Reflecting on my previous article on our seeming determination to smash our economies on the rocks of Iran I thoght of the the Taijitu or yin-yang motif, which I think may summarize the situation. My understanding is the the motif is intended to symbolise the cyclical waxing and waning of the yin and yang qualities in a given situation. Notice that when dark yin or light yang are at their maximum, the other is present in the middle, and of course the dominating one must then give way.
This seems to me to symbolise where the industrial powers are today. Their military-industrial dominance has been derived on the mastery of coal and then oil. Dominating the oil lies at the heart of the industrial nation’s involvement in the region from the beginning of the oil era at the opening of the 20th century. It drew the British into the region with their 1914 invasion of Iraq, the carving up of the Arab world after beraking up the Ottoman empire, the overthrowing of Mosadegh and so on.
Of course oil supplies are probably maxing out and can no longer feed the colossal displacement activity that we normally call economic growth. The underlying source of our power is set to decline. It is the impotence and frustration that comes from this realistation that may be driving some of the irrational and destructive behaviour.