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THE Middle East (general) Thread (merged)

For discussions of events and conditions not necessarily related to Peak Oil.

Re: US Quietly Expands Permanent Bases in the Middle East

Unread postby Colorado-Valley » Thu 21 Feb 2008, 20:42:50

Usually attempts at Empire end up going bankrupt.

I could see a massive Persian-Gulf military complex presided over by the Neocons and Israel.
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Re: US Quietly Expands Permanent Bases in the Middle East

Unread postby heroineworshipper » Thu 21 Feb 2008, 21:26:58

Survival of the fittest. If Chinese start asking for paychecks, they'll be next.
People first, then things, then dollars.
There will be enslavement, cannibalism, & zombie invasions.
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Re: US Quietly Expands Permanent Bases in the Middle East

Unread postby Armageddon » Thu 21 Feb 2008, 23:15:05

It's a dog eat dog world, and I am wearing milk bone underwear
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Re: US Quietly Expands Permanent Bases in the Middle East

Unread postby FreedomSlave » Fri 22 Feb 2008, 03:34:07

"Pause"?

"Try Permanent Bases"?

WTF are these assholes smoking? There's been nothing "quiet" about what has been going on in regard to US military expansion the PG for at least 5 years. Many books have been written about it. And it's been going on for far longer than that, if anyone cares to pay attention.

This kind of shit in the MSM is absolutely insulting to every intelligent person on the planet, particularly those who even vaguely pay attention to oil issues.

None-the-less, it may be paving the way for another axiomatic set of truths, like:

"We're there for the oil."

"Without abundant cheap oil, Western civilization is in grave jeopardy."

"Oil equals food. Without it, we starve."

Yeah, right. That would be truth.

Instead, we'll just hear more shit about the "American way of life" being "non-negotiable." Or about how we need to "withdraw responsibly" (as in, when the taps are dry).

Whatever.

Is there anyone on this board who seriously believes the U.S. will voluntarily withdraw from its Middle East military footings before oil becomes uneconomical to pump from those areas or before it becomes a radioactive wasteland? Or better yet, that the upcoming election will change it in any significant way, regardless who wins what?

This is a propaganda piece helping to establish a new "reality" while feigning to be critical. It tells the story of "what" without an honest discussion of "why". And a big "NO SHIT, SHERLOCK!", to anyone who gets their news from virtually any source that requires literacy.
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Re: US Quietly Expands Permanent Bases in the Middle East

Unread postby mos6507 » Fri 22 Feb 2008, 15:22:33

Bush's approval rating is down to 19%. I'd be very surprised if the public continued to rubberstamp the neocon approach to foreign policy into the next administration since it's been proven to be so ineffective.
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Re: US Quietly Expands Permanent Bases in the Middle East

Unread postby Schadenfreude » Fri 22 Feb 2008, 16:20:52

mos6507 wrote:Bush's approval rating is down to 19%. I'd be very surprised if the public continued to rubberstamp the neocon approach to foreign policy into the next administration since it's been proven to be so ineffective.


I'll be very suprised if America actually withdraws troops in the manner described or implied by Hillary's and Obama's promises.

This is simply too big a deal to just back away from. Somewhere in the bowels of the State Department and the Pentagon, strategic planners are busy managing a broad ongoing agenda.

When Obama or McCain takes the "helm", they will be filled in on what they need to know about this agenda. If the public's mind needs to be changed on the subject, then an MSM campaign and/or sudden "event" will occur that will provide a sitting president with whatever he/she needs to maintain enough credibility and integrity in maintaining the agenda and advancing its goals.

I have been guessing for the past 4 years that the extreme emergency of peak oil will finally emerge from behind official podiums and from MSM talking heads. It could still happen this year, although I've heard rumbling that 2008-2009 could actually witness a new world oil production record.

Could another terrorist attack take place? That would seem too obvious.

Maybe the situation in Pakistan will prove too dangerous, since Pakistan is a nuclear country. Maybe the message will be that the US needs to keep troops stationed all over the region so as to tamper down the tendency towards nuclear proliferation.

Time will tell.
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Re: US Quietly Expands Permanent Bases in the Middle East

Unread postby BigTex » Fri 22 Feb 2008, 16:25:36

Schadenfreude wrote:
mos6507 wrote:Bush's approval rating is down to 19%. I'd be very surprised if the public continued to rubberstamp the neocon approach to foreign policy into the next administration since it's been proven to be so ineffective.


I'll be very suprised if America actually withdraws troops in the manner described or implied by Hillary's and Obama's promises.

This is simply too big a deal to just back away from. Somewhere in the bowels of the State Department and the Pentagon, strategic planners are busy managing a broad ongoing agenda.


If you want to know what will happen in Iraq, think Vietnam and Nixon in 1968. He ran on getting out, but it still took several more years and the "getting out" was hardly graceful.

***

Lesson from Iraq: Never engage an enemy who has less to lose than you.
:)
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Working in the Middle East

Unread postby oliveoil » Mon 21 Apr 2008, 06:01:01

My dad recently told me that he is thinking of going to the middle east to work (he is in the engineering field, not oil though). He is doing this as the money is good and he would like to buy a house.

I told him that the area is likely to remain safe, even through all the energy and geopolitical upheaval, as no-one is interested in disrupting the flow of oil.

For example, I believe that the US will get weaker and weaker in the region, and that EU, Russia and China will come to some sort of agreement (possibly involving a weaker US), to maintain stability in the region.

Does anyone have any differing opinions, or some suggestions of what the risks are of working in this region in the upcoming quagmire?

Thanks
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Re: Working in the Middle East

Unread postby misterno » Mon 21 Apr 2008, 10:48:39

it all depends on the country he is going. Every country has its own issues and problems. The more problem the more the pay is.
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Re: Working in the Middle East

Unread postby evilgenius » Mon 21 Apr 2008, 10:57:14

Are you kidding? The Middle East is the epi-center for the next big war. The OPEC countries are the ones with the most enduring flow. Once the world's satellite projects are done the ME will be the focus, for better or worse.
When it comes down to it,the people will always shout, "Free Barabbas."
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Re: Working in the Middle East

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Mon 21 Apr 2008, 10:58:18

it completely depends on where he is planning on working and his ability to blend in and not present a target. I've known westerners who have gotten into trouble in places that are rather benign from a security risk standpoint just because of very poor judgement. The Middle East is quite variable, if you are talking about Saudi Arabia it is considered generally safe although it was just a couple of years ago that a group of Al Qaida attacked a foreign compound and killed several people. The ineptitude of the Saudi security forces was considered the main reason for loss of life in that case. If on the other hand you are talking about Dubai...it is pretty much like Disneyland in terms of danger...although being in the wrong place at the wrong time can occur here as well. In Qatar, although it seems somewhat western and becomes moreso each day they are still under strict Isamic custom. Westerners get themselves in trouble here frequently because they misconstrue the fact you can get a drink at a hotel with a requisite modern open society being present. Case in point was the idiot American who was just sentenced to 25 years in a Qatari prison (missed the death penalty by a slim margin apparently) simply because he was caught in a sting operation whereby he was selling information to a foreign government. My inside knowledge on this tells me it was a couple of seismic lines he had which he agreed to sell for the paltry sum of $1500 USD.

In terms of overall risk for war I doubt anyone can give you a concrete answer on that. All of the Gulf nations at sometime or another have had problems with each other. The Iranians don't generally get along with anyone on the other side of the Gulf. Traditionally there have been border disputes between Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi and UAE. More recently some of this seems settled as there are now plans to build a causeway from Dubai to Doha and then through Qatar to Bahrain.
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Re: Working in the Middle East

Unread postby 3aidlillahi » Mon 21 Apr 2008, 11:09:25

Working in the Middle East is quite vague. It's like saying "working in the US". There are Philadelphias and Chicagos and then there are Kansases and white picket fences.

Care to elaborate in which nation he'll be working? Which city even?

Since he's not oil, then there's a good chance he's not going to be near oil, which is a very good thing. ASAIK, most ME nations, Iraq being the exception, have relatively low crime rates compared to the US. [url=http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita
]Source[/url] Violent crime is also lower. So besides the possibility of war (if he's near oil) and the random terrorism (which is pretty infrequent and causes few deaths compared to overall murders), it's not the worst place in the world (not including Iraq).
Riches are not from abundance of worldly goods, but from a contented mind.
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Re: Working in the Middle East

Unread postby oliveoil » Mon 21 Apr 2008, 16:35:11

He's thinking Dubai, Qatar, or United Arab Emirates, nothing like Saudi Arabia, Iran or Iraq! :)

I guess his time-frame is work 5 years (hopefully long enough to buy a house back in the UK) and then pull out. He knows about peak oil and is worried about the region becoming unstable in that time-frame.

Good answers guys keep them coming :)
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Re: Working in the Middle East

Unread postby The_Virginian » Mon 21 Apr 2008, 23:03:21

no place is safe.

But if he's not transparently Jewish...he may just be fine.

These areas are Kingdom /shiekdoms...and not tolerant of "crime"...but they can harbor ill will to Foreigners, esp. Americans.

My advice, take the job, watch your six, always carry a knife, and keep your Dhimi head down. (figuratively).
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Re: Working in the Middle East

Unread postby evilgenius » Mon 21 Apr 2008, 23:07:54

Think ME with no US Army to protect him. If the country he wants to go to can protect him under those circumstances and he still wants to go then ask him to think about a bug out plan with multiple options. Make sure he is fit enough to walk over land dragging his water supply with him. If he can't do that then ask him if he can sail. If he can sail maybe he can get work near water so that he could sail out if necessary. Mind you, there won't be anything sailing out of the Straits of Hormuz in about three years time, what with the danger and the sunken obstacles.
When it comes down to it,the people will always shout, "Free Barabbas."
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Re: Working in the Middle East

Unread postby seldom_seen » Mon 21 Apr 2008, 23:21:33

Does he like having his head cut off? (just kiddin')

I can see how it would be economically enticing to go over their and try to leech some money off the oil sheiks. I wouldn't do it though. When everything goes butts up there's a good chance he will be stranded there. No planes in, no planes out. Surrounded by a million miles of desert.

Hell, life is short though. It could be an adventure. Tell'em to go! soon though! While there's still flights.

All those weird fing rules they have though, that would drive me apeshit. Always worried that you're going to get gang raped by some homos and then charged with the crime and tied to a pole and stoned to death.
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Re: Working in the Middle East

Unread postby gg3 » Tue 22 Apr 2008, 02:38:49

Hey Olivoil:

If your dad isn't an expert in the region and the cultures where he intends to go, he's up for a Darwin Award.

In case you don't know that term, it's what we call it when someone does something thoroughly stupid that results in their own death (or near-equivalent, such as a lengthy prison sentence in a medieval dungeon), like taking a dare to stick their head in an industrial machine (or do something illegal in a medieval country).

Pardon me being so blunt about it, but the tone of your postings sounds as if you aren't fully aware of the risks he's about to take, and it also sounds as if he himself is not aware of those risks either.

And if he plans to sail blissfully ignorantly into the Middle Eastern sunset, then you need to talk to him about his will, and the type of memorial service he wants.
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Re: Working in the Middle East

Unread postby Micki » Tue 22 Apr 2008, 05:50:11

UAE, especially Dubai seems like a good place....at least for now.
Many western companies are setting up regional HQ's there.
And in the right field, he can make a bundle of money.
My wife has some relative who moved to Bahrain a couple of years ago and apparently like it very much.
Heard that Kuwait is a bore though and SA is probably even worse.
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Re: Working in the Middle East

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Tue 22 Apr 2008, 11:41:26

Just to reiterate....I may be one of the few people who post here that's actually spent time in most of these places (haven't been to Iraq yet but Riyadh, Doha, Manama, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Tehran, Muscat, Damascus have all been visited).
Most places can be safe and manageable under current circumstances. You do have to be aware of changing conditions and be prepared to leave when you think it is starting to deteriorate. This can happen quite quickly as it did in Algiers in the early nineties.
Rules for safe living #1: you are a visitor and a guest govern yourself accordingly.
#2 being an American is a disadvantage not an advantage in the Middle East. If you display any "ugly American" traits you might as well paint a big target on your back or pre-book your room at the local crowbar motel.
#3 ethnocentric behavior is unacceptable, if you are a born again Christian...keep it to yourself
#4 places like Dubai, Bahrain and Qatar allow you to drink in certain places if you are a non-muslim. Public drunkeness is not tolerated, however and Middle East jails are reported to all be bad news no matter where you are. Never, ever agree to meet a muslim for a drink. These countries take this very seriously and you will be accused of coercion.
#5 always, and I mean always treat the native locals with complete respect. Most of these countries are ruled by families that are very, very large and they are used to doing favors for relatives no matter how distant.
#6 if you see a gathering of people....avoid it.
#7 if you have the option to have a driver, take it. Middle eastern drivers are notoriously bad and if you get in an accident with a native local it is your fault no matter what happened. Better your driver gets thrown in jail than you.
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Some Middle East news

Unread postby vampyregirl » Wed 23 Apr 2008, 11:29:15

Oman is in decline. This is very bad news for the Omani economy which has become dangerously overdependant on oil.

In Qatar natural gas production is increasing but not crude oil production.

Same is true in Egypt where new natural gas deposits are being developed but no signifigant new oil finds.

In Saudi Arabia the Empty Quarter is living up to its name. The search for gas in Rub al Khali is yielding few results. Some new oil reserves have been discovered in a different area.

In Kuwait new exploration is begining in the north of the country.

thats all for now
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