Reflecting on my previous article on our seeming determination to smash our economies on the rocks of Iran I thoght of the the Taijitu or yin-yang motif, which I think may summarize the situation. My understanding is the the motif is intended to symbolise the cyclical waxing and waning of the yin and yang qualities in a given situation. Notice that when dark yin or light yang are at their maximum, the other is present in the middle, and of course the dominating one must then give way.
This seems to me to symbolise where the industrial powers are today. Their military-industrial dominance has been derived on the mastery of coal and then oil. Dominating the oil lies at the heart of the industrial nation’s involvement in the region from the beginning of the oil era at the opening of the 20th century. It drew the British into the region with their 1914 invasion of Iraq, the carving up of the Arab world after beraking up the Ottoman empire, the overthrowing of Mosadegh and so on.
Of course oil supplies are probably maxing out and can no longer feed the colossal displacement activity that we normally call economic growth. The underlying source of our power is set to decline. It is the impotence and frustration that comes from this realistation that may be driving some of the irrational and destructive behaviour.
I read an account by a member of the paratroop regiment serving in the Falklands conflict. After the surrender of the Argentine forces some bored members of the regiment were play a game of cricket, with hand grenades and some improvised bat. The batter would have to hit the grenades into the sea where they could safely explode.
This reminds me of the games that we are playing at the moment with Iran. Maybe we are all bored and in need of some entertainment–not able to get the kick out of destroying other people’s countries we need to make the game a little more exciting. Let us hope that we keep on hitting the grenades into the sea.
Many with a good knowledge of what is going on, and a good track record in finding things out, are saying that we are nat making any sense. Nothing has changed since the Iraq fiasco. But when the fireworks start this time we are all going to get seriously hurt. Before we started destroying the Iraqi people and their country they were an industrialized country with cities, hospitals, schools, power grids, water treatment and so on. We systematically wrecked that so it makes a good study of what could happen in the industrial world if we pull down all those systems. They, and our economies, are all dependent on oil.
This is why the Iranians have no need for a strategic nuclear deterrent. They just need control a single narrow shipping lane. They have always been clear about this, and they have had plenty of time to prepare.
Nothing that we are doing makes any sense at all. We accuse them of undermining the nuclear weapons proliferation agreements, but it is us that are destroying these agreements. We accuse them of destabilising the middles east but it is us that are doing so. We accuse them of supporting terrorism and yet we hear that the Bush administration has asked for $400m from Congress to terrorize Iran and Congress are playing along and considering authorizing a naval blockade of Iran. And we continue to terrorize and kill people in the region in quite high numbers, far, far higher numbers than the paramilitary groups that we obsess over.
We are nuts. I don’t know how it is going to play out and it is not worth losing sleep over. Worrying is a mug’s game. All I can do is call it as I see it.
For those that are interested, Seymour Hersh and Scott Ritter have interviews (Hersh, Ritter) and articles (Hersh, Ritter) spelling out what is going on. Gordon Prather’s articles on nuclear weapons proliferation are excellent, as are Gareth Porter’s on the wider issues.
George Monbiot reminds us of how powerful narratives can be when people want to believe them enough, according to a poll reported on Sunday, 60% of people in Britain agreeing with the statement that “many scientific experts still question if humans are contributing to climate change.” As Monbiot explains this is pure denial.
Paul Krugman sounds close to despair about how people continue to blame high oil prices on speculators and has another go at explaining why this is almost certainly not the case. Prices are rising because we are in the situation now where demand is outstripping supply.
And then there is this kind of comment from Andrew Sulivan:
But why do I find the hysteria not so effective this time around? Maybe it’s because the period in which we could have stopped Iran‘s nuclear ambition is now behind us.
[Part of a series of articles reviewing blogs and websites (here Mosaic Intelligence Report) on my blog-roll; see the about page.]
These waves of diplomatic offensives against Iran and attendant meaningless references to abstract entities remaining on tables are starting to become comical, at least that is the analysis of the latest Mozaic Intelligence Report, and Commander Huber and Gordon Prather recap the dishonesty and hypocrisy of the whole shabby parade.
I do really hope nobody does anything really, really stupid.