The Folly of Attacking Iran

Haven't we learned anything from the Iraq war?

War on Iran: Israel wants it. Various Arab rulers want it. The Obama administration has not ruled it out. It may be inevitable, and it could come any time.

Hello? A U.S. attack on a Middle Eastern country that has not attacked us and poses no threat to our security, out of panic over alleged weapons of mass destruction? Haven't we tried that, and didn't we learn anything about starting wars we don't know how to end?

A preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities has long been on the wish list of American conservatives and the government of Israel. Now we learn, thanks to WikiLeaks, that Saudi Arabia and other Arab governments have also been clicking on the "Like" button.

Officials in Bahrain, Jordan and Abu Dhabi have privately urged the United States to send bombers. The king of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly asked us, as the Saudi ambassador to Washington put it, to "cut off the head of the snake."

The administration has stressed diplomatic efforts and economic sanctions, but the military option is a live one. As a candidate, Barack Obama insisted, "The world must prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed last summer that the military has a plan for attacking Iran.

Even if the United States holds fire, Israel probably won't. Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg, after interviewing dozens of past and current Israeli officials, concluded the most likely outcome is that by next spring, Israel will strike.

That possibility might induce the U.S. to do the job itself. The support in Arab capitals is another reason for Obama to go to war.

But it would be a mistake. If a snake comes after you, cutting off its head is the right response. If it's merely curled up in a distant lair, keeping its venom in reserve, staying away makes far more sense.

Some people in Washington apparently understand as much. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, according to one leaked memo, said an attack would merely delay Iran from getting nukes, "while unifying the Iranian people to be forever embittered against the attacker." A U.S. attack would embroil us in a third war, invite new waves of terrorism, possibly destabilize friendly regimes in the Middle East and send shockwaves through the world economy.

And for what? The assumption of hawks in the U.S. and Israel is that once Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it will use them—that it is bent on wiping Israel off the map at any cost. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, is at the head of "a messianic apocalyptic cult."

But even zealots and despots have a powerful instinct for self-preservation, which Iran's leaders have exhibited many times—as in the war with Iraq, which they agreed to end after Iraqi missiles started landing in Tehran. The Iranians know that any use of nuclear weapons traceable to them would be sure to accomplish one thing: their annihilation.

That prospect was sufficient to deter Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong, both of whom were once regarded as madmen bent on world domination. Even fanatical regimes don't take actions they know will be fatal.

Nor would the bomb help Iran in pushing its neighbors around. More likely, it would push them even closer together in opposition to Tehran—and even closer to the United States. We, after all, have a bigger military than Iran's and a lot more nukes.

The only real value of acquiring an atomic arsenal is to deter attack and invasion. Iran was designated part of the Axis of Evil by President George W. Bush. One other member, Iraq, lacked nukes and was invaded by the U.S. Another, North Korea, had them and wasn't. Iran didn't miss the lesson there.

In the event that sanctions fail to dissuade Tehran from going nuclear, war is no answer. A better response would be for the U.S. to inform Iran that any use of nuclear weapons against anyone will elicit a response in kind. If our nuclear guarantee protected Europe against the Soviet arsenal, it can protect our friends in the Middle East.

As long as the viper is holed up, though, we would be wise not to crawl in after it. Even if you cut off a snake's head, it may still bite.

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  • Caption||

    "I dare Obama to pull my finger. PULL IT!"

  • ||

    Do you know where this finger's been?

  • "We"||

    Haven't we learned anything from the Iraq war?

    Yeah: we learned never to listen to traitor pacifascist peace-at-any-price pansy retards like you, Chapman. I bet you're still weeping over the death of your beloved Saddam and his two boys.

  • xaM||

    1!!!!!!!!frAfrAfrAfrAfrAfrAfrAfrAfrA

  • Realist||

    Every war since WWII was a fucking mistake.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Damn straight.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    What makes WWII the exception?

  • Hooha||

    Pearl Harbor.

  • ||

    Including World War II. Churchill called it "the unneccessary war".

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Including World War II. Churchill called it "the unneccessary war".

    So he did. And what exactly did he mean by that? I'll let him explain:

    President Roosevelt one day asked what this War should be called. My answer was, "The Unnecessary War." If the United Stated States had taken an active part in the League of Nations, and if the League of Nations had been prepared to use concerted force, even had it only been European force, to prevent the re-armament of Germany, there was no need for further serious bloodshed. If the Allies had resisted Hitler strongly in his early stages, even up to his seizure of the Rhineland in 1936, he would have been forced to recoil, and a chance would have been given to the sane elements in German life, which were very powerful especially in the High Command, to free Germany of the maniacal Government and system into the grip of which she was falling.
    Do not forget that twice the German people, by a majority, voted against Hitler, but the Allies and the League of Nations acted with such feebleness and lack of clairvoyance, that each of Hitler's encroachments became a triumph for him over all moderate and restraining forces until, finally, we resigned ourselves without further protest to the vast process of German re-armament and war preparation which ended in a renewed outbreak of destructive war. Let us profit at least by this terrible lesson. In vain did I attempt to teach it before the war.6

    Never give in!: the best of Winston Churchill's speeches

    Is that really the point you were trying to make?

  • ||

    When Hitler's men marched into the Saar region, they were under orders to reteat if the French fired on them. They didn't. It was all downhill from there.

  • ||

    retreat

  • ||

    Read to lose a battle: France 1940 by Allistair Horne.
    Sure the Germans could have been stopped early on, and even that would not have been a problem had it not been for the strict enforcement of the Treaty of Versailles. Also, the French made precious little effort to maintain the peace with Germany.
    And when one of Hitlers generals published his tactics on Blitzekrieg, it was years before any major move, and was not only ignored but laughed at.
    Also, the circumstances were very different between then and now, so stop comparing apples and oranges.

  • ||

    Also,
    WWII was a direct result of WWI, which we never needed to be involved with to begin with - if your going to wave historical examples around, try telling the whole story.

  • ||

    Europe, America's original quagmire

  • ||

    You are NAZIST. Nazis were tried after the WWII for INSTIGATING UNPROVOKED WAR. You are supporting another unprovoked war. Hitler would be so proud of you

  • BenDU99||

    I wouldn't say we "don't know how to end" these wars. We blow it all up and then leave -- that's how you end it. The problem is that the people in power who believe they can micromanage the lives of Americans think they can micromanage the lives of people in these countries as well.

  • ||

    It's called a punitive expedition. It's what should have been done in Afghanistan. Iraq should have just been left alone.

  • ||

    I like to imagine how history books/downloads will describe these wars:

    Following an attack on a commercial megatropolis by monothiestic fanatics (pre-Morman reformation), the American Empire under Emperor Bush II (the Lesser) mounted a punitive war against random kingdoms in Mesopotamia and tribal regions of Central Asia. The war was extended under Emperor Obama (the Kenyen) to secure his regime at home. The American Empire negotiated a end to its involvement in the regions as part of the Sino/Amero/Zionist Global Bailout and Co-dominion Pact under Empress O'Donnell (the Witch).

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    +1

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Yeah, I'd say that we don't know how to occupy a country bigger than Texas with 30 million people and a culture very different than ours, and turn that country into a secular democratic republic, particularly when we try to do it on the cheap.

  • prolefeed||

    I would hardly characterize the loss of money and lives so far, with endless swaths of such losses stretching into the distant future, as "on the cheap".

  • Ron||

    we did it in Japan but like you implied you can't do it on the cheap

  • ||

    I swear on the Holy Qur'an, I only fucked ONE goat.

  • ||

    But it was a girl goat. No homo.

  • ||

    That's obvious since there are no homosexuals in Iran.

  • Mr. Obvious||

    I don't understand. They're all our enemies, right? Don't we want them to fight and weaken each other and then sneak attack the winner? Why shield any of them?

  • Thomas Paine||

    War is the common harvest of all those who participate in the division and expenditure of public money, in all countries. It is the art of conquering at home: the object of it is an increase of revenue; and as revenue cannot be increased without taxes, a pretence must be made for expenditures. In reviewing the history of the English government, its wars and its taxes, a by-stander, not blinded by prejudice, nor warped by interest, would declare, that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes.

  • Les||

    Well said, as usual, you filthy little atheist, you.

  • ||

    Thomas Paine was not an atheist - he just hated organized religion.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Hmm. Well, any shortage of pretences for expenditures other than war ended long ago.

  • sarcasmic||

    In the old days they'd pay for things like war with monies collected from the people.

    Now they do it with debt.

  • Almanian||

    So that's like getting it for free, right? Everyone wins!

  • "Collateral Damage"||

    ...except for us dead civilians...

  • ||

    Most dead civilians don't vote, although our current President shouldn't assume they don't, if he learned anything in Chicago.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I'm pretty sure Iran's nuclear program is already under attack, probably from more than one entity. Stuxnet and the recent attacks on top scientists make that very clear.

    As far as direct military action, there is little required to "end the war." Nobody wants boots on the ground. The singular goal is to destroy Iran's ability to manufacture a nuclear weapon. Bombing Iran would no doubt have other negative consequences, which is why it hasn't happened yet, but that isn't one of them.

  • ||

    Iran can move troops into Kuwait or Iraq and force us into a ground war.

    One of the lessons that should have been learned from Iraq was it's never as easy as it seems. We were assured that the Iraq war would last weeks, not months or years.

    Never underestimate your enemy. That's something the Bush admin forgot.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I suppose that could be one of the negative consequences in theory, though there are a lot of reasons it's highly unlikely. First, Iraq would view that as an attack on it's sovereignty and would not take it lying down. Second, it wouldn't work anyway - Iran would be seriously outmatched by US forces, mostly from the air. Think Gulf War I.

  • ||

    Iran has been active fighting us in Iraq for years. They can just increase their asymmetrical war, they don't need to send in tanks and uniformed troops.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Bombing Iran would no doubt have other negative consequences

    I realize that.

  • ||

    There is really no such thing as 'asymetrical war'. The only way this state exists is when the party with the upper hand refuses to fight the war in a total fashion.

    Our reluctance to blow the place to bits and work on fixing it afterwards--as we did with Germany and Japan--is what's keeping this conflict going.

    If we utterly destroyed Iran--without these asinine 'humanitarian' impulses, we could probably be in and out in less than a month.

  • ||

    America has had 15 war games concerning war with Iran. We lost all 15 except when using nukes which would kill millions of innocent civilians. Do we really want to go that route?

  • nekoxgirl||

    And once we start using nukes, the rest of the world is going to be more inclined to use them against us.

  • ||

    We started using nukes in 1945.

  • nekoxgirl||

    And then never used them again.

  • ||

    Well, they were kind of blown up after that.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Really. I'm skeptical. Source?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Really. I'm skeptical. Source?

    In reply to Bookworm.

  • ||

    CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AND DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES “‘The U.S. capability to make a mess of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is formidable,’ says veteran Mideast analyst Geoffrey Kemp. ‘The question is, what then?’ NEWSWEEK has learned that the CIA and DIA have war-gamed the likely consequences of a U.S. pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. No one liked the outcome. As an Air Force source tells it, ‘The war games were unsuccessful at preventing the conflict from escalating.‘” [9/27/04]

    The above is all I've found so far. I had originally read about the unsuccessful war games at antiwar.com.

  • ||

    Too bad we dumped the Neutron Bomb.

  • Metazoan||

    "If we utterly destroyed Iran--without these asinine 'humanitarian' impulses, we could probably be in and out in less than a month.[citation needed]"

  • ||

    Look at how long the actual fighting for Gulf or Iraq war took (not the occuptation, but just the amount to destroy the army).

  • ||

    We had this going for us. It would have taken a little longer if not.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,81835,00.html

  • ||

    The war only lasted weeks. Our occupation of Iraq lasted years. We destroyed their invasion and defense capacity inside of a fortnight. Had we been unconcerned with the welfare of the Iraqi oil people, we could have been in and out in two months.

    But no one uses the word "occupation" any more. Too imperial.

  • ||

    Shoulda read this....

  • Cruz||

    Fatty should look at the nonexistant in theatre missile defense system when casually dismissing the Iranian blowback.

  • ||

    He should also realize Iran's ability to stop the flow of oil through the Straight of Hormuz which would bring about a collapse in the world economy. It would only take blowing up a few tankers with their speed boats to stop the flow of oil through the Straight.

  • ||

    You have been watching to much Rubicon.
    If legislation eased up, we have plenty of oil on our own soil - we just do not use it. We would rather build and then take down dictators at the expense of civilians to take someone elses.

  • ||

    ""We destroyed their invasion and defense capacity inside of a fortnight. ""

    Maybe their invasion capacity, but the battle for fallujah was more than a fortnight from the start. If they had no defense capacity, it would have been a walk in the park.

    ""But no one uses the word "occupation" any more. Too imperial.""

    Nor do they use the term police action anymore.

  • ||

    The battle of Falllujah was a walk in the park once we decided to fight it. We slaughtered them. There and the battle of Najef ended any thought of our enemies standing up to us in anything resembling a conventional fight, even in urban terrain.

  • ||

    I thought nobody used the word "occupation" because there aren't any jobs. My mistake.

  • ||

    Iran could do that true. And we could use our air power and completely obliterate them leaving them with no one to keep the government in power.

    The last thing any country wants is to get into a conventional ground war with the United States. They only fight insurgencies, which are a bitch to fight, because they know they have no chance against us in a conventional fight.

    If the Iranians were dumb enough to launch a conventional land attack into Iraq, our problems would be over very quickly.

  • ||

    agreed

  • ||

    Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor was really stupid. They could have continued on their merry imperial way, conquering countries, islands and old colonies that nobody in the US gave a crap about. All they had to do is never escalate things past a certain level.

    Stupid.

    Seems like Iran's leadership is not stupid. Crazy? Maybe. But not stupid.

  • ||

    One other point. We have been arming the living shit out of the Gulf states for twenty years now. Are their Army's great? No. But neither is Iran's. And the gulf Arabs enjoy killing Persian Shias even more than they enjoy killing infidels.

  • ||

    ""And the gulf Arabs enjoy killing Persian Shias even more than they enjoy killing infidels.""

    Yet they wanted us to to it.

    ""They only fight insurgencies, which are a bitch to fight, because they know they have no chance against us in a conventional fight."'

    Of course. Like the Taliban. It won't be long before that war is 10 years old. Insurgencies do not need to win to be successful, they just need to keep the other side from winning. Time is on their side, it's their home. The pocket book is on their side too because their operations are pretty cheap and ours are expensive.

    Iran suspects we can't afford another ground war which is why I think they would push for one.

  • ||

    "Iran suspects we can't afford another ground war which is why I think they would push for one."

    Then that paper hanging little criminal running the place is dumber than he looks. Our conventional ground capabilities are so far ahead of anything any one else in the world that no one would have a chance. We literally fight three gnerations of technology beyond anything anyone else has.

    What the first Gulf War and the first month of the second one proved is that out of date conventional forces, no matter how numerous, are worthless against modern conventional forces. When my M1 Tank can see in the dark and kill you at 3200 meters and yours can't see in the dark and can't touch me outside of 2,000 meters, you don't have a chance, especially when you consider the advanced state of US combined arms tactics and communications. It would be a slaughter. The Iranians could never even mass the troops to come across the border. As soon as they did that, US air power would decimate them. And if you can't concentrate your forces, you can't fight a conventional ground war.

  • ||

    ""you can't fight a conventional ground war.""

    They wouldn't. They would lure us into a the known method for preventing us easy victory, an insurgency war.

  • ||

    They can only do that if we invade. We are already in an insurgent war in Iraq. So they no longer have that card to play. We could run a Kosovo like campaign and bomb them into submission over a period of months if we wanted to. Eventually we would destroy every hard target. They could keep their army by hiding them and turning everything off and waiting. But they couldn't hide most of their nuclear capability. They would pretty much be powerless to do anything about it.

    But at this point, I don't see why that is necessary. The Stuxnet attack seems to have done a tremendous amount of damage to their program. That combined with killing their top scientists might keep them from getting the bomb for a long time.

    Not every job requires a hammer.

  • ||

    Scenarios aside, my point is still, it's not going to be as easy as you think.

  • ||

    A conventional fight with Iran would be a five day live fire exercise.

  • ||

    ""We could run a Kosovo like campaign and bomb them into submission over a period of months if we wanted to.""

    You do know there were ground troops in the Kosovo war right? Not that we supplied them, but they were necessary, you can win a war with just bombs. But you can as J Sub D mentions at the top, do a nice punitive action. But with Iran I don't think that would be the end of it.

  • ||

    Ground troops are necessary to occupy ground and break an enemy's will. They are not necessary to destroy a nuclear program or render a country unable to harm its neighbors. Basically we made the civilian population so miserable that they finally revolted against its government.

  • ||

    "" Basically we made the civilian population so miserable that they finally revolted against its government.""

    Is that your take on the Kosovo war?

  • ||

    "Is that your take on the Kosovo war?"

    Yup. We did very little military damage to Serbia. But we bombed the shit out of power plants and civilian infrastructure. We love to think that it was the threat of the ground invasion that got them to capitulate. But the truth is they just got tired of being bombed.

  • ||

    "But the truth is they just got tired of being bombed."

    This is tried and true. A lot of us finally finished that last required class, and graduated from college, for the same exact reason.

  • nekoxgirl||

    The civilian population isn't going to revolt against the government if we are seen as the aggressors.

  • ||

    ""We could run a Kosovo like campaign and bomb them into submission over a period of months if we wanted to.""

    You do know there were ground troops in the Kosovo war right? Not that we supplied them, but they were necessary, you can win a war with just bombs. But you can as J Sub D mentions at the top, do a nice punitive action. But with Iran I don't think that would be the end of it.

  • No Name Guy||

    Which is why you don't fight an insurgency war.

    Roll through the place scattering their forces and blow up anything with any military / nuclear significance in the process. Then leave.

    If you're not there, they can't fight an insurgency against you.

    As stated at the top of the thread: Punitive expedition is the model.

  • ||

    ""Punitive expedition is the model.""

    I agree, but I seriously doubt that won't be the end of it. It's not going to be as easy as you think.

  • ||

    Shaking head....any you guys ever been in Artillery or anything of the like? Or even been in the service before?

    1 - Technology gives you and advantage - it does not make you invincible.
    2 - Every technology can be defeated once you learn what it does and how it works.
    3 - A dependence on technology is a foolish thing.
    4 - Beating down a nations military is the easy part. Dealing with the messy guerrilla warfare that follows is where the real fun starts.
    5 - Like we do not have enough blowback actions going on already.....

    Seriously, i am just wondering, why is anyone even contemplating this.....

  • Eisenhower||

    +10

    Thankyou sir for saying what needed to be said.

    "Defense Secretary Robert Gates, according to one leaked memo, said an attack would merely delay Iran from getting nukes, "while unifying the Iranian people to be forever embittered against the attacker." A U.S. attack would embroil us in a third war, invite new waves of terrorism, possibly destabilize friendly regimes in the Middle East and send shockwaves through the world economy."

    The fact that so many people seem to be ignoring this part is frightening. Hopefully the Obama Administration is listening to him, and doesn't buy into the idea that this would be a "piece of cake." Something else, before we get ourselves involved in another pre-emptive war, could we figure exit strategy or how we're gonna pay for this?

  • ||

    There's a difference between attacking a site or sites with bombers and missiles and a land invasion/occupation.

    Opponents of *any* military action intentionally conflate the two.

  • ||

    You realize we have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan that will come under fire even if we keep them there, right? We don't have to move troops into Iran, they will move troops towards us.

  • Cytotoxic||

    They are already under fire from Iranian backed militants!

  • nekoxgirl||

    And how many more will be attacking our troops if we bomb their country and kill a bunch of their civilians?

  • ||

    You realize we have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan that will come under fire even if we keep them there, right? We don't have to move troops into Iran, they will move troops towards us.

  • ||

    We have to "conflate" the two because there are two players in this game. You cannot assume that after an airstrike Iran will just sit there and take it. Our own government has a tendency toward mission creep as well.

    Once you start something like this there's no telling where it ends.

  • ||

    First an air war, then a ground war, and then, a subterranean war!

  • Mole Men General||

    Our forces are ready, sir! Just give the order!

  • Mobius||

    I think I love you.

  • ||

    Of course other Arab dictators would like for us to attack Iran. They figure they won't have to bear the consequences. I suspect they may be wrong about that but it's hardly unusual for dictators to be wrong.

    Yeah, I'll bet the Saudis are already counting the money from the spike in oil prices that such a war would produce.

  • ||

    The Saudis also want us to attack Iran because they're concerned about the growing Shia hegemony in the Middle East.

  • cynical||

    How exactly are they hegemons?

  • ||

    They are fastly becoming hegemons with the help we've given them by providing an ally next door to them.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I'm thinking, they become one the day they get the bomb.

  • ||

    Since they never wasted a few years in Sociology class, they probably don't think about "hegemony", though.

  • ||

    You know what we should've done? Bought the World Cup and given it to Iran. In exchange for them dropping their nukes and adopting a moderate, liberal government.

    And it would've worked.

  • DesigNate||

    It totally would have. :)

  • ||

    Since the end of WWII we've tried to force American values on countries and cultures that don't want them. If they wanted them they'd try to immigrate here or rise in revolt there.

  • ||

    Hmmm.....I seem to recall some articles about all the damned people who want to come here--legally and illegally.

    And various revolutionary movements all over the Middle East......nah, that couldn't be the type of thing you're talking about, right? Otherwise, you'd look kinda foolish...

  • ||

    Every government, regardless of what type of government, governs by the direct or indirect consent of the people. The Bolsheviks took over Russia because the Russian people let them. The Nazis took over Germany because the German people let them. Socialist Democrats and Morality Police Republicans run America because we let them.

  • ||

    When someone gets raped, it's her own damned fault, too. She could have let the guy kill her, you know.

  • Roman Polanski||

    She was not unresponsive...

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Yes, those Germans and the rest of western Europe just hated their American imposed liberal democracies. So much so that they were constantly trying to sneak into the former Soviet Union to escape the American menace.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Liberal democracy is a part of Western culture. Not so in the Middle or Far East.

  • Esteban||

    God, South Korea has totally rejected American influence, hasn't it.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Guess that explains Japan and South Korea. I suppose you think liberal democracy was part of their culture, too?

  • nekoxgirl||

    I wasn't aware that we ever invaded South Korea and Japan had experimented with democracy prior to WWII. My point is that invading foreign countries in the name of spreading freedom or similar bullshit rarely seems to work. When it has been successful its been because the people in that country were already familiar with democracy and were directly antagonizing us.

  • Esteban||

    That's not what you said though, so you can't change the discussion to be 'right'. Do South Korea and Japan have liberal democracies now? Yes. So is your statement that "Liberal democracy is a part of Western culture. Not so in the Middle or Far East." false? Yes
    That statement also starts to wade into Orientalism and denies that people besides 'Westerners' can achieve liberal democracies.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Interesting assertion.

    You know, Iranians are already familiar with Democracy. They seemed to like it quite a bit, actually. In fact, they started to like it so much that the theocrats were forced to take control of the elections in order to keep the "right" people in office.

    Also, Iran is directly antagonizing us.

    Just saying.

  • Hooha||

    Put the fangs away Esteban, she's on our side. She just recently reformed from the blue side, is all.

  • Eisenhower||

    Yes, but should we declare war on Iran? And how long will the Iranian People remain friendly to America, after the bombs start falling. Nation-building is a nice and noble idea until lots of people start dying, and the bill comes home. So perhaps we should think this out realistically, (We should listen to the advice given by Robert Gates), before we get involved in a third conflict.

    "What's the difference between the coalition of the Willing and the Allies back in WII? The Allies had an actual Coalition."

  • n||

    Actually Vietnam did and does want them, if one aspect of American values is the right to get rich. Visit Vietnam now and you'll see that they're all pretty busy trying to make money.

  • ||

    Let's be clear on one thing:

    Iran is at war, by any practical definition, with the US, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel.

    They provide direct material support to military actions against all of these countries, including the US troops that are posted in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Iran is already, and has been for twenty years, an aggressor. To say "America or Israel shouldn't be at war with Iran" is to completely miss the point - Iran is already at war with America and Israel (and Afghanistan and Iraq).

    The question isn't whether we get into a war with Iran. Its how we fight it.

  • C'mon man||

    Actually, I'd say more specifically we are at war with a totalitarian regime in Iran. The average Iranian probably isn't anymore radical than a committed liberal or conservative.

    Ultimately, war with Iran can be won (a favorable regime change) through the Internet and trade. The kids just want some jeans, and a a Michael Jackson cassette.

  • ||

    ""Iran is already, and has been for twenty years, an aggressor""

    Longer if you view an attack on an embassy an act of war.

  • ||

    A war we started with our overthrow of a democratically elected government.

  • Nobody saw this coming||

    In the end we're always to blame somewhere aren't we?

  • ||

    You break it, you buy it.

    Do you think it's just some strange coincidence that the countries that don't hate us to attack us/fund attacks on us are the one we either destroyed two generations ago or never fucked with at all?

    All the nationalism and American exceptionalism you can muster doesn't obfuscate simple cause and effect.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Last time I checked, Panama and Vietnam weren't funding anti-American activities. Even Libya is getting friendly.

  • ||

    And we had military interventions in all three within my lifetime. Because we were either cleaning up someone else's messes or our own.

    All I'm trying to get across is that America fucks with people and they fuck back. To think that Iran isn't in the state it is in now because of what we did for the Shah is an exhibition of a complete ignorance of history.

    America was the biggest bully on the block for 60 years... let's not feign ignorance of why everyone we beat up back then hates us now.

  • ||

    Panama and Vietnam aren't funding anti-American activities now because we're not occupying them now. We're promoting hatred against us in the Middle East because we're meddling there now.

  • ||

    I'm not suggesting we invade Iran, but the idea of military policy as a popularity contest is remarkably stupid, too.

  • l0b0t||

    Yeah but we were completely duped into doing so by the British on their way out. The Persians should be our trade partners, it's the Wahhabists who want imminentize the eschaton. Also, why are we so beholden to the notion of Iraq as a nation state? How about in exchange for territorial concessions establishing a greater Kurdistan, Turkey and Iran get to split the remainder of Iraq?

  • pls||

    Yes, because drawing lines in the Middle East has worked great for the West so far.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Bullshit. The guy who got thrown out won 99% of the vote because he got rid of the secret ballot and retained emergency powers indefinitely.

  • Tman||

    In order to understand the Iranian problem, one must examine the proxy issues such as Hezbollah, and the dynamic that Israel plays within the calculation.

    Michael Totten had an amazing interview with Jonathan Spyer, an Israeli journalist and political analyst who fought with the IDF in the last war in Lebanon against Hezbollah. Spyer details the issues with Iran in ways that most Americans probably don't understand very well.

    The Perfect Iranian Storm on the Horizon

    MJT: What is it that U.S. policy-makers don’t currently understand about this part of the world? If you could have their ears for five or ten minutes, what would you tell them?

    Jonathan Spyer: I’d tell the current bunch in power that they need to ditch this sophomoric idea that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the key to the region’s malaise.

    They need to get that out of their heads. That’s not what I’d want to talk about. That’s not even an adult conversation. Once we can clear that up, we can talk about something serious.

    A perfect storm is brewing in the Middle East. We’re experiencing the convergence of two historical phenomena. The first is the rise of Iran, which we’ve already talked about. We have an ambitious ideological elite committed to radical Islam and the expansion of power. Second, in country after country in the Middle East, various forms of radical Islam are becoming the most popular and vivid forms of political expression. We have Hamas among the Palestinians, Hezbollah among the Shia of Lebanon, the Islamic Action Front in Jordan, and the Muslim Brothers in Egypt.

    We have an ideological wave from below with a powerful and potentially nuclear-armed sponsor on top. That’s the picture I’d want to place in the minds of the people in Washington. It’s the key regional dynamic through which most smaller processes have to be understood.

  • ||

    A nuclear armed sponsor like Israel? I think Israel's biggest concern is the loss of their own hegemony in the area. They know Iran would be stupid to nuke them. They only fear they would not be able to continue their own attacks on their neighbors if there was another hegemon in the area.

  • ||

    When has Israel attacked its neighbors? You mean like when Hezbolla sends rockets at civilians in Israel. You mean when Egypt and Syria launched a sneak attack in 1973? In the last 30 years at most Israel has invaded Lebanon twice. It has been at peace with Egypt and Jordan. Other than with Hezbollah, which is an agent of Iran, Israel has been at peace with all of its neighbors since 1977.

    And yes, it is worried about getting nuked by Iran. Yes, it could respond in kind. But Iran is a huge country. It could withstand Isreal's nuclear counter strike and still be a country. Israel is tiny. I would cease to exist if it were hit by multiple nukes.

    Would Iran not be crazy enough to do it? I don't know. I wouldn't think so. But I am not betting my life on Iran not doing it. If I were, like Israel, I think I would rather not have to make the bet.

  • RyanXXX||

    Than let them handle it John. We can declare neutrality and wash our hands of the mess.

    But you'd rather see our young men die for the Sunni fundamentalists and the Hebrew fundamentalists, wouldn't you?

  • ||

    It is not so quite simple as washing out hands of it. I wish I could live in the libertarian peacenik fantasy world where if we just walked away no one would ever attack us or do us any harm. But sadly, I have to live in the real world where the leaders of Iran hate our guts and would use the destruction of Israel would just be a spring board to Europe and eventually fucking with us big time.

    And the Israelis are not Hebrew fundamentalists. That is anti-Semitic bullshit.

  • ||

    But you don't think "big time" would be something that would require us to combat Iranian backed insurgency forces with ground troops.

  • jacob||

    I have to live in the real world where the leaders of Iran hate our guts and would use the destruction of Israel would just be a spring board to Europe and eventually fucking with us big time.

    Yup. Look at how bad off Switzerland is.

  • Nykos||

    Yes sure, Hitler would have totally left Switzerland alone after winning WWII. Right.....

  • ||

    Some Iranians hate our guts because we overthrew their government in 1953. They have no intention of attacking us or Israel. They would like to develop better trading relations with us and I don't see why we couldn't do that. I believe the hatred against us and Israel is being promoted by ours and Israel's beligerance toward Iran. John, you seem to be naive in thinking that Iran wants to rule the world or even has any chance of doing so.

  • Apogee||

    Some Iranians hate our guts because we overthrew their government in 1953.

    Really? Iran is a young country, and from the books I've read about it, most of that group is against the current regime. I don't think they're as stupid to think that the people responsible for the '53 overthrow are even alive, much less still in power in the U.S.

    The distillation of a very complex historical and geographic situation among many different groups dating back centuries down to "they hate us because we overthrew their democracy" misses almost all of the picture.

  • RyanXXX||

    The Israelis aren't fundamentalists, John? Well, maybe not in the strictly religious sense, but they sure are extremists.

    Heard of Avigdor Lieberman?

  • nekoxgirl||

    Jesus, is the sky even blue in neo-con land? You don't get to say you are living in the "real world" if you really think Iran would ever have a chance of invading Europe anytime in the next century. Not unless your definition of the real world is a Dick Cheney fever dream.

  • ||

    On some of the more extremist Israeli websites they talk about how they should be a natural ally of Iran, given their mutual natural enemy the Arabs.
    I wonder why that doesn't pan out.

  • ||

    "Iran is a huge country. It could withstand Isreal's nuclear counter strike and still be a country. Israel is tiny. I would cease to exist if it were hit by multiple nukes."

    John, don't you think Iran would be worried about the US attacking Iran in kind if Iran was to nuke Israel?

  • ||

    Honestly, I don't think they would be. The fact is, the only thing that we seem to be more afraid of than nukes, is actually using our nukes for anything.

    And that may not be a bad thing.

    However, I'm not sure that the threat of MAD carries any clout if the threat is not credible, and it isn't credible.

  • ||

    You really think Iran would take their chances on us being humanitarian? There's too many Cheney and Kristol types in this country to keep Iran from ever being secure that we wouldn't nuke them. So far, we're the only country to have used nukes. If we used them before, we'll use them again.

  • ||

    I think they might think that, in a game of "chicken", we'd back down first. Can't tell what they think, though.

  • Tman||

    I think Israel's biggest concern is the loss of their own hegemony in the area.

    Israel's biggest concern is the continued existence of Israel. Considering it is surrounded in every direction by mostly Arab Islamic states, I would say that hegemony has nothing to do with it.

    They know Iran would be stupid to nuke them.

    Iran doesn't need to attack them directly. That's why they run Hezbollah.

    They only fear they would not be able to continue their own attacks on their neighbors if there was another hegemon in the area.

    Right, because Israel is just randomly attacking its neighbors for no reason whatsoever. It has nothing to do with the neighbors lobbing random rockets in to their civilian center on a daily basis or anything. It's Israel trying to take over the middle east and "maintain its hegemony".

    I would really suggest you read that interview, it's pretty fascinating.

  • ||

    Israel's biggest concern is taking over more land. That's why their Arab neighbors are attacking them and also their treatment of Palestinians as second class citizens.

  • Apogee||

    Israel's biggest concern is taking over more land. That's why their Arab neighbors are attacking them and also their treatment of Palestinians as second class citizens.

    Bullshit. The 'neighbors' aren't interested in repelling land grabs. All that would take is non-violent resistance and a P.R. campaign.

    And even if you want to engage with a violent response, if you want to repel settlers, you launch rockets at them, not at the major cities that aren't in dispute.

  • Nykos||

    If Israel wants more land, why did it return the Sinai to Egypt, after rightfully winning it in a defensive war?

  • Quiet Desperation||

    "Haven't we learned anything from the Iraq war?"

    Er... attack the correct country? So... you think we should attack?

  • ||

    At first I thought - why should we have learned anything from Iraq? We didn't learn anything from Vietnam. But that would be falling into the trap we are supposed to fall into - that these horrific wars are just national blunders. In fact, all of these wars are accomplishing exactly what they were supposed accomplish - enriching those who profit from this endless horror and empowering the warfare state and in this they have been fantastically successful. This same applies to all the figurative wars like "the war on drugs" and so on.

  • nekoxgirl||

    +1

  • ||

    +1 megaton

  • Cytotoxic||

    This article is terrible bullshit. First, the statement that Iran is not and has not attacked us is flat wrong. Iran has been funding and helping our enemies in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and is the world's central terror hive. They (and Saudi Arabia) are a 'sun' of terrorism. Also, ending the war is easy: blow up their nuclear and oil related stuff and watch the regime collapse on itself. We could (and should) be arming opposition elements and Kurdish guerrillas. What we should learn from Iraq is that nation building and ultra-restrictive ROEs in the name of altruistic warfare are the path to failure.

    And I love the fact that nuclear Mao and Stalin are mentioned here. Yes, letting them get the bomb was so good for peace. Except for that horrible Cold War where America spent billions building up the Military Industrial Complex and shielding our shitty Euro-"allies". Iran is hundreds of times weaker than enemies we have fought in the past; defeating them would be as easy as parodying Max Chony/Pauly Krugnuts.

  • ||

    Because Mao and Stalin had the bomb, they were able to give Kim Il Sung the okay to invade South Korea. Had the not had the bomb, they would have never risked fighting such a proxy war against the US.

    Stalin having the bomb also enabled him to enslave Eastern Europe. Once he had the bomb, what was the West going to do when the USSR invaded Hungary?

    And oh by the way, we know now that MADD almost ended the world several times during the cold war. The world dodged a bullet and avoided a nuclear war but it almost didn't make it. And now all the peaceniks want to play that game again only with fanatical members of what amounts to a death cult.

    Once Iran has the bomb, they can do anything they want to their own people and have no worries of the world doing anything about it. They also are free to fight proxy wars and sponsor terrorism without worry. Imagine if there was a 9-11 and the plot was traced back to a nuclear Iran. What would we do? Risk a nuclear war and the death of millions over the death of a few thousand? I doubt it. It would be a giant suckatude.

  • ||

    It's easy to say that we came close to nuclear holocaust during the Cold War, but did we really? I believe MAD did work. That's why we never had nuclear war.

    I believe there is almost zero chance that Iran would be responsible for a 9/11 against us if we were to concentrate on having a better relationship with them and stop meddling in the Middle East.

  • Apogee||

    It's easy to say that we came close to nuclear holocaust during the Cold War, but did we really? I believe MAD did work. That's why we never had nuclear war.

    For a bookworm, you're remarkably unread.

  • Eisenhower||

    So the Soviets thought America was about to attack them, so they were about to attack back, until someone discovered it was a false alarm. How does this show Mutually Assured Destruction aka MAD didn't work?

    "Given the heightened tensions between the two countries -- the alarm coincided with the beginning of provocative NATO military exercises and barely three weeks after the Russians shot down a South Korean airliner that had wandered into Soviet air space -- Petrov could have been forgiven for believing the signal was accurate. The electronic maps flashing around him didn't do anything to ease the stress of the moment.

    But Petrov smelled a rat. "I had a funny feeling in my gut" that this was a false alarm. For one thing, the report indicated that only five missiles had been fired. Had the United States been launching an actual nuclear attack, he reasoned, ICBMs would be raining down on them.

    "I didn't want to make a mistake. I made a decision, and that was it." Petrov's gut feeling was due in large part to his lack of faith in the Soviet early-warning system, which he subsequently described as "raw." He reported it as a false alarm to his superiors, and hoped to hell he was right."

    Cooler heads prevailing is what kept the Cold War from becoming a Hot Nuclear War. I'm not sure how this shows MAD didn't work.

  • TJ's PJs||

    "MAD" didn't work, because "MAD" is a strategy, not a scientific formula. What worked was Mr. Petrov's assessment of the facts. We were lucky he was in charge of making the determination, and it could easily have gone the other way. The fact that we are here and in a nuclear-annihilated world is not evidence that MAD will work in the future, either.

    It's sheer madness to describe how close the USSR came to launching missiles against the US and use that as evidence that nuclear war isn't something important to worry about.

  • TJ's PJs||

    The fact that we are here and in a nuclear-annihilated world is not evidence that MAD will work in the future, either.

    NOT in a nuclear-annihilated world, I meant to say

  • RyanXXX||

    It's nice how you leave everything the U.S. has done out of the equation and pretend that Iran is acting like this for no reason and with no historical context.

    Yes, arming Kurdish separatists and sketchy opposition elements in Iran (like the Al-Qaeda aligned Jundullah? or the Marxists?) would be a great idea, and I'm sure it wouldn't create any problems

  • IceTrey||

    Our enemies in Iraq are only those we created by our illegal and immoral invasion. Our enemy in Afghanistan was Al Qeada and they all left and went to Pakistan.

  • ||

    I think people who think victory over Iran would be a cakewalk are in for a big surprise.

  • TJ||

    "The Iranians know that any use of nuclear weapons traceable to them would be sure to accomplish one thing: their annihilation."

    I'm not sure how this 'assumption' can be made. Consider the existing ineffective response to Iran already providing other types of weapons to terrorists organizations, which is already being linked back to them.

    I'm not advocating pre-emptive strikes, just that:

    A ) Traceable does not mean provable, and
    B ) That even if it was, I find the presumption of their 'annihilation' laughable considering past follies of the UN.

  • TJ||

    Meant to say "I am not advocating for or against pre-emptive strikes"

  • RyanXXX||

    People saying Hezbollah would nuke Israel are just plain dumb. Hezbollah has morphed from a terrorist organization to a political party/guerilla army. They aren't death-obsessed zealots like Al Qaeda.

    Hezbollah has just as much to lose from using a nuke as Iran does. Lobbing a few rockets and then hiding is a lot different than going all Dr. Strangelove

  • Tman||

    Hezbollah has morphed from a terrorist organization to a political party/guerilla army. They aren't death-obsessed zealots like Al Qaeda.

    Um, what? Are you insane?


    Mohamad Ali Harissi, Agence France-Presse · Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010

    BEIRUT — Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah echoed Iran’s call on Wednesday for Israel to disappear, speaking during a mass rally in Beirut organised in honour of visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    “President Ahmadinejad is right when he says Israel is illegitimate and should cease to exist,” Nasrallah told an ecstatic crowd of tens of thousands via video link.

    Ahmadinejad, who has called Israel a “tumour,” has denied the Holocaust and repeatedly said the Jewish state is “doomed to be wiped off the map.”

    As recently as last month, he said the people of the Middle East are “capable of removing the Zionist regime” from the world scene.

    Chanting “death to America” and “death to Israel,” Hezbollah supporters turned out en masse in the southern suburb of Beirut they control to welcome Ahmadinejad, whose country is a major financial, military and ideological supporter of their militant Shiite group.
    .

    Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/ne.....z16zJcBmJD
  • RyanXXX||

    Does rhetoric=reality? They say that stuff because it plays well to their base, and because they really believe that the world would be better off without Israel. So what?

    Saying "Israel is a criminal state and shouldn't exist" isn't the same as saying "I will do my best to make sure it doesn't exist anymore."

  • ||

    Ahmadinejad was mistranslated about his comment about Israel being wiped off the map. What he really said was that he would be glad when the Zionist regime in Israel is erased from the pages of history. It would be the same as saying that I would be glad when the Soviet regime no longer rules in Russia.

  • Tman||

    And the truth comes out. You are an Ahmadinejad apologist.

    Was he "mistranslated" when he said there were no gays in Iran either?

  • ||

    I'm no fan of Ahmadinejad. I just think it would be a costly and unecessary mistake to go to war with Iran.

  • Tman||

    Again BW, I woul highly -HIGHLY- suggest you read the above mentioned interview from Totten. One of the most interesting aspects of the Iranian regime is that they are essentially running the Arab Shiite world right now, yet they aren't arabs. Their mostly Persians. This creates a weird psychological distortion amongst the arab shiites who are a very proud people.

    I am not calling for war against Iran, but the reality is that if they do successfully produce atomic weapons the balance of power in the Middle east will be forever changed in ways that will make peace much less likely an outcome.

  • Tman||

    Does rhetoric=reality?

    No, reality (which you are apparently opposed to) = reality.

    Hezbollah is a political organization that retains power through terror and fear. You completely ignore their own specific stated manifesto which includes their main goal as the destruction of Israel -"translations of Hezbollah's 1985 Arabic-language manifesto state that "our struggle will end only when this entity [Israel] is obliterated".

    This isn't rhetoric or rallying cries, it's their primary reason for existence. And they are most certainly in active participation of their stated goals. What world do you live in where Hezbollah ISN'T a terrorist organization?

  • ||

    If you read your history, you'll find that Zionists were also terrorists.

    Hezbollah was formed in response to Israel's occupation of Lebanon.

    Arab opposition goes back to when the Zionists took land from the Palestinians. Wouldn't we resort to terrorism if some other group of people were occupying our land?

    What the Israeli government needs to do is form a TRUE democracy with a constitution that gives equal rights to all inhabitants of Palestine. I believe then, there would be a great reduction in terrorism. I'm not holding my breath that Israel will ever do that, however.

  • Tman||

    If you read your history, you'll find that Zionists were also terrorists.

    Yes, I'm aware of Israeli actions of the post-balfour declaration days, and some of their attacks were definitely terrorist in the fact that they went after innocents. I am not making the case that Israel is innocent.

    But if we're giving history lessons, I'm assuming you'll agree that Jews have lived in the Levant dating back thousands of years. They didn't suddenly "show up" and steal a bunch of land.

    Arab opposition goes back to when the Zionists took land from the Palestinians.

    It goes back far FAR further than that, to like BC era history.

    Wouldn't we resort to terrorism if some other group of people were occupying our land?

    There is no reasonable comparison to modern day when describing the situation in the levant. This conflict predates Colonial Europe.

    What the Israeli government needs to do is form a TRUE democracy with a constitution that gives equal rights to all inhabitants of Palestine.

    Palestinian arabs currently hold seats in Knesset. They have true democracy.

    I believe then, there would be a great reduction in terrorism.

    The reason why there is no peace in Israel is because the palestinians want "right of return", meaning they want to drive out jews that are living in between Gaza and the West Bank (as well as pretty much everywhere else, but whatever). Israel will not accept these conditions because they know that Palestinians will then dissemble the state of Israel and the Knesset.

    Israel has offered to return to pre-1967 borders several times in exchange for Palestinian statehood and peace, but Palestine is the party that rejected the offers. They want Israel to be erased from the map period.

    But if you read that interview, you'll find out that this is not even close to the main issue behind Islamic terrorism.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    The people in the U.S. advocating war aren't really worried about what Iran could do. They want a war that would, in Gates' words, "unifying the Iranian people to be forever embittered against the attacker."

    They want a new Cold War that would cost trillions of dollars and create endless crises demanding an ever-more powerful centralized state. They want this because they're afraid that without an ever-present "existential" threat, the U.S. will turn into a nation of lotus-eaters, electing an unending series of Bill Clinton clones for President.

    Oh, and as for Netanyahu, he's the one who's at the head of "a messianic apocalyptic cult."

  • ||

    Jesus Christ you are fucking moron Venneman. Letting Iran get the bomb and engaging in containment and deterrence would give us another cold war. It is the peaceniks who want a cold war not the people who want to bomb them and get it over with.

  • ||

    The military-industrial complex doesn't want a new cold war, they want several hot wars to last until eternity to justify the continued manufacture of their munitions.

  • nekoxgirl||

    How the hell would we end up in a cold war with Iran? You can't have a cold war unless they have the ability to retailiate against us (MADD in other words). Even if they got a nuke, they wouldn't be able to reach the United States. Isreal yes, Europe maybe, but we could still just flying in at anytime and bomb them into oblivion.

  • Apogee||

    Even if they got a nuke, they wouldn't be able to reach the United States.

    You're making the assumption that they will never be able to extend the range of their delivery systems.

    I'm not willing to bet my life, as well as the lives of my loved ones, on their technical prowess.

    Also, you assume that their attainment of the bomb will not start a chain reaction in the middle east, escalating to many other countries beginning a nuclear program.

    If nothing happens to Iran after cheating on their membership to the non-proliferation treaty, how do you expect to deter other states from accessing nukes, if only for their own protection. Once the tech is out there, along with the fissionable material, the delivery doesn't have to be carried out with a missile.

    If you've learned nothing from the cold war, the one thing that should impress you is how close two organized, first-world countries came to nuclear annihilation.

  • ||

    There are a 2 lessons from the Iraq War:
    1) Finish what you start - Hussein should have been ended in the 1991 war.
    2) Do not out source your foreign policy to the U.N. - If we had ignored the U.N. mandate in 1991 to only kick Hussein out of Kuwait, we would have prevented the 2nd action.

  • RyanXXX||

    Those are the lessons, huh?

    I suppose you think the lesson of Vietnam was "Ground wars in Asia are great?"

  • ||

    The only difference would have been fighting this never ending war twelve years earlier.

  • Apogee||

    That's a pretty big statement, considering the relative success of the 9/11 attacks may have emboldened players that wouldn't have entered the field in '91.

  • BWM||

    I just want to add that while we generally only hear about the Sunni terrorist group Al-Queda, it's actually smaller than both Hamas and Hezbollah, Shia terrorists groups supported by Iran. That's a little alarming, since these are the same groups that even Israel's sometimes cutthroat approach does not deter. Even those who hate Iran and want to prevent it from getting the nukes that every US intelligence agency says they are not trying to get should consider that problem.

  • RyanXXX||

    Hamas isn't Shia, and Hezbollah can't really be called a "terrorist organization"

    Even the U.S. was reluctant to put them on the State Departments list of terrorist orgs

  • ||

    Even if they were terrorist organizations, the US has no need to fear them as long as we stop meddling over there.

  • Anon||

    The level of ignorance and naivety displayed by some of the posters here is astounding. In order to buy the "blame America first/bitch deserved it" narrative (embraced by the paleocon/anarcho-pacifist breed of libertarian), you'd have to completely ignore everything that Islamist militants have ever said and done.

    Terrorists and terrorist regimes hate us because of their ideology, not because of our foreign policy. If the United States withdrew all military forces to within our borders, it wouldn't make them hate us any less. The ultimate goal of Islamic fundamentalists (including the Iranian regime) is worldwide Sharia law and the utter destruction of Western culture. The outright antagonism toward rights, democratic forms of government, and Western culture is the root of their hatred for the civilized world.

  • RyanXXX||

    Listen to Sean Hannity, or are you a Neal Boortz type of guy?

    "Utter destruction of Western culture." Sure.

    Read the manifestos of the 9/11 hijackers, dipshit. Or Al Qaeda's declaration of war. Neither are about imposing anything on us.

  • jacob||

    I'd peg him as a Neal Boortz guy, this post sounds like something cut and pasted from Neal's Nuze.

    I actually agree with Boortz on a lot of stuff. Not his foreign policy views, though.

  • George W. Bush||

    They hate our freedoms!

  • Apogee||

    Funny, I don't listen to those guys, but you seem to be glossing over the fact that we have earned no credit by preventing Serb genocide of muslims, along with pulling our troops from Saudi Arabian soil - something OBL complained about.

    You're confused if you believe that terrorism is a reaction to US foreign policy. Middle eastern culture is generally not one of equality. There is power and prestige in fighting a holy battle, even if you have to make up the excuse for it as you go along.

  • Nykos||

    Yes, because enemies attacking us are totally going to not deceive us.

    I suggest reading about the concepts of Taqiyya and Kitman.

    The no.1 site for education about the Islam, the religion of pieces: Jihad Watch

    And a bonus: Skeptics' Annotated Qur'an

  • ||

    Anon, I'm afraid you are the one who's naive to really believe all that nonsense. Polls taken in the Middle East actually show the people in the Middle East to admire us for our freedoms and our success. It's our foreign policy that they have a problem with.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Funny their brand of Islamic fundamentalists didn't take off until they also made the destruction of Israel, US troops in Saudi Arabia and sanctions on Iraq part of their platform too.

    There might always be crazy Muslims in the Middle East, but they wouldn't have the support of some of the non-crazy Middle East if the governments of the Western World weren't messing around there.

  • Apogee||

    until they also made the destruction of Israel, US troops in Saudi Arabia and sanctions on Iraq part of their platform too.

    Yet when those complaints are reversed by our actions, still no support! It's as if power hungry fanatics will just make up reasons to stay in power.

  • Pot calling kettle||

    Terrorists and terrorist regimes hate us because of their ideology, not because of our foreign policy. If the United States withdrew all military forces to within our borders, it wouldn't make them hate us any less.

    Is this why 9-11 happened in Canada and Switzerland and not America? Oh wait.....

  • ||

    The Canadians and Swiss aren't immune to terrorism, FTR.

  • ||

    Then why don't Canada and Switzerland experience terrorism?

  • TJ||

    Then why DO England, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, most of the middle east, North Africa, central Africa, The Phillipines, much of Southeast Asia, et al experience terrorism? Yep, it's all about the 'foreign policy'.

  • ||

    I didn't say that every case of terrorism is do to foreign policy, but terrorism against the US is definitely due to our foreign policy.

  • TJ||

    That would be a cozy solution but it does not jive with history. The Muslim/Christian conflict has been going on long before Columbus. In reality Islamic fundamentalist fanaticism that feeds into terrorism would still occur towards the US even if the US would become a totally isolationist nation. It is not a fanaticism based against 'foreign policy' but against Western philosophy and culture. Even many of the fanatics acknowledge that in their 'teachings'. The US foreign policy is just a convenient excuse. If it were not that, a new 'reason' would emerge.

  • jacob||

    England, Spain, Italy all sent troops into Iraq. So with them, IT IS THE FOREIGN POLICY. Or, are you saying it's just a coincidence that the terrorist attacks on their soil occurred after they got involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom?

    As for France and Germany, you're going to have to help me out and give me an instance where foreign nationals from the middle east pulled off terrorist attacks on their soil.

  • TJ||

    jacob, the way you worded that, are you saying plots that were foiled don't count? If so, that is a pretty silly assertion. If not, then please do your own damn homework (lightly jesting). :)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....ope-foiled

    http://www.pisqa.com/09/terror.....ny-foiled/

    "Terrorist attacks in 1995 - France suffered a series of attacks in 1995 masterminded by Khaled Kelkal, and linked back to Algeria. The first violent movements appeared in Algeria in the 1980/1984 by the emergence of a new movement, the M.I.A. (Algerian Islamic movement), led by Mustapha Bouyali."

    And even a more interesting question, why then do Islamic terrorist attacks occur in Indonesia (not to mention other Islamic countries)? The world's most populous Islamic country. Is it more likely due to their foreign policy or the constant Muslim/Christian struggle there?

    (sorry, I had more but trying to submit it said my comment had too many links)

  • Esteban||

    So the terrorist plot that was broken up in Barcelona in the Winter of 2008 was because ... the Spaniards removed their troops from Iraq?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/21/world/europe/21spain.html

  • TJ||

    Esteban, LOL. Good point. Maybe they were still mad?

  • ||

    Spain still has troops in Afghanistan.

    As do France and Germany.

    No country has clean hands with respect to the Middle East.

  • TJ||

    Isaac, and you explain Islam terrorism in places that have NO involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan on...? As I've pointed out, foreign policy is an easy target, but it's just an excuse, and not the cause.

  • Apogee||

    No country has clean hands with respect to the Middle East.

    What a great catch-all for excuses. If it isn't current, then it's something that happened before.

    You might want to shorten that to "no country has clean hands", and then realize that, at that point, there isn't any excuse for aggression from anyone, including those from the middle east.

  • lol||

    Yeah, why WOULD England experience terrorism as a result of foreign policy. They've never done ANYTHING in the Middle East.

  • TJ||

    My history is a little rusty but I think it is safe to say that the Christian/Muslim conflict predates even England. ;)

    Again, my POINT is that foreign policy is a convenient excuse used by fanatics to justify their cause. It also seems to be a convenient excuse for others to 'wish away' fundamentalist hatred.

  • ||

    They do. You apparently are unable to use Google.

  • ||

    (in reply to bookworm)

    The antonym of "warmonger" is not "simpleton".

  • ||

    I believe the Canadians would beg to differ that they don't experience terrorism.

    Canadian police broke up terrorism plots 2006 and 2010. Their involvement in Afghanistan makes them a target as well.

  • ||

    I'm inclined to agree with Chapman but hesitate on this point: What if self-preservation isn't the ultimate goal of the holders of their nukes? What if they are as serious about the afterlife as they claim?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    That's ridiculous! What do you think Iran is, a theocracy or something?

  • shiroi neko||

    No more war. Please.

  • ||

    Cuo bono?

    Who benefits from a general conflagration in the Middle East?

    Well, let me propose an answer. First, the Israeli Zionists have a problem. They want to create a ‘Greater Israel’ and have a bunch of unwanted people hindering the achievement of that goal. The status quo cannot last forever.
    The Israelis know full well that Iran does not pose an existentialist threat.

    The Iranian leadership may be many things, but they are not crazy enough to commit themselves to what would amount to suicide by attacking Israel, Europe or the US.

    So what is all of the rhetoric about?

    It is the resolution of these unwanted, non-Jewish, non-people.

    Extermination, at least on a mass basis is probably out of the question. What options are left? Expulsion. Of course, this has been done before in the creation of the Zionist State.

    Just about everyone agrees that a state of general chaos will ensue if war breaks out between Iran and Israel and the US.

    So who will notice, with oil prices above $1000/barrel, and war machines working 24/7, if a few million hapless souls find themselves refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt? By the time it is all over, it will be seen as a fait accompli, and the world will move on to more pressing matters.

    Of course, this is mere speculation on my part. If someone has a better answer, let’s have it.

  • ||

    "I gave those bitches freedom.
    Bitches love freedom"
    - George Washington

  • ||

    Isaac, and you explain Islam terrorism in places that have NO involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan on...?

    Islamic terrorism in Indonesia and other countries, while related to that directed against the west, is a slightly different phenomenon. If it is not directed at foreign nationals* or assets, it is action by religious extremists who do not find there own governments and their own people sufficiently pious.

    For the American domestic equivalent see those extremists whose interpretation of Christian doctrine leads to acts like blowing up abortion clinics or strip clubs.

    Yes, it's quite true that not everything can be blamed western foreign policy and certainly not solely on US policy alone (the French, for example, have a horrible history in the ME and in Muslim Africa). The fact is that every interchange between the west and the Muslim world will bring friction because of the disruption of cultural norms, but military power and bad diplomacy will not help.

    This is not about stuff that happened in 1979 or even 1953. it's about the cultural memories of people going back a thousand years, people who won't forget their grievances with the passage of another millenium

    *The Bali bombing, for example, targetted Australian tourists whom the islamists considered to be corruptors of their society. Locals caught up in it were likewise considered valid targets since they were part of the corruption.

  • ||

    By the way, a snarkier answer would have been, "In what places has there been Islamic terrorism that have NO involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan?"

    Name one.

  • Nykos||

    Moro Islamic liberation front in the Phillipines?

    Beheadings of Buddhist monks and Thai girls in Pattani (southern Thailand)?

    Bali bombings against those warmongering Australian tourists?

    Attacks on Han Chinese in Xinjiang and threats during the Beijing Olympics? (fortunately, the PLA of PRC, unlike the US Army, knows how to deal with Muslims)

    Beslan massacre and torture and rape of Russian children?

    East-West theater Moscow bombing?

    The beheading of the Orthodox Archbishop of Iskenderun (Turkey)?

    Iraqi church bombings? (Christians were respected and protected under secular-leaning Saddam)

    Mumbai attacks, with a special focus on torturing to death the helpless Jews in the local Jewish cultural center?

    That's just the attacks I can remember off the top of my head.

  • Alan||

    Israel and all these Arab states want us to attack Iran - well of course they do, because they don't want to have to attack their traditional enemies themselves. Much easier to get some big, stupid oaf to do it on their behalf.

    The occupation of Iraq was a bad idea, but a war against Iran is insanity.

  • Neville Chamberlain||

    A preemptive war against Hitler's Germany is insanity!

  • ||

    The USSR invaded Poland in 1921 and was thoroughly defeat and sensible people realized that the Soviet threat to take over the world was a myth. The only reason to continue the myth was for political reasons to instill unnecessary and imagined fears to the people of, especially the United States. Finland also soundly defeated the Soviet army in 1941 killing 68,000 Soviet soldiers then. It prompted Hitler to invade the USSR. The myth was perpetuated to create our National Security State, which ironically is modeled after the USSR and NAZISM combined. A Yiddish proverb "choose your enemies well for you will become like them" sums it up. I visited the USSR in 1984 and it took me 1 week at a cost of $350 to realize that the USSR, which couldn't afford to pave the side streets of Moscow, wasn't going to take over the world. But the Myth of the Soviet superman was perpetuated by people who had never visited the USSR and derived their "intelligence" from self serving USG agencies all with a stake to KEEP FEAR ALIVE. And here we are. terrified by a rag tag band of 100 or so al queda. OBM has won, not only the 1 day War of 9/11 but has prevailed while the USG policies resulting from Bush's temper tantrum.

  • Nykos||

    What would happen if one of those 100 rag tag Islamists detonated a nuke in central Manhattan?

  • Marian Kechlibar||

    "Finland also soundly defeated the Soviet army".

    No, it did not. You can't make up your own history. First, the Winter War took place in 1939-1940, not 1941. Second, the Finns were able to hold against the USSR for 4 months, but in March 1940 their defenses were disintegrating at a rapid pace, and they were willing to accept loss of significant territory, including the second-largest Finnish city of Viipuri (today Vyborg), to have peace.

    They were successful in avoiding outright conquest (unlike the Baltic states further south), but from the military point of view, that was no victory.

    "realize that the USSR, which couldn't afford to pave the side streets of Moscow, wasn't going to take over the world"

    Actually, history shows that quite often the conquerors were poorer than their prey. They also had less to lose. In this way, USSR was a distant heir to the Mongol empire. Surely the Mongols stood lower on the civilizational ladder than Chinese, Indians or Europeans, but they were perfectly able to conquer and rule them all.

  • ||

    Unfortunately the author of the article refers to Joseph Stalin and his wish for world dominance, but conviniently witholds the fact about Stalin's letter to the "BIG FOUR" about demilitarization of Germany, its unification after the war and foreign forces withdrawal from Europe. That letter was sent 1946. The idea was good for Churchil and De gaulle, but not for US and this started the Cold War.
    Mabye the author can write something about it if he is allowed by the "AUTHORITY"......

  • ||

    A preemptive strike is the only way to go. Is a similar response going to bring back the dead of Tel Aviv or Rome?

  • Batman||

    Iran can bring down IDF within 2 hours with ballistic missiles and also through its proxies, Iranian military commander once said if the US attacked, no American soldiers will go back home alive, I rather to take him seriouse, since the country is capable of launching 13,000 missiles per minute and is also a ballistic power and has allies in Latin America.

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