This is topic "U.S.-Iran tensions may trigger war" in forum General Comments at The Ornery American Forum.


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Posted by Omega M. (Member # 1392) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Pete?

I winked.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Whoops. I must have blinked.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Big C (Member # 3404) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by flydye45 (Member # 2004) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Naldiin (Member # 1840) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by flydye45 (Member # 2004) on :
 
"The entire idea of fighting wars by a code pretty much originates with Mohammed."

False
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Demonstrate.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Pete-

"Pretty much"

I know of nothing as detailed as the restrictions and obligations required by Islam, considering both the Koran and the Haditha.
 
Posted by Big C (Member # 3404) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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"
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by flydye45 (Member # 2004) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
 
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.


 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
jm, what you described might be a justification for Iran declaring war on the United States and the UK. It does NOT justify seizing an embassy and taking hostages. One would have to be insane to suppose that it's somehow OK to take embassadors and their families hostage if their country fails to win friends.

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

So let's ignore physical evidence in favor of the assumption that the ayatollatalitarians are only going to do things that would make sense to us?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Pete, war with Iran would be an immense commitment of our country's resources and attention for a long, long time. Look how long we've been piddling around in Iraq and how much that is costing us. Nobody can possibly advocate war with Iran unless they have fixed in their minds that the effort will be short-lived, economically advantageous to us (in the long term) and will have a manageable cost (personnel and equipment resources and $$) to us in the short term. I think it's unfair or even reckless to promote military action without having "cost-justified" the effort along those criteria.

I'm not ignoring the moral or security imperatives that might drive us to do such a thing, but to say that those drivers are manifested sufficiently to ignore the costs is still a tough case to make.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
Pete, war with Iran would be an immense commitment of our country's resources and attention for a long, long time.

Yes, it has been a long time, and very expensive as well. Would it have lasted as long had we recognized that we were, in fact, at war?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
I think I parsed that correctly. You mean we should shift tactics from cold to hot war with Iran, I think. So, what happens after we make that shift (cost, duration, outcome)?
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
As I said earlier, I was making no judgment about the hostage crisis, just filling people in on the history behind it that is often left out or ignored. Knowing about the US & UK backing a coup, it frames things and helps explain why they took those hostages and knocks down the misconception that they are irrational religious zealots.

I don't buy into the argument that Iran is bent on stoking the global Islamic jihad against the west, and no one seems to have made that accusation. Their pres has said some pretty inflammatory things towards us and Israel, yet has our pres not done the same?

If anyone does support that angle, then an attack by Iran does make sense, even though they will guarantee getting their asses handed to them militarily and being removed from power and very likely killed.

I don't think they (the leaders of Iran) personally have a death wish, want to start a global war/jihad, or are stupid enough to think they can win in a straight up fight against us.

Based on my opinions and historical facts such as our reaction to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, it would seem quite stupid for Iran to attack the US directly. Particularly the timing now with several carrier battle groups hanging out in their backyard.

Like I said, if/when it happens, lets not get our panties in a bunch and start screaming to nuke Iran within 24 hours. Prudence is in order before we go and get ourselves in another mess in the ME.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
I think it's unfair or even reckless to promote military action without having "cost-justified" the effort along those criteria.

Are you leaving out of your calculations the costs of not acting? Because that was key to my argument to stay out of Iraq.

Would you seriously argue that a nuclear-armed Iran poses less of a threat to the United States than Nazi Germany did in June 1940?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
I think I parsed that correctly. You mean we should shift tactics from cold to hot war with Iran, I think.

No. I mean simply that it's naive to talk about whether to war with Iran, when the accurate question is *how* we wish to proceed in this war. I am not fully persuaded that hot war is to our advantage at this point; I'm fairly sure that full invasion is not to our advantage. But I'd prefer to hand power to those that want hot war than to those who are so naive as to pretend that we're not at war. If we're willing to do anything for peace, then we should be requesting Iran to send us terms of surrender.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
I would have to say yes, a nuclear-armed Iran poses less of a threat to the United States than Nazi Germany did in 1943 when the US joined the war.

I also think that the Iran of 2007 who is trying to join the nuclear club is also less of a threat to the United States than Nazi Germany did in June 1940.

I'm also pretty comfortable with the claim that even a nuclear-armed Iran poses less of a threat to the United States than Nazi Germany did in June 1940.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
It's a different world than before we invaded Iraq (for the second time), even though that was only a short $500B ago. The negative-opportunity cost of not acting against Iran is highly speculative, and there are many other kinds of actions that we could take, either against them or defensively for our own protection.

In my estimation, the most expensive course would be military, but in some ultimate situation that might be necessary.
quote:
Would you seriously argue that a nuclear-armed Iran poses less of a threat to the United States than Nazi Germany did in June 1940?
I don't know how to compare them apples and oranges. Rather than force me to answer it, and since you asked it, why don't you supply what you think the answer is.

I really am interested in a serious discussion, rather than trading opinions at ever higher levels of volume (or bold-faced fontness [Smile] ). I am especially interested in discussing the practical aspects. E.g., how real is the threat, how imminent, how expensive to deal with militarily or otherwise, and most important of all, how do you think it will end and what comes after...?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
quote:
Would you seriously argue that a nuclear-armed Iran poses less of a threat to the United States than Nazi Germany did in June 1940?
I don't know how to compare them apples and oranges. Rather than force me to answer it, and since you asked it, why don't you supply what you think the answer is.

I really am interested in a serious discussion

You mean a discussion where someone other than makes all the positive assertions and gets stuck with all of the homework? [Big Grin] Don't have time for that right now.
------------------
quote:
As I said earlier, I was making no judgment about the hostage crisis, just filling people in on the history behind it that is often left out or ignored
Your offering those facts as relevant does suggest some sort of judgment.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
You mean a discussion where someone other than makes all the positive assertions and gets stuck with all of the homework? [Big Grin]
No, Pete. I mean that you toss off very strong assertions and then decline to offer background material to justify them. If you want to have a discussion around an assertion, you also should be willing to explain how you came to your conclusion and what outcome you expect from the action you say is necessary. See, I don't have time to do your homework, either. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by LinuxFreakus (Member # 2395) on :
 
My main fear is that no matter how much you would like to be able to just go in and destroy a few facilities and then get out, any sort of action in Iran, will lead to an all out war.

I just don't see any way to avoid it if we take any sort of military action at all. It might happen anyway, but at least then it wouldn't be our own fault.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Dave, which fact here is it that you're unclear about:

a) the Iranian government has pledged violent hostility to the USA; b) that the current government has not backed off policies and pledges of Khomeni; c) that Aminadab belongs to a cult that teaches that one can bring about certain prophesies through global war; d) that Iran actively supports a number of very dangerous terrorist organizations; e) that possession of nuclear materials and/or weapons would enable Iran to do more mischief than it can at present; f) that when we went in to WWII, that we didn't have a very specific roadmap or an accurate long-term budget.

Linux: "My main fear is that no matter how much you would like to be able to just go in and destroy a few facilities and then get out, any sort of action in Iran, will lead to an all out war."

Define "all-out war," and identify the last time that the US was involved in such a war. If you mean that once we pound a few nuclear facilities, that you think that will inevitably lead to no holds barred war?

I'd say that the United States has never indulged in an all-out war, except possibly against certain native American nations. Even in WWII we held back somewhat.
 
Posted by LinuxFreakus (Member # 2395) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Define "all-out war," and identify the last time that the US was involved in such a war. If you mean that once we pound a few nuclear facilities, that you think that will inevitably lead to no holds barred war?

I mean that it will lead to us having to put a lot of boots on the ground in Iran.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
Not necessarily, LF. War, like anything else, involves a cost equation: if we take X, what will it cost the Iranians to get X back? If we destroy their nuclear reactors, what will it take to get that back? Although, to be clear, if we destroy their reactors, we may also destroy their pride, and some people will pay a high price to get their pride intact.

However, what's more likely to cause an all out "boots on the ground" war with Iran is if the Shia slaughter the Sunni in Iraq, thereby forcing the Saudi's and other to defend their Sunni bretheren. Next thing you know, the entire region is in turmoil and we're forced to take sides.

To be clear: I'm not saying that striking their reactors will not cause a war. I'm saying that such is less likely than allowing Iraq (or Lebanon) to collapse into chaos.

Ed.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by LinuxFreakus:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Define "all-out war," and identify the last time that the US was involved in such a war. If you mean that once we pound a few nuclear facilities, that you think that will inevitably lead to no holds barred war?

I mean that it will lead to us having to put a lot of boots on the ground in Iran.
By that definition, we're still at all-out war with Germany. [Wink]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Pete, I guess I'm just being stubborn, because nothing in what you said justifies conducting a war.

a) the Iranian government has pledged violent hostility to the USA -- That was almost 30 years ago. More recently, Bush accused Iran as belonging to an Axis of Evil and in several SoTU speeches has pledged action against them.

b) that the current government has not backed off policies and pledges of Khomeni; -- Neither have they reiterated them for a long time, but the US backed Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war in the 80's when Iraq invaded Iran. In 1988, the US military shot down an Iranian passenger jet with 290 people aboard.

c) that Aminadab belongs to a cult that teaches that one can bring about certain prophesies through global war; -- But that doesn't exercise that through their government. Don't forget that Maliki is a senior leader of the Shiite Dawa party, which has been accused of bombing the US embassy in Kuwait in 1984.

d) that Iran actively supports a number of very dangerous terrorist organizations; -- True (most likely), but none of those organizations has acted against the US, so I don't see how that justifies us making a military strike against their country. Islamic terrorism is sponsored by many non-governmental organizations based in a number of countries in the ME, Africa and Asia. Iraq itself has become a training ground for terrorist activities, and we're already occupying that country. I don't see how a military strike against Iran would reduce terrorist activity against other regional or western countries.

e) that possession of nuclear materials and/or weapons would enable Iran to do more mischief than it can at present; -- Conceivably. It's not clear to me how best to deal with this, but since they don't yet have nuclear weapons, it is a stretch to argue that pre-emptive military action, which would destabilize the global political and economic structure, is appropriate. Note that even our staunchest ally in the war against Iraq (Britain) is firmly against any sort of military action in Iran.

f) that when we went in to WWII, that we didn't have a very specific roadmap or an accurate long-term budget. -- Don't know why you included this, as it is relevant only if you're building a legal brief for entering WWII, and has nothing to do with a casus belli for war against Iran.
quote:
Dave, which fact here is it that you're unclear about
Pete, you bury some "facts" inside a weak circumstantial argument. I'm clear about them, but the argument just doesn't reach the threshold needed to start what could turn into WWIII.

The first Iraq war had a legitimate casus belli (though I was against it). The second Iraq war was fought for fabricated reasons, but even if you were for it initially, there had to have been alternative ways to achieve the objectives that would have cost less than $500B (and counting), 25,000-30,000 US casualties, and the massive human and civil devastation of Iraq. Who would have thought that a simple war in Iraq against a weakened dictator would last longer than WWII and cost more than Viet Nam?

Iran is a far more intimidating target in every way that you measure the strength of a military adversary: They have a huge military age population, they fund extranational terrorism and insurgency organizations throughout the ME, they are allied with Russia and India, they are a theocratic republic whose government is driven by an apocalyptic religious orientation and that doesn't work from the same kind of diplomatic principles as western nations.

Honestly, if we do end up going to war against Iran, I don't think it will be for the "legitimate reasons" you or anyone else provides. Instead, increasing tensions will lead to some kind of "Archduke Ferdinand" event similar to what started WWI or a Vincennes style provocation. War will become inevitable if the people of the two countries passively allow their leaders to fail to avoid it. Exacerbating differences in our interests, inflaming past grievances and characterizing each other as "evil" by both sides isn't helping.
 
Posted by LinuxFreakus (Member # 2395) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by LinuxFreakus:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Define "all-out war," and identify the last time that the US was involved in such a war. If you mean that once we pound a few nuclear facilities, that you think that will inevitably lead to no holds barred war?

I mean that it will lead to us having to put a lot of boots on the ground in Iran.
By that definition, we're still at all-out war with Germany. [Wink]
Haha, I think you knew what I meant... I just see no way to avoid getting into the same situation we have already maneuvered ourselves into with Iraq, only it will probably be worse, as Iran is bigger and has a large military, and a large segment of its population is fanatical in its hatred of the US/Westernized culture.
 
Posted by LinuxFreakus (Member # 2395) on :
 
Not to mention that Iran has a lot of territory along the coast of the Persian Gulf. With a few missiles they could destroy some major ports and essentially halt oil exports from the middle east... patriot missiles are always handy, but they are not fool proof, we have been lucky that they've had such a good war record so far because they aren't really *that* accurate.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
I don't think that the US had any rational justification for entering WWI, Dave, so your archduke example is inapposite. Here, we have a sworn enemy of the United States with an established record of government by the mentally ill, acquiring a weapon more destructive than anything that the Nazis ever had. Now if you have an actual argument against war, then make it now, before it's too late.
 
Posted by LinuxFreakus (Member # 2395) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
I don't think that the US had any rational justification for entering WWI, Dave, so your archduke example is inapposite. Here, we have a sworn enemy of the United States with an established record of government by the mentally ill, acquiring a weapon more destructive than anything that the Nazis ever had. Now if you have an actual argument against war, then make it now, before it's too late.

Before its too late? Please. Even if they had a nuke, what do you think they're gonna do with it?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
You miss the point, Linux. I don't think that the US and Israel are going to allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. That's what I mean by "too late." Anyone who thinks they have a viable argument to *not* attack Iran, had better make it now. Sitting around and saying, "prove to me that this is a legal war" (rather than bothering to look up the definition of aggression oneself) does nothing except set you up to say "I told you so" when people start to die -- which they will, regardless of how we act here.

As for what Iran would do with one nuke, well, our "ally" Pakistan overtly threatened to use its nukes if we went after Bin Laden. If that's what our friends do, what do you think our sworn enemies will do? I think they would obviously use their nuke to hold millions of innocents hostage while ramping up their support of conventional terrorism, since the nuke allows them to act with impunity. Count on a major backslide with Hamas and Hezbollah, and Iran openly backing and training suicide bombers against US targets in Iraq, and that's just phase I.

When they get multiple nukes, it starts to get much messier.

[ February 08, 2007, 05:00 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 
Posted by martel (Member # 3448) on :
 
Pete:
I, for one, would like to know if it is even possible to invade Iran successfully. Our military, lest we forget, is already so stretched that men are being removed from other trouble spots to be brought to Iraq (20,000 of them). The Iranian Air Force is formidable, and even with our new aircraft carriers in the region (as per the President's speech), it seems quite unlikely that we would be able to achieve the type of success with a bombing campaign that we achieved in the 1st Gulf War (i.e., the war was essentially over before the ground campaign began.)
As has been mentioned, Iran could field a very potent ground army, and to contest it we would have to stretch ourself to the bone in Iraq/Korea/everywhere else. Or institute the draft. And I see it as likely that Shia all over Iraq will unleash a massive spate of attacks, partly in retaliation, partly because we will be stretched thin there too.

Also, what do we do in the war, overthrow the government? That's working out great in Iraq. We'd have to institute the draft to provide the new forces needed for the occupation.

The Israelis would most likely help us, so that makes the military issues a little simpler.

But I still do not see how they pose a threat to America. To Israel, possibly. But despite Ahmadinejad's rhetoric, would he and the Ayatollah really take what would be the certain destruction of most of their country of 70 million people? It's MAD. And while there might be some crazy enough to do that, Ahmadinejad is a politician. He enjoys power. You do not have power when your nation is uninhabitable and dead.
 
Posted by LinuxFreakus (Member # 2395) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
When they get multiple nukes, it starts to get much messier.

So you think we can just go in, take out the nuclear facilities, wash our hands, and be done?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by martel:
Pete:
I, for one, would like to know if it is even possible to invade Iran successfully.

So would I. I'd also like to know whether it's possible to strike Iran's sites and avert more than a few hundred deaths.

I'd also like to know whether there's anything that we could do other than attacking Iran to ensure that it does not embark on the series of actions that I described above.

If anyone can shed light on any of the above questions, I encourage them to do so, ASAP.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by LinuxFreakus:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
When they get multiple nukes, it starts to get much messier.

So you think we can just go in, take out the nuclear facilities, wash our hands, and be done?
No. Do you think we can just walk in, make peace talks, toss a few concessions, sing kum ba ya, and be done?

Me neither.

So why don't we toss aside the straw men and hyperboles and stubborn dogmas, and share out ideas on this topic? Personally I'm not sold on the whole strike the facilities idea yet, although sometimes I lean towards it. The other ideas all sound more dangerous, but maybe I've missed a few points. Fill me in.
 
Posted by martel (Member # 3448) on :
 
I think Israel should bomb Iran's nuke sites, as difficult as that may be, and that they should do so secretly and without our help.
At last resort, we should bomb the nuke sites ourselves.
Under no condition should we invade.
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
quote:
I don't buy into the argument that Iran is bent on stoking the global Islamic jihad against the west, and no one seems to have made that accusation.
Nobody but Achminijad and the Iranian government. [Frown]

I agree with Martel.

Although we have nukes, too. We don't have to "invade".

And Iran is much bigger threat now (with Nukes) than Germany was in the 30's. Germany couldn't give a suitcase to a nutcase that could be used to destroy a US city.

KE
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by martel:
Pete:
I, for one, would like to know if it is even possible to invade Iran successfully. Our military, lest we forget, is already so stretched that men are being removed from other trouble spots to be brought to Iraq (20,000 of them). The Iranian Air Force is formidable, and even with our new aircraft carriers in the region (as per the President's speech), it seems quite unlikely that we would be able to achieve the type of success with a bombing campaign that we achieved in the 1st Gulf War (i.e., the war was essentially over before the ground campaign began.)

Why? How hard is it to take out an airfield, or to rebuild/repair one, or hide one from US satelites?


quote:
As has been mentioned, Iran could field a very potent ground army, and to contest it we would have to stretch ourself to the bone in Iraq/Korea/everywhere else.
You seriously think NK would attack SK if we pulled out?


quote:
Or institute the draft.
I see other alternatives for quickly obtaining trained troops to help us fight. Although ultimately more troops will become necessary simply to do the peacekeeping duties in Iraq; we shouldn't have our highly trained specialist forces doing that stuff anyway.


quote:
And I see it as likely that Shia all over Iraq will unleash a massive spate of attacks, partly in retaliation, partly because we will be stretched thin there too.
I don't think so. I think the most Iraqi Shia who want to fight us are already fighting us.

quote:
Also, what do we do in the war, overthrow the government?
NO! Humilliate them. Arm the Iraqi Kurds and Arabs if we have to. If they start disrupting private US interests in the gulf, retaliate by seizing Iranian oil wells on the Iraqi border, where Arabs are a majority anyway, and have troubles with the Iranian government. Start making small reversible noises about giving the Iranian Arabs an "autonomous region."

quote:
That [overthrowing the government]'s working out great in Iraq. We'd have to institute the draft to provide the new forces needed for the occupation.
No occupation except possibly oil fields & to landlock them as a threatening measure to bring them to their knees. Leave the basic government intact; just humilliate Khameini and Aminajab, but do not speak in favor of the opposing parties since that would single them out for persecution.

quote:
The Israelis would most likely help us, so that makes the military issues a little simpler.
No. Israeli participation would be more of a liability, bringing in more Jihadis.

quote:
But I still do not see how they pose a threat to America. To Israel, possibly. But despite Ahmadinejad's rhetoric, would he and the Ayatollah really take what would be the certain destruction of most of their country of 70 million people? It's MAD. And while there might be some crazy enough to do that, Ahmadinejad is a politician. He enjoys power. You do not have power when your nation is uninhabitable and dead.
Read what Shirer says that Hitler did to Germany during his last 6 weeks of life and then reconsider your definition of power.
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
quote:
But I still do not see how they pose a threat to America. To Israel, possibly. But despite Ahmadinejad's rhetoric, would he and the Ayatollah really take what would be the certain destruction of most of their country of 70 million people? It's MAD. And while there might be some crazy enough to do that, Ahmadinejad is a politician. He enjoys power. You do not have power when your nation is uninhabitable and dead.
As I said; suitcase nukes. Which are untraceable to Iran.

KE
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
quote:
I think the most Iraqi Shia who want to fight us are already fighting us.
Most of them who want to fight us right now are. However, as strange as this may seem, it is possible for US military actions to cause people to move from the not wanting to fight us catagory into the wanting to fight us catagory. [Wink]


quote:
No occupation except possibly oil fields
You had better believe they'll be torches, not wells, when we get hold of them.

I understand how appealing the notion of limited military force is here, but it's not realisitic. The Arab majority isn't itching for a US occupation. Iran has spent the last two weeks sending us a message about what they can do to rotary wing aircraft. We won't be able to quickly insert troops from the air, and that lack of Air-Mobile infantry will be a serious set back.

The Iranian Air Force is pretty much a joke compared to ours...which is why it will probably be used suicidally and offensively. The vast majority of their long range missles will be used the same way, in one large counter-attack.

Whether they kill 1,000 or 10,000 of our troops in that counter-attack, the people of the US will demand War. Not limited strategic realpolitik moves, but War. They won't be satisfied until American boots are stomping in Tehran.

We can get away with minor border incursions, snatching agents in Iraq, flying drones around in Iran...but a large scale public humiliation will mean war, and it won't be limited.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
KE?

A suitcase nuke goes off, we're attacking Iran. We won't be asking questions.

Making nukes that small is decades away for Iran.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
Here, we have a sworn enemy of the United States with an established record of government by the mentally ill, acquiring a weapon more destructive than anything that the Nazis ever had. Now if you have an actual argument against war, then make it now, before it's too late.
Pete, you've got it all backwards. You need a really, really, really good reason to start a war that could turn into a nuclear confrontation, but your arguments for justifying a war against Iran are paper thin, and I have explained why. You've ridiculed my reasons and alternative approaches without explaining what's wrong with them. It's just scaremongering to say "...before it's too late." NK already has declared war against the US and they already have nukes. Pakistan is not really our ally, and they have nukes and have sold them to our enemies. Those threats to world peace are decidedly more real than Iran. Despite your assertions to the contrary, Iran's bellicose threats against the US are old, far older than our President's declarations against them.

If you think that Iran is the serious and inevitable threat you argue for, then how can you possibly say that you're not convinced war is the only option?

You challenged me with a strawman for how entering WWII compares with starting a war with Iran, and then rejected a simple analogy I made to WWI because it isn't relevant. I think you are trying to control the discussion with wordplay.

To the fundamental questions of how much will a military action cost ($$ and lives), how long will it take, and what the aftermath will be you have not provided a single shred of practical response, despite my repeated requests. If you can't do that, your assertions about humiliating them, etc., aren't any better than the planning that was done for the Iraq war.

Iran is not standing still politically right now. Ahmadinejad is under fire for his domestic policy handling, foreign policy handing and for his management of the nuclear question. We and the UN are exerting international economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran, and I see some signs that it is paying off with dissatisfaction within the country. I think there is grounds for thinking that ratcheting that up will have beneficial long term effects.
quote:
I think Israel should bomb Iran's nuke sites, as difficult as that may be, and that they should do so secretly and without our help.
At last resort, we should bomb the nuke sites ourselves.
Under no condition should we invade.

Martel, you think you can have one without the other? What will Iran do if we (or our proxy, Israel) bomb them? Nothing?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
quote:
I think the most Iraqi Shia who want to fight us are already fighting us.
Most of them who want to fight us right now are. However, as strange as this may seem, it is possible for US military actions to cause people to move from the not wanting to fight us catagory into the wanting to fight us catagory. [Wink]
Yes. I imagine that if we nuked Mecca or something like that, we'd greatly increase the number of persons displeased with us.

But we're talking about striking Iranian nuke sites here. I'm not seeing this as a huge fighting point with most Iraqis.


quote:
No occupation except possibly oil fields
You had better believe they'll be torches, not wells, when we get hold of them.[/QB][/QUOTE]

How does that affect my argument that the move would bring the country to its knees economically? Iran relies on those resources.

quote:
Iran has spent the last two weeks sending us a message about what they can do to rotary wing aircraft. We won't be able to quickly insert troops from the air, and that lack of Air-Mobile infantry will be a serious set back.
Can you source me on that? Don't know much about that.

quote:
The Iranian Air Force is pretty much a joke compared to ours...which is why it will probably be used suicidally and offensively.
Assuming they can get off the ground at all after our first srikes. I suppose a few planes already in the air could come crashing down in suicide attacks.

quote:
Whether they kill 1,000 or 10,000 of our troops in that counter-attack, the people of the US will demand War. Not limited strategic realpolitik moves, but War. They won't be satisfied until American boots are stomping in Tehran.
Nah. We didn't react that way when Mao massacred thousands of US troops on the China/NK border. Even if they did pull something like that off, we're not going to popular-demand a draft to stomp Tehran

quote:
We can get away with minor border incursions, snatching agents in Iraq, flying drones around in Iran...but a large scale public humiliation will mean war, and it won't be limited.
Again, careful with your terminology. I don't see us descending to total war over this. Question is simply how many limitations will hold.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
Pete, you've got it all backwards. You need a really, really, really good reason to start a war that could turn into a nuclear confrontation,

I assure you that I have no personal intention of starting any war. I also have no interest in persuading you to support a war with Iran, since I'm not entirely certain that I support such a war myself.

As for whether it's a legal war, I've shown you the internationally accepted definition of aggression before (Robert Jackson's description at the onset of the Nuremberg Tribunal). If you want to assert that an action is illegal, then that's your job to show it.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Five choppers have been shot down in Iraq in the last two weeks, US military and Blackwater.

Pete, it may not be the smashing of Mecca, but you're talking about hitting the worlds only actual Shia'a nation. (Majority of and Governed by)

Plenty of Iraqi Shia'a have family there, they are the source of many of the Iraqi militias funding, there is a lot of cross-border trade and exchange in religious students.

The fall of Iran, the withdrawl of Iran, would mean the loss of power for many of the Shia'a militias. You don't think they would retaliate? It's really not as if they are going "all out" right now.

The Korean war was a very long time ago, Pete, and WWII Veterans weren't all that impressed by those kind of numbers.

Iran relies on oil revenue, but here's a wager I bet they'll make. They can go without that revenue longer than the West can go without their oil.

However, the real question, the one I keep asking over and over and over, is "Do we take them at their word or not".

The Supreme leaders retaliation threats
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
You challenged me with a strawman for how entering WWII compares with starting a war with Iran, and then rejected a simple analogy I made to WWI because it isn't relevant. I think you are trying to control the discussion with wordplay.
[Confused] That is one bizarre accusation.

You can't "challenge" someone with a straw man (2 words). And neither a straw man, an analogy, nor relevance has anything to do with "wordplay."

I didn't say your analogy wasn't *relevant*, I said that it was "inaposite," meaning that your analogy did not show what you wanted it to show. In other words, even if a confluence of events leads to a stupid war like WWI, we still have the choice of whether to enter that stupid war.

As for me "trying to control the discussion," muahahaha! You are in my power. [LOL]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Jesse, I think his words should be taken seriously, and I imagine they take ours seriously, as well. I expressed earlier that my biggest fear is that we will talk ourselves into a war that isn't necessary.

I think the following assumptions all hold, but I'm putting them out there so others can tell me I'm wrong and offer your own.

. We can't just smart bomb them into submission.
. They will shut down the Strait of Hormuz if we attack them.
. They cannot be conquered, because they are a country of 50M+ and we don't have the capacity to manage an occupation while still floundering in Iraq.
. The will strike back with indirect and potent attacks against the US, Israel and western Europe.
. There is no way to stop 100 suitcase bombs out of 100 from going off.
. War against Iran will trigger global consequences that will restructure the political, economic and military maps for generations.
. We have no frigging clue what the outcome of a military adventure against Iran will be.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
Five choppers have been shot down in Iraq in the last two weeks, US military and Blackwater.

Sounds like we're already at war, then.

quote:
Pete, it may not be the smashing of Mecca, but you're talking about hitting the worlds only actual Shia'a nation. (Majority of and Governed by)
Iraq is also majority Shi'a and governed by Shi'a.

quote:
Plenty of Iraqi Shia'a have family there, they are the source of many of the Iraqi militias funding, there is a lot of cross-border trade and exchange in religious students.

The fall of Iran, the withdrawl of Iran, would mean the loss of power for many of the Shia'a militias. You don't think they would retaliate? It's really not as if they are going "all out" right now.

Isn't it? Some might ramp up, some might back down, and some might be cut off.

quote:
The Korean war was a very long time ago, Pete, and WWII Veterans weren't all that impressed by those kind of numbers.
But they also thought they had less to lose from a nuclear war. We're gentler. And we've lived decades since the Draft, and definitely don't want it back.

quote:
Iran relies on oil revenue, but here's a wager I bet they'll make. They can go without that revenue longer than the West can go without their oil.
Based on what facts?

quote:
However, the real question, the one I keep asking over and over and over, is "Do we take them at their word or not".
At their word? Certainly not. I'd sooner trust our intelligence than their word, despite our manifest limitations there. Their leaders word is useless.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
I didn't say your analogy wasn't *relevant*, I said that it was "inaposite,[sic]" meaning that your analogy did not show what you wanted it to show.
Inapposite:
adj. Not pertinent; unsuitable.
Synonyms: ...irrelevant...

I say tomayto, you say tomahto [Smile]
quote:
muahahaha!
Be careful of that overbite. May we get back to the discussion now?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Congradulations for pointing out the devastating fact that I misspelled a word. Note that the word UNSUITABLE fits my construction "meaning that your analogy did not show what you wanted it to show."

quote:
May we get back to the discussion now?
You do what you like, Dave.

[ February 08, 2007, 09:41 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
Congradulations for pointing out the devastating fact that I misspelled a word.
quote:
You can't "challenge" someone with a straw man (2 words)
You mean I was being pedantic like that?

You weren't challenging me when you asked: "Would you seriously argue that a nuclear-armed Iran poses less of a threat to the United States than Nazi Germany did in June 1940?" Isn't it a strawman (1 word spelling) to conflate two inapposite situations?

Not devastating, but since I was referencing a dictionary, it seemed appropriate to make the spelling explicit. The definition(s) and synonym show that we were both right, which I thought my clever tomato/tomato joke would reinforce, but for you the word (and many others, obviously) means exactly what you want it to mean, nothing more or less.

I think the reference to the Archduke's murder starting WWI was appropriate, suggesting how unintended consequences can follow an event and blow a situation all out of proportion, but you have to take a step back in order to see it. But, given it was a reference to events almost 100 years ago, perhaps it wasn't relevant.

Pete, I'm not pushing you to be more explicit and specific in this thread for any personal reasons. I want to understand your viewpoint better, and I'm struggling. Some things are foregone conclusions in your mind, but I don't agree with what I think your underlying assumptions are (at least not yet).
 
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
. War against Iran will trigger global consequences that will restructure the political, economic and military maps for generations.

I thought that was the intent...

quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
. We have no frigging clue what the outcome of a military adventure against Iran will be.

When has America ever had a clue as to how a particular military endeavor would turn out?
 
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
 
quote:
d) that Iran actively supports a number of very dangerous terrorist organizations; -- True (most likely)...
More then 'most likely'.
From the mouth of the leader of Hizbullah:
quote:
Moving to the issue of Iran and Syria, Nasrallah emphasized the integral role which both states have played in strengthening and assisting the guerilla organization.

"Iran assists the organization with money, weapons, and training, motivated by a religious fraternity and ethnic solidarity," Nasrallah said. "And the help is funneled through Syria, and everybody knows it."

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1170359771711
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
DaveS: . War against Iran will trigger global consequences that will restructure the political, economic and military maps for generations.

Kelcimer: I thought that was the intent...

Are you saying that it is our intent to use a war in Iran to do all those things? That's a pretty ambitious agenda for a war against a single country.
quote:
When has America ever had a clue as to how a particular military endeavor would turn out?
Seriously? What about Iraq in 2003? I won't repeat all of the useless statements Wolfowitz, Cheney and others made to Congress and the press. On the other hand, despite their confident statements, they really didn't have a clue.
quote:
More then 'most likely'.
You're right. I didn't disbelieve it, but I hadn't seen anybody actually confirm it. He's certainly in a position to know. Now, why he would say it is another question.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
" Isn't it a strawman (1 word spelling) to conflate two inapposite situations?"

No. "Conflating two inapposite situations" could refer to either an equivocation or a false analogy, or even to a situation that was arguably both an equivocation and a false analogy. For example, "separate but equal" has taken on its own abstract meaning as well as continuing to represent a specific historical case, and at least once state justice has used the term in a way that is both an equivocation and a false analogy.

If you want accurate information of scientific terms you should probably go to a scientific source, and if you want logical terms you should probably go to a source on philosophy or rhetoric.

quote:
I'm not pushing you to be more explicit and specific in this thread for any personal reasons.
I never said or thought otherwise. What's your point?

[ February 09, 2007, 01:06 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
Are you saying that it is our intent to use a war in Iran to do all those things? That's a pretty ambitious agenda for a war against a single country.

Isn't the purpose of wars to change things? You seem to be accusing the prospect of a failing, which happens to be the very thing it is intended to achieve: change.

quote:

kelcimer: When has America ever had a clue as to how a particular military endeavor would turn out?

DaveS:
Seriously? What about Iraq in 2003? I won't repeat all of the useless statements Wolfowitz, Cheney and others made to Congress and the press. On the other hand, despite their confident statements, they really didn't have a clue.

Then you agree that America has never had a clue as to how a particular military endeavor would turn out? Cool. For a second there I thought you were disagreeing with me.

quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
Now, why he would say it is another question.

I confess, I don't understand what you mean by this.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
if you want logical terms you should probably go to a source on philosophy or rhetoric.
Thanks for the tip. I did that when I looked up the spelling. One type of strawman argument attaches an unrelated situation (inapposite) to what the other person is talking about in order to get them to appear to contradict themselves. So, I could say that Germany was a greater threat at the start of WWII than Iran is today, or vice versa. Since the two situations are incomparable, either response would be provably wrong. I asked you to answer your own question, but you didn't do that. Too bad, as I would expect you to have a really good answer.
quote:
I never said or thought otherwise. What's your point?
To ask for more information from you. We see the situation very differently, so I am probing to understand your point of view better.
quote:
You seem to be accusing the prospect of a failing, which happens to be the very thing it is intended to achieve: change.
Kelcimer, it's the scope of the change you are after. You can invade a country to solve a problem between your country and theirs, or on the other extreme to reorder the world in some fashion. I'm saying that war against Iran could become a war to rearrange the world, and you're saying sure, that's the point. Ok, we see it differently. The larger the scope, the more unpredictable the outcome, so you'd better have all your ducks in a row before you do it. Among the ducks, what are you willing to dedicate, sacrifice or spend in the effort. Nobody in this thread has touched those practical aspects. I ask because of how things have gone in Iraq, where we have been committed for 4 years, spent about $400B-$500B so far, tied up most of our military apparatus, and worn down support for the effort (and other reasons). What would your objective be and what are you willing to spend to achieve it?
quote:
For a second there I thought you were disagreeing with me.
I am. The war against Iraq was "sold" on specific grounds with specific objectives and a preordained outcome. It had to be, or more people would have objected to the war, but it really seems like those leaders believed their own wishful thinking.
quote:
I don't understand what you mean by this.
Just a ponder. Most leaders are more circumspect than to implicate a foreign government in fomenting war within their country or against their neighbor. I really don't know why he did it.
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
Jesse,

My children, and maybe I, will still be around in "a couple of decades" when Iran does have the capacity to arm lunatics with suitcase nukes.

However, even today they have, or are very close to having, the ability to provide nuclear material to lunatics that can set off 'dirty bombs' in the US through our pouris southern border.

The idea of a nuclear Iran is unacceptable. And if we, with all our power and temporary 'control' of the world, allow nations such as Iran to become armed with nuclear weapons I am certain it will be the end of civilization as we know it.

History, if any is written, will condem us for doing nothing.

KE
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Based on what facts?

It's mighty cold in Europe and a darn good part of the US, Pete [Wink]

More seriously, the price spikes that would result would probably bring about a world wide depression. Try funding a War if Westerners discover what hunger and cold actually feel like.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
KE-

Nuclear proliferation is inevitable. I'm not saying that we shouldn't try to slow it down as much as we possibly can, anymore than I would suggest that the fact that you're going to die someday is a good reason not to wear a seatbelt.

NK is going to hand them out once it has enough. Maybe not willy-nilly to everyone, but they will.

War with Iran might also be the end of civilization as we know it. I'm not kidding.

What do you think Israel will do if a couple of dirty bombs go off in Tel Aviv, KE? If that happens as a direct result of US attacks on Iran, what do you think History will say?

We aren't prepared for this conflict. Whether or not you believe that we should attack Iran, we haven't got enough might to occupy their country, and failure to occupy their country will mean the near destruction of the current world economy.

I think we're going to attack them KE. I'm not even putting forth much effort trying to actually convince anyone it's a bad idea, since what the people think won't matter one bit the folks making the decisions.

If we're going to do it, and I don't know why I bother with IF, we need to be prepared for the fact that it's not going to be a cake walk and that a nifty little "surgical strike" won't be the end of it.

A lot of people are going to die. Energy prices are going to go through the roof. We will suffer terrorist attacks at home, and we will probably wind up intering tens of thousands of Americans. We will get absolutely mauled in Iraq. Our country will wind up absolutely bankrupt. It's going to cost us trillions we don't have.

I just want to make sure that we're all aware of the cost of acting.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
quote:
if you want logical terms you should probably go to a source on philosophy or rhetoric.
Thanks for the tip. I did that when I looked up the spelling. One type of strawman argument attaches an unrelated situation (inapposite) to what the other person is talking about in order to get them to appear to contradict themselves.
Yes, an inapposite situation could be part of a straw man, but the gravamen of the straw man fallacy is misrepresentation, Dave. To employ a straw man means that you misrepresent an opponent's argument and then rebut that misrepresentation. Hence the term "straw man:" it's knocking down a dummy argument.

quote:
We see the situation very differently, so I am probing to understand your point of view better.
Well, good luck with that. [Frown]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
A lot of people are going to die. Energy prices are going to go through the roof. We will suffer terrorist attacks at home, and we will probably wind up intering tens of thousands of Americans. We will get absolutely mauled in Iraq. Our country will wind up absolutely bankrupt. It's going to cost us trillions we don't have.
Thank you for taking up the cost issue, whether you're right or not. It's insanity to promote military action without discussing cost as the force on the other side of the fulcrum. Trillions? I think yes. Global recession? Good chance. Global arms race? Absolutely. WWIII? Dunno, but I saw today that Putin publicly complained that the US is the world's most aggressive nation, implying that something has to be done to counter US encroachment into other countries' security spaces. Where is that going to lead, especially if we attack Iran, a country Russia is busily building economic and military collaboration with?
quote:
Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted the United States Saturday for the "almost uncontained" use of force in the world, and for encouraging other countries to acquire nuclear weapons.

In what his spokesman acknowledged were his harshest attacks on the U.S. since taking office in 2000, Putin also criticized U.S. plans for missile defense systems and NATO's expansion.

Putin told a security forum attracting top officials that "we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations" and that "one state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way.

"This is very dangerous, nobody feels secure anymore because nobody can hide behind international law," Putin told the gathering.

By "ecouraging other countries" I think the article means provoking them to develop nuclear weapons as a response to US military superiority. No matter how invincible our soldiers are, one suitcase bomb set off in any major US city would be utterly devastating to our economy and societal stability. Who would knowingly "encourage" other nations to move in that direction?
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
quote:
No matter how invincible our soldiers are, one suitcase bomb set off in any major US city would be utterly devastating to our economy and societal stability.
Which is PRECISELY why the US has been forced to become more aggressive.

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Ed, people can fall on either side of this question, which you and I do. Would our aggression reduce or slow down the march toward such a horrific event, or would it speed it up? I take the position that other nations will respond to our lead with efforts in similar directions. If we invade or attack Iran, other countries will think like Putin does and will act on those thoughts, which Putin may be signaling Russia will do.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
What would Putin do (WWPD) if the shoe were on the other foot, Dave? I suspect that he'd be even more aggressive than we are being now, limited only by the state his country is currently in.

The problem is, it's easy to take Putin's position if (1) you were never attacked and (2) you don't have to worry (yet) about being attacked. What's a few thousand American lives to him? Unlike Georgie Jr., I don't (can't) look into Putin's eyes and see a good man. I see a man who has his _own_ country's interests at heart.

As to speeding up hostilities, as you already know, I believe we are on an invetible course towards war, so... if we're gonna have to go through this, let's get it _done and over with._ The sooner it's out of the way, the sooner life can return to normal.

Ed.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Could be both. Could be that it would reduce the horror in the long run AND speed it up in the short run. As occurred in WWII.
 
Posted by Big C (Member # 3404) on :
 
"The sooner it's out of the way, the sooner life can return to normal."

I think the world's present state is the only "normal" we're going to know for the rest of our (and our children's) lives.

We can't go back, and those on the other side of the "great divide" won't let us.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
And when I say "could be," I mean "could be." It's an open question.

As for Putin's remarks, I think that the most folks are failing to take in that Russia and China's biggest gripe was what we did in Kosovo/Serbia. Yes they had financial interests in Iraq and have financial interests in Iran, but their rhetoric here is simply aimed at destroying any concord between the US and Europe that could be used to repeat what happened in Kosovo. What Russia and the PRC find particularly threatening is the idea of an international community forming an "aggressive pact" against one nation over what Russia and the PRC consider internal housekeeping measures such as genocide. (My objection to the Kosovo war is very different from Russia and the PRC's objection.)
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Could be, Pete, that's why I'm so cautious [Wink] . Ed, I expect every country to put their own interests (first order considerations) first, but if that's the only consideration that's taken into account, we will never get out of the cycle of confrontational diplomacy that we're in now. We need to consider what I'll call possible second order effects of taking first order actions.

1st order, 1: We attack Iran and wipe out their nuclear facilities, declare victory and go home. What happens to ME oil supplies as a result of hostilities on both sides? Assume we tighten our belts, scrounge for alternative energy sources. A law is passed requiring everyone to switch to compact flourescent lights (CFLs, great stuff, btw!), highway vehicle occupancy restrictions are enacted in many states. Significant oil shortages result anyway, but we survive.

1st order, 2: Iran, Al Qaeda, other groups instigate terrorist attacks against the US and other western interests in retaliation after we leave and they regroup. This can take 1-3 years to develop, but are ongoing once they begin. We "expected" this and prepared as best we could. Perhaps we even escape relatively unscathed. Other countries are damaged, but perhaps also not severely. The global economy takes a hit, but would eventually recover if there were no second order effects. But,

2nd order, 1: Russia consolidates its relationship with Iran and moves toward aggregation and control of global oil supplies, seeks shift of global international alliances. Some traditional US allies in Europe and Asia move in Russia's direction, because they are geographically nearer and are forced to accede to Russia's increased clout regarding distribution of oil supplies. The worldwide recession that follows hurts the US more than any other country, since we import and consume more resources than any other country.

2nd order, 2: ME turmoil is unleashed and results in all-out regional war, targeting the destruction of Israel. Islamic nationalism rises, democratic governments are overthrown. Regional autonomy emerges with a charter to oppose US imperialism by controlling their one commodity, oil. Recognizing that the US isn't unwilling to use military means to secure access to oil, ME countries form military alliances and share nuclear technology among themselves. They reach the point where they declare that other countries are either with them or against them. Oil is used to coerce realignments.

2nd order, 3: Every country in the world capable of doing so redoubles their efforts to build nuclear stockpiles. Those countries distance themselves from the US because we are a known international aggressor with a massive military capability. Cold war returns, US is diplomatically and economically isolated, the UN effectively disappears. Maybe the US cobbles together a new Global Democratic Order, a coalition of willing countries bound by mutual protection treaties centered around US military capabilities.

Etc. Could happen, and it all seems quite plausible to me. BTW, none of this assumes that any nuclear weapons actually go off. If one does go off anywhere in the world, a 2nd will, and then a 3rd...After that, it's pointless to count.

Or, we could negotiate, compromise, learn to get along in the world without holding the title of the dominant power, only the most important. Also seems plausible and could happen.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Being cautious about going to war is a good thing. Unfortunately, WWII showed us that under certain circumstances, you also need to be cautious about not going to war.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
If war is the result of failed diplomacy, then the true question is when does our current diplomacy qualify as a failure? If the goal of our diplomacy is to prevent nuclear technology being converted into nuclear arms, as well as prevent a nuclear threat or use against our allies in Europe and the Near East, and ultimately assure that peaceful commerce and communication continues, then we must asses the current results of our diplomatic efforts.

We apparently have not prevented the Iranian government or religious leaders from not being advocates of warfare outside their borders. We have not prevented the implementation of an Iranian nuclear program that can be fully self sustaining and independent of outside resources. We have not been able to force Iran to meet its commitments under IAEA auspices. We have not been able to get Iran to place nuclear technology transference of civilian uses to military uses on the table. AND iran has pointedly said that any diplomatic talks will not include Iran's nuclear program at all in toto. Iran has ignored formal protest by IAEA inspectors. Iran has also been non-responsive to any economic sanctions.

All the while, Iran has been doing something concerning nuclear technology. It could be building a peaceful system. It could be building a system that can have a military component. It could even be building a system that has a primary military intent. Add to this the statements by the religious leaders that it is an Iranian right to have all the capacities of nuclear technology as well as the statement that a nuclear weapon is against Koranic laws. Plus add to that the statements by Iran's president, cabinet members, and military leaders that Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon is outside the scrutiny of the world.

And most damning of all is the fact that Iranian leaders continue to allude to the fact that Israel and the United States will experience a great burning cloud.

So exactly when do you begin deciding that Iran, which has always lived up to its rhetoric, really plans to not only become a nuclear power but also use that power as a military tool?

When the Nazis did the Sudetenland related diplomacy, Czechoslovakia had both the ability and resources to annihilate the German Army. They however went along with the diplomatic measures that Great Britain and France recommended. Great Britain, France and even Germany were not ready for a war. Czechoslovakia was because their armaments and defensive capacities were far superior in both quantity and quality compared to their potential German adversary. France and Great Britain thought diplomacy at Czechoslovakia's expense was the better course. The irony is that those Czechoslovakian weapons spent the next few years being used by the Germans as they nearly destroyed all of Europe and the Soviet Union.

Of course 20/20 it is easy to see that diplomacy was already dead, and war should have been the answer. Imagine a world where Czechoslovakia was allowed by its allies to defend its territory. The Germans would have suffered a massive crippling defeat, and the Nazis would never have climaxed as the causality of World War II.

Someone early made a comment about how history would judge our response to Iran. Will it be one where we delayed until events overtake us? Or will we do something proactive? As it stands right now, diplomacy has yielded nothing for our efforts.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"Those countries distance themselves from the US because we are a known international aggressor with a massive military capability. Cold war returns, US is diplomatically and economically isolated, the UN effectively disappears."

Again, war with Iran would not be a significant factor towards this outcome -- those seeds were planted in Kosovo and letting Iran make the first major attack in this war won't avert that outcome. Simply put, what we did in Kosovo was unmitigated aggression; Iraq was almost certainly not aggression, and attacking Iran now would not be aggression in any legally recognized sense of the word. But to understand that, you'll have to look up the legal definition of aggression.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
So exactly when do you begin deciding that Iran, which has always lived up to its rhetoric, really plans to not only become a nuclear power but also use that power as a military tool?
The leap from them having that power to using it would be very difficult for them to make. I realize that not preventing what will inevitably happen is stupid, but I have to believe that they also think about what will happen to them if they do use it. Their country will be incinerated in a 100-fold retaliatory holocaust. Their people will be obliterated. Their dreams as a nation, religion and culture will die along with them. No matter what they think they can accomplish with their weapons, don't you think that would stop them from doing so?
quote:
As it stands right now, diplomacy has yielded nothing for our efforts.
Red, you know that diplomacy is unbearably slow. I think we are making diplomatic progress, and I think that Iran is gut-checking Ahmadinejad's position and not liking it as much as it may sound. I posted links to articles describing rumblings to this effect previously, but I don't have them handy at the moment.
quote:
...and attacking Iran now would not be aggression in any legally recognized sense of the word. But to understand that, you'll have to look up the legal definition of aggression.
Pete, you argue policy like a lawyer. SO WHAT if you think our invading their country might meet some "legal definition"? You keep referring back to that as if it's a get out of jail free card. We insisted we had the legal right to invade Iraq, and that sure didn't win many allies to the cause. This is so much more serious and deadly a potential conflict that the world might define a new legal standard if we start that war under which we are a criminal nation deserving of worldwide opprobrium and reprisal. Will you defend them if they cite their legal definition?
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Dave

The Iranian government has always lived up to its rhetoric, which was why I pointed that out. They say that nuclear development is not up for negotiation. They say Israel and the United States will be attacked. By their track record, i.e. doing exactly what they say they are going to do, I believe them to be firmly committed to acting on their rhetoric. That would include their seeming willingness to use nuclear weapons. Their cultural bias does not place the same value on civilians and reasonable protection of civilians on the same level as ours. Even if we turned them into a pile of glass, which we would never do in the first place because we are unwilling to use a nuke ever again, if they have caused even minor damage to Israel and the United States, they assume everyone is in Heaven and Allah's will has been done. We lose maybe New York City and Israel looses Jerusalem, and Iran loses every single hamlet, by their viewpoint they win. Its a bit like the Monty Python's Black Knight. Its obvious that he has suffered a humiliating defeat, but it is impossible to establish that fact with him, or even prevent him from additional attacks against you. While we place an inordinate, and unprecedented valuation on civilians compared to historical governments, the Iranians do not share a similar cultural tradition. I would not assume that they would somehow see the light and recognize that civilian casualties are something to avoid. They didn't exhibit such concerns in their last war with Iran. What makes you think that they would suddenly adopt the polar viewpoint and not be willing to follow through with using a nuclear weapon?

And as to the painfully slow pace of diplomacy. We have been at this now for more than 4 years. We have offered both carrots and sticks. The Iranians have yielded no compromise, or even conjectured a compromise that is possible. Additionally, what was a program with little hard evidence of existence, has now become not only to big to hide from satellites and IAEA inspectors, but has repeatedly proven to be much farther developed and advanced than each presumption we have made. In a matter of a week, the existence of cascades of centrifuges went from, doubtful, to possible, to confirmed but a minimal 160 devices, to more than 320 installed and running devices with a presumption that Iran may have another 1000 running in addition. Seems to me that if diplomacy is simply the Iranian method of pulling our tail repeatedly so that we don't notice the guillotine they are building in front of us until they can use it, then we ought to expect at least some sort of diplomatic process.

So far the only "progress" has been the Europeans gloating over the fact that they are the leaders of diplomacy because the USA cannot be allowed to be the exclusive diplomatic leader in the world. So "whoopee" Europe gets treated as a media darling as it leads ineffectual diplomacy!

That isn't diplomatic progress. Thats more like acceding to your allies because they aren't ready to back up the diplomacy with anything other than diplomacy. So it is kinda ironic that the USA and Israel are playing Czechoslovakia to Britain and France for a second time.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
quote:
...and attacking Iran now would not be aggression in any legally recognized sense of the word. But to understand that, you'll have to look up the legal definition of aggression.
Pete, you argue policy like a lawyer. SO WHAT if you think our invading their country might meet some "legal definition"?
When you use legal terms like aggression and illegal, it's generally a good idea to know what the hell you're talking about.


quote:
You keep referring back to that as if it's a get out of jail free card.
You think that attacking Iran is like getting out of jail? [Big Grin] I'm just saying that I'm unaware of any conflict in international law. The question remains whether it's the best thing for us to do under the circumstances.

quote:
We insisted we had the legal right to invade Iraq, and that sure didn't win many allies to the cause.
I think it was the actually invading Iraq that pissed people off; not the legal argument. [Big Grin]


quote:
This is so much more serious and deadly a potential conflict that the world might define a new legal standard if we start that war under which we are a criminal nation deserving of worldwide opprobrium and reprisal. Will you defend them if they cite their legal definition?
I would not give credit any "legal definition" that identifies a "criminal nation," nor to an ex post facto law. Some folks mistakenly argue that Nuremberg enforced an ex-post facto law, but IIRC no obligation was enforced at Nuremberg that Germany had not already agreed to by treaty or law. Nor did Nuremberg identify Germany as a "criminal nation;" Nuremberg prosecuted individuals for crimes against humanity and aggression. It certainly would be a strange world if we made decisions based on what someone might make illegal after the fact.

If you're not willing to look at legal definitions before making a legal argument, then let's just agree to disagree on the legality of the proposed invasion, and focus instead on other aspects of this question where you seem more informed, and where I am undecided. Your analysis of what might happen after the invasion seemed cogent enough, and I look forward to Redskull's response. In fact, I think the worst case scenario from a US attack could get considerably worse than what you described. I suspect that the US might sooner result to nukes than to the draft and a full occupation of Iran. I don't think that's likely, but it's a possibility that I can't dismiss. But even that worst case scenario seems less ugly than letting Aminajab get his hands on a nuke.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"Or, we could negotiate, compromise, learn to get along in the world without holding the title of the dominant power, only the most important. Also seems plausible and could happen."


I have no idea who you are responding to there. Who has advocated attacking Iran in order to "hold the title of the dominant power?" Certainly what you say comes off badly in the light of my concern and Red's argument that Iran has taken Hitler's approach to diplomacy and war.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Not responding to anyone, specifically, since I'm trying to talk about the practicalities and you and Red are focused on the threat and opportunity. If the US assumes that it has the right to attack Iran, as it did with Iraq, without legal backing of the UN, then it is assuming that we are a higher, hence dominant, authority than the UN.

I'm also not making a legal argument, so whether attacking them does or does not fit the technical definition of aggression or is or is not legal are not the most significant criteria in my mind. Sorry if you think it comes off badly that I ignore how Iran compares with Hitler's approach to diplomacy and war. I get the feeling that you are engaged in a drawing room or courtroom debate where winning or losing stays in the room, because you avoid talking about the practical aspects of what such a war would mean. I really don't understand how you can talk about such extreme and violent actions without fully engaging that side of the discussion. Honestly.

Hypothetically, let's say that you shoot someone and had a legal pretext or authorization to do so. Unfortunately, the man you shot belongs to a gang and they kill you and your family for killing him. You're arguing the legality of your action, and I'm arguing that you're dead, too. Hmmm, legal...dead...?

[ February 10, 2007, 10:33 PM: Message edited by: DaveS ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
Your analysis of what might happen after the invasion seemed cogent enough, and I look forward to Redskull's response. In fact, I think the worst case scenario from a US attack could get considerably worse than what you described. I suspect that the US might sooner result to nukes than to the draft and a full occupation of Iran.
My apologies. This portion of your post didn't sink in until just now. I now understand that you consider Iran getting a nuke to be an ultimate worst case scenario that must not be allowed to happen under any circumstances (right?). I agree that it would be terrible, but I think we should strive to manage it and avoid military action at almost but not quite any cost. Therein apparently lies the difference in our views. The legal, schmegal considerations are secondary to you, as well (also right?).
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"The legal, schmegal considerations are secondary to you, as well (also right?)."

Absolutely correct. Unfortunately, they seem to be the one aspect of the argument that I know the most about, and am most certain about, as well as the least interesting. The statement in your first paragraph seems to make a mistaken assumption about the UN and international law regarding war, but you say that you're not posing a legal question, so I'll leave you with that one.

"Legal/Dead" -- then please stop arguing that the war's illegal! That's the only reason that I've responded with legal arguments -- to rebut yours.


"Sorry if you think it comes off badly that I ignore how Iran compares with Hitler's approach to diplomacy and war."

That's not a drawing room comparison. It bears directly on our capacity to come to a nonmilitary solution.

"you avoid talking about the practical aspects of what such a war would mean"

No, I don't. I've addressed those points, and I've requested for more information. In fact, I also showed a possible consequence of such a war that is more serious and horrible than anything that you discussed. I take it very very seriously. Ah. Your next post makes clear that you saw that. Apology accepted.

" I now understand that you consider Iran getting a nuke to be an ultimate worst case scenario that must not be allowed to happen under any circumstances (right?)."

I believe it, but I'm open to counterarguments. Even if it only used its nukes defensively (unlikely), threateninig to nuke Israel or US troops if they were invaded, it would still obviously accelerate its support of terrorism since its nukes now rendered it untouchable. Consider that we don't even attack Bin Laden in western Pakistan because of Musharraf's nuclear threat. Iran's wealth and invulnerability could allow it to make Al Qaeda look like rank amatures. And that's *without* using nukes.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Ok Dave let us talk practical costs.

Worst case scenario: Iran with nuclear weapons has the ability to alter the world's economy, cultures, and religion.

And by alter, I am being very vague intentionally because we know not the direction of altering it will take. But I think there is a clear challenge being made by Iran. It sees Persian dominance on an historical upswing. It threatens directly the democratic/semi-democratic nations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Israel. They are engaged in military combat with all of those nations except Israel at this very moment. They are already looking for the knockout punch to use against Israel now. Whether Iran has nuclear weapons or not, the United States WILL engage in open combat with Iran some time in the near future.

Whether it is a preemptive strike by the United States or a reactionary strike by the United States, Iran will continue living up to fulfilling its governmental rhetoric. They talk of war, currently attack out allies, and give every indication that they seek our destruction.

They have said, with both religious and political leaders, as well as military and media spokesmen that;

The United States must abandon all of its commercial interests in the region.

That the United States cannot ally with a Muslim country without contaminating the country.

That the United Nations, and its organs cannot supersede the rights and authority of the Arab nations individually or in concert in the various Arab alliances.

The United States is criminal for supporting Israel.

The United States is criminal for poisoning the Egyptian people and should have no free right to access of the Suez.

The United States is criminal for allowing the Sunni governments to exist.

The United States has no transfered mandate of authority over the Persian Gulf that stems from the United Kingdom's agreements with the Trucial States.

The United States has allowed Israel to freely attack innocent Islamic countries.

The United states has no right or reason to have any deployed forces anywhere in the Islamic regions of the world.

That the United States is part of a vast Zionist conspiracy.

That the United States should withdraw to its own borders.

That the culture of the United States is a contaminant and can only be cured by Sharia Law.

That United States will burn.

That a unified Islamic Middle East is a goal to obtain, by force if required, to enable the eventual cleansing of the United States.

That Iran is soon to be an independent nuclear power, and aside from continuing to entertain the IAEA diplomatically, the question of what Iran is up to does not concern the United States.


And it goes on and on. Dave, some of the stuff they say is honestly so over the top that the western ear simply disputes its seriousness immediately. But enough of what the Iranian leadership is saying is being delivered in apparent lucidity. They truly mean what they say.

So you have a nation who seeks your country's economic, political, military, cultural, and religious downfall.

The practicality question is moot. It isn't a question of it being an advantageous period of time to have to deal with Iran. We are not the ones setting up the pool balls on the table. Iran has said that it essentially wants the Persian Empire to replace the United States as a super power. It has said it will do so by any means required. It has made it very clear that the United States will be assaulted globally if we resist.

So what is economic, cultural, religious, and political freedom worth to you? Trillions in my book. practicality doesn't matter. It will be harder and costlier the longer we go on.

This isn't a parlor room discussion for contemplative review. This is simply a statement of fact. The legalities or the costs aren't really the issue. The issue is simply when do we defend ourselves. Your commentary seems to be more aimed at should we defend ourselves.

I dont know about you but a world inhabited by a fanatical, militant, nuclear armed Iran scares the hell out of me. Al Qeada told us that they were at war with the United States and would attack the United States until it essentially bows to all of their demands. It took the United States almost a decade to notice, but Al Qeada lived up to its words. We haven't bowed to their demands, but hey are definitely killing us daily in Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran has been telling the United States that they are our enemy and will not only challenge the United States, but also defeat it. And it seems that they have managed to put together a real impressive package.

Terrorists and puppet governments attacking the United States in the Middle East, an impressive independent arms industry backed by a fairly robust and capable military. Modern arms and naval capacities. And aerospace abilities that make them as powerful as most European nations.

And they want the bomb.

The practical aspects don't matter, because we are talking about a war which will require extreme sacrifice by our nation domestically and internationally. It will be a whatever it takes kind of war, i.e. Civil War, World War II, where the obvious threat to the nation is so clear that everyone fights as forcefully and effectively as possible so that the war ends decisively and unambiguously.

Personally I am hoping that their is either a populist uprising in Iran which overthrows the current religious and governmental leadership. That seems unlikely since there is even less civil disobedience now than there ever was under the Shah.

I could hope for a catastrophic failure in multiple Iranian nuclear sites, but that is pretty wishful thinking. Maybe their bomb will dud, or explode so incredibly that the government is revealed to be totally incompetent.

Hopefully the Israelis will launch a suicide mission and hit as much of Iran's nuclear industry as possible and give the United States another decade of delay.

Dave I'm not trying to be hostile towards you, so I am sorry if something I wrote offends you.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ DaveS

Sorry, Dave, but from my point of view, you are arguing a lot of "what if" scenarios. There's nothing wrong with this except this, but, as I've suggested to you before, we do not fight wars on what might happen, we fight them based on what we are unwilling to lose to our enemy. The issue at hand is not about our good standing in this world, it's about the loss of lives, potentially numbering in the millions. I don't know about you, but, were I ever forced to make a choice between those two, then, our standing be damned. I am, quite frankly, unwilling to sacrafice those lives simply so that someone might like us a little better.

Ed.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ Redskullvw

Excellent post, Red.

quote:
Personally I am hoping that their is either a populist uprising in Iran which overthrows the current religious and governmental leadership. That seems unlikely since there is even less civil disobedience now than there ever was under the Shah.
Me too and I fear your right.

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
The legalities or the costs aren't really the issue. The issue is simply when do we defend ourselves. Your commentary seems to be more aimed at should we defend ourselves.
I wholeheartedly agree with your first sentence; the second states your position; the third doesn't quite capture mine. I believe that Iran is a potentially dangerous and serious threat to world peace. Despite the rhetoric that you cite (Persian empire? Shiite empire? Their neighbors won't allow either!), I don't believe that they have any hope at all of achieving a fraction of what you say they want. Most importantly, 1, I think any war against Iran will be all-out war, for which we have made no preparations. If they truly will back up those threats, our bombs won't stop them; we will have to annihilate the dream that fuels that vision, which means that we will have to carry out a holocaust greater than was waged by the Nazis in WWII. I don't believe that any other country in the world will allow it, and we will suffer monumentally if we attempt it. 2, War isn't the only option. That is where we most disagree.
quote:
Dave I'm not trying to be hostile towards you, so I am sorry if something I wrote offends you.
Red, I hope I haven't missed it, but I haven't detected any hostility from you. That we disagree so strongly, but stay focused on the substance of the issue, advances the discussion, even if sometimes in a brittle way. This may be the defining issue of our age (my money is on global climate change), so it is crucial that people who can't stop thinking about it don't stop talking to each other.
quote:
I don't know about you, but, were I ever forced to make a choice between those two, then, our standing be damned. I am, quite frankly, unwilling to sacrafice those lives simply so that someone might like us a little better.
Ed, I don't really care who likes us. I argue a lot of "what if" scenarios because we don't know how to predict the future, so they are all we have. You can't resist the inevitable force of gravity, but there is no such similar law or principle at work in international relations. I wish you had a more nuanced view of that or would provide a less assertive and more reasoned argument, because it would give us more to talk about. For instance, I think every single statement you made in that post is an opinion for which the assumptions and facts that went into it can be interpreted differently. If you state what those are, I would be more than willing to discuss them with you. If my unwillingness to agree with you frustrates you, then we don't have much to talk to each other about. As I wrote above to Red, war isn't the only option, though I recognize that it clearly is one.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
quote:
I wish you had a more nuanced view of that or would provide a less assertive and more reasoned argument, because it would give us more to talk about.
Yes, I know. We've had this conversation before, Dave. [Smile] And this is where you and I differ distinctively. It's not that I don't have a more "nuanced" view. It's that I prefer the "Alexandrian Solution" to this problem.

There is a concept in my line of work known as "analysis paralysis" where, when analyzing risks to his business, the analyst ends up doing nothing for fear of doing the wrong thing. That is effectively what you appear to be doing in these arguments, to me, anyway.

The problem is, analysis for analysis' sake is not a good thing. More to the point, if all you do is analyze and nothing else, then you are merely wasting your time. Analysis, without any action is like a car without gas: useless.

The solution to the analysis paralysis conundrum is to prioritize: to identify which problems are the worst (most damaging problems), which are the least consequential, and, then, which problems fall somewhere in between the two. This allows the planner to then deal with the obstacles, mitigate the consequences and ignore the irrelevant.

And that's where you and I (and I suspect Red and Pete) differ. As best I can tell, everything you are arguing you are raising to the same priority as my number one concern: that being the potential loss of lives that an "Iran Rising" poses. Everything you list as a consequence can be dealt with when we need to. Loss of prestige? We can deal with it. Damage to the economy? We can deal with it. Russia more firmly opposed to us? We can deal with that. But, the loss of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or, even, (Allah forbid!) millions? How do you deal with that? You can't. It's a loss. The damage is done. There is nothing you can do to resolve it.

So, from my point of view, the number one priority IS preventing that potential loss of life. All other things can be dealt with IF/WHEN they arise.

To put it another way, while your busy trying to untie that Gordian knot, I've already whacked it in two and have already moved on to other issues.

Remember, many of us arguing here believe that we are already on a path to war. No amount of nuance is going to change that. Not so long as Iran continues to spew irresponsible rhetoric. So, to us, to argue nuance while ignoring that simple fact is dangerous at best. At worse, it's idiocy.

Ed.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
I see no reason to believe it is even likely that the loss of life will be less if we act militarily against Iran than if we do not.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
You're a sharp guy, Jesse, and I'm more interested in what you do see than what you don't see. [Smile]
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
I think we already are at war. As hard as we have tried to frame it in politically correct terms, the United States is at war with Islam.

Plain and simple. Our world view has a possible and probable peaceful co-existence. Islam's view is one where we convert or die.

That is the current Gordian Knot. Most people have been painfully and willfully unaware of its existence.

Iran is already playing for all the marbles, while the USa is barely even grabbing a shooter out of its pouch.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Jesse, so you also think the war has begun, but we just don't know the path that it will follow?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Red, you're promoting all out war. How long will it take us to ramp up, what will it take? I think the battle group movements into the ME are in anticipation of military strikes. Do you?
 
Posted by Big C (Member # 3404) on :
 
The United States got incredibly lucky that the Soviet Union collapsed. I too hope for some type of uprising/coup in Iran that brings a more moderate government into power. Might it be too much luck to hope for? Wouldn't it be neat if the CIA could engineer a coup? Nevermind, they did that already and would no longer dare to subvert a sovereign government.

I don't see much benefit to striking Iran. They might loose Hizballah or Hamas terrorists to attack us in the US. Oil prices will certainly go up. Heck, the whole Middle East might go up in flames.

Trouble is, I think not trying to interrupt their nuclear progam--attacking them, is likely a more dangerous option. They have yet to achieve the capability to directly strike Israel. They have yet to develop/acquire nuclear weapons. If they obtain the warheads before their missiles can reach Israel, will they attack an enemy closer to home? Such as US troop or naval concentrations in Iraq or the Persian Gulf?

[ February 11, 2007, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: Big C ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
But, the loss of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or, even, (Allah forbid!) millions? How do you deal with that? You can't. It's a loss. The damage is done. There is nothing you can do to resolve it.

So, from my point of view, the number one priority IS preventing that potential loss of life.

I think when you say "loss of life" you mean American lives, yes? Rather than assume that and respond to what I think that implies, I'd like to have you confirm it. Thanks.
 
Posted by potemkyn (Member # 1040) on :
 
To those who would support a war with Iran,

I have argued against this since it first came to light that this will occur. Why is that? Primarily because the assumptions being made about Iran are largely unproven or are conjured after it was decided that war is necessary.

In order to make a war with Iran necessary at this juncture in time, several things must be had.

1. Knowledge that a future war is imminent and will be knowablely worse
2. Knowledge that diplomacy will not succeed under any circumstances
3. Knowledge that Iran will not be detered by anything the US can wield
4. Knowledge that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons
5. Knowledge that Iran will use nuclear weapons aggressively, as a weapon of first resort, and will not rule out pre-emptive or first strikes

If these five things cannot be shown to be true, then there is no case for a war. Of course it is impossible to prove them true. We cannot know the future with any real assurance and we here don't know much about what the Iranians are thinking, so we must relax our standards to allow for even the option of war.

If we are to continue war, a simple decision tree would bring about the best decision possible. You compare US options with their poential costs and how likely those scenarios are.

I won't actually build one here, for obvious reasons, but some things that should be noted are:

1. US and Israeli capabilities with regards to knocking out Iranian nuclear facilities are over estimated. The US does not have the ability to actually destroy Iran's nuclear program at will. It will require troops on the ground, and days of prep work on Iranian air defense sites and military command centers. It will take days to really destroy these sites, in which time, material and personnel can be moved to safety. The result? This will only delay the inevitable. After the sites are attacked, Iran will just rebuild. This time digging deeper, and buying more sophisticated weapons from abroad.

Thus, in order to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons the US must either A) convince the Iranian leadership not to pursue them or B) cripple the nation so much that it can no longer afford to rebuild the sites and defend them.

What's the point of all this? The idea that the US or Israel can stop the Iranian program at will and with limited action is impossible and should be dispensed with immediately.

2. Only a small fraction of dictatorships are territorially expansive and suicidially inclined. Even the number of facist dictatorships like that is small. The conclusion that Iran's leadership is like Hitler is silly for a number of reasons. Most important of these is that there are other world leaders than Hitler! Anyone who opposes the US is automatically like Hitler, and it doesn't fly. Secondly, even if it can be proved that Ahmedinijad is Hitler's identical twin brother or something, that in and of itself in no way shape or form necessitates immediate war with Iran. Hitler was such a threat because he dominated the premiere industrial and military power in Europe and was a world class power. Germany nearly beat the whole world in World War I, all by itself. Iran doesn't have near the industrial capacity or the military capability to pose a threat that Germany did under Hitler. The US is so much stronger by comparison that the comparison is laughable. If you aren't totally sure what I mean, just imagine if Hitler had taken over Romania. So what if he's insane and expansive? Romania can't actually hurt the US and will be easily repelled if it invaded its neighbors.

3. Considering the flaws in the 'Hitler' analogy, it becomes important to consider the problem from another angle. IE Iran is a rational player on the international scene. If this is the case, and there is sufficient evidence that it is, then pursuing diplomacy where sticks and carrots are applied becomes a good idea. Iran responds to good and bad things. Sanction their asses until the US gets full access to their nukes. Or, like the US should have done, build the plants themselves, like the Iranians asked the US to. That way they can see exactly what occurs from the get go. If the US wants to build a fail-safe somewhere into the system, then they could get away with that. The point is, there were plenty of diplomatic options available when the situation first presented itself, and there still exist options. But they only exist for those who haven't already convinced themselves that they are fighting a Hitler with a Germany. A rational Iran will come to the table.

4. A nuclear armed Iran is not necessarily an imminent threat. A nuclear armed Iran prevents the US from actively pursuing an invasion, but other than that, it is conceivable that things won't change much. Some would argue that a nuclear armed Iran would use its nukes to blackmail Israel and the US. Yeah right. Like Iran would use a nuke to prevent Israel from attacking a Hamas training facility. Sure. That makes no sense. First of all, Israel and the US wouldn't actually bow down to such pressue, and secondly, such a move is totally insane. Nuclear weapons aren't even used like that in North Korea, where the situation is even more insane. Even if such a threat was made and actually carried out when Israel and the US said, "whatever," the Iranians would have used one of their only nukes. The result would be their destruction. There is no way that anyone would concievably try to deter anyone else in that manner. Especially since the deterant is a one shot or maybe two shot deal. After that, it's time for a spanking.

5. As much as the US has put the screws on Iran, they haven't done anything with its allies who are really the ones allowing Iran to buck the world. Start dealing with Russia and India to make them shut down their deals with Iran. Do what you can to actually turn the world against Iran. An isolated Iran is a weak Iran. A weak Iran is one which will deal with the US.

6. Iran might actually have legitimate grievances against the US, and there is nothing immoral or stupid in acknowledging that. In fact, that is the definition of maturity. Addressing those issues might reduce the tension between the US and Iran. It might also embolden them, but so what? As long as there is a "this line and no futher" which is stuck too, then there won't be any trouble. All that needs to be done is stated clearly, this is the line which won't be crossed. Before that point, though, is open to negotiation.

Please, give peace a chance.

Potemkyn
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
Watching recent events vis a vis America/Iran under this administration, I havew concluded that it has been the aim of certain deeply entrenched privilegees of the military-industrial complex that we have a right big bloody war in the MIddle East.

I've no reason why to suggest. There are enough to run a small raffle on.

I think me old pal Long Tom Sylvarr summed it best when he said it's a war to decide who owns god.

Hey! Let's start us a war! Let's start two or three! If we start enough it will become incumbent upon the USA citizenry to get behind the buggers and wage them with unified commitment! We'll break things so bad the people'll HAVE to fix it!

I think there's more than a little thanatos going around.

[ February 11, 2007, 08:58 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
quote:
I think when you say "loss of life" you mean American lives, yes? Rather than assume that and respond to what I think that implies, I'd like to have you confirm it. Thanks.
Nope. When I say "loss of life" I'm thinking of the damages to three sides: us, them, and the poor bastards that get caught in between us. I don't want war anymore than you do, but I also believe that not all the world's problems can be solved by cooperation. Or, more accurately, I believe that, sometimes, you have to "force" a little cooperation on the uncooperative. Such is war.

Since I believe that we are on the path of war, my concern is not to avoid the war -- although if there is some means by which we can do that, I'm all for it -- but to minimize the loss of life that might result from that war. Which is why I take the position that the sooner we get this over and done with, the better.

Why? Because the longer we wait, the better ready our enemy is to fight us, and, therefore, the more prolonged the war becomes and, therefore, the more lives lost on all three sides.

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
All right, your argument is not against loss of life, but more loss of life than necessary. So, it boils down to the same thing that Red and Pete are saying that war cannot be avoided. Let's agree to disagree on that, and talk about how the war will be waged (yes, <sigh> the practical aspects). What kind of war will we wage, will we start it proactively (or preemptively, if you prefer that term), how extensive will it be (time and geography), what is the likely range of deaths that will result?

Some possible most favorable scenarios (with no editorializing):
. Precision strike on known nuclear facilities, no ground troops, weeks not months.
. Above with some ground incursion to secure sensitive areas and neutralize other military armaments and facilities.
. Above with security implemented in Strait of Hormuz.
. Something more?

[ February 12, 2007, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: DaveS ]
 
Posted by Hannibal (Member # 1339) on :
 
potemkyn

the analogy to Hitler is based on the grounds that Ahmadinejad wants Israel to be wiped off the map, and says that the holocause did not took place. thus "giving a scientific explanation" to why Israel should be wiped off the map, sounds familiar?
non only that, he has this vision that the entire muslim world should be under Iranian controll, sounds familiar too?

Iran is not a match for the USA, thats right, but Iran is not located where mexico or canada are. Iran is far from the USA. for the USA to win a total war over Iran they will have to project a massive amount of equipment and troops.
aside to Israel, Iran is the strongest country in the middle east, (unlike Romania...)
not only that, in a world where there are nuclear missiles you dont have to be the strongest in the world to win.
 
Posted by potemkyn (Member # 1040) on :
 
Hannibal,

But here's the deal, if the US or Israel say that any unknown nuke going off in their territroy will constitute a barrage against Iran, then Iran will not be under any illusions that it can 'get away' with dropping off a nuke via suitcase or some such case.

If it is under no illussion that it won't be completely destroyed as a nation and a people, then you have to prove that its leaders don't care that they'll be destroyed and that they cannot be detered from knowingly committing suicide.

If Iran knows it can't get away with nuking the US or Israel, then the only option would be to knowingly commit suicide. You all take it for granted that these two factors are true, inherently. And I say that's a load of crock or at the very best, unproven.

Potemkyn
 
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
Kelcimer, it's the scope of the change you are after. You can invade a country to solve a problem between your country and theirs, or on the other extreme to reorder the world in some fashion. I'm saying that war against Iran could become a war to rearrange the world, and you're saying sure, that's the point. Ok, we see it differently. The larger the scope, the more unpredictable the outcome, so you'd better have all your ducks in a row before you do it. Among the ducks, what are you willing to dedicate, sacrifice or spend in the effort. Nobody in this thread has touched those practical aspects. I ask because of how things have gone in Iraq, where we have been committed for 4 years, spent about $400B-$500B so far, tied up most of our military apparatus, and worn down support for the effort (and other reasons). What would your objective be and what are you willing to spend to achieve it?

If you were talking about China then I would be more understanding of what you are saying, in terms of scope and not knowing what will happen.

My objective? I'd like an Iran with no nuclear ambitions, that does not support or sponsor terrorism, that does not embrace or support totalitarian Islam.

quote:
Originally posted by kelcimer:
For a second there I thought you were disagreeing with me.

Originally posted by DaveS:
I am. The war against Iraq was "sold" on specific grounds with specific objectives and a preordained outcome. It had to be, or more people would have objected to the war, but it really seems like those leaders believed their own wishful thinking.

I asked, "When has America ever had a clue as to how a particular military endeavor would turn out?" not "When has America ever CLAIMED to have a clue as to how a particular military endeavor would turn out?"

Point to a military endeavor the US has been involved in that ended the way it was thought it would to the level of detail you seem to require.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
I asked, "When has America ever had a clue as to how a particular military endeavor would turn out?" not "When has America ever CLAIMED to have a clue as to how a particular military endeavor would turn out?"
I don't see how that lets you off the hook. We've already spent vast amounts of money and committed virtually our entire military to the war in Iraq. I don't think it's adequate to shrug and say, who knows? If you have some notion of what success means and how to achieve it, then you have to take a stab at what you at least think it will require for preparation, resources and expenditures. Can you at least say how you would plan to wage the war, or is that also a complete unknown?

If all you can say is "I'm not in the business of making predictions like that and anyway I haven't got a clue", then it's really good that you're not in the position of commanding our military forces. Fortunately, it doesn't appear that the Dems will accept that kind of forecasting this time around.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
All right, your argument is not against loss of life, but more loss of life than necessary. So, it boils down to the same thing that Red and Pete are saying that war cannot be avoided. Let's agree to disagree on that

That's too bad; I was hoping that someone might persuade me that war could be avoided, or rather ended, since we're already in a de facto state of war with Iran whether we recognize it or not.
 
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
 
DaveS

I seem to recall I asked that in responce to you saying "We have no frigging clue what the outcome of a military adventure against Iran will be."

You seemed to want have everything very nailed down to a degree I do not believe we have ever done as a nation. I simply would like you to point to a war that America has conducted where you think that we "had a clue" about how it would turn out and for that clue to turn out to be accurate. It would be helpful to have a bar to measure your wants against.

[ February 12, 2007, 03:18 PM: Message edited by: kelcimer ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Pete, my arguments against settling on a war strategy haven't been persuasive, so I've tried to focus on the feasibility of going to war. You, Kelcimer, Ed and Red all agree that we're either fighting that war already, so it's a matter of adjusting the intensity, or that war will happen very soon.

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. 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.

"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???"

Kelcimer, I submit that NK, Viet Nam and Iraq II (if not also Iraq I) were deeply regretted because we didn't have a better handle on how things would go. For instance, would you have favored going to war in Viet Nam if you knew we would lose 56,000 soldiers lives and the war? Would you have fought the war in NK if you could have known we would give up and endure the lasting unsettled outcome for 50+ years? Was Iraq II the kind of war that you would have fought, given that it has already become the most expensive and longest lasting foreign war in our history, and we haven't figured out a way to get out of it? Will a war in Iran be worth 500,000 lives, $2T-$5T if it ends in a political stalemate? I don't know that it will, but given how wildly we underestimated the costs of those other conflicts, this should be considered.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Dave

I don't think that we are even close to military action against anyone in the Middle East. We have such limited understanding of the war as it stands right now, that even convincing half of the American public we need to enter a war is not politically possible given the extremely early ramp up of our presidential election cycle.

I am not advocating war. Period. But I am totally agahast at the seemingly incomprehensible lack of understanding being shown by our diplomats, military leaders, and political officials. The issue is that sometimes, how you define your enemy is not as important as how your enemey defines not only himself, but also you. We seem to cling to the inane dogma that this conflict is not in any way orchestrated by any foreign government. We hold that we are dealing with discrete madmen and their organizations. All we have to do is eliminate these Islamic radicals and the militancy will suddenly disappear and the Islamic world of every day people will suddenly peacefully exist with all the other cultures of the world.

All we had to do in Israel, was convince them to stop shooting at Fatah and Hammas and give them the disputed territories and everything would be peachy. All we had to do in Afghanistan was liberate the nation from the Taliban and pump billions of bucks of aid in and everything would be peachy. All we had to do to suceed in Iraq was topple Saddam and everything would be peachy. The thing is that those leaders we toppled and governments we removed apparently did have a lot of populist support. That their people really did buy into what their religious and secular leaders were telling them. We may laugh at Islamic leaders who refer to the Western Democratic world as Crusader States, because we know that we are far from any such unity under any Christian banner. But the people in the Middle East do believe that we are Crusaders. That we are their rightful enemy. And that it is their obligation to remove not only their own governments that coopperate with the West, but ultimately remove the governments that control the western world.

That is a huge difference in scales of viewpoint on this conflict. We see it as one where the tips of the Islamic community, namely the leadership, are the directors of aggression and our conflict with the Islamic world will be resolved when we remove those tips from the body of Islam. The Middle East viewpoint however, is that we are corrupt to the very base of our civilization, and that it has contaminated the Islamic world with ideas such as freedom, equality, and secularism to such an extent tat they are required as a means of self preservation to eliminate the west and its influence in the Islamic world.

The choice before the United States is preemptive or reactive. I do not see us preparing for either development. At the very least I would have American Multinationals begin to rapidly sell off the assets and investments ing the Middle East. Collapse the Middle Eastern economy by the rapid withdrawal of money. I'd begin using Euros for energy comodity payments, even though it would drive the American Dollar to half its current purchasing power. The advantage to the United States would be that all those petro-dollars held by the ruling governments in the region would deflate, meaning their ability to buy arms on the world market would collapse. I'd remove the American Persian Gulf squadrons. I wouldn't even leave advanced troops in the area at forward bases. If we think we might need new bases during a conflict we better be banking on SeaBee construction, because the current bases as built, have nuclear bulls-eyes on them. I'd do what we can in Iraq over the next 8 months. That the Iraqis lead only 20 out of the 140 opperations in Baghdad last week is a very bad sign. Let the Iraqis kill each other. Maybe then Iran will realize that supplying insurgents in Iraq was not such a good idea, because the Sunnis and the Kurds are going to come out on top.

I'd push like hell for economic strangulation of Iran, until we confirm every single nuclear site is abandoned by the Iranians and then occupied and sealed by the IAEA.

And then I would wait.

Hoepfully the Middle east will collapse in an economic regression. The complete withdrawal of all aid to all Islamic countries in the region except Turkey, would literally devestate the ability of these people to even eat, let alone buy military hardware. Keep Israel chugging along to provide a freindly llaunching point against the rest of the Middle East in case it becomes a military engagement. Governments without economic security usually either buckle down to solving their domestic problems or collapse. Countries trying to feed themselves, or those becoming anarchy do not have the ability or time to waste on military industrialization and weapons system programs.

Take the toys away by draining their dollars.


Of course, should things continue on the way they are going, and Iran launches a nuke at Israel, then our options become much more limited. Enough Americans have died in the last 30 years over the gripes and petty complaints of the Islamic world centered in the Middle East. If they as a culture destroy Israel with nukes, then we should return the favor and literally bomb them back into the stone age. We do not have to have Middle Eastern petroleum. No one does. So I say we nuke Tehran if Jerusalem gets nuked. Then we use conventional munitions, including cluster bombs to destroy every building in the middle east larger than a 2 bedroom house.

No industry or civilian structure would remain. Cordone off the region with a naval and air blockade to prevent anything going in or out of the region. Wait 20 years, then go back in and rebuild the Middle East at the end of a rifle and bayonet.

Unfortunately thet is what I really think it is going to take to break Islam's cultural bias for conflict. So far no compromise, no gift, no bribe, no suplication to the Middle East has worked. Diplomacy with these people is fruitless. And they seemingly resort to violence on grander and grander scales.

I do not see some sort of possibility of true peace with them until they are utterly defeated in military battle. A lot of very innocent people will die, but their pov as to the nature of conflict is too different from our pov. We see it as a problem of minimal numbers of a few bad seeds. They see our entire tree as rotten.

Right now our best option is an economic war. Pull the petro dollars, even if it means we have to suddenly buy Euros to buy oil. As a nation we do not really support a military solution, see Iraq and Afghanistan as vivid examples. We really wont ever use nukes again, so in essence was are a captive giant. The best thing we can do to Iran, and the Iranian nuke problem is to simply destroy the economics of the entire region. Pull the dollars, and no bomb will be made any time soon.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Red, we cross-posted, so I need time to read and absorb yours. At the top, though, you say:
quote:
I don't think that we are even close to military action against anyone in the Middle East. We have such limited understanding of the war as it stands right now, that even convincing half of the American public we need to enter a war is not politically possible given the extremely early ramp up of our presidential election cycle.
I'm not going to go looking for it, but I'm sure you've said more than once that we have only months to stop Iran by military means, and I know you said that as far back as last spring. BUT!!! I can see the bottom edge of your post as I type this, where you say:
quote:
Right now our best option is an economic war.
Bravo, sign me up!
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"Pull the petro dollars, even if it means we have to suddenly buy Euros to buy oil. As a nation we do not really support a military solution, see Iraq and Afghanistan as vivid examples. We really wont ever use nukes again, so in essence was are a captive giant. The best thing we can do to Iran, and the Iranian nuke problem is to simply destroy the economics of the entire region. Pull the dollars, and no bomb will be made any time soon."

Why? How does that work? Why would Euros not buy bombs, or buy dollars from China's reserve in order to buy bombs?
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Dave

Yep the military option to stop Iran is running out very quickly, and it is the only one which gives the USA a high probability of permanently erradicating the problem. If we do not wish to oversee a period of history where Iran asserts an aggressive islamic based new persian domination of the Near and Middle East, while holding Europe and India at gunpoint via a nuke, then we have to act almost immediately.

The longer their programs continue the more Uranium they refine, the closer they get to bilding a bomb. And so far its been a grand delay by the Iranians, while we continuously find out that each time we project a worse case scenario for Iranian capacity, our worst case scenarios were far too rosey.

Right now Iran has had enough time to have refined enough nuclear material for a single weapon. They may have 2, seeing as we were all pretty sure they didn't have any centrifuges running at all until two weeks ago when we found out they had hundreds confirmed, and possibly thousands also running, that they have 1, 2 or even 10 nifty little 2 kilogram piles of uranium is impossible to determine.

Point is once Iran acts by testing a nuke publicly, or usinging it as a great Revolutionary Guard celebration against Israel, we have lost any military option short of full scale invasion, by million man armies on multiple fronts. I do not see the USA ever using nukes. We just cannot do it for moral reasons, unless it is a direct response to a nuke used against us. We might make an exception for Jerusalem, and use one nuke on Tehran. But, otherwise what we are rapidly approaching is a new middle east dominated by the conventional military powerhouse, which is also the terrorism powerhouse, as well as potentially the nuclear powerhouse.

There will be absolutely nothing we can do to stop them from gaining direct political and military control over the Middle East. Unless we want to send a few million Americans under arms, or use a few ICBM nukes.

In a sense its already over. Since we won't or cant use conventional forces, or nukes, the only option I have left is economics. And of those options, the economic solution is not only the least liklly to work, it is also the least effective in terms of impact. Because any impact it has will only last long enough to delay the eventual outcome of at least one government in the Middle East, beinging armed with a nuke and hostile to the western world. It also means that the USA must be willing to slash at least half it's purchasing power, and also divest itself of innumerable and valuable economic assets that will permanently damge it much like what happened to Great Britain when she gave up her colonies.

Frankly the economic solution su cks donkey reproductive organs. But given that our leaders cant even recognize that the next few weeks and months are for all the marbles for the next century, it is the only delaying tactic I can think of that will make sure my kid isn't forced to be an atomic trooper in the Middle East Crusades of the 2020's.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Pete

The various governments in the Middle east have soaked up dollars as hedge funds for decades. They are assured stability, because they can't conceive of the United States ever willingly acting against its own currency stability or value. If suddenly the bank reserves of all the nations in the middle east lost half of their value, because suddenly the United States was doing international trade with Euro's instead of Dollars, exactly how long do you think it would take before the natives raided their banks in a panic?

Bank panics further drive down valuation of currency. Iran of course has Euros, but if all of her neighbors suddenly couldn't afford to trade with Iran, exactly how long would it be before Iran ran out of Euros and became as poor as everyone else in the Middle East? Essentially what I am saying is trigger the largest collapse of a regional market since Germany's in the 1920's-with one exception- there will not be enough cash reserves in the world wide economy to restore liquidity to the collapsed Middle Eastern economies.

We are talking about a devaluation of a dollar to install a recession on our own doorstep, giving up economic domination permanently, while hopefully throwing the middle east into the worst depression in history and hopefully wholesale collapse of the governments of that region.

All so we don't fight a protracted conventional war or use nukes.

In principle, it is very doable, and has maybe a 20% chance of working. It also pretty much assures we sunset and China rises. It is definately a crap solution, but it is essentially the only viable alternative given the domestic political climate.

Personally, we should use Tactical Nukes on Iran right now. Leaves the USA as undisputed world power in all measures, and leaves open limited retailiations against us. And its over and done with so quickly that arguing about it is moot, meaning anti-war hippie wannabes can't do jack about the results.
 
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
Kelcimer, I submit that NK, Viet Nam and Iraq II (if not also Iraq I) were deeply regretted because we didn't have a better handle on how things would go.

That's nice, but that wasn't the question.

quote:
Originally posted by 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.

That's a false argument you're implying.

[ February 12, 2007, 04:48 PM: Message edited by: kelcimer ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
That's nice, but that wasn't the question.
You mean our prior experience conducting wars is not relevant?
quote:
That's a false argument.
I was echoing back where you said:
quote:
You seemed to want have everything very nailed down to a degree I do not believe we have ever done as a nation.
I'm only asking for your estimates, best guesses, minimum requirements. I'm not looking to hold you to it, but to use that as a starting point for our own little planning exercise. And, yes, I'll quibble with whatever you come up with.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Dave

We have never, as a country, engaged in a religious war. This however will be a religious war, in terms of how our enemy perceives it and how he defines the west in general, and the USA in particular. Although we will still stick to the old model of war being between secular viewpoints or political affiliations, our enemy will see it in very different terms of it being a war of believer vs non-believer. We really wont know how things will go, because this war will be unprecedented in the religious differentials as well as cultural and geographical differentials.

Simply put this war is a true blank page.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Redskullvw:
Personally, we should use Tactical Nukes on Iran right now.

If you mean to target their nuke and other WMD facilities, then I'd agree that under the circumstances may be the safest alternative. Unfortunately the administration has renounced any development of tactical nukes. In a cold war environment, staying out of tactical nukes made good sense, but under the current type of conflict, tactical nukes may simply be the only way of preventing the Aminajabs of the world from carrying out their dark fantasies.

[ February 12, 2007, 05:13 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 
Posted by martel (Member # 3448) on :
 
Pete, Red, and Ed-
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. 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? And Britain and France still have nukes too.) If he was suicidal, he'd be working for Al Qaeda or Hamas, not the Iranian government (although the line between the Iranian government and Hamas seems rather blurred at the moment.)

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.
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.
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.)
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
...Simply put this war is a true blank page.
This is no small war you envision, nor can it be confined to two nations. Every man, woman and child has to fully understand and appreciate that, because we will need to convert this country into an army of religious warriors (sorry Pete, it will be Totalimericanism, not LDS). The rest of the world will have to sign up for one side or the other. If you're right, we're sunk even if we win, perhaps no better off than if we lose, so yes, I don't agree.

I was pleased with your conversion to economic warfare, but the devil leaps out of the details. I don't think we can convert the global economy to a struggling currency, but even if we could, I don't think a purely economic approach will work. Sometime last year someone here commented that Iran is fundamentally an agrarian state that has a poverty wage of about $1/day. They can do with a little less far better than we can do with a substantial drop in our standard of living. If the cost of oil triples, we can give up those strawberries and oranges from California out here in the midwest, and California won't have anyone else who wants to buy them. The economic dominoes will fall on our heads much more concussively than they will on theirs.

Pete, we've still got huge stockpiles of nukes, from boutique size to teratotons.

[Edit: trivial EMC]

[ February 12, 2007, 06:30 PM: Message edited by: DaveS ]
 
Posted by TLynch (Member # 3581) on :
 
"U.S.-Iran tensions may trigger war"


~GOOD. The more dead radical muslim leaders littering the streets of the world the better. DEATH TO IRANIAN MULLAHS! DEATH TO IRANIAN MULLAHS!

*Just like they and their citizens chant "DEATH TO AMERICA! in the streets every Friday after "church" mass. But yea, Islam is a religion of PEACE and HARMONY. Hogwash, they are just trying to pretend to be as tolerant and loving...I was glad to hear that terrorist on Sean Hannity the other day. The Imam who spoke at the Democratic winter session...man I don't think I will ever vote Democrat again. I am not anti-American so why would I vote for a party full of anti-Americans? Screw em.
 
Posted by martel (Member # 3448) on :
 
....timecube?
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by martel:
Pete, Red, and Ed-
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. He is a politician, not a professional terrorist (although he may dabble in his spare time.)

I think this is a fundamental problem that Red has been pointing out. You (and many others) think he's a politician, maybe a part time terrorist but that's a small part of who this guys is. He's also a religious zealot that believe God is on his side and may very well believe that with God's support he could be invincible and doing the will of God in destroying the West - starting with Israel and working through Europe to the great Satan of America. There will be little room for political methods to work with someone carrying out the will of God.
quote:
Originally posted by martel:
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? And Britain and France still have nukes too.

Hey may actually believe he can win - sounds crazy to you and me but he may actually believe it. There was a time I thought Europe would defend Israel but I have doubts given the recent ways they've handled their own internal issues with Islam by pandering and trying to placate. I would never count on France's support anymore.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
A CIA backed coup in Iran would just put us back in the same spot in 20 years or less.

The same is true of any "tactical" strikes, even Nuclear. If we don't follow up with invasion and real rebuilding, all we do is take the average Iranian from a guy who mutters "Yeah, yeah, great satan, whatever, blah blah, I'm hiding a Friends DVD I want to get home and watch" into the America Hating rabid Jihadist of media induced nightmares.

We haven't made a serious offer with a carrot since the day the Shah fled. We've ranted and raved about how this donkey only understands sticks, and trying carrots would be useless.

Redskull, you know it's pretty much irrelevant if the US or anyone else would use nukes in response to a nuclear attack by Iran or any unconfirmed source against Israel. Israel has an estimated 300 warheads of their own, an early warning system, and varied means of delivery. Every town of over 100,000 in Iran is going to glow no matter what the US does.

Here's my general question :

It's 1947 and we know (in this scenerio) the Soviets will have Nuclear Weapons in two years. Communism is on the march across the Globe and our allies are threatened. The Soviets have repeatedly said that they will eventually destroy us.

Their people aren't like us, they don't value freedom, they're brainwashed with an ideology completely antithetical to our way of life, and they don't have the same respect of human life we do.

What do we do?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"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."

I never said it did. I suspect rather that he'll start by using the nukes defensively while sponsoring 9/11 like terrorism on a weekly basis. Afghanistan's support of terror was limited because they officially denied it, and since hteir resources were limited. Iran has resources to dwarf anything AQ did while using nukes to threaten off any conventional attack. Threaten to nuke Israel, Bagdad, Mosul, etc. if anyone crosses into their territory, while massively and openly sponosoring worldwide terrorist attacks. They could also use the newfound invulnerability to mass murder dissidents and ethnic minorities, who they've already talked about tagging like Hitler did in the early stages. With nothing more than a nuclear DEFENSE, they'd be as dangerous as Hitler.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
This is heady stuff. You and Red see us perched on the edge of the apocalypse, and the only way to avoid it is to start the war that you fear before they start it. That doesn't reassure me that you really have an answer we can live with or live through.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
The question is not whether we "start" this war, but rather how we should attempt to end it. They've already started it. Our chances of survival diminish with the length of their head start.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Eh, we're really in a "cold war" with Iran supplying it's proxies while we supply ours.

It's important to remember, that no matter what they supply, Iran did not create a "will to fight" in Iraq or Lebanon, anymore than the Soviets created nationalism in Vietnam, or caused Cubans to hate Batista.

The outcome of them getting a nuke could actually be entirely counter to what most of us predict.

They blow their oil wad financing brushfire wars across the middle east, "safe" behind their dinky nuclear shield, while their people come to realize the the Great Satan really isn't going to invade a Nuclear power. When the external threat is no longer taken seriously, how much power do the mullahs hold? Not much more than the Komissars.

Having played out their only major natural resource, and having almost inevetably suffered a nuclear meltdown or two, lacking viable alternative infrastructure technology (which we will have, if we've got any sense), without any real means to provide anything resembling modern services to their people (this already becoming a problem internally as the promises of the revolution fail to materialize) and with a population infected by our tenacious memes and a professional class that's half female...

How did that one end last time, and against a much more powerfull advesary?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"They blow their oil wad financing brushfire wars across the middle east, "safe" behind their dinky nuclear shield"

Aside from the scale and scope of these "brush fires," that's pretty much what I said.

"while their people come to realize the the Great Satan really isn't going to invade a Nuclear power. When the external threat is no longer taken seriously, how much power do the mullahs hold?"

Surely you do not actually believe that the mullahs only hold power because of the will of the people, and because of popular fear of the USA. Iranians as a people are less anti-American than than certain European countries on a bad day, let alone as anti-US as our "allies" Pakistan and Egypt, or even the popular culture in Jordan.

"Having played out their only major natural resource"
???? When and how does that happen?


"How did that one end last time, and against a much more powerfull advesary?"

But a *sane* adversary, Jesse. Big fragging difference. If a Stalin or a Mao was running the show in the 1990s, rather than Gorbachev, things would have gone differently. The guy earned his Nobel Prize. Aminajab and the Ayatollatalitarians aren't cut from the same stripe.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Yes, that's what I mean. You see a war in progress that is getting worse by the day, and I see confrontational rhetoric, nationalist sloganeering, some support for terrorist groups and insurgencies, nasty and foul-mouthed, but so far well-contained within a geographical space. Don't point out the similarities with Hitler or WWII in response. If history is such a great teacher, then how have we managed to get ourselves in such a bind?

It won't advance your or Red's argument to remind me once again how the people leading our country are idiots, because that wouldn't inspire me to have them lead me into another war, either.

From a military standpoint, the best option available to the US is to back everybody in the ME who has a chance of winning, as long as the results will keep the region in a tense inimical equilibrium for a long time. Given a choice, we take stability over peace. We work with Israel to ensure they retain their security, but they have to give a little here, too. They must agree not to fire a single shot at another country, no matter what, or we let them feel some pain. Israel is the bomb that can blow up the world, so they must not light the fuse.

We support Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt and Pakistan now. We should do whatever it takes to draw Iran into Iraq to keep them busy, give aid to both the Kurds and Turkey to keep them quiet, let Afghanistan fester, since they pose no threat and keep a lid on Lebanon and Syria. Them that can all keep selling oil, because they need the money in case of a national crisis. The price of oil actually goes down, as a result.

We can do all that with money, power diplomacy and surreptitious arms supplies and not lose a single soldier. Meanwhile, we dedicate $100B to finding and neutralizing Al Qaeda and similar groups in whatever country they have taken up residence, be it Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. We will lose a few soldiers and spies, but that is unavoidable. Mostly, however, we buy intelligence and collaborators everywhere. We out-KGB the KGB.

Then we spend another $100B destabilizing the economies of anybody we don't like or whose chain we want to yank, like Iran, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, even Venezuela. Remember, we want them to lose sleep. No soldiers lost here, either.

We spend another $50B to keep our friends and make new ones. Western Europe, Australia, Viet Nam all get a taste. Japan and SK have nowhere to go, so they get nothing. We withdraw half of our troops from SK to give everyone over there something to think about. We even make friends again with Russia at the G8. China can worry about NK and Tibet for a while.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we spend another $100B on a crash program to develop conservation techniques, alternative fuels, more efficient technologies. And to regain the support of the American public, we launch a charm offensive at home, boosting social services, liberalizing policies, maybe inviting Hugh Hefner to the White House for a chicken dinner [Smile] . Hef and Laura even do a tango together while George beams from his chair near the dance floor.

By my count, this will cost about $400B and hardly a shot will be fired by us or at us. We'll know in 2 or 3 years if this going to work. But we need to start right away, because Hef may not last much longer.
 
Posted by martel (Member # 3448) on :
 
Just to point out:
There are technically elections in Iran, and an Ahmadinejad-backed slate of candidates lost big a couple months ago. So keep in mind that he does not have the full support of the people.

This link is not the original news article, as the NY Times and Washington Post's archive searches are very frustrating. But he mentions what happened, in case you haven't heard of this (you probably have, but I'll post it anyways.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/28/AR2006122801056.html
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
There were technically elections in the USSR for decades, and Gorby's being in charge in 1990s had nothing to do with the popular vote. The unelected powers decide who can run, and they also decide how much powers to withold the elected government, in case the people should make the "wrong" choice.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
Yes, that's what I mean. You see a war in progress that is getting worse by the day, and I see confrontational rhetoric, nationalist sloganeering, some support for terrorist groups and insurgencies, nasty and foul-mouthed, but so far well-contained within a geographical space. Don't point out the similarities with Hitler or WWII in response. If history is such a great teacher, then how have we managed to get ourselves in such a bind?

Maybe because most aren't paying attention to history's lessons. Glad that you're picking up on them, though, even though you resist what history is screaming at you.

Another reason is that during WWII, we didn't value life as much as we do now, and we didn't have nukes in the beginning, so the choices seem tougher.

Another reason is that the word "Nazi" has been used as a play synonym for evil for so long that hardly anyone's ever really sat down and asked themselves honestly what they'd have done in the position of our predecessors, knowing only what they knew then. We're paying the price of reading history too smugly. Yes, the Allies defeated a terrible evil, but things were much more complicated then than our stories give it credit for, so we now use our own complexity as an excuse to not see the bleeding obvious.


quote:
It won't advance your or Red's argument to remind me once again how the people leading our country are idiots, because that wouldn't inspire me to have them lead me into another war, either.
[Frown] Can't say I blame you. But there are worse things in the world than being led into war idiots, sad to say.


quote:
From a military standpoint, the best option available to the US is to back everybody in the ME who has a chance of winning, as long as the results will keep the region in a tense inimical equilibrium for a long time.
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."


quote:
Given a choice, we take stability over peace. We work with Israel to ensure they retain their security, but they have to give a little here, too. They must agree not to fire a single shot at another country, no matter what, or we let them feel some pain. Israel is the bomb that can blow up the world, so they must not light the fuse.
We can't control Israel or tell anyone that they can't fire a shot while being burned alive.

quote:
We support Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt and Pakistan now. We should do whatever it takes to draw Iran into Iraq to keep them busy, give aid to both the Kurds and Turkey to keep them quiet, let Afghanistan fester, since they pose no threat and keep a lid on Lebanon and Syria. Them that can all keep selling oil, because they need the money in case of a national crisis. The price of oil actually goes down, as a result.
I don't follow.

quote:
We can do all that with money, power diplomacy and surreptitious arms supplies and not lose a single soldier. Meanwhile, we dedicate $100B to finding and neutralizing Al Qaeda and similar groups in whatever country they have taken up residence, be it Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. We will lose a few soldiers and spies, but that is unavoidable. Mostly, however, we buy intelligence and collaborators everywhere. We out-KGB the KGB.
From where we stand now that would take generations, and we don't have that kind of time.

quote:
Then we spend another $100B destabilizing the economies of anybody we don't like or whose chain we want to yank, like Iran, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, even Venezuela. Remember, we want them to lose sleep. No soldiers lost here, either.
Not much chance of that. China's in a better position to play that kind of game, and they'd counterbalance whatever we tried to do, just for the sheer exercise of testing their power against ours in a way that's safe to them.

quote:
We spend another $50B to keep our friends and make new ones. Western Europe, Australia, Viet Nam all get a taste. Japan and SK have nowhere to go, so they get nothing. We withdraw half of our troops from SK to give everyone over there something to think about. We even make friends again with Russia at the G8.
The USA, Europe, and Russia cannot be reconciled to one side. It will always be two against one, at least as long as Putin runs things, and right now that looks like forever. Our games with old Europe in Kosovo are what put Putin in power, and he cannot abide the idea of the US and Europe being united on anything.

[stops when I realize you're not serious]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Despite the lapse into a little side humor (fatigue), every policy suggestion was serious.
quote:
Them that can all keep selling oil, because they need the money in case of a national crisis. The price of oil actually goes down, as a result.

I don't follow.

If the ME is in turmoil, the oil producers will produce as much oil as they can in fear of the day that they won't be able to. If that happens, it becomes a buyer's market.

[ February 12, 2007, 09:32 PM: Message edited by: DaveS ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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. Too bad, because the world you see is far more threatening than the one I see from my vantage point. 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.

I was looking forward to hearing you or Red answer Jesse's question about Russia acquiring nukes. I'm sure it would have been complicated and esoteric, and irrefutable.

Ciao.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
quote:
Them that can all keep selling oil, because they need the money in case of a national crisis. The price of oil actually goes down, as a result.

I don't follow.

If the ME is in turmoil, the oil producers will produce as much oil as they can in fear of the day that they won't be able to. If that happens, it becomes a buyer's market.
Ah. Does history bear that out? When there is ME turmoil, do oil prices historically go down?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
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 ...
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ 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 ]
 
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
A *second* front with Iran?

The fight in Iraq is a fight with Iran.
 
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
And that last quote you attributed to me was EDanaII.
Sorry!
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"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.
 
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
Sorry!

No worries.
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
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
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
Consider? [Smile] I'm tri-lingual.

KE
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
So if we just get the Iranians TV's in their bedrooms they will give up their evil ambitions?

KE
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by martel (Member # 3448) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Oh, yeah...

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

That 380 tons of it went somewhere.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by martel (Member # 3448) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
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."
 
Posted by kelcimer (Member # 1221) on :
 
quote:
DaveS:
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.

I am not sure that we will go to a full war with Iran. I am not sure how best to proceed, either. I am aware if we are to accomplish over all objective in the ever-ill-named "War on Terror" that Iran has to go as a regional player because Totalitarian Islam needs to loose and loose big across the region. I am also aware that Iran has been doing what it can to subvert our goals in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the "Middle East Peace Process". I understand that they are already at war with us whether we want them to be or not. I have also paid a fair amount of thought towards the timing and nature of any possoble action against Iran over the past 4 years.

All this is true.

I understand that there's been more sabre rattling lately, but I am not convinced we are on "the road to war" just yet. I believe it's kinda lame that a better comprehensive airtight case is not ready. Sometimes I really wish that our leaders were as machiavelian as thier detractors accuse them of being. I'd really love that level of competence. At this point all Bush has said is "They're causing trouble in Iraq and I'm gonna do something about it." I'm waiting for when he outlines what that something is.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Red, by your definition Bush could carpet nuke Iran and then we'd all say, isn't it neat that we got through that without a war?

[ February 14, 2007, 09:50 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
DaveS?

What happened last time? We attacked Iraq for violating UN resolutions without the backing of the UN. The case is being laid out right now, before the deadline.

General

What we need to avoid buying into is the argument being advanced that Iran has somehow spoiled what otherwise would have been a lovely little outing in Iraq. I'm seeing that happen very rapidly lately, the finger pointing excuses to excuse unrealistic expectations that were not fulfilled.

Iran is not the reason that Iraq is a mess.

Iran is trying to gain advantage from that mess, and to make sure that groups friendly to them gain the most power, and to provide enough aid to say when it is all over "We helped liberate you, don't you trust us now?".

Iran is also in the middle of a proxy war with Saudi Arabia, which has been providing aid to the Sunni insurgents, and Al Queda and it's affiliates, one of which blew up a bus full of Revolutionary Guards today in south eastern Iran.

For two years, Shia'a in Iraq endured repeated massive suicide attacks which we failed to stop. The vast majority of them did very, very little to fight us after the initial occupation phase. They gave us a chance to straighten out the situation, we dropped the F'n ball, and they proceeded to attempt to protect themselves and achieve revenge by the rules of their region and culture.*

Where BUT Iran would they turn for assistance?


*Since, for some reason, I still have to make disclaimers about this kind of stuff, I do *not* condone torturing people with power drills and blowing their brains out just because they're Sunni. However, some behaviors aren't hard to predict.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
My broad definition is another known usage.
Which is what? If it's too broad, then it's a meaningless term, like "war on terror". Red's post was pretty good on this practical point, and I thought my post clarified it further. Every definition of "war" that I know of involves direct military confrontation, but that hasn't happened by Iran against the US, and the last time we did anything to Iran was (I think) the Vincennes shooting down an Iranian civilian airliner in 1988. So, pending your broad definition of the term, we're not actively engaged in a war with Iran.

I'm not a lawyer like you, so hopefully you can clarify some questions for me. Wasn't Prize about "Emergency Powers" and domestic insurrection? Didn't Lincoln request and act on Congressional resolutions rather than strictly on his own initiative? Didn't the SC basically rule that you can't declare war against a member state of the union, so the blockade couldn't be called an act of war? All of that was domestic. Would you assert Prize in order to bomb or invade another sovereign nation without Congressional authorization? Has Prize ever been applied to a foreign conflict, other than as pertains to blockade or capture of a vessel, or at all? Is the US blockading Iran or capturing Iranian vessels, or has Iran done either of those things to the US? If not, isn't it merely a technical point to claim that it applies to Iran today? What is your point? Isn't this why I wanted to avoid tossing around legal definitions?

When Bush declared the invasion of Iraq in march 2003, he never used the term "war" to describe what the US was doing. In May 2003 he declared the end of major combat operations, not "war". I can't find any instance where Bush or one of his spokesmen has referred to military action against either Iran or Iraq as "war". If they did, I'd appreciate it if someone would point it out to me. If Bush has the authority to wage war, why doesn't he call a spade a spade, if not because it would lead to a legal issue?

I like utterly pitiful, simple, narrow definitions of things like "war", not for convenience, but because using the term broadly or loosely can mean anything or nothing, and nobody should be shouting war when there isn't one.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
The case is being laid out right now, before the deadline.
Yes. The previous unanimous UN resolution against Iran was a very hopeful sign that a non-military solution may be found by a coordinated global response. It was far less than the US wanted, but BushCo does get credit for making it happen. I desperately want the UN to kick the diplomatic and economic effort into high gear, while they meet and consider new resolutions. While all of that is going on, recognition of the possibility of war requires the UN to consider that option, but I think not debate it in public.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
I don't know if you read me, Dave.

This administration has expressed the belief that another nation violating UN resolutions is grounds for the US to attack without UN approval.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
Sometimes I really wish that our leaders were as machiavelian as thier detractors accuse them of being. I'd really love that level of competence. At this point all Bush has said is "They're causing trouble in Iraq and I'm gonna do something about it." I'm waiting for when he outlines what that something is.
I totally agree with this!
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Jesse, you're right that I didn't get that from your post. I haven't heard that rhetoric with respect to Iran, though that certainly was their position in late 2002 regarding Iraq. Reference?
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Dave, the precedent is established.

I don't expect we'll hear the rhetoric untill after they're in violation.

We'll see if I'm wrong, it won't be a long wait.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"War on terror" is vague because of the "on terror" part, not because of the war part.

You are misinformed; I'm not a lawyer, Dave, I'm still in law school. I do however know how to read a case beyond its Wikipedia description, and I suggest that you make the effort if you wish to understand what you're talking about. Look particularly at what the case says about the president's duties in war, and on the legal definition of war.

For one thing, Prize makes clear just how irrelevant your argument is about the president using the word "war." The Supreme Court says that War is war regardless of how the president and Congress dick around with things for political purposes. According to the Supreme Court, it's OK for Lincoln to eat his cake and have it too in terms of pretending that the south is in mere insurrection for political purposes, while exercising the full powers of war.

Prize has never been overruled, and to my knowledge, no case has ever distinguished Prize from a situation like this one. Generally no one takes these arguments to court since they are obviously losing arguments.

As for parsing it more for you, no; I'm not doing that for you since you've already pulled that on me above on this thread. You raise legal issues, and then when I answer with legal information, you accuse me of "talking like a lawyer" and ignoring practical aspects of the war. [Mad] Screw that; I'm not falling for that trick again.

[ February 14, 2007, 11:33 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
"...by your definition Bush could carpet nuke Iran and then we'd all say, isn't it neat that we got through that without a war?"

Patton would've called that a Perfect War, I believe.

"This administration has expressed the belief that another nation violating UN resolutions is grounds for the US to attack without UN approval."

Ingeniously twisted.

+++

Doesn't matter that Prize has held up for two centuries. A fella like Bush is smart to avoid the word 'war'. When one has woven a tangled web, one walks as ambiguously as possible.

[ February 15, 2007, 03:08 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
It's 5AM here, the house is quiet and I can't sleep because of a particularly nasty software problem I am wrestling with at work. The fact that I'd rather sit here and write about our little disagreement is an indicator of how unpleasant that other problem must be [Smile] .

Pete, I admit that I did go to Wikipedia, and then I went and read the actual arguments and the decision, and a couple of other commentaries, and then I responded to you. From what I read,the context was that a "war" was happening because of the attack against the US (Ft. Sumter). The two problems Lincoln had in responding with a blockade were that the attack was made by a domestic entity and there had been no declaration of war against the US. The actual definition of what constitutes war was not really the question.

The real issue was whether Lincoln could respond with military means (blockade and capture in this case) without getting a formal declaration of war. What to do? The court ruled that you can't declare war against yourself, and that the US had a right to defend itself from attack. They effectively finessed the need to have a declaration of war by giving precedence to the right to defend US soil. Fast forwarding, the part of the ruling that is most relevant to our discussion is:
quote:
If a war be made by invasion of a foreign nation, the President is not only authorized but bound to resist force by force. He does not initiate the war, but is bound to accept the challenge without waiting for any special legislative authority. And whether the hostile party be a foreign invader or States organized in rebellion, it is nonetheless a war although the declaration of it be "unilateral."
That refers to a foreign invasion with or without a prior declaration of war by the other country, and says that the President may respond to the invasion militarily without waiting for a Congressional declaration of war. It's a big stretch to use that as a precedent to invade another country that has not invaded us. It would help me to understand why you think the Prize Case ruling is critical to our discussion if you could cite some instance where it has actually been invoked by a US President to justify military action against another country. The only reference to it that I could find is where some Senators sued Bush I to prevent him using it to justify putting large numbers of US soldiers in Saudi Arabia to use to invade Iraq. That suit was dropped when Congress formally authorized him to go in.

I specifically don't see it regarding the US vs. Iran, which has not attacked the US directly or indirectly (if you exclude the Embassy takeover), and we have not attacked them (if you exclude the Vincennes incident, for which I don't think the US has ever formally apologized).

So, I still don't get what constitutes the "legal war" and what "broad definition" you are using to call it that. The reason I originally wanted to get past legal definitions was to talk about whether we should go to war and, if so, how to go about it. You keep insisting that because we are already at war, I'm skewing the discussion by trying to talk about about starting it. Like I said, I think Red did a good job of disambiguating the terminology, and now you're hung up on whether his definition of war is satisfying. Another distraction.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Back to talking about planning, the NY Times has an article today that discusses prewar planning estimates. The GWU National Security Archive posted some slides they acquired from 2002 through FOIA. It was crucial for the decision to go to war to be based on reliable and optimistic predictions of how things would go. The prediction for early 2007 was:
quote:
A broadly representative Iraqi government would be in place. The Iraqi Army would be working to keep the peace. And the United States would have as few as 5,000 troops in the country.

and to progress to that point through the following:
quote:

Another assumption spelled out in the PowerPoint presentation was that “co-opted” Iraqi Army units would heed the American appeals to stay in their garrisons and later help United States to secure the country.

Based on this and other hopeful suppositions, the command’s planners projected what the American occupation of Iraq might look like. After the main fighting was over, there was to be a two- to three-month “stabilization” phase, then an 18- to 24-month “recovery” phase.

That was to be followed by a 12- to 18-month “transition” phase. At the end of this stage — 32 to 45 months after the invasion began — it was projected that the United States would have only 5,000 troops in Iraq.

This suggests that the key decision that led to the plan going wrong was disbanding the Iraqi Army, a decision that Bremer apparently made after consultations with Walter Slocombe, Feith and Wolfowitz, and was approved by Rumsfeld and Rice before being presented to Bush. I don't think Powell was in the decision chain, even though the above plan expected that the State Department would have primary responsibility for the rebuilding phase.

[ February 15, 2007, 07:00 AM: Message edited by: DaveS ]
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Hey Jesse

YOU MIGHT WANT TO GO BACK AND READ THIS ****ING THREAD ASSHOLE. I AM THE FIRST PERSON TO PROPOSE A SOLUTION THAT DOESN"T REQUIRE ANY MILITARY HARDWARE

SOME OF YOU NEED TO RE_TAKE READING COMPREHENSION.

AND OFFENSE HAS BEEN TAKEN.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Maybe Im too angry to read it clearly, but I think I have just been told to shut up because I only offer a solution of "glass-em-till-they-glow" and I dont belong in a serious discussion, but I could become part of the discussion if I came up with a civili plan.

So far I am the only person who has propossed a solution that doesn't require war or pre-emptive military action.

Am I missing something her? or has Adam and Jesse just totally ruined my day by acident?
 
Posted by potemkyn (Member # 1040) on :
 
Red,

If you look back to I think page 4, I outlined several things that the US could have pursued and things they still can pursue. You aren't the first and you aren't the only person.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Agreed potemkyn. However am I right in how I read Jesse's comment? Or am I overreacting?
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
Overreacting. Even if he misunderstood/misrepresented your position.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Ok so I guess I should take solace in the fact that Jesse considers me to be a "... psychopathic monster." is a simple misunderstanding or misrepresentation.

Gee it is just great to see how it has become just ducky on Ornery to pigeon hole people so completely.
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
Who's to say he's overreacting? I mean, we can. 's a mostly free forum. But perhaps our assessment of Reds reactions are themselves overreactions.

In such matters, a principle fulcrum of judgement of mine is the extent to which the alleged overreactor acknowledges the subjectivity of their reaction.

"AND OFFENSE HAS BEEN TAKEN."

This indicates to me that Reds accepts responsibility for his own emotions and expression thereof. Personaly, in discussions of matters involving such dire matters as nuclear arms and nations percieved as rogue members of axial terror, overreaction seems, to me, a sign of sanity and prudence.

I love it when Reds pops his relief valve. It usually presages the arrival of deeply reflective analysis on his part, written in admirable 'neutralese' that nonetheless doesn't pull its punches.

Besides, I ****ing love *s*e*i*k*.

[ February 15, 2007, 10:14 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Overreacting. I've also offered ideas, btw, to which you have responded civilly (enough). I'm struggling to follow your suggestion to stay on topic, and now you are too. Not a very merry bunch, are we.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Dave

I'm just sick and tired of being called a genocidal or psychopathic monster when I am neither. I am a realist, and i do try and look at overall problems, sane goals, consequences of actions and realistic options. I also have a tendency to point out what has happened in the past, and how past options resulted in past outcomes and how they may apply to our current situation.

That I draw conclusions and prefer to indicate why something may turn out as it did in the past leaving us with few and bad options, has apparently turned me into a very evil person.

You want to avoid a global nuclear jihadi Islamic world? Then you have to do something hard in order to stop it. If you choose not to do something `then you may find yourself in a very bad situation where a nuke on an ICBM is your only option. The fact that we seem not to be willing to do anything that might be hard to do now, has lead me to conclude that ultimately the only option we will leave ourselves on the table is a massive military engagement or a nuclear war. So if you want good, but hard options NOW is the time to try them. If you want to delay, ignore, or withdraw then you will come to a point where the only option you have is bad.

I see Americans as too unwilling to seek viable, sane, and lasting solutions to the problems in the Middle East, and address Islam's main problems with the rest of the world. And I have been doing it since late 2000 without ever seeing much grasp of consequences for failing to do so. Which lead me to a conclusion even before 9-11 that we are boxing ourselves into a corner where nuclear weapons are our last and worst option, simply because we have not even tried to solve Islam's problems by another means. The basic argument has been that since we will not solve Islam's problems now, later our only option will be the lazy solution that is easy and would solve the problems of Islam ,namely nuke them until they are glass. I get tired of pointing out the failings of the Islamic governments, economics, politics, and education systems. It is as if no one was or is willing to come up with viable solutions or even pragmatic measures. All anyone seems to think is that if we leave Islam alone, Islam will leave us alone.

We tried that. It got us 9-11. And still the general solutions postulated by people has been to leave Islam alone and it will leave us alone. I think that is a horrible idea, because it condems the people of the Middle East to authoritarian regimes backed by radical Islamic religious leaders. It creates a perfect environment where the suffering of the common man under radical Islam leads to common people willing to commit attrocities against the United States and its allies. It could be changed, and it could be solved without all out war. It could be solved with education. It could be solved with efforts to promote true political discourse and freedoms in the region. It could be solved by simply acknowledging that the common people of the Middle East really do deserve better and could be helped by the non-Islamic world.

But almost none of you even acknowledge that fact. Meaning that in the end, what you all collectively support is a solution where you suffer no discomfort of effort in the short term while you blissfully ignore the suffering of the common man in the Middle East. You take the ostrich approach to problem solving. When I point out that your inaction will ultimately lead to a point where you are having to play and possibly use nukes because time was frittered away due to inactivity, I become a monster for pointing out the obvious.

If we continue on our current path, eventually we will have to do something, and it will be based on the threat of use or actual use of a nuclear weapon.

That is not only an immoral path, but it is also a damnation of our laziness. You want to see nukes be used again? Then by all means drop what we are doing in Iraq. Skip town on Afghanistan. Let Iran complete its military buildup and weaponize its nuclaer programs. Ignore Syria's incursions into Lebanon. Ignore Hammas and Hizballah as it attacks Israel.Ignore the Wahabi Saudis. Ignore the simple fact that Egypt essentialy turns our cash into guns. Solve no problem by peaceful means and dialogue. It is easy to do because that is what we have been doing, and apparently is what most of you want to keep doing.

Until of course you get the wake-up call from some radical terrorist group or government in the middile east that tells us that our time being creditcard addicts and Playstation junkies is over and we must submit to their authority. And then suddenly all of you will go "What can we do?' And the only answer left will be to nuke them until they are glass.

Maybe I have been too nice and skipped over your culpability too many times, when I point out that the ultimate solution is to be lazy and nuke them. It makes it easy for you to declare me a monster, to advocate such horror, but the true fact is that most of you are placing us on that path. I get lazy with presenting the roadmap to you collectively. I simply skip the details of pointing out what the failings of your actions will lead to. I just say "use a nuke" without also adding " because all of you are too unwilling to do things now that would prevent the need for a nuke".

I guess that makes me a genocidal psychopathic monster.
 
Posted by Everard (Member # 104) on :
 
"All anyone seems to think is that if we leave Islam alone, Islam will leave us alone.

We tried that. It got us 9-11"

Major flaw in your reasoning here, Red.

We did NOT leave islam alone. We did anything but. 9/11 was a result of interference, not non-interference.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
Red, the way I read Jesse’s statement was that he was excluding you from the set of “psychopathic monsters” that he described. Granted, his sentence structure was convoluted (and it’s always possible that I misread, but what Jesse wrote was
quote:
Anyone who isn't trying to game their way out of this one … is a psychopathic monster.

No offense intended, Redskull. I know you're trying exactly that.

Since by his description only thos who are not “trying to game their way out of this one” could be described as psychopathic monsters and since he accepts that you are “trying exactly that” (I read this to mean ‘trying to game’) then he wasn’t calling you a psychopathic monster.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Aside from that, nothing he said seems all-caps swear-word worthy…
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Red, why are you pushing back on me? I strongly disagree with your view on this issue, but I haven't disparaged you. You are (apparently) angry with me (and others) because of the short-sightedness and shallowness of my comprehension of the situation and the weakness of my proposals to deal with it. OK, be annoyed, but I appreciate that despite your towering rejection of my perspective, at least you stay on point as much or more than I do.

I have repeatedly pointed out that You're Wrong, which is My Right, but I have never personalized my intense disagreement with you on this topic or called you any names. I didn't pay attention to your little "nuke digression" because it seemed to be the product of frustration, more than anything else. But, if you think I have insulted you, show me where and I'll apologize.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Dave you haven't insulted me. Sorry but I still don't know what jesse meant. I could be a monster that is being reasonable or I am just a monster. Not angry just frustred with the tendancy of people to dismiss me out of hand because it has been agreed that you can call me a genocidal maniac and then ignore what I say.

As it stands I cant tell what jesse meant, but it can be interpreted as meaning, I am a monster playing nice on this thread so I am conditionally allowed to participate. Or I am a monster and can't play on this thread because I have pointed out that most of us are ultimately choosing a nuclear option whether we willingly admit it or not. Either way I am still a monster.

I think I should be offended. And as I pointed out above, I have allowed such dismissal and trivializing of my arguments to go on long enough. I'm not going to call for turning them into glass anymore. Instead I'm going to refer to it as "Y'alls Lazy Solution" so that you all remember that the path leading up to turning them into glass is littered with you all essentially doing nothing, and I am just pointing out the obvious consequences of your choices. I tend to not be a very patient person, so if I see an unavoidable result, I call the game on runs and skip the formalities.
I assume that is how I became the token monster.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
Well, I suppose those who disagree with most of your basic assumptions could as easily come up with an insulting method of, not encapsulating your argument, but rather disregarding it.

Then these threads would boil down to 2 simple posts, to whit "Y'alls Lazy Solution - I win!" and "Red's dumb solution - we win!"
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ DaveS:
quote:
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.
Have you ever boxed, Dave? My father taught me to box. He taught me, and my neighbor. He'd get the gloves and then he'd let us fight it out in the front yard. My neighbor and I, however, had two different strategies. He'd try to keep himself from being hit, while I tried to land blows. Guess who got in the most blows? It wasn't the guy who never swung...

I'm talking about protecting yourself like a boxer. Keep your hands up, close to your body, protect your face but be prepared to swing when you see an opportunity. If you never swing, then no amount of opportunities will ever help you. But whatever you do, protecting yourself means opening yourself up to the opportunity to get hurt.

We have aircraft carriers in the region not, necessarily, because we want to strike the first blow, but to strike quickly when we see an opportunity. Preparedness means exactly that. Protect your face with your hands, keep 'em up and ready to strike, and look for the first chance to knock your enemy on his ass.

Given Ahmydumbjihad's irresponsible statements about us and Israel, that, itself, means we need to keep our hands up and protect our face, it means we need find an opening. In this context, such an opening would be proof of Iran's intentions. We find that, then, "boom!," color a few reactors gone. If that means that Iran retaliates, so be it, at least they won't be able to retaliate (we hope) with nukes.

That's how you fight a battle. When the enemy strikes, negate the weapon causing the most damage. Then negate the weapon next likely to cause the most damage. Then the next, and so on, down the list. What comes after is not the issue, in a fight, we are worrying mostly about current costs, not future ones.


@ Redskullvw:
quote:
Ok so I guess I should take solace in the fact that Jesse considers me to be a "... psychopathic monster." is a simple misunderstanding or misrepresentation.
He pulled a similar stunt on my in a different thread, suggesting, more or less, that I was interested in mostly sending soldiers to their graves. To say this, he had to ignore the broader context I was arguing about. That being the whole "ounce of prevention" argument.

Take heart, Redskull. If that's all Jesse can do, then more's the pity for him engaging in such childish tactics.


@ Everard:
quote:
We did NOT leave islam alone. We did anything but. 9/11 was a result of interference, not non-interference.
Yea, right. How DARE we invade Kuwait and liberate them from their savior, Saddam Hussein. [Roll Eyes]

Would you mind naming one thing we've done, Ev, that rises to the justification of 9/11? Just ONE thing. That's all I ask.

Ed.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Donald

Of course it would be "Y'alls Lazy Solution- we lose!" and "Red's dumb solution-we lose!" because they are in fact the same argument. There is a third option "Red's very hard and possibly very expensive long term solution-we survive and possibly live!"

Of course my point is that this third option is the one everyone seems to gloss over.

Jesse

Sorry in advance.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
Have you ever boxed, Dave? My father taught me to box. He taught me, and my neighbor. He'd get the gloves and then he'd let us fight it out in the front yard. My neighbor and I, however, had two different strategies. He'd try to keep himself from being hit, while I tried to land blows. Guess who got in the most blows? It wasn't the guy who never swung...
I'm guessing your neighbor is now a pacifist or a concert violinist. Despite my sometimes snippy tone, I do enjoy metaphoring with you [Smile] . This one is better than some others. Hopefully the guy who didn't get in a lot of blows wasn't waiting to get in just one massive blow that knocks your head off. If Iran fights us the way that the Iraqis have fought each other with suicide attacks and self-martyrdom, we'll be able to kill 10,000 of them and then one of them will kill 10,000 of us. Then, when we go back to our corner after round 1, the manager leans in and says, "ok kid, looks like this is gonna go the full 15 rounds, so we're gonna need a strategy...you got one?"
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"read the actual arguments and the decision, and a couple of other commentaries, and then I responded to you."

Which as I said, isn't worth crap, when you don't look at the legal reasoning, which in most cases, including this one, is where the rules are, and what gets cited in future cases.

Don't get me wrong -- some wikipedia analyses are written by people with a legal education and therefore include the legal holding, rather than just looking at the arguments and the result. But the legal reasoning and the generalized holding is what gets cited as precedent, not the specific outcome.
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
I have to agree with Everard here - a rare occurrence.

Red, I too feel I look at all the information and try to make pragmatic, realistic assumptions and suggestions.

I used to be a chest-thumping USA! USA! chanting type who thought our country does no wrong. Then I started reading things and closing my mouth and listening. Things many people won't or can't look at because it flies in the face of the "USA is good and does not wrong" attitude many seem to have. I'm not saying you do, just that I no longer do.

I often think of the bumper sticker on my brothers car "I love my country, it's the government I'm afraid of".

Don't mistake my occasional defense of the Islamic or our "enemies" as support for them, I merely feel they sometimes have valid points of contention with us.

Pre 9/11, the musings of OBL were not for global jihad and the downfall of western civilization, he was pissed about our involvement in Saudi Arabia and our troops in SA. Threat of global jihad creates a powerful fear in westerners and powerful fear is a powerful tool for our governments to use for whatever they choose to use it for.

From our cold war legacy, our country has quite a sordid history and habit of supporting those who support us first, and democratic institutions secondly. We’ve even been known to replace democratically elected governments with “friendly” totalitarian ones, as was the case in Iran. If those who support us are dictators and human rights abusers, so be it, we seem to be okay with that. While the US media would never point things like that out, this is common knowledge in many areas of the world where they have no vested interest in hiding those unpleasant facts. We also have a long history of using our dollars to bully around the oil market - ie many Arab and Islamic countries. And our support of Israel, right or wrong, is a constant thorn in Islam's side.

Add all these up and we most certainly have not ever tried to "leave Islam alone". I don't know if leaving them alone would even work at this point, but continual bullying by economic and military force, by bribery and control through programs like the IMF, have won us no friends in that part of the world. Its bought us some “allies” like the Saudis, but how much of an ally are they really?

The bleeding hearts seem to exaggerate our misdeeds, while the flag wavers seem to never see it.

For me the truth is somewhere in the middle. While we tend to bend over backwards for our allies and supporters, we do not tend to "play fair" with our adversaries. I am a realist and I accept this as the way things are done on occasion, yet I also understand that our actions to keep us on top also build a fair amount of resentment and hatred towards us. I also think we’d be better served by our government if we butted out of some areas of the world.

When I look at Iran in this light, I don't see a fundamentalist country bent on destroying western civilization. I see a small, weak country trying to use anything and everything at its disposal to level the playing field and be taken seriously by a much stronger opponent. A stronger opponent who isn’t opposed to using trickery and sneaking in some sucker punches when we can get away with it.

They know by going off the dollar and using Euros for their oil sales - among other things - it's only a matter of time before we do something about it to bring them back into the fold. There's plenty more going on here than "fundamentalist Islamic government" fanning the flames of western hatred, and "Islamic state wants nukes" – so much more going on.

The latest open source CIA and MI-6 estimates have them at 5-10 years out to having a functioning bomb - if those estimates are to be believed.

I realize you know all this and you’re just saying we might as well go ahead and nuke them now and get it over with… Yet some of us are making the simple point that perhaps we should try actually leaving them alone – financially and militarily – really let them be and then see what happens.

The main problem – beyond all the Islamic country with nukes hubbub – and they won’t even be the first on that list anyway, is we have most definitely painted ourselves into a corner with our dollar diplomacy vis-à-vis the OPEC markets, as well as the Neocon ideals that we must use all means necessary to keep ourselves as king of the superpower hill.

I don’t have all the answers, but I don’t think a nuke exchange or even attack in the US is likely as coming directly from Iran in the next 5-10 years even if they develop a viable program.

I'm all for backing off a bit and seeing what happens, along with a solid warning that we won't hesitate to level their country if they do actually threaten us. Perhaps Iran just wants to be taken seriously and not constantly looking over their shoulder waiting for our next move to manage or manipulate them to our benefit.

Maybe... but I certainly could be wrong.

[ February 15, 2007, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Everard's argument seems hypocritical since he argues for the US to stay involved with Israel, and I think that we all know that this is one of the main "provocations" that Islamonecrophiles are responding to.
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
Yea, that's a tough one to crack.

But I'd wager if we back off the dollars for oil mandate (which could collapse the dollar - oops!), pulled the plug on supporting dissident groups in "enemy" countries, and maybe even admitted to and apologized for some of our past dirty little deeds in that part of the world, the calls for "jihad against the west" would probably fall by the wayside.

Hell, without the US as the scapegoat, some of these places might actually have internal revolutions when their people see how much their own government is screwing them.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"But I'd wager if we back off the dollars for oil mandate (which could collapse the dollar - oops!), pulled the plug on supporting dissident groups in "enemy" countries, and maybe even admitted to and apologized for some of our past dirty little deeds in that part of the world, the calls for "jihad against the west" would probably fall by the wayside."

Absolutely. Folks that strap their children to bombs are reasonable people, after all. And we all saw how previous concessions, like Spain pulling out of Iraq, or Israel pulling out of Giza, resulted in terrorists renouncing terror and pledging peace.

[ February 15, 2007, 03:43 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
Everard's only 'argument' on this thread was a refutation of Red's claim - that "[leaving] Islam alone ... got us 911"

How is this hypocritical? Do we need to hold the proper political view before pointing out a straightforward factual error?

Pointing out that the US didn't leave Islam alone has nothing to do with his support of Israel. It doesn't even mean he disagrees with Red's overall position - although I assume he does. But since that one post was the extent of his input on this thread...
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
Pete, don't be silly. You want to make a point then make a point; don't muddy the waters by equating the Palestinians with the Iranians.
 
Posted by Hannibal (Member # 1339) on :
 
yes, the palestinians dont have nukes yet
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"Hell, without the US as the scapegoat, some of these places might actually have internal revolutions when their people see how much their own government is screwing them."

Wow. All we have to do is die, and our enemies will start fighting each other. Hard to resist.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jm0397:
Pete, don't be silly. You want to make a point then make a point; don't muddy the waters by equating the Palestinians with the Iranians.

Islam equates them. Those distinctions are null in Islam. Not just under Osama's sick version of Islam. I'm talking the actual Koran stuff that most Muslims believe in.

Iranian people are much more reasonable, but we're talking about the Iranian government here. Pulling out of Lebanon did not appease them.

[ February 15, 2007, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 
Posted by martel (Member # 3448) on :
 
The rationality of the Iranian government seems to be a sticking point...Dave and JM and I say "they wouldn't actually nuke us," and Pete and Ed and Red say "yes, they would," without anyone offering any real evidence...
So does anyone have any?
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Redskull

quote:
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.

Redskull...your plan involves serious damage to the world economy, the kind of damage that WILL cost lives. I know you are aware of that cost, but that you still believe it is preferable to all other plans presented.

quote:
trying to come up with plans that don't involve serious damage to the world economy
quote:
No offense intended, Redskull. I know you're trying exactly that.
I believe you are participating in this thread, at least in part, because you are looking for better solutions that bring about less harm. That you are "trying to game your way out of this one". No negative connotations associated with the word "game", BTW. I use it here to mean "performing a mental excersize".

I was going out of my way to point out that anyone not trying to come up with something better was a "psychopathic monster", but that YOU were not part of that group.

quote:
If you could come up with another answer you believed to be feasible you wouldn't be holding out on us just for kicks.
That's not sarcasm. I'm making the point that you are presenting the least horrific solution you believe to be workable, and giving you credit for trying to come up with a better one, and stating my opinion that if you had a better one you would obviously present it.

After writing the first paragraph, I reflected on the fact that your plan does, in fact, involve serious damage to the world economy.

Being aware that you might take that personally, I tried to clarify that I believe that you are trying to come up with "better" solutions that you believe can still accomplish our joint aim of preventing the potential death of several million(or more) people.

Ed

Not the first time I've said this...but being an idiot I sometimes misjudge who I should try re-engaging with after a misunderstanding. In your case, that was a mistake. If you elect to take personal offense from anything I write, feel free, but not expect me to talk you out of your righteous indignation fix.

Please refrain from reading or responding to my posts. I have no interest in supporting your self destructive habit.

[ February 15, 2007, 08:14 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
My phrasing, as ussual, is as convoluted as my thought processes.

I sincerely thought my tone was clear.

However-

quote:
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.
I thought I was pointing out that I also, out of frustration and an inability to come up with a workable solution that I could convince people to support, have essentially said in the past that we ought to resort to the Nuclear Option.

By pointing out that I had done this, I was trying to illustrate that not all such statements should be taken to illustrate a desire to cause the deaths of millions.

I am sorry, to all, that this unclear post caused a further sidetrack in a thread I really believe is important. My only intent was to try to remind everyone here that while the pure frustration of trying to resolve such a difficult issue in a manner which will secure our culture while inflicting no more damage to others than necessary obviously brings about heated discussion, that we *in general* needed to bear in mind that we really are all, at the end of the day, on the same side here.

I'm not interested in bringing back to the forefront any of the ongoing distractions I was trying to encourage people to back away from, but I think a re-reading of the preceding page or two will make clear why I was trying to do that.

I accept your "appology in advance", Redskull, without reservation.


I do not apologize for the specific statement which led to this situation, but I do owe you a long overdue apology and clarification.

At one point, you did advocate the commission of acts of genocide, the Nuking of Medina and then Mecca, if certain conditions were not met, conditions I did not believe could be met.

While I pointed out quite loudly and obnoxiously that you were doing so, I failed to understand that you were presenting what you believed to be the least harmful viable option you could come up with at the time, and that you presented your argument largely for the purpose of eliciting others to provide better options.

After sitting here completely nonplussed for about twenty minutes, I realized that I never apologized to you for that, and understood your reading of my admitly hastily written post.

I apologize.

[ February 15, 2007, 09:04 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"Dave and JM and I say "they wouldn't actually nuke us," and Pete and Ed and Red say "yes, they would,""

No, that's not what I said. I said I'm not sure whether they would, and laid out a very grim BEST possible scenario where they only use their nukes defensively. Please look at that argument above on this thread. So far no one has disputed any point. Nor has anyone explained how we could seriously keep up any long term strategy while faced with the "best" scenario that I described.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
I said I'm not sure whether they would, and laid out a very grim BEST possible scenario where they only use their nukes defensively...Nor has anyone explained how we could seriously keep up any long term strategy while faced with the "best" scenario that I described..
The kernel of doubt you express above is embedded in a mountain of certainty about their aims that you have expressed elsewhere. For some reason, it just doesn't register with you, but those things you request have been said several times in a variety of different ways, only to have you reject or ignore them. Nor have you responded to repeated requests to back up many of your own assertions or fully describe what you mean.

IMO, a lot of the heatedness of the discussion would settle down if we could focus on practicalities, but that's hard to do since we're projecting events that we can't be sure will occur. It seems to me that the only future fact we all agree on is that Iran will develop the capability to build and deploy nuclear weapons. After that, it's all speculation and opinions. We certainly don't agree on their intentions.

Red assumes the worst and proposes that we deal with it as far in advance as possible. I assume that can be avoided with vigorous non-military means.

The problem with my viewpoint is that it asserts a negative, that Iran nuking somebody won't happen. But for it to not happen one day doesn't mean it won't happen the next. Therefore, a fully engaged long term strategy to lengthen the days into years and decades is needed.

The problem with Red's viewpoint is that crushing their ability to set off that nuke can be done positively, but will probably lead to world cataclysm. Even if it doesn't his best case outcome is still incredibly grim and destructive. (I'm summarizing very quickly, so slap me if I'm misrepresenting you.)

Perhaps those divergent viewpoints should be separated into two threads, one focusing on the open war that will happen (when, how to wage it, expectations and planning factors), and the other on ways to avoid that war, including non-military opportunities (diplomacy, economic strategies, ME conflict resolution, etc.).

Thoughts?
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Thanks Jesse

Alas Klar. Wasn't required but it still was a nice and classy thing to do.

I think you are one of the few people beside Pete and Ev who fully understands my Mecca Medina argument from several years back. Thing is at least now you understand my point which has been muddied over the years. IE We better do something now, even if it is hard and distasteful, if we want true peace, true coexistence, and possibly true freedom. Because if we don't, our options will become limited and bad. The option that will be left will involve nukes. At that point you would be having to threaten to use, or actually use nuclear weapons. And at that point it will be a choice between one civilization or the other.

When it gets to that point, I would be willing to choose my civilization over the Islamic civilization. But the real point has been, and always has been, if we do not do something now, our option will be ultimately using nukes. Most people skip over that component of my argument, and most of the time I am too lazy to reiterate it, and flippantly say " Ok nuke em now, get it over with and lets move on to truly unsolvable problems". Because I choose to skip over the part where I lecture about what options we need to engage now, how we should help Islam, how we should live up to our moral obligations now, and then skip to the end of the argument where I should point out that none of you seemed willing to even acknowledge that we had a responsibility to understand Islam's problems that could avoid nukes.

At least you now comprehend my intent with the entire Mecca /Medina argument. And at least you understand why I have slowly gotten snippy with the entire situation, where people called me a genocidal maniac, without ever realizing or maybe because they were being lazy that my argument was and has been that we do something now or else we will be using nukes.

Of course I have also said that if push came to shove I'd press the button, you know the Big Red One? Which means that I would not only envision a nuclear nightmare, but also be ethnocentric enough to say Western Civilization over Islam. That I can understand people getting snippy over. But the whole, "you are a genocidal manic" bit as a debate tool/method is just getting old.

Anyway I read that first thing yesterday, after being called a right wing nut on another thread by Adam, and lack of coffee coupled with two posters I greatly respect apparently was enough to piss me off to the point that I simply wasn't going to ignore the genocide/monster/psychopath/etc commentary.

Anyway Now that I have your attention, and you understand I have been looking at and seeking viable solutions that does not require nukes, what could we do that is domestically viable politically but still stops Iran from becoming a weaponized nuclear power?
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
quote:
We better do something now, even if it is hard and distasteful, if we want true peace, true coexistence, and possibly true freedom. Because if we don't, our options will become limited and bad. The option that will be left will involve nukes.
Agreed.

Let me say first off I have a limited knowledge of the ME as a whole. I know enough about the formation of Israel to be dangerous, a bit about the US government's and OPECs collusion to use dollars, and quite a bit about our dealings with Iran post WWII. And, thanks to a nice series on NPR radio this week, a bit more about the history of Sunnis and Shia and the unprecedented move Iran made when they rewrote Shia doctrine and started the first Shia theocracy. NPR brought up our contradictory policies in the ME. I knew this on an intuitive level, yet hadn't managed to put my finger on why our actions in the ME are driving me mad.

We took down Iran's two main adversaries and took the pressure off them. We're supporting a Shia government is Iraq, yet posturing to try and take down a Shia government in Iran. Iran is the biggest winner from our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, hands down. Throw in Hezbollah’s "win" in Lebanon, and they're batting 3 for 3 in their favor.

First things first, we need to cut out this crap with the dual personality-type ME policies. A unified ME policy needs to direct how we deal with both friend and foe, how we fix Iraq and Afghanistan while still managing Iran without bringing them into a shooting war, as well as how we deal with the Israel problem.

The problem as I see it is most main stream folks in the US have gotten to the point, both politically and socially, that we want to be comfortable. We want the easy solution. We don't want to be bothered by things that don't effect us directly. Any more, it's only with a huge kick in the ass that the electorate demands proactive, tough measures from Washington - case in point with 9/11. So any proactive, tough measures with Iran right now just aren’t going to happen – at least not from popular support.

However, as Heinlein would say: TANSTAAFL (there ain't no such thing as a free lunch). Our inaction and pussyfooting around this today are going to bite us in the ass tomorrow. Regardless of what should and can be done, I have to agree with Red that we're painting ourselves into a difficult corner and leaving ourselves with a more and more drastic solution to a problem that could be dealt with now if we’d made some tough decision, swallow some national pride, and do what’s necessary.

For palatable solutions for now:
1. Get a panel of experts, both political and historical, together to hammer out a unified ME policy and then follow the damn thing.

2. Offer an olive branch of some sort to Iran and see if they take it. We have nothing to lose if they give us the political finger - at least we'll know more where we stand. I think telling them we're okay with them selling oil in Euros is a start, but that will cause waves and problems with Saudi Arabia and the rest of OPEC and would probably be used by Chavez for something or other, so perhaps that one is best left alone for now.

3. Apologize to Iran for the 1958 coup and our support to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and tell them we’ll work diplomatically with their elected government now and not try to subvert them. They’re big on honor and respect in the ME, maybe that’ll smooth over a few ruffled feathers. This one doesn’t cost us a thing and, as with #2, if they give us the finger we’ll know better where we stand with them and it makes us look all the better internationally.

4. Longer term, oil is what funds all ME countries except a few small ones. We really want to manage them, we need to pull their funding out from under them. Time for the greens to bite the bullet and open up the US to more oil exploration and drilling – ANWAR, of course, but other places, too. Hand in hand with this is a real effort – no more half-assed programs, for alternate energy sources. Corn is not the answer.

It could be a start…
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
Just so everyone is clear on the skeleton of Red's Mecca/Medina argument: it involved diplomatic threats possibly public, possibly private to Syrian and Saudi officials and some moderate clerics, warning them that any further mass attacks on the scale of 9/11 would entail nuclear strikes on either or both holy sites.

This is not what he seems to be discussing on this thread, which is more akin to an analysis that possibly leads to nuclear war.

For more on Red's philosophy of total war on Islam see here.

For more on the Mecca/Medina blackmail, see this thread.

Note that Red does not just argue for the threat, but actually suggested that blowing up first Medina then Mecca would provide some positive effect in controlling attacks against the US.

Really, not what he is talking about today.
 
Posted by Everard (Member # 104) on :
 
"Everard's argument seems hypocritical since he argues for the US to stay involved with Israel, and I think that we all know that this is one of the main "provocations" that Islamonecrophiles are responding to."

Don't be silly, Pete. I didn't say anywhere on this thread that we should take no action anywhere in the middle east. I said our actions in the middle east led to 9/11. TO get hypocrisy out of what I stated on this thread is wishful thinking at best.

Ed-
You really can't think of one action we've taken in the middle east, or perhaps combination of actions, that would lead al-qaeda to think we are their mortal enemy?

If I were a devout muslim, I'd probably be veyr offended at the way we are trying to destroy their culture, and have been, for the last 70 years.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Don

Context. The argument is tat we have limited our options, meaning we have extremes. We have extreme diplomacy actions such as, we do not have diplomatic relations with Iran. Really limits what you can do. We refuse to even contemplate diplomacy with the political wings of movements like Hammas and Hizballah. Kinda limits our options doesn't it? We use economic development funds and the effects of our multinationals without consideration of the economic disparities they cause. Kinda limits our options doesn't it. We continually see the Middle East as a monolithic Islamic unified culture unable to grasp our multicultural customs. Kinda limits our options doesn't it? We choose to support governments that are essentially draconian dictatorships. Limits our options.

See the pattern.?

So when we face their aggressions against us, we have such limited options that or response to them is automatically hedged into an extreme starting point. And because of this our ability to use time as a buffer becomes implausible. We have no meaningful dialogue. What relations we do have are based upon fundamentally oppressive governments staying in power due to our need for oil, or even as a lingering effect of the cold war. Those attacking us, do not view either their own governments as valid or American demands as valid.

So whom should we negotiate with. Whom do we have a meaningful relationship with that can control Islamic radicals? The answer is we don't. Meaning all we have left is extremes. So if we can't even communicate exactly what can you do to prevent further harm to yourself?

The obvious option is to take our extreme view of the Middle East as a monolithic Islamic culture and use that extreme viewpoint. Tell them that they must meet those items I listed, because those items are indeed for their own good. They are reasonable requests. EG live up to the UN's Human Rights Declaration which they are signatories to. And that is just one example. I have also said we should have a no preconditioned diplomatic conference where we allow all Islamic parties to present their problems and grievances, and then accept them almost without condition. We tell them that in exchange for our advocacy and implementation of their wishes, there is one condition: Terrorism stops. If it doesn't we warn them that their holy cities are at stake.

Continue attacking the United States and Western Europe, and they run a guaranteed risk of loosing Mecca or Medina. If it doesn't cease, Medina disappears under a mushroom cloud. If it doesn't cease their next city of value to them as a culture disappears as well. At some point they will either realize that living in a world where they don't have to use terrorism to get their demands is preferable or they will become too utterly destroyed that they are too busy trying to survive to be able to be terrorists.

That is a solution. Give them nearly everything they want, and help them get it. While making sure they understand that there is a harsh condition to our willingness to help them should they continue to attack.

That is the position, and that is where we are headed if we don't wise up. The point is that we aren't even considering helping Islam, and Islam is taking matters into its own hands by becoming increasingly radicalized and violent. And at some point in the next decade, their level of capability to inflict massive violence against the United States directly will result in the USA having to skip the peaceful alternatives and literally wipe Islam off the map with nukes in the Middle East.

So yeah in context what I have written here, what Jesse has belatedly understood, and what Pete and Ev have understood almost from the initial stating of my argument, is exactly what is being discussed here.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ Martel:
quote:
The rationality of the Iranian government seems to be a sticking point...Dave and JM and I say "they wouldn't actually nuke us," and Pete and Ed and Red say "yes, they would," without anyone offering any real evidence...
So does anyone have any?

No, Martel. I don't believe they would nuke us. But, as I pointed out to DaveS earlier, this is about risk management and what risks we are willing to take. Given Iran's irresponsible statements, statements which they call for both our destruction and Israel's, I am unwilling to take the risk. If Iran played by the same rules that the rest of the world did, this not would be (as big) a big deal.

It's the difference between allowing a law abiding citizen the use of a gun, and allowing a criminal or psychopath a gun. In this country, we do not let people have guns that we know will use them by killing, without justification, others. It is no different for Iran.


@ DaveS:
quote:
Hopefully the guy who didn't get in a lot of blows wasn't waiting to get in just one massive blow that knocks your head off.
That's precisely the point, Dave. Iran would love to get in one decisive blow that would knock our heads off. We can't allow it. If they acquire nukes, they can do it. We can't allow that.

quote:
If Iran fights us the way that the Iraqis have fought each other with suicide attacks and self-martyrdom, we'll be able to kill 10,000 of them and then one of them will kill 10,000 of us.
That's a very large assumption. That being that they can kill as many of us as we off them with a single suicide bomber.

However, armed with a nuke, they could. And, once again, we can't allow that.

quote:
Then, when we go back to our corner after round 1, the manager leans in and says, "ok kid, looks like this is gonna go the full 15 rounds, so we're gonna need a strategy...you got one?"
And the kid would answer "Yes, keep my hands close to my face, look for an opportunity, and strike when I see one."

_Preparedness._ That's what risk management is all about.


@ Jesse:
quote:
Not the first time I've said this...but being an idiot I sometimes misjudge who I should try re-engaging with after a misunderstanding. In your case, that was a mistake. If you elect to take personal offense from anything I write, feel free, but not expect me to talk you out of your righteous indignation fix.
Funny that. Since it was you who was being righteously indignant when you accused me of not caring for those soldiers lives.

I don't get indignant, Jesse. Nor do I take things personally. For the record, philosophically I'm a pragmatist, so I don't have the luxury of either. I merely call them as I see them.

In the future, I suggest you refrain from painting your adversaries with ad hominems, since it only looks bad on you, especially when they're unjustified.

Ed.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
Red,

just going to point out that this whole thread and all of your posts have dealt with Iran, Iran's actions, US actions towards Iran, etc. (that is up until when you started freaking out over your misinterpretation of Jesse's post.)

Nowhere in this thread did you touch on holding Iran (or any other Islamic entity) hostage to a threat of nuking Saudi Arabia.

If you are now trying to tie your earlier statements in with that, more power to you.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Good example of what I propossed back then, my comments on ARAMCO and the Saudis.

Its a solution that doesn't involve a single gun shot or even a threat of one. Pete apparently was the only one who noticed.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Don my point is that this has been an ongoing, now almost 6 year old discussion. That we have repeated parts of the discussion makes some sense. And I think that the threads you linked to show my argument has been fairly consistent over that time. We either innovate or we will be using nukes. And the issue of Iranian and USA relations is currently what do we do to prevent all-out war, including a nuclear one.

And I think the linked threads prove that I have indeed been pointing out that we possibly already are using such a threat, that it is an unworkable solution in the long run, and that we better get our ducks in order before some Middle Eastern government puts the trifecta of intent, ability and opportunity together and gets a nuclear weapon. Because at that point, we will be either dealing with MAD or we will already be using atomics because we got hit first.

The skeleton is not that I am trying to hide something, but rather people have allowed time and inflammatory commentary to obscure my whole argument and diminish it down to one where it is the "Y'alls Lazy Solution" as being my only view. I do still think we should have engaged in a massive general conventional war with the governments and extremists of the Middle East and install true representative democracy and secular separation of government from religion. I still recognize as I did three years ago that it isn't feasible. And I still think what options we have are limited if we intend to solve the problem without really changing our actions of the last 60 years. If we continue down that path, nukes are going to be the primary component of any option we have left. Whether it is blackmail, preemptive strike, or retaliatory strike.

And in my defense Jesse did point out that the meaning of his sentences wasn't very clear. So while I did pop a fuse yesterday, I do think I have at least allowed people to fully understand my solutions, and how we have boxed ourselves.

So my economic petro dollar/zero trade plan isn't very good. Nor is my wait until we have no alternative and play a nuke card plan.

So what is your solution?
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ Everard:
quote:
You really can't think of one action we've taken in the middle east, or perhaps combination of actions, that would lead al-qaeda to think we are their mortal enemy?

If I were a devout muslim, I'd probably be veyr offended at the way we are trying to destroy their culture, and have been, for the last 70 years.

And that justifies 9/11?

Ed.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
"And that justifies 9/11?"

Does it matter if it justifies 9/11? And of course, to whom?

From the perspective of a fanatic, far more than 3000 muslims have been killed as a result of colonial policies in that time; the financial cost to muslims has been far greater; the cultural effects as well.

Is slow, systemic evil worse than quick, dramatic yet superficial evil?
 
Posted by PanHeraclitean (Member # 3120) on :
 
You can't really make much of a recovery financially or culturally from death. I wouldn't call that superficial. I'm new to this discussion, which systematic evil are we talking about, general progress or cultural assimulation to the western standard or the greediness the West has for taking natural resources at the lowest cost, despite the long term effect it has on the seller, instead of a fair price.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Does not matter, it is still evil either way. We can control the unintended evil of our own policies, or at least mitigate the effects. Our adversaries however can only control evil if they choose not to attack.
 
Posted by PanHeraclitean (Member # 3120) on :
 
Should another society be blamed for taking advantage of a culture through the approval of their previous leader? Can the leaders of a society claim foul on the US for the "dirty" agreements that their predecessors made?
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
That is exactly what is at issue. EG we made an agreement with the Shah of Iran to cooperate in military and economic terms. All he had to do was stand as a barrier to the Soviet Union geographic policies of gaining a warm water port and keep Iranian oil on the world market exclusive of the Communist Bloc countries. In return we told him we would give him our best weapons, and also give him a working nuclear power program. All he had to do was stay in power.

Well he got overthrown after he continued brutalizing his people, denied them basic human rights, and squandered the country's resources on grand palaces etc.

The Iranians wondered just who had allowed the Shah to engage himself in this way, and the answer of course was the United States allowed the Shah to engage in this brutality. The Iranians then wondered why we didn't at least send over the military hardware that the former regime had already paid for. Or why we wouldn't release funds from our banks that were rightfully theirs. Or even follow through on completing the nuclear power plants we had sold to them but never finished building. Or why we suddenly started funding the Iraqis as they began invading Iran.

Never mind the fact that we had installed the Shah in a counter coup in the 1950's so that a communist leaning populist school teacher wouldn't gain power.

The issue of them taking our diplomats hostage is about the only thing the average American even knows about concerning Iran in the last 50 years. That they may have had a valid gripe and injury to complain about usually has not even crossed our minds.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
The question was one of justification. To most of us here, nothing justifies 9/11.

But to someone having been brought up with the reality of the effects of western colonial policies in the middle east, I imagine it might not be so cut and dried.

I would be hard pressed to argue that these policies have NOT caused more accumulated damage to the arabs and persians than 9/11 did - from a global and historical perspective, 3000 dead is a non-occurence. Heck, US bombs in Iraq have killed more than that number; the effects of the invasion between 10 and 100 times that many.

And that's just Iraq in the past 5 years. How much did the US installation of the Shah eventually cost normal Iranians?

I am not laying all this blame on the US; again, the question was one of justification - and muslim fanatics don't justify things from a US-centric perspective.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
The issue is our being able to get over our own ethnocentrism and comprehend that they Do see things very differently. And it is because of this difference what we can do our should do may not be what we assume it can or should be.

We don't think bombing civilians to the tune of 3000 in a building is a good thing to do ever. They however do see it as a good thing to do, because it fits into their own ethnocentic viewpoint.
 
Posted by KidB (Member # 3016) on :
 
As with the buildup to the invasion of Iraq four years ago, a conversation unfolds that now completely mystifies me. I do not believe that Iran is a threat to Israel or to the U.S.

Consider the following:

The infamous mistranslation

quote:
So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in farsi:


"Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad."


That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word "Regime", pronounced just like the English word with an extra "eh" sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" (regime occupying Jerusalem).


So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want "wiped from the map"? The answer is: nothing. That's because the word "map" was never used. The Persian word for map, "nagsheh", is not contained anywhere in his original farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase "wipe out" ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran's President threatened to "wipe Israel off the map", despite never having uttered the words "map", "wipe out" or even "Israel."

The actual messages of the speech in which the quote occurred:

quote:
In his speech, Ahmadinejad declares that Zionism is the West's apparatus of political oppression against Muslims. He says the "Zionist regime" was imposed on the Islamic world as a strategic bridgehead to ensure domination of the region and its assets. Palestine, he insists, is the frontline of the Islamic world's struggle with American hegemony, and its fate will have repercussions for the entire Middle East.
Ahmadinejad acknowledges that the removal of America's powerful grip on the region via the Zionists may seem unimaginable to some, but reminds the audience that, as Khomeini predicted, other seemingly invincible empires have disappeared and now only exist in history books. He then proceeds to list three such regimes that have collapsed, crumbled or vanished, all within the last 30 years:



(1) The Shah of Iran- the U.S. installed monarch

(2) The Soviet Union

(3) Iran's former arch-enemy, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein



In the first and third examples, Ahmadinejad prefaces their mention with Khomeini's own words foretelling that individual regime's demise. He concludes by referring to Khomeini's unfulfilled wish: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time. This statement is very wise". This is the passage that has been isolated, twisted and distorted so famously. By measure of comparison, Ahmadinejad would seem to be calling for regime change, not war.


Consider also :


quote:
Believe it, don't believe it, that's up to you. But at least we should know what exactly he said, which is not something our US newspapers will tell us about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech on Saturday:

Kayhan reports that [Pers.] Ahmadinejad said, "Iran is not a threat to any country, and is not in any way a people of intimidation and aggression." He described Iranians as people of peace and civilization. He said that Iran does not even pose a threat to Israel, and wants to deal with the problem there peacefully, through elections:

"Weapons research is in no way part of Iran's program. Even with regard to the Zionist regime, our path to a solution is elections."

and

quote:
Supreme Jurisprudent Khamenei's pledge of no first strike against any country by Iran with any kind of weapon, and his condemnation of nuclear bombs as un-Islamic and impossible for Iran to possess or use, was completely ignored by the Western press and is never referred to . Indeed, after all that talk of peace and no first strike and no nukes, Khamenei at the very end said that if Iran were attacked, it would defend itself. Karl Vicks of the Washington Post at the time ignored all the rest of the speech and made the headline, 'Khamenei threatens reprisals against US." In other words, on Iran, the US public is being spoonfed agitprop, not news.

Although Iran's protestations of peaceful intentions are greeted cynically in the US and Israel, in fact Iran has not launched a war of aggression in over a century . The US and Israel have launched several during that period of time.

and this, from Scott Ritter , former UN weapons inspector, former marine, and former advisor to Stormin' Norman. And a Republican.

quote:
After the revolution, the United States withdrew technical support for Iran’s nuclear energy program. Then we had the Iran-Iraq war. During that time there was an effort to ensure that much more restrictions were placed on Iran.

The majority of Iran’s refining capacity - located in Abadan and other areas along the Iraqi border - were destroyed in the fighting with Iraq. By the late 80’s when they started talking about restarting their nuclear energy program, there was a question as to what it would take to win the war against Iraq. There were three options: Increasing the size of the Iranian fighting force, acquisition of superior military technology and acquisition of nuclear weapons. The Ayatollah Khomeini said that all three were non-starters: The people were not ready to accept a massive increase of the army, there was no money to buy more weapons and nuclear weapons were not in the interest of Iran.

So right from the start we see an admission by Iranian leaders that nuclear weapons were not going to be a part of our future. But they did attempt to restart their nuclear energy program.

Why did they keep it a secret? Because the United States would not accept it. If Iran went out and said, “Hey we want to acquire this,” the United States would shut it down. Case in point is the Bushehr reactor where the Iranian government tried to get the German company Siemens to abide by its pre-revolution contract and Siemens was persuaded by the United States to withdraw. When Iran would look to the Russians and the Chinese, the United States would follow up and put pressure so that these contracts would be withdrawn.

As a result, in order for the Iranians to make any progress they had to continue their program in secret and they did so. At the time the information became public, I point out, that it’s always been a nuclear energy program; it has never been a nuclear weapons program. And this is why when the inspectors went in, even though the program had been secret for 18 years, they could find no evidence of a weapons program. There is none.

and

quote:
This is the crux of the problem between Iran and the international community today. It has been demanded that Iran suspend its nuclear enrichment program. Iran has refused saying it has the legal right under the NPT to do this.

What occurred is that the IAEA has created an extra-legal Iran-only stance on this which says “It doesn’t matter what the NPT says, Iran must suspend enrichment.” Then, it decided to transfer to the Security Council. The Security Council resolution formalized this position, that Iran suspend its nuclear enrichment indefinitely, that Iran does not have the right to enrich uranium even though article IV of the NPT clearly states that it does have that right .


and

quote:
FKh: How was the US able to orchestrate a unanimous Security Council vote on this?

SR: The big thing to understand is that Iraq has changed everything. The international community did not do a very good job of standing up to the administration on Iraq. So there is a misplaced desire to reduce American unilateralism by keeping America “contained” – so to speak – within the framework of international engagement context. And this framework is the only thing that gives Europeans any status. To be frank, what does Europe bring to bear on this? Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. It’s all in this framework of negotiating that gives it any status.

What they’re finding is that now that Europe is facilitating America’s goals and desires in terms of pushing for this Security Council resolution, America is acting unilaterally anyways.

You want more? I got more.

Personally, I think we are once again being led down the path to madness thru the MSMs distortions and superstition.
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
Kid,

I'm not fan of the MSM, but in this case I'll simply accuse them of laziness. That misquote of Ahmadinejad's speech originated from the Al Jazeera translation. The misquote fits with what westerners think he would say, so no one seemed to bother to verify it.

I read that a few weeks ago, but didn't mention it since no one here has been focusing on it much at all.

The trouble here is I expect from the Iranians what I expect from our own government - duplicity in actions and words. Saying one thing publicly and doing another secretively. It's the nature of the international game these days, so I don’t take them at face value when they preach peace and all that jazz.

So Iran talks peace, just like we do, and claims they won't attack anyone, yet they do use proxies - just like we do - to do their dirty work.

That said, from where I'm sitting it sure looks like we're trying to paint them into a corner - possibly with the goal of provoking them to lash out at us first to justify us "retaliating".

Hey, why not, worked pretty well for us at Pearl Harbor. (ohh, that’s bound to get some panties in a bunch!)

Seems we're now in a high stakes game of chicken. I really hope the Iranians can keep their cool while the Dems figure out if they really have any balls or they just borrowed them for the election.
 
Posted by KidB (Member # 3016) on :
 
jm,

Good points all around, but we should clarify something - why did the MSM "think" he would say that? It's more than just momentary laziness regarding that one particular item, but rather a systematic laziness, combined with prejudice, which has led to decades of self-reinforcing distortions.

quote:
The trouble here is I expect from the Iranians what I expect from our own government - duplicity in actions and words. Saying one thing publicly and doing another secretively. It's the nature of the international game these days, so I don’t take them at face value when they preach peace and all that jazz.

So Iran talks peace, just like we do, and claims they won't attack anyone, yet they do use proxies - just like we do - to do their dirty work.

Agreed. However, the scale of the threat is the real question at hand. I'd be amazed if Iran didn't use proxies. I'd be even more amazed if their proxies have had anything like the reach and influence of the U.S.'s.

And what of "face value"? If statements from Iran deemed to be beligerent are taken at face value (which they are), but statements which seem to be concilliatory are not, there is an obvious double-standard.

Also a double-standard: claiming that Iran is a theocracy whose "democratic" infrastructure is merely a meaningless veneer, and claiming that Ahmadinejad - an elected official - is the true voice of the iranian govt's intentions beyond its borders, and/or a true representative of the will of the Iranian people.

You've got to admit, the U.S.'s stance could hardly be more inconsistent.
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
But it's just a cute and fuzzy country!

That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered country you ever set eyes on!
He's got huge, sharp... er... He can leap about. Look at the bones!
It's the most feroucious and dangerous country in the whole wide world!

RUN AWAY!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_of_Caerbannog

[ February 16, 2007, 03:37 PM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]
 
Posted by KidB (Member # 3016) on :
 
The number of thy counting shall be three...
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
This definitely calls for a secret weapon
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
Well, our stance is prefectly consistent if the goal is to break down the middle east and stir up trouble there.
 
Posted by KidB (Member # 3016) on :
 
quote:
Well, our stance is prefectly consistent if the goal is to break down the middle east and stir up trouble there.
Yup.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
The issue is our being able to get over our own ethnocentrism and comprehend that they Do see things very differently. And it is because of this difference what we can do our should do may not be what we assume it can or should be.

We don't think bombing civilians to the tune of 3000 in a building is a good thing to do ever. They however do see it as a good thing to do, because it fits into their own ethnocentic viewpoint.

Your first paragraph is exactly right. But, then you take a leap that makes no sense to me. Yes, their culture produces a different world view. Does that mean that their culture produces people who think it's a good thing to blow up 3000 people? To accept it is to accept that our culture is as insane for Oklahoma City, the Branch Davidians and a host of other self-inflicted atrocities, such as "teaching" our children to kill other children in school rampages. Or perhaps from "their" perspective, that our peculiar ethnocentric world view makes us feel entitled to invade and reform countries that are different from us. Consider their difference from us, but not by the extremes of the behavior of their most radical members, and hope that they don't judge us all as being indistinguishable from our cadre of government warmakers.

Thanks to KidB for reminding us that our ears (biological and MSM) don't do us honor sometimes. IMO, Juan Cole is the top western conveyor and interpreter of events in the ME.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
quote:
I said I'm not sure whether they would, and laid out a very grim BEST possible scenario where they only use their nukes defensively...Nor has anyone explained how we could seriously keep up any long term strategy while faced with the "best" scenario that I described..
The kernel of doubt you express above is embedded in a mountain of certainty about their aims that you have expressed elsewhere.
The fact that you call *that* bit "doubt" and the rest "certainty" strongly suggests that you didn't bother to read it.

It's quite the other way around. I said that I'm certain that they will do at least ramp up beligerent activity and terror while using nukes defensively, and that I *suspect* but am not sure that they will also use nukes aggressively and/or pass them to others that will.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
KidB, you're hillarious. Khomeini officially made Iran's policy to "lie to the infidel" when convenient. This is the policy that they push to the Islamic world. They tell each other that it's OK to lie to us, but when they speak to us, you'd have us accept their word without solid evidence?
 
Posted by KidB (Member # 3016) on :
 
quote:
KidB, you're hillarious. Khomeini officially made Iran's policy to "lie to the infidel" when convenient. This is the policy that they push to the Islamic world. They tell each other that it's OK to lie to us, but when they speak to us, you'd have us accept their word without solid evidence?
You really missed my point completely here. If concilliatory speech is a lie, then why would a threat against U.S. or Israel be any more credible?

You need to judge them by their actions. Allow me to quote Gregory Cochran, from The American Conservative

quote:
Iran is now at the top of the enemies list, but of course it poses no strategic threat to the United States. Iran’s GNP is 20 to 40 times smaller than that of the U.S., and the Iranians are hardly sophisticated technologists. If they tried hard, if they spent a huge fraction of their GNP on weapons, they might be able to spend 1/30th as much on arms as we do. But they’re not trying hard.

In truth, Iran hasn’t embarked upon any military adventures in years: there is no pattern of aggression and conquest, no frantic military buildup. The war with Iraq a generation ago seems to have used up most of the Iranians’ revolutionary zeal. We do not hear of their “last territorial demands.” In fact, we’re still waiting for the first.

Even when provoked, they’ve been cautious. The Taliban, back in 1998, killed a number of Iranian diplomats along with thousands of fellow Shi’ites. The Iranian government was angry, as any government would have been. The Iranians threatened, they mobilized troops on the Afghan border—but never invaded. I can’t read their minds, but I’d guess that some in their government argued that they couldn’t afford it, others that they might lose, while still others had read their Kipling and couldn’t imagine what they would do with Afghanistan if they owned it. (Interestingly, Condoleezza Rice, back in 2000, seemed to have been unaware that this crisis ever occurred. When she was interviewed by the New York Times, she thought that Iran supported the Taliban. I guess future secretaries of state have better things to do than read.)


I don't think you're viewing the situation objectively. All of this sabre-rattling directed at Iran seems to me predicated upon the notion that Iran is a nation of homicidal fanatics, and a powerful one at that. Having met Iranians, and Americans who have travelled there, this strikes me as a gross misaprehension.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"You really missed my point completely here. If concilliatory speech is a lie, then why would a threat against U.S. or Israel be any more credible?"

Because they carry out their threats, and because there's independent evidence that they intend to carry them out. Their actions back up their threatening words. Their actions do not back up their concilliatory words.
 
Posted by KidB (Member # 3016) on :
 
quote:
Because they carry out their threats, and because there's independent evidence that they intend to carry them out. Their actions back up their threatening words. Their actions do not back up their concilliatory words.
I completely disagree. What evidence do you cite, and what threats are you referring to?
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Donald

I said some very nasty things to Redskull a long time ago which I thought I had appologized for, but on reflection I realised I had not. It is completely understandable, given that, why his initial reading of my post was less than charitable.

I appreciate the sentiment, but the matter is resolved.

Redskull-

I don't have any well thought out plans that might work better than yours. I think of things...and then reject them.

Iran has now suffered two bombings in three days in the southeastern part of the country, in the city of Zahedan. In the first, a car bomb detonated killing 11 Revolutionary Guardsmen.

Today, an explosion rocked a school. No death toll is yet released. Gunfire was still being exchanged between police and the attackers.

Iran claims both of these attacks have been made by Jundallah, a Sunni terrorist group with strong links to AQ.

So, what is our common point of interest? It seems, to me, to be obvious. The question is, how do we exploit it?

I say we offer to complete Irans nuclear reactors. We offer them two cascades of 3,000 centrifuges complete with techs to operate them. We give them a thousand highly skilled (and highly paid) engineers and technicians who will be richly compensated at our expense as hostages.

We already hold Iranian hostages, don't we? We can anhilate their entire country in 15 minutes. Of course they're terrified and feel powerless.

They understand an exchange of hostages. We used to, but we've kind of forgotten.

This way, they can be assured that we will not destroy the power facilities they've been sinking a huge portion of their GDP into for three decades in a fit of pique, or allow Israel to do the same.

We offer, as part of the deal, a public announcement that any nuclear attack on Iran will be treated as a nuclear attack on the US.

Iran promises to recognize the legitimacy of the Iraqi government and ONLY to provide arms to that government. We then INVITE Iranian doctors, engineers, ect to help rebuild the Shia'a portions of Iraq. They know how to do it on a dime, they will love the PR coup, and it will be a massive insult to the Sunni who will probably continue to only fund murderers.


We force Israel to it's Hadrian Momment by theatening to pull all of our aid and let them twist if they do not permenantly demarcate their border with their neighbors and accept Syrias peace offer. We establish a workable line as close to the 67 borders as possible, without the input of the PLO.

If the Palestinians don't accept the deal, we give 'em to Syria [Smile] Seriously, we offer a 50 billion dollar aid package over the next twenty years and impose no import tarrifs on Palestinian goods. George Bush walks out at a press conference in a suit made in Palestian and his staff leaks it to the press.

We stop pretending that Palestinains aren't suffering, and we get serious about changing their condition. We give the average 18 year old Palestinian a choice other than "Unemployed living with my five brothers in one room of my mothers house" or "Glory as a Shaheed". Oh, I guess they do have option three right now as well, publicly oppose both Fatah and Hamas, and wind up in a jail cell or a ditch.

The IRA gave up it's arms because economic conditions in Ireland improved dramaticly.

Without an Evil Israel bonking people on the head, contrary to what those who believe all Muslims are hardline holy warriors believe, rage over the existance of Israel will be drastically reduced. Without Syria, Iran, or Iraq to supply weapons and ammunition in quanity, the Saudis are left trying to smuggle what they can across Jordan.


We stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia untill they hold free, fair, and open democratic elections. If they do not comply, we sieze their assets in the US, kick out every Saudi that isn't here as political refugee, and label them a Rogue State under a complete trade embargo. Think the US is soft? Watch how quick the House of Saud crumples.


Why are we "siding" with the Sunni's, again?

Who is Jundallah? Where do they get their funding? I'm guessing, House of Saud one way or another.

I have *Ideas* Redskull, I don't have a coherent plan, which is why I haven't attacked your current one.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
Oh, don't worry Jesse - I really didn't have any sentiment to be appreciated [Smile] I just like correcting misstatements, especially when their ALL CAPS and so &@$%!?! aggressively obscene.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
KidB, you're hillarious. Khomeini officially made Iran's policy to "lie to the infidel" when convenient. This is the policy that they push to the Islamic world.
I assume this sweeping judgment applies to the 2003 memo the WH now acknowledges it received from Iran (through the Swiss embassy). I can't find a pdf of it online (anybody else?), but it is reported on in a variety of MSM outlets, such as here. In the memo, Iran proposes direct negotiations with the US about its nuclear arms programs, recognition of Israel and stabilization of Iraq. Any possibility Iran may have been sincere?
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Don

You have any suggestions or ideas?

Dave

We as a culture do not support instances such as the Branch Davidians etc. We see such things as abberations to be prevented.

Our Islamic counterparts however were dancing in the streets after 9-11. Literally. And it wasn't a small dance party, but one that was world wide. We don't kill artists like Mapelthorpe for using Jesus as a component of visual art. They wont even make a pictorial or artistic representation of Mohammad, and are quite willing to kill those who do- and even worse they have restricted artistic expression in visual arts to such an extent that there are almost no Islamic visual artists willing to risk a fatwah of death.

You comprehended the first comment, and then slipped right back into your own ethnocentric viewpoint by comparing our culture with theirs, and additionally using an invalid definition of thier culture by defining it in terms of ours.

That is what we have to get passed if we are going to come up with solutions compatible with our needs as well as theirs.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Red, I understand your point. I would rather say that there is ignorance borne of prejudice, and the reverse, at work on both sides. If I merely stop after saying their culture intrinsically supports those actions while giving ourselves superior motives and methods to explain our own actions, then there is no hope but to imprison or otherwise subjugate their population to keep them from acting out on those "natural urges", or if those things fail to simply eliminate them.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
While what you say is true, Dave, that there is ignorance born of prejudice on both sides. There are two things you are not taking into account. 1, that there is MORE prejudice on one side than the other. 2, that we don't make decisions based on how the other side sees us.

This is about how WE perceive militant Islam. This is about what WE need to do about militant Islam. And part of the problem of how we see them is how they see us: the Great Satan, needing to be destroyed; apes and pigs. If we judges ourselves by their eyes, we'd have to destroy ourselves.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, and this is where I agree with Red's last post. In order to survive the current situation, we are going to have to make a lot of terrorists, _and their meme's,_ dead. And the only way to kill those memes is to kill those who carry them and refuse to let them go.

You see, it's a funny thing. Where Christianity carries the meme "be good to each other," Islam carries a meme that says "be good to each other, except the infidel." Worse still, written in the Quran are other memes stating how it's OK to kill and subjegate the non-believer.

Those memes MUST DIE. There is no room in a cooperative society for such thinking, and, as long as they're thunk, there's WILL be trouble. So, either Islam rids itself of those thoughts, or we're forced to rid them ourselves.

I don't like it anymore than anyone else does, but as long as they think that they're the only ones that can "play ball" we've got no choice but to force them to share the field.

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
1, that there is MORE prejudice on one side than the other. 2, that we don't make decisions based on how the other side sees us.
Ed, thanks for so completely making my point for me. I'm sure you feel bad about what mayhem you endorse our soldiers to do or would commit with your own bare hands against them, but like a friend of mine likes to say, "they needed killing". Just a thought that you can kill a meme without killing its host.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
Dave?

When I say something like "Those memes MUST DIE," how is it you conclude that I'm saying we MUST kill everyone that holds them?

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
...the only way to kill those memes is to kill those who carry them and refuse to let them go.
I read that you said that you would kill those who refuse to let go of the "memes" (whichever ones they are). My view is that it shouldn't be necessary, but you would have to radically change your sense of who those people are and how they think in order to see that. That might require a memectomy.
quote:
There is no room in a cooperative society for such thinking, and, as long as they're thunk, there's WILL be trouble. So, either Islam rids itself of those thoughts, or we're forced to rid them ourselves.
That's a very tall order, especially if you try to beat it out of them. How well has that worked so far?

[Edited to add: Ed, to clarify our terms, I don't attribute "memes" to individuals, but as the word is defined, to a culture. Rooting an evil meme from a culture means killing those who only think it, not just those who are thinking it at the time they kill us. A lot of people who would never think of doing such a horrible things would fall under your knife. How far are you willing to go?]

[ February 17, 2007, 12:13 PM: Message edited by: DaveS ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by EDanaII:
Dave?

When I say something like "Those memes MUST DIE," how is it you conclude that I'm saying we MUST kill everyone that holds them?

And if Dave thought you were an atheist, would he have lept to the same dark conclusion about what you meant? [Frown]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Pete, I don't understand what you mean??? Are you responding to Ed's misunderstanding of what I said or to my followup response to his question?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Love to get a response that explains what you mean, because from the look of it, I'm pretty sure it was something I would object and respond to [Frown] , only I don't know what it was! If it helps you, I don't care what religious view Ed holds and whatever it might be never crossed my mind, since I at least have been talking about ethnocentrism, culture and war. Go back a few posts and see where Red brought it up, I responded, Ed responded to me, etc. If war happens, it will be our country vs theirs, so your, my or Ed's individual religious views shouldn't be part of the equation.

[ February 17, 2007, 05:04 PM: Message edited by: DaveS ]
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
As Ed holds no religious views, it isn't part of the equation. [Smile] Ed is an agnostic.

Now, I need to make a clarifying point: while memes are held culturally, a culture is comprised of individuals, so you can't separate the two.

The point that is critical to my position is that, as I said, certain specific memes in the Islamic culture HAVE TO die, or they will continue to use them to kill us. This does not mean that all who hold those memes must die.

Memes, themselves, live or die based on their usefulness. If a culture sees a meme as beneficial to them, it thrives. If it is seen as dangerous to them, it dives. The best way to kill that meme is, therefore, to prove that it is useless.

In a culture that believes that it can advance its needs through suicide bombing and jihad, the best way to destroy those memes is ensure the bomber and jihadi gain nothing for their sacrifice. Failing that, the memes will survive. Since individuals all share the memes of their society, there will always be a subset of those willing enough to act on them. It becomes necessary, therefore, to destroy that subset in order to demonstrate the futility of their actions.

You are very correct in saying that you can kill a meme without killing its host, however, when that meme espouses jihad, you have NO CHOICE but to kill the host to prove the meme's futility. This isn't our choosing, Dave, it's there's. They are the one's setting the rules for this game.

So, let's be clear here. I'm not "advocating mayhem," they are. I merely support a policy that would demonstrate the futility of their actions, thereby killing their memes. And since those which we label "terrorists" are the most likely to carry out those actions, I can easily say something like "we are going to have to make a lot of terrorists, and their meme's, dead" and still not be referring to their entire culture. Terrorists are a subset of that culture, and terrorists are the one's carrying this battle to us.

So, once again, those memes MUST die and if that means killing a few of those who desire to make us dead through the actions their memes dictate, then so be it.

Back to the reason I interjected, there are MORE prejudices on one side than the other, and it isn't ours. You condemn us for not being more understanding and, yet, let the terrorists off the hook for memes like "kill an infidel ape for Allah" and "you'll ensure a place for yourself in paradise if you kill the infidel pigs."

If those ain't prejudice, then I don't know what is.

Ed.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"As Ed holds no religious views, it isn't part of the equation."

That's why I said "If he thought"
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"You are very correct in saying that you can kill a meme without killing its host, however, when that meme espouses jihad, you have NO CHOICE but to kill the host to prove the meme's futility. This isn't our choosing, Dave, it's there's. They are the one's setting the rules for this game."

Yes, but you and others aren't paying close enough attention to those rules that they set. There *is* another way besides killing the hosts, but it violates some of our minor rules. Ridicule. There's a reason they put the fatwa out on Rushdie. They fear ridicule worse than death. Their theology teaches that humilliation and pervasive ridicule actually disproves any sort of connection to the divine. That's why they say that the crucifixion and the "born in a manger" story is blasphemous (disrespectful to the prophet Issa).

A sustained campaign aimed at humilliating and ridiculing terrorists as hirabis could prove extremely effective, particularly if the campaign combined the pagent of "investigative journalism," distribution on the scale of "radio free Europe" except using TV and internet as well as Radio, and actual military and intelligence resources.

[ February 18, 2007, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Pete
A counter media policy presented from our multiculturalist viewpoint might work. Considering that we freely allow Islam in our own culture, I wonder what could be done with the issue that in much of the middle east, you cannot freely espouse any religion but Islam.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
And in case you missed it Iran's government announced yesterday that the issue of nuclear programs run by Iran are not up for negotiation.

So anyway...
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
I'm not excluding propoganda, Pete, but even propoganda, alone, will not end the killing. Propoganda is words, killing is action and actions always speak louder than words. Ultimately, the only way those specific memes will die is when they are seen as futile.

Let's play a new game of "Paper, Rock, Scissors" only we'll call it "Propoganda, War, Diplomacy." [Smile] I think you know the rules: Propoganda trumps Diplomacy, War smashes Propoganda and Diplomacy prevents/ends War." [Smile]

By attacking us, they've declared "War!" Of which, propoganda is a part. Will propoganda alone end it? Or will it be war AND diplomacy that does?

Just some thoughts...


@ Redskullvw

That's another one of them there memes that's gonna have to die. Fortunately, killing individuals who hold those memes, isn't, necessarily, the option. Propoganda does work better there.

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
And in case you missed it Iran's government announced yesterday that the issue of nuclear programs run by Iran are not up for negotiation.

So anyway...

Red, that's not news, of course, but a regularly repeated reminder that nothing has changed on either side of the discussion.

The NY Times had a number of interesting and relevant articles and opinion pieces in yesterday's paper. One of the them pointed out how the war in Iraq has created both a vacuum in the regional power equilibrium and the concomitant need for some credible holder of power to rise. In other words, the US created the current threat that Iran represents. Our continued interference and poorly managed efforts in the affairs of the region make Iran an inevitability. That's not to say that Iran wasn't a potential threat before, but that we've accelerated and heightened their rise.

The counter-process might also defuse the situation, where a reduction in the level of our interference (less strident support for Israel, softening of our harsh opposition to Israel's foes, ending our occupation of Iraq...) might weaken Iran.

[Edited to add: I should clarify that I'm interpreting and expanding on the implications of the article. The article didn't go to the conclusions that I drew.]

[ February 19, 2007, 06:27 AM: Message edited by: DaveS ]
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
quote:
In other words, the US created the current threat that Iran represents.
Very true. However, the whole Iran and nukes thingie has been going on for a lot longer than our time in Iraq.

quote:
Our continued interference and poorly managed efforts in the affairs of the region make Iran an inevitability.
All the more reason for us to do a better job and see this through rather than abandoning Iraq to chaos.

quote:
That's not to say that Iran wasn't a potential threat before, but that we've accelerated and heightened their rise.
Blaming us for this makes about as much sense as blaming the homeowner for leaving his house unlocked and allowing himself to be robbed. While the homeowner deserves the blame for not protecting his house, nobody put a gun to the robber's head and made him go in. What of the robbers responsibilities in this matter?

quote:
The counter-process might also defuse the situation, where a reduction in the level of our interference (less strident support for Israel, softening of our harsh opposition to Israel's foes, _ending our occupation of Iraq_...) might weaken Iran.
Unlocking all the doors and opening all the windows will not make a robber less likely to enter your house. Even a fully locked house will not deter a robber if they are determined enough.

Once again, you toss ALL the responsibility on us. What about the softening of their position towards the existence of Israel? What about them removing their declarations of destruction? Why is it we that must bend when it is THEY who shout the worst rhetoric?

Remember, many of us here feel that war is coming. Not 'cause we don't like the Iranian's (or any other Muslim) but because they won't end their calls for destruction. And, yet you conclude that WE need to soften our stance?

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Another metaphor [Smile] ? Lock your doors and windows, work with the police department to understand crime patterns in your area, volunteer with local social organizations to help alleviate the underlying root causes of crime, and recognize that your responsibilities to your community don't stop at the perimeter of your property. I could go on, but...
quote:
Once again, you toss ALL the responsibility on us...
You're reading it too narrowly. I'm not absolving Iran or militant Muslims or anybody else of their responsibilities. Why can't we talk about getting our own house in order without always bringing up the fact that, hey, they started it, it's not our fault? It's a broken situation that will take time and considerable effort on all sides to resolve.
quote:
Remember, many of us here feel that war is coming.
Maybe so, but if we haven't tried everything reasonable to prevent it, it will be our fault if it comes to pass, too. You're shouting down other people's ideas and suggestions that might avoid it and haven't raised any of your own.
 
Posted by TheDeamon (Member # 551) on :
 
quote:
Would you mind naming one thing we've done, Ev, that rises to the justification of 9/11? Just ONE thing. That's all I ask.
I'll give your two from their perspective:

Baywatch

and

Britney Spears

Edit to add:

Keep in mind, you are dealing with radical religious extremists. The vast majority of which think Burkhas should be the norm for women and anything less than that is simply scandalous.

Basically they make your prototypical bible thumping evangelical hardliner in the the United States seem exceedingly liberal. And they're not big fans of either one of those product lines either.

Rewind 6/7 years ago, and good luck clicking through channels on your TV and not running into one of those two items. Regardless of what part of the planet you happen to be in.

But then, I guess many people like to turn blind eyes on a lot of things. While it wasn't a predominately muslim nation, or even a muslim location I'm citing. I still think the experience rings true for a very large number of Muslims around the world:

While visiting Thailand in 2000 I went on a tour that took my tour group out to visit a number of Budhist Temples. At several of them, we were somewhat surprised to see local children on the temple grounds with their boom box playing, listening and dancing to the music of Britney Spears. I have little reason to belive this experience is unique to Thailand, as I can cite anecdotal ecidence in line with that experience in a number of other places I have been.

How do you get your children to continue to practice the "old ways" you, yourself adhere to?

How do you keep your chidlren from being taken in by the slick, glossy, and alluring cultural currents that the Unites States(c/o Hollywood) has running virtually everywhere throughout the world?

THEN add in all the other things the United States Government itself has done in the name of preserving its "national interests" abroad, and tell me what you are going to come up with.

[ February 19, 2007, 01:12 PM: Message edited by: TheDeamon ]
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
Not one thing you list, Daemon, justifies the killing of 2,000 innocent civilians. That was my whole point. There is nothing any one can cite, not one single incident, or collection of incidents that is, tit for tat, equal.


@ DaveS:
quote:
Another metaphor [Smile] ? Lock your doors and windows, work with the police department to understand crime patterns in your area, volunteer with local social organizations to help alleviate the underlying root causes of crime, and recognize that your responsibilities to your community don't stop at the perimeter of your property. I could go on, but...
There you go again, tightening up that Gordian knot (tm).

If I came up to you one day, and said, "Dave, I'm gonna break into your house, steal your stuff, and set it on fire and there's nothing you can do about it," how much "examining of root causes" and social work are gonna stop me if I'm that determined?

As to callin' the cops? We are the freakin' cops! [Smile] The world might have turned to the U.N. first, but who actually did the dirty work? Gulf War I? Us. Kosovo? Us. And if and when Iran nukes Israel, or Hezballah overthrows Lebanon, guess who's gonna do the dirty work then? It won't be the U.N.... So, when it comes time to take care of our own concerns, such as with Iraq? We turn to ourselves? Well, duh!

[Thwack goes that knot, again]

quote:
You're reading it too narrowly. I'm not absolving Iran or militant Muslims or anybody else of their responsibilities. Why can't we talk about getting our own house in order without always bringing up the fact that, hey, they started it, it's not our fault? It's a broken situation that will take time and considerable effort on all sides to resolve.
No, you placing heavy emphasis on us for protecting our own interests, and less emphasis on them for exploiting those interests. We are trying to create stability, they are attempting to destroy that very same stability. And we're the one's that need to "do it right?" Gimme a break, Dave. [Smile]

quote:
Maybe so, but if we haven't tried everything reasonable to prevent it, it will be our fault if it comes to pass, too. You're shouting down other people's ideas and suggestions that might avoid it and haven't raised any of your own.
And this is like declaring that you haven't played every possible move in a chess game when the game's still goin'. Why don't you wait till we actuall have had time to try everything reasonable before declaring that we haven't?

quote:
You're shouting down other people's ideas and suggestions that might avoid it and haven't raised any of your own.
No, I'm recognizing a fact. A fact that you so wantonly brushed aside. This one specifically, raised by Redskullvw: "And in case you missed it Iran's government announced yesterday that the issue of nuclear programs run by Iran are not up for negotiation."

A statement, which amounts to "I'm gonna break into your house, steal your stuff, and set it on fire and there's nothing you can do about it." Good luck with solving those root causes and crime patterns. While you're busy with those, I'll be busy ransacking your house, lookin' for them matches.

Ed.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Well now Iran is being reasonable.

Massive war games, and the Iranian President stating that Iran will give up its enrichment process when the west does.

Iran isn't some crazed government without means. Iran is a government with extremely different priorities and goals compared to its neighbors. When Iran says regime change in Israel, Iran means elimination of Israel. When they say they have every right to nuclear programs, they mean it. When they directly support regional and international terrorists they mean it.

A bus bombing by an almost unknown group on a Revoltionary Guard bus doesn't mean that Iran is on a brink of democratic reform and sudden human rights flowering.

Unlike North Korea, Iran does not have a leash connecting it to its fundamental patron. Iran is essentially the biggest dog on the Middle East and Near East block. And Iran is officially trying to enforce that fact.

Any ideas?
 
Posted by TheDeamon (Member # 551) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by EDanaII:
Not one thing you list, Daemon, justifies the killing of 2,000 innocent civilians. That was my whole point. There is nothing any one can cite, not one single incident, or collection of incidents that is, tit for tat, equal.

Do note the emphasis that was on "their perspective" when I wrote that.

As has already been discussed, Islam has a number of meme's that are still practiced by a number of its adherents that makes violence against the infidel acceptable, particularly if it is "in defense of Islam" or at least for the purpose of furthering it(in their view).

From a cultural perspective, the "old ways" of Islam are being swept away by access to Satelite TV, where males who would have otherwise been tintilated by even a glimpse of a female's ankle are now getting to tune into something (to us) as innocuous as CNN and see "scandalously clad" women reporting on current events. Of course, CNN isn't as bad as it gets. As previously mentioned, they get access to the music videos that the United States (and to an extent, Europe/elsehwhere) produces and other television programming as well, which is where the Britney Spears/Baywatch comment came into play.

Their old ways are under attack, and there are people who are always going to resist change. Some of them are going to be willing to resort to violence to try to stop/reverse the process that is changing their way of life. Right or wrong, that is human nature, nothing more, nothing less.

After all, I always belived that people fought for one of three reasons, mostly in this order:

1) To preserve their own, or their fellows(friends/family), life.
2) To protect their property/livelyhood.
3) To preserve their "way of life."

(Chicken and the Egg time: Aren't those pretty much the same reasons we were giving as to why we're over there, only played on a national/international level? The Taliban harbored people who attacked us, and who had stated their continued desire to do so: #1, 2, and 3. It was claimed that Iraq was hiding a WMD program which if allowed to come to completion would be used to attack the US and/or its allies: #1, 2, and 3)

So we have Hollywood "assaulting" them on item #3. We have the government of the United States supporting policies/taking actions that make them feel threatend in regards to #2.... We could possibly expand #2 to include pratices of US based corportations as well. And we wonder why there are so many educated people out there who are willing to take up arms against the United States of America.

Do keep in mind that the terrorists have no shortage of cannon fodder types running around as well. Areas which are considered terrorist hotbeds/strongholds also typically tend to be areas with very low literacy rates. So ef u cen red thise u must b smrt and shuld b listend 2 bi evrey1.

Add in that even in educated areas, the hardest thing to catch and eliminate is the half-truth and urban-legend because it has some kind of basis in fact(or at least the air of it), and it doesn't take long to weave a tangled of crazy stuff that people will buy into hook line and sinker if nobody gets there to myth-bust in time. (queue long litany of redneck jokes involving how woefully uninformed rednecks are about very basic things for an example of this inside the US)

-----

I think there are people sufficiently skilled in deduction that they can probably continue to reframe the discussion from here.

The "other side" is not working from what we'd consider a "christian inspired background." They are operating from a Koranic background instead. They also hold that Islam is "under attack" by "insidious outside forces." (Though the Jews, followed by the US, seem to be their favorite targets for finger pointing)

Now, if you view yourself as being under attack, and your worldview allows for(or even encourages) the use of violence to solve the matter, but a head on confrontation is going to be a virtually guranteed defeat for you.. What do you do?

I'm generally surprised that people in this forum in particular haven't been a bit more exhaustive in their efforts to "walk in the shoes of their enemy." Than I seem to have seen in here, its like you went halfway, but stopped deciding that halfway was far enough. When it comes to making your "moral decisions" while in their shoes, you stick with own view of things. Rather than trying to fathom a means by which they could rationalize it so they can view their side as the good guys, and your side as being the bad guys.

----

Of course, I guess my take on it is especially unpalatable because if it is correct(I think it is), no change in the policies of the United States Government is going to end the conflict, it may lessen some of the extremes seen, but that is all it is going to do.

Because it still keeps two other American "agitators" out in the field: "Hollywood" (something of a mis-nomer, but it is effectively the "cultural ambasador" of the United States, so I guess "American Culture" could be used in its place.. but Hollywood is a primary agent by which people outside the US get exposed to any portion, however small, of American culture), and the (US based/focused) Multi-national corporations.
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
Remember this?:

Israel PLans Nuke Strike on Iran
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ TheDeamon

You're not really saying anything that most of us don't already recognize, which is exactly why some of us conclude that war is inevitable.

quote:
Of course, I guess my take on it is especially unpalatable because if it is correct(I think it is), no change in the policies of the United States Government is going to end the conflict, it may lessen some of the extremes seen, but that is all it is going to do.
Only conflict will end the conflict and only by proving to some the futility of those memes they carry. I truly wish it were otherwise. I'll be truly happy to be wrong, but until the facts say that I am, indeed, wrong, we need to study our enemy and be prepared to stop him if and when he does something rash.

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
You're not really saying anything that most of us don't already recognize, which is exactly why some of us conclude that war is inevitable.
And bizarrely, why some of us don't. Cultural clashes can be addressed in lots of ways, only one of which involves killing them for their unfathomable inability to see things as we do.
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
Some believe Iran is so stupid a nation it would invite its annihilation.

"We have a bomb!"

'They have several thousand.'

"I know! But now they have to think twice about messing with us."

'Assuming they think once. You know how stupid those crazy Americans are. Great at technology but otherwise dumb as demented rocks.'

"Precisely why we need a bomb. You know how crazy those stupid Americans are."

'And we're not, eh?'

"Who's side are you on, anyway?"

'Survival.'

Two insane morons: USA and Iran. Nations are INCREDIBLY dumb. Delphi groups notwithstanding, more brains does not mean greater aggregate IQ, but rather, less.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
quote:
And bizarrely, why some of us don't. Cultural clashes can be addressed in lots of ways, only one of which involves killing them for their unfathomable inability to see things as we do.
True, Dave, but what some of us are trying to get across to you is not that we shouldn't understand those differences. Rather, that we need to be prepared to something more, should understanding fail.

Hence my point about _preparedness._

Ed.
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
I like The Deamon's method of examining this from Iran's perspective, but I don't think that our conflict with them is entirely linked to Islam's conflict with modernism.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty guarantees Iran the right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology, and they believe (not without justification) that that includes uranium enrichment. The rest of the world thinks Russia should enrich uranium for Iran, but Iran would understandably prefer to be able to sustain its energy sector independently. The US would never agree to export its uranium enrichment to, say, Great Britain, and Iran views itself as equal to the US.

We have essentially told Iran that they must submit to our will before we will negotiate with them, and a proud nation will never agree to that. We have rebuffed their offers of negotiation and refused to make overtures of our own. When their president was a moderate, Clinton refused his offer of an exchange of scholars and artists, similar to Fullbright's exchange with Germany after WWII. There is ample evidence that the US is only interested in regime change, not detente.

Redskull cites Iran's wargames as evidence that they're unreasonable, but I think moving additional carrier groups near Iran's water is far more threatening than wargames. If Iran moved its warships near US waters we would view it as a threat -- why wouldn't Iran see it the same way?

Are they unreasonable for calling us the "Great Satan"? Yes, but they view the "Axis of Evil" as similar.

I'm not a fan of Iran's regime for obvious reasons -- their support of terrorism, their disregard for human rights, their aggressive posturing, etc. But, to paraphrase Rumsfeld, you interact with the Iran you have, not the Iran you wish you had. If they agreed with us on everything there would be no need to negotiate in the first place.

It may be that sanctioning and threatening Iran are the best way to achieve our goals in the Middle East. But let's not pretend that Iran is irrational or unreasonable for viewing us as hostile and threatening.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
Rather, that we need to be prepared to something more, should understanding fail.
Ed, I refer you back to your colorful metaphors and the interpretations you've provided. You are way beyond wanting to be prepared should understanding fail. You've already broken into my house, and are looking for a match to burn it down with, remember? It's pretty clear to me that what you're looking for is your gun.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by EDanaII:
I'm not excluding propoganda, Pete, but even propoganda, alone, will not end the killing. Propoganda is words, killing is action and actions always speak louder than words.

Yes, but as the terrorists have proved, words combined with actions speak loudest than mere actions.

You ever wonder what happened to Mullah Omar? Why did he suddenly go off camera? [Big Grin] Someone put the fear of ignominious death into him.

In a war like this, better to kill or capture ten people in a way that embarasses the hell out of their relatives, then to kill ten thousand people. Make fools, not martyrs. Sting the bastards.


For example: Create a fake recruiting operation, get some stupid kid ready to commit a suicide attack, give him a dud that knocks him out but doesn't harm anyone. Then have him wake up in a spoof of the afterlife that OBL is preaching. See how long you can string the poor sap along thinking that he's in paradise. Broadcast the whole thing on a channel that can't be blocked. And a dozen other creative ideas just like it.

Don't sully the state's hands doing this sort of stuff. I'm proposing that Congress issue letters of marque and reprisal to US investigative journalists and hollywood producers. Give them a few guidelines to keep them from outright terrorism, torture, and severe harm to innocents, but otherwise give them immunity, and promise them tax-free distribution.
 
Posted by TheDeamon (Member # 551) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
quote:
You're not really saying anything that most of us don't already recognize, which is exactly why some of us conclude that war is inevitable.
And bizarrely, why some of us don't. Cultural clashes can be addressed in lots of ways, only one of which involves killing them for their unfathomable inability to see things as we do.
I was speaking of a specific group within Islam:

The group that saw nothing wrong with the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.

For them, there is nothing our government is able to do which would satisfy them. Not only would U.S. Foreign Policy have to go completely isolationist, we'd have to shut down out multi-nationals, and somehow prohibit Holywood(which does most of its production outside US borders already) from putting its merchandise/movies where it could possibly find its way into the Middle East. (Black marketers will make sure that isn't possible)

Basically, its not going to happen.

For that particular, the only thing that is going to work is kill or otherwise neutralize them before they can kill us or otherwise severely disrupt our nations economy(by means of making a major urban area (or areas) of the US a kill zone).

It is a conflict that if handled properly, in particular keeping the more extreme elements in positions where they can't directly disrupt things, it will end with a whimper in 20 to 60 years.

Heck if China is (un)lucky enough to surpass the US and become the worlds largest economy in the next 20 years(and likely begin to become a major cultural center of the world much like the US is now)... It will possibly become more their problem than ours.

Worst case, all the US has to do is work to maintain the status quo between itself and the extremist elements within Islam and make sure they cannot escalate it further. As long as that is accomplished, cultural assimilation will do most the rest of the work and the fight will effectively be over sometime shortly after the middle of this century. (We just have to wait for a lot of the current radicals to die off/realize there is no turning back the clock)

There are things we can do, of a non-military or even law enforcement variety, that could quite possibly speed along the process. But the problem right now is finding the financial and other associated resources needed to pay for it/carry it out, particularly since the military portion is needed and can't simply be cut.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
I was speaking of a specific group within Islam:

The group that saw nothing wrong with the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.

That group, presumably, is not Iran, but the terrorist organization (Al Qaeda) that generated the attack, right?

The group that launched 9-11 should be dealt with using "extreme prejudice". I don't think anyone here would disagree with that. If that had been the focus of our response and had been handled in the time immediately after the attack (1-2 years), the ME would not be experiencing some of the turmoil and dysfunction that it is now. We also would have found ourselves in a stronger position to deal with current events if we had responded to and handled earlier events better.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Sadly, I have to disagree, since AQ relocated into Waziristan. If we'd pursued them into Waziristan in 2002-3, Musharraf would probably have been toppled, India and Pakistan would have launched nukes at each other, and things would be much uglier than they are now. It's what Bin Laden was trying to get us to do.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
I haven't read that that was his objective, though I'm sure that we could have destabilized things pretty badly if we had barged into Pakistan. No reason why we would have had to have done it badly, but that our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan isn't encouraging. John McCain recently dubbed Rumsfeld the worst SecDef in US history. That goes on the shelf next to recent judgments on Bush's handling of foreign affairs.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
quote:
A bus bombing by an almost unknown group on a Revoltionary Guard bus doesn't mean that Iran is on a brink of democratic reform and sudden human rights flowering.
I don't know who suggested it did.

Iran and the West are under assualt by the same enemy, radical Sunni terrorists.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
...and governments in the ME, Africa and Asia are threatened by extreme fundamentalist Shiite groups...
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
Memes, by the way, are vectored by human minds, and reside in human minds, but they feed elsewhere. They feed on, um, their semantic environment. remove the reason a meme can take hold of our minds, and it dies.

Remember the flat earth, y'all? It helped that old Ptolemyists were replaced by newer generations, but those newer generations weren't Ptolemyists because the meme had been exterminated.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Africa and Asia?

Not so much.
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
Bus bombings... on that note:

Iran Says Bus Bombers Have U.S. Links (not that Alex Jones is the most unbiased source of news, but this is a Reuters article)

It's obvious they would blame us regardless of who is responsible; however, IMO, this is something we could and might perpetrate.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ DaveS:
quote:
Ed, I refer you back to your colorful metaphors and the interpretations you've provided. You are way beyond wanting to be prepared should understanding fail. You've already broken into my house, and are looking for a match to burn it down with, remember? It's pretty clear to me that what you're looking for is your gun.
Right... That's why I use phrases like "IF and when" 'cause I'm definitely lookin' to hurt someone _now._ [Wink]


@ Pete at Home:
quote:
In a war like this, better to kill or capture ten people in a way that embarasses the hell out of their relatives, then to kill ten thousand people. Make fools, not martyrs. Sting the bastards.
Well, I certainly won't disagree with that. In fact, if you recall, when Moussawi was sentenced to life in prison, I was all for letting people stand outside his cell, whispering "looser" all day long. [Wink]

Actually, what you suggest sounds like a great idea for a reality TV show. [Big Grin] I'd certainly watch THAT one.

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
stand outside his cell, whispering "looser" all day long.
"I have a gub. Give me all your cash." [Smile] Brings back very fond memories, couldn't resist [Smile]

Jesse: "Not so much"
-- Yes, far from the same threat level, and I shouldn't have introduced it at this point...
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
What right does the President have to wage war when Congress explicitly denies him the authority? From the IHT:
quote:
Senate Democratic leaders intend to unveil a plan next week to repeal the 2002 resolution authorizing the war in Iraq in favor of narrower authority that restricts the military's role and begins combat troop withdrawals.
...
"We gave the president that power to destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and, if necessary, to depose Saddam Hussein," Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joe Biden, D-Del., said of the 2002 resolution, in a speech last week before the Brookings Institution. "The WMD was not there. Saddam Hussein is no longer there. The 2002 authorization is no longer relevant to the situation in Iraq."

With regard to Iran, what can Bush do if the Congress doesn't support him? The War Powers Resolution of 1973 is fuzzy on consultation and reporting to Congress, but clear on Congressional authority:
quote:
SEC. 5. (a) Each report submitted pursuant to section 4(a)(1) shall be transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate on the same calendar day. Each report so transmitted shall be referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate for appropriate action. If, when the report is transmitted, the Congress has adjourned sine die or has adjourned for any period in excess of three calendar days, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate, if they deem it advisable (or if petitioned by at least 30 percent of the membership of their respective Houses) shall jointly request the President to convene Congress in order that it may consider the report and take appropriate action pursuant to this section.

(b) Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 4(a)(1), whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of Untied States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), unless the Congress (1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces, (2) has extended by law such sixty-day period, or (3) is physically unable to meet as a result of an armed attack upon the United States. Such sixty-day period shall be extended for not more than an additional thirty days if the President determines and certifies to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity respecting the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the continued use of such armed forces in the course of bringing about a prompt removal of such forces.

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (b), at any time that United States Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities outside the territory of the United States, its possessions and territories without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization, such forces shall be removed by the President if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution.


 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
Red,

My son half plagerized one of your posts on Iran. He asked me what I thought of the Iran situation and I told him, but I then told him he should read your posts. He did and using parts of them wrote his own two page report. Thanks. You should feel honored.

KE
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
"Rather, that we need to be prepared to something more, should understanding fail."

I thought that was what all them Trident nukes were for.

The new missile gap: we got hundreds and they mmight have one in a few years.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Remind me, Dave, what part of the constitution gives Congress power to enact those particular sections of the War Powers Resolution? Are you aware of what SCOTUS has said on the matter?
 
Posted by TheDeamon (Member # 551) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
"Rather, that we need to be prepared to something more, should understanding fail."

I thought that was what all them Trident nukes were for.

The new missile gap: we got hundreds and they mmight have one in a few years.

Considering the hit our economy took just from the WTC, I really don't want to see what would happen if we lost even part of Manhattan, or LA, Chicago, or any other major urban area.

We may be able to turn their entire nation to glass, but that doesn't mean we want to give people an open invitation to try to glass over even one city block of our territory by means of any kind of high explosives.
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
Interesting article by Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times. (I had to paraphrase it because I read it in the Houston Chronicle, but the NY Times will not let you copy it unless you pay them. I usually don't write such long posts but I think this one is well worth the time it took me to copy it down and will be worth the time it will take you to read it.)

Friedman's thesis is that we have more in common with Iran than not. That talks with Iran could lead to a breakthrough in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere.

quote:
He starts out by pointing out how much more we have in common with Iran than Saudi Arabia, and then he goes on to point out that because we took out two of Iran's main foes, Saddam and al-Qaida, that there is a growing sentiment in Iran to make friends with the US.

Differences in Iran and Saudi Arabia: He (Friedman) contends that Iran actively helped us defeat the Taliban and install a pro-US elected alliance of moderate Muslims. Holds sort-of-free elections. That Iran's women get to vote, hold office, are the majority of its university students and are fully integrated into the work force. Iran was one of the few Muslim nations to hold pro-US demonstrations following 9-11. And though Iran's president denied the holocaust in a recent speech a month later his candidates got wiped out in nationwide elections by voters who preferred more moderate conservatives. He contends that Iran has strategic interest in the success of the pro-U.S. elected Iraqi government. That although it is directly next to Iraq it has never sent any suicide bombers, and has long protected its Christians and Jews. He says Iran has more bloggers than any country in the Muslim Middle East. He points out that the brand of Islam practiced by Iran respects women, is open to reinterpretation in light of modernity and rejects al-Qaida's nihilism (Pete will love that line. [Smile] )

Conversely Saudi Arabia gave us 14 of the 19 hijackers on 9-11. They don't allow their women to drive, vote or run for office. It is illegal in Saudi Arabia to build a church, synagogue or Hindu temple. [And Saudi Arabia helped finance the Taliban.

Saudi Arabia's 'private' charities help sustain al-Qaida. Young men from Saudi Arabia's mosques have been regularly recruited to carry out suicide bombings in Iraq. Mosques and charities in SA raise funds to support the insurgency in Iraq. Saudi Arabia does not want the elected, Shiite led government in Iraq to succeed. While Saudi Arabia's leaders are pro-US, polls show many of its people are hostile to America -- some of them celebrated on 9-11. The brand of Islam supported by SA and exported by it to mosques around the world is the most hostile to modernity and other faiths.

He admits that Iran has engaged in terrorism against the US, and that SA has supported America at key times in some areas. His point is that hostility between the US and Iran since 1979 id not organic. By dint of culture, history and geography, we actually have a lot of interest in common with Iran's people.

Because of our destruction of Saddam and the Taliban former ambassador Davos of Iran said "There is now more readiness for dialogue with the United States."


Friedman states that the most important thing we can do to stabilize the Middle East is not solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but toto resolve the Iran-US conflict. (I have to think Israel-Palestine runs a close second). But he contends the solving of the former would facilitate the solving of the latter! And Iran's help would be invaluable in stabilizing Iraq. (something I think most of us think is a lost cause, neh?)

His keys to negotiating with leverage over Iran are A) To make it clear that Iran can't push us out of the gulf militarily (easily done). B) Bring down the price of oil which is the key to Iran's hardline leaderships cockiness. (How would we do that?) In other words squeeze the hardliners financially. But all of this has to be accompanied with a clear declaration that the US is not seeking regime change in Iran, but a change of behavior, that the US wants to immediately restore its embassy in Tehran and that the first thing we should do is grant 50,000 student visas for young Iranians to study as US universities.

He says if we do that all we have to do is sit back and watch the most amazing debate explode inside Iran. I quote: "You can bet the farm on it." (Which is what we would be doing.)

A question: "(Iran) Has long protected its Christians and Jews"? (Is that true?)

This is the problem; I listen to Ahmadinejad and I want to nuke Tehran, then I read articles about the people of Iran and I want us to talk to them. How can talking hurt? If we don't like what they say we can still nuke them. (Although I don't know if they have "the mother of all armies" I have seen a map and Iran is considerably larger than Iraq. Maybe we've bitten off enough for now and should invite the Iranians to the dinner table to talk while we digest Iraq over a nice bottle of Chianti? Oh right, Muslims don't drink, do they?

Thoughts, comments? Unwarranted insults? [Smile]

KE

[ February 24, 2007, 10:00 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
...what part of the constitution gives Congress power to enact those particular sections of the War Powers Resolution? Are you aware of what SCOTUS has said on the matter?
Pete, it's complicated, I know. So, this is my understanding of the situation regarding the WPR, but correct me if I'm off base here.

A slight history cobbled together from memory, an unfortunately unreliable source...The Chadha case punched a hole in the legitimacy of the original WPR, because the WPR implicitly had given Congress the right to veto something that the President hadn't presented to Congress to pass. Congress responded to the SC with a new piece of legislation to fill in that hole. I don't know of any other significant SC ruling regarding the WPR. I don't think any President has accepted that it is constitutional, but under Congressional pressure, they have accepted Authorization acts from Congress in most if not all major conflicts since the early 80s that implicitly or explicitly refer to its provisions.

The WPR makes sense to me, because Congress is trying to assert its authority over the use of the military in foreign conflicts. The Constitution gives the Congress sole authority to declare war, but isn't clear about when or how they do that. It also gives the Congress the authority to fund the military, but doesn't explain how a president is supposed to get funding authorization for military action overseas outside of a DoW. So, we end up in a state where the President can act unilaterally to engage in a military conflict in response to a threat, but he has to get Congress to act in order to pay for it, usually off the books. Every conflict is unique, so part of what I've said applies to some and not to others.

We end up in the funny position where, practically speaking, the President has to go to Congress for authorization for overseas military action in each separate situation, and they pass a unique bill in each case. All of those authorizations are modeled on or reference provisions in the WPR, but the WPR is not itself used.

So, for Bush to launch open warfare against Iran will require Congressional authorization and funding, but there is no clear process that outlines how he needs to do it. The Congress is both realist and cowardly, so if Bush launches military airstrikes against Iranian facilities without prior notification to Congress, they will probably have to let him have his way, but they (both Dems and Goppers) will be pissed. The only way to prevent that from happening is to pass legislation ahead of time that establishes explicit requirements for him to act, but I wouldn't expect him to respect its provisions, even if he swore he would. As you've pointed out, some people believe we're already in a state of "legal war", so he doesn't need any further authorization anyway.
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
From another article:

quote:
Some Iranians believe Ahmadinejad has been too antagonistic toward the U.S. and its allies. Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in recent weeks has emerged as a high-level advocate of a more conciliatory stance toward the West in the nuclear dispute.
KE
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
KE, thanks for taking the time to collect that info. Friedman was woefully wrong about how events in Iraq would unfold, uttering every three months from April/03 through July/06 that "The next six months will be crucial", until he finally gave up and admitted we lost.

I think he and many neo-con commentators learned a big lesson from their support and even enthusiasm for the war in Iraq. That lesson was basically that we don't have a fkucnig clue how to unravel or solve the problems that region is enmeshed in. It's their history, not their military, diplomatic or commercial relations, that puts them at odds with each other. Notably, in laying out his case for what to do in the article (January/07), nowhere does he talk about Iranian nukes as the issue.

Having indicted Saudi Arabia, he doesn't propose doing anything about them, which I think is wrong. I agree with his policy objective to avoid war with Iran and generally agree with the way we go about it, but I would favor more intense pressure on them.
quote:
...More important, when people say, ''The most important thing America could do today to stabilize the Middle East is solve the Israel-Palestine conflict,'' they are wrong. It's second. The most important thing would be to resolve the Iran-U.S. conflict.

That would change the whole Middle East and open up the way to solving the Israel-Palestine conflict, because Iran is the key backer of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Syria. Iran's active help could also be critical for stabilizing Iraq.

This is why I oppose war with Iran. I favor negotiations. Isolating Iran like Castro's Cuba has produced only the same result as in Cuba: strengthening Iran's Castros. But for talks with Iran to bear fruit, we have to negotiate with Iran with leverage.

How do we get leverage? Make it clear that Iran can't push us out of the gulf militarily; bring down the price of oil, which is key to the cockiness of Iran's hard-line leadership; squeeze the hard-liners financially. But all this has to be accompanied with a clear declaration that the U.S. is not seeking regime change in Iran, but a change of behavior, that the U.S. wants to immediately restore its embassy in Tehran and that the first thing it will do is grant 50,000 student visas for young Iranians to study at U.S. universities...


 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
quote:
"(Iran) Has long protected its Christians and Jews"? (Is that true?)
Christians and Jews are discriminated against in Iran, and pretty much always have been to varying degrees.

They haven't had anything that could remotely be termed a pogrom in a very, very long time.

It's not quite "aparthied", I mean, Christians and Jews can travel, use the same bathrooms, go to university...but they really aren't equal citizens.

Much of the Jewish population of Iran has emmigrated in the last 60 years, there are only 40,000 of them in the country now. I wonder how many Shia'a would be left in Iran, however, if they essentially had a free pass to move to a First World nation.

It's much like the Iranian relationship with the Kurds..."tolerance" in the sense that we use the word wouldn't be accurate...but we're not talking ethnic cleansing or genocide.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
The only way to prevent that from happening is to pass legislation ahead of time that establishes explicit requirements for him to act, but I wouldn't expect him to respect its provisions, even if he swore he would
That's a pretty unlikely hypothetical, since no sitting president in history has ever said or done anything to validate those parts of the WPA, leg alone "swearing to honor them." Even Clinton and Carter, of all people, carefully worded their actions to avoid the possibility of a reasonable informed person coming to the conclusion that they were submitting to the "requirements" of the WPA.
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
"We may be able to turn their entire nation to glass, but that doesn't mean we want to give people an open invitation to try to glass over even one city block of our territory by means of any kind of high explosives."

Open invitation? The new h-BOMB: Hyperbolic Bombast.

I wasn't aware we'd invited anyone to nuke us.

I know this is mere sophistry countering mere sophsitry, but when your sophistry hinges on an expression like "that doesn't mean we want to give people an open invitation to try to glass over even one city block of our territory", it is thereby rendered absurd.

So we're willing to glass over portions of another country, or invade them conventionally, because they *might* blow up 42nd street?

The whole world has lived with our Trident missiles poised among them for decades. The most lethal things on earth.

It has also lived for 50 years (since the Korean War) with our willingness to stick our armies in other's lands, wage bloody hell, botch things up miserable, retreat when the 'botchulism' can no longer be tolerated, congratulate ourselves on 'standing up liberty/human rights', using phrases, like 'pease with honor', worthy of Chinese Tiannemann Square deniers/apologists.

My point here is not to rub our nose in our past wrongs as some justification for wrongs done toward us. (How come no one calls anyone anti-American anymore? Has the hypocritical idiocy of that slur finally rendered it more damaging to the slinger than the slubg-at?).

My point is to show that the same logic, whereby we call nations like Iran "rogue threats", is the same logic they use to justify calling us enemy number one and pursuing nuclear weapons. (Which of course they are. If I were an Iranian, I'd support such measures, at least emotionally.)

I've mentioned before, and now mention again: Bush and Ahmadinejad look like brothers.

Bush is arguably a more popular president in the USA than Ahmadinejad, but not by much. If we put Ahmadinejad and Cheney oin a race, it would be a close contest.


Bush:

Bush 1

Bush 2

Bush 3

Ahmadinejad:

Ahmad 1

Ahmad 2

Ahmad 3

They act alike, too. Obnly Bush is the copycat. Ahmad was calling us Great Satan long before Bush called them Evildoers of the Axis of Terror.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
KE

Thanks. Tell him to send me a copy.
 
Posted by TheDeamon (Member # 551) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
"We may be able to turn their entire nation to glass, but that doesn't mean we want to give people an open invitation to try to glass over even one city block of our territory by means of any kind of high explosives."

Open invitation? The new h-BOMB: Hyperbolic Bombast.

I wasn't aware we'd invited anyone to nuke us.

I know this is mere sophistry countering mere sophsitry, but when your sophistry hinges on an expression like "that doesn't mean we want to give people an open invitation to try to glass over even one city block of our territory", it is thereby rendered absurd.

1) With Iran we have a nation that has a historical tendency to provide military support, at every level it is capable of providing support in, to terrorist forces aligned against Israel.

2) Iran has a government that uses religious overtones in everything it does. It is not outside of reason to believe that at least some of the people in the upper tiers of Government are "true believers" in their faith. Unlike the government USSR which was very overtly Atheistic in nature, Iran's government is overtly theistic in nature.

3) Death holds an entirely different connotation for Iran's government/citizenry than it did the citizenry/government of the USSR. In particular for a religion such as the one Iran espouses, where special rewards are given to those who die while in opposition to "the infidel" the effectiveness of a "we will kill you" policy is somewhat questionable. (Free pass to paradise for everyone in Iran?)

4) The "deterence policy" I was responding back to was pretty much a continuation of the MAD policy employed against the Soviets, only more disproportionate. Basically "If you cause any nuke to go off in our territory, we wipe your nation off the map."

5) If we actually did go through with wiping Iran "off the map" (which I find fairly unlikely), it also would be widely perceived as a genocide against Muslims. So even if we did go through with it, depending on what the goals of the Iranian leadership was in such a situation, they may still have success in one particular goal: The eventual destruction of the United States from both internal(we did just commit genocide on a large scale) and external(nearly a billion pissed off Muslims remaining, I doubt sect is going to matter overly much to them at that point) forces.


....Which is why I said its an open invitation for someone to walk over here and set off a single nuke on us. Either we won't respond as advertised(invitation to potentiall try again later), or we do, and set ourselves up for a fight we really don't want to face. All it takes is someone with a nuke who doesn't view death at the hands of their enemy as a bad thing(for which I think many Islamic movements in the Middle East qualify). Further I'm reasonablly confident that "the powers that be" over in Iran have already put measures in place to help maximize their chances of survival, even if the general population does not.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Apparently, the Cheney railroad is back on the tracks and delivering its cargo. From the LA Times:
quote:
Although international concern is growing about Iran's nuclear program and its regional ambitions, diplomats here say most U.S. intelligence shared with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has proved inaccurate and none has led to significant discoveries inside Iran.

The officials said the CIA and other Western spy services had provided sensitive information to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency at least since 2002, when Iran's long-secret nuclear program was exposed. But none of the tips about supposed secret weapons sites provided clear evidence that the Islamic Republic was developing illicit weapons.

"Since 2002, pretty much all the intelligence that's come to us has proved to be wrong," a senior diplomat at the IAEA said. Another official here described the agency's intelligence stream as "very cold now" because "so little panned out."

Sounds too damned familiar. It doesn't mean that Iran isn't developing nukes, but those who think we have no choice but to attack Iran to stop them from doing so still have to work on their facts before clamoring for us to act.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Oh I like the fact that the IAEA said this week that essentially, the entire Iranian nuclear program is a shock to the IAEA. They are far more advanced than the IAEA ever imagined. They have far more resources than the IAEA thought possible. And most chillingly, because of those two facts the IAEA stated rather bluntly that they cannot determine the size, the level of operations, or the non military nature of the Iranian program.

In other words, the IAEA, even with inspectors on the ground found out that Iran literally fooled the IAEA for 20 years. The intelligence gained by the IAEA is "cold" because all their intelligence indicated a timid and not very advanced Iranian program. The hot truth is that the Iranians essentially have all the componets and raw materials, and are quite capable of operating the program self contained. Meaning that the IAEA has essentially admited that Iran is a full fledged nuclear power and the IAEA cannot determine any peaceful or military nature of the program because it knows almost nothing about the program even after 20 years of oversight.

Aside from the question of whether Iran is using advanced centrifuges, the IAEA has essentially said that Iran is in gross violation of the NNPT and is self admitedly doing things that usually mean only one thing: Iran is building weapons with a radiologcal component. However, the IAEA has said that it's information is only partially confirmed and it cannot comit to a clear and definative conclusion that Iran is building a bomb.

Thats diplomatic doublespeak for saying the IAEA got hoodwinked by the Iranians, but the IAEA doesn't want anyone to draw any conclusions from the fact that the IAEA got hoodwinked, even if the conclusions one could draw from the known facts is that a bomb is perculating along nicely.

The fact that the IAEA was at first surprised that Iran had double the number of currently running centrifuges, and then mortified to learn that Iran plans to have 10 times that many running by early May 2007, shows that in this case the worst case fears have been eceeded far beyond what the IAEA even assumed to be possible. Iran wasn't even suppossed to be anywhere near this capacity.

So when it comes to the capabilities of the IAEa on the ground, they have shown themselves to be keystone Cops. The didn't even take notice of the problem for 20 years. As a famous character in Cassablanca once stated " I'm Shocked! Shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment"

He took his winnings anyway.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Red, you've narrowed your understanding of the situation and drawn your conclusions. But, there's a huge amount of conflicting information out there, leading to confusion and disagreement at the top levels of the US, Britain and other governments about what is happening and what to do about it. The Pentagon is practically in chaos, and Gates is apparently opposed to Cheney on this one. Here's another article that makes clear how divergent the opinions are about what to do and what will happen if we launch a military strike.
quote:
SOME of America’s most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources.

Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learnt that up to five generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack.

“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

A British defence source confirmed that there were deep misgivings inside the Pentagon about a military strike. “All the generals are perfectly clear that they don’t have the military capacity to take Iran on in any meaningful fashion. Nobody wants to do it and it would be a matter of conscience for them.

“There are enough people who feel this would be an error of judgment too far for there to be resignations.”

A generals’ revolt on such a scale would be unprecedented. “American generals usually stay and fight until they get fired,” said a Pentagon source. Robert Gates, the defence secretary, has repeatedly warned against striking Iran and is believed to represent the view of his senior commanders.

The threat of a wave of resignations coincided with a warning by Vice-President Dick Cheney that all options, including military action, remained on the table. He was responding to a comment by Tony Blair that it would not “be right to take military action against Iran”.


 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
"All it takes is someone with a nuke who doesn't view death at the hands of their enemy as a bad thing(for which I think many Islamic movements in the Middle East qualify). Further I'm reasonablly confident that "the powers that be" over in Iran have already put measures in place to help maximize their chances of survival, even if the general population does not."

Replace "Islamic" with 'Pentagon' and "Middle East" with 'USA', and your statement fits in perfectly with Cold War history of American military/foreign policy.

Let's see what happens if I substitute similarly throughout your response:

"1) With America we have a nation that has a historical tendency to provide military support, at every level it is capable of providing support in, to terrorist forces aligned against Iran.

2) America has a government that uses religious overtones in everything it does. It is not outside of reason to believe that at least some of the people in the upper tiers of Government are "true believers" in their faith. Unlike the government USSR which was very overtly Atheistic in nature, America's government is overtly theistic in nature.

3) Death holds an entirely different connotation for America's government/citizenry than it did the citizenry/government of the USSR. In particular for a religion such as the one America espouses, where special rewards are given to those who die while in opposition to "the infidel" the effectiveness of a "we will kill you" policy is somewhat questionable. (Free pass to paradise for everyone in Iran?)"

Only number three fits awkwardly on the USA, but then, it fits awkwardly when you attempt to blanket a population of 66 million people.

Substitution doesn't apply to the remaining two statements:

"4) The "deterence policy" I was responding back to was pretty much a continuation of the MAD policy employed against the Soviets, only more disproportionate. Basically "If you cause any nuke to go off in our territory, we wipe your nation off the map."

I think this is pretty much a opresumed given. Who wants to find out what we'd do under such circumstances?

"5) If we actually did go through with wiping Iran "off the map" (which I find fairly unlikely), it also would be widely perceived as a genocide against Muslims. So even if we did go through with it, depending on what the goals of the Iranian leadership was in such a situation, they may still have success in one particular goal: The eventual destruction of the United States from both internal(we did just commit genocide on a large scale) and external(nearly a billion pissed off Muslims remaining, I doubt sect is going to matter overly much to them at that point) forces."

I think that rumors of Iranian mass suicidal religious psychosis are greatly exaggerated, even among top levels of government.

THe point about SAD (Singularly Assured Destruction) is that it gives the majot nuke power (America) the option of obliterating. A nuclear Iran has the option of inviting its obliteration.

My point in all this is to encourage you to view things from Iranian perspective, to ponder how maybe, just maybe, the interpretations you use to deem them suicidally insane, are also applicable from their point of view to us.

They don't call us the Great Shaitan simply because we're Xtian. THey call us the Great Shaitan because of the previous centuri=y's history of USA/British/European ilitary coercion of their lands and peoples.

The Turks were Muslim (look at their flag sometime) but they were despised too. The reason Muslims cooperated with Western powers in the early 20th century was to remove oppressors from their soil, even though the oppressors were Muslim.

That we are right and they are wrong is not a given in Iran, eh? It's very easy for a leader like Ahmadinejad to convince a large chunk of his people that Americans are dangerously crazy, a nation dominated by Xtian supremacists, who only tolerate Iran because of its oil.

All he has to do is cite numerous quotes by our current presidency and this admiistration, and lay them against the background of American policy/action toward Iran since WWII.

You can justify measures on the basis of what you perceive as Iranian insanity. I say that whatever measures are taken will be far more effective than otherwise if they take into account why much of Iran justifies its measures toward us on the basis of their belief that we're insane and dangerous, and how our treatment of Iran for 60 years does little to refute this belief and much to substantiate it.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Dave

In this case, I could care less what our government is doing or planning to do. My conclusions come from the IAEA report alone.

The summary is simple. The IAEA firstly was hoodwinked for 20 years. Assumptions as to the capabilities of the Iranians proved to be fantastically short of the current confirmed on the ground facts that the IAEA has been able to verify. The Iranian programs are far beyond the preconceptions the IAEA had. The true scope of the program however is currently beyond verification, because essentially the Iranians have only revealed portions of the program after a development or production milestone has been met.

EG the IAEA assumed that Iran may plan on installing centrifuges and refining its own uranium at two specific sites sometime within the next few years. However the IAEA found out that not only were the Iranians already processing uranium, but had been for an extended period of time of at least a year, with a higher capacity than even postulated by the IAEA, and had substantial capacity to ramp up production in a little over 2 months. And the IAEA found out that last tidbit only when the Iranian Foreign Minister announced it to the Press.

All things combined, the IAEA has essentially said Iran is a nuclear power in terms of self sufficiency, production capacity, and technology knowledge. That Iran has yet to put a working commercial power-plant online does not seem to bother the Iranians who apparently just want cheap electrical power. That they are doing verified things that usually mean that military conversion of nuclear technology raises a huge red flag. The IAEA has presented the known scope of the programs, has also stated that it cannot confirm the actual scope of the program. And the IAEA cannot confirm one way or the other if Iran is intent on a peaceful use of nuclear technology, a militarization of the technology, or a combination of the two.

Fact is we have a really limited choice of military options. But the issue isn't what we plan to do in military terms. The issue is do the Iranians pose a true threat in nuclear terms and do they actually intend to follow through on their goals of eliminating the USA and its allies in "great fires"? Given that they have been committed to nuclear development for 20 years, that they did so secretly without oversight until 2002, and the fact that they have steadfastly refused to comply with any IAEA demands, I'd say Iran is a problem. It is also a problem because it seems that their nuclear program isn't set up in priority terms for peaceful uses.

Would you bother refining uranium to fuel grade standards for a civilian power plant that isn't even functional yet, especially when the Russians have said that they would provide you the fuel for free?

If you are planning a peaceful nuclear power program, having another government willingly process fuel for you, and then reprocess spent fuel rods would be the equivalent of getting your electrical energy needs provided for free. Heck the Russians even offered to remove the waste fuel and store it inside Russia so that Iran wouldn't even have to build a radioactive containment storage facility. Instead the Iranians have said "no" and are refining fuel far in advance of need, or even expected need. At this point after $1 billion dollars the Russians may not even finish the nuclear reactor. Which begs the question why does Iran need nuclear fuel if it has a very real expectation that it won't have a functional power plant to use it in?

America had a couple of uranium processing sites running at full tilt long before it had any nuclear power plant that wasn't experimental. And we ran them full tilt for a little more than three years before we had three mounds of enriched fuel. We of course needed a bomb to test at Trinity, as well as enough to make bombs for the Enola Gay and Boc's Car to drop.

So if you need a bomb,first you develop a uranium ore mine, which the Iranians have done even though the ore is low grade and commercially unviable as a fuel source in terms of extraction costs. Then you get the centrifuges running, which the Iranians have, even though the Russians offered to process fuel and fuel rods for free. Get a delivery system, which they have. And then wait long enough to build up a stockpile of weapons grade nuclear stuff.

What has the IAEA said about Iran? Well Iran seems hell bent on expanding and improving its centrifuge processing. Iran just shot a missile into sub-orbital space on Friday, so that pretty much means they got a way to deliver a nuclear horse shoe. The IAEA has also flatly stated that Iranian capacity is far beyond its expected level of development. Iran meanwhile has told the world they have no intention of stopping whatever it is they are doing.

So regardless of what is going on at 10 Downing Street or 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the report filed by the IAEA from Vienna lays out the facts pretty bluntly. Strip away the diplomatic language and what remains is a reality. Iran's nuclear program has far more potential to be a military program rather than a civilian one-even if the IAEA refuses to decide either way.
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
I think that at this stage of the game it's an easily foregone conclusion that Iran wants fast-track capacity toward having a nuke.

Were I an Iranian, I'd be all for it. I would fear the USA (although I would also fear my own government, especially their Persian version of Dubya, Ahmadinejad). I would want to have the means to threaten to not go gentle into that long night. I would want the means to make it really really hurt to storm my ass.

A prime reason we have the fundamentalist syndrome in Islam, and especially in Iran, is because since at least WWII, we have conveniently ignored the international etiquette by which one nation respects another's sovereign nationhood.

Iran/Iranians know this all too well. They knew it well enough before the 1980 revolution, but it is now essential canon of their national narrative.

Perhapos now would be a good time for us to understand that, whatever else Iran/Iranians are/aren't, it is a nation and they are its citizens.

But again, as I said elsewhere: ain't gonna happen. Ain't in our nature any more than it was in that of the Romans.

Number One American foreign policy: **** widdem. And when they **** with us in retaliation, BOMB THE **** OUTTA DEM.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
KL
Are you feeling O.K.?
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
Got the flu but Advil works pretty good. Thanks for asking.

Oh, were you trying to be sarcastic?
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
No I wasn't being sarcastic.
 
Posted by TheDeamon (Member # 551) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
"1) With America we have a nation that has a historical tendency to provide military support, at every level it is capable of providing support in, to terrorist forces aligned against Iran.

The United States fails the italicized portion of the above quote, even in the most paranoid of the conspiracy claims regarding US involvement in an Israeli nuke. (And even then, you're pushing the definition of terrorist to claim the State of Israel as a terrorist organization, considering it is legaly recognized as a state by the UN)

quote:
2) America has a government that uses religious overtones in everything it does. It is not outside of reason to believe that at least some of the people in the upper tiers of Government are "true believers" in their faith. Unlike the government USSR which was very overtly Atheistic in nature, America's government is overtly theistic in nature.
While the politicians are apt to use religious teminology, and express religious views in the course of doing their jobs. The non-political aspects of the government are inherently secular in the US. Even where the politicans blur the line between religion and government, the government is inherently secular in the sense that the government cannot make/issue/support religious decrees.

Iran's government literally is a Theocracy, it may be one with a number of democratic trappings, but it is a Theocracy none-the-less.

quote:
3) Death holds an entirely different connotation for America's government/citizenry than it did the citizenry/government of the USSR. In particular for a religion such as the one America espouses, where special rewards are given to those who die while in opposition to "the infidel" the effectiveness of a "we will kill you" policy is somewhat questionable. (Free pass to paradise for everyone in Iran?)"
The US lacks a religious sect/branch with a sufficiently large pluralirity to be able to set policy by itself. Iran, on the other hand, has one. Further, I'm not aware of any sizeable Christian sects that hold "death while in opposition to a heathen(infidel)" as a free ticket to heaven.

quote:
"5) If we actually did go through with wiping Iran "off the map" (which I find fairly unlikely), it also would be widely perceived as a genocide against Muslims. So even if we did go through with it, depending on what the goals of the Iranian leadership was in such a situation, they may still have success in one particular goal: The eventual destruction of the United States from both internal(we did just commit genocide on a large scale) and external(nearly a billion pissed off Muslims remaining, I doubt sect is going to matter overly much to them at that point) forces."

I think that rumors of Iranian mass suicidal religious psychosis are greatly exaggerated, even among top levels of government.

THe point about SAD (Singularly Assured Destruction) is that it gives the majot nuke power (America) the option of obliterating. A nuclear Iran has the option of inviting its obliteration.

And I'm going to reference back to the alleged Isreali nuke capability. At least one version of which I've heard entailed espionage on the part of Israel by means of playing on some sympathies Americans had for their plight.

If the United States as secular as it is supposed to be, could let one "slip by." What kind of odds do you want to take on Iran being able to keep control over its nukes(or even just the material to make one) when/if they obtain some?

[ February 25, 2007, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: TheDeamon ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Red, my head is spinning a little bit. I do listen carefully to your views (before strongly disagreeing with them). Your opinion about the ineptitude of the IAEA is relatively recent, as a year ago you wrote "I think the IAEA reports as to the Iranian capability is pretty much as unbiased a source as I can produce."

My sense is that your one constant thought is your conclusion about what Iran's intentions are, but the ground keeps shifting underneath you as the Iranians fail to deliver on your dire prophecies. I repeat, respectfully, that your facts don't appear to be any more solid than those being reported from a wide variety of sources that disagree with you, as well as with each other.

We all agree that the Iranians are heading toward developing a nuclear weapon. We don't know that they'll get there, when they'll get there, or what they would intend to do with it once they had it. Intense pressure should be brought to bear on them, but insisting they are evil increases the threat, and clamoring for a devastating military preemptive strike raises it even more. I said earlier that our fierce rhetoric (Cheney's, not yours) may make the war that we supposedly want to avoid happen.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
The IAEA is the least biased source I can find. And it isn't ineptitude on the behalf of the IAEA, rather it is intentional Iranian concealment and secrecy that has caught the IAEA with its pants down.

And the IAEA knows that has been the case.

It isn't a case of shifting sands. Rather my argument that Iran is getting the bomb and living up to what it has said about its rights to a bomb hasn't changed yet. It has become more refined in the last five years, but it hasn't moved away from a central point-Iran is getting the bomb all by itself.

Its a case of simple math. Given X amount of Uranium yellow-cake produced from Iranian mines that are confirmed to exist, and given a now minimum of 3000 centrifuges running 24/7 how long will it take to produce enough enriched uranium for a single warhead? Given that the Iranian centrifuges are home made, and are apparently capable last year of nearly double the refining capability expected by the IAEA, the case may already exist that they have at least one nuke.

With the assumed additions being made to the farms with the upgraded centrifuges the IAEA suspects to exist, you may have to take nearly 105 off the time it takes to refine the uranium.

Up until a few months ago, many people were still arguing that Iran either didn't have anything close to a functional nuclear program or they were arguing that Iran wouldn't possibly build a bomb. It is nice to know that you now say everyone agrees with me that they are indeed committed to a weaponized nuclear program. That a few decades of diplomatic pressure and economic embargoes has done nothing to stop them should give us pause. What more can we bring to bear in terms of nonviolent and diplomatic penalties against them? And since we are already scraping the bottom of the diplomacy and economics barrel, aside from my economic disappearing dollar tactic, what else do we have left to through against the wall?

The facts are pretty solid, especially since they are the verified facts presented by the IAEA. That the IAEA doesn't cross the diplomatic lines and directly state Iran is building a weapon system has more to do with the fact that the IAEA is leaving up to the Security Council to make the final conclusions. So pretend your reading the unbiased IAEA report, and you also happen to be the Security Council. After reading the report, could you reasonably conclude Iran is building a peaceful nuclear power program?

The Iranians have been delivering on my dire predictions, and have repeatedly surpassed even my worst case scenarios. At this point whether they are "evil" is no longer relevant. They don't consider themselves evil. Frankly they are on the verge of becoming the first Islamic nation in the Middle East to hold the ultimate power-broker chip. From their point of view, its almost a resurgence of the Persian Empire. It also means we have to decide what to do about it.

Which again brings us back to the central issue of this thread. Knowing that it is at least 51% likely that Iran intends to build a bomb, what can or should we do? And how long do we wait to do something?

So what do you disagree with? Is the IAEA wrong about the finding on the ground in Iran? Is the bias towards military development at the expense of peaceful development not supported by their facts? Is it possible that Iran's cascades really aren't running, and Iran has no uranium ore mines? Does it take an infinite time to refine uranium to weapons grade level? Was it not this time last year when Iran announced it had already produced a 2% concentration, and expected to double the purity level percentage weekly?

Since everything the Iranians have announced has turned out to be verified by the IAEA, 52 weeks of 2% concentration has to at least give them one fuel rod's worth of uranium ready to go into a non-existent reactor. Do you expect them to test a device without having further uranium availible to build other bombs?

Or do you think, as I do, that they would wisely stockpile enough for at least three or four devices before showing the world they have gone atomic?

Your head may be spinning because apparently I was right. Now how do we avoid a military engagement? And we better come up with the answer quickly because the geopolitics of the Middle East and Europe are about to fundamentally shift in the very near term.
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
"we don't have a fkucnig clue"

Excellent hack.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
fkucnig wroks!
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Which is all very funny, but the question still remains.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
In all seriousness, the only ideas left on the table are do nothing, stop Iran by economic means, shift our conventional forces into Iran, use conventional weapons to take their nuclear program out, or use nuclear weapons to take their nuclaer program sites out.

No one has any more comentary or solutions?
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
We can't do nothing. Human nature oprevents it. We can't stop them by economic means, not with oil so scarce even Iran is cnsidering rationing it among themselves. The latter two choices are euphemisms for Starting A Big-Ass WAR.

I ask for the umpteenth time on this forum: are we ready for a return of the draft? For an economy dominated by the Pentagon?

Only this time, the Pearl Harbor that starts it is one of our making?
 
Posted by TheDeamon (Member # 551) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
We can't do nothing. Human nature oprevents it. We can't stop them by economic means, not with oil so scarce even Iran is cnsidering rationing it among themselves. The latter two choices are euphemisms for Starting A Big-Ass WAR.

I ask for the umpteenth time on this forum: are we ready for a return of the draft? For an economy dominated by the Pentagon?

Only this time, the Pearl Harbor that starts it is one of our making?

There is stuff the US could overtly to do within its own borders that could offset it, but the problem, as always, is who pays for it. As well as the ever on-going argument on how involved government should be in the process.

Change the one time $2,000 tax credit for hybrid vehicles. Make the $2,000 tax credit available to anyone purchasing a vehicle with a highway(or city, for the hybirds with regenerative braking tech) MPG rating of 40+ Miles Per Gallon. Provide progressively bigger tax breaks for vehicles with higher fuel efficiency standards.

Provide significant tax breaks for corporations that are fielding technologies which "significantly improve" fuel efficiency standards for vehicles they are installed in.

Provide tax breaks to incentivize people/corporations to potentially retrofit existing vehicles.

Dump a LOT of money into R&D efforts to help in research involving those areas. (DoD has best justification for that, forces that require less oil = forces with a smaller logistics "tail" behind them)

Develop "Superhighway 2.0" to supplant/replace the current interstate highway system currently in use. Of course, this one would likely take as long/longer to roll out as the initial version did = about 50 years. But first people working in the transit sector need to get a little more creative where mass transit systems are concerned. I think we do have the technology for a reasonably hybridized "world of tommorow - 1930s World's Fair edition" mass transit system.

They just have a mental road block to overcome, then they have to sell it to the right people. Namely in that the form of mass transit may not exactly be "mass transit" in the typical sense, and it wouldn't be door to door per say. =P

Home -> Transit Station -> Board the "transit vehicle" by driving your vehicle onto it -> Commence high speed express transit(no stops in between) to your destination transit station -> drive car off "transit vehicle" -> Complete the transit to your ultimate destination.

-- Maybe that nice economical pure electric vehicle with a 100 mile range is more than adequate to the task of a 60 mile round-trip communte + some other stops along the way.. Just don't drive all the way to work. Which brings an interesting point up, such a system doesn't neccessarily need to have "high capacity/priority" universal vehicle support(some support would be needed at first, or the thing would probably never really catch on/become self-sustaining). You could probably provide that to certain types of "certified vehicles"(to cut back on logictics issues with trying to support the 11,323,156 different size/wieght configurations current vehicles come in). Maybe those "certified vehicles" also could have a means to passively "plug in" to the transit vehicle, so the user can run their Air Conditioner/Radio/etc without having to leave their engine on. =P
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
...are we ready for a return of the draft? For an economy dominated by the Pentagon?
Once we begin merely contemplating a true global war against whatever-the-enemy-is, we need to reinstitute the draft and revisit our budget priorities, and possibly even consider changes to our industrial infrastructure, as we did in WWII. Rumsfeld has proven that no war against a determined enemy can be expected to be a small war, and no war can be won from a distance against an enemy who is able to reach out through guerrilla or terrorist tactics. Thus, millions of soldiers may need to fight, and the war may last a long time, with major devastation to our economy.

[Edited to add: TD, good ideas!]

[ February 27, 2007, 02:40 PM: Message edited by: DaveS ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"Rumsfeld has proven that no war against a determined enemy can be expected to be a small war"

Proven? So suddenly now you're calling Rumsfeld the ideal tactician?
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
Of course true Green energy and getting us off the petrol teat would go a long way to helping out; however, that's a long term solution. Let's say 10 years of an all-out effort to cut 50% of our petrol usage in the USA.

In the mean time, they still are building and then have the bomb. Now, I think they don't want to get leveled any more than the Soviets did, so while it won't be MAD in the sense of how it was in the cold war, we'll have us an old-fashioned Mexican standoff.

However, you take away their #1 funding and you cut the funds for them doing much harm to us, yet you also will massively destabilize the region. Governments will fall and there will probably be a fair amount of regional civil wars. Today this wouldn’t effect us much, but when some of those destabilized states has nukes, it makes it a whole different discussion.

If we were going to have an all out push for proper green - I say proper as in really clean, not this quasi-green hybrid stuff that isn’t very green at all, then we also better have a good economic plan to let the states that make most of their income from petrol down easy. Not sure how to do that, but it would be in our best interest – particularly if said states have the nukes.

Not a bad long term plan – I’ve been thinking it’s a good idea to kill 2 birds with one stone, but it’s not going to help us solve the Iranian question in the next few years.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Now, I think they don't want to get leveled any more than the Soviets did
I think you're wishful thinking. The Soviets were not committed to martyrdom and holy war; they stopped short of calling us the great Satan. Stalin was a sociopath, not a psychopath. You could appeal to his sense of self-preservation. Hell, Mao's physician reported an eyewitness account of an exchange where Mao griped at Stalin for refusing to use Nukes against the West.

I think that they won't use nukes directly, at least at first, but that's less to do with self-preservation than a desire to do more damage in the long term. Aminajab's cult seriously believes that sowing chaos in the world will bring about God's direct intervention; that would make Aminajab something of a John the Nuclear Baptist, preparing the way for some strange new Messiah.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
"so while it won't be MAD in the sense of how it was in the cold war, we'll have us an old-fashioned Mexican standoff."

Not quite. In an "Iranian standoff," the Mexican standoff aspects only apply to nukes. Meanwhile bullets do fly and escalate to chemical weapons, biological weapons, and dirty bombs while we hold back on the actual nukes.

Another aspect of a Mexican standoff that does apply: someone eventually does shoot ... it's inevitable. The web is too thick and inextricable for everyone to get out alive.
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
Yet we had MAD with the Soviets for years. Hell, we technically still have it with Russia.

My one divergence with what seems to be the general opinion here is - fundamentalists or no - I don't think Iran as a state has a death wish nor do I think they have any illusions about what would happen if we do invade. In their own way, I think they are rational. I’m not even incredibly worried about them having a nuke today. Tomorrow if and when we attack, or tomorrow if and when they destabilize, then yes, it’s a big worry.

Seems to me they are merely following the North Korea model - rattle the saber until the last minute, then back down and take the bribes to be quiet again until next time. NK has learned to play that one very well, why shouldn't Iran try it?

Of course, there isn't a thing we want or need from NK, while there's plenty we'd like to get hold of from Iran, so maybe the NK play won't work out so well after all.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
jm, seems to me that it's inconsistent of you to condemn what we did in NK, and yet call for accomodation with Iran.

I think NK was a success because of the PRC's involvement; I think that blatant politics is all that prevents the news from recognizing that, and if Iran was a vassal state to another country like NK essentially is to the PRC, that would be an excellent model.
 
Posted by TheDeamon (Member # 551) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jm0397:
However, you take away their #1 funding and you cut the funds for them doing much harm to us, yet you also will massively destabilize the region. Governments will fall and there will probably be a fair amount of regional civil wars. Today this wouldn’t effect us much, but when some of those destabilized states has nukes, it makes it a whole different discussion.

You take away their #1 source of funding, and their governments collapse, it will cause for some concern at first, as they have a lot of money reserves built up over the past several decades.

But after a few years of fighting over there, it will be treated like a civil war in Africa, South America, or South East Asia. Some concerned people will try to stop the fighting, but by and large, most of the world won't really care.

Of course, there are other other long-term reasons to push for the US "going green." If we develop the technology, we own it, everyone else wanting to use will be paying us for it, as well as likely ongoing support of it. Great economic engine for us. Further, as we effectively still are the world's economic engine, we set the standard for everyone else. If our stuff is hyper-efficient with use of fossil fuels, most other (first-world) nations won't be far behind.

The South China Sea is currently a shooting gallery in waiting right now, lots of unexploited natural resouces(including crude) there. But it isn't being explored extensively because it is locked in terrirotorial disputes between Vietnam, China, Japan, and a few other nations.

The less need they have for fossil fuels, the less rason they have to start a war over that area when one side decides the NEED those resources.

quote:
If we were going to have an all out push for proper green - I say proper as in really clean, not this quasi-green hybrid stuff that isn’t very green at all, then we also better have a good economic plan to let the states that make most of their income from petrol down easy. Not sure how to do that, but it would be in our best interest – particularly if said states have the nukes.

Not a bad long term plan – I’ve been thinking it’s a good idea to kill 2 birds with one stone, but it’s not going to help us solve the Iranian question in the next few years. [/QB]

Well, that quasi-hybrid thing has its own technical issues. Mostly in relation to handling/securing cars/trucks/vans on a platform of any kind and being certain they can be safely transported across any kind of distance at any kind of speed. But that partially why I mentioned "certified vehicles" having special considerations, they'd presumeably have most of those "safety issues" addressed as an inherent part of the vehicles construction/design vs a car found on the road right now.

Examples:

A) Nothing can be done passively to stop a driver from putting their car in neutral and disengaging the brakes on their car once driven onto a "flat platform" which would be problematic if that platform should suddenly accelerate/decelerate for some safty related reason, or if the platform w/car simply traveled across some kind of incline/decline.

B) Alternately, driver placing the car in drive(or reverse), gunning the engine and simply driving their car off the front or back of the platform while in transit.

At least with a "certified car" they could possibly have more inherent safety measures in place such as the cars onboard computer takes control of the transmission, forces the car into park until at the destination, engages the parking brake for more passive safety, and is able to engage the normal braking system in the event the travel platform informs it that a sudden (emergency) deceleration is coming just to help make sure that in the ultimate worst case situation, the car slides off rather than rolls off.

This problem is a big contributing factor as to why Amtrak doesn't like the idea of people being able to access their cars while riding the Auto-Train. Their people load the car on the train, their people manually secure the car once loaded onto the train, their people unload the car once at its destination. (At least from my understanding, I've never actually used it) The big technical restraint on an idea even remotely resembling what I proposed right now is finding a "user friendly" means of making the Car on Road -> Can on Train -> Car on Road interface work. (Well, that and with the Auto-Train format, you spend 16.5 hours in transit. Nobody seriously wants to be trapped inside their car for that long of a streatch continously with no way to get out.)

And that methodology can be quite green. The certified vehicle can be all electric. The Transit mechanisim could be electrified light rail/maglev/something else, running off a Nuke plant somewhere. Heck, for the certified vehicle might be able to use transit time as charge time.

The other thing is that since the "vehicles" that are actually moving within this closed system are pure passenger cars, or auto-carriers, the stopping and aceleration charactistics of everything moving within that system is known and controllable. It actually would be borderline stupidity to not have them networked together passing information to each other.

Basically it lacks a lot of problems that even a convoy, or otherwise "beefed up" variation of adaptive cruise control could acheive on public roads today because they're sharing the road with human drivers, and currently have no means to reliably communite with other vehicles(nevermind actually being able to figure out which vehicle is actually in front of them while negotiating a curve in the road)... And because entry/exit to system is able to be even more finely controlled, there is less general need to accelerate/decelerate to adjust to traffic levels/patterns, so other energy efficiencies could be found. Though you still have the issue of a converyance mechanisim of probably at least one ton being used to convey another vehicle around. So there is an extra ton of weight to move around than would have been present if they just stuck to the public roads.

[ February 27, 2007, 05:36 PM: Message edited by: TheDeamon ]
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
If the US stopped using oil in the medium term, there will be more than enough demand from China and India to offset the loss. There might be a short term fall in price, but that would just encourage Asian dependence on the resource.
 
Posted by TheDeamon (Member # 551) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
If the US stopped using oil in the medium term, there will be more than enough demand from China and India to offset the loss. There might be a short term fall in price, but that would just encourage Asian dependence on the resource.

Thing is, US goes off of an oil based economy, particularly because we've made it economically viable to use non-oil based alternatives to transportation. It WILL be adopted in Europe and Japan in fairly short order.

China and India are starting to have a fairly prosperous class of people who can afford things like automobiles. However when it comes to buying cars, most of their cars are going to come from outside their borders. IE: Japan/Europe in particular, the US to a lesser extent.

If all they're making/designing in those contries is fuel efficient vehicles, that is what the people in the third world nations are going to be getting as well.

The hurdle is getting the technology to the point where it is widely accepted, and widely produced. The third world may be years/decades behind us in many things, but the technology being used in their vehicles is not one of those areas.

Though admitedly, they tend to buy more from the "value" end of the product line... but that is kind of the point I'm trying to make, if the more efficient tchnologies are created/deployed to the point that the "value" line of vehicles come with it, it will phase its way into the third world at a pace not much slower than what we'll find over here.

[ February 27, 2007, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: TheDeamon ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
Proven? So suddenly now you're calling Rumsfeld the ideal tactician?
Far from it, but he nevertheless has demonstrated what happens when you send in an overmuscled, yet underpowered force to fight an enemy that won't fight by the same set of rules and refuses to stand still to be killed. We don't have enough bombs to "kill the memes" from the air, so what do you suggest?
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
quote:
However when it comes to buying cars, most of their cars are going to come from outside their borders. IE: Japan/Europe in particular, the US to a lesser extent. - TheDaemon
Actually, quite the opposite: from news.xinhuanet.com
quote:
China will become world's biggest auto manufacturing center worldwide in the next three to five years, said leading European consultant organization Capgemini
According to Wikipedia(article), China produces more cars annually than all but 3 other countries, producing almost half the number of cars as either the US or Japan. India is far behind (12th place) but their industry is also growing.

Point being, these countries will soon have more cars on the road than North America, and China's need will more than support Iran if the US cuts itself off.

Unless these new non-petroleum based vehicles end up being cheaper to manufacture and run than ones based on the 'classic' technology (taking into consideration the price-pressures due to new technology) 2nd and 3rd world countries will continue to use the former.
 
Posted by TheDeamon (Member # 551) on :
 
Point taken, I knew they had an auto industry coming online, didn't know it was that progressed.

The non-oil alternative is probably going to be a more technicaly complex vehicle, which all things considered is likely to keep it out of some parts of the world, as they can't afford to pay for someone with the level of training and associated equipment needed to service them properly.

Complexity and government incentives aside, I don't think that a less oil-intensive automobile is going to rally catch on in the US unless it is clearly more economical to operate, and doesn't have any other serious drawbacks. Basically all the incentives third world buyers would be looking for when buying a car as well. Their Automakers will adjust their production priorities accordingly as the technology becomes more approachable to more of the people in their country.

But then, I'd be pushing it from the National Security angle for the United States. If we could cut our need for Oil down to the point where we were largely self-sufficient again... At that point I don't really care what happens in the middle-east or other oil producing regions. It may be a fungible commodity and as such cause price spikes in the US, but when push comes to shove on the international stage, it isn't our energy(and by extension, economic) security directly on the line at that point.

[ February 27, 2007, 09:38 PM: Message edited by: TheDeamon ]
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
Pete, I didn't condemn our actions in NK, I merely called our "economics and assistance" package by another name.
What else do you call a boat load of money and things they need in return for doing something we don't want them to do? Quid-pro-quo might be more tasteful, but a bribe by any other name…

Anywho, I wasn't speaking to our actions, but looking at it from NK's point of view. They have used that technique several times now, so it stands to reason that Iran might be working the same angle.

-------

On the alternative energy thing, it's nothing more than simple economics - supply and demand and the cost of production and shipment. If alt energy is cheaper than oil, and the cars or vehicles or power generation equipment is at least equal to a similar petrol burning machine, then people will stop using oil.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
yes and no, jm. When demand for oil falls (because of cheapness of alternative energy) then the price of oil will also fall due to lack of demand. Unless the price of oil falls below the cost of manufacture and distribution (or the price of oil processing and distribution exceeds that for alt energy delivery) it will still be used.

Regardless, it's highly unlikely that

 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
So there is no solution at all other than we simply wait for Iran to do whatever it is that they are planning or going to do?

Given that even if we suddenly became the most energy independent and green nation in the industrialized world, we would be unlikely to accomplish such a feat in even five years & the very fact that we are doing so may be taken as a direct threat to Iran makes it more likely that Iran may feel compelled to redouble its efforts to at least become a nuclear energy power.

Is this the best solution we have? No solution?
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
General Allenby (the fictitious version of the Lawrence of Arabia screenplay) in response to:

"We can't just do nothing."

says this:

"Why not? It's usually best."
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Yes and Allenby turned out to be wrong, even in the film version.
 
Posted by Kent (Member # 832) on :
 
Awwww SNAP.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jm0397:
Pete, I didn't condemn our actions in NK, I merely called our "economics and assistance" package by another name.
What else do you call a boat load of money and things they need in return for doing something we don't want them to do? Quid-pro-quo might be more tasteful, but a bribe by any other name…

I have no problem with Bribing iran to not develop nukes, providing that the deal could be ENFORCED. Unfortunately, there is no way. If Bush had done what the Euros and lefties had wanted, this deal with NK and China would never have happened. Everyone wanted the US to meet alone with NK, and that would have meant no enforceable deal.
 
Posted by kenmeer livermaile (Member # 2243) on :
 
"Yes and Allenby turned out to be wrong, even in the film version."

Compared to ??? Ousting the Arabs who'd just f9ought half his war for him? Never mind reality. Even in the film version?

Hardly. He sat back and let the fires burn themselves out. The Arabs left of their own.

That done, he was able to tidy up Damascus.

I'm talking, of course, about the movie. Did we see the same one?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
If Bush had done what the Euros and lefties had wanted, this deal with NK and China would never have happened. Everyone wanted the US to meet alone with NK, and that would have meant no enforceable deal.
What enforceable deal are you talking about? This was only an agreement to negotiate toward specific objectives. Those goals are essentially the same ones that the "lefties" (i.e., Clinton's people) negotiated long ago, with the same problems. Also, don't forget that a lot of people in the Administration were opposed to or are suspicious of this kind of deal, like Cheney and John Bolton.
quote:
...But the agreement, [Darryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington] adds, is only the beginning of a difficult road ahead. The accord "fails to do what the 1994 agreement framework also failed to do - and that is to really settle the issue of North Korea's insistence on light-water nuclear energy capabilities."

It essentially "kicks the issue down the road," he says. He adds that "this may be the wise way to deal with it" for now. "But it's still something - a big thing - they will need to tackle."

It's a step forward, but we're not there yet.

[ March 06, 2007, 12:03 AM: Message edited by: DaveS ]
 


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