Editor of Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria, chimes in on the sensationalist vilifying of Iran in the American political discourse. Missing from most discussion about Iran is the reality of Iran’s military spending compared to rivals in the region:
The American discussion about Iran has lost all connection to reality. Norman Podhoretz, the neoconservative ideologist whom Bush has consulted on this topic, has written that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is “like Hitler … a revolutionary whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it in the fullness of time with a new order dominated by Iran and ruled by the religio-political culture of Islamofascism.” For this staggering proposition Podhoretz provides not a scintilla of evidence.
Here is the reality. Iran has an economy the size of Finland’s and an annual defense budget of around $4.8 billion. It has not invaded a country since the late 18th century. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are quietly or actively allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we on? [Emphasis added]
This fact has been noted at Iran Coverage in reaction to defining the current struggle between Iran and the US as “Cold War II.” Of course as Zakaria points out, these alarmist labels betray reality.
Irancove @ October 23, 2007