Herman Cain: The Stupid Continues »« Zakaria on the War on Drugs

Attack on Iran Would Kill World Economy

Gary Sick, who served on the National Security Council under Ford, Carter and Reagan, writes at CNN.com that an attack on Iran would have a huge and negative effect on the world economy by sending oil prices through the roof.

Of more general significance, the markets would realize that some two million barrels a day of Iranian oil were now removed from the world market for an indeterminate period of time, and the price of oil would jump. The head of the IMF has suggested that an immediate increase of 20% to 30% could be expected.

But that could be just the beginning. It is not hard to imagine that, in the days following the attack, there would suddenly be unexplained pipeline explosions in Iraq, possibly by pro-Iranian militias, which might remove another million barrels per day from the market.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean might also be attacked.

Moreover, one might expect disruptions in oil delivery and loading in Arab ports up and down the Gulf, some because of sabotage but others from cyberattacks on the control systems. Iran would attribute these to “the hand of God,” but the more pragmatic effect would be a very substantial portion of the world’s oil suddenly removed from world supply.
If sustained over more than a few weeks, the scramble to replace large volumes of Persian Gulf and Caspian oil would drive up the price of oil, and gasoline, to unprecedented heights.

That would constitute a huge tax on the world’s economies, just at the moment when they were showing signs of recovery from the Great Recession. Extremely vulnerable economies, such as the southern European states, could be tipped into bankruptcy, but all states would face significant challenges as a surge in transportation and manufacturing costs rippled through all aspects of their industries. This is Iran’s true weapon of mass destruction.

And at a time when the world is just barely beginning to overcome the last global recession, it could easily turn into a major and long-lasting depression.

Comments

  1. Brownian says

    Several 15Mt devices and let god sort it out, isn’t that the mantra?

    Er, that and “God will provide” anyway, so why worry about high oil prices? Besides, they’re Obama’s fault.

  2. Trebuchet says

    Newt’s going to nuke Iran AND have $2.50/gal gasoline. In his first six months, I guess.

    When I started typing that I initially left the decimal point out of the price. That might have been closer to correct.

  3. Randomfactor says

    I could see $2.50 per gallon gasoline coming out of this eventually. Depressions have a way of, well, depressing demand.

  4. slc1 says

    Mr. Sick may well be right. IMHO, the recent rise in oil prices is, at least in part, due to nervousness on the part of oil dealers over the possibility of an attack on Iran and a resultant reduction in supplies.

    However, we must also consider the consequences of Iran developing a nuclear capability. Such a development will inevitably lead to a decision of other nations in the Middle East to develop their own nuclear weapons capability, particularly Egypt and Saudi Arabia (and possibly Iraq). Proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, given the highly unstable situation there, would not be good for oil prices either. In addition, the proliferation of nuclear weapons among Middle East countries greatly increases the possibility of a terrorist organization such as Hamas or Hizbollah getting their hands on one. Anybody who thinks that Hamas or Hizbollah would hesitate for a minute in using a nuclear weapon against Israel is living in dreamland.

  5. Konradius says

    Well, I actually attributed the last recession as much on the extremely high oil prices as on the financial problems. And as much as I would like to live with a good economy, from an ecological point of view oil staying in the ground because of global strife is actually not that bad.

    The whole losing innocent lives thing of course makes this not a good idea.

  6. Sqrat says

    Given that the world has basically maxed out production, huge reductions in global oil output are inevitable, although they would show up over a period of years rather than a period of days. Such reductions will “kill the economy” eventually anyway, regardless of what happens in Iran in the near future. The economy in anything like its current form is simply a dead man walking.

    So look on the bright side: Whatever oil Iran didn’t pump this year wouldn’t get burned this year. Instead, it would remain available for consumption in some future year.

    Call it a form of forced saving.

  7. noastronomer says

    “…sending oil prices through the roof.”

    It has occured to me previously that for a number of people a precipitous rise in oil prices wouldn’t necessarily be considered a bad thing. Many of those people are in positions to influence policy or to influence public opinion or both.

  8. kraut says

    “Anybody who thinks that Hamas or Hizbollah would hesitate for a minute in using a nuclear weapon against Israel is living in dreamland.”

    Given the fact that Israel owns about 200 nukes and that the fallout from Hezbollah attack or even worse Hamas (they are after all direct neighbours) would not spare anybody in Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories and surrounding areas you are living in a dream world. Your geographical knowledge seems to be on par with GWB. Same as your comment.

  9. Quantum Mechanic says

    My, that is an unfortunate last name, isn’t it? I thought SLC1 was mocking someone at first.

    SLC1, if you don’t want any nations in the Middle East with extremist tendencies to have nukes, I’m afraid I have terrible news for you. Pakistan (you know, the guys who like to play “Hide the terrorist mastermind”?) has had them for more than 30 years. And then there’s all those Russian nukes just lying around SOMEWHERE.

    If you really believe Iran is such a huge threat, push for a ground war. Of course, that wouldn’t be as easy, would it?

  10. slc1 says

    Re kraut @ #11

    Mr. kraut makes the, IMHO, unwarranted assumption that Hamas and Hizbollah give a flying fuck about how many people in Gaza and Lebanon (or the West Bank and Jordan for that matter) might be adversely affected by radioactive fallout a nuclear blast in Tel Aviv.

    It has been reported in the past that Israel has developed low yield neutron bombs, which are localized in their effect, for use against nearby neighbors, particularly the Palestinians. This might possibly act as a deterrent as these weapons could be used in Gaza and Lebanon with little or no adverse consequences in Israel.

  11. KG says

    slc1 (#6 and #13) is a genocidal maniac who has repeatedly called for six 15-megaton nukes to be dropped on Iran. Apart from the moral issues, which clearly don’t concern him in the least, he does not appear to have reflected that there could be no better way to encourage nuclear proliferation than a nuclear attack on a non-nuclear state. While Iranian possession of nukes is clearly very undesireable, the idea that any state would willingly hand over nukes to forces it does not directly control is utterly ludicrous. So is the idea that middle eastern states which have not responded to Israel’s possession of nukes by seeking to build their own, would “inevitably” do so if Iran had them. But slc1 is just panting to see a few million burned and blasted Iranian children – all the justifications are just eyewash.

  12. left0ver1under says

    When Mohammad Khatami was the Iranian president, the US refused to talk to him calling him a “figurehead”. So why is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not a “figurehead”, why does he “have his hand on a button!” when he holds the same job as Khatami?

    The answer is propaganda and imperialism. Khatami is a moderate who wanted to build relations with the west, and nobody wants or wanted that. The desire of wall street whores and imperialists like Cheney and Perle has been regime change, to overthrow the government and reinstall a Shah who will sell oil on the cheap. It’s what the goal is now, and what it has always been.

  13. Michael Heath says

    When I was in college in the mid-1980s Gary Sick was the go-to expert by my profs when it came to Iran’s interactions with the rest of the world. He also wrote an excellent book about the Iran hostage crisis.

  14. left0ver1under says

    kraut #11 :

    Given the fact that Israel owns about 200 nukes and that the fallout from Hezbollah attack or even worse Hamas (they are after all direct neighbours) would not spare anybody in Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories and surrounding areas you are living in a dream world.

    But if Israel dropped nukes on Iran, the jet stream would take all the radation east over Pakistan, India, China and other countries. Butchers like Netenyahu and Tzipi Livni wouldn’t hesitate to use them if they could get away with it. It’s only because the majority of Israelis would be appalled, because there would be consequences from other countries, that they haven’t already tried.

    Remember what happened when Obama was inaugurated back in January 2009? White phosphorus was fired on civilians in Gaza, an unprovoked attack that poisoned and killed people. The same thing will probably happen again in January 2013, and it might happen in Iran.

  15. slc1 says

    Re KG @ #14

    While Iranian possession of nukes is clearly very undesireable, the idea that any state would willingly hand over nukes to forces it does not directly control is utterly ludicrous.

    That’s not the issue. The issue is that, in an unstable part of the world, the possibility of a terrorist organization getting their hands on a nuke through theft or bribery is not zero.

  16. slc1 says

    Re leftover1under (aka Don Williams?) @ #18

    I guess that Mr. under hasn’t been following the news lately. Ms. Livni got the heave ho from her Kadima party.

  17. Quantum Mechanic says

    SLC:

    That’s not the issue. The issue is that, in an unstable part of the world, the possibility of a terrorist organization getting their hands on a nuke through theft or bribery is not zero.

    Yeah, and HOW is that not an infinitely worse issue with Russia? Considering as how they actually HAVE missing nukes and shitty security? You wanna give them the 15 megaton treatment too?

    So, are the any other nations you support completely annihilating? Remember, North Korea actually possesses nukes, not just a wish-list.

    Admit it, you just have a hate-on for Iran. All the reasons you spout apply to other nations, and you don’t even apply your genocidal tendencies consistently.

  18. says

    Given that the world has basically maxed out production, huge reductions in global oil output are inevitable, although they would show up over a period of years rather than a period of days. Such reductions will “kill the economy” eventually anyway, regardless of what happens in Iran in the near future.

    Assuming we’ve reached or will soon reach peak oil, limitations in supply will show up as sustained higher prices (which we’re already seeing) over a period of years or decades. This would leave plenty of time and incentive for alternatives to become economical. If prices skyrocket overnight, however, we’re screwed.

    But this is reason #4863 to get off of oil.

  19. Quantum Mechanic says

    SLC, it is surprising how often you ignore the worthwhile parts of posts to focus on minutia or name-calling. I repeat:

    How does your reasoning not justify nuking Russia and North Korea FIRST? Is it just Iran you want to wipe off the map? And how are you NOT a mirror image of your opponents?

  20. slc1 says

    Re Quantum Mechanic @ #26

    It’s too late to nuke Russia and North Korea. They already have nuclear weapons. We have to hit Iran before they develop nuclear weapons.

  21. Quantum Mechanic says

    North Korea doesn’t have the range to be a strategic threat. I’d hardly call that “too late”. And both have the weapons, which makes them more dangerous according to your guidelines. Unless, of course, what you are interested in is the threat of the DEVELOPMENT of nuclear weapons as opposed to the threat of just nuclear weapons.

    And how are you not a mirror image of your opponents?

  22. slc1 says

    Re Quantum Mechanic @ #28

    Excuse me, North Korea is a very serious threat to our allies South Korea and Japan, neither of whom has nuclear weapons.

  23. interrobang says

    First we got the bomb, and that was good,
    ‘Cause we love peace and motherhood.
    Then Russia got the bomb, but that’s okay,
    ‘Cause the balance of power’s maintained that way.
    Who’s next?

    Luxembourg is next to go,
    And (who knows?) maybe Monaco.
    We’ll try to stay serene and calm
    When Alabama gets the bomb.

    (Ah, the prescient Mr. Lehrer.)

    Contrary to the popular wisdom of the bigots on this thread, the Israeli government really isn’t dumb enough to nuke anyone close to it.

    On the other hand, if you want a pretty well iron-clad guarantee that the US won’t invade your country, kick over your infrastructure, and remake your state apparatus to its liking, getting a nuclear bomb is a great way to do that. Which is probably about 9/10 of why Americans think certain countries shouldn’t have them, whether they want to admit it or not.

  24. Quantum Mechanic says

    Beat me to it, ‘Operandi.

    So in essence, SLC, in your eyes: a country seeking nuclear weapons who has negative relations with your nation is a capital crime justifying the termination of every man, woman and child within said nations borders? But not if they can hurt you, of course.

    And how is your position not a mirror image of your opponents? I keep waiting for you to answer that one. With baited breath, no less.

  25. Michael Heath says

    “Attack on Iran Would Kill World Economy”

    Area Man:

    Shhh! You’re going to give the Republicans ideas!

    Well given how so many Republicans refused to stop the Wall Street liquidity crisis in the Autumn of 2008, the Republican base ran successful primaries against many who did in ’10, that all congressional Republicans now obstruct rather than work in the national interest, so many wanted to see us hit the debt limit without increasing it . . . I’d argue they not only get it but also fully committed. In one of the debates Ron Paul even conceded his response would cause a huge American contraction, but that was a necessary antidote.

  26. says

    In addition, the proliferation of nuclear weapons among Middle East countries greatly increases the possibility of a terrorist organization such as Hamas or Hizbollah getting their hands on one.

    IF you’re really worried about a nuclear nation letting a nuke slip into the hands of terrorists, then the center of your attention should be Pakistan, not Iran. (And do you really think attacking Iran, and making the whole region MORE volatile, would REDUCE the chance of Iran doing something dangerous, or some terrorists getting a bomb?) Once again, our #1 Likudnik Chickenhawk proves he has absolutely no grasp of what’s going on in his favorite part of the world.

    Besides, do you really think ANY regime would voluntarily let that much destructive power get into the hands of people it can’t control? You really think Iran would spend all that money, and endure all our sanctions, to make a bomb to give to someone else?

    All of your asinine racist rationalizations have been addressed in previous threads, and I’m not going to waste my time repeating what you refused to even acknowledge the first (and second) time.

  27. StevoR says

    @15. left0ver1under :

    The desire of wall street whores and imperialists like Cheney and Perle has been regime change, to overthrow the government and reinstall a Shah who will sell oil on the cheap. It’s what the goal is now, and what it has always been.

    And this would be a bad thing *why* exactly?

    The Shah was a pretty reasonable leader – not perfect but much better for the world and his people than any his successors.

    Empires aren’t all bad in spreading culture and civilisation and knowledge and technology and more to a whole lot of people. Empires are one historically popular and successful way that very large and diverse groups of people join together for their common good and united strength. There is much to be said in favour of an American empire spreading democracy, human rights and freedoms and many benefits to those it encompasses.

    The US desperately needs oil presently – hopefully one day it won’t (peak oil will eventually make finding alternatives essential) – but American control and influence over oil rich regions would be a good thing for nearly everyone incl. the “occupied” people who would benefit from being included perhaps even becoming non-continguous States much like Hawaii and Guam are.

    Of course for this to happen their culture(s), ideology (ies) and political system(s) will need to be overthrown and replaced by much better ones. Yes, cultural relativism is utter rubbish – there are better and worse cultures and ours is better and theirs is worse.

    Proof : Where would you rather be born as a left-handed, intelligent feminist woman – Boston or Mecca?

    What culture provides the most freedom, best lifestyle and most equal opportunities for the majority of its populace?

    America guaranteeing its oil supply by say, occupying Iran and re-occupying Iraq and directly controlling their resources is almost certainly better in terms of Global Overheating than the USA burning up the tar sands and oil shales it has available to it on the North Amercian continent and drilling in Alaska.

    ***

    As for Mr Sicks thesis about the economy and an Iranian attack, it may or may not be valid but realistically it cannot be helped and shouldn’t prevent us from doing what logically has to be done. We are at war with Iran already. Despite the failure of some on the Left to recognise and accept reality. We have been since the Ayatollah took over in the Iranian revolution in the 1970’s. Either we take them out or they will keep attacking us – economically and militarily and perhaps if they are allowed to build them with nuclear weapons.

    It *is* us or them. Sooner or later either Iran will take us out or we’ll take Iran out.

    I’d rather it were us doing the taking out and not being taken out.

    Don’t y’all agree?

    Or would you rather see your country destroyed and your families and friends massacred with what’s left of the West submitting to the Jihadists and being a conquered province of their misogynist, homophobic, capita sharia law Kaliphate?

    It never fails to amaze me how anyone who supposedly believes in progressive values, feminism, human rights, cultural tolerance and generally treating other humans decently can possibly have the slightest time of day for the Muslim ideology which is opposed to all those things far more even than the US Christian Right-wing.

    Muslims, folks, would slit your appeasing throats with as much bloodthirsty joy as they’d chop my head off. hey dont care for science or athesim or compassionate humanism at all and will kill those who do.

  28. StevoR says

    @21. left0ver1under :

    No one reads your drivel, slc. You’re a sociopath.

    Wrong on both counts dude.

    I for oen read what SLC1 has to say.

    Also he and I are, I think, *Realists* who accept that the world isn’t always what we’d like it to be rather than sociopaths.

  29. sundoga says

    Didn’t I hear exactly the same “concerns” about Iraq? And Afghanistan? And Iraq one?
    Agree or disagree, this has become a pretty threadbare argument. Digging it out again will not make it any stronger. Just another “Cry Wolf”.

  30. StevoR says

    I do NOT *like* the thought of nuking or otherwise bombing Iran.

    I recognise that there’ll be a lot of casualties and “war is hell” and all that.

    But I’m also rational, logical and aware enough to know that it cannot be avoided because the alternative is far worse. The alternative is, somewhere down the line, them nuking or destroying us instead.

    Self defence. It is, as I’ve already noted before us or them. They’ve declared war, they are fighting us – we can deny that until they slit our throats or we can get real and fight back.

    If we choose to fight back – as we will because the appeasers can’t keep winning the argument forever; just as the Climate Change Deniers and Creationists and pro-Tobacco lobby cannot because the facts and reality are against them – then its best that we win as quickly and as decisively and as humanely as possible.

    If the choice is a land invasion of Iran that will cause hundreds of millions of casualties on BOTH sides or a massive air bombing incl. with daisy-cutters, neutron bombs or nukes that will cause relatively fewer deaths – say tens of milions instead of hundreds on their side alone rather than on *both* sides – then the aerial bombardment is ethically & practically the best option.

    That’s why the USA ended WWII with A-bombs at Hiroshima and Ngasaki and bleak as it is, horrible as those were, that was the right choice.

    Equally, post WWII, we occupied and rebuilt Japan into a far better more reasonable place and this can be repeated once we’ve defeated the Jihadists in the Midddle East. Occupy them for a few decades, remove their old culture and ideology and grow it again into something vastly improved and more reasonable.

    It would be great if Iran didn’t threaten us – if they weren’t menacing the whole world. It’d be great if Iran and allthe other Islamist Jihadistans just decided en masse to convert to reason and give up Islam and their hatred of non-Muslims and live at peace with everyone else. But, that is clearly NOT ever going to happen. Not on its own.

    We are NOT “mirror images” because we don’t want to kill them, we just know it has to be done.

    We didn’t start this Islam vs Western war and we try to spare the lives of innocents whereas they deliberately seek to attack and murder *us*.

    Islam – the Jihadists – are the one’s who put no value on human lives and force us to kill them or be killed.

    The sooner we relegate Islam to that same dustbin of history that Marxism and Fascism were rightly forever tossed into last century, the better for everyone on this pale blue dot.

    PS. As for nuking Pakistan, yeah, we may well have to do that too. I fully expect the Jihadists to take that over that miserable hellhole (officially, they run much of it behind tehscenes now) one day in the relatively near-future.

  31. StevoR says

    @35. Correction – that’s :

    Muslims, folks, would slit your appeasing throats with as much bloodthirsty joy as they’d chop my head off. They dont care for science or athesim or compassionate humanism at all and will kill those who do.

    Tolerance has to have its limits – we cannot tolerate in our society those who actively try to destroy our society and murder everyone who isn’t a jihadist like them.

    As Golda Meir, female Israeli PM once famously noted that
    she could forgive the Arabs murdering Israel’s chuldren but she couldn’t forgive them for forcing them to murder theirs as well.

    That’s who and what the Jihadists are – they *will* kill our children and *will* force us to kill theirs too until the day they are finally stopped. The Jihadists cannot be stopped with appeasement and diplomacy and kindness and talking. I wish they could be but they can’t.

  32. StevoR says

    @26.Quantum Mechanic says:
    April 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    SLC, ..I repeat : How does your reasoning not justify nuking Russia and North Korea FIRST?

    I won’t speak for SLC as he can and has spoken for himself but myanswer is that we can deal with Russia and North Korea as relatively rational and sane self-interested actors whereas Iran and the other Jihadistans are, by definition, not amenable to reason and unable to act rationally and sanely because of their islamic ideology / faith.

    Ahmadinejad actively seeks to bring about the end of the world and usher inthe Islmaist equivalent of Armageddonand teh Rapture.

    Muslim “civilisation” worships, idolises and believes in Homicide-suicide bombers as “Martrs” and thinks it is quite acceptable to destroy everything to kill Jewish or Western lives and will basically do crazy, irrational self-destructive things because they are totally blinded by their evil belief system.

  33. Chris from Europe says

    sane self-interested actors whereas Iran and the other Jihadistans are, by definition, not amenable to reason and unable to act rationally and sanely because of their islamic ideology / faith.

    It’s great that you can confess that it’s your own definition and not based in evidence.

  34. dingojack says

    Stevo – But, but, but I thought you said the Muslims first began this war when Osama bin Laden personally piloted a plane into the WTC!
    Now you’re telling us it began in 1979?
    I think you took my earlier advice – but you’ve read those histories backwards.
    [Wait to you come to the Islamic Golden Age (c900 to c1200ce) which gave much to the West (including a favourite of yours, alcohol)].
    Dingo

  35. StevoR says

    @18. left0ver1under – April 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm :

    But if Israel dropped nukes on Iran, the jet stream would take all the radation east over Pakistan, India, China and other countries. Butchers like Netenyahu and Tzipi Livni wouldn’t hesitate to use them if they could get away with it.

    Hah! SLC has already torn you a new one and illustrated your ignorance in his comment #20 about Ms Livni no longer being part of the Israeli government.

    I’m going to rub salt into your (metaphorical) wounds by pointing out that you cannot even spell Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s name correctly and to point to your evident anti-semitic bias in describing the Jewish nation’s leaders as “butchers” a profession that neither individual you name has ever practiced and presumably intended by you as a derogatory slur against those reasonable Israeli individuals.

    As for the radioactive fallout line that’s something that makes a certain degree of sense and is why I’d personally prefer them to use non-nuclear but almost as devastating Daisycutter fuel air bombs and incendiaries instead. Although the low yeild neutron bombs that SLC1 mentioned in comment #13 would also be another good way around this issue.

    White phosphorus was fired on civilians in Gaza, an unprovoked attack that poisoned and killed people. The same thing will probably happen again in January 2013, and it might happen in Iran.

    Unprovoked?! *Facepalm*

    Are you really so ignorant and blind to reality that you forget how and why that war started – because of all the rockets Hamas were firing into civilian Israeli cities?

    As for the “white phosphorus” claims I believ that has been – like most supposed Isreali “atrocities” exxaggerated and misconstrued and twisted completely and unreasionably into something designed to slander Israel and falsely make the Jewish state look bad.

    How about you (& everyone else) apply an equally critical eye to the role Hamas and the other Jihadist terrorists played in the whole 2009 Gaza conflict.

    Oh and please remember that Israel made the painful concession of giving the Gaza strip back to the “Palestinians” in the first place – expecting them to provide pecaeful co-existence in return, not rocketfire and a (yet another) bloody inter-Arab civil war which is what they got instead.

  36. StevoR says

    @42. dingojack :

    Stevo – But, but, but I thought you said the Muslims first began this war when Osama bin Laden personally piloted a plane into the WTC! Now you’re telling us it began in 1979?

    Iran declared war against the rest of the planet for the (aptly named!) Shiite branch of Islam with its Iranian revolution in the 1970’s.

    The late and unlamented dead terrorist Osama bin Laden declared war for the rest of Islam in his statement from an Afghani cave a few years (?) before the first WTC bombing. Osama didn’t personally fly the plane (duh!) but he and his terrorist group were directly responsible for the attack.

    So both dates are valid for different Jihadist groups just as various nations joined battle on different dates for the World Wars of past century.

    I think you took my earlier advice – but you’ve read those histories backwards. [Wait to you come to the Islamic Golden Age (c900 to c1200ce) which gave much to the West (including a favourite of yours, alcohol)].

    Ah, Alcohol, I’ll drink to that!

    But there’s no way in the world the teetotalling Muslims gave us alchol! Sharia law forbids it. Booze far predates the creation of Islam.

    Beer and mead were drunk in the early Summerian civilisation at least if not even older than that. NB. The Summerians were among the first ever human civilisations predating even the Babylonians and millennia before some crazy, theiving, murdering desert bandit founded the ugly death cult that would become today’s islamic ideology!

    Pretty sure the Egyptian pyramid builders, Vikings and Druids to name a couple of earlier groups used alcohol in their rituals and lives too. Cheers anyhow for trying albeit surely the most implausible ludicrous claim for Muslim “civilisation” I’ve heard yet!

  37. StevoR says

    Oh & did peopel realise hams actually fired white phosphorus shells itself – see :

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/for-the-first-time-gaza-militants-fire-phosphorus-shell-at-israel-1.268126

    Which notes :

    Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday fired their first phosphorus shell into Israel, which exploded in an open area in the Eshkol area in the western Negev. … (snip) .. White phosphorus is not considered a chemical weapon. Militaries are permitted under laws of warfare to use it in artillery shells, bombs and rockets to create smoke screens to hide troop movements as well as bright bursts in the air to illuminate battlefields at night. However, the substance can cause serious burns if it touches the skin and can spark fires on the ground. Human Rights Watch on Sunday accused Israel of firing artillery shells packed with white phosphorus over populated areas of Gaza during recent fighting, including a crowded refugee camp, putting civilians at risk.
    Israel maintains that it uses munitions in complete accordance with international law.

    Source : Haaretz online news “For the first time, Gaza militants fire phosphorus shell at Israel” Fri, April 06, 2012 Nisan 14, 5772.

  38. StevoR says

    Plus see what is noted on Wikipedia :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_War#White_phosphorus_2

    Namely :

    an Israeli military spokeswoman said that shells containing phosphorus had been used in Gaza but said that they were used legally as a method to provide a smokescreen.[321] The IDF reiterated their position on January 13 saying that it used weapons “in compliance with international law, while strictly observing that they be used according to the type of combat and its characteristics.” … (snip) .. After watching footage of Israeli troop deployments on television, a British soldier who completed numerous combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Intelligence Corps defended the Israeli Army’s use of white phosphorus. The soldier noted, “White phosphorus is used because it provides an instant smokescreen, other munitions can provide a smokescreen but the effect is not instant. Faced with overwhelming enemy fire and wounded comrades, every commander would choose to screen his men instantly, to do otherwise would be negligent.”[327]

    So, yes, the israeli defence Focres sometiems used white phosphorus but it was quite legitimate and within international law that they did so and it was done to save and protect lives.

    Unlike Palestinian Homicide-suicide bombers, Hamas rockets aimed at Israeli cities and the Iranian Nuclear Bomb program which were (will be) targeted deliberately at murdering innocent civilians and – in the latter’s case – genocidally exterminating an entire nation.

  39. says

    StupidLikudnikChickenhawk#1 blithered thusly:

    Mr. kraut makes the, IMHO, unwarranted assumption that Hamas and Hizbollah give a flying fuck about how many people in Gaza and Lebanon (or the West Bank and Jordan for that matter) might be adversely affected by radioactive fallout a nuclear blast in Tel Aviv.

    What factual basis do you have to conclude that Hamas and Hezbollah are actually that unconcerned about the unintended consequences of nuking Israel? (As if you have any right to talk about concern for human life.)

  40. says

    But I’m also rational, logical and aware enough to know that it cannot be avoided because the alternative is far worse.

    The angry drunk who tried to blame his stupid blood-lust on alcohol is now calling himself “rational, logical and aware?” What a fucking joke!

    Here’s a hint, dumbfuck: rational, logical and aware people are generally able to see more than one choice in political situations like this. If you look at a situation and see no choice but an unprovoked attack that doesn’t even have a reasonable chance of achieving its stated objective (nevermind the unintended consequences), then you’re not “rational, logical and aware;” you’re just a hateful bigot with no imagination, desperately trying to pretend you’re manlier than us and have a handle on something you don’t understand.

    The alternative is, somewhere down the line, them nuking or destroying us instead.

    Yeah, just like we had to attack the USSR and China to keep them from getting the bomb, otherwise they’d destroy us instead. Seriously, you miserable bigoted sod, do you read ANY history?

    Iran declared war against the rest of the planet for the (aptly named!) Shiite branch of Islam with its Iranian revolution in the 1970′s.

    Can you sober up long enough to provide a cite for that? I remember following that event, and its aftermath, rather closely, back when the WaPo had good international news; and I don’t remember any declaration of war against the rest of the planet.

    I’m going to rub salt into your (metaphorical) wounds by pointing out that you cannot even spell Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s name correctly…

    We’re wrong about attacking Iran because we don’t spell Netenyayhoo’s name correctly? What a sad, pathetic attempt to pretend you’re winning the argument. Go to bed, moron, you’re not fooling anyone here.

  41. Sqrat says

    Assuming we’ve reached or will soon reach peak oil, limitations in supply will show up as sustained higher prices (which we’re already seeing) over a period of years or decades. This would leave plenty of time and incentive for alternatives to become economical. If prices skyrocket overnight, however, we’re screwed.

    A gradually rise in prices over years or decades would be better in the short run than an overnight spike, that is true. On the other hand, believing that alternatives would then become economical AND scale up to the extent required to sustain economic business as usual will turn out to be nothing more than wishful thinking, for the simple reason that that business as usual required not merely replacing the energy supply we now have, but growing that energy supply exponentially, forever.

    The exponential function is a strange and wonderful thing. For over three hundred years, the United States has increased its energy consumption exponentially by an average of about 2.9% every year. If the entire world tried to do that, then eventually … let me do the math here … in about the same span that now separates us from that Jesus of Nazareth guy we would require … hmmm … the energy output of the entire galaxy.

    I’ve learned over the years that can’t predict the future with any great accuracy, but somehow I don’t think that’s gonna happen. My best guess is that, no matter what we do, this whole “growth economy” thing cannot be sustained longer than another two decades, three at the most.

  42. StevoR says

    @49. Raging Bee :

    What factual basis do you have to conclude that Hamas and Hezbollah are actually that unconcerned about the unintended consequences of nuking Israel? (As if you have any right to talk about concern for human life.)

    The Jihadists use their own children, women and men as Homicide-suicide bombers, they deliberatly fire from schools, mosques and civilian homes, they make no effort to distinguish their terrorists from their average civilans, they deliberatly crete more casualties by using their families as human shields rather than telling them to live separately away from their terrorist leaders they know will be targeted and eventually killed probably from the air.

    By their own reckoning one Israeli soldier – Gilad Shalit – was worth hundreds or was it thousands even? – of them.

    Arab / Muslim /Jihadist culture holds that lives *all* lives including and especially their own are cheap and disposable.

    Clearly they don’t give a shit about how many of their own number are killed – their lives mean nothing & have precious little value to them so why should they mean something to us?

  43. dingojack says

    Stevo – you’re really not the sharpest knife in the drawer are you? :)
    Yes the brewed beer but they knew nothing about ‘alcohol’ (or algebra, or alchemy, or… )

    Dingo

  44. fckwp says

    “In addition, the proliferation of nuclear weapons among Middle East countries greatly increases the possibility of a terrorist organization such as Hamas or Hizbollah getting their hands on one. Anybody who thinks that Hamas or Hizbollah would hesitate for a minute in using a nuclear weapon against Israel is living in dreamland.”

    Bullsh*t. There is *zero* chance of Iran giving a nuclear weapon to anybody, for reasons that are obvious to anybody thinking.

  45. says

    The Jihadists use their own children, women and men as Homicide-suicide bombers…

    That’s a far cry from using nuclear weapons whose long-term effects are much more wide-ranging, uncontrollable, and destructive of people’s very ability to feed themselves.

    And besides, you stupid drunken sod, after advocating a reckless unprovoked attack, and ignoring all talk about the consequences of such an attack, you’re really in no position to pretend you’re any more compassionate than your enemies.

  46. says

    …their lives mean nothing & have precious little value to them so why should they mean something to us?

    That’s exactly how Nazis and Neo-Nazis of the New Order/Aryan Nations variety think of non-whites and Jews: they’re not civilized, therefore we, the civilized people, don’t have to act civilized toward them.

    And no, I’m not exaggerating. SteveoR really is acting like a genocidal Nazi bigot.

  47. dingojack says

    Shh! – I think Stevo doing some quality facetyping and keyboard soaking*, time to tip-toe away, shut the door behind him, and lock it!

    :) Dingo
    ——–
    * ie he’s passed out and drooling into the keyboard

  48. slc1 says

    Re fckwp @ #55

    Apparently, Mr. fckwp was too busy to read my comment @ #19. Unrestrained proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, which would be the likely result of Iran developing such a capability, would be a disaster waiting to happen as it would greatly increase the possibility of terrorist organizations obtaining them through bribery or theft.

  49. StevoR says

    @60. dingojack says:

    Shh! – I think Stevo doing some quality facetyping and keyboard soaking*, time to tip-toe away, shut the door behind him, and lock it! :) Dingo
    ——–
    * ie he’s passed out and drooling into the keyboard

    Nah, mate, I’ve been busy on other FTB threads.

    Takes more beers than this for me ya know! Getting there perhaps but still a few cans away.

    I’ve been known to fall asleep in front of the box on occassion but never on the ‘puter.

  50. StevoR says

    @ Raging Bee :

    …their lives mean nothing & have precious little value to them so why should they mean something to us?

    That’s exactly how Nazis and Neo-Nazis of the New Order/Aryan Nations variety think of non-whites and Jews: they’re not civilized, therefore we, the civilized people, don’t have to act civilized toward them. And no, I’m not exaggerating. SteveoR really is acting like a genocidal Nazi bigot.

    Aaaannnd Godwin. You lose Raging Bee! :P

    Incidentally you have username like that and yet you accuse *me* of having anger isues? Huh, go figure.

    Oh & btw Raging Bee, what the hell is the appeal of Jihadist Islam for you eh? Why the blazes are you so keen on Mohammad and supporting the Iranian theocratic dictatorship? Is it just love of sharia law and hatred of Jews? Is your anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism just blinding you or, well, what? Why the flip would you even *want* to take Iran’s side on anything!?

  51. StevoR says

    @57. Raging Bee ranted :

    “The Jihadists use their own children, women and men as Homicide-suicide bombers…” -StevoR
    That’s a far cry from using nuclear weapons whose long-term effects are much more wide-ranging, uncontrollable, and destructive of people’s very ability to feed themselves.

    Precedent and pattern, fool.

    They’re that cavaileer with their own lives and think nothing of sending their own people to their deaths with reckless abandon – don’t youse how that same mindset carries over into them using nukes without hesitation too? Really?

    They don’t care if they die and lose everything. They don’t care about life and all they do care about is killing those they hate – us the “Great and lesser Satans.” Nothing reasonable matters to them. They cannot be reasoned withor appeased because their whole purpose and raison d’etre is wiping everyone out.

    And besides, you stupid drunken sod, after advocating a reckless unprovoked attack, and ignoring all talk about the consequences of such an attack, you’re really in no position to pretend you’re any more compassionate than your enemies.

    Your strawman of me is so far from the truth. Re-read my comments and think. Read them a 100 times if youhave to to let it sink in.

    Yes I like the odd beer but I also like and know how to argue and it seems know a hell of a lot more about this than you do.

    You owe me an apology along with your admissionof defeat are you person enough to give it?

  52. StevoR says

    @^ Correction – make that :

    They’re that cavaileer with their own lives and think nothing of sending their own people to their deaths with reckless abandon – don’t you see how that same mindset carries over into them using nukes without hesitation too? Really?

    And again, ask yourself, heck, tell us all exactly what is the
    appeal of extremist Islam for you?

    I may not be a perfect human, like everyone I know I have my
    flaws and all but how messed up do you have to be to support Iran and its terrorist sponsoring genocidal Jihadist theocracy?

    Think about that long and hard before commenting on this topic
    again, I’d advise ya.

  53. dingojack says

    Stevo – interspersed with you reading on Middle-Eastern history, take some time to research ‘the Fallacy of the Excluded Centre’ and perhaps ‘the Dunning-Kruger effect’.
    Dingo

  54. says

    Why the blazes are you so keen on Mohammad and supporting the Iranian theocratic dictatorship?

    So my failure to advocate an unprovoked attack on Iran makes me a “supporter” of their government? There really is no bottom to stupid, is there?

    I guess I’m also a Stalinist, since I never advocated a first strike on the USSR either (did you?). Oh, I’m also a Maoist…

    And you want me to apologize? Go fuck yourself. YOU are the one who admitted you were drunk when you spewed your first chunks of bigoted hate here; so you have no one else to blame for the reception you get.

  55. says

    They’re that cavaileer with their own lives…

    Says the stupid drunk loser who advocates an unprovoked act of war, and shows absolutely zero willingness to even think of the consequences of such an action. You’re just as “cavalier” about innocent lives as they (allegedly) are, and probably more so. You’re just as hypocritical as the Nazis I mentioned earlier. (And no, I’m not backing down from that analogy either — it’s the verifiable truth.)

  56. says

    Aaaannnd Godwin. You lose Raging Bee! :P

    Um…the word “Godwin” is not a magic power-word that wins all arguments. Grow up two decades and try again.

  57. dogmeat says

    StevoR,

    A couple of things.

    First, which is worse? You condemn Iranians, Hamas, etc., for being cavelier with their lives, but you’re quite cavelier with the lives of people you’ve never met, including both those you despise, as well as those who would be putting their lives on the line killing for you… Again which is worse?

    Second, I’m fairly certain that you can’t call Godwin when you actually are advocating a racial/religiously motivated campaign of genocide. Advocating the deaths of millions actually defies any description that couldn’t be labeled a Godwin.

    You really do need to study the region and it’s history a bit more. Most of what you promote would make the region more volatile and dangerous. A surgical airstrike if all else fails, is an option, similar to what Israel did in ’81, massive airstrikes against population centers, especially as a preemptive strike, quite simply, is not.

  58. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ Dogmeat :

    First, which is worse? You condemn Iranians, Hamas, etc., for being cavelier with their lives, but you’re quite cavelier with the lives of people you’ve never met, including both those you despise, as well as those who would be putting their lives on the line killing for you… Again which is worse?

    Hamas fire actual rockets at actual innocent people.

    I’m someone who comments on the internet saying that ain’t a good idea.

    I think that means Hamas are worse than I am.

    I don’t want to see war. Hamas is actually starting and waging one with the ultimate goal of genocide against Israel. The ethical implications of that are very clear aren’t they? Surely? Even to you?

    Second, I’m fairly certain that you can’t call Godwin when you actually are advocating a racial/religiously motivated campaign of genocide. Advocating the deaths of millions actually defies any description that couldn’t be labeled a Godwin.

    Reading comprehension fail on your part – I am not advocating what you think I am.

Leave a Reply