“One hears not an
encouraging word about US President George W Bush these days, even from
Republican loyalists. Yet I believe that Bush will stage the strongest political
comeback of any US politician since Abraham Lincoln
won re-election in 1864 in the midst of the American Civil War,” says Spengler,
Asia Times
Online
.

“Two years ago I
wrote that Bush would win a second term as president but live to regret it.
Iraq’s internal collapse and the
president’s poll numbers bear my forecast out. But Bush’s Republicans will
triumph in next November’s congressional elections for the same reason that Bush
beat Democratic challenger John Kerry in 2004. Americans rally around a wartime
commander-in-chief, and Bush will have bombed Iranian nuclear installations by
October.”

Another view from
Asia Times
Online
, by Pepe
Escobar
, concludes: “Iranians …. know they can bypass any trade sanctions by trading
even more with China. Anyway, Mohammed-Nabi Rudaki,
deputy chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, which
sits at the majlis (parliament), has already threatened that ‘if Europe does not
act wisely with the Iranian nuclear portfolio and it is referred to the UN
Security Council and economic or air travel restrictions are imposed unjustly,
we have the power to halt oil supply to the last drop from the shores of the
Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz’.”

“Up to 30% of the
world’s oil production passes through the strait. Were Iran to block it, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait would not
be able to export their oil. The Pentagon may eventually get its Long War – but
not exactly on its terms.”

This is a
fascinating if scary look at the vital issue – as we put it, “Henry fervently hopes the UN steps up to the plate this time, as any attempt by
the US and its allies to handle the
problem by military action would be almost as bad as not handling it at
all.”

“Don’t mention the war” is Fred Cottrell’s
advice

as he signs off on his latest favourite restaurant, in Hamburg as it happens.
We sincerely hope Fred’s grandson is one day repeating this type of exercise in
downtown Tehran.

Read more at Henry Thornton.

Peter Fray

Ending soon: Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey

This extraordinary year is almost at an end. But we know that time waits for no one, and we won’t either. This is the time to get on board with Crikey.

For a limited time only, choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50% or dig deeper so we can dig deeper.

See you in 2021.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

SAVE 50%