Friday, March 30, 2007

One Oil Refinery

Did you know that Iran has one, and only one, oil refinery that produces gasoline? I didn't, until I read a portion of the transcript of Hugh Hewitt's recent radio interview with Newt Gingrich:
HH: Now let’s get to the first major issue of the day, which is Iran. Mr. Speaker, if the United Kingdom feels obliged to use force, if diplomacy fails to get their people back, will you applaud?

NG: I think there are two very simple steps that should be taken. The first is to use a covert operation, or a special forces operation to knock out the only gasoline producing refinery in Iran. There’s only one. And the second is to simply intercede by Naval force, and block any tankers from bringing gasoline to Iran.

HH: Would you do, would you urge them.

NG: And say to the Iranians, you know, you can keep the sailors as long as you want, but in about 30 days, everybody in your country will be walking.

What stuns me is that I have heard this nowhere else. I had assumed that in the current hostage crisis we had no military options other than to pulverize Iran. I expect that virtually everyone else in this country and in Britain continues to assume that to be the case. Why isn't every politician in both countries trumpeting the fact that there is a powerful, low-violence alternative? Why aren't the media talking heads and "experts" doing so?

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