–updated below–

Well, if you wanted to give Sarah Palin’s bomb, bomb, bomb Iran team a freebie, the new Vote Vets ad is it. However, it’s supposed to be about Congress getting us off oil and on to clean energy in order to keep us out of real life energy wars. Instead it serves up powerful visuals and a narrative that promotes going straight at Iran.

Transcript of the ad from Sam Stein:

“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 connection between foreign oil and war becomes the subtext underneath a much more powerful message, which screams the neoconservative line: Iran cannot be contained.

I’ve got a lot of respect for Vote Vets. But whoever made this ad just gave Liz Cheney’s group a gift.

To answer some emails on this subject, let me be even clearer. As I told Richard from Vote Vets in his response to my post in the comments, the ad is a cynical appeal using fear about Iran, specifically, through EFPs to get the job done. Vote Vets could have begun the ad the way you ended it, immediately making the oil – clean energy connection, but didn’t. You purposefully chose to focus on the fear card and the Iran boogieman, complete with a picture of Ahmadinejad, before making your clean energy pitch, because you thought that would get the attention. Emotion is powerful in all advertising and politics, as I point out often, so I appreciate Vote Vets trying to tap into it. But they got the emotional appeal exactly backwards, stressing Iranian dangers instead of energy dependence and they did it deliberately.