Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Oil Prices and Attacking Iran


According to Charles Krauthammer, the effect of removing Iranian oil from the world market is likely to prevent the imposition of any significant sanction against Iran.
The only sanctions that might conceivably have any effect would be a boycott of Iranian oil. No one is even talking about that, because no one can bear the thought of the oil shock that would follow, taking 4.2 million barrels a day off the market, from a total output of about 84 million barrels.
In terms of a possible military action, he sneers at Europe:
Which is one of the reasons the Europeans are so mortified by the very thought of a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. The problem is not just that they are spread out and hardened, making them difficult to find and to damage sufficiently to seriously set back Iran's program.

The problem that mortifies the Europeans is what Iran might do after such an attack -- not just cut off its oil exports but shut down the Strait of Hormuz by firing missiles at tankers or scuttling its vessels to make the strait impassable. It would require an international armada led by the United States to break such a blockade.
Well, we would be there attacking Iran anyway, so... no big deal?
Such consequences -- serious economic disruption and possible naval action -- are something a cocooned, aging, post-historic Europe cannot even contemplate. Which is why the Europeans have had their heads in the sand for two years.
That's right, Chucky. The Europeans have had their heads in the sand, while the U.S. has been working overtime to develop an energy policy which prevents our being held hostage by the oil supply in the Middle East, and has been working on both military and diplomatic efforts which will prevent Iran from ever becoming a nuclear power? Oh... you accidentally forgot to mention that we haven't? Hm... In that case, does the place we have our head even smell as nice as sand? (It isn't like the inevitable failure of diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program has been a big secret, or hard to predict.)

2 comments:

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