Can everyone please take a deep breath?
To review a bit of history: in 1938, Adolf Hitler launched what became a world war not merely because he was evil but because he was in complete control of the strongest country on the planet. At the time, Germany had the world's second largest industrial base and its mightiest army. (The American economy was bigger, but in 1938 its army was smaller than that of Finland.) This is not remotely comparable with the situation today.
Two flaws that stand out in this short passage are certainly worth pointing out:
- In 1938, this was certainly true of Nazi Germany, but what about the years leading up to that year? They did not start their quest for European and world superiority, as a powerful imperialist nation. It wasn't done overnight. There were several points (early on) that had it been recognized as a threat, it could have been stopped. This is a benefit of using hindsight as a means of Monday morning generalship. We see it now, but they didn't notice it back then, until it was too late. So telling us to take a deep breath and using this as justification to do so, does not compute logically.
- Militarily, Germany was the strongest nation on the planet in 1938. And they were looking at building an atomic bomb, but the strength was through conventional weaponry (and lots of it). So, even though Iran may not be building its conventional forces to Hitler's levels, their current quest for a nuclear bomb is far much more dangerous.
Mr. Zakaria goes on to make another point, that while true, paints an inaccurate picture of the threat level.
Iran does not even rank among the top 20 economies in the world.
Germany was not particularly well-known as an economic powerhouse during the Weimar Republic, either. In 1933, the shift towards becoming one, began. In five years, they were churning out arms and the economy was robust. In five years, Iran can have a bomb to threaten and intimidate its neighbors with, a stable economy would not be necessary to achieve that objective.
America's annual defense outlay is more than 100 times Iran's. Tehran's nuclear ambitions are real and dangerous, but its program is not nearly as advanced as is often implied. Most serious estimates suggest that Iran would need between five and 10 years to achieve even a modest, North Korea-type, nuclear capacity.
He is correct in his defense spending contrast. But again, one bomb can kill many Americans, many Israelis, and anyone else he wanted to destroy along the way. The only defense spending that counts here, is how much they are spending on the nuke. Besides that, most experts are split on how far they are from getting a nuke, this is only his opinion.
I could go on, but that would spoil the fun for many of you. You can read the article and judge for yourself. But, in all of your considerings and reflections, think about this one thing, what does it matter if Iran's president is not a Hitler. He is still a madman that can do serious damage if he is emboldened further with a nuclear device. Which American city wants to be the one to take one for the team? Which one wants to volunteer to take the hit, for all of us?
The bottom line here is, while there may be many differences in 1938 Germany and today's Iran, there is one chilling similarity that free thinking people see when comparing the two. That is the hatred of Jews. In fact, the Iranian president has even denied the holocaust, which is a common among the neo-nazis of today.
(Hat Tip: RCP)