I read this Pat Buchanan column yesterday, and I’m glad to see Lew Rockwell linking to it today. Here’s what it means to eviscerate an intellectual opponent:
On Monday, [the Washington Post‘s Jennifer] Rubin declared that America’s “greatest national security threat is Iran.” Do conservatives really believe this?
How is America, with thousands of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, scores of warships in the Med, Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, bombers and nuclear subs and land-based missiles able to strike and incinerate Iran within half an hour, threatened by Iran?
Iran has no missile that can reach us, no air force or navy that would survive the first days of war, no nuclear weapons, no bomb-grade uranium from which to build one. All of her nuclear facilities are under constant United Nations surveillance and inspection.
And if this Iran is the “greatest national security threat” faced by the world’s last superpower, why do Iran’s nearest neighbors – Turkey, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan – seem so unafraid of her?
Citng The Associated Press and Times of Israel, Rubin warns us that “Iran has picked 16 new locations for nuclear plants.”
How many nuclear plants does Iran have now? One, Bushehr.
Begun by the Germans under the shah, Bushehr was taken over by the Russians in 1995, but not completed for 16 years, until 2011. In their dreams, the Iranians, their economy sinking under U.S. and U.N. sanctions, are going to throw up 16 nuclear plants.
Rubin then complains about the condition of Iraq today, where Iranian influence is growing. She treats this phenomenon as if it has no cause. Pat’s response:
Where to begin. Shia Iran has influence in Iraq because we invaded Iraq, dethroned Sunni Saddam, disbanded his Sunni-led army that had defeated Iran in an eight-year war and presided over the rise to power of the Iraqi Shia majority that now tilts to Iran.
Today’s Iraq is a direct consequence of our war, our invasion, our occupation. That’s our crowd in Baghdad, cozying up to Iran.
And the cost of that war to strip Iraq of weapons it did not have? Four thousand five hundred American dead, 35,000 wounded, $1 trillion and 100,000 Iraqi dead. Half a million widows and orphans. A centuries-old Christian community ravaged. And, yes, an Iraq tilting to Iran and descending into sectarian, civil and ethnic war. A disaster of epochal proportions.
But does Iran, a Shia island in a Sunni sea, a Persian-dominated land where half the population is non-Persian, a country whose major exports, once we get past fossil fuels, are pistachio nuts, carpets and caviar, really pose the greatest national security threat to the world’s greatest nation?
We outlasted the evil empire of Lenin and Stalin that held captive a billion people for 45 years of Cold War, and we are frightened by a rickety theocracy ruled by an old ayatollah?
Pat further notes Benjamin Netanyahu’s prediction that Iran would have a nuclear weapon within three to five years. Netanyahu made that prediction in 1992.
You should read the whole thing.