You knew I would go here sooner or later.
Since I was young, (a long time ago) the Middle East has been in a state of chaos, revolution, upheaval, or choose your word.
Why? Because even though it was the cradle of civilization, it is lacking in natural resources.Traditionally, rule was governed by tribes who controlled water, river corridors, springs, oasis, and hence life.A resource. Religious beliefs factored in to a absurdly large degree as well. But what really effected it was money. World War One got their attention, but that war was not so much petroleum driven as the next one.That one really awakened the tribes to their global power from oil. And the money it brought.
In 1903 oil was discovered in the region, but it took another 35 years for its development to have an impact. In World War 2. The region became a focal point for oil resource and power. It can be said that the Axis Powers lost the war because of lack of oil to lubricate industry for their war machine. The Allies, having won the war in North Africa, had plentiful supplies.
The Middle East has, and continues to struggle with this dichotomy. Oil rich nations export and are armed by the purchasers of their resource. But the tribal nature of their history prevents equanimity of the populace in enjoying the opulence of the wind fall. While governments reap the benefits on all sides, and the populace languishes.
Then, after WWII, the west inserts Israel into the fray, a burr under the saddle of an already irritated camel.
Exponential oil exports increase to developed industrial nations, giving oil rich exporting nations more power. Ala the 70s oil embargo.
Industrial nations respond by elevating fuel mileage standards for autos, regardless of the fact that technical manufacturing is more oil intensive, and more important to their economies.
This has worked well for a while. The Mid-East regimes sold or traded their only resource, for money, or arms to defend their tribal rights, regardless of world economies, or because of them.Dubai, and Saudi Arabia did well while Yemen did not. Iran, until a coup, Iraq until flagrant excess. Pick your country, ours is coming around on the wheel.
What the Middle East neglected is that oil companies never sleep. This is because it is not just gas in your car… It is the combine that harvests cotton, the factory that weaves it, the plastic for your phone, the processor of your microwave dinner and your microwave itself.I could go on and on and on. The padded dash of your car; the bottle and ship your bottled water comes in; the hydropyllic or hydrophobic clothes you wear. Polypropylene. Gore-Tex. Polyurethane.Teflon.TVs. I-Pods. I-pads.Synthetic upholstery.Guns + Ammo. Printed periodicals.Electronic media. All require petrochemicals in manufacturing, production, or creation.
The Arab Spring has captured a lot of attention. Why did this revolt happen? In so many countries? In the Middle East?
Because oil companies do not sleep, technologies developed to avoid doing global business with unstable regimes. Cost is less of an issue than need, and want.Fracking, Horizontal Drilling, Deep drilling have all ameliorated the reliance on imported oil for all countries.
This has been a bit of a wake up to OPEC and the Mid-east, that they are not the power brokers they once were.
Hence their populace’s revolt.
None the less, we play with fire, in the need for a finite, needed resource.
Until we find another way, either tech savvy, or financial, the killing fields will persist, in the interest of resources. It comes down to who has ‘em, who buys them, and who utilizes them, and who sells them.
Not the physics of resource management.
One of the more interesting things to me, in this diatribe, is there is no shortage of bullets, just education to avoid the use of them.