Watch the right-wing distortion machine in action:Atrios
has a sensible post on the Iran "issue":
I don't want Iran to have nukes. I don't think that's a good thing for the world. I certainly didn't want Pakistan or India to have nukes. But is a nuclear Iran really a threat to us? Certainly an Iran-with-nukes could blow the hell out of a city or two, but an Iran that did such a thing would pretty much cease to exist. It isn't mutually assured destruction, it's you fuck with us a little bit and YOU NO LONGER LIVE BITCHES!
NRO's Byron York spins this as if Atrios were saying "Who cares about a city or two," and other wingnuts
hop on board, claiming that Byron York "caught" Atrios "opining about how the US could afford to lose a city or two at the hands of the Islamofascists in Iran."
Atrios responds to wingnuts:
I of course never even implied the notion "who cares about a city or two?" The point is that the deterrence that kept a few thousand ICBMs coming our way from the Soviet Union should also work with smaller state nuclear powers, with the added benefit that "mutually assured destruction" simply becomes "assured destruction" - theirs, not ours.
Atrios suggests that if Iran becomes a nuclear power, and if they "blow the hell out of a city or two," then the United States would retaliate. But isn't that what the entire world is hoping to avoid? If a nuclear Iran took out Jerusalem and London, to name a city or two, wouldn't that be really bad -- even if the U.S. was capable of devastating retaliation? Wouldn't it be better to prevent such an outcome, even if it involved a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities?
Now, York is no genius, but even he is not stupid enough for this to be an honest misreading of what Atrios is saying. Any literate person could understand exactly what he meant: that the assured destruction of Iran, should they decide to launch a nuclear attack, would prevent them from doing so
. Obviously, he is not saying that it would be OK if Iran took out a city or two, since the US would be able to retaliate - it's that Iran never would
take out a city or two, since they know what the extent of the retaliation would be.
I mean, are we really supposed to believe that York doesn't understand what a fucking counterfactual
More generally, are we really supposed to believe that even the right-wing war mongers actually believe that Iran would launch an unprovoked nuclear attack on the U.S.? Nobody in their right mind believes that
. Yet the Right is in the process of creating a political environment where it will be impossible to state the patently obvious: that Iran is not a threat to the United States. And if history is any guide, they'll be getting help with that process from the "Sensible Liberal" set.
Don't fall for it, and certainly don't abet them in their attempt to promote these lies to the status of unquestionable "truth".UPDATE:
This is funny. Doughy Pantload, a.k.a. Lucianne’s Dipshit Kid
, a.k.a. Jonah Goldberg, comes to the defense
of his colleague:
the President of Iran is reportedly a member of a cult which believes in sowing chaos in order to hasten the arrival of the twelfth Imam. This inclines one not to put too much stock in his rationality.
Yes, and, as we all know, the president of the United States is a member of a cult which believes in (and welcomes) the inevitability of an apocalyptic war in the Middle East in order to hasten the Rapture. This inclines some of us, at least, not to put too much stock in his rationality either.