go up - and you do not need a bad harvest at all for that. I could not care less if this happens to frozen orange juice, but I think that the poorest of this world need their bread, rice or tortillas protected from that.
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  #62  
Old 11.02.2011, 12:22
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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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.
US can't ignore the strategic importante of Suez Canal. Wether the countries talk to each other intelligently or not, US will do everything to interfere and assure a clean road for the Gulf oil.
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Old 11.02.2011, 12:49
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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US can't ignore the strategic importante of Suez Canal. Wether the countries talk to each other intelligently or not, US will do everything to interfere and assure a clean road for the Gulf oil.
Not much chance of getting a supertanker through the Suez Canal - I think if you do some research you will find that less than 5% of the Worl's oil goes that route.
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Old 11.02.2011, 12:57
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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Not much chance of getting a supertanker through the Suez Canal - I think if you do some research you will find that less than 5% of the Worl's oil goes that route.
But how many goods are being shipped through the Suez? It's the shortest connection from the North and South continent to Far East, certainly would have a major impact on transit time - not sure about the price (but then the vessels would have to ship around Africa...)
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Old 11.02.2011, 13:05
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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But how many goods are being shipped through the Suez? It's the shortest connection from the North and South continent to Far East, certainly would have a major impact on transit time - not sure about the price (but then the vessels would have to ship around Africa...)
I do not think the canal is the main interest. Egypt is a comparatively large and influential country in the Arab world, borders to Israel, was a very stable US "friend" under the dictator for the last decades. Most neighbouring countries are openly anti-American, have a nutcase as dictator or both. The Saudi king has a point that he is the only other US partner in the region. So if whoever gets to power in Egypt does not like the US, Obama loses a lot of influence on most of the major oil producers. It does not matter if they produce the oil for the US or not - they can control the world production and therefore the price... and we all know that the oil price has a fairly direct influence on the US economy.
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  #66  
Old 11.02.2011, 15:00
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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But how many goods are being shipped through the Suez? It's the shortest connection from the North and South continent to Far East, certainly would have a major impact on transit time - not sure about the price (but then the vessels would have to ship around Africa...)
About 40 ships per day - 20 in each direction so canal problems would not be a major world wide issue. Anyway I do not see that whoever finally runs Egypt would want to lose the revenues from the canal.
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Old 11.02.2011, 15:10
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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About 40 ships per day - 20 in each direction so canal problems would not be a major world wide issue. Anyway I do not see that whoever finally runs Egypt would want to lose the revenues from the canal.
It is already being affected- they couldn't get money because the banks were closed, couldn't refuel etc. We have heard very little about it, I found it in an India business review, so I really don't think that it will have major impact, some imact on Europe. less on the US.

What could be problematic (I'm guessing) is the fuel line that runs alongside and those that supply Israel through the Sinai. The Oil companies really do need to do more to protect and maintain these lines. They are notorious for letting them rust away, but I guess that there isn't much rust in the desert. In Alaska we have a pipeline that is in danger of causing more pollution than the BP Gulf disaster, because the pipe is not maintained.
Basically the Sumed pipeline was built to resolve the probmes that occured in transporting oil when nasser closed the canal. The Canal was renovated in 2005, the security on the pipeline was icreased in Jnauary as a reaction ot the protests. However, basically the oil companies are fed up of the rise (I thought that they owuld be happy raking in the profits of the rise in oil prices when there is no decrease in supply). They have to have a solution to Egypt on that will provide security in the Middle East. They see that Muburak has no chance so the sooner a democratic govt is in power the better. What they can't risk is a radicalization that will move to the rest of the Middle East. so it seems as if they are now beginning to put pressure on governments to get Muburak out. Muburak is fast losing friends. Perhaps Saudi Arabia don't want him, would you?
If asked to take him- their reply may be:

Go sell crazy somewhere else- we're all stocked up here ( As Good as it Gets)



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The Sumed pipeline was built in 1967 The project for an oil pipeline from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean commenced after the extended closure of the Suez Canal in June 1967
In May 1967 President Nasser ordered the UN peacekeeping forces out of the Sinai Peninsula, including the Suez Canal area. Despite Israeli objections in the United Nations, the peacekeepers were withdrawn and the Egyptian army took up positions on the Israeli border, closing the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. The canal itself had been closed to Israeli shipping since 1949, except for a short period in 1951-1952.
After the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, also called the Six Day War, the canal was closed by an Egyptian blockade until 5 June 1975. As a result, fourteen cargo ships known as "The Yellow Fleet" remained trapped in the canal for over eight years. In 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, the canal was the scene of a major crossing by the Egyptian army into Israeli-occupied Sinai, and in the later stage of the war, a crossing by the Israeli army into mainland Egypt. Much wreckage from this conflict remains visible along the canal's edges
Wikipedia

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Egypt’s Military Deploys Along SuMed Oil Pipeline, Official Says Egypt deployed troops to help protect the SuMed pipeline transporting crude alongside the Suez Canal, while the facility’s own guards doubled their number of sentry posts, an official with knowledge of the build-up said.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...-pipeline.html

Last edited by hoppy; 11.02.2011 at 15:30.
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  #68  
Old 11.02.2011, 17:05
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

Muburak has stepped down Allelujah!
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  #69  
Old 11.02.2011, 17:12
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

It was just a matter of time.

Hope Obama saw it on CNN
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  #70  
Old 11.02.2011, 17:29
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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It was just a matter of time.

Hope Obama saw it on CNN
I wish that I could find that clip of Obama making massive strides towards airforce one, he was on a mission! He was being breifed about Muburak's decision not to step down as the US government had been led to believe that he would do. The military officer was having to run alongside as he breifed him. That picture will stay in my mind forever. In years to come you will see it on future documentaries about the Obama's dealings with Egypt. Suleiman announced that the military is in charge-power handed to the high command of the army- What is Suleiman's position?
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  #71  
Old 11.02.2011, 17:31
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

Egyptian Stock Exchange is up 6% after a huge gap up around 16:00 GMT.

http://www.google.com/finance?chdnp=...SE:EGPT&ntsp=0
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  #72  
Old 12.02.2011, 13:03
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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Not much chance of getting a supertanker through the Suez Canal - I think if you do some research you will find that less than 5% of the Worl's oil goes that route.

First of all, you should see seafreight in a wider perspective. Seafreight is not just about oil, but oil is only a relatively minor part of Seafreight. Second, you have to look at how it really looks. Here some pictures







in the background of this picture you can see remains
of what was the Bar-Lev line in the 70ies. I don't see
any conclusive info but assume that this photo is
from the Ismailiya area



the ship above is a freighter with as I guess between
40'000 and 60'000 gross register tons, which means
average of world shipping. That you are to run into
trouble here with a 200'000 GRT supertanker of
course is obvious. Suppose this picture to be
from the Suez area








quite a sizeable little boat here, just to enter the
Canal







just a few containers above, and some fish below
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  #73  
Old 12.02.2011, 18:40
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

I found this (2009)- not sure if it is just posturing, but the Muslim Brotherhood were not very happy that Egypt allowed Israel, to brag about being able to sail warships and a submarine through the Suez Canal; to have speedier access to the Persian Gulf

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"How can Egyptian authorities allow something like this to happen at a time Israel proves every day that it violates the Camp David peace treaty?" Sayed Khalifa, a Muslim Brotherhood member of the Egyptian parliament, told reporters, referring to Israel's action in Gaza. "How can this treaty even continue to exist in the first place after all the violations Israel commits every day?"
Much of the hyperbole was generated in the Israeli news media while the country's military remained ambiguous about missions and tactics. That suited the Israeli government by keeping Tehran guessing. Iran's Press TV reported that "Tel Aviv takes a step closer to war with Tehran as two Israeli warships sail through the Suez Canal within cruise-missile range of Iran."
http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jul...uez-warships24
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  #74  
Old 12.02.2011, 22:53
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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First of all, you should see seafreight in a wider perspective. Seafreight is not just about oil, but oil is only a relatively minor part of Seafreight. Second, you have to look at how it really looks. Here some pictures

just a few containers above, and some fish below
Nice pictures
Not sure I understand what point you want to make?

here is the official Suez canalweb site
http://www.suezcanal.gov.eg/

Some interesting facts
for example the USA imports very little oil via the Canal; less than Malta! Page 29 of the 2009 year report.
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  #75  
Old 13.02.2011, 09:41
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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The bumbling of the Middle East policy for the US is not by accident, but by design...We all know it's about oil and about Israel...The US foreign policy in the region isn't interested in human rights or what is equitable let alone legal...Just to maintain the occupation and insure the oil flows (At a rate the US dictates)

That part is nothing new, it's been like this for decades...The part that also is not new but defies logic is to constantly prop up repressive regimes and somehow be surprised when they implode (Shah, Saddam, Mubarak etc.)

A change, no not the Obama one, is needed in the Middle East...A change that will be good for the region and good for the planet - which equates to little to no US involvement
That may be true, but Europe (the EU and Britain, France, and Germany) followed America's lead. The only person who did not was Belsconni in Italy, but later he changed his tune as well.

It is not "either/or" that is a child's rational. This is "big people's busy".

I believe that many in the U.S. government (as I have a friend works for the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and has been giving play by plays for over a week about the situation since she was not evacuated) care quiet a bit about human rights in the region, but there is a ceiling on that "caring" created by national interests.

When push comes to shove the needs of the home nation matter more.

This is why we (America) strongly pursue human rights with Iran, Burma, Cambodia, etc, but not China, Egypt, Saudi, etc.

Reality is we need those people and you don't bite the hand that feeds. . You can nudge them from time to time, but you can't just totally disrespect the leadership and crap on them when you need them. That's just not how the world works, anyone who thinks otherwise is naive.

Europeans know this better than Americans really, which is why France is so close to every Francophone dictator in Africa. LOL Sarkozy has met with leaders Obama would never invite to Washington for ANY REASON, let alone got to their country.


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ElBaradei IMHO is the West's best bet to bring order to the region.
There seems to be a familiar play being rerun here, this time with different actors... remember Iran when Khomeini flew in from Paris?
here we have another majr ME nation imploding with someone flying in from outside, who is respected (apparently) by all parties involved and who could possibly create the nucleus of a new era for the country.

But the way I see it is that Al Quaeda et al probably don't like the perspective of a scientist, who has worked in and liked by the West (i.e. a moderate), defusing some very interesting tension which the extremists look forward to exploit....

Hence I have the horrible feeling that he'll represent a very juicy target for the bad ones... He is a courageous man - I really wish that he can plant some seeds of progress and peace in the region...

Paul
ElBaradi is a poor speaker and has been out of the country too long. He is not very popular in Egypt.

I would bet on the head of the Arab League being the next president, he is the most popular man in Egypt right now...

Amr Moussa

Last edited by AmericanGotWorkVisa; 13.02.2011 at 09:51.
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  #76  
Old 13.02.2011, 10:06
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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Nice pictures
Not sure I understand what point you want to make?

here is the official Suez canalweb site
http://www.suezcanal.gov.eg/

Some interesting facts
for example the USA imports very little oil via the Canal; less than Malta! Page 29 of the 2009 year report.
The Suez-Canal is of very low relevance to the USA, the canal of relevance to the USA is the Panama-Canal. Oil from the Arabian Gulf area for the USA rather goes to the US-WestCoast.

And what I wanted to make clear is that the SuezCanal, having been extended several times in the past 30 years, can cater for most vessels operating. As important as the Canal itself are the various tunnels for cars and railways, which for the first time ever have linked the Sinaï Peninsula firmly to mainland-Egypt.

This link
http://www.suezcanal.gov.eg/sc.aspx?show=12
shows that now, ships of 240'000 gross-register-tons (supertankers) can use the Suez-Canal.

This link shows details about the third tunnel, which actually is not yet finished. When I first heard about it, some 10 years ago, I understood that it would be open for traffic in 2008, so that they are a bit behind schedule.

All in all, the Suez Canal, just behind industry and tourism, is money earner nr 3 in Egpyt
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Old 13.02.2011, 10:22
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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Isn't it amazing that the world's only remaining superpower consistently bumbles from one mishap to another, particularly in the middle east? How can they spend tens of billions on surveillance, espionage and intelligence, and still not have a clue about what's about to hit them?

The US was caught napping when the Iranian revolution erupted in 1979. Then they hastily washed their hands off the Shah, and that only made all their other allies in the region wary of US's friendship. They thought they had a handle on Pakistan, but had no clue that it was selling nuclear technology on the black market. They were sure that Saddam had WMD, but haven't yet located one beaker full of chemicals....

Now when everyone watching CNN can tell that Mubarak is probably packing his bags right now, the US is still mouthing platitudes about restraint and caution. Next thing there will be a Mullacracy in Cairo, and every political commentator will be wondering how come they never saw it coming? After all they have had 30 years to figure out what they were going to do after Mubarak's time ran out!
Not nearly as amazing as people who expect 100% clairvoyance in a world that changes with the wind direction.

Remember, too, that you only know what you hear from the newspapers and the print media is a famously unreliable source of accurate information, and that 'CNN political commentators' are merely talking heads.

Perhaps you believe that the CIA has an in-house desk for La Monde writers with hourly press conferences of the latest cables?

OK, knowing that twit in the Oval Office that's not an unlikely scenario, but you need to have another bowl of reality flakes for breakfast.
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Old 13.02.2011, 12:54
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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Remember, too, that you only know what you hear from the newspapers and the print media is a famously unreliable source of accurate information, and that 'CNN political commentators' are merely talking heads.
And you, I presume, have a hot line to the CIA?

I did spend 6 years living in the Middle East and North Africa, so have more than a clue.
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Old 13.02.2011, 13:04
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Re: US blindsided by events in the middle east again

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The Suez-Canal is of very low relevance to the USA, the canal of relevance to the USA is the Panama-Canal. Oil from the Arabian Gulf area for the USA rather goes to the US-WestCoast.
(...)
For US army, Suez canal is an important route for its 5th & 6th fleet and submarines.
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Old 14.02.2011, 00:33
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Now when everyone watching CNN can tell that Mubarak is probably packing his bags right now, the US is still mouthing platitudes about restraint and caution. Next thing there will be a Mullacracy in Cairo, and every political commentator will be wondering how come they never saw it coming? After all they have had 30 years to figure out what they were going to do after Mubarak's time ran out!
Hmmm, it seemed to me that the US was leaning on Mubarak to step down, and were rooting for the Egyptians. The State Department has been telling him for years to get his house in order.

How is it that the US gets blamed for countries who are not able to get their lives in order? The US provided aid to the Egyptian military, not the secret police. The oppression did not come from the US, but from Egyptians themselves.

Congratulations to the Egyptians for taking their country back. Beware of the swinging pendulum. Revolutions are not tidy, and reverberate for decades to come. Nevertheless, I'd like to see some of it in the US.
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