The Obama administration took yet another giant goose-step towards becoming Jimmy Carter, Part Two. Unrest in Egypt continues to increase. Spurred by high unemployment and sharp inflation of food prices, protesters returned to the streets of Cairo and other cities today. Eleven of the country’s 28 provinces now have unrest. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak made a late-night television appearance attempting to calm fears. But is the game over already for both Mubarak, and Barack Obama?
Mubarak continues to crack down on protesters, turning off the Internet and mobile networks on Friday. Police were joined by army units, including Egypt’s anti-terror elite commandos. But none were able to quell the unrest. In Alexandria, a police station was burned. Another in Suez was burned after rioters stole all the weapons they could grab. In Cairo, the headquarters of Mubarak’s political party was assaulted and ransacked.
By midnight Friday, police began retreating and the army had packed it in. Which is a really bad sign as far as the 30 years of Mubarak’s reign as president goes. For much of Friday, there was great uncertainty if he even was still in the country. During his televised speech on Nile TV, Mubarak announced that he was ordering his cabinet to resign and attempted to assure Egyptians that he supports democracy. But, shortly after his speech, Western reporters in contact with protesters learned that the people are not buying it.
So, why, you may ask, is President Obama doomed? It’s simple, OIL! And the real joke is that Obama may have Joe Biden to blame, after a public defense of Mubarak (see video below)! If Mubarak’s government falls, which seems very likely, there are two distinct, but equally troublesome futures in store for the world. Should a radical, fundamentalist faction, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, seize power in Egypt, oil tanker traffic through the Suez Canal could get disrupted. A barrel of crude is already in the $85-90 range now and expected to cross into $100 territory as the summer driving season approaches. Already $200 a barrel oil is being whispered should the Suez Canal be shut down.
The Egyptian Army is the one national institution which may fill the power vacuum if Murbarak’s government collapses. Still held in respect by the people, the army played it cool even as they deployed in the streets today. Police and other security forces did the dirty work of confronting protesters. So there is a reasonable possibility that the army could step in and run things until an election for a new government is held.
But even if that should happen, the real problem is the growing wave of unrest throughout the region. Tunisia is in turmoil, as well as unrest in Algeria, Yemen, Lebanon and even Jordan of all places. The global economy is still sluggish despite the spin masters. The ‘Lotus Revolution’, as it is being called in Egypt, could easily become the ‘Lotus Contagion’ and spread to Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf kingdoms. The whole ball of brittle wax may come undone in the weeks ahead.
Needless to say, the ramifications of triple-digit oil would spell doom for Barack Obama and any hopes he has for being re-elected in 2012. A sudden spike in oil prices would grind what little recovery that might exist to an abrupt halt. The fall of Hosni Murbarak means the realities of inflation here would become obvious to even the blind, white-shoed, elitist ‘experts’ from Harvard, Yale and Princeton. The economy would plunge into an even deeper chasm than 2008. If you haven’t bought any gold or silver yet, this weekend would be a good time to grab some!
Egypt’s Mubarak dismisses Cabinet, pledges reforms