700 Miles to Hose Iran

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

In looking at this map, it sure looks to me like the cheapest and easiest way to tell Iran to “stuff it” would be a 700 mile pipeline from the oil fields of Saudi over to the Red Sea. As it would also cut a long transit off of the path to Europe, it could even eventually pay for itself in reduced shipping costs.

I suspect that there may be some added costs from smaller tanker sizes in the Suez Canal, and it would also require building a port facility that was set back from the shipping lanes (so likely to be some significant dredging / digging work – though the Red Sea is pretty wide, so maybe an offshore oil platform would work).

Still, to simply be able to tell Iran to “stuff it”, might be well worth it…

With a little cooperations, the oil from Kuwait, Iraq, and Oman could also be sent via pipeline to the other coast.

If Oman can be counted as ‘reliable’ one could also make about a 500 mile run to the Arabian Sea.

I don’t know what the cost per mile would be for the Very Large pipes needed to carry the volume involved, but it has got to be cheaper than keeping a carrier task force or two on perpetual alert in Gulf…

Even if you only took 1/2 of the volume out of the Persian Gulf, it would make it all that much less interesting to Iran to block it (as it would mostly just stop THEM from shipping oil.)

How much trouble would there be from ‘terrorists’ blowing up the pipeline? Well, aside from the fact that it would mostly hurt Saudi, and they are pretty darned good at keeping order on things that would hurt them… It’s also pretty clear from the Egyptians pipeline to Israel (that gets regularly blown up) that it is pretty darned quick to get it fixed and doesn’t cost much or disrupt things for long.

It would be one heck of a lot cheaper, shorter, and easier to build than the Trans-Alaska pipeline, that’s for sure.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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55 Responses to 700 Miles to Hose Iran

  1. Andrew says:

    It will never work…because it makes way to much sense!

    Bypass Oman, however I think they would play ball, run it to the UAE, 5th fleet’s headquarters. You just need to bypass the choke-point at the Straights of Hormuz….I think.

    Factor into the cost of construction a MASSIVE contribution to fund the pipeline from the United States…right? Think of the BILLIONS we would save from the Defense Budget…by not having to saber rattle and bitch slap the Iranians. Then divert 50% of the savings to retire some debt, then take the other 50% and tell OPEC here is the deal…Dump Hugo, then hire American firms to help the pipeline. Demand Royalties be paid to the US Treasury to the tune of say…25% of the profits that OPEC is getting on Crude. If OPEC doesn’t want to share, fine, pass the cost on the the Europeans. They love to charge their citizens exorbitant taxes for petrol…why should they care?

    …and why they hell shouldn’t we do something like this?

    Oh yeah one more thing…since this will never happen…do not allow any companies from Delaware, Illinois, Tennessee…and Hawaii too…California maybe, just on principal…Moonbeam wouldn’t want to participate in such a ‘dirty’ big oil project anyway.

  2. PhilJourdan says:

    Iran has a one trick wonder. They can only play the card once. Once played, their threat is impotent and they lose any excuse for safety and existance, so while the mullahs are mad, they would have to go over the deep end to actually pull the trigger on their threats. It would disrupt the oil for a period. But the world would survive, I doubt they would.

  3. Ralph B says:

    Easier than Keystone too…

  4. david says:

    Does make logical sense depending on the Sunni / Shia influence and dominance in the proposed route. Iran is trying for dominance of course. Saddam had known plans to go after the Northern Saudi oil fields, and as he is no more, Iran is of course trying to fill that power vacume. If they suceed we wil see how long before they try to follow Saddam’s past plans.

    The Shia Sunni battle in the Arab world is almost as dangerous as the Israeli / Arab battle.

  5. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “I don’t know what the cost per mile would be for the Very Large pipes needed to carry the volume involved, but it has got to be cheaper than keeping a carrier task force or two on perpetual alert in Gulf… ”

    I have learned that disagreeing with you is a dicey task. You’re unfailingly polite, but you have a disconcerting habit of usually ending up being correct! :)

    Having said that, you propose a very clear and sensible way of defusing possible Iranian actions. Any reasonable person would have to consider your solution. Still….I think you may be looking at this backward, at least in one sense. The purpose of having a carrier task force in the Middle East is not to protect our nation from the fighting and threats of the oil producing countries. It is the other way around: the purpose of the fighting and bickering in the Middle East is to provide a rationale for our national military/industrial/congressional productions.

    Eisenhower warned us about this exact outcome, and I think he was correct. Building a pipeline would make sense, IFF what was sought was a solution, instead of a problem. In this case the problem is more valuable than the solution.

  6. mitchel44 says:

    I don’t see any “winning side” to cheer for in this fight.

    Both the Iranians and the Saudi’s are funding ideologies with their oil money that seek to destabilize and ultimately destroy our way of life.

    Effectively ceding the Arabian Gulf to Iran, by helping the Saudi’s market their product easier hardly seems like the correct answer.

    And how many Iranians were part of the 9/11 attackers? I’m pretty sure the Saudi’s had them out numbered.

  7. boballab says:


    I think you overlooked one little aspect about that pipeline: Security

    It is much harder for Iran to actually close the Straight of Hormuz than to fund a couple of fanatics with bombs to blow up a pipeline. It would take a lot money and manpower to keep the crazies from Iran from it.

    Also unlike tankers, pipelines do not change position, so you would end up with a 700 or 500 mile long Straight of Hormuz.

    Iran knows that there is a big difference in launching missiles at ships guarded by US, UK and other Naval vessels and financing Mustafa, his brother Muhammad and his other brother Muhammad to carry a bomb out to the pipeline on a camel. One gets you missiles fired back at you, the other gets you name calling in the UN that lead no where.

  8. Andrew says:

    @Jason Calley

    Sir, I fear you have in your mind a chicken v egg dilemma, however I would argue you simply have a lack of historical perspective. Are you familiar with the Marine Hymn?

    “From the Halls of Montezuma,
    To the shores of Tripoli;
    We fight our country’s battles
    In the air, on land, and sea;
    First to fight for right and freedom
    And to keep our honor clean:
    We are proud to claim the title
    Of United States Marine.”

    The shores of Tripoli were hostile to Europeans way before the United States were the United States…There was not Military Industrial Complex in 1805, nor in 1788, but read Madison’s concerns:

    The Federalist Papers No. 42
    General View of the Powers Conferred by the Constitution
    Tuesday, January 22, 1788
    Author: James Madison
    To the People of the State of New York:

    THE SECOND class of powers, lodged in the general government, consists of those which regulate the intercourse with foreign nations, to wit: to make treaties; to send and receive ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls; to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations; to regulate foreign commerce, including a power to prohibit, after the year 1808, the importation of slaves, and to lay an intermediate duty of ten dollars per head, as a discouragement to such importations. This class of powers forms an obvious and essential branch of the federal administration. If we are to be one nation in any respect, it clearly ought to be in respect to other nations. The powers to make treaties and to send and receive ambassadors, speak their own propriety.

    Nothing which tends to facilitate the intercourse between the States can be deemed unworthy of the public care.

    Or perhaps:

    The Utility of the Union in Respect to Commercial Relations and a Navy
    For the Independent Journal

    Author: Alexander Hamilton

    To the People of the State of New York:

    THE importance of the Union, in a commercial light, is one of those points about which there is least room to entertain a difference of opinion, and which has, in fact, commanded the most general assent of men who have any acquaintance with the subject. This applies as well to our intercourse with foreign countries as with each other.

    There are appearances to authorize a supposition that the adventurous spirit, which distinguishes the commercial character of America, has already excited uneasy sensations in several of the maritime powers of Europe. They seem to be apprehensive of our too great interference in that carrying trade, which is the support of their navigation and the foundation of their naval strength. Those of them which have colonies in America look forward to what this country is capable of becoming, with painful solicitude. They foresee the dangers that may threaten their American dominions from the neighborhood of States, which have all the dispositions, and would possess all the means, requisite to the creation of a powerful marine. Impressions of this kind will naturally indicate the policy of fostering divisions among us, and of depriving us, as far as possible, of an ACTIVE COMMERCE in our own bottoms. This would answer the threefold purpose of preventing our interference in their navigation, of monopolizing the profits of our trade, and of clipping the wings by which we might soar to a dangerous greatness. Did not prudence forbid the detail, it would not be difficult to trace, by facts, the workings of this policy to the cabinets of ministers.

    Oh and btw, Eisenhower’s warning is often taken out of context, in fact a larger portion of his speech deals with the educational and scientific elites gaining to much power…may I present Mann, Hansen et al.

  9. R. de Haan says:

    You have to take great care of yourself E.M.
    This is not the right time to come up with great idea’s.
    Especially if they have something to with US and EU foreign policy, conflict mitigation or energy.

    I’m afraid your (great) idea doesn’t fit the Agenda

  10. Matthew W says:

    Not a bad idea.
    I don’t know what it does cost to have a carrier group there, but that carrier group is going to be somewhere so the cost is already paid for.
    Non stop training for the good guys !!

  11. Tom Bakewell says:

    There was TAPLINE or the Trans Arabia Pipeline which ended in Sidon, to the south of Beirut. And I thought the point of building Yanbu was to provide a west coast petro-terminal. The latter is a quote from a sometimes shaky memory.

  12. Andrew says:

    @ Matthew W….

    Fixed cost = carrier groups…(no chance of major reductions for decades)

    Variable cost = battle damage, new bullets and fire crackers needed to replace the ones we ‘donated’ to the Grand Ayatollah, not to mention the incalculable cost of playing Taps at Arlington.

    I suck at math, so my equations might not be exact enough for some…

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jason Calley:

    I have my blind spots…

    One of them is the tendency for folks to work from deception and deceit. I can “work through it”, but it is an unnatural act for me. Like dancing tango, a learned art. ( Polka and Waltz I can do all night long and picked up in about 30 seconds! ) Oddly, I can “expect well” at criminal types and predict their moves. It’s the “expect evil from honorable folks” that blocks.

    So I tend to assume that folks are doing what they look to be doing until they put themselves in the “creeps” bucket… So it had not occurred to me that we might not be interested in leaving the Gulf… I’ll have to think about that one a while…


    Seems to me all the Oil Expertise is down near Our Gulf anyway. Texas, Louisianan, Mississippi, …


    Yeah. I’d put it in that category too. Things that work as a threat, but once used you just get crushed… Still, folks over there have some crazy ideas about killing themselves “honorably”…


    I think that inside Saudi it’s all mostly the same with Sunni dominant and a pocket of Shia over near the East Coast (but that’s just an assumption on my part so could be horridly wrong) and the Shia / Sunni issue mostly only comes up at the borders. Don’t know how THAT would sort out.

    Then again, with our having turned Iraq into a Shia state and handed influence to Iran there’s going to be a long term impact from that..

    I guess it comes down to which dominates: Religion wars or money from oil.


    I see it as getting US out from in between THEM so they can go back to killing each other as usual and leave us the hell alone… All we ought to care about ( I would have said “all we care about” but Jason has got me thinking outside MY box ;-) is getting the oil with minimal fuss.


    I didn’t overlook security, I mentioned it at the end then proceeded to ignore it ;-)

    My implicit assumption is that if Saudi cares about THEIR oil, they can put a tank ever mile and a bunch of third grand-nephews twice removed from the Prince ever 20 meters along the pipeline. They all get paid for doing nothing anyway ( government stipend) so they can at least go stand in the desert for their pay… Rome manned the Hadrian Wall and China manned the Great Wall of China for a very long time…

    Personally, I’d just put it in a trench about 20 feet deep with a cement penetrator disruptor about 10 feet down.

    @R. de Haan:

    I’m basically a nobody. I doubt if anyone in power even knows I exist. But if they do, they can try to figure out which Old Guy With Latte and Laptop at Whole Foods is me and how much fuss they want to make about some minor comments. It would be far more effective for them to just hold a press conference and talk about the terrorists blowing up the pipeline from Egypt to Israel and how completely indefensible pipelines are in the Middle East.

    One unit of propaganda would counter a thousand of “me” and do so all over the country. It would cost a lot less too… (Sometimes I wish I didn’t have The Gift for seeing how to work both sides of the fence… Makes it hard to get excited about pushing my POV…)

    @Matthew W:

    I think there is a ‘hazardous duty pay’ bump involved and the amount of maintenance costs rise a lot when doing active duty vs parked in the home port. But yes, I’m indulging the same ‘fantasy savings’ as most politicians do when they talk about bringing the troops home to save money. It changes WHERE the money is spent more than what is spent. Like that US base in Bahrain could be in Guam or Hawaii instead and spend the money with folks closer to home…

    @Tom Bakewell:

    Well, TAPLINE gives the history of why the idea of sharing the pipeline with non-Saudi countries would break down:


    Construction of the Trans-Arabian Pipeline began in 1947 and was mainly managed by the American company Bechtel. Originally the Tapline was intended to terminate in Haifa which was then in the British Mandate of Palestine, but due to the establishment of the state of Israel, an alternative route through Syria (via the Golan Heights) and Lebanon was selected with an export terminal in Sidon. Oil transport through the pipeline started in 1950.

    Since the 1967 Six-Day War, the section of the pipeline which runs through the Golan Heights came under Israeli control, though the Israelis permitted the pipeline’s operation to continue. After years of constant bickering between Saudi Arabia and Syria and Lebanon over transit fees, the emergence of oil supertankers, and pipeline breakdowns, the section of the line beyond Jordan ceased operation in 1976. The remainder of the line between Saudi Arabia and Jordan continued to transport modest amounts of petroleum until 1990 when the Saudis cut off the pipeline in response to Jordan’s support of Iraq during the first Gulf War. Today, the entire line is unfit for oil transport.

    So the Saudi oil in a Saudi pipeline to a Saudi port might work, but the inherent bickering cross border and the greed driven desire for excess ‘transit fees’ that all folks seem to love, makes the ‘shared use’ unlikely.


    So it comes down to how much is Saudi worried about the Hormuz shutdown question and how much is Saudi willing to ‘fix it’ with a bypass.

    Given their prior experience with TAPLINE and the issue of piracy at the Red Sea outlet toward Asia / South America; they would likely just see no reason to move much of their oil that way. Still room for the European oil to move via Suez (but even there, supertankers are often more effective than the smaller Suezmax tankers). Still, I think it would be worth it just as a diversification / risk mitigation strategy.


    Maybe in The Next War Saudi can capture the Sinai and just run it direct..


    Has interesting stuff, too:

    Yanbu is an important petroleum shipping terminal and is home to three oil refineries, a plastics facility and several other petrochemical plants. It is the country’s second port (after Jeddah) and serves as the main port for the holy city of Medina, 160 km (99 mi) to the east. The natural harbour is protected on both sides by wide coral reefs. These reefs remain mostly untouched making them excellent areas for diving. Three major oil pipelines lead across the desert from the oilfields in the east to terminate at the Red Sea in Yanbu.

    So it looks like they are already doing this… Though it also looks like it is being focused on “value added” products like refined products and petrochemicals.

    OK, so the “bright idea” shrinks to just “expand the existing to include crude loadings”…

    Nice bit of memory / digging there Tom!

  14. Andrew says:

    Great refined products…you think a ‘big old jet airliner’ filled with kerosene can wreck havoc in NYC…imagine what a big tanker of LP can do.

    I ain’t giving any secrets away either, just a slightly younger nobody here.

  15. Jason Calley says:

    @ Andrew

    First of all, thanks for your time and thoughts in response to what I posted.

    “I would argue you simply have a lack of historical perspective.”

    It is certainly possible! There seems to be lot of it going around.

    On the other hand, maybe there is a fundamental misunderstanding between us. Just to clarify, I would never say that “all threats against the US since our founding have been due to the nefarious scheming of the military/industrial/congressional complex.”

    For example, our oldest enemy, Great Britain, was an overwhelming and very much real, outside threat to our existence and only by the very thinnest of margins and great luck (or blessing) did we manage to escape from them. The Barbary Pirates, while not an existential threat to the US, aggressed against our nation and deserved what they got, no argument. Still, the justifiable response over 200 years ago in Tripoli does not justify an aircraft carrier task force off the coast of Iran though. Besides, if Tripoli somehow justifies today’s actions, then putting the ships in the English Channel makes more sense; after all, Britain is closer to Tripoli than Iran! But seriously, while the Barbary Pirates deserved what they got, is that the case with every military action we take? Do you honestly think that because some wars or actions were justified, that all wars and actions are justified?

    You quote the Marine Hymn. Let me quote the Marines as well, one of the most decorated US soldiers of all time, Marine Corp Commander, Major General Smedley Butler.
    “War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”

    If there is some reason why General Butler is not to be trusted, I am willing to hear it. General Butler was no pacifist, no naïve kumbaya singer. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for actions under fire….twice! He makes, though, a point in his writings and speeches which I think is valid. He draws a clear distinction between wars fought in national defense, and wars fought for profit. They are not the same, and we have seen both types. This is not a complicated idea, and I think differentiating between the two is the only ethical way to justify the death of our citizens and soldiers, and the killing of citizens and soldiers of other countries.

    That said, the question becomes, is the current situation in the Middle East one which we have legitimately attempted to ease and negotiate a solution to, or is it a situation which certain elements within the international political, manufacturing and financial circles have milked as a justification for literally trillions of dollars? Is the current US military budget – a budget which is nearly equal to the sum total of all other national military budgets in the world – a logical, reasonable and justifiable response to a true military threat to the US?

    Based on what I have seen and read, I would say no, it is not. I would say it is just one more incarnation of the boogieman brought out over the last century or so, to frighten Americans into giving up their wealth and freedom for safety from (mostly) imaginary threats. It is another in a line that runs from the Spaniards to the Huns, through the Central American peasants – and notice that I do not include the Nazis, the Japanese Imperialists and the Soviets in my listing of imaginary threats! – the Koreans, the Vietnamese, the Iraqis and now the Iranians. Maybe it will be the Pakistanis tomorrow.

    Andrew “Oh and btw, Eisenhower’s warning is often taken out of context, in fact a larger portion of his speech deals with the educational and scientific elites gaining to much power…may I present Mann, Hansen et al.”

    If you check a transcript, I think you will find that the military/industrial complex gets first billing and about twice the time of the scientific elites theme. By the way, there are reports that Eisenhower did not use “military/industrial complex” in his original speech draft, but rather used “military/industrial/congressional complex”. The difference is self evident, I think, and I, for one, prefer to include the “congressional” bit, just for clarity. However, you are very much correct about Hansen, et al. I just shudder to use the term “scientific” anywhere near their names. To call them prostitutes would a slur against the honest sex workers of all nations.

  16. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “Polka and Waltz I can do all night long and picked up in about 30 seconds!”

    I actually envy you on that! My dance skills fall into a percentile so low that even God would have to look closely to see it. Imagine a wooly monkey being alternated tased and hit with sticks. That would be like me dancing.

    “It’s the “expect evil from honorable folks” that blocks.”

    You bring up a good point. I (and most people) tend to classify things in a way which is broadly helpful, but which can also be the instrument of GREAT deception. In common speech we talk about “the church”, or “the government” or “the military”, or “the police.” Most of the time, that is perfectly fine, and no harm is done, but when we have a more hierarchical structure, it is important to remember that the average, base member of “the government” or “the military” or “the church” may be very much unlike the very small group at the top. Just because your nephew in the military is a good man, an honorable man, a devoted husband, etc., does not mean that the organization as a whole may be used to do something reprehensible. We are all aware of medical experiments done on black syphilis sufferers in the old South. We are all aware of the illegal rounding up of Japanese Americans during WWII. There are any number of terrible things done by OUR government, and OTHER governments, and the various churches and police departments, etc that could be whined about from now till whenever – and many of those actions dome by people who individually were GOOD people. Just because your local governmental employee (or soldier nephew) is a good guy, does not mean that our President is a good guy. The honorable folk will refuse to do evil if they know it is evil, but the folk at the top of the command chain are very good at rationalizing and justifying evil so that it no longer sounds evil. That is the scary part… how easily honorable people can be misled into doing something which their better nature would normally prevent.

    Personally, I do not think that the average soldier, or government worker, or church official is evil. On the contrary, I think they are pretty decent. My guess is about 19 people out of 20 are really pretty good folk, the kind of person who would stop to help if you were broken down at the side of the road. I think that ratio of 19/20 gets much smaller as you rise to where power increases.

    But in specific reference to the Middle East, your pipeline idea makes sense. Why didn’t someone do it decades ago? Likewise, the building of massive desalinization plants in Saudi Arabia instead of buying quite so many billions in fighter planes, makes sense. Pakistan and India acting like good neighbors instead of rattling nuclear weapons at each other makes sense. Hutus not killing Tutsis makes sense. BATF not giving full auto weapons to drug cartels makes sense. China not invading Tibet makes sense… I can go on, but the point is, MUCH of what happens in the world literally does not make sense. It is stupid, it is idiotic, it is non-sense…unless you look at it from the point of “are there specific people who will profit from this bit of insanity?” That is what I try to look for. I know that volcanoes explode and sometimes, bad things really DO happen for no discernible reason, but usually, mostly, if we are speaking about a human action or an event that is the expression of people acting in certain ways, you will find that there is someone involved who is doing something which benefits themselves even if it harms many others.

  17. kuhnkat says:

    Jason Calley,

    I can think of no war the United States was involved in that was purely for profit of an insider group. All wars do provide rich hunting grounds for profiteers and the rich do typically have more access and influence in the halls of gubmint.

  18. tckev says:

    This would certainly stir the dice in the modern Great Game.
    The Europeans and Israel would side with the US – despite French grumblings.
    Russia would act-up to its “honest broker” role to gain and extend power/influence in the region.
    China…as a customer to Iran and a supplier to US/EU they would hold the key.
    Yes an interesting, and eminently practical solution to a problem, but through the prism of the Great Game it may not be so easy.
    But of course nobody plays the Great Game anymore – do they?

  19. Jason Calley says:

    @ kuhnkat
    “I can think of no war the United States was involved in that was purely for profit of an insider group. ”

    Hi kuhnkat! Two quick points: First, when you say “war” am I correct that you also include undeclared wars, such as US military attacks in Central America? Second, “purely,” as in “100%”, is not something we see much of in any human endeavour, especially something as large scale as even a smallish war. Heck, you can’t even have a football game whose purpose is “purely” anything; one group wants to win a game, one group wants an excuse to drink a few beers, one group wants to sell some parking permits. What I do support is the thesis that many wars (and smaller military actions) are started and maintained by people who do so for money and for power, but who tell We The People that the purpose is nation building, self defense, or bringing “democracy” to the natives.

    @ E.M. Thinking a bit more about Saudi Arabia. To the best of my knowledge, Saudi Arabia is the largest single customer for buying US arms and military equipment. In addition, why is it that Saudi Arabia only allows the sale of its oil in US dollars? The reason is that the US has promised to provide protection for oil movement around the world. If there were no turmoil in the Middle East, neither of those two things is likely to take place. Of the two, the pricing of oil in dollars is by far the most important. Iraq moved off the dollar oil payment standard in 2000. Libya was recently in the process of moving off oil sales only in dollars and was changing to sale for gold payment. Iran is in the process of moving off the dollar payment standard.

    I see a pattern, and the pattern has to do with money and power, not with Jihad and democracy.

  20. R. de Haan says:

    @E.M. “@R. de Haan:

    I’m basically a nobody. I doubt if anyone in power even knows I exist. But if they do, they can try to figure out which Old Guy With Latte and Laptop at Whole Foods is me and how much fuss they want to make about some minor comments. It would be far more effective for them to just hold a press conference and talk about the terrorists blowing up the pipeline from Egypt to Israel and how completely indefensible pipelines are in the Middle East.

    One unit of propaganda would counter a thousand of “me” and do so all over the country. It would cost a lot less too… (Sometimes I wish I didn’t have The Gift for seeing how to work both sides of the fence… Makes it hard to get excited about pushing my POV…)”

    The illuminati today openly tell us they’re planning to cull at least half of the worlds population. The question that remains is how to do it.
    Nobodies working both sides of the fence have to take care they are not listed.

    Alex Jones blog, the walhallah of conspiracy theories, carried an article on the subject but for some reason the video content is no longer available which without any doubt will trigger more conspiracy theories.


    Obviously the low birth rates in the West, Russia and Japan triggering the inevitable population reduction due to natural causes isn’t enough to satisfy the illuminati.

  21. George says:

    An oil terminal at Masirah Island might be a lot cheaper. An island can generally be a lot easier to defend, too.

  22. Laurence M. Sheehan, PE says:

    This nation, the US of A, has enough petroleum in known reserves to meet our needs for at least 7 centuries. The reason for importing crude oil in the first place was that it was slightly cheaper than producing it here in the US. That, quite obviously, is no longer the case.

    The concept that CO2 is “bad” is complete nonsense, and modern refineries are not the polluters they once were. Only complete stupidity prevents us from being self-sufficient in production of oil, coal and natural gas for a whole lot of time to come.

  23. Coldish says:

    Going back to your pipeline plan, I have read that a pipeline is already under construction in the UAE linking Abu Dhabi and Al Fujairah on the Gulf of Oman. This pipeline will bypass the Strait of Hormuz.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jason Calley:

    OK, I thought about it… (And see you have added more so I’m playing catch up with that, too ;-)

    IMHO, here’s how it shakes out (Sheiks out?)

    It is Saudi Oil. THEY ought to be providing their own protection for their business and their neighborhood with their Navy.

    It looks a ‘bti light’ for the job (but has been growing) with French, British, and US purchases. (Then again, the Persian Gulf is mostly under 50 m deep and only a couple of hundred miles each way, so must get mighty crowded with a few dozen tankers, 2 or 3 US Carrier Groups, 7 Saudi Frigates, 4 Saudi Corvettes, 9 Saudi Patrol Boats, 3 Minesweepers, and 2 oilers. Not to mention the few hundred ‘watevers’ from Iran and whatever Iraq, Kuwait, etc. want to mix. Oh, and the odd British and French visitors… and maybe the occasional stray Russian Sub…)

    At any rate, it looks to me like the Saudi’s are saying “You want the oil, you defend it” and we are saying “Yes Sir!”… That, and we can act as a ‘buffer’ of sorts between Saudi and Iran so if shooting starts the first targets are not Saudi Oil Facilities… Add in that now Fatwa is needed finding the other Muslims to not be Muslims before you can kill them … and we’re there for insulation, cost reduction (for the Saudi), target distraction, and rapid response. From a Saudi point of view…

    From our point of view, we assure no regional war STARTS with destruction of the oil facilities, we get to “dominate the region” and growl at folks from a position of very large strength (so less likely to have damage) and with no long term ‘hurt feelings requiring reprisal’ between the local countries. Oh, and we get to assure that the “locals” don’t get such a large and effective navy that they could then be a problem to Israel. ( I’m sure Israel would not like 2 or 3 Saudi Carrier Task Forces loitering around the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and sporadically wandering over to Turkey…) Oh, and by bowing to Saudi Kings we get oil for our friends…

    Harumph… I think you are likely correct. We would not want to leave, as the alternative would NOT be peace in the region, it would be regional Iran / Saudi war, with Israel for desert, and a likely catastrophic disruption of the oil facilities for several years.


    Well, I’d expect Saudi would be a might particular about who got to dock there and would not be bashful about applying missile persuasion to airliners flying at tanks or tankers. They have a reputation for being a bit, er, brusque…

    @Jason Calley:

    Waltz is a fairly fixed box step, and directly in time to the music. Fast to learn and very dull thereafter. Polka is a dynamic rotational momentum and collision avoidance problem. Lots of fun, missteps are OK as long as you keep on going, and once you realize it’s a “rotate, leap, and don’t collide, and rotate”, pretty quick to learn ;-) “Style” and “Grace” not required ;-)

    (Just don’t EVER ask me to Samba… it’s a sad and pathetic thing… wrong hips. Wrong legs -too short. Wrong shape….)

    Per your “people at the top acting to benefit themselves”: Vis Soros… and Maurice Strong… and Pol Pot and Kim Jong Il and …


    Well, we know Prince Andrew thinks they do.. he said so… And Russia seems to play, as attested by their actions…

    Now China, that’s the odd card…

    @R. de Haan:

    FWIW, I expect the ‘solution’ will be a minor nuclear war where 2/3 of the global population live. That whole Muslim World / Pakistan / India / China axis. Going after some old blogger who’s not going to be around long anyway is just not a cost effective way to do things.

    The Powers That Be follow the same play book as always. Study at the same old schools. Read the same old histories. Wars let them both make more money and focus the dying where they want it. Foreign lands and the “lower classes”.

    Germs are still just too messy and focused actions are reserved for High Value Targets.

    So I stand by my “I am a nobody” defense. (However, if postings suddenly stop… perhaps you will be shown right …)

    BTW, low birthrates in The West (including Japan) are a direct result of prosperity and women’s education. No conspiracy needed. Even inside individual countries, the shortest path to low birth rates is a college education for the woman and money for the men. Folks go out an play instead to working to raise kids. All countries. All cultures.


    Well, for Omani oil it would be fine. For Saudi: I just don’t know how friendly that are with Oman or how much they can lean on them to get cooperation…

    Physically, it would be a lot better just because tankers would not need to go into the gulf. I do note, however, that the local shore is shallow ( about 10 m for quite a ways) and with hazards, and that side scan sonar doesn’t work well (per the wiki) due to a halocline problem, and that currents can be an issue, and it was exposed (evacuated) during the last hurricane… So a “LOOP” like port facility way off shore would seem in order.

    @Lawrence M. Sheehan P.E.:

    I agree with what you said. I would only add that until recently Saudi could ‘crash’ the price of oil at will. They did it a time or two when ‘alternatives’ got a decent foothold. That was a real discouragement to development. The only way out of that box ( protective tariffs and government sponsorship of industrial development) was not acceptable in America.

    That it could be done by South Africa and Brazil, but not us, truly saddens me…

    That we are not doing it NOW appalls me.


    Oooh! Nice one!


    Habshan–Fujairah oil pipeline
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline
    Country United Arab Emirates
    Province Abu Dhabi, Fujairah
    General direction north–south
    From Habshan
    Passes through Sweihan
    To Fujairah
    General information
    Type oil
    Owner International Petroleum Investment Company
    Contractors China Petroleum Engineering and Construction Corporation
    Construction started 2008
    Commissioned 2012
    Technical information
    Length 360 km (220 mi)
    Maximum discharge 1.5 Mbbl/d (~7.5×107 t/a)
    Diameter 48 in (1,219 mm)
    Number of pumping stations 3
    Pumping stations Habsan, Sweihan, Fujairah

    Habshan–Fujairah oil pipeline, also known as Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline (ADCOP), is an oil pipeline in the United Arab Emirates. It starts from the Habshan onshore field in Abu Dhabi and will run to Fujairah.


    The pipeline is ordered by the International Petroleum Investment Company in order to increase the security of supply and reduce oil transportation through the Strait of Hormuz. The conceptual design of the pipeline was completed in 2006 by Tebodin, and the construction related contracts were awarded in 2007. Construction of the pipeline started on 19 March 2008. Construction was completed in March 2011. It was to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2011. In December 2011, the UAE oil minister accounced that it will be completed “soon”.

    Technical description

    The 48-inch (1,200 mm) pipeline is 360 kilometres (220 mi) long, of which 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) is an offshore section. It passes east of Abu Dhabi city, through Sweihan and west of Al Ain. The pipeline has a capacity of 1.5 million barrels per day (~7.5×107 t/a). It was designed by WorleyParsons. Construction was managed by ILF Consulting Engineers and carried out by China Petroleum Engineering and Construction Corporation.[3][1] The pipeline is designated to supply the refinery in Fujairah as also the Fujairah export terminal. The oil tanks in Fujairah were constracted by Italy’s Belleli Energy SpA. An integrated electrical system for the pipeline was designed and supplied by ABB. Pipes were supplied by Sumitomo, Salzgitter AG and Jindal Saw. The technical assurance, risk and safety, asset management and industrial inspection were done by Germanischer Lloyd. The pipeline cost US$3.3 billion.

    As Saudi production runs about 9 Mbpd, it would take about 6 pipelines of this diameter. And about 3 x as long. Call it 18 x $4 Billion or about $72 Billion. At $100 / bbl, that’s about 720 Million bbls. or a bit over 2 1./2 months production…

    Cost of USS George H.W. Bush: $6.2 Billion. So it costs about the same as 10 aircraft carriers… OK, I can see how the math went down. Cheaper to hire the Americans and make it their problem…

  25. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Why don’t we just get Saudi, it’s a dictator and they want nuclear weapons too?

  26. boballab says:

    Jason does have a point that at times the US military (specifically the US Marines) have been used to further US business interests. Go back to the early 1900’s and you will see how the US Marines were used by a company now known as Chiquita during the “Banana Wars”:

    Reasons for these conflicts were varied but were largely economic in nature. The term “Banana Wars” arises from the connections between these interventions and the preservation of American commercial interests in the region. Most prominently, the United Fruit Company had significant financial stakes in production of bananas, tobacco, sugar cane, and various other products throughout the Caribbean, Central America and Northern South America. The U.S. was also advancing its political interests, maintaining a sphere of influence and controlling the Panama Canal which it had recently built, critically important to global trade and naval power.


    This type of stuff continued up into at least the 1950’s when the CIA was used to benefit Chiquita:

    In the 1950s, the United Fruit Company convinced the administrations of U.S. presidents Harry Truman (1945–53) and Dwight Eisenhower (1953–61) that the popular government of Colonel Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán in Guatemala was secretly pro-Soviet, for having expropriated unused “fruit company lands” to landless peasants. In the Cold War (1945–91) context of the pro-active anti-Communism of the McCarthy era of U.S. national politics, said geopolitical consideration facilitated President Eisenhower’s ordering the CIA’s Guatemalan coup d’état (1954), which deposed the elected government of President–Colonel Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, and installed the pro-business government of Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas.[1] The poet Pablo Neruda denounced foreign banana companies’ political dominance of Latin American countries with the poem La United Fruit Co.


    And just to clarify: Chiquita = United Fruit Company

    After a period of financial decline, United Fruit was merged with Eli M. Black’s AMK in 1970 to become the United Brands Company. In 1984, Carl Lindner, Jr. transformed United Brands into the present-day Chiquita Brands International.


  27. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “We would not want to leave, as the alternative would NOT be peace in the region”

    Most likely.

    I am sadly reminded of a quote I heard probably twenty years ago. “If there is ever a big nuclear war, you know, an all out nuclear holocaust, the last two living things on Earth are going to be two cockroaches over in the Middle East. And you know what? They’ll be fighting…”

  28. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/30/world/asia/afghanistan-taliban-talks/index.html?hpt=hp_t3 Taliban is really part of Saudi too, more reason to invade…

  29. E.M.Smith says:

    @Scarlet Pumpernickel:

    Don’t quite follow… Are you saying “why don’t we take out Saudi too” or “why don’t we give nukes to Saudi and let them fix it” or?…

    Ah, see the second comment now…

    Why NOT to invade Saudi?

    1) We are their lap dog.
    2) They are trained to feed us.
    3) It is probably the only thing that would immediately unite the entire Muslim world against us forever. Invasion of the Holy Land by the Great Satan Infidel.
    4) There would be no end of death and destruction and we would be in a global war for the rest of our existence.
    5) We wouldn’t gain anything. We already get what we want, all the oil the markets can process. (It isn’t the Saudi who are threatening to shut down oil shipping…)
    6) Oh, and it would destabilize the Shia / Sunni balance of the presence and tip it strongly toward the Iranian Shia, who would promptly exploit this by dominating global Islam. Think “Hezbola in Chicago and London”.

    FWIW, there is decent evidence that Saudi dissidents are actively recruited by the “other side” to try to break the relationship between the US and Saudi Royals… Watch out for False Flag problems…

    Frankly, I’d rather see us take a European approach. “Here, lads, let me hold your coats while you two (Saudi / Iran) settle your differences. Anyone like to buy some more guns?…”

    We’d probably do it, but for the disruption to global oil supplies.


    Frankly, I was surprised when the oil companies assets in Venezuela were nationalized and we did nothing….

    @Jason Calley:

    Interesting quote ;-)

    The reality, though, is that nuclear wars need not be earth ending. We’ve already had one…

    So if the middle east had a ‘dozen nuke’ war (and it would not take much more than that to finish the place) the global impact would mostly be an oil shock… Even that might not last long if the oil fields were left intact.

  30. George says:

    The problem with the Red Sea is that it sits right on top of a volcanic rift zone and is subject to be blocked from time to time by significant volcanic activity.

  31. E.M.Smith says:


    OMG! So one of THE most heavy traffic shipping channels in the world has active volcanic activity… I knew it was rifting, but figured it for more modest events…


    An eruption occurred in the Red Sea in December 2011. According to news reports, fishermen witnessed lava fountains reaching up to 30 meters (90 feet) tall on December 19. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites observed plumes on December 20 and December 22. Meanwhile, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite detected elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, further indicating an eruption.

    The activity in the Red Sea included more than an eruption. By December 23, 2011, what looked like a new island appeared in the region. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured these high-resolution, natural-color images on December 23, 2011 (top), and October 24, 2007 (bottom). The image from December 2011 shows an apparent island where there had previously been an unbroken water surface. A thick plume rises from the island, dark near the bottom and light near the top, perhaps a mixture of volcanic ash and water vapor.

    The volcanic activity occurred along the Zubair Group, a collection of small islands off the west coast of Yemen. Running in a roughly northwest-southeast line, the islands poke above the sea surface, rising from a shield volcano. This region is part of the Red Sea Rift where the African and Arabian tectonic plates pull apart and new ocean crust regularly forms.

    Has to make keeping the charts up to date a bit ‘interesting’…

    “Sir, reporting a new island forming 10 miles ahead slightly to port…”

  32. George says:

    The problem with underwater vulcanism can be CO2. If it suddenly starts farting great quantities of CO2 right when a ship is passing over, you could sink.

  33. Andrew says:

    @ George

    I believe big icy chunks of methane are suspected as a possible answer to ships disappearing in the Western Atlantic. Ice under massive pressure…by the time it reaches the surface…the bubble is pretty big…and it it finds a spark…

    @ E.M. Smith

    “Sir, reporting a new island forming 10 miles ahead slightly to port…”

    When is that new Hawaiian Island due to surface…not in our lifetime if memory serves, but it’s coming.

  34. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Well we seem to be focused on Iran. But Saudi seems pretty identical to Iran. Though they are playing our game, keeping the price of oil high with the cartel. It costs a few dollars a barrel to produce in Saudi, yet the price is close to 80-100.

    Most of the insurgents come from Saudi, most of the 911 Hijackers come from Saudi, Taliban come from Saudi, Saudi rich guys put bounties on Israel soldiers. OBL came from Saudi. But hey its ok, Iran is the evil one.

    Thing is, the game is to destabilize Iraq and Iran as much as possible, as these two probably have more reserves then Saudi. You wouldn’t want all this extra oil to come on the market, as it would crash the price and also crush the running out of oil hoax.

    But why are we focused on removing all the evil dictators, when Saudi is a dictatorship. Just like others like Brunei etc…

  35. George says:

    There is a huge difference between the Saudis and Iran. The Saudis are actually, very slowly, very gently liberalizing their society. It is at a very slow pace but that might be for the better in the long run. Culture changes slowly. The most recent action I saw was the king sacking the head of the religious police and appointing someone more moderate in his place.

  36. Sabretoothed says:

    Weird, woman can drive in Iran, but not in Saudi.

    All the weird stuff happens in Saudi, more weirder then Iran. Want some great examples? It’s like a comedy festival. The King spends most of the year in his mega palace in the French Riveria. How is he different to Gadaffi?

    Funny how the west wants the other Iranian guy to take over, who was actually the one in charge of Iran in the 1980s when Beirut stuff went down and he was the one causing it all. Now he’s ok, and the current guy is not. Seriously who cares. If you want the oil take out Saudi as well, why just pick on Iran? Iran has never ever attacked any other country around it in the past. If they do they would be wiped off the map.

    Its like Somalia. They kick out Total Oil earlier in the year, then suddenly the French start bombing towns from the sea lol http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/10/24/kenya-france-somalia-bombing-shabab.html

  37. Pascvaks says:

    “No Nation is an Island Complete Unto Itself.”

    Each needs someone to fight with and someone to kiss,
    Someone to play with and someone to miss, so ask not
    for whom the bell tolls, it’s just the beginning of another
    round for rock-n-roll.

    Life’s a beach! ;-)

    As with the various world’s of matter and energy, where each have their own rules and measurements, so to with the many worlds of life; no living thing is an island, complete unto itself. (Unless you’re a fungus;-)

  38. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

  39. E.M.Smith says:

    @Scarlet Pumpernickel:

    There isn’t any question of “Do Saudi Citizens fund and desire the spread of Islam and fall of The West?” They are among the largest (if not THE largest) funders of Mosques all over the globe. They support a particularly conservative form (Wahabi) and that ‘teaching’ has now had its first huge crop of children reaching positions of power.


    According to observers such as Gilles Kepel, Wahhabism gained considerable influence in the Islamic world following a tripling in the price of oil in the mid-1970s and the progressive takeover of Saudi Aramco in the 1974-1980 period. The Saudi government began to spend tens of billions of dollars throughout the Islamic world to promote Wahhabism, which was sometimes referred to as “petro-Islam”. According to the documentary called The Qur’an aired in the UK, presenter Antony Thomas suggested the figure may be “upward of $100 billion”.

    Its largess funded an estimated “90% of the expenses of the entire faith”, throughout the Muslim world, according to journalist Dawood al-Shirian.[49] The funds supported children’s madrasas, high-level scholarship, mosque construction (“more than 1500 mosques were built from Saudi public funds over the last 50 years”) were paid for.) and operation and many other activities. It rewarded journalists and academics, who followed it and built satellite campuses around Egypt for Al Azhar, the oldest and most influential Islamic university.

    None of this is particularly a surprise. It has been a concern for quite a while.

    The Saudi Royals live a precarious life, on the edge of revolt and with Iran at their back (funding all sorts of regional disruption). They depend on us to stay in power, in large part, in that we ‘stabilize’ the region so then they can dominate.

    To reduce criticism that they are not doing enough with the oil money to destabilize the west, they have decided they must show they are “good Muslims” by funding such mosques and ‘spreading Islam’. This means that, inevitably, they are working partly against their own interests of stability. They know this, but see no other choice. Undoubtedly some of that funding ends up in the hands of “radicals”.

    Now, if any one “terrorist” who shows up in America stays at the home of any particular Saudi family, does that mean THAT FAMILY is involved?

    Nope, not at all. It can simply be that they are extending the traditional Arab courtesies to a ‘friend of a friend’. Might that “terrorist” suggest they get out of town for a while as he “has heard from a reliable source something big will happen.”? All without THEM knowing he was the guy to do it? Yup.

    Does ANY of that mean the House of Saud is behind it all? Nope.

    It is imperative to draw a line between the RULERS of Saudi (and through them, the official actions of Saudi Arabia) and the RULED, who may, and do, act on their own.

    In essence: All the ‘dirt’ you are pointing at just says that the widespread teaching of a highly conservative (aka ‘radical’) form of Islam has had the expected result of a lot of individuals in Saudi Arabia who ‘hate the west’.

    Something that has been talked about, and expected, since the late 1970s (and maybe longer – that’s just how far back I remember it…)

    Does any of THAT mean that either Saudi Arabia (the govt) or The House Of Saud (the royals) were behind 911? Nope. Or that they are our “enemies”? Absolutely not. (They have done far too much ‘in our favor’ for that to be the case. However, that does not make them our ‘friends’ either.)

    In some cases, for some very wealthy Saudi citizens (non-royal population) they may find that funding the occasional crazy to go off somewhere and ‘die for Islam’ is the best way to prevent being assassinated by the ‘others’.

    So until you get to that kind of granularity, tossing dirt at ‘Saudi’ (unadorned and unqualified) just doesn’t illuminate much and can fall into the hands of the folks trying to break the relationship between the USA and The House Of Saud.

  40. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Basically, it’s all about deals. Iran is the friend of Russia and others. It gets its arms from those countries. Not the USA. It also wants payment for it’s oil in Euro, not $US.

    The best way to make money in the world is
    (a) Receive tax payer money for you product – eg solar panel, arms, any product, since the tax payer is easy to rip off.

    (b) Sell weapons for oil money

    Saudi is playing USA’s game. http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/critics-slam-obama-administration-hiding-massive-saudi-arms/story?id=12192558#.TyyUGMh-SSo
    The Standard Oil model. Ensure the price of oil is high by controlling supply. Then buy lots of weapons with this money. It’s the greatest game in town. These are some of the richest people in the world from these deals. eg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adnan_Khashoggi

    Iran and Russia http://www.cfr.org/iran/russia-iran-arms-trade/p11869

    So it’s got nothing about Iran being evil, wanting to nuke things. Iran is signature to the Nuclear non proliferation treaty. So it gets inspected. Pakistan and India are not, so they never get inspected. It’s all about who gets deals with whom and who gets to make money out of the large amount of oil. It’s also good to demonize Iran and not develop it’s oil, as it’s oil is nationalized, and we know what a government institution does, it’s useless. So basically hardly any oil is coming out, as the government is running the show.

    It’s like that old post, it’s just the game.. ;) Russia vs USA, who gets the oil and who gets to sell weapons to Iran. https://chiefio.wordpress.com/tag/game/

    This all started in 1953, when USA sent in the coup. 1979 was just the blow back for the coup.

    http://rt.com/usa/news/have-us-marines-murdered-in-beirut-been-forgotten/ Obviously this guy wants to buy weapons from USA instead and bring Shell/BP back in again??

    1979 was very very bad

    BP “BP continued to operate in Iran until the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The new regime of Ayatollah Khomeini confiscated all of the company’s assets in Iran without compensation, bringing to an end its 70-year presence in Iran.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP

    Shell has done some business, but USA is not happy, as when the oil is pumped money is made and they don’t get to sell the weapons to Iran, as Iran will buy them from Russia instead http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/519688.stm .

    See very very naughty, your not supposed to make your own weapons, your supposed to buy them from USA. It’s almost like growing your own crop from Montsanto from collected seeds lol http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/iran-claims-production-of-laser-guided-artillery-shells/2012/01/30/gIQAQbpubQ_story.html .

    Here’s some comedy http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/198250 ;)

  41. E.M.Smith says:


    The second link you gave, to the December 2011 explosion, requires folks to ‘subscribe’ to read it. Here is an open story about that event:


    FWIW, I heard a news report of someone or other saying Israel would be taking out the nuke facilities in ‘March or April’. Unfortunately it was ‘en passant’ with said TV, so I only caught a bit of it.

    That PBS link has Mossad working with an Iranian internal group that the Iranian government calls ‘terrorists’. So expect to see a lot of ‘tit for tat’ assassinations and random explosions. It just seems to be ‘what they do’ over there…

    At any rate, the efforts to slow down progress toward an Iranian bomb via such means (and don’t forget the virus that caused a Siemens chip in their centrifuge go run the thing ‘overspeed’ and break) has, it would seem, been insufficient. So we’re hearing Madam Clinton make noises about Civil Rights in Syria while we’re stacking up ships like crazy. (Too bad we left Iraq… it would have been rather ‘cute’ so announce we where taking all of our troups out of Iraq… via Syria ;-)

    As there is no way Iran will halt work on their nuclear bomb, it is just a matter of when, not so much what…

  42. George says:

    I believe we are in for something huge. I think the Iranians aren’t going to wait to be attacked and will attack first. I also believe Venezuela is going to play a role on all of this, as might Argentina, as well. We could end up in a situation with Iranian attacks on Israel, Iranian missiles launched at the US from Venezuela at the same time Argentina is trying to take the Falklands.

    “Short Round” went to Venezuela recently, now there is a big pow-wow with Cuba and others and Venezuela. Argentina is rattling the sword at the UK.

    Then there’s this:


    And this


    If that second article is true, then they can already hit the US with a small warhead. If you can place an object into orbit, you can hit any part of the surface of the earth. An ICBM is suborbital, at most it has to only go halfway around the world.

  43. Pascvaks says:

    Some might say that the best time to do something grand, daring, and/or really stupid, is during an American presidential election year; especially if the fella what’s ‘In’ is rather flakey. Remember too, everybody doesn’t like Number One, and Everybody (and I do mean EVERYBODY) is placing bets and counter bets, supporting pros and cons, lending aid here and there, and taking steps to “do” whatever in the event “anything” happens one way or the other. Oh yes, everybody has their own Top Secret Plan as well. Things get really dicey in the fourth year of a real nerd, ie: a Cartieer-Kinda-Guy. Yes, this IS deja vu all over again.

  44. George says:

    Obama has set the middle east on fire. His inaction in Egypt, his active inaction on Libya, his current inaction in Syria. The place is a mess. 400 dead in Syria yesterday. Obama could have played a major role in stabilizing things. He could have used a process of engagement in order to get reforms but instead used the Carter solution (run away, do nothing). In the case of Libya, he actively attacked Qaddafi while remaining disengaged from the replacement. So he simply created a power vacuum without creating anything to fill it. He’s just a little international arson running around starting fires or standing idly by while others do.

  45. Bruce Ryan says:

    maybe a “short round” from Iran is (part of) the answer.

  46. R. de Haan says:

    As I said before, it would be much better if we (EU/US/NATO and UN would stop their intervention policies entirely.

    We create more mess than we do good.

    The Europeans just have been taught a lesson when Iran cancelled all oil deliveries to Europe.

  47. Pingback: Temporarily Close by Iran « Musings from the Chiefio

  48. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    I thought May would be the attack. Too many clouds before that?

    Loading up on Gold shares lol

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