FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The High Cost of a Single War-Like Remark

One remark by a minor Israeli cabinet officer hinting at a possible US or Israeli attack on Iran has sent oil prices up by a record $11/barrel to a record $139 per barrel Friday. That should tell us what would happen if the Bush administration were crazy enough to attack Iran, or to let its vassal state of Israel do it.

Most analysts say an actual attack on Iran would send oil almost immediately to past $300 per barrel—a level that would strangle economies worldwide and send the world into an economic collapse not since the Smoot-Hawley Tariffs kicked off the Great Depression.
The repercussions of that would be staggering.

America, which runs on oil, would grind to a halt. Gasoline and home heating oil would double or triple in price, leading to desperation in the coming winter for those living north of the Mason-Dixon line, and to a mass exodus of the elderly from Florida and Arizona, where air-conditioning would no longer be affordable.

In China, an economy almost wholly dependent upon the manufacture of goods for sale to American consumers, hundreds of millions of workers would suddenly find themselves unemployed. With their remittances to their peasant relatives halted, half the country would be kicked back to the pre-capitalist era, only without guaranteed wages, homes, food and healthcare. It is likely that unrest unprecedented since the Cultural Revolution would erupt.

The Middle East would explode.

In Iraq, Shia fighters would rise up in solidarity with their Shia neighbor, Iran, and begin attacking American forces in Iraq in earnest, probably making the Tet Offensive in 1968 Vietnam look like a picnic. Where the US had half a million troops in Vietnam in that offensive, the military is already stretched to the breaking point in Iraq, with supply lines barely defended.

It makes you wonder what is going on in the higher reaches of the US bureaucracy. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has in the past intimated that he’s no fan of war with Iran, just sacked the two top men in the Airforce—the most gung-ho of the service branches in terms of Iran war mongering. The unprecedent surprise firing of Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and the Air Force’s top officer, Gen. T Michael “Buzz” Moseley, was officially blamed on their poor handling of the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal, in the wake of last year’s unauthorized and improper removal from storage and cross-country aerial transfer of six nuclear-armed cruise missiles in launch position on a B-52 Stratofortress, and the discovery this year of an earlier “inadvertent” shipment of ICBM missile warhead nuclear triggers to Taiwan. While it is possible that those two incidents were the cause of the firings, there remain serious unanswered questions about both incidents, and particularly about the cruise missile flight.

As I reported earlier on this site, there were a half dozen unexplained deaths of US airmen, including two suicides, which occurred just before and after that flight last August 30, none of which were investigated at least publicly by the Pentagon or the FBI according to local prosecutors and medical examiners contacted. A number of experts in nuclear weapons handling have said that it would be “impossible” for the six warheads to have been removed from guarded bunkers at Minot AFB in North Dakota, mounted on cruise missiles, loaded onto launch pylons under the wing of a B-52, and flown to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, all as a “mistake.”

This leads inexorably to the question: What was being planned for those warheads, if they were not being removed from storage by mistake, and if they were being moved without the knowledge of the top brass, including Gates, at the Pentagon? Recall that the only reason anyone learned about the incident was that it was reported outside the military chain of command to a reporter at Military Times newspaper by several Air Force whistle-blowers upset by what they were seeing.

We already witnessed the sudden resignation from the post of CentCom Command of Adm. William Fallon, whose outspoken opposition to the Bush/Cheney administration’s talk of attacking Iran led to his being pushed aside in favor of the more pliant Gen. David Petraeus. Fallon was pushed out by Iran war hawks because of his opposition to an attack. Were the Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff forced out by Gates because of their pro-attack position?

Plenty to ponder here, but the concerns of oil speculators, who have driven up the price of oil by 8.6 percent (and the stock market down by 3.2 percent) in a single day, in large part on war rumors, should have us all concerned.

It’s not just about the price of gasoline.

DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback edition). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net

 

Your Ad Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

August 20, 2018
Carl Boggs
The Road to Disaster?
James Munson
“Not With a Bomb, But a Whimper” … Then More Bombs.
Jonathan Cook
Corbyn’s Labour Party is Being Made to Fail –By Design
Robert Fisk
A US Trade War With Turkey Over a Pastor? Don’t Believe It
Howard Lisnoff
The Mass Media’s Outrage at Trump: Why the Surprise?
Faisal Khan
A British Muslim’s Perspective on the Burkha Debate
Andrew Kahn
Inhumanity Above the Clouds
Dan Glazebrook
Trump’s New Financial War on the Global South
George Wuerthner
Why the Gallatin Range Deserves Protection
Ted Rall
Is Trump a Brand-New Weird Existential Threat? No.
Sheldon Richman
For the Love of Reason
Susie Day
Why Pundits Scare Me
Dean Baker
Does France’s Economy Need to Be Renewed?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Mighty Voice for Peace Has Gone Silent: Uri Avnery, 1923-2018
Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail