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Spengler

Iran’s ‘Rational’ Suicide

February 29th, 2012 - 5:28 am

JCS Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey must have a big mind, if we accept Emerson’s dictum that consistency is the hobgoblin of little ones. Yesterday he “addressed remarks he made in a CNN interview in which he referred to the Iranian government as a ‘rational actor’ and said an attack by Israel on Iran would be ‘destabilizing’ and ‘not prudent,’” reports Jeremy Herb at The Hill:

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a Senate panel on Tuesday he did not counsel Israel against attacking Iran over its nuclear program. Gen. Martin Dempsey told lawmakers on the Senate Budget Committee, “We’ve had a conversation with them about time, the issue of time.”

Dempsey also defended his comment that Iran is a “rational actor.” Dempsey said that he doesn’t mistake Iran’s rhetoric for a lack of reason, and said that even Iran’s actions that are unacceptable to the U.S. fit the country’s pattern over the past 30 years. “We can’t afford to underestimate our potential adversaries by writing them off as irrational,” Dempsey said.

Please, Gen. Dempsey: read my book How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam Is Dying, Too)How can you tell if a person, or a country, is a “rational actor,” or not? Here’s a simple one: What is the rational self-interest of a bank robber with terminal brain cancer and no living relations? If such an individual takes hostages, you tell the police snipers to take their best shot. Iran is the national equivalent of a criminal with a tumor: it has the fastest rate of fertility decline recorded in world history. The table below comes from the UN Population Prospects website:

Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Total fertility (children per woman)
Medium variant
1950-2020

Period Total fertility
1950-1955 6.93
1955-1960 6.93
1960-1965 6.93
1965-1970 6.70
1970-1975 6.24
1975-1980 6.27
1980-1985 6.54
1985-1990 5.62
1990-1995 3.95
1995-2000 2.62
2000-2005 1.96
2005-2010 1.77
2010-2015 1.59
2015-2020 1.45

Iranian women bore 7 children in 1970, and an average of 1.5 today, the same as Europe. In the UN’s “low variant” forecast, fertility will fall to just 1 child per female.

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