It was reported yesterday
and is being reported today that Iran threatened the United States. I was out on the road but heard about it on the radio. The article on the front page (below the fold) of today's Bangor Daily News is titled Iran issues threats against U.S.: Security Council on alert for nuclear activity.
From the CNN post that I referenced above, here is the "threat":
"The United States may have the power to cause harm and pain but it is also susceptible to harm and pain," Vaeedi said. "So if the United States wishes to choose that path let the ball roll."
According to this article, Javad Vaeedi is "the deputy head for international affairs of Iran's Supreme National Security Council." The CNN page links to a video segment showing Vaeedi making this "threat" as well as hype to persuade the viewer of the seriousness of Iran's nuclear ambitions and the need for UN and/or US intervention.
Now while you make shake in your shoes at those "threatening" words coming from the lips of an Iranian official, for some reason they didn't seem all that "threatening" to me. They certainly were nowhere near as "threatening" as have been the words of Vice President Dick Cheney, recognized for his tendency to pull the trigger now, look later.
Let me explain what I think Iran meant, just in case you haven't picked it up by reading some of my fairly recent posts. There are more than one way to inflict pain on the United States and Iran is in a position to do it through non-violent means.
For instance, it is said that Iran is the world's number 4 oil producer. Right now oil production is rumored to be near its maximum output and that output is just barely meeting the world demand for the consumption of oil. If something should happen to significantly reduce the world production of oil, demand would soon exceed supply and the price of oil would shoot for the stars. If that were to happen any time soon, it could and probably would have a major impact on the world's economy. Harm and pain well describes that scenario. Being the number 4 oil producer, Iran may very well have the power to inflict such harm and pain simply by removing Iranian oil from the world oil market for awhile. Hey, the oil isn't going anywhere, right? What they don't sell this year, they can sell next year or the year after, right? I mean, it IS their oil, isn't it? Well, isn't it?
Or perhaps Iran could become the only major oil supplier to market its own oil not for the world oil currency of US dollars, but instead, for Euros. I've read that should they do that, which is in their plans, and should it catch on with a few other big oil producers, it's possible that the dollar may lose its place as the world's exchange currency. That could give the currency traders and US bond holders like China some major jitters. Should a panic ensue, the value of the US dollar on the world currency markets could tumble. That might be a way to cause harm and pain on the US without necessarily affecting the rest of the world.
The point is that Iran has ways to harm and hurt the US economy that have nothing to do with their developing and somehow dropping "the bomb" on us. Our reaction is that we can't allow Iran to play with the king and queen on the Globalization chessboard. Iran is one of the pawns and we're going to take them out before they reach the other end of the board. So it is us, the United States, who is the aggressor here. Iran's merely playing the global economy game and it is that, not Iran's nuclear ambitions, that has us shaking in our shoes.