Obama doesn't understand IranLast night in Oregon, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama described Iran in a way that would have been comical were the topic not so deadly serious. In a nutshell, he described Iran as being "not a serious threat."
This morning, Republican candidate John McCain responded to Obama:
Before I begin my prepared remarks, I want to respond briefly to a comment Senator Obama made yesterday about the threat posed to the United States by the Government of Iran. Senator Obama claimed that the threat Iran poses to our security is “tiny” compared to the threat once posed by the former Soviet Union. Obviously, Iran isn’t a superpower and doesn’t possess the military power the Soviet Union had. But that does not mean that the threat posed by Iran is insignificant. On the contrary, right now Iran provides some of the deadliest explosive devices used in Iraq to kill our soldiers. They are the chief sponsor of Shia extremists in Iraq, and terrorist organizations in the Middle East. And their President, who has called Israel a “stinking corpse,” has repeatedly made clear his government’s commitment to Israel’s destruction. Most worrying, Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons. The biggest national security challenge the United States currently faces is keeping nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists. Should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, that danger would become very dire, indeed. They might not be a superpower, but the threat the Government of Iran poses is anything but ‘tiny”.Obama has now backtracked a bit (Hat Tip: Lawhawk via Little Green Footballs).
Obama said he fully realizes the danger posed by Iran, but that it is nothing compared to those presented by the former Soviet Union.All of which shows that Obama doesn't get it. Sure, the Soviet Union had the ability to destroy the world several times over. But the Soviet Union was a rational actor. Because of that, successive American administrations from Truman to Reagan were able to contain the Soviet threat through a doctrine known as mutually assured destruction. That doctrine held that each side (the US and the Soviet Union) could deter the other from using nuclear weapons by the threat of being destroyed in a second strike.
"The Soviet Union had the ability to destroy the world several times over, had satellites spanning the globe, had huge masses of conventional military power, all directed at destroying us," he said. "So, I've made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave. But what I've said is that we should not just talk to our friends. We should be willing to engage our enemies as well. That's what diplomacy is all about."
Iran, on the other hand, is not a rational actor. Its leader is perfectly happy to bring about an apocalypse. He is willing to sacrifice half his population to destroy Israel and maybe more to destroy the United States. So while Iran may not (does not now and may not in the future) have the same capability to destroy its enemies, it is far more likely to attempt to do so than the Soviet Union ever was. Because of that, Obama's characterization of Iran as "not a serious threat" or "nothing compared to the threat that was posed by the Soviet Union" is completely detached from reality. Obama's claims in this regard are appallingly naive for a major party candidate for the Presidency of the United States.