A progressive veterans group is making a provocative push to get comprehensive energy reform passed, launching a new ad that ties oil consumption to Iranian-backed attacks against U.S. troops.
In a spot set to air in eight key states, the group, VoteVets.org (with assistance from the energy independence group Operation Free) splices footage of highly developed improvised explosive devices being used against U.S. soldiers alongside Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Narrated by Iraq War veteran Christopher Miller, who earned a Purple Heart as the result of an IED explosion six years ago, the ad makes the case that passing energy legislation is a national security imperative.
"That's the type of IED that earned me a purple heart in Iraq six years ago," Miller says, as footage of a U.S. convoy being blown off a dirt road runs in the backdrop.
"This is what our troops are up against today: EFPs [Explosively Formed Projectile] specially designed to pierce American military armor. It is a devastating weapon and it was created in oil-rich Iran. They are ending up in the hands of our enemies. And every time oil goes up a dollar, Iran gets another $1.5 billion to use against us."
"Connection between oil and the enemy couldn't be clearer," Miller adds. "We need to break that connection by breaking our addiction. And we can by passing a clean energy climate plan. It would cut our dependence on foreign oil in half."
"Some in Congress say it is a tough vote. Not as tough as what our troops are up against."
The campaign is exceptionally tough stuff -- especially in the context of the ongoing energy debates, where the ads tend to focus more on promoting bipartisan unity (like Al Gore's efforts) than on using war imagery and Ahmadinejad references (which seems more simpatico with Liz Cheney's group).
But VoteVets' goal is to focus attention to the argument that energy dependence is a pending (if not already occurring) national security crisis. And, in that regard, the spot should be considered a blunt instrument for making the argument - elevating veterans and drawing terrorism into the heart of the energy debate.
The spot will air in the following states: Alaska, Indiana, Maine, Montana, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia, all of which house critical Senate votes.