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Saturday, 21 June 2008

Consider consequences of Iran attack by Israel

First, even before Iran may try to retaliate to this action by trying to block the flow of oil from the Gulf, oil prices would spike above $200 dollar a barrel.

Second, Iran could react militarily to such Israeli action (that would be taken with the tacit support and the military logistic support of the US) by unleashing its supporters in Iraq against the US military forces there. That would trigger a military reaction by the US that would start a sustained air-led bombing campaign against Iran’s military capabilities (air force, anti-aircraft defenses, radar and other military installations, etc.)

Third, Iran would unleash its supporters in Lebanon and Gaza (Hezbollah and Hamas) in a military confrontation with Israel. A broader war will follow in the Middle East.

Fourth, Iran would use both the threat of blocking the flow of oil out of the Gulf and an actual sharp reduction of its exports of oil (an embargo) to spike the price of oil. Oil prices would rapidly rise above $200 per barrel and the US and global economy would spin into a severe stagflationary recession (like those triggered by the sharp spikes in the prices of oil following the staflationary shocks of the Yom Kippur war in 1973, the Iranian revolution in 1979 and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990).

Fifth, while Sunni regimes may – in private – sigh relief following the destruction of the nuclear capabilities of the Shiite Iranian regime – the Sunni Arab street (the masses of poor Sunnis) from Algeria to Egypt and all the way to Pakistan, India and Indonesia may become even more anti-Western and anti-American leading to the risk over time of rise of anti-Western fundamentalist regimes in many Arab countries.

Sixth, the Bush administration whose hands have been tied by the new National Intelligence Estimate (that argued that Iran had suspended its program of development of nuclear weapons) would thus be able to strike Iran – via Israel - before the end of its term. Such October surprise by Israel would also certainly lead to the election of McCain and defeat of Obama as a national security crisis of such an extent would doom the chances of Democrats to win the White House. So both Israel – that prefers McCain to Obama and is hurried to act as it is wary of the constraints that an Obama presidency may put on its ability to act against Iran – and the Bush administration would guarantee the election of McCain.

Now, it is not certain – as argued by Fischer – that Israel will strike that early; this is just a guess and a prediction by one observer even if many others think likewise. But if such action were to be taken by Israel the consequences outlined above would be the clear outcome: a major global recession, wars throughout the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, Israel, etc.) and a major increase in geopolitical instability.”

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