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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Comments

Brian

A few points:

(1) Just because leaders are old and their societies are sclerotic does not mean that they are ripe for revolution (see Mao, or for an Arab example, Hafiz al-Assad in Hama, Syria on one hand and King Faisal II on the other). The vitality of the security apparatus is the more accurate depictor of regime longevity.

(2) Poverty isn't the indicator of revolution, spontaneous inflation is. There is a substantial body of work on this subject in, heh, France, wherein the revolutions often emerged after a spike in the price of bread and other staples.

(3) When you say "The War on Terror is a direct consequence of that meddling." It's not, it's the consequence of a narrow Wahhabist elite, enriched by Saudi oil money, planning what is essentially a battle over the heart and minds of Islam. Imperialism without the nationalist connotations, or fleets of gunboats...these ambitions clashed with the United States in September 11th only coincidentally - they hoped that we'd pull out from the Middle East and then they could put on the bejewelled turban, but it is a hard sell to say that Operation Ajax against the Iranians or our support for Saudi Arabia provoked the ambitions of al-Qaida, which is the essential heart of the GWOT, not our inept meddling in the region.

(4) Our meddling buys us time. Each country that goes to war in the region will sell us oil to pay for their arms (c. Iran-Iraq War). We can only hope for a stabilizing situation in Iraq which will get us more time to wean ourselves off oil, but I believe it can only be done by the free market mechanism. I recall reading something to the effect that there were only 3 VC firms that focused exclusively on the energy sector 5 years ago and now there are 75 - that will, inexorably, increase the reliability and quantity of energy supplies for the United States.

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