“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!” When President Roosevelt spoke these words at the beginning of WWII, they were spoken to motivate and inspire the American people to victory against the Axis powers led by a truly evil and mad dictator, Adolf Hitler. Hitler built the most powerful military in the world before he began his quest to conquer Europe and to dominate the world.
Fear is a powerful emotion and politicians of all political persuasions know that it can be used to not only motivate their subjects, but to control them as well. If you create an external fear, there is less attention paid to internal problems. And it’s good business for the “Military Industrial Complex” President Eisenhower warned against in his farewell speech.
The current favorite external enemy is Iran, and its “mad dictator” Ahmadinejad. Osama Bin Ladin is dead, Sadam Hussein and his non-existent “weapons of mass destruction” is no longer with us, so now it is Iran. At the last Republican debate, each candidate, with the exception of Ron Paul, engaged in a contest to prove who could be the biggest bad ass when it came to dealing with Iran. Mitt Romney said under no circumstances would he allow, Ahmadinejad, a madman dictator, to have nuclear weapons at his disposal. Gingrich and Santorum were quick to say “Amen.” Are they really that scared of Iran? Would they really take such action or is all this talk of aggression simply campaign rhetoric.
Hitler was an evil dictator and the world had every reason to fear Germany. But Iran is not Germany. As I wrote earlier, Hitler had the most powerful military in the world at his disposal. The one thing about dictators is that they love power. Hitler wanted to extend his power over a growing empire, and he believed he had the military might to do it. Ahmadinejad is also a dictator who loves his power, but in order to have power you have to be alive. Dead dictators have no power. Does Ahmadinejad think his military can win a nuclear war with the United States? No chance! Ahmadinejad would be signing his own death warrant and sending millions of Iranians to their graves.
Fear of an Iranian nuke is irrational, but useful to politicians seeking to become the next Commander-in-Chief of our military. All this saber rattling is irresponsible and dangerous. Except for Ron Paul, all these tough talking candidates managed to avoid military service. Romney and Gingrich are from my generation and managed to avoid Vietnam. Romney had a high lottery number and Gingrich had flat feet. There was nothing however, to keep Romney from volunteering to serve his country. Santorum is younger but evidently never considered military service. It’s ironic that these would-be Presidents have never served, nor have any of their children, but evidently they will not hesitate to send your children to war.
1. If you have never watched President Eisenhower’s farewell speech you should go to YouTube and watch it. It has all come to pass.
2. Maybe some part of Ron Paul’s opposition to our interventionist foreign policy is attributable to his service as a Flight Surgeon in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.
3. Ron Paul has been labeled an “isolationist” but a “non-interventionist” is something quite different. An isolationist is someone who goes off to live in the mountains in order to avoid contact with other people. A non-interventionist is a person who lives with others but does not try to dictate how the neighbors live their lives. An interventionist wants to control how everyone else lives. Ron Paul is a non-interventionist.