01.15.12, 09:59 / Israel News
The US administration has spent the last few days working frantically to prevent an Israeli strike on Iran and reinforcing presence in the region in preparation for Iranian counter attacks, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
- Obama, Netanyahu discuss Iran
- US concerned over Israeli strike in Iran
- PM: Iran sanctions starting to work
US President Barack Obama is operating several secret channels to deliver messages to all sides. On Thursday, Obama spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and warned him of the serious consequences of a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The Wall Street Journal reported that US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top officials have privately sought assurances from Israeli leaders in recent weeks that they won’t take military action against Iran and will allow further sanctions to be imposed on the Islamic Republic. It was also reported that US Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet with Israeli military officials in Tel Aviv next week.
US defense officials claim that the Israeli response has been noncommittal. Some American intelligence officials complain that Israel represents a blind spot in US intelligence, which devotes little resources to Israel, the WSJ said.
The officials accused the Israeli security establishment of playing a “good cop, bad cop” routine and increasing uncertainty in Washington.
This ambiguity has led the US administration to believe that Netanyahu has plans to attack and the US is therefore preparing for the outcomes of such a strike.
The US military is preparing for a number of possible responses to an Israeli strike, including assaults by pro-Iranian Shiite militias in Iraq against the US Embassy in Baghdad, the WSJ said.
According to the report, the US has 15,000 troops in Kuwait and has moved a second aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf area.
It has also been pre-positioning aircraft and other military equipment, officials say. Arms transfers to key allies in the Gulf, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have been fast-tracked as a further deterrent, officials say.
Disappointment with sanctions
According to messages by Israeli state officials over the weekend, the US is right to be concerned. Israeli officials did not deny reports of growing American concern and sent a clear message that Israel was disappointed with the sanctions against Iran.
One source said that without an immediate toughening of sanctions which will include action against Iran’s central bank and its ability to export oil, Tehran will never consider halting its nuclear program. They also criticized the fact that the White House failed to adopt a Congress decision to act firmly against Iran’s central bank.
Netanyahu addressed the matter in an interview with The Australian. “For the first time, I see Iran wobble under the sanctions that have been adopted and especially under the threat of strong sanctions on their central bank,” he said. “If these sanctions are coupled with a clear statement by the international community, led by the US, to act militarily to stop Iran if sanctions fail, Iran may consider not going through the pain. There’s no point gritting your teeth if you’re going to be stopped anyway.”
US President Obama also sent a firm message to Iran’s spiritual leader Ali Khamenei and stressed that closing the Strait of Hormuz would be crossing a red line which would lead to counter action by the US.
Yedioth Ahronoth also reported that IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz is slated to attend a line of high-profile international events this week. He is scheduled to attend a military chiefs conference in Brussels, hold a meeting with NATO’s chief of staff and host US Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Israel.
- US Believes Israel May Strike Iran Soon (wdednh.wordpress.com)
- Israel Being Pressured Not to Strike Iran (markamerica.com)
- Report: U.S. preparing for an Israeli strike on Iran – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News (haaretz.com)
- US military chief to Israel as Iran tension grows (newsok.com)
- U.s. Warns Israel on Strike (irannewpearlharbour.wordpress.com)
- U.S. Warns Israel on Strike (irannewpearlharbour.wordpress.com)
Figure 1: Map of the U.S. Bakken-Lodgepole Total Petroleum System (blue), five continuous assessment units (AU) (green), and one conventional assessment unit (yellow) (Source: USGS)
In 2009, U.S. oil production began to climb after declining for 22 of the previous 23 years.
The shale oil production of the Bakken formation, which straddles the Montana-North Dakota border and stretches into Canada, has been a significant contributor to this temporary uptick in oil production.
The Bakken boom has inspired a number of prominent commentators to resurrect the energy independence meme. Daniel Yergin was first at bat, asserting in an essay published by The Wall Street Journal that rising prices and emerging technologies (especially hydraulic fracturing) will significantly drive up world liquid fuels production over the coming decade(s). Ultimately, Mr. Yergin argues that tight supplies lead to high fuel prices, and high fuel prices will bring previously inaccessible oil to the market. The trouble with this line of thinking is that high prices aren’t merely a symptom of the supply problem; high prices are the problem.
After Mr. Yergin stole first base through this apparently convincing display of contortionist logic, the next up to bat was Ed Crooks who recently penned an analysis piece for the Financial Times. In this piece, Mr. Crooks declares that “the growth in U.S. and Canadian production from new sources, coupled with curbs on demand as a result of more efficient use of fuel, is creating a realistic possibility that North America will be able to declare oil independence.”
Mr. Crooks thus ‘balances’ rising production from shale oil and Canadian tar sands against declining consumption, which he mistakenly chalks up to efficiency gains rather than the deleterious effects of the greatest recession since the Great Depression. Beyond this obvious blunder, Mr. Crooks manages an even greater and far more common gaffe by neglecting to integrate decline rates of mature fields into his analysis.
But in a game where the media is the referee and the public doesn’t know the rules, Mr. Crooks manages to get on base by knocking a foul ball into the bleachers. With Yergin on second and Crooks on first, Edward Luce steps up to plate and takes a swat at the energy independence meme, directing the ‘greens’ to look away as “America is entering a new age of plenty”. And while the greens looked away, Mr. Luce took a cheap shot at clean energy through an attack on the federal government’s support for the now bankrupt solar panel manufacturer, Solyndra. Luce thus willingly employs the logical fallacy of hasty generalization to sway his audience. Of course the Solyndra bankruptcy is no more generalizable to the solar energy industry than BP’s Macondo oil spill is to all offshore oil production, but in a game of marketing one-upmanship one should not expect a balanced and rigorous evaluation of the possibilities.
With the bases loaded and oil prices remaining stubbornly high as tensions in the Middle East and North Africa persist, the crowd is getting anxious. And the crowd should be anxious. After all, tight supplies and rising oil prices strain personal finances and threaten to send our fragile economy back into recession. It is, therefore, unsurprising that the public is as eager to consume the myth of everlasting abundance, as they are eager to consume these scarce resources.
While the Bakken boom offers a hopeful story in which American ingenuity and nature’s endless bounty emancipate us from energy oppression and dependence on evil and oppressive foreign dictators, musings of energy independence are premature, misguided, and misleading. The problem with the Bakken story as told by Crooks and others is that it lacks historical context. Referring to recent developments as an energy revolution implies that there are no lessons to be learned from history. But as Mark Twain put it, “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
Read More: Source
- DANIEL YERGIN: America’s New Energy Security: Thanks to new technology, the U.S. has become less d… (pjmedia.com)
- Why Bakken? (dailyfinance.com)
- The U.S.’s Oil Future – More Crude from Americas: Yergin (ibtimes.com)
- Time Lapse Video From International Space Station Captures Mystery City in North Dakota (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- Bakken Shale Bursting with Oil, Opportunities (OXY, HES, MRO, EOG, BEXP, CLR, CXO, KOG, FST, SGY, WLL, AXAS, AREX, TPLM, RPC, TLLP) (247wallst.com)
- Don’t let Big Green stymie boom in energy jobs (energyindependenceforstates.com)
- The Irrational, Non-Economic Exuberance Underlying Hydraulic Fracturing (forbes.com)
Posted 12/02/2011 07:05 PM ET
Economic Systems: The former head of the Service Employees International Union says capitalism is on the ash heap of history and sees China as our role model. We have seen his future, however, and it doesn’t work.
President Obama once reportedly told aides, according to the New York Times, that things would be easier if he were president of China. Presumably he meant there would be no pesky things like a Congress, free elections and a free press to deal with.
Former SEIU chief Andy Stern, who may still hold the record for visits to the White House under this administration, would agree with that assessment. Stern, in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, writes of China’s “superior economic model,” a command-and-control economy unimpeded by such anachronisms as democracy and a truly free market. Stern writes that the “conservative-preferred free-market fundamentalist shareholder-only model” of capitalism “is being thrown onto the trash heap of history in the 21st century.”
We should, he says, “rethink” our economic model rather than “double down on an empirically failing free-market extremism.” He speaks glowingly of China’s 12th five-year plan and “Deng Xiaoping‘s government-led growth-oriented reforms (that) have created the planet’s second-largest economy” soon to replace us as No. 1.
Stern is wrong on at least two counts. The first is that what we have been practicing of late can hardly be called unfettered capitalism. We labor under the burden of ever-restrictive regulation and the highest corporate tax burden in the world. The administration has embraced industrial policy to dictate where factories can be built and what energy can be developed. It, not the free market, picks the winners and losers.
If we were practicing capitalism, Boeing would be allowed to make its Dreamliner passenger jet in South Carolina without the commissars at the National Labor Relations Board interfering. We’d be building the Keystone XL pipeline to bring Canadian tar sands oil to American markets. We’d be drilling offshore and in ANWR.
If we were practicing capitalism, there would be no such thing as too big to fail. There would be no bailouts, no nationalization of health care or buying of car companies. There would be no Solyndras or government “investments” in failed alternative energy. We wouldn’t shoot ourselves in the foot building high-speed trains.
The second is that China is hardly the worker’s paradise Stern portrays. Its progress has been built on the corpses of millions sacrificed for this or that great leap forward. China has perhaps the worst distribution of wealth on the planet.