Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Ted Koppel Quotes Don Corleone

...and gets things the wrong way round.

Former Nightline host Ted Koppel believes that the nature of the Iran's regime isn't the problem -- its American opposition to Iran's nuclear program. He argues the US should accept the inevitability of nuclear Iran and that our abject capitulation to the mullahs should be accompanied by a stern warning, citing a scene from 'The Godfather' to illustrate his point:
What, then, can the United States do to prevent Iran from developing nuclear technology? Little or nothing. Washington should instead bow to the inevitable.

'You insist on having nuclear weapons,' we should say. 'Go ahead. It's a terrible idea, but we can't stop you. We would, however, like your leaders to view the enclosed DVD of 'The Godfather.' Please pay particular attention to the scene in which Don Corleone makes grudging peace with a man - the head of a rival crime family - who ordered the killing of his oldest son.'

In that scene, Don Corleone says, 'I forgo my vengeance for my dead son, for the common good. But I have selfish reasons.' The welfare of his youngest son, Michael, is on his mind.

'I am a superstitious man,' he continues. 'And so if some unlucky accident should befall my youngest son, if some police officer should accidentally shoot him, or if he should hang himself in his cell, or if my son is struck by a bolt of lightening, then I will blame some of the people here. That I could never forgive.'
Don Corleone's machiavellian nature is obviously beyond Koppel, who unsurprisingly doesn't see the larger picture and gets the meaning of this scene exactly backwards. Later in the film Michael, now under his father's tutelage, asks about vengeance foregone. The exchange goes something like this:
MC: What about Sonny?

DC: I gave my word I wouldn't break the peace.

MC: Won't they take that as a sign of weakness?

DC: It is a sign of weakness.

MC: You gave your word you wouldn't break the peace. I never gave mine.

DC: We have plenty of time to talk about that now.
But we don't have plenty of time to prevent a nuclear Iran. Very soon, we must make the mullahs an offer they can't refuse.


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