• Blumenthal: What He Said And Left Unsaid

    November 3, 2023
    U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Public Domain.

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    It is not at all surprising that Connecticut U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal should throw his lot in with Israel in the besieged country’s attempt to thwart future terrorist attacks.

    A recent story in a Hartford paper mistitled “Blumenthal calls for Iran sanctions” leaves little campaign wiggle room for Blumenthal.

    Blumenthal, “now offering bipartisan legislation this week with U.S. Senator Joni Ernst to clamp down on Iran for providing funding for Hamas,” according to the Hartford paper, has said that anti-Israeli terrorism in the Middle East would be short-sheeted if Iran’s often stated pledge to drive Israel into the sea were to be frustrated by a combination of sanctions and a successful war prosecuted by Israel against Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Of course, to be successful, wars first must be won, after which the winning party may dictate peace terms. All wars are struggles between contesting parties to determine the terms of peace, thereby shaping the future in the long term.

    Actually, Blumenthal and other friends of Israel are calling for a restoration of sanctions applied some time ago by the U.S. Congress against Iran, the chief sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East.

    These sanctions, multiple news outlets have reported, had been weakened considerably by the administration of Democrat President Joe Biden. Possibly in an effort to pave the way for a future diplomatic entente between Iran and the United States, Biden declined to rigorously enforce prevailing sanctions concerning the production and selling of Iranian oil to countries some of which claim to be friends of the United States.

    After Biden loosened the sanctions, money hauled in by Iran through the sale of oil products increased substantially. Some news outlets have reported that Iran’s disposable assets might have been reduced by $80 to $100 billion dollars had the sanctions been applied in the manner in which the U.S. Congress had intended.

    These assets, Blumenthal is convinced, are financing a continuing Iran terrorist enterprise in Israel. That enterprise, so far successfully prosecuted against both Israel and the United States, “The Great Satan” of Islamic revolutionary doctrine, began during the administration of then President Jimmy Carter, when the Ayatollah Khomeini, the head of Iran’s government following the abdication of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, winked at a successful attack on the U.S. embassy in 1979 during which embassy personnel were held hostage in Tehran for 444 days.

    Iran’s terrorist operatives, Blumenthal told a Hartford reporter, “… are fueled by the financial wherewithal that comes from Iran’s sales of oil. The United States has said it is imposing sanctions to prevent Iran from selling that oil. But all too often these sanctions have been unenforced. The result has been a deluge of dollars going to Iran’s proxies. That’s the stark, undisputed truth … Hamas would not exist without Iran.”

    In his public appearances, Blumenthal seems anxious to put a ten foot pole between himself and certain doubtful Biden/Obama policy choices, but courage is wanting.

    The Obama administration – including Vice President Joe Biden – flew planeloads of cash to Tehran, forbidden by the U.S. Congress, in a failed effort to purchase from Iran cooperation in the reduction of nuclear grade uranium. It is now plain to everyone but the ideologically committed that this effort has been a spectacular failure.

    Biden’s loosening of trade restrictions on the purchasing of oil from Iran, has made it possible for the leading mischief maker in the Middle East to finance terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and other murderous terrorist outlets deployed by Iran against Israel.

    Everyone who has driven cars powered by gas knows that when you reduce the production of a product, you increase its price. Biden’s restriction of the production of oil, plentiful under our feet, throws the United States into a debilitating dependency on foreign oil producers such as communist Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and, inescapably, Iran.

    Blumenthal is bright enough to connect such dots, but he declines to do so publically. Few Connecticut reporters, to choose one “for instance” among many, has asked why Blumenthal favored a dangerous draw down of America’s oil reserves, when much larger oil and clean natural gas reserves lie right under our feet. No one will deny we have the pluck and resources to quickly bring it above ground to replenish diminished oil reserves, reduce the cost of energy, encourage lower cost shipping rates, and swell middle class assets rather than the assets of redundantly rich billionaires.

    Blumenthal, himself a millionaire, knows how free marketplaces in the free West work. He has mentioned Iran in his chat with Connecticut reporters as a “devastating, malign influence in the Middle East whose resources come from the sales of oil.”

    People are waiting for Blumenthal to affix a finitione – an unavoidable “’in conclusion”-- to his observations.

    Americans, always intensely practical, are quite able to make non-invidious distinctions. The difference between a “statesman” and a “political hack,” for instance, is the difference between a man or woman who will courageously embrace an unavoidable conclusion and one who will sacrifice the truth to every enticing political opportunity.  

    “When in doubt,” Mark Twain advised, “tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.”

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    Don Pesci

    Don Pesci is a political columnist of long standing, about 40 years, who has written for various state newspapers, among them The Journal Inquirer, the Waterbury Republican American, the New London Day, the Litchfield County Times, the Torrington Register Citizen and other Register Citizen papers. He maintains a blog, among the oldest of its kind in Connecticut, which serves as a repository and archive, for his columns; there are approximately 3,000 entrees in Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State, virtually all of them political columns stretching back to 2004. He also appears once a week Wednesdays on 1080 WTIC Newstalk radio with Will Marotti.

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