My View From The Country

Gas Prices, Election Are Keys In Beef Demand

Things look great for the U.S. beef industry; what could possibly mess that up?

Industry economists seem to be unanimous in their thinking that times and prices in the beef business will continue to be extremely good – unless some outside force comes along to mess it up. Let’s talk about some potential issues.

Iran’s nuclear program is one issue that could do just that. It’s generated a considerable amount of saber rattling in recent weeks, as Israel’s leaders have talked openly about the possibility of a military attack on Iran. Most experts believe such preemptive action could initiate a regional conflict that would likely cause oil prices to skyrocket. And, higher energy prices could put the world’s struggling economy into a tailspin.

Of course, most of these same experts also believe Israel can’t just sit by and allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. After all, Iranian leaders have made their feelings regarding Israel very clear. Plus, an Iran with nuclear capabilities would further destabilize the Middle East and severely harm the strategic interests of the Western World and its allies in the Middle East. 

Yet, with all this agreement, there are vastly different goals among the players, with some of those suspiciously centering around election-year politics. The general consensus is that Israel doesn’t have the military capacity to sustain a prolonged air attack on Iran; Israel certainly can start it but probably can’t finish it on its own. The U.S. is the only country with that capability. Israel also doesn’t possess the bunker-busting ammunitions needed – as the U.S. does – to take out Iran’s underground facilities.

However, the U.S. views the military option as one that can be entertained later, and prefers to allow diplomacy and economic sanctions more time to work. Israel, on the other hand, feels the window of opportunity to conduct a successful military campaign against Iran’s nuclear program is disappearing. Meanwhile, Iran is hoping to buy enough time to fulfill its nuclear ambitions and/or take its nuclear program underground, both literally and figuratively.

Everyone agrees Israel can’t allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, but the Obama administration can’t afford a military attack. An armed conflict would greatly harm President Obama’s election prospects, as a result of rising fuel prices and their potential effect on a very fragile global economy.

In the past, Israel has willingly put aside its national interests based on assurance that the U.S. had its back. One of the most obvious examples occurred during the first Iraq war. Deferring to U.S. wishes, Israel absorbed countless missile attacks by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, who tried his hardest to draw Israel into the conflict in order to widen the war and win support from Arab nations.

However, Israel no longer seems to believe the U.S. – and the Obama administration specifically – has its back; nor is Israel convinced that the U.S. is willing to act in time. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has been doing everything possible to reassure Israel about U.S. resolve and exhort it not to act on its own.

The upcoming election is crucial in a lot of ways – not only to the U.S., but to Israel. The great irony is that both men – Obama and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu – have made no secret that they neither like nor trust each other. Still, they find themselves tied to each other for their own survival.

Discuss this Blog Entry 3

Anonymous (not verified)
on Mar 9, 2012

This election goes way beyond the fundamentals of jobs ,fuel, education, food prices, its about a fundamental
major change in the United States, Do you, we believe Big Government is the solution or do you believe in individual responsibility and the private sector power of growth, In actual fact based politics, its a no brainier also in the belief the American people are No Braininers this election could go either way. You have a President with no real accomplishment besides designing a country that is completely unsustainable. Keep , borrowing and spending, in the name of the collective good, his 'Obamas vision is not economically feasible regardless of how You Feel. its about reality we can't grow a country with Obamas vision or implementation, no real energy policy, "except a conceptual push for unaffordable green energy, we use 30 million barrels A Day, times that by 44 gallons " a barrel of Oil" a day. So your going to push algae, solar, wind, which personally I would benefit from.Electric cars which can't pull a trailer or fit a big person and his or hers family. Yes you all might suggest with merit but the Republicans spend spend to much money to, well yes they did but the point is we know where Obama wants to go, as the other side history is fragile it is a must to give the other guy a chance to push for a saner
path , which can't afford a large federal government , one that would be better off privatizing a large part of Government agencies or more likely do away with agencies that were never conceived of by the constitution in the first place, Lets face it the Federal and most State Governments have done nothing efficiently or profitable ever, its suppose to be there to defend our country and make sure we play fair, Thats it, as far as Social Security, money the Government spent along the way instead of managing it for our retirement all needs to be fixed. Obamas is everything we don't need at this or any time, alone he has fragmented this great country verbally on a regular bases, also causing a class warfare, which if history is still the end results will hurt the middle class the greatest , this shouldn't be about what oil is going to do about the elections its about a ideologue, and his vision for a unsustainable country, we will be the future Greece,

Barry Jones (not verified)
on Mar 11, 2012

I am not a Republican nor a Democrat, but it is not the President's fault on why our country is in the shape that it is. It is big corporate greed that has gotten us into this mess. Take for instance the gas prices. There is plenty of gas, but the oil companies are price takers and therefore will continue to raise the price of a gallon of gas until Americans raise hell, which they will not do. Therefore the price of gas continues to climb and will reach a certain plateau for a little while. Each time the bottom level is raised a few cents.


Anonymous (not verified)
on Mar 9, 2012

How does this author know what Isreal does or does not have.(Bunker Busters)
Isreal is quite a capable little country..... Not to mention She has God on her side.......

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.


Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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