I used to think it might be a good thing for Obama to continue to make egregious errors. It would allow people to see his feet of clay and to understand the dangers of his naive and uninformed views.
But, as he’s made goof after goof and none of his myriad supporters—including his enablers in the MSM—seem to notice or care, it’s become more frightening. Now I’m hoping he smartens up, but fast—especially if he wins the election.
So I’m offering the following in the spirit of helpfulness—sort of.
First, the statement in question, made at a speech Sunday in Pendleton, Oregon:
Iran, Cuba, Venezuela—these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, ‘We’re going to wipe you off the planet.”
Let’s see; where to begin? How about size:
Yes indeed, the USSR was big. In fact, it was the biggest country on earth, and so although Obama is correct to say the other three countries pale in comparison, it’s also meaningless because almost all countries pale in comparison.
You might note from this highly informative chart that the now-lonely country of Russia, without any of those Soviet satellites, is still the largest country on earth.
Although the whole issue of size is an absurdity, as Obama ought to know, let’s go a bit further with it. You’ll see from that chart that Iran is rather large after all, coming in at #18. It’s below such unbelievably important (and larger) countries as Kazakhstan (#9), Congo (#12), and Greenland (#13). And although our neighbors in Canada are no doubt of great importance in some ways, one can’t really say they’re #2 in the world, although Canada is the second largest country.
No; as we’re often told (although tell it to the email spammers), size doesn’t really matter.
What does? Influence, capability, intent. Instructive in this regard is the tiny island of Cuba, cited by Obama. Although it’s true it doesn’t mean a whole lot today, it certainly did in the past, with Soviet help. Obama is too young to remember the Cuban missile crisis, although he’s not too young to have learned about it. Cuba was important for strategic and idealogical reasons and it needed to be defanged, which was done at great risk. The country was the toehold in this hemisphere of the Soviet Union and its worldwide influence, the very country Obama is intent on citing as the Big One in his speech.
Then there’s Japan, #61 on the list and quite a bit smaller than even “tiny” Venezuela, #33 (not so very small after all; Venezuela is larger than such tiny and unimportant places as Pakistan, Afghanistan, and France). Japan packed a bit of a wallop during World War II, I hear tell, as did its fellow midget country, Germany (which to my surprise is #62, slightly smaller than Japan).
So if size wasn’t/isn’t the big issue, what was/is? Obama says the Soviets used to say they’d wipe us off the planet. But this was not specifically a nuclear threat, although they definitely had the nuclear capacity. The idea was that their system would replace ours though its sheer superiority.
Earth to Obama: the Cold War (I can’t believe I’m having to say this to a Presidential candidate; and they call Bush stupid!) was called “cold” for a reason. The “hot” part was fought by proxy—by amassing influence and power in smaller countries such as, yes, Cuba, and even Vietnam. The danger was not just the nuclear weaponry of the Soviets, it was their slow accretion of power around the globe.
That conflict, by the way, was not ended by talking.
But Iran, although somewhat different from the Soviet Union, is similar in some ways. It is smaller, but the Iranians loom large on the world stage, and have since 1979—mostly in somewhat clandestine ways, but sometimes overtly. They have influence in the region and want to get more, and they fund terrorism round the globe. They have threatened to do the very thing you say the Soviets wanted to do—wipe us off the planet, either ideologically or in actuality—and they are far more willing to risk their own populace in order to do so.
Iran is a theocracy. Although Communism had aspects of religion, the Communists were men (and women) of this world, not the next. They expected to succeed in very practical terms on earth, not in the world to come. Iran is quite different: rewards in this world or the next work for them. The Soviets were interested in military, economic, and other kinds of earthly power; and although the Iranians are not averse to that and in fact crave it, their stakes (and aims) are even higher: our eternal souls.
If that doesn’t scare you, Obama, it should. And there is evidence that you know that, because you tried to regroup later by saying, in response to McCain’s criticism of your remarks:
“Let me be absolutely clear: Iran is a grave threat.” But the Soviet Union posed an added threat, he said. “The Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear weapons, and Iran doesn’t have one.”
No, Iran doesn’t have one. Yet.
But they’re on a course to have not just one, but several. And how do you, Obama, propose to stop them?
Why, by talking, of course. What a good idea.
[NOTE: By the way, if Obama was talking about “size” as in “population,” his statements still make little sense.
If you take a look at this chart you’ll see why. Although Japan jumps way up there, Russia goes down quite a bit (no listing, unfortunately, for the Soviet Union), but “tiny” Iran acquits itself quite nicely, thank you very much, in the population category (#17, ahead of France, for example). And Venezuela’s no slouch either: #42—ahead of, for example, Australia.
Not to mention the status of Cuba. Surprise, surprise! The tiny itty bitty thing is #73 in population, ahead of Greece, Portugal, Belgium, Czech Republic, Sweden, and countless others we’ve all heard a great deal about.]