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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/22/12

Republican Chickenhawk's New Plan to send Prez Obama Packing

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So, guess what's the latest right-wing ploy to crash the economy before the election? War with Iran! 
On Tuesday - International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde warned that a military strike on Iran could disrupt oil supplies around the world - causing the price of oil to spike 30%. Lagarde said, "Clearly it would be a shock to economies if there was a major shortage of exports of oil out of Iran...A sudden and brutal rise in the price of oil would have serious consequences on the global economy."

Right now - oil is the lifeblood of our economy. All economic production - from how our food is grown, to how our products are manufactured, to how our pharmaceuticals are made, to how our buildings and infrastructure are constructed, to how our workers get to and from their jobs - to how we power our homes - it nearly ALL depends on oil.Currently - Brent crude oil prices are about $123 a barrel. A 30% increase - would push the price to well near $160 a barrel. That's higher than where the price of oil peaked in 2008 - at $147 a barrel - just months before the entire global economy went into full meltdown.

As economist Jeremy Rifkin pointed out - the price of oil is directly related to the stability of the global economy. War with Iran would push the price of oil above that critical $150 mark - forcing the global economy to shut down - and plunging the United States into a Great Depression. And if it happens before the election - then you can kiss President Obama's second term goodbye. Which might explain why political operatives in the Republican Party and on Fox so-called News are pushing so hard to force the President to launch military strikes on Iran or support Israel doing it for us. All the serious observers looking at the Iranian situation - including two former heads of Israeli intelligence -and  all 18 US intelligence agenies - say Iran is definitely NOT building a nuke - and now the head of the IMF says military strikes against Iran are not only unnecessary but would have disastrous economic consequences. 

People living in Iran and Israel are now taking to Facebook - to network with each other - and build a campaign for peace before their leaders take them to war. The fact is there's not a single real shred of evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon - or that Iran, even if it built a bomb, would suddenly turn suicidal and use that weapon. In fact, all the American intelligence agencies say the opposite - that this is not a crisis. So what is the problem that Republicans are in such a hurry to fix by bombing Iran? The problem is President Obama having high favorable numbers going into an election in November.

The last five times that oil prices have spiked - 1976, 1980, 1992, 2000, and 2008 - the party that held the White House and was running for re-election lost that year's election. Jerry Ford, Jimmy Carter, George Herbert Bush, Al Gore, and John McCain. Each one's party had the White House when oil prices spiked as we went into the November election, and each one lost in large part because of it. A war in Iran would make it a sixth time. Normally - a U.S. President gets political benefit from going to war - especially before an election. In fact - George W. Bush told his biographer Mickey Herskowitz back in 1999 - that if he was elected in 2000, he was going to start a war with Iraq to get enough "politicla capital" to privatize Social Security and hand it off to Wall Street.

But in this case - a war with Iran would be a catastrophe. And if President Obama gives into the right-wingers who are using our national security as an excuse to get into a war that will bring about another Great Depression in this country - then he will have made one of the all-time dumbest - and most destructive - blunders in American history. We can't afford war with Iran - and when political propgandists like Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum say we can - it proves that their allegiance is not to the security of United States of America - but instead to their own political ambitions - and to the  billionaire campaign donors who've been trying to get President Obama out of office for more than three years.

Would Republicans really try to start a war with Iran just to crash the US economy so Obama would lose the election this year?  You betcha!

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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