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Author Topic: "Republicans Warn Iran -- and Obama -- That Deal Won't Last"
Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Seneca:
quote:
Rolling over won't less their desire to kill us, rather it would make them think Allah was laying us low for their righteous slaughter of the "infidels."
No partaking in your calls to genocide or other punitive actions that only drum up more anti-US sentiment isn't rolling over. That's an unquestionably false assertion.

I haven't called for genocide. Your statement about my position is false.


Fenring:
quote:
If we think of Nazi Germany we can see a case where appeasement or friendship would be a failure.
There's a key difference- in the case of Germany, we gave a dictatorial leader what he wanted, regardless of the overall position of the people involved.

What's being proposed here is th- that we work on building ground up sympathy and support, such that dictatorial directives from the leadership lose traction. Deal firmly with the leadership, including making arrangements with them and holding them up in front of the international community based on how well they hold to them, while at the same time making it clear to the people that we have no animosity toward them- that our beef is entirely with the behavior of their leadership and make sure that they're as well insulated as possible from any the negative effects of actions we take against their leadership.

I haven't called for genocide. Your statement about my position is false. I'm the other hand, allowing Iran to achieve nuclear weapons technology is a step towards our genocide.

Now that Iran is religiously committed to our destruction, regardless of the origin, no one here can say that there is a rational way to end it since it has become a holy war. Do you understand this simple fact? How do you reason with a zealot who believes they are on a mission from their God to slaughter others?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
They are trying to kill us. This makes them a threat.
No. Even if you think they're sincerely trying -- which I don't, but never mind -- they're only a threat if they have a chance of success. My neighbor has a yappy little dog who is convinced that I'm the biggest threat to the neighborhood and lunges at me to worry my ankles whenever I'm around. Guess how threatened I feel by it, and how driven I feel to destroy it so it can no longer "threaten" me.
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Seneca
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http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/07/iran-killing-american-troops-in-iraq-and-afghanistan/241486/

http://thehill.com/policy/international/235158-iran-letter-author-theyve-been-killing-americans-for-35-years

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/hezbollah-has-seized-and-murdered-hostages-condemns-foley-killing

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/hey-andrea-mitchell-here-are-some-americans-killed-by-our-ally-iran-before-2002/#0

Even the partisan, preatorian guard NYSlimes grudgingly admits it.
http://www.nytimes.com/live/netanyahu-address/fact-check-has-iran-really-killed-or-maimed-thousands-of-americans/

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:

quote:
My second question is, do you think it might not be possible to convince them that American isn't the Great Satan after all? And I don't mean tricking them, but assuming you disagree with their assessments about America then surely increasingly friendly relations would show them that it isn't true?
Short of becoming an Islamic theocracy and recognizing them as the head of an international Caliphate to which we submit ourselves, no.

My follow-up is: Does Iran call England the Great Satan? How about Germany? Russia? If not, what about America makes it the Great Satan to them? Surely it can't be the presence of atheism, since America is far more religious than many European countries. It can't be mixed capitalism alone, since many nations also have this. Can it be liberal values? But then many European countries have more liberal social values than the largely Christian U.S. does, and it can't be Christian values since many countries are just as Christian as the U.S. (although many of those are Catholic).

So what is it? Could it be the power, and in addition, the foreign policy of the U.S. that makes it the Great Satan to them? If it's this, then this seems like an area where compromise would be possible if we so chose. But if it's not this either then it sounds like it's not anything, in which case I wonder why America is the Great Satan and not Germany.

While their hatred may have started for political reasons, it has become cultural in ways that won't change unless you eliminate our 1st Amendment. Will you do that to attempt to appease Iran?

quote:
Iran hates us for religious reasons in addition to historical political reasons. Their hatred may have largely started due to involvement with the Shah and other things but it is sustained now as well by Hollywood, Las Vegas, "loose morals," being the world's super power and being a secular non-Muslim, state, etc.

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TomDavidson
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So when you say "trying to kill us," Seneca, you include "providing weapons to people who are actively shooting at members of our mercenary army?"

By this logic, we are trying to kill pretty much everyone in the Middle East.

I will gladly acknowledge that Iran has sponsored several small-scale terrorist attacks that have directly harmed a handful of Americans and American interests. And, of course, these attacks emphasize their desire to be free of our political influence. But the idea that Iran is a threat to America is laughable. The worst-case scenario is that they -- or any equivalent enemy power -- gain the ability to destroy an American city before we retaliate. But let's face it: this is an ability that many of our enemies already possess, and which they choose not to use for all sorts of reasons. I don't think there's any reason to fear Iran on this score more than, say, China; in fact, there's probably considerably less reason.

[ April 29, 2015, 01:44 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
While their hatred may have started for political reasons, it has become cultural in ways that won't change unless you eliminate our 1st Amendment. Will you do that to attempt to appease Iran?

But America is not the only nation with the equivalent of the 1st Amendment. Why do you suppose they hate America for its freedom of speech and not other countries? In other words, why do you think free speech is the crux of their hatred towards America?
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Seneca
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These are not a mere "handful."
It's also not about politics, it is a holy war. A jihad. I wonder why certain people refuse to accept this even from the Iranians' own mouths.
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/07/iran-killing-american-troops-in-iraq-and-afghanistan/241486/

http://thehill.com/policy/international/235158-iran-letter-author-theyve-been-killing-americans-for-35-years

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/hezbollah-has-seized-and-murdered-hostages-condemns-foley-killing

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/hey-andrea-mitchell-here-are-some-americans-killed-by-our-ally-iran-before-2002/#0

Even the partisan, preatorian guard NYSlimes grudgingly admits it.
http://www.nytimes.com/live/netanyahu-address/fact-check-has-iran-really-killed-or-maimed-thousands-of-americans/

The difference between our other adversaries and Iran is they are not theocracies who believe it is their holy duty to wipe Israel and the USA from the earth or die trying.

[ April 29, 2015, 02:18 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
While their hatred may have started for political reasons, it has become cultural in ways that won't change unless you eliminate our 1st Amendment. Will you do that to attempt to appease Iran?

But America is not the only nation with the equivalent of the 1st Amendment. Why do you suppose they hate America for its freedom of speech and not other countries? In other words, why do you think free speech is the crux of their hatred towards America?
I answered this several times.

It may have started as political because of our interactions with them but it has transformed to largely cultural and religious motivations and won't end until those aspects are changed from our end. Do you see those changing from our end? Should they?

Also, the other countries you mentioned aren't the world's superpower which is an affront to the Islamic state of Iran that the world's superpower isn't an Islamic Caliphate. To get rid of this the USA would have to severely economically and militarily decline. Do you see this happening? Should it happen just to appease Iran?

[ April 29, 2015, 02:20 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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NobleHunter
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Is there any precedent for a theocratic state behaving in ways that are fundamentally different from the behavior of a secular state? Does this idea that Iran will be completely irrational due to religious mania have any basis in history?

The Papal States and archbishoprics of Europe don't seem to have acted significantly different from their neighbours. The Crusades might qualify but they were mostly conducted on a individual, feudal level rather than as states. Other events like the Albigensian Crusade or Spanish Inquisition were clearly examples of secular rulers co-opting religious motivations.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Is there any precedent for a theocratic state behaving in ways that are fundamentally different from the behavior of a secular state? Does this idea that Iran will be completely irrational due to religious mania have any basis in history?

The Papal States and archbishoprics of Europe don't seem to have acted significantly different from their neighbours. The Crusades might qualify but they were mostly conducted on a individual, feudal level rather than as states. Other events like the Albigensian Crusade or Spanish Inquisition were clearly examples of secular rulers co-opting religious motivations.

The papal States are run by a theocracy which preaches peace even in the face of violence and hatred, to turn the other cheek. On the other hand the Ayatollah preaches death to the infidels.
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NobleHunter
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The Papal States went to war several times to increase their holdings in Italy. One of the criticisms leveled by the Protestants was that the Pope was acting just like all the other Italian princes. And I asked about what they do, not what they say.
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Seneca
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How far back do you have to reach for that? And how is that relevant to 2015? Were the papal States attempting to acquire nukes to wipe out anyone?

Just one of the many reasons Obama's crusades reference was so inappropriate.

[ April 29, 2015, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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D.W.
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State religion, patriotic fervor and fear of the outsider are all tools used by government to manipulate and motivate their own people.

That doesn't mean however that the scapegoats are blameless or that they should ignore the posturing. Just because a government needs to focus their population on an outside enemy doesn't mean that target can dismiss the anger as mere statecraft. After all, if a population sees their government is capable of harming the enemy, who is the source of all their problems, yet does not... Well then either the enemy isn't the problem or the government is a coward.

While effective, this is not a means of governing you can easily walk back from.
This is an underdog strategy which becomes unstable upon reaching the threshold of "credible threat".

[ April 29, 2015, 03:09 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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Seneca
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Yes. Regardless of why the theocracy started, the substance of it has taken on a life of its own and even gone through leadership changes. Whatever the original intent of the Islamic State may have been, their current status and beliefs are clear.

[ April 29, 2015, 03:07 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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NobleHunter
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My hypothesis is that there is no evidence theocracies are fundamentally less rational than secular states. There have been many theocratic states and they've all behaved more or less like secular states.

It's relevant to 2015 because you keep saying that since Iran is a theocratic state, it can't be expected to act rationally (i.e. it's willing to get itself blown up to make a futile attack at the US). If my hypothesis is true, you would have to further establish that Iran is unique among theocracies, as no other theocratic state has allowed religious fervor to overcome the realities of statecraft to that extent.

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Seneca
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It's not relevant to 2015 because all your old examples of theocracy never faced instant annihilation. That is new, and what we have to hypothesize on is whether Iran will be willing to continue their goal of destroying the USA and Israel in the face of that.

What evidence would you require? A city being lost?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
These are not a mere "handful."
Yes, they are. In fact, more innocent Americans have died at the hands of police in the last calendar year than have ever died as the result of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, and yet you are not saying we should destroy the police.

The police, you presume, are rational and behave rationally. We can deal with them. Reform them. Should perhaps even learn to love them.

But we must destroy Iran, because it has so far paid people who've killed a couple Americans a year since the '70s.

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kmbboots
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It is like you think history starts when someone threatens you. How many hundreds of thousands of Iranians have died due to our policies? The Shah to start with but also what you dismiss as "other things". Our shooting down an Iranian airplane, our supporting Iraq and providing them with chemical weapons in their war with Iran. Their hatred of us is hardy irrational.
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NobleHunter
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I think the prospect of instant annihilation makes my examples more relevant. The historical examples faced mere loss of territory or trade privileges or a failure to gain the same. Yet expediency seems to regularly triumph over religious fervor.

You're expecting that a theocracy facing not just a setback or even invasion but the total slaughter of its people would somehow become more willing to ignore the consequences of its actions? Yes, the scope of the threat is new, but that makes it more likely that rational considerations will prevail, not less.

As for evidence: an example of a theocratic state acting contrary to its own interests in the pursuit of a purely religious goal.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
It is like you think history starts when someone threatens you. How many hundreds of thousands of Iranians have died due to our policies? The Shah to start with but also what you dismiss as "other things". Our shooting down an Iranian airplane, our supporting Iraq and providing them with chemical weapons in their war with Iran. Their hatred of us is hardy irrational.

No one's hands are clean, so in the end this is about self-preservation. Unless of course you are willing to give up your life for the sake of "justice" in allowing Iran to "punish" us with nukes. Are you?
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
I think the prospect of instant annihilation makes my examples more relevant. The historical examples faced mere loss of territory or trade privileges or a failure to gain the same. Yet expediency seems to regularly triumph over religious fervor.

You're expecting that a theocracy facing not just a setback or even invasion but the total slaughter of its people would somehow become more willing to ignore the consequences of its actions? Yes, the scope of the threat is new, but that makes it more likely that rational considerations will prevail, not less.

As for evidence: an example of a theocratic state acting contrary to its own interests in the pursuit of a purely religious goal.

Completely wrong analysis. The possibility of nuclear war should have ensured that Iran would have behaved rationally and cooperated long before now, if they were ever going to, yet they still haven't.
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kmbboots
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You are missing the point. But it is interesting that you finally admit that we have no moral standing to punish Iran.
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Seneca
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Oh we have plenty of moral standing. We changed and evolved our culture to tolerate people more. Iran seems to be going the other way.

You have to dig so deep in the past to paint us as morally inferior or even equivalent to Iran that the comparison loses meaning to a society like ours where power transfers to completely different regimes on a regular basis.

But I was willing to ignore that to show you that even if you disagreed with that you should still care about your own neck and your families' necks.

Unless you don't?

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TomDavidson
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I think it's interesting that you think the Iranians believe we are likely to wipe them from the earth, Seneca. Why should they believe that? What do you think they think they've done to warrant it?
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Seneca
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It's quite possible that many of them don't. Maybe they believe Allah is making Obama weak and submissive to give their chance to finally strike at the Great Satan. Maybe they think we will but they don't care. We can only go by what they say since we don't have mind reading powers.

It is notable that the people arguing with me here are saying we should ignore what the Iranians are saying and doing and instead come up the fantastic assumptions about what they really supposedly think and want.

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NobleHunter
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Was it irrational for the USSR to get nukes? Or Israel, or China, or the UK, or Pakistan? ETA: The point is that the potential escalation of conflict to nukes is not, in itself, enough to make the acquisition of nuclear weapons irrational.

Is there any prospect of a nuclear war starting before they get nukes? Or that the US will fire the first shot of one? Considering the answers, I don't see how a nuclear war is sufficiently likely to affect the calculus of getting nukes.

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Seneca
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It is the unhinged theocracy making lots of death threats that makes this situation unique. The other nations could be reasoned with using secular logic.

There may or may not be the possibility of Israel deploying nukes or lots of powerful conventional bombs prior to Iran actually using a nuke themselves.

Our own secretary of state himself says a nuclear Iran is unacceptable. Is he lying?

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Oh we have plenty of moral standing. We changed and evolved our culture to tolerate people more. Iran seems to be going the other way.

You have to dig so deep in the past to paint us as morally inferior or even equivalent to Iran that the comparison loses meaning to a society like ours where power transfers to completely different regimes on a regular basis.

1988 is hardly the distant past. And our bad policies continue even now.
quote:


But I was willing to ignore that to show you that even if you disagreed with that you should still care about your own neck and your families' necks.

Unless you don't?

I am not sure why believing that other people - either here or in Iran - have legitimate grievances that can and should be addressed and that we can deal with them as actual people instead of an irrational enemy is tantamount to self-immolation. I guess maybe I am just not that fearful.
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Seneca
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How many changes of government
involving opposing and adversarial factions have we had since 1988? And how many has Iran had?

So you believe if Iran gets nukes they won't use them or hand them off to terrorists? Do you think they are lying when they say they will destroy us? What makes you think it's a lie?

[ April 29, 2015, 04:14 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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NobleHunter
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How does the ability to reason with other states affect the rationality of Iran choosing to get nukes? You're positing a purely (or nearly so) religious motivation for Iran when there are buckets of secular ones.

Likewise, we have major reasons to prevent Iran from getting nukes. You just haven't demonstrated any reason to believe their religiosity is one of them.

ETA: I think its a lie because any attempt to do would result in their own destruction.

[ April 29, 2015, 04:16 PM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Maybe they believe Allah is making Obama weak and submissive to give their chance to finally strike at the Great Satan.
Seneca, do you know any actual Iranians? You seem to think they are much more religious than they actually are.

Religious hypocrisy is a thing, man, and especially in Iran.

----------

quote:
There may or may not be the possibility of Israel deploying nukes...
This is the truest thing you've said. Of all the dangers involved in our interactions with Iran, the possibility that Israel might act irrationally and spark actual conflict is probably the most likely.

--------

quote:
So you believe if Iran gets nukes they won't use them or hand them off to terrorists?
This is exactly what I believe. Because Iran cannot produce enough nukes to prevent us from turning their country to glass if those nukes were to be used. What they can do is acquire enough nukes to prevent us from regularly invading them and their neighbors based on a vague concept of "regime change."

[ April 29, 2015, 04:17 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
How does the ability to reason with other states affect the rationality of Iran choosing to get nukes? You're positing a purely (or nearly so) religious motivation for Iran when there are buckets of secular ones.

Likewise, we have major reasons to prevent Iran from getting nukes. You just haven't demonstrated any reason to believe their religiosity is one of them.

Their religiosity informs their motivations behind wanting us dead as evidenced by their statements about us as a "Great Satan that needs to be destroyed."

Again, it is notable that the people arguing with me here are saying we should ignore what the Iranians are saying and doing and instead come up the fantastic assumptions about what they really supposedly think and want.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Their religiosity informs their motivations behind wanting us dead as evidenced by their statements about us as a "Great Satan that needs to be destroyed."
In all seriousness, Seneca, you may want to investigate -- on a reputable site, mind you -- the history of the term "the Great Satan." What you think they mean by it is not what is actually meant.
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Seneca
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I know quite a few Iranians, there's a large Persian community in my area. However, nothing about them or the average Iranian ultimately matters when the guy in charge and his lackeys are religious zealots. And since the people haven't overthrown him we have to deal with him. Even Obama calls him the Supreme Leader. Is Obama wrong?

My bet is the only reason Israel would strike is with firm Intel that force was immediately needed to stop an attack or destroy a bomb. There can be no rational case made to trust Iran over Israel.

Iran doesn't need to be able to wipe us completely out before they attack. Otherwise they wouldn't be killing Americans right now.

I'm tired of this absurd notion that their death threats are all mis-translations. Too many and of different varieties for that to be true.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Even Obama calls him the Supreme Leader.
Because that's his title. Should We call Obama :that guy in Washington" instead of the President of the United States? MAybe Cameron could be "That British guy" instead of "The Prime Minister of England"?

You keep trotting out the fact that Obama refers to a foreign dignitary by his formal title as if it meant something other than the fact that Obama knows his Diplomacy 101.

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Pyrtolin
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Political rhetoric does not a goal make. Iran has thus far shown that it's unwilling to directly engage the US in anything other than minor skirmishes in their own back yard where we're asserting that we have a right to meddle.There is no evidence in anything you've presented that their words are anything more than words used as political tools.

They can fight with Saudi Arabia and the other middle eastern factions that they don't like but we prop up,, and pretend that it's nothing personal, they're just attacking America and the neighbors that they actually do want power just happen to be entangled with us as long as they keep it up. Nowhere does this become more clear than where they prop up their favored militant groups to fight Al Qaeda and other Sunni militant groups in Yemen, or even cooperate with us, if somewhat reluctantly, in fights against ISIS.

All you've presented here is speculation based on political rhetoric combined with a healthy does of outright anti-Islamic bias.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Iran doesn't need to be able to wipe us completely out before they attack. Otherwise they wouldn't be killing Americans right now.
Do you understand why this is laughable, Seneca? They are killing a tiny number -- a nuisance number -- of Americans, in a volume that does not demand response. If they kill a sufficient number of Americans to demand a response, we will respond; if they kill enough Americans to actually scare us, we will destroy them.

They know that they survive at our mercy, because we can destroy them with impunity. (We cannot rebuild them, but that's hardly a consolation for the people in power.) So they need something that might actually make us think twice about destroying them -- namely, the ability to actually inflict real harm on us. Because history shows that the best way to oppose America without being destroyed by America is to have a nuclear bomb.

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Seneca
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What is a sufficient number of Americans murdered by Iran to justify a response?

And will anyone who responds with a number above 0 be willing to volunteer to be one of those deaths we don't respond to?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
What is a sufficient number of Americans murdered by Iran to justify a response?
It's not a matter of moral justification. It's a matter of practicality. We aren't going to invade Iran over the handful of American deaths we're seeing today. There is a level above that which would provoke an invasion but not a nuclear attack. And there is a level above that which would provoke a nuclear attack. By having a nuclear bomb of their own, Iran ensures that middle category is much narrower, mainly by shifting the requirements for invasion far higher.
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Seneca
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Why do we want the middle number to become higher?

Who here will volunteer to become part of a number slightly below the middle number after a nuclear Iran?

Let's be clear here, even if they didn't nuke us Iran would increase its terror operations if they had a nuclear umbrella assuming they are acting as rationally as many of you are pretending they are.

[ April 29, 2015, 06:43 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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