Obama and the Middle East?

I think it was in the second of three televised presidential candidate debates where Barack Obama said he wanted to make the US independent of Middle East oil in ten years. The same kind of statement that JFK made about flying to the moon.

He would probably want that more today than then, up to his knees in Gulf of Mexico oil as he is. But what are his chances? Can he replace the oil he needs from other sources by then? Can he step out of Iraq without problems? If the oil spill is a reverse Harrisburg, building nuclear power plants takes a lot of time?

50,000 soldiers are leaving Iraq at the end of the summer and the political vacuum is, according to Stratfor via the Swedish radio program "Konflikt", supposed to be filled by Turkey. Turkey is popular right now but in an anti-Satan kind of way, although Obama is trying to be friendly with the Palestinians. This might mean that Iraq becomes more distanced from the US than today? Which is OK, perhaps, if the US is on the way out as Obama suggested.

There is, of course, a risk that Iran decides to take up that political vacuum instead. Will Israel strike their nuclear facilities then? They have gotten a green light to fly over Saudi Arabia according to timesonline.co.uk. Israel would face a retaliation from this kind of attack according to The Jerusalem Post. In other words, this could get complicated. No one that buys petroleum products from the Middle East would like that to happen, so I hope Israel stays put.

Complicated or not, it would be nice if the US could end their wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and lower their need of oil during the upcoming 8 years. As usual, much depends on the intentions of Iran if the region will stay calm. Iran is of course not a role model for the area's peaceful development. Paradoxically to some, Israel would, but Turkey may suffice.

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