Perspective and Iran
Fareed Zakaria asks us all to take a deep breath and "contain" Iran. He debunks the Nazi analogy by pointing out that in 1938, Germany was the second biggest economy in the world, while today, Iran barely makes the top 20 and is going backwards. He thinks of Ahmadinejad as a populist Huey Long not an apocalyptic Adolf Hitler. Count me unpersuaded. The one huge difference between today and 1938 is technology. in 1938, you needed a massive economy to wage conventional warfare. Today, you need some loose nukes and a few religious fanatics to bring the West to a halt. Moreover, the Soviets were rational compared to the Jihadists. They saw nuclear annihilation as something to be avoided. Ahmadinejad and other radical Islamists see it as a prelude to the Eschaton they devoutly hope for (along with vast numbers of Christianists). Fareed also declares the major powers "united" in facing down Iran. Really? Russia? China? Not so much. We have five years, Zakaria argues, until we face a nuclear Iran. So it's not 1938, after all. It's just 1934. Reassured? Actually, I am. There's a chance to stop Iran without depending on George W. Bush or Dick Cheney. So there's hope.