The article is from today’s, August 26, 2006, The New York Times and was written by Thomas L Friedman, original title: “Daddy Will pay for the War”.
I’m not sure yet who’s the winner in the war between Hezbollah and Israel, but I know who’s the big loser: Iran’s taxpayers. What a bunch of suckers.
Isn’t it obvious? As soon as the reckless war he started was over, Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, declared that Hezbollah would begin paying out cash to the thousands of Lebanese families whose homes were destroyed. “We will pay compensation, a certain amount of money for every family to rent for one year, plus buy furniture for those whose homes were totally destroyed,” said Nasrallah. “These number 15,000.”
Nasrallah also vowed that his organization would help rebuild damaged houses and businesses, promising those affected that they will “not need to ask anyone for money or wait in queues” to get re-lief funds. To paraphrase, “You’re in good hands with Hezbollah.”
But wait — where will Hezbollah get some of the $3 billion-plus needed to rebuild Lebanon? Last time I checked, Hezbollah did not have any companies listed on the Nasdaq. The organization doesn’t manufacture anything, It doesn’t tax its followers. The answer, of course, is that Iran will dip into its oil income and ship cash to Nasrallah, so that he will not have to face the wrath of Lebanese for starting a war that reaped nothing but destruction.
Yes, thanks to $70-a-barrel oil you can have Katyusha rockets and butter at the same time. When oil money is so prevalent., why not? Hezbollah and Iran are like a
couple of rich college students who rented Lebanon for the summer, as if it were a beach house. “C’ mon, let’s smash up the place,” they said to themselves. “Who cares? Dad will pay! ” The only thing Nasrallah didn’t say to Lebanese was, “Hey, keep the change.”
Iran’s citizens will pay the bill with their oil income — assuming the ayatollahs actually do what they say.
This is why I am obsessed with bringing down the price of oil. Unless we take this issue seriously, we are never going to produce more transparent, accountable government in the Middle East. Just the opposite — we will witness even more reckless, unaccountable behavior like Nasrallah’s and Iran’s.
Been to Syria lately? Why do you think it can afford to shrug off United States sanctions? It is exporting about 200,000 barrels of oil a day, and that is what keeps a corrupt and antiquated regime in power. The Syrian regime subsidizes everything from diesel to bread. As in Iran, almost half of Syria’s people are teenagers, and without real economic reforms, widespread unemployment and unrest are just around the corner — but for now, oil money postpones the reckoning.
The same with Iran. Iran is OPEC’s second-largest producer, selling the world about 2.4 million barrels of oil a day and earning the regime over $4 billion a month — the government’s main source of income. To buy public support, Iran’s regime subsidizes housing, gasoline, interest rates, flour and rice.
According to an August 2 report on Bloornberg.com, “Iran spent $25 billion on subsidies last year, or more than half the $44.6 billion it collected through crude oil ex-ports.” But Iran actually has to import more than one-third of its gasoline, because it can’t refine enough itself. This became so expensive the regime wanted to ration subsidized gas but feared a public backlash. No wonder. Bloomberg reported that subsidized gasoline in Iran is 34 cents a gallon.
Repressive governments like Iran’s and Syria’s use oil money to buy off their people and insulate themselves from the pressure of political and economic reform. When oil prices get high enough, they can even buy a monthlong war in Lebanon. Why not? It’s like a summer sale: “Now, this summer only: 34 cents-a-gallon gasoline and a war with the Jews and new living room furniture for Lebanese Shiites! Such adeal!”
If we could cut the price of crude in half, it would mean that all of Iran’s oil income would go to subsidies — which would be unsustainable and therefore a huge threat to the regime. It would also make Iran’s puppets, like Nasrallah, think three times about launching wars with Israel that might ravage Lebanon again.
Too bad we have a president who tells us we’re “addicted to oil” but won’t do anything about it. That sort of hypocrisy makes Nasrallah’s day.
I don’t think the Iranians are the biggest sucker since or before the Israeli war on Lebanon. The biggest suckers are the American and the German taxpayers. They have for decades paid for ALL Israeli wars on Palestinians, Syrian, Egypt. Very time an Israeli soldier fire his gun or start up an anti-tank vehicle or an air plane the Israeli Secretary of Finance stick a hose into the American and German taxpayer’s wallet and starts sucking. Israel does not have an industry that can pay for her huge war machine. The Israeli state is not registered at any stock exchange, and still the predatory state Israel can wage war on her neighbours.
If you visited Israel you would NOT find the sort of poverty like the one you can find in both USA and Germany. In Israel every Israeli has medical care partly paid by – yes, you guessed: USA and Germany. You will not find that in USA. USA can NOT secure medical care for her own citizens, but she pays for the care of Israel’s citizens. How about that?
I am sad Mr T L Friedman did not discuss this is his article.
I am also sad Mr Friedman did not mention that every drop of oil or petrol used by Israeli army – all year long – is paid by USA and German taxpayers.
The cost of oil did rise as Israel started her war on Lebanon, and will rise when Israel next time fire up her war machine. Now the oil costs about US $ 70 per gallon. What the price will be next time is impossible to predict, but to Israel’s warmonger that is not a thing they pay any attention to, they or Israel do not pay for oil used in wars. The suckers that pay are USA and German taxpayers.
In closing, and in the face of outright lies and audacity, we can overcome by spreading the truths, and much louder….so please help by sending this message to your friends, and to those who are aware that something is drastically wrong in this world, but can’t understand what is happening; teach them, and they will learn.
Author: Randulf Johan Hansen
Edited by k0nsl.