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Map showing Mitt Romney's confusion over Iran's shoreline -- that it doesn't go through Syria
Mitt Romney is so stupid, he said this last night:
Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea.
As you can see above, Iran actually has extensive coastline—the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf (named after, you know, the Iranian precursor Persia) and the Gulf of Oman. Meanwhile, Syria doesn't even share a border with Iran.

So pretty clear cut, right? Romney is a moron, and basic geography rebuts his idiocy. Ah, but never underestimate the ability of conservatives to defend their own against reality. In this case, the honors go to National Review neocon Greg Pollowitz, who argues that Romney was right!

Below the fold ...

The Washington Post fact-checked the statement and at least added a source that said Romney’s comments “are more accurate than they first seem” as Iran is building a military base in Syria. And, of course, if Iran wanted to land terrorists into Israel by boat, it’s a shorter trip from Syria to Israel.

But let me further illustrate the Left’s stupidity on this with a little graphic of my own. Here’s a map of U.S. military bases in the region, courtesy of al Jazerra:

map of US military installations bordering Iran
As you can see, all of the routes to the sea favored by The Daily Kos military experts are what you might call “blocked” by the U.S. military. If Iran is attacked, their routes to the “sea” will be cut and supply from Syria will be one of their few options.
Ha ha, the Pollowitz is using Al Jazeera as a source. And it's not even an entirely accurate one—as those bases aren't all U.S. installations (some are French, others are British), and most are logistical posts supplying U.S. forces in Afghanistan. That's not to say that those fields couldn't deploy offensive aircraft in a crisis, or to enforce a blockade, but an aircraft carrier or two stationed at the mouth of the Arabian Sea would accomplish much of the same anyway.

But let's reiterate—Iran doesn't share a border with Syria. In fact, hostile Iraqi Kurdistan stands between them and their Syrian friends. So moving anything across by ground would be a problem and highly inefficient. And it's not as if the U.S. couldn't shut down the Syrian coastline and airspace as part of a broader effort. In fact, one of the U.S.'s largest airbases in the region, Incirlik Air Base, is only a couple of hundred miles away from the southern tip of the Syrian coastline, or about 10-15 minutes for an F16:

Map of western Mediterranean showing proximity of Incirlik airbase in Turkey to Syrian coastline.
If the U.S. wants to blockade Iran, there's nothing Syria can do about it. Because Iran and Syria don't share a border no matter how much Mitt Romney or his neocon "military experts" argue otherwise. I guess that means that geography has a well-known liberal bias.

Now the -stans would be a different matter, not to mention, across the Caspian, Russia—our biggest geopolitical foe, until it isn't. Wait, yes it is again! No, no it isn't. Except it is.  </Romney>

Originally posted to kos on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 12:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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