Friday, August 19, 2005

Enjoy Your SUV, Jackass!

The Wall Street Urinal has an interesting article about how we've managed to bend ourselves over just in time for Iran to come along and give us a pretty sound rogering.

President Bush says the world is "coalescing around the notion" that Iran must be barred from getting nuclear weapons. But two factors -- soaring oil prices and chaos in Iraq -- are giving Tehran new muscle in its diplomatic standoff with Europe and the U.S.

Iran's role as both an oil producer at a time of record prices and as a player in the politics of neighboring Iraq have made it trickier for the Bush administration to get tough on Tehran in the nuclear showdown. The administration has threatened to seek United Nations sanctions against Iran in the fall if the country refuses to accept international oversight of its nuclear program.

For their part, Iran's leaders seem to sense their advantages. In recent weeks, they have made clear they believe they have plenty of leverage and are less vulnerable to economic pressures from the outside. The country's new, hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, recently said "no economic or political incentive can dissuade us from getting peaceful nuclear energy."

And then comes my favorite part (and by favorite, I mean the part that makes me want to cry):
A State Department official said the Bush administration has noted Iran's "new defiance" but believes it is symptomatic of "a new overconfidence by the Iranian regime in its level of international support."

Apparently a State Department official with no sense of self-awareness or irony (see: Iraq war, lead-up to and prosecution of).
High oil prices also have protected Tehran from outside leverage. Not only has the country's economy benefited, but Tehran also has made a successful push in recent years to slash its international debt and to strengthen ties as an energy provider to developing countries such as China and India.

Uh oh.
"Right now, they are fat and happy with the price of oil," Mr. Pollack said. "But that won't bail them out of their long-term economic problems. For that, they need the kind of investments that can only come from outside."

Phew, that's a relief. Wait, outside investment? You mean like, from China and India? I say again: uh oh.

So, to all you soccer moms out there who really, really need that 8000 pound Navigator to drive your two brats to school every morning (god forbid they should take the bus, and the regular cars that everyone managed to do just fine with for about 70 years or so are just too darn small to fit one adult and two small children), Iran thanks you for making their dream of nuclear power (and nuclear god-knows-what-else) a reality.

(Yes, of course I know that there are also other reasons why oil prices are going ape-shit, but I also know that high demand + low supply = $$$$$$$ for oil producers, and I know that SUVs + idiots who don't need them = higher demand for oil. So choke on it.)

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