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Author Topic: "U.S.-Iran tensions may trigger war"
Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
quote:
That policy might have made sense once, but time is no longer on our side, as Aminajab's beast "crouches towards bethlehem to be born."
...
We can't control Israel or tell anyone that they can't fire a shot while being burned alive.
...
From where we stand now that would take generations, and we don't have that kind of time.
...
The USA, Europe, and Russia cannot be reconciled to one side.

Hence the death of diplomacy, economic "warfare" and any other non-military solution, by your lights. I have no further arguments to support my viewpoint, which is not at all the same thing as saying that you are either right or persuasive, instead only that you are convinced that the situation is beyond salvation and you have an inexhaustible supply of arguments why that is so.
Not really. While my perception of the situation is *DIRE*, I'm open to the possibility that I'm wrong or even deceived on the facts.


quote:
Too bad, because the world you see is far more threatening than the one I see from my vantage point.
And I'm entirely sincere when I say that I'd like to see what you're seeing. Do you disagree with my analysis of the "best possible scenario" where Iran gets nukes, i.e. a purely defensive nuclear posture while accelerating support of terrorism to exceed Al Qaeda and the rest put together? Or do you agree that is realistic, and that we can survive a few generations of that while pursuing alternate routes? Or do you think that the paths that you outlined would take less than a generation to accomplish?


If the people in the Administration who see it like you do manage to get control of the policy machine, my world will become as dangerous as yours, right up until it disappears.

Please don't get all weak-kneed over a quotation from Yeats. I majored in English. That's what we do. [Big Grin]

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DaveS
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Red, I can't believe that your longish post was just yesterday, and about 30 others have come along since I said I'll read it later. You make many points that I agree with (alongside some ultra-violent suggestions that I hope aren't necessary, and are just a tad hyperbolic). I made a longish list of my own that more or less dovetail with the thrust of your post, so I won't reiterate any of yours or mine here.

I'm surprised that good Goppers who live to "starve the beast" here at home haven't extended that concept toward Iran. They should be clamoring to deny the people of Iran every commodity, access to to the world, spare parts, money for their oil. The people can either watch themselves slowly subside into a fundamentalist bog or choose to reach out to retain a position in the world.

I disagree with you strongly that they will gain much more prestige in the ME by exporting terrorism, anyway, because they are not a good ethnic or religious match for the rest of the Islamic ME population. And, if we can isolate them fully, they may need those weapons at home to maintain their own stability.

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Redskullvw
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Dave

Problem is that if we really wish to stave them into submission, something which has happened only a handful of times in the last thousand years, we would also have to be really demanding of the other nations in the Middle East. Something that they cannot go along with for obvious reasons, especially the reason that they would be seen as hand puppets to USA policy.

About the only economic solution we have at our disposal is literally committing ritual economic suicide. It would impact them, and it would temporarily end the war for a decade. At that point, it would be the Chinese that have to deal with the problem.

Really don't have time right now to go into anything. However, there is a point that a lot of you are missing. This is not a question of "if" or "when" we go to war with Iran. We already are at war with Iran. Even the pathetic cover of Newsweek recognizes that we are at war already. The only issues that are left on the table are what weapons we intend to allow Iran to use, and what weapons we will use to stop them.

A lot of you need to get a clue and recognize that we are in the first few years of what is going to be a war lasting at least a decade, and one in which escalation of violence and destruction is limited only by factors of time and technology innovation. At some point, there is going to be a wholesale change in capabilities and capacities that will garner the enemy arsenals. That is when most of you will suddenly grasp that the war is "really" on.

I know that comparatives to WWII are currently frowned upon, however answer this question-When did the European and Asian wars start? And the Answer isn't September 1939 and December 1941. Rather it goes back far into the past to a certain Arch Duke being assassinated. It simply took 35 years to resolve the outcome.

We are in a similar war. Even if most of you don't see the landscape yet ...

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EDanaII
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@ DaveS:
quote:
I strongly disagree with both of those propositions, so I'm asking for you all to put on your military planning hats and apply those analytical skills to laying out how and when it is going to at least start, and how you will prepare for it.
At present, we don't need to do anything more than just be prepared. We've done that so far by placing another aircraft carrier in the region in order to strike our enemy if they become too belligerent. As long as Iran continues to sponsor terrorism, as long as they continue to threaten the destruction of us and Israel, and as they continue down the path of nuclear armament, we must be prepared to stop them.

We strike only when they become belligerent. We must, however, consider state sponsored terrorism a form of belligerence, making a strike against their nuclear facilities an imperative.

quote:
I find it really curious that all of you all are willing to commit the nation to war, but none of you are particularly willing to do that. Ed and Kelcimer have both stated pretty clearly that that is too high a standard to ask for.
I have no idea what you are talking about here.

quote:
"Hey, honey, let's fly to Paris tonight for dinner. What, we can't afford it? Ok, let's drive to New York City for the weekend. What do you mean you sold the car to pay for our trip to Brazil last weekend?! Well...don't keep me waiting, which one???"
No. It's more like, "Hey honey, let's fly to Paris tonight for dinner. Are the bills paid? Call your parents and let them know where we'll be. Oh, and tell the babysitter she doesn't need to come by on Friday."

_Preparedness._


@ martel:
quote:
I still don't really see why this will lead to a war. Ahmadinejad has been unleashing quite virulent rhetoric against Israel, but I do not see this as tatamount to a promise to nuke them as soon as he has the capability.
As has already been pointed out, it is not that this will lead to war, it is that we are already at war. We have been in a cold war with the ME for, at least, 30 years. It started with the deposition of the Shah of Iran. Over those last few decades the sparks from that moldering fire have blown across the world igniting spot fires. Sparks like: the Cole, Kobi Towers, the first WTC bombing, and so on... The most recent spark (the destruction of the WTC) set Afghanistan ablaze and created a secondary fire in Iraq. And, as long as these sparks continue to fly, they will continue to touch off fires. Sooner or later, if this moldering fire is not put out, it WILL ignite the world in a HUGE conflagration, especially if nukes get involved.

What we have, essentially, is the Iranians (and others) fanning the flames of that fire. To make matters worse, we have Ahmadinejad (AhMyDivineJihad?) standing next to it with a can of gas and a match, throwing fuel everywhere and threatening to set it all ablaze.

quote:
He is a politician, not a professional terrorist (although he may dabble in his spare time.) It seems he has far too much to lose to lead his nation into a war where they will certainly be obliterated (despite Europe's apparent apathy, do you really think they will sit by while Israel is nuked?
Politicians can be fools. Politicians have been known to do stupid things. The very same points you make here WERE made about Hitler. And, yet, his "Thousand Year Reich" only lasted a handful of years. But millions of lives were still lost as a result.

Even if AhMyDivineJihad is as sensible as you seem to think he is, there's always the "oops factor." "Oops! I didn't intend for that spark to land in that pool of gas!"

And it would be shear idiocy on our part not to go over there, take that match and those cans of gas and give him a good kick in the ass for his stupidity.

quote:
I do not think one statement ("Israel must be wiped off the map") should be taken as proof, as appears to be happening, that he would nuke Israel.
And I don't think that this pool of gas means that a fire WILL occur. But, that guy over there, waving that lighted match sure isn't making me feel any more comfortable about the situation.

quote:
Consider India and Pakistan. Yes, slightly different situation, but what happened was: India, sworn enemy of Pakistan, develops nuclear weapons. Pakistan and her allies do not go berserk. Why? They were confident in the sanity of the Indian government (although they did get nukes, to be safe.) My guess is that Ahmadinejad is using the nukes as a safeguard against possible U.S. or Israelian military intervention.
The fact that he keeps waving that match around is proof of exactly the opposite.

Consider recent events, like yesterday's shootings in Salt Lake City. Waving that gun around didn't keep the police from shooting that gunman dead.

quote:
Your argument that war is inevitable and we should only prepare for it sounds to me like that of the diplomats of 1914, who, had they stepped back and cooly looked at the chain of events unfolding, could have prevented war (although I understand, there are differences.)
You know, firemen wouldn't even need to be on the scene if that idiot over there would stop pouring gas all over the place...

Ed.

Edited spelling.

[ February 13, 2007, 11:49 AM: Message edited by: EDanaII ]

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kelcimer
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quote:
Originally posted by kelcimer:
That's nice, but that wasn't the question.

Originally posted by DaveS:
You mean our prior experience conducting wars is not relevant?

What war would has America procescuted would you use as a baseline for measuring as "having a clue" as to how it would turn out and for that clue to be accurate?

That's the question. Not which wars haven't measured up, but which one has for you.

[ February 13, 2007, 12:31 PM: Message edited by: kelcimer ]

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DaveS
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Not sure why you think wars that haven't measured up to "expectations" aren't relevant to a discussion about starting yet another war. I get the feeling that you think war is an end in itself, waged for cause without consideration of consequences. You know what the goal is and simply assume that we'll get there -- like we did in Viet Nam, NK and Iraq.
quote:
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. -- Dwight D. Eisenhower
I have no idea what you mean by "we don't need to do anything more than just be prepared." Sounds like your plan is put bullets in the gun and fire when told to. Dwight apparently would disagree, and he was successful at what he did.
quote:
DaveS: I find it really curious that all of you all are willing to commit the nation to war, but none of you are particularly willing to do that. Ed and Kelcimer have both stated pretty clearly that that is too high a standard to ask for.

Kelcimer: I have no idea what you are talking about here.

That may not scan well. The thats refer to planning and expectations, and you made it clear that I am demanding too much by asking for anything more than vague notions of what either of those are.

I assume that all of you who favor attacking Iran are aware that Maliki, whose Dawa party is closely affiliated with Iran, has warned us not to do that. How well would we do with 150,000 soldiers fighting a new war in Iraq and opening up a second front in Iran at the same time. Just one consideration out of many, where would the additional soldiers come from? A draft?

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Pete at Home
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A *second* front with Iran?

The fight in Iraq is a fight with Iran.

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kelcimer
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quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
Not sure why you think wars that haven't measured up to "expectations" aren't relevant to a discussion about starting yet another war. I get the feeling that you think war is an end in itself, waged for cause without consideration of consequences. You know what the goal is and simply assume that we'll get there -- like we did in Viet Nam, NK and Iraq.

I did not say they were irrelevant. You laid out a few pages back that we, as a nation, should "have a clue" about how a particular conflict would go and still further, that that clue should be accurate. I simply am curious as to what previous wars that America has entered fit what you're asking. That is relevant, because if you can't point to a war that America has previously been in that fits your conditions then you might as well admit that you're making up new criteria for America to go to war.

And that last quote you attributed to me was EDanaII.

[ February 13, 2007, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: kelcimer ]

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DaveS
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Kelcimer, we're talking past each other. Forget about the other wars and look in the mirror and tell yourself that you don't need to know any more than you do today about what we expect the outcome to be or the cost to get there. I can't do that. I lived through the VietNam war, so I know how stupid it is for our leaders to tell the country how grand a thing it is that we are doing when they don't have a clue. 56,000 lives gone. We did it again in Iraq, 2003.

So far, "only" 3,150 lives have been lost and another 25,000 broken, but the cost has been staggering in other ways. If you want to refer me to history, I refer you to the future. Don't you want to know that the best minds have been applied to understanding the best and worst case scenarios and have come up with the best possible plan to get you to the goal?

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Redskullvw
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Dave

That is where you and I seem to be talking past each other. Vietnam lead to a regional genocide because the American public didn't think democracy in a rice paddy was worth anything. Vietnam was the first war where the press sought political power, and grabbed it. They haven't let go either. And it is ultimately the political dogma and agenda of the American press that is largely dictating our options and regretably, our own defeat and collapse.

I'm all for freedom of the press, but even I am now starting to think total media blackouts during war may be the only way we can win.

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DaveS
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quote:
A *second* front with Iran?

The fight in Iraq is a fight with Iran.

Pete, you're not saying that all roads lead to the same destination. You're saying that all roads are the same road. That's revisionist, and I don't buy it. We went into Iraq in 1991 to hobble Iraq, and then we left. We went back in in 2003 for reasons we don't yet fully know. That we have had to build a bulwark against Iran is only one of the myriad problems we've encountered or made for ourselves since we got there.

Should we have fought in WWII? I appreciate the outcome, and I don't know enough to say confidently if there were or weren't other means to get to more or less the same result (very doubtful).

Should we have fought in NK? What do you think? Has it been worth the cost?

Viet Nam? No, for plenty of reasons that have been discussed at length.

Iraq I? I was opposed to it going in because of how I worried it might end, and it ended as badly as I feared.

Iraq II? I was opposed going in because it was an unnecessary, elective war that absolutely didn't need to be fought, and because the outcome would be as bad as it has turned out to be. I'm not a 20/20 hindsight armchair analyst on either Iraq war. I was writing my opposition and the reasons behind both wars before either began.

Iran I? I call it "I" because there will be another if we fight it and don't totally destroy their capacity to rebuild and rearm. It's a war we shouldn't start, and will sorely regret if we do. I've said why already.

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Redskullvw
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Without World War I colonialism would still the rule rather than the exception.

Without Korea, I suspect that most of the Pacific rim would be communist, and a Chinese administered empire as well.

Vietnam essentially sidelined the agression of China to limit itself to Tibet and Indian incursions.

Iraq 1 prevented an expansion of a fascist state.

Iraq II removed a fascist state.

Iran I, well lets just say that the better term should be the Persian/Islamic expansionism war. And so far we have held the line in the Middle East.

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DaveS
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quote:
And that last quote you attributed to me was EDanaII.
Sorry!
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Pete at Home
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"Pete, you're not saying that all roads lead to the same destination. You're saying that all roads are the same road. That's revisionist, and I don't buy it."

You're revising the present, and the argument as well. Iran's been fighting us for some time now. I'm just saying it's time we recognized that fact, and put counterattack on the table. Like we did with Al Qaeda over four years too late.

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kelcimer
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quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
Kelcimer, we're talking past each other. Forget about the other wars and look in the mirror and tell yourself that you don't need to know any more than you do today about what we expect the outcome to be or the cost to get there. I can't do that. I lived through the VietNam war, so I know how stupid it is for our leaders to tell the country how grand a thing it is that we are doing when they don't have a clue. 56,000 lives gone. We did it again in Iraq, 2003.

I'm asking a simple question.

I'm thinking there has never been a war America has engaged in where we had an accurate idea of how it would end and that you know it too.

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kelcimer
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quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
Sorry!

No worries.
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KnightEnder
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U.S. general: No evidence Iran is arming Iraqis Pace contradicts claims by other U.S. military, administration officials

NO HE DIDN'T!

He said:

quote:
“That does not translate that the Iranian government per se, for sure, is directly involved in doing this,” Pace told reporters in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. “What it does say is that things made in Iran are being used in Iraq to kill coalition soldiers.”
KE
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DaveS
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quote:
I'm asking a simple question. I'm thinking there has never been a war America has engaged in where we had an accurate idea of how it would end and that you know it too.
K, I know what you're asking, and in my fumbling way I keep saying that you're asking the wrong question and not answering the right ones. Last time for me: I can't imagine letting the same bozos who started the last war start another one without a full and candid disclosure of what we want to accomplish, how we plan to do it, and what we are willing to pay in money and human sacrifice to do it. That their answers will still turn out to be wrong is not the issue. Even John McCain worries that we're moving toward a Gulf of Tonkin situation, and he doesn't want to be hoodwinked into something we're not prepared for, either.

If they would provide such insights, we could weigh them against the threat and compare them to alternatives. You're unwilling to ask for those things because you've already made up your mind that we'll go to war, no matter what the answers are. I am one of the few on Ornery, perhaps, but the many in this country who have not made up my mind that war should or will happen.
quote:
Iran's been fighting us for some time now. I'm just saying it's time we recognized that fact, and put counterattack on the table.
Pete, I get your point, war has already started, etc. I disagree. The war you say has started is not a "real war", but the preamble to a war. It can become that war, or perhaps can become a long disenchanted twilight that may turn into war or something the history books will remember as a period of transition in global relations. No bombs have to be dropped. I think you're being a little disingenuous to flip-flop between statements like the above and saying elsewhere that you aren't sure we'll have to settle this with bombs and guns. If you're on the fence, it's too high for me to reach, so I am not the one who will be able to talk you down.
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DaveS
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KE, Iranian arms have been floating around Iraq for many years, just as have American, French and Russian arms. The point that Pace made is that there is no evidence that ties the Iranian weapons to a government backed program to arm Iraqi Shiite militias.

It's my understanding that Saudi Arabia is a big supplier of weapons to both the Sunnis and Shiites (as are sources in Malta and other places).

Some of the weapons used today are new and some are from older stockpiles. Even our own stolen or redirected weapons have killed many civilians.

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Jesse
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quote:
The fight in Iraq is a fight with Iran.
Massive overstatement. Even if Iran did not exist, there would still be a fight in Iraq today.

The Shia'a militias wouldn't be shooting down as many helicopters. That's about it.

Stalin *was* crazy, Pete. He was a Psychopath. No one, and I mean no one, could have predicted Gorby in 1947.

The Shah didn't rule with the consent of the governed either, but that didn't stop them from removing him. Don't be too quick to assume that that can't happen again under the right conditions. Right now, the Mullahs haven't lasted quite as long as the Shah did.

I don't suffer from the illusion that most Iranians are rabidly anti-American or even rabidly anti-Western in general. However, the vast majority of them are rabidly anti-getting-their-country-invaded.

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DaveS
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quote:
That is where you and I seem to be talking past each other. Vietnam lead to a regional genocide because the American public didn't think democracy in a rice paddy was worth anything....

I'm all for freedom of the press, but even I am now starting to think total media blackouts during war may be the only way we can win.

From my perspective, what the American people eventually came to realize was that the war in Viet Nam had no chance of success, and as the Gulf of Tonkin showed, that the Administration was committed to continuing the war regardless of the real facts on the ground. Anger grew and overflowed when the government shot protesters at Kent State. Even middle America lost their stomach for the war after that.

That segues into your second point. You're right that the press became the third rail of war in Viet Nam. It was called the "first bedroom war" because people back then were just taking advantage of the opportunity to lay in bed and watch the late news on their new second TV. Imagine indulging that new luxury and being confronted with images of soldiers being carried out of the jungle on stretchers. It became a virtual paradox to endure those two juxtaposed contexts. People opted for peace in their bedrooms, if you will. More than opted, they didn't want war and gore in the most intimate and private place in their lives.

I remember watching a movie called "Summertree" with Michael Douglas in the early 70s. [Spoiler warning [Smile] ]: The final scene is Jack Warden making love to Brenda Vaccaro while their bedroom is flickeringly lit, not by a candle, but by the TV. As the camera pulls back from the bed to the TV, we see their son's body being carried to a plane for evacuation. Trite, blunt, brutal.

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Redskullvw
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Dave

Saw it. When I was young I was told how right that was and how wrong the government was. Now as an adult I can't help but notice how the people in the movie were genuinely stupid, uninformed, unintelligent, and amazingly self centered. As art it was good "Lifetime Movie Channel" fare.

But as commentary, it really damns the media for its reduction of foreign policy to a level equal to that of an episode of Entertainment Tonight. The Media has become nothing more than a gossip columnist who cant wait to embarrass her latest victim. Of course that is 20/20 hindsight that is becoming relevant again because the media is doing it again.

Best long term thing for the USA is to simply withdraw and wait. By the time our media realizes that our enemy holds their products and profession in the worst regard imaginable, we as a people wont be able to prevent the media from being snuffed out under sharia law.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
"Pete, I get your point, war has already started, etc. I disagree. The war you say has started is not a "real war", but the preamble to a war. It can become that war, or perhaps can become a long disenchanted twilight that may turn into war or something the history books will remember as a period of transition in global relations. No bombs have to be dropped. I think you're being a little disingenuous to flip-flop between statements like the above and saying elsewhere that you aren't sure we'll have to settle this with bombs and guns."
Dave, I don't see why you're having such a hard time dealing with the fact that the enemy has committed and continues to commit acts of war against us, and that I'm asking if anyone has better alternatives than to strike at them. We're at war, but that doesn't mean that we *have* to ratchet it up. And the fact that we don't *have* to, leaves open the question of what course of action or inaction is least destructive in the long run. Since your only response seems to wiggling and brainless insults like "flip flop" and false motive inferences like "disingenuous," I'll look to more rational peaceniks for answers. I guess this is the best I can expect from you anymore since last year's breakdown.

Jesse? The floor is yours, man.

[ February 14, 2007, 01:21 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pete at Home
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Trying to figure out whether Dave completely pulled "disingenuous" out of his ass or if he simply misunderstood. It occurs to me that in Leftspeak, that to "question" something means to categorically deny it without thought. Perhaps Dave thought that when I said to put something "on the table" that I meant to commit to it as a course of action? Is there any phrase in Leftspeak that actually means to weigh alternatives, or has that concept completely evaporated?
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DaveS
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quote:
I think you're being either foolish or very disingenuous to call my position a flip-flop, just because you've conveniently narrowed the definition of "war."
You and I do this a lot, I'm afraid. You take a term and apply some part of the definition that matches your argument and then you accuse the other person of misusing the word. The only definition of war
quote:

1. A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties.
2. The period of such conflict.
3. The techniques and procedures of war; military science.

that applies to the current situation with Iran is #3, but even that one doesn't really work. For you to use #1, you also have to use your definition skills on open, for which the dictionary will give you dozens of definitions. The only one that they associate with war is "Carried on in full view", but if you redefine "full view" you might get there.
I like wordplay, but I'm really tired of substantive discussions that end up just being wordplay.
quote:
Since your only response seems to wiggling and a passive-aggressive insult, I'll look to more rational peaceniks for answers.
So be it. I really gave it my best shot. Your answer to my best arguments that what you see is not necessarily the way it is, is "yes it is, but I wish it weren't." Saying that I can't reach you is not passive aggressive, but that it's the way it is. Good luck to you, man.

Red, I'm impressed that you saw and remember it, too. We can agree that the movie was not very good, but it was good enough for us to at least draw different kernels from it. "...genuinely stupid, uninformed, unintelligent, and amazingly self centered." That does sum things up, doesn't it?

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DaveS
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Pete, we cross-posted, so I'll just say that your last one
quote:
Trying to figure out whether Dave completely pulled "disingenuous" out of his ass or if he simply misunderstood.
reinforces the earlier one:
quote:
I think you're being either foolish or very disingenuous to call my position a flip-flop, just because you've conveniently narrowed the definition of "war."
This does go a bit beyond wordplay, btw. Anything further on this should be done offline.
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KnightEnder
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Consider? [Smile] I'm tri-lingual.

KE

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KnightEnder
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So if we just get the Iranians TV's in their bedrooms they will give up their evil ambitions?

KE

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DaveS
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Sure, we should take up a collection [Smile] The Playboy channel should keep them distracted from evil-doing. Ahmadinejad would likely start a war on pornography and forget about his war with us entirely.
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Redskullvw
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Pete

Just focus on the issue, which is the existing hostilities between Iran and the USA. Decades ago the state of relations between Iran and the USA would be viewed as a minimal smoldering war. Today, with our forces scattered world wide, and the nature of a diffuse enemy, that decades old definition would require us to state that we are in a globally scoped smoldering war. In today's realpolitik, what we have to do is restrict the term "war" to outright battles between armies. The fact that we are assuredly crossing into Iran and killing Iranians while they cross into Iraq and kill USA troops only means that our diplomacy is at a fractured point. At least that is how many Americans see things.

Dave has been fairly open on this thread and he happens to be among the majority of Americans who hold that we are not at war with Iran. It may even be plausible to state that he views the current outbreaks of violence related to Islam as discrete isolated incidents. Meaning that he chooses to view the existence of war as being defined by place and time. Therefor, he views the various places of hostilities as disparate problems, each of which has a primary solution exclusive to other places of hostilities.

You and I see the current places of hostilities as part of an overall conflict. We see them not as isolated individual places, but instead as theaters of the same conflict. Whereas we see Iranian actions in terms of their moves in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon as being a unified governmental strategy enacted by the Iranians to attack the USA indirectly, Dave sees each as being an isolated place. We speak in terms of a unified acknowledgment of hostilities as a war, while he sees each as discrete problems without an acknowledgment of the existence of an overall war.

The issue of Iranian and USA tensions therefor is seen by Americans as either being part of a global aggression by Islamic groups and governments, or as being a individual government challenging another individual government without regard to other conflicts. Both are valid viewpoints.

To argue over the application of "war" is simply semantics. Dave has yet to convince us that the tensions are not part of an overall Iranian policy that has links to aggressive action in other places. He has also not presented an argument that Iran should be treated as not being associated with these actions when we consider its nuclear ambitions. IE he sees Iranian nuclear ambitions as the issue at hand. We see it as a case of Iranian nuclear ambitions, terrorism, and sponsorship of people and groups that are already attacking the USA or its allies. He admits that there may be a potential for war to exist. We believe that there already is a war.

That his definition isn't as simplistic as ours, does not mean that he is misusing war as a defining term. His standards for application of the term is higher than ours. Ours is a lesser standard, mostly because we are choosing to acknowledge asymmetrical combat as being "war" in modern statecraft. He is choosing to limit "war" to meaning conflict between states in open military contest as it was understood before asymmetrical warfare became a mainstream use of military power.

Given the scope of what we are arguing however, the Iranian militarizing of a nuclear program, Dave's definition may be the better use of "war", because if tensions do develop into full and combative force, we would be engaging Iran with our full < & possibly nuclear> arsenal, just as they would. That seems to me to be a case where "war" would exist in undeniable terms of definition. What I think he is asking for is a way to avoid full engagements of arsenals by both sides <his meaning of the word "war">, but if it does come to formal declared warfare between these two nations, what should we be willing to use and what should our goals be.

Sorry disjointed post due to jihadi toddler. Maybe it makes sense maybe it does not.

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Jesse
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General request which may be impossible to satisfy...

Can we we all just friggin drop the accusations about who is disingenous or flip flopping or adhering to the enemy or whatever?

Anyone who isn't trying to game their way out of this one, trying to come up with plans that don't involve serious damage to the world economy and/or the loss of millions (or more) of lives is a psychopathic monster.

No offense intended, Redskull. I know you're trying exactly that. If you could come up with another answer you believed to be feasible you wouldn't be holding out on us just for kicks.

This is a very, very heated topic, and none of us WANT what is going to ensue if this situation evolves into an Open War.

I've been known to pop off with a "Glass their asses and be done with it" a time or two. That doesn't mean I'm not sincere in my hope that it isn't necessary.

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martel
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A bit of news that seems to support Pete and Red's position, and damage mine, Jesse, and Dave's.
Of course that depends on whether you think he's right. He was sure Iraq was building WMDs too...

Bush Says Iran is Source of Deadly Bombs

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/14/world/middleeast/14cnd-prexy.html?hp&ex=1171515600&en=d557534b5b57740b&ei=5094&partner=homepage


Edited to change "telling the truth" to "right." I don't think he's deliberately lying.

[ February 14, 2007, 05:42 PM: Message edited by: martel ]

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Jesse
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Doesn't much change anything, unless we get the evidence.

EFPs aren't terribly complicated devices. The only part that requires advanced technical capabilites is the explosive. Last I checked, lumps of explosives didn't have serial numbers.

The EFP consists of a detonator, a charge (a fast explosive) , a dish of milled copper, and some sort of cannister (often an expended artillery shell, or a section of water or oil pipe ).

That doesn't mean Iran hasn't exported the technology and materials to Iraq. I think they have. However, "I think they have" and "The POTUS says so" do not a fact make.

I am also virtually certain that the recent rash of helicopters being shot down in Iraq is the result of Iranian shoulder mounted SAMs being placed in the hands of Shia'a militias. Those are something likely to be much more traceable.

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Jesse
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Oh, yeah...

I can't seem to figure out if you can make these suckers with RDX.

That 380 tons of it went somewhere.

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DaveS
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Red, Jesse (and Pete), fair enough. If I can figure out a way down from the ceiling, I will join you all at the table.

Red, I do want a "traditional" definition of war, because that's what Congress is authorized to declare and what the President dispatches troops to fight. "Low-level", "diffuse", "smoldering" are all reasonable terms for the degrees of enmity and periodic violence that has been and will continue to occur between many countries. Some of it is directed at us, some not; some of it is allied or coordinated, some not. We're all aware of the intense violence in Iraq right now, but who exactly are our 150,000 soldiers fighting? I would say we're more accurately inside the war(s) in Iraq and in the line of everybody's fire than to describe it differently.

Events are isolated unless you can show a connection, but Islam is not a good enough connection when many of the perpetrators of violence have no affiliations. If they're not all connected, then there is no one-size-fits-all solution, either.

Martel, there is quite a bit floating around on this issue. I made one comment here, and there have been many domestic and global MSM responses to the Pentagon assessment already. Basically, there is scant evidence of a purposeful, government directed effort to arm any militias in Iraq by Iran. There is plenty of suspicion, however, and it will probably turn out that the truth lies conveniently between those positions. The problem that Bush/Cheney, the Pentagon and the various US Intelligence agencies have is that it sounds like they're stretching what they know to fit what they want people to think again. The standard of proof will be far higher to get the Congress to go along with any direct military response this time, and rightfully so.

There is another problem with this story that I alluded to. We have just as much or more evidence and suspicion that Saudi Arabia is supplying arms to both Sunni and Shiite groups in Iraq. Their government has publicly said that they will back the Sunnis to prevent a Shiite takeover of the country, while wealthy minority Shiite groups in SA are trying to help the Iraqi Shiites to do just that.

We also suspect that Russia is helping Iran on the QT, but the extent isn't clear. And then there are the independent operators, like the businessman in Malta who may have brokered the sale of up to 500,000 AK-47's to militias of all stripes in Iraq. Those were supposedly shipped through Libya, btw, just to open up another old sore.

Iraq doesn't need any more arms than it already has to sustain their multiple internal wars. Unfortunately, they'll get them anyway, and the people who point them at us may not even know which foreign agenda they're tacitly advancing when they do it.

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Jesse
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The UN deadline for for Iran to end Uranium enrichment is...the 21st of this month.


We're going to war

The statement was issued today for a reason.

[ February 14, 2007, 06:41 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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martel
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Um......what is the UN going to do? Beg "pretty please, don't build a bomb?"

Maybe it will sanction them. But I doubt it.

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Pete at Home
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Dave, I didn't accuse you of "misusing" the word war. Your narrow definition is one known usage. My broad definition is another known usage. You've essentially attacked my honesty for using the broad definition.

"I do want a "traditional" definition of war, because that's what Congress is authorized to declare"

I thought that we agreed that you weren't going to start those dumb legal arguments? You're utterly, pitifully wrong. See what the Supreme Court said in the Prize Cases. I'd provide more detail but you've already insulted me on this thread for talking "like a lawyer." I don't think that willful ignorance of the law somehow gives you exclusive right to make legal pronouncements.

[ February 14, 2007, 09:44 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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DaveS
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Jesse, I thought that article was pretty ambiguous, but it seemed to be leaning more toward Iran playing down their nuclear program rather than touting it. Why do you see this as a big step toward war?

Wasn't it last summer that Bush, Bolton and Condi were loudly warning Iran that they had "weeks, not months"? I hope the UN can do something, but I just don't expect anything much given the inertia that has been demonstrated so far.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Redskullvw:
Pete

Just focus on the issue, which is the existing hostilities between Iran and the USA. Decades ago the state of relations between Iran and the USA would be viewed as a minimal smoldering war. Today, with our forces scattered world wide, and the nature of a diffuse enemy, that decades old definition would require us to state that we are in a globally scoped smoldering war. In today's realpolitik, what we have to do is restrict the term "war" to outright battles between armies.

There is no such thing anymore. And by that definition you could exterminate an entire continent without ever resorting to "war."
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