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January 19, 2006

Are These Guys Lunatics?

Iran has some good cards in the game being played now.  Those Republican "businessmen" in the White House undoubted know that Iran produces twice the oil that Iraq does, that it's the Number 2 oil-producing country in OPEC.  So why has it behaved in such an arrogant, bellicose manner to Iran?  Or any part of the rest of the world?  The U.S. has been effectively nudging Iran's young population to shift from a pro-Western stance just a few years ago to a nation that would elect a fiery, fervent nationalist, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as President.  Gads!  We are creating something worse than Osama Bin Laden, we are creating men who see that there is a  role to be had in combining the cunning of Bin Laden with the legitimacy of elected office. 

So what have we gotten into? Jad Mouawadt of the New York Times reports that the oil markets are jittery at the thought that the Western nations may attempt to impose sanctions on Iran to get them to cease their resumption of a nuclear research program that had been suspended by agreement since fall of '04. Why jittery?   

Over the weekend, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, hinted that his country might be willing to use the "oil weapon" - that is, curbing oil exports - if faced with international sanctions.

The world market for oil is quite tight now, between nearing what people call peak oil, when we will pull less and less oil out of the ground each year and increasing demand from newly modernizing countries like China and India.  That's reflected in price.  The average price of oil went from $55 to $65 a barrel between November and now. 

So we are likely to see higher prices for oil, which has the potential of pushing us into a recession, and an Iran that gets richer off the higher prices for the oil they do sell and gets brasher.  This was a pretty stable world when George W. Bush came into the White House.  It is a profoundly unstable one now.  We did not need to react to 9/11 in a manner to change the world this much.  Thanks a lot.   

On a lighter note, maybe we will look back at this divinely stupid set of behaviors as the beginning of the end for these clowns. 

On top of taking this nation to war on a pack of lies, allowing Afghanistan to go off in less than desireable ways due to a lack of money and attention, condoning the torture at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere,  cramping social programs and giving enormous amounts of money back to people who don't need it, creating a huge disaster out of a big disaster with Katrina, the growing Medicare implementation fiasco, breaking any number of laws regarding privacy and rights and who knows how much else, we are going to find ourselves in a recession faster than we thought possible.

It reminds me of a time traveling in Wales with some friends, hiking from one small town to the next, staying in B&B's, taking time to sit in coffee shops and tour small castles and read the papers.  Sitting in a lovely little tea shop, we read an article that could only have been written in England about a story that could only have happened in England.

It seems that there was a couple on a train compartment making love in many different ways, first with their clothes mostly on, then less so.  There were several people sitting or possibly standing in the compartment who were observing them.  After 20-30 minutes, the couple sat back and lit up cigarettes.  It was only then that the other travelers spoke up and pointed to a sign requesting that people not smoke on the train.

Raising oil prices and economic instability - that we can understand!  That we will object to!

Posted by Lynn Allen on January 19, 2006 at 10:01 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink


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The blend of that long-desired New American Century plot with strategic concerns about controlling oil creates a sense of lunacy.

They don't seem to be able to let go of one while focusing on the other. There are writings out there in the past year that talk about BushCo tactics of deliberate and wreckless provocation as a kind of tool for creating sufficient chaos to justify a massive imposition of military control in the Middle East (partnered with Israel of course.)

Conspiracy oriented theorizing I suppose. But then PNAC and Repuglican attempts to create some kind of permanence in the driver's seat are already front and center and beyond dispute.

Posted by: Arthur Ruger | Jan 20, 2006 7:29:44 AM

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