indulge me while I present my personal "Intelligence Estimate" for this pending crisis. It may surprise you just how much you might find plausible

it appears that we are seeing the players (re)positioning themselves for the worst case scenario. We know that Russia, France and Germany opposed our 2003 invasion of Iraq. Not falling into the delusion spun by Bush on Saddam Hussein's alleged WMD arsenal, these countries sought to preserve their lucrative trade relationships with Iraq. In addition to these three countries, we know that China, India and Pakistan also have current trade relationships with Iran. Both Russia and China have negotiated sales of a defensive missile shield with Iran, with only pressure from the U.S. delaying the sale (not to be thwarted, Iran has since declared that as a result they will construct their own defensive missile shield). Brazil and Turkey are defiantly strengthening ties as well

with a pre-emptive strike on Iran being pushed by Israel, Christian Zionists in the U.S., and neo-cons protecting the interests of their financial elite and transnational corporation masters, there is a world of hurt about to be unleashed, to cascade down to effect all people of the Middle East; with the profound consequence to oil prices to which no nation is immune

Middle East pundits, at least the ones with some objectivity and not the unscrupulous ones seeking to manipulate public perception to garner support for military "solutions" (an oxymoron), are trying to bring some measure of rationality to the issue

if either Israel, the U.S., or both attack Iran; especially given:

we will see Muslim Arabs and Persians, and Christian Syrians all finding common cause. Puppet regimes in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, long despised by their suppressed populations, will be forced to realign or risk being swept away by the storm of indignation as a rising sense of imminent personal risk triggers their instincts for self-preservation. A case of "it's every man for himself" and their former sponsors, the puppeteers, will find themselves holding empty strings

whatever diminished estimation the U.S. has of Iranian military capability, the fervency which comes from defending one's own home and family from invasion, and the occupation (of which Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan all stand as stark examples), will be dismissed only at our own peril. Combined with the solidarity among Shia who have since been relatively quiet in the region:

perhaps Turkey is following a premonition of what new power will fill the space created by the U.S.' demise as a global economic power. Perhaps these speculations are indeed consistent with the designs of those elites whose affiliations transcend merely political entities, but who nevertheless stand poised to resume their game of domination using whatever is left standing

in any case, we are for the second time in my life, an executive order away from regressing civilization by a millennium; the first was the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Let us hope that sane minds once more prevail

David Austin
New York City
, July, 2010

permission to reproduce with attribution granted