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Re: Fact-Checking Romney’s Comment: Syria is Iran’s ‘Route to the Sea’

In the comments of this post, I’ve had a lot of really stupid criticism of my defense of Mitt saying that Syria was Iran’s “route to the sea.”

I’ll answer the criticisms in no particular order.

1. Yes I cropped the map. Because a map of the entire region looked stupid in the post. I did link to the original, however. Usually when one is trying to manipulate their story they don’t, you know, link to what would allegedly disprove what they’re writing

2. From my original post, I said that Iran could use Syria’s coastline to attack Israel by boat. If this wasn’t clear, I meant little boats.

3. And since I meant little boats, those are incredibly hard to detect. Now I appreciate my detractors noting that there are U.S. assets in the area to “surround” Syria if need be, but those aren’t really good at, say, catching a zodiac filled with terrorists headed to Israel.

4. One thing I didn’t mention is that Syria’s ready access to the Med also gives Iranian terrorists easy passage into Europe through the well established illegal immigration routes already in use. If an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities becomes necessary, the routes could be used to bring the fight to America and our European allies.

5. I do have to admit that the commenters are correct that I failed to mention Iran’s easy “route” to the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan, Israel’s ally borders the sea on the west, but yes. Iran, can, at will, launch the full force of its naval power into the landlocked Caspian Sea to do battle with Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan to their hearts’ content. 

6. One point brought up was whether Iran would move any materials to Syria. Well, since President Obama has failed to get Russia and China in the Security Council to do anything to blockade Assad and his genocidal regime, might I suggest an airplane would be the easiest way to travel from Tehran to Damascus at this time?

7. Hopefully at some future date, this air route is closed and Iran would then have to rely on their proxies operating without impediment in Iraq to help transfer their illicit cargo to their Mediterranean bases. As Josh Rogin reported on Foreign Policy’s The Cable blog, this route is already well established:

For several months, the U.S. government has been urging the Iraqi government to stop Iran from supplying arms to the Syrian regime through commercial flights over Iraqi airspace, but a larger amount of supplies is now crossing Iraq via convoys on the ground, Iraq’s exiled Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi told The Cable. 

[. . .]

Hashimi said he has evidence and reports from politicians, from officers in the Interior Ministry, and from Iraqi intelligence officials, all pointing to a growing and active ground transport route from Iran to Syria. The route crosses through the Zarbatia checkpoint on the Iran-Iraq border, west of the Iranian town of Mehran, flows through the city of Karbala, and crosses over to Syria via the al-Qaim border crossing, he said.

“The transit is not only aerial using Iraqi airspace, but the ground transit is becoming a phenomenon. Munitions, heavy arms, and even militias are passing checkpoints without any sort of obstruction,” Hashimi said in a telephone interview. “I am very afraid the U.S. and the international community is only focused on the aerial transit and leaving behind the ground transit. Everything should be checked now.”

“The convoys from Iran continue on this route without any checking. A huge number of busses and trucks are passing the checkpoints all the way from the Iranian border to the Syrian border, passing through al-Anbar [province] without stopping at the checkpoints,” he said. “If these convoys are carrying ordinary passengers, they should stop at least to stamp their passports. If they are carrying food and medicine, why are they not stopping at the checkpoints?”

Hmm. Odd that Romney and I say the same thing as the White House, but now we’re the ones who don’t understand Syria as Iran’s “route to the sea?”

And while we’re on the subject, it’s suspected that Israel took out an Iranian weapons factory in Sudan that was supplying arms to Hamas.

Maybe it’s about time for the Left to understand that Iran is operating on a regional scale and because of it’s “route to the sea” through Syria, it has the ability to attack Israel and Europe as well as destabilize Africa with its own forces or through the use of terror proxies.

So, once again I write: Mitt was right.


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