November 20, 2006


Ahmadinejad is no Hitler (Ray Takeyh, November 19, 2006, LA Times)

IF YOU THINK IRANIAN PRESIDENT Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes outlandish comments, consider what Mao Tse-tung said to a visiting head of state in 1954: "If someone else can drop an atomic bomb, then I can too. The death of 10 or 20 million people is nothing to be afraid of."

Nonetheless, 15 years later, a nuclear-armed China was not only contained by the world, it opted for normalization of relations with its archenemy, the United States. Today, it is fashionable to equate Ahmadinejad with Hitler, yet the lesson of the 20th century is that rash leaders can, in fact, be deterred.

How profoundly ignorant of history does one have to be to seek to reassure folks that Ahmadinejad isn't Hitler, he's Mao? Do 100 million dead Chinese really matter that much less than 6 million Jews?

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 20, 2006 9:18 PM

But Mao was killing his own people. Nobody much cared when Saddam killed his own country men. Nobody much cared when the jihadists killed Muslims, nobody cared much when Ahmadinejad killed Iranians. Nobody cared much when the French killed the Algerians, nor the Russians killed whomever they were/are killing. As long as neither the Americans nor the Israelis were involved, nobody cared.

Posted by: ic at November 20, 2006 10:20 PM

1954 + 15 = 1969. Tricky Dick didn't go to China until several years later, and "normalization" didn't happen until well after The Great Helmsman and The Gang of Four had passed from the scene (and as pointed out, sending a few hundred million on ahead of them).

Just how hard is it to get a few numbers right, anyhow?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 20, 2006 11:16 PM

No one cared about Hitler killing people either, he had to take territory to get folks' dander up.

Posted by: oj at November 20, 2006 11:33 PM

Don't forget, too, that Mao was building Socialism. For such a noble cause (in the opinion of the Left, anyway), a few million peasants is a small sacrifice.

Posted by: Mike Morley at November 21, 2006 7:06 AM

Hitler only got FDR and his fellow travelers' dander up when he attacked Uncle Joe. Otherwise we would have sat it out.

Posted by: erp at November 21, 2006 8:50 AM

He could be Hitler or Mao. Either way, he's worth taking out.

Posted by: pj at November 21, 2006 4:07 PM