Our New Ad, Kos Wrapper, and Our Oil Addiction
By Jon Soltz
View story in the original context
PUBLISHED: March 05, 2010
A new television ad today running nationally and in eight states, sponsored by VoteVets.org in conjunction with Operation Free, makes a very clear point - to combat those who would do us harm, and protect America, we don't need more war, we need to cut their funding and effect their ability to cause havoc. One of the best ways to do that, right now, is pass clean energy and climate legislation in Congress, which would cut our oil dependence in half.
In the ad, Chris Miller, who earned a Purple Heart from an IED explosion in Iraq, notes something that our troops and intelligence has known for a long time: New and powerful explosive devices called EFPs (Explosively Formed Projectiles) some created in Iran and introduced into the wars our troops are fighting. Now, those who target troops (both those with ties to Iran and not) know how to make the weapon, which is specifically designed to pierce American armor. Ask anyone who has served in Iraq, and they know about Iranian influence in Iraq. In fact, the leading Shia cleric in Iraq is Iranian, so it's clear Iran has a vested interest and tactical reach in Iraq.
Miller then makes the point that every time a barrel of oil goes up a buck on the world market, that's another $1.5 billion for Iran, helping enable them to continue this kind of activity (not to mention help the regime keep its own people down). Miller concludes, "The connection between oil and the enemy couldn't be clearer. We need to break that connection, by breaking our addiction. And we can. By passing a clean energy climate plan. It'll cut our dependence on foreign oil in half."
And, that's true. The World oil market depends greatly upon Iranian supply and the United States, as the top consumer of oil in the world, significantly drives up oil prices.
While the ad is graphic, it puts our oil addiction into very real world terms, showing the lethal effect it has on our men and women in uniform. That is something that has been absent from the energy debate for too long, and needs to be made clear.
For many progressives, making a security argument in blunt and graphic terms has often been avoided, because they believe it only stokes the flames of war. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, by AVOIDING that argument, progressives have not only ceded the security argument to people like Dick Cheney, but allowed them to gain the upper-hand in proposing a solution to our security issues: More War.
In essence, progressives' reticence to take the troops and security argument on in a visceral way has only helped those who advocate more war.
War is not the first answer - it is a last resort. For years VoteVets.org has believed and said that Iran is a security threat and a direct threat to our troops, precisely because of their tactical reach into Iraq. But we have never, ever, supported going to war with Iran.
In fact, quite the contrary, we've advocated other means to keep Iran in check via our "Stop Iran War" campaign (which you can see here, here, and here). We're not about to start backing war with Iran now.
This ad is merely an extension of that effort, and has the added benefit of backing a bill that would create millions of new American jobs and combat global climate change, which is wreaking havoc on the planet and also has security implications. The last Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) stated that, left to continue, global climate change would have a severe impact on our forces which would be needed to respond to natural disasters and upheaval in the poorest nations of the world.
The American Veterans that VoteVets.org represents will never avoid a security argument. We will never be afraid to call out which nations support killing our troops and actively try to do so. And, we will never let the neo-cons define the way to combat threats to America and her troops.
We're taking this debate back, and we hope you'll be right there with us.
Note: I drafted this last night and couldn't post until now because I wanted to have time to respond to comments and had things to do this morning. This diary in no way was written to start any kind of personal debate with the other rec'd diary on this matter or meant as a direct response. We certainly respect all views.