Be Ready for $400-a-barrel Oil… And Worse!

Jeff Koopersmith on the economy, the Middle East, and the fruits of the Cheney-Bush Geopolitical Policy.

July 15, 2008 – Geneva (apj.us) – Anyone who is paying much attention to the goings-on between the United States, Israel, and Iran might want to get ready to park their cars in their garages on a semi-permanent basis.

While the lip-services Mr. Bush is paying to the subject telegraphs his wish for "negotiations – not war," the United States is already, according to reliable sources, allowing Israel to use our bases in Iraq, training for an attack on Iran – and you can bet your bottom dollar it won't be just an air battle.

Israel will have to send troops into Iran as well – before they strike by air.  That's the way it is.  Iranian defenses must be knocked out before any air battle can be considered or put into operation.

I have to admit at this point that I am on the Israeli side.  If the leadership of Iran made the same threats against the United States as they have made toward Israel, I don't think you would find many Americans willing to let it slide.

Everyione knows that there are many in Washington and elsewhere who believe that an attack on Israel is tantamount to an attack on America.  I might agree – but oh, what a dear price we will pay. 

Perhaps the biggest aside from the death of far too many innocents will be the trading price of oil, which could rise as high as $400 per barrel within days of such a military action.

Overnight, some of our friends in the region would become at best "wary" of us, and at worst our most recent enemies will do so.

A battle against Iran, whether we participate or not, will mark the end of the all-too-slow moves by many parties within and outside the Middle east toward regional stability.  For this reason, it might be best to accept another strategy that somehow comes from the axis of choice between diplomacy and war.

Is there such a center?  I don't know, and I suppose the only way to test it is to put planes in the air and troops marching toward Iran and give Tehran a few hours to decide. 

What a terrible choice that would be – for both sides.

A high level government official has reportedly told the Sunday Times of London that President Bush has given a “yellow light” to Israel to attack Iran's nuclear sites – and only those sites.

However, after having read both American and Middle East generals' discussions of such an action, it is impossible to do that alone.  It would be suicide for Israel to just shoot a few missiles or drop a few bombs on Iran without flattening Iran's ability to retaliate and to strike Israel itself – not to mention Iraq and Afghanistan as well.

President Bush knows that Americans will not stand for any overt participation by U.S. forces in such a move.  The plan seems to be that Israel alone will use fighter jets under cover of darkness and fly directly over Jordan to use American airbases in Iraq.

Bush does not believe that Iran will ever back down on its development of nuclear arms.  While he may have decided not to directly aid Israel, it appears that he will allow them the use of at least some American resources.

Again, the White House assumes that the truth will not out and that it can escape culpability.  I have to wonder – what would be the point of hiding U.S. cooperation if the truth will arrive almost as quickly as the Israelis strike?

It’s another example of the same geopolitical Kabuki theater practiced in the Bush White House for the past two terms.  Bob and weave – when the truth outs, screw it, because it won't make any difference by that time.

According to The Centre for Research on Globalization, a progressive research group out of Montreal, "The U.S. will not be the first to attack Iran, but it may well join in once the Israelis get things started.”

There are already reports that Israeli officials have been meeting secretly at the White House this past week – and names have been named, but for now the Administration will not comment one way or another.

Some see Bush as crazier than a loon, and even more hawkish that his closest advice-givers. They think he will green light an Israeli attack on Iran so he can leave a legacy – the “W” brand on the Middle East.  If Israel gets into trouble, our own agreements bind us to help them.  There is no way we will ignore their predicament should something go wrong for them with Iran.

Certainly, a second factor is at work here. 

A new outbreak of war in the Middle East would almost definitely give Senator John McCain the White House come November, and perhaps stave off a Democratic sweep of the House and Senate as well. 

Senator Obama might be perceived as "being correct in his wish for more diplomacy and less military force" but the other side of that coin is that conservative perception management through the media will be deployed to caricature him as far too "weak" and "inexperienced" to handle a war of this immense magnitude.

And it will, I promise, be immense – perhaps dangerously beyond the magnitude Bush and his cabal assume it will be.  


Jeff Koopersmith is an internationally renowned political consultant, opinion research authority and policy analyst. He has lobbied for causes including the alternative fuel sector and women's health, and is an expert on the international real estate market. He lives in Philadelphia, Washington and Geneva.

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