The last few days have seen a real ramping up of conservative jingoism on Iran. On Sunday we had Dick Cheney admitting that he had pushed the Bush administration to attack Iran, vindicating those who had suggested that there were strong voices in that administration for such an attack.
In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, former UN ambassador John Bolton scoffed at the idea of changing Iranian behavior through non-violent means, writing that “adopting tougher economic sanctions is simply another detour away from hard decisions on whether to accept a nuclear Iran or support using force to prevent it.”
Now the right-wing website Newsmax has posted a truly amazing video on the Iranian menace featuring, among other delights, neoconservative Frank Gaffney gravely warning against the threat of an Iranian-launched electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack:
GAFFNEY: Within a year of that attack, nine out of ten Americans would be dead. Because we can’t support a population of the present size in urban centers and the like without electricity. That would be a world without America, as a practical matter. And that is exactly what I believe the Iranians are working towards.
It is true that the consequences of an attack like the one described in the video would be catastrophic. As a practical matter, however, it’s probably worth pointing out here that the likelihood of Iran, or anyone, actually pulling off such an attack is roughly the same as Iran building an enormous, space-bound vacuum cleaner and sucking up all of America’s oxygen. But Gaffney and other EMP threat promoters like Newt Gingrich are betting that most Americans aren’t going to invest the amount of time it would require to learn this.