Sunday, November 14, 2010

What Fanatics Will Do

I 've written in the past that I worried that fanatics in Iran would be willing to "take one for the team" if nuking Israel resulted in an Israeli counter-strike that destroys Iran. As Moslems more than Persians--if this conjecture is true--their loyalty would lie with their view of Islam and not a rational desire to preserve their country. I couldn't find a reference I knew I'd made to Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis where Castro wanted to take one for the communist team.

Well, I found it in an old post on my old site. And with the New York Times archives open again, the link works:

But a Nov. 16 letter to Mr. Mikoyan from Nikita S. Khrushchev, the Soviet leader, revealed Soviet impatience with the Cubans' rejection of inspections and their pledge to shoot down American spy planes.

''Cuba, which now does not even want to consult with us, wants to practically drag us behind it by a leash, and wants to pull us into a war with the Americans by its actions,'' Mr. Khrushchev wrote. ''We cannot and will not agree to this.''

Fanatics have their own logic and we risk mass casualties when we try to impose our logic and values on their decision-making process.