A New Decision?

Richard Sale sent me the following analysis of the “state of play” concerning Iraq/Iran in the White House. If this is correct, then the Iraq Study Group might serve a purpose. After all, if the “Decider” decides to decide something different…. GStK!

Pat Lang

PS – This is Bush as Ahab.


“Administration officials told me on Monday that President George Bush is likely to announce “an exit strategy” that would draw down current U.S. force levels in Iraq.
“I think the dimensions of the catastrophe there has finally sunk in,” one administration source said.
He and two others I talked to refused to speculate on details of any withdrawal, but all said that Bush would begin public statements after the upcoming elections were completed.
But they did say that Bush is also becoming “increasingly pessimistic” about any military action against Iran. According to one, “Bush really wanted to mount an attack on Iran earlier this year — he was really hot to trot,” but military briefings brought home to him that attacking Iran did not mean eliminating its suspected nuclear sites but also having to destroy “Iran’s entire retaliatory capability,” in the words of one. This capability is formidable; U.S. intelligence sources say Iran has underground missile batteries southwest of Abu Musa with the HY-2 advanced version of the Silkworm anti-ship missile. There are also Scud-Cs which could hit any UAE ports, including those to the south and west of Abu Dhabi and they could also strike Dubai where U.S. naval sources currently dock at the port of Jebel Ali.
Since the Scuds are long-range missiles, they don’t need to be moved to the Gulf islands in order to hit targets on the Saudi side of the Gulf.
The underground storage bunkers also store the newer Chinese-made C-801 and C-802 anti-ship missiles and it could easily transport them to Abu Musa if they are not already there as a few U.S. experts contend. The majority I spoke to felt they were there already.
They could also be transported to places like the Tunbs, Sirri and other islands in the blink of an eye where they would be sheltered in bunkers.
There is also the threat of Iran’s Navy. It has much amphibious capability — both flat bottomed ships and hovercraft — and a brigade of marines, all of which it showed off in exercises in the spring of this year, meaning it could cross the Gulf at any point it chose to, say experts.
Iran has submarines that could be easily sunk, the Gulf being so shallow, and so Tehran would likely resort to its array of E-boats, mini-subs, combat swimmers, and fast missile patrol craft to wreak damage. Iran is also training fundamentalists from Egypt, the Gulf States, Tunisia, Algeria and Lebanon at Iranian facilities, and would be likely to have a Fifth column in place in the Gulf States long before any conflict began.
Iran’s ability to do this quickly and effectively is pretty much taken for granted, U.S. officials said.
One military analyst pointed out that in 1986-1988 when Iran’s oil infrastructure was being savaged by Iraq, Iran responded by using fast interdiction boats like Boston Whalers, Boghammers as well as helicopters to launch attacks against Saudi and Kuwait shipping. Tehran could be expected to resort to this tactic again, experts say.
If the United States began the bombing of Iran’s conventional military forces, Iran might attempt to close the Straits of Hormuz before losing its chief military assets.
In Qatar, there is currently underway a $50 billion natural gas project funded mutually by Exxon-Mobil and the Qatar government. The United States is fast running out of natural gas, and the Qatar program would ship in new reserves to take up the shortage. But even though Qatar has assured Tehran that it does not back any action against Iran by the United States, Tehran has made it clear that Qatar would be heavily damaged in punitive attacks if the Bush administration starts a war.
As one civilian military expert said, “Iran would be likely to do a great deal of damage in the Gulf before its assets on the mainland and islands were neutralized.”
In other words, if attacked, Iran would respond asymmetrically, and any U.S. Iran war would be more frightful, full of bloody slaughter and unintended consequences than current U.S. planners think. This is what is giving Bush pause.
Cheney is still pushing hard for a strike, but Bush has become more skeptical of the vice president’s ardor as he looks over the wreckage of Iraq, U.S. officials said.

Richard Sale”

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47 Responses to A New Decision?

  1. dan says:

    Fascinating. And that’s only one element in the Iranian retaliatory package.
    Would be interested in what the assessments of Iranian options regarding Iraq and Kuwait were.

  2. Nicholas Weaver says:

    IMO: If those with brains actually got through to Bush on Iran, this is a big BIG deal, and probably the first time that the bubble around him has ever been succesfully penetrated.
    Anyone with an ounce of clue and a good nature for Red Teaming could see all the nasty options Iran could respond to a US attack with.
    And what I think may have gotten through to Bush is the following sentence: “Four to Five Dollar a Gallon Gasoline”.
    As that is what an attack on Iran could easily cause, as Iran can (and probably would) effectively stop most or all oil export from the Persian Gulf area.

  3. Will says:

    the tradesports.com contracts for the Iran war actually come down after the New Year.
    So it appears for traders now is the optimum time for Dumbya to strike. I”m glad he”s coolin his heels but not surprised Dead Eye dick is all gung ho. After all with five deferments the chickenhawk never has internalized the consequences of war.
    Then there’s the Israelis with their Jericho missles and nukes?
    Best Wishes

  4. Abu Sinan says:

    Good comments. I was struck by this:
    “attacking Iran did not mean eliminating its suspected nuclear sites but also having to destroy “Iran’s entire retaliatory capability,” in the words of one.”
    I think maybe the Israeli attack against Lebanon/Hizb’Allah might have been an important part of this plan. Iranain retaliatory capability would still be there if conventional military assets were destroyed.
    The attack against Hizb’Allah might have been, in part, an attempt to neutralise one facite of this assymetrical threat early. It failure I reckon plays a role in this comments.
    But the Iranian threat is much greater than that. I think were the US to attack Iran we could expect attacks here in the USA, and abroad on USand Israeli assets as well as any supporting parties.
    I view Iranian agents and Hizb’Allah as being potentially more dangerous than al-Queda. Such an attack on Iran would see if I am right.

  5. You put the money paragraph at the start not the finish.

    “Administration officials told me on Monday that President George Bush is likely to announce “an exit strategy” that would draw down current U.S. force levels in Iraq.
    “I think the dimensions of the catastrophe there has finally sunk in,” one administration source said.

    I smell lots of deal making in the future..

  6. Got A Watch says:

    I would be surprised if Bush is really listening – when has he listened to reason in the past? IMHO this administration is pretty much immunised to reality – is this enough to puncture the bubble? I fear not.
    One factor I don’t see discussed much in public is the Lloyds Insurance on tankers in the Persian Gulf. In the event of any hostilities, the insurance would be pulled or raised to exorbitant levels. Tanker owners would not send ships to the region, effectively shutting the Straits regardless of Iranian action. The US government would have to escort US/UK owned tankers in convoy and guarantee their insurance – ships owned by other countries would probably just sail away from the region. So the price of oil could be expected to hit $150-$200 even if Iran can’t really block the Straits fully.
    This would immediately plunge the world economy into deep recession, severely hurting financial markets.

  7. Alex says:

    Good point, Dan. Now when are you going to get a blog, already?
    I hadn’t thought of them trying to *cross* the Gulf. Ambitious but probably stupid, but very troublesome.

  8. Will says:

    live.com search reveals Richard Sale is a highly regarded intelligence reporter for UPI. He is quoted in the article linked below on HA’s electronic abilities in the July War.
    The Israeli press often blames the commander of the ship for not having his anti-missle protection devices on, but the article below posits that EW measures evaded those protective devices!
    “How hi-tech Hezbollah called the shots”
    Best Wishes

  9. John Howley says:

    This is grounds for optimism assuming that all of the relevant military assets on both sides are under tight central control. There’s a lot of ordnance in and around the Gulf and more on its way.

  10. arbogast says:

    Bush is an opportunist. In and out. He likes to make the people who know he’s a moron frustrated by his antics, but when things start to heat up in the kitchen, he is outta there.
    Cheney, on the other hand, has pump brain. His personality, which was never much to write home about, was changed by by-pass (a well-known phenomenon). He is a 100% psycho.
    Bush, of course, is also a burnt-out alcoholic with all the paranoia and sicko traits such a person can have. But he isn’t a pump head. And he sure as hell doesn’t want “real” trouble.

  11. Will says:

    Gertz in Inside the Ring column in the Wash Times reports
    that radiation was sampled confirming a N Korean nuke test.
    It is thought to be a partial PLUTONIUM bomb detonation.
    Two kinds of conventional nukes. Enriched Uranium and Plutonium. the Hiroshima bomb was the enriched type. Foolproof don’t need to be tested, never was, except over Hiroshima. Just bring the two subcritical masses together to achieve critical mass.
    But the Nagaskai bomb had to be tested b/c the Plutonium bomb is very, very, intricate. Contrary to conventioanl wisdom, the details are still calssified. It requires explosive lenses, trace elements, intricate timing.
    Enriched U requires centrifuges, or other intricate methods of separation, purification from natural uranium but the bomb is easy to make though heavy.
    The Plutonium bomb is difficult to make but once mastered can be more easily fitted onto warheads because it’s lighter. Plutonium can be made from breeder reactors w/o those pesky centrifuges.
    Everybody laughed at the NK test, so they’re going to try it again.
    Best Wishes.

  12. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I hope you guys are right for the sake of the United States and Iran.

  13. Green Zone Cafe says:

    One minor point: who says Iran’s subs would have to stay in the shallow Gulf? They have ports outside the Gulf. Their only limitation is that they are diesels and have to be refueled and get air.
    Plus, it’s a long time since I did antisubmarine warfare stuff, but I remember something about salinity and temperature gradients in the Gulf making ASW there a bit problematic.

  14. MarcLord says:

    right-o on your Cheney/Bush analysis. Cheney plays for keeps, and he is after Iran.
    I will repeat myself: achieving a war with Iran is as simple as having them “sink” one or more of our ships. Preferably including a sub for some variety, and better secrecy. Cheney is in charge of the security apparatus, not Bush, and has been since May of 2001 by Executive Order.
    I believe the choices of the Bush family’s extended circle are rapidly narrowing, down to either accepting an unwinnable war with Iran or with ridding our government of some undesireable elements, by means both prudent and necessary.
    Say what you want about the First Family, but they know how to make a hell of an omelette and they’ve been doing it for a long time. Cheney is a usurper who has taken control of their son.

  15. Will says:

    you guys got me stomped again!
    google, live.com, and more importantly my wife who works for Department of Social Services was no help.
    What is a “pump brain,” as used in “Vice is a pump brain.”
    Best Wishes

  16. Will says:

    it’s all in how you search
    i just didn’t include cheney in the search term

    One worry can be if you had an open-heart operation.
    Depending on the surgical techniques used, and time that the patient was on a heart-lung pump, about 33-88% of survivors of open-heart operations suffer significant cognitive impairment (IQ, short term recall, and long term memeory recall). The amount of IQ loss is deemed significant if it is more than 20%. There are many journal papers on this subject, unfortunately not many links on the net.
    This effect is commonly called “pump-head syndrome”.
    Here are some: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=136922 and http://www.memory-key.com/Seniors/senior_research_clinical.htm
    Same is true for young babies who need heart operations: http://perfline.com/main/journal.cgi?folder=revonline&next=20
    (I can not help to note that Dick Cheney has had multiple bypass operations, including one after he was elected. He should have self-tested before/after, and voluntarily resigned from office if he suffered from pump-head syndrome.)

    Never let it be said that Will gives up easily
    Best Wishes

  17. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Hedley Lamarr is banned for giving me a faux e-mail address. pl

  18. Will says:

    Of course I promptly made an edit to Vice’s Wikipedia article and it got promptly deleted.
    I placed the following on his discussion page to see if I could get some supporters before getting in a wheel war.
    ” == Pumphead Syndrome ==
    The medical literature shows that a large percentage of people that have bypasses suffer significant cognitive impairment. Vice with the help of his helper Scooter maneuvered us into the Iraq War and is all Gung Ho about getting us into an Iran War. It is very fit and proper to make this edit in the medical section.
    *”’An open question is whether Cheney has suffered any cognitive impairment from his bypasses due to [[pump-head syndrome]], a condition where a significant percentage of bypass patients suffer cognitive impairment.[http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/344/6/395?ck=nck]”’
    Let me know what you all think. After 2,700 dead over 20,000 wounded, a trillion dollars blown and no exit in Iraq, it may be derelict to the readers not to let them know there are some medical issues out there. Best Wishes. Will314159 00:05, 19 October 2006 (UTC) ”

  19. BadTux says:

    Interesting. So the puppet (Bush) is no longer doing the puppetmaster’s (Cheney’s) bidding? Given that Cheney appears delusional lately regarding the situation in Iraq (or is the world’s biggest liar — or maybe both, they’re not mutually exclusive, y’know?), that’s probably the best news for the country that I’ve heard in six years… which is a sad note on where we’ve gone these past six years, I suppose.

  20. John says:

    Here’s to Richard Sale’s info being accurate that the administration’s appetite is lost over Iraq and Iran. One concern with the Baker commission is that it appears that not one of the ten have meaningful military experience from which to draw, formulate policy, strategy, or even make a cursory cross-walk of strategic to operational to tactical ways, means and ends.

  21. Will says:

    the proper scientific term for pumphead syndrome folks is postperfusion syndrome
    there is a nice National Enquirer article about it and William Jefferson Clinton
    but the scary focus should be on deadeye dick
    I am now scared shxtless
    I should have skipped readind Sic Tyrannis today!!!!!
    Best Wishes

  22. Bill D says:

    The pentagon is aware how quickly any attack on Iran could go south. It could happen in a matter of days rather than the years that it has taken for failure to become apparent in Iraq. “Oh my goodness, who could have imagined” will not cut it this time when the gas price signs start to soar into uncharted territory.
    There is no way of knowing where Rumsfeld is on this. He doesn’t appear to be as big of a fool as Cheney. There can’t be many general officers willing to be Rummy’s fall guy, at this point.
    I doubt if Bush’s Iran briefings will end with the same “and then we all ride home on our shiny new ponies” that he got before Iraq. There will be a lot more, “we would not lose southern Iraq, we just will not be able to move supply trucks thru there any more”, or “we plan to reopen the strait by day 27, unless we run out of marines, or amtracks, or heavy helicopters, or minesweepers first”, or “maybe the Iranians will not want to destroy all of the oil facilities on the Arabian side of rhe Gulf”.
    We will soon see if Bush is a committed megalomaniac or just a dabbler.

  23. wcw says:

    Duke had a pretty definitive paper on “pump head” a few years back. It’s all over Pubmed by now; just do a search for “bypass cognition”. A recent article is titled, “Can cognition survive heart surgery?”
    Cheney had his quadruple bypass in 1988.

  24. taters says:

    Thank you for posting this Colonel. And first rate as usual from Mr. Sale.
    Will, re “Never let it be said…” – those words would never come from my lips.

  25. arbogast says:

    It is incorrect to focus on “cognitive impairment” alone after cardio-pulmonary bypass. Far more significant are the very well-documented personality changes.
    Usually, patients become disinhibited. The people around them notice this, “Gee, grandpa never used to get angry that easily,” or “Gosh, gramma seems to be taking a new interest in men these days,” that sort of thing.
    Whatever remaining belligerence and hatred Cheney had locked up in him, got unlocked by bypass. That’s the hypothesis

  26. arbogast says:

    The thing about Cheney that I really like is how popular he is on the Wall Street Journal editorial page. They refer to him reverently as “The Man From Oklahoma”.
    He is their God.
    It is likely that the old Bush hands thought that Cheney would take care of the moron, make his Presidency a little smoother. They should have read up on pump heads.

  27. Cloned Poster says:

    Doesn’t Tony Blair also have heart problems?

    Ernest Jones, Freud’s disciple and biographer, listed three senses in which things were out of synch in the physiology and psychology of anxiety reactions:
    (1) a “disproportion between the external stimulus and the response”
    (2) a “disharmony between bodily and mental manifestations” and
    (3) an “internal disharmony” within the body or mind itself.

  28. Will says:

    Thanks arbogast for the info about personality changes
    i have written the definitive pumphead article in wikipedia. pumphead redirects you to postperfustion syndrome. I cite the Duke University Study, and a later Mayo study, the National Enquirer, and openly specualte about Deadeye Dick.
    I couldn’t get it Bruce’s article but I never give up.
    I”ll find corroboration for the personality changes and incoroporate. Better yet, why don’t you join the WP fun! I already have
    ” Postperfusion syndrome (often called pumphead syndrome) describes a constellation of cognitive impairments associated with artificial perfusion during coronary bypass surgery. Side effects may include memory impairment, stilted speech, depression, confusion, and diminished hand-eye coordination. Patients may experience lessened sex drive. The condition is called postsurgical neurocognitive deficit, but care takers commonly refer to it as “pumphead” syndrome.
    According to a study by Duke University Medical Center and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it affects more than half of bypass patients which of whom 42 percent are still impaired after five years and for whom there is no cure.
    Physicians speculate it’s caused by tiny debris and bubbles that get into the brain from the heart-lung pump which takes over the work of the heart and lungs during surgery.
    Since that initial Duke University Study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing significant and widespread cognitive impairment [1] there has been a followup Mayo clinic study showing a lesser effect.[citation needed][2]
    The syndrome has attracted some public notoriety with the bypasses of United States Vice-President Richard Bruce Cheney and former President William Jefferson Clinton. The issue is not without significant political relevance considering Cheney’s considerable decision making authority. [3] ”
    WP needs non Kool Aid sipping editors to restore the balance
    Best Wishes

  29. Marty says:

    Regarding Cheney and personality changes, Brent Scowcroft’s article of about a year ago in the New Yorker about what a fiasco Iraq was and how he’d tried to warn Junior Bush but been shut out, Scowcroft observed, “Cheney, I always considered a friend, but I don’t know him anymore.” I seem to remember him being more cautious as SecDef under Daddy Bush and was one of those who was not for going on to Baghdad. I always wondered what the hell happened to him but had never heard of this side effect of bypass surgery. It’s all starting to make sense….

  30. Abu Sinan says:

    Did you see where Bush admitted in an interview that the current state of events in Iraq could be compared to the Tet Offensive? Interesting.
    I just wonder if Bush has any idea of what that admission really means?

  31. Fred says:

    Will: “…uranium but the bomb is easy to make though heavy” All that is needed is 2.43KG of enriched uranium in the correct geometric shape to achieve super criticality – that has been a simple matter of physics since 1945.
    Green Zone, you make some good points about Iran’s submarines, but they are only a platform to launch torpedoes – probably against tankers. There are plenty of other low cost platforms available- you just have to use your imagination and be willing to take losses.

  32. Piotr Chmielarz says:

    Here is link to book in polish language about judgement n huntington theory. I hope that these of you who knows polish language will read it

  33. chew2 says:

    Off topic, appropos of your posts on Pope Benedict’s claim to the mantle of reason for Catholicism.
    No religion or civilization has a monopoly on reason.
    By Asma Afsaruddin
    Daily Star
    “In the wake of Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg address, it is useful to recapitulate the views of a 10th-century Muslim historian by the name of Al-Masudi (d. 956) on the relationship between faith and reason, which are particularly pertinent today.
    In a famous historical work, Al-Masudi maintained that the Byzantine Christians of his time had gone into a civilizational decline because they had rejected the pagan Greek sciences as basically incompatible with Christianity, whereas Muslim civilization was prospering because it had successfully assimilated the learning of the ancients and continued to build on it. In other words, it was the Muslims who had successfully blended faith with reason and had thus left the Christians behind. As such, it is highly ironic that Pope Benedict would use the words of a 14th-century Byzantine emperor to redirect the same accusation at Muslims in the 21st century. ”

  34. Iran War: The good news or the bad news?

    Maybe a little of both.
    Pat Lang has posted a short piece by Richard Sale reporting on what he’s hearing about the prospects for attacking Iran from three unnamed “administration officials”. This sounds like good news:
    According to one, “Bush …

  35. priscianus jr says:

    Amazing that anything could “give Bush pause.” Let’s face it, didn’t just about all of us believe the dimwit was crazy enough to go ahead with this? I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when “the dimensions of the catastrophe finally sunk in.” Let’s hope they stay there… And who was it that finally succeeded in getting it through that moronic/narcissistic skull of his, and how did they do it? Did the generals and admirals just finally wear him down? Great story here…

  36. arbogast says:

    Military question:
    I am waiting for a Republican to say that the current increase in the number of American deaths in Iraq is intended to influence our election.
    Isn’t the correct response to say, “Look, the important point is that at this late date they can decide how many of us they are going to kill according to their needs.”

  37. W. Patrick Lang says:

    At the beginning of the present period of high US casualtied I opined that American politics was one of the factors involved in enemy thinking.
    Now many insurgents are saying it themselves.
    Why this would be a surprise is odd. It has been the case in many other insurgencies that the poliics of the metropole were a major target for the insugents.
    I caution you not to let your own politics afflict your thinking. pl

  38. Will says:

    Another eye-popping asiatimes article, this one by a Philippine brigadier general, Victor Corpus, obviously has had U.S. training and knows the lingo, He explores a war China Vs US but China is allied with Iran and Russia. Which brings up the point, if Iran is so crucial to China and Russia, would stand still and allow it to be knocked off the chess board?
    Just the parts that relate to Iran and some weapons you may not have heard about. He’s talking about war with China but parts may be applicable to Iran. Does Iran have these weapons?
    “The second spike is an array of supersonic and highly accurate cruise missiles, some with range of 300km or more, that can be delivered by submarines, aircraft, surface ships or even common trucks (which are ideal for use in terrain like that of Iran along the Persian Gulf). ………..The Aegis missile defense system and the Phalanx Close-in Defense weapons of the US Navy are ineffective against these supersonic cruise missiles”.
    .” But there is a third spike which is equally dreadful. This is the deadly SHKVAL or “Squall” rocket torpedo developed by Russia and passed on to China. It is like an under-water missile. It weighs 6,000lbs and travels at 200 knots or 230mph, with a range of 7,500 yards. It is guided by autopilot and with its high speed, makes evasive maneuvers by carriers or nuclear submarines highly difficult. It is truly a submarine and carrier buster; and again, the US and its allies have no known defense against such a supercavitating rocket torpedo. “
    “The “assassin’s mace” has still more spikes. The fourth spike consists of extra-large, bottom-rising, rocket-propelled sea mines laid by submarines along the projected paths of advancing carrier battle groups. These sea mines are designed specifically for targeting aircraft carriers. They can be grouped in clusters so that they will hit the carriers in barrages. “
    The last weapon is in keeping with Islamic martyrdom.
    “The final spike of the mace is a fleet of old fighter aircraft (China has thousands of them) modified as unmanned [or manned] combat aerial vehicles fitted with extra fuel tanks and armed with stand-off anti-ship missiles. They are also packed with high explosives so that after firing off their precision-guided anti-ship missiles on the battle group, they will then finish their mission by dive-bombing “kamikaze” style into their targets. “
    He also talks about “C4ISR,” knocking out or blinding satellites with lasers (in the news lately), This guy knows his stuff.
    Best Wishes

  39. mike says:

    I concur with greenzone regarding subs in the gulf. Shallow water sub hunting can be as tough or in some cases tougher than in ‘blue’ water. Good thing they are diesels, hopefully we are now and have been tracking every one of them.
    Fred is also right about them using cheaper platforms to torpedo tankers. But IMHO if the subs survive they would be seeking bigger game than oil tankers.
    My bigger concern would have been Iran’s Shahab missiles:
    I welcome Mr Baker and his reeling in of the prodigal son. Perhaps he and Poppa Bush are getting wise to Pumphead’s problem; or more likely in my mind they are going to set up & frame Pumphead for Junior’s derelictions.

  40. Cloned Poster says:

    Well Sadr has made his latest chess move.

    The Shiite militia run by anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr seized control of the southern Iraqi city of Amarah today in one of the boldest acts of defiance yet by the country’s powerful, unofficial armies.
    Prime Minister Nouri Maliki dispatched an emergency security delegation that included the Minister of State for Security Affairs and top officials from the Interior and Defence ministries, said Yassin Majid, the prime minister’s media adviser.

  41. Will says:

    Apparently Iran does have the “Squall” rocket torpedo. But w/o a nucleur warhead, one writer anyway thinks it’s a dumb weapon and pretty easy to counter. Supercavitating means it travels in an air bubble.
    Specualtion, that’s what sunk the Kursk submarine, changing the fuel from solid to liquid for the Squall torpedo.
    Best Wishes

  42. G says:

    “The United States is fast running out of natural gas” This is patently false and extremely off base. If they’re this far off on something so easily checkable, what about the rest?

  43. W. Patrick Lang says:

    “Natural gas?” Who? What?

  44. Different Clue says:

    “Natural Gas Cliff”. Some
    people think the U.S. and
    Canada are using their own
    natural gas so fast that they don’t have many more
    year of natural gas left to
    use. When natural gas in an
    underground reserve runs out
    the pressure falls to almost
    zero almost immediately without the ahead-of-time
    warning of steadily declining pressure and extraction rate. The production falls “off a cliff.” That’s the concept.
    Here is a post about this
    concept and its relevance to
    North America. There are
    other posts and articles findable about this. If it
    really is true, and not just
    a ‘scare-theory’, the problem would be that everything we use Natural
    Gas to do would be harder to
    do without Natural Gas.

  45. ali says:

    A symbolic attack on Iran’s nuclear program would have provided a boost to get the GOP though the midterms. An IAF USAF tag team punishing the Mullahs for flaunting their post-Saddam power would have mobilized the fundamentalist base. The GOP would have to balance this against the prospect of soaring oil prices in the wake of the attack. Anybody who watches US gas prices and the President’s popularity figures would worry about the 2008 Presidential election result. That’s the entirely cynical view of what was never a practical military option.
    The Iraq war has been mismanaged and supported by people whose idea of war was shaped by the domestic US experience of Vietnam. There’s a lesson from that war that the Whitehouse has absorbed. Public support for that more popular war surged every time the POTUS ordered spectacularly aggressive action. If he appeared to be on the defensive and showed doubt that the numbers fell. This is an administration that believes wars are lost through a failure of public will; they can’t imagine defeat another way for their fantasy of American power is limitless. This view of the Vietnam war does of course have some basis. Sensible peoples do not fight distant wars of choice to the bitter end; to do so is decadent vanity.
    There is little Bush can do in Iraq that can provide such gratifying spectacles as the M1As sprinting towards the center of Baghdad. Iran offered a chance to grandstand once more and sustain the will to war in Iraq.
    On pumpheads: always thought Dick’s dodgy ticker was a factor in the stampede to Baghdad. Beware of an old man in a hurry.

  46. canuck says:

    To add to this depressing thread.
    Which will the world run out of first? Natural Gas, Oil, or Fresh Water?
    By 2025, the demand for water around the world is expected to exceed supply by fifty-six per cent.
    New Yorker
    Five million people die each year from waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and dysentery.
    there are businessmen in Alaska who believe that the state’s earnings from fresh water will eventually dwarf its earnings from oil.
    Dawn of a Thirsty Century
    2001 US shortages of clean water
    By bet is the effects of water shortages will be noticed well before natural gas and oil runs out.

  47. Bush is an idiot says:

    Well Bush did the exact opposite of drawing down troops so it’s high likely he’ll issue that strike against Iran.

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