by Michael S. Rozeff 10.28.07

Bush and Cheney are steering the U.S. into a collapse. Only strong public voices by influential people can prevent the coming disaster. We desperately need for men and women who are known to the public and have credibility to speak up in the critical period ahead to avoid catastrophe.

* A few weeks ago, Israel bombed a alleged nuclear facility in Syria. This is a warm-up for an attack on Iran.
* In the last few days, the U.S. unilaterally tightened sanctions on Iran. Russia and China do not support this move.
* A week ago Bush warned Iran that its attainment of nuclear arms would lead to World War III.
* Russia, which has been assisting Iran in its nuclear construction program for decades, regards Western military action against Iran as unacceptable.
* China has been arming Iran with missiles. Its relations with Iran have been improving for years.

We know that Bush and Cheney are capable of pre-emptive attack. We know that Bush will act if he believes he is right no matter what the costs are. In his distorted worldview, Iran with nuclear weapons is a scenario worth any cost to avoid.

We know that Bush, Cheney, and Rice have repeatedly warned Iran of meaningful consequences if Iran arms itself with nuclear weapons. We know that their terms in office end in 15 months. These are the critical months.

But it is by no means clear that the front-running candidates for office who may replace them hold substantially different views. Hillary Clinton has publicly called for sanctions against Iran and has called Iran a threat to Israel.

Why may an unprovoked attack on Iran lead to WWIII and why may it lead to the collapse of the U.S.?

Imagine this scenario. The U.S. encourages Israel to bomb the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran. Russia attempts to restrain an Iranian response but fails. Iran responds in any of many ways, such as launching missiles on Israel, firing on shipping in the Straits of Hormuz, mining the Straits of Hormuz, sending troops into Iraq, or allying its military with Hezbollah and attacking Israel from Lebanon.

The U.S., citing Iran’s aggressions (that will be the story), launches a full-scale attack on Iran designed to devastate the country. This attack has actually been planned by the U.S. for years. Syria is unable to maintain neutrality and quickly becomes a battleground between Iran and Israel.

The price of oil by this point has already soared to $200 a barrel. The U.S. begins to use its strategic reserve and to divert Iraqi production. Russia responds by taking steps to prevent its oil production from reaching the U.S. China responds by cutting off its support of the U.S. Treasury market. Venezuela halts oil shipments to the U.S. The first stages of WWIII are economic warfare designed to cripple the U.S. and halt its war-making capacity.

The U.S., unable to finance its deficits and fund its sovereign debt, is forced into raising interest rates drastically in order to borrow. The Fed is forced to print money. An inflationary spiral occurs. Meanwhile the high interest rates and high oil prices, not to mention the shock of a spreading conflict, drive the U.S. economy into severe decline. The U.S. attempts to raise taxes in order to fund itself, further crippling the economy. Gold soars to $1,500—$2,000 an ounce.

The U.S. attempts to bolster its military forces. The draft is reinstated. The severity of the emergency allows Bush and Cheney to assume emergency powers and begin a dictatorship. Elections are postponed.

The U.S. collapses.

Unfortunately, even if this scenario does not occur, the position of the U.S. is so precarious that any number of other scenarios equally disastrous lie in wait. This house needs urgently to be put in order or it will fall, and especially if it does not terminate its imperial adventures. The very fact that Bush and Cheney (or any major U.S. political officials) gain by starting WWIII is a terrible indictment of our entire political system.

Who can stop this? Who can prevent this? It will only take a few well-placed people to prevent this catastrophe. My guess is 5—20 people could sway public opinion against war or provide enough cover for Congressional dissenters to screw up their courage. Maybe even as few as 3 or 4 influential people could derail the Bush-Cheney train to disaster. They need to speak out at the right times and they must be heard. Previously mute or muted voices simply must speak out. They know who they are. They know that their silence will mean silent approval of a U.S. collapse.

Michael S. Rozeff is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York.

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