by Michael T. Klare and Tom Engelhardt, February 01, 2012
Oil and energy expert Michael Klare on the Persian Gulf and where Obama's policies are likely to lead.
No one knows just how high oil prices would go under such circumstances, but many energy analysts believe that the price of a barrel might immediately leap by $50 or more. “You would get an international reaction that would not only be high, but irrationally high,” says Lawrence J. Goldstein, a director of the Energy Policy Research Foundation. Even though military experts assume the U.S. will use its overwhelming might to clear the strait of Iranian mines and obstructions in a few days or weeks, the chaos to follow in the region might not end quickly, keeping oil prices elevated for a long time. Indeed, some analysts fear that oil prices, already hovering around $100 per barrel, would quickly double to more than $200, erasing any prospect of economic recovery in the United States and Western Europe, and possibly plunging the planet into a renewed Great Recession.
So, let summarize. There's a country on the other side of the world, about which there are constant claims that the country has a nuclear program. But, just like with Iraq's famous WMD's that were used as an excuse to start another war, there's absolutely no proof that this fictional nuclear program exists. But, nonetheless, Obama seems to be following a course of action that seems destined to crash the US economy and make the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression much, much worse than what it already is.
In American politics, items like war and sanctions with Iran over yet another fictional WMD program is presented as completely unconnected to the question of whether Americans should be able to find decent jobs. And, if the economy does crash, the politicians quickly try to pretend that the crash is due to some unknown invisible hand in the market and business cycles, and not from their own political actions and the favors they do for their contributors.
Yet, we've seen a trend through Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama that the government consistently takes actions that help their big contributors, but which hurt ordinary Americans and the economy overall. Banks are given unlimited room to run wild and to create new scheme after new scheme to transfer huge amounts of wealth from ordinary Americans to their pockets. Taxes stay ridiculously high to pay for a military that costs more than what the rest of the world combines spends on 'defense' against us. And now, Obama's policies over a fictional WMD program seem destined to cause the price of oil, and of course the price of gasoline to spike mile high as the speculative and unregulated god of markets reacts to America's sanctions and potential war against Iran.
A spike in the price of oil will not only hit your pocket book by raising the price you pay for gas. But, it will make everything cost more, as prices will rise across the board as every company that transports anything in this age of logistics where nothing is made in America anymore raises their prices to account for their higher transportation costs. Everything you buy, and every service you use will add new 'gasoline' or 'energy' fees to their prices.
When it comes to economic policy and the refusal to provide any assistance or stimulus money to ordinary Americans, we've been constantly told that the big danger is 'inflation', yet now we have a foreign policy where the threat of a fictional nuclear weapons program is worth sparking massive inflation in the US economy. And remember, even if Iran did suddenly have a nuclear weapon, they have no way to use that weapon to attack America. They don't have B-2 bombers that can fly around the world, especially not in the face of the US Air Force. Iran doesn't have ICBM missiles to use to launch a nuclear attack. If they do build a bomb,about all the Iranians could do is to put it on display and say 'see, we have one'.
Yet, President Obama is more than willing to crash the economy and possibly cost you your job and your home and your livelihood over this nuclear weapons program that no inspector can find and that couldn't be used to hurt you anyways.
The one thing that is certain is that these people are not on your side.