That’s Mark Steyn‘s title, as he notes the West’s obsession with trivial and generally pointless safety regulation (pancake flipping? hot tubs? He might have added Toyota recalls and global warming) while letting Iran become a nuclear power.
It is now certain that Tehran will get its nukes, and very soon. This is the biggest abdication of responsibility by the western powers since the 1930s. It is far worse than Pakistan going nuclear, which, after all, was just another thing the CIA failed to see coming.
In this case, the slow-motion nuclearization conducted in full view and through years of tortuous diplomatic charades and endlessly rescheduled looming deadlines is not just a victory for Iran but a decisive defeat for the United States. It confirms the Islamo-Sino-Russo-everybody else diagnosis of Washington as a hollow superpower that no longer has the will or sense of purpose to enforce the global order….
But even without launching a single missile Iran will at a stroke have transformed much of the map — and not just in the Middle East, where the Sunni dictatorships face a choice between an unsought nuclear arms race or a future as Iranian client states.
In Eastern Europe, a nuclear Iran will vastly advance Russia’s plans for a de facto reconstitution of its old empire: In an unstable world, Putin will offer himself as the protection racket you can rely on. And you’d be surprised how far west “Eastern” Europe extends:
Moscow’s strategic view is of a continent not only energy-dependent on Russia but also security-dependent. And, when every European city is within range of Teheran and other psycho states, there’ll be plenty of takers for that when the alternative is an effete and feckless Washington.
It’s a mistake to think that the infantilization of once-free peoples represented by the micro-regulatory nanny state can be confined to pancakes and hot tubs. Consider, for example, the incisive analysis of Scott Gration, the U.S. special envoy to the mass murderers of Sudan: “We’ve got to think about giving out cookies,” said Gration a few months back. “Kids, countries — they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement.”
Actually, there’s not a lot of evidence “smiley faces” have much impact on kids in the Bronx, never mind genocidal machete-wielders in Darfur. So much for the sophistication of “soft power,” smiling through a hard-faced world.
The balance of power is about to tilt, rather abruptly, away from the United States. That shouldn’t be a surprise. It was one of Obama’s most obvious goals and, to everyone who voted for him: You’re about to get what you said you wanted.
A post-American world isn’t going to be a very nice place to live.