Monday, June 30, 2008

We Could Just Go Ahead and Set Our Hair on Fire

OK, let's see: crude oil set another price record today:
Crude oil rose to a record above $143 a barrel on Monday on speculation the dispute over Iran's nuclear program may disrupt supply from the second-largest OPEC producer.

Pressure on Iran to end its uranium enrichment program and the falling value of the U.S. dollar may drive prices to $170 a barrel, the president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Chakib Khelil, said Saturday. Oil is headed for its biggest six-month gain since 1999 as investors shun equities for commodities, looking for a hedge against a weaker dollar and quickening inflation.

"It is a risk Iran will take any measures to cut flows through that important region and the market is reacting to that," said Andy Sommer an analyst with HSH Nordbank in Hamburg. "There are some funds flowing from the equities side to commodities."
And AIPAC has just about got its our war with Iran arranged (as in, "let's you and him fight"):
Introduced less than a month ago, Resolution 362, also known as the Iran War Resolution, could be passed by the House as early as next week.

The bill is the chief legislative priority of AIPAC. On its Web site, AIPAC endorses the resolutions as a way to ”Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program” and tells readers to lobby Congress to pass the bill. In the Senate, a sister resolution, Resolution 580, has gained co-sponsors with similar speed. The Senate measure was introduced by Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh on June 2. It has since gained 19 co-sponsors.

The bill’s key section “demands that the president initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program.”

“Imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran” can be read to mean that the president should initiate a naval blockade of Iran. A unilateral naval blockade without UN sanction is an act of war.

Resolution 362 has already gained 170 co-sponsors, or nearly 40 percent of the House. It has been referred to the Foreign Affairs Committee, which has 49 members, 24 of whom, including the ranking Republican, are co-sponsors. The Iran Nuclear Watch Web site writes, “According to the House leadership, this resolution is going to ‘pass like a hot knife through butter’ before the end of June on what is called suspension – meaning no amendments can be introduced during the 20-minute maximum debate. It also means it is assumed the bill will pass by a 2/3 majority and is non-controversial.”
Yep, another war -- that's just what the doctor ordered! I'm sure we can finance it through our friendly bankers (the Chinese, that is.) That should really help with the weak-dollar problem, no?

"Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."

No comments: