Greenspan on CNBC, "Anyone who controls the Strait of Hormuz, can shut down the industrialized structure of the West." So, if world oil export capacity is declining, and if the export decline will probably accelerate with time, where does the US deploy the majority of its military forces?

In any case, regarding Gates' comments, I posted my "Assume The Opposite Theory" on the Drumbeat thread. It goes as follows: Regarding Peak Oil, if you want to ascertain the truth, you should generally, at least for now, assume the opposite of what most public officials say.

Perhaps Greenspan, not being in office any longer, felt free to get closer to the truth.

As somebody pointed out on another thread, controlling Iraq will not help much in controlling the Strait of Hormuz - it's a long way away. Control of the Straights of Hormuz is more dependent on another country beginning with "Ira."

This sounds a lot like some in the Pentagon and CIA are trying to warn us of what the Neocons are up to.
Bush setting America up for war with Iran
By Philip Sherwell in New York and Tim Shipman in Washington
Last Updated: 2:29am BST 17/09/2007

Senior American intelligence and defence officials believe that President George W Bush and his inner circle are taking steps to place America on the path to war with Iran, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
Pentagon planners have developed a list of up to 2,000 bombing targets in Iran, amid growing fears among serving officers that diplomatic efforts to slow Iran's nuclear weapons programme are doomed to fail.

Pentagon and CIA officers say they believe that the White House has begun a carefully calibrated programme of escalation that could lead to a military showdown with Iran.

Now it has emerged that Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, who has been pushing for a diplomatic solution, is prepared to settle her differences with Vice-President Dick Cheney and sanction military action.

Retired three star general Newbold's comments on Iraq, from last year:,9171,1181629,00.html

You know - sometimes things seem so obvious when others point them out.

Of course - they don't really need to go take all of Iran... just a sort of Guantanamo base on the peninsula overlooking the straights...

Oman is friendly right? Then take a swathe of the curve from around Bandar-e Lengeh to Sirik, and the islands... purely as a defensive measure of course...

Then whether Iraq is a success or not, whether Iran is conquerable or not, the US controls the Straits, and most of the oil supply out of the ME...

Is this the plan B to an Iraqi fuck up?

All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Hi Re,

Interesting idea.
re: "Of course - they don't really need to go take all of Iran..."

The next question is: What are the likely responses to this (by whom)? i.e., what could prevent this?

I think it would be much more easier to go ahead with building those pipelines, bypassing the Straits. Judging from the Iraqi war it would be much cheaper, even if we discount the death toll, as we usually do.

US controls the Straits

I think it would take a lot more than that to actually control the straits and insure the the continued flow of oil. Just the threat of hostilities would send insurance rates through the roof. If they sank one good sized tanker in the channel it would cause chaos.

What if Iran decides to make a "pre-emptive strike" to "ensure security of the straits"? In other words, what if their corporatocracy decides that it is "The business of Iran" to stop anyone but Iran from shipping oil?

What if our intelligence finds out about it, and decides on a "pre-pre-emptive strike" to "ensure security of the Straits"?

What if they attack each other at the same time?
Gambling logic says that you end up with 1 chance in 3 that the scenario plays out where the Strait of Hormuz is still passable in the near term (we attack first without them expecting it), probably half that chance that the oil terminals would remain undamaged; whereas a continuous diplomatic dialogue of accusations and eventual diminished macho-ism leading to possible actual verbal intercourse would allow ships to continue to transport oil.

Not in office any longer and over 80 years old.


Good cop, bad cop.

Matt Lauer of the Today Show essentially changed Greenspan's meaning from "it's all about oil" to "it all about stability" during his interview this morning. Greenspan, being a bit senile, didn't seem too concerned about Matt putting words in his mouth. Considering that Lauer is part of the GE military-industrial complex, not surprising that the weird-haired one decided to do damage control.

Greenspan's clarification is more an elaboration. It's still all about oil and the securing of oil reserves. He's saying the same thing.

Also, I would not characterize Gates' comments as an outright "rejection" of Greenspan either. Gates' statement that the war was "driven by the need to stabalize the Gulf and put down hostile forces" seems to support Greenspan's "need to secure oil reserves" assertion.

More of what Gates actually said:

With Democratic lawmakers apparently short of the votes needed to force President George W. Bush to change course, Gates defended the war, now in its fifth year, and said it's being driven by the need to stabilize the Gulf and put down hostile forces.
Gates said, "I have a lot of respect for Mr. Greenspan." But he disagreed with his comment about oil being a leading motivating factor in the war.
“I think that it's really about stability in the Gulf. It's about rogue regimes trying to develop weapons of mass destruction. It's about aggressive dictators,” Gates said.

If you haven't seen the PBS FRONTLINE episode, The Dark Side, yet, watch it. It explains who needs to be arrested and put on trial for the lives of those killed in the Iraq War -

The entire special can be seen on the PBS site and an 8 minute excerpt can be seen here -

As Greenspan said during his 60 Minutes piece last night, "syntax destruction" or "fedspeak" is meant to confuse everyone -

Anybody who thinks or asserts that geopolitics (or specifically Iraq) has nothing to do with oil is either wilfully blind, a boldface liar, a political partisan or is just not paying enough attention.

A UK paper ran a story today claiming that the oil industry is 'sleepwalking' into a crisis with respect to Peak Oil. If you believe that, I have some nice lush tropical land to sell you here in Canada.

There's a subtle point that people don't understand about Willy Sutton, the famous bank robber, the one who when asked why he robbed banks, said: because that's where the money is.

Willy was not really after the money: it was the security it provides that he really desired. I'm sure he would not have gone to jail had he explained this more clearly to the jurors.

With a massive US military base in Irag you do control/protect the middle east oil flow

It is about oil.

Gates says its not about oil but about securingprotecting the straits etc. Whats the difference ?

Wasn't Arabia involved in WW1 because of oil.

Lawrence of Arabia ?

Classic film has new look after Sept. 11

"The discovery of oil catapulted the Arab world into the 20th century. But the tribal dynamics illustrated in Lawrence still influence developments in that region, and by extension the rest of the world."

Saudi Arabia was not involved in WW I because of oil. It was peripherally involved in WW I because it was a loosely held part of the crumbling Ottoman Empire (Turkey), and Turkey was an ally of German. So, what Lawrence of Arabia was mostly about was giving the Turks some trouble to the south and thereby forcing them to expend resources that could have been applied in the European theatre.

It could not have been about oil because while oil had already been discovered in Persia (Iran) and Mesopotamia (Iraq), it wasn't until well after WW I that major discoveries were made in Saudi Arabia. For sure, the place hasn't been the same since!

Succinct article on "dollar rot" in a relatively mainstream publication.

This has been predicted for... I think 30 years now. I know, I know... my mommy also used to tell me "you can't time the market, son". I don't think I'm timing it, I just don't think it will play out this way. It won't be a dollar collapse. What will it be? Well, I think it is obvious that central banks sleep in the same bed. If the dollar begins to runway ECB and Bank of Japan will make sure to flood the market with euros and yens respectively. Where will all those poor saver's money go? Thai bahts? Anyone know if there is a market for those at all? How liquid is it?

Of course all of us working-401K-waiting-suckers will be screwed because of this, but like the article rightfully pointed out - saving the status of the West trumps all other considerations. 401K suckers don't even qualify.

"you can't time the market, son"

It's why I invest in Braniff. It's really cheap right now, ...

The problem will solve itself.
But not in a nice way.

Hello Prof Goose,

When will you post the updated photograph?

That would be Bush standing behind Greenspan while tightening a piano wire garotte on Greenspan's throat.

Just kidding!

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Ahh the days when they used to tell it like it is:

"There is no doubt about our absolute and complete dependence upon oil. We have passed from the stone age, to bronze, to iron, to the industrial age, and now to an age of oil. Without oil, American civilization as we know it could not exist."
~Harold Ickes, America's first energy "czar" under Franklin Roosevelt

Now make way for the B52s and hand over your children. It's time to do some killin'...


Yergin on Greenspan:

Video link


Hey guys.

Re the likely (certain?) attack on Iran, I would just like to point out that even the heavily regimented, dutified, Prussian-ified old-school military of _Nazi Germany_ was at some point able to decide that enough was enough, and tried to assassinate Hitler ...

I have a very low opinion of the US military in terms of actual fighting capacity, but there is no doubt that the US military contains many very smart and deeply patriotic people. For heaven's sake, your nation was once (viewed rightly or wrongly - the latter, in my view) as a light unto the nations, and you yourselves did have some kind of freedom worth speaking of ... and all of that is gone. Irretrievably? Perhaps not. But if you let Bush go to war against Iran, it will certainly be too late, and the spirit of your Republic will die forever, alongside your own eventual, and deeply ignominous, complete and utter defeat.

For heaven's sake, the Germans were once regarded as the most civilized people on Earth, and look what happened to them. Don't go down the same path. At least Hitler had the Iron Cross. What does Bush have compared to that? Why follow a fucking monkey into the darkest and most filthy recesses of history? Why do that when you were once the most admired people on Earth?

Come on. It doesn't have to be this way.