Jeffrey Goldberg, writing in The Atlantic, doesn’t think there will be an attack on Iran. He describes a parade of U.S. officials arriving in Israel for “top-level consultations.” A short while ago Deputy Secretary of State William Burns arrived in Israel, followed by Obama’s national security advisor, and now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “The number of top American officials visiting Jerusalem is outmatched only by the number of American warships already in the Persian Gulf,” wrote Goldberg. Since negotiations have stalled with Iran, Obama is sending what Goldberg calls “the Summer 2012 Please-Don’t-Bomb-Iran Tour, starring the Obama Administration, now on stage in Jerusalem.”
The claim that Goldberg and others make is that an Israeli attack against Iran would strengthen the Iranian clerical regime, instead of weakening it. Some analysts believe that a surprise strike against Iran would make Iran appear in a sympathetic light – as the victim of U.S. imperialism or Zionist aggression. Therefore, it is best to do nothing. Continue to negotiate, etc. Others believe that a strike against Iran would rally those Iranians who oppose the regime, leading to its overthrow and freedom for the Iranian people.
What are Iran’s leaders saying about all this? A few days ago the Iranian leadership vowed to back any nation that fights America or Israel. “The oppressors – and at the helm of it America and the Zionists – have been taken by surprise by the [Arab Spring] movement and are trying with all their power to control it,” said the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a recent speech. “However, if the Islamic nations resist the conspiracies, then it is guaranteed that they will be victorious over the world oppressors.”
The U.S. has responded to this defiance by imposing a new round of sanctions against Iranian and other companies that support Iran’s missile and nuclear programs. At the same time, the United States is embarked on a buildup of forces in the Gulf. On July 11, the Los Angeles Times reported, “U.S. deploys sea drones to Persian Gulf to clear Iranian mines.” According to the Times story, “Reopening the strait could take the Navy and its allies five to 10 days, officials said. But even a temporary disruption of tanker traffic could cause global oil prices to soar and spark widespread economic turmoil.”
The global economy is on the edge. On Saturday I spoke with a friend in Lisbon, Portugal. He said that unemployment there was 17 percent. Neighboring Spain has an unemployment rate over 24 percent. Greece has 21 percent. All countries are suffering to some extent, and recovery is either shaky or not happening. What the world wants now is a smooth ride. And the Midwest, perhaps as much as the Mideast, is promising the opposite. Consider what lies behind the following Reuter’s headline: “Drought parches more of U.S. Midwest, crops suffer.” So far this is the biggest drought in 25 years, and it might get worse. This drought will affect methanol production, food exports, domestic food prices, and more. Presently, almost two-thirds of the nine-state Midwest region is suffering drought. Unless the region gets significant rainfall by August 1 there will be crop failures. (See also, the U.S. Drought Monitor.)
According to the Climate Prediction Center of the National Weather Service, “Dryness and drought have been increasing both in extent and intensity across much of the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, the Corn Belt region, the middle and lower Mississippi Valley, and much of the Great Plain. Drought is likely to develop, persist or intensify across these areas.” According to CNN, 1,000 counties in 26 states are natural disaster areas. About 61 percent of the lower 48 states are affected. Half the pastures and ranges are in poor or very poor condition. Not only is the United States suffering from drought, but other countries such as India have been suffering drought conditions (See the Global Drought Monitor).
It is worth noting that in 2008 Prof. William Alexander of the University of Pretoria wrote a paper titled, “The Likelihood of a Global Drought in 2009-2016.” In this paper Alexander described problems with the Global Warming hypothesis. Instead of Global Warming, Alexander believes we are headed for Global Cooling – which means global drought. Alexander noted, “This prediction model is based on the thoroughly studied, synchronous linkage between periodic solar activity and the hydro-meteorological processes…. The likelihood of prolonged, severe droughts from next year onwards is very real.” Noting the impact of the Great Depression Drought, Alexander wrote: “As I write these notes there is a considerable volume of international Internet traffic expressing concerns relating to the lack of solar activity during the past year and the possibility that the world may be entering an ice age.”