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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Open Topic Sunday ... Iran, And The Future

As this is an "open topic" forum for us today, I have opted to diverge to another topic. That being the news that Iran has turned down Russia's offer for uranium enrichment, forcing an inevitable showdown with the UN Seecurity Council. (Hat-Tip: Captain's Quarters)

Iran said Sunday it had ruled out a proposal to move its uranium enrichment program to Russia, further complicating the international dispute over the country's nuclear program.

Russia has sought to persuade Iran to move its enrichment program to Russian territory to allow closer international monitoring. The U.S. and the European Union had backed the idea as a way to ensure Iran would not misuse the process to make nuclear weapons.

Iran had insisted that the plan was negotiable and reached basic agreement with Moscow, but details were never worked out.

"The Russian proposal is not on our agenda any more," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.

There is a reason why this caught my attention. Aside from the obvious fact that Iran has decided to roll the dice with the UNSC and take it's chances, there is another point to bring up. There is no doubt in any of our minds that Russia or China will exercise their veto power on the UNSC, and block the sanction attempt by the West on Iran. It will happen. Russia was hedging it's bets on the fact that Iran would accept the deal thereby avoiding the stand-off. Now they have seen what sort of game the Iranians are playing. They are playing a winner-take-all game of high stakes poker hoping that the West is bluffing with it's threats and bluster. And while the West believes they have the hole card to beat the Iranians, they would be wise to remember the region in question, and the key strategic point there.

I bring this up only because of the debate that I had last night regarding the Strait of Hormuz. The strait has Iran to the north and the UAE to the south. Captain Ed follows the same logic that I did last night int hat debate. Iran to the north is bad enough. They have the ability to stop all traffic in the straight thereby shutting down the oil exports in the region that leave via the strait. If that happens, gas prices will spike worldwide; including here in America where the average price per gallon in Arizona is already hovering in the $2.49 range. A pipeline break last year in the southern part of our state caused prices to spike as high as $3.29 a gallon, and caused a near-run on gas stations. Plenty of stations around the Valley of the Sun ran out of gas for the week, or so, the pipeline problem persisted. That was in one state, and not even one with "high gas prices" at that. Can we imagine a scenario where that occurs, spiking our prices up to around $3.49 or higher for gas.

For those giddy with that prospect, remember that a raise in fuel prices prompts a raise in goods and services that we buy and use. The shipping companies have to compensate for the raise in fuel prices, and transfer that to the retailer. The retailer will pass that onto the consumer. It is a vicious circle, much the "circle of life," but it is a sad fact.

Now, for all those people out there poo-pooing the scenario because the "UAE is a strong ally" take care to remember the Dubai Ports deal that was just sunk by reactionary Republicans and disingenuous Democrats. Both sides made good in protecting themselves. The Republicans seemed to be standing up for Homeland Security. The Democrats seemed to finally discover what it meant to be strong on national security.

The problem is that neither side really won. The Democrats know that many people are aware of their culpability in the deal. They had always stood on the side of "tolerance," but when it came to an Arab country having minor control at our ports, they lost their minds. (Yes, we admit our mistake int his deal. We sided with them before getting all of the facts surrounding the deal. Had we done so, we would have been questioning why people were throwing a hissy fit over it. Dubai Ports would not have handled one iota of security for the ports, nor would they have been in complete control of them. They would have controlled a couple terminals, and nothing further.) The GOP danced to the Democrat's tune, and bought the hype and hysteria hook, line, and sinker. In addition to hurting relations with an ally in the Global War On Terror, they may have just sealed our fate in the region when it comes to the strait.

The UAE handles our naval ships coming through the strait. Hopefully, the UAE will harbor no ill feelings, and still allow them access to the strait which would allow us to protect the flow of oil through the strait. If not, we may be cut off from the region completely. Our ships berth themselves in UAE ports. If the Iranians force a stand-off there, our ships will be needed, and if we have an unwilling "business partner" in the UAE, that stand-off could go badly. The Strait of Hormuz was the queen on this chessboard, and she is in severe danger of being taken because of our overzealousness to score a couple political points rather than allowing the 45 day investigation to go forward, and allowing the White House to get the facts of the deal out for people to see. Had the investigation been allowed to move forward, the public--whipped into a frenzy over phony talking points--would have had a chance to calm down, and see the overall benefits of the deal. Now, it stands in jeopardy.

The Bunny ;)


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