Dear Craig,

Thank you for this article on your blog, which I very much enjoyed, especially your "Mafia hitmen" analogy.

In your article, you state "The way to accomplish [Iran's defeat] is by waging a massive bombing campaign from high altitude and long distance—and by sustaining this campaign until the Iranian regime is no more. (American soldiers should not be sent in on foot, except as necessary to identify targets or gather intelligence.)"

Obviously, I agree that we must win an overwhelming military victory over Iran in order to end the threat of Islamic totalitarianism. However, I'm not sure this can be done without considerable numbers of American soldiers on the ground there. A long-range bombing at this point would cause oil prices to skyrocket, which could drive Western economies from their current slight unease into a full-blown recession. It seems to me we would be shooting ourselves in the foot, so to speak.

Of course there is much else we should do about this problem, such as abolishing the government controls responsible for our current economic malaise, and allowing drilling of the oil reserves in Alaska—but even if we did all that, our dependence on Middle Eastern oil would still continue for months or years, and we might not have that long to act against Iran.

My question is: wouldn't U.S. troops be needed to take control of the Iranian oil fields and secure the supply lines to the West? Shouldn't we do this in any case to pay for the war, especially given the fact that the oil was stolen from Western oil companies in the first place?

Perhaps you can see a flaw in my analysis, but it strikes me as a possible objection to your position on Iran.

Warm regards,


Dear Andrew,

Thank you for your excellent question.

Yes, the campaign I propose would cause oil prices to spike, but the spike would be just that: a high but short-lived increase.

We exist in a causal environment: Choices have consequences; values entail costs; we have to pay for what we want and what we do. America has for decades evaded the facts concerning Iran and the Middle East; this evasion is what created the current situation—which America must now pay a price to resolve. Should we pay the price with American money—or with the lives of American soldiers?

The life of one American soldier is worth more than any economic costs my proposed campaign would impose on America.

Further, there are ways to spread the costs of the war among others who are responsible for our having to wage it. For instance, as I said in point 5 of "How to Solve America's Terrorism Problem in 5 Easy Steps," after we take out the Iranian regime, we should:

5. Notify the regime in Saudi Arabia that it got lucky and has the option of not being obliterated; that we are prepared instead to seize “its” oil fields and sell them to private industry, in part to pay for the campaign against Iran, and in part to return the fields to private industry where they belong; that it has 24 hours to turn the fields over to our agents; and that if it fails to comply or ignites the fields or does anything to thwart our program, its leaders, like those of Iran, will meet Allah sooner than later.

If we did this—and if we opened ANWR for drilling, and freed American producers to build nuclear reactors, and the like—we would be back on our economic feet in short order.

The solution to our problem is not to sacrifice American soldiers to pay for our prior sins; the solution is to stop sinning and to start thinking and acting selfishly.

Best regards,


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