Monday, February 20, 2012

iran, expensive gas, and iran

the NYT looks into something i've been talking about here for a while: whether it is technically feasible for israel to bomb iranian nuclear sites. the usual rule is that when israeli politicians speak openly about attacking a country, that means it's not going to happen. israelis weren't talking to the media about attacking iraq in 1981 and they weren't talking about attacking syria in 2007. if israel is really going to attack iran, common wisdom says, they wouldn't be talking about it now.

so why are the israelis talking so much about it? my current theory is that they are trying to get the u.s. to do it for them. not that i think there's much chance that obama will do it. maybe they think this is helping the even more hawkish republican party in an election year? i'm not so sure it is. but our electoral dynamics probably look a little different from the outside.

and in other news, fox news is calling current gas prices "record breaking" to make another "drill baby drill" argument. the problem is that domestic production is up significantly, and that doesn't seem to have stopped the gas prices from getting high. it seems a lot more likely to me that the price of oil would be affected by all the sabre rattling towards iran, especially with iran's threat to close the strait of hormuz. also if the european union really does boycott iranian oil, wouldn't that increase demand (and prices) on all the non-iranian oil on the world market? (and non-iranian oil is the kind of oil that the u.s. is in the market for) for all the election-year hay republicans make about oil prices, it would be fun if someone would point out the possible connection between belligerent policies against iran and the price at the pump.