From an interview with Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Aug. 9:

Q: Well, what about what the former national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said, that to have so much military muscle on display really is a spectacle of our weakness {Post op-ed, Aug. 6}; if we can't deter something with just a couple of warships, why aren't they afraid of us enough? Why do we have to send in so much?

A: Well, of all the people in the United States, Mr. Brzezinski should certainly know that the Iranians are not rational, he should certainly know that they break every code in the world and seize embassies and hold Americans for four or five hundred days, and they do that whether you have your might on display or whether you don't.

There is no way to have the military power there that is necessary to do the job and keep it hidden -- the press knows that better than anybody. And so obviously we go in.

But the idea that if we told Iran that we were going to be difficult with them if they did anything to us, that they would immediately stop doing it, which is essentially what Mr. Brzezinski said, I just have to think -- and I hate to use unpleasant terms on the air, but -- let me just say I think it's ridiculous. That's the politest way I can phrase it.

We have to have the capability there to do the task, and that is what we are trying to do.