What “stuff” could we have deprived the Kaiser of that might have deterred him? He had his own yacht, his own railroad car, a fleet of automobiles, stables of fine horses. He could even have aircraft had he wanted them. Palaces and hunting lodges he had in abundance.
What motivated Kaiser Wilhelm II was deep in his wounded psyche. He had been born with a withered arm and, extremely self-conscious about it, sought to make up for his deformity with aggressive and bullying action. His own mother and father feared him. His father, “Good Kaiser Fritz” was Friedrich III, who reigned only one hundred days as Kaiser in 1888, dying tragically of throat cancer. His mother was Queen Victoria’s beloved daughter, Vicky. She was so unhappy with her ruthless son that when she died of breast cancer, she had defied her jackbooted Prussian son. She had her self buried shrouded in Britain’s Union Jack.
Like Kaiser Wilhelm II, what is motivating the clerics and their mouthpiece, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is hatred. We have only to listen to their “president’s” wild rants at the UN to see this.
Gen. Dempsey should consult this address to the UN General Assembly by Ahmadinejad before pronouncing the Iranian rulers “rational actors.”
We should also take note of the generous applause from the delegates to the UN that greeted this lengthy diatribe against the United States and Israel. American taxpayers are paying for the desks that thump with thunderous approval of these outbursts from the podium of the “world body.”
There is not a word in this address—filled as it was with messianic triumphalism—that should convince us that the Iranians can be deterred by denying them “stuff” It is our leadership, unfortunately, that fails the test of rational actors.