By Dave Lindorff
As someone who has been writing about this crazed administration's plans to launch an attack on Iran now for over a year, I have always noted that the real sign that it might happen would be when oil industry analysts started to worry about it.
That's because the oil industry is probably more plugged into the inner sanctum of the Bush administration than any other entity. If the analysts, who have their fingers on the pulse of the oil industry, start worrying that an attack could happen--with the resulting shutdown of oil shipments through the Persian Gulf, from which the world gets roughly a third of its oil--then we need to take the threat very seriously.
While we haven't seen the kind of spike in oil futures prices that we would expect should that mad war begin--which would see oil soaring above $200 a barrel--we are seeing oil rise to a record high of around $100 a barrel.
Now comes word from the respected newspaper, the <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20071119/wl_csm/oopec">Christian Science Monitor</a>, that analysts are starting to factor a US attack on Iran into their thinking. As the newspaper put it in an article published today reporting on the recently concluded meeting of the leaders of OPEC nations:
The 13-nation cartel once controlled prices often by just talking about pumping more or less oil. But now its leaders say booming world demand – largely from India and China – and concern over a possible US attack on Iran are driving prices.
The article also quotes an oil industry analyst, Mustafa Alani, of the Gulf Research Center in Dubai, UAE, who says, "...there's very little they [the OPEC leaders] can do if there's an attack on Iran or something of that nature. In that case, prices will double, perhaps go to $300 a barrel."
It may be that Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his generals, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and the leaders of many of America's Fortune 500 companies are opposed to an attack on Iran, knowing that it will be a military disaster and that it would cause a global economic collapse, but the US today is being led by two insane and desperate men, who may not care what any of those people think. With their domestic and international policies in ruins and their legacy a disaster, they may have decided to double up on their bet and just throw everything in with an air assault on Iran.
Keep watching those oil prices. If they start really bumping up from their current level, hold on to your Constitution--and get the hell out of dollars--because they're both going down.
DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky, is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006 and now available in paperback edition). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net