Thursday, May 08, 2008


A frequent reader has suggested that I might be putting too much emphasis on the good potential of peace in the Middle East and not enough on the bad potential for a democratic 3 house sweep. He has a point, perhaps.

First of all, I believe the best chance the US has of preventing a tilted government is a win by John McCain. I believe his chances improve if there is progress toward peace in the Middle East. Second of all, I do not believe democrats will win a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. Thus, the passage of legislation will require compromise. My third point is that even if there is a democratic sweep, Obama will not govern nearly as far to the left as he has run. To become the democratic nominee, one must say a number of things that one knows to be untrue. For example, Obama has presented himself as being anti trade but his economic advisors understand that Americans benefit from trade.


As I mentioned yesterday, the "civil nuclear pact" between the USA and Russia is a major development. Russians, Americans and all the rest of the people in the world stand to benefit from the expected future development of nuclear power. The willingness of Russia and America to cooperate on a massive new trade agreement shows that the countries are prepared to do what ever it takes to put an end to the rouge nuclear nation games played by Iran and North Korea. Iran and Korea will come to the table or they will be left in the cold when other nations begin to enjoy the benefits of nuclear power.

The pressure is on Iran to make a deal; a deal with Iran will be a deal that spawns other deals; deals which will help end hostilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel. These deals will make dumb old George Bush seem wise. The concurrent decline in the price of a barrel of oil will make a lot of people happy. Iran and Iraq could each be producing several millions of barrels more oil per day if they were not caught up in conflict. The various games of buying all sorts of spreads on oil futures would end rapidly on the prospect of a significant increase in production from two of the top four largest reserves in the world.


Yes, the decline in the stock market yesterday may have been largely the result of the fear of a three house sweep. The fickle stock market knows that the worst of times in America have been the result of tilted government. The TV talking heads are certainly focused on the election and they give little notice to developments in the Middle East. Still it is wrong to deeply discount the big changes that are afoot in the Middle East.

1) Who would have believed that Israel and Syria would get this far toward signing a peace treaty?
2) Who would have believed that Egypt would become the primary gas supplier to Israel?
3) Who would have believed that a US General would have the sense to let the poppies grow in Afghanistan?
4) Who would have believed that Russia and the US would form a nuclear energy "partnership"?
5) Who would have believed that India, Pakistan and Iran would work together on a major energy pipeline?
6) Who would have believed that China would buy a 49% stake in a major Japanese company?
7) Who would have believed that Israel would voluntarily give up Gaza and the Golan Heights?
8) Who would have believed that the Iraq government troops would take on Sadr and other Shiite militias?
9) Who would have believed that Sunnis would join Americans and the Iraq government in the fight against al-Qaeda?

I could go on and on but will ask only two more questions.

1) If Obama is the next president, will he walk away from the progress made toward ending state sponsored terrorism?
2) Will the Iranians risk sticks and stones and the possibility of a McCain presidency while turning down a nice package of carrots?