Is Iran the 4th Reich?
In the fall of 1956, Nikita Khrushchev threatened to rain rockets down on London for the British invasion of Suez and sent his tanks into Budapest to drown the Hungarian Revolution in blood.
He blew up the Paris summit in 1960, banged his shoe at the U.N., and warned Americans, “We will bury you!”
He insulted John F. Kennedy in Vienna, built the Berlin Wall, and began secretly to place missiles in Cuba capable of annihilating every city in the Southeast, including Washington.
Yet in the Eisenhower-Kennedy years, living under a nuclear Sword of Damocles unlike any the world had ever known, we Americans were on balance a cool, calm and collected crowd. How then to explain the semi-hysteria over President Obama meeting with President Hassan Rowhani and possibly holding negotiations over Iran's nuclear program?
Is the Ayatollah Hitler? Is Iran the Fourth Reich?
Iran, we are told, is the most dangerous enemy America faces. But is this true?
Depending on one's source, Iran's economy is 2 to 4 percent of ours. After oil and gas, its big exports appear to be caviar, carpets and pistachio nuts. Inflation is unbridled and Iran's currency is plummeting.
Should Iran start a war, the sinking of its coastal navy would be a few days' work for the Fifth Fleet. Its air force of U.S. Phantoms dating to the Shah and a few dozen MiGs dating to the early 1990s would provide a turkey shoot for Top Gun applicants. In 30 days, the United States could destroy its airfields, missile sites and nuclear facilities, and impose an air and naval blockade that would reduce Iran to destitution.
War with America could tear Iran apart. Why then would Tehran want a war — and with a superpower?
Answer: It doesn't. Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has attacked no nation and gone to war once — to defend herself against Saddam Hussein's aggression that had the backing of the United States.
In that war, Iranians suffered poison gas attacks. Iran has condemned the use of gas in Syria and offered to help get rid of it.
Last year, Iran's departing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who frightened so many, made a simple logical point about Iran's supposed bomb program: “Let's even imagine that we have an atomic weapon, a nuclear weapon. What would we do with it? What intelligent person would fight 5,000 American bombs with one bomb?”
Yet, still, the beat goes on. “There is no more time to hold negotiations,” says Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, Iran is only six months from developing an atom bomb.
Yet The New York Times reports Monday, “American intelligence experts believe Iran is still many months if not years away from having such a weapon.”
Rowhani has a checkered past. Yet U.S. presidents met three times with Stalin, three with the Butcher of Budapest, once with Chairman Mao. Compared to these fellows, Hassan Rowhani looks like Ramsey Clark.
Query: If Iran has the scientific and industrial capacity to build a bomb — and all agree it has — what could conceivably be the reason Iran has not yet done so?
Perhaps, just perhaps, Iran doesn't want the bomb.
Pat Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
- Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
- Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions
- Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless
- Steelers notebook: LB Dupree sits out backs-on–backers drill
- McCutchen, Pirates cruise to interleague victory over Twins
- Derry boy recovering at home after high-profile intestinal transplant
- Inside the Steelers: Williams’ quickness out of backfield evident in drills
- Steelers’ Bell unsure why NFL reduced his suspension
- Hempfield man serving life without parole for killing wife tells judge he’ll pay restitution when he’s released
- Extremes in weather hurt crops in Westmoreland