More Americans Fear Iran Than Soviet Russia


From the Atlantic:

According to the November 1985 poll, 76 percent of Americans viewed the Soviet Union as a “very serious” or “moderately serious” threat. Only 32 percent of respondents classified the Evil Empire as a “very serious” threat. This week, CNN released a poll asking the same question, this time about Iran and other hostile nations. It estimates that 81 percent of Americans believe Iran is a “very serious” or “moderately serious” threat, with 48 percent calling it “very serious.” 

The problem with that?

Iran — according to the CIA, the IAEA and Mossad — does not have any nuclear weapons.

In 1985, 39,000 Soviet nuclear warheads were pointed at the rest of the world, enough of them ready on push-button alert to destroy the United States near-instantaneously and many times over.

Certainly, Americans are free to be concerned about whatever they want. But let’s just say that a 39,000 warhead disparity — as well as the fact that the Soviet Union was one of the largest, most powerful militaries in world history, and one that successfully defeated Nazi Germany, while Iran’s last war with Iraq ended as a pathetic stalemate —  puts today’s reality into perspective.

UPDATE:

In the interests of inciting some fierce debate, here’s my back-of-an-envelope estimate of the top nation states that are a threat to America’s national interest:

  1. America
  2. China
  3. Russia
  4. Pakistan
  5. Iran
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27 thoughts on “More Americans Fear Iran Than Soviet Russia

    • The ironic thing is that in Russia was a threat to Israel, in the sense that Russia supported Israel’s enemies militarily, and almost certainly had nuclear missiles pointed at Israel as Israel was a nuclear state, and an ally of the USA.

  1. Looks like Amuricans are more easily duped than the were in the 80’sdespite the fact that govt has lied so much about military threats.

      • I never had a problem with Reagan. In ’76 he was a good guy. It was George Bush who was running that administration, and those were his policies.

        • I thought Nancy’s astrologers were running the show for most of his second term.
          Pakistan deserves to be number 2 on your list I reckon, and number one on just about everyone elses. They’re f*cking loopy.

  2. The interesting and somewhat alarming thing about this is not the numbers in themselves, but what they signify. If Joe Sixpack is this bothered about a non-entity like Iran, then it can only mean that Joe has been subject to a big dose of propaganda. And if the Powers That Be put so much effort into trying to depict Iran as an enemy and a threat, then why might that be? Because war is imminent?

    • Could be. Personally I tend to believe they won’t do it, because they do not want to shoot themselves in the foot.

      But many things are possible.

    • It’s outrageous, Borj. And no one ever thinks about the fact that many people didn’t even know where these countries were prior to 2001. How much of threat can a country you didn’t even know existed until 10 years ago really be?

  3. I’ve long said that America’s greatest threat is America itself, as no one can militarily defeat it. It’s biggest threat is economic collapse and state secession, although there is the worrying trend of the military potentially being turned against itself. Nuclear conflict can destroy it, but not without destroying the aggressor as well.

    China is a problem primarily because it is so secretive, and potentially nationalist and displaying colonialist tendencies, but is not necessarily a threat.

    However the reason people fear Iran is because it is potentially fanatical and therefore irrational and thus a loose cannon. It has the potential to be terrorism writ large as a terrorist state. It is also unconventional in that it is more likely to disseminate nuclear weapons than ever launch them itself. All it needs is plausible deniability for the risk of a suitcase nuke to go off in Europe or the US, as that avoids MAD.

    Pakistan is far more of a threat to India than the US, but it is also only one step away from being a rogue state. Russia is also more of a threat to its neighbors than the US.

    • However the reason people fear Iran is because it is potentially fanatical and therefore irrational and thus a loose cannon. It has the potential to be terrorism writ large as a terrorist state. It is also unconventional in that it is more likely to disseminate nuclear weapons than ever launch them itself. All it needs is plausible deniability for the risk of a suitcase nuke to go off in Europe or the US, as that avoids MAD.

      Iran’s actions abroad have been horribly ineffectual. I don’t think they have the capacity to do much damage abroad. At home, they can close the Strait of Hormuz, which is why I include them on my list.

      • Lol. I would have expected someone to come up with a conspiracy theory involving the yanks by now. Obviously someone from the NSW govt stuffed up a long time ago and pretended it didn’t happen.

  4. How possible is it to blow off a nuke in a suitcase in Europe or America? I would say it is impossible for anyone but the top government people (insiders) themselves to do.

    The targets Al-Qaeda chose on 9/11 and 7/7 London make no sense at all. They hate Israel and Jews living in the US and UK who support Israel, so does it then make sense for Al-Qaeda to attack the US and UK civilians? Would this action bring about any victory for Al-Qaeda or would it have the opposite effect? I think Al-Qaeda may be portrayed as a irrational organization…but it still does not make sense. They would have attacked real Jewish assets in the US and UK….they did not suggests to me that Israel is responsible somewhere. Israel and the Lavon Affair is the model.

    Iran must be prevented from creating a Shiah Islamic bloc….just for strategic reasons, however if it is allowed to continue it will give greater cause to the Military Industrial Complex and Keynesian welfare-warfare policies.

    Pakistan is owned by the US….it is not a independent sovereign state, it is a vassal state.

    • Pakistan is owned by the US….it is not a independent sovereign state, it is a vassal state.

      And that is why some elements within it are so dangerous to America, because they do not like being a vassal state living beneath American incursions and drone strikes.

    • Not for the reasons the Washingtonian hawks would put it there.

      They could cause a nasty oil price spike by closing the Strait of Hormuz.

      Which is exactly what international sanctions are provoking them to do…

      Note how I put America as #1…

  5. Pingback: Emerging & Frontier Markets Headlines 2012.04.23 | | Diverging MarketsDiverging Markets

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