This is topic "Republicans Warn Iran -- and Obama -- That Deal Won't Last" in forum General Comments at The Ornery American Forum.


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Posted by philnotfil (Member # 1881) on :
 
How is this in any way acceptable? Dealing with other countries is the responsibility of the executive branch, not the legislative branch. Actively undermining the work of the executive branch? That moves dangerously close to treason. No matter how much we disagree with him, Obama is still the president.

bloombergview.com

quote:

A group of 47 Republican senators has written an open letter to Iran's leaders warning them that any nuclear deal they sign with President Barack Obama's administration won’t last after Obama leaves office.

Organized by freshman Senator Tom Cotton and signed by the chamber's entire party leadership as well as potential 2016 presidential contenders Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, the letter is meant not just to discourage the Iranian regime from signing a deal but also to pressure the White House into giving Congress some authority over the process.

quote:
Many inside the Republican caucus, however, hope that by pointing out the long-term fragility of a deal with no congressional approval -- something Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also noted -- the Iranian regime might be convinced to think twice. "Iran's ayatollahs need to know before agreeing to any nuclear deal that … any unilateral executive agreement is one they accept at their own peril,” Cotton told me.
Congress ratifies treaties. The president negotiates them. We can't just pick and choose which parts of the constitution to live by.

[ March 09, 2015, 09:56 AM: Message edited by: philnotfil ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
How is this in any way acceptable?
It's not. But Republicans seem determined to stomp all over any illusion of basic federal functionality.

[ March 09, 2015, 10:33 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Unless something else is happening of which we're unaware?
 
Posted by philnotfil (Member # 1881) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Unless something else is happening of which we're unaware?

If there was something else happening that would necessitate the legislative stepping over the executive, wouldn't it also necessitate impeachment?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
How is this in any way acceptable? Dealing with other countries is the responsibility of the executive branch, not the legislative branch. Actively undermining the work of the executive branch? That moves dangerously close to treason. No matter how much we disagree with him, Obama is still the president.
Crafting new immigration law is the responsibility of the legislative branch, but that didn't stop Obama did it? It's not even in dispute that was he is doing is wrong, there are videos of himself saying he can't do what he is doing. He just doing it because the GOP doesn't have 2/3 of the Senate.

They are dealing with a lawless President who is now negotiating with a terrorist regime that has slaughtered America and her allies. Imagine how the democrats might react if Bush started negotiating with Osama bin Laden.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
there are videos of himself saying he can't do what he is doing
*sigh* You're just going to keep shamelessly misrepresenting this, aren't you? Do you even know that's what you're doing, or have you completely internalized this falsehood through repetition despite repeatedly being contradicted by fact on this point?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Obama's own former cabinet members are getting on TV and also admitting he is doing what he said he couldn't do before.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Are there any tactics employed against Obama that republicans will deem inappropriate when used by a democratic congress against a republican president?
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
Are there any that wouldn't be? [Smile]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
" Dealing with other countries is the responsibility of the executive branch, not the legislative branch"

Wrong. Read Article One. The Senate shares that responsibility.

if you want to see a case of undermining negotiations, look at Bill Clinton before he became President.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
I actually think Reagan provided the textbook example. With Iran, even.
 
Posted by philnotfil (Member # 1881) on :
 
According to the constitution, the legislative branch deals with foreign countries in the following ways:
quote:
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
quote:
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
Neither of which seems relevant to this conversation. What did I miss?
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
I didn't realize it was news that Republicans had no intention of sticking to commitments made by previous administrations or congresses.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Are there any tactics employed against Obama that republicans will deem inappropriate when used by a democratic congress against a republican president?

If you can find a Republican President who engages in such blatant Constitutional overreach, I'll back calling him to account myself. Of course, a Republican President would have been impeached or forced to resign over the same amount of reckless overreach.

That said, our system is broken. We clearly don't have a remedy for the collusion of a President who acts unconstitutionally and the party first loyalty of a minority of US Senators who refuse to do their duty to Congress and the American people to rein him in. This precedent the Democrats are setting really should scare you.

It is not a good system to have an executive that believes any action that they take, unless someone can stop them, must in be legal and proper.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
Neither of which seems relevant to this conversation. What did I miss?

quote:
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur
You missed the definition of the President's authority including limitations thereon.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Are there any tactics employed against Obama that republicans will deem inappropriate when used by a democratic congress against a republican president?

If you can find a Republican President who engages in such blatant Constitutional overreach, I'll back calling him to account myself. Of course, a Republican President would have been impeached or forced to resign over the same amount of reckless overreach.
Because Patriot Act, CIA torture, and NSA mass surveillance were so constitutional.


quote:
It is not a good system to have an executive that believes any action that they take, unless someone can stop them, must in be legal and proper.
True, although city governments do exactly the same thing, as does more or less anyone who is not forced to stop by someone more powerful.
 
Posted by philnotfil (Member # 1881) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
Neither of which seems relevant to this conversation. What did I miss?

quote:
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur
You missed the definition of the President's authority including limitations thereon.

That is from Article Two, Pete directed me to examine Article One.

The Senate can advise the president, and any treaty made by the president has to be ratified by the Senate, but I don't see anything there that involves the Senate stepping into treaty negotiations.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Seriati, how about when Cheney deared that the vice presidency was a fourth branch of government. How does that compare to what Obama has done? Or when Nixon imposed wage and price controls? Or Truman nationalized the steel industry?
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Because Patriot Act,

Which is a law passed by Congress is it not? Not a executive action at all. But even still, there are some elements, which are agree are unconstitutional, even more that are a bad idea, and some parts that make sense.
quote:
CIA torture,
Don't think I've ever called for anything but criminal charges on this one, and disputed it both as a policy and the rationales behind it. Same as I disputed the pre-emptive war doctrine of the past administration, and the executive war powers overreach of this one.
quote:
and NSA mass surveillance were so constitutional.
I'm on record all over the place opposing the NSA surveillance. On record stating its unconstitutional as well.
quote:
quote:
It is not a good system to have an executive that believes any action that they take, unless someone can stop them, must in be legal and proper.
True, although city governments do exactly the same thing, as does more or less anyone who is not forced to stop by someone more powerful.
I'm aware of the tactic at the city level. They use the disproportion between their ability to make rules (essentially free) and every one else's to get them removed (years of expensive litigation if you're lucky, and then they just reissue the rule with a tiny modification).

It's a fundamental flaw of our government, that the framers built in on a belief that the citizen's that followed them would honestly try to act within the bounds of the Constitution so they didn't put in reasonable tools to force them to do so.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I actually think Reagan provided the textbook example. With Iran, even.

Or Nixon with Saigon.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Seriati, how about when Cheney deared that the vice presidency was a fourth branch of government.

Don't know what "deared" means? Declared? I certainly don't remember such a declaration. I know he's somekind of boogey man for the left, but I don't really recall him actually overstepping his authority in any context.
quote:
How does that compare to what Obama has done?
How can any action of the Vice President compare to an act of the President? And why is it relevant here?
quote:
Or when Nixon imposed wage and price controls?
Under a law that authorized him to do exactly that? Congress delegates the implementation of all kinds of things to the executive branch and its agencies, is that even up for debate?
quote:
Or Truman nationalized the steel industry?
Didn't the court put a halt to that swiftly by ruling he didn't have authority? Not sure what your point is on that. I wouldn't agree that the President has that authority.

I don't get your beef. What rule is the Senate violating here? Other than custom? And the President has shattered custom on his own part by the degree he refuses to invite their participation or even consult with them, even knowing he'd have to get their support of a treaty.

Instead, what we can expect him to do is to negotiate a treaty and call it something other than a treaty and assert he can enforce it. Which again is an unconstitutional act beyond his authority.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Something interesting that several news sources have pointed out. John Kerry, our secretary of state, has registered lots of outrage over this letter and claims it is unprecedented.

Apparently Mr. Kerry seems to forget that when he was a Senator, he purposefully traveled to Nicaragua to negotiate with the despotic regime there and undercut President Reagan's foreign policy in direct contravention to what Reagan was doing and trying to accomplish. If anyone is guilty of treason and/or violating the Logan Act it would be Secretary Kerry, not these 47 republicans who merely wrote a letter stating their belief about their constitutional powers.

What utter hypocrisy. Same goes for the idiot dem legislators who went to Baghdad in 2002 before the Iraq invasion and did the same thing with Saddam. Why isn't 'Baghdad' Jim McDermott in jail?

[ March 12, 2015, 01:39 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
If anyone is guilty of treason and/or violating the Logan Act it would be Secretary Kerry, not these 47 republicans...
I don't see why both aren't possible.
But, hey, let's briefly move past the "your side did it, too!" equivalences, Seneca, and get your opinion on the act. Is it a good thing, in your view, that this letter was sent? Should Congresspeople be deliberately undermining the President's foreign policy if they believe that foreign policy is misguided, or is that a selfish and potentially dangerous approach to internal politics? I'm curious how you feel about this when painted in broader strokes.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
The suggestion that they are equivalent is insane.

One was a letter simply describing the Senate's Constitutional role in ratifying treaties.

The other was Kerry physically traveling to a foreign country to attempt to negotiate a separate, specific arrangement with a hostile foreign leader that the Reagan administration was dealing with at the time. Only one is a clear violation of the Logan Act, and that was Kerry's action.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I actually think Reagan provided the textbook example. With Iran, even.

absolutely agreed, Tom. and in past discussions when republicans gripe about obama or clinton violating separation of powers, that's the example i bring up. when dems gripe about Republicans doing it, i bring up Clinton. you see, I have this queer notion that it's bad to violate the Constitution regardless of what party you are.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
The suggestion that they are equivalent is insane.
Insane? Really? You don't find that a little hyperbolic? [Smile]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
This is clearly different from sending a letter explaining the Senate's role in making treaties.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7WtIaVMrXs
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
Neither of which seems relevant to this conversation. What did I miss?

quote:
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur
You missed the definition of the President's authority including limitations thereon.

That is from Article Two, Pete directed me to examine Article One.
You are correct that the one treaty item that you all just cited from Article Two is even more on point from any one item from Article One, nevertheless the following Article One items are also on point:

Article One Section 8 items on point:
* To regulate commerce with foreign nations
This obviously impacts our relations with Iran.

* To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
The Law of Nations clause involves Congress' power to recognize (and enact) international law. There was a huge outrage in 18th Century Europe that the constitution gave Congress this power, rather than giving Judges the power to recognize laws of the international community directly, as Justice Kennedy pretends to have.

* To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

The latter "war powers" clause, taken on point, provides the power to create a full dial-up range of war powers that may run all the way up to [but not necessarily] declaring war. For example, Congress has used the captures subclause to confiscate Iran's property, without ever declaration of war on Iran. The letters of Marque and Reprisal subclause even allows congress to license private parties to wage war on America's behalf against a congress-designated enemy (with or without a declaration of war!). While it may be shocking that the founding fathers that the constitution specifically allows the Congress to license state-sponsored terrorism, fact is that the practice was openly and unabashedly practiced by most countries and by the Union until Lincoln personally abandoned it. (The Confederacy DID use such measures unilaterally; indeed, the famous "CSS Alamama" was a private enterprise entirely crewed by Europeans. Only the Captain was American, and only it's letter of Marque made its operation arguably legitimate privateering rather than piracy.)

All of the clauses that I cited, plus the Article Two item, absolutely establish Congress' power to discuss matters with foreign powers and leaders. This is even more obvious than the fact that Article Two's Veto power give the president an arguable role to propose legislation for Congress' consideration. It's pure Chutzpah for a president whose administration authors legislation to propose to Congress, to turn around and moan when Congress publicly expresses its views on foreign relations. Clue to Obama: Congress has more of an explicitly constitutional role with foreign relations, than the President has in leading the legislative process.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
The embargoes and sanctions on Iran are parts of commerce, Obama attempting to remove them unilaterally or through the UN is a violation of our Constitution.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Correct. EmEmbargoes and sanctions fall under article one commerce, Unless they are enacted as part of t multinational treaty.
 
Posted by Adam Masterman (Member # 1142) on :
 
I'm rather surprised that more people aren't discussing the elephant in the room, namely that the GOP letter glaringly misunderstands what is happening in the Iranian negotiations, particularly their own irrelevancy.

The U.S. has had basically no trade with Iran since Jimmy Carter, and this was made even stricter under Clinton (two democrats, cue the irony). So, for example, when "we" started slapping sanctions on Iran in 2006, it wasn't actually "we" Americans. We can't really do less than zero business with them. Rather, the sanctions come when we convince everyone else to stop. More specifically, China and Russia, but also Europe, India, Indonesia, Brazil. Basically, we have to get all the big money in the world to agree to starve the Iranian economy.

That's it. That's our stick. And when Obama negotiates as the head of this coalition, its his role as the American head of state that lets him broker agreements. His actual constitutional powers are more or less irrelevant, because its not a change in American practices or policies that we are talking about. Senator Cotton can recite the Constitution all he wants; its unlikely to have much impact on the trade policies of the PRC.

What these nutcase *could* do is re-issue any sanctions that we might lift as part of the deal (assuming they actually take the white house). However, we play almost no role in Iranian economy. Its no punishment if they lose a single trading partner with whom they have zero bilateral connections.

Also, Iran is perfectly aware of this dynamic. They have put most of their focus on U.N. sanctions because that is where the action is. However, they have tied some key provisions specifically to U.S. sanctions, *knowing that the U.S. opposition might renege on the deal*. In other words, the "overturning" of the agreement unilaterally by some future U.S. government would free Iran to renege on their obligations (thanks, stupid future leaders!)

In any case, I'm finding it rather sad that the U.S. has gotten all worked up in a tizzy because some senators copied and pasted from a middle school government textbook, while the Iranians, of all people, actually understood what was going on. Maybe they should offer a seminar or something; it couldn't hurt to have the majority party in congress be a little better informed.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Also, Iran is perfectly aware of this dynamic. They have put most of their focus on U.N. sanctions because that is where the action is. However, they have tied some key provisions specifically to U.S. sanctions, *knowing that the U.S. opposition might renege on the deal*. In other words, the "overturning" of the agreement unilaterally by some future U.S. government would free Iran to renege on their obligations (thanks, stupid future leaders!)
To suggest that the Iranians ever had any intention of honoring any deal which leaves them without nukes is laughable. Who seriously believes that? They have lied over and over for decades. They are already a signatory to the NPT but are in violation. How can you possibly take them seriously considering that and their other lies? How can you take them seriously when they sponsor terrorism throughout the world?

On a related and sickening note, the Obama administration has airbrushed Iran from the Intelligence Worldwide Threat Assessment for 2015. Despite having entire subsections dedicated to the attacks that Iran and its terror networks including Hezbollah and other actors performed in 2014 and pretty much most years prior going back for decades, they are notoriously absent from the 2015 report. Did Iran and its puppets suddenly stop committing acts of terror? No.
What this shows is that Obama is literally ignoring dangers to the American people all because he wants to play politics and "get back" at those republicans who decided they don't want to let him help Iran get nukes.
 
Posted by Adam Masterman (Member # 1142) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Also, Iran is perfectly aware of this dynamic. They have put most of their focus on U.N. sanctions because that is where the action is. However, they have tied some key provisions specifically to U.S. sanctions, *knowing that the U.S. opposition might renege on the deal*. In other words, the "overturning" of the agreement unilaterally by some future U.S. government would free Iran to renege on their obligations (thanks, stupid future leaders!)
To suggest that the Iranians ever had any intention of honoring any deal which leaves them without nukes is laughable. Who seriously believes that? They have lied over and over for decades. They are already a signatory to the NPT but are in violation. How can you possibly take them seriously considering that and their other lies? How can you take them seriously when they sponsor terrorism throughout the world?

Because you haven't written anything here that isn't true of the U.S., or any other nation of consequence. They will follow an agreement that is in their interest, so long as it is in their interest to do so (that's also true of the U.S., historically and as a matter of basic logic). The mindless rejection of these deals is stupid; we are made safer by having access to Iran's nuclear sites, and the ability to know if they decide to escalate. ANY increased access makes us safer, a fact that seems lost on the crowd that won't accept anything but the illusion of guaranteed security through total war with Iran (a cowardly position).

Iran, in return, almost certainly wants nuclear weapons. All else being equal, all nations want more power and security. But Iran also wants an end to sanctions, and the ability to fully profit from their oil. If we can get the ability to better verify the degree of their compliance with NPTs, then its worth it to phase out sanctions. The whole "no deal is better than [an imperfect] one" rationale is obtuse: no deal is the surest path to an Iranian bomb.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
I'm rather surprised that more people aren't discussing the elephant in the room, namely that the GOP letter glaringly misunderstands what is happening in the Iranian negotiations, particularly their own irrelevancy.

The U.S. has had basically no trade with Iran since Jimmy Carter, and this was made even stricter under Clinton (two democrats, cue the irony). So, for example, when "we" started slapping sanctions on Iran in 2006, it wasn't actually "we" Americans. We can't really do less than zero business with them. Rather, the sanctions come when we convince everyone else to stop. More specifically, China and Russia, but also Europe, India, Indonesia, Brazil. Basically, we have to get all the big money in the world to agree to starve the Iranian economy.

That's it. That's our stick. And when Obama negotiates as the head of this coalition, its his role as the American head of state that lets him broker agreements. His actual constitutional powers are more or less irrelevant, because its not a change in American practices or policies that we are talking about......

Also, Iran is perfectly aware of this dynamic. They have put most of their focus on U.N. sanctions because that is where the action is. However, they have tied some key provisions specifically to U.S. sanctions, *knowing that the U.S. opposition might renege on the deal*. In other words, the "overturning" of the agreement unilaterally by some future U.S. government would free Iran to renege on their obligation.

Obama's constitutional power is relevant to whether the Senate's actions are constitutional.to the extent thatare sanctions against Iran are tied up in international treaties, descended has legitimate constitutional involvement.

however, the issue of whether the SSenate should ould be involved, is a separate question for whether to send it is using its constitutional powers and an intelligent strategic way.and I believe that Adam has made a legitimate argument that the Senate's actions are in fact stupid and dangerous. does anyone have a viable counter argument? I don't. at least not yet. adam has given me something to think about
 
Posted by noel c. (Member # 6699) on :
 
"I believe that Adam has made a legitimate argument that the Senate's actions are in fact stupid and dangerous. does anyone have a viable counter argument? "...

Yes, do you trust this idiot to negotiate?

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/kerry-congress-change-iran-nuclear-deal-29555760
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Also, Iran is perfectly aware of this dynamic. They have put most of their focus on U.N. sanctions because that is where the action is. However, they have tied some key provisions specifically to U.S. sanctions, *knowing that the U.S. opposition might renege on the deal*. In other words, the "overturning" of the agreement unilaterally by some future U.S. government would free Iran to renege on their obligations (thanks, stupid future leaders!)
To suggest that the Iranians ever had any intention of honoring any deal which leaves them without nukes is laughable. Who seriously believes that? They have lied over and over for decades. They are already a signatory to the NPT but are in violation. How can you possibly take them seriously considering that and their other lies? How can you take them seriously when they sponsor terrorism throughout the world?

Because you haven't written anything here that isn't true of the U.S., or any other nation of consequence. They will follow an agreement that is in their interest, so long as it is in their interest to do so (that's also true of the U.S., historically and as a matter of basic logic). The mindless rejection of these deals is stupid; we are made safer by having access to Iran's nuclear sites, and the ability to know if they decide to escalate. ANY increased access makes us safer, a fact that seems lost on the crowd that won't accept anything but the illusion of guaranteed security through total war with Iran (a cowardly position).

Iran, in return, almost certainly wants nuclear weapons. All else being equal, all nations want more power and security. But Iran also wants an end to sanctions, and the ability to fully profit from their oil. If we can get the ability to better verify the degree of their compliance with NPTs, then its worth it to phase out sanctions. The whole "no deal is better than [an imperfect] one" rationale is obtuse: no deal is the surest path to an Iranian bomb.

The idea that if we made some kind of a deal that we would have access to ALL their sites and know everything they were doing is funny. There might be one or two "show" sites we'd have access to but a dissident group has already found a secret site they didn't disclose and pretended didn't exist.

We cannot allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. They are a state sponsor of terrorism. Hezbollah would be covered by a nuclear umbrella, who wants that? The other ME states would also demand the right to get nukes. Obama is creating a nuclear arms race among some very nasty regimes.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
If Hezbollah would be covered by a nuclear umbrella if Iran gets nuclear weapons, why wasn't the Taliban and Al Qaeda protected by a nuclear umbrella since Pakistan had nuclear weapons? Are you arguing that Hezbollah's links into the Iranian government are that much stronger than the links of either the Taliban or Al Qaeda into the Pakistani government?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Are you arguing that Hezbollah's links into the Iranian government are that much stronger than the links of either the Taliban or Al Qaeda into the Pakistani government?
Yes. Anyone who doubts that for a second can remember this then perish any niggling suspicions.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/12/16/world/asia/ap-as-pakistan.html?_r=0
 
Posted by noel c. (Member # 6699) on :
 
Adam,

As a representative liberal, why does this red herring continually show up in pro-barry policy arguments? :

"ANY increased access makes us safer, a fact that seems lost on the crowd that won't accept anything but the illusion of guaranteed security through total war with Iran (a cowardly position)."
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Such "increased access" makes us less safe because it is the illusion of safety/security/knowledge in the face of Iran's obvious deception. They are known liars and are religiously committed to our destruction.

How do you reason with a theocrat?
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Such "increased access" makes us less safe because it is the illusion of safety/security/knowledge in the face of Iran's obvious deception. They are known liars and are religiously committed to our destruction.

Let me agree that Iran has pursued a nuclear weapons program. They have enriched uranium beyond what is useful in reactors.

However it has taken them years with thousands of centrifuges to generate what they have. Parts of the deal that I have heard about require Iran to remix that uranium that they have spent years purifying and allow inspectors into all of the centrifuge sites we know about. At the very least this deal will delay there getting a nuclear weapon by years if not decades.

I don't see any other option on the table that gets us as much for as little. I think that if we start bombing without the full support of the world the international sanctions will collapse (what we are giving).

Also as you have mentioned there are secret sites that supposedly we would miss in an aerial bombardment. If we can't find the site on the ground with inspectors we can't find it with a bomb either.

You also ignore the impact that bombing now would have on politics in Iran. Yes the Ayatollah is in charge but the President seems to wield some significant power and the Iranian people elected the most moderate candidate offered to them in the last election. A bombing campaign while he was in office would strengthen the position of the hardliners. Iran has a reasonably sized well educated populace that could help slowly change their country to a better place. Bombing now, with their current president would crush the moderates for probably another generation or more.

In short: I don't think any deal we reach with Iran will be perfect. I see a deal that lets inspectors shut down a site as an advantage to bombs shutting down the same site.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
quote:
Greg: Are you arguing that Hezbollah's links into the Iranian government are that much stronger than the links of either the Taliban or Al Qaeda into the Pakistani government?
Seneca: Yes. Anyone who doubts that for a second can remember this then perish any niggling suspicions.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/12/16/world/asia/ap-as-pakistan.html?_r=0

Seneca, that article is from 2014. If your basic premise was correct, why didn't Pakistan use its nukes as an umbrella to protect the Taliban and Al Qaeda when the US started fighting them in 2001?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
quote:
Greg: Are you arguing that Hezbollah's links into the Iranian government are that much stronger than the links of either the Taliban or Al Qaeda into the Pakistani government?
Seneca: Yes. Anyone who doubts that for a second can remember this then perish any niggling suspicions.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/12/16/world/asia/ap-as-pakistan.html?_r=0

Seneca, that article is from 2014. If your basic premise was correct, why didn't Pakistan use its nukes as an umbrella to protect the Taliban and Al Qaeda when the US started fighting them in 2001?
They've never been as close to each other as Hezbollah and Iran, that's a fact. They've often been at odds and Pakistan is also mountainous in parts and hard for its own government to completely secure and control.

Where is the evidence that the Pakistani government absolutely knew where bin Laden was and was helping AQ?
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/21/opinion/bergen-bin-laden-new-york-times/

[ March 17, 2015, 11:22 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Such "increased access" makes us less safe because it is the illusion of safety/security/knowledge in the face of Iran's obvious deception. They are known liars and are religiously committed to our destruction.

Let me agree that Iran has pursued a nuclear weapons program. They have enriched uranium beyond what is useful in reactors.

However it has taken them years with thousands of centrifuges to generate what they have. Parts of the deal that I have heard about require Iran to remix that uranium that they have spent years purifying and allow inspectors into all of the centrifuge sites we know about. At the very least this deal will delay there getting a nuclear weapon by years if not decades.

I don't see any other option on the table that gets us as much for as little. I think that if we start bombing without the full support of the world the international sanctions will collapse (what we are giving).

Also as you have mentioned there are secret sites that supposedly we would miss in an aerial bombardment. If we can't find the site on the ground with inspectors we can't find it with a bomb either.

You also ignore the impact that bombing now would have on politics in Iran. Yes the Ayatollah is in charge but the President seems to wield some significant power and the Iranian people elected the most moderate candidate offered to them in the last election. A bombing campaign while he was in office would strengthen the position of the hardliners. Iran has a reasonably sized well educated populace that could help slowly change their country to a better place. Bombing now, with their current president would crush the moderates for probably another generation or more.

In short: I don't think any deal we reach with Iran will be perfect. I see a deal that lets inspectors shut down a site as an advantage to bombs shutting down the same site.

If he's a moderate he has a funny way of showing it. What was the punishment for that YouTube video for those people dancing to a pop song again? How about the parades the government is throwing with effigies of our leaders with noises around their necks and burning American flags? How about blowing up mock US aircraft carriers?

At this point the definition of "moderate" being used here is worthless. Make no mistake, Iran is our enemy and is doing everything it can to make that clear. Only those who don't want to see it like Obama are trying to pretend otherwise. How could Obama negotiate with people who openly hang and burn effigies of him in parades? How can he negotiate with a government who have helped kill Americans as recently as a year or two ago?
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Because the result of not negotiating is either Iran with nuclear weapons or a war that doesn't seem likely to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Why doesn't war seem likely to stop them? How hard is it to make nukes without an economy and strong workforce to support that effort?

How will the scientists eat, drink, get needed supplies, tech, and parts?
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Since it is all too obvious that certain factions would like to bomb the hell out of various countries, Iran having been on the list for a long time, I see this issue as being a red herring. I believe the U.S. has the intention of bombing Iran either way, and is looking for an excuse to do it and to find a way of showing that it was Iran's fault.

Maybe they have a nuclear program, maybe they don't, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did that it was a CIA sting operation.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Since it is all too obvious that certain factions would like to bomb the hell out of various countries, Iran having been on the list for a long time, I see this issue as being a red herring. I believe the U.S. has the intention of bombing Iran either way, and is looking for an excuse to do it and to find a way of showing that it was Iran's fault.

Maybe they have a nuclear program, maybe they don't, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did that it was a CIA sting operation.

Do you think the statements by the Iranian government that the US needs to be destroyed are a "CIA sting" too?
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
War seems unlikely to work for two reason: we're unlikely to commit to the level of bombing required to degrade their civilian infrastructure past the point it can support a nuclear program (at least I hope we aren't) and we'll stop bombing eventually. We can bomb all the nuclear sites we know about, but they'll build new ones and hid them better. We can slow them down but we can't stop them with bombs. If we could, we'd have done it already.

That means invasion and regime change and if you're looking forward to that... Well, I have lovely bridge over the Euphrates to sell you. I'm pretty sure the US hasn't successfully installed a new regime by military force since WW2 and you still have military forces in those countries.
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by yossarian22c:
[qb]If he's a moderate he has a funny way of showing it.

He was by far the most moderate candidate allowed to run. Meaning he is willing to negotiate with the west and improve relations in exchange for improving the situation in Iran. I have no illusions that he is a peace loving pacifist but an act of aggression by the US right now would put the hardliners in control.

quote:

What was the punishment for that YouTube video for those people dancing to a pop song again? How about the parades the government is throwing with effigies of our leaders with noises around their necks and burning American flags?

Was he at the rallies hanging effigies of Obama or were those the more hard line elements of the Iranian regime?

quote:

How about blowing up mock US aircraft carriers?

As to blowing up mock US aircraft carriers, so their military engages in war games. Our military has simulated several scenarios and drilled for what a conflict with Iran would look like. I see no reason to flip out because their military is preparing to fight us. Particularly as large segments of our political class are calling for bombing them.

quote:

At this point the definition of "moderate" being used here is worthless. Make no mistake, Iran is our enemy and is doing everything it can to make that clear. Only those who don't want to see it like Obama are trying to pretend otherwise. How could Obama negotiate with people who openly hang and burn effigies of him in parades? How can he negotiate with a government who have helped kill Americans as recently as a year or two ago?

Do you think the CIA (or one of our allies) had anything to do with Iranian nuclear scientists being assassinated? John McCain sings bomb, bomb, bomb, bombbomb IRAN. How can they negotiate with US!

But on a more serious note could you please address "How bombs at a site are going to be more effective than inspectors?"
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Why doesn't war seem likely to stop them? How hard is it to make nukes without an economy and strong workforce to support that effort?

How will the scientists eat, drink, get needed supplies, tech, and parts?

North Korea was able to get a nuke. It would take a full scale invasion to make Iran as ****ty as the hell hole known as North Korea.
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Maybe they have a nuclear program, maybe they don't, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did that it was a CIA sting operation.

They have a nuclear program. As part of the preliminary agreement they handed over some of their uranium that was enriched beyond what is useful in a reactor.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Because the result of not negotiating is either Iran with nuclear weapons or a war that doesn't seem likely to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

The way that you present this is a false alternative. There is no evidence that this would be the result of "not negotiating" nor that negotiating would prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. In fact, it seems very unlikely that Iran will negotiate in good faith.

At a minimum, prior to a presumption of good faith, Iran should cease all support of non-state military actions and terrorism. And fully comply with its existing obligations under treaties. Absent that any assertion about the validity of negotiation must be premised on the fact that Iran will not honor the resulting deal.

I'm not going to say that we should fight them, but I do think they should be held to account for the support of non-state military actions as if they were carried out by men in the uniform of Iran. Paying for insurgents to kill people and providing them weapons should be treated as acts of war by the state doing it. The fiction that we all "honor" of allowing a state to conduct acts of war without consequence provided they don't put the men in uniform needs to end. That's true whether its the CIA or Iranian puppets conducting them.

In this case, there are a host of options that you are discounting with the binary choice of support President Obama's negotiations or not. I'd like better negotiations for one, we could consider political solutions that don't require Iran's input, could consider increasing their isolation. Heck if you really think Iran is a responsible enough player to negotiate with we could adopt their approach and provide massive funding to internal dissentors from the regime (you know the ones that Obama previously chose not to support). Not supporting THIS deal is not the same as not supporting any deal.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
War seems unlikely to work for two reason: we're unlikely to commit to the level of bombing required to degrade their civilian infrastructure past the point it can support a nuclear program (at least I hope we aren't) and we'll stop bombing eventually. We can bomb all the nuclear sites we know about, but they'll build new ones and hid them better. We can slow them down but we can't stop them with bombs. If we could, we'd have done it already.

That means invasion and regime change and if you're looking forward to that... Well, I have lovely bridge over the Euphrates to sell you. I'm pretty sure the US hasn't successfully installed a new regime by military force since WW2 and you still have military forces in those countries.

So are you resigned to Iran getting nukes then?
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
But the arguments against Obama's negotiations ultimately devolve to one thing: you can't negotiate with Iran because they hate us and can't be trusted. Seneca is fairly explicit on that subject. I don't see how "better" negotiations will result in any more confidence in the final product than the current set. If they aren't going to stick to any deal, why does the content of the deal matter?

Sure, it'd be lovely if Iran voluntarily decided to play nice and be a good little country, but why should they? It's not like the US or Israel would be willing to stop their state terrorism or military actions as a gesture of good faith. If you want to drop the fiction about acts of war by proxy, we should probably do the same regarding acts of terror.

Given NK, I wouldn't rely on isolation to keep Iran from getting nukes. I also think we've isolated them as much as we can, especially considering Putin. Unless you want to trade Belarus to Russia in exchange for sanctions?

Seneca, I've yet to see any propose a credible (or practical) plan for avoiding it. At least, not any plan that has "Iran can't be trusted" as a premise.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Because the result of not negotiating is either Iran with nuclear weapons or a war that doesn't seem likely to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

The way that you present this is a false alternative. There is no evidence that this would be the result of "not negotiating" nor that negotiating would prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. In fact, it seems very unlikely that Iran will negotiate in good faith.


And the Republican senators have just proclaimed to the world that we don't either. Woohoo!
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
IIn katespeak, negotiating and good faith means allowing Obama to usurp senatorial constitutional roles?
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Since it is all too obvious that certain factions would like to bomb the hell out of various countries, Iran having been on the list for a long time, I see this issue as being a red herring. I believe the U.S. has the intention of bombing Iran either way, and is looking for an excuse to do it and to find a way of showing that it was Iran's fault.

Maybe they have a nuclear program, maybe they don't, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did that it was a CIA sting operation.

Do you think the statements by the Iranian government that the US needs to be destroyed are a "CIA sting" too?
I think that bluster is one thing, and policy is another. Public statements need to be taken with a grain of salt because it can be unclear what the intended audience is and what effect is desired. Most serious positions are discussed behind closed doors. I honestly don't know what high-up Iranians really think. I do know that since the Shah was removed Iran has been on the U.S.'s hit list. They could have done anything at all other than complete compliance and we would have eventually come to this point where we need to 'deal with them.'

As an aside I know there's a habit in the west of mis-translating comments made in mid-Eastern media, so I'm not that confident that I'm aware of what people on TV there are really saying. Maybe there's a good website that does translations but I haven't bothered trying to find one.

quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:

That means invasion and regime change and if you're looking forward to that... Well, I have lovely bridge over the Euphrates to sell you. I'm pretty sure the US hasn't successfully installed a new regime by military force since WW2 and you still have military forces in those countries.

It's true that regime change is mostly conducted through CIA programs, and that the military invasion method is far less efficient. However it did result in mixed success in Korea, and it seems that that main objectives of Iraq 2.0 were met (even though the official objective of bringing stable democracy there was a failure, notwithstanding the fact that this was a phony objective). The only military attempt at regime change that seems to have blatantly failed at the time was Vietnam.

I'm not saying this to support the idea of military invasion, but rather just to specify that the main reasons not to invade are a combination of the costs involved and the small matter of the morality of ending lives for one's own benefit. "It's not effective" doesn't seem to me a very convincing reason not to invade were an invasion actually necessary. "We can't afford it" would be a far more practical claim. But we can even go further and say that since invasion typically results in special contracts and new deals made for certain industries (oil, military, logistics, infrastructure), these industries reap vast rewards for invasion while the average taxpayer gets stuck with a large bill; the result in effect is a wholesale theft from the average citizen going towards companies with special relationships to powerful men. I would also call this a good reason not to go to war, although naturally these powerful men would argue the opposite. When we hear a call to war we might want to determine who it is calling for it; if it's those who will profit directly from it we may want to not take their suggestions at face value.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
quote:
Greg: Are you arguing that Hezbollah's links into the Iranian government are that much stronger than the links of either the Taliban or Al Qaeda into the Pakistani government?
Seneca: Yes. Anyone who doubts that for a second can remember this then perish any niggling suspicions.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/12/16/world/asia/ap-as-pakistan.html?_r=0

Seneca, that article is from 2014. If your basic premise was correct, why didn't Pakistan use its nukes as an umbrella to protect the Taliban and Al Qaeda when the US started fighting them in 2001?
It did. would have taken Osama out years before and we would be taking out other al-qaeda and tell Yvonne elements in Pakistan, if it were not for the threat of Pakistan's nukes
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Fenring, I forgot about Korea, but the US is even more present there than its other successful occupations. Iraq was failure by my lights since the result was a failed state. Afghanistan isn't doing so well, either. Though I suppose the sample size is smaller than I thought. I could improve it by adding the assorted CIA efforts, but I'm not familiar with them.

"It's not effective" is actually a great reason not to. Though the claim is really a combination of "we can't afford it" and "it's not effective." Think of all the blood and treasure that went into Iraq, and for what? A country run by a government with a military that makes 1939 Red Army look like a bastion of discipline and initiative. Granted, the US could have stuck around longer, but how much longer and would it have changed anything about post-occupation Iraq?
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
But the arguments against Obama's negotiations ultimately devolve to one thing: you can't negotiate with Iran because they hate us and can't be trusted. Seneca is fairly explicit on that subject. I don't see how "better" negotiations will result in any more confidence in the final product than the current set. If they aren't going to stick to any deal, why does the content of the deal matter?

Because if you can trust them the commitments can be made and the enforcement can be handled through the courts of each country or arbitration. This is how for instance the WTO operates, even for major issues, with specific and enforceable judgments that the countries involved with honor.

But if you can't trust them the negotiations have to be structured to provide for measurable and tangible results to get the other side to provide benefits. The assertion on this is that we are giving up too much, for too little and in a way that isn't really verifiable.
quote:
Sure, it'd be lovely if Iran voluntarily decided to play nice and be a good little country, but why should they?
Because diplomacy is a proxy for harsher methods of enforcement. Iran have been protected from the consequences of its actions for far too long.
quote:
It's not like the US or Israel would be willing to stop their state terrorism or military actions as a gesture of good faith. If you want to drop the fiction about acts of war by proxy, we should probably do the same regarding acts of terror.
What acts of state terrorism are you referring to? I'm going to respond differently if you have legitimate state terrorism examples in mind rather than what I expect. Military actions by a state, even if they cause terror, are not state terrorism.

I have no doubt that the US can be bound to enforceable treaty obligations, and can be called to account for violations, subject of course to the limitation that the US produces more lawyers per capita than any other country and engages in ridiculous levels of sophistry in applying those restrictions (true on both sides of the aisle).
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
And the Republican senators have just proclaimed to the world that we don't either. Woohoo!

Not sure why you'd be partisan about it, no Democratic regime has felt particularly bound to carry through on the commitments of Republican regimes either. In fact, it's the one constant of our foreign policy, we can not be relied upon by allies or enemies alike to remain constant to any ideal.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
As an aside I know there's a habit in the west of mis-translating comments made in mid-Eastern media, so I'm not that confident that I'm aware of what people on TV there are really saying. Maybe there's a good website that does translations but I haven't bothered trying to find one.
We're also talking about a country where free speech isn't clearly guaranteed, so public participation in any given event may as be as much an attempt to ensure that you don't disappear next week as it is an earnest expression of sentiment.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
IIn katespeak, negotiating and good faith means allowing Obama to usurp senatorial constitutional roles?

Nope, that's a nonsensical strawman with no basis in reality. Why would you suggest that Kate is arguing for something that's purely invention of GOP propaganda in order to undermine the President's Constitutional role in negotiating treaties?
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
quote:
But if you can't trust them the negotiations have to be structured to provide for measurable and tangible results to get the other side to provide benefits. The assertion on this is that we are giving up too much, for too little and in a way that isn't really verifiable.
The arguments I'm taking exception to depend on the failability of any tangible measure of dismantling a nuclear program. If Iran has secret facilities, they could blithely go ahead and fill all the ones we know about in concrete and they'd still end up with nukes. Again, if Iran isn't going to stick to this supposedly sweet arrangement, why would they stick to the equivalent of the Treaty of Versaille?

I think we have incompatible differences in the definition of terrorism. Though I would point out your distinction matters little to the victims.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
As an aside I know there's a habit in the west of mis-translating comments made in mid-Eastern media, so I'm not that confident that I'm aware of what people on TV there are really saying. Maybe there's a good website that does translations but I haven't bothered trying to find one.
We're also talking about a country where free speech isn't clearly guaranteed, so public participation in any given event may as be as much an attempt to ensure that you don't disappear next week as it is an earnest expression of sentiment.
Also true. I barely believe what I hear on the news hear; I don't see why I should believe what I 'hear' on the news in a theocracy.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
And the Republican senators have just proclaimed to the world that we don't either. Woohoo!

Not sure why you'd be partisan about it, no Democratic regime has felt particularly bound to carry through on the commitments of Republican regimes either. In fact, it's the one constant of our foreign policy, we can not be relied upon by allies or enemies alike to remain constant to any ideal.
Something that the Iranian leadership is completely unaware of? Up till now, no one has seen the need to go out of their way to patronizingly inform a country that we're negotiating about this, so even at the most earnest, the letter was a pretty crude insult to the intelligence of Iran's leaders and diplomats.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
The assertion on this is that we are giving up too much, for too little and in a way that isn't really verifiable.
The problem with this assertion is that the agreement itself is still in the process of being formed, so assertions about what we're giving or getting are currently purely speculative and, at best, based on media maneuvering as part of the diplomatic process, not at all reliable for making those kinds of judgments about the actual contents of whatever agreement is ultimately reached.

It would be one thing if the Senate were saying "We think this is a bad agreement for these reasons" it's quite another to say "We want to eliminate the possibility of any possible agreement, even if, essentially, it's complete capitulation on Iran's part to avoid war."

I mean, it's not likely that that's what the agreement will be, but the implied blanket rejection of any negotiated solution effectively rules that out as well as anything less unilateral.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
IIn katespeak, negotiating and good faith means allowing Obama to usurp senatorial constitutional roles?

http://www.press.umich.edu/pdf/9780472116874-ch1.pdf

Roughly 60% of international agreements were executive agreements from 1889 until 1939, but from 1939 until 1989 better that 90% are. Since then, over 17,000 such agreements have been made. President Reagan made 2840; the Presidents Bush made well over 3000 between them; President Clinton made over 2000. So far, President Obama has made fewer than 800. Explain how President Obama is usurping anything?
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Roughly 60% of international agreements were executive agreements from 1889 until 1939, but from 1939 until 1989 better that 90% are. Since then, over 17,000 such agreements have been made. President Reagan made 2840; the Presidents Bush made well over 3000 between them; President Clinton made over 2000. So far, President Obama has made fewer than 800. Explain how President Obama is usurping anything?

I don't get the numbers thing. It seems to be very common to cite to the raw number of times the president has done something without any consideration of the substance as having meaning. Kate, I reject that premise.

There is no doubt that a President can enter into some agreements internationally, there are however, distinctions about what they can do and what it means. Congress has delegated historically a broad range of items to the President to allow the President to take executive actions, where the President could not do so without such delegation. Certainly it's also occurred that a President has signed accords that had no legal effect within the US until they were ratified by the Senate (I believe there have been times where we had to retract our signature). And there are even things that are within the President's authority.

That doesn't mean that the President has an independent authority to negotiate a treaty and call it an executive action.
quote:
Nope, that's a nonsensical strawman with no basis in reality. Why would you suggest that Kate is arguing for something that's purely invention of GOP propaganda in order to undermine the President's Constitutional role in negotiating treaties?
No one suggested such a thing, what a false interpretation.
quote:
Something that the Iranian leadership is completely unaware of? Up till now, no one has seen the need to go out of their way to patronizingly inform a country that we're negotiating about this, so even at the most earnest, the letter was a pretty crude insult to the intelligence of Iran's leaders and diplomats.
Who said they were unaware of it? It's not by the way factually true that "no one till now" has felt a need to do such a thing, there were citations to Democrats doing the same thing in this thread. But I do agree, that this President's overall approach to executive authority has prompted the necessity of some extreme reminders of the limits that exist on him (and that he refuses to acknowledge because of the complicity of party first loyalists in the Senate).
quote:
The problem with this assertion is that the agreement itself is still in the process of being formed, so assertions about what we're giving or getting are currently purely speculative and, at best, based on media maneuvering as part of the diplomatic process, not at all reliable for making those kinds of judgments about the actual contents of whatever agreement is ultimately reached.
True, except of course that the people complaining are in a far better position to know what those terms are, and in fact if they haven't been informed it's just more evidence of the dereliction of duty by the President and his own attempt to unconstitutionally aggregate authority in the executive branch.
quote:
It would be one thing if the Senate were saying "We think this is a bad agreement for these reasons" it's quite another to say "We want to eliminate the possibility of any possible agreement, even if, essentially, it's complete capitulation on Iran's part to avoid war."
Is that a direct quote? Lol.
quote:
I mean, it's not likely that that's what the agreement will be, but the implied blanket rejection of any negotiated solution effectively rules that out as well as anything less unilateral.
I think it's more a vote of no confidence on the secret negotiations by the elected president of a democracy who acts more like an autocrat than anything else.

[ March 17, 2015, 05:44 PM: Message edited by: Seriati ]
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Roughly 60% of international agreements were executive agreements from 1889 until 1939, but from 1939 until 1989 better that 90% are. Since then, over 17,000 such agreements have been made. President Reagan made 2840; the Presidents Bush made well over 3000 between them; President Clinton made over 2000. So far, President Obama has made fewer than 800. Explain how President Obama is usurping anything?

I don't get the numbers thing. It seems to be very common to cite to the raw number of times the president has done something without any consideration of the substance as having meaning. Kate, I reject that premise.

There is no doubt that a President can enter into some agreements internationally, there are however, distinctions about what they can do and what it means. Congress has delegated historically a broad range of items to the President to allow the President to take executive actions, where the President could not do so without such delegation. Certainly it's also occurred that a President has signed accords that had no legal effect within the US until they were ratified by the Senate (I believe there have been times where we had to retract our signature). And there are even things that are within the President's authority.

That doesn't mean that the President has an independent authority to negotiate a treaty and call it an executive action.

What about this agreement do you think is different from the thousands of such agreements that previous presidents have made?
quote:


quote:
Something that the Iranian leadership is completely unaware of? Up till now, no one has seen the need to go out of their way to patronizingly inform a country that we're negotiating about this, so even at the most earnest, the letter was a pretty crude insult to the intelligence of Iran's leaders and diplomats.
Who said they were unaware of it? It's not by the way factually true that "no one till now" has felt a need to do such a thing, there were citations to Democrats doing the same thing in this thread. But I do agree, that this President's overall approach to executive authority has prompted the necessity of some extreme reminders of the limits that exist on him (and that he refuses to acknowledge because of the complicity of party first loyalists in the Senate).

What "overall approach" is that? You may not like the "numbers thing" but it is data. Where is yours? You want to show how this agreement is substantively different then you need to explain how. If you want to show that President Obama is somehow usurping authority in a way that other presidents who have enacted substantially more executive orders have, then you need to demonstrate how they are different.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
IIn katespeak, negotiating and good faith means allowing Obama to usurp senatorial constitutional roles?

http://www.press.umich.edu/pdf/9780472116874-ch1.pdf

Roughly 60% of international agreements were executive agreements from 1889 until 1939, but from 1939 until 1989 better that 90% are. Since then, over 17,000 such agreements have been made. President Reagan made 2840; the Presidents Bush made well over 3000 between them; President Clinton made over 2000. So far, President Obama has made fewer than 800. Explain how President Obama is usurping anything?

telling the senate to shut up on the matter is usurpation. Simple enough for you?
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
Do you get the difference between telling the Senate to shut up snd expressing the view that individual members of the Senate has behaved recklessly? If not, maybe someone can explain it asI have plans tonight and am on my phpne.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Do you get the difference between telling the Senate to shut up snd expressing the view that individual members of the Senate has behaved recklessly? If not, maybe someone can explain it asI have plans tonight and am on my phpne.

So how about you tell us about this particular individual Senator and what he did that was worse? Find his current position and role a little ironic?

http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/12/kissinger-slammed-kerry-for-negotiating-with-sandinistas-in-1985-video/
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
Do you get the difference between telling the Senate to shut up snd expressing the view that individual members of the Senate has behaved recklessly? If not, maybe someone can explain it asI have plans tonight and am on my phpne.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Was Kerry a senator when he did that or not and was he attempting to negotiate international agreements as a representative of this government in direct contravention to the wishes of the Reagan administration or not?
 
Posted by noel c. (Member # 6699) on :
 
With 99% of the vote in, the Jerusalem Post is reporting Netanyahu's party has a six point gain in seats (30 to 24).
Polling was so far off that the post-mortem will be very interesting given the Obama administration's $350,000 contribution to Bibi's defeat.

More important, there will be no Palestinian state for the foreseeable future, and there is now a mandate for pre-emptive action against Iranian fuel enrichment targets.

Way to go Barry!
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
noel, I am unsurprised that you are proud of the racist fear-mongering used by Netanyahu against Israeli citizens... but all he did was shift votes from the other right wing extremists parties to Likud. So now he can claim the mandate that goes with limiting the total of voters who voted for someone else to 77%.
 
Posted by noel c. (Member # 6699) on :
 
Greg,

Your math is (typically) lacking context, as your guy "can claim the (non) mandate that goes with limiting the total of voters who voted for someone else to (slightly over 81%)", and even if Herzog had won, Israel's policy toward Iran would have been precisely the same (minus the Obama interference perks).

Ask Hannibal.

http://www.businessinsider.com/netanyahus-opponent-has-officially-conceded-defeat-in-the-israeli-elections-2015-3

Any way you slice this, the labor party took a grubbing thanks to Barry's meddling in the internal political affairs of one of our most loyal allies.

It is pure karma.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
I will acknowledge that I find the result depressing.

Jewish, democratic, and current borders - Israel can only have two of those three characteristics. I have never even seen an argument why all three are possible. Instead, there is inciting fear and hatred as a smokescreen to hide the inevitable. noel c, how do you see this playing out? By 2025 when the majority of human beings living West of the Jordan River are not Jews, would you have the Muslims ethnically cleansed, would you have most of them living within Israel but not eligible to vote, what's your plan?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
This wasn't racist, this was about the survival of Israel when faced with threats of destruction. Accusations of racism sound like sour grapes.

On another note it is extremely distressing to learn of the Obama administration putting tax dollars into the election there to benefit one particular faction. Just goes to show the Israeli people reacted with anger to this blatant attempt at outside manipulation.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
What about this agreement do you think is different from the thousands of such agreements that previous presidents have made?

Kate, both your own source and my prior comment explain the different types of executive actions. The President for instance, executing delegated authority is an "executive" action that would be counted in those numbers you cite to, but it represents the executive branch implementing the will of Congress not usurping it. For treaties, there is no ambiguity, nor is there anything that could be reasonably construed as a delegation to the President in the Iran context.

Unless, you're asking for a lecture on how the powers of the executive branch and legislative branch work, I'm not really sure what you're asking me to prove.

Do you concede that some executive actions are within the power of the executive branch and some are not? If you do, then you should understand that the raw numbers are irrelevant in this evaluation.
quote:
What "overall approach" is that? You may not like the "numbers thing" but it is data. Where is yours?
The numbers are not relevant data, or even on point data. What data do you think I need to understand this issue? It's not like its hard to research, and again, even your own link explains some of the basics.
quote:
You want to show how this agreement is substantively different then you need to explain how.
Until we see what's in it, WE can't do that. What we can say is that the President CAN NOT enter into a treaty, and that some other agreements are beyond his authority. My belief is that he will attempt to sign something that is a treaty but call it by a different name and claim it is within his authority, or attempt to color it in delegated executive authority (which as we saw in the Cuba case he will interpret extremely broadly and well beyond their intended terms).
quote:
If you want to show that President Obama is somehow usurping authority in a way that other presidents who have enacted substantially more executive orders have, then you need to demonstrate how they are different.
Which, again, even your own source explains. I think this confusion may be why we're at so much risk of executive overreach. It doesn't seem like you, for instance, believe that there are limits on a President's authority. That is not the case.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
That doesn't mean that the President has an independent authority to negotiate a treaty and call it an executive action.
Indeed, and the accusation that this was going to happen is part of the core of the egregious lie the GOP is fronting on this matter as a way of undermining the President's constitutional role in negotiating the treaty in the first place. The Senate's job is to advise the president directly and review after the fact. Not to sabotage negotiations and attempt to rig a diplomatic collapse to justify authorizing military actions or declaring war.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Do you get the difference between telling the Senate to shut up snd expressing the view that individual members of the Senate has behaved recklessly? If not, maybe someone can explain it asI have plans tonight and am on my phpne.

So how about you tell us about this particular individual Senator and what he did that was worse? Find his current position and role a little ironic?

http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/12/kissinger-slammed-kerry-for-negotiating-with-sandinistas-in-1985-video/

On simple difference- he was still trying to find a diplomatic solution, not to start a war. It was definitely overstepping his authority, but not actively malicious.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Do you get the difference between telling the Senate to shut up snd expressing the view that individual members of the Senate has behaved recklessly? If not, maybe someone can explain it asI have plans tonight and am on my phpne.

So how about you tell us about this particular individual Senator and what he did that was worse? Find his current position and role a little ironic?

http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/12/kissinger-slammed-kerry-for-negotiating-with-sandinistas-in-1985-video/

On simple difference- he was still trying to find a diplomatic solution, not to start a war. It was definitely overstepping his authority, but not actively malicious.
This is a presumption. How do you know Obama isn't the one who wants to start a war and the senators are trying to prevent that? Do you have all the facts at hand? One good refutation that the senators are hungering for war is that Rand Paul is among them, and he is firmly anti-war. Perhaps those who signed it weren't all on the same page, or perhaps some were duped, but suggesting their their collective desire was war mongering and malicious is the most opinionated and least factual comment made recently in this thread.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
It was definitely overstepping his authority, 
Stop right there. The rest of the sentence is irrelevant. Do you agree that Kerry violated the law and the Constitution?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
It was definitely overstepping his authority, 
Stop right there. The rest of the sentence is irrelevant. Do you agree that Kerry violated the law and the Constitution?
I'm unaware of any trial that occurred that established that my perception of his overreach amounted to either of these. The fact that the Justice department at the time seems not to have seen it as worthy of pressing charges about suggests that remained with in the realm of poor ethics but not an actionable legal violation.

In as much as he had no apparent motivation or intent to provoke or support a country to war against the US, I don't think it comes nearly as close to treasonous behavoir has the Congressional letter did.

In either case, absent a trail to examine whether or not the behavoir actually crossed the line, the best they can be characterized as is rather underhanded, but very significantly different in both intent and execution.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
How do you know Obama isn't the one who wants to start a war and the senators are trying to prevent that?
Because Obama is pursuing diplomatic options where as the Senate letter is, at best undermining diplomacy, with military action being the next fallback, and at worst outright insulting and provoking Iran to more aggressive actions. It's entirely possible that most of the GOP in the Senate is simply diplomatically incompetent and clueless about how insulting and patronizing their letter was; I don't think that speaks much better for them. But absent a trail to closely examine the facts and more clearly establish where the line lies, all we have is personal speculation based the nature of their action.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Except we know by Kerry's own TV interviews he was there negotiating things that HE personally wanted and was in direct opposition to what the Reagan administration was doing. Merely because the Reagan administration practiced prosecutorial discretion and declined to charge Kerry does not change the criminal nature of his actions.

Kerry actually engaged in competitive negotiations with a foreign power that our President was trying to deal with. On the other hand the 47 GOP senators were merely reminding Iran that any treaty must be ratified by the US Senate. They weren't asking for anything specific or really asking for anything at all. Nothing they were doing was competitive or hostile to what Obama was doing because we all know Obama planned on following the Constitution, right? [Smile]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Except we know by Kerry's own TV interviews he was there negotiating things that HE personally wanted and was in direct opposition to what the Reagan administration was doing.
But it was not an insult or instigation to war. Also, within the bounds of his freedom as an individual, not as an official act of his office at the time.

quote:
h. On the other hand the 47 GOP senators were merely reminding Iran that any treaty must be ratified by the US Senate.
So, at best, insulting it's intelligence, but realistically also communicating that they had no intention of ratifying any treaty that Obama produced, regardless of it content. So, at best instigating conflict, but more likely expressing a will to leave no option but increased conflict by scuttling the negotiations.

[ March 18, 2015, 02:56 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
It doesn't matter whether Kerry's action was an "insult," or "instigation to war" or not, though I disagree with your characterization of the Senate's letter.

As for not being there as a senator I call BS on that. He was acting as a representative of the US government and he shouldn't have been. That's why he went on national television and said as much. Are you saying that Kerry was lying?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
It doesn't matter whether Kerry's action was an "insult," or "instigation to war" or not
It matters greatly, because attempting to instigate a war with another country can be considered treason, where as negotiation a possible alternate deal may be diplomatically counterproductive, but doesn't rise to the same level of active promotion of harm to the US. Intentionally or not, the Senate's act of self-aggrandizement here brings us much closer to active hostilities and war, where Kerry's did not- that, in and of itself, creates an essential distinction that can't be ignored.

quote:
I disagree with your characterization of the Senate's letter
You yourself have said that it definitely told the Iranians something that they already understood to be true (unless you wish to explicitly accuse their leadership of total incompetence?)

Unless you want to say that the Senators that signed it are incompetent and I don't buy that they're simply being deliberately insulting as you have asserted. It only makes sense as a passive-aggressive statement that they don't intend to ratify any agreement presented to them.

quote:
As for not being there as a senator I call BS on that.
You're suggesting that there is some authority Senators have to conduct such negotiations? IF not, then he was de facto, not operating in an official capacity. Do fell free to cite where you believe he stated that he was acting with the formal powers of the Senate and not, at most, simply using his credentialing as a Senator to gain access to the people he needed to talk to.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Except we know by Kerry's own TV interviews he was there negotiating things that HE personally wanted and was in direct opposition to what the Reagan administration was doing.
But it was not an insult or instigation to war. Also, within the bounds of his freedom as an individual, not as an official act of his office at the time.

Pyr, you keep tossing about this phrase in an off-hand manner as if it was some kind of fact. It isn't. It's your personal opinion in the form of motive speculation behind the individual intentions of the senators.

Simply remarking in passing that the senators in question have instigated war is more a comment about how precious Obama's diplomatic efforts are to you than anything contained in the letter, which in fact contained nothing aggressive or overtly threatening.

Your opinion about the implication of the letter, though, is irrelevant and sidesteps Seneca's question to you about how what Kerry did was any different. The only difference you've mentioned so far is that in your opinion the senatorial letter seems more pro-war, which actually has no relevance at all to the legality of their actions as compared to Kerry's.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
It's your personal opinion in the form of motive speculation behind the individual intentions of the senators.
Their motive doesn't matter. It functional effect matters. The best effect it can have is an insult, which makes war more likely. The worst effect is can have is to cause a diplomatic solution to become completely untenable, which essentially makes war inevitable. It's completely possible that the GOP senators that signed it are just completely ignorant of how insulting their statement is, but the practical effect is instigation regardless of how you slice it.

Both examples were of people placing self-aggrandizement over the formal process. However Kerry did not make war more likely and did not act in any form of formal official capacity. The letter was a formal presentation of Senator acting within the capacity and authority of their offices and did make war more likely.

If they had made an effort to negotiate a different deal with Iran, one that would have still required the executive to sign off on it and then present it to the Senate for ratification, they've have been acting similarly to Kerry. But they did not act to make what they felt might be a better or more expedient deal, only very specifically to prevent the President from being able to reasonably negotiate at all.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Per, have you read the Logan Act? That is what Kerry violated by negotiating a competing deal with Nicaragua. Congress is forbidden from negotiating competitively or at odds with the administration...

Also, their letter does not hurt Obama at all, it merely states that any treaty must be ratified by the Senate. If you consider that illegal then God forbid you find out about all the people who post copies of the Constitution online...

[ March 18, 2015, 06:24 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Pyr, the only point you're making is that you think the senatorial letter is more likely to result in a bad result than Kerry's action was. How do you not see that this has zero to do with what is legal?
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Except we know by Kerry's own TV interviews he was there negotiating things that HE personally wanted and was in direct opposition to what the Reagan administration was doing.
But it was not an insult or instigation to war. Also, within the bounds of his freedom as an individual, not as an official act of his office at the time.

Pyr, you keep tossing about this phrase in an off-hand manner as if it was some kind of fact. It isn't. It's your personal opinion in the form of motive speculation behind the individual intentions of the senators.


Sen. Cotton has said that the goal of the letter was to scuttle negotiations. "The end of these negotiations isn't an unintended consequence of congressional action. It is very much an intended consequence. A feature, not a bug, so speak,"
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Agreed with Kate here, which is probably is awkward to her as it is to me. [Smile] yes, it's a motive and friends, but it's the only reasonable motive inference that I can think of.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
By the way, the Logan Act applies to any US citizen, not just Congress.

I can't imagine how restating article 1 of the US Constitution would scuttle any meaningful negotiations.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
quote:
this was about the survival of Israel when faced with threats of destruction
Are you seriously making the case that greater voting by Israeli citizens who happen to be Arab is a threat to Israel's survival?

That's as racist as saying that America will be threatened with destruction if African Americans to vote in greater numbers.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
No, I was not making that point, though that is how the leftist press is trying to spin things.

It was clear I was talking about a coordinated effort to get a leader with a spine removed from Israel so he could be replaced with a Chamberlain-esque Iran-appeaser that would let the Ayatollah get nukes and then they'd try to destroy Israel.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
A leader with a spine? No, a coward. The Republicans and their ideological allies over in Israel thrive by creating, inciting, and nurturing fear. This strategy has been very politically potent for many years, but it has an achilles heel. Those who are scared do not like picturing themselves as scared, and instead they like to cover their fear with bluster. The Bush over-reaction to 9/11 reeked of this, the irrational need to torture out of a desparation bred of panic and pure fear. The focus on the "cowardice" of terrorists (which is a really odd choice if you had to listy negative characteristics of terrorists). So when I hear you talk about Netanyahu having "a spine", I just hear the irrational fear coming out.

The antidote to the politics of fear is the politics of courage. We should call out the cowards for what they are - scared, panicked people choosing anger because that's less painful than acknowledging their fears. The difference between President Obama and the Republicans is that he can go to the same scary place and not face it with the same level of panicked fear. The right approach for dealing with foreign policy threats is to prudently address risks, but move forward with courage rather than cowardice.

Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s I never really understood FDR's quote "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself", but recent years have shown me its wisdom
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Pyr, the only point you're making is that you think the senatorial letter is more likely to result in a bad result than Kerry's action was. How do you not see that this has zero to do with what is legal?

If you abstract away the motivation, then it's the outcome that determines whether it meets the bar for treasonous activity. Thus a trial might have determined whether Kerry's acts met the bar for something that was simply illegal, a trail of the Senators that issued the letter would determine whether it met the bar for constitutional violations= both of separation of powers and, if negotiations fail to prevent war because of it, of treason.

In either case, the best we can do, in absence of a trial, is speculate as to whether they would have been found in violation; and so long as no charges are pressed, the acts are effectively left as allowable.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Also, their letter does not hurt Obama at all, it merely states that any treaty must be ratified by the Senate.
Something that the Iranians already know, unle3ss you're calling them completely incompetent. So at the very best is was an insult to them, which huts diplomatic efforts. Any reasonable reading, and the express statement of the author of the letter, is that it's a statement that the Senate will refuse to ratify anything. Because the letter did not just say that the Senate needs to ratify a treaty, it also says that any agreement reached will not be enforced if a Republican replaces Obama. And the only way that could be true would be if the Senate refuses to ratify any treaty made.

You're talking here like a middle school kid claiming that hey were just counting one finger at a time and not intentionally flipping someone off, which really amounts to doubling down on the insult to the intelligence of the Iranian leaders and diplomats the letter was sent to, along with anyone else that you expect to buy that nonsense.
 
Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
By the way, the Logan Act applies to any US citizen, not just Congress.

I can't imagine how restating article 1 of the US Constitution would scuttle any meaningful negotiations.

Actually, the State Departments official position is that the Logan Act does not apply to members of congress ( link). The rational being thatin Article 2, Section 2, the President has the power “to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.” The letter offers no opposition or support towards the ongoing negotiations, but instead, as admitted by Joe Biden, was written as “a constitutional lesson.”

While I like that the left has finally decided that laws mean something, this is nothing more than kabuki political theatre. I suspect that when the democrats do something similar again, as they have done many times before, the rule of law will once again fade as a issue. History will repeat itself.
 
Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
The bigger question here is, why is Obama so intent on allowing aIran to become a nuclear power and touching off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East? What's the upside to Iran having nuclear bombs that the left so supports?
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
A leader with a spine? No, a coward. The Republicans and their ideological allies over in Israel thrive by creating, inciting, and nurturing fear.

This is a bold face lie. If you want to talk about nurturing fear and which party actually does it, we only need to look back in your own posting history about how Republicans want widows and old people to die from lack of health care, or any Democratic "fact" sheet about the threat to social security and how Republicans want to put grandma out on the street.

What about the fear mongering the Dems do in every election cycle about how if we have a conservative President they will pack the courts and end abortion rights forever, notwithstanding that its the Dems who by a large margin are the ones who misuse administrative and legal power to achieve their own ends.
quote:
The antidote to the politics of fear is the politics of courage. We should call out the cowards for what they are - scared, panicked people choosing anger because that's less painful than acknowledging their fears.
Pot meet kettle.
quote:
The difference between President Obama and the Republicans is that he can go to the same scary place and not face it with the same level of panicked fear.
That's more a consequence of megalomania than any product of nobility.
quote:
The right approach for dealing with foreign policy threats is to prudently address risks, but move forward with courage rather than cowardice.
True, one should have the courage to take a tough stance against a criminal nation, rather than giving into the cowardice that your own party wouldn't support it.
quote:
Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s I never really understood FDR's quote "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself", but recent years have shown me its wisdom
It was very true then, however, I think what we really have to fear is the mis-education of our citizenry that has led to us not even understanding that we're supporting autocrats who are deliberately eroding our constitutional rights.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
quote:
The bigger question here is, why is Obama so intent on allowing aIran to become a nuclear power and touching off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East? What's the upside to Iran having nuclear bombs that the left so supports?
If by bigger you mean Big Lie kind of question, I agree with you.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Seriati, I disagree. Republicans are the ones who have identified multiple dictators and regimes as Hitlers. Remember Saddam Hussein? Qadaffi? And many others? Republicans are the ones who get into a foaming lather over non-issues such as the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. Republicans are the ones who repeatedly tell pollsters that the believe absolutely crazy scary things, like Obama is a secret Muslim, or not really an American, or in one particularly psycho outburst 26% of Republicans said that they believed that Obama may be the anti-Christ.

This is pathetic. And when government action is taken in accordance with the panicky fears of these cowards, it does not make us safer, it just creates problems that have to be fixed later.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
A leader with a spine? No, a coward. The Republicans and their ideological allies over in Israel thrive by creating, inciting, and nurturing fear. This strategy has been very politically potent for many years, but it has an achilles heel. Those who are scared do not like picturing themselves as scared, and instead they like to cover their fear with bluster. The Bush over-reaction to 9/11 reeked of this, the irrational need to torture out of a desparation bred of panic and pure fear. The focus on the "cowardice" of terrorists (which is a really odd choice if you had to listy negative characteristics of terrorists). So when I hear you talk about Netanyahu having "a spine", I just hear the irrational fear coming out.

The antidote to the politics of fear is the politics of courage. We should call out the cowards for what they are - scared, panicked people choosing anger because that's less painful than acknowledging their fears. The difference between President Obama and the Republicans is that he can go to the same scary place and not face it with the same level of panicked fear. The right approach for dealing with foreign policy threats is to prudently address risks, but move forward with courage rather than cowardice.

Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s I never really understood FDR's quote "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself", but recent years have shown me its wisdom

The true cowardice is believing that we should or have to negotiate at all with religious zealots who believe it is their holy duty to destroy us when it is clear they will lie, stall and say anything to delay us until they can finally attack us.

Obama is so desperate to avoid war at any cost that I imagine at some point no matter how much the Iranians blow smoke and commit to nothing Obama will still hold a press conference and like Neville Chamberlain proclaim that he has secured 'peace in our time.' That is the true cowardice. Kicking the can to the next administration and ensuring the death of Americans later by nuclear attack. If Obama wasn't such a spineless coward he'd deal with the threat now instead of running from it even in the face of Iran publicly taunting him with parades showing maps of the US with radiation symbols and effigies of our leaders in nooses while they are pretending to "negotiate" with us and yet still commit to nothing.

quote:
If you abstract away the motivation, then it's the outcome that determines whether it meets the bar for treasonous activity. Thus a trial might have determined whether Kerry's acts met the bar for something that was simply illegal, a trail of the Senators that issued the letter would determine whether it met the bar for constitutional violations= both of separation of powers and, if negotiations fail to prevent war because of it, of treason.
Ridiculous. More speculation. Publishing a paraphrase of our Constitution cannot possibly be treason except to a tyrant. On the other hand, Kerry going and actually engaging in in-depth negotiations where he was asking for specific measures in contravention to the Reagan administration actually meets the exact defining forbidden conduct listed in the Logan Act. The 47 Senators weren't asking for anything from Iran in their letter. Do you understand the difference now?

quote:
Something that the Iranians already know, unle3ss you're calling them completely incompetent. So at the very best is was an insult to them, which huts diplomatic efforts.
Yes. I am calling them incompetent. I am calling them crazy. I am calling them psychotic, dangerous and evil. What else do you call a nation that allows itself to be governed by a dictator for life who believes he is a holy man whose word is law and who tells the strongest country on earth that he will destroy them? If that;s not the definition of insanity and incompetence then I don't know what is.

quote:
Any reasonable reading, and the express statement of the author of the letter, is that it's a statement that the Senate will refuse to ratify anything.
Which is completely within the Senate's privilege to do so. Read the Constitution closely, where does it say that Congress has to wait to give their advice and consent until the President claps his hands and says "it's time!" ? Please find that for us.

quote:
Because the letter did not just say that the Senate needs to ratify a treaty, it also says that any agreement reached will not be enforced if a Republican replaces Obama. And the only way that could be true would be if the Senate refuses to ratify any treaty made.
Again, this is 100% legal and basically just restating how our government works. Different administrations change foreign policy all the time when that policy is not a ratified treaty. And since the Iranians are stupid and crazy as demonstrated above, it bears reminding them.

quote:
You're talking here like a middle school kid claiming that hey were just counting one finger at a time and not intentionally flipping someone off, which really amounts to doubling down on the insult to the intelligence of the Iranian leaders and diplomats the letter was sent to, along with anyone else that you expect to buy that nonsense.
The only immaturity hear is the world's most powerful democratic republic pretending it can negotiate in good faith with a Supreme Dictator For Life who rules by Sharia Law and who believes we are evil and need to be destroyed.


quote:
Seriati, I disagree. Republicans are the ones who have identified multiple dictators and regimes as Hitlers. Remember Saddam Hussein? Qadaffi? And many others? Republicans are the ones who get into a foaming lather over non-issues such as the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. Republicans are the ones who repeatedly tell pollsters that the believe absolutely crazy scary things, like Obama is a secret Muslim, or not really an American, or in one particularly psycho outburst 26% of Republicans said that they believed that Obama may be the anti-Christ.

This is pathetic. And when government action is taken in accordance with the panicky fears of these cowards, it does not make us safer, it just creates problems that have to be fixed later.

So Earth is destined to only have one "Hitler" type individual for all time and since we already got rid of Adolf we can never have it again?
Iran bears many similarities to Hitler and the Nazis than most of the small-time recent dictators did. Iran is expanding its sphere of influence. It hates the Jews and wants them exterminated. Is the Ayatollah a clone of Adolf? No. But the example does have some merit.

[ March 19, 2015, 10:43 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
A leader with a spine? No, a coward. The Republicans and their ideological allies over in Israel thrive by creating, inciting, and nurturing fear.

This is a bold face lie. If you want to talk about nurturing fear and which party actually does it, we only need to look back in your own posting history about how Republicans want widows and old people to die from lack of health care, or any Democratic "fact" sheet about the threat to social security and how Republicans want to put grandma out on the street.

What about the fear mongering the Dems do in every election cycle about how if we have a conservative President they will pack the courts and end abortion rights forever, notwithstanding that its the Dems who by a large margin are the ones who misuse administrative and legal power to achieve their own ends.

Do Democrats also use fear to motivate, absolutely. The fact is that Republicans do use fear to motivate their foreign policy. Just look at many posters here whose entire foreign policy outlook is driven by a fear that nuclear weapons are going to explode in American cities unless we (fill in policy proposal here).

Fear is an excellent motivator. I expect both political parties to continue to use it. It is important to analyze the policies pursued as a result of those fears and make sure we are acting in our rational self interest and not acting out of panic induced by exaggerated fears.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
A leader with a spine? No, a coward. The Republicans and their ideological allies over in Israel thrive by creating, inciting, and nurturing fear.

This is a bold face lie. If you want to talk about nurturing fear and which party actually does it, we only need to look back in your own posting history about how Republicans want widows and old people to die from lack of health care, or any Democratic "fact" sheet about the threat to social security and how Republicans want to put grandma out on the street.

What about the fear mongering the Dems do in every election cycle about how if we have a conservative President they will pack the courts and end abortion rights forever, notwithstanding that its the Dems who by a large margin are the ones who misuse administrative and legal power to achieve their own ends.

Do Democrats also use fear to motivate, absolutely. The fact is that Republicans do use fear to motivate their foreign policy. Just look at many posters here whose entire foreign policy outlook is driven by a fear that nuclear weapons are going to explode in American cities unless we (fill in policy proposal here).

Fear is an excellent motivator. I expect both political parties to continue to use it. It is important to analyze the policies pursued as a result of those fears and make sure we are acting in our rational self interest and not acting out of panic induced by exaggerated fears.

Did you learn anything from 9-11? That was a terrorist group with some financial backing but nowhere near as strong as a country like Iran. The 9-11 terrorists were motivated by their religious faith and belief that they were fighting a holy war against the US. The Iranian government has the same religious convictions. Do you deny this? Do you think the Ayatollah or the zealots he puts into power, especially their military, would hesitate for a second to attack the US with nuclear weapons or via proxy through their terrorists networks?

Acting like we can trust Iran not to kill us is like strapping bloody cuts of steak all over yourself and walking around insider a tiger cage. It's in Iran's nature to destroy us. You can't reason with religious zealots.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
And since the Iranians are stupid and crazy as demonstrated above
Rather, as asserted with no actual evidence but simply on the basis of profession of ignorance and acceptance of propaganda from the war machine.

you don't understand what people would do something. Perhaps you should invest some effort in actually understanding the situation instead of proffering up your ignorance as evidence of them being incompetent or insane, and that's not even getting to conflating their behavior with that of people from completely different political and religious factions.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
And since the Iranians are stupid and crazy as demonstrated above
Rather, as asserted with no actual evidence but simply on the basis of profession of ignorance and acceptance of propaganda from the war machine.

you don't understand what people would do something. Perhaps you should invest some effort in actually understanding the situation instead of proffering up your ignorance as evidence of them being incompetent or insane, and that's not even getting to conflating their behavior with that of people from completely different political and religious factions.

Do you deny that the Ayatollah rules Iran?

Do you deny that the Ayatollah and many of the leaders he has installed have gone on record about how the US is evil and they want to destroy us?

Do you deny that huge portions of the population participate in rallies and parades where they chant "death to America?"

The only ignorance here comes from those who willfully dismiss a threat from people who are literally telling us they want to kill us. And no, it isn't some minor part of the Iranian government, it is their Supreme Leader and the heads of his military.

[ March 19, 2015, 11:44 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
I would deny that the Ayatollah rules Iran, actually.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Pyr, the only point you're making is that you think the senatorial letter is more likely to result in a bad result than Kerry's action was. How do you not see that this has zero to do with what is legal?

If you abstract away the motivation, then it's the outcome that determines whether it meets the bar for treasonous activity. Thus a trial might have determined whether Kerry's acts met the bar for something that was simply illegal, a trail of the Senators that issued the letter would determine whether it met the bar for constitutional violations= both of separation of powers and, if negotiations fail to prevent war because of it, of treason.

In either case, the best we can do, in absence of a trial, is speculate as to whether they would have been found in violation; and so long as no charges are pressed, the acts are effectively left as allowable.

Oh yeah, I'm sure anyone who starts a war in America under dubious circumstances will definitely be taken to task for it.

Believe me, if the senators are taken to trial for their actions it will have zero to do with any possible military repercussions, and will entirely be a political ploy in the same vein as trying to impeach Clinton over his affair. To be fair the Republicans made their own bed with that one.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Do you deny that the Ayatollah rules Iran?
He has significant influence. He does not directly rule.

quote:
Do you deny that the Ayatollah and many of the leaders he has installed have gone on record about how the US is evil and they want to destroy us?
Some presidents have been more bellicose than others. I would like to see you explicitly cite the Ayatollah on the record as explicitly vowing to destroy the US.

quote:
Do you deny that huge portions of the population participate in rallies and parades where they chant "death to America?"
There are rallies though the degree to which participation is voluntary is questionable, as are the translations of speech provided by those that benefit from ginning up conflict.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Seriati, I disagree. Republicans are the ones who have identified multiple dictators and regimes as Hitlers.

And no one on the left has ever identified regimes as Nazi's? Seriously, not a single regime that repressed women or that executes people for being gay?

The world is not a safe place. You have to concede that there is clearly a line within people can assert that a particular leader is a danger to the world, to the US or even to humanity in general and it not be a "scare tactic"? And in fact, Islamic extremism with it's root in non-rational (ie ideological/religious) considerations certainly is an area where there is a potential for truly horrible leaders to evolve.
quote:
Remember Saddam Hussein?
Sure. Not clear to me there is a world where he was not a horrible leader that committed atrocities that any civilized world should not tolerate.
quote:
Qadaffi?
You mean the man who "reformed" and then was deemed so dangerous that your great leader decided needed to be terminated?
quote:
Republicans are the ones who get into a foaming lather over non-issues such as the so-called Ground Zero Mosque.
By Republicans, you mean some Republicans correct, I should point out that I know personally a not insignificant amount of life long Democrats who got into a lather over that same Mosque. In fact, when you propose to build anything in NYC its a certainty that the majority of people on both sides of the issue are going to be Democrats.
quote:
Republicans are the ones who repeatedly tell pollsters that the believe absolutely crazy scary things...
Polls are not a particularly good measure. Particularly not the radical results ones. They are a better test of general ignorance (which by the way is at least as present in the Democratic party).
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
Do Democrats also use fear to motivate, absolutely. The fact is that Republicans do use fear to motivate their foreign policy. Just look at many posters here whose entire foreign policy outlook is driven by a fear that nuclear weapons are going to explode in American cities unless we (fill in policy proposal here).

How many is it? Honestly how many "Republicans" ENTIRE foreign policy is driven solely by such a fear? How many Democrats (I can name a bunch by the way)?

If you're talking about the populace, it's just a fact that citizens are concerned about safety, they are concerned about terrorism, they are concerned about any kind of attack on US soil (why limit it to nukes?).

Basing a foreign policy on the FACT that some other countries are hostile is not the same thing as basing it on fear.
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Something that the Iranians already know, unle3ss you're calling them completely incompetent.

No, I think the more likely claim is that the letter was presented to counteract any false claims the Administration was making. For instance, telling the Iranians that they could make a binding commitment without the approval of the Senate back home. Given the President's already existing history of executive overreach (at least from the perspective of Congress) both domestically and with respect to foreign policy, it's not even remotely unlikely that his administration would have intimated they could make substantial concessions without the approval of Congress.
quote:
So at the very best is was an insult to them, which huts diplomatic efforts.
The very best was to reign in an overreaching executive branch, and to make a potentially touchy party with whom we are currently negotiating be wary of any promises of executive only solutions.

It would be far worse for the country for the President to commit us to a deal that we repudiate than it is to make the counterparty aware he can't commit us at all.
quote:
Any reasonable reading, and the express statement of the author of the letter, is that it's a statement that the Senate will refuse to ratify anything.
Lol, the only reasonable reading, is that if the Senate is not on board it's not a deal. Everything else is just your own opinion over reaching.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
For instance, telling the Iranians that they could make a binding commitment without the approval of the Senate back home.
Ah, so the letter was intended to promote Big Lie politics by implying that the President was up to no good where no actual evidence of it exists, then perhaps pointing to people pointing out the absurdity of such an accusation as evidence of denial and cover up of "real" intentions.

quote:
It would be far worse for the country for the President to commit us to a deal that we repudiate than it is to make the counterparty aware he can't commit us at all.
And now we're back to simply insulting the intelligence of the IRanian diplomats. You seriously believe that they just sent random people who wren't fully versed in what the US could and could not legally offer into negotiations? That Iran is simultaneously too clever and too stupid to make a meaningful deal with?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Lol, the only reasonable reading, is that if the Senate is not on board it's not a deal.
But since the Senate doesn't know what the agreement is, then it can't legitimately be on board or not, unless it's simply declaring that it wan't to scuttle any possible diplomatic solution. While, again, insulting the IRanian diplomats who already know that the deal has to pass muster at the Senate.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
For instance, telling the Iranians that they could make a binding commitment without the approval of the Senate back home.
Ah, so the letter was intended to promote Big Lie politics by implying that the President was up to no good where no actual evidence of it exists, then perhaps pointing to people pointing out the absurdity of such an accusation as evidence of denial and cover up of "real" intentions.
I'm not sure you understand what "Big Lie" politics actually means.

In any event, it's completely consistent with this President's history to take an action on his own authority and to challenge Congress or the Court's to stop him. Pointing out that in the case of treaty there is no deal on his authority, isn't a lie or a Big Lie.
quote:
quote:
It would be far worse for the country for the President to commit us to a deal that we repudiate than it is to make the counterparty aware he can't commit us at all.
And now we're back to simply insulting the intelligence of the IRanian diplomats. You seriously believe that they just sent random people who wren't fully versed in what the US could and could not legally offer into negotiations? That Iran is simultaneously too clever and too stupid to make a meaningful deal with?
You do know that nothing you just wrote actually responds to what I said? Right? That you're just repeating your own nonsensical premise.

Telling Iran that any promises the administration is making about it's own authority or ability to go it alone are false, is not insulting their intelligence. What's insulting their intelligence is pretending to have an authority to strike a binding deal with them in the first place when you don't have buy-in back home for the deal.
quote:
But since the Senate doesn't know what the agreement is, then it can't legitimately be on board or not, unless it's simply declaring that it wan't to scuttle any possible diplomatic solution. While, again, insulting the IRanian diplomats who already know that the deal has to pass muster at the Senate.
I'm already on record, in pretty much my first post, stating that I believe the President will strike a deal without Senate support and assert he can do so because he will claim it's not a treaty. He may do it in stages, with a token treaty to be rejected, and what ever binding commitments he thinks he can make in other ways.

I don't even think its reasonable of you to question that this is a possibility based on the way he believes he can rule with the stroke of a pen.

In any event, the Senators may or may not know more about the "deal" than we do. They certainly have access to non-public sources of information. So your conclusions lead from an invalid premise and accordingly are not a logical necessity.

[ March 19, 2015, 04:35 PM: Message edited by: Seriati ]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Telling Iran that any promises the administration is making about it's own authority or ability to go it alone are false, is not insulting their intelligence. What's insulting their intelligence is pretending to have an authority to strike a binding deal with them in the first place when you don't have buy-in back home for the deal.
So, once again, falsely asserting a narrative about something that no evidence exists to support was happening, while telling them something they already knew.

And the only evidence to support the need for this letter is, apparently, the GOP's political posturing about imaginary overreach, not any actual evidence that such action was intended. Posturing that they're apparently willing to let a war happen to help double down on, despite its disingenuity.

quote:
I don't even think its reasonable of you to question that this is a possibility based on the way he believes he can rule with the stroke of a pen.
Why should I base anything based on made up political allegations with no evidence or basis in reality?

[ March 19, 2015, 05:16 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
So, once again, falsely asserting a narrative about something that no evidence exists to support was happening, while telling them something they already knew.

No assertion of a false narrative. Implication that they believe the President may be making promises that exceed his authority, sure.

And by the way, no one is required to hold to some legal standard of proof before they can act. It's actually enough that the President has excluded them from participation and having the information they would need to make a judgment for them to have an ethical obligation to act. Again, this is a problem completely of the President's own making with his autocratic tendencies.
quote:
And the only evidence to support the need for this letter is, apparently, the GOP's political posturing about imaginary overreach, not any actual evidence that such action was intended.
I don't think anyone has asserted there was a need for this letter. That's a far cry however from deeming your "complaints" about it as legitimate.
quote:
Posturing that they're apparently willing to let a war happen to help double down on, despite its disingenuity.
There's virtually no part of your sentence that represents any kind of objective truth or reasonable interpretation of events. I'm not aware that any "war" is contemplated or on the horizon. Nor that any disingenuity has occurred (odd interpretation that telling the truth, specifically because you think someone else is NOT telling the truth could be characterized in this way - it takes the white is black lexicon to even think that makes sense).

And even end of day, you're skipping over a hole host of considerations about whether the "deal" the administration is negotiating would itself actually be worse than no deal.
quote:
quote:
I don't even think its reasonable of you to question that this is a possibility based on the way he believes he can rule with the stroke of a pen.
Why should I base anything based on made up political allegations with no evidence or basis in reality?
Beats me, why do you do it now?
 
Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
quote:
The bigger question here is, why is Obama so intent on allowing aIran to become a nuclear power and touching off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East? What's the upside to Iran having nuclear bombs that the left so supports?
If by bigger you mean Big Lie kind of question, I agree with you.
That is what this thing is about. You're aware of that?
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
Could someone opposed to the negotiations please explain how bombs/sanctions will slow the development of a nuclear weapon more than inspectors at every nuclear site?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
Could someone opposed to the negotiations please explain how bombs/sanctions will slow the development of a nuclear weapon more than inspectors at every nuclear site?

Simple. If we put fear of death into the Iranians BEFORE they get nukes and BEFORE they can die while hitting us with nukes, then there is more of a chance they won't do it or will do it a lot slower than some elaborate show where they pretend to let us inspect some fake nuclear sites.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
If we put fear of death into the Iranians BEFORE they get nukes and BEFORE they can die while hitting us with nukes, then there is more of a chance they won't do it...
It seems to me that putting the fear of death into a country's people is actually very likely to drive them towards researching and developing weapons to remove the threat of death. If we make Iran honestly believe that we are poised to destroy them, the only feasible scenario for them in which they are not threatened with destruction is if they can do enough damage to us to force detente.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
quote:
Simple. If we put fear of death into the Iranians BEFORE they get nukes and BEFORE they can die while hitting us with nukes, then there is more of a chance they won't do it or will do it a lot slower than some elaborate show where they pretend to let us inspect some fake nuclear sites.
This comment just sounds to me like a good example of how irrational fear is driving today's conservatives. It's all "omigod omigod omigod" and we have got to make them scared of us so maybe they won't be so mean to us.

When we invaded Iraq because we were irrationally scared of them, we killed many tens of thousands of people, and somehow that only resulted in more attacks on Americans. So how are we going to make Iranians more scared of us than the Iraqis should have been? Particularly from your perspective Seneca, as it seems in your current delusion that the Iranians are all absolutely crazy religious extremists - how can something short of the force applied in Iraq create enough Iranian fear to make us safe from what you depict as monsters?

[ March 19, 2015, 09:51 PM: Message edited by: Greg Davidson ]
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
Could someone opposed to the negotiations please explain how bombs/sanctions will slow the development of a nuclear weapon more than inspectors at every nuclear site?

Simple. If we put fear of death into the Iranians BEFORE they get nukes and BEFORE they can die while hitting us with nukes, then there is more of a chance they won't do it or will do it a lot slower than some elaborate show where they pretend to let us inspect some fake nuclear sites.
Imagine I wanted to buy a gun to defend myself from my distant neighbor who is armed to the teeth. Hearing that I want I gun he gets afraid and comes and beats the **** out of me. Do you think I am going to be more or less likely to go buy a gun to defend myself at this point? Would I be more or less likely to use it on my neighbor who just assaulted me?
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
When we invaded Iraq because we were irrationally scared of them, we killed many tens of thousands of people, and somehow that only resulted in more attacks on Americans. So how are we going to make Iranians more scared of us than the Iraqis should have been? Particularly from your perspective Seneca, as it seems in your current delusion that the Iranians are all absolutely crazy religious extremists - how can something short of the force applied in Iraq create enough Iranian fear to make us safe from what you depict as monsters?

Greg, I think are you fundamentally wrong about the motives and thinking behind America going to war in general. American leadership doesn't do anything out of fear, it's pure calculation and strategy. Their objectives are certainly kept to themselves, but I assure you that they are not operating out of "omigod" feelings. That they use feelings such as this on the populace in order to create support for plans they've already made is another matter; that's just pure statecraft.

So when you say that "we invaded Iraq because we were irrationally scared of them" I hope by "we" you're talking about some of the population; no one in any serious position of power was afraid of Saddam. It was a mission to achieve a tactical objective of which there was a 100% chance of success, and had nothing to do with any threat towards America. Iraq was a zero threat. It was more like a treasure chest than a cause for fear, irrational or otherwise. If the issue of Iran and nukes is real then it's a totally different scenario since a nuclear threat is a real cause for real (not irrational) fear.

Offhand the only war America has gotten into that I could accept was done out of fear might have been Vietnam. The rest was all cold and calculated decision-making. In general fear-mongering is done to control the population, but I believe it plays little to no part in high-level strategy.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
This comment just sounds to me like a good example of how irrational fear is driving today's conservatives. It's all "omigod omigod omigod" and we have got to make them scared of us so maybe they won't be so mean to us.

When we invaded Iraq because we were irrationally scared of them, we killed many tens of thousands of people, and somehow that only resulted in more attacks on Americans. So how are we going to make Iranians more scared of us than the Iraqis should have been? Particularly from your perspective Seneca, as it seems in your current delusion that the Iranians are all absolutely crazy religious extremists - how can something short of the force applied in Iraq create enough Iranian fear to make us safe from what you depict as monsters?

It's not a delusion. Are you denying that Iran is a theocracy? When have you known religious leaders to make sound geopolitical decisions when they are based on religious-inspired hatred for someone else?

And yes, I'd say that the fear of us destroying Iran before it can deal any significant damage to the US frightens these religious nutjobs a great deal, no doubt they're worried that Allah will not be pleased with their dying before they could try and wipe us out.

quote:
Imagine I wanted to buy a gun to defend myself from my distant neighbor who is armed to the teeth. Hearing that I want I gun he gets afraid and comes and beats the **** out of me. Do you think I am going to be more or less likely to go buy a gun to defend myself at this point? Would I be more or less likely to use it on my neighbor who just assaulted me?
Terrible analogy. Iran and these Islamo-Nazi regimes know we aren't going to preemptively nuke them unless they try and nuke us first, and even then they think there's a chance that pacifist governments like the Obama admin might let them sneak through anyway, which is what they're trying.

Can anyone doubt Iran's intent?
http://abcnews.go.com/International/iranian-crowd-chants-death-america-huge-revolution-rally/story?id=28895655

quote:
ABC News’ Martha Raddatz attended the rally, where crowds chanted “Death to America” and thousands of signs read “Down with the U.S.” and “Down with Israel.


[ March 20, 2015, 12:39 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
Could someone opposed to the negotiations please explain how bombs/sanctions will slow the development of a nuclear weapon more than inspectors at every nuclear site?

I don't actually qualify because I am not opposed to effective negotiations, but I do have a straight forward answer for you. I have no confidence that inspectors will actually be at every site, and I have even less confidence that a team of inspectors can adequately inspect a country. Flat out if Iran is going to operate in bad faith inspections are the single best way to buy themselves the time they would need to complete the project.

Sure bombs may miss a target, but they will destroy identified targets. They will also provide an enormous distraction from development efforts, destroy secondary capacity needed to run high level programs and starve those programs of funds that are diverted to other uses.

Now a simple question for you, since the logic on this seems inescapable, why do you seem to believe that it would NOT be more effective?
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
This comment just sounds to me like a good example of how irrational fear is driving today's conservatives.

At this point the claim about irrational fear is nothing but a strawman. Opposing an autocratic president is a good policy. Taking extremists at face value when they say they want to kill us, in a world where extremists are killing people every day and have in fact killed us before is completely rational. No one has suggested anything here that could be deemed an overreaction. Yet you seem to be asserting that we should ignore actual reality in favor of a discredited belief that there isn't a risk?
quote:
It's all "omigod omigod omigod" and we have got to make them scared of us so maybe they won't be so mean to us.
That's funny, cause it's your philosophy that hangs it's hat on taking an action so "they won't be so mean to us." Seneca's philosophy for instance doesn't require any input on "their" part, and would reject even putting ourselves in a position where they could be "mean" to us.
quote:
When we invaded Iraq because we were irrationally scared of them, we killed many tens of thousands of people, and somehow that only resulted in more attacks on Americans.
That's at false claim, both that we invaded because we were irrationally scared, and that it resulted in more attacks on Americans.

It's not actually even about generating fear, its about making people understand the factual consequences of their actions will not be ones they can accept. There are plenty of people I have no fear of, that I have no doubt would kill me if I was stupid enough to provoke them and leave them no choice.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Do you remember the fear of Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction? Go google some of what Bush administration officials actually said. It was fear. Foolish fear and ignorance. Many conservative pundits spoke of the 1.6 billion Islamofascists who were out to get us. And this led us into stupid wars and stupid geopolitics (if you really wanted to keep pressure on Iran, don't take out their two regional enemies Afghanistan and Iraq).
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
And pretending that we went after Saddam because he was uniquely evil is as bogus as the claim that the civil war was about states rights and not slavery. Since 9/11 the most evil has been done in the Second Congo War - nothing in the Middle East compares to it
 
Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Do you remember the fear of Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction? Go google some of what Bush administration officials actually said. It was fear. Foolish fear and ignorance. Many conservative pundits spoke of the 1.6 billion Islamofascists who were out to get us. And this led us into stupid wars and stupid geopolitics (if you really wanted to keep pressure on Iran, don't take out their two regional enemies Afghanistan and Iraq).

The NYT recently reported that thousands of chemical warheads were discovered in Iraq but it was not made public by the Bush administration. You should Google that up.

For nearly 40 years, Friday prayers in Iran end with the chant "death to America". You can google that too.
 
Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
And pretending that we went after Saddam because he was uniquely evil is as bogus as the claim that the civil war was about states rights and not slavery. Since 9/11 the most evil has been done in the Second Congo War - nothing in the Middle East compares to it

Your history teacher really failed you.
 
Posted by Mynnion (Member # 5287) on :
 
I heard a blurb a couple of days ago that SA is now looking to develop nukes. If that plays out when and where do we target them?
 
Posted by philnotfil (Member # 1881) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
And pretending that we went after Saddam because he was uniquely evil is as bogus as the claim that the civil war was about states rights and not slavery. Since 9/11 the most evil has been done in the Second Congo War - nothing in the Middle East compares to it

Your history teacher really failed you.
What part of Greg's statement indicates a lack of knowledge of history?
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
Could someone opposed to the negotiations please explain how bombs/sanctions will slow the development of a nuclear weapon more than inspectors at every nuclear site?

I don't actually qualify because I am not opposed to effective negotiations, but I do have a straight forward answer for you. I have no confidence that inspectors will actually be at every site, and I have even less confidence that a team of inspectors can adequately inspect a country. Flat out if Iran is going to operate in bad faith inspections are the single best way to buy themselves the time they would need to complete the project.

Sure bombs may miss a target, but they will destroy identified targets. They will also provide an enormous distraction from development efforts, destroy secondary capacity needed to run high level programs and starve those programs of funds that are diverted to other uses.

Now a simple question for you, since the logic on this seems inescapable, why do you seem to believe that it would NOT be more effective?

If we know about a site (also a prerequisite for bombing it) we can send inspectors there to make sure no work is being done on developing a bomb. I don't buy the argument that we would actually bomb enough that we will starve the nuclear program of resources. If the regime makes a nuclear weapon a priority then they will divert the resources necessary from elsewhere. Remember that the US managed to develop nuclear weapons in about 3 years while also supporting the largest military build up ever. If the Iranian regime makes getting a nuclear weapon one of their top priorities then nothing short of a full scale invasion will prevent the program from getting enough resources to proceed.

I think that preemptively bombing their country would make them more likely to make getting a nuke a top priority. I don't understand the idea that if we just drop a few bombs on them they will all of a sudden start to play nice and give up aspirations on a nuke. I think that a belligerent act now would only solidify the belief that they need a nuke to defend themselves from American aggression.

In short bombs/inspectors at a site means no work being done at that site.
IMO bombs makes developing a nuke a higher priority which leads to a successful development sooner rather than later.
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
Also the Iranians have fortified/buried many of their nuclear installations. This makes effectively destroying them with air strikes very difficult.
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Imagine I wanted to buy a gun to defend myself from my distant neighbor who is armed to the teeth. Hearing that I want I gun he gets afraid and comes and beats the **** out of me. Do you think I am going to be more or less likely to go buy a gun to defend myself at this point? Would I be more or less likely to use it on my neighbor who just assaulted me?
Terrible analogy. Iran and these Islamo-Nazi regimes know we aren't going to preemptively nuke them unless they try and nuke us first, and even then they think there's a chance that pacifist governments like the Obama admin might let them sneak through anyway, which is what they're trying.

The analogy was a beating is equivalent to conventional weapons and guns are nukes. I don't think they believe that we will nuke them. I do think they believe we will use conventional weapons on them unless they have a nuke.


Also Obama a pacifist, LOL. Seriously are you drinking the same cool-aid the noble committee was in 2001?
 
Posted by Mynnion (Member # 5287) on :
 
Maybe I'm missing something but while Iran's leaders may be a little crazy I have yet to see them become suicidal. Even if they developed a nuke why are they an immediate threat to the US. Assuming they have the tech to launch a strike that would hit the US without us taking it out our immediate response would be to counter attack. I don't think they are stupid enough to believe that we would allow them to survive. If the argument is that they will attack Israel the same applies except whereas we might not drop nukes Israel would.

I am all for limiting nukes but I find it unlikely that they are doing more than playing games to improve their standing in the region. Note you don't hear about terrorist leadership carrying out suicide bombings. They leave that to those easily manipulated while they issue orders from safety. The Iranian leadership is not going to put themselves at risk by attacking a target that can destroy them.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
You know what would unequivocally stop iranian nuclear aspirations without a single loss of US military personnel?

Simply drop multiple nuclear warheads on all Iranian major and secondary population centres.
 
Posted by Mynnion (Member # 5287) on :
 
Donald
quote:
You know what would unequivocally stop iranian nuclear aspirations without a single loss of US military personnel?

Simply drop multiple nuclear warheads on all Iranian major and secondary population centres.

Don't forget Syria and Iraq to wipe out Isis but I guess you had better add Indonesia, Yemen, Pakistan....... Maybe just everybody outside the US and we can throw in Detroit because of the Arab population.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
quote:
The NYT recently reported that thousands of chemical warheads were discovered in Iraq but it was not made public by the Bush administration. You should Google that up.
Rafi, please read the actual article that you cite, which refutes the point you were trying to make:

quote:
The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West.
There was no doubt that Iraq had chemical weapons in the 1980's - that's when Iraq attacked Iran, and later with US support for intelligence data that was used in targeting Iranians, they killed about 100,000 using those weapons of mass destruction. All of which had nothing to do with the bogus claims referred to in the NYT quote above.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
quote:
Taking extremists at face value when they say they want to kill us, in a world where extremists are killing people every day and have in fact killed us before is completely rational. No one has suggested anything here that could be deemed an overreaction.
We were able to develop nuclear arms treaties with the Soviet Union at a time when they were considered to be extremists who hated our freedom and way of life, and who were killing people every day. The Republican position towards Iran continues to strike me as cowardice - how can Iran be viewed as a greater threat than the Soviet Union was?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
Could someone opposed to the negotiations please explain how bombs/sanctions will slow the development of a nuclear weapon more than inspectors at every nuclear site?

Simple. If we put fear of death into the Iranians BEFORE they get nukes and BEFORE they can die while hitting us with nukes, then there is more of a chance they won't do it or will do it a lot slower than some elaborate show where they pretend to let us inspect some fake nuclear sites.
No, it will just prove to them that we are an enemy that wants to wipe them out that they need to take extreme measures to defend themselves against.

I do like how you point to the possibility that people who are coerced and deliberately mistranslated seem to be calling for our death, while you, of your own free will and with no need for translation blithely call for their genocide.

The Iranian government doesn't even need to create propaganda, as long as people like you do the job of creating a legitimate case for fear of outside aggression on their behalf.
 
Posted by Mynnion (Member # 5287) on :
 
Maybe a question we need to ask is what have we gained in the last 30 years in our ME policies. If you are a military contractor or arms manufacturer than lots. If you are an American citizen you have gained a less stable ME. The loss of thousands of US citizen's lives. A huge increase in debt triggered by the wars. An indirect loss of constitutional freedoms.

This is the result of allowing fear, hate, and anger to dominate our foreign policy rather than clear thinking. Those in power use fear and half truths to promote their own agendas that seldom have anything to do with a real threat and a lot to do with money.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
There was no doubt that Iraq had chemical weapons in the 1980's - that's when Iraq attacked Iran, and later with US support for intelligence data that was used in targeting Iranians, they killed about 100,000 using those weapons of mass destruction. All of which had nothing to do with the bogus claims referred to in the NYT quote above.

Yeah, chemical weapons they bought from the U.S. to use against Iran. The fact that Saddam seems to have used them on his own people too shows he wasn't a boy scout, but doesn't change the landscape much. The idea that we attacked Iraq because we were scared of Saddam is farcical. It was more like this:

"We should attack Iraq."
"Grrr! Wait...why should we do that?"
"They have ties to Al Qaeda."
"Grrr! Wait...do they?"
"Well, they have WMD's!"
"Grrr! Wait...what kind?"
"Well, gas weapons for sure, MAYBE NUKES!"
"Grrr! Go get 'em, tiger!"

That's the lead-up to the war, in a nutshell. There was about as much fear as Spider Man has when he is confronted with a petty thief. I know you claimed earlier that he gusto and bluster was really cover for fear, but...that's wrong. People were feeling afraid as a result of 9-11, but they were never afraid of Saddam, ever, not one tiny bit. The government directed the anger of the people towards Iraq, but zero people thought Saddam was any threat to the U.S. in any capacity. Him having WMD's was the equivalent of having a target painted on his face, a shooting gallery.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
No assertion of a false narrative. Implication that they believe the President may be making promises that exceed his authority, sure.
Which is to say, continuing to advance the lie that that's a reasonable thing to suspect him of, despite it having no grounding in reality and just being pure political posturing to amp up political division. They keep repeating the lie that he's prone to abusing executive authority and people buy it because they keep repeating it, not because there's a shred of truth that actually backs it up. Heck you even seem to be trying to use their posturing and lies as if they were evidence to support anything. What proof do you have that Obama might be planning to work out a deal that wouldn't need to be ratified in the the Senate? The implicit claim that he might in the Senate letter. What evidence is there to support that claim? ell the GOP senators say that it's something he's likely to do. Really, this time for sure, pay no attention to the fact that none of their past claims to that effect have actually held water.

Now, if you want to say taht he has done his best to try to work within the limits of his authority to solve urgent problems where Congress has been given more than enough time to do so and proven itself incompetent, that's one thing BUt that would suggest that, to follow his past plan, he's going to try to work out a reasonable deal, submit it for ratification, and then if the Senate once again proves itself unable to act coherently, perhaps see what he can work out for our allies with less dysfunctional systems to salvage, but none of that matches the false GOP narrative that you've been representing as if it has any factual basis.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
The WSJ has just broken a story today that France is taking a harder stance on Iran than the US, and that the Obama admin is now worried that talks may fail and is attempting to pressure France into capitulating.

We are now to the left of France. Consider that.

France objected to the rapid easing of sanctions that Obama was desperately trying to ram through to ensure his "legacy" for foreign policy. In turn, the Obama administration has attempted to smear with back-handed accusations that France is motivated only by defense contracts they have with other opposed nations.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/european-leaders-discuss-iran-nuclear-talks-1426845251

Unbelievable. France, under a Socialist government, has more of a spine than Obama. Just sickening.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Everytime you mention "spine" as if that were a relevant factor, it just is weird.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
France objected to the rapid easing of sanctions...
Seneca, whenever France objects to something related to Iran, I suggest looking to their defense and oil industries. They very aggressively defend their profit margins there, to the extent that they have sided with Russia against NATO several times in the past where things like sanctions are concerned.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
I didn't think it needed to be said to the crowd here, but...

A lot of you aren't jaded enough in your assessment geopolitical maneuvering. The bogyman is for the public not for herding anyone's foreign policy.

Quit thinking of "us" as the "good guys" or "them" as the "bad guys" and think of it in terms of security and much more importantly, profit or laying groundwork for future profit. Hell, some of the foreign threats are brought to our attention only to justify local policy changes.

That isn't to say the threats are nonexistent or manufactured, but some of them are more useful looming than dealt with.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
By the way, for those who wanted specific proof of when the Iranian government said they wanted us dead, you got some more of it this last weekend.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/23/obama-downplays-iran-death-to-america-remarks-toes/

Of course the Obama administration is trying to downplay it when they were asked by CNN how could they negotiate with someone who says "Death to America," and yet they are trying to drop a hammer on Netanyahu for infinitely less important and less hostile remarks.

Incredible.

Will those of you who demanded proof of Iran's official government position on the health and well being of America finally admit it now, or will you try and brush it off like Obama?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
CNN how could they negotiate with someone who says "Death to America,"
Rather, again, someone who says something that people who profit from making the case for war choose to translate as "death to America" when it' means something closer to "Down with America" and is not actually a literal call for death.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
shades of "die bart die"

What about the signs carries in English that actually read "death to America?"
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Whay pyr says is what iran pretends in its english translation.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_to_America

"Following the fall of the pro-American Pahlavi dynasty in early 1979, Iranian protesters regularly shouted "Death to America" and "Death to the Shah" outside the U.S. embassy in Tehran, including the day the embassy was seized on November 4, 1979, which commenced the Iran hostage crisis."

Shah was already down, deposed. What was meant was DEATH. As they killed all the shah's flunkies they could catch.

[ March 25, 2015, 02:15 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
CNN how could they negotiate with someone who says "Death to America,"
Rather, again, someone who says something that people who profit from making the case for war choose to translate as "death to America" when it' means something closer to "Down with America" and is not actually a literal call for death.
Even the Obama administration admits that death means death and this statement means Iran wants us dead, they just claim it doesn't matter, which is insane.

You cannot have meaningful, good faith negotiations with someone who is simultaneously saying they want you dead.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
You cannot have meaningful, good faith negotiations with someone who is simultaneously saying they want you dead.
Says the person looking for an excuse to advocate genocide.

Pyrtolin: Please see your email. -OrneryMod

[ March 27, 2015, 04:09 AM: Message edited by: OrneryMod ]
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
You can when the negotiation amounts to, "Convince us why we shouldn't economically starve your country until it withers and dies, overthrows your government or why we shouldn't just bomb you repeatedly."

This isn't two equals coming to a mutually beneficial agreement. This is a larger power asking a weaker power to just do what they say so they don't have to go to the fuss of dealing with the problem which would be problematic to spin in such a way to keep their "good guy" status untarnished and spend the least amount of treasure and not overextend our military.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
You can when the negotiation amounts to, "Convince us why we shouldn't economically starve your country until it withers and dies, overthrows your government or why we shouldn't just bomb you repeatedly."

This isn't two equals coming to a mutually beneficial agreement. This is a larger power asking a weaker power to just do what they say so they don't have to go to the fuss of dealing with the problem which would be problematic to spin in such a way to keep their "good guy" status untarnished and spend the least amount of treasure and not overextend our military.

Except in this case it is more like equals since Obama has demonstrated he is toothless and will let Iran do almost whatever they want.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Except in this case it is more like equals since Obama has demonstrated he is toothless and will let Iran do almost whatever they want.
At least that's the GOP's purely political propaganda assertion, having no basis in reality.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
I find your repeated calls of toothless or spineless or cowardly almost comical. The man is trying to nail down his peacemaker credentials (maybe to earn that prize?) in a pursuit to firm up his legacy. Nothing more, nothing less.

Also, if he managed to pull it off, something he downplays rather than getting our hopes up, it would be far better than thrusting the next president into a conflict leaving it to them to clean up.

I for one find the attempts at wiping the slate clean and drawing down troops for the end of his term admirable. Yes, there will still be problems in the world. Some of them will no doubt fester in the interim. That said, none of these things will be resolved with the time left to him.

At this point, coming to even a tentative agreement and gaining more information is about as productive as he can be without committing us to lengthy and costly involvements. Some politicians don't rush towards being as hypocritical as possible all the time.

I think the President has done well on foreign policy considering the hand he sat down to the table with. I see this as choosing not to stack the deck for the next person about to take his chair.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
I suppose the GOP would prefer he mercilessly bombs the crap out of Iran. Then they can wag their fingers at him for being so blood thirsty and wreckless, blame HIM for our military obligations all the while reveling in getting what the hawks wanted while accepting none of the blame. Oh AND being able to say, "see your side does it to" to all the Bush critics.

If that is what you want to see, I suppose I'd call the guy a sissy as well...
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Except Iran has already proven it will lie, cheat and blow smoke and then laugh in our face. I can't imagine how smug they must have been after their rallies and speeches chanting death to America and even having their supreme leader say it and having our press cover it and yet Obama just Swallows it and still pretends that these people are worth talking to. They know that because of Obama's stance and promises about Iraq and Afghanistan that he will never attack Iran no matter what they do.

Just because Bush handled Iraq badly does not mean we should ignore the real threat of Iran.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
quote:
They know that because of Obama's stance and promises about Iraq and Afghanistan that he will never attack Iran no matter what they do.
How would they "know" this? What makes you think it? I get that you dislike him. Sometimes for good reason given his policy decisions. But what leads you to believe this in particular? Or, to make it less personal; What makes you think Iran would/should believe this?

I actually think that these talks serve only the war hawks. This is nothing but giving them enough rope to hang themselves with. We weren't politically ready to do a preemptive strike even if that was what the pentagon and the executive secretly wanted. If we wanted "peace" we would just not engage and possibly just continue sanctions and cheer for, or covertly work towards inciting a change in their government.

I don't think they are ignoring the "real threat of Iran" at all. I think this is laying the groundwork for a joint strike against them once we make up with our BFF Israel, likely after the next election, and after Iran spit in our face despite our "good faith attempt at peace."

[ March 25, 2015, 02:58 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
And when people in Iran say "Death to Traffic" using the same construction, with just the noun changes, they literally mean "Kill everyone causing this traffic jam" "Death to my teacher for too much homework" really means "Someone should kill my teacher"?

Despite translators with an interest in creating pressure for conflict, the phrase is not a literal wish for death. TAking as a literal death wish is about as reasonable as someone translating "F**k you" as literal expression of desire to have sex with the person being addressed.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
(In fact, doing just a bit of research on the matter suggest that "F**k America" would probably be a more accurate translation of usage and gist, but it's not very media friendly, above and beyond not serving the cause of trying to instigate conflict.)
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Ok Pyr. How about the Iranian general who said the destruction of Israel is "non-negotiable"?

Going to try and spin that as a mis-translation too?

Is anyone surprised that Obama and Kerry punted today despite two of Iran's leaders saying how America and Israel should be destroyed in just the last few weeks?

Their harsh treatment of Netanyahu for his comments about Hamas and Fatah vs giving a free pass to Iran over and over despite Iran publicly saying they want us dead is just staggering...

[ April 02, 2015, 03:52 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
i disagree with Seneca's view of this as teenage angst (they're laughing at us behind their backs!). Look at the terms, this is a pretty good deal for us, it makes the world far safer than the status quo, and it's a deal that is supported not only by the U.S., but also Russia and China (who were far from this level of cooperation during the prior Republican administration).

So of course Republicans need to throw a fit to denigrate the accomplishments. They did the same with the killing of bin Laden. But these accomplishments remain a big deal
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
I hate to break it to you but this isn't a deal for anything... It's an agreement to negotiate later, also known as kicking the can.

The fact that Iran won't acknowledge their previous violations and that as of last year the Obama administration still labeled them a state sponsor of terrorism shows they can't be trusted.

Is anyone arguing Iran can be trusted?
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
So, Seneca, if and when this deal gets signed, will you acknowledge this is not the disaster that you predicted? Or a year later? Or a decade? Maybe we need a whole series of prediction threads like the Obamacare May 2015 or the Democratic leadership will (or will not) destroy California relative to Texas.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
There's a whole lot of "trust but verify" in this deal, only with way more transparency than we had with the Soviet Union.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
And as an example of the knee jerk Republican intransigence on this issue, since you have said this deal is bad, can you name any of the provisions that you believe are beneficial to the US, or do you believe not a single provision is helpful.

Or do you have no idea what provisions are actually in the deal that you say that you oppose
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
So Greg, is Iran's chief negotiator lying?

Look at the statement he just put out about the "agreement" and the Obama administration.

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-accuses-u-s-of-lying-about-new-nuke-agreement/

[ April 02, 2015, 06:58 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
I repeat, have you read the terms? If it is signed, do you believe it will be worse than status quo?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Look at what Obama says it is, look at what Iran is saying it is in that press release above and then you tell me.

Can we really trust a nation we make a supposed agreement with when they turn around 5 minutes later and deny the entire point of the agreement and pretend it says something else?

Who is lying? Obama or the Iranian foreign minister?
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
When it gets signed, will you reconsider your position?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Answer my questions and I might consider responding to yours. Otherwise this is a waste of time.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Seneca... Why should the iranian govt be less divided on this issue than the us govt?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
these images dont paint a picture of america-haters

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32174201
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
Let's be fair, we can't actually evaluate the deal until its signed. We can have reasonable suspicions based on the information that's out there and the past behavior of the people involved, but we still need to see the final deal.

But to flip your question Greg, how honest are you going to be about declaring an agreement inadequate so long as it satisfies some minimum amount of concession? Honestly, "it makes us safer" is a ridiculously low standard, the question is did we give up too much leverage for the "safety" and did we accomplish our goals? I'm not convinced that if Iran is really 3 months from being able to make a bomb, that pushing them back to a year is a "good" deal. It's just a deal. And if we trade a way a resolution - in the next 3 months say - for one under which 4 years from now they do build a bomb, its an egregiously bad deal if our goal is to prevent them from building a bomb.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
Let's be fair, we can't actually evaluate the deal until its signed. We can have reasonable suspicions based on the information that's out there and the past behavior of the people involved, but we still need to see the final deal.

Why not? I mean, is there no value whatsoever in discussing the basic framework? I would suggest that this is exactly when public debate on the framework would be most useful.

Here is a plain English summary of the points of the agreement (yes, beware of any embedded spin): Iran-nuclear-deal-plain-english.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
If you have already staked out a position critical of the deal, then it is disingenuous to say you can't evaluate the deal until it is signed.

A fair analysis might be to look at two scenarios, signing an agreement in accordance with these terms and rejecting it, and looking at the pros and cons of each.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
There shouldn't be any deal given their open hostility and dishonesty, we should just impose the harshest possible sanctions until they cave in and let us send in random inspections anywhere and everywhere.
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
What if no deal means they would have a nuclear weapon by the end of 2016?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Then hopefully we'd know that from intel and bomb them into oblivion before they could use it or hand it off.

There is no China equivalent protecting Iran. If they get a bomb, given their aggression and association with terror groups like Hezbollah , that is a death sentence for everyone in that nation. If the Iranian people don't like that maybe they should stop their government from threatening to wipe out Israel and the USA.

[ April 04, 2015, 09:51 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Who wants to give Iran three times the number of centrifuges (including much more modern ones that are far more capable), increase the stockpiled enriched uranium by more than thirty times, and eliminate a comprehensive inspection program that covers not only the nuclear facilities, but all the factories that make any of the key components that you would need to make a nuclear weapon?

If you think that's a good approach to make us safer, then reject this deal, because that's what it does. But if you think torpedoing this deal is a good idea because of domestic politics, remember that England , France, Germany, Russia and China support this deal, and the U.S. not living up to its commitments because of Republican intransigence will kill the economic embargo faster than actually signing the deal, only we would not get all the gains that have been negotiated

[ April 04, 2015, 11:24 PM: Message edited by: Greg Davidson ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
If you think that's a good approach to make us safer, then reject this deal, because that's what it does.
That is not true. There are lots of other alternatives. Iran hasn't seen total isolation.

Korea always had China to support it. Iran could be 100% completely cut off.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
There is a remarkable coalition that Obama has built to oppose Iran on this issue, but it's not like China or Russia will follow the U.S. no matter which way we go. If the Republicans oppose this deal because they don't like Obama (which appears to be the guiding principle for much Republican action), why do you think that the coalition will stay intact? And if it falls apart, where do the tighter sanctions come from?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
That argument is non-unique since if any agreement is made and the sanctions are removed, then even if violations are found later it would require a new security council vote to re-impose sanctions and China and Russia wouldn't go along with it then either. I suspect that is exactly what will happen.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Seneca, would it change your mind if there was an pre-arranged agreement to reinstitute sanctions in the event of a violation?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
And how would we determine if there was a "violation?" Who's to say what a "violation" is and how many of the parties would have to agree that it was a "violation?"
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
The funny thing is, those questions would exist for pretty much any agreement, ever. So the alternative is one where we bomb them out of existence, right?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
There shouldn't be any deal given their open hostility and dishonesty, we should just impose the harshest possible sanctions until they cave in and let us send in random inspections anywhere and everywhere.


 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Do you believe that our invasion of Iraq, which followed the harshest possible sanctions coupled with their invitation to send random inspections anywhere and everywhere, was a good idea?
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
It was a good idea until Obama ruined it.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
quote:
There shouldn't be any deal given their open hostility and dishonesty, we should just impose the harshest possible sanctions until they cave in and let us send in random inspections anywhere and everywhere.
Seneca, are you really offering that as an serious alternative? [LOL]

Name me a country--any country--that would agree to that with one of its allies, much less with their enemy? [LOL]

What you're proposing is basically unconditional surrender. Which means that first we'll need to bomb them out of existence.

Don't you find it remarkable that all your alternatives eventually lead to the same action? [Wink]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Name me a country--any country--that would agree to that with one of its allies, much less with their enemy?
To be fair, Iraq agreed to it. We invaded them a week later because we didn't believe they'd actually let us do it. Or because we had already decided to invade them and just wanted a pretext. Same diff.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Do you remember the fear of Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction?

No actually I don't remember fear of them. I remember the arguments that we needed to do something about him because of the consequences, kind of similar to how people talk about Iran (but with a lot more urgency). I doubt you felt fear either. Which makes what you're asserting a claim about what other people felt. Did they use scare tactics (sure, and every other kind of tactics too!), but that's just part of politics, they used scare tactics to pass Obamacare, you still do when you accuse Republicans of wanting to kill people by repealing it.
quote:
Many conservative pundits spoke of the 1.6 billion Islamofascists who were out to get us.
Which is an exaggeration of the amount, but not the fact that there are Islamofascists out to get us.
quote:
And this led us into stupid wars and stupid geopolitics (if you really wanted to keep pressure on Iran, don't take out their two regional enemies Afghanistan and Iraq).
First, I don't think they were stupid wars. I don't think it'll be profitable to explore that sidetrack though.

But second, think about what you just said. You just implied we'd be in a better place, if we "controlled" Iran's nuclear ambitions by leaving a regime in place that absolutely brutalized its entire female population and actively sponsored and supported global terrorism including in the US, and another whose human rights abuses were legion. I get real politik to some extent, but I find despicable that we can treat each other like crap in this country over whether someone will cater someone else's wedding and casually imply it wasn't worth taking out regimes that would murder the people at the wedding because it was "stupid".
quote:
And pretending that we went after Saddam because he was uniquely evil is as bogus as the claim that the civil war was about states rights and not slavery. Since 9/11 the most evil has been done in the Second Congo War - nothing in the Middle East compares to it.
That kind of argument doesn't go far with me, as I think we have a moral obligation to intervene in other places in the world. I don't get the idea that we have a right to intervene only in the "educated west" but have to respect horrible cultures in other parts of the world.
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
If we know about a site (also a prerequisite for bombing it) we can send inspectors there to make sure no work is being done on developing a bomb. I don't buy the argument that we would actually bomb enough that we will starve the nuclear program of resources. If the regime makes a nuclear weapon a priority then they will divert the resources necessary from elsewhere.

I didn't mean to imply, bombing Clinton style with a few cruise missles. I meant full on destruction of such sites, including destroying any anti-air and communications networks that would be able to resist it, and if there was a military response, taking out that military as well. It's not something that you can easily work-around.
quote:
Remember that the US managed to develop nuclear weapons in about 3 years while also supporting the largest military build up ever.
And how did Germany do on the same project after they were being carpet bombed? Not that I would advocate carpet bombing, just using it as an example that time takes on a different dimension when your infrastructure is being degraded.
quote:
If the Iranian regime makes getting a nuclear weapon one of their top priorities then nothing short of a full scale invasion will prevent the program from getting enough resources to proceed.
And if that's what it would take, is it worth it?
quote:
In short bombs/inspectors at a site means no work being done at that site.
Have you ever been to a major manufacturing plant? If you inspected it 12 times a year for a day, could you really be sure no work was being done at that site? How many sites can be inspected thoroughly enough to prevent any work? Particularly in a deal where civilian nuclear work is permitted. And that's assuming you even figure out all the sites.
quote:
IMO bombs makes developing a nuke a higher priority which leads to a successful development sooner rather than later.
Yes, higher priority (at least if they believe they can get them), but not higher possibility, and that's the root cause of the difference of opinion.
quote:
Originally posted by Mynnion:
Maybe a question we need to ask is what have we gained in the last 30 years in our ME policies.

***

This is the result of allowing fear, hate, and anger to dominate our foreign policy rather than clear thinking. Those in power use fear and half truths to promote their own agendas that seldom have anything to do with a real threat and a lot to do with money.

No, the ME is the result of allowing political parties to change US policy at a whim, from not following through in either direction. Nothing has the potential to work, when the greatest truth of American policy is that it will change, and it may even reverse if it makes the other party look bad. We are politically incapable of negotiating in good faith as a country (even if we assume the politicians themselves negotiate in good faith, they can't control their successors).
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Which is to say, continuing to advance the lie that that's a reasonable thing to suspect him of, despite it having no grounding in reality and just being pure political posturing to amp up political division.

It's his own words, governing with the stroke of a pen, and his own actions, through unilaterally amending laws (delays in Obamacare, often for political gain) and usurping Congressional authority (unilaterally changing "broken" immigration laws), that convict him on this. Posture all you want, he's a blatant anti-constitutional authoritarian, and only a fool would believe he wouldn't take an action he thought he could get away with just because it was likely outside his authority.
quote:
They keep repeating the lie that he's prone to abusing executive authority and people buy it because they keep repeating it, not because there's a shred of truth that actually backs it up.
They keep "buying" it cause its true, notwithstanding the best efforts of the spin team to lie about it.
quote:
What proof do you have that Obama might be planning to work out a deal that wouldn't need to be ratified in the the Senate? The implicit claim that he might in the Senate letter.
No one actually needs proof, this isn't a court. There is plenty of evidence in his history, not to mention in the mere fact that he's negotiating the thing with a Senate that is demanding more involvement and expressing skepticism.

The explicit claim (which you're confusing terms again) in the letter is that he has to have Senate support for a treaty. That's just a fact.
quote:
Now, if you want to say taht he has done his best to try to work within the limits of his authority...
I would never say that, I'd be afraid the lie would cause my tongue to fall out of my mouth.
quote:
... to solve urgent problems where Congress has been given more than enough time to do so...
And there it is. Constitution, smonstitution. There is no authority for a President to act just because he doesn't approve of Congress not acting. Why do you pretend he's not an autocrat?
quote:
... and proven itself incompetent, that's one thing BUt that would suggest that, to follow his past plan, he's going to try to work out a reasonable deal, submit it for ratification, and then if the Senate once again proves itself unable to act coherently, perhaps see what he can work out for our allies with less dysfunctional systems to salvage, but none of that matches the false GOP narrative that you've been representing as if it has any factual basis.
It matches it exactly, except I don't think he'll submit a reasonable treaty before he crafts his workaround of the "evil" "incompetent" Congress, with heavy heart and mind.

I said from the start, I think he'll craft a solution he claims doesn't require a treaty sign off.

[ April 06, 2015, 05:36 PM: Message edited by: Seriati ]
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
If you have already staked out a position critical of the deal, then it is disingenuous to say you can't evaluate the deal until it is signed.

Okay. I didn't criticize the deal, I criticize the President's authority, so your point is moot.
quote:
A fair analysis might be to look at two scenarios, signing an agreement in accordance with these terms and rejecting it, and looking at the pros and cons of each.
A "fair" analysis wouldn't just look at the take it or leave proposition, it would look at the relative power of the players and the whole range of possibilities that could result and would weigh the solution presented against the optimal and minimum solutions that we set before the negotiation.

Does that mean your answer to my flipped question, is that no, you won't evaluate the deal against where it should be, only on some minimal bear threshold "is it better than nothing" standard? You're going to grade the President on the pass fail scale, when he's holding all the cards and should be able to get a Summa Cum Laude deal here?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
You're going to grade the President on the pass fail scale, when he's holding all the cards...
In what sense can the president be said to be holding all the cards?
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
In what sense can the "leader of the free world," with all the power of the first world alliances and military been said to be holding all the cards in a negotiation with a small country about whether its going to voluntarily give up its nuclear ambitions and comply with its treaty obligations. You're right that is a tough question.
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
Iran isn't small (77 million people) and has oil. The sanctions are ineffective without lots of international support. If we give them a reason I'm sure China would be happy to take some oil off the Iranians hands.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
It's his own words, governing with the stroke of a pen, and his own actions, through unilaterally amending laws (delays in Obamacare, often for political gain) and usurping Congressional authority (unilaterally changing "broken" immigration laws), that convict him on this
In other words pure fantasy and distortions of what happened made up to create such accusations when they have no actual basis in anything but ideological propaganda.

You're asserting made up things, and then presenting them as evidence that he's doing made up things. You don't even try to disguise the degree to which you're begging the question here when you present a baseless assertion of "ruling with the stroke of a pen" as evidence that he's ruling with the stroke of a pen.

It's once thing, as you note, for politicians to make up such hyperbole in the discourse they use when showboating- it's quite another thing for you to come here and treat such absurdity as if it were factual, despite it only existing in empty political accusations.

You present exercising executive discretionary authority that was explicitly built into laws so that they could be enforced in rational ways as "amending laws" As well, again, as asserting that exercising discretion of hte application of limited enforcement resources as "changing laws" despite, again, that not having any factual basis.

It's fair and fine to say that you don't like how he's exercising the authority he has. IT's absurd to posture as if you were a showboating politician and present hyperbole as if it were actually evidence to support nonsensical claims.

Your argument for autocratic behavoir here essentially amounts to "He's an autocrat because posturing GOP politicians hyperbolically misrepresent his actions as autocratic to muster votes."

I dislike his failings in office enough that I voted for a different candidate in the last presidential election and would happy to discuss where I think he's failed on factual terms, but regurgitating such propaganda as you're reciting as if it were fact not only distracts from an honest conversation about real problems, but it builds a false narrative that lends support to people who would perpetrate even worse harm.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
It's his own words, governing with the stroke of a pen, and his own actions, through unilaterally amending laws (delays in Obamacare, often for political gain) and usurping Congressional authority (unilaterally changing "broken" immigration laws), that convict him on this
In other words pure fantasy and distortions of what happened made up to create such accusations when they have no actual basis in anything but ideological propaganda.
I would like to say that your Big Lie tactics in continuing to repeat outrageous nonsense won't work, but unfortunately propaganda is effective, even on those who recognize it.

So while, the argument that he's exceeded authority has been adequately demonstrated (even if you don't believe it), and your claims therefore should be dismissed as nothing but hot air, it still doesn't explain his own words about his ability to act with a stroke of a pen and because Congress is broken (which by the acknowledges implicitly that it IS Congresses job to take the action and rationalizes taking illegal executive action because he had no choice (sarcasm on that last part obviously)).

And honestly, you didn't add anything more than "nuh uh, because I said so" with the rest of your post.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
"ruling with the stroke of a pen"

By the way, I just noticed this. This isn't the first time you've falsely attributed a quote to me for the purpose of strawmanning an argument. If you want to say that's what I implied, so be it, but quoting me falsely is a straight lie (and I would hope people who are reading might make reasonable judgments about what else you'd be willing to lie about).
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
"ruling with the stroke of a pen"

By the way, I just noticed this. This isn't the first time you've falsely attributed a quote to me for the purpose of strawmanning an argument. If you want to say that's what I implied, so be it, but quoting me falsely is a straight lie (and I would hope people who are reading might make reasonable judgments about what else you'd be willing to lie about).
If you're going to deny that you used the stroke of a pen construction, then you should at least delete it from the citation where you used it before you claim you didn't.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
Seriati, please explain why you think that this agreement is fundamentally different than the hundreds of other agreements the US has entered into without Congress.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
explain his own words about his ability to act with a stroke of a pen and because Congress is broken (which by the acknowledges implicitly that it IS Congresses job to take the action and rationalizes taking illegal executive action because he had no choice
That he claimed that he does have executive discretion does not magically make exercising executive discretion illegal. In fact what you are citing here was him explaining exactly how it's possible to _legally_ exercise natural discretion _within_ the current limits of the law. Your accusation of him acting in any illegal way, never mind saying that he was actin illegal is absurd.

The idea that he should not exercise what authority he has to make things better because Congress won't act responsibly is absurd. Sitting on his thumbs and letting _legal_ options that he has at his disposal inherent to the inherent powers of executive authority go unused and just blaming Congress for his own inaction would be absurdly bad governance. I'm glad that he's finally learned that he will face false accusations of abuse of power regardless of what he does or doesn't do, so it's better that he try his best to exercise his legitimate authority in useful ways and deal with the accusations than to go out of his way to refrain from exercising his authority and letting things get worse as he was doing before.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
"ruling with the stroke of a pen"

By the way, I just noticed this. This isn't the first time you've falsely attributed a quote to me for the purpose of strawmanning an argument. If you want to say that's what I implied, so be it, but quoting me falsely is a straight lie (and I would hope people who are reading might make reasonable judgments about what else you'd be willing to lie about).
If you're going to deny that you used the stroke of a pen construction, then you should at least delete it from the citation where you used it before you claim you didn't.
You changed, "governing" to "ruling" and now you've doubled down on the lie, by cutting the part you "altered" in your response.

I agree the record is right above us, which should make it even more embarrassing for you.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Seriati, please explain why you think that this agreement is fundamentally different than the hundreds of other agreements the US has entered into without Congress.

kmbboots, I would be delighted to do so, if you would bring it down from vague "hundreds of other agreements" to a few you have specific questions about. I dare say there's hardly a common rationale why each agreement is constitution (or occasionally not) but for many of them their is an explanation. We started this discussion last month if you recall.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
Yes. And you are the one claiming that this agreement is singularly unconstitutional.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
I didn't claim it's singularly unconstitutional. I'm usually fairly careful about making claims. I said what I suspect will occur, but that's just a prediction, the President could surprise everyone and submit a treaty to the Senate afterall.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
You changed, "governing" to "ruling" and now you've doubled down on the lie, by cutting the part you "altered" in your response.
So you're backing away from your claim that he's acting like an autocrat? Otherwise I'm not sure what you're pointing out that I happened to use a use a word that means the exact same thing in paraphrasing your assertion that he's acting autocratically (and intentionally so, at that).

You do understand that quotation marks are used for designating effective phrases in was other than literal citations, yes? especially when we have quote tags here for literal citations.

[ April 07, 2015, 03:08 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Seriati, please explain why you think that this agreement is fundamentally different than the hundreds of other agreements the US has entered into without Congress.

kmbboots, I would be delighted to do so, if you would bring it down from vague "hundreds of other agreements" to a few you have specific questions about. I dare say there's hardly a common rationale why each agreement is constitution (or occasionally not) but for many of them their is an explanation. We started this discussion last month if you recall.
Seriati's right as to the need for specific examples. Different agreements by exeutive have different enabling constitutional and/or legislative bases.

Seriati to Pyr: You changed, "governing" to "ruling"

How does that change make any meaningful difference?
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
I would be careful about using double quotes to paraphrase - unless you completely change the sentence structure and word choice, one risks making the double-quoted material seem like an actual quote, in effect putting words into the other person's mouth.

As a rule, however, paraphrases should NEVER be enclosed in double quotes whatsoever.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
Most of the deals we have with foreign governments are agreements rather than treaties so there are literally thousands of them - in modern days agreements are about 90% of our international deals. But here are a couple of examples from even before that:

President Monroe's agreements regarding armaments on the Great Lakes

Agreements with Mexico regarding the rights to pursue "marauding Indians".

The agreement to abide by the Declaration of Paris during the war with Spain.

Our acceptance of the Boxer Indemnity Protocol.

The "open door" policy.

The Root-Takahira Agreement.

The Lansing-Ishii Agreement.

The Litvinov Agreement.

The Hull-Lothian Agreement.

The agreements at Yalta and Potsdam.

Now you may claim that executive agreements are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has generally disagreed. In United States v. Belmont it ruled that the President's act in recognizing the Soviet government constituted, an international compact which the President, "as the sole organ" of international relations for the United States, was authorized to enter upon without consulting the Senate or United States v. Pink. which expanded on that.

The Bricker Amendment tried to limit the powers of the Executive but it failed. President Eisenhower opposed it because it would "cripple the executive power to the point that we become helpless in world affairs."

So you may say that you disagree with the power of the President to enter into international agreements and there are some who would agree. It is not sustainable to claim that President Obama has been especially egregious or unprecedented in this agreement.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
What Tom said
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Most of the deals we have with foreign governments are agreements rather than treaties so there are literally thousands of them - in modern days agreements are about 90% of our international deals.

Most of the deals and agreements are derivative of treaties that authorized the overall framework. Go back to the article you originally posted and you'd see this is the area where the President's ability to act is strongest (ie when implementing the will of Congress).
quote:
But here are a couple of examples from even before that:

President Monroe's agreements regarding armaments on the Great Lakes

You've given me a lot of homework, so I'll have to address it as I have time.

Isn't this the result of The Rush-Bagot Treaty of 1817? Treaties are not executive actions.
quote:
Agreements with Mexico regarding the rights to pursue "marauding Indians".
Not sure if I'll be able to research this effectively, aren't there multiple treaties that governed this?
quote:
The agreement to abide by the Declaration of Paris during the war with Spain.
Wasn't it the Treaty of Paris as well?

I'll have to catch up with the others later.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
The Ayatollah, Iran's Supreme Leader, has now publicly announced that what Obama is saying is against the supposed agreement they had made.

He also made it clear that any agreement must begin with sanctions lifted BEFORE verification.

Can we all agree now that Obama got nothing and will get nothing?
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
I still believe this entire exercise is to make us look more reasonable and rational before we take action (or support Israel’s actions) that would be unpopular domestically. The American people, and likely the wider world community doesn’t have the stomach for pre-emptive strikes against a likely, yet unproven, nuclear weapons program. These “negotiations” are for both sides tools of domestic politics not international.

Iran no doubt sees their actions as doing the same. THEY are being reasonable and it is the intractable international bullies making life hard on its people. They want to overthrow the government not just stop a nuclear weapon program that (they say) doesn’t even exist. We go on about how hard liners of each side are torpedoing this deal but I don’t think there is anyone in a position of power on either side who believe in this deal despite what they say publicly.

So no, I can’t agree Seneca. Obama (read as our whole government) is getting exactly what is desired from this process as far as I can tell. It’s just not the puppies and rainbow public relations B.S. they sling. I don’t think he’s a coward, I don’t think he’s an idiot. I think he is doing exactly what the majority wants their politicians to do. Serve the interests of our government and protect/improve our way of life without burdening our conscience with the ugly reality of what that costs. Make us the heroes of the story so we can sleep well at night and can respect our leaders for making “the hard choices”.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
quote:
Can we all agree now that Obama got nothing and will get nothing?
Prior to this year, Obama has already gotten a far tighter international embargo on Iran that the Bush Administration ever did. Why is that?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
It is absurd that the Obama administration dismisses Iran's death threats against the US as "meaningless rhetoric" while getting nasty with Netanyahu over his campaign messaging and all of a sudden insisting "words matter."

If "words matter," then why doesn't "death to America" or "the destruction of Israel is non-negotiable" matter?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
quote:
Can we all agree now that Obama got nothing and will get nothing?
Prior to this year, Obama has already gotten a far tighter international embargo on Iran that the Bush Administration ever did. Why is that?
Are we seriously back to excusing Obama because Bush might have been a bad President? I am very tired of that game...
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Which President's embargo on Iran would you rather use as a measure?
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Do you know that Iranians frustrated by traffic use the same phrase in Farsi, "death to traffic!" Does that mean that they are seriously bent on killing all the other drivers?
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
When President Obama's policy has been more successful than the alternative neoconservative policy of his opponents, it is relevant. The cowardly, panicked approach of treating Iran as a member of the axis of evil didn't work before. The stupid paranoid approach of seeing Iraq with cowardly eyes didn't work. When a policy position such as the Republican's bellicose bluster has proven so deeply and seriously wrong, you don't get to say that doesn't count.

And you Republicans actually know this. Because when you criticize a liberal policy, such as LBJ's war on poverty, you don't say "yeah, that was a different guy, so what". You judge an approach by its results. Neoconservative foreign policy has been and continues to be an ineffective approach for the US
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
When President Obama's policy has been more successful than the alternative neoconservative policy of his opponents, it is relevant. The cowardly, panicked approach of treating Iran as a member of the axis of evil didn't work before. The stupid paranoid approach of seeing Iraq with cowardly eyes didn't work. When a policy position such as the Republican's bellicose bluster has proven so deeply and seriously wrong, you don't get to say that doesn't count.

And you Republicans actually know this. Because when you criticize a liberal policy, such as LBJ's war on poverty, you don't say "yeah, that was a different guy, so what". You judge an approach by its results. Neoconservative foreign policy has been and continues to be an ineffective approach for the US

What are you supposed to call a state sponsor of terrorism that has killed Americans and whose stated goal is to wipe out America? A friend?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Late for dinner?
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Shirley?
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
What are you supposed to call a state sponsor of terrorism that has killed Americans and whose stated goal is to wipe out America? A friend?

Signing arms control treaties with nations makes nations friends? Guess the US and USSR were best buds after the SALT treaties.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
What are you supposed to call a state sponsor of terrorism that has killed Americans and whose stated goal is to wipe out America? A friend?

Signing arms control treaties with nations makes nations friends? Guess the US and USSR were best buds after the SALT treaties.
Which religious leader was running the USSR? Say what you want about them at least they didn't think they were following commands from some supreme being asking them to cleanse unbelievers. They were a lot more rational than the Iranians could ever hope to be.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Say what you want about them at least they didn't think they were following commands from some supreme being...
Interestingly, I would argue that there is a heavily quasi-religious component in 20th-century, Russian-style totalitarianism.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
quote:
Which religious leader was running the USSR? Say what you want about them at least they didn't think they were following commands from some supreme being asking them to cleanse unbelievers. They were a lot more rational than the Iranians could ever hope to be.
If degree of religiousness implied degree of irrationality, then the faulty implication would be that the Soviet Union was less irrational than the United States.

If the degree of religiousness implied a likelihood to promote violence and killing, then the faulty implication would be that Iran would have promoted more violence and killed more people than the Soviet Union.

The argument that Iran is worse than the Soviet Union has no substantiation.

[ April 12, 2015, 10:25 AM: Message edited by: Greg Davidson ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
quote:
Which religious leader was running the USSR? Say what you want about them at least they didn't think they were following commands from some supreme being asking them to cleanse unbelievers. They were a lot more rational than the Iranians could ever hope to be.
If degree of religiousness implied degree of irrationality, then the faulty implication would be that the Soviet Union was less irrational than the United States.

If the degree of religiousness implied a likelihood to promote violence and killing, then the faulty implication would be that Iran would have promoted more violence and killed more people than the Soviet Union.

The argument that Iran is worse than the Soviet Union has no substantiation.

Wrong analysis.

The USSR was a huge superpower due to circumstances at the end of WW2.

If Iran had been transported back in time and allowed the same scope of conquest that the USSR was you'd have seen a lot more death and destruction on a "holy war" level.

Also, though the US may have lots of religious people, we have a structural and strong cultural separation between church and state. Iran on the other hand is officially termed the "Islamic Republic" for a reason. Obama himself calls the Ayatollah the "Supreme Leader."
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
What are you supposed to call a state sponsor of terrorism that has killed Americans and whose stated goal is to wipe out America? A friend?

Signing arms control treaties with nations makes nations friends? Guess the US and USSR were best buds after the SALT treaties.
Which religious leader was running the USSR? Say what you want about them at least they didn't think they were following commands from some supreme being asking them to cleanse unbelievers. They were a lot more rational than the Iranians could ever hope to be.
I didn't say the Iranians are good rational actors on the world stage. My point was simply that you can sign treaties (even those involving nuclear weapons) with countries that are not "a friend."
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
What are you supposed to call a state sponsor of terrorism that has killed Americans and whose stated goal is to wipe out America? A friend?

Signing arms control treaties with nations makes nations friends? Guess the US and USSR were best buds after the SALT treaties.
Which religious leader was running the USSR? Say what you want about them at least they didn't think they were following commands from some supreme being asking them to cleanse unbelievers. They were a lot more rational than the Iranians could ever hope to be.
I didn't say the Iranians are good rational actors on the world stage. My point was simply that you can sign treaties (even those involving nuclear weapons) with countries that are not "a friend."
You can't sign peaceful nuclear treaties with someone who is simultaneously saying they want to kill you over and over.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
There have been treaties even when one group is still actively trying to kill each other. Just saying they want to is only a complication.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
You can't sign peaceful nuclear treaties with someone who is simultaneously saying they want to kill you over and over.
Except that you actually can. In fact, that's sort of what treaties are for, since you don't need to sign them with your friends.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Treaties only work with people who aren't opposed to your existence and who aren't committed to actively destroying you. They also only work with parties that are honest.

Iran is violates all of those attributes.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
I would add, "Only works with those concerned about their international reputation." That can displace the need for trust. But not sure it helps the case for Iran being a good partner in this case. The only reputations they seem to work towards maintaining all seem to work against this deal.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
That's not actually true. Also, from their point of view, the US violates all of those attributes.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Treaties only work with people who aren't opposed to your existence and who aren't committed to actively destroying you.
Iran is not committed to destroying America. They want to remove our influence from what they consider their region. That's actually a pretty huge difference.

America was not, for example, ever committed to the destruction of Britain.
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
You can't sign peaceful nuclear treaties with someone who is simultaneously saying they want to kill you over and over.

Why not? Who better to sign a treaty limiting their available weapons than someone who has expressed hostility towards you?
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Treaties only work with people who aren't opposed to your existence and who aren't committed to actively destroying you. They also only work with parties that are honest.

Iran is violates all of those attributes.

Just saw this, I guess it addressed the why not. As long as we can verify Iran holds up their end of the bargain (via inspectors) the deal can work. "Trust" but verify. Their animosity towards us isn't a strike against signing an arms control treaty with them, it is a reason to sign an arms control treaty with them.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
You can't verify anything. Iran has already said inspections will never be allowed at military installations.

You can't trust Iran and they won't let us in to verify. Obama will claim the deal is great and that we can verify even when we can't.

Who here honestly believes we will be able to verify without access to military installations?

[ April 13, 2015, 03:15 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
So you believe we will land on a "bad deal" before we walk away? If so, do you believe he and his team are;

1: idiots
2: looking to claim a diplomatic victory (even a dangerous hollow one) at the expense of our and our allie's security.
3: Decided to change tactic and just lift sanctions despite their untrustworthiness because they didn't think that was working?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Obama is committed to this for his "legacy."

At worst he figures even if Iran gets a bomb it won't be handed off to Hezbollah before he leaves office so he is kicking this can to the next administration.

Even if he really cared Obama is against war at all costs. I honestly believe if we were nuked he'd try and blow smoke and claim we couldn't supposedly know who did it, even if we knew where the nuke came from, so therefore we shouldn't respond.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
By the way the sanctions were slowly working. Look at the green revolution and what almost happened. Instead Obama wants to condemn the people of Iran to 100 years of Islamo-Nazi rule.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Even if he really cared Obama is against war at all costs.
*blink* You're the first person I've ever spoken to who believes he deserves that Peace Prize.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
By the way the sanctions were slowly working. Look at the green revolution and what almost happened. Instead Obama wants to condemn the people of Iran to 100 years of Islamo-Nazi rule.

You're not coherent here. WE could have gone down a path of bolstering the Green Movement, but chose sanctions instead, which pretty much undercut any strong possibility of a revolution.

The sanctions have managed to get Iran to the negotiating table, but if we don't make a deal now that they've done their work, then weve pretty much declared them to be a complete waste of time and effort, by showing that they're simply punitive measures and not a tool to force Iran to negotiate.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
So you believe we will land on a "bad deal" before we walk away? If so, do you believe he and his team are;

1: idiots
2: looking to claim a diplomatic victory (even a dangerous hollow one) at the expense of our and our allie's security.
3: Decided to change tactic and just lift sanctions despite their untrustworthiness because they didn't think that was working?

My answer to why they would make a bad deal is that it could be a deliberately bad deal. It is a distinct possibility that a treaty will be made with the knowledge Iran will break it, as justification for invading Iran down the line. "We had every right to, they broke the treaty." It's a way around public negative opinion about invasions at this time.

quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Even if he really cared Obama is against war at all costs.
*blink* You're the first person I've ever spoken to who believes he deserves that Peace Prize.
I blinked in just the same way [Embarrassed]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
No one ever said that being against war at all costs means that they are for peace. Obama is for long, bloody, costly war. Just not on his watch.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
No one ever said that being against war at all costs means that they are for peace. Obama is for long, bloody, costly war.
It seems to me that being against war and being for long, bloody war are in fact two different and mutually exclusive things.

Your assertion is not, then, that Obama is actually against war at all costs, but is actually for the bloodiest, most expensive war?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Obama is against war (during his Presidency) at all costs.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Which is totally congruent with American involvement in Libya, Yemen, Somalia (I think), Pakistan, Iraq, Syria.

Did I miss any?
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Which is totally congruent with American involvement in Libya, Yemen, Somalia (I think), Pakistan, Iraq, Syria.

Did I miss any?

I think Seneca's saying that Obama has insisted those were not wars, and the point is not that Obama will avoid violence at all costs, but will avoid taking any action during his presidency that he will call a war. This does not preclude taking steps that will lead to bloody war in a subsequent presidency. In this respect Seneca's position is not contradictory, regardless of whether or not it's correct.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Seneca, why was the US capable of having treaties with the Soviet Union but not Iran?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
What are you supposed to call a state sponsor of terrorism that has killed Americans and whose stated goal is to wipe out America? A friend?

Signing arms control treaties with nations makes nations friends? Guess the US and USSR were best buds after the SALT treaties.
Which religious leader was running the USSR? Say what you want about them at least they didn't think they were following commands from some supreme being asking them to cleanse unbelievers. They were a lot more rational than the Iranians could ever hope to be.

 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
The Obama spokesidiot Not-So-Earnest announced today, rather gleefully, that Obama will happily sign the GOP's formal surrender legislation that will deprive them of any up or down vote on Iran.

And given Russia's massive weapons sale to Iran, once the sanctions are gone, they will never be re-imposed given China's and Russia's certain veto power.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
And given Russia's massive weapons sale to Iran, once the sanctions are gone, they will never be re-imposed given China's and Russia's certain veto power.

That's exactly why we need to take advantage of the sanctions having finally forced Iran to the negotiating table as they were intended to do and make a deal. If we fail to take advantage of the opening they created, you're absolutely right- the sanctions agreement will collapse and China and Russia will go back to trading with them at will, since it would be obvious at that point that the US wasn't serious about using them to help work out a mutually acceptable deal.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
quote:
they didn't think they were following commands from some supreme being asking them to cleanse unbelievers
Seneca, I am surprised about your anti-religious bigotry.

Are you suggesting that someone like President George W. Bush who identifies a supreme being as his favorite philosopher is not rational and not trustworthy? After all, he used a Christian reference to religious warfare that is close to Jihad ("crusade") in describing a war he started that killed more innocent civilians than any war that Iran/Persia has started in over a thousand years.

Your argument tries to use a prejudice against foreign religions in order to show that it is that it is irrelevant that the Soviet Union killed far more people, was far more totalitarian, and was a far greater threat the the US than Iran. But if you hold to your principle that it is religion itself that is more important than actions, you better be able to defend religion in other contexts.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
quote:
Which religious leader was running the USSR? Say what you want about them at least they didn't think they were following commands from some supreme being asking them to cleanse unbelievers. They were a lot more rational than the Iranians could ever hope to be.
If degree of religiousness implied degree of irrationality, then the faulty implication would be that the Soviet Union was less irrational than the United States.

If the degree of religiousness implied a likelihood to promote violence and killing, then the faulty implication would be that Iran would have promoted more violence and killed more people than the Soviet Union.

The argument that Iran is worse than the Soviet Union has no substantiation.

Wrong analysis.

The USSR was a huge superpower due to circumstances at the end of WW2.

If Iran had been transported back in time and allowed the same scope of conquest that the USSR was you'd have seen a lot more death and destruction on a "holy war" level.

Also, though the US may have lots of religious people, we have a structural and strong cultural separation between church and state. Iran on the other hand is officially termed the "Islamic Republic" for a reason. Obama himself calls the Ayatollah the "Supreme Leader."


 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
If the USSR had decided to push for global communism instead of focusing on internal development, we'd have seen death and destruction on a 'holy war' level (wasn't that the key ideological difference between Trosky and Stalin?). The reaction to heretics, apostates, and heathens is an ideological question as much as a religious one.

On a side note: did Stalin's paranoia reach diagnosable levels (like, meeting DSM criteria) or was he "just" suspicious and trigger happy? If the former, then we've made treaties with countries that were literally led by a mad man.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Ironically the question isn't "how many divisions has the Pope," but how many divisions has the maniac Ayatollah? The answer is a lot. And now we are going to sit back and let them get nukes...
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
It always amazes me, Seneca, to see how scared you are of everything.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. More and more, I am beginning to see the wisdom in that phrase.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. More and more, I am beginning to see the wisdom in that phrase.

I think the issue of nuclear proliferation used to be taken more seriously than that. Things have been relatively stable for a few decades so the nuclear scare is past, but in principle the old problem is still with us of untrustworthy nations getting ahold of nuclear technology. So far the North Korea situation has proved to be tenable so far as we can see, but as long as the nuclear treaties remain as they are (exclusive) then there will always be a threat of other nations trying to secretly get in on it. The more technology advances the less we'll be able to stop them.

The Iran event may just be Netanyahu scare tactics, but in theory a decision will eventually have to be made about whether to continue to ban new nations from developing nuclear tech, or to let them in under conditions.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Anyone who thinks that Iran is too scary for this nuclear deal is fundamentally unserious. How many more centerfuges do you want them to have? How much more highly enriched material? How much less inspections?

This is Republicans being against something because Obama is for it. Again. That's about as fundamentally unserious as you can get. When the Republicans were in charge they were unable to do anything nearly as effective as this in impeding Iran's efforts to get nukes, so of course they are against making some progress now.

Proliferation is a really serious issue. Too serious for being used as a tool of domestic politics.

[ April 16, 2015, 01:59 AM: Message edited by: Greg Davidson ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Anyone who thinks that Iran is too scary for this nuclear deal is fundamentally unserious. How many more centerfuges do you want them to have? How much more highly enriched material? How much less inspections?

This is Republicans being against something because Obama is for it. Again. That's about as fundamentally unserious as you can get. When the Republicans were in charge they were unable to do anything nearly as effective as this in impeding Iran's efforts to get nukes, so of course they are against making some progress now.

Proliferation is a really serious issue. Too serious for being used as a tool of domestic politics.

If it's all just fear mongering then why do you care about getting a deal at all? Why not just let Iran have nukes and be done with it?

Also, you can't have it both ways. You can't claim to think this deal will help if you actually care about thorough inspections. Iran has already said all military installations will be exempt from inspections. That means any nuclear program activities will simply be moved to those bases. There isn't even a possibility of a meaningful deal any more.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
The question isn't about us letting them have nukes. We aren't the only ones who would prevent this.

Also don't worry so much about a deal where they can label a facility "off limits". There is only one scenario in which that would happen. That being we run inspectors all over the place, and the few areas they say, "NO WAY" we pencil down the GPS coordinates and decide exactly when it becomes a smoking crater. Or, more likely, we give it to Israel and they take "unilateral action" facing some stern finger wagging from us for jeopardizing peace in the region. Shame on them! Then we make sure to sell/give them any arms they want to replenish from the strike and counter any defensive needs against repercussions.

No matter how much you hate Obama, he is not an idiot. Even if he was somehow an idiot that got this far in politics, his staff and the rest of the government won’t let him make mistakes as big as you seem to suggest are not only possible but inevitable.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
The question isn't about us letting them have nukes. We aren't the only ones who would prevent this.
Really? Who would? China? Russia? [LOL]

quote:
Also don't worry so much about a deal where they can label a facility "off limits". There is only one scenario in which that would happen. That being we run inspectors all over the place, and the few areas they say, "NO WAY" we pencil down the GPS coordinates and decide exactly when it becomes a smoking crater. Or, more likely, we give it to Israel and they take "unilateral action" facing some stern finger wagging from us for jeopardizing peace in the region. Shame on them! Then we make sure to sell/give them any arms they want to replenish from the strike and counter any defensive needs against repercussions.
Except that flies in the face of everything Obama says and does... He was elected on an anti-war platform and his electoral base and that of the democrats in general do not have the political will to fight Iran no matter what they do.

quote:
No matter how much you hate Obama
I don't. And if you think I do you are starting to sound like those ODS accusers.

quote:
he is not an idiot
That remains to be seen.

quote:
Even if he was somehow an idiot that got this far in politics, his staff and the rest of the government won’t let him make mistakes as big as you seem to suggest are not only possible but inevitable.
On the contrary, history has shown that when the President is weak that groupthink and "yes men" tend to make things worse as fewer and fewer people stand up to their superiors in government anymore. What we have no surrounding our Executive is a huge echo chamber filled with sycophants cheering his vision and cherry-picked lawyers and bureaucrats enabling him and telling him anything he does is OK.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:

quote:
Even if he was somehow an idiot that got this far in politics, his staff and the rest of the government won’t let him make mistakes as big as you seem to suggest are not only possible but inevitable.
On the contrary, history has shown that when the President is weak that groupthink and "yes men" tend to make things worse as fewer and fewer people stand up to their superiors in government anymore. What we have no surrounding our Executive is a huge echo chamber filled with sycophants cheering his vision and cherry-picked lawyers and bureaucrats enabling him and telling him anything he does is OK.
This may possibly be the case in certain Presidencies (I don't really think it is), but we've seen the recent example of GW Bush who exemplified the opposite of this scenario, where it was the President who was effectively a Yes Man.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
Why not just let Iran have nukes and be done with it
I'm in favor of that.

quote:
"Ironically the question isn't "how many divisions has the Pope," but how many divisions has the maniac Ayatollah? "
The Ayatollah may be an evil tyrant, but there's no hint that he's any more 'maniac' or 'mad' than the American or the Russian or the Chinese leadership.

And given America's rabid warmongering (as seen in Iraq) it seems to me that some countries do actually need nukes to help discourage an invasion by America.

So if Iran getting nukes is the only way to dissuade an invasion by the next American warmonger president, fine by me. I wish Saddam Hussein had some nukes to dissuade the American invasion. The whole region would have been better off if such had been the case.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
And as a sidenote, North Korea got nukes 9 years ago, during the G. W. Bush presidency, and the world is still here.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
ODS?

The political will to place troops on Iranian soil is indeed weak to non-existent. The political will to launch strikes against facilities that Iran has all but confirmed are not only nuclear sites but military nuclear sites after we made every effort to handle this diplomatically and were faced only with deceit, intransigence and open hostility however; you will find that will is quite strong.

Politicians and the public at large have no problem with warfare. What most of them want, is to be seen as the "good guys" in any situation. Other than a tiny minority of people (a group the president has proven definitively he is not a part of) we are not pacifists. The only difference between the doves and the hawks is the threshold we require to convince ourselves we will not be seen as bullies, heartless conquers, or evil.

What also matters is how a politician has branded himself. Does he want to appeal to a sense of justice, humanitarian greater good, divine right or just raw patriotism of what is best for us domestically?

Either way, once they are convinced they act. If it's a "threat" that can be dealt with or an interest secured and our national (or personal) reputation is secure, they act.

I can't agree that Obama is weak or even potentially an idiot. I will however refrain from accusing you of hating him in the future.

As a minor correction: If we "choose" not to act, it could be logistics and the reality of our military strength in achieving an objective. Appearing weak may be more desirable than confirming weakness by suggesting you WANT to act but are not capable of doing so.

[ April 16, 2015, 11:23 AM: Message edited by: D.W. ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
Why not just let Iran have nukes and be done with it
I'm in favor of that.

quote:
"Ironically the question isn't "how many divisions has the Pope," but how many divisions has the maniac Ayatollah? "
The Ayatollah may be an evil tyrant, but there's no hint that he's any more 'maniac' or 'mad' than the American or the Russian or the Chinese leadership.

And given America's rabid warmongering (as seen in Iraq) it seems to me that some countries do actually need nukes to help discourage an invasion by America.

So if Iran getting nukes is the only way to dissuade an invasion by the next American warmonger president, fine by me. I wish Saddam Hussein had some nukes to dissuade the American invasion. The whole region would have been better off if such had been the case.

Which country does America constantly say should "die?" By the way that's not even analogous to regime change, there's a difference between wishing for an election outcome or government change and wishing for a whole country to perish.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
Which country does America constantly say should "die?"
You don't tend to need to *say* that a country should die, because you just go and kill it. All while trying to save it, of course.

The countries actually threatened by Iran aren't the ones that Iran shouts "Death to X" at, which is just a form of *election slogan*. They're countries where Iran fosters unrest and supports oppression in, countries like Iraq and Yemen.

quote:
there's a difference between wishing for an election outcome or government change and wishing for a whole country to perish.
Yes. There's also a difference between shouting for a whole country to perish, and actually choosing to go to war against it.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Ya, one difference could be capability. [Razz]

Listen, everyone in an angry mob shouting that likely doesn't want to see our entire nation in flames. A lot of them shouting it probably don't even give a poop what we do abroad. However, SOME do. Preventing that group from getting the capability to see it done matters.

What someone believes about the afterlife IS relevant when discussing "insane" or "suicidal" goals. I'm all for injecting realism but many people are far too dismissive of this threat.

When a country is a competitor and they are rallying / manipulating their population you can ignore a lot. If people "believe" you are a threat to their soul or are an enemy of God, that's a whole nother ball game.

Is it likely a large group? No I don't think so. Is it a large enough group? I am not sure. And that does worry me some. If I were in Israel, it would worry me a lot more.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
Which country does America constantly say should "die?"
You don't tend to need to *say* that a country should die, because you just go and kill it. All while trying to save it, of course.

The countries actually threatened by Iran aren't the ones that Iran shouts "Death to X" at, which is just a form of *election slogan*. They're countries where Iran fosters unrest and supports oppression in, countries like Iraq and Yemen.

quote:
there's a difference between wishing for an election outcome or government change and wishing for a whole country to perish.
Yes. There's also a difference between shouting for a whole country to perish, and actually choosing to go to war against it.

Tell that first bit to the families of Israelis slaughtered by Iran's pet terrorists Hezbollah.


Iran's actions qualify as making war against many countries.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
Ya, one difference could be capability. [Razz]

Listen, everyone in an angry mob shouting that likely doesn't want to see our entire nation in flames. A lot of them shouting it probably don't even give a poop what we do abroad. However, SOME do. Preventing that group from getting the capability to see it done matters.

What someone believes about the afterlife IS relevant when discussing "insane" or "suicidal" goals. I'm all for injecting realism but many people are far too dismissive of this threat.

When a country is a competitor and they are rallying / manipulating their population you can ignore a lot. If people "believe" you are a threat to their soul or are an enemy of God, that's a whole nother ball game.

Is it likely a large group? No I don't think so. Is it a large enough group? I am not sure. And that does worry me some. If I were in Israel, it would worry me a lot more.

It doesn't matter what % of Iran wants us dead, the Ayatollah does, as do many of his puppet leaders, and they are in charge.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
It doesn't matter what % of Iran wants us dead, the Ayatollah does, as do many of his puppet leaders, and they are in charge.

Maybe all they want is U.S. regime change [Razz]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Which country does America constantly say should "die?" By the way that's not even analogous to regime change, there's a difference between wishing for an election outcome or government change and wishing for a whole country to perish.
Of course, that's a false assertion since it's already been pointed down that the Iranian phrase being used is not a literal wish for death, but just a commonly used phrase to express anger or frustration. Casting it as a literal wish for death is exceptionally disingenuous.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Even if culturally true for them Pyr, that will never be persuasive to the overwhelming majority of Americans. I certainly don't buy it.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
Even if culturally true for them Pyr, that will never be persuasive to the overwhelming majority of Americans. I certainly don't buy it.

So you think when they shout "Death to traffic" at traffic jams, they actually mean they want all other drivers on the road killed?
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
You think road rage is a uniquely American phenomonon? [Razz]

But lets take it as a short hand.

"Death to traffic" means I am displeased with the state of trafic and the way it impacts my life, I want it addressed by someone in power to make that so and I feel very passionatly about it.

Now apply this to "Death to America". How do you parse it? Or what is wrong with my interpretation?
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
Now apply this to "Death to America". How do you parse it? Or what is wrong with my interpretation?
I can easily believe that a more accurate translation would be "Down with America" rather than "Death to America".

It's like Nikita Khrushchev's "We will bury you" against the West might be more accurately translated "We will outlast you". (or might not, it's all very confusing)

[ April 16, 2015, 02:17 PM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Which country does America constantly say should "die?" By the way that's not even analogous to regime change, there's a difference between wishing for an election outcome or government change and wishing for a whole country to perish.
Of course, that's a false assertion since it's already been pointed down that the Iranian phrase being used is not a literal wish for death, but just a commonly used phrase to express anger or frustration. Casting it as a literal wish for death is exceptionally disingenuous.
False.
They have said it in many different ways. It is not merely something that was incorrectly translated.

They have said:
Death
Destruction
Annihilation
Purge
etc.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
So what they REALY mean is, "We patiently await the day when America has gone into decline such that our horrible oppressive leadership can no longer blame their crushing policies, which we all hate but fear, on America. On that day our government must face us honestly and begin to govern fairly and effectively. No offense America but your existence as a propaganda symbol is hurting our people."

That's what they really mean when they shout that. Because while there is an off chance we may kill a few of them with bombs, it beats the heck out of being dragged into the square and beheaded or hung with a high degree of certainty by their own government for shouting "Death to the Ayatollah".

Suddenly I'm filled with comfort. [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
You think road rage is a uniquely American phenomonon? [Razz]

But lets take it as a short hand.

"Death to traffic" means I am displeased with the state of trafic and the way it impacts my life, I want it addressed by someone in power to make that so and I feel very passionatly about it.


I'm not so sure about the "I want someone in power to address" it part, and more than it would actually be implied if someone in the US yelled "F*ck traffic" or any other common expletive.

quote:
Now apply this to "Death to America". How do you parse it? Or what is wrong with my interpretation?
It means they don't like the way the US is behaving and would like it to change, expressed in a strong way. AT the very worst, there's no evidence to support the notion that it's more than strong political rhetoric- just the assertions of people trying to gin up the case for war and arguing that we should wipe them out first.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
Oooo...maybe they should make a little song of it like Sen. McCain does when he talks about killing Iranians!

Their oppressive leadership can make a good case for blaming at least some of Iran's problems on America.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
They can indeed kmbboots. Part of why I take it at face value. We have earned some of that hate and that we didn't earn has been laid at our feet by those they do not believe they can contradict, let alone oppose.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
Even if culturally true for them Pyr, that will never be persuasive to the overwhelming majority of Americans. I certainly don't buy it.

So you think when they shout "Death to traffic" at traffic jams, they actually mean they want all other drivers on the road killed?
While I'm pretty sure that we don't have to worry too much about Iran actually trying to wipe us out - I don't think the leaders are actually suicidal - I think this is a bit of a misguided argument. Even if it means something closer to "Down with America", it's still anti-American, it's still hateful.

I think it's likely that a lot of the people who join in this chant do so because they are afraid to dissent, but I also think it's likely that a lot of them really do hate America (or at least the past decades of American foreign policy in the region and the incompatibility of American culture with their interpretation of Islam).

I don't think the distinction you are drawing really matters, in other words. If they don't mean what they say, that's important. If they are literally calling for our deaths or simply our downfall as a superpower, that doesn't really matter. Their leaders are rational enough not to commit to total war against us, and their actions short of that are probably going to be identical under either interpretation of the slogan.

I don't think it means we can't treat with them. That position is either defeatist or abhorrent, depending on whether it resolves to "there's nothing we can do" or "we're just going to have to kill them".
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
I don't think the distinction you are drawing really matters, in other words.
I think it does matter, because it directly leads to your later position. The only reason to advance it as literal is, as we've seen being done here, as part of the case for going to war with them and wiping them out first.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
"wiping them out first" is almost never brought up. Crippling their ability to build a weapon with military strikes is not uncommon. Waging further damaging economic warfare against them is even more common.

No matter how hard the fear mongers work here, we will never reach a "wipe them out first" point. I would even question our willingness to "wipe them out" AFTER a nuke is used.

I think the distinction matters as well Pyrtolin but there is a lot of gray area before you reach erasing an entire people off the map. Preemptive or otherwise.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
So when they say "the destruction of Israel is not negotiable" that's really them saying they want Netanyahu voted out right?

[Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
"wiping them out first" is almost never brought up. Crippling their ability to build a weapon with military strikes is not uncommon.
Which, on follow up for what that means, effectively amounts to wiping them out, because that's about the only degree of strikes that could actually accomplish that goal.

quote:
Waging further damaging economic warfare against them is even more common.

To what point? If they are trying to develop nuclear weapons technology, sanctions are not having any direct impact on their efforts. The only point would be to get them to the negotiating table to work out a deal; which we have already, but now we're being told that we can't make a deal with them, rendering the sanctions moot at best, if not actively counterproductive, since their only other effect is to stir up anti-American sentiment and increase the power of the current regime to dictate policy.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
So when they say "the destruction of Israel is not negotiable" that's really them saying they want Netanyahu voted out right?

"They" says many things, not all of them consistent. "They" say that only fools fall in love. "They" say never fight a land war in Asia.

Unless you're actually literaelly citing every Iranian, it's absurdly vague to say "they" say something.

That's not even getting into the fact that most politicians will claim that something is "not negotiable" as a way of saying "I will negotiate about this out of the public eye, but want to put on a good show for my constituents and then spin the solution later to claim that I got what we really wanted"
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
quote:
because that's about the only degree of strikes that could actually accomplish that goal.
While “It’s the only way to be sure” made for a good line in Aliens, I think we would be willing to authorize strikes far short of that and feel confident we “sufficiently degraded their capabilities” and call it a day.

quote:
The only point would be to get them to the negotiating table to work out a deal;
Or… the quite possibly futile belief that the people of Iran will get so disgusted with their regime’s refusal to give up their nuclear program that they revolt. I don’t buy that, but a lot of people in the states still do.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
So when they say "the destruction of Israel is not negotiable" that's really them saying they want Netanyahu voted out right?

"They" says many things, not all of them consistent. "They" say that only fools fall in love. "They" say never fight a land war in Asia.

Unless you're actually literaelly citing every Iranian, it's absurdly vague to say "they" say something.

That's not even getting into the fact that most politicians will claim that something is "not negotiable" as a way of saying "I will negotiate about this out of the public eye, but want to put on a good show for my constituents and then spin the solution later to claim that I got what we really wanted"

Except in this case "they" refers to the Ayatollah and his generals running his military.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
While “It’s the only way to be sure” made for a good line in Aliens, I think we would be willing to authorize strikes far short of that and feel confident we “sufficiently degraded their capabilities” and call it a day.

The metrics that have been put forth here for “sufficiently degraded their capabilities” are pretty well indistinguishable from wiping out most of the population; in any case we'd hit the point where we do enough damage to further turn population against us long before we even put a scratch in their capabilities.

quote:
Or… the quite possibly futile belief that the people of Iran will get so disgusted with their regime’s refusal to give up their nuclear program that they revolt. I don’t buy that, but a lot of people in the states still do.
they could believe that aliens will land and sort the matter out too, doesn't mean that it's actually going to happen, but at least that's something that w sanctions demonstrably make less likely to happen.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Except in this case "they" refers to the Ayatollah and his generals running his military.
So, politicians pretty much. And that's a direct quote about what one of the terms of the nuclear agreement will be then, such that it's even relevant here? And for all of his other flaws, you're suggesting that the Ayatollah is the world's most honest politician?
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
the quite possibly futile belief that the people of Iran will get so disgusted with their regime’s refusal to give up their nuclear program that they revolt
Do you have any reason to believe that the people of Iran disagree with their government's nuclear program? (Let alone disagree so strongly that they'd be "disgusted enough" to revolt about it?)

Or do most Iranians consider it their country's sovereign right to have a nuclear programme if it so wants?
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
I do not Aris. I find that wishful thinking but expect that many do not and "bringing them to the table" is not the only possible goal of sanctions for some.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Why did the majority of Iranian voters (with a 73% turnout) vote for the candidate who campaigned on "an end to extremism" and in favor of "flexibility" in reaching a nuclear deal. They could have voted for hardliners- all the alternatives were more hostile to the United States. Why didn't they?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Have they overthrown the religious fanatic ruling the country and his minions who are all proclaiming death and destruction to America and Israel in many different ways that can't all be mis-translations?

No.


The Islamic Iranian revolution was a popular revolution. That coupled with their failure to remove the Ayatollah makes them complicit and responsible for that governments nuclear aspirations and threats to destroy others.

[ April 18, 2015, 06:50 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
The Islamic Iranian revolution was a popular revolution.
Well, it depends how you define "popular." A small majority wanted the Shah gone; around 15% wanted a religious leader installed.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Seneca, answer the question. Why did most Iranian voters choose the moderate candidate? That directly refutes your assertion.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
How is the current President moderate? What us he doing to stop the Ayatollah and establish goodwill with the US as opposed to threatening to destroy us and Israel?

And what does it matter what he is or does anyway? The Ayatollah still has supreme power and can override the president whenever he wants. Even Obama calls him the "supreme leader." Are you saying Obama is wrong about that?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Even Obama calls him the "supreme leader."
Why do you keep repeating the fact that Obama uses his formal title as if it were evidence of something? The way you don't seem to be capitalizing Supreme Leader as you would "President", "Chancellor", "Prime Minister", etc... suggests that you might not actually understand why people choose to to refer to him by his title.

[ April 18, 2015, 09:30 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Also, here is your "moderate" President of Iran...

quote:
Saying 'Death to America' is easy. We need to express 'Death to America' with action. Saying it is easy
http://www.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324635904578644333931206380
quote:
The beautiful cry of 'Death to America' unites our nation.
http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=132082&page=1&singlePage=true
quote:
[Israel is] the great Zionist Satan
http://www.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324635904578644333931206380

[ April 18, 2015, 09:37 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Even Obama calls him the "supreme leader."
Why do you keep repeating the fact that Obama uses his formal title as if it were evidence of something?
Why didn't Obama use bin Laden's official title? Both OBL and the Ayatollah have murdered Americans.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Why didn't Obama use bin Laden's official title? Both OBL and the Ayatollah have murdered Americans.

What state political office did bin Laden hold again?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Why didn't Obama use bin Laden's official title? Both OBL and the Ayatollah have murdered Americans.

What state political office did bin Laden hold again?
Does it matter? Both he and the Ayatollah support and give orders to terrorist groups that slaughter Americans.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
The Islamic Iranian revolution was a popular revolution.
Sure, and like most popular revolutions, it led to a less than popular shift in power as the faction that was most able to grab control and impose its will took charge in the resulting disorder.

quote:
That coupled with their failure to remove the Ayatollah makes them complicit and responsible for that governments nuclear aspirations and threats to destroy others.
Being oppressed and then further undercut by sanctions such that revolt is impossible is somehow equivalent to complicity? That's completely nonsensical.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Sure, and like most popular revolutions, it led to a less than popular shift in power as the faction that was most able to grab control and impose its will took charge in the resulting disorder.

So explain how the revolution occurred in the first place and then explain why it is utterly impossible for the Iranians to do one now.
quote:
Being oppressed and then further undercut by sanctions such that revolt is impossible is somehow equivalent to complicity? That's completely nonsensical.
Nonsense, part of what the sanctions accomplished was cutting the Iranian government off from getting lots of weapons, money and infrastructure to solidify their power even more and secure themselves against the people of Iran even more. Also, it helped hold the Iranian people responsible for the actions of their government to encourage them to overthrow it. Both aspects of this are slowly working, and to remove the sanctions now would be insane and set us back and ensure the regime's security for a 100 years at least.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Does it matter? Both he and the Ayatollah support and give orders to terrorist groups that slaughter Americans.

What relevance is that to whether one is formally referring to a Head of State vs. talking about a notable citizen with not formal political position? ARe you seriously trying to criticize Obama for demonstrating basic diplomatic competence?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Nonsense, part of what the sanctions accomplished was cutting the Iranian government off from getting lots of weapons, money and infrastructure to solidify their power even more and secure themselves against the people of Iran even more.
Because, of course Iran is some underdeveloped backwater that can't produce all of those things to a sufficient degree on its own? What the sanctions do accomplish is a reduction of total available supplies, such that the government gets the first cut of what they do have, while the rest of the population is forced to do without, while the government constantly reminds them of how their common external enemy to to blame for the shortages.

quote:
Also, it helped hold the Iranian people responsible for the actions of their government to encourage them to overthrow it.
That's pure nonsense that has no bearing in reality. Sanctions imposed by the US incense the people they're imposed on against the US- the prop up popular support of the government by providing a common foe. At he same time they undermine the access of the people of the country to external resources that the government doesn't have as much of a first shot at monopolizing or otherwise controlling the distribution of.

quote:
Both aspects of this are slowly working, and to remove the sanctions now would be insane and set us back and ensure the regime's security for a 100 years at least.
The only aspect of sanctions that has any relevance is the part that brings the country to the negotiating table to work out an agreement to end them. Everything else you put forth are imaginary assertions that have no basis in reality. It's a cure theory, but it completely collapses in real world application, because at the bare minimum, the people of the country being sanctions aren't so stupid as to blame anyone but the countries imposing sanctions for imposing them.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Slowly working? How close are they to a bomb, again?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Nonsense, part of what the sanctions accomplished was cutting the Iranian government off from getting lots of weapons, money and infrastructure to solidify their power even more and secure themselves against the people of Iran even more.
Because, of course Iran is some underdeveloped backwater that can't produce all of those things to a sufficient degree on its own? What the sanctions do accomplish is a reduction of total available supplies, such that the government gets the first cut of what they do have, while the rest of the population is forced to do without, while the government constantly reminds them of how their common external enemy to to blame for the shortages.

quote:
Also, it helped hold the Iranian people responsible for the actions of their government to encourage them to overthrow it.
That's pure nonsense that has no bearing in reality. Sanctions imposed by the US incense the people they're imposed on against the US- the prop up popular support of the government by providing a common foe. At he same time they undermine the access of the people of the country to external resources that the government doesn't have as much of a first shot at monopolizing or otherwise controlling the distribution of.

quote:
Both aspects of this are slowly working, and to remove the sanctions now would be insane and set us back and ensure the regime's security for a 100 years at least.
The only aspect of sanctions that has any relevance is the part that brings the country to the negotiating table to work out an agreement to end them. Everything else you put forth are imaginary assertions that have no basis in reality. It's a cure theory, but it completely collapses in real world application, because at the bare minimum, the people of the country being sanctions aren't so stupid as to blame anyone but the countries imposing sanctions for imposing them.

You are so utterly wrong about all of this I'm not sure if there is a way to communicate it. The "green revolution" was proof that the people of Iran were "getting it" and that they were starting to realize that between the unified most of the rest of the world vs. their despotic Ayatollah that their Ayatollah was the one at fault.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Slowly working? How close are they to a bomb, again?

Short of destroying the country what other options were there?
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Seneca, don't do your typical dodging. Why did over 50% of Iranian voters choose the candidate who in 2014 was advocating the most moderate position regarding the U.S.? If they all believed in death to America, why didn't they vote for more hardline candidates?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Seneca, don't do your typical dodging. Why did over 50% of Iranian voters choose the candidate who in 2014 was advocating the most moderate position regarding the U.S.? If they all believed in death to America, why didn't they vote for more hardline candidates?

Uh, you think Mr. "Words are not enough, we have to show some 'action' when we say 'Death to America'" is moderate? Really?

This guy is moderate?

quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Also, here is your "moderate" President of Iran...

quote:
Saying 'Death to America' is easy. We need to express 'Death to America' with action. Saying it is easy
http://www.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324635904578644333931206380
quote:
The beautiful cry of 'Death to America' unites our nation.
http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=132082&page=1&singlePage=true
quote:
[Israel is] the great Zionist Satan
http://www.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324635904578644333931206380

He makes Mahmoud Ahmadinejad look like a peacenik!

Don't do your typical apologism for this Islamist nutjob, explain his bloodthirsty quotes.

[ April 18, 2015, 11:27 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by JoshCrow (Member # 6048) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:

Don't do your typical apologism for this Islamist nutjob, explain his bloodthirsty quotes.

That's basically the Iranian "God Bless America". You can't run for office there without it. Rouhani is as moderate as it gets in modern Iran - we'd be fools not to take this opportunity. The alternatives are inevitably worse.

[ April 19, 2015, 08:38 AM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Seneca, your quotations from about a decade ago are as relevant as saying Senator McCain is actively pro-war against Iran based on a comment from him a decade ago.

The Iranian voters are who we are talking about. And their choice in 2014. They had multiple candidates running in 2014. And the majority of them voted for a candidate who was taking more moderate positions than the opposition in 2014. You cannot refute this by pointing to statements he made a decade earlier. It is not even necessary to take a position on whether Rouhani has changed his true views or not. If the majority of Iranian voters choose to vote for the candidate who was claiming to be more moderate and more willing to negotiate with the West, that directly refutes your assertions about the mindset of most Iranians. So don't dodge the question with distractions, instead explain why that many voters made that choice rather than vote for a candidate with a stronger anti-American position?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:

Don't do your typical apologism for this Islamist nutjob, explain his bloodthirsty quotes.

That's basically the Iranian "God Bless America". You can't run for office there without it. Rouhani is as moderate as it gets in modern Iran - we'd be fools not to take this opportunity. The alternatives are inevitably worse.
No, it's not.

Too many variations and then you also have the one where he says "words aren't enough, we need to act on it." That's clear, don't you think?

[ April 19, 2015, 01:05 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Seneca, your quotations from about a decade ago are as relevant as saying Senator McCain is actively pro-war against Iran based on a comment from him a decade ago.

The Iranian voters are who we are talking about. And their choice in 2014. They had multiple candidates running in 2014. And the majority of them voted for a candidate who was taking more moderate positions than the opposition in 2014. You cannot refute this by pointing to statements he made a decade earlier. It is not even necessary to take a position on whether Rouhani has changed his true views or not. If the majority of Iranian voters choose to vote for the candidate who was claiming to be more moderate and more willing to negotiate with the West, that directly refutes your assertions about the mindset of most Iranians. So don't dodge the question with distractions, instead explain why that many voters made that choice rather than vote for a candidate with a stronger anti-American position?

One of the quotes is from a decade ago. The worst two of them though are form very recently, less than 2 and 3 years ago. Check your facts next time.

Any other attempts to put lipstick on this pig or will you address his eyes clear and vile language? Please don't do your typical dodging.

[ April 19, 2015, 01:07 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
Are you contending that Rouhani was not considered the most progressive and least anti-american candidate for president at the time of the last Iranian election, Seneca?
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
Also, it helped hold the Iranian people responsible for the actions of their government to encourage them to overthrow it.
Can you give me a single example in the history of EVER where sanctions by a foreign power have encouraged the locals to overthrow their dictators?

Your argument is as deluded as the islamists who think that if they punished the westerner civilians enough, the westerner civilians will rise up in solidarity with the islamists *against* their own governments.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Are you contending that Rouhani was not considered the most progressive and least anti-american candidate for president at the time of the last Iranian election, Seneca?

At this point the definition of "least anti-American" you are trying to push is so weak and indistinguishable from others that it becomes meaningless.

Are we supposed to be happy it was only someone who said the things he did and not twice as many?

What does it really matter when he still says even at least once recently that Iran needs to put actions, not words, into the destruction of America?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
Also, it helped hold the Iranian people responsible for the actions of their government to encourage them to overthrow it.
Can you give me a single example in the history of EVER where sanctions by a foreign power have encouraged the locals to overthrow their dictators?

Your argument is as deluded as the islamists who think that if they punished the westerner civilians enough, the westerner civilians will rise up in solidarity with the islamists *against* their own governments.

The other alternative is we wait until just before Iran gets a bomb, then we attack them, or we stupidly wait until they nuke us, and we then wipe them out with submarines even if they managed to kill every American on the continent, which they probably wouldn't have enough nukes for.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
Seneca, you seem to be purposefully missing the point.

At the time of the election, Rouhani was considered to be the most progressive choice. Do you dispute this? Here is a reminder or two...

Moderate Cleric Rouhani

Rouhani proposes progressive reforms

Rouhani wants referendum to sidestep hardliners

Are you really suggesting that Iranians at that time did not perceive Rouhani to be the most progressive candidate?
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Seneca, you made assertions about Iranian voters. Your assertion is what is in question. You must defend that first or withdraw it. I don't need to defend Rouhani because my counter-argument does not require him to be a good guy, it merely requires him to have a differential level of hostility to the U.S. Because Rouhani is not the basis of your assertion, it is the preferences of Iranian voters.

If the Iranian population were as you assert they are, they would have chosen the most anti-Western position. Instead, they did not. Why would they not do so? Please explain.

If you can't, then your assertion is literally indefensible.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
More false choices.

So the Iranian people chose someone who only talks about destroying America half as much or even 1/10th as much as the other choices? So what? This is a meaningless distinction. America can only be destroyed once, what does it matter if the other candidates harped on it more? Stating that statement even once should render anyone outside of any consideration of being called "moderate."

Both of you are trying to cover for a people and a leader who are hostile to America by trying to say "they could be MORE hostile more OFTEN," as if that mitigates it somehow. What absurd nonsense.

Greg, I pointed out how you were wrong in your statement about the date of those quotes, and you just casually shrugged it off and kept going when in reality you should have admitted you were wrong and re-thought your stance because it was based on bad information that you believed.

[ April 19, 2015, 04:28 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
Also, it helped hold the Iranian people responsible for the actions of their government to encourage them to overthrow it.
Can you give me a single example in the history of EVER where sanctions by a foreign power have encouraged the locals to overthrow their dictators?

Your argument is as deluded as the islamists who think that if they punished the westerner civilians enough, the westerner civilians will rise up in solidarity with the islamists *against* their own governments.

The other alternative is we wait until just before Iran gets a bomb, then we attack them, or we stupidly wait until they nuke us, and we then wipe them out with submarines even if they managed to kill every American on the continent, which they probably wouldn't have enough nukes for.
I asked you a question. You didn't answer it. By this non-answer, do you acknowledge that you can NOT give me an example in the history of EVER where sanctions by a foreign power have encouraged the locals to overthrow their dictators?

On my part however I can give you several historical examples of nuclear powers which were hostile at other nuclear powers and yet have NOT nuked each other, E.g. Soviet Union & America, Soviet Union & China, India & Pakistan, North Korea & America.

So you say "stupidly wait until they nuke us" but I say that's "wisely realize that even if they do get nuclear weapons, they will almost certainly not be nuking you".
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
You are so utterly wrong about all of this I'm not sure if there is a way to communicate it. The "green revolution" was proof that the people of Iran were "getting it" and that they were starting to realize that between the unified most of the rest of the world vs. their despotic Ayatollah that their Ayatollah was the one at fault.
How is something that happened before the current heavy sanctions were put in place, something that pretty much died out in response to those sanctions, since we decided to support that route over encouraging the Green movement there, proof that the sanctions were encouraging the movement?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Slowly working? How close are they to a bomb, again?

Short of destroying the country what other options were there?
With outright calls for genocide like that coming from the US, is it any wonder it's easy for their government to stir up defensive antipathy toward the US?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
Also, it helped hold the Iranian people responsible for the actions of their government to encourage them to overthrow it.
Can you give me a single example in the history of EVER where sanctions by a foreign power have encouraged the locals to overthrow their dictators?

Your argument is as deluded as the islamists who think that if they punished the westerner civilians enough, the westerner civilians will rise up in solidarity with the islamists *against* their own governments.

The other alternative is we wait until just before Iran gets a bomb, then we attack them, or we stupidly wait until they nuke us, and we then wipe them out with submarines even if they managed to kill every American on the continent, which they probably wouldn't have enough nukes for.
I asked you a question. You didn't answer it. By this non-answer, do you acknowledge that you can NOT give me an example in the history of EVER where sanctions by a foreign power have encouraged the locals to overthrow their dictators?

On my part however I can give you several historical examples of nuclear powers which were hostile at other nuclear powers and yet have NOT nuked each other, E.g. Soviet Union & America, Soviet Union & China, India & Pakistan, North Korea & America.

So you say "stupidly wait until they nuke us" but I say that's "wisely realize that even if they do get nuclear weapons, they will almost certainly not be nuking you".

Which of those were theocracies?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
You are so utterly wrong about all of this I'm not sure if there is a way to communicate it. The "green revolution" was proof that the people of Iran were "getting it" and that they were starting to realize that between the unified most of the rest of the world vs. their despotic Ayatollah that their Ayatollah was the one at fault.
How is something that happened before the current heavy sanctions were put in place, something that pretty much died out in response to those sanctions, since we decided to support that route over encouraging the Green movement there, proof that the sanctions were encouraging the movement?
That is a wrong analysis of how the sanctions were working.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Slowly working? How close are they to a bomb, again?

Short of destroying the country what other options were there?
With outright calls for genocide like that coming from the US, is it any wonder it's easy for their government to stir up defensive antipathy toward the US?
The difference being that they are in response to Iran threatening to destroy Israel and the US and seeking weapons to do it. Don't pretend we take these positions in a vacuum or unprovoked.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
And yet I'm pretty sure that they feel provoked, too.

Perhaps the answer is to not go around threatening to wipe out countries when you feel a little scared of them.
 
Posted by philnotfil (Member # 1881) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Slowly working? How close are they to a bomb, again?

Five years away, just like they were in the 80s, and in the 90s, and in the 00s. Eventually the prediction will have been true.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
Which of those were theocracies?
I do not like that you've twice so far responded to a post of mine while refusing to answer the question I explicitly asked. I find it *rude* on your behalf.

To respond to you: none. But then again none of the countries was communist until Soviet Union, and none of the countries was of a non-European descent until China, and none of the countries was a former colony until India, and none of the countries was Muslim until Pakistan, and none of the countries were led by a Kim until North Korea.

If Iran becomes the first theocratic country with nuclear weaponry, then that'll be a first as each of the previous countries was also a first of its kind in some respect. I don't find it particularly worthy of note.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Allowing a theocratic country will be both a first and last,because their psychotic and zealous religious views will inform them to use those weapons. You can't discount this aspect of them as just a quirky attribute that is equivalent to the others you listed. This one happens to be more functionally dangerous than any of the others.

The case can be made that sanctions worked in South Africa, that they helped end the Bosnian war, they forced Libya into handing over the Lockerbie terrorists and that it also forced Libya to stop attempting to acquire WMDs.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Allowing a theocratic country will be both a first and last,because their psychotic and zealous religious views will inform them to use those weapons.
By that logic, we shouldn't let the Tea Party control our nuclear arsenal. [Wink]
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Slowly working? How close are they to a bomb, again?

Short of destroying the country what other options were there?
With outright calls for genocide like that coming from the US, is it any wonder it's easy for their government to stir up defensive antipathy toward the US?
The difference being that they are in response to Iran threatening to destroy Israel and the US and seeking weapons to do it. Don't pretend we take these positions in a vacuum or unprovoked.
Isn't is possible that Iran is also reacting?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
One of the things I find most darkly comic about the various interactions between Israel and Palestine is all of the "but you guys did this, so we had to do this" crap, as if they're ever going to agree on which group hurt the other group first and is therefore truly deserving of punishment.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
Allowing a theocratic country will be both a first and last, because their psychotic and zealous religious views will inform them to use those weapons.
'Psychotic and zealous religious views' LOL. Iran's foreign policy seems to me actually more pragmatic and less faith-driven than America's.

America's rulers seems to have more religious faith in capitalism and democracy than Iran's rulers have religious faith in Allah. Wasn't Iraq supposed to be the shining beacon, illustrating the benefits of democracy to the whole region?

Iran may have likewise backed Islamist Shiite forces outside its borders, but its motivations seem much more pragmatic and cynical and *well-calculated* than America's own faith-driven approach towards foreign policy.

quote:
The case can be made that sanctions worked in South Africa, that they helped end the Bosnian war, they forced Libya into handing over the Lockerbie terrorists and that it also forced Libya to stop attempting to acquire WMDs
I disagree with you in regards to Bosnia, and as for the rest: I never argued against the effectiveness of sanctions altogether (e.g. I support sanctions against Russia), I argued against the idea that they'll convince a populace to rise up against its government.

It's trivial for a government to use its control over the media to present any foreign sanctions as unjust foreign aggression, and thus the sanctions are more likely to assist the government's popularity, not to encourage its overthrow.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
Allowing a theocratic country will be both a first and last, because their psychotic and zealous religious views will inform them to use those weapons.
'Psychotic and zealous religious views' LOL. Iran's foreign policy seems to me actually more pragmatic and less faith-driven than America's.

America's rulers seems to have more religious faith in capitalism and democracy than Iran's rulers have religious faith in Allah. Wasn't Iraq supposed to be the shining beacon, illustrating the benefits of democracy to the whole region?

Iran may have likewise backed Islamist Shiite forces outside its borders, but its motivations seem much more pragmatic and cynical and *well-calculated* than America's own faith-driven approach towards foreign policy.

quote:
The case can be made that sanctions worked in South Africa, that they helped end the Bosnian war, they forced Libya into handing over the Lockerbie terrorists and that it also forced Libya to stop attempting to acquire WMDs
I disagree with you in regards to Bosnia, and as for the rest: I never argued against the effectiveness of sanctions altogether (e.g. I support sanctions against Russia), I argued against the idea that they'll convince a populace to rise up against its government.

It's trivial for a government to use its control over the media to present any foreign sanctions as unjust foreign aggression, and thus the sanctions are more likely to assist the government's popularity, not to encourage its overthrow.

You cavalierly just minimized Iran's association with Hezbollah and the Syrian regime, among others.

There is no comparison between America and Iran. Iran uses Sharia Law to oppress its people and they execute them for "immorality." They repeatedly have shown that they use their religious beliefs to make foreign policy whereas the United States foreign policy is based on tangible real interests. If you falsely claim capitalism to be some kind of religion to blow smoke and create some kind of false equivalence then I doubt we can find any kind of common ground on this. Capitalism doesn't tell people that they will go to heaven for strapping on explosive vests and blowing themselves up if they do it while killing unbelievers. However, on the other hand, the official government Islamist teachings in Iran that informs their support of Hezbollah do state that.

As for Libya, why didn't the sanctions shore up support for the government there?

[ April 20, 2015, 12:41 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
When we kill people, it is for profit. That is so much better! By the way, Israel is also a state based on religion.

[ April 20, 2015, 12:51 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
When we kill people, it is for profit. That is so much better! By the way, Israel is also a state based on religion.

Kate, where is our religious book with the words "you get 72 dollars if you die slaughtering a communist"?

Also, where in Judaism and in Israel are rabbis preaching the slaughter of Muslims will send Jews to heaven?

I'll wait for you to post those links.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
You cavalierly just minimized Iran's association with Hezbollah and the Syrian regime, among others.
Do please explain how Iran's association with the secular Syrian regime illustrates the phychoticness and zealousness of Iran's theocracy?

Illustrating its *evil* sure, what does that have to do with it being zealous and/or psychotic, though?

Also Russia associates and supports the same groups and regimes, without needing to be theocratic itself. It just needs to be evil.

quote:
Iran uses Sharia Law to oppress its people and they execute them for "immorality."
And the Soviet Union used the 'class struggle', and North Korea uses Juche philosophy or whatever, and I honestly don't know what the **** America uses to justify imprisoning people for smoking marijuana but seen from the view of future history I think the murder of people for homosexuality in Iran will be seen in the same category as the imprisonment of thousands of people for marijuana in America.

quote:
As for Libya, why didn't the sanctions shore up support for the government there?
What makes you think they didn't? The sanctions against Libya were lifted in 2003, no? Gaddafi fell 8 years later.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
I think you misunderstand. We don't kill (usually) for religious reasons. We kill for money.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
When we kill people, it is for profit. That is so much better!

It is actually, since nations can find mutually profitable modes of existence.

My argument is that the things Iran does, it does for profit too.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
So, in an effort at white washing, we are not able to take Iranians at their word about what they want to do to America (notwithstanding decades of consistent declarations and policy), yet we're perfectly able (and with a straight face) to declare that all Republicans say hate [insert interest group here], based on random out of context statements that are often retracted.

And "we" kill people for money, notwithstanding that we actually don't, yet people who kill people for religion, which they do, are misunderstood.

There is absolutely no reason we should trust Iran to comply with its treaty terms, it doesn't comply with them now, yet this represents an "unreasonable" and "war mongering" view. It must follow that being against this treaty means that, someone wants to 'turn Iran into a parking lot and kill every man woman and child there.' Argue in good faith or not at all.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
And in other news we just moved an aircraft carrier to intercept and block Iranian weapon shipments to terrorists in Yemen...

You can't make this stuff up...
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Actually, I could. I probably would make it up if I was writing about a conflict that involved several different spheres of competing interests. Especially if it was an asymetric conflict where neither side wanted to actively start shooting.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
The part you can't make up is that our commander in chief is sending our largest mobile combat platform to possibly fight with this country for violating international standards on providing weapons to terrorists, yet he expects us to believe they can be trusted to comply with a nuclear arms deal...
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
And "we" kill people for money, notwithstanding that we actually don't...
We don't?
Leaving aside the fact that we have a completely mercenary army, made up entirely of individuals paid money in exchange for killing people, the assertion that American military policy in not in pursuit of American corporate profits (and projected power, necessary to ensure those profits) is one that I don't think is supportable. Of course we kill people for money. We don't do it for any other reason.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Fighting Hitler was sure a huge money grab! It didn't put us into debt at all!
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Nope, I could make it up. I think you should re-adjust your credulity meter.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
Tom, I know plenty of soldiers and not single one of them is a mercenary, so no we don't kill people for money. That has a different meaning than just drawing a salary. It implies corruption, else we also jail people for money, execute people for money, tax people for money, etc.

You may have a view as to why we enter into some conflicts rather than others, but I don't find your view on it to be persuasive. Every conflict we've been in has had other possible, and in my view far more likely, reasons why we were there.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
For the record, even with the implication of corruption, the US definitely imprisons people for the money. I would not be suprised if those systems of corruption have resulted in executions.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
Okay NobleHunter how much do I pay to have someone imprisoned in the US?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Fighting Hitler was sure a huge money grab! It didn't put us into debt at all!
quote:
Tom, I know plenty of soldiers and not single one of them is a mercenary....
They didn't voluntarily sign up and are not drawing a salary?

quote:
It implies corruption, else we also jail people for money, execute people for money, tax people for money, etc.
We do all those things for money. Corrupt money, even.

quote:
Every conflict we've been in has had other possible, and in my view far more likely, reasons why we were there.
Fair enough. I would say that those reasons have historically been ancillary at best and trumped-up at worst, but there's certainly room for disagreement. No doubt many Iranians believe, not without justification, that their government went to war with Iraq over oil profits and regional influence peddling.

------------

quote:
Okay NobleHunter how much do I pay to have someone imprisoned in the US?
It's hard to answer this without knowing a) where the person in question is currently located; b) whether they're a juvenile; and c) their demographic background. Once you know these three things, though, you can come up with a ballpark figure. We know that in Pennsylvania, for example, you could have a juvenile arrested for about $140 in kickbacks (although that represents a single individual apportioned from the bulk rate paid; no doubt a specific individual would cost more.)

[ April 21, 2015, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
You've got it backwards. People pay *you* money for imprisoning someone. If you're lucky, you can set up a business in a jurisdiction like Ferguson, where a good chunk of the population are farmed for fines and other minor violations.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
I don't have it backwards. The fact that firefighters get paid, does not meant that we fight fires for money. It's an overly technical literalism.

If you can't pay people to jail someone, then we are not jailing people for money. The fact that everyone who works at a jail gets paid, does not alter the fact of why we are jailing people. Being able to pay someone to jail someone else would.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
The fact that firefighters get paid, does not meant that we fight fires for money.
Do you know why most cities have firefighting services in the form that they do? Because back when firefighting was done in a contractual, libertarian fashion, firefighters would drum up business by starting fires. It wasn't even that long ago that this was the norm.

quote:
If you can't pay people to jail someone, then we are not jailing people for money.
But you can in fact pay people to jail someone. It is not legal to do so, but legality has nothing to do with this argument.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Not what I meant. We pay companies to jail people. Some of these companies have gained sufficient influence over certain jurisdictions that they can manipulate enforcement to ensure a continued or increasing flow of product.

Their profits depend on people going to jail and since that only happens under the authority of the state, we jail people for money.

Tom, do you have cite for the fire starting? I've heard of it being done pathologically but not for profit.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Look up the Black Joke fire company -- or Tweed's Americus, for a more famous example.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
The part you can't make up is that our commander in chief is sending our largest mobile combat platform to possibly fight with this country for violating international standards on providing weapons to terrorists, yet he expects us to believe they can be trusted to comply with a nuclear arms deal...

In the particular case of Yemen I don't think there is a clear dividing line between "the good side" and "the bad side." Is the U.S. not an ally of Saudi Arabia?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
The part you can't make up is that our commander in chief is sending our largest mobile combat platform to possibly fight with this country for violating international standards on providing weapons to terrorists, yet he expects us to believe they can be trusted to comply with a nuclear arms deal...

In the particular case of Yemen I don't think there is a clear dividing line between "the good side" and "the bad side." Is the U.S. not an ally of Saudi Arabia?
Please tell us how the terrorist fighters slaughtering innocent women and children there can be construed to be "the good side" or even anything other than evil?
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
So if one side is evil, those opposing them must be good?
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Please tell us how the terrorist fighters slaughtering innocent women and children there can be construed to be "the good side" or even anything other than evil?

What I mean to say is that Yemen is a quagmire and it's futile to try to point at any side as being the good side. Back in the time of the Arab Spring Americans were celebrating all the protests against governments in the Mid-East, were they not? Well in Yemen the protesters we were rooting for included the Houthis. But since the government in Yemen didn't completely topple as it did, for instance, in Egypt, a settlement was made which did not satisfy the protesters, and so they decided to do something about it. Sounds good, right? Except that now they're being called terrorists and the great U.S. ally Saudi Arabia is supporting the government while Iran seems to be backing the Houthis.

Of special note is that Al Qaeda seems to have been defending the government as well against the Houthis, and even recently there was a suicide attack against the Houthis which ISIS took credit for.

So we have a Saudi-Iran conflict taking place by proxy, ISIS and Al Qaeda involvement on the 'good side', and an unresolved conflict originating from the much-acclaimed Arab Spring, where the rebels are doing better in Yemen than their counterparts in Syria did.

So you tell me which side is the 'good side' here. It might be easy to jump in and say any side aided by Iran is the bad side, but that still doesn't make the other side the good side!

[ April 21, 2015, 03:12 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Or maybe it's in our best (security) interest to let the whole mess drag out so that neither faction ever gets powerful enough. To this end, we play the, "It's complicated" card and swap allegiances as necessary to keep the pendulum swinging as long as possible. A policy of containment.

It's not pretty, it's far from grand idealism, but it is likely the most cost effective means to play the global game for the U.S. If it keeps it off our doorstep call it a win and focus our efforts elsewhere. Doing the minimum needed to keep our commitments to our allies but causing just enough friction with them to keep up the appearance of (if not actual) instability while preserving the perception of our military ready for anything should we be "forced to act".
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
Or we could stop playing games with other people's lives. I mean, we will probably keep doing what we are doing but we don't get to claim some moral superiority or exceptionalism while we are at it.

[ April 27, 2015, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Oh we do get to claim that. We just don't deserve to... We are proof that you still need a good propaganda machine even if you aren't a brutally oppressive (to your own population) government.

The odd thing with the U.S. is I think a lot of the population understands how we treat the rest of the world as competition or a resource to be exploited yet are OK with it. I suppose rather than judging "our" actions based on what is moral or just we instead use the sliding scale of how "the rest of the world" acts. Or at least, the portion of the rest of the world we have interests in or concerns with anyway. We consider our use of force to be more "civilized" and therefore more acceptable.

[ April 27, 2015, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
There is no equivalence between us and the Iranians. If you think there is go complain about not being able to get a gay wedding catered in Tehran and see if you survive a week without execution or torture.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
You know, I am always intrigued when readers of Card -- as one might assume members of this site would be -- are willing to define other human beings as varelse.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Seneca strikes me more as an Empire fan than Ender's Game. [Smile]
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
You know, I am always intrigued when readers of Card -- as one might assume members of this site would be -- are willing to define other human beings as varelse.

I have that reaction a lot. Makes me sad.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Like I said, anyone who thinks the Iranian Islamo-Nazis can be reasoned with please feel free to travel to Tehran and protest demanding equal rights for women, gays and Jews. We'll see if you're still alive a few weeks later.

Why is Iran getting a free pass on its ongoing policies and slaughter? Why are people pretending that Iran and the US are somehow morally equivalent or anywhere near each other?

[ April 28, 2015, 04:59 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Oh, we heard you. Just trying to figure out who you are addressing.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
You know, I am always intrigued when readers of Card -- as one might assume members of this site would be -- are willing to define other human beings as varelse.

I have that reaction a lot. Makes me sad.

 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Why is Iran getting a free pass on its ongoing policies and slaughter?
I'm curious what constitutes a "free pass" in this scenario. How would you treat an Iranian differently, Seneca, if you gave him a free pass instead of condemning him and all his people?
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Sorry Seneca, didn't realize you were stating the Iranians (or at least their government) are so unreasonable as to actually BE varelse. Thanks for clarifying.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Like I said, anyone who thinks the Iranian Islamo-Nazis can be reasoned with please feel free to travel to Tehran and protest demanding equal rights for women, gays and Jews. We'll see if you're still alive a few weeks later.

Why is Iran getting a free pass on its ongoing policies and slaughter? Why are people pretending that Iran and the US are somehow morally equivalent or anywhere near each other?

What are you making up irrelevant claims?

There's no moral litmus test for treating humans as humans. The fact that they suffer from an oppressive, dictatorial government does not justify writing them off as subhuman

You seem to be falsely equating arguments that perpetuating further violence against them will not do anything to solve issues that people would like to see resolved there with "a free pass". It's completely false to assert that disagreeing with your preferred tactics is giving anyone a pass.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Like I said, anyone who thinks the Iranian Islamo-Nazis can be reasoned with please feel free to travel to Tehran and protest demanding equal rights for women, gays and Jews. We'll see if you're still alive a few weeks later.

Why is Iran getting a free pass on its ongoing policies and slaughter? Why are people pretending that Iran and the US are somehow morally equivalent or anywhere near each other?

What are you making up irrelevant claims?

There's no moral litmus test for treating humans as humans. The fact that they suffer from an oppressive, dictatorial government does not justify writing them off as subhuman

You seem to be falsely equating arguments that perpetuating further violence against them will not do anything to solve issues that people would like to see resolved there with "a free pass". It's completely false to assert that disagreeing with your preferred tactics is giving anyone a pass.

Given your repeated stance that Iran's many and diverse range of death threats against the US and Israel are just mistranslations/misunderstandings your response here is not legitimate.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Given your repeated stance that Iran's many and diverse range of death threats against the US and Israel are just mistranslations/misunderstandings your response here is not legitimate.
Why? Even if they were serious threats, it would not justify returning the sentiment, as that would only serve to justify them and do nothing to actually reduce the threat.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
It's not about "returning the sentiment," it's about responding to the fact that they want to kill us, are telling us they want to kill us, and are taking steps to accomplish that goal.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
It's not about "returning the sentiment," it's about responding to the fact that they want to kill us, are telling us they want to kill us, and are taking steps to accomplish that goal.

In the case of the Chinese finger puzzle one experiences the object try to trap you, and one's attempt to oppose the force of the puzzle increases the tension exerted by the puzzle. The solution in this instance is to release tension and to 'give in' to the puzzle, which in turn causes it to cease threatening to trap you.

The question is, which scenarios are a Chinese finger puzzle? To give in may feel like a strike to the ego and yet it can functionally be the best strategy. In the case of international relations the equivalent would be to develop friendly relations with a threatening country instead of opposing them. This will not always work, and so it is a case-by-case affair. But has the U.S. ever tried to initiate friendly relations with Iran since the Shah was deposed?

If we think of Nazi Germany we can see a case where appeasement or friendship would be a failure. In the case of communist China opening up friendly relations may well prove to have prevented any direct military threat by them as we are now mutually interdependent. So now we can ask which Iran is. I know you've been saying that they are an implacable foe, and there is some chance you may be right. But how do you know?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
It's not about "returning the sentiment," it's about responding to the fact that they want to kill us, are telling us they want to kill us, and are taking steps to accomplish that goal.

In the case of the Chinese finger puzzle one experiences the object try to trap you, and one's attempt to oppose the force of the puzzle increases the tension exerted by the puzzle. The solution in this instance is to release tension and to 'give in' to the puzzle, which in turn causes it to cease threatening to trap you.

The question is, which scenarios are a Chinese finger puzzle? To give in may feel like a strike to the ego and yet it can functionally be the best strategy. In the case of international relations the equivalent would be to develop friendly relations with a threatening country instead of opposing them. This will not always work, and so it is a case-by-case affair. But has the U.S. ever tried to initiate friendly relations with Iran since the Shah was deposed?

If we think of Nazi Germany we can see a case where appeasement or friendship would be a failure. In the case of communist China opening up friendly relations may well prove to have prevented any direct military threat by them as we are now mutually interdependent. So now we can ask which Iran is. I know you've been saying that they are an implacable foe, and there is some chance you may be right. But how do you know?

The analogy is a bad one.

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

Don't forget, many of their shouts are about us being the "Great Satan." Rolling over won't less their desire to kill us, rather it would make them think Allah was laying us low for their righteous slaughter of the "infidels."
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:

Don't forget, many of their shouts are about us being the "Great Satan." Rolling over won't less their desire to kill us, rather it would make them think Allah was laying us low for their righteous slaughter of the "infidels."

Let's say you're right and they actually believe that. My first question again is how you know that for sure. You know what they say, but how do you know what they'll do if friendship was attempted?

My second question is, do you think it might not be possible to convince them that American isn't the Great Satan after all? And I don't mean tricking them, but assuming you disagree with their assessments about America then surely increasingly friendly relations would show them that it isn't true? You may say their hatred of America is irrational, but then I'd ask why they even hate America in the first place? Why have that particular irrational hate? And if it is rational, we might ask what it's based on and how we can help correct the source of their grievances.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
My first question again is how you know that for sure.
Because they tell each other that.
They tell us that.
It's part of their prayers, culture, and painted all over the side of buildings, in books, music, etc.

quote:
You know what they say, but how do you know what they'll do if friendship was attempted?
Because Obama tried that, and they still laughed and said "Death to America!"

Besides, why should we be friends with such an evil regime that tortures and executes gays, women and religious minorities? But that's another discussion...

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

quote:
You may say their hatred of America is irrational, but then I'd ask why they even hate America in the first place? Why have that particular irrational hate?
Why does Islam exist? Why are Iranians muslim? Why is the USA not a theocracy?

quote:
And if it is rational, we might ask what it's based on and how we can help correct the source of their grievances.
Do you consider theocratic rule and religiously-inspired government directives to be rationally-based?
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:

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

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

So what is it? Could it be the power, and in addition, the foreign policy of the U.S. that makes it the Great Satan to them? If it's this, then this seems like an area where compromise would be possible if we so chose. But if it's not this either then it sounds like it's not anything, in which case I wonder why America is the Great Satan and not Germany.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
It's not about "returning the sentiment," it's about responding to the fact that they want to kill us, are telling us they want to kill us, and are taking steps to accomplish that goal.

Indeed. And threatening to kill them in return won't accomplish that. It will just convince them that they are right and need to take us out first as a matter of personal safety. Trying to kill someone only makes them more of a threat to you, not less.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
Seneca:
quote:
Rolling over won't less their desire to kill us, rather it would make them think Allah was laying us low for their righteous slaughter of the "infidels."
No partaking in your calls to genocide or other punitive actions that only drum up more anti-US sentiment isn't rolling over. That's an unquestionably false assertion.


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

What's being proposed here is th- that we work on building ground up sympathy and support, such that dictatorial directives from the leadership lose traction. Deal firmly with the leadership, including making arrangements with them and holding them up in front of the international community based on how well they hold to them, while at the same time making it clear to the people that we have no animosity toward them- that our beef is entirely with the behavior of their leadership and make sure that they're as well insulated as possible from any the negative effects of actions we take against their leadership.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
It's not about "returning the sentiment," it's about responding to the fact that they want to kill us, are telling us they want to kill us, and are taking steps to accomplish that goal.

Indeed. And threatening to kill them in return won't accomplish that. It will just convince them that they are right and need to take us out first as a matter of personal safety. Trying to kill someone only makes them more of a threat to you, not less.
Yes. They are trying to kill us. This makes them a threat. And rolling over and giving them whatever they want won't make them stop.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Seneca:
quote:
Rolling over won't less their desire to kill us, rather it would make them think Allah was laying us low for their righteous slaughter of the "infidels."
No partaking in your calls to genocide or other punitive actions that only drum up more anti-US sentiment isn't rolling over. That's an unquestionably false assertion.

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


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

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

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

Now that Iran is religiously committed to our destruction, regardless of the origin, no one here can say that there is a rational way to end it since it has become a holy war. Do you understand this simple fact? How do you reason with a zealot who believes they are on a mission from their God to slaughter others?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
They are trying to kill us. This makes them a threat.
No. Even if you think they're sincerely trying -- which I don't, but never mind -- they're only a threat if they have a chance of success. My neighbor has a yappy little dog who is convinced that I'm the biggest threat to the neighborhood and lunges at me to worry my ankles whenever I'm around. Guess how threatened I feel by it, and how driven I feel to destroy it so it can no longer "threaten" me.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/07/iran-killing-american-troops-in-iraq-and-afghanistan/241486/

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

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

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

Even the partisan, preatorian guard NYSlimes grudgingly admits it.
http://www.nytimes.com/live/netanyahu-address/fact-check-has-iran-really-killed-or-maimed-thousands-of-americans/
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:

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

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

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

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

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

 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
So when you say "trying to kill us," Seneca, you include "providing weapons to people who are actively shooting at members of our mercenary army?"

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

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

[ April 29, 2015, 01:44 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
While their hatred may have started for political reasons, it has become cultural in ways that won't change unless you eliminate our 1st Amendment. Will you do that to attempt to appease Iran?

But America is not the only nation with the equivalent of the 1st Amendment. Why do you suppose they hate America for its freedom of speech and not other countries? In other words, why do you think free speech is the crux of their hatred towards America?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
These are not a mere "handful."
It's also not about politics, it is a holy war. A jihad. I wonder why certain people refuse to accept this even from the Iranians' own mouths.
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/07/iran-killing-american-troops-in-iraq-and-afghanistan/241486/

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

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

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

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

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

[ April 29, 2015, 02:18 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
While their hatred may have started for political reasons, it has become cultural in ways that won't change unless you eliminate our 1st Amendment. Will you do that to attempt to appease Iran?

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

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

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

[ April 29, 2015, 02:20 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Is there any precedent for a theocratic state behaving in ways that are fundamentally different from the behavior of a secular state? Does this idea that Iran will be completely irrational due to religious mania have any basis in history?

The Papal States and archbishoprics of Europe don't seem to have acted significantly different from their neighbours. The Crusades might qualify but they were mostly conducted on a individual, feudal level rather than as states. Other events like the Albigensian Crusade or Spanish Inquisition were clearly examples of secular rulers co-opting religious motivations.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Is there any precedent for a theocratic state behaving in ways that are fundamentally different from the behavior of a secular state? Does this idea that Iran will be completely irrational due to religious mania have any basis in history?

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

The papal States are run by a theocracy which preaches peace even in the face of violence and hatred, to turn the other cheek. On the other hand the Ayatollah preaches death to the infidels.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
The Papal States went to war several times to increase their holdings in Italy. One of the criticisms leveled by the Protestants was that the Pope was acting just like all the other Italian princes. And I asked about what they do, not what they say.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
How far back do you have to reach for that? And how is that relevant to 2015? Were the papal States attempting to acquire nukes to wipe out anyone?

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

[ April 29, 2015, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
State religion, patriotic fervor and fear of the outsider are all tools used by government to manipulate and motivate their own people.

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

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

[ April 29, 2015, 03:09 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Yes. Regardless of why the theocracy started, the substance of it has taken on a life of its own and even gone through leadership changes. Whatever the original intent of the Islamic State may have been, their current status and beliefs are clear.

[ April 29, 2015, 03:07 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
My hypothesis is that there is no evidence theocracies are fundamentally less rational than secular states. There have been many theocratic states and they've all behaved more or less like secular states.

It's relevant to 2015 because you keep saying that since Iran is a theocratic state, it can't be expected to act rationally (i.e. it's willing to get itself blown up to make a futile attack at the US). If my hypothesis is true, you would have to further establish that Iran is unique among theocracies, as no other theocratic state has allowed religious fervor to overcome the realities of statecraft to that extent.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
It's not relevant to 2015 because all your old examples of theocracy never faced instant annihilation. That is new, and what we have to hypothesize on is whether Iran will be willing to continue their goal of destroying the USA and Israel in the face of that.

What evidence would you require? A city being lost?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
These are not a mere "handful."
Yes, they are. In fact, more innocent Americans have died at the hands of police in the last calendar year than have ever died as the result of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, and yet you are not saying we should destroy the police.

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

But we must destroy Iran, because it has so far paid people who've killed a couple Americans a year since the '70s.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
It is like you think history starts when someone threatens you. How many hundreds of thousands of Iranians have died due to our policies? The Shah to start with but also what you dismiss as "other things". Our shooting down an Iranian airplane, our supporting Iraq and providing them with chemical weapons in their war with Iran. Their hatred of us is hardy irrational.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
I think the prospect of instant annihilation makes my examples more relevant. The historical examples faced mere loss of territory or trade privileges or a failure to gain the same. Yet expediency seems to regularly triumph over religious fervor.

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

As for evidence: an example of a theocratic state acting contrary to its own interests in the pursuit of a purely religious goal.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
It is like you think history starts when someone threatens you. How many hundreds of thousands of Iranians have died due to our policies? The Shah to start with but also what you dismiss as "other things". Our shooting down an Iranian airplane, our supporting Iraq and providing them with chemical weapons in their war with Iran. Their hatred of us is hardy irrational.

No one's hands are clean, so in the end this is about self-preservation. Unless of course you are willing to give up your life for the sake of "justice" in allowing Iran to "punish" us with nukes. Are you?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
I think the prospect of instant annihilation makes my examples more relevant. The historical examples faced mere loss of territory or trade privileges or a failure to gain the same. Yet expediency seems to regularly triumph over religious fervor.

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

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

Completely wrong analysis. The possibility of nuclear war should have ensured that Iran would have behaved rationally and cooperated long before now, if they were ever going to, yet they still haven't.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
You are missing the point. But it is interesting that you finally admit that we have no moral standing to punish Iran.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Oh we have plenty of moral standing. We changed and evolved our culture to tolerate people more. Iran seems to be going the other way.

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

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

Unless you don't?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
I think it's interesting that you think the Iranians believe we are likely to wipe them from the earth, Seneca. Why should they believe that? What do you think they think they've done to warrant it?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
It's quite possible that many of them don't. Maybe they believe Allah is making Obama weak and submissive to give their chance to finally strike at the Great Satan. Maybe they think we will but they don't care. We can only go by what they say since we don't have mind reading powers.

It is notable that the people arguing with me here are saying we should ignore what the Iranians are saying and doing and instead come up the fantastic assumptions about what they really supposedly think and want.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Was it irrational for the USSR to get nukes? Or Israel, or China, or the UK, or Pakistan? ETA: The point is that the potential escalation of conflict to nukes is not, in itself, enough to make the acquisition of nuclear weapons irrational.

Is there any prospect of a nuclear war starting before they get nukes? Or that the US will fire the first shot of one? Considering the answers, I don't see how a nuclear war is sufficiently likely to affect the calculus of getting nukes.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
It is the unhinged theocracy making lots of death threats that makes this situation unique. The other nations could be reasoned with using secular logic.

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

Our own secretary of state himself says a nuclear Iran is unacceptable. Is he lying?
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Oh we have plenty of moral standing. We changed and evolved our culture to tolerate people more. Iran seems to be going the other way.

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

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


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

Unless you don't?

I am not sure why believing that other people - either here or in Iran - have legitimate grievances that can and should be addressed and that we can deal with them as actual people instead of an irrational enemy is tantamount to self-immolation. I guess maybe I am just not that fearful.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
How many changes of government
involving opposing and adversarial factions have we had since 1988? And how many has Iran had?

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

[ April 29, 2015, 04:14 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
How does the ability to reason with other states affect the rationality of Iran choosing to get nukes? You're positing a purely (or nearly so) religious motivation for Iran when there are buckets of secular ones.

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

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

[ April 29, 2015, 04:16 PM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Maybe they believe Allah is making Obama weak and submissive to give their chance to finally strike at the Great Satan.
Seneca, do you know any actual Iranians? You seem to think they are much more religious than they actually are.

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

----------

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

--------

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

[ April 29, 2015, 04:17 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
How does the ability to reason with other states affect the rationality of Iran choosing to get nukes? You're positing a purely (or nearly so) religious motivation for Iran when there are buckets of secular ones.

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

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

Again, it is notable that the people arguing with me here are saying we should ignore what the Iranians are saying and doing and instead come up the fantastic assumptions about what they really supposedly think and want.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Their religiosity informs their motivations behind wanting us dead as evidenced by their statements about us as a "Great Satan that needs to be destroyed."
In all seriousness, Seneca, you may want to investigate -- on a reputable site, mind you -- the history of the term "the Great Satan." What you think they mean by it is not what is actually meant.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
I know quite a few Iranians, there's a large Persian community in my area. However, nothing about them or the average Iranian ultimately matters when the guy in charge and his lackeys are religious zealots. And since the people haven't overthrown him we have to deal with him. Even Obama calls him the Supreme Leader. Is Obama wrong?

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

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

I'm tired of this absurd notion that their death threats are all mis-translations. Too many and of different varieties for that to be true.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Even Obama calls him the Supreme Leader.
Because that's his title. Should We call Obama :that guy in Washington" instead of the President of the United States? MAybe Cameron could be "That British guy" instead of "The Prime Minister of England"?

You keep trotting out the fact that Obama refers to a foreign dignitary by his formal title as if it meant something other than the fact that Obama knows his Diplomacy 101.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
Political rhetoric does not a goal make. Iran has thus far shown that it's unwilling to directly engage the US in anything other than minor skirmishes in their own back yard where we're asserting that we have a right to meddle.There is no evidence in anything you've presented that their words are anything more than words used as political tools.

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

All you've presented here is speculation based on political rhetoric combined with a healthy does of outright anti-Islamic bias.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Iran doesn't need to be able to wipe us completely out before they attack. Otherwise they wouldn't be killing Americans right now.
Do you understand why this is laughable, Seneca? They are killing a tiny number -- a nuisance number -- of Americans, in a volume that does not demand response. If they kill a sufficient number of Americans to demand a response, we will respond; if they kill enough Americans to actually scare us, we will destroy them.

They know that they survive at our mercy, because we can destroy them with impunity. (We cannot rebuild them, but that's hardly a consolation for the people in power.) So they need something that might actually make us think twice about destroying them -- namely, the ability to actually inflict real harm on us. Because history shows that the best way to oppose America without being destroyed by America is to have a nuclear bomb.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
What is a sufficient number of Americans murdered by Iran to justify a response?

And will anyone who responds with a number above 0 be willing to volunteer to be one of those deaths we don't respond to?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
What is a sufficient number of Americans murdered by Iran to justify a response?
It's not a matter of moral justification. It's a matter of practicality. We aren't going to invade Iran over the handful of American deaths we're seeing today. There is a level above that which would provoke an invasion but not a nuclear attack. And there is a level above that which would provoke a nuclear attack. By having a nuclear bomb of their own, Iran ensures that middle category is much narrower, mainly by shifting the requirements for invasion far higher.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Why do we want the middle number to become higher?

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

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

[ April 29, 2015, 06:43 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
Seneca, given your position on gun control, you consider acceptable some non-zero number of accidentally killed toddlers. So can we assume that you have volunteered your own child to be shot? No? Then please stop making that stupid and illogical question.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Wrong. I don't consider any number of children shot acceptable. I just don't think gun control legislation will prevent it.

So,will you be volunteering to be one of the "free pass" deaths that Iran gets to make?
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
Getting rid of guns entirely would. I don't think that bombing Iran would prevent deaths either.
Regardless. It is a nonsense question.

[ April 29, 2015, 08:58 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Getting rid of guns entirely would. I don't think that bombing Iran would prevent deaths either.
Regardless. It is a nonsense question.

You cannot get rid of guns entirely through legislation. Only a magic gun-removal ray could do that.

Bombing Iran may be necessary to prevent them from acting on their sworn religious oaths to destroy us.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Why do we want the middle number to become higher?
We don't, particularly. But that's tantamount to asking "why do we want other nations to not always do what we want," isn't it?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
It seems fairly absurd to equate doing what we want to not slaughtering us...
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
So, to clarify, you believe that Iran will, left to its own devices, somehow be able to "slaughter" a significant portion of the American population?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
I guess it depends on what one considers significant. I am still hoping to hear more about what exactly constitutes an insignificant number of American deaths.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Do you believe that the police kill a significant number of innocent people each year?

Surely you also have some threshold, where you go from "okay, sure, the police have killed a few innocent people this year, but not enough for me to panic about" to "we need to kill the police before they kill any more innocents!" Where do you draw that line, personally?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
The police are separate jurisdictions. No department anywhere orders all the rest around, nor are all responsible for the actions of a few.

On the other hand, the Ayatollah is the Supreme Leader of Iran and orders everyone around. The whole country obeys him.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
The whole country obeys him.
Heh. You really do believe this. It's kind of hysterical.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
I guess it depends on what one considers significant. I am still hoping to hear more about what exactly constitutes an insignificant number of American deaths.

What do you consider an acceptable number of Iranian deaths?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
As long as their Supreme Leader keeps threatening us with nuclear annihilation and is pushing for the tools to accomplish it, I'd say that comes down to us or them. In the face of us losing tens of millions of American lives due to a Iranian nuclear attack, I'd say at least an equal number of Iranian lives or even one would be justified if it comes to nuclear war.

So now that I answered your question, how about you answer mine? How many Americans would have to be murdered by Iran before you would allow us to respond and what would that response be?
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Let’s go with a worst case scenario. Iran manages to detonate a bomb on American soil. (A missile attack is not plausible I assume.)

We are sure it was them or their proxy. We MUST retaliate. Do any of you think we would do so with one or more nuclear weapons? In my reasoning a nuclear strike by us, against them would only occur if we not only were sure the rest of the world would support or acknowledge our attack was rational and (a harder sell) reasonable. This would mean that a nuclear response was required over a conventional one (given our miltary superiority) because the response demanded overwhelming force and swiftness. Most likely, to avert subsequent strikes.

So they get a bomb onto U.S. soil, detonate it, AND have more ready to go and have a chance to duplicate the results. All within a window of opportunity which makes a conventional retaliation a strategic mistake? I don't see that.

Maybe that's not what you mean by "nuclear war" Seneca. Maybe a single nuke triggering the war qualifies it for the title?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Wrong. I don't consider any number of children shot acceptable. I just don't think gun control legislation will prevent it.

Similar to how you policies will not prevent any danger from Iran or domestic rioting? (In fact, the things you say and propose are what actively rachet up the danger from both and make it more likely that they will actually make an effort to attack us or increase the likelihood and damage from rioting)

quote:
As long as their Supreme Leader keeps threatening us with nuclear annihilation
Do you have a quote or any documentation to that effect? Anywhere where he has stated that he wants to develop nuclear weapons to attack us? Or is that completely begging the question bot h of your unproven assertions both that Iran actually is trying to develop nuclear weapons and that it has any actual intent of attacking us directly?
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
DW, there's something to be said for an equivalent strike being carried out reflexively for sheer deterrance. That regardless of our ability to prevent a second strike with conventional forces, we should nuke an equivalent target to the one they destroyed. Depending on the location of nuclear facilities and potential fallout, it may also be permissible for those to be nuked as well, regardless of necessity. Do it all fast enough and the international community will be as irrelevant as it was during the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Equivalent I get. I'm just wondering if anyone else sees nuclear retaliation as a taboo when the same ends could be reached with conventional bombing. Speed is a factor as an extended bombing campaign would give the international community longer to react and potentially oppose.

What of neighboring countries concern about fallout? I admit I don't know a lot about our modern's arsenal and how contained we can keep fallout. The... unique, properties of a nuke make its use problematic when other options are available.

I'm not saying all nuclear retaliation or use must address those problems, but in this case, I don't see Iran as being able to oppose us should we decide to cripple or annihilate them no matter how we chose to do it. Are we morally or politically required to NOT expose the region to the after effects of a nuclear strike?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Not only would Iran's sympathizers use that logic to try and stave off an immediate strike, they'd then use the time bought with that tactic to try and cast doubt on whether it truly was Iran or not, and failing that claim that with the passage of time and no subsequent strikes that retaliation was no longer necessary and the USA should just "suck it up."
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
DW, broadly speaking, we shouldn't use nukes when we don't have to. I don't think it's possible to use nuclear weapons with acceptable levels of collateral damage. Their use can only justified by objections beyond the simple destruction of their target.

It is likely that the only reason that would be sufficient justification would be to prevent the further use of use of nuclear weapons.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
It is likely that the only reason that would be sufficient justification would be to prevent the further use of use of nuclear weapons.
See what I mean? We haven't even been hit yet and people are already saying this.

The only way to prevent rational nations from using nukes is the assurance of mutual hits. Of course there is no way to stop insane rogue States like Iran but we still have to respond to Iran nuking us by nuking them to prevent our other more rational adversaries from thinking they can hit us without response.

[ April 30, 2015, 01:23 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
You should read NH more closely.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
In the face of us losing tens of millions of American lives due to a Iranian nuclear attack...
It is difficult to imagine what sort of Iranian nuclear attack might actually result in the loss of tens of millions of American lives.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Somehow I doubt he'd agree with my logic so I think I'm reading him just fine...
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
quote:
Of course there is no way to stop insane rogue States like Iran but we still have to respond to Iran nuking us by nuking them to prevent our other more rational adversaries from thinking they can hit us without response.
Which would be prevent the further use, would it not?

Did you miss this part:
quote:
there's something to be said for an equivalent strike being carried out reflexively for sheer deterrance. That regardless of our ability to prevent a second strike with conventional forces, we should nuke an equivalent target to the one they destroyed.
I don't bloody like the idea of tit-for-tat retaliation. But it's quite easily the best way of preventing nukes being used as a normal weapon of war.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
Just as a reminder, of all the countries - evil or not - that have nukes,the only one to actually use a nuclear weapon against another country is us.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Of course there is no way to stop insane rogue States like Iran
Or biomorphic aliens, or giant flying saucers, but since those are all elements of fantasy and not tings that actually exist at the moment, it's not really relevant.

Iran is an oppressive theocratic dictatorship. IT has not actually evidenced any insanity- just the opposite; it's been pretty rational and calculating in supporting its team for control of the region around it.

It definitely seems to have getting your goat down to a science, so you willingly play the part of an evil bogeyman out to destroy it that it needs to defend its people from to justify its oppressive actions.

[ April 30, 2015, 01:43 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
While that is mostly the case Pyrtolin, for it to work, some there must believe it. The threat is not from some insane puppet master(s). It's when one of the puppets cuts their own strings and does what they are taught.

The regime is almost certainly not suicidal. It does promote suicidal hatred of the U.S. and Israel as a lever of control however. We shouldn't be too dismissive of that.

They would be smart to pursue a bomb. Achieving it means we are placed in the twisted position of cheering for their continued iron control. If they lose a grip on the leash we are more likely to deal with the attack dogs.

As an aside, I suggest saving the nukes for the saucers and aliens. It's the only way to be sure.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
See? Even the best case scenario that many here are trying to paint is that the Ayatollah and his lackeys at the top don't actually believe the "kill America" hatred they are preaching, but eventually a significant amount of their underlings will believe it so strongly they go rogue and act on it. And that is the BEST case scenario. I still think it is more likely there is some truth to the Ayatollah 's threats and we should take them at face value rather than conduct extensive theoretical back-flips to try and fool ourselves into thinking he doesn't really mean it.
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
Seneca, In what way does the deal on the table get Iran closer to a nuclear weapon? That is the part you keep leaving out. This is an inspectors for sanctions relief deal.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
They are insisting that the deal will include an exemption of all military facilities from inspection.

That pretty much seals it right there.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Britain has now informed a UN panel that Iran has been caught violating existing regulations surrounding nuclear materials.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0NL09220150430

Why should we make a deal with someone who is already cheating the current rules?
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
Do we have inspectors at those facilities now? What about the deal makes it more likely?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
The point is there shouldn't be any deal at all if there are huge, secure facilities that are capable of easily hosting these nuclear programs that we aren't allowed to. We will be trading away the current sanctions for nothing because they will simply move nuclear weapons programs to these areas that are "exempt" from inspections.

At that point any deal becomes worse than pointless, because it will allow the Iranians to continue their nuclear program without the sanctions, they will get the best of all worlds. Maybe the sanctions will work, maybe they won't, but they are better than nothing because either way the Iranians will continue their nuclear program if they can. And maybe there is a more of a chance they won't by leaving the sanctions in place until a better deal is forthcoming. One that won't allow them huge zones where inspectors aren't allowed to go.

[ May 01, 2015, 12:22 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Maybe the sanctions will work, maybe they won't, but they are better than nothing...
What is the point of sanctions if they do not work? In what way are non-functional sanctions better than nothing?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
We cannot reward terrorism combined with nuclear bomb aspirations with sanctions relief.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
I'm not sure how that answers the question. Are you saying that suffering people must continue to suffer lest we appear to show mercy?

Seneca, I have come to understand you a bit better over the years. You are driven by a deep-seated desire to see that wrongdoers suffer. But doesn't that apply only awkwardly to national policies? Who is being "relieved" and who is being "punished" by sanctions or the suspension thereof? What justice is being done by sustaining them?
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
That depends entirely on what a "working" sanction does Tom. If you are suggesting that if sanctions can't cut off the potential of a nuclear program they are useless, many would disagree.

It seems to me that a better economy would accelerate things even if sanctions can't "stop" the program.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
We cannot reward terrorism combined with nuclear bomb aspirations with sanctions relief.

Rewarding them would be giving them something they don't have. Ceasing senseless punishment that only makes them angry and resentful of us is not a reward. It's just a lessening of abuse.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
We will be trading away the current sanctions for nothing because they will simply move nuclear weapons programs to these areas that are "exempt" from inspections.
How to you propose that they will accomplish that without violating the agreement and tipping off the inspectors. Do they have a secret cloning and matter replication program that they are going to use to magically create copies of the scientists, materials, and equipment necessary to run the program in those facilities without the inspectors noticing that they've picked them up and moving them?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
You think we have a magic, omniscient list of all scientists or people who will become scientists? And with the sanctions lifted they will be importing lots of "multi-purpose" equipment.
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
So as part of the deal we get to:
* take all their highly enriched uranium
* monitor all of their known centrifuges
* monitor the uranium mines
* monitor factories that make centrifuges
* inspect all known nuclear sites
and you think they will be closer to a bomb because they may try to rebuild their nuclear program from scratch at military facilities. I really don't see how you get to that conclusion.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Couldn't (wouldn't) they label some of their facilities as military? Why start from scratch?
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
Presumably we (and the other 5 nations negotiating with Iran) would not allow that sort of bait and switch about known nuclear facilities.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Without any understanding on how hard it is to hide a nuclear facility in the first place, I can't properly express how silly that sounds.

If they had an unknown facility, they could then shield it by calling it a military facility.

In their shoes, I can't see letting inspectors have free reign of the entire country but in our shoes, anything short of that seems equally unacceptable...
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
If they had an unknown facility, they could then shield it by calling it a military facility.
Then it wouldn't be unknown anymore, and we could probably call them on having a previously undeclared facility. (As well as it being a matter of time before our intelligence sources manage to sort out whether or not it's something to be concerned about)

[ May 04, 2015, 01:28 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
The intelligence question is the biggest part. How much do we NEED even a limited look inside with these inspectors?

That question drives a lot of the negotiation. You can be more lax if you feel confident you can "catch them cheating" either way. You must take what you can get when you are opperating totally in the dark.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
Tehran swaps 'death to America' billboards for Picasso and Matisse
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
So now that my prediction has in fact been shown true, that the Administration would call this a treaty by another name and claim they don't need Congressional support, are any of the those that accused me of spewing untrue Republican propaganda going to come out and admit they were wrong? Or - another prediction here - are you just going to claim that this is a completely different situation and perfectly legitimate (now that you've had a chance to read the liberal talking points on it).
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Who were those people, Seriati?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
What did the arrangement contain that would have required a treaty to implement?

Also, what falls outside of the bounds of what Congress explicitly acknowledged he had the authority to negotiate when they passed authorization for him to make and agreement and set the rules that they'd use to review and approve or reject it?

The claim was, as you note, that he'd make a Treaty, but then implement it without sending it to Congress. As it stands, it appears that he has both not made a Treaty, and that he has obtained preemptive, if conditional, Congressional approval for it.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Tehran swaps 'death to America' billboards for Picasso and Matisse

Thsnk you, KB. Good catch.

"But the pieces have been gathering dust in the basement of the museum for more than 30 years. Censors in Iran classed some as un-Islamic, pornographic or “too gay”, and they have never been shown in public"

I'm just astonished the Islamists held onto *original warhol* pieces for half a century. Go figure.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
DW, the thing about nuclear facilities is that a secret reactor is nothing without the support infrastructure. Not only would they need to hide centrifuges and reactors but also a uranium mine, personnel, and supply to chain to keep it running. Otherwise, we'd going to find out about it when uranium, personnel, or spare centrifuge parts disappear from the known sites.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Not sure what you are responding to NH. The difficulty of hiding question?

(if so) My point stands. Our confidence in our ability to "find out" was likely key in our negotiation.

Or am I missing something?
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Mostly this comment:
quote:
If they had an unknown facility, they could then shield it by calling it a military facility.
So even if they shielded a facility, it probably won't do them much good in keeping their program a secret. If adhered to, the agreement would give us a high degree of certainty of finding out. Unless they managed to build a whole new program from scratch from mining uranium on up.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
First: I haven't read anything about the agreement past what was posted here or listened to what made a good soundbite on the news.

But if, hypothetically the negotiators agreed to give military facilities a pass, then you label what you want to hide as military and hand over a list of anything legit you will let them see.

If you are confident you already KNOW all military facilities and any new ones popping up would be suspicious. If they DID want to hide anything, they have time to do so in advance.

This may have no bearing on the actual agreement but the way it was presented here, didn't make sense to me. The only reason you agree to letting them call places "off limits" is because we feel we can either already spot them fibbing or will gain the ability to catch them with a foot in the door OR any additional information is worth it in return for lifting sanctions.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
But if, hypothetically the negotiators agreed to give military facilities a pass, then you label what you want to hide as military and hand over a list of anything legit you will let them see.
Except the "no military facilities" was not a condition of the agreement, but rather political rhetoric in Iran external to the negotiation process. The reality, as I understand it, is that they've agreed to sign onto a UN inspection protocol which happens to include relevant military facility access. So while there's no explicit "you can inspect our bases" in the agreement (technical domestic accuracy to take home to the people) de facto access has actually been granted by nature of joining the preexisting arrangement.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Which alings more to what I expected to happen. Thanks for the clarification.
 
Posted by noel c. (Member # 6699) on :
 
Greg,

"I will acknowledge that I find the result depressing.

Jewish, democratic, and current borders - Israel can only have two of those three characteristics. I have never even seen an argument why all three are possible. Instead, there is inciting fear and hatred as a smokescreen to hide the inevitable. noel c, how do you see this playing out? By 2025 when the majority of human beings living West of the Jordan River are not Jews, would you have the Muslims ethnically cleansed, would you have most of them living within Israel but not eligible to vote, what's your plan? "...

I see Israel retaining democracy, and it's *Jewishness* in an isolation of non-voting "Palestinian refugee" enclaves within Israel proper for the distant foreseeable future. Barry has made this possible by uniting the most unlikely of allies... Israel, and Saudi Arabia, which is now threatened by a nuclear Iran.

Now that the Saudis are soliciting nuclear capability from Korea (and Pakistan) are you just a little disturbed by the sudden ubiquity of "peaceful nuclear programs" in this geographic sea of oil?

http://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-nuclear-deal-raises-stakes-for-iran-talks-1426117583
 
Posted by noel c. (Member # 6699) on :
 
... Israel will strike Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Noel, an Israel ruling over a separate population of resident aliens will lose its Jewishness, or rather, extremist and intolerant streams of Judaism will come to dominate Israel.


Can you see the signs of that beginning to occur?
 
Posted by noel c. (Member # 6699) on :
 
No Greg,

Problems associated with the minority ethnic-Arab Israeli citizenry are entirely distinct from the "Palestinian" issue, and have more to do with relative birth rates than political brinksmanship. If Jewish Israelis choose to suppress their population growth, then the numbers alone will dictate the future of Israel.

What I see in the present is an impoverished population of Arabs living in self-governed settlements under the Palestinian Authority, walled off from desirable water supplies, and trade routes. With the rise of ISIL they are forgotten as a useful propaganda tool for the actuization of Islamic homogeneity in the region, and with the nuclearization of Iran even ISIL becomes ultimately irrelevant.

That is why Saudi Arabia has put us on notice that their partnership with the U.S. is under reconsideration.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
quote:
Twenty-nine of the nation’s top scientists — including Nobel laureates, veteran makers of nuclear arms and former White House science advisers — wrote to President Obama on Saturday to praise the Iran deal, calling it innovative and has “more stringent constraints than any previously negotiated nonproliferation framework.”
LINK
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by noel c.:


That is why Saudi Arabia has put us on notice that their partnership with the U.S. is under reconsideration.

I gave that a quick search whirl and found this:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-02/saudi-arabia-leaving-us-behind-russia

That is a queer development indeed considering Russia's historical and continued partnership with Iran. WTF
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Saudi Arabia is currently hurting Russia more than any other country is hurting Russia, by driving down oil prices.
 
Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Saudi Arabia is currently hurting Russia more than any other country is hurting Russia, by driving down oil prices.

Not so much.
quote:
Saudi Arabia's finance ministry, seeking to cut waste as state revenues shrink because of low oil prices, is telling government bodies to return unspent money which they were allocated in this year's budget, sources familiar with the policy told Reuters.
Oh, and Iran launched a long-ranged ballistic missile which they're forbidden to do even by the terms of Obama's weak ass deal with them.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
This, I take it, is the upteenth out of the last 2 or 3 actual things we should be terrified about? Should we be worried that they are testing Ebola warheads or packing ISIS fighters in the saddlebags?
 
Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
quote:
There are "strong indications" that Iran violated U.N. Security Council resolutions related to ballistic missiles when it test fired a new missile, the White House said Tuesday .
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that when it comes to Iran's ballistic missile program, "unfortunately, that's not new."

"We have seen Iran almost serially violate the international community's concerns about their ballistic missile program," Earnest said.

Republicans were right, deal didn't last. Only took about 6 months to prove them right.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
So, to clarify: we're worried about ballistic missiles and not nuclear development at the moment, right?
 


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