Thursday, March 01, 2007

Newt Gingrich Is A Freaking Idiot

From wingnut central, there are reports on Newt Gingrich's comments last night in a debate with Mario Cuomo.Sure, I have mocked Newt's giraffe hunting analogies, as well as his lack of faithfulness to his wives, but another thing that is incredibly understated about Newt is that he has some really crazy ideas. He is a historian, the conservatives say. He's actually got ideas about things other than hitting Jack Abramoff up for more money. Here is historian Newt discussing the Iran situation.

He suggested that “a country that did not insist on putting its secrets on page one of the New York Times would in fact be able to have industrial sabotage” against Iran’s only oil refinery, which would render Iran dependent on imported gasoline and hasten the collapse of the current regime.

Firstly, what a dick. That being said, Gingrich apparently has no flipping clue as to why the Iranians have issues with us. In 1933, Brittish businessmen decided it would be a good idea to represent the Iranian oil companies themselves in signing a 28 year oil rights contract with the puppet government of Iran. Also in this contract was a clause that allowed them to extend the contract from it's end in 1961 to 1993 for a total of 60 years, at a fixed price. That meant, screw inflation or the price of oil, they would still only receive the same amount per barrel. Great long term planning, not so good for Iran.

In 1950, parliament member Dr. Mohammed Mossadeq lobbied to get the contracts voided. In March 1951, they were ended and two months later he was elected Prime Minister. You can probably figure out the rest. The CIA and Brittish intelligence helped engineer a coup that overthrew him in 1953 to place Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in as a puppet. He became better known as the Shah of Iran. He was very pro-western friendly of course. Not so friendly to his people, who often ended up tortured if his authority was questioned.

This was the background that most Americans didn't know in 1979 as the radicals in Iran finally overthrew him. Iran was not a radical country until his rule formented fundamentalism in a great way as a backlash against his subservience to the west.

Newt Gingrich's answer to the Iranian crisis is therefore retarded. Crippling the Iranian oil industry by destroying their refinery is not going to make the citizens of Iran jump up with joy and praise the shrewd thinking of Newt "the giraffe" Gingrich. It will actually strengthen the radical elements, and anger the moderate elements in the nation. We may be willfully ignorant of our history with Iranian oil, but Iranians aren't.

Conservative activists are talking up Newt Gingrich now as the heir apparent to Ronald Reagan. They are more correct than they could ever know.