recession, depresssion, Iran

Yeah, it’s another gloom-ridden rant.  shrug.

It feels like we’re being dragged into a war with Iran.  Now on the one hand, I think a war with Iran is more justified than our invasion of Iraq.  On the other hand, I think it’s a total failure in advancing the war against terrorism.

Quite simply, the impression is that no other tools are considered acceptable – that only military might is sufficient.  Which in turn is a result of a “results now” mentality.

The problem is that such short-term gains have long-term costs.  Let me count the ways, again.

Remember Katrina and its effect on US gas prices?  Katrina shut in about 1.25m bpd of oil, which gradually recovered and which – while shut in – was covered by increased production from other nations.  That is, it took up about 1.25 of the estimated 2.5mbpd slack in the system.  OK, remembering Katrina…  Iran produces approximately 4.5mbpd of oil.  Yes, the US buys none of that.  But the nations that DO buy it will be shopping to replace their shortfalls.  Simple market rules of supply and demand alone will drive the price up.  Add the ‘panic of war’ and it’ll go nasty.

If the current administration starts a war with Iran, it’ll shatter the US economy.

If the US economy is shattered – or even bruised by gas prices surging to over $4 per gallon – the chances of a Republican who supported Bush even a little bit of getting re-elected to national office are, well, slim.  I can see it happening in some locales.  Of course, those places won’t be blaming the price surges on the current administration, either.

Another place things will go very, very wrong is the effect on our military.  To effectively attack Iran we’ll need to at least triple our military’s size.  Which means we – and since we elected them (even if we voted against them) they are ours – will have the choice of a) shattering our military through death and destruction; b) shattering our nation’s nature through an immediate draft to support an unpopular war; c) shattering our military’s morale through the forced withdrawal.  It is said that a great strategy is one which makes all your opponents choices unpalatable.  So if all of OUR choices are unpalatable, what do we call the strategy?

Officially, we’re not in a recession.  Functionally, we are – and I think we’ll get official confirmation in about four months.  The war on Iran won’t push us into a recession, it’ll deepen it into a depression.

Hope you’re prepared.

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