Mi amigo bloguero, Javier Manjarres at the Shark Tank, posted this clip of Rep. Allen West over the weekend, in which West addresses the foreign-policy problems of the current administration — and of one Republican candidate as well. West calls Barack Obama “Sir Neville Chamberlain … on steroids,” calmly criticizing Obama for his lack of respect for our friends and his inability or unwillingness to leverage American strength. Iran continues to conduct a proxy war against American troops in Iraq, and the Saudis have become disgusted with this administration ever since it threw Hosni Mubarak under the bus while continuing to wheedle Bashar Assad.
But West saves his most passionate criticism for Ron Paul, whose view on Iran is so irrational that West considers it disqualifying (via Katie Pavlich):
That’s not the kind of guy you need to be sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
West mentions this in the beginning of the clip, but it’s worth more thought. There were a few reasons why we lived with the Soviets having nuclear weapons, chief among them that we had no choice in the matter. The MAD strategy (Mutually Assured Destruction) wasn’t a policy of choice, but of lack of choice. If we had an opportunity to keep the Soviets and everyone else from developing nuclear weapons, we would have done so, but that was a choice taken from us by an effective spy network that stole the secrets and handed them to the Stalin regime — although they eventually would have figured it out for themselves anyway.
MAD only worked with the Soviets (and with China) because leaders in both countries were rational actors. That is, their strategic aims had nothing to do with getting destroyed, but in acquisition and control. They didn’t launch a war against us, at least not directly, because they knew we would have destroyed them — and the same is true for us as well.
Iran is a non-rational actor, which is not necessarily the same as an irrational actor. The mullahs’ strategic goals are metaphysical; they want their Messiah to arrive and establish a global Islamic rule. According to their view of Islam, that will come at the end of a great conflagration, and there isn’t a much better way to start one of those than by lobbing nukes at Israel, the US, or both. If they get a nuke, they will certainly use it, because that is a rational tactic for their non-rational strategy. That is the reason that Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon is most certainly a very big deal, and if the mullahs remain in charge for much longer, they will have one to put on their rockets and launch.
Anyone who doesn’t understand the difference between Iran and the Soviet Union in nuclear issues doesn’t belong in the White House. That’s true of Ron Paul, and it’s equally true of Barack Obama.