So 2012 is supposed to be the year of cataclysm, whether it be natural disaster or man-made disaster. I’ve made it clear that I don’t really believe that and that if there were anything to it, the Mayans really say that the years leading up to Dec. 21, 2012 are supposed to be the time of calamity, and that the actual Dec. date should be the end of it and a time for change. For what it’s worth.
It is, however, entertaining to look at the state of the world in this, the year which is supposed to be one of great change. There is no question that we live in interesting times, and the issues of the world bear some examination. Once again, while it would be foolish to call a specific date as one of cataclysm, feeling that things are getting a bit tense is not out of line. Let’s look at the world issues and their possible consequences.
The number one political issue in the world today is probably the situation in Iran. We’ve lived through a cold war with Russia, where mutual nuclear annihilation was a great fear, but with that conflict there was at least a feeling that our enemy was rational and unlikely to do something stupid. I’m reminded of the Sting song which states, “I hope the Russians love their children too.” The same may not be true of the Iranians. The extremists in Iran are religious fanatics who have no trouble pushing their children into the roles of martyrs who will reap their benefits in heaven. Terrorism is intertwined with government policy. We’ve seen, in the trial of the Shafia family here in Ontario, that honour can trump all reason and prudence. (In saying this I am not trying to brand the Muslim society in any way, just their extremists. There are Christian extremists as well who are scary. They’re just not in political power, …yet.) The matter of Iranians having nuclear capability is far different from any similar danger in the past, -except for N. Korea (which we’ll get to next).
Currently Iran is flexing its muscles and trying to cause trouble in the Persian Gulf, threatening to block oil traffic. This is a risky situation for several reasons. The first is, of course, the escalation of political conflict, not only involving the U.S. and the rest of the Western World, but also Israel feeling at risk if the region becomes destabilized. Keep in mind that Israel is a nuclear power as well, committed strongly to defending itself against any potential dangers, and they are an important player in this conflict.
The second problem that Iran is causing by threatening the disruption of oil through the Persian Gulf is that it will be the best excuse for an opportunistic, greedy international oil companies to raise the price of gas and take advantage of the situation to boost their profits. There is no doubt that there is a legitimate increase in gas prices which may follow a disruption of the oil supply, but you can be sure that the gas companies will take advantage of the turmoil and subsequently cause the price of gas to skyrocket far beyond what is warranted. Profit gluttony will be masked by turmoil in the Middle East.
Either way, I feel that this potential conflict in Iran may be a huge issue in the following year, complicated by the issues in Syria and the other countries of the Arab Spring. It’s like a huge mouse trap. It won’t take much to set it off.
To be continued…