Thomas Sowell

This past week has also seen revelations about our enemies. Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez' cheap demagoguery at the United Nations was a clear sign of the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of his anti-Americanism. Surely if he had anything concrete and serious to say against this country, he would have said it.

Equally clearly, he understood that no coherent argument was necessary. All that was necessary was to tap into visceral resentments and play to the gallery of those poisoned by envy and ready to blame their own lack of achievement on somebody else.

The president of Iran was slicker but his speech at the United Nations and his artful evasions at his press conference are also revealing and should be a warning. He too is obviously playing us for fools.

Those in the United States and in other western nations who are urging dialogue with Iran are repeating the tragic mistakes of the 1930s that led to World War II. People say talk is cheap but it can be enormously costly when it becomes just a way to forestall action while an enemy nation builds up its military threat.

Since Iran is not letting the idle chatter at the U.N. delay their rush to get nuclear weapons, they are more dangerous than the Nazis were -- while we remain as gullible as those in the west who blundered into World War II and almost lost it.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate