Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rahm Emanuel Paging Oliver North

Will Civil Unrest In Iran Push Oil Over $100?

Probably not.

While reports of clashes with security forces in Tehran persist, the protests of "thousands," confined to the Interior Ministry in the capital likely won't amount to anything substantial before markets open again. Security forces have an effective grip on Iran and one expects that widespread unrest would be dealt with harshly. Even a few thousand protestors are unlikely either to persist long or prevail absent another catalyst or galvanizing event. Like clockwork, security forces arrested 10 leaders of reformist groups who supported Mousavi. Preventative detention at its finest. Cell phone coverage was cut off in the capital as well as internet access to moderate websites. Many foreign journalists were called and told their visas would be revoked and that they should prepare to leave the country. A motivating event isn't impossible, but probably is very unlikely with this kind of crackdown. It's easy to roll around with riot police, until they start shooting.

International concern over the election results and accusations of "fraud" are unlikely to amount to much. If the potential development of nuclear weapons hasn't spurred more action from the international community, what exactly is a Chicago-style election result going to trigger? It's not like a long-standing and great Iranian democracy was somehow suddenly usurped, after all.

Despite all this, the Secretariat of Reza Pahlavi, the Crown Prince in exile, an unlikely ally for student protesters, issued this statement:

WASHINGTON, June 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the world is witnessing the demonstrated anger of millions of Iranians against a regime that denies their most basic rights, including the right to choose leaders who could improve their abysmal condition.

There is no exit from this condition, so long as one man appropriates onto himself the "power of god" and controls the judiciary, the media, the security forces and, through direct and indirect appointees, dictates the only candidates claiming to represent an impoverished and disenfranchised people.

Today I stand united with my fellow Iranians and call for the end of the Islamic Republic, or any other prefix in front of the name of my beloved Iran that indicates theocracy or any other form of disregard for democratic and human rights.

I caution the world that offering any incentives or "carrots" to the theocracy under these circumstances is an affront to the people of Iran. This is not a time for short-sighted, self-defeating tactical games. This is the time for the free world to stand true to its principles and support the people of Iran's quest for democracy and human rights.

SOURCE Secretariat of Reza Pahlavi

Weak protest or not, the Obama Administration probably wouldn't mind a little bit of good 'ole Middle East conflict right about now. Expensive oil is just the thing to boost the currencies of emerging market extraction economies (who hold a lot of dollar denominated debt) and pump up the market for U.S. Treasuries before China manages to cobble together a reserve currency of any worth (Russia went from holding ~$42 billion in U.S. Treasuries in March of 2008 to over $138 billion in March of 2009). A little cost-push inflation wouldn't be a terrible thing for an economy expecting to borrow $0.50 cents for every dollar it spends this year. No doubt the National Clandestine Service's Iran group is ordering early-morning pizzas tonight- that is if the powers that be learned the lesson from the Bush Administration about how economically stimulating a bit of regional conflict can be. Maybe we can actually settle the stories about those intaglio printing presses the Shah was supposed to have left behind in his rush to get some last minute shopping in Egypt done. Printing USD "Supernotes" is so 20th century though. If we drop a few pallet-bound Supertreasury presses from Geithner, James Geithner's garage we can kill several birds with one tactical drop:

- Overdrive printing of U.S. Treasury securities.
- Elimination of all leads in the Japanese Bondage/Kennedy Space Shuttle Billion Dollar Treasury fiasco.
- Fund the anti-Ahmadinejad insurrection with fake paper-slices of taxpayer dollars... which, in retrospect, are even better than the real thing.

Let's see:

Afghanistan: Civil War.
Pakistan: Civil War.
Iraq: Simmering Civil War.
Iranian insurrection: Hmmmmm. Green shoots! Sphere: Related Content
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