Leaks about a possible strike at Iran (are there any hotter issues today?)

Here are several articles worth reading, discussing a possible strike by Israel at Iran’s atomic infrastructure.  Esp note #2 and #3, which echo what I said last December in Will Israel commit suicide? More rumors of a strike at Iran.  IMO many experts are too sanguine about both Israel’s capabiltiies and the consequences.  Hat tip on these stories to Antiwar.com.

Contents

  1. US Pentagon doubts Israeli intelligence over Iran’s nuclear programme“, The Telegraph  (5 July 2008) — “Pentagon chiefs fear that Israeli plans for an attack on Iran’s nuclear programme will fail to destroy the facilities because neither the CIA nor Mossad knows where every base is located.”
  2. ‘Iran leaks reflect internal US debate’“, Jerusalem Post  (7 July 2008)
  3. Living forever by bombardment“, Gideon Levy, op-ed in Haaretz Newspaper (7 July 2008) — So what is Israel’s “great plan”?
  4. Update:  “Expert: ‘US won’t allow Israel to attack Iran’“, Jerusalem Post, 8 July 2008

Excerpts

I.  “US Pentagon doubts Israeli intelligence over Iran’s nuclear programme“, The Telegraph  (5 July 2008) — “Pentagon chiefs fear that Israeli plans for an attack on Iran’s nuclear programme will fail to destroy the facilities because neither the CIA nor Mossad knows where every base is located.”  Opening:

American commanders worry that Israel will feel compelled to act within the next 12 months with no guarantee that they can do more than slow Iran’s development of a weapon capable of destroying the Jewish state.

Gaps in the intelligence on the precise location and vulnerabilities of Iran’s facilities emerged during recent talks between Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Israeli generals, according to an official familiar with the discussions who has briefed Iran experts in Washington and London.

2.  “‘Iran leaks reflect internal US debate’“, Jerusalem Post   (7 July 2008) — Bold emphasis added.  Opening:

The recent spate of leaks and reports from Washington about whether Israel will, or should, take military action against Iran, and what that would mean for the US, is a reflection of deep divisions on the matter inside the Bush administration, Israeli diplomatic and defense officials said Sunday.

The officials said that the two sides of the argument, the “hawkish camp,” led by US Vice President Dick Cheney, and the “dovish camp,” led by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, are leaking assessments about Israeli intent to further their own agendas, and in this regard using Israel as a “pawn” in their own political battles.

For instance, one official said, the recent remarks made by US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen to the effect that an attack on Iran and a “third front” would be bad for US interests were aimed not merely at deterring Israel from action, but also at “handcuffing” those inside the administration who are supportive of military action.

One Israeli diplomatic official said that as the debate rages in Washington, it was clear that Israel would be unable to take military action without a green light from the US.

“Everyone understands that we could not take action without US approval,” the official said, “both because we would need to fly through airspace controlled by the US, and we would need their help in dealing with repercussions from any attack.” The most direct air route to Iran is through Iraqi airspace, which is controlled by the US.

“We would need their help in carrying out the attack, and also afterward,” the official said.  “We would have to deal with possible military action from Hizbullah and Syria, and also diplomatic fallout. Don’t expect the world to clap if we attack Iran, and as a result oil prices spiral from $140 a barrel to $300 a barrel.”

The official said Israel would need US diplomatic cover to deal with the world’s condemnation, and possibly even sanctions, in the aftermath of a raid.

3.  “Living forever by bombardment“, Gideon Levy, op-ed in Haaretz Newspaper (7 July 2008) — So what is Israel’s “great plan”?

So what is the “great plan”? As things look now, this is the way Israel is planning its future: Every time some Middle Eastern country tries to obtain nuclear weapons, Israel will bomb it. Bomb – and bombard. Beyond the problematic assumption that we are allowed to do what others are not allowed, and what is secure in our hands is dangerous in the hands of others, this kind of conduct will lead to disaster. We tried twice, in Iraq and in Syria, and it worked; it is doubtful it was essential.

Now it seems we are going to try a third time against Iran. It may even be successful, but nothing lasts forever. It will end in catastrophe. From bombardment to bombardment, that is not the way for Israel to establish itself in the Middle East in the long term. But no one discusses the long term beyond tomorrow.

4.  Update:  “Expert: ‘US won’t allow Israel to attack Iran’“, Jerusalem Post, 8 July 2008 — Excerpt:

The US did not give the green light for an Israeli attack on Iran, Prof. Anthony H. Cordesman, a former Pentagon official and currently the top defense analyst at the ABC TV network, said Monday.  Cordesman was speaking during a meeting with Israeli defense analysts held by the Institute of National Security Studies. He said IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi was notified of the United States’ stance regarding Iran by Admiral Michael Mullen, the top uniformed US military officer, during Mullen’s visit here at the end of June.

The US has opted at this point to stick to the diplomatic track in its efforts to keep Iran from going nuclear, and has made clear to Israel that it shouldn’t attack Iran without White House approval, Cordesman said.

Please share your comments by posting below (brief and relevant, please), or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).

My posts about a strike at Iran by Israel

Esp. note #2!

  1. Is Iran dangerous, or a paper tiger?   (13 November 2007)
  2. Will Israel commit suicide? More rumors of a strike at Iran  (22 December 2007)
  3. Does reading Debkafile make us smarter, or dumber?  (15 June 2008)
  4. A new story about a possible war with Iran  (21 May 2008) — About the 20 May Jerusalem Post story, originally reported by Army Radio.
  5. “As things look, Israel may well attack Iran soon”  (3 June 2008) — About the Fischer story in the 30 May Daily Star.
  6. “Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable”   (8 June 2008)  — War-talk by a former Defense Minster of Israel.
  7. Der Spiegel: “Israeli Ministers Mull Plans for Military Strike against Iran”  (17 June 2008) — Rumors in Der Spiegel of a strike by Israel on Iran.
  8. More rumors of a strike at Iran by Israel  (1 July 2008)
  9. The most expensive psy-war campaign – ever!  (13 July 2008)

Here is the full archive of my posts about a possible strike at Iran by Israel or the US.

15 thoughts on “Leaks about a possible strike at Iran (are there any hotter issues today?)

  1. Israel’s best wars has always been short and intense. Like the Six Day-war. We can’t possibly know the Iranian response to an attack (if it comes – I still hope its just hot air), but a clever tactic would be to try to lure Israel into a tit for tat war – slowly escalating. Fire a couple of missile (or perhaps just one) against an Israeli city each day, forcing the Israelis to launch new attacks in retaliation. Or using Hezbollah against Israel. There is a great distance between Israel and Iran and this is Israel’s greatest weakness.

    It doesn’t help that the Israelis would have to use Iraqi air space for any attack (for the record Iraq is officially an “independent” nation according to Washington). If it was possible to cripple Iran in one single blow it wouldn’t matter, but even if the Israelis would only go for Iran’s nuclear program they would still have to bomb for at least a couple of days. Any retaliation would force the Israelis to continue their bombings.

    It all depends on how capable the Iranian, Israeli and American war leaders are. We already know the quality of the American and Israeli military leaders from the wars in Iraq and Lebanon(going from medicore to terrible), so it is up to the Iranians. If they are clever they have ever chance to win or at least win politically. If they are dumb they loose.

    Capabilities are important, but not necessarily essential. Germany should – from a logical point of view – have lost the Second World War in May 1940. The Germans were inferior in many terms, including the number and quality of tanks, but since they managed to concentrate their best Panzer divisions in the Ardennes (where the French were especially weak) they won. Of course it helped that the French and British military leadership was horrible. Could the Iranians do the same feat again? How good are they?
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Israel’s small tanker fleet limits its operations against Iran. Also, extended operations would puts Israel’s air force at risk — risking loses they cannot afford.

    I wonder if anything beyond a single strike is feasible, and by most accounts that would require US cooperation (refueling over Iraq). Which may be the weak spot. Would the US risk a strong response by Iraq’s Shiites?

  2. I’m a bit surprised we haven’t heard much from the Iranian side. I would have thought a few comments about the potential devastating consequences for oil exports from the Persian Gulf region from a US-Israeli attack would be a nice repost which could push oil prices up a 10-20%. It wouldn’t be the Iranians feeling the pain from that.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Check google. They have said quite a bit in response to threats by the US and Israel, but the media gives Iran little attention.

  3. “They have said quite a bit in response to threats by the US and Israel, but the media gives Iran little attention.”

    My own opinion is that this entire situation is basically a lot of hype drummed up by the media’s thirst for the story. Certain public figures like Bill Kristol,John Bolton, and Seymour Hersh love the attention and are more than willing to say things to the camera and write things that get everybody scared.

    Recent comments by US naval commanders in the gulf and the longstanding beliefs of Robert Gates suggest that there is no plan and an attack before next year is extremely unlikely.

    I find it hard to agree with your statement about the media and Iran. I’ve been reading their responses almost everywhere for the last two weeks.

  4. Hi Fabius

    It would seem that your readers are not as attuned to this topic. Iran is currently playing “Rope-A-Dope. The Israeli saber rattling seems to have gotten their attention. This topic is WHITE HOT over at the “Economist” one of my favorite chat sites. So I guess it depends on the demographic eh?

    Anyway I don’t think that your readers understand the significance of the Middle East-Central Asia dynamic. It has become complex in the extreme with Pakistan hurtling head long into failed nation status.

    I also wonder about Iran’s meddling capacity. If they are going to support Iraqi Shiites, Sunni Salafist Al Qaida, The Taliban, Hezbollah, Baluchi separatists etc how are they going to tell who to support today without a scorecard?

    Their economy is so mismanaged (60-70% of oil income goes to subsidies) that they have to saber rattle when the price of oil starts to weaken even at the 130-140 range. Today oil is dropping and their “war games” aren’t enough to turn the market. Maybe a test missile launch will do the trick
    Maybe the Israelis can afford to wait for the economic collapse. What’s your take?
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Much geopolitical analysis is, so far as I can tell, conducted by Jedi Knights. Without extensive discussions with Iran’s leaders — or people in Iran — or knowledge of its language, history and socity — these experts can confidently determine the intent and goals of Iran’s government. {clarification: a general comment, not directed at John}

    Wielding the Force must be awesome, but unfortunately I failed my Padawan exam. So I find it difficult to accurately see the intent and goals of our government. However, here are some thoughts…

    1. I suspect that nobody fully or perhaps even well understands today’s ME dynamics. Too many moving pieces.

    2. I doubt Iran is near collapse. High oil prices have probably overcome their internal problems. But I could easily be wrong.

    3. If Iran has difficulty understanding the players, making their meddling difficult — our meddling must be really handicapped!

  5. Update:Expert: ‘US won’t allow Israel to attack Iran’“, Jerusalem Post, 8 July 2008 — Excerpt:

    “The US did not give the green light for an Israeli attack on Iran, Prof. Anthony H. Cordesman, a former Pentagon official and currently the top defense analyst at the ABC TV network, said Monday. Cordesman was speaking during a meeting with Israeli defense analysts held by the Institute of National Security Studies. He said IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi was notified of the United States’ stance regarding Iran by Admiral Michael Mullen, the top uniformed US military officer, during Mullen’s visit here at the end of June.

    “The US has opted at this point to stick to the diplomatic track in its efforts to keep Iran from going nuclear, and has made clear to Israel that it shouldn’t attack Iran without White House approval, Cordesman said.”

  6. Hi Fabius

    You may not understand the motives but the purpose of your site, as I understand it to bring some light to the heat. Policy wonks and especially diplomates are either dumb or as I suspect purposefully obtuse on the most transparent and readily solveable difficulties. How are they to understand Iran???

    I had a revelation on my first trip to the China interior (not the tourist havens of Shanghai etc). I was the only anglo face I saw outside the mirror for 5 days. Being an obsessive observer it came to me what the Chinese want, and why they operate the way they do.

    Cynics will say BS but an open mind with a lot of background knowledge combined with boots-on-the-ground can really create a world of understanding.

    Why can’t some of these “experts” do the same with more resources, language skills etc. It is because their minds are not open either because of preconceived notions or political agendas.

    This sounds off topic but its not. Enlightenment is there for those who value logic and accurate observation above all else. I am one of those people but like all of us my mind will “revise” the facts to some extent, but (I believe) less than most.

    So saying “I am not qualified” on a talk site doesn’t help as your job as I see it is to provide a forum for info sharing good or bad, as the end game is to think about the issues. That does not mean I disagree with enforcing on topic discussion. I hope I am making myself clear as its late and I’m not at my most lucid. (sorry, couldn’t wait to post)

    On topic the Iranian economy is an object of much discussion among my friends. The US guys say the are collapsing, the Euro guys say no, the Chinese and their oil will save them. But the point is mismanagement can kill any economy no matter HOW much money is flowing thru. And if oil, as I believe, drops to sub $100 in the next few months it will be that much tougher.

    Thanks for the opportunity for discussion your site gives all of us. It is hard work and you probably don’t get much appreciation for that
    JLK
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Whoops! I was not clear. That meant that I did not want to comment on things about which I have little information. I have no idea what knowledge you have, so would not comment on your qualifications (a firm rule of mine). I have posted a clarification above.

    As for Iran’s economy… I too have stacks of wastepaper masquerading as analysis of Iran’s economy. We just do not know, based on public information.

    “mismanagement can kill any economy no matter HOW much money is flowing thru.”

    Agreed. For example, the “resource curse” has a long list of victims. But I doubt that at this point Iran is among them. On the other hand, I can equally confidently say the same thing about the US economy: it is probably in a recession, but not collapsing — but we cannot be sure.

  7. I draw your attentinon John Krier’s impressive forecasting! See comment #4, posted 11 hours ago (bold emphasis added).

    “Their {Iran’s} economy is so mismanaged (60-70% of oil income goes to subsidies) that they have to saber rattle when the price of oil starts to weaken even at the 130-140 range. Today oil is dropping and their “war games” aren’t enough to turn the market. Maybe a test missile launch will do the trick.”

    And 2 hours ago this news story appeared on the tape: “Defiant Iran test-fires longer range missile“, AFP — Opening:

    “Iran on Wednesday test-fired its Shahab-3 missile, whose longer range puts Israel within reach, amid growing fears that the standoff over the contested Iranian nuclear drive could lead to war.

    “The Shahab-3 was among a broadside of nine missiles fired off in the early morning from an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert, state-run Arabic channel Al-Alam and its English counterpart Press-TV reported. Al-Alam said the missiles test-fired by the elite Revolutionary Guards included a “Shahab-3 with a conventional warhead weighing one tonne and a 2,000-kilometre (1,240-mile) range.””

  8. The coming war with Iran and $200 barrel oil“, Going down Bitter in the Hinterlands, 21 July 2008

    All the intentions and intelligence in the world won’t stop a country determined on war. It only takes one to fire first and since 9/11 was used as justification to attack Iraq, if the current administration finds sufficient cause that Iran is a threat to the U.S., then we will be the ones that fire first.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Agreed. I just doubt that either the US or Israel will attack.

  9. Hi Fabius

    Am stuck at the dealer waiting for my car so I thought I would take the opportunity to agree with your last comment about the US. According to McKenzie who does a biennial survey of global capital flows, in 2005 $45 TRILLION US worked it way thru our financial system. That is 4 TIMES GDP!! And what do we get? One of the great financial fiascos in our history.

    Now the big money people have rotated to the commodities game. When you see the reaction to Iran’s latest gambit you can thank your friendly neighborhood speculators. This group includes union pension funds, university foundations, SWF’s etc. In other words these groups are playing into Iran’s hands. Anything for a buck as the saying goes.

    Anyone want to say “its only supply and demand”? Bring it on!
    JLK
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    Fabius Maximus replies: “Blame the speculators” is the age-old cry of governments who have screwed up their monetary policy. There is little evidence that speculation is a significant factor in rise of commodity prices, and strong evidence that simple supply and demand factors are responsible.

  10. Sorry Fabius

    Have to argue there. If you see the figures in the energy (or food for that matter) index fund investments you will be staggered. The speculators have huge multipliers at hand. Margin requirements are 10% and bank swaps allow investment groups to get around open interest limits. And that is only the legit exchanges in NY and London! Open interest is now 5 TIMES what it was in 2003. After a career spent in commodities I know when the speculators and locals are driving prices.

    What people are doing, I believe, is indulging in a knee-jerk reaction because the guv is piling on. And I agree that the guv is usually wrong but in this case they are right by half. Most estimates put the ACTUAL cash price of oil if supply and deman were left to work their Smithian magic at $60-$100/barrel (I tend to the high side). Since we passed that threshold the markets have been behaving very suspiciously.

    Using the above figures you can see that an investor with $100mil to throw into commodities can buy $1 Bil worth of oil contracts. (And there are plenty of those around)

    Saying futures and cash are different is too simplistic. Futures contracts are a PLACE MARKER so if a producer wants to hedge his price he can sell into the board. And when you have supply/demand very closely linked futures become THE price driver.

    To sum it up: yes supply is somewhat tight and it will be a long time before we see the bright side of $50 oil. But the marginal increases from $100 up are not supply/demand driven but speculators using supply/demand fears as an excuse to push the market around.
    JLK

    Fabius Maximus replies: Most of this comes from Michael W. Masters (Managing Member, Masters Capital Management, LLC) testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs. As Bill King (commodity expert) say: “There is a fervid, global crusade, especially by politicians, to pin escalating oil prices on speculators.” The alternative is to accept responsibility for the monetary policies that have let loose the inflation menace on the world.

    A full rebuttal to this is beyond the scope of this site. However, here are a few details, as this case is almost totally without empirical foundation — other than the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy. The usual supply/demand/inventory factors are perfectly adequate to explain the rise in commodity prices, esp after a 20 year long period of low prices — and 20 years of gross under-investment.

    I suggest reading “Whither the Price of Oil?”, John Mauldin, 23 May 2008. Among the many cogent objections to the “speculation has pushed up commodity prices” theory, he quotes several from a paper by Bob Greer, executive vice president at PIMCO. Most tellingly: non-exchange traded commodities have risen in price more than those traded on exchanges (and more subject to speculation).

    Greer’s report concludes as follows:

    “Regarding intrinsic value, commodity futures prices converge to cash prices, and cash prices are set by the level of demand to consume physical goods such as steak, gasoline, and Wheaties. The price setting mechanism is not based on possibly erroneous assessment of a financial statement, nor on irrational exuberance. In commodities there is an outside measure of intrinsic value–the cash market–that is not dominant in equity, real estate, or tulip bulb markets. As actual commodity prices go higher or lower, they reflect consumption requirements for actual products, many of which are not very storable.

    “This is a sharp contrast from internet stocks or vacation condos, which are subject to speculative bubbles. Unfortunately, our conventional wisdom regarding factors that create bubbles is rooted in asset classes like stocks and real estate, asset classes that have fundamentally different characteristics than physical and futures markets.

    “Coincidence is not the same thing as causality. It is a coincidence that commodity index investment has increased in the last few years just as commodity prices have increased. If there is any causality, it is the other way around. Rising commodity prices have caused an increased interest in commodity investment. And it is certainly causality that fundamental supply, demand and inventory factors have driven commodity prices in many markets higher, whether or not those are markets in which index investors participate. This is the same causality that has driven commodity prices both higher and lower for many decades.”

  11. One more thing…if you know futures you will see backwardation in the back months. That is always a signal of lack of confidence in future price trends. JLK
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    Fabius Maximus replies: These aphorisms are sometimes true, sometimes not — but always just half-truths. The exchange ticker tape gives prices and volumes, not reasons. For the past five years we have had an almost constant stream of reports explaining why prices were too high and certain to crash. They will be correct, eventually.

    There is as yet no proven mathematical basis for futures prices, as Black-Scholes does for option prices (however imperfectly). The closest thing we have is Hotelling’s rule, which is a pretty theory but does not work very well.

  12. Hi Fabius

    My preference is the Bollinger Band, RSI or the simple elegance of Fibonnacci. As far as the very erudite sounding quotes: yes once again they are right…by half. I will say it again you are discounting backwardation because it does not fit. Backwardation is a result of future EXPECTATIONS of a correction. This means a lack of confidence in spot or forward prices. This also could mean a lack of belief in structural inflation as the bond markets are signalling. Master’s report is good for one thing….statistics. The rest is speculation. He is a bit over-the-top but I agree with the fundamental idea and so do all my colleagues in the futures business (mainly CME guys or daily traders) Broad sweeping statements, no matter how erudite, many times do not account for current quirks or distortions in the market.
    Again…no one is arguing that supply/demand is not tight. But think of it this way. Currently no overt shortages and falling demand (world wide) according to yesterdays figures. There are no gas lines. Crude stocks are going down, but this is probably because the summer driving season is a bust and gas stocks have been rising. Refineries don’t want to get stuck with high priced oil. So where is all the pressure coming from.
    Now if the futures market believes that pressure is coming down the road a piece, why backwardation?
    So the fallback position is….guess what? Iran and for the 364th time in the last year…Nigeria!!! I am sorry I just don’t see it the way you guys do and I am no amateur. Adam Smith is alive and well but distortions do happen even in oil markets.
    But I can see we are talking past each other so I will shut up about this for now and we can wait for the results together.
    My prediction: unless Israel bombs Bushehr or Pakistan explodes we will see a $40 correction some time before the end of the year..most likely in October-Nov.
    JLK
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Thanks, as this is going off-topic. There are a thousand other sites to discuss Bollinger Banks and similar technical mechanics about market price movements. My opinion, as stated in a post going up tomorrow, is that the Saudi Princes have initiated Peak Oil. Perhaps political, perhaps geological (we cannot tell the difference). They have hinted at it for several years, and have now gone public. Here are my posts about it:
    * The most dangerous form of Peak Oil (8 April 2008)
    * The world changed last week, with no headlines to mark the news (25 April 2008)

    As for Nigeria, it looks ugly — just as Shell’s consultants forecast:
    Nigeria, a weak link in the global oil supply (2 May 2008)

  13. Hi Fab

    Welcome back. (a) I hope it is okay to post on this old site. But I disagree about the Saudis for one reason. No one is more aware of the dangers of high oil prices in the long run. (b) Forcing the west to create alternative sources like nuclear hydrogen and while we wait for the technology to advance maybe even drilling here! (counting oil shale our reserves are larger than Saudi’s) Whar a concept!
    If the Princes are worried about their descendants they also have to worry about the relevance of their descendant’s products on world markets. $30 oil (inflation adjusted of course) doesn’t do them much good.

    (c) Which brings up a final pet peeve of mine. The environmental moralists who want the rest of the world to drill to supply us in order to keep our pristine environment have it upside down as usual. Who will be a better steward, drillers here or in Kazakhstan or Russia?
    JLK
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    Fabius Maximus replies: (a) Comments on older posts are welcomed, as 1/4 of traffic is on posts over 30 days old.

    (b) As for alternative transportation fuels, there are no alternatives likely to substantially replace oil during the next 10 years, and perhaps 20. For example, oil shale … there is today no commercially-proven method for extracting oil from kerogen. What methods we have involve large envionmental impacts, and will scale up only with great difficulty. Alberta’s oil sands took 20 years to reach 1 million b/day, and are forecast to take another 20 years to reach 5 million b/day (even that is problematic).

    (c) As for who should drill first, the answer is not clear. In the 1970’s Malcolm Forbes suggested that we allow the Middle East to use up its oil first, after which America’s oil would be of awesome value.

  14. Hi Fab
    You just touched on my point. I have been thinking the same way for years. Our resources will not be tapped until the consumer demands it. Are we at the tipping point? Who knows but it would appear that demand for drilling is overwhelming the Democrats “rope-a-dope” strategy in Congress. AGW is falling apart as an issue (heard much about it lately on the campaign trail?)and $4 gas concentrates the consumers mind wonderfully. Especially when combined with the “reverse wealth effect ” of falling home prices.

    The huge new gas strike in NE Texas/NW LA is also interesting. And in Texas they actually drill! The ripple effect to other sectors could be more than we think.

    As for new tech you made my point for me I believe. If I remember correctly the Saudi Prince who was quoted was also talking about 20 years down the road. So if high prices now mean more R & D now (as opposed to down the road in the usual game of Congressional kick-the-can) then the more shots hit the OPEC foot 20 years from now.

    BTW it would appear that my call on oil prices was correct but I hasten to say that I do NOT believe in $75 oil at this point. {snip} So I don’t believe gasoline will go below $3.50 or so at the retailer. At least I hope not! I like high gas prices as Americans may them realize that energy is not a “throwaway” resource.

  15. Israel has many allies in the region all of whom ar closet allies. The Saudiss, the Emirates and Kuwait all of whom will be happy to provide logistical support to the statee off Israel in the event of a strike against Iran.

    Just as Saudi Arabia and Jordan did with providing critical logistical support to the IAF for the Osirak Nuclear reactor ‘take out’ in 1981, these ‘aallies’ believe they have a lot to loose with a nuclear armed or nuclear capable Iran.

    They as Islamic despotic totalitarian states are prisoners of their own making and cannot afford to have a democratic Islamic state as Iran is projecting (whether or not that is the case is a moot point) with a capacity to threaten Israel.

    Unfortunately Benjamin Nethanyahu has no record of good political judgement. He is very much in the shadows of his late brother Col. Jonathan who fell in action in Entebbe. His desire to project himself as a strongman is flawed and motivaated by all the wrong considerations.

    It was he who mortally wounded the flawlesss image of the Mosssad with his misadventure directing a Mossad hit against Khaled Misal of Hamas in Jordan.

    He will fail again if he attacks Iran. The Iranians are not Arabs. They may instead do whats been a traditional form of ousting governments in a post war Iran. A military coup. The Iranians are clearly watching those they suspect with suspect loyalties. again these are Persians and not treacherous Arabs.

    Gopal
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Can you provide any support for this statement – “The Saudiss, the Emirates and Kuwait all of whom will be happy to provide logistical support to the statee off Israel in the event of a strike against Iran.”

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