The Soviet Union was a superpower unlikely to attack us because retaliation would have been certain and massive. Iran may be comparatively puny, but the chance that the mullahs will actually use the weapons once they have them is geometrically greater.Dismissing a potentially nuclear-armed Iran as "puny" probably wasn't a smart move by Obama, but I nonetheless continue to be amazed at the rose-colored glasses that so many conservatives use these days when they talk about the old Soviet Union. Back in the day they sure didn't think the Soviets were rational. They didn't think much of MAD either, a term initially invented by conservatives as a term of ridicule. And communism was very much considered an apocalyptic, expansionist ideology that would never rest until the West was buried. The Andy McCarthy of this post would have been considered a wide-eyed naif by any serious conservative of 30 years ago.
....Ahmadinejad and his cohort are apocalyptic jihadi revolutionaries. Shouldn't what they believe be analyzed and factored in as we try to assess the threat that they pose? Or would that offend moderates too much? It seems awfully silly to compare them to the Soviet Union when, with the latter, we had a deterrence policy — Mutually Assured Destruction — that was explicitly based not only on the size of the enemy arsenal but on whether, given his motivations, he was likely to act.
I dunno. I guess they have to do this because it's the only way they can make Iran look like it's the worst threat ever in history. But as dangerous and destabilizing as a nuclear Iran would be, there's simply no reason to think that Shiite theology makes them undeterrable. They've never acted suicidal in the past, and it's unlikely they will in the future. Obama has that exactly right.