Will War With Syria Cause The Price Of Oil To Explode Higher?

F-16 Photo by TMWolfAre you ready to pay four, five or possibly even six dollars for a gallon of gasoline?  War has consequences, and a conflict with Syria has the potential to escalate wildly out of control very rapidly.  The Obama administration is pledging that the upcoming attack on Syria will be “brief and limited” and that the steady flow of oil out of the Middle East will not be interrupted.  But what happens if Syria strikes back?  What happens if Syrian missiles start raining down on Tel Aviv?  What happens if Hezbollah or Iran starts attacking U.S. or Israeli targets?  Unless Syria, Hezbollah and Iran all stand down and refuse to fight back, we could very easily be looking at a major regional war in the Middle East, and that could cause the price of oil to explode higher.  Syria is not a major oil producer, but approximately a third of all of the crude oil in the world is produced in the Middle East.  If the Suez Canal or the Persian Gulf (or both) get shut down for an extended period of time, the consequences would be dramatic.  The price of oil has already risen about 15% so far this summer, and war in the Middle East could potentially send it soaring into record territory.

We can always hope that cooler heads prevail and that a conflict is avoided, but at this point it does not look like that is going to happen.  In fact, according to Richard Engel of NBC News, a senior U.S. official has admitted that “we’re past the point of return” and that a strike on Syria can be expected within days.

Obama is promising that the U.S. will “take limited, tailored approaches”, and that we will not be “getting drawn into a long conflict, not a repetition of, you know, Iraq, which I know a lot of people are worried about”, but how in the world can he guarantee that?

Syria, Iran and Hezbollah have all threatened to attack Israel if the U.S. attacks Syria.

If missiles start raining down on Israeli cities, the Israelis are not just going to sit there and take it like they did during the first Gulf War.  In fact, according to the Los Angeles Times, “Israeli leaders are making it clear that they have no intention of standing down this time if attacked”.

If Israel is attacked, their military response will be absolutely massive.

And then we will have the major regional war in the Middle East that so many people have been warning about for so many years.  Hundreds of thousands of people will die and the global economy will be paralyzed.

So what will Obama do in such a situation?

Will he pack up and go home?

Of course not.  We would be committed to fighting a brutal, horrific war that there was absolutely no reason to start in the first place.

And we are already starting to feel the effect of rising tensions in the Middle East.  This week, the price of oil rose to a 10-month high

U.S. oil prices soared to an 18-month high as traders worried that a potential military strike against Syria could disrupt the region’s oil supplies.

October crude futures surged 2.9%, to $109.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, their highest close since February 2012. Brent futures ended up 3.2% at $114.28 a barrel, a six-month high.

Posted below is a chart that shows how the price of oil has moved over the past several decades.  Could we soon break the all-time record of $147 a barrel that was set back in 2008?…

The Price Of Oil

And of course we all remember what happened when the price of oil got that high back in 2008.  The global economy was plunged into the worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

A major conflict in the Middle East, especially if it goes on for an extended period of time, could send the price of oil to absolutely ridiculous levels.

Every single day, a massive amount of oil is moved through the Suez Canal.  The following is from a recent Wall Street Journal article

To the southwest is the Suez Canal, one such chokepoint, which connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of the Suez with the Mediterranean Sea. The canal transports about 800,000 barrels of crude and 1.4 million barrels of petroleum products daily, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Another regional oil shipping route potentially threatened by the Syria crisis is the Sumed, or Suez-Mediterranean, pipeline, also in Egypt, which moves oil from the Persian Gulf region to the Mediterranean. The Sumed handles 1.7 million barrels of crude oil per day, the EIA said.

And of course an enormous amount of oil moves through the Persian Gulf each day as well.  If the Suez Canal and/or the Persian Gulf were to be shut down, there would almost immediately be global supply problems.

So how high could the price of oil go?

Well, according to CNBC, some analysts believe that $150 a barrel could easily be hit if the U.S. attacks Syria…

Some analysts believe even U.S. crude, West Texas Intermediate (WTI crude) could get close to the $150 zone. “If oil prices spike on the Syria attack, and surge above $120, the next logical upside target is going to be the 2008 high of $147, which could easily be taken out,” said John Kilduff of Again Capital. “It’s the retaliation to the retaliation that we have to be worried about.”

If the price of oil soars up to that level and keeps going, we could see the price of gasoline go up to four, five or maybe even six dollars a gallon in some areas of the country.

You better start saving up lots of gas money.

It looks like you are going to need it.

22 Reasons Why Starting World War 3 In The Middle East Is A Really Bad Idea

Tomahawk cruise missileWhile most of the country is obsessing over Miley Cyrus, the Obama administration is preparing a military attack against Syria which has the potential of starting World War 3.  In fact, it is being reported that cruise missile strikes could begin “as early as Thursday“.  The Obama administration is pledging that the strikes will be “limited”, but what happens when the Syrians fight back?  What happens if they sink a U.S. naval vessel or they have agents start hitting targets inside the United States?  Then we would have a full-blown war on our hands.  And what happens if the Syrians decide to retaliate by hitting Israel?  If Syrian missiles start raining down on Tel Aviv, Israel will be extremely tempted to absolutely flatten Damascus, and they are more than capable of doing precisely that.  And of course Hezbollah and Iran are not likely to just sit idly by as their close ally Syria is battered into oblivion.  We are looking at a scenario where the entire Middle East could be set aflame, and that might only be just the beginning.  Russia and China are sternly warning the U.S. government not to get involved in Syria, and by starting a war with Syria we will do an extraordinary amount of damage to our relationships with those two global superpowers.  Could this be the beginning of a chain of events that could eventually lead to a massive global conflict with Russia and China on one side and the United States on the other?  Of course it will not happen immediately, but I fear that what is happening now is setting the stage for some really bad things.  The following are 22 reasons why starting World War 3 in the Middle East is a really bad idea…

#1 The American people are overwhelmingly against going to war with Syria…

Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if reports that Syria’s government used deadly chemicals to attack civilians are confirmed, a Reuters/Ipsos poll says.

About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act.

#2 At this point, a war in Syria is even more unpopular with the American people than Congress is.

#3 The Obama administration has not gotten approval to go to war with Syria from Congress as the U.S. Constitution requires.

#4 The United States does not have the approval of the United Nations to attack Syria and it is not going to be getting it.

#5 Syria has said that it will use all means available” to defend itself if the United States attacks.  Would that include terror attacks in the United States itself?

#6 Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem made the following statement on Tuesday

“We have two options: either to surrender, or to defend ourselves with the means at our disposal. The second choice is the best: we will defend ourselves”

#7 Russia has just sent their most advanced anti-ship missiles to Syria.  What do you think would happen if images of sinking U.S. naval vessels were to come flashing across our television screens?

#8 When the United States attacks Syria, there is a very good chance that Syria will attack Israel.  Just check out what one Syrian official said recently

A member of the Syrian Ba’ath national council Halef al-Muftah, until recently the Syrian propaganda minister’s aide, said on Monday that Damascus views Israel as “behind the aggression and therefore it will come under fire” should Syria be attacked by the United States.

In an interview for the American radio station Sawa in Arabic, President Bashar Assad’s fellow party member said: “We have strategic weapons and we can retaliate. Essentially, the strategic weapons are aimed at Israel.”

Al-Muftah stressed that the US’s threats will not influence the Syrain regime and added that “If the US or Israel err through aggression and exploit the chemical issue, the region will go up in endless flames, affecting not only the area’s security, but the world’s.”

#9 If Syria attacks Israel, the consequences could be absolutely catastrophic.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promising that any attack will be responded to “forcefully“…

“We are not a party to this civil war in Syria but if we identify any attempt to attack us we will respond and we will respond forcefully”

#10 Hezbollah will likely do whatever it can to fight for the survival of the Assad regime.  That could include striking targets inside both the United States and Israel.

#11 Iran’s closest ally is Syria.  Will Iran sit idly by as their closest ally is removed from the chessboard?

#12 Starting a war with Syria will cause significant damage to our relationship with Russia.  On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that the West is acting like a “monkey with a hand grenade“.

#13 Starting a war with Syria will cause significant damage to our relationship with China.  And what will happen if the Chinese decide to start dumping the massive amount of U.S. debt that it is holding?  Interest rates would absolutely skyrocket and we would rapidly be facing a nightmare scenario.

#14 Dr. Jerome Corsi and Walid Shoebat have compiled some startling evidence that it was actually the Syrian rebels that the U.S. is supporting that were responsible for the chemical weapons attack that is being used as justification to go to war with Syria…

With the assistance of former PLO member and native Arabic-speaker Walid Shoebat, WND has assembled evidence from various Middle Eastern sources that cast doubt on Obama administration claims the Assad government is responsible for last week’s attack.

You can examine the evidence for yourself right here.

#15 As Pat Buchanan recently noted, it would have made absolutely no sense for the Assad regime to use chemical weapons on defenseless women and children.  The only people who would benefit from such an attack would be the rebels…

The basic question that needs to be asked about this horrific attack on civilians, which appears to be gas related, is: Cui bono?

To whose benefit would the use of nerve gas on Syrian women and children redound? Certainly not Assad’s, as we can see from the furor and threats against him that the use of gas has produced.

The sole beneficiary of this apparent use of poison gas against civilians in rebel-held territory appears to be the rebels, who have long sought to have us come in and fight their war.

#16 If the Saudis really want to topple the Assad regime, they should do it themselves.  They should not expect the United States to do their dirty work for them.

#17 A former commander of U.S. Central Command has said that a U.S. attack on Syria would result in “a full-throated, very, very serious war“.

#18 A war in the Middle East will be bad for the financial markets.  The Dow was down about 170 points today and concern about war with Syria was the primary reason.

#19 A war in the Middle East will cause the price of oil to go up.  On Tuesday, the price of U.S. oil rose to about $109 a barrel.

#20 There is no way in the world that the U.S. government should be backing the Syrian rebels.  As I discussed a few days ago, the rebels have pledged loyalty to al-Qaeda, they have beheaded numerous Christians and they have massacred entire Christian villages.  If the U.S. government helps these lunatics take power in Syria it will be a complete and utter disaster.

#21 A lot of innocent civilians inside Syria will end up getting killed.  Already, a lot of Syrians are expressing concern about what “foreign intervention” will mean for them and their families…

“I’ve always been a supporter of foreign intervention, but now that it seems like a reality, I’ve been worrying that my family could be hurt or killed,” said one woman, Zaina, who opposes Assad. “I’m afraid of a military strike now.”

“The big fear is that they’ll make the same mistakes they made in Libya and Iraq,” said Ziyad, a man in his 50s. “They’ll hit civilian targets, and then they’ll cry that it was by mistake, but we’ll get killed in the thousands.”

#22 If the U.S. government insists on going to war with Syria without the approval of the American people, the U.S. Congress or the United Nations, we are going to lose a lot of friends and a lot of credibility around the globe.  It truly is a sad day when Russia looks like “the good guys” and we look like “the bad guys”.

What good could possibly come out of getting involved in Syria?  As I wrote about the other day, the “rebels” that Obama is backing are rabidly anti-Christian, rabidly anti-Israel and rabidly anti-western.  If they take control of Syria, that nation will be far more unstable and far more of a hotbed for terrorism than it is now.

And the downside of getting involved in Syria is absolutely enormous.  Syria, Iran and Hezbollah all have agents inside this country, and if they decide to start blowing stuff up that will wake up the American people to the horror of war really quick.  And by attacking Syria, the United States could cause a major regional war to erupt in the Middle East which could eventually lead to World War 3.

I don’t know about you, but I think that starting World War 3 in the Middle East is a really bad idea.

Let us hope that cooler heads prevail before things spin totally out of control.

What Would War Between Israel And Syria Do To The Already Fragile Global Economy?

War Between Israel And Syria?War is a horrible thing.  Just ask anyone that has ever been in the middle of it.  And in this day and age governments around the world possess weapons of such incalculable power that war should be unthinkable.  In future wars, we could literally see millions of people killed on a single day.  Nobody should want that or look forward to that.  Unfortunately, the next major regional war in the Middle East appears to be closer than ever.  But nobody should want it to actually happen.  During the next major regional war in the Middle East we will likely see death on a scale that is unprecedented.  It won’t be like the wars of 1967 or 1973.  It will likely be a fight to the death where nothing is held back.  You see, the truth is that most Americans have no idea what is really going on in the Middle East.  There are ancient grudges and ancient hatreds that go back for thousands of years.  There is no “peace plan” that is going to suddenly make everything okay.  The Middle East is a simmering volcano of hate and resentment that could erupt at any moment.  That is why what is happening in Syria right now is so important.  An Israeli airstrike in Damascus that reportedly was attempting to destroy a shipment of Fateh-110 missiles that Iran was sending to Hezbollah has brought Israel and Syria to the brink of war.  In fact, Syria is calling the airstrike a “declaration of war” and is vowing retaliation.  The Syrian government is saying that “Israeli aggression opens the door to all possibilities“, but they have not provided any specifics about what they plan to do.  Meanwhile, Israel has made it very clear that they will do whatever is necessary to keep Fateh-110 missiles from getting into the hands of Hezbollah.  With those missiles, Iranian-backed Hezbollah would have the capability of striking the heart of Tel Aviv with a very high degree of accuracy.  So it is definitely understandable why Israel would not want Hezbollah to have those missiles.  Just think about it – would you want Russia or China to deploy highly advanced missile systems in northern Mexico which could rain down hell on Los Angeles and Dallas in less than five minutes?  Unfortunately, this gives Iran the perfect way to provoke a war between Israel and Syria.  All they have to do is keep rolling trucks loaded with Fateh-110 missiles through war-torn Syria toward Hezbollah bases in Lebanon.  Israel will feel forced to intervene, and the rest of the Islamic world will get angrier and angrier.

The explosions that rocked northern Damascus on Sunday were absolutely massive.  It is being reported that they registered about two or three on the Richter scale, and enormous balls of fire that lit up the sky could be seen from all over Damascus.

The following is how the Washington Post described the attack…

Israeli warplanes bombed the outskirts of Damascus early Sunday for the second time in recent days, according to Syrian state media and reports from activists, signaling a sharp escalation in tensions between the neighboring countries that had already been exacerbated by the conflict raging in Syria.

Videos posted on the Internet by activists showed a huge fireball erupting on Mount Qassioun, a landmark hill overlooking the capital on which the Syrian government has deployed much of the firepower it is using against rebel-controlled areas surrounding the city.

So why did Israel do this?

Despite what the anti-Israel crowd is suggesting, Israel did not do this just to be mean.  As Reuters is reporting, Israel was specifically targeting Fateh-110 missiles that were on their way to Hezbollah…

Israel does not confirm such missions explicitly – a policy it says is intended to avoid provoking reprisals. But an Israeli official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the strikes were carried out by its forces, as was a raid early on Friday that U.S. President Barack Obama said had been justified.

A Western intelligence source told Reuters: “In last night’s attack, as in the previous one, what was attacked were stores of Fateh-110 missiles that were in transit from Iran to Hezbollah.”

These missiles would significantly change the balance of power if they got into the hands of Hezbollah.  According to the Times of Israel, Fateh-110 missiles would be a very serious threat not only to Tel Aviv – these missiles would also threaten cities all the way down to Beersheba…

Uzi Rubin, a missile expert and former Defense Ministry official, told the Associated Press that if the target was a consignment of Fatah-110 missiles, then such weaponry did constitute a “game-changer”: Fired from Syria or south Lebanon, these missiles, he said, could reach almost anywhere in Israel with high accuracy.

Rubin emphasized that he was speaking as a rocket expert and had no details about the reported strikes.

“If fired from southern Lebanon, they can reach Tel Aviv and even [the southern city of] Beersheba,” Rubin said. He said the rockets are much five times more accurate than the Scud missiles that Hezbollah has fired in the past. “It is a game-changer because they are a threat to Israel’s infrastructure and military installations,” he said.

So that is why Israel carried out these airstrikes.  They feel like they simply cannot allow Hezbollah to have these weapons.  And with Hezbollah’s track record, that is very understandable.

Unfortunately, these airstrikes have also brought the Middle East much closer to the next war.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Syria is positioning units for a potential conflict with Israel…

Syria has stationed missile batteries aimed at Israel in the aftermath of alleged Israeli air strikes in the country, the website of Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV, considered close to the regime of President Bashar Assad, quoted a top Syrian official as saying on Sunday.

In response, Israel has deployed two Iron Dome batteries to northern Israel, they have closed off airspace in northern Israel to commercial traffic, and Israeli embassies around the world have been put on high alert.

But Syria may choose not to retaliate against Israel directly.  According to WND, Syria may decide to allow jihadist groups to carry out their vengeance for them…

The Syrian government will soon declare it is opening its borders with Israel for Palestinian and other jihad groups to carry out attacks against the Jewish state, a senior Syrian official told WND.

Separately, informed Middle Eastern security officials said the Syrian army held a meeting Sunday afternoon with the leaders of the military wing of the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist group to discuss retaliation against Israel for the recent air strikes near Damascus.

According to those officials, Islamic Jihad and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah are coordinating a possible reaction to Israel’s reported strikes.

In any event, things are definitely becoming more unstable over in the Middle East.

So what would a war between Israel and Syria do to the already fragile global economy?

Well, a war between Israel and Syria would likely paralyze the entire region.  Hezbollah and Hamas would almost certainly jump into the war on the side of Syria, and there is the potential that nations such as Iran, Egypt and even Jordan could get involved as well.

In such a scenario, the flow of oil from the Middle East could become interrupted for an extended period of time, and that would have serious consequences for the global economy.

But the bigger threat to the global economy would be the fear that a regional war in the Middle East would create.  Global financial markets respond very badly to fear, and right now the world economy is already teetering on the brink of disaster.  Much of Europe has already descended into a full-blown economic depression, and there are signs that the greatest debt bubble in the history of the planet is starting to burst.

The next major wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching, and a major regional war in the Middle East would greatly accelerate our economic problems.

Unfortunately, it appears that such a conflict is inevitable.

I don’t believe that it will happen yet though.  For the moment, I believe that cooler headers will prevail.

But as tensions continue to rise, I believe that we will see tempers boil over and the Middle East will descend into full-blown warfare at some point within the next several years.

Of course I could always be wrong about this.  We will just have to wait and see what happens.

So what do you think?

Do you believe that we will see a regional war in the Middle East soon?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

The Beginning Of The End by Michael Snyder

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