Friday, August 13, 2010

America must support Israel

Much has been said about Israel's relationship status with the United States, but this time it is too much talk and not enough support.

This IS the critical time in the Middle East. The next several decades will see Oil exports from the region to the rest of the world dry up completely. It then follows that this is the moment for Iran's nuclear ambitions to be realized, and with it their influence world wide as well as among their neighbors.

What really stands between us and a nuclear armed Iran?

ISRAEL.

Israel has proved to be the best friend the U.S. could possibly have hoped for... and they remain the only true democracy in the Middle East. The Palestinian issue is small potatoes compared with a nuclear armed Iran. This is THE MOMENT for American support of Israel to be demonstrated as clear and unwavering. Iran is on the cusp of becoming a nuclear power. That this is unacceptable does not need mentioning... this must simply not be allowed to come to pass.

If ever the U.S. needed Israel, and it is now more than ever, Israel needs the U.S. even more. To allow a nuclear armed Iran to exist is to sow the seeds for the destruction of BOTH countries. There are no guarantees in this world. Even a stable, liberal democracy like Israel could make a strategic mistake or military error, and in believing they were under nuclear attack make the first move in the final act for civilization.

Which brings me to my book... I have taken to writing a fiction of a possible future in the aftermath of a Middle East nuclear exchange. Herewith is Chapter 2.


***************************************

There were no means with which to confirm what the provocation was. Confirmation wasn’t really necessary. Israel and the several Persian Gulf nations had experienced a nuclear event. Israel, Iran, and Pakistan each had been the sight of a nuclear explosion(s), with loss of human life estimated in the tens, and perhaps hundreds of millions.

Within hours of the news, and not knowing what had happened or what city would be targeted next, people began to poor out of the world’s major cities. New York, Chicago, Paris, London, Sao Paolo, and Moscow were in the beginning throws of anarchy. People with nowhere to go were trying to get away from the one place they belonged. Within 24 hours the various regional and state governments in the United States declared martial law and put a stop to the “unauthorized travel” of civilians. But martial law does not work as well in a country filled with armed civilians, and a police and National Guard unwilling to ruthlessly repress their own neighbors - and 24 hours gave many people time to flee. For the first few days no major violence or lawlessness was reported.

At first, no one seemed to know what to do. Offices, stores, and government offices were closed – people feared that their city might be next – as no one showed up for work. Despite the ban on travel, some of the mobile urban population had managed to relocate from the cities. Those that remained wandered about aimlessly, in shock and disbelief. Yesterday, the kids had little league, mothers went grocery shopping, and fathers went about their business. Today, the grocery stores were empty, black markets erupted for everything from gasoline to prostitution, and the concept of the “business as usual” was no more than a memory.

Food had run dangerously low in American cities within days of the nuclear exchanges. Water was still running to people’s homes, as was electricity, but food shipments had stopped completely. The people of cities like New York City, Miami, and Atlanta had the food in their pantries and nothing more for nearly 2 weeks, and garbage was beginning to pile up on the streets. Fuel supplies had dried up with the food supply, so even if the municipal workers were able to get to work, there was not any fuel with which to run the trucks and other heavy equipment. The United States was still receiving some of the ships, which were “escorted” to American ports by the U.S. Navy, loaded with oil that were near their coasts at the time of the bombings, but the Federal government had appropriated all of this oil for its own uses, as very little imported oil was expected in the near future.

Oil, in the form of gasoline and diesel, was the critical issue. Without it the economy ground to a standstill. Commuters could no longer drive to work; truckers could not transport goods leaving store shelves as bare as a winter tree.

A considerable health threat in major cities was burgeoning in the form of untreated sewage. Within a month, water was no longer being pumped into people’s homes. Toilets became inoperable, and improvised rainwater catchment devices were everywhere. Unfortunately, it didn’t rain. Nature still called, but toilets did not flush. People improvised. All of New York City smelled like a subway bathroom that hadn’t been cleaned in weeks.

The National Guard set up food and water distribution posts, but it was a hot summer, and the provisions were in short supply. A rationing system was instituted within 2 weeks of the bombings, but it was hardly enough to maintain a minimal caloric intake for the people living in the large cities. Pets began to “disappear”, which in places like New York City was a significant positive as their droppings only contributed to the miasmic environment.

Violence began to break out. Not the roving gang violence of survivalist fiction, but there was little law enforcement could do in the way of an investigation and many people took advantage of this fact to settle old scores. Husbands threw moody wives out of windows, and wives beat the brains out of sleeping alcoholic husbands with hammers and cast iron frying pans. Jealous boyfriends murdered men suspected of having consorted with their women. The bodies, wrapped in sheets or blankets but sometimes nothing at all, of the deceased were left outside on the street.

Radio and television programming was controlled by the government, but the Internet was still somewhat viable, whether because of government inaction or because of superior private programming. An explanation of bombings went something like this:

Israel struck Iran with a nuclear weapon first, destroying the city of Tehran and the coastal Island of Qushm in the Persian Gulf, whether in response to a nuclear, biological, or chemical threat or some other threat from Iran was unknown. Within an hour Pakistan launched a nuclear attack against Israel, which in turn launched a counter attack on Karachi and Islamabad. India then unleashed several nuclear devices on Israel. The nation of Israel no longer existed as a functioning country, most of its people lay dead, and its government and military were completely destroyed. If the Israeli nuclear-armed submarines existed, they did not fire their weapons on India. If it did exist, perhaps its captain saw the futility in killing millions of innocents for a nation that no longer existed.

The world was angry. Jews everywhere were on the defensive. Then the indiscriminate killing of Jews the world over began in earnest. It was an irony not lost on many Jews that the Israeli nuclear weapons designed to provide a safe place for them had turned the entire world against them, and might have been responsible for the slaughter of 3 million Israeli Jews, not to mention millions of non-Jews living in and around Israel.

The mayor of New York had a crisis within a crisis. New York has the largest Jewish population of any city in the world, and the city was in the process of unraveling. Now there were numerous reports of the city’s Jews being murdered in reprisal for Israel’s nuclear attack on Iran. Thousands had been killed. Secular Jews in Manhattan, Northern New Jersey, and Westchester had taken up arms to defend themselves, but observant Jews made easily identifiable targets and most had never held a weapon in their hand, let alone owned a gun. Their homes were burned. Even those that escaped violence were constantly harassed with insults: “Murderers!” “Nazi!” Many people the world over blamed Jews for financially supporting the nation that unleashed the nuclear Pandora’s box once again, but in New York City the killings seemed to be organized by Muslim groups. Rumors of armed young men crossing the Hudson River into New York City from New Jersey were particularly chilling, as it occurred to the Mayor and the police brass that perhaps the group or groups that had orchestrated the assassinations of high profile financial supporters of Israel were behind these attacks as well.

The food crisis was at a critical juncture. People were making their way out of the Metropolitan area to the countryside as the authorities did little to enforce the ban on civilian travel. What was the point? The authorities could not provide enough food and water for the urban population. It was either allow the people to fend for themselves seeking shelter with friends and relatives in the suburbs and rural areas, or crush the subsequent food riots.
Officially, civilian travel was still banned and there was no public transit service available. Only people young and healthy enough to walk, or lucky enough to possess a bike, could make an attempt at self-rescue by fleeing the cities. Older people, sick people, and fat people – the number of obese people had shrunk considerably since the bombings– were left behind, as were women with young children.

By late September, 8 weeks into the crisis nearly every able-bodied person had fled the major metropolitan areas, though many never made it past the city’s sprawl. There was no banking system anymore. People who abandoned the major cities for fear of another nuclear exchange had abandoned their homes and cars, and their mortgages and car loans. Money could no longer buy food. Barter quickly became the only medium of exchange. The food transport system had completely broken down, with government supplies spotty at best, and criminal to say the least. Mothers of young children sold themselves to the soldiers and police that were supposed to protect them for food to feed their hungry children.

Though no nuclear attack had been sustained in North America or Europe, the fear of attack had brought their respective societies to their knees. The economic, legal, and food distribution system of the Western societies required the confidence of the populace in order to function, and that confidence was no more. Truckers on the road transporting goods simply kept the those goods as barter items as there was no one to deliver them to, and no police to stop them. The Manhattan corner green grocer hoarded his inventory of canned goods for his own family. Lawyers had nothing to do and no place to do it. Police, Firemen, and other essential services personnel ceased showing up for work, and hospitals remained closed. With the value of cash currency at zero, people worked at the only thing that made any sense – scrounging food. What else can a city of several million people do when they have no job to go to and no store to buy food from? They were in no position to produce food. It was early summer at the time of the bombings making gardening an option for next spring, at best. People living in cities and suburbs had no livestock. Fishing poles, small game rifles, nets, traps, lighters, matches, and grills all became hot barter items, but mostly it was a scramble to barter for processed food items that existed within the system prior to the bombings. Everyone knew that these would not last long.

------------------------

It seemed surreal to Martin as he, his wife, and two young daughters made their way north along the rail road tracks on the east side of the Hudson River. Martin had been a Wall Street professional, one of the thousands of well-paid foot soldiers that ground out the work for the “Masters of the Universe”, the day before the bombings, but had recently finished his Talmudic studies and had been ordained a Rabbi in Israel just 9 months earlier. His yeshiva was gone, his friends were gone, and his country was gone.

No, I am an American. I am a Jew, but I am an American.

They carried their clothes on their backs. Mercifully, he thought to himself, it was not winter, or this trek would not be possible. He and his family carried all of their worldly possessions on their backs. He was thankful that he and his wife had kept the backpacks they had used in Europe over a decade ago, while the girls used the backpacks that kids now used as book bags. They had a change of clothes, sleeping bags, and some food, plus the items that he would need to lead the family in observance of their traditions.

Martin was well educated, as was his wife. It was now 8 weeks since the bombings. They were lucky, as Martin’s wife, Miriam had always kept 3 months of food in the home in case of emergencies. Actually, the tradition came from her mother, Ruth, a Jewish survivor of the Nazi war in Europe.

Ruth’s family placed her with a Catholic family in the Polish countryside in what at the time was thought to be an overabundance of caution. It wasn’t. Ruth’s family was lost to the world in the Holocaust. The Catholic family that was hosting Ruth were righteous folk, risking their lives to hide her. Once, as the Nazi’s were approaching the farming village where Ruth was in hiding, the mother of the house took her into the woods and told Ruth not to move until she returned. Ruth was 14 at the time, and was left alone in the dark, freezing woods with nothing but a stout wool blanket. Terrified, the young girl looked up at her guardian who said calmly:

“Someone will come back for you. Do not move from this spot. If we are still alive, we will come for you.”

Ruth sat there alone in the twilight, terrified, alone, but not cold. She would always remember the warmth of that woolen blanket, and would knit a woolen blanket for each of her children and grandchildren as they came into the world to honor kind Katrina, the woman who now was disappearing in the distance on her way home to the terror of Nazi soldiers.
Ruth sat there through the night, terribly alone, unsleeping, wondering if they had been killed, or had abandoned her. When she saw the family dog come running toward her the next afternoon, her heart leapt for joy. They were alive, and they had not abandoned her. Ruth learned much living on that farm. How to care for livestock, how to garden and preserve food, and the importance of keeping enough food on hand in case of disasters like crop failure or livestock illness.

It was Katrina’s influence that kept this family unit, on another continent and 60 years later, sustained during the early weeks after the bombings.

Still, the “Writing was on the Wall”. Martin had a background in economics, and knew that the system they had come to rely on for necessities like shelter, heat, food, water, and healthcare no longer existed, and that like the childhood rhyme “Humpty-Dumpty”, was unlikely to be put back together again any time soon. They literally walked out of Manhattan, heading north along the train tracks, making it to Westchester county in one day. He knew that in a forced march situation armies had walked 40 miles in a day. He felt his girls, not yet eleven years old might make 20 miles if pushed hard. He underestimated them. They made it to the village of Hastings that night, after walking for 11 hours.

They had enough food and water in their packs for 3, maybe 4 days, trekking like this. That night they slept in the Hastings train station, and were pleasantly surprised to find that the bathrooms still had running water. They had slept well enough and continued on their way up the railroad tracks north from Hastings, past the villages of Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Irvington, and by early afternoon had come to the village of Tarrytown were Martin hoped to seek assistance from a friend’s brother. The friend and Martin had known each other for over 25 years and had worked together at several Wall Street firms, but Martin’s friend had retired to a hobby farm down south. Still, Martin felt he could reach out to the brother and seek assistance. He wasn’t looking for much, just some food for their backpacks and a safe place to rest before continuing their journey.

Martin had a general idea of where Walt Thomas lived, as he had reviewed the address in his address book with a map he found on-line. With Miriam and the girls in tow, he trudged up Main Street. The buildings appeared dark on either side of him, and many people were milling about Main St. with little or nothing to do. As there were no cars on the road, the family walked in the middle of the Street. Earlier this summer doing so might have cost them their lives, but there was little danger to pedestrians of being struck by a car now.

-------------------

Walt Thomas was at his computer surfing the web when reports started to come in that a major “destructive event”, perhaps an earthquake, had hit Tehran. He thought little of it, earthquakes happen after all, and thankfully they usually happen to someone else. About 45 minutes after the first reports of Iran’s “event”, reports started to come over the web that a major “destructive event” had just been reported in Israel. Within minutes, all news sites were reporting that perhaps a nuclear catastrophe had taken place, when the reports started to come in that Pakistan had sustained a nuclear blast. Walt reached for his cell phone. He hit his son’s number on speed dial.

“All circuits are busy. Please try your call again later.”

He waited a minute and redialed his son.

“All circuits are busy…”

Walt got up from his computer, walked to the kitchen and out the back door to his car, got in, and raced his car down the hill to the local grocery store. A volunteer fireman and former boy scout, most of Walt’s family lived in Florida where a hurricane left them without power for 6 weeks. He understood emergencies – people still need to eat, drink, wipe their ass, and wash their hands. He ran into the store to buy supplies of every stripe only to find that he was not alone. Other quick thinking folks had the same idea and were quickly emptying the isles. When he got to the check out counter, Walt was astonished to see that they were still accepting credit cards.

The first report of Iran’s “event” was 72 minutes ago. The first mention of “nuclear” was less than 30 minutes old.

From the grocery store Walt drove to the gas station and convenience store he owned in town. The clerk was behind the counter listening to an Indian pop recording and seemed to have no idea of the events of the past 90 minutes. Walt sent him home with a week’s worth of bread, milk, and eggs telling him to get his family together.

I wonder if there will even be electricity in his house when he gets home.

The lights were still on at the station, so Walt filled his car with gas, grabbed 5, 5 gallon gas containers from inside the store and filled them as well. He walked back into the store, locked the front door behind him, and turned off the pump lights and all of the indoor lights except the “night lights” that were always on for security purposes.

Walt looked up as headlights came into the pump island area of the station. It was his son, Manny. Walt strode to the front door and unlocked it and Manny stepped inside.

“Holy shit!” said Manny

“Holy shit is right.” replied Walt. “Go out back and get every box that will hold something and bring it in here. We’ll take all the food and all of the drinks up to the house. Fill those gasoline cans and put them in the back of your truck, and top off your tank just in case.”

Father and son proceeded to load all of the canned goods, refrigerated foods, snack bags, donuts, sugar, soaps and the rest of the various and sundry products one would expect to find at a gas station’s convenience store without a word between them. After the store was emptied Walt locked the gas pumps, turned off the switch to the pump, and then flipped all of the breakers in the main electric utility box killing all power to the building. He hoped that people would look at the empty shelves and the dark building and perimeter and assume there was nothing left to steal. Of course, there was still 20,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel in the tanks in the ground. But without a “key” for the fill valve and some specialized pumping equipment that fuel would be not easily be stolen. Finally, he located a piece of plywood that had come with some of the wood pallets that the food was delivered on, and spray painted large block letters in bright orange, the only spray paint on hand, “SORRY, NO GAS”, and placed the makeshift sign in front of the front door, which he locked behind him. Manny was still loading boxes into the back of his truck.

“When you’re finished, take everything up to the house and bring everything inside and down into the basement. OK?” Said Walt.

“OK. Where are you going?”

“Down to the shop to get every tool I can fit in the car, and anything else I can think of. I’ll meet you at the house in an hour. Tell your mother to wait there for me and not to leave the house until I get home.”

“K”, said Manny.

It had been less than 3 hours since the news of a nuclear explosion in Iran and Israel, and now Pakistan. The Internet was still operating but the phone system was overwhelmed by the surge in traffic. Walt marveled that the Web, which for him ran over the phone lines in the form of DSL from his local phone company, was still working. Still, there was no official word from the U.S. Government. All of the reports were coming from Bloggers and international news services. The trains coming north from Grand Central Terminal were absolutely packed, standing room only. The express to Tarrytown had just disgorged her passengers, most of whom did not live in Tarrytown but, as no one had any idea who had done what and who was going to be next, were afraid that New York City might be the next target of a nuclear attack. They fled to the train station upon hearing the news taking the next train headed out of the city without concern as to where the train was heading, so long as it was heading away from Manhattan.

Hundreds of people were milling about the train station platform waiting for the next north bound train. Tarrytown is only 35 miles north of mid-town Manhattan, if New York City was to be the sight of the next nuclear attack, 35 miles was not far enough away.

Walt had returned home with his car loaded with anything he could scrounge from his repair shop that might prove valuable in the future. Hand tools, diesel storage cans, paper, pens, a .357 magnum handgun he kept in a safe at the shop because his wife refused to allow the weapon in their home. She did not know about the .22. caliber assault rifle he purchased over a decade earlier that was in their clothes closet behind the suits he never wore and no longer fit him. He had 3 boxes of ammo for the handgun. He wondered how long the ammo kept for, as he had purchased them at the same time as the handgun 5 years ago. He had not fired the weapon since attending the firearm safety class required for a pistol permit.

He drove up the hill from his shop to his home. His wife, Jenny, was outside in the driveway waiting for him.


It had been 3 weeks since the bombings. The 20,000 gallons of fuel at Walt’s gas station had been removed by the National Guard, but not before Walt secured enough diesel to use as heating oil for the coming winter, as well as several hundred gallons that he stored in various containers in his basement. One of his brothers lived on a farm in South Carolina. If things got bad in metro New York he thought he would be able to make the 800-mile drive to his brother’s place, or at least he hoped he would make it there.
He had not worked at his business since the bombings. Most of the fuel in the local gas stations either sold out within hours of the bombings or was seized by the Army. There was no gasoline to sell. People could only travel as far as they could walk or bicycle.
The United States consumes roughly 9.6 million barrels of gasoline per day, nearly 420 million gallons of gasoline each and every day. In addition the U.S. consumes another 11 million barrels of oil for diesel, heating oil, industrial uses, and electricity generation among other uses. Of the 20 odd million barrels per day of liquid petroleum products that the U.S. consumes, nearly 13 million barrels were imported. Those imports had nearly ceased. The continental U.S. had to survive on only the oil it produced, just over 8 million barrels per day. After federal, state, and local governments got through with their requirements, there was little to no fuel available to the general population. Without the lifeblood of the American economy, traditional commerce ground to a halt.



32 comments:

tweell said...

Interesting. I understand that this is a work of fiction, but would like to note several things. First, India hates Pakistan and vice versa. There has been a low-scale conflict (sometimes more than that) between them over the province of Kashmir since the two nations were created. There is no chance that India would nuke Israel for attacking their enemy. I would suggest instead that Syria and/or Egypt attack with bombs purchased from North Korea.
Second, some of those nuclear weapons would be 'squibs', or fail entirely. Dr. Khan, the brilliant nuclear physicist of Pakistan, made a cheap design that can use uranium that has less U235 enrichment so that centrifuging could be used instead of gas diffusion or laser separation. This design has been proven to be not fully reliable, Pakistan and NK have had several failed tests.
Third, the US still has significant oil production. That plus the refineries would be swiftly put under military oversight. This depends somewhat on the federal government leadership, but be assured that the US military will take that action. They have spent a lot of time in Iraq lately, and so know exactly what to do and how to do it. Now if you postulate that the Fedgov hesitates and that domestic terrorists attack the oil supplies before the military gets there, that is plausible.

Anonymous said...

Great story.

This gives a good lesson. When you have more supplies that you can use (i.e. the gas taken by the National Guard), you would be better off sharing with your friends. Friends who then could be called upon in the future to return a favor.

Idaho Homesteader

bureaucrat said...

Disaster and horror sells movie tickets, but has nothing to do with reality. There are LOTS of steps to go before the food is gone, "martial law" is declared and all the people accept a police state. Won't happen in our lifetimes, and the kids will just roll their eyes if they hear this bunk.

As far as Israel goes, they, like Japan, are a dead country for now. Why?

"He who births the most wins"

China destroyed every enemy they ever had by breeding them out of existence. Israel is surrounded by Arab families that, while are grossly incompent when comes to military action, average 8 kids per family. The "modern democracy" that is Israel could not survive with every family having 8 kids, and so it is only a matter of time before Israel is overwhelmed by the size of their neighbors.

The Americans also might decide someday that the $3-5 billion we send Israel (without which Israel wouldn't even exist) would be better spent here. Iran is full of even more incompetence than the Arabs in general, but it isn't unreasonable to say Iran is looking for nuclear power for peaceful purposes -- to drive their economy. Why is that not a possible explanation?

Greg T. Jeffers said...

TWEEL:

Launching nuclear weapons against a neighbor, friend OR enemy, would likely leave a nuclear power to end the threat if at all possible. I gave thought to Syria, but went with India as they are a nuclear power.

Chapter 1 gives some hints as to what was going on that might have lead up to the events of chapter 2...

the rest, if I cannot find a publisher, I will happily post on this site...

by the way, this was just the macro set up... the story winds down to the micro for these and a few other characters.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

I also mentioned that the U.S. has significant oil production 8 million barrels per day.

Anonymous said...

Let's see here.........

Elective foreign US military actions in the 20th century- about 70.

Elective foreign Iranian military actions in the 20th century- 0(zero).

Iran is surrounded by nuclear powers who can keep Iran under control ie Russia, China, Saudi Arabia(?), India, Pakistan. Why do we need to get involved.

Let's see. Iran builds one or two primitive nuclear weapons but it will be many years before competent delivery systems could be devised....so Iran immediately uses those one or two primitive nukes to attack US or Israeli cities.

One primitive bomb to Israel...and Iran then faces 3,000+ sophisticated US nukes and around 500 sophisticated Israeli nukes. Plus maybe a few Russian or Indian weapons.

Result: Iran has committed national suicide and is permanently removed from the world map by US and Israeli nukes. Are they that insane?

Maybe Iran wants a few nukes to deter those western powers who have wreaked constant military and political devastation upon entire middle east for the last century? As well as having drained the region of their only resource- crude oil. And at the point of a gun.

Best,
Marshall

Greg T. Jeffers said...

I also mentioned that the U.S. has significant oil production 8 million barrels per day.

The problem is commerce. In the aftermath of a thermonuclear exchange an overnight 5 to 10% worldwide population decline will disconnect the world banking system - every debt is backed and guaranteed by another. Look at the geography of the region. Saudi Arabia after a Thermo in the straight of Hormuz? Bye. And with it their money and Oil...

The day after even a limited thermo-nuclear exchange, irrespective of the participants, and it is all over for global trade and banking. It is all over for the fiat currencies, it is all over for a lot of things....

DaShui said...

Oh please blow up Hollywood next, then Congress!

bureaucrat said...

I believe the U.S. domestic production of oil these days is 5.5 mbpd, not 8.

Anonymous said...

Might want to rethink storing any petroleum products in a basement.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Bur:

Crude Oil, Condensates and NGL's is about 8 mm per day.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Idaho:

Point well taken.

Dan said...

Richard Fernandez gamed out the problem with nuclear exchanges between states and NGOs about seven years ago in The Three Conjectures. It’s well worth a look.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought here-

It is assumed by some that the Iranian leadership is so insane that, upon coming into possession of a nuke, would immediately attack a western population center. The fact that they would be committing national suicide would not theoretically be any concern for them.

However, it is widely known that Iran presently has vast assymetrical warfare assets ie terror,intelligence, and other capabilities.

If the Iranian leadership is so totally insane and ready to commit national suicide, why have they not been using those assymetric warfare assets all along to launch a constant series of terror attacks on the west???

It seems to me that the rush to war over Iran has more to do with oil and US(and western) control in the ME. Not because Iran is any kind of threat- especially to the US.

Best,
Marshall

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Marshall:

What rush to war?

What rush to war are you seeing? Perhaps you are arguing that we are being "set up" in the media? Perhaps.

I have no idea how Iran will unfold... other than to say that if the world allows Iran to become nuclear power, the odds of nuclear catastrophe increase exponentially.

Stephen B. said...

What follows isn't really a new story to those that follow things like the Alaska Pipeline, but it goes into the details and implications of what is about to happen to it and Alaskan North Slope oil in the not too distant future:

http://www.adn.com/2010/08/14/1410317/dwindling-flow-poses-trans-alaska.html#ixzz0wgfvov3J

What it really means is that within the next few years, North Slope - Pipline oil production (which comprises the vast majority of Alaskan oil production) is going to come to a sudden halt. That's 14% of current US domestic production.

Ouch.

PioneerPreppy said...

Hey Greg

Sorry I missed the discussion as I was gone all weekend with the GF.

Great Story. Any opinions I might have had regarding India etc Tweell expertly covered as he usually does.

The flow was excellent, perhaps a bit fractured in the "Jews around New York" section. Some of the info presented amounted to disconnected facts but by todays standards that is part of the writers art.

Good general background set up with major players in the last section.

I would change the .22 assault rifle part to either just assault rifle or .223 or 5.56 any serious end of the world nut would zero in on that. I assume that would be your major market :)

Also although I agree with your "travel restriction" I also think that much like in Fortchen's novel "One Second After" the cities would send out large population groups to rural areas to ease food needs. Just a thought.

In the end it made me focus on the story and thats the most important part. The myriad possibles are fun to discuss but the meat and bones of the story are what counts.

Good job.

Dextred1 said...

Marshall,

Can Iran eat it's oil. They were and are a MESS. When you say things like west takes their oil and the such, what exactly do you mean? That we trade them continually weaker dollars for oil? That could be true, but I don't think we buy anything from them (mostly china, Japan, Europe?) You are naive if you don't think that their is some serious religious hatred that is aimed at Israel from Iran. It is simple why they don't want to bring to much heat on themselves, so they can starve off the west just a little longer (don't forget they supply weapons in Iraq to the Shiite militias).

A majority of Shiite Muslims traditionally believe that the “12th Imam” (Islamic religious leader), born in 868 A.D., was placed by God into hiding (known as occultation) until the day of judgment. the major eschatological question for Shiite Muslims is when the Mahdi’s return will take place and many hold the belief that the time is near. The increasing clash with Israel and that with Christianity are two indications to Shiites that the Mahdi’s return could be near. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been cited by various news sources as not only believing in the eventual return of the Mahdi, but that the return is near and that it is the responsibility of the Iranian government to prepare the country for his return. Many Shiite Muslims believe that they can start the conflict that will cause the return of Mahdi. A fun little fact about Mahmmoud Ahmadinejad is that he is a Jew, even has a special symbol on his identification to show it. So maybe he is trying to prove something to himself, destroying the avowed enemy of every Muslim on earth would be a good start in his book.

Jeffers,

Enjoyable so far, you publish and I will buy.

I think the most important things that this account made me ponder is for the government to rework purchase agreements with local oil providers (i.e. Mexico and Canada and make their oil companies flush with exploration money). Also influence some damn elections in the good old CIA way in Venezuela and get more of that in locked purchase agreements. I suppose every oil company in the nation by this point would be in total exploratory mode.

Donal Lang said...

Greg; you are making the mistake that American foreign policy continues to make. The reason Iran wants nuclear weapons is because of Israel! The reason Israel is so damned belligerent is because America backs it, whatever the regime does. The reason Israelis feel justified is killing anyone they want to, anywhere in the world, is because their grandparents were persecuted in Germany (and Rusiia, and....).

At some point you have to realise that it doesn't work to nuke people! (or threaten to). YOU were saying the same thing a couple of posts ago, relating to Japan.

Personally I see a lot of parallels between Israel's treatment of Palestinians and Nazi treatment of Jews before WW2. It's like an abused kid grows up to be an abuser.

It's way past time America fulfilled its humanitarian obligations and stopped Israel in it's tracks, especially regarding Palestine. Its generating so much hatred in the M.E. that the USA is going to get pulled into the next World War.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Donal:

Not an accurate characterization of my thoughts.

I play chess. This is how I see the chess game as the current pieces are currently arrayed... I cannot change the position of the board by edict. Israel IS here, and Israel is a Nuclear armed nation of people that might, in fact, be suffering from some sort of persecution complex...

But let us be realistic, fair, and accurate. The Israeli's REACT to violence and attack... In supporting Israel I DO NOT support each and every policy decision that their government's make, any more than I support each and every policy decision of MY governments.

We are HERE. Not where we wish to be. There's the way it ought to be, and then there is the way that it is. Right now, in order to avoid further nuclear proliferation, and to a nutty Theocracy that STONES people for alleged adultery, there are certain strategies that must be considered.

This is not to say that if the WORLD does all of these things that the results will, in fact, be as desired.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Further, I never said that an attack on Iran by the U.S. was a very good idea. I am not a military man so I do not know the propriety of destroying Iran's nuclear facilities, either.

My sense is to survive the next couple of decades WITHOUT a nuclear armed Iran. We the oil ceases to flow out of the MIddle East, which is likely LESS THAN 20 YEARS AWAY, I think the issue will likely be moot.

Let us survive this time period absent a nuclear exchange between these 2 groups, as the ROW will NOT survive such at outcome

Dextred1 said...

Donal,

You realize you just engaged in one of the most blatant case of hyperbole I have ever read. The Jews have made mistakes, but to compare them to the Nazi’s makes you sound ridiculous. The Jews received the land legally. The current Jordanians that we call Palestinians were left their by the Jordanian government in order to create strife when they closed their borders to their own people. The land was barren of anything when the British let the first Jews back to their homeland in the early 1920’s. By the time the United Nations recognized them they had already revived much of the land growing most of their own food, built housing, industry and made major strides in their military. In 1948 the day they became a state they were attacked by an alliance of Muslim nations. NOBODY thought they would survive this, but they did. Did the Muslims attack this time because of any of your reasons, I doubt it. Israel kicked their A** by the way and all this other crap has nothing to do with anything but a case of hatred of Jews by Muslims and I would suppose with the history, the same things from the Jews toward the Muslims. What if you had a bunch of crazy bastards firing rockets, blowing themselves up and shooting your neighbors with small arms almost daily, what would you do?

As for the us getting pulled in the next world war it would always have happened, that being us stepping in. Could we really just sit back and watch the largest suppliers of Oil in the world go in to a complete dysfunction?

PioneerPreppy said...

With Russia sending nuclear material to Iran and along with China ignoring the UN sanctions they agreed to I seriously am beginning to think Greg's chapter may come to pass.

Regardless of the past right or wrongs Israel is too close to what so many people out there think of as the old white male America. Therefore it has become a target for even those non-muslims around the world.

Dan said...

Considering the effects from all the ridiculous nuclear “testing” over the last 65 years, the equivalent to a major nuclear war, I surmise a nuclear war would not be the civilization ending calamity it is purported to be. Directly targeted areas excepted.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Hi Dan:

I do not think the world's financial system would last 1 DAY after an exchange like the one I envisioned.

Not 1.

Of course, I could be wrong... but I think not.

Israel is a beautiful place to visit - having been to the Israel and some of the Muslim countries, I would rather beat my toes off with a hammer than live ANYWHERE in the muslim world and would very much enjoy living in Israel. This is not an indictment of Muslims or Islam... these are sovereign nations and if I don't like it I don't have to go there... just my own observation.

For reasons that elude me, the American Left - a Left DOMINATED by Jews - is unsupportive of Israel. WTF??!! I think they have it ALL WRONG.

Israel has a RIGHT to exist. Yes, they also have a responsibility to act RESPONSIBLY. Iran has a right to exist, and a responsibility to act RESPONSIBLY. At this moment, to my mind, that includes not becoming a nuclear armed Theocracy.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

PP:

The U.S. shot down an Iranian airliner by mistake.

Given the proximity, there is a significant probability for error on someone's part at some point. Israel would have a hair trigger should Iran, considering their rhetoric, come into the nuclear powers click.

I think we agree that this is an unacceptable situation for the ROW.

The U.S. has made incalculably dumb strategic moves in Afghanistan and Iraq, actions that might lead to a nuclear armed Iran.... I really think Chess should be REQUIRED in high school and college. Maybe then we might have politicians, diplomats and a military that can see a couple moves ahead.

Actually, that is probably not fair. I am sure the military had thought thru this...

PioneerPreppy said...

For reasons that elude me, the American Left - a Left DOMINATED by Jews - is unsupportive of Israel. WTF??!! I think they have it ALL WRONG.

A left dominated by feminist hatred of White Males and anything Western European in origin. They are anti-white feminist first and Israel has been the old America's closest ally.... It must fall.

PioneerPreppy said...

I am sure your right about the military thinking through it but the military currently has it's hand's tied.

If Israel strikes Iran within the next 7 days it will fall from International pressure.

If Israel doesn't strike it we will see Iran and their allies become bolder and bolder until something happens... Then Israel will fall.

I just don't see anyway around it, but I hope I am mistaken and just a worry wart.

Dextred1 said...

Jeffers,

I had never thought about repercussions of a Middle East nucleaur conflict in this way. I understood all of the issues before, but it really brought it to light in my mind that the cities would fail and quickly with most people leaving to go stay with family and friends. I just kind of assumed that they would slowly die through starvation, failing infustructure, ponzi scheme pensions and benefits for city/state/federal workers, collapsing tax revenue and lack of control by the authoritys (police, fire, fema, etc). Slowly meaning over a 5-15 yr window. But looking at it, I think the scenario would get crazy rather quickly.

Nice to see other angles like the middle east very soon relizing that they have little else the world desires. The don’t produce well anything really. With the waning exporting excesses of oil we could be looking at a area that would return to a very primitive lifestyle quickly with a major loss of life even without the nuke thing. Well if stoning women is not primitive enough for you. They don’t produce much food in those inhospitable arid climates you know. Very provocative post.

kathy said...

On another subject Greg. If you plan on writing a book, I have a couple of suggestions for you. First. Get to a college and take a course on what it takes to get published. I had written my first book in 1990 and took such a course at UMASS when I finished. It was instrumental in helping me find an agent and then a publisher. I would also suggest either taking a course in writing fiction or joining a writer's group. The feedback is really useful and the structure helps keep one on task. The final thing is to go to a bookstore and get a Writer's Guide. It's the best $50.00 bucks you will ever spend. A subscription to Writer's Digest or The Writer is also a good spend. Both are periodicals with a ton of useful information. Another thought (the last one. I promise)Read all the doomer porn you can get our hands on. The good stuff leaps out at you and the bad stuff will show you what to avoid. PM me if you want to talk publishing.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Kathy:

Thank you! I will take you up on all of your suggestions and offers.

sth_txs said...

Israel is our best friend? :LOL:

The ones that spy on us, helped with 9/11 happening, and still receive billions in aid?

I frankly don't care at this point whether Israel continues to exists. It has been a drain and waste of money with no net benefits. Let them have it.