Just as Iran feels the bite of the new sanctions, Ahmadinejad's (left) policy to phase out subsidies on staples such as fuel and food will be implemented in September. Together, these could have a significant economic impact, which could make Ahmadinejad more willing to return to talk. But after more than a year and a half in office, the Obama administration has had little effect in curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions, and there are questions about whether a fresh round of talks with Iran would offer anything but a stalling tactic for Iran as its nuclear program develops. If the international community is unable to stop Iran from going nuclear, the United States and its allies will be in for some tough choices before long. The United States and, more importantly, Israel have said they would be unable to live with a nuclear Iran. As that situation inevitability approaches, the military option looms. And that's a discussion Obama would probably like to avoid if he runs for re-election in 2012. – CNN
Dominant Social Theme: And now the situation is grave.
Free-Market Analysis: Here at the Bell, we analyze dominant social themes of the power elite and attempt to determine if they are viable and making progress toward a predetermined goal, which is usually, so far as we can tell, to frighten the larger masses into surrendering more wealth and control to an authoritarian solution established just for that purpose, often the United Nations. The theme as regards Iran would seem to be: "The Iranian regime is an insane one and if these crazed religious fanatics get their hands on a nuclear weapon they will use it almost immediately – which means that this cannot be allowed."
This is not unfortunately a meme of compromise. Iran must simply cease its nuclear program, or allow fairly Draconian incursions from third-party inspectors (the UN) or both. However in this case we do not see a war between Iran and the United States as generating increased UN authority per se. In fact it is not the threat of war that will create change, but war itself. One of the biggest changes that a war between the US and Iran would make would be in the size and intensity of current confrontations. And there may well be a reason the elite would want to expand such a confrontation (other than to distract from the current, unrolling economic crisis), as we suggest toward the bottom of this article.
One cannot help but be struck at the timing of such a war, when put into the context of other wars being waged now – either acknowledged or not. The Afghanistan war is an acknowledged one. But there is also an undercover war being waged in Pakistan by US mercenary troops on search and destroy missions apparently aimed at the Taliban. There is currently an Iraq drawdown ongoing, but even when the drawdown is concluded, some 50,000 US soldiers will be left in Iraq on heavily fortified bases in strategic locations. This hardly constitutes a vacating of Iraq by US forces and, in fact, violence has not entirely abated in Iraq by any means.
So we can see that there are at least three wars or quasi-wars being waged in the Middle East with the US being the main player (as NATO, the other major presence, is basically a US creature). A war against Iran would then be a fourth war – and it would be our estimation and others that the additional hostilities would turn what have been fairly minor, serial confrontations into a major, regional conflagration.
Is there an opportunity to avoid such a war? The Bush Administration seemed headed for such a war in 2007 and then backed away. However, we sense again for manifold reasons that a raid on Iran's "nuclear" facilities is possible. It is also possible that planning between the two countries is proceeding formally so that Israel is not tempted to "go rogue" – which would doubtless drag the US into hostilities whether or not such hostilities were desired.
Even the language seems to have hardened. What is most interesting is that we have been here before. The game plan seems EXACTLY the same as it was with Iraq, with the US indicating there were certain behaviors it would not tolerate in Iraq and escalating UN sanctions until it was almost a given that Iraq would not be in compliance. It cannot be said, however, that Iran has acted in a way that is entirely intransigent. We learn this from an article ("Israel's Insane War on Iran Must Be Prevented") that appeared recently at Global Research, as follows:
That there is no serious interest on the part of the Western members of the Permanent 5 (France, Britain, U.S., Russia, and China) in solving the nuclear issue diplomatically is evident in their response to the brilliant initiative signed by Brazil, Turkey, and Iran on May 17 in Tehran, and delivered to the U.N., IAEA, et al. The proposal is simple and eminently workable. It asserts the right to peaceful nuclear energy under NPT rules, then moves to the issue of nuclear fuel exchange. Iran agrees to send 1200 kg of LEU to Turkey, under IAEA observers, and to notify the IAEA. Once the IAEA, Russia, France, and the U.S. respond positively, a detailed written agreement will be drafted for the 120 kg of fuel to be delivered to Tehran. Iran would deliver its uranium within one month and expect delivery of fuel within one year. Finally, Turkey and Brazil welcome Iran's readiness to pursue talks with the 5+1 anywhere, including on their soil. Before they could possibly have had the time to study the proposal, consult others, and weigh its merits, France and Russia responded with skepticism, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just said no …
So it seems it may be war after all – as strange as that is to contemplate, let alone accept. China and Russia will presumably stand by while America and Israel bomb Iran and make no demurral, at least not militarily. What China and Russia's stances will be once the action takes place is more difficult to fathom. American military planners seem to believe (for public consumption anyway) that such actions as are being planned against Iran may be "surgical" and therefore have few extensive military ramifications.
Of course, if one digs down deeply into the memes surrounding all of this, numerous possibilities offer themselves. We have indicated in the other article in today's edition of the Bell that China's economy is not healthy – as we have been observing for over a year – and that this seems to be becoming a kind of dominant social theme in the mainstream media. It seems obvious that the media does not want to be seen as lacking in its analysis of the Chinese situation, as they were found lacking as regards the financial fragility of the West. More than that, a consensus seems to have been reached that a Chinese financial crisis will grievously aggravate the current Western one.
At the same time, a Western War with Iran, leaving aside the unrolling violent ramifications, would likely have the effect of sending the price of oil much higher over a long period of time. The combination of Chinese economic destabilization when combined with a much expanded theatre of war in the Middle East spells tremendous additional economic trouble for the West. And then there is this:
IMF blueprint for a global currency – yes really … Authored by Reza Moghadam, director of the IMF's strategy, policy and review department, a recent IMF paper (April 2010) discusses how the IMF sees the International Monetary System evolving after the financial crisis. In the eyes of the IMF at least, the best way to ensure the stability of the international monetary system (post crisis) is actually by launching a global currency. And that, the IMF says, is largely because sovereigns — as they stand — cannot be trusted to redistribute surplus reserves, or battle their deficits, themselves. The ongoing buildup of such imbalances, meanwhile, only makes the system increasingly vulnerable to shocks. It's also a process that's ultimately unsustainable for all, says the IMF. … It is understood that some of the ideas discussed are unlikely to materialize in the foreseeable future absent a dramatic shift in appetite for international cooperation. – FT Alphaville
What then could constitute a "dramatic shift in appetite for international cooperation" presaging the proposed new international currency which the IMF is apparently calling the "bancor?" Certainly chaos in the Middle East combined with a China crash (and the euro-zone's ongoing weakness) could create conditions that might be more sympathetic to such an international currency, which would apparently be an elaboration on the current use of IMF SDRs.
Do we believe that a series of crises are being engineered to create formal demand for a new international currency? Actually, we take no position other than to point out the possibilities. Analysis of the dominant social themes of the power elite does not usually lead one to any immediate specific conclusion – only toward an idea of what may be possible and then, if conditions warrant, probable. If the goal of all the current manmade chaos is to smooth the way for an advent of an acceptable and accepted international currency, then ramifications would be obvious, if not radical. For both professional and individual investors the world would change profoundly.
As usual, careful scrutiny of the power-elite's dominant social themes may hold a key to unlocking what these immensely powerful families have in mind. It is a tool that should be utilized among others. We would submit it is an especially important one given current conditions.