70% American Opinion Be Damned, but Oil Markets May Keep Us from Iranian Attack

Strike on Iran Would Roil Oil Markets, Experts Say
Price Hits Record Close; U.S. Tightens Sanctions

By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 26, 2007; A01

A U.S. military strike against Iran would have dire consequences in petroleum markets, say a variety of oil industry experts, many of whom think the prospect of pandemonium in those markets makes U.S. military action unlikely despite escalating economic sanctions imposed by the Bush administration.

The small amount of excess oil production capacity worldwide would provide an insufficient cushion if armed conflict disrupted supplies, oil experts say, and petroleum prices would skyrocket. Moreover, a wounded or angry Iran could easily retaliate against oil facilities from southern Iraq to the Strait of Hormuz.



Well, American opinion be damned, it would be full steam ahead for an Iranian attack (and still may be) but for disturbing oil markets. Upsetting the hedge fund crowd. Not to worry about . . .

  • 70% American opinion against an attack
  • thousands more American kids killed
  • hundreds of thousand of Iranians killed
  • an Islamic democratic nation of 70 million turned to rubble
  • the likely prospect of uncontrolled chaos sweeping the entire Middle East
  • loss of any prospect for accommodation with moderate (98%) Islam

There may be dire consequences in oil markets. That’s the only thing keeping Dick Cheney’s finger off the trigger, the only concern that stands between him and shooting his fellow-Americans in the face.

So, it’s not rational diplomacy or the long term goals of broadening peace efforts throughout the world–or even the declared preference of Americans that drive this decision. It’s the oil-futures market and possible prices at the pump.

And thus, as the sun sinks slowly in the west of this dishonored administration, we once again define the moral principles upon which it operates.

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Fuels and Energy, check out Opinion-Columns.com

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