De-Nuclearize Iran by Taking Out its Oil Industry: Pros and Cons
by Dr. Robert D. Crane
The newest brainstorm in discussions about what to do with Iran was outed by Peter Beaumont, Rory McCarthy, Tracy McVeigh, and Paul Harris, in their article, “Shadow of War Looms as Israel Flexes its Muscle,” published on June 29, 2008, in The Observer, Sunday edition. See
Everyone agrees that Iran cannot physically be de-nuclearized, as was Iraq a couple of decades ago, but there might be regime change if the source of most of its gross national product suddenly disappeared. Taking out Iran’s major industry, oil, would bankrupt the country and might produce mass starvation, bringing on national chaos on a Darfurian scale. This would surely bring about regime change. Of course, international chaos from Iranian countermeasures might be significant, resulting from the shutdown of Gulf oil production for a couple of years until the pumping stations could re-pressurize the wells and insurance companies would agree again to insure oil tankers going to the Gulf. The Euro might replace the dollar as a global currency, and the major world powers might wage economic warfare against America as we waged it against Communism a few decades ago.
The effect on the Year 2008 elections cannot even be guessed. The resulting war fever in America might help McCain more than the $10 to $20 a gallon price for gasoline would hurt him. During World War II, one could not buy gas at any price, not even in a black market, except what was alloted in gas coupons to those who needed it for driving to work. American universities closed, except for military training, because there were no civilian students. We took that war seriously. If the Green Zone in Iraq were bombed amid a general uprising by all Iraqis against further occupation, Americans would get serious about the Hundred Years War that McCain says he is willing to fight for “freedom and democracy” in the Middle East. “Don’t mess with Texas” would be elevated to a national mantra for America, and McCain would lead the way.
One element of the NeoCon grand strategy against global chaos is a “homeopathic” cure, known by the NeoCon term “creative destruction,” which calls for creating and orchestrating regional chaos, sort of like starting a backfire to stop a forest fire that threatens, or might someday threaten, to rage out of control. This is what destroyed a large part of Los Alamos a few years ago, while I watched when a backfire was started in the midst of a huge windstorm to guard against forest fires and within half an hour crowned (spread through the tops of the trees) after the resulting gas caught fire. The head of the forestry division there should have been executed for either ignorant neglect or stupidity (I think for the latter).
Perhaps the International Criminal Court would indict both Olmert and Bush for a similar crime if they opted for a backfire strategy by bombing Iran into the economic stone age, rather than for a strategy to remove the institutional injustices that foster terrorism, so that one could fight terrorists as criminals. Such a non-violent, preventive strategy might be more effective than a violent, preemptive one in building a world of compassionate justice so that the dreaded global fire of uncontrolled chaos would disappear as an early 21st-century nightmare.