03 October 2014

Uncommon Commentary #429: I-SIS? I-ran? Ay Me!

In advocating a partnership with Iran against the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as the ISIS or ISIL), US Sen. Graham posed the question “Why did we deal with Stalin?”, and then answered it himself: “Because he was not as bad as Hitler.”  One might reasonably expect somebody to give a correct answer to his own question, but the Senator is quite mistaken.  The right reply is that, after Germany declared war upon both the USA and Stalin’s USSR, these two countries had a common enemy in Hitler; indeed, circumstances practically forced them into a military alliance.
Moreover, the reason for Sen. Graham’s WWII reference, which evidently is to argue that Iran is preferable to the IS, is even more wrong than his assertion that Stalin was “not as bad as Hitler”.  The nascent Islamic State lacks an air force and is estimated by the CIA to comprise between 20,000 and 30,000 fighting men, most of whom have no real military training; Iran has a total population of 77 million, 550,000 of whom are members of the standing armed forces and another two million of whom serve in its reserves, and, of course, it is bent on acquiring nuclear weapons.  Which one do you consider the greater threat to the rest of the world? (Using the Senator’s logic, we perhaps ought to ally ourselves with the IS against Iran!)