Monday, March 5, 2012

The idiots really want to destroy Persia

Considering how utterly critical oil is to the economy of USA, one would think that we would have the most excellent relationships with those countries that supply us with our fuels.  Instead of messing with those countries, we would be BFFs.  And once upon a time, this was sort of true.  For example, our relationship with the Saudis has been excellent over the years and was amazingly warm in the beginning.  When oil was first discovered in the Saudi desert, FDR was president and he negotiated an exclusive concession with the House of Saud.  It was astonishingly easy to do because USA had one thing going for it that would prove critical—we were NOT the British Empire.  Turns out USA isn't the only country that hated British colonialists and sought to remove their presence by force of arms—we were just the first.

And if the folks I know in the oil business are to be believed (and they usually are) the oil people at Aramco got along amazingly well with their Saudi hosts.  These were can-do kinds of guys who knew how to drill wells, lay pipe, and make refineries work.  They were tough, swaggering folk who wore cowboy boots, big belt buckles, and drove pick-ups.  They also consumed alcohol in designated areas and kept their hands off the local women.  I've been told that until the early 1970s, the oil guys from Houston and Tulsa were not only admired, but actually loved by the Saudis who worked with them (go figure).  Even now when Aramco is the wholly owned property of the Saudis, they still assume that the USA professionals are the ones to call when the problems are especially difficult.

Two things have destroyed this cozy relationship over the years: 1) the joint British - USA destruction in 1953 of the Mosaddegh government in Iran which pretty much blurred any distinction between the two countries, and 2) the unwavering UK / USA support for Zionism.  The Zionists in USA love to point out that Israel is our only real friend in the middle east these days.  What they neglect to mention is that before Israel (and Mosaddegh) we had nothing but friends in the region—friends who drove Chevy pickups because we did.

So anyway, we now are supposed to hate Iran (again) because their Prime Minister has hurt some fee-fees—largely because his worldview doesn't conform to USA's ideas of political correctness ("Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!" Gomer Pyle, USMC).  Instead of turning Iran into our best friend (which was once pretty easy to do) there is talk of actually bombing a country that supplies the world with its most important industrial lifeblood.  Just mentioning this insanity aloud has driven oil prices through the roof.

An attack on Iran would be an act of criminal stupidity
US and Israeli leaders are talking themselves into a disastrous conflict that will make Iranian nuclear weapons a certainty
Seumas Milne, Tuesday 21 February 2012 

After a decade of calamitous western wars in the wider Middle East, the signs are becoming ever more ominous that we're heading for another. And, hard as it is to credit, the same discredited arguments used to justify the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan – from weapons of mass destruction to sponsorship of terrorism and fundamentalist fanatics – are now being used to make the case for an attack on Iran.

War talk about Iran and its nuclear programme has been going on for so long it might be tempting to dismiss it as bluster. The mixed messages about Iran coming from the US and Israeli governments in recent weeks have become increasingly contradictory and bewildering. Maybe it's all a game of bluff and psychological warfare. Perhaps Iran's offer of new talks or this week's atomic energy inspectors' visit might lead to a breakthrough.

But the mood music has become more menacing. US defence secretary Leon Panetta has let it be known there is a "strong likelihood" Israel will attack Iran between April and June, even as Barack Obama says no Israeli decision has yet been taken. US officials told the Guardian last week they believed the administration would be left with "no alternative" but to attack Iran or watch Israel do so later this year.

Meanwhile, a US-Israeli stealth war is already raging on the ground, including covert assassinations of scientists, cyber warfare and attacks on military and missile installations. And Britain and France have successfully dragooned the EU into ramping up sanctions on Iran's economic life-blood of oil exports as a buildup of western military forces continues in the Gulf.

Any of this could easily be regarded as an act of war against Iran – and Iranian retaliation used as the pretext for a more direct military assault, as the risk of escalation grows. But instead of challenging what is a profoundly dangerous path to full-scale regional conflict – with or without western intervention in Iran's ally, Syria – the bulk of the western media and political class is busy softening up the public to accept another war as the unfortunate consequence of Iranian intransigence.

When it was reported that British officials expected the Cameron government to take part in a US attack on Iran, it passed with barely a murmur. In a parliamentary debate on Monday, only six votes were mustered to press for the threat of attack on Iran to be withdrawn. The Times claimed yesterday it to be "beyond doubt" that Iran "is trying to develop a nuclear weapon", even though neither the US nor the IAEA has managed to prove any such thing.

And even when US and British leaders have called for Israeli restraint, as William Hague and US joint chiefs of staff chairman Martin Dempsey have done in recent days, the issue is only one of timing. Military force would, they say, be "premature" and unwise "at this point".

If an attack is launched by Israel or the US, it would not just be an act of criminal aggression, but of wanton destructive stupidity. As Michael Clarke, director of the British defence establishment's Royal United Services Institute, points out, such an attack would be entirely illegal: "There is no basis in international law for preventative, rather than pre-emptive, war."

It would also be guaranteed to trigger a regional conflagration with uncontrollable global consequences. Iran could be expected to retaliate against Israel, the US and its allies, both directly and indirectly, and block the fifth of international oil supplies shipped through the Strait of Hormuz. The trail of death, destruction and economic havoc would be awesome.

But while in the case of Iraq an attack was launched over weapons of mass destruction that didn't in fact exist, the US isn't even claiming that Iran is attempting to build a bomb. "Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No," Panetta said bluntly last month. Israeli intelligence is said to be of the same view. Unlike Israel itself, which has had nuclear weapons for decades, it believes the Iranian leadership has taken no decision to go nuclear. more
LOVE that UK oil prices are so high—it is THEIR shitty worldview that causes about 95% of the problems.  Karma can be such a bit*h!
Iran Cuts Greece Oil, UK Gas Hits $9.00 Per Gallon 
Posted by Alexander Higgins - February 26, 2012  
Gas prices in the U.K. skyrocket to $9.00 a gallon as Iran cuts oil shipments to Greece in response to western sanctions

As oil prices skyrocket ahead of Memorial day, in the face of what now appears to be an inevitable war with Iran by the end of the year, Iran has cut oil shipments to Greece after following similar moves last week to cut oil to France and the UK.

Despite repeated reassurances by western politicians and media outlets that Iran acting to cut oil supplies in the face of western sanctions would not affect oil prices, global oil prices refuse to following that scripted narrative

Gas prices in the U.S. spiked toward all time highs following last weeks cuts from Iran with Los Angeles becoming the first city to break the $5.00 a gallon mark with WTI Crude closing on the 24th at $109.77 per barrel and Brent spot prices at $126.65.

That represents an upward move of nearly 15% surge NY crude oil prices in just a short three weeks since its intraday low of $95.81 on February 2nd.

NY Crude spikes 15 percent in last 3 weeks

Those spikes in prices come despite the fact that U.S. and global demand for oil is very weak and oil inventories are high.

Experts on media outlets across the U.S. continue to reinforce the notion that the spike in energy prices are not due to underlying fundamentals and instead deflect the blame on the escalating situation in Iran while warning that U.S. gas prices will skyrocket to over $5.00 a gallon nationwide by the summer.

In Europe, the situation is far worse as U.K. gas prices surged to 150p per liter — approximately $9.00 a gallon — on news that Iran cut oil shipments to Greece.

Press TV reveals that the announcement to cut shipments Greece follow the refusal of Greece officials to sign a long-term contract stating they will not go along with EU sanctions against Iran.

Iranian officials let the world know oil shipments are being cut to Greece by sending a Greek tanker home empty after arriving in Iran to refuel on oil. more
Then there is the monetary aspect.  USA dollars are valuable because you can exchange them for the most precious substance on earth—oil!  If the link between the dollar and oil is ever broken, the dollar will become worthless overnight.  I actually believe there are folks who understand this, but the attack-Iran fools are forcing a dangerous issue.  This can NOT turn out well for MOST of us.
Iran ready to be paid in gold, national currencies for oil
29 February, 2012

Tehran announced Tuesday that it is ready to receive payment for oil supplies in gold as well as the national currencies of importer countries. That’s according to Mahmoud Bahmani, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran.

In trade operations with foreign countries Iran does not limit itself to dollars, and any state is free to use its own currency, Bahmani is quoted as saying by Russia's Itar-Tass news agency. He also added that if any client state wants to pay in gold, Iran would accept it without hesitation.

In 2012 the US toughened sanctions against the country that attempt to obstruct the activities of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Washington warned that sanctions would also be applied against international banks that use US dollars in deals with Iran. As a result, countries that buy Iranian oil have faced the problem of how to pay for it. Now, the Islamic country is working to accommodate its clients through the offer to accept their national currencies.

Last week India angered the US by continuing to import oil from Iran, while Washington is trying by any and all means to persuade the country take its oil needs elsewhere. The US is expected to make every effort to find alternate suppliers for Iran.

There are currently no sanctions that would restrict India from continuing to do business with Iran, but any disruption in their relationship could cause the Iranian economy to be impacted significantly. Traditionally, India purchases around 12 per cent of all its crude from Iran, a transaction worth around $12 billion each year. As the Obama Administration continues to warn Iran over its nuclear energy program, American officials are getting creative in finding ways to get them to crack. more
So if you want hear the somewhat reluctant warmonger in chief, here is a clip.

Oh, and one other thing, there is the economic force Veblen called "technological diffusion."  At one point in the development of a technology, only the very rich and governments can afford it.  After a while, the technology becomes more widespread and affordable and starts spreading through the economy.  For example, carbon fiber composites were once considered so exotic, their use was very limited even in the moon race.  Yet by the mid 1970s, this exotic technology would become a favorite of guys who built airplanes in their garages.  From NASA to homebuilders in just about a decade might be the record for technological diffusion.

Technological diffusion also works with arms manufacture.  A country like Iran doesn't need aircraft carriers to fight USA aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf—she can do the job quite effectively with cheap short-range surface-to-ship missiles which many of her oil customers will be happy to sell.  This isn't quite the Finns hurling petrol-bombs at tanks during the Winter War, but the discrepancy between a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a bunch of supersonic airplanes and a V-1 buzz bomber with a nav system is about the same.

The following is from a military site.  Perhaps this is the real reason why there are a bunch of folks who aren't quite as ready to jump into a war with Iran as the chickenhawks in DC.  Anyone with a basic knowledge of military history knows that expensive weapons systems are often countered by cheap, but effective, weapons.  Read what the long-bow did to the mounted knight for an excellent example.
What Nasty Surprises Await Our Warmongers In The Gulf?

If Hague, Hammond and Cameron love Israel so much let them and the regime’s other admirers don uniform and flak-jacket and go play battleships in the Gulf’s “bathtub” themselves.  Who in their right mind would volunteer to be that trio’s cannon-fodder?

by Stuart Littlewood

The most important thing I’ve read these last few days is the excellent article ‘Armageddon Approaches’ by Dr Lasha Darkmoon Armageddon Approaches, a cautionary piece which points the reader towards some very scary background information.

For example, according to Russ Winter of The Wall Street Examiner The ‘Sunburn’ – Capable and Versatile Hormuz Weapon , Iran’s Sunburn missiles, acquired from Russia and China over the last 10 years, have the capability of creating “a world of hurt” for the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.

“The Sunburn is perhaps the most lethal anti-ship missile in the world, designed to fly as low as 9 feet above ground/water at more than 1,500 miles per hour (mach 2+). The missile uses a violent pop-up maneuver for its terminal approach to throw off Phalanx and other US anti-missile defense systems. Given their low cost, they’re perfectly suited for close quarter naval conflict in the bathtub-like Persian Gulf.”

With its 90-mile range, the Sunburn can be fired from practically any platform, including a flat bed truck, and could hit a ship in the Strait in less than a minute.

Mark Gaffney The Sunburn – Iran’s Awesome Nuclear Anti-Ship Missile adds this warning: “The US Navy has never faced anything in combat as formidable as the Sunburn missile.”

He mentions the even more-advanced SS-NX-26 Yakhonts missiles, also Russian-made (speed: Mach 2.9; range: 180 miles) deployed by the Iranians along the Gulf’s northern shore.

“Every US ship will be exposed and vulnerable. When the Iranians spring the trap, the entire lake will become a killing field…

“In the Gulf’s shallow and confined waters evasive manoeuvres will be difficult, at best, and escape impossible. Even if US planes control of the skies over the battlefield, the sailors caught in the net below will be hard-pressed to survive. The Gulf will run red with American blood.”
As both writers point out, the Iranians will have mapped every firing angle along their Gulf coastline. And the rugged terrain will not make detection easy. more

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