Friday, September 22, 2006

Iran's Star Rising in the Next World Order (Part I)

Cross posted at the front page of My Left Wing.

Venezuala's President Hugo Chavez is wrong about one thing. George W. Bush is not the devil. Dick Cheney is.

But Chavez has been right about darn near everything else, including whose side to take in the next world order.

The "new" world order began about the time the Berlin Wall fell and America became a benevolent global hegemon. The "next" world order started at the approximate moment U.S. psychological operations troops staged the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad and America turned into a barbecue republic.

The singular phenomenon that kick-started the next world order was the failure of the best-trained, best-equipped armed force in history to restore order to a country it had invaded. The neoconservatives who had taken over the U.S. government had based its aggressive foreign policy on the efficacy of military might, and the quagmire in Iraq proved that military might was no longer an effective tool of national power.

That was a green light for the counter-U.S. coalition of global, balance and emerging powers to gel. At the recent UN summit, we saw an unmasking of the energy alliance between China, Russia, Venezuela and Iran. China is the big bopper in this strategic dope deal, but the lynchpin is Iran as personified by its rising star Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

While President Chavez's speech before the UN General Assembly was largely boorish, President Ahmadinejad's remarks to that body were nothing short of brilliant. In eloquent, measured fashion he admonished the rest of the world to join him in telling the United States of America to pound sand up its canyon, and the rest of the world subtly but perceptibly smiled and nodded "yes."

What's It All About, Dickie?

The neoconservative policy on Iraq, as formulated by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), was never about weapons of mass destruction or terrorism or Saddam Hussein. It was about controlling the world energy market by establishing a permanent military base of operations in the heart of the oil rich Middle East.

The Iran situation is similar. We don't know for sure if Iran intends to develop nuclear weapons at some point in the future, but that really isn't the concern. Charter PNAC member and de facto U.S. Emperor Dick Cheney couldn't give a quail's last chirp about a couple more a-bombs in the world. All the attention the administration and its echo chamberlains are focusing on weapons is for the purpose of keeping the proles scared and voting Republican. It also distracts the proles from seeing what Cheney's actual motives are.

Cheney's real problem is that he broke his promise to his big oil buddies by letting his pal Don Rumsfeld spray the Iraq situation into the fan. That gave China and its partners the opening they needed to crack the western world's control of the energy market. If Iran, with help from Russia and China, can develop a mature, independent nuclear energy industry, and if those three countries, along with Venezuela, can take over the energy sources for Asia, eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America, British Petroleum and Mobil Exxon will start going the way of Ford and General Motors.

Cheney doesn't want to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities to keep it from having nuclear weapons. Cheney wants to keep Iran from having a nuclear energy industry.

Fail Safe Diplomacy

I can't tell if Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a Dubya-class simpleton, if she's being used as a fall girl by Cheney, or a combination of the two. But I do know that her attempts at "diplomacy" are designed to guarantee war, and suspect that much of the rest of the world knows that too.

Her cease-fire flip-flops in the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict were transparent stratagems. She stiff-armed a cease-fire agreement to give the Israeli Defense Force time to accomplish its military objectives; then she pushed for a cease-fire when it became apparent that the Israelis were tactically and strategically getting their cans kicked.

And by setting unreasonable conditions for direct negotiations between the U.S. and Iran, she all but ensured that negotiations can't take place. Telling a nation it can have a nuclear energy program as long as it doesn't enrich its own uranium is a bit like saying "you can have an automobile industry but you have to make your cars in our country and you have to let us make them for you." Moreover, she's demanding that Iran give up its "inalienable right" to develop peaceful nuclear technology guaranteed by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Rovewellians have taken to calling Ahmadinejad "crazy," but if he's crazy, he's crazy like a fox. The only thing that could convince me he's crazy like a crazy would be if he caved on the Bush administration's demands that he give up his uranium enrichment capability.

Cheney and John Bolton and Doug Feith and the rest of the crazy neocon braintrust know Ahmadinejad won't back down. In fact, they're counting on it. That will give them the justification to say, "We tried diplomacy and it didn't work," and proceed with plan A.

Which will be crazy like a warren of March Hares.

In Part II: global replacing "Q" with "N."


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.


Related articles:

The Next World Order Series

In an Arms Race with Ourselves

Wars and Empires

Smoke, Mirrors and War Powers


  1. Anonymous1:28 PM

    Jeff there's a real interesting post by billmon today on what would happen if (when) the US bombs Iran. The main point is that if you are Iran, you don't go crazy if that happens. No, instead you keep calm, take the moral high ground, strengthen ties with China and Russia, and unleash some whoopass in Iraq. Everything the Bush administration is doing is making Iran stronger and stronger, the should have called PNAC the PNSC, Project for a New Shia Century.

    As you rightly point out, China has an enormous amount of power. Their economic support of the US debt allows them tremendous leverage without having to fire a single shot.

    Honestly, if I was Europe, I'd be doing some stuff to make sure they gain while the US loses, but in a subtly European way of course. Nothing personal mind you, just business.

    The sad thing is that most people are oblivious to this, and when the other shoe drops at some point in the future, it'll be a case of "what the hell happened?!"

  2. Anonymous2:17 PM

    I agree that Ahmadinejad actually makes sense from time to time but I think he still is crazy - and note because of Rove spin, but rather the hard fundamentalism and holocaust denial stuff. Maybe he is just pandering to his religious base but it still seems a bit scary to me.

    ALthough, it doesn't scare me as much as the fact that he still seems more credible than the current administration in the USA.

  3. Define crazy. I spent a fair amoung of time around three and four star military officers, and if a one of them didn't have head full of snakes, I'm a mongoose.

    Imagine how serpentine the heads of heads of state are.


  4. Anonymous7:53 PM

    SCUF, or Short Crazy Ugly "Fellow', as I call Ahmadinejad, may well be nuts but he's not really in charge, is he? That would be Khameni. SCUF is no. 3 in the official Iranaian pecking order and is just the front man, at least for now, and his entourage has a fairly sophisticated crew of National Security types. It may be that at some point SCUF takes charge and I suspect a lot of what is going on on the Iranian end is a power struggle. The fact that there seem to be rational actors on the Iranian team differentiates that team from ours, who differ from the 3 Stooges only in that there seem to be rather more players on our team.

  5. Anonymous9:36 AM

    If you read Yergin's "the Prize" or any other decent history of the oil industry, you note a steady flow of power from the oil companies to the governments under whose soil the oil is. They've gone from being governments within governments to - generally - being glorified property management companies.

    You also a much wider diffusion of the technologies involved in effificently extracting oil. In the 1950s, pretty much the only companies that had the know how to run oil fields were American, British or French. Today, you can outsource the management of just about every part of exploration, drilling, extraction and reservoir management to the likes of Halliburton or, if you prefer the French, Schlumberger. The only part others won't do is find you investors.

    An analogy would be computers. Back in the 60s, you could only lease one of a few models from IBM. Today you can go to Fry's and buy all the components necessary to build a computer to your exact specifications.

    The oil business does have a history of being opaque, but today, in many (but admittedly not all situations,) contracts are assigned mostly on business merit. Iran, Norway, Malaysia, China, Japan, Venezuela are just some of the countries with noteworthy oil companies.

    The American oil companies know this, and I am sure that they, more than most other Americans, are horrified by their now being frozen out of the huge and lucrative Iraqi market. If the oil companies did instigate our Iraqi adventure, it was utterly irrational. And bear in mind that they, more than most others, have their ears quite close to the ground. I, for one, cannot see any benefit whatsoever to them from a confrontation with Iran.

    If you read Sampson's "The Seven Sisters" you'll see that already in the 70s under Nixon, the oil companies were, at times, furious with the State Department for knifing them in the back. They make great ogres, but if you follow the money, it doesn't, and can't, lead to big oil.