Monday, April 28, 2008


Iran is in discussions with Russia in regard to solving the "nuke crisis"!

This is potentially the kind of face saving deal I have talked about. It will be much easier for Russian and Iran to arrive at a satisfactory deal than for the US and Iran to arrive at the same deal. I nor you nor the rest of the world should care who gets the credit.

Of course, to benefit his legacy, Bush very much wants the deal to be reached on his watch. Of course, to benefit his election, McCain very much wants the deal to be reached before the November vote.

There are a lot of threads weaving their way through the Middle East. The promotion of General Petraeus to the Middle East Command is a signal that the worst of the Iraqi engagement is over and it is time to raise the stakes for the terrorist hiding in the hills. The talks between Syria and Israel suggest that a Lebanon -- Hezbollah deal might be in the works. The battle with the al-Sadr militias indicate that Iraq is ready to move forward politically. The tiny little Gaza problem is a nasty little flea that will not go away (not for a few thousand years). Still, it is only a small problem if the rest of the "stuff" can be worked out. The pipeline from Iran, through Pakistan and to India is a win-win-win as are other energy deals that are ready to go.

While I hate the idea of using food as a political tool, the hunger for food is significantly more powerful than the hunger for cheap oil. Politicians around the world are feeling the heat for high grain prices. In the USA, a Texas legislator has asked the Bush administration to cut the ethanol mandates to avoid the early slaughter of beef cows. The map which shows which countries have had food protest or riots covers more than half the world.

Americans who spend a 12% or less of their family budget on food, are under pressure. Billions of people who spend more than 50% of their family budget on food are pushing the point of taking up arms. Iran is experiencing very high inflation rates and protest marches. The leaders need to make a deal!