Sometimes Thomas Sowell says very intelligent things. So when he says this (via Marginal Revolution) I kinda think he’s gone nuts:
Perhaps people who are busy gushing over the Obama cult today might do well to stop and think about what it would mean for their granddaughters to live under sharia law.
That’s the line Cowen picked out. Surely, I thought, there was some context here — perhaps he was trying to get us to sympathize with pro-liberalization elements in Iraq or Iran, who want to prevent theocratic elements? Nope, he actually means sharia in America:
Just two nuclear bombs were enough to get Japan to surrender in World War II. It is hard to believe that it would take much more than that for the United States of America to surrender — especially with people in control of both the White House and the Congress who were for turning tail and running in Iraq just a couple of years ago.
Okay, just because I can, Japan did not surrender because of 2 nukes. It had been getting crushed in a hemisphere-wide war for four entire years. It had little-to-no oil, ships, planes, or pilots and only held a tiny percentage of the territory it could claim before Midway. The nukes just pushed it over the edge.
With that out of the way, is there really anyone at all who believes in some scenario where Iran gets nukes and a credible delivery mechanism (almost as difficult as nukes), then somehow manages to blow up New York and LA — and we surrender? You know, other than the obvious response: razing every square inch of Iran to radioactive dust? Sowell was alive for a long chunk of the Cold War, when we fought an enemy with a lot more nukes and an actual military capable of theoretically invading us. Did anyone think that if the Russians vaporized Chicago that we’d just roll over? Of course not — so why on earth would we ever do so for a vastly weaker nation with fewer nukes?
It’s one thing to say “Iran can’t have nukes because it would destabilize the region — they’d be able to threaten Iraq or Israel.” That’s a debate we can have. But Iran isn’t going to conquer the United States and impose sharia law. They can barely suppress their own people. I feel like an idiot for even having to say that. Sowell’s not an idiot — the only thing I can really say to mitigate this pure craziness is that he must be going senile.
Sometimes life makes you confront tough arguments that challenge your assumptions. Other days you get this. I think my work here is done!