Hubris Pushing the Gulf and the World towards Catastrophe
The world is now at the razor’s edge in Middle East, which would have serious consequences if NATO & GCC are allowed to carry on their aggressive policies. The aim of Western nations with petro-dollar Gulf monarchies scared of Arab masses revolt reaching them after having toppled US dummies in Cairo and Tunis are trying to subvert the movement and have succeeded so far in pitching the old Mubarak military oligarchy against the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt , with people who fought for freedom and bread in Tahrir Square so far very dissatisfied. So the diversionary attack is on Syria ruled by a Shia minority elite with so far fair majority support ( do not even listen to Western corporate and establishment whores in print or TV channels as their tomtoming of illegal and brutal invasion of Iraq and continued killings in Afghanistan proves.
The western idea is to weaken Syria , which will become like Libya with many civil wars , unrest ( yes , foreign oil companies are enriching themselves as the oil installations were not bombed ) hundred thousand deaths since the western encouraged lynching of Col Kaddafi ( west loves such gory spectacles as in case of Iraqi president Saddam Hussain to keep the natives and inferior nonwhite Christians in their place) and cut the Iranian, Syria, Hezbollah alliance to strengthen monarchies in the Gulf and a decidedly getting more Islamist Turkey under Riyadh’s sway and Saudi Riyals , with continued supremacy of Israel, still the USA’s gendarme in the region to dominate and humiliate the Arabs and loot their oil wealth. The West will not succeed.
Te begin with nothing amuses me more than the western claim of having support of so called "international community" , when in fact US Secretary of State and the British Foreign minister come together .It is not even fully NATO and Gulfies aka GCC plus Israel. Against are arrayed not only the BRICS group of emerging powers but also de 110-plus members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) - that is, the absolute majority of a de facto "international community". They are appalled at how Iran has been treated as a pariah in its negotiations with the P5+1, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. . Everyone knows that Iran has the right to enrich uranium - as subscribers of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Moscow favors a "step-by-step approach" in the ongoing nuclear negotiations i.e. Iran would gradually increase cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and in return sanctions are gradually revoked.
But the crazy talk by US presidential candidates , two warmongering Israeli leaders Netanyahu and Barak , the letter should know better , with the financial and media stranglehold of Israeli lobby and help from the remnants of crazy neo-cons who while destroying Iraq landed US in a quagmire with the US army broken up in the killing fields of Iraq, still hope and promote by military-industry complex financed so called think tanks that like Washington "softened" up Iraq for over a decade with extremely hardcore sanctions before it launched Shock and Awe and destroy a debilitated, fragmented nation Iraq , the same could be repeated in Iran. They are sadly mistaken .Iran is nation , an old civilization and of proud people , which survived Arabs ,Mongols , Tatars , Turks and civilized them and turned the tables by transforming Islam into a more personal and cultured form ( look at Wahabis, Salafis, Talebans and others)
What will happen is that Iran, Russia and China will begin trading energy in other currencies as they are already doing .China and Japan trading in their own currencies will save over 2 billion dollars charged as commission by rentier western banks; the beginning of the end of the petrodollar as the pillar of global energy politics, and thus of American hegemony.
History of the Strait of Hormuz
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, a staunch Iranian nationalist has reminded the West in Asia Times of what George Santayana had said: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." She says that the United States and its Western allies are repeating their actions from the 1950s - that of imposing oil embargo on Iran. When under the leadership of the nationalist Dr Mossadegh, Iran opted to nationalize its oil industry, the British Royal Navy blocked Iran's oil exports to forcefully prevent it from nationalizing its oil. It was in retaliation to Iran's nationalistic ambitions, and to punish Iran for pursuing its national interests, the British instigated a worldwide boycott of Iranian oil.
In the 1950s, Iran did not have the military might to retaliate against the oil embargo and the naval blockade aimed at crushing the economy in order to bring about the regime change. The subsequent events were described in a New York Times article as a "lesson in the heavy cost that must be paid" when an oil-rich Third World nation "goes berserk with fanatical nationalism". Iran learnt that sovereignty and nationalism necessitate tactical/military strength and determination.
Continues Soraya that not heeding the aftermath of the 1950s, the American-led Western allies have once again imposed an oil embargo on Iran. In retaliation, Iran has drafted a bill to stop the flow of oil through its territorial waters - the Strait of Hormuz, to countries that have imposed sanctions against it. This bill is not without merit and contrary to the previous oil embargo, it would appear that Tehran has the upper hand and the heavy cost associated with the embargo will not be borne by Iran alone.
Iran's legal standing
The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) stipulates that vessels can exercise the right of innocent passage and coastal states should not impede their passage. Although Iran has signed the Treaty, the Treaty was not ratified and as such it has no legal standing. However, even if one overlooks the non-binding signature, under the UNCLOS framework of international law, a coastal state can block ships from entering its territorial waters if the passage of the ships harm "peace, good order or security" of said state, as the passage of such ships would no longer be deemed "innocent".
Even if Iran simply chooses to merely delay the passage of tankers by exercising its right to inspect every oil-tanker that passes through the Strait of Hormuz, these inspections and subsequent delays would maintain or contribute to higher oil prices. While higher oil prices would benefit Iran and other oil-producing countries, they would further destabilize the European economy, which is already in crisis.
The military option
Although US-led Western allies are flexing their muscles by sending battle ships to the Persian Gulf, Washington's own war game exercise, the Millennium Challenge 2002 (with a price tag of $250 million), underscored its inability to defeat Iran. Oblivious to the lesson of its own making, by sending more warships to the Persian Gulf the US is inching towards a full-scale conflict. The inherent danger from a naval buildup is that unlike the Cuban Missile Crisis, the forces in the Persian Gulf are not confined to two leaders who would be able to communicate to stop a run-away situation. Nor would the consequences of such a potential conflict be limited to the region.
Given that 17 million barrels of oil a day, or 35% of the world's seaborne oil exports go through the Strait of Hormuz, incidents in the Strait would be fatal for the world economy. While only 1.1 million barrels per day go to the US, a significant amount of this oil is destined for Europe. One must ask why the US demands that its "European allies" act contrary to their own national interest, pay a higher price for oil by boycotting Iran's exports and increase the risk of Iran blocking the passage of other oil-tankers destined for them.
It is possible that the leaders of Western European countries are beholden to special interest groups such as pro-Israel lobbies, as the US is. Or they may believe that Iran will not call their bluff by ratifying the bill passed by the Majlis and that oil will be delivered unhindered. Perhaps both instances hold. Either way, they are committing financial suicide and may well suffer serious consequences before Iran's resolve is shaken, concludes Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich.
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|Timothy V. Gatto|
|William A. Cook|