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French Energy Expert Claims U. S. "Will Invade Iran." Russian Ambassador Angry About Cheney's Speech. FOX Fans Flames of War.

Reported by Marie Therese - May 17, 2006

In the early hours of Monday May 15, 2006 on CNBC's Worldwide Exchange guest Mike Wittner, global head of energy market research at CALYON, stated that George Bush will bomb Iran* in 2007. CALYON is a French company that lists itself as a "corporate and investment bank". It is listed as one of the Top 500 supercomputer sites.

Mr. Wittner is obviously very connected internationally. I was struck by the certainty in his voice when he made this prediction, which would seem to indicate that the international community is now operating on the assumption that George Bush is the de facto King of America and that our Congress largely resembles the impotent German Parliament of the Weimar Republic in pre-WWII Germany.

My prediction? Watch for unusual alliances between some of our old friends and the third world and/or emerging nations. If the rest of the world sees us as a "rogue", they will take steps to unite to isolate us, to transfer the wealth and power away from Wall Street to other financial centers.

The Nigerian supply of oil is down due to insurgent unrest. Iraqi production is down due to insurgent unrest. Iran is no longer accepting dollars in payment for oil, which could result in a drop in the dollar as Iran's customers convert dollars to euros to buy their oil. Venezuela has also suggested that at some point it might only accept payment in euros. We're well on our way to alienating Mexico, another oil producer, with our ridiculous anti-immigrant dog-and-pony show.

For months FOX News has been using the banner IRAN NUKE SHOWDOWN virtually every time anyone discusses that country. In spite of the fact that even their own military experts say that Iran is incapable of producing a nuke for at least five years, FOX News continues to beat the drums for an attack on Iran. Many of their pundits and guests advocate that the attack should be from the air and involve nuclear weapons.

Monday morning [5-15-06] FOX & Friends reported that there was a very undiplomatic meltdown between U.S. Undersecretary for Political Affairs R. Nicholas "Nick" Burns and Russian Ambassador Sergei Lavrov in Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's suite at the Waldorf- Astoria in New York City. The donnybrook lasted for two hours, a planned dinner was ruined and Secretary Rice herself got hot under the collar and came to the defense of Mr. Burns.

(As usual the F&F hosts did not bother to cite their source on this story, but I finally discovered that they were referring to an article that appeared in the May 14th edition of the Telegraph.)

Ambassador Lavrov was incensed at remarks made last week by Vice President Dick Cheney in Lithuania. During his speech the Vice President scolded Russia, bad-mouthed the current Russian leadership and made it clear that that country is either with us or against us when it comes to Iran.

This kind of story only serves to highlight the severity of the situation. When high-ranking diplomats - people trained to maintain their cool in tense situations - suddenly explode, one must wonder why.

Clearly, the rest of the world opposes military action in Iran. Even Tony Blair has stated that military action against Iran is not an option.

However, FOX News consistently schedules guests, commentators and analysts who favor bombing a sovereign nation. Here are just a few of the more tantalizing quotes from the warmongers on Saturday's Forbes on FOX show.

MIKE OZANIAN, Senior Editor, Forbes Magazine (speaking about President Ahmenijad's letter to President Bush): "... That letter itself was a declaration of war. It essentially says that anybody that doesn't believe in the most extreme views of Islam is goin' down. We should nuke this country right now. We should hit 'em on the ground with Tomahawk missiles and hit 'em underground where the bunkers are with nukes."

LEA GOLDMAN, Staff Writer, Forbes magazine (normally more of a liberal): "You hit the nail on the head. The guy is nuts! The guy is certifiable. The guy's his finger on the button. There's no negotiating with him."

Of course Goldman knew that she was on thin ice here because it had come up in many other discussions on this topic that Iran doesn't have any such button because Iran hasn't got a nuclear bomb yet! But when did truth ever get in the way of a good pro-war rant on FOX News?

DENNIS KNEALE (while arguing in favor of negotiating with Iran): "... You know what? The Israelis will go in and bomb that place anytime when they finally get too serious ..."

DAVID ASMAN, host: ".... You're gonna get burned if you bet against the greatest country in the world."


I'd like to end with something said by Quentin Hardy, Forbes' Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, who summed up what will happen should King George of America actually attack Iran:

HARDY: "Jim, you and Mike want to leave dead people all over the place. Let me tell you something. This guy recently put up a human chain 5,000 miles long in support of him in Iran. You can kill thousands. Maybe you want to do that. Leave thousands dead in Iran. They are just not gonna roll over when you do. They're gonna keep fighting."

At least one Forbes Magazine employee has some sense!

* A big "thank you" to TB for catching my typo here. The original post read " Iraq". It should have been "Iran" and was corrected at 3:13 PM EDT, 5-17-06. - MT

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