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Dangerous Assumptions

Reader comment on item: Decision Time on Iran
in response to reader comment: Be Happy--Don't Worry

Submitted by LDC (United States), Nov 1, 2006 at 08:56

Iran may be run by fanatics, but they're not stupid----they're not going to start a nuclear war they can't win.

Blackspeare, you may be defining "stupid" from a rational, Western, secular mindset. Yes, you're right, they're not "stupid." But you assume that, from their perspective, starting a nuclear war would be "stupid." Sure, it was to the old Soviets. But they weren't fanatics--most of them. They were ideologues. These enemies are not ideologues. They are, from our perspective, religious fanatics, as you write.

Religious fanatics have a long and rich history of acting in ways you and I might define as "stupid," that they see/saw as righteous and leading directly to rewards in the world beyond.

An increasing secularizing West has moved further and further away from understanding such a mindset. The snake handlers in West Virginia are among the few in the U.S. who probably get it.

(Plus, Hitler was not stupid, nor was Stalin, by the way. Nor Pol Pot.)


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