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The Middle East and a nuclear equipped Iran

by Gjermund E Jansen Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 06:14:38 AM EST

As the climate between Iran and the West reaches a new freezing point, the climate between Iran and some of its neighbours seems to sour too.  Last Friday, Iran slashed its gas supplies to Turkey by an overwhelming 70 per cent in an act that can only be described as hostile.  The ordeal is believed to be a calculated move by the Iranians aimed at warning the Turks over the consequences of supporting a possible military strike against the country.  The Turks, on the other hand, have been, until recently, holding a low key in the dispute between Iran and the E3 and the US over nuclear research.  In fact as of mid-November last year, the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said:

"Turkey supports Iran's use of nuclear power for peaceful means. However, the Iranian leadership must openly show its goodwill and convince the international community," when addressing a parliamentary committee during a review of his ministry's budget.  But at the same time he expressed concern over the harsh rhetoric used by the Iranian leadership.

From the diaries ~ whataboutbob

The Iranian move to suspend large parts of it's gas deliveries to Turkey can bee seen as a counter move to the Turkish governments more firm stance against Iran last week, when the Turkish Foreign Minister seemed to have fallen down on the E3/US more hawkish stance and urged Iran to avoid any move that could erode its dialogue with the international society.

"Turkey hopes that Iran would immediately engage into a full and transparent cooperation with the tripartite European Union (EU) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to overcome the crisis of confidence," the statement from Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

The statement came a day after the EU trio warned Iran that the talks with Iran on nuclear issue were in deadlock.

This latest move from the Iranian government to use their leverage as a big energy power in the standoff with the West has added to the speculations over whether the country is willing to withhold both oil and gas from world markets in case of a showdown over the nuclear affair.  But such a self-imposed boycott would mean a further increase in the oil price for the consumers countries and the drying up of oil revenues for Iran and thus an unlikely scenario, given the fact that the supply of oil and gas are, in the words of the head of the US Energy Information Administration, Guy Caruso;
"(.....)so tightly balanced.  It's a fungible world oil market, and any disruption in supply affects everyone, because the price would go up for everyone, thus clearly, we can't afford to lose a large supply of crude to the market at this stage."
It is one thing to use a countries power leverage in a bilateral relations, given the world's energy-hunger.  It's quite a different story to cut off the supply totally and thus terminating the country's own power asset and at the same time cutting most of their own export sector and thus the national income in the process.  The recent negotiations and preliminary agreements with both Asian and European companies suggest that such a move is highly unlikely.

Another country in the region that has broken the silence and aligned with the E3 countries and the US in the dispute with Iran is Saudi Arabia.

Prince Saud al-Faisal, the veteran Saudi Foreign Minister, attending a conference on Terrorism in London on January 15th, criticised President Ahmadinejad's Administration, urging him to forgo atomic energy, to moderate his foreign policy and resist the temptation of interfering in Iraq.

"We are urging Iran to accept the position that we have taken to make the Gulf, as part of the Middle East, nuclear free and free of weapons of mass destruction. We hope that they will join us in this policy and assure that no new threat of arms race happens in this region," he told The Times.

The scenario of Iran going nuclear have lead to the belief that Saudi Arabia might follow suit, given the differences between the two countries in the past, but the Saudi Prince reassured the press that that has never been and will never be an option.  

Still, the thought of having a nuclear equipped Iran at their doorstep is a matter of grave concern for both Turkey and Saudi-Arabia, even if it is for different reasons.  Iran and Turkey have had an expanding, and sometimes colliding, geo-strategic interest in the newly independent Central-Asian republics.  

Saudi-Arabia and Iran, on the other hand, have had an ongoing ideological conflict ever since the Iranian revolution in 1979, with the Iranian theocracy supporting militant groups within Saudi-Arabia opposing the absolutist regime of the Saudi family.  With the scenario of Iran becoming the second nuclear power in the Middle East, after Israel, it would alter the geo-political situation in the area and represent a severe threat to many countries in the region,   possibly leading to either an arms race or the formation of new security constellations in order to regain the perceived geo-strategic equilibrium in the area.              

 Israel is though by far the country that dread a nuclear Iran the most, much because of the messianic overtures of the Shiia clerics and their protégés when they propagate that their ultimate aim in the region is to destroy the Jewish State.  The election of the Ultra-conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 24th 2005, a protégé of Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, led quickly to a reversal of the liberal policies of Ahmadinejad's predecessor Khatami and a souring of Iran's relations with the international community.  

 It was known well before the election that Ahmadinejad belonged to the conservative side in Iranian politics.  Still, the international community held its breath in anticipation that the reform line of Kathami might possibly survive in some form, but in a speech in October 2005, the newly elected Iranian President shut the door of open diplomacy and mutual understanding, propagating that Israel be "wiped  off the world map" starting what, at first, was to become a war of words between the Iranian President and the Israeli leaders, but which later evolved to include most of the Western world too.

 The Israeli reaction to this "warmongering" rhetoric, was to call for Iran to be expelled from the United Nations and the former Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. In that meeting, all fifteen members condemned Ahmadinejad's remarks.  

In spite of numerous speculations over if and when the Israelis were going to strike at Iran's nuclear facilities, the newly appointed Israeli Chief of Staff Dan Halutz ruled out a military strike against Iran in a speech held at Haifa University last week.  Whether this was said as an absolute or meant just for now remains to be seen, still it is widely believed that Israel will not stand by while it's only "sworn enemy" is developing nuclear weapons.  

 In hindsight of the first Gulf War in 1991, when Saddam Hussein launched some of his Scud missiles in the general direction of Israel, and some of them happened to reach their destination and fell down randomly within the Israeli borders, the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) have been actively pursuing a missile defence system to counter such a missile attack in the future.  The Iranian development of the Shahab 3 inter-mediate ballistic missile, with a range capable of reaching any country within the Middle East and able to carry a 500kg-650kg warhead, paired with the country's suspected nuclear ambitions, portrays a rather grim prospect of the future for a nation that have experienced war with most of its neighbours since its establishment in 1948.  

 As a consequence, the IDF purchased the US produced Arrow 2 anti ballistic system from Boeing in 2000 and immediately began to modify and deploy it to suite the Israeli defence systems.  The Arrow anti-ballistic missile defence system started as a joint project between Israel and the US back in 1988 but has been continuously developed ever since.

Facing the scenario of a nuclear equipped Iran in the future the tension in the Middle East would certainly increase and might even lead to an arms race encouraging other nations to pursue their dream of becoming a nuclear power.  That would mean the end of the NPT (Non-proliferation Treaty) and increase the risk of Islamist groups like Hezbollah acquiring nuclear weapons given the tight relations between this group and Iran.  It could also possibly mean an even more aggressive Iranian foreign policy in the region and in particular in Lebanon and southern Iraq under the cover of the Iranian States newly acquired nuclear power status.  What is unlikely though is the scenario of Iran deliberately going to war with Israel since it would mean the end of much of the Middle East including themselves, but it could mean a new era of regional Cold War.

This article is also available at Bitsofnews.com and Daily Kos.

Due to the influx of great articles this morning, I just haven't had a chance to dig into this one far yet...so perhaps you explore this in the text...but just what is the feelings of the other Middle East countries about Iran?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 05:56:23 AM EST
Dear Gjermund, your post provides a detailed, yet neat, overview of nuclear development projects in the Middle East. Based on this preview, your prediction that Iran is unlikely to deliberately attack Israel sounds plausible.

Another thing that i think suggests Iran is unlikely to act in an extremist manner in this nuclear crisis is its decision to agree to have its nuclear enrichment for peaceful purposes carried out in Russia. Despite his fanaticist rhetoric, Ahmedinejad, like the rest of the Irani authorities, most probably realizes that for all its leverage, Iran can also be negatively affected by a nuclear crisis. It needs to export after all.

What's going in in Iran and the rest of the Middle East has ramifications all over the world, so it's good that you're bringing up the topic. The more we discuss this, and the more us Europeans, and Americans, know about Iranian (and Middle East) culture and mindset, the more likely we are to solve problems peacefully. I realize this might sound a bit fluffy, but what other option do we have besides diplomacy?

by Brownie on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 06:07:34 AM EST
Thank, you !

I tend to agree with you when you say that Iran is unlikely to act in an extremist manner in this nuclear crisis is its decision to agree to have its nuclear enrichment for peaceful purposes carried out in Russia, if that is to be the final result. And yes, in this case, as in most others, I have to say that diplomacy is more or less the only option.

That said I have to add that my trust in the Iranian leadership is at best frugal considering the statements of the Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad the last few months and given the fact that Iran have admitted to acquiring blue prints of nuclear warheads from the infamous Pakistani nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, a while back.  

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 11:06:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Haha, too good to be true. I just read in the BBC that Iran considers insufficient the decision to have its nuclear enrichment activities carried out in Russua! Isn't China supposed to make some move now?
by Brownie on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 05:18:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have to admit the Iranians have a sense of humour.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 05:26:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So do the Russians.
by Brownie on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 09:05:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought they made that clear last week. I must be tuning my crystal ball wrong again.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 05:38:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I completely agree with your conclusion that it is not very likely that Iran will go to war with Israel. However, for the purpose of the discussion, I want to add one more argument in support to your claim. It is true that President Ahmadinejad is "a religious conservative with Islamist and populist views, and it is also true that his tone represents a major change from that of the former predisent, who openly advocated improvement of Iran's relations with the West.It is also true that Ahmadinejad is"a former Islamic Revolutionary Guard commander, and this is reflected in his hardline policy. However, the Iranian President has neither the power, nor the ability to declare war to another nation. According to the Iranian constitution, the control over the nation's army is reserved for the Supreme Leader. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the ultimate authority in Iran. So, what I am getting out of this is that even though Ahmadinejad may want to go to war with Israel, he does not have the ability to do so. Certainly, I acknowledge the fact that Khamenei supports Ahmadinejad in his revolutionary views. Nevertheless, I do not think that Khamenei will so readily and easily tolerate the obvious rashness of Ahmadinejad in relation to state of Israel.
by hitchhiker on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 12:50:35 PM EST
This is a very important point.  Thank you for making it.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 01:48:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can only say that I agree with  you on those points.  In fact the "Supreme Leader" Ayathollah Khamenei had to reprimand the President at one point when he became to abusive in his remarks.  And yes the "supreme Leader" is also the head of the security apparatus, the "Pasdaran" (revolutionary guard) and he is the commander-in-chief so it is not the Presidents call when going to war.

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.
by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 06:31:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But no one in Iran has said the country should 'go to war with Israel'. Only people outside Iran have said that someone in Iran has said that. The Iranians are not irrational, despite the western inclination to think they are. You might not like your neighbor and wish he were dead and say it, which is not the same as saying you are going to kill him. The whole discussion around Iran reeks of prejudice and hypocrisy. Tell me please: why may Iran not have a mature nuclear research program? The King of Kings signed the nonproliferation treaty, true, but the King of Kings also had a nuclear (research?) program fostered by the U.S. and certainly not opposed by Europe. One day the oil will run out in Iran too. The Iranians also have their concerns.
by Quentin on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 06:23:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, in my view this is a bit naive thinking.  Hitler never said he wanted to go to war with the European countries and Saddam never said he wanted to go to war with Kuwait.  In my book Mr.  Ahmadinejad's statement of "wiping Israel off the map" is a pretty hostile and "warmongering" rhetoric alongside his denial of Holocaust.  When the country on top of that secretly acquires blue prints of nuclear warheads from the Pakistani nuclear scientist,  Abdul Qadeer Khan, and under pressure from the UN have to acknowledge undisclosed nuclear facilities, this does not add credibility to their statements of peaceful intentions.

A regime that additionally have supported terrorist groups and is believed to have assisted in assassinations of book publishers all over the world, has by no means a peaceful resume and the natural consequence is of course great scepticism.    

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 11:38:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please tell me how Iran could possibly go to war with Israel? The two countries don't even share a common border. Fly over Turkey or Syria or some other country? The Iranians can hardly keep their commercial airplanes functioning. Do you think their Air Force is in great shape? They don't have the right missels, they don't have nuclear weapons. Or is all of this projected into some misty future. Further, there is always the U.S. of A. (NATO, ha!) with its nuclear weapons in Turkey. So tell me, how can any Iranian politician or whatever in their right mind honestly consider starting such a conflict. It is logistically and materially impossible for Iran to embark on such madness. And, I repeat, the Iranians are intelligent, rational people, as much so as anyone else alive. If President Ahmanidejad denies the Jewish genocide, which I find totally incomprehensible coming from him or anyone else, that might be just his problem, however repugnant the view is. And maybe he just denies it to make himself look like a clown. Don't underestimate his tact. Are the intentions of the countries that crossed half the globe to start a conflict in Iraq not at least equally suspect. After all, they said the wouldn't and they did because they have the means.
by Quentin on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 01:30:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, as I said in my article, it is not a likely scenario that Iran will launch a nuclear attack on Israel, if they acquire nuclear weapons.  That would mean the end of the whole Middle East, including themselves.  It is no rational in that. But the article explored the likely geo-political threat perceived by the other countries in the Middle-East in general, and Israel in particular.

Concerning the capabilities of Iran, they have got an inter-mediate ballistic missile with a range capable of reaching any country within the Middle East and able to carry a 500kg-650kg nuclear warhead, if Iran develops nuclear weapons.  My point is not so much Iran going to war with Israel, but rather what Iran might do in terms of threats and aggression if they acquire such a weapon.  Iran has got a fundamentalist regime with very hostile attitudes and rhetoric towards many of its neighbours and the Western countries.

I have much admiration for the Iranian culture, its people and history.  The country has contributed greatly to the cultural heritage of the world, but I have great scepticism to the regime of today. Your belief in the Iranian President is greater than mine I have to admit. I agree with your point about the US invasion of Iraq and its aftermath was and is a failure, but this is another story, and not relevant for the issues covered in this article.    

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 02:49:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Iraq catastrophe is relevant, not only tangentially. Iraq and Iran are dual stories on one theme - oil, oil, oil - and always will be. Otherwise neither country is interesting. The U.S. and the U.K. are leading the charge against Iran as they did during the whole 20th century, first the U.K., then the U.S. Germany and France are now allowed to participate, Russia has to be taken into account because it is a central player in the nuclear question. The present government of Iran is of course horrid but when did Iran ever have a fairly decent government. Maybe sometime in the 18th century. The King of Kings, oh no, nostalgia. No matter how much Iran bellows and blusters it is in a vulnerable position. The cards are in the hands of the west and their endgame is a change of government, just as in 1952 when the U.S. and the U.K. overthrew Mossadeq and RE-installed the King of Kings who had left the country. Don't fool yourself if you think the Iranians have forgotten these events. Not at all. If the U.S. would only accept the results of the Iranian revolution, including the U.S. hostage-taking, it would be very well situated to realize a deal. But the U.S. cannot go into any talks or negotiations with the attitude that the government must be replaced. This is madness, the same kind of madness that drove and still propels the Iraq war.
by Quentin on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 03:25:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in 1952 when the U.S. and the U.K. overthrew Mossadeq and RE-installed the King of Kings who had left the country. Don't fool yourself if you think the Iranians have forgotten these events.
Ironically, the CIA seems to have forgotten about it.
CIA World Factbook: Iran
Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and the shah was forced into exile.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 03:30:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I have said in my comments over at dailykos and other places, some Western countries have done a great deal of damage throughout history, but this article was about the possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons and its possible repercussions in the Middle East. Of course the Iranians haven't forgotten their history and why should they?  But that is not a good argument for them possibly developing nuclear weapons.  

Iraq and Iran are to different countries, with very different topography that in itself is a telling story why Iran never has been invaded by a western country for the last few centuries.  If a country was to invade Iran with its mountainous landscape the story would end up very much like the one the Russian's tried out in Afghanistan, but at a larger scale.

I have heard the story about oil over and over again and find the argument a bit too simple when explaining the forces behind foreign policy issues.  Don't misunderstand me, oil is important, but by no means the sole driving force behind a country's foreign policy. Your argumentation seems to be, the best foreign policy is no foreign policy at all and that is in my book at best a Utopian view.  Both Iran and Iraq have a strategic position in the Middle East and thus, will be of interest to anyone who has an interest in the Middle East.  The fact that some Western countries have got an Imperialistic history is of course not a good reason to deny them a foreign policy in general and towards the Middle East in particular.

If you mean that Iran must be allowed developing nuclear weapons to protect their oil, I find this not acceptable.  Iran are entitled to develop nuclear energy, yes, but not the technology that can make them able to develop nuclear weapons that is why we have got the NPT, of which Iran is a signatory. When Iran admits to secretly having acquired blue prints for developing nuclear warheads the scepticism increases, and naturally so. If oil was the only motivating factor, then the logical thing would be to avoid conflict at any cost and allow Iran to enrich uranium and even nuclear weapons.  Then the country had its own energy supply and all the oil it produced could be exported. One case against your claim that oil is the only driving force behind the West's foreign policy in the Middle East is the oil embargo against Iran-Iraq during the war between the two countries in the 1980's, the oil embargo against Libya in the 90's and against Iraq after the Gulf war in 1991.  

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 04:29:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Correction: there was no formal oil embargo during the Iran-Iraq war, but still you have got the embargo's against both Libya and Iraq.

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.
by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 04:50:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...equipped America may respond to the very prospect of a nuclear-equipped Iran, as I wrote here.

Good piece, Gjermund.

by Meteor Blades (Meteor Blades) on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 05:12:18 PM EST
Thanks for an excellent diary, and the update on the US weapons research.  You never know with the people in charge of the White House administration these days, although I tend to agree with those arguing that it would mean to much of a cost for the US if they are actually going nuclear on this issue.  

It would mean a h... of an opposition from most countries considered allies.  And I do think these people care about their standing amongst "allies", even if it does seem superficial. If not, why bother to got to Europe in the midst of a controversy (see the rendition flights).  Most of the "nuclear threats" from the US administration is tough talk and sabre-rattling to make Iran to conform, that is why the E3 initiative is so important even to the neo-con administration in the US.  Them resorting to conventional military force well that is another story.....  

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 07:19:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gjermund E. Jansen,

Is the Asia Times on-line the only source for this big decrease in Iranian gas supplies to Turkey? Such a strategic move by Iran must have received coverage elsewhere. Did the stoppage continue beyod last Friday? I'd be interested in consulting other sources. Thanks. Interesting diary, for sure.

by Quentin on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 06:58:37 AM EST
Here's another link to a Turkish newspaper, even if the article is rather limited it clearly states that Iran has cut its gas supplies to Turkey by about 77 per cent.

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.
by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 12:17:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm surprised this has not received wider coverage, especially as Russia has evidently done the same to Georgia which, incidently, according to the BBC, is now being supplied by Iran. La ronde!
by Quentin on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 01:16:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A very interesting diary. An example of newsworthy reporting at the least.

This whole Iranian issue always catches my attention, partly because I come from the region that can be potentially affected by any kind of Iran-third country military conflict. Although I am currently an undergrad at the American University in Bulgaria, my origins lie in the great vastness of Northern Kazakhstan... [Please, forgive me this short instance of emotional weakness.]

Iran and Turkey have had an expanding, and sometimes colliding, geo-strategic interest in the newly independent Central-Asian republics.  

The issue's prominence in my worldnews lookout is also explained by the fact that it's been only a couple of months since I finished reading a book on Central Asian geo-politics, which I am happy to recommend to those interested. It was Lutz Kleveman's "The New Great Game: Blood and Oil in Central Asia" (Grove Press, 2004). [The link is not meant to be a promotion of the site, just have a look at the reviews of the book.]

The highlight of the read for me was the chapter, in which the author claimed that the inclusion of Iran in the Bush administration's axis-of-evil list of rouge states was, in fact, a signal sent to the Central Asian capitals (esp. Astana). It meant that any association with Iran would lead to complications in these countries' political as well as economic relations with the US. Oil was at the core of this diplomatic maneuver, of course. [For more details, address the book.]

Last week, however, I got an alternative explanation for the US crackdown on Iran over its alleged nuclear aspirations, which takes the argument to the realm of economics or, rather, international political economy. You can find 2 articles here that lay it out in detail.

[While one of the sources may seem of doubtful quality - and I apologize for that - the other one, written by an Economics professor at my university, parallels the line of argument. So there should be some legitimacy to the political events taking place in the Middle East.]

I would love to hear what y'all think about this.

by serik berik (serik[dot]berik on Gmail) on Sun Jan 29th, 2006 at 08:50:08 PM EST
in the second to last sentence I meant to write "...legitimacy to this explanation of the political events..."


A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government -- Edward Abbey

by serik berik (serik[dot]berik on Gmail) on Sun Jan 29th, 2006 at 08:57:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you Serik Berik! The links you provided are indeed food for thought although I don't believe that the nuclear issue and Iran can be monolithically explained by the Iranians intent on starting up a new Oil Bourse.

In my view Central Asia is very much the place to look at in the future, because I believe that many foreign policy issues will have its roots in that area, both hidden and public. Many Central Asian republics have a great potential economically with their oil and gas resources and big powers like the US, Russia, China and some neighbouring Middle Eastern countries have shown great interest of the area both economically and geo-strategically.  I just hope that a new power play between the big powers in the area can be avoided, but unfortunatly, as matters stands today, that do not seem very likely.    

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 11:27:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as the heat increases, both in international rhetoric, and in apocalyptic implications on the ground, only the most rabid, megalomanical, white-knuckled leaders will want to 'stay the course'.

this will force them to come further into the light of day, as the public wakes up from its fossil-fool dream, and the million tiny scrapes of diligent reporters worldwide will expose the centre of this global tumour for all to see.

it is a race between information and fascism.

only an informed public will go into the streets in sufficient numbers to possibly sway their closeted leaders, as they hear the baying outside their windows, and see the world media covering millions of people refusing to go along with this next phase of neocon powerplay.

the kernel is the self-granted 'divine right' to control the planet's resources in order to support the prolongation of an unsustainably polluting 'way of life' that is not coherently justifiable on any rational level, once it is explained to any person with any smidgeon of fairness in their soul.

anf there's the rub: it still has to be explained, and the media is in no hurry at all to do its job in making the grievous urgency of our beholden-ness to antiquated energy systems (and the corruption and war that cluster around them) understandable to the public, relatively uneducated while young as to geopolitical realities, until they are themselves trapped in the system, or are past having the energy to do anything about it!

instead of the horse leading the cart, it is the public disaffection with gas shortages and pump prices that provokes an at-best leisurely response from the media, so little, so late.

people have internalised the wall to the extent that they cannot see the writing on it, in the stubborn, naive faith that our leaders have some subtle iron to pull out of the fire at the last minute.

i think i speak for a growing body of people who are feeling that rug under our feet getting tugged on seven ways to sunday.

it is logically threadbare.

and there's a long way down, if we don't weave something real (yesterday!!) to support even a tenth off the consumption patterns we have been gulled like infants into believing are ours by birthright and cash-in-hand.

knowledge surely is power, and there is much also to unlearn!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2006 at 04:56:35 PM EST

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