Friday, January 6, 2012
Beyond Brinksmanship with Iran
Beyond Brinksmanship with Iran
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
January 6, 2012
“Bomb, bomb, bomb; bomb, bomb, Iran,” famously chanted Arizona Republican Senator John McCain during his fateful 2008 presidential campaign to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann.”
Nearly four years later we can look back on that infamous flub and realize that was one of the few correct notions made by McCain during his lackluster run for the White House. Now, in 2012, we are on the precipice of an armed conflict with Iran, either directly or via surrogates such as Israel, who has as much, if not more, at stake in preventing a nuclear Iran from coming to fruition.
In fact, based upon the timidity of this administration to deal with Iran appropriately, it may very well fall upon the narrow shores, but strong shoulders, of the only true ally the United States has in the Middle East. Israel may need to step up to the plate and do to Iran what it did in 1982 to Iraq and eradicate its nuclear capabilities sooner, rather than later.
Iran, under the despotic Ahmadinejad regime, has already declared its intentions when, not if, it attains a nuclear weapon: wipe Israel off the map. This is a task at which the Iranians are feverishly working to accomplish every single day. Should Israel fall, civilization as a whole will begin to tumble like a series of impotent dominos.
“An Iranian nuclear weapon is a mortal threat to the US,” said GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. “Anyone who says to you they won’t use it is out of touch with reality. I think we have a huge interest in not allowing them to get a nuclear weapon,” continued the former House Speaker.
Iran has already threatened a blockade at the Strait of Hormuz as a response to potential sanctions against the Islamic nation. Sadly, sanctions have not worked in the past as Iran has thumbed its nose at the US as well as shunned the United Nations, proving its uselessness as an international body.
The Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the Arabian Sea through which 15.5 million barrels of oil flow daily or 17 percent of the world’s oil. This is deemed the most important oil supply check point in the world.
Iran’s threats and posturing is yet another reason for oil independence. Projects such as the Keystone XL Pipeline, drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Reserve), as well as fracking in the shale in Pennsylvania and the Rocky Mountains would render Iran’s bullying or even an actual blockade moot. It would cost Iran billions of dollars.
An economically crippled Iran could very well lead to the necessary regime change, perhaps without firing a single shot. A destabilized Iran would lead to civil unrest and ultimate ouster of Ahmadinejad. As it stands, most Iranians under 40 years of age are against the current oppressive regime.
The move toward oil/energy independence is clearly win-win for both the United States and Canada. Additionally, conducting more business with our neighbor to the north, Canada, is also positive – as the Keystone XL Pipeline would originate in Hardisty, Alberta.
Furthermore, another move to make Iran irrelevant would be to cultivate a stronger oil relationship with our neighbor to the south, Mexico. A couple of important goals could be accomplished here. The US agrees to purchase more oil from Mexico while the aforementioned projects are underway in the United States. But hinging on that deal with Mexico would be the requirement that the increased jobs in Mexico go to Mexicans illegally in the United States. So many illegal immigrants from Mexico claim they snuck into the US by necessity for work. So again, a win-win for both the United States and Mexico.
There is no time to waste either on becoming energy independent in the United States or in curtailing Iran’s efforts to alter the state of civilization and humanity as we know it. As Ronald Reagan said in his successful 1980 presidential campaign, “the time is now.”
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.