WaPo columnist David Broder writes:
I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected. But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this threat and contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.
There’s so much wrong with this disgusting blather that it’s difficult not to think that I’m misunderstanding it.
First of all, you are suggesting that the president go to war for political gain, and to argue otherwise is to split hairs.
Second, Iran is the greatest threat to the world? I’m not even sure that Iran is the most threatening country to the world, let alone its greatest threat. What about hunger, disease, or climate change? How about globalization, or the privatization of food and water supplies by corporations? Domestically, how about corporate personhood, plutocracy, oligarchy? And if you measure threats solely by nuclear arsenals, and a nation’s willingness to go to war, then the United States is clearly the greatest threat to the world.
Last point, there must be a logical fallacy that addresses this “greatest threat” frame. Let me put it this way: there will always be a greatest threat. There must always be a greatest threat, even if you find yourself in a sealed room with only a ferret and hedgehog. If you live in a universe where you’ve somehow managed to eliminate every viable threat down to the hangnail on your left thumb, does that mean it’s time to go to war with it? The phrase “greatest threat” is nigh meaningless.
I’m not familiar with David Broder, but he sounds like an idiot.