Thursday, December 29, 2011

Persian Gulf Follies

Yesterday, it was reported that Iran has threatened to close the vital Strait of Hormuz if the USA follows through on plans to impose a total embargo upon the Iranian oil industry.

Today, we are informed that our nation's government has responded with counter-threats, and that a representative of the US 5th Fleet, (which is permanently assigned to the Persian Gulf, and based in Bahrain), chimed in with further hawkish saber-rattling.

This raises a number of questions in the tiny marsupial mind of your faithful correspondent. Not least of these would be, why do we have an independent statement by the 5th Fleet? Is the US Navy now a power unto itself? Does the State department no longer handle diplomatic chores for the United States of (corporate) Amerika? A minor point, you may opine, but still one more indicator that we live in a post-democratic nation-state.

On to the substance of the issue.

The painful part about being a student of history, is that one can often see the parallels, and guess what happens next. The hazardous part about being a student of history, is that one can often guess wrong. None the less, let's play the game of historical parallels for a bit, shall we?

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which occurred on December 7th of 1942, roughly seventy years and three weeks ago, should not have been a surprise. The Anglo-Dutch-US consortium which controlled all oil resources in the Pacific at that time had imposed a complete oil embargo on Japan, using the colorful excuse of Japanese expansion in China.

Yes, I use the term "colorful excuse" deliberately. The Rape of Nanking occurred in 1937, and its details were known in western capitals within weeks, at most. So it took the powers-that-be four long years to decide that those naughty Japanese must be punished? Horseshit. In 1937, nobody in the West gave a damn about the Chinese. By 1941, Roosevelt was desperately seeking an excuse to drag the USA into another European war.

And so the device of an oil embargo was decided upon. Japan, then as now, was totally dependent upon oil imports. US economists predicted that the Japanese economy would collapse within six months without oil. And yet, when Japan responded with a military assault upon the colonial possessions of the embargoing powers, we were caught by surprise? Again I say, horseshit. Anyone who knew anything about Japanese culture and history could have predicted that Japan would fight rather than fold. And even a cursory study of Japanese military history would have revealed that the surprise attack was an old favorite tactic.

Now fast-forward 70 years. Granted Iran and Japan are very different nations, with very different cultures and historical traditions. Imperial Japan was territorially expansionist; Iran hasn't invaded a neighbouring country for over 200 years. The Achilles' Heel of Imperial Japan was oil imports, and that of Iran is its oil exports.

And yet, there are parallels. In both cases, the nation being embargoed was perceived to be a threat to the power of the US Navy. In both cases, the nation being embargoed was perceived to be a threat to the colonial practices of the Western Powers. And in both cases, the subtle hand of the Zionists was at work behind the scenes.

Whoa, Possum, you say! That came out of left field; how the fuck do you figure that?

In 1941, the Zionists wanted the USA committed to the European disaster that we now call World War II, both in order to defeat Germany and also to follow through on plans for the creation of Israel.

Here in late 2011, the Zionists want the USA committed to war with Iran, in order to further the interests of Israel, or at least the perceived interests of the ultra-conservative cabal which currently controls Israel's government.

(And this is as good a place as any to gently remind ourselves that there are good people in Israel, and blaming all Israelis for the horrid crimes of the Israeli government would be every bit as unjust as blaming all Americans for the horrid crimes of the US government.)

So, once again, we have an oil embargo being used to provoke an armed conflict. And yet, the world of 2011 is vastly different from that of 1941. Today, we have stern warnings against precipitate action from the Russians and Chinese, both of whom have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, with the veto power granted by that permanent seat.

As horrid as the thought may be, as painfully as my heart cries out in grief for the potential suffering of the common people both in Iran and here in the USA, I am very much afraid that the reactionaries will succeed in provoking a shooting war involving Iran, sometime in 2012.

What the consequences of that war will be, dear reader, that I cannot begin to say. And neither can the criminal psychopaths who control Washington DC and Tel Aviv.

(Open Salon readers can watch the video here)

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