Monday, October 22, 2007

Zakaria says that we have lost all perspective on Iran

From Newsweek:

The American discussion about Iran has lost all connection to reality. Norman Podhoretz, the neoconservative ideologist whom Bush has consulted on this topic, has written that Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is "like Hitler … a revolutionary whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it in the fullness of time with a new order dominated by Iran and ruled by the religio-political culture of Islamofascism." For this staggering proposition Podhoretz provides not a scintilla of evidence.

In fact, Zakaria writes, the evidence is to the contrary:

Here is the reality. Iran has an economy the size of Finland's and an annual defense budget of around $4.8 billion. It has not invaded a country since the late 18th century. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are quietly or actively allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we on?
Why does President Bush feel that Iran is such a threat to our national security, going as far last week as to say that World War Three would be inevitable if Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons? Here is something that Zakaria fails to mention about Iran. The war rhetoric from Bush on Iran has been nonstop since his "Axis of Evil' speech in 2002. Our transformation of Ahmadinejad into Hitler started when he was elected to office in 2005. One gets the feeling that Mother Theresa could be elected into the Iranian presidency, and, come hell or high water, they would be the new monster that the administration would have to slay in the name of stopping terrorism.

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