The Economy And Iran
Image courtesy of the Pew Center
I know we have been told by our trolls that gas price increases are not inflationary and shouldn’t harm the economy. Tell that to Wall Street this morning, as the latest report on consumer prices reflects a larger-than-expected increase of .6% last month, stoking fears that the Fed will do what the textbooks say it should by continuing rate increases. Doing so should accelerate the economic slowdown that many expect in the second half of this year, as higher prices start mixing with tighter money to snuff out our job growth. (Note that gasoline inventories keep going up, giving the lie to the industry’s claim that the problem is refining capacity)
Add to these looming economic problems what Bush may be about to do in Iran, where there are now open discussions of bombing plans. Raw Story has reported recently that the administration appears to be setting in motion a plan to strike Iran in June. Yet, such a strike is now opposed by a 2-1 margin, and a large majority would rather the UN and leading nations implement tough economic sanctions instead of America attacking Iran.
At the time of the Raw Story piece, I was also talking with retired Colonel Sam Gardiner, who was a source for the Raw Story piece and with whom I have traded emails for several years now. Gardiner told me that there is a likely four-step campaign in the works against Iran, some of which has already started:
I. Period of Building Pressure: This could be 60 days or even six months in which the US and European leaders continue to talk to their publics on the failure of the Iranians to comply with "the wishes of the international community." There will be talk and work on sanctions but those, will be for the purpose of building US and international support; they will not be done with any hope of changing Iranian behavior. We should see the US surface a smoking gun during this phase. (Note: this has already happened with the recent “revelation” about Iran’s uranium possession in excess of what was anticipated) Some military deployments might take place. Most visible would be three aircraft carriers in the vicinity.
II. Initial Strike: This would last 36 to 48 hours. It would only be moderately visible to the global publics. Most of the attacks would take place at night. To prevent retaliation, most targets would be other than nuclear facilities.
III. Pause: The strikes would stop. Iran would be warned that if it were to retaliate the strikes would resume. The pause would probably not be long, maybe 72 hours. Either Iran would conduct an operation against US or Israeli targets, or there would be an event that is blamed on Iran. (Note: Gardiner says that it is very likely, especially in the wake of last week’s announcement from Iran that any strike by Bush against Iran would be considered as an attack from Israel also, that Iran will hit Israel in response to any attack from America)
IV. Regime Change Targeting: The attacks from this point would shift to targets that could cause the regime to fall. It would include direct attacks on the leadership of Iran.
In the phase of building pressure, I see two indicators. I called one of them the "smoking gun." By that I mean the Administration will reveal that Iran is farther along in its nuclear program than we originally thought. This will most likely be some evidence that AQ Kahn, the Pakistani, sold more to Iran than we knew.
Late Friday we read a leak from a diplomat with the International Atomic Energy Agency that new enriched uranium evidence has been found. This could be the emergence of the smoking gun.
The second indicator in the pressure-building phase was the position of aircraft carriers. The Reagan is in the Gulf Region. The Enterprise left Norfolk for the ME (Middle East) on May 2. The Lincoln did a port call in Singapore on April 30, apparently moving in the direction of the ME.
That’s right; these fools in the White House actually think that after we hit Iran initially in an act of war that should land Bush and Cheney at The Hague, the Iranians will be so shocked and awed that they won’t respond based on our warning.
Folks, this isn’t about nukes, it is about taking control of Iran and its oil, and stopping the Iranians from setting up their own oil market separate from the New York and London oil trading markets that would be denominated in Euros and not dollars. The fact that the plans Gardiner is hearing about include such a casual move towards regime change indicates that the endgame, despite the act of war against a sovereign state in violation of international law by what will soon become a fully outlaw regime, is really about taking control of the oil away from the Iranians regardless of the resulting chaos. The issue of Iran’s nuclear capabilities, which many agree is years away from being an imminent national security threat to those in the region, is simply a replay of the scare tactic used to mislead the country into the war against Iraq.
And these idiots in the White House have apparently given little consideration to what a strike against Iran would do to the world oil markets and prices, what Iran may do to surrounding oil producers like the Saudis, and how $125/barrel oil will sink the GOP in the coming midterms.