One hardly knows where to begin…
“If I were Iran, if I were Iran—a crazed fanatic, I’d say let’s get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago or some other place, and then if anything goes wrong, or America starts acting up, we’ll just say, “Guess what? Unless you stand down, why, we’re going to let off a dirty bomb.” I mean this is where we have—where America could be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we really don’t have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.”
Notice, his description of Iran describes them as ‘crazed fanatics’. Well, if that’s how you view them, then I suppose there’s no need bothering to treat them like rational actors.
And that, my friends, is just the sort of thinking that can lead us to war. After all, if the commander in chief thinks that the Iranians aren’t motivated by things like security (Iranian generally or the ruling party’s more specifically) then I guess there’s no need to try to ease those concerns in order to reach an agreement. It is a view that equates the Iranians (and let’s face it, probably most of the rest of the world) as creatures that respond to only one thing: pain.
Like the gay kid whose existence offends you, the only thing to do is to throw them down, have some of your buddies restrain him, terrify him and cut his hair. Or, just keep implying that if Iran doesn’t unconditionally surrender we’ll be the ones wiping someone off the map. Don’t bother thinking that such talk might actually cause the Iranian government to hurry up and build a bomb lest they join Iraq and Afghanistan as nations that have hosted large numbers of U.S. troops.
It also (I think) fundamentally misunderstands Americans. Does anyone really believe that if Iran said ‘We’ve got a dirty bomb in Chicago..Do what we say or else.’ we’d cower and cave? If other countries actually believed that why wouldn’t they say it now? There’s no need to actually have a dirty bomb (you could hide one in a huge city).
Why? Because pretty clearly any nation that made a threat like that would receive a counter threat that said, if a dirty bomb goes off here, be prepared for a nuclear storm to rain down on all your cities.
But again, that requires you to think that the Iranians are rational actors. And when you’ve got Romney who wrote a book called ‘No Apologies’ and refused to compromise on a theoretical deal in which he could get a budget deal which gave him a spending reduction to tax increase ration of 10 to 1 you really have to wonder who is the crazed fanatic.