Friday, January 28, 2011

do average u.s. citizens really support democracy in the middle east.?

They might right now. They might be in support of the uprisings that might lead to democratic reform. The truth is most U.S. citizens have no idea what the effects of democratic revolution in that part of the world might mean to their everyday lives. Nor do they have any understanding of the um, complicated relationship the U.S. has had with nations in that region in an attempt to keep cheap oil available in this country.

So I was very surprised to hear an honest conversation- albeit a brief one- regarding the connection between the price of crude and the violence spreading across the Middle East. Why was I surprised? It happened on MSNBC. Reporting to Joe Scarborough no less, this exchange took place.

"One more thing," [Erin]Burnett remarked. "If this spreads, the United States could take a huge hit because democracy in a place like Saudi Arabia, you've talked about who might come in power, what that means for oil prices. They're going to go stratospheric."

"There's no doubt about it,' MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said. "No doubt about it!"

I am not against democratic reform in dictatorial countries. I'm just not sure if the violence we're witnessing will actual lead to more democracy. It's certainly not a cart-follows-the-horse kind of relationship in situations like these.

And I find it interesting to hear so many American's cheering the uprising and talking about support for potential democracy in the Middle East with no idea of the past support of oil-importing countries given to oil-rich dictators. Or any notion of the fact that democratic reform in the Middle East would make driving their cars quite a bit more costly. If they knew the implications would they still support reform?

You might be able to watch the video by clicking on this image.

If not try this link.

By the way I don't necessarily think Erin Burnett supports dictatorship. She just forgot for a few moments that you're not suppose to share that connection between dictatorship and cheap oil on the air.


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