[Marxism] Republican Strategist Burkman:Hobbesian Choices: Attack the Iranian Barbarian State

Jon Flanders jonathan.flanders at verizon.net
Wed Dec 22 12:34:34 MST 2004

I caught this discussion on MSNBC last night:

Jon Flanders

not so sure.  But they feel that it‘s on the radar.  

They feel that it‘s—that the administration in Washington are having in
mind to bomb Iran.  And they think this is part of the neocons‘ plans to
begin with, start with Iraq and then go to other regions, including
Iran, Syria and probably Saudi Arabia, each in a different way.  

On the other hand, Pat, they are also worried about some sort of
courting, as they see it, between some in the administration and Iran,
in the sense that is called now the Shiite crescent, as referred to by
the king of Jordan, King Abdullah.  So it‘s contradictory signs,
contradictory readings, but I think it‘s also because of the policy on
Iran in Washington is really not clear yet.  

BUCHANAN:  Well, I think you‘re right.  I think the neo—there‘s no doubt
what the neoconservatives would like, but I don‘t see the president
moving in that direction.  




BUCHANAN:  OK.  Go ahead, Jack.  

BURKMAN:  This is the first time in about—first off, merry Christmas, a
la your segment.

BUCHANAN:  Right.  

BURKMAN:  But this is the first time in about 12 shows you and I will

The United States has an historic opportunity to reshape the Mideast.
Bush was elected on a foreign policy mandate.  This won‘t come for 10,
20, maybe 30 years, maybe more.  We have—Iraq is moving forward.  We
have to do the same thing in Iran.  The Iranians are thumbing their nose
at the United States.

BUCHANAN:  Do what?  Do what in Iran?


BURKMAN:  Well, there is an opportunity.

If the Iranians don‘t come to the table soon on the nuclear issue, the
United States has no choice but to issue a final warning and then to be
prepared to use military force.  We cannot allow a barbarian—we cannot
allow a barbarian state to become a nuclear state in the heart of the
Middle East.  


BUCHANAN:  Hold it, Jack.  All right, hold it.

Go ahead, Raghida.  

DERGHAM:  Listen, he‘s speaking as if we‘re doing great in Iraq, as if
things are going so beautifully.  The fact of the matter, we‘re not
doing that well in Iraq and we cannot afford to do Iran.  

What they‘re talking about in the circles of Mr. Burkman is having
Israel strike the nuclear facilities in Iran.  


BURKMAN:  No, that‘s not.  I‘m talking about the United States, Raghida.
You‘re putting words into my mouth.  The issue is...


DERGHAM:  Well, I‘m glad that you‘re not thinking that.  But let me just
address the nuclear issue.     

BURKMAN:  The issue is not what we can afford.


BUCHANAN:  Hold it, Jack.

DERGHAM:  Let me finish.

BUCHANAN:  Jack, let her finish.  

DERGHAM:  Please, let me finish.

I think the president spoke of diplomacy, and I think he is absolutely
right to do so.  Right now, not only the Europeans, the International
Atomic Agency, they‘re trying to pressure Iran.  And they should go on
pressuring Iran.  To go ahead with an adventure, a military one, in Iran
right now, I think it would be...


BUCHANAN:  Jack, let me ask you a question.


BUCHANAN:  OK.  Let me ask you a question, Jack.

Look, we‘ve got our hands tied in Iraq now.  We don‘t really have enough
troops there, a lot of people feel.  If you mount airstrikes on Iran,
you could no doubt set back their nuclear program for a period of time.
But you would also get Iranian volunteers in Iraq stirring up the Shia
against us, terrorist attacks against our facilities, all the way down
the Persian Gulf and all over the Middle East.  How in—even the
president seems to realize that this is really not an option now, that
the best you could do would be set their program down a couple of

BUCHANAN:  But, Pat, you don‘t realize.  You raise all the right points.

But you have to understand, the Iranians are already doing this
secretly.  The fact that we‘ve allied with the Shia, you would think
that would please them, but it doesn‘t.  Instead, they‘re trying to
capitalize on what they correctly perceived as an overextended America.
We can‘t allow that.

This is going to drift into a Vietnam situation.  There, we couldn‘t -

·         there, we couldn‘t no north.  Now we can‘t go east.  


BUCHANAN:  You‘ve got a country of 70 million people.  You‘ve got 70
million people.  We don‘t have enough Army to handle right now an
insurgency in the...  


BUCHANAN:  ... of that country.

BURKMAN:  The reality is, we‘re probably going to have to draft, because
incentives won‘t bring it up.  We‘re heading for a draft in this
country.  The choice for the United States is this.  Do we have the guts
as a people to lead the world?  World leadership is not easy.  

BUCHANAN:  Let me—go ahead, Raghida. 

DERGHAM:  I just want to say, this reshaping of the Middle East, a la
the style that is being recommended, I think it is neither good for the
Middle East, nor good for the United States‘ interests in the Middle

The fact of the matter, there is a lot of democratization that is needed
in the Middle East.  There is lots of change that is needed, but not
through bombing here and bombing there.  

BURKMAN:  But, Raghida, only the United States is bringing democracy.  

I can‘t believe you‘re saying this.


BURKMAN:  We can‘t go around—never mind bringing it through killing
these people.  Let‘s bring it their way as well.  


DERGHAM:  It is not about the Americans reshaping the Middle East.  

Let the Middle East shape itself as well.

BUCHANAN:  Exactly.  

Jack, we‘re liable to get an election in Iraq.  And they‘re going to
turn up—they could turn up with a Shia-backed government,
Shia-controlled government there, because the vast majority of the
people want a government based on Islamic law, Shia law.


BURKMAN:  Pat, there are risks.  But what you have to understand...


DERGHAM:  Well, that‘s a big risk.  I‘m sorry.  Mullah rule is not a
really good result for democracy.


BURKMAN:  What you must understand is that the only effort to bring
democracy to the heart of the Arab world has been the American effort of
the past two or three years.  

DERGHAM:  No, that is not true.         

BURKMAN:  There have been no other serious efforts.

BUCHANAN:  Jack, if you get—all right, suppose every Saudi voted today.
Do you know what they would vote for?  They‘d probably vote for Osama
bin Laden to get the Americans out of the country and to throw the
Israelis into the sea.  

BURKMAN:  You‘re right.

BUCHANAN:  What are we talking about us sending guys to die for that?  

BURKMAN:  Pat, you have to understand, we confront only Hobson‘s choices
right now.  

You‘re right.  It‘s a dilemma here, a dilemma here, a dilemma there.
What we have to do is.  You have to issue a final ultimatum to the
Iranians on the nuclear issue.  If they don‘t respond, we need heavy
airstrikes.  Now, why won‘t Bush do that?  


DERGHAM:  You can‘t even go there.  Look at how tied up we are in Iraq.
How are you going to—it is not feasible.  It is not feasible to do


BUCHANAN:  You start another war right in the middle of the gas station
of the world.  

BURKMAN:  You don‘t have a choice, because you‘re going to have a
nuclear state in Iran.

BUCHANAN:  We don‘t have a choice?  We have a choice not to.  


DERGHAM:  You think it‘s OK to just draft our kids and—just because you
don‘t have a choice, because you don‘t want to think about it?  


BUCHANAN:  Just a second.  We‘ve got to take a break.  More of the
debate when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.


BUCHANAN:  Are most American history books written by liberal and
radical academics who slant history to the left?  SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY
has the answer tomorrow night when we talk to the author of “The
Politically Incorrect Guide to American History.”

Don‘t miss it.


BUCHANAN:  Welcome back.  We have got some final thoughts now from Jack
Burkman and Raghida Dergham.  

Jack, why don‘t you start for about 30 seconds?

And let me say before you do, looking at the facilities, they don‘t have
them in Iran right now to produce the fissile material for a nuclear
weapon.  They are very far away from it, so I don‘t think this decision
is going to be forced on the president right soon.  You think, by the
end of this coming year, we will be at war with Iraq—or Iran?  Excuse

BURKMAN:  I hope not, but I don‘t think we can take the risk of going
down that road, Pat, because once that train starts, it will be harder
and harder and harder to stop it.  

Look, Iran is a barbarian state.  It‘s run by barbarians with nothing
but a medieval ideology.  Yes, maybe they have made some small progress.
And I throw out this question to both you and Raghida, who have the
opposite view on this point.  Can we afford to live—can you envision a
world that would be safe with a nuclearized Iran?  


BURKMAN:  And, surely, an Iran with nuclear weapons would be 1,000 times
as dangerous to the civilized war as Osama bin Laden.  

BUCHANAN:  OK, Raghida, we lived with a nuclear Stalin and a nuclear
Mao.  Can we live with a nuclear Iran?  

DERGHAM:  Yes.  And we‘re living with a nuclear Israel, a nuclear
Pakistan, a nuclear India, besides the other five nuclear powers.  So,
we are right now in a situation that we cannot deal with nuclear the way
we dealt with it in Iraq.  

Iran is a major country.  We cannot push it around this way.  There is a
need for the international community to watch what Iran is doing, so
that we do not deliver Iraq into the lap of Iran, as we are trying to
somehow do the runaround.  

BUCHANAN:  All right.  

DERGHAM:  Anyway, there is a good project in the Middle East.  It has to
be done without wars, a la Iraq.

BUCHANAN:  OK.  Jack, Raghida, as always, thanks for joining me.  

That‘s all the time we have for SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Chris Matthews is

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