The Gulf States with Saudi Arabia in the lead are scrambling to figure out what to do if American power in the Middle East continues to dissipate. One of the tools in their tool kit is to quietly over-supply crude oil into the global market and knock prices down.
This would not only make Iran worry about its income shortfalls and the domestic political impact of that — but also takes some of the flamboyance out of Russian and Venezuelan behavior lately.
The Saudis are now publicly talking about maintaining oil at $50/barrel. However, other Gulf region strategists tell me that they think that the real target is $40.
Bad for Iran. Bad for Russia. Good for American SUV drivers. Bad for the enviros and climate change activists — which is ultimately bad for life on this planet.
Given Bush’s authorization to troops to kill Iranians in Iraq (and perhaps a Presidential “finding” to kill Iranians in Iran), dropping the price of oil may come too late to affect the behavior either of Iran or the U.S.
— Steve Clemons