Cover of "Neither East Nor West: One Woma...

Cover via Amazon

I am not satisfied with the information that we receive in the US from our media about Iran. With some on the Right insisting that we or Israel must attack Iran, I am reading several books on the country to gain a better insight on possible peaceful solutions. The best of the books I am currently reading is Neither East Nor West, One Woman’s Journey through the Islamic Republic of Iran by Christiane Bird who also wrote a book entitled A Thousand Sighs, A Thousand Revolts: Journeys in Kurdistan about the Kurds of Northern Iraq, Eastern Turkey and Western Iran. The Kurds are the most populous ethnic group in the world without a country to call their own. They have the misfortune to occupy a territory that is rich in oil that the three countries, Iran, Turkey and Iraq are unwilling to cede to the Kurds.

If you want to understand Iran more thoroughly in these turbulent times, I highly recommend Christiane Bird’s book. Another book that I wish I had in my possession to read is Kermit Roosevelt‘s Countercoup: The Struggle for the Control of Iran, first published in 1979 and long out of print. Roosevelt was FDR’s grandson and CIA station chief for Iran and surrounding countries. In his book, he related what dirty tricks the CIA used to bring down the freely elected Iranian government of  Mohammad Mosaddegh and restore the Shah to power. The Iranian people have not forgiven us for that, and it was part of the reason the US was referred to as the “Great Satan” after the Iranian revolution of 1979.

Long gas lines

Uttercast: News Shortage?

Uttercast: News Shortage? (Photo credit: doughaslam)

If you have been watching TV coverage of the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, you have probably noticed the long lines of motorists waiting to purchase gas for their vehicles. The lines are the result, not of shortages, but of the absence of electricity to power the gas pumps at the service stations. During 1973-74 and again in 1979, gas lines like the ones you are seeing in New Jersey and New York formed everywhere in the US because of actual shortages of gasoline. The shortages were relatively small, 6%+, but there was panic buying. Short tempers caused fights to break out in lines as some motorists tried to jump ahead of others who had been waiting longer.

What you are seeing today in a small part of the country could be the future of the entire country, if we or Israel bomb Iran. The mere threat of Iran closing the Strait of Hormuz could create shortages and send gas prices soaring. The US Navy may be able to keep shipping safe in the area, but insurers will raise their rates immediately on ships in the area. The threat of an Iranian attack will be sufficient to keep some ship owners out of the area. If you do not want to spend time in lines awaiting your opportunity to buy gas in rationed quantities at high prices, tell your politicians not to attack Iran.

Please see Strait of Hormuz | Strait of Hormuz part 2 | Strait of Hormuz part 3

October surprise

English: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli politician

English: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli politician (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Will there be an October surprise this year intended to affect the election? I fear there may be but it will be instigated by an Israel attack on Iran if it happens. Benjamin Netanyahu would prefer a compliant Romney as president in place of an independent Obama. His dilemma is how will US voters react to another war in the Middle East if it leads to the blocking of the Strait of Hormuz and gas shortages worldwide. Romney polls ahead of President Obama on the economy (falsely in my opinion), but Barack has a wide lead in polling on foreign affairs. US Neocons, influential during the GW Bush years, are urging Israel to attack Iran.

Promises, promises

Dome of the Rock North through Arcade

Dome of the Rock North through Arcade (Photo credit: betta design)

Mitt has just finished speaking for about 20 minutes in Jerusalem, which he recognizes as the capital of Israel. Next it is dinner with Benjamin Netanyahu and then off to Poland tomorrow. I wonder what he will promise to the Polish people?

Reportedly in London, he told the City bankers, their version of Wall Street, that he opposed financial regulation of their industry, as in Dodd-Frank. In Jerusalem, he promised Israel support if they decide to use the military option against Iran.

The crowd size in Jerusalem was about 150 hand-picked guests. Probably more security people than guests in the crowd. Mitt used two teleprompters, and it was obvious as Mitt’s head swiveled from side to side during the speech. It was almost as if he were at Wimbledon, watching a tennis match.

Wild cards

Bicycle brand playing cards, showing one of ea...

Bicycle brand playing cards, showing one of each type plus the joker. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pay no attention to current polls nor to pundits.  I have listed below some of the wild cards that may influence the November election:

  1. Iran develops a nuclear device.
  2. Israel attacks Iran.
  3. Al-Qaeda attacks US soil again.
  4. Spain or Italy leaves the Euro currency.
  5. Japan permanently abandons Tokyo because of increased radiation levels.
  6. Mother nature produces rash of tornadoes and hurricanes.
  7. Supreme Court rules on Obamacare.

I am sure that there are other wild cards that I don’t know about that should be added to the list. The results in November are likely to fall in one of these three categories:

  1. Democratic sweep leading to faster recovery from Great Recession.
  2. Divided government causing slow recovery from Great Recession to continue.
  3. Republican sweep leading to Paul Ryan budget and the Great Depression 2.