Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid | AspenTimes.com

Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid

Todd Hartley
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

Remember how once upon a time you didn’t know what the Persian Gulf was, but then we had a couple of wars there, and now you’re all too familiar with it? Yeah? Well, get ready to add a new name to your ever-growing list of Middle Eastern places you wish you didn’t have to know about: the Strait of Hormuz.

The strait, if you’re trying to find it on a map, is the strategically important waterway connecting the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea. At the strait’s narrowest point, only 34 miles separate Iran, to the north, from Oman and the United Arab Emirates. About one-fifth of the world’s supply of exported oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz each day, and Iran has threatened to close it. If such a closure happens, we will be going to war with Iran. In fact, if you believe some journalists, the war has already begun.

Over the last two years, four of Iran’s top nuclear scientists have been assassinated, including one a couple of weeks ago. Despite Rick Santorum is labeling these assassinations “a wonderful thing, candidly,” the U.S. has disavowed any responsibility for the latest killing and condemned it in the strongest possible language. This, however, has not swayed Iran, which blames America and Israel for the scientists’ deaths and is rattling its sabers in response. Iran’s threat to close the strait stems, in part, from the most recent assassination.

So, if the war with Iran has already begun, and we aren’t the ones killing Iran’s nuclear scientists, just what are we doing to take the fight to our enemy? Who is out there on the front lines ensuring that when this war escalates, we’re in a great position to win it? I’ll tell you who: Barbie.

Yes, good old-fashioned Barbie, the all-American doll, whose measurements would be 39-18-33 if she were real, has been hard at work for years now, fighting battles inside the borders of Iran. Barbie has been deemed such a threat to the Islamic republic’s values and morals that she was officially banned in Iran back in 1996, but that hasn’t stopped her from getting the job done. Apparently, Barbie is so popular with Iranian girls that retail stores continue to sell her despite an intensified police crackdown on the practice.

Not unsympathetic to the plight of its shopkeepers, the Iranian government has issued two state-approved dolls since 2002: a woman named Sara and a man named Dara. Sara and Dara, however, have not been a big hit with Iranian girls – one labeled the dolls “ugly and fat” – and they have not sold well. I think the problem, though, has less to do with what the dolls look like than the fact that they are being sold in the wrong places.

If Iran really wants to defeat the U.S. in a war, it will have to start by winning over the hearts and minds of America’s next generation. Thus, Iran should be selling Sara and Dara over here to subvert our culture the way Barbie has subverted theirs. This will obviously work, because what little American girl wouldn’t want a doll whose every outfit covers her completely from head to toe?

For America’s part, I fully encourage what Iran has termed a “soft war” of decadent cultural influences like Barbie, but I don’t think women should be doing all the grunt work alone. I think Hasbro should start reissuing the original G.I. Joe action figures, and we should do everything we can to make them popular with Iran’s population of little boys.

Sure, this might backfire and trigger in those boys a desire to go fight for the wrong side, but then again it might make them want to become American soldiers, which would give us a huge strategic advantage on the battlefield. At the very least, it will give Iranian boys something to associate with us other than a toy replica of the U.S. spy plane shot down by Iranian forces last month. Said toy, which the Iranian government plans to start issuing soon, promises to be wildly popular and also would be a big seller over here with people like my 4-year-old son.

Of course, if we do send in G.I. Joe to aid Barbie in corrupting the minds of Iran’s children, we’d probably have to change his name to something a little more Persian-sounding so he could blend into Iranian society better. Might I suggest G.I. Hormuz?


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