Have you ever tried to figure out whose side Obama is on? That is one tough question to answer.
We know he is not on America’s side. Forget all the class warfare rhetoric. Nothing Obama’s has done, including ObamaCare, and nothing he is doing or planning on doing is going to help the middle class. In fact, the middle class is going to continue to shrink. In my opinion, Obama has intentionally set out to destroy America’s economy. I can’ think of one positive thing that Obama has done for America since he has been in office. Besides spending us into bankruptcy, he refuses to do anything that might help grow the economy. His anti-rich and anti-fossil fuel policies can only make a bad situation worse.
Is destroying America enough for Obama or do his destructive plans go beyond America? To answer that question, we need to look at his Middle East policies and project what they may mean in the short and medium-term and what the impact might be on world oil prices.
Obama’s Arab Spring has managed to destabilize much of North Africa by bringing radical Islamists to power. But, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, and Egypt are still functioning countries. Although it must be uncomfortable for Israel, there has been little real impact on the world as a result of these regime changes, yet. The first major problem from the Arab Spring is going to come from Syria and then Iraq.
There is an excellent article by Henri J. Barkey at The American Interest that explains why Syria’s Arab Spring will have far reaching impacts unlike Libya and Egypt.
… surprisingly, the mainstream Western press seems to have forgotten that Syria also shares a border with Iraq. Iraq’s strategic location and its cross-sectarian and cross-ethnic fault lines make its implosion a great threat to the long-term stability and well-being of the region. The shock waves—unbridled sectarian and ethnic violence, possible interstate interventions and warfare, and much higher oil prices—could also jolt the international economy, sparing no one.
Mr. Barkey’s article is very long and explains a lot more than you really want to know. But, if you can wade through it you will find it very educational. The key words in the above quote are these: “cross-sectarian and cross-ethnic fault lines”. Because of these sectarian and ethnic issues, Mr. Barkey believes the civil war in Syria will not end with a transition of power as it did, for example, in Egypt. Once Assad has fallen, the civil war will continue between the competing Muslim groups and the Kurds present another element in this fight. Let’s look at the major players in the region and their position on the Syrian civil war.
- The Saudi Alliance _ What I call the Saudi Alliance are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the Arab Emirates, and Oman. These are oil rich nations that want to keep the Arab Spring at bay. The dominate Muslim sect in the Saudi Alliance is the Sunni and the minority sect is Shi’a. The Assad government in Syria, although a minority of about 12%, Alawi, an off shoot of Shi’a. Therefore, the Saudi Alliance is supporting the rebels in Syria with money and arms.
- Iran _ The government of Iran is Shi’a and have been supporting the Assad regime with money and arms for years. Iran also uses their relationship with Assad to funnel arms to their surrogates, Hezbollah, in Lebanon as a way of attacking Israel. Iran is an oil exporting country but their reserves are diminishing. Iran is also on the cusp of developing nuclear armaments. Iran has a small but significant Kurdish population
- Iraq _ Since the time of the Ottoman Empire and the reign of Saddam Hussein, Iraq was always controlled by Sunnis. Thanks to the US war in Iraq the majority (55%) Shi’as now govern. The Sunnis are not happy about that. So, after years of warring with Shia Iran, Iraq and Iran are now aligned with each other and Iran is now flying arms to Assad over Iraqi airspace. Iraq is an oil exporting country and their reserves are increasing. They now produce more oil than Iran. Iraq has a significant Kurdish population.
- Syria _ Syria is a small country with a small population with a small economy and no natural resources. The minority (12%) Alawi (Shi’a) Muslims came to ower under Assad’s father. They control all the government institutions. When Assad falls, there will be no government for anyone to inherit. The rebels trying to throw Assad out of office are mostly Sunni, but they are not a cohesive group. There are al Qaeda groups,, Muslim Brotherhood fighters, the Free Syrian Army, and others. Syria also has a significant Kurdish population.
So, can you see coming what Mr. Barkey sees coming? Sunnis will come to power eventually in Syria. The Saudi Alliance will be happy and the Iran will be unhappy. The Sunnis in Iraq will likely be emboldened by the Sunnis coming to power in Syria and will either try to bring down the Shi’a government in Iraq or maybe seek an autonomous region for themselves. Iran will be desperate to shore up the Shi’a government in Iraq. Meanwhile, all the Kurdish groups will be agitating for more autonomy.
If Mr. Barkey is right, it is going to get very ugly in Iraq and that means their oil exports will be adversely affected and we and the rest of the world get to pay higher prices for oil and gasoline as a minimum.
Is this what President Obama and Hillary wanted from their Arab Spring? Maybe not, but they are responsible for whatever happens going forward.
Who will be the winners from Mr. Obama’s disaster? Well, assuming they can continue to keep the Arab Spring at bay, the Saudi Alliance will enjoy the higher oil prices. So will Russia and so will Venezuela.
Thanks a lot, Mr. President! Screwing up America wasn’t enough for you. You had to screw up the whole damn world!
Well, now you know what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?