On Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher, comedian Bill Maher asked whether Iran, who is presently fighting against the self-declared Islamic state ISIS, is really any worse than ISIS. Maher’s question helps illustrate how Iran, which has often been decried as an enemy of the United States, is standing against Islamic militants who hate America.
“Iran is fighting ISIS. I don’t think a lot of the Republican candidates know that this is happening, but don’t we have to kind of pick who’s the enemy, because you can’t help them both. When you help one you don’t help the other, you are an ally of the other. So who’s side are we on? Who’s worse? Iran or ISIS? Because if it’s ISIS, if they’re the really bad people, we shouldn’t perhaps be making enemies of Iran.”
Maher rehashed his position on how Middle Eastern nations, instead of the United States, should be handling military disputes in their region.
“Everytime I say that the locals should handle this themselves, the locals being the other Sunni Arab countries, I won’t even bring Iran into this, the experts says to me, ‘Oh Bill it would be great if this could happen but I’m afraid they just can’t do it.’ Then let me ask the deeper question of an expert: Why are Muslim armies in the Middle East so useless? Except for ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban — except for the ones that believe in Islamic fundamentalism. Those are really good armies, in fact we can’t defeat them.”
Maher then showed a chart that listed the size of the armies of Middle Eastern countries. Egypt topped the list with a force above 1.2 million, followed by Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. Nearly ever single listed army vastly outnumbered ISIS’ forces.
Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff, agreed with Maher.
“Let me give you a little history on this and say that you’re absolutely right. U.S. policy for almost half a century in that region in the world, notwithstanding our overthrow of Mosaddegh in 53′ and the Shah’s collapse in 79′ and so forth, U.S. policy was to be offshore and move ashore only as it was necessary to protect our interests and keep the peace. That was it, boots on the ground was out of the question. It was understood — from the admonition in The Princess Bride — you don’t want to start a land war in Asia.'”
[Image via HBO]