03
Jan
12

the strait of hormuz . .

by mother jones

With tensions on the rise, whether Washington will move toward another protracted military engagement over petroleum in the Middle East is a fair question. It could be that Obama is a progressive president who’s been mugged by realpolitik. Or it could be that the GOP field, in painting Obama as soft on Iran, is succeeding in pushing the White House to the right on this foreign policy problem. Israel is certainly working hard to exert pressure, particularly via its GOP allies in Congress. The Iranian regime is aware of these pressures, and is happy to stoke them when the US is at its most vulnerable: heading into the heart of a presidential election cycle. Iran, too, is in an election year—and a confrontation with the US could benefit hardline incumbents at a time when many Iranians are otherwise disaffected with the regime’s handling of the economy. America’s Iran-bashing conservatives, then, play to the Tehran regime’s desire to distract its own people from the country’s domestic problems.

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