The biblical phrase “The Sun also rises”, most famously used by Ernest Hemingway as the sub-title to his novel FIESTA, actually says “The suns also rises, and the sun also goeth down and hastens to the place where it arose”. This leads me to wonder if the developed World weary of the Middle East and its intractable problems, is turning its attention to the Indo-Pacific region where every day in the Gregorian calendar has its beginning?
We see the urgency of dealing with the rise of China as an aggressive superpower, and the economic rise of India, and its problems with Pakistan that in some ways mirrors the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. It is atavistic, religious, tribal, nuclearized and about territory (West Bank/Kashmir)?
The tagline of my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” starts with the sentence “It’s all about oil.” And certainly the rise of the Arabian/Persian Gulf from a sleepy tribal backwater of the British Empire to a region of sovereign states of international significance was driven by the thirst of the West for cheap oil, and the abrupt rise in crude oil prices from $5 to $25 per barrel in the 1970s.
Now, with the wide availability of shale oil and coal seam gas in the short term, and the projected dominance of electric motor cars in the medium term, the significance of secure and cheap crude oil supplies is becoming irrelevant. Will The Gulf once again become a sleepy backwater, not of the British Empire as it once was, but of American Imperialism?
“The sun also goeth down” is certainly true. . . but then the sun will also rise again, and by all that is normal to us, and most of what is manufactured for us, it will rise in The Far East.
If The West had so many problems with its cultural clash with a few million Arabs and Israelis, how are they going to deal with the problems of 1.5 Billion Chinese (and their spear carriers the North Koreans), a billion Indians and Pakistanis, s70 million Indonesian Muslims – not to mention Malays, Thais, Filipinos and assorted Polynesians, Melanesians and Micronesians – and 125 million Japanese?
I hope the US State Department and the UK Foreign Office is up to it (I actually know Dominic Raab the UK Foreign Secretary and he’s a very clever man). And I hope the EU can come up with a coherent foreign policy – some hope.
Except that I love life so much, I am almost glad I’m nearing the end of my life. But what about my grandkids and the World that they will inherit? Maybe they’ll get lucky. Global warming will make this planet uninhabitable, and technology will be so developed that they will be able to rock(et)-off to a better galaxy???
Times and technology are changing so rapidly that the conflicts I dramatized in my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”, that was published just a few years ago, are beginning to look like scenes in a historical novel. At least it they are authentic and not based on reading unreliable historians rewriting history to favour the winners. I did live through those times and witness the events I used as the seeds of my stories. And I certainly did not favour the winners.
I lived and I worked with the ordinary working people (and I never once met an ordinary person) in Iran, Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi – and for 10 years in Saudi Arabia.
You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East in Kindle format at:
Or in paperback edition on my publisher’s website: