The growing Iranian military behemoth

Glenn Greenwald writes: The tranquility of my Saturday morning was disrupted — and that’s putting it mildly — when I read on Glenn Reynolds’ popular right-wing “Instapundit” blog that we can learn important “Lessons About Iran From Hitler.” To know that we have yet another New Hitler in our midst is alarming indeed. Reynolds’ link takes one to an even more jarring warning about the Persian menace, by David Goldman, that extensively compares the fallen Nazi leader to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and argues that because both figures are maniacal monsters presiding over a dying nation, only a full-scale military attack can stop them. ”However much it costs in Iranian blood and well-being, it’s still worth it,” Goldman casually decrees.

Sociopathic calls for aggressive attacks on other nations and cheap invocations of Hitler are not worth commenting on: neocons churn those out reflexively. But what is worth noting is the event Goldman is flagging as proof of Iran’s aggressive intentions: “Iran is planning to double its defense budget even though its currency is collapsing,” he warns. A doubling of its defense budget! Who among us can remain calm in the face of such naked militarism?

That Ahmadinejad claims that Iran will increase its military budget for next year by 127% was widely reported this week. For a variety of reasons relating to Iran’s economic difficulties, that plan is quite infeasible — typical Ahmadinejad blustering — but let’s assume for the moment that it will actually happen. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Military Expenditure Database, Iran’s total annual military spending is $7 billion; an increase of 127% would take it to $15.8 billion — also known as: less than 2% of total U.S. military spending (which was $698 billion for fiscal year 2010).

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4 thoughts on “The growing Iranian military behemoth

  1. Christopher Hoare

    The whole article hinges on whether David Goldman (pretending to the ‘wisdom’ of Spengler) is a credible commentator. While I sent you (Paul) a link to the only article of his in Asia Times Online recently that made a reasonably sane argument on mind vs mechanistic brain speculation, I must reiterate that his usual drivel is driven by his return to Judaism (perhaps a conversion on the way to Wall St), a penchant to view Abrahamic nonsense as a valid foundation for critical political analysis, and in no way should be taken seriously.

    I do accept that any fool with a billionaire bankrolling him in the US is given unlimited exposure by the clowns and charlatans pretending to be guardians of ‘truth’ in that country, but taking Goldman seriously must surely be the low point. I think the link above…Will Israel really attack Iran?… offers a serendipitous conjunction in the discussion of credible oracles… the answer to that question must surely resemble that the Pythian oracle gave to Croesus…if the US and Israel cross the ‘River Halys’ a great kingdom will likely fall and it won’t be the one they expect. Greece always was wiser than Jerusalem.

  2. Tom Hall

    Am I alone in noting the paradox that the leading right-wing figure of the Twentieth Century has become the bogeyman of Twenty-first Century conservatives? Who could be more closely linked to the historical outlook and tactics of neo-conservatism than the fuhrer of the Third Reich, with his incessant lies, claims of peril, demands for concessions, regime change etc yet the movement now affects to despise him and goes so far as to charge opponents with walking in his footsteps. And so the world is confronted by a strident, bankrupt superpower pointing an accusatory finger at those who contest the Project for a New American Century, and labeling those resistors as Nazis. Amazing.

  3. bernd rust

    David Goldman is living proof that Adolf was and still is the greatest provider of jobs –
    ever. 60 years after his death he is still keeping hordes of mediocre penpushers and commentators busy.

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