There is one silver lining to the global recession: The economic and political fortunes of America’s oil-rich antagonists have been tarnished, Rana Foroohar writes in Newsweek. Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez have all been humbled by the falling price of oil, which has plummeted to $37 a barrel from from $147 last summer.
“High oil prices and oil wealth reshaped geopolitics,” said one expert. “Now we’re seeing the reversal of all that,” including diplomatic openness to “imperial” America and the possible sacking of Ahmadinejad and Chávez. Concludes Foroohar: Recession presents “the opportunity to exploit the even more glaring weaknesses of one’s rivals, to talk to enemies whose problems at home open them to compromise.”