Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Iranian war.

Pamela at Atlas Shrugs posted on how we’ve been at war with Iran since October 2001. She points to a Weekly Standard article on how Iran secretly agreed to assist the Taliban in it’s war with America. I’ve been saying this for years. The first Declaration of War was the invasion of US soil in the 1979 embassy takeover. Iranian funded Hezbollah carried out the Beirut bombing that killed 241 U.S. Marines. Iran supported another terror cell that in 1996 truck bombed the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. 19 Americans were killed and 372 wounded.Terrorists, including Al Qaeda, are being trained in Iran and allowed to use its border to cross into Iraq. Sadr’s rebellion was financed by Iran. Spies have been caught and confessed on videotape. Arms have been stopped at the Iran Iraq border including timers, detonators, and sophisticated explosives. Iran was probably behind the bombing of the Golden Dome. Sadr certainly has taken advantage of it.

Our response to the war has been to ignore it. We calmly accept hundreds of dead and wounded because they happen sporadically and are caused by surrogates. Also there don’t seem to be a lot of good options available. The MSM has pretty much soured the country on Iraq, another conflict with Iran would have little support. Things may be coming to a head soon however. The US will take the Iranian nuke matter to the UN Security Council. One assumes we will have Chinese and Russian backing on at least some penalties. Congress is calling for sanctions against companies or nations that invest in Iran's energy sector even though that may split the international coalition against Iranian nukes. Iran in response threatens us with higher oil prices. I would prefer a blockade of Iranian ports but if they voluntarily cut off their oil that would have the same effect. Of course it’s one thing to cut them off completely as opposed to Iran shortening the supply but the Iranian economy is already in sad shape and any further pressure will hurt them more than us. From the CIA factbook:
Iran's economy is marked by a bloated, inefficient state sector, over reliance on the oil sector, and statist policies that create major distortions throughout. Most economic activity is controlled by the state.
11.2% (2004 est.) unemployment, 40% (2002 est.) below the poverty level, 16% (2005 est.) inflation, $48.82 billion in revenue and $60.4 billion in expenditures, (2005 est.) and a public debt 27.5% of GDP (2005 est.). Higher oil prices will certainly hurt the economy but if the US sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold. Iran may price its oil to such an extent that the result could mimic the OPEC fiasco of the 70s. When the dust settled the world had responded with more exploration, more energy conservation, more investment in alternative sources and less dependence on OPEC. I would not mind that happing again, especially given that our reliance on Mid East oil is funding our enemies. Hamas will be looking to Iran to make up what aid it will lose from the US and any other counties with backbone enough to withhold aid. That will further tax Iran’s economy. Strong pressure on Iran’s economy will also strengthen opposition to the Mullahs. The senior Iranian security official that promised us "harm and pain" also said "So if the US wishes to choose that path, let the ball roll”. Yes, let the ball roll.


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