Iran Is No Threat, Unless Bush Makes It One
........Comparing Iran with the 1939 Nazi Germany is ridiculous. Germany was a powerful, industrialized nation that had been defeated in World War I. It had grievances against the victors who had humiliated it. Germany's culture was such that many Germans blindly followed their charismatic leader, Adolf Hitler. Even the eminent physicist and Nobel Laureate Werner Heisenberg, though no Nazi, worked for the regime. Most importantly, the 1939 Wehrmacht was the most powerful military in the world, backed by Germany's advanced technology, industrial capacity, and a great corps of first-rate scientists. At the point in time Bush was referring to, Germany was invading Poland and had already annexed Austria and devoured Czechoslovakia.
Compare this with Iran, which has neither territorial claims against any nation nor has it attacked its neighbors for 1,000 years, but was the victim of an eight-year war with Iraq, which was encouraged and supported by the U.S. Persian culture is such that few Iranians blindly follow their leaders. In 1905 Iranians set up the first constitutional government in all of Asia and the Middle East. Despite its resources and potential, Iran is only a developing nation, not an advanced industrial power.
Iran's armed forces have been designed to defend the country, without any ability to project power outside the country's borders. The massive presence of U.S. and NATO forces around Iran limits Iran's reach, as do its terrible economy, restless population, and democracy movement. The U.S. and Israel constantly point to Iran's aid to Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah as evidence of its "evil intentions." But with relatively weak armed forces and constant threats from the U.S. and Israel, Iran needs strategic depth to protect its territorial integrity, hence its aid to both Hezbollah and Hamas.
Furthermore, Hamas won the democratic elections of 2006 and is far more popular than Fatah. As Sen. John McCain said then, "They are the government. … It's a new reality in the Middle East.'' And contrary to popular misconceptions, Hezbollah would be just as powerful without Iran's help, because it was formed as a reaction to the invasion of southern Lebanon by Israel in 1978 and 1982, which created hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite refugees and tens of thousands of Shi'ite dead and wounded, while the U.S. and the rest of the West stood by, doing nothing. Hezbollah and Hamas receive aid, not orders, from Iran.........Article continues