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Obama is an optimist – about the world, America's place in it, and even the threats it faces in the Middle East. And history suggests that it's the optimists who have tended to be right. In 2014, John McCain declared the world is "in greater turmoil than at any time in my lifetime" (which includes the rise of fascism, Nazism, World War II and the Soviet nuclear threat).In an essay in 1989, Harvard scholar Samuel Huntington noted that the United States was experiencing its fifth wave of this kind of pessimism since the 1950s.First, he explained, Sputnik shocked America, and by the early 1960s, the country was convinced that the Soviet Union was on a path to overtake it economically, technologically and militarily. Iran is also fielding forces in Iraq to fight the new, rising threat from ISIS, which is above all an anti-Shiite terror group.It will handle the threat from a middling regional power like Iran.To recognize this is not naivete but confidence, a confidence in America that is confirmed by history.
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