I heard today that the price of gas somewhere in Florida is $6 a gallon. At the gas station closest to where I live, the price is near $3.50. There are many reasons why the price of gas has gone up lately. Some of these reasons I understand while other reasons are not so clear to me. One reason in particular is crystal clear. A large percentage of the oil that the world depends upon is exported from the Middle East. You add that to the fact that there is instability in that part of the world, and you have one of the major factors in the crazy high gas prices.
It seems as if talk of Iran, and its strivings for nuclear weapons (yes, I know they are saying they intend it for power only, but does anyone really believe that) is in the news constantly these days. The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, denies the Holocaust, and repeatedly says Israel should be wiped off the map. Yet, he is allegedly the more rational when compared to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who holds more of the power. It has been rumored that at one point the Supreme Leader overruled Ahmadinejad when he was ready to compromise in a nuclear dispute. So you have two lunatics who can’t even agree with each other about how to run a country. That country has long been known to be a sponsor of terrorist organizations, has committed acts of terrorism, and has regularly burned American flags while cursing the country. Now, according to some reports, that country, Iran, is on the verge of creating a nuclear bomb.
The leaders of our country, however, tell us in so many words, not to worry. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “We are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor.” I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination – just a guy who reads the newspaper, but I have to say, ‘are you kidding me?’ These two people mentioned above are rational? Is he saying we should just talk to them as President Obama said we should do when he came to office which failed miserably? Some people can’t be spoken to. It reminds me of a Brady Bunch episode. Peter gets into a fight trying to defend his little sister, Cindy, from a bully. His parents, Mike and Carol tell him to go back to the bully and talk with him – he will listen to sense, they believe. When this doesn’t work, Mike tries talking to the bully’s father. When that doesn’t work, Carol tries talking to the mother of the bully certain that women can talk things out reasonably. This fails as well. In the end, they give Peter boxing lessons and he ultimately ends up knocking the teeth loose of the bully who clearly will not be bothering Cindy anymore.
Sometimes countries, like bullies, are not reasonable. We expect people to be rational if we are. That expectation is naïve and can lead to greater damage in the long run. I don’t know what the answer is in dealing with Iran, but I do know that a military strike needs to be a real consideration. Six dollars for a gallon of gas stinks. A bully with a deadly weapon capable of causing massive amounts of casualties stinks a whole lot more