Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Romania VS Iran: Place your bets here.

Dear Friends:

I guess the new Mahdi must retain a grudge against one of the most infamous Muslim killers known to history: Vlad Tepes, Count Dracula. Recall that August 22, 2006 held promise of a significant event of great importance to the self-heralded new prophet of Islam, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Apparently that event was attacking Romanians

From World News Story comes information related to Iranian troops seizing a Romanian oil rig. http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3773813a12,00.html

Romanian oil firm Grup Servicii Petroliere has said one of its offshore rigs in the Gulf, involved in a legal dispute, had reported coming under fire from an Iranian navy ship and being boarded by troops.

An Iranian oil official denied the reports, saying military force was not used against the Orizont platform, which had been chartered by United Arab Emirates-based Oriental Oil Company. GSP spokesman Radu Petrescu said: "We were called by one of our employees at 9.15am (0615 GMT – 1815 NZT), who told us a military ship opened fire against the Orizont rig, and by 9.45am Iranian troops got on board."

"By 4pm the troops left the rig and judicial officers came on board. In between, we had no contact with the crew."

The 13,000-tonne Orizont rig has 26 people on board and has been in Iranian waters since October last year.

Perhaps Ahmadinejad had a great-great grandfather who got on the wrong side of Vlad's impaling tool.


By 1462, when he was deposed, he had killed between 40,000 and 100,000 people, possibly more. He always thought up some excuse for these executions. He killed merchants who cheated their customers. He killed women who had affairs. Supposedly he had one woman impaled because her husband's shirt was too short. He didn't mind impaling children, either. Afterwards he would display the corpses in public so everyone would learn a lesson. It's said that there were over 20,000 bodies hanging outside his capital city. Of course, the stories about Dracula's cruelty might have been exaggerated by his enemies. Despite all this, Dracula's subjects respected him for fighting the Turks and being a strong ruler. He's remembered today as a patriotic hero who stood up to Turkey and Hungary. He was the last Walachian prince to remain independent from the Ottoman Empire. He was so scornful of other nations that when two foreign ambassadors refused to doff their hats to him, he had the hats nailed to their heads. He was opposed to the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches because he thought foreigners, operating through the churches, had too much power in Walachia. He tried to prevent foreign merchants from taking business away from his citizens. If merchants disobeyed his trade laws, they were, of course, impaled.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am an American of Romanian heritage. I await with interest on how the Romanians will respond. I hope they offer more military response than the French offered as part of their portion of the recent UN cease fire deal in Lebanon. I hope Romanians still have a bit of Vlad's DNA in their genetics. I know I still do.

So, in the interest of inspiring discussion, I am taking bets as to the victor in the Romania vs Iran match-up. Looking at the available data, I am placing my money on Romania.

Romania is also a country which, thanks to the fall of the Soviet Bloc, cherishes its freedom; thus, one can expect the Romanians to be proactive in response to Iran's saber-rattling.

This said, Romania of 2006 is not the same as in Dracula's day, when the sword in the hands of men with "chests" drove back the Ottomans. Iran, on the other hand, is also not the Ottoman Empire, but much worse; better armed, numerically superior, with insane men running the show.

We can only hope that there's a Vlad Tepec left in Transylvania to rise up and counter them.

I'm betting on Romania.
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