It certainly seems, on the surface anyway, that the tensions between the west and Iran seem to be heading toward a regional war. The establishment media is playing up the threat Iran poses to the United States and our strategic interest in the western world but if you take a closer look at the recent events you begin to come away with a different picture. There is still way too much money to be made on both sides of this conflict to unleash a regional war at least for now, and the foreseeable future.
Here are the facts: military posturing among the US and Israel DID seem to reach a new level this week around the Strait of Hormuz with the commencement of naval drill Austere Challenge 12. this exercise would seem to be designed to ramp up pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions, while Iran is simultaneously shoring up defensive positions by conducting their own war games in neighboring waters.
Unlike the conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan, its a foregone conclusion that Iran is very capable of defending itself and sustaining a conventional war with the US and its regional allies. This fact would indicate that the ensuing conflict with Iran would almost certainly turn into a multi-regional war which would be hugely unpopular in the west, plunging the economy into a global recession. To add to these facts, the US or Israel have yet to secure Syria, which most analyst agree would be a pre-requisite to engaging Iran militarily, not to mention the US and Israel have yet to eliminate the military threat of Iranian allies Hezbollah in Lebanon. These things have to happen first for their to be a green light for a preemptive strike on Iran, and it appears at least for now, the light is red.
Most energy analyst and economic experts are in agreement that and conflict between the West and Iran and friends would lead to a serious disruption in the flow of oil to a petroleum dependent global economy that definitely needs oil now. These are the realities of the situation that the mainstream media are predicting will become a military conflict between now and the spring.
Now to the issue of profits of this potential conflict. It would appear that any US led sanctions on Iran would not have the teeth to isolate the country very long at all. This week South Korea announced it's plans to consume Iranian crude in 2012, while China says sanctions on Iran will not be looked upon kindly and plans to make Iran it's second largest oil importer. Interestingly enough, Japan is expecting to receive an exemption from US penalties on Japanese banks doing business with Iran. So at least according to Japanese Foreign Ministry, they have no considerations of banning Iranian imports. Many major oil companies are well represented among the elite clique of American foreign policy think-tanks. And like their corporate relatives in the defense industry, they have a lot of profit to gain from an appearance of instability in the Persian Gulf. In 2007 and 2008, the steady slide in the dollar contributed to the oil price peak of over 140 dollars a barrel. The recent price spikes however, are a direct result of war hyping by the establishment media and its partners around the world. This undoubtedly will benefit the OPEC petrol nations as well as many major US oil distribution and retail corporations.
So at least for now it seems as if there is still much money to be made off this potential crisis in the Persian Gulf. Read my blog tomorrow as I analyze how a new cold-war may be emerging from the continuing conflict among the west and Iran and its allies.