Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Consequences of the Upcoming U.S. Attack on Iran

"The U.S. is at war with Iran. The U.S. has always been at war with Iran."
- George Orwell, 1984

If we look at the evidence:

1. We have two aircraft carriers - Eisenhower & Stennis - (and their support
groups of destroyers, battleships, minesweepers, and submarines) in the
tiny Persian Gulf. Why?

2. Another carrier support group (Reagan) may be heading to the gulf or close by.

3. A doubling of the Strategic Oil Reserve to 1.5 billion barrels (about 3 months
worth of oil usage in the U.S., according to the US Department of Energy).

4. A Navy guy put in charge of an occupation in Iraq

5. 21,000 additional ground forces sent to Iraq when not requested by our
military or the Iraqi military.

6. Increased lies about and demonization of Iran.

7. Russia to begin delivery of low-enriched uranium for the Iranian Bushehr
reactor in March of 2007, with the reactor to come on-line by September 2007.

8. Auspicious circumstances that allow for favorable attack times between
2/14/2007-2/18/2007, 3/15/2007-3/19/2007, and 4/14/2007-4/18/2007. Each of those date sets is +/- 2 days around the new moon for each month.

9. Blair is set to step down as British PM in the April/May timeframe, and I'm
sure Dubya wants his bitch with him on this ride too.

10. Mother Nature is not a vicious, vindictive, capricious teacher. She simply is
what she is, and we have two more (2007 & 2008) summer seasons to endure
with this administration - which could mean hurricanes, tornadoes, and
flooding on a major scale, especially in the Gulf of Mexico, and thus, the Gulf Coast.

Am I missing anything else?

Why are we doing this if it's not to attack Iran? What legitimate reason do we have for doing this?

Spare me any justifications about "protecting U.S. interests". We're interested in one fucking thing over there: oil. So if that's what we're protecting, fine, but stop couching it in weasel words.

So, we're going over there to steal Iran's oil, but we can't just say that, so we conjuring up information that Iran is attacking us in Iraq, so we've got to go after them also. Whatever.

I'm more concerned about the consequences of this strategery; the fallout and the blowback. Those consequences are in order from near term to long-term, and last one is not really a consequence, but a dark potential prophecy.

One: The American Summer Driving Season for 2007 & 2008 looks Dim.
Sure, Iran only supplies 5-6% of the worlds oil, but 90% of all Persian Gulf oil from all of the Persian Gulf countries is shipped via tanker through the Persian Gulf, eventually rolling out through the Strait of Hormuz.(1) That oil accounts for 40% of the oil traded in the entire world!(2) Now, I'm not sure Iran could tie up more than half of that entirely, and make the trip more hazardous for the other half, but it certainly seems probable they will try. Iran has stated that if invaded, Tel Aviv, the UAE and the large Saudi refining complex at Abqaiq are the first targets of its missiles, which, IIRC, have a range of approximately 1200-1500 miles. If that's the case, I'm guessing initial spot oil futures trading to spike around US $200 per barrel (bbl), and to slowly subside down to US $100 over a period of about 6 months or so, if everything works out in the absolute best way possible (in terms of military and post-military action). That means gasoline shoots to $7.50 a gallon, slowly subsiding to $3.75 a gallon by fall of 2007, on average. That also means the price of everything rises too, but especially foodstuffs. So when you're paying $2.99 for that head of lettuce in August, remember, you were warned. And remember further, that energy sector hit, while bad enough, will subside only if things go as absolutely smoothly as possible. Given our track record in Iraq, I can only assume things won't go all that smoothly.

Two: The Rise of the Euro-Petro-Economy Starts Now
China is the largest holder of foreign-exchange reserves in the world - about $941 billion as of last June(3). It has slacked some, but China still holds the most dollars. China has also recently become extraordinarily business-friendly with Iran, for the same reason as the US, it wants oil to feed its rapidly growing economy. Russia has also gotten close to Iran, arming them militarily(4) for much the same reasons. The only other reasonable currencies available are the Euro and the Japanese Yen; Japan is still reeling from the yen collapse of the late 80s-early 90s and will probably NOT want to repeat that clusterfuck, so the Euro will become the currency of choice. As to the U.S. of A.? Well, this'll coincide with the ever growing number of housing defaults due to ARM mortgage rates re-indexing, so things probably won't get any better than they are right now.

Three: Blowback is Not a Species of Whale
There isn't any discussion amongst the MSM about potential blowback from an attack on Iran, but it is inevitable; much, if not all, of the Islamic world will reel from an operation on Iran and will begin plotting all sorts of various ventures against the United States. The key players/situations to watch: Musharaff in Pakistan, Susilo in Indonesia, and of course, the House of Saud. All three countries have the potential to promote and provoke mischief; the Saudi madrassas are still indoctrinating youth about the "Great Satan", although there is beginning cooperation between the US and the Saudi nation to limit this influence since the King died; Indonesian nationalists are pounding hard against Susilo and the region is gettin shaky; and,
of course, Musharaff walks the thinnest tighrope I have ever seen a leader step. In his case, I predict he will not be President by the time Bush leaves office*, and the worst (Western Civilization) nightmare will have come true: a fundamentalist Islamic country in control of nuclear weapons, thus opening up yet a fourth front in the "War on Terror". Of course, Pakistan cannot hit the US from their great range, but given our lax port security standards, detonating a nuke in any of various US harbors is no problem.

Four: United States? What United States?
Any attack on Iran will hurt the US, but what about the rest of the world? Europe is much closer to the Middle East than the US, and I bet they're sh*tting bricks right now because of our saber-rattling. Russia and China both have substantial economic ties and will not take kindly to our meddling. So what's really going to happen? I think there will be a definite, mostly successful, attempt to contain and constrain US power and dominance around the globe, lead by a Russo-Sino-Euro collaboration. The US has currently marginalized its position around the world, and the attack on Iran will further devolve that. Paradoxically, the US corporate-state, which has pressed for "globalization" for years, has locked US foreign strategery into an untenable position in which the other nations of the world can, without too much cost to themselves (there will obviously always be some cost), strip US influence worldwide through economic pressure. I think this is the only tenable play that those other nations have, as I believe that not dampening the US through economic policies will force our invasion of Iran to spread to a regional war, worldwide recession, and ultimately another World War, which will be too costly for those other nations to bear.

Five: It's Hip to be a Pioneer!
Over the last few years, "reality" shows ("Survivor" and "The Race") have been in competition with "Get Rich" shows ("Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" & "Deal or No Deal") for the hearts and minds of television viewers worldwide, but especially in America. Over the last quarter-century or so, American pop culture has embraced a "You-Can-Get-Something-For-Nothing-and-Win-Big-and-Become-Famous" attitude. The institutionalism of gaming is also a major factor in this. I look for that cultural attitude to change as Americans struggle to squeeze by in a world of depleting resources and outside economic pressure from other countries. Instead, I think American popular culture will have to embrace
a smaller-size consciousness and a renewal of interest in completing actual tasks. With the traditional American "can-do" spirit, I feel that this is not impossible to achieve. However, this is a job that will take at least a generation to accomplish, and, in all likelihood, will be very painful for the ordinary American citizen. We will all have to get by much more locally and unlearn the lessons of consumption that has driven America since the end of World War II; it will be an incredible challenge and it will be interesting to see our response to that challenge.

Six: We Really Like This Job, So We're Not Going to Shove It

OK, this last consequence, as I mentioned, is really a dark premonition, but it is a possibility. What happens if the current administration likes the job(s) so much that they don't want to leave? I believe that this administration has been so dismissive of the Constitution and democracy that they may decide to stay on and establish a monarchical leadership. It has been the goal of the GOP since the 1980s to get into power and then to stay in power, using any means at their disposal, legal or illegal. So who would stop them? The armed forces? Doubtful, and, ultimately, just as bad to have a military junta running the country. The "people"? Hah. In a society where 12.5% of the population controls election results, just throw 'em another bag of Cheez Doodles and turn the cable to the "American Idol" channel, and they're tamed. Another country or the UN? Once again, doubtful. The US military will still be the most powerful in the world and would provide deterrence against that. The "market"? They already own the market.

So there you have it, a series of serious consequences that will arise from our attack on Iran. I left out more violence against American interests worldwide, because that just seemed a no-brainer. But that's enough gloom and doom. Now everybody get their phone, call their congresscritter, and

(1) http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/pgulf.html
(2) ibid
(3) http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/HJ19Ad01.html
(4) http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=topNews&storyid=2007-01-16T121314Z_01_L16260588_RT

* I've actually thought Musharaff's days have been numbered for a couple of years now, so don't put much stock in that predicition


Anonymous said...

Great post, sweaterman. I did turn your links on, although the last one appears to be dead.
Uncle Scott

SweaterMan said...

Thanks. Yeah, I had trouble cutting and pasting that last link. It never did line up correctly. Blogger doesn't like really long and warped links like that.

Fixer said...

You're a smart guy. Excellent analysis.

--mf said...

Brilliant assessment.

If it's OK, I'm going to link it up at my place... REALLY excellent summation.


--mf said...

Another thing to note about where Iran's oil is going, and how it is traded.

Iran is now trading oil for Euros and the UAE currency. This is no small matter, as it is a signal for other oil-producing countries to do the same.

Where Iran's oil is going is another thing. This is just coloring in the picture presented in Item #4... A troll through http://www.energybulletin.net shows us that Iran has signed Oil/NatGas deals with China, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Japan, and others. The main point here, is that Iran doesn't need the Straits of Hormuz open-- WE do. Over the past few years, Iran has worked out local/regional contracts that move their oil over-land for the most part, and, unless the US bombs Chabahar, they still have port access straight to the Indian Ocean. If we throw the above-listed countries into energy crises, I would think that those countries would be more than a bit pissed, and willing to punish us in some way. Certainly, groups within those countries will. Putin was quite clear in his words last week, that Russia will not accept such an attack on Iran.

I can see trade embargoes and boycotts, most of the OPEC nations shutting off their oil spigots, and spectacularly brutal attacks on US Interests/Embassies/Firms randomly dispersed world-wide.

That 1.5 billion barrels of oil in the SPR won't last 3 months. We will be forced out of the war business rather quickly, and all that will be left behind is thousands of dead soldiers and citizens, a US, and then world-wide depression, loads of world-wide hatred of the US and massive chaos in the Middle East.

Nothing good could possibly come of this.


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