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Monday, May 19, 2008

Obama doesn't understand Iran

Last 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.

"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."
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.

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.


At 2:09 AM, Blogger Matt said...

At what point would Obama agree that the time for negotiation is over?

When would he be willing to label a nation, or a person, an enemy.

Iran is our enemy, and we are at war with them right now, whether we like it or not.

If Obama can't understand this, he can't be commander and chief.

At 2:39 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I just made that point back a couple posts ago about Israel's own 100% percenters. Carl made the same point about John Bolton's addressing when you negotiate and when its a waste of time. Iran is led by the most radical regime in human history. It must not be permitted to acquire a nuclear arsenal. If it takes war to stop them from being able to plunge the world into a bloodbath, then so be it. We cannot reach an understanding with people sworn to eliminate us. You don't talk to a murderer with a gun or a knife at your throat if you can kill him when the opportunity presents itself. Its called common sense - a message that appears lost on Obama.

At 5:55 AM, Blogger Findalis said...

Obama actually understands Iran, that's the problem. He wants the destruction of Israel. After all his name is Barack Hussein Obama. Need anyone say more?

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Stephen D. Clark said...

"Iran is not a rational actor"

John Hagee supports John McCain for rational reasons, we're sure. Let's have full faith in the rationality of American decision-making about the Middle East, right?

We are all human beings, and any economist will tell you that rationality isn't the always the primary explanation in market behavior. No one can be immune from irrationality and remain human, especially not someone like Bush who's legacy is in the dustbin and will do anything to fuzz up the record if he can't correct it.

For examples of perfectly rational American behavior, watch "Dr. Strangelove." It's a timeless classic about the Cold War and the nuclear threat still extant because it rings so true.

But to grant you the point for further discussion: As an American with heartfelt Jewish ties, Israel's problems are still Israel's problems, and if it becomes too cumbersome for America to rescue Israel, we'll withdraw because we're just that rational.

Isn't the point of Zion one of self-reliance for the Jews because they know after all the pogroms and the Holocaust that they're ultimately on their own and can count on one else to rescue them? Wasn't that a major premise?

Then get used to it, and don't expect America to always be there -- because we won't.

John McCain, in the last measure, had better be as rational as you think he his, because Republicans better than anyone else, know some things come before honor, McCain's supposed prime virtue. American interest comes first, and that's rational.

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then get your jew ass out of palestine. It isn't the world's job to make your nonsensical inane religious comic book come true. You are squatters and that was and will remain fact. You people are terrorists second only to the US.


At 9:24 PM, Blogger Findalis said...

And tedbohne should leave his anti-Semitism at the door. Or go back to his favorite Neo-nazi websites.

At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, no one in the US knows what Iran has for nuclear capability. Second, the US was never elected to the Order of World Police. The US is the most prominent terrorist nation on earth. Followed immediately by Israel (Palestine) It was never the job of the UN, US, and UK to make the Jewish dreams come true. People ought to look to see how many rabid jews have infested the US government, and the world financial arena. They have been run out of every country in history. Doesn't anyone ever wonder why? Time for some nonideological, real investigation of the Jews. It's quite a story. Far removed from bibles and Torah's and such!

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