by Charley Reese
President George Bush and his tag-along buddy John McCain are repeating almost word for word about Iran the pattern of lies and threats they used to justify the war against Iraq.
Our intelligence agencies have said that Iran gave up the pursuit of a nuclear weapon three years ago. President Bush makes speeches as if he's never heard of any intelligence agencies. That's what worries me about President Bush. His words very often defy and contradict reality.
Recently, he almost repeated word for word a theme he often used in the buildup to the Iraq aggression. It was, he said, unthinkable to allow "the most dangerous regime to acquire the most dangerous weapons." This guy might actually launch an attack on Iran before his term expires. If he does, you can kiss the world economy goodbye. You don't like $4-a-gallon gas? How about $10 a gallon?
In the first place, Iran is far from the most dangerous regime in the world. I would say it is not dangerous at all, so far as the United States is concerned. Except for idiots, sane people assess threats based on capability, not on political rhetoric, intentions or imagination.
So what are the capabilities of Iran? It has no nuclear weapons. We have about 3,000 or more. One American submarine could destroy the entire country of Iran and its population. Iran has no missiles that could reach us. It has no aircraft that could reach us. Its army couldn't even defeat Iraq.
So what I want to know is how in the blankety-blank Hades Bush and McCain define the word "dangerous"? When their statements about Iran are placed side by side with the known facts, Bush and McCain sound insane.
Nothing alarms me more than the thought of an irrational person in the White House. I'm OK with stupid. I can live with venal. I can tolerate a womanizer, even a drunk, but a crazy person in command of our nuclear forces gives me the heebie-jeebies. Somebody who can't tell the difference between a nuclear-free Iran with no ICBMs and Russia with thousands of nuclear warheads sitting atop advanced intercontinental missiles has no business being allowed in the White House, even as a tourist.
There are two countries that have the capability of being a threat to us – Russia and China. That's foreign policy and geopolitical strategy at the kindergarten level. They have the capability. No other country in the world does. Only a moron would worry more about an ex-college professor with a long name whose office doesn't even control the armed forces than he would about Vladimir Putin. This present American administration, in one of the dumbest moves in the history of diplomacy, neglected our relations with Russia while it got us bogged down in two small desert countries that don't amount to a hill of coffee beans.
Also bear in mind that it doesn't matter diddly squat if some small country manages to make a few nuclear weapons. A few is no threat to many. Nobody with a few would be tempted to attack any country with many nuclear weapons.
Deterrence worked when the Soviet Union had 30,000 nuclear warheads, but these moronic, unscrupulous, intellectually dishonest, dishonorable neocons would convince you that deterrence wouldn't work against Iran.
I know most secular folks equate religion with insanity, but they are not the same. Iran is a religious nation, but its leaders are not crazy. They are smart and well-educated. They fought a long, grueling war with Iraq, and I think what they want more than anything else is a little peace and prosperity. But I think they are worried about Bush, McCain and Israel, and I don't blame them.
May 24, 2008
Charley Reese [send him mail] has been a journalist for 49 years.