Is Iran A Serious Threat?
Posted by Michael Cohen
So over the weekend, Barack Obama said the Iran is not a "serious threat" to the United States in the same way that the Soviet Union was . . . and now John McCain is all a twitter. According to McCain:
Senator Obama claimed that the threat Iran poses to our security is "tiny" compared to the threat once posed by the former Soviet Union.
Obviously, Iran isn't a superpower and doesn't possess the military power the Soviet Union had.
YES! YES! YES! Obviously that is the case. The Soviet Union possessed enough nuclear weapons to destroy the United States and a military capable of invading Western Europe. Iran 's military can't be mentioned in the same breath as the Soviet military and of course Iran has no nuclear bombs. So what's the problem here? The notion that this is even a controversial statement is crazy.
But it's worth reading the rest of McCain's statement to see how he portrays the Iranian threat:
But that does not mean that the threat posed by Iran is insignificant. On the contrary, right now Iran provides some of the deadliest explosive devices used in Iraq to kill our soldiers. They are the chief sponsor of Shia extremists in Iraq, and terrorist organizations in the Middle East. And their President, who has called Israel a "stinking corpse," has repeatedly made clear his government's commitment to Israel's destruction. Most worrying, Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons. The biggest national security challenge the United States currently faces is keeping nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists. Should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, that danger would become very dire, indeed. They might not be a superpower, but the threat the Government of Iran poses is anything but "tiny."
Can we all get a little perspective here? Yes, should Iran acquire nuclear weapons that would be bad, but as the most recent NIE on Iran's nuclear program showed, they are nowhere near achieving that goal. Iran is a regional threat, no doubt about it; they threaten our allies and they are a destabilizing force in the region, but a "dire" threat even close to being on par with the Soviet Union is simply absurd.
Later, McCain intimates that if Obama were to meet with Iranian leaders it would "reinforce their confidence." Call me crazy, but I think continually claiming that Iran is a dire threat to the US might also increase their confidence.
Tell me again, who is showing "inexperience" and "reckless judgment?"