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Juan Cole: Top 10 things you know about Iran that aren’t true

7 October 2009
Well, though I didn’t know the things Juan Cole (whoever he may be) thought I knew, no doubt he thought that somebody thought they knew them, so if you are among those, here’s Juan Cole’s dope to set you right.
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Belief: Iran is aggressive and has threatened to attack Israel, its neighbors or the US
Reality: Iran has not launched an aggressive war in modern history (unlike the US or Israel), and its leaders have a doctrine of “no first strike.”

Belief: Iran is a militarized society bristling with dangerous weapons and a growing threat to world peace.
Reality: Iran’s military budget is a little over $6 billion annually. Sweden, Singapore and Greece all have larger military budgets
Iran spends less per capita on its military than any other country in the Persian Gulf region with the exception of the United Arab Emirates.
Belief: Iran has threatened to attack Israel militarily
Reality: No Iranian leader in the executive has threatened an aggressive act of war on Israel, since this would contradict the doctrine of ‘no first strike’ to which the country has adhered
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Hat-tip to Monte Asbury.

It seems to me that people who think as Juan Cole thinks they think must live in a country with a well-developed war psychosis, such as we had in South Africa in the days of P.W. Botha and Magnus Malan.

And if you don’t nip it in the bud, it can end up like Enver Hoxha.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Porlock Junior permalink
    13 October 2009 8:43 am

    They do live in a society with a well-developed war psychosis. Well said. Fortunately, that’s not quite true about their whole nation. Which is a bit comforting to know, since one would hate to think of such a nation having nuclear weapons or anything like that.

    A commenter in another blog made the remark, “I think the problem people in the U.S. are having is the discomfort of realizing that the outcome of one of our elections has been rewarded with the Peace Prize, as if we were some recovering rogue state.”

    As if we were some recovering rogue state: that nails it pretty well.

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