Friday, July 20, 2007

Confronting Iran

At the end of June the Iranian government suspended gas rations. Iran has the world's third largest oil reserves and yet despite that fact Iran imports about 50% of its petrol needs. The reason is that Iran sells gas at well below market price to its citizens. Anyone with any proficiency knows what happens when government, or anyone, sets artificial price ceilings. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Iran had to finally ration gas. I can only assume that the mullahs and their current mouthpiece, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, set price ceilings as a way to bribe the citizenry so that they don't revolt while they commit anyone of their many other evil deeds upon them. What the mullahs can't get around is basic economic principles. If this country, with the third largest oil reserve, imports about half their own oil, and now they have to ration their gas, well then this is a government ripe to fall, especially with the right push.

Dick Morris has been writing about this for months. In this latest column he highlighted an interesting poll. It turns out that the Iranian poll arn not only overwhelmingly against nuclear development if that means further isolation, against supporting Iranian proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas, while 55% would recognize Israel if it meant restoring trade agreements. In fact, the people rebuke the regime itself by a margin of 61-27 and embrace democracy by 79-14. Clearly, there is a total disconnect between the regime itself and the people it governs.

He has highlighted a group called Disinvest terror has been pushing the state pensions to disinvest from companies that currently do business with Iran. So far, they have succeeded in California, Florida and Ohio. Texas is also taking steps to do the same. Iran is already teetering on the edge of economic collapse. What would happen if a state like New York joined California, Florida and Ohio in disinvesting from any company that does business in Iran. If all fifty state pensions did like the current three, I believe the Iranian economy would finally tip over.

What this campaign needs is a grass roots effort. Ifeveryone reading this contacted their own state office to demand that their state go the way of Florida, Ohio and Texas than that would be a start. If everyone reading this visited the site to see other ways they could help, that would be even better. If this sort of economic isolation was combined with whatever limp sanctions the United Nations came up with it WOULD be devastating to the Iranian economy and just may make the regime fall.

Furthermore, this effort would need to be combined with an effort to support those groups that are themselves working to bring freedom and Democracy in Iran. A simple Google search of Iranian freedom finds many such groups, like this, and this. Movements to bring freedom to Iran are everywhere however they are weak and need help. The first thing they need is cash. I say this because I believe that there are conservatives everywhere organized and ready for a cause, and they all should be flushed with cash. I say this because there should be Conservatives everywhere that just recently were part of an effort to defeat the Senate Amnesty bill. Many of them swore that politicians and political parties were no longer going to get their money. In other words, their money is in need of a cause.

These efforts must be further combined with the State Department further isolating Iran. Rather than meeting to discuss Iraq, the Middle East, or anything else, our State Department should be encouraging allies to pull their Ambassadors in an effort to further isolate the regime.

These three things combined together has a legitimate chance of bringing the regime down peacefully. Many of us say that war is inevitable, but here is an opportunity to take down the regime peacefully and I hope everyone reading this sees the same opportunity to bring down this evil regime.

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