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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WHAT SPARKED THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION?

While the First World War was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in the few years leading up to 1914, military spending of European powers increased by 50%, expecting the inevitable.  Some of those incidents sound remarkably familiar today.  In 1909 came the Bosnian Crisis and the war begun when Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia, with early clashes among British, French and German troops occurring in Africa, and even the Pacific, as German territories there were attacked, even by the Japanese, which seized German Micronesian colonies.

The point is that much of the future can be predicted, while wars and revolutions lead in unexpected directions.  Well, who were the visionaries auguring this turmoil in Africa and the Middle East?

Did Samuel Huntington in his early 1993 version of Clash of Civilizations set the table for a new world order?  I still remember Mildred and Dick Kosaki recommending my reading of this book.  I purchased it, still have it, but never made it past the cover.  With respect to that question, though, Huntington's emphasis had more to do with Muslim-Christian cultural conflicts, while the current uprisings are intra-Islamic.  So, as much as he is quoted these days, his future wars are about the next stage of global conflicts, not the current events.

Well, in 2004, Jason Morrissette and Douglas Borer wrote on future conflicts in Northern Africa and the Middle East.  But, again, they were focused on water, and therefore, food, causing chaos.  I understand what they are saying, for I've several times already mentioned in my blogs that Egypt, particularly, would attack the source of the Nile to maintain flow.  But, so far, all protests were merely downtrodden and angry citizens unhappy with their entrenched leadership.  Nothing between nations, nothing cultural, nothing dealing with major resources.

Who anticipated the internet and the fact that people are mad and just could not take it anymore coming together to topple Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt, galvanizing turmoil in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Iran?  Can a case be made for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who spoke against the digital Iron Curtain?  Nope, she gave that talk after Tunisia fell.

Well, then, The Bible?  Click on one blog site that provides such "evidence," but, you can predict anything after the fact from The Bible.  Certainly not the CIA, for Director Leon Panetta even had to guess about the timing of Mubarak's departure.

Well, it really doesn't matter who was that visionary.  What is more relevant is who or what sparked the rebellion?  A current favorite might well be Julian Assange, for Wikileaks supposedly embarrassed American diplomats who confidentially revealed that Tunisian President Ben Ali's family of relatives were lavish spenders, which, although the local masses already knew it, still royally ticked them off, finally reacting to the spark of Sidi Bouzid's self-immolation.

Where does it go from here?  My bookmaking odds (for change of government before the end of this year):

Yemen:             1:2
Bahrain:            1:1
Libya:                2:1
Algeria:              2:1
Iran:                  3:1
Jordan:              3:1
Saudi Arabia:     3:1
Pakistan:           3:1

At least one
   country in
   Europe          1:1
Japan:             1:1 (5 Prime Ministers in 5 years)
North Korea      2:1
Israel               3:1
India:               5:1
China             10:1
USA             100:1  (this is why the Dow Jones Industrial Average 
                                will skip past 13,000 this year)

These odds, of course, will change with time and events, for a strategic assassination, overreaction to Peak Oil, extraterrestrial message from aliens and who knows what, will change the course of the future.

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The Dow Jones Industrials jumped 62 to 12,288 and world markets did, too.  Gold went up $3/toz to $1375 and NYMEX oil is now at $85/barrel, with Brent Spot at $104/barrel, breaking the previous differential.

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Nothing much has changed about those three storms in the Indian Ocean.

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