Time flies. It's interesting - at the same time scary - to think about what's happened in our world over the last six months of this year.
The biggest news is probably the sub-prime overhang causing havoc in stock exchanges around the world and fueling expectations of a slow down in the US economy.
Then there's spiralling oil prices. Besides downwards revisions of economic growths, political implications of fuel subsidy reductions are taking its toll around the world.
Grain and commodity price rises aren't away from the limelight as well. Shortages of staple food like rice and wheat are creating havoc in world economies and all sorts of problems for World Bank planners in poverty alleviation programs. (What poverty alleviation? Feeding all those who can afford on this planet is already a problem).
Inflation is at an "almost" all time high with no signs of abating. The poor's getting poorer and more impoverished. The rich will be spending less in anticipation of that "rainy day".
Is this the end of the world?
Most prophecies on the world's end originate from conflicts of some kind, with differing religious views at the forefront. None (I've heard of) attributed the struggle for survival as a possible cause for nations to destroy one another.
Will China infiltrate and control Saudi Arabia in order to assure themselves of oil? Will Uncle Sam install puppet governments in South American to ensure that Americans are fed? Will Japan attempt to take control of South East Asia (again) just so they can survive? Will corrupt governments in African nations sell out their countries' resources to enrich themselves? Will Russians feel that their oil resources are much more powerful weapons than their nuclear warheads in a new "cold war"? Will Indonesia and Australia awaken to their new found powers of having basic minerals which the world needs?
Uncle Sam is going through a transition. Whether Barack Obama or John Mccain gets into office, they will be so pre-occupied with their own political survivals that the rest of the world will be on the back burner for a while. But the world really needs someone, anyone, to lead it out of this quagmire. And if the US can't or won't do it, I don't see who else can.
What we need is a concerted global effort to bring all vested interests together for the common good - the survival of this planet. Although none of us will like this, but the USA seems to be the only one who can lead this initiative.
The Amercians can influence the Saudis and that would appease China and India who need their oil. The Russians may feel isolated and try to influence oil states like Libya and Iran as a counter weight; but the sheer dominance of Saudi's oil resources is unlikely to give the Russians enough weight to deal with the rest of the world.
The Europeans, South Americans and Japanese can also be easily influenced by the US to at least sit down on a round table and discuss the resolution of issues facing the planet. So what do we need?
A new American president who can see the light, really.
Not someone who can only deal with domestic issues and think that such issues dictate his popularity ratings. Not someone who thinks that America makes the world evolve because high pump prices and wheat shortages won't make many happy Americans. We need someone who can see the bigger picture of a world in economic equilibrium making life easier and happier for the average American voter.
If Osama Bin Laden had that vision, he would have spent his resources choking off America's supplies of oil and commodities rather than weaving that intricate plan to bomb the World Trade Center. But then again, he could have known that American presidents aren't that smart and forward thinking; and that the only way to make his point with immediate effect was to do what he allegedly did.