Spengler writing at PJ Media noted that Egypt had only about 100 days worth of food in stock. “It appears that Egypt has been running on reserves and failing to replenish stockpiles, mainly because the country remains desperately short of foreign exchange. A chronic shortage of diesel fuel and electricity, as well as shortages of vaccines for children, has plagued the Egyptian economy for the past year. The butane cylinders with which most Egyptians cook are in short supply, and the black market price has risen to ten times the subsidized official price. Egypt is billions of dollars in arrears to suppliers of diesel, butane, foodstuffs and other essential imports.”
Realizing they short on everything in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood will naturally turn its attention to Israel. The Washington Post reports:
Egypt’s Islamist president vowed to work to stop Israel’s campaign against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, calling it an “unacceptable aggression” and ordering his prime minister to travel to the territory in a show of support…
“The people of Egypt and its government stand with all its capabilities to stop this aggression to prevent the bloodshed and killing of Palestinians,” Morsi said in the televised comments, vowing to stand with Gazans “until we stop this aggression on them.”
“The Israelis must realize that this aggression we don’t accept and it can only lead to instability in the region and hurt security in the region,” he said.
Still Egypt must eat. The Center for American Progress depicts Egypt’s incapacity to feed itself as an American moral responsibility. “Helping Egypt is a matter of national security.”
As the world’s largest importer of wheat, Egypt is acutely vulnerable to any surge in food prices. Wheat prices have risen 47 percent over the last year and other staples are rapidly approaching dangerously high levels.
Food price inflation and volatility strike hard at the household budgets of average Egyptian families. Many of them spend 40 percent of their monthly income on food. As prices rise, purchasing power is eroded, and the recovery of Egypt’s fragile economy during the transition is slowed.
Ensuring Egyptians have access to a reliable and affordable food supply is an urgent priority for both Egypt and the United States. Regrettably, conservatives in the House of Representatives appear headed in a different direction and are slashing funding for international humanitarian assistance. This includes funding for emergency food aid, investments in women and small landholder farms, and efforts to combat climate change in some of the most vulnerable countries in the world.
These drastic and shortsighted cuts undermine our strategic relationships with allies such as Egypt, undercut the jobs and farms at home that rely on selling U.S. goods overseas, and lead to increased levels of global poverty and instability that threaten our national security.
The long term solution to Egypts economic implosion, the Center argues, is to fight Global Warming. “Climate change’s impact on world agriculture is projected to be severe. Egypt is at profound risk to the negative effects of climate change, including rising temperatures, prolonged drought, increased evaporation, and water consumption. Egypt is also vulnerable to rising sea levels leading to more intense flooding, the loss of key agricultural land in the Nile Delta, and the mass migration of 8 million people from rural to urban areas.”
There you have it: the two greatest causes of misery in the world today are the existence of Israel and Global Warming.
And American supply has become more important than ever. A drought in the Ukraine has removed it from the grain market even if Egypt could buy from it indefinitely. Russia may curtail shipments soon as it too must reserve its harvest for itself.
Wheat supplies in Russia, last season’s third-biggest shipper, and eastern Europe have declined as drought hurt crops this year, raising speculation that Egyptian demand would shift to western European and Western Hemisphere suppliers. … Russia last sold wheat to Egypt in a tender on Sept. 13, and more recently the north African country has favored supplies from countries including France and Argentina, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.
What seems beyond question is that Egypt is in risk of running out of fuel, food, and money soon unless America and the West meet their moral and environmental responsibilities. It is on course to run out of everything except weapons and hatred, commodities which seem to be in eternally abundant supply in the Middle East. Then its populace can commiserate in their misery with Jordan’s and Syria’s.
Authoritarianism seems like a winning form of government until one realizes that it can’t feed itself. America can feed itself for now, probably as a result of its evil and corrupt system. Doubtless it will do even better after an Obama second term reforms it.
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99