Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

05/20/2008 (3:00 pm)

Question of the Day: Obama and Iran

The Question of the Day comes from John Hinderaker at Power Line:

Can someone explain why it is, exactly, that Barack Obama is not a laughingstock?

The rightward blog cadre is teaching Barack Obama a lesson about asymmetrical warfare in the wake of his truly laughable comments about Iran not being a serious threat. He’s trying to backtrack, but the video clip shows what he actually thinks. The man is clueless; he has no grasp of modern history at all, let alone sufficient grasp to be taken seriously as a candidate for President. I watched the YouTube clip, shown below, and counted no fewer than six outright errors in historical understanding. Check it out:

Holy Moly. Negotiations did not prevent nuclear war, except in the one alarming instance where President Kennedy’s brinkmanship nearly started a nuclear war, the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was MAD, not negotiations, that prevented nuclear war. Negotiations did not bring down the Soviet Union. Reagan’s lantern-jawed opposition sped the USSR’s economic collapse; it was arguably Reagan’s refusal to negotiate SDI at Reykjavik that drove the final nail into the coffin — and leftists screamed like scalded cats when he did that. The negotiations Obama mentioned had specific policy goals that were obtainable from rational adversaries; these in no way justify negotiations with irrational adversaries with whom we have no bargaining leverage.

I was particularly taken with his comparison of Iran’s and our military budgets. “They spend less than 1/100 of what we spend on the military. If they were to attempt to pose a threat to us, they wouldn’t stand a chance.” Barack Obama is one of those who have claimed that the US has been defeated in Iraq, and advocates our bringing our troops home as soon as possible. In fact, Iran is one of the nations financing the militias that Obama claims have defeated us in Iraq. What was the military budget of al Qaeda and Iran in Iraq, I wonder? And if they’ve defeated us, why does he now imagine they can’t stand against us? Does this guy just make stuff up as he goes along?

Purple Avenger at Ace of Spades HQ asks the question about asymmetrical warfare, and mentions where Iran has been spending its defense dollars. One fifth of the world’s oil supplies pass through the Strait of Hormuz, and Iran sits on the north short of the Strait. Says Purple A:

They could turn the narrow strait of Hormuz into an unnavigable scrap yard faster than the US Navy could stop them or the US Air force could neutralize those batteries and missiles.

It doesn’t take a defense budget the size of California’s economy to mine the Strait of Hormuz. Iran is not a threat to invade New York City (who would want to?) but that’s not the only sort of threat there is.

Michelle Malkin has a pretty complete rundown of links to all the talk about this massive faux pas. Ed Morrisey has the most complete rebuttal, Israel Matzav from Jerusalem makes the point about Iran not being a rational actor, and a hat tip goes to Jennifer Rubin at Commentary for early and emphatic attention.

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