tv Sen. Cruz Remarks on Foreign Policy National Security CSPAN September 16, 2019 11:12pm-12:21am EDT
thursday at 9 am eastern also on c-span three. pres. trump and first lady manon you trump will host the second state dinner of his administration as he welcomes australian prime minister scott morrison and his wife jenny morrison. watch guest arrivals, it begins friday at 6:30 pm eastern on c- span. email@example.com or listen on the free c-span radio app. c-span is back into wine iowa for live campaign 2020 coverage of the polk county democrats annual steak fry beginning at 2 pm eastern where 18 presidential candidates will take the stage for speeches. watch the polk county iowa state fry, or listen live on the go using the free c-span radio app. up next sen.
ted cruz talks about us foreign policy and national security including threats from china and russia, he also shared his views on iran at this event at the hudson institute. thank you very much john and thank you to hudson for hosting me, thank you for the terrific work you are doing. these are challenging times, in the united states and across the world. we have to be candid that we have enemies in the world. i have categorized the countries we face in the world in four groups. enemies, allies, problematic allies, and rivals. let's talk about each. i ran seeks nuclear weapons.
north korea already has them. both have repeatedly called for the destruction of the united states of america. in south america we have disintegrating and failed states controlled by anti-american thugs such as ortega in nicaragua or missouri in venezuela. who use their resources to so chaos across the western hemisphere and beyond. we also face hostile rivals such as china and russia, qualitatively different from our enemy. in that we trade with them, we compete with them in the economic sphere, and yet more often than not, their interests are antagonistic to our own. and that you have the resources to be developing next- generation weapons platforms.
and sophisticated weaponry including hypersonic weapons, weapons that will be fielded in space and weapons that leverage artificial intelligence. the long-term geopolitical chessboard features prominently china and russia. as our principal rivals. and we are lagging too far behind in counteracting the new technologies they are developing. and then there are entire parts of the world where we rely on, at best, problematic allies. who often work against american ideals. allies like saudi arabia and pakistan. or lebanon. or turkey. each of these alliances is important for our national security interest and yet each of these alliances poses serious and ongoing challenges. as these problematic allies far
too often have demonstrated a willingness as the old saying is, to feed the crocodile in hopes that he might eat you last. and then we have our friends. countries like great britain. and israel. and canada. countries that america has stood side-by-side with for a long time, countries with whom our alliance was at times sorely weakened in the previous administration, the obama administration. countries with whom our alliances have been strengthened in the last 2 1/2 years. in the face of this complicated world sphere, there are two traditional frames in which republican foreign policy is often understood.
that of interventionism and that of isolationist. typically two binary points. into which republicans have been categorized. on the interventionist side, there are those who advocate using us military force to promote american values. those who advocate promoting democracy throughout the globe and being willing to risk the lives of young american men and women to do so. some have said these interventionist have never seen a war they didn't like. politicians who have been associated with this brand of foreign policy include my late colleague sen. john mccain, and current colleagues like marco rubio and tom cotton. the other point on the spectrum is isolationism.
a concern of foreign entanglements, a reluctance to engage in the world, a desire to pull back behind our shores. and not put our sons and daughters in harm's way. the political leader most frequently associated with this view, sen. rand paul. i have long described my views as a third point in the triangle. i disagree with neither of those two binary approaches to politics. my view has been described as that of a non-interventionist hawk. and what does that mean? what it means is that i believe the overarching objective of the us foreign policy, the touchstone for any military involvement should be defending the vital national security interests of the united states. it should not be promoting democracy. it should not be promoting
abstract values, it should be keeping americans safe. now what does that mean? what does that mean in practice because an abstract that can sound quite general. let's go with some specifics. when pres. obama proposed military intervention in syria i initially kept an open mind. i wanted to hear the commander- in-chief articulate how it would benefit us national security, how it would take america safer. if you recall the obama administration's articulation careened between points of incoherence. at one point then secretary of state john kerry said the objective was an unbelievably small strike. which immediately begs the question and what on earth is its purpose. but on the other side a
question that i asked repeatedly both in public briefings and in classified briefings is if a military strike is successful, if a sod is toppled and let's be clear a sod is a monster and a butcher who has murdered hundreds of thousands of his own citizens, i have no illusions about what kind of man bashar a shot is. but what i asked is if you succeed at toppling a sod with a substantial cash of chemical weapons how do you prevent those from falling in the hands of radical islamic terrorists? at the time obama was posing the military strikes, there were nine major rebel groups in syria and seven of those nine has significant ties to radical islamic terrorist al qaeda, the very beginnings of isis. and at each of those briefings i couldn't get a coherent answer from the administration of how you prevent chemical weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists who would use them, who would want to use
them both against americans and our allies, and unequivocally worse situation than the status quo. and the administration couldn't answer that question i came out publicly opposing military intervention in syria. in that, agreeing with me was rand paul but for very different reasons. likewise in libya the obama administration led a coalition of nations to topple qaddafi, qaddafi like a sod a very bad man with a horrible human rights record. and yet we toppled qaddafi creating a vacuum into which stepped warlords, radical islamic warlords that made libya by any measure more dangerous. and a greater threat to us national security. and then there is of course iraq. saddam hussein was yet another monster.
and yet, in hindsight, it is hard to dispute that toppling that strongman opened the door for isis. opened the door for radical islamic terrorist who had an even greater objective carrying out acts of terrorism and murder targeting american citizens. in all of those situations i believe us military force and the use of military force did not further our national securities. so what is the counterpoint to that? the counterpoint i would point to is iran. i believe the threat of nuclear in iran poses the single greatest threat to the united states of america. the ayatollah khomeini when he chants death to america, when he chants death to israel, i believe him.
i don't believe that is mere empty rhetoric. but rather it is a radical religious commitment, a zealotry. that if backed by nuclear weapon, could result in the annihilation of millions. i believe we should use every tool we have to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. what does that mean? that means diplomatic tools, that means economic tools, that means sanctions. and that means, yes, military force if necessary. sometime recently a reporter asked me a question that he thought was a gotcha question when he said would you be willing to use military force against iran and i said absolutely, that one is easel the, if iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons we
should not hesitate to use military force to prevent them from doing so. let me be very clear. when i talk about that potential i mean bombing their nuclear facilities into absolute rubble. i have zero desire to see an invading ground force that tries to turn iran into a democratic utopia. if our objective is to turn iran into switzerland, that in all likelihood will prove a mirage. an impossible objective. if our objective is to stop a radical theocrat from acquiring weapons to be used potentially to murder millions of americans or millions of our allies, that is an achievable and direct military outcome. too often if one is a
skeptic of using military force, the only option given then is retreating. into not being engaged. i think that is a parsimonious view of the levers, of the tools that we have for american foreign-policy. when i describe myself as a noninterventionist that does not mean we should ignore the world because as the world's only superpower we ignore the world at our peril. the most powerful tool that any american president has is the bully pulpit of the press. the bully pulpit of the presidency, the ability to speak for dissidents, you think about it in eight years of his
presidency, what was the biggest country ronald reagan ever invaded? grenada. president reagan was exceptionally reluctant to put our sons and daughters in harms way and quite rightly so. and yet he understood the power of the american holy pulpit. some time ago, i had the chance to visit with the -- in jerusalem. same soviet dissident who described his days in the good log where prisoners would pass from one cell to another notes, did you hear what president reagan said? the even, the evil empire, marxism, leninism will end up on the ash heap of history, mr. gorbachev tear down this wall.
the latter i believe are the most important words uttered by any leader in modern times. many of you come to my office here in dc, the dominant feature is an enormous painting larger than this backdrop, of president reagan standing before the brandenburg gate and above him the words tear down this wall in german in the style of the graffiti. and many don't know the back story of that speech. three times the state department edited those words out of the speech. and three times president reagan handwrote them back in. and the state department argued mr. pres. you don't understand, you can't say this it's too belligerent. this is too provocative. this is too hostile and mr. pres. this is our kicker. this is too unrealistic. it will never ever ever happen. the berlin wall will stand for
all eternity. and reagan, with a twinkle in his eye, he said you don't understand. this is the whole point of the speech. when president reagan gave those remarks, within less than three years, the berlin wall was torn to the ground. and if you value peace, if you value liberty, that moment should stand as a pivotal and transformational fork in the road. because it wasn't american tanks that knocked down that berlin wall. it wasn't minutemen missiles that bombed the wall to the ground. it was instead the incredible battering ram of truth. it was the battering ram of idea. and because president reagan understood the moral clarity,
the bully pulpit of the presidency because he spoke without fear and called out evil by its name, we won the cold war without firing a shot. it is one of the great disgraces of the nobel peace committee that ronald reagan was never awarded the nobel prize for peace. no decision in modern times has resulted in the liberation of more human beings then winning the cold war. and yet, the same intelligentsia who throughout the reagan administration said the soviet union cannot be defeated, immediately said reagan was a crazy cowboy for calling them out as soon as the soviet union collapsed they said it was inevitable and it was always going to fall. the bully pulpit of the
presidency is powerful, so is the economic leverage of the united states. using sanctions, using them strategically, using them directly, to defend american interest, is a powerful powerful tool. last year i passed into law legislation sanctioning the nicaraguan government, communist daniel ortega as long as they deny human rights, deny free and fair elections. that same week i passed into law separate legislation imposing economic sanctions and mandatory penalties on organizations and nationstates that use human shields against america or allies. organizations like hamas and hezbollah. using the leverage we have, and just a few weeks ago the senate foreign relations committee, we took up legislation that i introduced to stop the construction of the nordstrom
to pipeline. a pipeline being built right now to flow to take natural gas from russia to germany. which, if it is built, will enrich pollutant, will harm europe and harm america. will make europe even more dependent on russia and one thing to understand about russia, john mccain used to describe russia as a gas station with a country attached. vladimir putin is a petro tyrant, if you are concerned about russian aggression and military adventurism by vladimir putin, the very best thing we can do is deprive him of the resources to fuel that military aggression. so how does my legislation stop nor did stream at two?
it turns out there were only five companies on the face of the earth with the technology capable of laying the deep-sea pipeline. which is needed for nordstrom too. my legislation imposes sanctions on any company building that pipeline. the russians have hired a french company at a swiss company and an italian company. that legislation just past the foreign relations committee by a vote of 20 to 2. an overwhelming bipartisan majority. and by the way the russian disinformation campaign, they are telling europe this will never pass into law, i think a 20 i think a 22 to vote is a pretty compelling -- and when that passes it will stop in its tracks. that will hurt russia's aggressive militarism, it will benefit europe and benefit america, it will benefit freedom. we can use the tools we have.
let me use one final example. iran sanctions. i mentioned before that i consider the threat of a nuclear iran to be the greatest national security threat facing america. hand-in-hand with that i believe the greatest national security blunder of modern time was the obama iran nuclear deal. it literally gave $100 billion to a theocratic zealot who wants to murder as many americans as possible. the single most important national security decision made by the trump administration has been withdrawing from that deal. pulling out of the disastrous iran nuclear deal. saying we are not going to fund the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, we are
not going to send billions of dollars that will be used to develop nuclear weapons is, that will be used to spread terrorism, that will be used to murder americans. within the trump administration there was a major battle over whether to pull out. both the state department and defense department argued for staying in that agreement and i argued vigorously directly with the president, pull out of this agreement, it is a terrible national security decision for the united states. thankfully the president made the goal bold and courageous choice and pulled out of the agreement. however the battle was not done yet. maybe some folks here have heard of the deep state. i'm here to tell you the deep state is alive and well and has circled the barricades around washington dc. and the number one agenda objective of the deep state, at
the department of state in the department of treasury, is to preserve the disastrous obama iran nuclear. every single day the deep state , of treasury and state is working to frustrate pres. trump's decision. how did they do so? they did so first with the president pulling out of the agreement, by convincing the administration to issue a series of waivers, to issue oil waivers. oil waivers allowing iran to sell 1 million barrels a day of oil. because when you've got the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism who wants to murder you and is trying to amass the tools to do so it's a good idea to let them sell 1 million barrels of oil a day. this was lunacy. hand-in-hand with that are what are called the civilian nuclear waivers. which are waivers that lets iran do so-called civilian nuclear work. at sites like for now, a bunker
built into the side of the mountain that the ayatollah put there to develop nuclear weapons to use to murder americans. we have right now a waiver saying go right ahead. those waivers were a mistake when they were drafted. some months ago there was a battle over the oil waivers. the very same blinds occurred. we had the state department and the treasury department arguing, keep the oil waivers in place. in fact they argued if you revoke the oil waivers the price of oil will skyrocket. the energy department which one might think with no something about energy rightly argued no, they will not, there is more than enough supply in the marketplace, both us supply and the supply of other producers to more than fill that void. well, i engaged actively and
aggressively unfortunately the president agreed with me and into the oil waivers and by the way not only did oil not go up it went down. so state and defense were wrong, they were totally wrong. and the facts have proven they were totally wrong. so then the battle shifted to the civilian nuclear waivers. united states revoked three of the seven civilian nuclear waivers but unfortunately at the urging of state and treasury they reissued four of them. that was a mistake, a serious mistake. as we sit here today, the french foreign minister is in town. meeting with treasury secretary stephen min nguyen. and urging a plan, a plan to effectively give $15 billion to the ayatollah khomeini and i'm sorry to say in the leaking
stint that is watching them, washington, the reports are rampant that the white house might be fooled into accepting them. i hope and pray that is not the case. i hope and pray that steven mnuchin is not deceived and that he does not go down a path that would lead him to be the neville chamberlain of the modern day. there is a reason that nobody studies at the neville chamberlain school of foreign policy. because appeasing a lunatic rarely ends well. so i call on secretary steven mnuchin to have a clear and simple answer for the french. which is, no matter how much a
handful of french companies may stand to make from doing business with the ayatollah, america is not going to be part of funding the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism nor are we going to fund the development of nuclear weapons and icbms that could see their manifestation in a mushroom cloud. above tel aviv or new york or los angeles. and let me say to pres. trump, you are surrounded by the deep state and treasury and in-state. they are, their overarching objective is to prevent this administration from dismantling the iran deal completely because they believe one of the 2020 democratic residential candidates is going to win. we've all seen the debate stages, tweedledum and
tweedledum are. and every one of them would eagerly reinstate the obama iran deal. if we finish the job and in the waivers there will be no deal to reinstate. and indeed what we should do is exercise the sanctions that the us has a unilateral right to do to impose united nations sanctions, that is what we should be doing. but mr. pres., the deep state doesn't want you to do it. and they are arguing to you with everything they can and you've just got to issue a waiver, these are the same people that told you you couldn't pull out of the deal to begin with. these are the same people that told you we couldn't move the embassy to jerusalem. they are urging weakness and appeasement and if the trump administration takes their advice they will have undone the single against national security victory pres. trump has had. i hope and pray that doesn't
happen. don't fund theocratic zealots who want to kill us. and i believe the president will no enough not to listen to these voices that keep being proven wrong over and over and over again. and yet they have an ideological commitment, they are trying to convince pres. trump to adopt the obama foreign-policy. it was a disaster when obama implemented this policy. and if the deep state travails, they will have deceived pres. trump into making big mistakes. i hope and believe that won't happen. thank you.
thank you very much. there is a lot to talk about here but before we get to iran i thought i would start with a touchy-feely question. >> because i'm a very sensitive guy. >> that's what they told me. i spent the morning actually watching speeches of yours, >> you've really got to get out more. >> that's what my wife told me. i think i noticed something. in watching this. i wanted to no if i'm right about that. and the second question, this is the touchy-feely one, where
is that coming from. >> absolutely. and both are powerful and profound to me. let's take israel first. when i was elected to the senate, the first trip i took was to israel. i've been to israel four times. in the last seven years serving the senate. i have to admit growing up in texas, as a kid, i always had a strong connection to israel and i remember particularly, i was five or six years old when -- happened, but what it said to me was that israel was saying to its enemies if you take our citizens hostage they may die. but you're going to die. i have to admit that was a very
texan approach to foreign policy. it was clear and unequivocal. israel is our ally because they share our values, they share our commitment to liberty and they stand with america and by the way the $3 billion in military assistance we provide to israel each year provides massive national security and military benefits to the united states. if we try to re-create the military benefit that comes from that of alliance and try to do it ourselves it would cost a magnitude more. and when it comes to reagan, i have described as a generation of elected officials that are within a few years of each other, who came of age with reagan being in the white house. i was 10 years old when reagan became president and i was 18 when he left the white house. and just like the fdr, the
world war ii generation would refer to fdr as our president, i'll go to my grave with ronald wilson reagan defining what it means to be president. the generation of leaders we've seen, marco rubio and mike lee are six months younger than i am, paul ryan is a year older, tim scott is just a couple years older than i am, you see a generation that i've referred to as the children of reagan. because we learned watching that is how a president can lead. we learned watching the president say mr. gorbachev tear down this wall. and we saw the criticism of the intelligentsia, we saw the criticism of washington and we saw that the clarity had power. i also think at a very personal level, not all of us are, all
of us are the products of our own family stories and our own journey. for me, my dad grew up in cuba and fought in the cuban revolution, actually fought with castro, did not know castro was a communist but he fought against batista who was cruel and corrupt. and my dad was imprisoned and tortured by batista's goons. my aunt my tia sonja who was his younger sister, once castro took over he discovered, he said he was a communist, my tia sonja fought in the counterrevolution against castro and she was imprisoned and tortured by castro's goons so my family got on both sides. that is sadly not an unusual story in latin america and is not an unusual story in the countries that have seen tyranny and gone from one tyrant to another. and i remember as a kid my
cousin bb who is five years older than i am, she and i used to sit literally at the feet of my dad and my tia sonja and we would hear stories about being freedom fighters. and it was inspiring. the freedom we have here is special and unique and precious. so when i talk about reagan, winning the cold war, and doing so without firing a shot, that is liberating people. from oppression and misery and poverty and suffering and death. that is inspiring stuff. >> it's interesting, given your approach that you laid out in this talk, your laying claim to reagan's legacy. a lot of people especially the neoconservatives would not associate reagan with the ideas that you are associating him with. and i wonder how you would
respond to that. they would have a more expensive notion of american power. >> look, i think reagan had an expensive notion of the american bully pulpit. he also understood the power of truth. that truth cuts through and will clarify but reagan was exceptionally reluctant to put our soldiers in harms way. reagan didn't send our troops in to engage with the soviet union. reagan didn't invade cuba, reagan didn't, falkland islands, and bush didn't engage in that, instead, reagan understood military strength. what foreign-policy is associated with reagan more than anything else? peace through strength. i believe in that emphatically and it is where much of the media and the academy gets it wrong. they believe in what is essentially peace through weakness.
so when you get a democratic administration in, if one of these 20/20 democrats gets in, every one of them is going to want to get the military because they say gosh, we won't have military fights of our military is really weak that i think it's the opposite. reagan understood that if we have the most formidable military force on the planet, nobody in their right mind is going to want to mess with us and you don't have to use it. so for example, the strategic defense initiative more than anything else i think the soviet union's back. they couldn't keep up with it and reagan was derided relentlessly. remember star wars? remember the example that was given? and look i remember this as a teenager, i was kind of an odd teenager because i was watching all this and was deeply engaged but for the analogy that was used? this is ridiculous, this is the crazy hollywood cowboy and the idea of intercepting a missile in the sky is like a bullet
hitting a bullet. it could never happen. there is a wonderful video and let me encourage you to watch it and google it, it is called iron dome wedding. a video of a wedding in israel and they are's celebration and wedding music and someone filming on a phone or camera and suddenly you see missiles coming across the sky. an iron dome interceptor hits them and they explode and it's like watching fireworks in the sky and if you think about it without the iron dome missile defense system that wedding could have ended with horrific carnage and one of those missiles had it struck the wedding and killed many of the people there. but instead it looks like fireworks and you can hear the music in the background. that was the culmination of the vision that reagan laid out and gorbachev faced a situation where the soviet union tried to keep up. there is a reason at reykjavmk that gorbachev's number one request was give up sdi.
we will given on everything else and reagan had the commitment, number one he wanted to make peace but he had the commitment to get up up from the table and walk away and said no we won't weaken our military to do so. so gorbachev got heralded for glasco's and perestroika but he did so because he had very few other choices. the soviet economy simply could not keep up with the roaring american economy. and so peace through strength is the understanding that if we have the capacity to defend ourselves that we minimize the risk of having to use that capacity. and listen, when we look at china, china is investing in a massive degree and building up their military. and if china gets to a point
where they believe they can win a military conflict with the united states well god help us because the odds of that military conflict skyrocket when they believe they can prevail. when they know unequivocally there is no hope of prevailing is when you avoid the conflict altogether. >> lets move to iran. the, let's start with that actually. why have you been, of all the senators, why are they sanctioning you ? >> you would have to ask the ayatollah. i will confess i went to twitter when i ran proposed sanctioning me and i said i guess heidi and i have to change our christmas plans. look, i have tried very hard to be clear and unrelenting. in assessing and describing the mortal threat that a nuclear iran poses. they don't like that.
>> a few months ago, in july i believe, i guess a month ago, you, sen. rubio, sen. cotton sent a letter to the president saying what you said today. is it urging that snapback and the into the nuclear waivers? i'm curious, given that pres. trump obviously agrees with you about the nuclear deal and obviously agrees that his decision to denounce the deal is an achievement of his administration, how are they explaining the failure to get totally out of the deal, what are they saying to you? >> they are not giving explanations and it is as i described a minute ago, i think it is the deep state and their objective is keep the deal alive, keep it on life support so it can be switched back on in a democratic administration. at this point their objective is to just wait out donald trump, they are convinced he is
leaving in january 2021 so it's a waiting game. and unfortunately both the treasury department and the state department i think have been less than helpful in this regard. >> what would you imagine they are thinking at this point? i'm talking not about the lower- level officials but the more senior officials you mentioned, secretary steven mnuchin, are they afraid of getting sideways with the allies? do you think there is a fear of war with iran? is that a concern? >> i think their principal argument is that european allies want to deal back. because their companies stand to make money and by the way i have been around long enough that i remember our european allies sitting in my office in the senate asking for help because they said at the time this iran deal is terrible, it's a terrible idea but the
obama white house is twisting our arms so much that we have no choice but to go along with it. so that wasn't that long ago. but now the europeans, part of their slavish devotion to the iran deal is they hate donald trump. that is the irony is that you have world leaders who detest pres. trump trying to convince him to give up his biggest national security victory as a way, they want to say to the world, you see, obama was right and trump is wrong. and yet the deep state in the us is pushing the white house to go that way. i think that would be a massive massive mistake and look i get there are some european companies that want to do business with the iranians because they would make a few more pennies. so what? and by the way, none of them will do business with iran if the sanctions are vigorously enforced because no rational
actor given a choice between access to iran or access to the american markets, no one is going to choose iran. so we have the ability, we are seeing the iranian economy in a freefall. and what the europeans are trying to do is, let's step in and salvage the iranian economy. by the way, if you look at the incredible israeli operation that discovered the cash of secret documents in iran, and by the way this thing is a james bond novel in terms of the mission to discover this, where we learned to the surprise of nobody that everything iran had been saying was a lie. and that they had been actively working to develop nuclear weapons. and icbms which they continue to work to do. to develop. it is worth pausing and reflecting. and icbm is not to get to is real.
you don't need and icbm to get to israel from iran. and icbm is designed with one target and one only, the united states of america. there is a reason the ayatollah calls israel the little satan and america the great satan. let me pause and make a different point about iran. and let's step back with a little bit of context and history. let's go back to the bill clinton administration. the bill clinton administration with north korea led the world in lifting sanctions against north korea. kim jong-un, his father made a promise saying we won't develop nuclear weapons in exchange send us tens of billions of dollars and the clinton administration convinced the entire world to do that. the lead administrator -- the lead negotiator was a girl named wendy schrader. she cut the deal and we all know what happens. they got the money and they used it to develop nuclear
weapons and today we are dealing with kim jong-un with a significant stock pile of nuclear weapons. the deal was a disaster and a train wreck. now fast-forward to the second term of pres. obama. the obama administration recruited out of retirement wendy sherman to be the lead negotiator of the iran deal. i want you to pause and think for a second because you can't make this up. she is literally the only person on the planet who has already screwed this up once. over 7 billion people on planet earth and you could stop someone in the streets and say excuse me sir have you negotiated deal with the dictatorial tyrant that said that billions of dollars and ended up in them getting nuclear weapons? no? then you are more qualified to negotiate this and wendy sherman.
to the shock of nobody she came in and negotiated the same deal. in fact the iran deal is even worse. it is designed to end up with iran getting nuclear weapons and the reason it's more dangerous, listen north korea is a profoundly dangerous place. because there is an unstable dictator with the ability to murder millions in the flash of an eye. but kim jong-un at least, we know he is a megalomaniacal narcissist. we know he desperately wants to stay in power. what is truly, which means maybe just maybe let us hope some degree of rational deterrence as possible. that he knows if he ever uses a nuclear weapon the result would be stunning and overwhelming retaliation that would end his regime that very day. the danger with iran, when you take religious zealotry into account, when you have zealotry that embraces death and suicide, if the ayatollah ever used a
nuclear weapon over tel aviv, or new york, he could murder millions of , millions of americans. even if he knew the result would be overwhelming retaliation that would cost many many iranian lives and topple his regime, the danger with religious zealotry is that cost-benefit analysis might be acceptable to him.