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Saturday, March 19, 2011

For Oil Blocks, NFZ, Democracy & Chaos !!

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Thousands of expatriates fled from Libya via air, water or land however possible, some leaving behind their life time of savings, some them could not make it and lost their lives in a foreign land for no fault of theirs, quiet unfortunate !!

Just heard the strategically timed press conference of Libyan Oil minister today afternoon (held within 24 hours of United Nations Security Council implementing the No Fly Zone ( NFZ) over Libya). The Libyan Oil minister in the press conference requests international experts and oil companies, operators etc to come back to work !

Libyan government (in power, i.e Gaddafi's regime) criticizes the NFZ stating that UNSC is not authorized to intervene in the internal matters of a country !

Mummar Gaddafi isn't going to give up anytime soon (defined as next few days !!).

The Libyan oil production has fallen from 1.6 million bpd to around 400k bpd, as confirmed by the minister himself !!

Germany, Russia, China, India and Brazil votes against enforcing NFZ on Libya !!

Libyan Oil minister invited ( 2 times during his 5 minutes speech) companies from China, Russia and India to come o Libya as they will be awarded the Oil blocks without any tendering/ bidding process in a very short duration ! Anybody interested, I bet many ! What about democracy ? When it comes to oil, money doesn't matter, right.

Rebellions in Libya seems to be happy about enforcing the NFZ over Libya while Germany, India, China are worried about the details of how it will be enforced and how can the forces ensure no damages to civilian life and properties. An irony or the need of the hour !!

What happens if Gaddafi sill remains in power for many more years to come, who might benefit the most leaving aside his regime ? On contrary what happens if he looses asap, who might be at loss leaving aside his regime ?

Most importantly what happens ( to the Arab world, to the civil wars in Middle East, to the arms contractors, to the current powerhouses of the world, to the seemingly impossible to collapse multi billion perhaps trillion dollars worth global oil giants, to Yen to USD and to the world's socio-politico-economico environment ) IF someone invents a new way to generate electricity from a renewable, abundant source !!!

So is it about democracy, oil, politics? Though its hard to predict when and comprehend how but I am sure that all of this oil power and politics will go in vain one fine morning, when some scientist, engineer, innovator sitting in a lab in Sweeden or perhaps India will discover an alternate fuel, which is cheap, easy to produce and environment friendly. I hope the world will be much safer, more peaceful and prosperous as well.

But as I said before its not possible to predict the next pattern of chaos and till then everybody will hold on to this current pattern as if it will last forever. Perhaps thats how its meant to be, one at a time !!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

2011- An Ode to Democracy !

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The world has changed significantly form my first post in 2011. Well, its not very old story, but such has been the speed of change these days. Still a cloud of uncertainty prevails over a huge number of people and nations, something which was not even imagined especially by an outsider like me some 45 days ago.

Earlier this year when I was talking about Chaos I missed the one of the most important chaos of modern times - democracy !! No doubting of the fact that democracy is a modern concept, right ( considering a minimum 5000 years of proven civilized history of mankind) ! Now how is democracy contributing to this chaos, simple by allowing everybody, every single individual, no matter from what caste, creed, religion, race, sex he/she is, a voice, a say in the government, a control over whats happening and what can happen around him. Despite being dethrone in few countries, being neglected by a few others, Democracy has survived, in fact thrived in past 50-70 years.

I think its possible to prove that democracy as a process or a system in society can be best achieved only via a democratic process. Its best when people and nations are left for themselves to take care of themselves and their surrounding. A lot of independent agencies such as UN or even the USA/UK claims to play the role of a facilitator trying to establish a democratic government but invariably always some vested interests can be unearthed behind such generous acts of trying to establish law and order, democracy in foreign lands.

But perhaps we cant deny the role and significance of relative significance of these bodies in countries like Libya or Afghanistan. Social media has empowered the people and have shortened the duration of such revolutions/ uprisings from 10s of 100s of years to less than 100 days or so but there are battles which still fought in the real world. So, Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt and now Libya, Mr. Mummar Gaddafi is still cynical, still does not want to give away his throne on which he was sitting for almost 42 years, but in all likeliness he will be thrown out and the democracy will prevail.

2011 will be remembered as the year of democratic reforms, reforms by the people, for the people, as it was meant to be. 2011 will also be remembered for the pace at which these reforms/ uprising/ revolutions have materialized. Let us leave the task of categorizing these events as people's reforms/ uprising/ revolution to historians, but what is more important is the fact that Arab nations which were never associated with ( in popular media, stereotypes) a place where free will, free speech prevails can embrace democracy. So whatever was considered impossible, is actually possible (cliche' :)) !

Recently I was asked to give my opinion about How the political turmoil in Egypt impacting day to day business. That article can be read here. So it might appear that I'm contradicting myself, but its not the case. All I am saying is that countries like Oman, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will remain 'reasonably' unaffected by these sequence of events. The reason is these are rich, oil, tourism based development friendly and expatriate driven economies. The level of dissent and unrest has not reached the threshold level yet and though the fabric remains same across the Arab world countries ( or at least will appear the same to an irrelevant outsider), the socio-economic and hence the political conditions ( or vice versa, i.e political and hence socio-economic ! an interesting cue for the next discussion:D) are strikingly different, as different as they are in almost any such region across the world ( Africas, Asia, Europe or South America). So the people will have to wait for some more time or perhaps forever (relatively speaking) to witness such incidents/events/uprisings happening in one of these countries. But what I can tell you is that the seed is sown, people have realized that it is possible to dethrone the most powerful ones as well and as Victor Hugo rightly said - Nothing is stronger than an idea who's time has come !

What's up in China !!