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Author Topic: "U.S.-Iran tensions may trigger war"
Omega M.
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Just an Associated Press article, but I thought I'd start a topic with it since there isn't already an Iran war topic.

I don't see how we can win against Iran without a draft. And I don't see how sending in a few saboteurs justifies us launching a full-scale invasion. Saddam Hussein was a special case because of the length of time he had been "playing cat and mouse" with the world.

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Pete at Home
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I agree that a full-scale invasion is unnecessary. But this line struck me as particularly funny:

Saddam Hussein was a special case because of the length of time he had been "playing cat and mouse" with the world.

(Holding over 50 EMBASSY staff hostage over a year in flagrant violation of the Law of Nations, support for terrorism in Lebanon, 200 marines dead in Beirut, a dozen publishers and translators dead over the fatwa death warrant on Salman Rushdie, support for terrorism in Israel, etc., etc.)

There's no question on moral and legal justification here. The question is simply practical: is there a realistic chance of using diplomacy to avert Aminajab's messianic fantasy of bringing about scriptural events through world calamity, and if not, what acts of coercion and/or violence would improve the situation overall rather than making things worse overall?

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Jesse
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Releasing embassy staff unharmed and as agreed.

Doing less to support terrorism *inside* Lebanon than Israel did.

When US forces acted in support of a National Socialist regime bent on ethnic cleansing in Lebanon, our forces there became fair game.

Israel isn't our Ally. We have no mutual defence pact with them. If we're going to invade every nation that sponsors nasty litte wars in other peoples countries, we need to heavily revise our foreign policies or bomb DC.

[Wink]

Anyway, their current violations of the border with Iraq are cause enough to make it a "legal war", but I see no way that any act of force short of invasion can actually stop them from developing nuclear weapons.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
Releasing embassy staff unharmed and as agreed.

Even if you assume that the victim's allegations of torture are untrue, Jesse, more than a year of forced confinement is HARM by any sane law. Good hell, Jesse, the fact that a kidnapper honors his end of a RANSOM agreement (5 billion in this case, wasn't it?) without killing the hostages does not mean that they cease to be a kidnapper.

Iran has never apologized or acknowledged wrongdoing for that flagrant violation of international law. I can't believe that you're defending them on that.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
I see no way that any act of force short of invasion can actually stop them from developing nuclear weapons.

I do, and I've listed some in previous threads. They are pretty horrible, but they are effective.
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Jesse
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Pete?

I winked.

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Pete at Home
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Whoops. I must have blinked.
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Jesse
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However, I will say seriously that their prior bad acts of 27 and 23 years ago against, while they do go to both motive and character so to speak and aren't irrelevant, don't serve as a cause for defensive war at this point.
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Pete at Home
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I agree that the Embassy hostage takings were not relevant to morally justifying a US attack in 2007.

They are very relevant, however, when assessing the possible effects of binding diplomatic relations. This is a government with no honor whatsoever. They have openly preached and practiced a policy whereby it's not only OK but praiseworthy to lie, steal, or murder in order to accomplish their objectives. Sure, every nation stoops to ugly means from time to time, but here, this is the ideal to which the Ayatollatalitarians publicaly aspire.

Looks like some folks have removed Khomeni's fatwa that outlined Iran's policy on the west from Wikipedia. [Mad] So here's this little piece from Iran's lapdog Hamas (Jan 1, 1993):

quote:
"These Christians and Jews, these descendants of monkeys, now rule in all the nations of the world, but their day, too, will come. Allah! Kill them all, do not leave even one! It is the fate of the Jews and Christians to be slaughtered by our hands. We have taken upon ourselves to fulfill our obligation to society and to torture them because torture is the fate of the Jews and the Christians. No Jew and no Christian is innocent. All Jews and all Christians must be killed. "
Not Iranian state policy, but typical of the sort of bastards that they support. The state policy is bad in and of itself, but sadly I can't find that famous fatwa that justifies any action to bring the USA down.
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DaveS
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quote:
Anyway, their current violations of the border with Iraq are cause enough to make it a "legal war"
The Iraq-Iran border is extremely porous, with people going in both directions. There was a long story about the back and forth between the two countries on CNN last night that went into detail about the nature and extent of it. What incursion worthy of justifying a "legal war" are you referring to?
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Pete at Home
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What's your understanding of the *degree* of incursion needed to constitute an act of aggression, Dave?

Fact is that even allowing insurgents to operate out of your territory into someone else's constitutes an act of aggression.

One might argue that the US committed aggression first by invading Iraq and therefore that Iran was justified in attacking in defense of Iraq, which ignores the fact that they war's been on officially since the early 1990s, but even pretending that the argument was true, the US still has the right to defend its troops and to defend Iraq.

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Big C
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Pete At Home: Referring to Iran's government, you said, "This is a government with no honor whatsoever. They have openly preached and practiced a policy whereby it's not only OK but praiseworthy to lie, steal, or murder in order to accomplish their objectives."

My understanding is that Iran's government in a Theocracy. My understanding of Islam is that ANY means are sanctioned by Allah if it leads to the defeat of Infidels (us).

I happen to agree with what I believe are your standards of honor. But when some advocate diplomacy, I end up scratching my head as to where we might find common ground.

Conversely, in the 31JAN07 New York Times, Thomas Friedman had an editorial in which he provided some interesting reasons and benefits for re-establishing relations with Iran. Among the most provocative acts we might undertake to undermine Iran's Theocracy would be granting 500,000 student visas. On the one hand, it might allow terrorists into our country. But what would the effect be when the non-terrorist students returned to Iran?

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DaveS
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PaH, I'm asking you to explain your statement. I'm not making a claim. From the standard it appears you are raising, every country in the ME (or wider) is guilty of some degree of incursion into its neighbor(s), so anybody can declare war against anybody and claim justification. You really need to make the claim sufficiently clear that it really constitutes justification for the US to launch a "legal war" against Iran. Rather than fence, please explain.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
But what would the effect be when the non-terrorist students returned to Iran?
They could just kill them, like they've done to other whole groups of people they suspected might be disloyal. Or they could refuse to let them leave the country. Most likely the war's going to start before any such long term plans might come to fruition anyway.

Dave, you say the word "ask" but I don't see a question. I don't know what you're finding "unclear." I've looked up and posted the Nuremberg Trials definition of aggression multiple times on this site in discussions with you and others. Thich is the definition that's been most widely accepted. Why don't you look that up, then reverse your earlier question, and tell me which provocation that Iran committed on that list that you provided that does *not* qualify as aggression? [Frown]

It's a very strict rule with regard to violent interactions between countries. And there's no rule that responding with greater force than the initial aggression constitutes aggression.

Example of a wars that the international community generally accepts to have been wars of aggression:
1. Hitler's invasion of Czeckloslovakia.
2. Hitler's invasion of Poland.
3. The PrC's invasion of Tibet.

An example of a war that meets the Nuremberg definition of aggression but that everyone except for China and Russia pretend was not an act of aggression would be the US attack on Serbia and Kosovo. France and England reasoned that we should stick in an exception to the rule when a country is engaged in genocide. Trouble is, they have yet to prove that Serbia was engaged in genocide in Kosovo; the previous genocides in Bosnia cannot justify the invasion later.

A marginal grey area case would be whether France could invade Spain in order to stop a state-sponsored counterfeiting ring.

It's true that some sloppy folks use the word "aggression" to mean "any war that pisses us off." But that's not a legal definition.

[ February 01, 2007, 01:31 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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DaveS
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quote:
Dave, you say the word "ask" but I don't see a question. I don't know what you're finding "unclear." I've looked up and posted the Nuremberg Trials definition of aggression multiple times on this site in discussions with you and others. Thich is the definition that's been most widely accepted. Why don't you look that up, then reverse your earlier question, and tell me which provocation that Iran committed on that list that you provided that does *not* qualify as aggression?
Pete, I think you completely misunderstood what I wrote:
quote:
What incursion worthy of justifying your assertion that a "legal war" is legitimate are you referring to?
I'm not asking for a definition of aggression or looking for an opportunity to go do research on something you didn't introduce when you made the claim. I'm asking you to give some details about what aggression (incursion) you say that Iran has committed that is justification for a "legal war". That seems like a simple request. I would appreciate the opportunity to review it to see if I would come to the same conclusion.
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Pete at Home
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And I replied, that there are forms of aggression that do not involve incursions. Providing training or safe harbor for militants that are crossing the border is aggression.

If the Jan 20 kidnapping was handled by militants funded by Iran, trained in Iran, or operating out of Iran, that's aggression.

If Iran is "supplying weapons and training to Shiite militias in Iraq," that's aggression.

If Iran is "supplying Iraqi Shiite militias with a variety of powerful weapons, including Katyusha rockets and armor-piercing rocket-propelled grenades," that's aggression. And it looks like they are: "We have weapons that we know through serial numbers ... trace back to Iran," Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno said.


More clear now? Was it really unclear before?

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DaveS
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OK, that's thin, but since it meets your criteria for "legal war", what acts do we have the right to engage in? In other words, you've stated in the past that you would bomb them. Is this the justification to engage that policy now? That criteria would also apply to Pakistan and Syria (among other countries). Pakistan is shielding the "enemy" armed combatants who are fighting in Afghanistan, themselves, and has said they have no interest in policing their activities. Should we attack them, as well?

Maliki yesterday warned the US against using Iraq as a battleground or staging ground for armed conflict with Iran. How do you think he or the very large number of Iran sympathizers or agents in Iraq will react?

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flydye45
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Dave, there is a large difference between Pakistan being passive about possible terrorists in their area; and the active shielding, training and supplying of Iraqi enemy forces by Iran.

It is the difference between one neighbor ignoring the crackhouse next door; while the other allows the crackdealers to hide in his house when the police come calling. Add that to giving the crack dealers some ammo and allowing them to use your place as a drop for the drugs and you have a reasonably close analogy.

I don't like either. But one is actionable, the other just irritating.

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Jesse
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quote:
My understanding of Islam is that ANY means are sanctioned by Allah if it leads to the defeat of Infidels (us).
While that's close to the understanding of Islam among groups like Hamas and the ruling junta in Iran, it's far from what Islam actually teaches.

The entire idea of fighting wars by a code pretty much originates with Mohammed.

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Naldiin
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In terms of 'justification' for war, I am of the belief that you are justified attacking any state that has sworn your destruction. If someone with a gun walks up to me and says, "I am going to shoot you" I feel myself in the right in taking that threat seriously.

So if a nation with an army and it's own terrorist organization says, "Death to America" as a public *governmental* (that's important) position...they've made themselves fair game, by making a threat against you which they presumably have some ability to carry out. You have to take them seriously.

The larger question is if such a war would be wise. I am not a geopolitical expert on the region. But I have to think that the prospect of denying or delaying Iranian nuclear weapons must be worth at least targetted strikes designed to, for lack of a better term, geld Iran. That is, striking first Iran's air and air defense assets, then Iranian ground assets and nuclear facilities, along with the bottling or destruction of her navy.

But that position is open to debate. It all ends up focusing on what we think Iran would do with nuclear weapons. I beleive they would use them. Others differ. I think Iran is focused on recreating Greater-Persia-that-Was, and that the cost of letting them do so, using a nuclear umbrella to shield themselves is greater than the cost of preventing them.

For a war to be 'just', it must both be justified by cause (like a declaration of intent to destroy us, issued repeatedly by Iran) and be wise in that there is the prospect of realistically achieving the objects with the force in question. I beleive attacking Iran to prevent her from establishing a nuclear-powered regional hegemony is valid on both points, but I can see the ground for rational disagreement.

And yes, you just saw someone on Ornery leave room for rational disagreement. Shocking, isn't it?

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DaveS
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Take the threat seriously and believe that you will prevail in your short term military objective. This is the scenario we played out in Iraq. I agree that both are correct concerning Iran, as well, but I always ask people who propose military action in the ME to also consider the consequences before pushing the button in their minds. For instance, will be greeted as liberators, and will we be able to withdraw our forces once we declare "Mission Accomplished"?

IMO, any direct attack on Iran limited to the destruction of their nuclear development facilities will lead to retaliation through other methods. Among them will likely be increased behind the scenes efforts to destabilize other countries in the region and terrorist attacks in Europe and the US. Other countries will react by accelerating their arms development to counter our aggression. At a minimum, we would see major economic and political realignments within the international community, at worst a long lasting regional war over which we will have little control or influence. We'd be letting the genie out of the bottle with no good idea how to contain him later.

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flydye45
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"The entire idea of fighting wars by a code pretty much originates with Mohammed."

False

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Jesse
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Demonstrate.
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DaveS
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Pete, I answered your last post. You declared our right to engage in "legal war" against Iran, and I've acknowledged that your justification is actionable. You rattled your sabre, so I hope you'll follow through and explain what appropriate course of action you think we should take. I hope you'll also include what you foresee to be the likely consequences and eventual outcome of those actions.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
quote:
My understanding of Islam is that ANY means are sanctioned by Allah if it leads to the defeat of Infidels (us).
While that's close to the understanding of Islam among groups like Hamas and the ruling junta in Iran, it's far from what Islam actually teaches.

The entire idea of fighting wars by a code pretty much originates with Mohammed.

Not at all, but he did add a great deal to the discussion.

Unfortunately, woat Mohammed taught and what Islam teaches today are not the same thing. Those that actually fight for they call an Islamic code, don't fight according to Mohammed's rules, and the others are following more secular rules. No one is actually following Mohammed's war limitations. They only consult them to gripe about what their enemies don't follow.

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Jesse
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Pete-

"Pretty much"

I know of nothing as detailed as the restrictions and obligations required by Islam, considering both the Koran and the Haditha.

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Big C
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Jesse:

I'm not an Islamic scholar. But it is my understanding that another key characteristic of Islam is "abrogation." By that, it means that whatever the Prophet said "today," abrogates everything he said previously.

Along this line, it's my understanding that the Prophets final guidance to Muslim was that they should either convert, enslave, or kill their neighbors. I think southern Thailand, Darfur, and soon Europe (Eurabia?) are pretty good examples of this doctrine.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
Pete-

"Pretty much"

I know of nothing as detailed as the restrictions and obligations required by Islam, considering both the Koran and the Haditha.

"Pretty much originates" =/= greatly expanded on.

"he did add a great deal to the discussion"

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Jesse
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C

For about a third of all Muslims, the Shiites, there can be no legitimate offensive Jihad untill the return of the Twelth Imam. They are literally forbiden to try to expand beyond the borders of Islam at the time he went into "occultation".

Even for Sunni, the call to convert, enslave, make good little Dhimmi's out of, or kill the infidels isn't by "whatever means". The Koran and the Haditha still compell them to follow the "Laws of War" laid out.

Pete's right, that these laws aren't followed or enforced any more than the Geneva Accords are, but that doesn't mean that the Koran condones the murder of non-combatants or suicide.

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Jesse
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Well, Pete...I guess you could say that "dash the heads of their infants on stones" is a sort of code.

[Big Grin]

Seriously, though, I'd like to know if some other "Prophet" had demanded from his followers that they wage war under a merciful code of behavior and exercise restraint.

Jesus and Buddha both just said "quit killing people", essentially.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
Well, Pete...I guess you could say that "dash the heads of their infants on stones" is a sort of code.

Are you suggesting that did not happen with the collapse of the WTC? You realize that when Muslims honestly set out to follow a scriptural prohibition that they do interpret it broadly as I just did?

quote:
Seriously, though, I'd like to know if some other "Prophet" had demanded from his followers that they wage war under a merciful code of behavior and exercise restraint.

There's a book that just published or that will publish very soon called "Terrorism and Counter-terrorism" by Christopher Blakesley with a full chapter discussing the history of laws that set limits on war. IIRC Mohammed's laws were by far the most detailed up to that point. Christian scripture IIRC had nothing on the point simply because the early Christians had no wars. The Judaic code had very little regulation; the code of Hammurabbi had more, and Sun Tzu's art of war laid out some.

It would be sophistic to contrast the Koran and the New Testament to show different values on war, since the Koran was written by a people who were at war for years during the time that the Koran was written. War was an ever-present topic to Mohammed. It's greatly to the religion's credit that they developed the rules in

quote:
Jesus and Buddha both just said "quit killing people", essentially.
No. Jesus went much father than that, and I suspect that Buddha did too. Jesus referenced the law against murder, and said that even getting angry (which would make you more likely to kill) puts you in danger of hellfire.

It's a bad analogy, since Jesus' 3-year ministry focused completely on individuals and to a specific religions leadership organization, whereas Mohammed had many decades of teachings and leadership, and addressed nations, communities, and made no distinction between religion, economics, and what we would regard as secular law. Mohammed considered himself the exact equivalent to Jesus in his religious ministry, but he was also his people's Julius Caesar, their Sun Tzu, their Hammurabbi, their Adam Smith, and much more. Of all religious leaders in history, only Moses and Brigham Young come remotely in the ballpark as wearing so many hats at once for so many years as Mohammed. (And ironically, Brigham Young had very little effect on LDS scripture.) Moses is probably the best analogy you can find, but even Moses set up quite the priesthood hieararch; it's not clear how much of the Torah Moses wrote, how much was team-written by subordinates, how much was was oral tradition that pre-dated Moses, or even how much was written down or compiled from other sources generations after Moses' death. In contrast, IIRC there's no textual evidence that any of the Koran was written by anyone other than Mohammed. Moses didn't lead in battle, either; he just stood on a hill so everyone could see him holding up his hands. Not directing the course of battle, just inspiring it.

Mohammed was IIRC the first scripture-writing lawgiver who led his people continally to war. Mecca, for example, was conquered and its inhabitants converted at swordpoint. It makes sense that he'd be out-do all previous bodies of law regarding war conduct. And I agree that what he brought forward was not only more detailed, but more humane than previous bodies of law on the subject.

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flydye45
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There have been any number of codes about the restriction of war. The most prominent example I can recall was the greeks, where groups of men met at an agreeable place, did no harm to anyone else, and had the "summer fight", all in good clean fun.

It was with the advent of the Peloponnesian War, the Greeks were shocked at the uncontrolled actions, involving cities, wholesale destruction of crops. The Chinese also had codes of limiting war. Mao is famous for saying "I am not the Duke of Sung" a general LONG before the Prophet who allowed his enemy to escape across a river because attacking them in the water "wasn't cricket".

quote:
International law originated in war, and vestiges of conduct norms relating to war can be found in almost every ancient civilization. In 546 A.D., during the Chunqiu Period of ancient China, feudal lords of various States organized the first conference ever on mibing (elimination of war) and qvbing (disarmament)14 in the State of Song. During the Warring States period, rules existed amongst all the seven feudal States (also known as the ‘Seven Powers’) regarding declaration of war, conclusion of a peace, favorable treatment for prisoners of war15, but also specific rules applicable in war, such as ‘non-pursuing a fleeing enemy army’, ‘no use of ruses’, ‘non-attacking on a mourning State’, ‘prohibition on surprise attack’, ‘no severely injuring’ and ‘no capture of the elderly’.16 Although these rules applied to each of the warring States, not all of them were strictly adhered. Sima Qian wrote about the Battle in Changping (250 B.C.) where the King of Qin defeated the State of Zhao. The Zhao nationals surrendered to the Qin army, yet the King of Qin immediately ordered the live burial of as many as 400,000 prisoners of war, violating the promise to spare their lives.17 Even so, it must be remembered that these rules and regulations were very primitive and hardly set in stone. Moreover, the feudal States at that time were not the same as States in the general sense because they did not constitute a true international community. When taking into consideration the particular situation of ancient China, it is open to question whether or not the rules observed can be construed as ‘international law’,18 but they can most certainly be seen as historical antecedents to the ancient law of war. In other areas of the world, in common with ancient China, there were a variety of rules regarding warfare. For example, in Egypt, Babylon, India, ancient Greece and Rome, there are documented records of rules of engagement in warfare, such as prohibition on using concealed, barbed or poisoned weapons, no attacking on fleeing, surrendered enemy forces, or those who put down their weapons, and prohibition on poisoning drinking water.19

This is the source of the quote with footnotes.

This is not to say that Muhammed didn't add something to the dialog. Originate? No.

Edited to add: Consider the source as well. The loss of a single well, date tree, or shelter would be more devastating for the Arabs then most other peoples. Not to mention the Prophet could Profit for all thoses civilians left alive (he WAS a rug merchant after all). Thus it's unsurprising that he made these calls. This is in addition to any moral considerations he might have had.

[ February 03, 2007, 07:30 PM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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velcro
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Naldiin mentioned
quote:
a declaration of intent to destroy us, issued repeatedly by Iran
Can anyone source this? Not a declaration by a purely religious leader, but by a government entity or official?

Pete, two things.

First, Iraq may have a legal basis for invading Iran, but what basis does the US have, barring any threat to the US directly?

Second, it may be nitpicking, but you wrote
quote:
there's no textual evidence that any of the Koran was written by anyone other than Mohammed
and
quote:
Mohammed was IIRC the first scripture-writing lawgiver
Mohammed was, by tradition, illiterate, and dictated the Koran. [Smile]
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Jesse
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Depends on whose tradition, velcro. The word used in the Koran could mean "illiterate" or "unschooled". Muslims differ on the issue. It's not translation thing, it's a word with more than one conotation in Arabic.

Flydye-

I know squat about early Chinese history. Thanks for that.

However, and not trying to add qualifications, I meant code intended to apply for all time, and in dealing with all enemies.

Rug merchant aside, Mohammed was trying to build a new world order, not destroy. Of course the rules laid out make sense, it's better to make converts than to massacre human capital. [Wink]

Pete


quote:
Are you suggesting that did not happen with the collapse of the WTC? You realize that when Muslims honestly set out to follow a scriptural prohibition that they do interpret it broadly as I just did?
Aye, Pete, which is why many muslims leaders have condemned the WTC attacks, even some who believe it is just to wage war upon the US.

quote:
Jesus and Buddha both just said "quit killing people", essentially.
It's not an analogy [Smile] It's just a statement.

There is little need to lay out a code of wartime conduct if you tell your followers not to engage in war.

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Back to the topic of this thread. From The Guardian (link to the report):
quote:
The report by 15 organisations - backed by Britain's former ambassador to Iran - comes as the US appears to be upping the ante in an increasingly hostile war of words with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president.

The previous foreign secretary, Jack Straw, has said that military action against Iran would be "inconceivable". Margaret Beckett, his successor, has also insisted that no one is planning action against Tehran.

Today's report, entitled "Time to Talk: The Case for Diplomatic Solutions on Iran", comes from the Foreign Policy Centre, backed by trade unions, Muslim and Christian groups and Oxfam.
...
Launching the document, Sir Richard Dalton, the British ambassador to Iran until last year, said that a pre-emptive strike on Iran would be "a disaster for Iran, the region and quite possibly the world".

Article in the BBC:
quote:
Launching the report, former Labour minister Stephen Twigg, director of the Foreign Policy Centre, said: "The consequences of military action against Iran are not only unpalatable; they are unthinkable.

"Even according to the worst estimates, Iran is still years away from having a nuclear weapon.

"There is still time to talk and the prime minister must make sure our allies use it."

Those who advocate military action against Iran, where have they gone wrong?

[ February 05, 2007, 08:54 AM: Message edited by: DaveS ]

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Colin JM0397
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Anyone referring back to the relevant history of the 79-80 hostage crisis might want to take a long look at our and the UK's involvement since the 50's and keep that in mind.

A CIA and MI-6 backed coup to overthrow the democratically elected leader of Iran and installation of a despised monarchy. How'd that work to win friends in Iran? It made them paranoid and lead them to take preemptive action to stop another US-backed coup in the early days of the Ayatollah’s consolidation of power. I'm saying nothing about the "rightness" or "wrongness" of Iran's actions, merely pointing out these things didn't just happen to occur because a bunch of whackos took over. Those things happened due to our direct involvement and meddling in their country in the years leading up to the hostage crisis.

Many claim Mossadegh was a communist and was going to align with the USSR and that made our coup in Iran necessary. BS. He was going to nationalize the oil industry because (what's now) BP was in almost total control of Iran’s oil and refused to let his government see their books. He was quite nationalistic and against foreign involvement and control of something that important.

Then there was our backing of Iraq for 8 years of the brutal Iran-Iraq war – Iraq was the invading force initially, by the way. How's that for winning friends in Iran?

So now we’re into Iraq and accusing Iran of meddling… Funny, Iraq isn’t our country, so – right or wrong with what we’re doing – we are also meddling in Iraq.

Iran is Sh’ite. The fledgling government in Iraq is Sh’ite. I ask this simple question:
Who more than Iran stands to gain from the current government in Iraq solidifying their control and getting the country running properly enough to allow the US to begin pulling out?

If they stand to win the most from a strong, stable Sh’ite government in Iraq, why in the hell would they be backing any kind of anti-government insurgency?

Why would they provoke a country that has them boxed in and can squash them militarily – we occupy both sides of Iran? The longer it takes us to “fix” Iraq and Afghanistan, the longer we’re sitting there boxing them in.

If you were in their place, what would you be doing?

For Iran to be antagonizing us right now, or to perpetrate an outright attack of some kind, just makes absolutely no sense.

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Jesse
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Well, for a couple years Sunnis kept blowing up Shia and the US did not stop it. Having existing alliances with Shiaa factions inside of Iraq, it shouldn't be suprising that Iran may have equipped them in order to allow them to exact revenge against the Sunnis the US seemed unwilling or unable to stop.
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kelcimer
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quote:
Originally posted by jm0397:
Iran is Sh’ite. The fledgling government in Iraq is Sh’ite. I ask this simple question:
Who more than Iran stands to gain from the current government in Iraq solidifying their control and getting the country running properly enough to allow the US to begin pulling out?

If America is successful then America would have a) firmly extended it's area of influence, b) proven that it can still break a country & put it back together agian, and c) be a bit more confident about doing it again. If, on the other had, America fails then you have an America that has "another Vietnam" to haunt it, and is in all ways less likely to invade Iran. In the shorter term it keeps America busy so in can't get around to invading Iran.
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kelcimer
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quote:
Originally posted by flydye45:
Dave, there is a large difference between Pakistan being passive about possible terrorists in their area; and the active shielding, training and supplying of Iraqi enemy forces by Iran.

I'm not sure Musharraf is exactly being passive, he's in some kind of fight for his own survival. How much longer do you think he can hold Pakistan together?

quote:
http://billroggio.com/archives/2007/02/pakistani_army_to_co.php
Musharraf is in a bind. He has lost control over significant portions of the Northwest Frontier Province. Quetta and large chunks of Baluchistan remains a Taliban hotbed. NATO is pressuring the Pakistani government to reign in the Taliban and al-Qaeda. He is slowly losing control over his military. The Taliban and al-Qaeda have grown bold, and are conducting a suicide campaign across the country. Musharraf is weak, and is stuck between confronting the Taliban and al-Qaeda now, or slowly losing a grip on power. A forray into Waziristan can very well accelerate his demise.


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Colin JM0397
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OOTH, looking at the Iran-Iraq war, the Arab-Persian differences were too strong to make the Sunnis of Iran or Shiites of Iraq fight for the other side, so perhaps the Iraqi Shiites aren't so much in alignment with Iran today.

It's definitely a tough situation to wrap ones mind around.

Short of another 9/11 type attack, I don't see how the administration could justify war with Iran without the people outright rebelling against them. That's why many are talking about something big happening that will then be blamed on Iran.

I still think it would be an asinine position for a poor, 3rd world country to blatantly attack us like that. These people might be tough to understand, but they are not stupid nor suicidal - contrary to MSM opinions that they are all on a jihad and want martyrdom.

I only ask everyone out there to remain rational and think things through if and when the next “big thing” happens. We let them snooker us into Iraq based on 9/11 – lets be more cautions and demanding next time.

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