Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Iran and Israel word war fires up again today

There are various spins around on the war of words from Israel against Iran, reported earlier here (on June 8, 2008) but today someone in DOD apparently speculated increasing likelihood that Israel would attack Iran to stop Iran’s nuclear program, and the State Department immediately rebuked the “anonymous” speaker. MSNBC runs the Reuters story (which does not show up easily on Reuters itself) here. The page offers several NBC videos about Iran, which interprets any action against it by Israel as action by the United States.

However, Reuters has a Factbox, “What would Iran do if pushed into conflict?” here. It’s pretty clear that Iran could try to block the Strait of Hormuz. It could access Hamas or Hezbollah in areas from Lebanon to Gaza. And oil industry analysts predict that oil would go to $400 a barrel!

The word wars helped push and keep oil prices over $140 a barrel today.

Iran had threatened the Strait of Hormuz in September of 1980, a development which led the United States to side with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. Navy Orion flyer Keith Meinhold, later to become well known in the attempt to lift the military gay ban in the 1990s, actually flew missions during this period over the Strait. We know this is just one of many unfortunate ironies of history.

Also, July 2, NBC Nightly News recalled a 1999 prediction by Osama Bin Laden that oil at $144 a barrel would break the West.

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