If it's not the liberal enemy number one, "Big Oil" certainly must be in the Left's top five. But yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-35, Springfield) played not only played "Big Oil" cheerleader, but also Secretary of State in the Senate Finance Committee. Which leads to another question: When do liberals advocate military intervention? Senator Harry Blevins (R-14, Chesapeake) introduced SB 1545, which would force the Virginia Retirement System to divest of holdings in foreign companies that do business with Iran until it disarms it nuclear capabilities. Under U.S. law, American companies are barred from doing business with Iran, so there is no conflict there.
Senator Blevins had an expert foreign policy witness, who has advised the previous five presidents, and top pentagon officials and officers who clearly showed Senator Saslaw out of his depth. Saslaw kept asking how can lil' ol' Virginny, with $20 million worth of said investments, have any affect on Iran.
The expert said repeatedly, it isn't Virginia alone. It's 14 other states undertaking this measure, and about 30 other points in a comprehensive plan, almost all that the federal government must undertake. This was Virginia's piece, he said. Cumulatively, all 30-plus points would have an affect. Undaunted, the majority leader pressed him and deduced two points on his own, which he must think are brilliant:
1. We cannot divest of foreign companies doing business with Iran because about the only foreign companies that do business with Iran are oil companies such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell, and oil stocks are one of the few that are doing well. (Translation: Money over principle, always.)
2. The only way Iran will disarm its nuclear program is when Israel does it for them, citing its action against Iraq's nuclear plant in 1981 and a Syrian facility several months ago. (Translation: Better to put an ally's future at risk than for us to do the moral thing now.)
So, there you have it. Big oil bad, except when it's in the VRS investment fund; and military action good, but only if it's Israel doing the work we won't do. An interesting take, to say the least.