The Right Coast

January 16, 2006
Those darn world wars
By Tom Smith

Don't worry. We know that anti-semitic nut cases rarely start world wars. Do the Jews really have that much cause for concern? When some demagogic leader says he wants to "wipe them out," that is obviously just a figure of speech. The idea that the US should preemptively strike a sovereign nation such as Iran is imperial hubris at its worse. This is not like Hitler and Germany.

More seriously, I have been fascinated by 20th century European history since I was in college. Here is a very good new book about The Third Reich. There are significant parallels between Nazi Germany and Islamist Iran. Both were or are dislocated societies in the grips of a diseased ideology. Both groped toward national identity and pride through military might. Both scapegoat the Jews for partly mysterious but wholly pathological reasons. Germany did not and Iran probably would not, hesitate to murder on a genocidal scale if they thought it served their national purposes.

I hope our national leaders are capable of thinking outside the box on this one. Letting the UN dither us into an existential crisis should not be an option.