The bear’s paws on the golden tap 3

Ralph Peters writes in the New York Post on the confrontation with Iran:

For Moscow, this crisis isn’t about Tehran’s acquisition of nukes. It’s about Russia’s acquisition of a stranglehold on global energy markets. Putin’s playing with fire — but he’s sure we’ll be the ones burned. As for the Obama administration’s desperate (and stunningly naive) hope that economic sanctions can deter President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and his fellow thugs-for-Allah from pursuing nuclear weapons, forget it….

The current crisis is a win-win-win for Putin. But before laying out his plan, let’s run the numbers:

The Persian Gulf’s littoral states hold over 60 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves and 40 percent of the natural gas. Russia has “just” 10 percent of the oil reserves and 35 percent of the world’s natural gas.

Do the math: Iran and its neighbors, along with Russia, own two-thirds of the world’s oil reserves and 70 percent of the natural gas. …

This is one macro-region for energy, the zone of ultimate control. Putin gets it, even if we don’t. Here’s Czar Vladimir’s strategic trifecta:

For now, Russia profits wonderfully from its trade, both legal and illicit, with Iran, while the West talks itself to death. Life is good.

But life could get even better: If Iran’s nuclear quest isn’t blocked, a nuclear arsenal will give Iran de facto control of all Persian Gulf oil. Putin envisions a Moscow-Tehran axis, an energy cartel that dramatically increases the value of his oil and gas — the only economic props keeping the corpse of Russia upright.

If Israel’s driven to a forlorn-hope attack on Iran’s nuke program, Iran will respond by striking Gulf Arab oil fields and facilities, while closing the Strait of Hormuz. The US military will be in it, like it or not. Oil and gas prices will soar unimaginably — and the bear will have its paws on the golden tap.

So the worst outcome for Putin — more of the same — is still good. A bad outcome for everybody else is even better in Putin’s strategy to renew Russia’s superpower status.

Why on earth would this guy help us stop Iran? When he hates us, anyway? (It isn’t you, Barack. It’s just business.)

For all his viciousness, Putin’s a serious strategist. We don’t have any high-level strategists. Not one. On either side of the Potomac.

In his first decade on the throne, Czar Vladimir focused on addicting Europe to Russian gas, while moving successfully to exert control over as many pipelines as possible. That was the constructive decade.

The second decade in the reign of Vladimir I is the energy-cartel-building phase. This will be the confrontational phase. Energy’s the only real power Putin has, so he’s maximizing it.

It’s no accident that a strategic triangle has emerged between Moscow, Tehran and Caracas — home of the great Latin mischief-lover, Hugo Chavez, who thrives on his own nation’s petro-wealth.

For us, the Iran crisis is about peace. For Putin, it’s about power. Yet the self-deluding Obama administration really believes that Moscow’s going to support us. After our president gave away our only serious bargaining chip, the missile-defense system promised to our European allies.

Putin thinks in 10-year-plans. We can’t think past the next congressional roll-call vote.

The Obama administration’s primary legacy to the world is going to be a nuclear-armed Iran.

  • Polichinello

    If Israel strikes Iran, the Iranians will not openly attack U.S. or Gulf Arab interests. Peters always makes these whacky, apocalyptic predictions that depend on the other side suddenly becoming complete morons. Why would Iran give the U.S. an open invitation to invade or carpet bomb them with active Arab support?

    What the Iranians will do is what they've always done. They'll simply step their support for insurgent activity in Iraq and Afghanistan. After an Israeli attack, they'll have plenty of native support in both places, and Obama has no stomach for extending these guerrilla wars.

    • rogerinflorida

      This is the sequence:
      Israel strikes Iran, Iran is victim of zionist/Great Satan attack.
      Arabs are enraged. Hezbollah and Hamas attack Israel with wide and active Arab support, not from their Govts. but from the citizens.
      Iran responds with terroist attacks that could be anywhere in the world.
      Certainly they will re-engage US/NATO forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
      US/NATO casualties go to thousands per month.
      US attacks Iran from the air, US has no capability to invade invade Iran and is literally desperate to save the expeditionary forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
      Iran attacks Saudi Arabia with a deluge of short range missiles, oil price goes to $500 per barrel (?).
      US does not have the guts to flatten Iran so seeks mediation, Russians and Chinese broker agreement whereby for a cease fire US evacuates from ME.
      Iran, with Chinese/Russian assistance takes over Iraq and Saudi Arabia, thus gaining control of large part of world's oil supply.
      Obama wonders why flattery got him nowhere.

  • rogerinflorida

    Isn't it amazing that what is obvious to Ralph Peters, the Obama administration is oblivious to?
    He is certainly right about there not being a serious geo-political thinker in either party. The ME is not the only place the US is being outflanked, outthought, outsmarted and out maneouvred. China has embarked on a worldwide quest for raw materials and guaranteed food supplies, confident that their power and influence is expanding while the US dithers with a completely corrupted political system. Russia has already demonstrated to the EU that it will use it's energy clout for political ends.
    This goes on and on.
    God help us (that is how desperate I feel).