Skip to main content

Between two interests - oil and democracy

As we know the pro-democracy movement was on the rise in the Middle East and North Africa. The victim started from Ben Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Yemen, and the next candidate is Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, and maybe Bahrain. I also saw a wave of pro-democracy has brought a sense of worry for countries in the Middle East including Saudi Arabia.

When pro-democracy movement shook Tunisia, oil prices has not been affected, likewise when these movement travel to Egypt, because these two countries was not a significant oil producer for the world. But when the pro-democracy protests spread to Libya, oil prices have jumped since mid-February when the rebellion in Libya increases.

Thus Saudi Arabia was forced to increase its oil production in order to maintain the stability of world energy and cooling the overheated energy prices. The most frightening is that if pro-democracy demonstrations spread to Saudi Arabia.

It seems that USA and European countries are aware that the longer the oil supply disrupted, it will bring economic chaos for them as the countries who depend on oil supply from non-democratic countries (Islamic and/or authoritarian countries) like Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Middle East countries. Moreover, the U.S. economy was still giddy after the global crisis and European economy are not yet better.

Therefore I have an intriguing question. Which one you choose? If you choose oil, it means you better support the Islamic monarchy in the Middle East (of course to their unique value too). Or ... proactively support the pro-democracy movement in the Middle East.

Comments

  1. That is precisely the hobson's choice that the West is grappling with now Tikno. We are living in very interesting times don't you think?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rummuser,
    I believe the spirit of democracy is not easily extinguished. It's easier to destroy a tank. On the other hand, I also believe that the attack from the inner side (from their own people) is something that is difficult to be handled.

    If western countries prefer oil, it would mean denying their own value, that is democracy, which it often be used as an argument to middle east countries.

    As you have said: "We are living in very interesting times". You are right.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's hard when you're caught in the middle..but I still beleive in democracy and freedom.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gina,
    Yes hard enough to make choices.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am all for democracy in Middle East. And perhaps it’s an emergency call for other countries to go through a revolution too in another form, which is to reduce their dependency on fossil fuel and move to more environmentally friendly energy. If there has to be something to trigger it, so this could be it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It.s about time we get rid of both those dictators and their autocratic regimes and out addiction to and dependence on oil. Being optimistic I guess this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It may temporarily hit the economies, but then transition always is a painful process. We need it - the Arabs to get their fundamental rights ( if they are wise enough not to opt for theocracies) and all of us to change from non sustainable to sustainable energy.

    colson

    ReplyDelete
  7. Aprianti,
    I hope one day women are allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia :)
    And you make a good thinking, this is the right moment to trigger the advancement of technology for renewable energy.

    Colson,
    But this lifetime opportunity cannot wait for a long-term plan (changing from non-sustainable to sustainable energy). So, hurry up! :(

    ReplyDelete
  8. @ tikno: Without the urgency of an exploding price of oil, nobody will hurry. But if China and the West will be cut off from the oil wells in the Arab countries, the urgency to change to other sources will be huge. That's probably the only way to overrule the company interests of BP, Shell etc and bring real change about.

    ReplyDelete
  9. @ Colson,
    Maybe it's the best moment, a lifetime opportunity, to trigger revival in both democracy and sustainable energy.

    Actually, I would love to see that sustainable energy will dominate this world for the sake of our next generation. When that happens then this would be a bad signal for middle east countries who being rich because of fossil oil.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Tikno,
    I think the EU, USA, Japan and others would be very careful with Saudi Arabia. They have a very bad experience with Iran which used to be very good friend when it was under Shah Iran and became enemy after Khomeini came to power. There is no guarantee that similar tyrant would not emerge. Especially that in Tunis and Egypt the fanatics are estimated to have lead the revolutions.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Multibrand,
    I still believe that the spirit of democracy and demands for gender equality is not easily extinguished in their hearts, even if the new tyranny emerge again. Please look at this news (about women want to drive in Saudi Arabia):

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2011/03/senior-saudi-prince-suggests-lifting-ban-on-women-driving/1

    The key is their citizenry still lulled by oil wealth. Situation will be different if renewable energy can be dominant and replace fossil oil.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Tikno, sorry I'm late to the conversation! I do not think the U.S. (at least) has much of a choice. When people take to the streets and demand democracy, the U.S. simply has to support them. That should not always be with military force, but at least with encouragement, maybe humanitarian aid, and the like.

    The U.S. must stand for democracy. What else can we do?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Consultus - in fact your country already use military force such as missile rain... yeah that's a must - right?

    ReplyDelete
  14. @ CONSVLTVS,
    But... well... it seems that for the case of Libya now, the world was a bit understand that "you are invited". This is not the same as in Iraq (considered uninvited). Perhaps Obama's approach is better than its predecessor, or maybe he have a bit of Indonesia's value when childhood ;)

    btw, allow me shoot your heart using this missile

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Mr. Money is not guilty

This is a special guest post. The grievances and notice from Mr. Money that share it in sorrow to readers. Please read carefully below :

My name is Mr. Money (sometime was called : Dough). My face is just plain, my physical is also weak, but I am able to overhaul the world order.

I'm able to change the behavior even human nature because humans idolize me. Many people change their personality, betray friends, sell their bodies, even abandon their faith, for my sake. That's not my command, note that!

I really do not understand the difference of pious and depraved people, but humans using me as a benchmark, determine rich or poor, honorable or lowly. Blame to human, not me.

I am not devil, but often people do abominations because of me. So I ask for justice who is the real devil.

I'm not the third person to make them divorced or make children and parents quarrel. I beg to the judge to re-examine this case.

It is very clear that I am not God. You must obey your religion forbid…

Messages from golden wedding anniversary

The wedding anniversary was historically derived from Roman empire tradition, where husbands crown his wife with a silver wreath on their twenty-fifth anniversary, and a gold wreath on the fiftieth anniversary. In the present, generally, it called silver wedding anniversary for 25th years of marriage and the golden wedding anniversary for 50th years of marriage. Many people dream of their wedding will be lasting but many of them also fail.

For those of you who dream of it, then there is a philosophical message from a modest golden wedding anniversary, a pieces of dialog between emcee and bride, as follow :

Emcee : (jokingly) "What is the most annoying thing from your husband?"
Bride : "As many as the stars in the sky, unable to count them"
Emcee : (shocked) "Well, but your husband's kindness is also abundant, right?"
Bride : "A little, like the sun in the sky"
Emcee : (curious) "Then why you could live with him for half a century and st…

Equalize bachelor's degree with diploma's degree

At this time many Indonesian students continue to the higher education in various universities in Australia to obtain academic degrees such as Bachelor, Master or Doctorate. My three cousin and several other relatives also continue the higher education in Australia after finished Senior High School in Indonesia.

But I was startled after knowing the news from Antara News that the policy of Directorate General of Higher Education (Department of National Education) is to equalize Bachelor degree from several universities in Australia only equal to the Diploma-3 degree (D-3) in Indonesia. This policy was determined on 01 July 2009 within the Peraturan Direktur Jendral Pendidikan Tinggi (English : Regulation of Directorate General of Higher Education) Nomor:82/DIKTI/Kep/2009 concerning the assessment guidelines to certificate of foreign graduate. This regulation was followed up with the surat edaran Direktur Akademik (circular letter from Academic Director) No: 1850.1/D2.5/2009. At point n…

Effects of internet technology advancement

The rapid advancement of information technology has changed many aspects of human life today, the good and bad things. Within this post I limit on two aspects to make this post not too long to read. The aspects that most get my attentions.

1) Pattern of social interaction.
Frankly I miss the era between the 70s - 90s where my childhood and adolescence with my friends and family. I miss the days when I play marbles with my friends, make paper ships together, play kites, and the like which it called traditional games - maybe still be found in the hamlet or traditional villages. I really enjoy when gather together with friends while drinking beer in real world, Cheers! OMG... truly an emotional excitement sensation that I never found or feel it in the virtual world like Facebook, Instagram, and any social media whatsoever. Now, where smart phones, gadgets and social media has become lifestyles, I'm worried about getting the fact that my daughter likes to interact with her friends thro…

VETO VS DEMOCRACY

In this post I only quotes the things associated with the two words above. Please use your sense and read carefully to find and feel the fundamental differences from it.

VETO
According to Wikipedia: "A veto, Latin for "I FORBID" is used to denote that a certain party has the right to stop unilaterally a certain piece of legislation. In practice, the veto can be ABSOLUTE (as in the U.N. Security Council, whose permanent members can block any resolution). In the United Nations Security Council, the five permanent members (the United States, Russia, the People's Republic of China, France and the United Kingdom) have veto power in substantive matters, though NOT in procedural ones. If any of these countries votes against a proposal, it is REJECTED, even if all of the other member countries vote in favor.

According to Global Policy Forum: "The five permanent members of the Security Council (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States) ENJOY the privileg…