Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Iran Drumbeat Continues

An organization I had never heard of before, the American Foreign Policy Council, has started showing 30 second TV ads trying to gin up fear and opposition to Iran. Running TV ads is a pretty expensive business. I wonder where a relatively obscure foreign policy 'think' tank gets the money to run TV ads??? I'd be willing to bet this money comes from the US government. If you go to the link provided above you'll see that these ads are mere propaganda pieces that the right has used to generate fear and hatred against perceived 'enemies.' Although these ads don't yet call for military action against Iran they are the prelude to such calls. Let us consider some facts about Iran that might be worth considering.

Since Iran is a very mountainous country, getting tied down trying to defeat them would be far more difficult than Iraq. Iran is approximately four times the size of Iraq. Iran’s population is 2.4 times the size of Iraq’s population. The advocacy of aerial military bombing of Iranian nuclear facilities would surely motivate Iran to try to seek revenge in whatever effective way it could and one possibility would be to interrupt its oil exports and send the price of oil high enough to trigger a worldwide recession. Iran could also become more actively involved in helping Iraqi insurgents to oppose us. It could also try to sabotage the Saudi oilfields which are just across the Persian Gulf from Iran.

Wikipedia: “Iran is OPEC's second largest oil producer, as it exports between four and five million barrels of oil per day; moreover, it holds 10% of the world's confirmed oil reserves. Iran also has the world's second largest natural gas reserves (after Russia).”

In 2005 Iran exported 856,000 barrels of oil per day to Europe, 597,000 barrels per day to Japan, and 205,000 barrels per day to South Korea.

Iran is also a country with many people who have been educated in the U.S. and there are a very considerable number of Iranians who have a friendly attitude toward the U.S.

Although trying to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons is a good idea, just as nuclear non-proliferation is a good idea, the Bush administration's deal to help India's nuclear program, to resrve our right to develop new nuclear weapons, to blink at Israel's nuclear weapons, etc., makes our hypocrisy quite clear to foreigners and makes it less likely we can successfully negotiate with Iran. But negotiate we should, and we will have to be willing to offer something of value to them if we wish to be successful.


Anonymous said...

The American Foreign Policy Council is a very secretive organization. The Wikipedia entry on the AFPC is marked "The neutrality of this article is disputed... This article or section is written like an advertisement."

It takes a bit of doing, but there is a list of officers:

A quick look at the people who are associated with the AFPC:

HERMAN PIRCHNER, JR. is the president and founder. In an article in The American Conservative, he and the AFPC are described as "Herman Pirchner Jr., president of an innovative think tank close to the Republican Party"

James S. Robbins (AFPC Senior Fellow in National Security Affairs) is also a National Review Online contributing editor.

Ilan Berman is listed as AFPC Vice President for Policy; he is also a frequent contributor to National Review Online and the American Spectator.

I think it's safe to say that the AFPC is not what you would call a "neutral" or "unbiased" source for these ads.

Anonymous said...

I think that this was pretty insightful...

Good work Mr. Bond.