Revolutions are never pretty, but you can't claim all revolutions are caused by oil. When the Taliban took over Afghanistan, it didn't have anything to do with oil. Syria doesn't have much at all, yet there they go, same as the Egpytians, who don't have much either. Venezuela has more oil than the rest of OPEC and the place is an economic basket case. Oil-centric views just don't work particularly well.
Bruce, you cannot be serious! Firstly I never said that "all revolutions are caused by oil" What I was pointing out is that these ME countries were all self supplied by oil as a minimum, 'were' being the operative word here! When you delve into the local issues you will find that farming and imported food subsidies stopped as governments lost income due to declining oil.
In Egypt's case, you can't keep subsidising food when you have no income, they went from being an oil exporter to being an oil importer. Tunisia & Syria's (used to be self sufficient) oil imports increased along with increased costs of food.
Take Libya for another example. Libya's oil exports have been declining before the revolution causing the same deal there. The increasing cost of oil has cascaded to the cost of foods worldwide. Libyan people were happy to accept corrupt rulers as long as they were happy themselves. But increases in the cost of food was threatening thier lifestyle.
What seems as a moderate increase in food costs to us turns out to be a MASSIVE increase to someone on 1/10th of our income. Put yourself in the shoes of others that really are worried about IF (not what) they can feed thier kids.
Venezuela, good choice, just goes to show it's not the amount of reserves you have but also the quality of the reserve and the rate of extraction. A huge decline in production since 2000 has seen the cost of living in Venzuela increase markedly as the costs of importing oil (yes Venezuela also imports oil!) has increased. Due to thier drop in production the money going around in Venezuela has dropped dramatically, probably the main reason why they are a basket case.
Yep, agree that Taliban (Afganis) taking over Afganistan probably didn't have much to do with oil however strategically the USA being in Afganistan probably has everything to do with oil. Afganistan is directly between China and one of the worlds major oil producers, Iran. The USA has Iran squished in on both sides, if I was Iran I'd be nervous too!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ09U_a80MM
Perhaps you might watch this 2 minute vid ...