Matthews Blasts Dem "Buffoonery," But Believes Iran Nukes as Much as 10 Years Off

You know the Ted, Chuck & Joe Show flopped when even Chris Matthews accuses the Dems of "buffoonery" in the Alito hearings. Yet that is exactly what Matthews did in his appearance on this morning's Today show:

"I don't think any points were scored by the Democrats. There was a lot of buffoonery by Democratic senators."

For whatever reason, Matthews was on his most 'fair & balanced' behavior. For example, in discussing Pres. Bush's joint appearance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday, Matthews described Merkel's predecessor, the left-wing Gerhard Schroeder, as "very obnoxious," having taken "one cheap shot after another at us" and exploited our tribulations in Iraq for his own political gain.

With one significant exception, give Matthews good marks too for taking the Iran nuclear threat seriously. Said Chris:

"In this case we're dealing with a very dangerous customer, Iran, a much more sophisticated country than Iraq."

On the other hand, Matthews has fallen prey to what could be a dangerous optimism as to the length of time it would take an unchecked Iran to produce nuclear weapons. Said Matthews:

"The good news is we're talking five-to-ten years before they can weaponize, and hopefully closer to ten."

Sounds like the same kind of wishful thinking in play at the end of WWII regarding the time-frame for the Soviets to acquire nuclear weapons, with some top officials at the time predicting it would take them as long as twenty years.

In fact, it took the Soviets only a very few years. By 1949 they had exploded their first nuclear weapon. Today's technology is vastly more sophisticated, and Iran has virtually unlimited oil revenues with which to buy technology - or perhaps even to buy a nuke itself from a rogue state like N. Korea.

It would be very dangerous to gamble that Iran's nuclear weapons capability is as much as ten years off.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.