Not that it gets all the attention it deserves in corpgov media/ the MainStreamMedia, but we’re up to where we can now refer to Iran as being ‘at war alert’ levels as the “US and Israeli concentrations” build in Azerbaijan.
What’s key here…and this takes a little thinking to follow….is that the whole world could (unfortunately – literally) ‘blow up’ from this region come fall.
On the splintering western side of Georgia which the US/West has been quick-to-back in South Ossetia, you have Russia trying to keep a lid on Georgia. down toward their nuke buddies in Tehran, who bought all that gear from them.
The apparent shift in focus now to Azerbaijan may be due to the recent deterioration of Israeli relations with Turkey. There went plans for the “…Planned Iran attack from Caucasus Base.”
Since Georgia is such a key piece of Russia’s buffer zone with militant Islam on its southern tier some reasonable speculation would be that in order to ‘keep peace” (and whatever cash flow from drug/smuggling operations in the region) Russia would not take kindly to Israeli use of a Georgia airfield – something inconvenient now that relations with Turkey are faltering.
It’s like watching a big chess game in slow-motion. Israel doesn’t have the manpower to militarily fight, occupy and conquer Iran – they’re simply much too big: 545,000 active and 350,000 in ready reserves, versus Israel’s IDF which has 176,500 active and 445,000 in ready reserves.
The wild card (to be played this fall?) might be a longer-term Russian expansion in the area to align Iran even more closely with Moscow, which along the way could be a pretext for Russia taking Georgia – and we’re talking something much bigger than South Ossetia. Another concept to ponder, what if Iran were (with Russian support) take Azerbaijan and Georgia in a deal with Russia…which could lead to the kind of global tipping point/nightmare in predictive linguistics for November 8-12.
The key thing to be pondering when you stare at a map of this part of the world is not whether or even when Israel will attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Kind of a moot point since they are within a whisker of having nuclear weapons now. A reader email on point:
“George, I wanted to send you a quick note about the Washington Post story you referenced today on the Iranian enrichment of uranium to “medical grade” (~20%). Apparently hoping that the sheeple will drink the Kool-Aid and go shopping, the article states that this “is far below the more than 90 percent required to build a nuclear weapon”. While this is technically true from a straight percentage perspective (they still have to enrich from 20% to 93%), it is complete B.S. from a nuclear physics perspective.
As a Ph.D. nuclear physicist, I can assure you that this is a most grave (though not unexpected) development. The enrichment of uranium is a non-linear process, which means successively higher grades of purity are easier to achieve than previous levels. Going from 20% to bomb grade 93% U-235 is dramatically easier than what they have already done, and in fact, from a time and effort perspective this milestone takes the Iranians approximately 97% of the way along the enrichment path towards a nuclear device. If all their centrifuges were to continue operating balls-out as they have been up to this point, they can have enough U-235 for a simple bomb within 30 days. Apparently this tipping point has not been lost on the Israelis, who are reported to be secretly massing bombers in Azerbaijan.
Batten down the hatches, July should be very interesting indeed.”
No doubts on that one. With a hot date in linguistics out of www.halfpasthuman.com point to financial change Monday/Tuesday-ish of next week, we have to start asking the really hard questions about the planned Israeli attack. Not with an eye to just the event itself. But, more importantly, the larger historical context: Will this be a larger modern analog to the Archduke Ferdinand assassination that tipped Europe into World War 1?
As I ponder this, my sense is that Russia will not sit idly by and let the US or Israel attack Tehran’s interests without asserting their regional power. If you have friends in the business of US “national technical means” you might keep a keyhole or two open to watch for Russian troop and equipment movements over summer anywhere south of Stavropol. They might just clean up Chechnya insurgents, too, in a larger-scale Turkey/Iranian/Russian pinchers move that could squash US/Western/Israeli interests in Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.
Naturally, Russians being known as good chess players would not give any quarter to the West – which is why a preemptive EMP attack on the West along in about November has drifted up near the top of my expectations list. An EMP device exploded in international space (100 km, above the Kármán line) but nominally over international waters would disable perhaps 50- 85% of US electrical & computer infrastructure and would contain the US desire to respond, at least conventionally.
Problem is, that the US likely would likely respond (in push the Big Button fashion) with all those naval assets we have in the region now, which gets me to thinking I should schedule an old-fashioned BBQ for Christmas. May not be power if things were to stumble along in this direction after what the linguistics call “the Israeli mistake”. That wouldn’t be taking out Iranian nukes, but the fuse to other events of a more Revelation scale.
We’re In the Wrong Business
Thinking about making a killing becoming a gang leader or outsourcing the last 26 jobs in America to India? Forgitaboutit: Sounds by this report like there’s more dough to be had by being part of the Afghan Warlord payoff system.
Out: As expected, General McChrystal is out and General Patraeus is in as head of the US war efforts in Afghanistan. Yesterday’s Obama/McChrystal meeting was short and to the point – 30 minutes to decide the General’s out…but as Newsweek points out “Replacing McChrystal doesn’t change anything.”
Now that he’s got some time on his hands, first round of golf is on me if General McChrystal makes it to this part of the East Texas outback. President Obama and Tiger Woods haven’t taken me up on my ‘let’s go play some golf’ offers yet, either. Hope springs eternal among golfers.
Crash Window, Day Three
Let me see, here. From last Friday when the Dow closed for the weekend at 10,450.64, we are now down only 152-point plus or minus a stick of gum.
One thing sure to weigh on the market today (which is fine, as a Bear) is the report from Deutsche Bank that the US financial conditions are now back at crisis levels. Gee, gosh, golly, how about that?
Headlines like that are one reason why the Dow is headed for a lower open, at least in early futures trading.
Part of yesterday’s action is being blamed on the weak housing data.
Cap On – Quakes On?
Note: Not to be confused with capon. The oil catcher is back in place over the spew in the Gulf.
The haps in the Gulf are interesting, but I think the real story is that 5.5 earthquake up in Ontario that was felt in much of Ohio.
Just a wild-ass guess here, but just suppose for a minute that all this oil coming out of the Gulf is allowing the North American plate to slide down toward the Caribbean plate a bit. You won’t find any reputable geologist to speculate on this – yet – but if you think about it, the underground oil balloon is being deflated and who knows what will start moving around.
I’m going to file this with my theory that the Haiti quake was somehow responsible for the higher-than-expected pressures BP encountered. Under “irresponsible speculations that might actually make sense” – a very phat file here.
Ure’s Confusing Gold Outlook
A friend of mine (we’ll just call him The King of Miami) called yesterday a little confused over my personal expectation for gold in coming months. Good discussion point!
A couple of things have been weighing on gold lately, besides what some argue to be blatant manipulation in the futures markets. For one, there’s end of month pressures. For another, as China’s Xinhua headlines it “Gold tumbles on bleak new home sales report”.
I explained that where it gets confusing in a deflationary environment is that you can have gold go down in price, yet up in purchasing power.
So, while Robin Landry and others who think gold will head under $1,000 before going to $3,000 may be right, the purchasing power of gold seems destined to go up.
Consider a $500,000 house. Right now ($1,220) that would take about 409 ounces of gold to buy.
suppose now, that the home falls over the next year or two to $200,000 (losing 60% more of its ‘price’ in nominal dollars as the double dip arrives and banks foreclose in order to resell). Also suppose that Gold drops to $900 an ounce – a reasonable expectation in that kind of deflation.
See what happened to gold’s purchasing power? The price of gold went down yet its purchasing power went up, such that it would, under these new conditions cost only about 222 ounces of gold. About half as much gold to buy the same house.
While this makes a decent case to buy nothing but gold, there’s also the matter of whether it would be accepted in trade, or if government might try to repo it at some screwy level – you know, for example that the gold in Fort Knox is only valued at $42-something an ounce? What if gold was confiscated again? Tough one, that.
Thus, until there really is a national resolve to spend money to actually create jobs rather than feather the beds of special interests in Washington, we’re keeping part of our dough in a TreasuryDirect account because Whereas it would take $500 K now to buy a house, the decline to $200K in the future would also mean the dollars saved would gain purchasing power.
Except that gold would gain 47.7% in purchasing power while cash would gain 60%. Thus my one foot in each camp approach. This is NOT investment advice (or medical advice either, come to think of it…). Just how we plan to cure ourselves of needing to work at some point in the future, hopefully on this side of the lawn.
Clear as a drilling lease?
We just had a dandy little thunderstorm come through this part of the East Texas outback this morning giving us 0.87 inch of rain in the digital flood victim. Doesn’t seem to be much on the NOAA outlook page for this to build as it goes northeast from here, but things chance so a click here once in a while might be worthwhile.