Yglesias calls BS on the Iran Menace

Over at Talking Points Memo:

…David Ignatius is in Iran and reports that though “you might expect that Tehran would feel like a garrison town” its actually surprisingly relaxed. But why might you expect that Teheran would feel like a garrison town? Well, you would if youve been following the medias dubious, highly-spun coverage of the issue. But you wouldnt if you asked yourself some basic question. For example, if Iran is preparing to mount a Hitler-style bid for world domination they must be engaged in a big military build-up, right? But there is no such build up. Maybe theres no need for a build-up because the Iranian military is already so vast and mighty? Well, no. Iran has a defense budget of about $6 billion a year.The United States spends over 50 times more than that. But perhaps comparisons to the USA are misleading. Lets compare our would-be regional hegemon to its neighbors. Well, Israel spends $9.6 billion and Saudi Arabia spends $25.2 billion. Pakistan, immediately adjacent to Iran and nuclear armed, actually has engaged in a recent defense buildup. What kind of quest for hegemony is Iran supposed to be on? Ignorant American pundits and television personalities may be unaware of these facts, but surely Iranian military and intelligence officials have noticed that Iran has no capacity whatsoever to conquer the region.

Read the whole thing… it’s really important that we all understand the poker W is playing with Iran so that we can all call his reckless bluff.

One thought on “Yglesias calls BS on the Iran Menace”

  1. Didja catch Hans Blix on Day to Day – maybe it was a week ago – talking about Iran? I wish I could find the quote. He pretty much said that there was no way the Iranians were going to pull together a nuclear weapon. He mentioned that if you look at how long it’s taken them to get where they are now, and figure their development cycle based on that, then nukes in Iran are a long, long way off.

    To which, I have to say, I hope he’s right. Because Ahmedinejahd gives me the willies.

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