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The only power that can defeat the West, is the West itself

Reader comment on item: Today's Iran Debate Misses the Point
in response to reader comment: On Second Thought - An Iranian Nuclear Threat Will Hurt Them More Than Help Them

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Apr 25, 2015 at 05:18

Hi, Tovey

You pointed out the curious fact, that the ultimate undoing of a nation lies not in its weakness, but in its strength. Rome, for instance, was strong when it was a regional power on the Tyrrhenian Sea, and a republic which had a two-headed leadership serving for one-year terms. When it became a strong empire surrounding the Mediterranean, it lost its manhood. Ultimately, few Romans served in legions, and they were entrusted to Germanic and other foreign generals. The empire crumbled suddenly and ignominiously, when the general Odoacer dispensed with imperial vanity and declared himself the King of Italy. From then until today, Italy has maintained itself as a so-so, second-rate power, by always living under the shadow of greater powers: the Carolingians, the Guelphs, the French, the Prussians, the Germans and the Americans.

The world today consists, as it has for hundreds of years, of essentially one power and a motley opposition. The great power is, and has been since perhaps the time of Columbus, Western Europe and its colonies and allies (including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan). Today, this aggregate controls some 56% of the world's firepower.

In the opposing corner, are countries roughly occupying what used to be the Mongol Empire: Russia and satellites, with about 11% total, China & allies, with about 8%, and Iran & Co. with about 2%. In the days of Genghis Khan, the Mongols held all the players together through sheer terror; but the Khan died and the empire was divided. The last time the Russians and Chinese really pulled together was in the early 1950s, when China was weak. Now China is nearly as powerful as the Russians, so the Russians don't trust them; and the feeling is mutual. As I said, and as you inferred, being strong has its down side. Even if those two could manage to march together, they would control only some 21% of the world -- a little over a third of the West's strength. These numbers may change somewhat in the coming years; but geography dictates that the only power that can defeat the West, is the West itself.

Just to look at Iran in perspective, I'll list my estimates of the power of individual countries, in order:

  1. USA 26.5%
  2. Russia 9.8%
  3. China 7.2%
  4. France 3.9%
  5. UK 3.5%
  6. India 3.2%
  7. Japan 3.2%
  8. Germany 2.8%
  9. Italy 2.7%
  10. S. Korea 1.8%
  11. Turkey 1.6%
  12. Brazil 1.6%
  13. Iran 1.4%
  14. Australia 1.4%
  15. N. Korea 1.2%
  16. Canada 1.2%
  17. Spain 1.1%
  18. Taiwan 1.0%
  19. Thailand .9%
  20. Saudi Arabia .9%
  21. Netherlands .8%
  22. Greece .7%
  23. Israel .6%

I stopped at Israel, which the whole world trembles at, afraid they will start World War III. On this list, Iran doesn't seem too all-fired powerful; but they are a regional threat that Israel must deal with. As you say, the closer they come to becoming a nuclear weapon state, the more their neighbors will become uneasy and plot against them. Then, they will march into the figurative Valley of Jehoshaphat and be defeated. Israel just needs to sound the trumpets and praise God.

Shalom shalom :-)

Submitting....

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