In keeping with the energy oil theme, I found this article by Victor Hansen Davis:
An Irrelevant Middle East
Thanks to oil discoveries elsewhere, the region is losing its geostrategic clout.
Yet the Middle East is becoming irrelevant. The discovery of enormous new oil and gas reserves along with the use of new oil-recovery technology in North America and China is steadily curbing the demand for Middle Eastern oil. Soon, countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are going to have less income and geostrategic clout. In both Iran and the Gulf, domestic demand is rising, while there is neither the technical know-how nor the water to master the new art of fracking to sustain exports.
In it, he talks about t the Middle East situation and the changing dynamics. Would anyone in the Middle East really take a second to realize the only reason we care anything at all about their cute little governments and relationships is the oil and dependency situation. Oh, and now for Israel too, who happens to live in a very troubling neighborhood. But its the oil that supplies them the money and power that fuels their influence.
But a new dawn is breaking. As Hanson points out, with the new technology and discoveries, it’s all too clear that the old situation is giving birth to a new one. One thing that has interested me for as long as the concerns of Iran have been at the fore, is the price of oil. Iran has admitted that it needs a price point of 117 a barrel to satisfy their demands. Whether this is by wish or necessity matters little. They have been fortunate enough in the last few years to benefit from oil prices and spikes.
Now as Victor suggests, with these new developments it could sort of “spread the wealth” around. Oil sheiks may not laugh it off as proudly as they once did. And more of their production is going to feed domestic demands than ever. So what to do if you are a rich oil sheik in say Saudi Arabia? Well, they might be looking for other lucrative businesses. As some of the oil money dries up, or they receive less of a share than they’re used to, they will have less of those petro dollars to buy influence around the world. Their loss might well be our gain.
Back to the neighborhood. If they have less expendable world oil money, they become less of a problem for Israel. How you say, because their radical culture still exists? Well, the funny part is that with Israel’s discoveries it puts them higher on the totem pole than Arab sheiks. Call it a balancing. They can resent it all they want but it will not change that coming paradigm. And Israel, actually having a functioning burgeoning economy, will benefit all the way around while their economies based almost entirely on oil, and exporting jihad, may take a distant backseat to that real economy.