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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Lion & Hyenas

Once in the Serengeti in Tanzania I came across a single Lion that had killed an impala.It was surrounded by five or six hyenas which mobbed and finally intimidated the Lion into relinquishing his kill.
 
Israel reminds me of that Lion,surrounded by hostile states of Syria,Jordan,Lebanon and Egypt as well as the stateless Palestinians.
 
There was a time when the experienced war machinery of Israel defended the Kibbutz and other expansions in the west bank and probably were the first to invent counter-terrorism,now offcourse almost all armies in the world have a counter-terror division either in intelligence or special forces.
 
All that Israeli expertise born out of their battle for independence after the British left Palestine in 1948,created a chaotic country - Jordan and left the jews at the mercy of 5 Arab armies.As if the holocaust and Hitler were not enough.Then on the holiest day in the Jewish calendar the Arabs again attacked in what is known as the Yom Kippur or Six Day War when the Israelis wrested the Golan Heights from the Syrians.
 
"Lo Kol-Kach Tov"-All is not well
 
Yet this time there is an exhaustion visible with israel and the amount of firepower used is giving good PR ops to Hamas and everyone else.Its no secret that the Arabs from Ayattolah Khomeini to Saddam Hussein used these people for their own political goals and that is continuing.On the other hand so many young Israelis after serving their mandatory term in IDF come to India to rest scarred psyches,battle wounds-physical and mental.Having spoken to many I sensed a disappointment with War,with the leaders who still persevere with a 'Cold War' mindset.
 
Living in India,in a pincer like state with an aggresssive China and belligerent Pakistan-I am an unabashed admirer of Isreal,its people,technology and sheer bloodymindedness.Yet the bombs are heading towards Tel Aviv.Next might be Ashkelon,Haifa.Jerusalem remains divided.
 
The repercussions of a strong Arab-wahhabi network and weak Isreal is not a positive sign for a liberal world as well as without any alternative to Oil a scenario where Arab states curtail production or in a worst case situation blockade the west would be net negative for economies already on the waterline of recession.The Al-Saud dynasty seems on its last legs and the Wahhabism patronised by them has become a veritable monster set to devour the longest rules state of Saudi Arabia.
 
It leaves western politico-leadership open to being arm twisted as seen in the Iran case.I am certain they will build a nuclear device while the US and UN plan sanctions,protests or armed intervention.After Afghanistan and Iraq the US does not have the heart to go it alone and general consensus looks improbable.Iran will do what North Korea and Pakistan did!
 
In addition to acreage shrinking for crops and no new tech to mine natural resources I am very bullish for the next decade on commodity prices moving up despite the measures taken by national governments.