Saturday, January 06, 2007

An ominous turn in the oil wars 

Of late there have been some high level personnel changes that do not portend good things. And no I am not referring to Venezuela where president Chavez has replaced 15 members of his cabinet.

The bad news is that U.S. president George Bush has replaced the head of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees all U.S. military forces in the Middle East and Central Asia. Out is Army General John Abiziad, who was a weak and ineffectual leader on whose watch things went from bad to worse for the U.S. and their puppets in Iraq.

To replace him Bush has selected William Fallon, who is currently in charge of all forces in the Pacific. Although I know essentially nothing about him there is only very curious and obvious fact about him that even this reporter could pick up on:

Adm. William Fallon, is a Navy veteran who to some is an odd choice to oversee a ground conflict in a nearly landlocked country.

The only thing is, this guy didn’t really get picked to oversee the debacle in Iraq. Subordinates will do that. This person was picked for one reason – Iran is in the U.S. crosshairs and an attack in the next couple of years is more likely than not.

How does a Navy Admiral being put in charge of Centcom strongly hint at an attack on Iran? Simple. The U.S. will probably not actually invade Iran (or so we hope) but will likely launch huge air-strikes aimed at destroying its civilian and military infrastructure in an attempt to have its government overthrown, or at least become more pliant to U.S. demands.

When the U.S. launches these air-strikes Iran will have no way to attack the U.S. directly or even stop the air bombardment. To fight back it will likely do two things:

The first is to have sympathetic Shi’ites in Iraq attack U.S. forces there. This is one more reason why the U.S. is beginning the process of ramping up its ground troops in Iraq. It is already getting its tail kicked by a Sunni insurgency that isn’t even that big. When the Shi’ites that represent 60% of the population turn on them then they will have a real fight on their hands, hence the need for more troops.

But the second and more important way Iran will fight back it to try to attack oil installations throughout the Persian Gulf and even choke of tanker traffic through the vulnerable Straits of Hormuz. With Iran’s oil exports obviously off the market the price of oil would likely be over $100. If Iran can to any significant degree disrupts other Persian Gulf oil exports, the U.S. is looking at a nightmare scenario with prices going to $150 or even higher. [ as there is no bad from which some good does not come those oil prices would allow Chavez to build even more subways, trains, highways, schools, and hospitals ]

It is this exact scenario which has led an admiral to be named the head of Central Command. The U.S. is obviously planning to attack Iran and they need to be fully prepared to protect the 25% of the worlds oil which flows through it every day. With Fallon’s appointment the writing is on the wall. The threats against Iran are not idle ones nor empty rhetoric. The U.S. is clearly planning to launch another war.

With the obliteration of the Venezuelan opposition at the polls in Venezuela the oil conflicts there may be winding down. But half way around the world they are about to get a lot more intense. Those desiring peace are going to be disappointed; more war, more killing and more destruction is what the future holds.


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