Iran Sanctions: War By Other Means

Now that the talks with Iran on its nuclear program appear to be on the ropes, are we on the road to war? The Israelis threaten it almost weekly, and the Obama administration has reportedly drawn up an attack plan. But in a sense, we are already at war with Iran. Carl von Clausewitz, the … Continue reading “Iran Sanctions: War By Other Means”

No Exit in the Persian Gulf?

When it comes to U.S. policy toward Iran, irony is the name of the game. Where to begin? The increasingly fierce sanctions that the Obama administration is seeking to impose on that country’s oil business will undoubtedly cause further problems for its economy and further pain to ordinary Iranians. But they are likely to be … Continue reading “No Exit in the Persian Gulf?”

Sinking the Petrodollar in the Persian Gulf

These days, with a crisis atmosphere growing in the Persian Gulf, a little history lesson about the U.S. and Iran might be just what the doctor ordered. Here, then, are a few high- (or low-) lights from their relationship over the last half-century-plus: Summer 1953: The CIA and British intelligence hatch a plot for a … Continue reading “Sinking the Petrodollar in the Persian Gulf”

Energy Wars 2012

Last week, the president made a rare appearance at the Pentagon to unveil a new strategic plan for U.S. military policy (and so spending) over the next decade. Let’s leave the specifics to a future TomDispatch post and focus instead on a historical footnote: Obama was evidently the first president to offer remarks from a … Continue reading “Energy Wars 2012”

No War for Oil: US Dependency and the Middle East

The one prominent issue that both American political parties can seemingly agree on is that the U.S. should be less dependent on foreign oil. And Santa Claus has apparently listened and granted their wish. The United States is in the midst of a mini-oil boom, which has reversed, at least temporarily, the country’s increasing dependence … Continue reading “No War for Oil: US Dependency and the Middle East”

A New Cold War in Asia?

Last Friday, the U.S. military formally handed over its largest base in Iraq, the ill-named “Camp Victory,” to the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The next morning, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius officially declared counterinsurgency wars in the Middle East dead in — if you don’t mind an inapt word — the water. (He … Continue reading “A New Cold War in Asia?”

Bahrain and the Freedom Contagion

“Saudi Arabia did not build a causeway to Bahrain just so that Saudis could party on weekends. It was designed for moments like this, for keeping Bahrain under control.” —Dr. Toby Jones, expert on Saudi Arabia at Rutgers University If Saudi Arabia was rattled by the fall of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, they will … Continue reading “Bahrain and the Freedom Contagion”

Iran Sanctions Are Precursor to War

Listen to Rep. Ron Paul on the Iran sanctions bill (MP3). Last week the House overwhelmingly approved a measure to put a new round of sanctions on Iran. If this measure passes the Senate, the United States could no longer do business with anyone who sold refined petroleum products to Iran or helped them develop … Continue reading “Iran Sanctions Are Precursor to War”