Secretary of State Kerry: You Just Can't Expect the U.S. to Not Start Another War Forever

Get out those Obama bumper stickers where the "O" is a peace sign, boys and girls, sounds like you might really need 'em during Obama Administration II: The Reckoning.

Obama on the WallPhoto credit: futurowoman / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Not content to further dig us into a Syrian quagmire, Secretary of State Kerry yesterday made it clear that the world can't reasonably expect us to avoid war with Iran forever if it doesn't do everything we want, according to this Reuters report.

Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday there was "finite" time for talks between Iran and world powers on its disputed nuclear program to bear fruit, but gave no hint how long Washington may be willing to negotiate. 

Israel, Iran's arch-enemy and convinced Tehran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons, has grown impatient with the protracted talks and has threatened preemptive war against Tehran if it deems diplomacy ultimately futile......

"There is a finite amount of time," Kerry, in the Saudi capital Riyadh on his first overseas trip as the top U.S. diplomat, said of the talks between a group of six world powers and Tehran, Saudi Arabia's main regional adversary. 

Kerry was speaking at a news conference with Prince Saud al-Faisal, who suggested Iran was not showing enough seriousness about the discussions, which he said "cannot go on forever."....

"We both prefer — and this is important for Iranians to hear and understand  — we both prefer diplomacy as the first choice, the preferred choice," Kerry said. "But the window for a diplomatic solution simply cannot by definition remain open indefinitely." 

When you are the hyperpower, "diplomacy" means "you do what we want without making us kill a bunch of people." The mad, backward Iranians, Kerry seems to worry, might not fully understand this. 

See also Vice President Biden yesterday assuring the world that Obama is not bluffing with Iran, and Obama's ominious "We will do what is necessary" during his State of the Union speech last month, and, well, get ready for the mighty stimulating powers of war in the Middle East that made the '00s a happy dream for those of us stumbling though the '10s.

The Oscar-winning best picture Argo had some interesting lessons about how our own interventionist foreign policy decisions vis a vis Iran created problems that are worth contemplating today, as I wrote back in November. And Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, is trying to convince his Party that a nuclear Iran can be contained and need not necessarily be attacked, as I wrote in the New York Times last month.

Steve Chapman here at Reason from last year on "False Fears About a Nuclear Iran."

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Maybe he can bribe the Iranians with an unused Nobel Peace Prize.

  • ||

    Isn't Kerry simply stating the obvious? I'm not clear on what the complaint is here.

    Look, the policy of the US Government is that Iran will not possess nuclear arms. If the limited amount of leverage available via diplomacy is not effective, the only remaining options are Force or Change The Policy.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Well if that's the policy then I guess it's settled. I mean, we can't expect the President to ignore the policy now can we?

  • BarryD||

    He shouldn't.

    If we want to change the policy, we should change it honestly and in public.

    A threatening posture makes enemies. If we don't intend to follow through, we should change that posture.

  • ||

    Nothing's ever "settled". What's your point? As of right now, the policy is what I stated, and thus Kerry's statement is logically consistent with the policy.

    Doherty wasn't directly attacking the policy. He was attacking the message.

  • Farturo||

    Kerry is Secretary of State. It's hard to imagine an individual better placed to influence changes in policy. At this level, the message and the policy are nearly one in the same.

  • Mr Whipple||

    OF COURSE, we need to defend the reserve currency status of the dollar.

    From ZH:

    Dow Jones Industrial Average: Then 14164.5; Now 14164.5
    Regular Gas Price: Then $2.75; Now $3.73
    GDP Growth: Then +2.5%; Now +1.6%
    Americans Unemployed (in Labor Force): Then 6.7 million; Now 13.2 million
    Americans On Food Stamps: Then 26.9 million; Now 47.69 million
    Size of Fed's Balance Sheet: Then $0.89 trillion; Now $3.01 trillion
    US Debt as a Percentage of GDP: Then ~38%; Now 74.2%
    US Deficit (LTM): Then $97 billion; Now $975.6 billion
    Total US Debt Oustanding: Then $9.008 trillion; Now $16.43 trillion
    US Household Debt: Then $13.5 trillion; Now 12.87 trillion
    Labor Force Particpation Rate: Then 65.8%; Now 63.6%
    Consumer Confidence: Then 99.5; Now 69.6
    S&P Rating of the US: Then AAA; Now AA+
    VIX: Then 17.5%; Now 14%
    10 Year Treasury Yield: Then 4.64%; Now 1.89%
    EURUSD: Then 1.4145; Now 1.3050
    Gold: Then $748; Now $1583
    NYSE Average LTM Volume (per day): Then 1.3 billion shares; Now 545 million shares
  • sarcasmic||

    Damn you George Bush! Damn you to Hell!

  • Aresen||

    Consequences of a strike on Iran

    http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.....nd_effects

    Quote:

    Note: Months before the Iraq War in 2003, Oxford Research Group published a report, 'Iraq: Consequences of a War', also by Professor Paul Rogers, that warned of high civilian casualties, the development of an insurgency, increased support for al-Qaida and widespread anti-Americanism, if the war went ahead.

    As for the strikes being "surgical":

    http://nation.time.com/2012/10.....s-on-iran/


    With prevailing wind directions and speeds at 9.4 miles/hour moving towards the city, in about one hour, this plume could expose some of the 240,000 residents in Isfahan municipality’s eastern districts, particularly districts 4 and 6. At a 20% release, the IDLH plume will travel 9 miles covering 41 square miles and could expose some of the 352,000 residents, mainly in districts 13, 4, and 6, as well as residents in the region north of district 4. If we assume a conservative casualty rate of 5 to 20% among these populations, we can expect casualties in the range of 12,000-70,000 people. [emphasis in original]
  • BakedPenguin||

    Isn't al-Qaeda Sunni? I don't doubt there would be more support for armed Islamist groups, but I think Hezbollah would benefit more.

  • Aresen||

    ♫ Sunni, yesterday my life was filled with Iran.
    Sunni, you IED’d me and blew me up again.
    Now both legs are gone, and the wheelchair here,
    My Sunni one shines so sincere. ♫

  • db||

  • BarryD||

    "high civilian casualties, the development of an insurgency, increased support for al-Qaida and widespread anti-Americanism"

    Totally unlike Iraq or Afghanistan!

  • Cytotoxic||

    Civilian casualties are not our concern.

  • ||

    "Because we are Us, and they are Them. If they were Us, it would be different. GO US, we are morally superior no matter how many innocent people we kill!"

  • ||

    Well, hell - liberals are still calling Iraq and Afghanistan "Bush's Wars", so he's got to have one of his own. Don't you see???

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    We are already at war with Iran. We need to get that straight. Embargoing motherfuckers is an act of war.

  • Lyle||

    We can't undo what the CIA and others did Matthew Feeney.

    If we have to deal with an authoritarian Iran, we'll have to deal with them.

    Your anti-violence meme is just plan stupid. We can't avoid it when it isn't smart to avoid it. Iran funds terrorists out the yin yang man... and they're about to have a path to nuclear weapons grade material. Wake the fuck up you idiot!!!

  • Lyle||

    Doherty... Feetney, what's the difference? The same ole propaganda day after day.

  • Lyle||

    Feeney.

  • ||

    Nobody's making you read this stuff.

  • Lyle||

    Did I say I didn't want to read it?

  • Aresen||

    Funny, we survived 40 years with a nuclear-armed Soviet Union that funded terrorists. Somehow, we found a way to deal with them.

    Speaking of terrorism: Isn't an assassination campaign against Iranian Nuclear workers terrorism? Is planting a virus that caused their centrifuges to self destruct not terrorism?

  • Lyle||

    The Soviets funded what terrorists that did what?

  • Aresen||

    I suggest you start with John Barron's
    KGB: The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents.

    There are libraries of books about Soviet-sponsored terrorist.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Mehmet Ali Ağca

  • Virginian||

    The IRA, the Red Brigades, the Red Army Faction, more "liberation movements" then you can possibly name, various elements of the American New Left who were for the most part too incompetent to actually accomplish anything.

    Dude, this isn't new at all. The USSR waged a decades long campaign of subversion, terrorism, assassination, and espionage across the globe.

  • Lyle||

    Not with the likes that Iran works with. Not to mention that the IRA, and the Euro-Left groups weren't serious threats to us.

    Iran surpasses whatever the Soviet Union did.

  • Virginian||

    Holy shit this is one the dumbest things I've ever read. The Soviet Union had people in FDR's Cabinet. They had high level sources throughout the American government for decades. Not to mention stuff like meeting with Ted Kennedy in the 80s so they could team up against their common enemy: Ronald Reagan.

    Maybe you don't know the history. The 60s were a time of serious civil unrest and domestic terrorism, almost all of it either funded or supported by the Soviets. When have the Iranians ever attacked us here at home.

  • Lyle||

    You have a weird understanding of our history Virginian. Ted Kennedy? The Soviets were behind the KKK and the Black Panthers? They blew up some Lefty bombmakers in NYC?

    Iran has been killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and elsewhere. They supply al Qaeda groups. They're THE backer of Hezbollah. These are people who don't care about restraining themselves when it comes to what they will they do. Not to mention that Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map and thinks we're the Great Satan!

  • Gunblitz66||

    And how in the hell will invading them make them like us anymore? We will have to leave eventually and then they'll be really pissed. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Calidissident||

    Lyle is getting pretty close to full retard. Iran is a greater threat than the USSR? Most of the harm Iran has done to us has been a result of a completely unnecessary war and occupation in a country right next door

  • Virginian||

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/.....inson.html

    They used a lot lighter touch here then they did elsewhere, but the USSR definitely funded and helped to organized terrorist groups all over the world. Your claim that Iran is a greater threat then the USSR is moronic.

  • Jordan||

    The Palestine Liberation Organization.

  • Gunblitz66||

    Are you kidding me? They funded every little communist upstart they could and those guys did a hell of a lot of damage.

  • CE||

    When they do it it's called terrorism. When we do it's call clandestine ops.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The Oscar-winning best picture Argo had some interesting lessons historical distortions

    FIFY

    PS Iran started this war decades ago. No surprise that Doherty doesn't care about facts.

  • Jordan||

    Yeah, they totally should have just shrugged off a CIA-engineered coup.

  • ||

    Remember, since we are a more rights-respecting nation than they are, it is their moral duty to just bend over and take whatever we decide to do to them with a smile on their face, and be grateful for our guidance.

  • ||

    We're more rights-respecting even when we don't respect the rights of their civilians!

    Cychotoxic's entire morality is centered on an Us vs. Them mentality. If they're Us, they have rights we need to respect. If they're Them, they have no moral worth and we can do whatever we like without regard to their innocence. If they didn't want to die They'd become one of Us and stop living so close to the rest of Them. Duh.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "The Oscar-winning best picture Argo had some interesting lessons about how our own interventionist foreign policy decisions vis a vis Iran created problems that are worth contemplating today, as I wrote back in November."

    Oh God, please don't try to support your arguments with a piece of film making from Hollywood - can you not cite something a bit more serious?

  • Killazontherun||

    Hollywood has much to teach us. I learned all of my sword fighting skills from Samurai Jack.

  • Bam!||

    Especially not a film that took such broad liberties with the truth.

  • CE||

    So many weapons, so few countries.

  • Generic Stranger||

  • db||

  • GILMORE||

    The whole purpose of Jawboning about Iran has nothing to do with Iran.

    a) Sec State Kerry jawbones about Iran because it gives him opportunity to get in the news looking very "Sec State-y". Perhaps he'll even put a different "spin" or "color" on the typical bullshit Iran soundbyte that makes it sound like something new or as though 'important changes' are taking place

    b) Sec State Kerry talks about Iran so that he can shake the taint of being an "Anti-american military traitor who protested vietnam and disgraced the uniform and lied about his record and blah blah blah" that Conservatives have colored him with. See, NOW he's a Tough Hawkish guy with a Strong Belief in a Muscular Foreign Policy. Yawn.

    c) Israel

    d) It helps provide a headfake for the media to avoid talking about shit like, you know, how incompetent the government is... or like, how we were smuggling arms to jihadists from Banghazi to Syria, and now have to make it seem like that was actually US policy all along so we can do it openly now instead of in secret and let Amabassadors die if the scam blows up in their face.

    See, Iran doesnt really factor into the actual "talking about Iran" thing in any way. Iran is a foreign policy Pinata

  • Josua||

    No, halfwit, the problems in Iran do not stem from U.S. policies. The situation in Iran stems from the Ayatollah Kohmeini having driven off all opposition to his grasping of total control after the toppling of the Shah. Since then, Khomeini's successors have held tightly onto power and tolerated nothing more than a sham of a democracy.

    Did the U.S. support an unpopular strongman, yes. Why? The alternative was Mossadeq and his likes, which would have put a Soviet satellite state in the Persian Gulf, from which flows a third of the West's petroleum.

  • Josua||

    Regarding the inevitability of war...it is human nature and unavoidable. However, whether we go to war with Iran will largely depend on Iran. Granted, we have a thoroughly corrupt government here in the U.S. that is run by kleptomaniacal politicians looking to divert the public's attention from the government's assaults on civil liberties and the failure of unconstitutional economic policies, and it is true that a war would provide such a diversion, but Iran is not exactly Switzerland. They direct terrorist attacks via Hezbollah as far away as Argentina and their government also wishes to divert its citizenry's attention from the ongoing Iranian domestic disaster.

    When Iran gets nukes, I doubt they'll make first use of them. However, I do expect that their terror activities (by proxy) will increase dramatically as they seek the regional influence and control that their government imagines will alleviate their economic difficulties.

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