February 18, 2006

Middle East Oil, buy it don't smoke it

It was not a surprise when George W. Bush announced the plan to reduce the US dependency on Oil as the main source of energy 75% by 2025. And to be honest it will be to everyone's benefit, the US will cure its oil addiction from "unstable" dealers, the Middle East will finally enjoy a little more stability and less 'friendly intervention' in its affairs, Arab rulers will be forced to come up with creative ways to sustain development and learn some resource allocation and allow more democracy ..

But the US of A should not be the only nation looking after its own people's interests and let's not forget what made this region unstable in the first place, things like US, British and French occupations, plantation of a cancerous Zionist entity in the heart of an Arab Islamic nation, nourishment of tyrants and dictators, selling weapons, war!.. But that's another post anther day!

All this raises the legitimate question of 'what next?' for the oil revenue dependant nations, unless they act quickly and buy into the future, they are more than likely to be left out of the future all together. Arab nations need a mindset change, this natural resource must be seen as the right of the future generations, it is sickening that they have been splurging and squandering from their grandchildren's piggy banks. Unless Gulf rulers quickly introduce accountability and transparency in how current and future oil earnings will be spent , their children will be doing it from cages the Saddam way very soon.

Let's for a minute put aside how much money was wasted and focus on buying a ticket into the future:

Arabs have 2 choices at the moment, none of which involve pumping out oil like there is no tomorrow as the Saudi Oil minister announced right after the George W. Speech.

a) Reduce oil production by 75% to give future generations a fighting chance, still earning the poorest oil country triple what they need to sustain themselves and grow at the current prices.

But prices will double and triple, economies will halt, the world will become unstable if oil prices rise. You know what, so be it, if this unstable region is bothering right wing radical US governments, let them deal with the fallout of their own decisions, if more democracy is needed, Arab leaders should listen, and democratically ask their people if this is what they should do, if free open markets is what they preach, let's see supply and demand when the owners of these resources slow down the trickle of oil the free market way.

Some will say that Gulf countries would not dare do that, the US will intervene by force to guarantee the continuous flow of oil (rape it out of Gulf lands), my answer to that is one word: Iraq.

So when the dust settles, Gulf countries are richer and their future generations have a better fighting chance.

b) Alternatively, oil rich nations could continue pumping oil but with the following changes:

1- No more export of crude oil, why should other countries make more than oil producers in taxes and purification? You want energy? We'll sell cheaper purified products to your consumers directly, its a free economy right?, you tax it? Deal with your own people on the consequences.

2- Major investment by ALL Arab countries into safe nuclear energy as alternative fuel, unopposed by paranoid unstable US governments.

3- Major investments in training & R&D by all Arab countries in the fields of wind power generation, solar energy, hydrogen fuel cells.. If you can't beat them, join them.

All this should have happened anyway, even before the US declaration of independence, but better late than never.

The more you think about it, the more you will discover how oil (or the lack of it) can contribute to the inevitable development of this unstable region.

1 comment:

Abdul Rahman Hilmi said...

In option (b) you mentioned that the Arab countries should all work on using nuclear power for alternative form of energy. Using nuclear energy is an enivetible (sp?) progress for any nation. It's a cheaper, cleaner and better form of energy that is the ticket to coming out of the "Third World" club. So even if Arab countries went through option (a), option (b) will have to come at some point.

Subhan Allah, this is not the first time that I see an Arab with a look into the future which sees the current regimes still in power but only becoming better. ukhti that will never happen. Why would they become better? These dogs don't care about their people, nor the Muslims nor 7ata Islam. Do you know how many people they kidnapped and tortured? I have an uncle myself who Hafiz al Assad kidnapped before I was born. He disappeared and we never heard of him since.

ukhti, I think you should have a third option there, option (c) which says that the current regimes will be removed. No, not only the regimes as that wont work. Sadaat got killed and we got Mubarak instead, not much of a change. What should be removed is the whole system. Once it is totally toppled, then we can place a more efficient government, inshallah instead of Democracy we will bring Islam back again. Only then can our resources be managed and allocated in an efficient manner. Come hell or high water by Allah only then can we actually live an honroble life. Until then ya ukhti there will never be any efficiency, never any happiness never anything good for the ummah.