President Bush accused Iran’s rulers on Tuesday of using their nation’s wealth to fund terrorists and nuclear arms research but said he preferred to resolve differences with Tehran diplomatically before resorting to sanctions.
Of all the arguments that can be used to argue against the Iranian nuclear weapons program, this must be the most revolting, next to “But Muslims shouldn’t have nukes!”.
It’s not so much that Bush is wrong here – after all, it’s true that countries should spend more money on infrastructure, education, and welfare than on the military. It’s that he has no sense of hypocrisy or shame that he’s saying this as a leader who engages in borrow-and-spend policies to pay for wars of aggression. It’s that he throws money on the military and on corporate welfare and adds tax cuts for the rich on top of that.
The 2005 Human Development Report puts Iran’s military spending in 2003 at 3.8% of GDP. The International Institute for Strategic Studies in London puts the current spending at 3.5%. In comparison, American military spending not including Iraq and Afghanistan is 4.3% of GDP. In fact, Iran spends less on the military in percentage terms than the USA’s allies in the region – Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia.
Generally, I have a low level of tolerance for the murderer who moralizes about the robber.