Conflict in Egypt May Affect U.S. Oil, Military
Historical shift may hinder Middle East relations
Published : Friday, 11 Feb 2011, 12:03 AM CST
“It’s a moment of transformation that’s taking place because the people of Egypt are calling for change,” Obama said.
With the dramatic developments happening almost every day, it seems the eyes of the entire world are on Egypt.
"Its history in our lives,” said Seth Bixbydaugherty. “Its a big as anything we've seen in our lives."
It has a lot of people in Egypt and abroad talking, wondering and worrying.
"I discuss it with pretty much every group I meet with,” said Sharon Stipkowvits, of Minneapolis.
Yet, even in a place as international as the Global Midtown Market, not everyone understands why the conflict is important.
“I’m guessing most people don’t know why it’s a big deal,” said Amber Bakken, admitting that she has not been following the conflict. “I'm just being honest."
But professor William Beeman, from the University of Minnesota, said what happens in Egypt could eventually affect us all -- even across the seas in the U.S.
“First of all, this is an Earth-changing event,” Beeman said.
Every day, 2 million gallons of oil pass through the Suez Canal en route to the U.S., Europe and Asia. If a new Egyptian government were to shut down the canal, it would add weeks to the oil’s voyage and raise the cost for a gallon of gas.
“Oil has already topped $100 a barrel,” Beeman stated. “It has gone up since this conflict started and we are going to start paying higher prices at the pump because of what's going on in Egypt."
Also, since the Camp David Accord was signed in the late ‘70s, the U.S. has given a third of its foreign aid to Egypt and another third to Israel to keep the peace in the Middle Easte; however, if a new government in Egypt were to start a conflict with Israel, the U.S. could be pulled into another war.
Finally, as the most powerful democracy in the world, Beeman said we have a moral obligation to help others who put their lives on the line to be free.
"It’s bad for the U.S. if you believe the U.S. should have stable partners for heads of state. It’s not so bad if you believe people around the world should have self determination and democracy," Beeman said of the conflict.