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Geopolitics - June 23

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Michael Klare interview
Jim Puplava, Financial Sense Newshour
2nd Hour Guest Experts
Michael T. Klare
Five College Professor of Peach & World Security Studies, Hampshire College

Author of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy
(21 June 2008)

Hope springs eternal but the oil won't: a Russian lament

David Strahan, Independent
BP should have seen strife coming, but more pressing is the exhaustion of fields on which we've come to depend
It must be lonely being Tony Hayward. As the oil price continues to soar, there is a gathering consensus that global production of the black stuff is nearing fundamental geological limits. Yet BP's chief executive continues to argue valiantly that the causes of the current oil shock are "not so much below ground as above it, and not geological but political".

Since his company's Russian joint venture, TNK-BP, is under ferocious assault from both its Russian shareholders and the Russian state, Mr Hayward can be forgiven for thinking the industry's problems are man-made rather than natural. But this is a false distinction, and closer analysis suggests BP's predicament is itself evidence of looming geological constraints to global production, or "peak oil".

On the face of it, BP's problems in Russia are entirely above ground, even if the company claims its tormentors are far from above board.
(22 June 2008)

How Iran would retaliate if it comes to war

Scott Peterson, Christian Science Monitor
Military analysts say the Islamic Republic would strike back in unconventional ways - targeting American interests in Iraq and Afghanistan.
... increasingly military analysts are warning of severe consequences if the US begins a shooting war with Iran. While Iranian forces are no match for American technology on a conventional battlefield, Iran has shown that it can bite back in unconventional ways.

Iranian networks in Iraq and Afghanistan could imperil US interests there; American forces throughout the Gulf region could be targeted by asymmetric methods and lethal rocket barrages; and Iranian partners across the region - such as Hezbollah in Lebanon - could be mobilized to engage in an anti-US fight.

Iran's response could also be global, analysts say, but the scale would depend on the scale of the US attack. "One very important issue from a US intelligence perspective, [the Iranian reaction] is probably more unpredictable than the Al Qaeda threat," says Magnus Ranstorp at the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College in Stockholm.

"I doubt very much our ability to manage some of the consequences," says Mr. Ranstorp, noting that Iranian revenge attacks in the past have been marked by "plausible deniability" and have had global reach.
(20 June 2008)

Bomb Iran? What's to Stop Us?

Ray McGovern, Consortium News
It’s crazy, but it’s coming soon - from the same folks who brought us Iraq.

Unlike the attack on Iraq five years ago, to deal with Iran there need be no massing of troops. And, with the propaganda buildup already well under way, there need be little, if any, forewarning before shock and awe and pox - in the form of air and missile attacks - begin.

This time it will be largely the Air Force’s show, punctuated by missile and air strikes by the Navy. Israeli-American agreement has now been reached at the highest level; the armed forces planners, plotters and pilots are working out the details.

Emerging from a 90-minute White House meeting with President George W. Bush on June 4, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the two leaders were of one mind:

“We reached agreement on the need to take care of the Iranian threat. I left with a lot less question marks [than] I had entered with regarding the means, the timetable restrictions, and American resoluteness to deal with the problem. George Bush understands the severity of the Iranian threat and the need to vanquish it, and intends to act on that matter before the end of his term in the White House.”
(19 June 2008)
According to Wiki, Ray McGovern "s a retired CIA officer turned political activist. McGovern was a Federal employee under seven U.S. presidents over 27 years, presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House for many of them."

Iran: Stop nukes by bombing oil wells, neocons suggest

Raed Rafei, Babylon and Beyond (Los Angeles Times blog)
Why attack Iran's nuclear facilities when striking their oil infrastructure would be much more effective in the scope of a US-led preventive war? Sure, oil prices might skyrocket and the world economy might collapse. But, hey, that's the price you pay for security.

Such a scenario is not a nightmare or an outtake from a remake of Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove," but part of a serious recommendation made by two neoconservatives in case sanctions fail to persuade Iran to abandon its enrichment of uranium, a process that can be used to make nuclear weapons or fuel for peaceful energy production.

In a July report titled "The Last Resort: Consequences of Preventive Military Action Against Iran," and published by the neoconservative Washington Institute for Near East Studies, scholars Patrick Clawson and Michael Eisenstadt advocate military strategies that would ultimately discourage Tehran from pursuing any future non-civilian nuclear activities:
(19 June 2008)

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