Extreme Saber-Rattling

October 6, 2009

Iran getting nuked — one view of the repercussions…
James Howard Kunstler, author of ‘The Long Emergency,’ describes a nightmare domino effect if Iran is bombed, and what the planet would then face.
From his aptly titled blog, Clusterfuck Nation:

This is a dangerous situation.
I’m not so sure that Israel could launch an effective attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, but it might try anyway, especially if a US-backed sanctions effort fails to coalesce quickly.
I’m not sure Israel would seek permission from the US to do this, though the US would certainly be tasked with defending the shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf. Iran might succeed in sinking more than a couple of US ships-of-the-line with sunburn missles and other toys, and this would lead to the bigger danger of oil supplies being choked off to the rest of the world.
The US air response would be impressive, but possibly not effective against hardened targets. The leaders of Iran might exult even if the Iranian people were swept into a maelstrom.
I imagine that what followed would be a very extravagant military frenzy amounting to World War Three, with European air forces and navies dragged in, with Hezbollah and Syria striking back at Israel, India and Pakistan possibly incinerating each other, and mayhem galore among the bystanders in Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan.
There could easily be internal mischief in the UK, France, and Germany from angry immigrant populations, and “sleepers” could work some overdue hoodoo in the USA. I don’t know what Turkey would do, but it could be the biggest beneficiary of a bad regional meltdown, providing the only effective governance what remains in the region.
China and Japan would probably just gape at the spectacle in wonder and nausea from the sidelines as they saw their energy supplies for years-to-come go up in flames.
The G-20 nations would be crippled as global oil supplies were choked off indefinitely.
And if anyone — Iran, or its friends inside the Kingdom — managed to pull off a stunt such as blowing up the Ras Tanura oil terminal — then a darkness will spread across places that were used to being lighted and they will stay dark a long time.
I don’t know if any of this will come to pass, but as I said, tensions have reached a breaking point, including the greater tensions of history, which seem to require periodic release no matter how poignant the Pete Seegar songs are.
It is perhaps, just another prime symptom of “overshoot,” the world’s way of shedding some of the toxic organisms that are making it so unhappy — Gaia in a really bad mood.

(h/t: The Oil Drum).

Read an excerpt of ‘The Long Emergency‘ from the March 2005 issue of Rolling Stone here.

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