Iran

Meanwhile in Iran…

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Iran has launched nine missiles, as a sign that it's got some push-back capabilities in response to possible attacks from Israel or the U.S., according to news reports.

So how are presidential candidates Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) responding?

Here's Obama:

"I think what this underscores is the need for us to create a kind of policy that is putting the burden on Iran to change behavior. And, frankly, we just have not been able to do that over the last several years. Partly because we're not engaged in direct diplomacy."

Obama has also suggested we need economic sanctions against Iran. And here's McCain:

"Iran's most recent missile tests demonstrate again the dangers it poses to its neighbors and to the wider region, especially Israel. Ballistic missile testing coupled with Iran's continued refusal to cease its nuclear activities should unite the international community in efforts to counter Iran's dangerous ambitions."

More here.

And here's The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh on stepped-up covert operations against Iran, which were suspended (according to press reports) in the immediate run-up to the invastion of Iraq:

Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country's religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran's suspected nuclear-weapons program.

More here.

reason on "the next Iranian Revolution."

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  1. Someone please critique the account linked to my name (not the source, folks, the account).

  2. Yea, we are not talking to them enough. It is all clear now.

    Can we send Jimmy Carter over there as soon as Sen. Obama is sworn in as President?

  3. Guy Montag —

    Yes. Clearly if we speak to them, their magical powers of verbiage will destroy us. It is an ancient Persian art, I’m told.

    Don’t fuck with the ancients.

  4. I love it. Bush gets slapped silly for being so unilateral on Iraq, so for Iran, he does nothing outside a multilateral UN framework.

    Obama’s response? Criticize Bush for doing nothing outside the multilateral UN framework, and promise to engage in more “direct” (unilateral) diplomacy.

  5. Welcome to politics, RC.

  6. The reason RC’s comment is so insightful and cutting is because unilateral military action and unilateral diplomacy are so indistinguishable as to render any disparate treatment of the two stances comically hypocritical.

    Elemenope,

    Guy is a Republican, and as the administration’s recent nuclear “deal” with India demonstrates, their belief that diplomacy equals surrender isn’t a pose.

  7. RCD,

    Jimmy Carter will fix it. He is the surviving president with the most direct experience in dealing with Iran.

  8. Bush gets slapped silly for being so unilateral on Iraq, so for Iran, he does nothing outside a multilateral UN framework.

    Actually, I slap Bush silly because he pretended to pursue a diplomatic AND a multilateral option with Iraq, but it was all a lie and he intended all along to go to war no matter what the UN said and no matter what Iraq did.

    And I slap him silly because he is again using the fig leaf of multilateralism to cover his real Iran policy.

    In any event, Obama is wrong too. The notion that Iran’s missile tests are provocative is total bullshit. As Hersh’s report shows, we are already funding a covert war against them. We have a major party Presidential candidate joking about how much he wants to bomb Iran, and how much he wants to kill Iranians. Our parties are united in declaring the fact that Iran asserts its treaty rights under the NPT is a basis for war. In that context it is NOT provocative for them to demonstrate that they have weapons or to test their weapons.

  9. I’m not so sure, Guy – I’m pretty sure Bush the Elder was pretty deep in the Iran side of Iran/Contra.

    Now THAT is some diplomatic experience – but then, it was that peculiarly Republican version of diplomacy.

  10. Fluffy —

    True, but for Obama to utter that truth would be political suicide. I expect more than is perhaps psychologically healthy from political leaders, but among those expectations is not that they fall on their sword to utter a technical truth, thereby ensuring they’ll never be able to do anything about it.

  11. A war with Iran will end in tears for nearly everyone, including us. I simply can’t imagine how nervous our Gulf allies are about all this – they tolerate us because we sell them weapons to guard against Iranian dominance of the region, and they outright distrust Iran.

    Cannot be good.

    One thing we can definitely count on, no matter how much bluster comes out of Tehran: they won’t attack either our assets (directly) or Israel (directly). It would be absolute suicide.

    If we go ahead and attack them, we’re going to find ourselves taking losses that we probably haven’t taken since WWII – significant naval losses. Then there’s the whole fucking over the world oil market that would result.

    I guess the sum of this is that it’s 98% not gonna happen and this is all bluster.

  12. If the Republicans get desperate enough, we will have a war with Iran in September or october.

  13. If the Republicans get desperate enough, we will have a war with Iran in September or october.

    Haven’t a large number of the field commanders already said they’d resign rather than implement such inanely suicidal and stupid orders?

    Or was that merely a really good dream?

  14. Elemenope, resign? Hell they should launch a military coup! Install Colin Powell or something.

  15. Elemenope,

    Unfortunately, they would still have enough people to have a TV war. Predator drones and laser-guided bomb gunsight cameras, the Navy shelling off-shore. Hardware and not humans. Don’t get me wrong, still colossally stupid to do…

  16. The Republicans know that Iran can make the summer of 07 in Baghdad look like a Franciscan summer camp any time they want.

    The Iranians know that the Americans, as bogged down and without reserves as are, can flatten every city in Iran without breaking a sweat, any time we want.

    This isn’t going to get beyond low-level mucking about in each other’s back yards.

    Out of necessity, the world learned practices of limited war and avoiding escalation during the Cold War.

  17. Silly Mullahs! Nukes are for JudeoChristians!

  18. Joe, you think the Forever War crowd on one hand, and the Revolutionary Guard on the other, are really that sane and rational?

    You know its a bad idea. I know its a bad idea. 95% of both the American and Iranian public knows its a bad idea. But the leaders of the two nations? Both of which, on merits, would never make it past the mid-management level of a private sector corporation? I’m not so sure.

  19. I simply can’t imagine how nervous our Gulf allies are about all this

    A lot more nervous than the Rooskies, who would benefit immensely from a shooting war in the Straits of Hormuz, I reckon.

  20. NNG,

    I think that both of those crowds are contrained by the professionals on whom they depend. Neither side is Mussolini-stupid.

  21. Congress agreed…

    So Bush doesn’t unilaterally run the government after all? What’s that? Congress has approved all of the other stuff he’s done too?

    Huh. Learn something new every day.

  22. Nor, sadly, Abyssinian War-bad.

  23. The Iraq War wasn’t Mussolini stupid?

    What about Iran taking British sailors hostage and taking pot shots at our ships?

  24. Both of which, on merits, would never make it past the mid-management level of a private sector corporation?

    Holy crap, that’s who Ahmadinejad reminds me of! Steve Carrell’s character on The Office.*

    *Apologies if this has already been pointed out.

  25. My car mechanic looks like Ahmadinejad’s twin.

  26. The Iraq War was about as stupid as invading Ethiopia, but that wasn’t even close to the depths of Mussolini-stupid.

    And Iran War while we’re still bogged down in Iraq would be invading Greece while still bogged down in Lybia, sending troops to Russia-stupid.

    What about Iran taking British sailors hostage and taking pot shots at our ships? I don’t know about pot shots at our ships. I hope you aren’t referring to that radio message that turned out not to even by from Iran.

    But while taking British sailors hostage was stupid, it was also pretty small-bore stuff.

  27. A lot more nervous than the Rooskies, who would benefit immensely from a shooting war in the Straits of Hormuz, I reckon.

    Dunno about that. The Russians have a TON of investments in Iran, and they’d want to see them protected (aside from the military hardware interests, of course).

  28. My car mechanic looks like Ahmadinejad’s twin.

    Does he ever have fun with his appearance? Like at Halloween?

  29. Hmm, funding Sunni fundamentalists to fight a guerrilla campaign.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  30. Wait a minute! This article indicates that another country has the nerve to take steps to ensure that they have some type of defense mechanism in place should someone decide to attack them? Thats so preposterous of the Iranians.

  31. Does he ever have fun with his appearance? Like at Halloween?

    Or at the airport, with those fedral security guards?

  32. Or at the airport, with those fedral security guards?

    “Unhand me, knave! I am a foreign head of state!”

  33. Perhaps these events will finally get that war crimes resolution out of committee. Perhaps even that energy solution that the House Leader promised?

  34. If we go ahead and attack them, we’re going to find ourselves taking losses that we probably haven’t taken since WWII – significant naval losses.

    While I’m not advocating an invasion, if we did invade, I don’t see Iran (or any other nation for that matter) inflicting heavy naval losses on the US. They don’t even have aircraft carriers.

  35. They don’t even have aircraft carriers.

    Who needs aircraft carriers when you have the editorial staff of the New York Times?

  36. Abdul —

    Agreed. I think the danger in Iran is the fact that the country, unlike Iraq, is mostly mountain terrain, and the Iranians certainly aren’t disorganized tribes like the Afghanis were. It would really, really suck to fight a ground war there.

  37. “They don’t even have aircraft carriers.”

    Maybe Ollie North can sell them some

  38. Does he ever have fun with his appearance? Like at Halloween?

    The sum total of his costume would only be a Members Only jacket.

  39. “Maybe Ollie North can sell them some”

    Reach out a hand when they fall!

  40. The sum total of his costume would only be a Members Only jacket.

    That’s the brilliance of it! And he can say cryptic things about how there are ‘no gays’ in ‘his country’ and stuff.

  41. The problem with the current strategy is that it ignores the motivation that Iran may have for developing nukes.

    Countries that feel threatened by overwhelmingly more powerful countries seek to even the playing field.

    Countries that feel respected and comfortable that the more powerful countries have no wish to harm them spend their money on other things.

    This is, of course, the thumb-nail schematic.

    The path to making Iran an example of the second type of country is complex, but requires direct talks with Iran, and increased cultural and economic interaction.

    Sanctions don’t work when the prevent a country from acquiring some perk, imho. First you have to get them used to the perk through friendly interaction, then a sanction which takes away that perk is more effective. Bring Iran into the community of nations, and then the idea of losing that status is meaningful. Treating them as pariah and threatening to ramp that treatment to SuperMegaPariah is not a strategy that will ever work.

  42. i have a suggestion for whoever becomes the next president in dealing with iran and would work much better than barack obama negotiating (begging) mamoud amadinidiot or john mccain placing a missle defense shield.i would simply tell this nut case that we have one balistic missle submarine at the bottom of the persian gulf loaded with tomahawk cruise missles with nuclear warheads on them and if they don’t quit threatening their neighbors (“israel needs to be wiped off the face of the map”)and other ridiculous behavior,tehran will be evaporated in 72 hours!

  43. While I’m not advocating an invasion, if we did invade, I don’t see Iran (or any other nation for that matter) inflicting heavy naval losses on the US. They don’t even have aircraft carriers.

    You don’t need exactly equivalent assets to inflict major damage. They presumably have a ton of some of the latest Chinese and Russian anti-ship missiles, some of which are considered nearly as good as our latest-generation Harpoon and other models.

    Not to mention that they have an absolute shit-ton of ground-based artillery besides, owing to their control over the Strait and our constant presence of the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, just a stone’s throw across the Gulf.

    Having said all that, the Phalanx and Aegis systems in our battle groups are impressive, but they haven’t been tested against anything like what Iran is likely to have in anti-shipping and anti-naval weaponry.

  44. All I can say is WAY TO GO IRAN!!!

    Talk about throwing the BS flag to the Zionist Israeli government and the Bush-Clinton Crime Family.

    The mainstream media is falling all over itself trying to paint the Iranians in a bad light, the presumed nominees are showing they are stupid, ignorant and can’t tell the truth. Obama just stepped on his peepee.

    I’m so loving this.

    It’s about time that the Bush-Clinton Crime Family, the NeoCons and all the other criminals in Congress, government, the CRF, the Bilderbergs, the Trilaterists, etc got a slap in the face – a dose of reality.

    Some country is willing to stand up for truth and what is right. Despite 400 Million dollars being spent to wage a terror campaign within their own borders. How well would that play in the good ol’ fascist police state we have called the US of A?

  45. The reason RC’s comment is so insightful and cutting is because unilateral military action and unilateral diplomacy are so indistinguishable as to render any disparate treatment of the two stances comically hypocritical.

    The reason joe’s riposte is so senseless is that we did not engage in unilateral military action in Iraq at all, but had a pretty broad range of supporters (with the notable exception of countries profiting handsomely from the Hussein regime). Also, because the criticism of Bush pre-invasion was directed significantly at his “cowboy diplomacy”, which strikes me as directed at his diplomatic approach, not his military approach.

    C’mon, joe, you can’t have it both ways. If Bush was a bad ‘un for not sticking to the UN/tranzi framework, why is Obama a good ‘un for not sticking to the UN/tranzi framework?

  46. It’s about time that the Bush-Clinton Crime Family, the NeoCons and all the other criminals in Congress, government, the CRF, the Bilderbergs, the Trilaterists, etc got a slap in the face – a dose of reality

    Satire?

  47. Satire?

    Hope so.

  48. But RCD, Ahmadinejad implied that they don’t have trannies in Iran, at least no homosexual ones anyway.

    🙂

  49. RC Dean, name one other major power that was behind the invasion excepting Britain.

    No, Poland isn’t a major power. Neither is Holland. Especially when they commit around 500 troops.

    The 1991 war is what you called wide backing. 2003 is what you call a mirage.

  50. They presumably have a ton of some of the latest Chinese and Russian anti-ship missiles, some of which are considered nearly as good as our latest-generation Harpoon and other models.

    Of course, the ability of those missiles to do damage assumes their ability to survive a pre-emptive air strike.

    And why a pre-emptive air strike? Well, because Iran has threatened to use them to attack our ships and close the Straits. Like Hussein, the mullahs should be willing to pay the price of having their threats taken seriously.

    I would also note that successful strikes on US Navy assets by Iran will truly loose the dogs of war on them. I can’t see even a Pres. Obama scuttling home with his tail between his legs if we lose a carrier to Iran.

  51. Countries that feel threatened by overwhelmingly more powerful countries seek to even the playing field.

    Countries that feel respected and comfortable that the more powerful countries have no wish to harm them spend their money on other things.

    That’s over-simplified. How does an entire country “feel” threatened or comfortable? And what’s to gurantee a feeling of comfort even if the US were to lovingly embrace Iran under the next president? The Iranians know that we change leadership every 4 to 8 years.

    Every country wants nukes. There’s no downside to them. They enhance your offensive threat, bolster your defensive stance, advertise your technical capabilities and know-how. It’s just that it’s not in America’s best interests if every country has nukes. And Iran having nukes is really, really not in our best interests.

  52. Satire? Unfortunately not.

    Just truth. A very sick and sad truth of just how far we have sunk from being a Republic.

  53. Abdul, South Africa realized nukes weren’t that great. So did Brazil and Argentina. And now North Korea does.

    They really do nothing much, since no one is ever nuts enough to use them.

  54. The reason joe’s riposte is so senseless is that we did not engage in unilateral military action in Iraq at all… And also, bassett hounds got long ears an HEY LOOK OVER THERE!

    Relevance, what’s that, a shampoo or somethin?

    Not even you, RC, are stupid enough not to understand that military action and diplomacy are two different things. “the UN/tranzi framework” Whatever.

  55. No Name Guy,

    You left out Lybia, if you were going for an exhaustive list.

  56. Of course, the ability of those missiles to do damage assumes their ability to survive a pre-emptive air strike.

    Exactly. You can’t beat stealth bombers. You can’t compete with four acres of aircraft carrier parked outside your artillery range. and every missile fired only gives us more targets to bomb from that carrier.

    Taking and holding the ground would be tough with our troops extended so thin in Iraq and Afghanistan. But there’s plenty of damage to be done without ever landing troops. For example, Iran only has one gasoline refinery for the whole country. All their military victory parades would have to held on foot.

  57. “They don’t even have aircraft carriers.”

    Neither did the Opposition Force in that pre-Iraq War tabletop naval exercise. Nonetheless, they were able to send two American carriers to the bottom using suicide boats.

  58. Yeah Libya as well. Really, nukes aren’t that great if you’re a third world country with an economy in the dumper and zero conventional capability. They’re one aspect of being a world power, but mere possession of them doesn’t turn a third world basket case into a Great Power overnight.

  59. Why shouldn’t Iran have nukes to defend themselves; everyone else has nukes, including Iran’s enemy, Israel. We have gobs of nukes, and if we believe in democracies, then everyone should have em and the right to defend and protect their nation.

    After all, the only nation in history to ever resort to nuclear war was good ole’ USA. It is not very democratic for all these nations to have nukes except a few, like Iran. Iraq didn’t have nukes, and we blew their country into a hellhole. Go figure.

    If USA is the only nation in history to use nuclear war, then would it not be reasonable that everyone would want nukes pointed at us?

  60. Abdul,

    Didn’t we just move the last carrier out of the Persian Gulf?

    Not that they couldn’t strike from a bit farther out.

    Humm, maube they are out of range of those pesky Silkworm and other missiles now . . .

  61. Abdul, South Africa realized nukes weren’t that great. So did Brazil and Argentina. And now North Korea does.

    I can’t speak to the first three, but do you really think NK gave up its nuke program because it feels comfortable?

    Besides, NK got a pretty sweat foreign aid deal from us and China that they never could have gotten without nukes.

    Nukes are like those little knick-knacks from Ikea. You can never have too many of them around.

  62. Also, because the criticism of Bush pre-invasion was directed significantly at his “cowboy diplomacy”, which strikes me as directed at his diplomatic approach, not his military approach.

    Yes, that’s the criticism levelled at Bush; he was just too gosh-darn eager to engage in direct talks outside of a UN framework.

    Perhaps there is an greater level of abstraction you can use to cover the fact that you aren’t making any sense.

  63. I don’t think any nation should have nukes. They’re horrible, immoral weapons. But preventing their spread is the next best thing to abolition–and abolition just won’t happen. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  64. Some thoughts on Iran comments here:

    1 – We try to talk to Iran all the time. The fact is they don’t want to talk.

    2 – We can devistate Iran anytime we want via military action. Something most people worldwide, and especially here, don’t realize is the complete dominance in conventional warfare the US currently has. Most people, even alot of misinformed European military folks in my experience, seem to think it is a matter of country X having 3 of something and the US having 30 of that same item. In reality, the best armed countries have .5 of something and the US has 3000. Also their .5 is old and the US equipment is brand new in comparison. Occupying the country is another issue entirely. Screwing them over is easy.

    3 – Iran’s proxy activities in Lebanon (Hezbollah), Palestine (Hamas), Iraq (Al Sadr) and support for terror activities in general are shifting from the annoying to the problem stage.

    4 – Iran’s development of medium range missiles and continued development of a nuclear capability need to be checked. Wrecking their infrastructure would be a good way to send that message.

    5 – Privately, the Arabs would really appreciate it if we attacked Iran. Despite the public outrage, privately ALL of the Arab regimes outside of Iraq and Palestine were greatly relieved when the US invaded Iraq. You could practically hear the sign of relief coming out of the Saudis all the way from Jerusalem. These people were terrified Iraq would come after them next following Saddam’s earlier escapades in Kuwait and Iran. These same regimes are equally terrified of an empowered Iran and a fearful US.

    6 – Taking down Iran would remove the last power in the Middle East with true regional aspirations. Sure the world would be left with a bunch of childish dictatorships in the region, but no one with any real power projection ability in the region would be left to create havoc.

    7 – Iran has relatively limited resources to throw into their various criminal and terror resources worldwide and would easy be cowed by damaging their economic base militarily. Iran is basically a poor country that has gotten away with schnanigans, because no one has caused them any real pain yet. Blowing up all of their front line military assets in an afternoon and taking down their gasoline refineries would be an easy way to tie up their remaining cash on things they actually need.

  65. Neither did the Opposition Force in that pre-Iraq War tabletop naval exercise. Nonetheless, they were able to send two American carriers to the bottom using suicide boats.

    Yeah, but then their little brother dropped the submarine piece in the heating vent, and everyone else lost interest when we got the Wii for Christmas.

  66. “6 – Taking down Iran would remove the last power in the Middle East with true regional aspirations.”

    Not really. There would still be Israel.

  67. We try to talk to Iran all the time. The fact is they don’t want to talk.

    Bull shit. Iran approached our mission in Iraq years ago, to try to open up a non-aggression framework, and the administration’s response was to insist on the abandonment of the Iranian nuclear program as a precondition. They purposely threw a poison pill in, so they could avoid talks.

  68. Abdul,

    You sunk my blog comment!

  69. Tom, Tom, Tom – you sound like someone working for the mainstream media or one of the political parties spinning facts wildly.

    Try some real truths:

    Which country in the Middle East actually possesses nuclear weapons?

    Israel.

    Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

    Israel.

    Which country in the Middle East refuses to allow international inspections of its nuclear facilities?

    Israel.

    Which countries in the Middle East have called for the region to be a nuclear-free zone?

    The Arab countries and Iran.

    Which country in the Middle East occupies land belonging to other people?

    Israel, which occupies a piece of Lebanon, a larger piece of Syria, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

    Which country in the Middle East has for 60 years refused to allow refugees to return to their homes and refused to consider compensation to them for their lost property?

    Israel.

    Which country has roads on which citizens who are Arab may not drive and housing developments where Arabs may not live?

    Israel.

    Which country in the region has violated more United Nations resolutions than any other?

    Israel. The United States has on more than one occasion gone to war ostensibly to enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions, but when it comes to resolutions directed against Israel, the U.S. is like the amoral monkey that sees, hears and says nothing. That raises the question of who’s the dog and who’s the tail?

    Which country in the region has in the past been led by men who at one time were terrorists with a price on their heads?

    Israel. Former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir once led the Stern Gang and ordered, among other things, the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte, a Swedish diplomat working for the United Nations. Former Prime Minister Menachem Begin led the Irgun, a terrorist gang that among other things blew up one wing of the King David Hotel, killing nearly 100 people.

    Which country in the Middle East openly employs assassination against its political enemies?

    Israel. There have been assassinations carried out by some of the Arab governments, but they usually don’t own up to them. Israel has created a euphemism that the suck-up American press has readily adopted: “targeted killings.” A British journalist told me once, “The Palestinians have a talent for picking bad leaders, and the Israelis have a talent for murdering their good ones.”

    What are the top five countries from which we import oil?

    Here they are in order of volume:

    Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Nigeria and Venezuela. The next time you hear some blowhard politician ranting about how the Arabs control our oil imports, remind him or her of the facts. By far, a majority of oil imports come from non-Arab countries.

    Which country in the region receives an annual gift of $3 billion or more from Congress?

    Israel.

    Which foreign-aid recipient is the only one allowed to receive its aid in a lump sum and which routinely invests part of it in U.S. Treasuries so that taxpayers pay them interest on the taxpayers’ gift?

    Israel.

    Which country in the Middle East has the most powerful lobby in the U.S.?

    Israel.

    Which country in the Middle East are most American politicians, journalists and academics afraid to criticize?

    Israel.

    On behalf of which country has the U.S. vetoed the largest number of U.N. Security Council resolutions?

    Israel.

    What country do the people in the region consider the world’s biggest hypocrite?

    The United States.

    Which countries in the Middle East have attacked U.S. ships in international waters?

    Iraq and Israel. A lone Iraqi plane fired one missile at a U.S. ship by mistake. The Iraqi government quickly compensated the U.S. In 1967, Israeli airplanes and torpedo boats attacked the USS Liberty, killing 34 Americans. The U.S. government declared it an accident even before the ship limped into port, and to this day Congress has never held a public hearing and allowed the survivors to tell their story. Their story, by the way, is that the attack was deliberate. Israel compensated the families of those who were killed, but resisted for years paying compensation for the ship.

  70. Not really. There would still be Israel.

    BAHAHAHAHA! Now that is funny!

    Just as I was going to post in a ranting/raving Leftie voice too. Bummer.

  71. Sometimes I worry Bush is going to have a tantrum and just turn the whole Middle East into a glass lake. Then just drill beneath that glass lake and start pumping oil. I usually wake up right about that point.

  72. Every foreign country has lobbyists in Washington, DC. Theres nothing special (or especially evil) about the Israeli lobby.

  73. Of course, the ability of those missiles to do damage assumes their ability to survive a pre-emptive air strike.

    Are we certain we can find all their batteries in such a vast, mountainous coastline?

    I know that we have superior firepower. No doubt about it. The problem is finding it all.

    Anyway, yes, the carrier moved out into the Arabian Sea/Gulf of Oman, I believe. Iran also has coastline there, but so does Pakistan. That location also has the advantage of being on the right side of the Strait.

    Good point about the gasoline refinery. They only have one, and they bizarrely must import >80% of their refined product. They export oil and buy back the result. Very precarious economic situation to risk with war.

  74. So Montag, you don’t believe soverign nations do what they can to build up their own hard and soft power?

    Theres nothing wrong with that, of course (again all nations do it!), but to say that Israel doesn’t is to commit the opposite sin of the hysterical anti-semites–that Israel is especially good and would never, EVER act in its own selfish interest at the expense of others.

  75. “6 – Taking down Iran would remove the last power in the Middle East with true regional aspirations. Sure the world would be left with a bunch of childish dictatorships in the region, but no one with any real power projection ability in the region would be left to create havoc.”

    Ok, lets say we “take down” Iran on Monday? What the hell do we on Tuesday? We are already occupying, or trying to occupy, all of Iraq and Afghanistan. If we “take down” Iran we would be responsible for occupying a continous piece of land that stretches from eatern Jordan to Pakistan.
    To just assume that everything will magically fall into place after taking down Iran is beyond foolish.

  76. NNG,

    I disagreed with your assertion of Israel wanting “regional aspirations”. They pretty much want to be left alone right where they are.

  77. NoNameGuy – if you think there’s nothing criminal about what AIPAC has done and is doing, you haven’t been paying attention.

    Mind you, THEY don’t want you to.

    Here is but a sample.

    AFP quoted the March 15, 2002 issue of the Forward, a respected Jewish newspaper in America, which said “Despite angry denials by Israel and its American supporters, reports that Israel was conducting spying activities in the U.S. may have a grain of truth, the Forward has learned,” with assuredness that “both French and Fox reports were dismissed by Israel and its supporters, and received limited coverage in the American media.” [AP story on Le Monde spy reports was spiked & Cameron’s four-part series was removed from FoxNews.com.]

    British intelligence & military analysis publication Jane’s Information Group reported on the absence of coverage in the American media on the “explosive story of the huge network of Israeli spies that made headlines around the world?reports of Israeli ‘art students’ calling on DEA employees across the country began as early as 2000 and continued through June, 2001,” according to AFP.

    The independent AFP said “What is not clear is what the ring of more than 120 agents was up to and why some Israelis linked to the attacks in New York and Washington, DC were allowed to flee or were sent back to Israel after 9/11 on visa violations, rather than being charged and prosecuted.

    According to other reports, alleged lead “hijacker” Mohammed Atta lived at 3389 Sheridan St. in Hollywood, Florida while a team of Israeli operatives lived a few blocks away at 4220 Sheridan.

    In perhaps an even more controversial issue, convicted and imprisoned former Ohio GOP House member Bob Ney, then-chairman of the House Administration Committee, approved a 2002 license for an Israeli telecommunications company to install equipment to improve cell phone reception in the U.S. Capitol building and adjacent House office buildings where all legislative and many military decisions are debated.

  78. Yes, and to accomplish that goal GM they need to be the preeminent military and economic power in the region (which they are). Thats what I meant when speaking of “regional asperations”, not some maniacal plan to conquer the entire Middle East.

    George, please go back to Lewrockwell.com you crackpot. You’re not even worth responding to.

  79. Abdul,

    I don’t have any of those useless Ikea trinkets around my house. They don’t provide me with any utility. I am comfortable without them.

    Of course my comments were over-simplifications.
    They are blog comments. The general principles hold, imho, if you look at the list of countries with the economic means to develop nukes who have none. Not everyone wants them.

  80. The “they don’t even have aircraft carriers” comment is pretty stupid.

    Aircraft carriers are for force projection — and they’re delicate, which is why they’re surrounded by rings of anti-missile and anti-sub defenses.

    As noted above, war games using projected Iranian assets to build the Opposition Force have successfully inflicted heavy losses on US naval assets. There have been at least two that were notoriously restarted and the Red Team forced to disallow certain tactics. (Suicide boats and absolute refusal to use tappable communications links).

    Iran’s air-defenses are rather deep and advanced — not as good as ours, but latest generation Russian stuff, and sheer numbers have a power all their own. (And Iran has a LOT of such things. Oil wealth can buy a lot).

    They can make gaining air control a painful prospect, and after two wars against a badly gimped military (Iraq), I don’t think the US public is terribly aware of how different it can go.

    Iran also has a large number of surface-to-surface missile capabilities that can be brought to bear against US Naval assets.

    They also have modern (if non-nuclear) subs, which are quite capable of causing naval assets a very bad day, even if they decide not to play games with sea mines or using small boats.

    Most importantly, Iran is very large and shares a border with Iraq. They’re quite capable of making devestating strikes against US forces and US supply lines while the bulk of our air assets are tasked elsewhere. I suspect that Iraqis might also join the fun.

    Effectively: Our Air Force can, ultimately, gain control of the skies over Iran. It will not be the cakewalk Iraq war. Our Navy will ultimatly prevail, but the odds of them doing so unscathed and without allowing Iran to effectively close the Straits are pretty low.

    And the entire time we’re doing THAT, our Army’s ass is hanging out in the breeze. All their heavy stuff (from anti-air to tanks) is stateside, and they’re surrounded by a bunch of people who will probably consider this a good time to vent their displeasure.

    Only the King or Morons would allow this to escalate to full on bombing, which is why I’m certain it’ll happen.

  81. George,

    You mix facts with conspiracy quite well.
    You should put out a newsletter.
    It would be very convincing to a certain segment of the population.

  82. George,

    My friendly neighborhood CID agent let me know that even allies spy on one another. The US spies on Israel and Israel spies on the US. So?

    As for your Israel was involved Tr00fer conspiracies, I can only sigh raggedly and shake my head.

  83. Iran’s air-defenses are rather deep and advanced — not as good as ours, but latest generation Russian stuff, and sheer numbers have a power all their own. (And Iran has a LOT of such things. Oil wealth can buy a lot).

    I’m not so sure about this. All throughout Northern Watch and through this latest war, we’ve pretty regularly incurred on Iranian airspace, both accidentally and (I’m sure) intentionally. Most times, we’ve had to own up and TELL them about it, because they didn’t know.

    A couple of times – according to some air combat magazines – we’ve been intercepted by their rustbucket F-14s, or some old Mirages or MiGs they have. Nothing all that threatening. Mostly just a periodic show of alertness. Most times they don’t know we’re there.

  84. Art,

    Don’t you know? Israel is the only ally that we must be up in arms about for everything that they do. EVERYTHING!

    Oh, I feel the shrill Leftie voice building . . .

  85. “without allowing Iran to effectively close the Straits are pretty low.”

    Some military personnel are claiming they can prevent that from happening.

  86. I don’t have any of those useless Ikea trinkets around my house. They don’t provide me with any utility. I am comfortable without them.

    You don’t have a svorg? You are so missing out!

  87. “Don’t you know? Israel is the only ally that we must be up in arms about for everything that they do. EVERYTHING!”

    “Oh, I feel the shrill Leftie voice building . . .”

    I’m not a leftie, but it seems our whole policy in the Middle East is geared towards protecting Israel. We are dumping our economy down the toilet and have lost over 4000 service personnel in Iraq for the sake of supposedly protecting Israel and how many troops does Israel have in Iraq and Afghanistan and how much money do they contribute in helping out in those wars?

  88. You don’t have a svorg? You are so missing out!

    I’m not missing out on anything.
    I just rename the useful things around my house to Ikea names.

    http://generatorblog.blogspot.com/2008/06/swedish-furniture-name.html

    signed
    NEU MEJYKANVIK

  89. I agree bookworm

    And…I think more and more and more americans (and even ham and cheese sandwich jews) are agreeing with you more and more every day !!!

  90. “I disagreed with your assertion of Israel wanting “regional aspirations”. They pretty much want to be left alone right where they are.”

    They want to be the dominant power in the region. True, they do want to be left alone – to continue their treatment of Palestinians as second class citizens and continue building more settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

  91. Gaza huh?

    You are ripping off my shrill schtic, but might not be realizing it.

  92. I sincerely hope that the idiot son does not get us into a shooting match with Iran. Honest diplomacy engaging Iran has not been attempted once since the Embassy hostage fuck story. That includes the Clinton administration for all of you blue team guys.

    That said, the talk about missiles and capabilities/limitations of the potentially opposing forces here completely ignores the fact that the U.S. would own the electromagnetic spectrum. I no longer am privy to the latest weapons system developments but am quite certain that the Iranians are in no way prepared for the ECM/ECCM capabilities of the U.S. military (primarily Navy and Air Force assets).

  93. J sub,

    I think that’s true (the EM spectrum) for sure. I also think that to some degree, Iran knows that and would be willing and able to stage asymmetrical attacks using tactics not dependent on the EM spectrum.

    Anti-ship missiles would probably only be at maximum effectiveness for one volley or so. But in that time, they could do some nastiness, I feel.

  94. Iran wants to be left alone so they can keep executing dissenters and intimidating GCC countries. We have been busy with diplomacy. Rice just signed a treating to allow missile defense systems in Eastern Europe.

  95. Of course they test fired missiles. The price of oil had fallen by like $8 a barrel or something.

  96. J sub D,

    As I remember, there were a lot of back-channel contacts between the Albright State Dept. and the Iranians, and both sides wanted to step things up, but the mullahs squashed Khatami’s proposals to treat with the Great Satan.

    Of course, that was back when the Iranian president had only limited powers in foreign and military policy. You know, before those constitutional amendments that made Ahmedinejad into the most powerful chief executive evah.

  97. But preventing their spread is the next best thing to abolition–and abolition just won’t happen.

    In order to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, the United States, Iran and other nations signed the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty.

    One article of that treaty affirms that every signatory has the absolute right to develop nuclear power.

    But, despite the fact that we signed that treaty, we decided that in Iran’s case it didn’t apply. That even though Iran was complying with its NPT obligations, we were going to threaten Iran, bully other nations into placing sanctions on Iran, etc. We openly and blatantly defied our obligations under Article IV of the NPT. In response, Iran has stopped complying with Article III.

    Here’s our OBLIGATION under Article IV of the NPT:

    All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also cooperate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.

    Did we meet that obligation during the time frame when Iran was in compliance with Article III? We did not.

    Make no mistake, if we attack Iran over this matter, we are Hitler and they are Poland. We will have a small state with treaty rights that a powerful state has decided it doesn’t like. We have that more powerful state trying to get the leading powers of the world to acquiesce in a violation of the weaker state’s treaty rights, and threatening war if it doesn’t get its way. Iran’s Article IV rights are a pretty good match for Danzig and the Polish Corridor.

    It doesn’t matter if Iran has good relations with Israel and it doesn’t matter what Ahmadinejad said in a speech. This entire controversy began because the signature of the US on an international treaty isn’t worth a fucking thing. That’s the honor of the United States for you, or what’s left of it in the modern era.

  98. Make no mistake, if we attack Iran over this matter, we are Hitler and they are Poland.

    No, you’re Neville Chamberlain telling us Hitler is a reasonable guy we can deal with, and millions of Jews will die because you’re an idiot.

  99. “No, you’re Neville Chamberlain telling us Hitler is a reasonable guy we can deal with, and millions of Jews will die because you’re an idiot.”

    Not to condone Hitler, but at the time Chamberlain declared war on Germany, our ally in the war, Stalin had killed 1000 times as many people as Hitler. It would have been better if Chamberlain had not declared war on Germany and let Hetler and Stalin fight it out and weaken each other and maybe we would not have had much to worry about either of them in a weakened state.

  100. Welcome to the brave new world of 2020.

    Iran has developed nuke capability. They have a couple dozen warheads and fairly long-range missiles.

    They secretly give a nuke to Hizbollah. Hizbollah launches the nuke from Lebanon into Tel Aviv, shattering the city and devastating Israel.

    Iran says “We have no idea where the nuke came from, but Israel has many enemies. BTW, if you’re thinking about blaming us, we have 24 nukes targeting every major city in Europe, and if we are struck they will be launched.”

    Europe, naturally, panics and demands Israel not retaliate. The rest of the Jewish people soon flee the devastated state, ceding it to the Palestinians, who have been dancing in the streets the whole time.

    Check and mate. Time to update your maps; Ahmadinejad has fulfilled his promise.

  101. No, you’re Neville Chamberlain telling us Hitler is a reasonable guy we can deal with, and millions of Jews will die because you’re an idiot.

    I honestly don’t give a shit if they’re reasonable men or not.

    The fact remains that they had treaty rights under a treaty to which the US was a signatory.

    If we didn’t like those rights and wanted to punish Iran if it sought to exploit them, we should have withdrawn the US from the NPT.

    Since our political leaders did not do that, that makes them lying fucking douchebag pieces of shit. Since John McCain does not care about our treaty obligations, and thinks we should bomb other nations that take actions they are expressly permitted under treaties we have with them, that tells us all we need to know about Senator McCain’s “honor”. And now that Obama has joined the drumbeat for war, that tells us all we need to know about him too.

    If the Non Proliferation Treaty’s provisions threaten the lives of millions of Jews, then we should withdraw from it. If we aren’t willing to do that, we should shut the fuck up.

    What we should NOT do is blatantly defy our obligations under the treaty, and use Iran’s very compliance with that treaty as our excuse. Every time Iran tried to comply with Article III by allowing IAEA oversight of their operation, we used the IAEA reports as our excuse for more threats of war. And now that Iran is no longer cooperating with the IAEA, we have made THAT our excuse for more threats of war. So Iran now knows that if they obey Article III, we will threaten to bomb them, and if they defy Article III, we will threaten to bomb them. Because that’s the way our current leadership acts.

  102. “It doesn’t matter if Iran has good relations with Israel and it doesn’t matter what Ahmadinejad said in a speech. This entire controversy began because the signature of the US on an international treaty isn’t worth a fucking thing. That’s the honor of the United States for you, or what’s left of it in the modern era.”

    And Israel isn’t even a signatory to the treaty. We are asking Iran to abide by it when we don’t even put pressure on Israel to sign it. And you’re right Fluffy, Iran is entitled to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes under the treaty.

  103. “If the Non Proliferation Treaty’s provisions threaten the lives of millions of Jews, then we should withdraw from it. If we aren’t willing to do that, we should shut the fuck up.”

    I don’t think it does threaten Israel. I don’t think the leadership, even if they did get nuclear arms, would be so stupid to attack Israel when they know Israel could retaliate in kind several times over. I think Israel doesn’t want Iran to have nukes because they want to be the dominate power in the region. It’s a matter of pride.

  104. Someone remind me, which wars did the territoriall-aggressive Iranian regime start again? You know, the one that desires to rule the entire Middle East.

    I’m having some trouble remembering here.

  105. I’m sure that, should an Iranian client detonate a nuke in Israel, it would be completely untraceable, and that Israel would react with complete forebearance.

    Also, I can fly off my roof. Just watch.

  106. Make no mistake, if we attack Iran over this matter, we are Hitler and they are Poland.

    I think the US gubment is already on that path. How long has the US been the only worlds superpower? And who has there been to mitigate our excesses? No one. No country, no treaty, no union, no G-8, no army, not our judiciary, no one stands up the the United States (read: legislature and executive.) I don’t think this is healthy for some reason.

    I think Hitler’s Germany is a bit hyperbole. We as a people don’t have the stomach for industrial genocide, but we don’t mind a bit of torture just as long as it isn’t in the open and we don’t have to smell it.

  107. I love how everyone either thinks Israel is the greatest nation EVAR that they will fight for to the last dying breath (even against our own national interests), or Israel is the absolute worst, most diabolical, satanic nation in the history of existence and controls everything.

    Israel really is the “Jew among Nations”, huh?

  108. Hitler’s Germany is a dumb analogy for the United States.

    Try the British in the late 1800s. Sometimes cruel and stupid? Yes. Evil? Not on the level of Nazis.

  109. I think Hitler’s Germany is a bit hyperbole.

    Fine.

    Even though our attitude towards treaties the US has signed is very similar to Hitler’s attitude towards treaties Germany had signed [that they only count if they favor our interests, and that if small states are counting on treaty rights to be honored, they are shit out of luck] obviously Hitler did many other bad things, so any time you use him as an example people are going to look past the actual analogy to nonrelated subjects.

    Fine.

    It’s still the best example of a great power abusing the treaty rights of a small power. If someone has a better example I’d like to hear it.

  110. Fluffy, just being a realist here, please name one Great Power that has ever fully complied with international treaties when it was against their national interest to do so.

  111. Someone remind me, which wars did the territoriall-aggressive Iranian regime start again? You know, the one that desires to rule the entire Middle East.

    I’m having some trouble remembering here.

    Damn joe,
    Didn’t you watch this?
    Fucking Persians!

  112. NNG – Hitler’s Germany is a totally apt analogy to what is transpiring right here, right now in the United States.

    All run by Poppy Bush and the grandson of one of Adolph’s biggest financiers. Don’t believe me?

    Just check into Prescott Bush and his traitorous and treasonous acts.

    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – or bush in this case.

  113. George, according to your ideological (and rhetorical) polar opposites, Adolf Hitler was essentially a secret “Islamofascist”.

    I just love how hysterical shills try, in all seriousness, to pain their enemies as actual Nazis as if thats a way to win the debate.

  114. As for George Sr. I feel very sorry for him. It must be hard to have his last name forever associated with a total fuck-up incompetent who ran the most unserious, adolescent foreign policy since Woodrow Wilson.

  115. I find it curious that you continue to attempt that weak and wholly unconvincing right vs left, conservative vs liberal BS.

    Truth is truth dude. I don’t care if you want to bury your head in the sand. I quote facts and because you don’t like what you believe challenged by fact, you attempt to degrade it.

    Pity you.

    And, don’t feel sorry for Poppy Bush. He’s the godfather of the current crime family.

    BTW, nicely regurgitated NeoCon word – was it Lieberman or some other piece of garbage that I heard that from most recently as they attempted to sway folks to support more imperialism and war all the while cranking up the police state at home.

  116. One more little fact. Remember what the Nazi’s called their internal ministry for the Reichland?

    When you find the answer, reflect on ours.

  117. No Name Guy,

    George Sr. may not have been as much of a dumbass as his son, but he has plenty of shame on his record for his own actions.

    Start with Panama and go from there.

  118. Neu, still in foreign policy George Sr. > Clinton > Junior.

  119. Hey “George”, tell us about the Bilderberg Group!

    And what about the Bohemian Club?

  120. And, don’t feel sorry for Poppy Bush. He’s the godfather of the current crime family.

    Wow, we’re into conspiracy theories already.

  121. No Name Guy,

    George Sr. > Clinton > Junior

    That requires rosier memory glasses for Sr.’s presidency than I own.

    Clinton had his fuck-ups, but not on a Bush level…no matter the Bush.*

    *Somehow, for a sentence about Clinton this wording strikes me as elegant.

  122. Well Neu Mejican, its not just I who share that opinion. Its Carter’s Secretary of State (I can never spell his damn name right, but its that Polish guy).

    On foreign policy, he gave Bush Sr. an A-, Clinton a C, and Bush Jr. an F-. I tend to agree.

  123. The Iranian Mullahs must be wiping their buts with their turbains. Anything out of their stinking heads smells of…Are they so diluted to think that they can survive a confrontation with the Israelis and the US? Where as their recent history has been fueled by pure hatred of the US and the West, calling us the devil and such, their actions speak volumes as to their wrong headedness tinged with stubborn hubris. So, they have missiles and maybe a few A-bombs. Israel alone can wipe them off the face of the Earth, if they so choose. I do hope Obama once he gets in talks some sense into them. God knows Bush is incapable of it.

  124. I have a bone to pick. Everyone thinks McCain was heroic when he chose to stay with his fellow prisoners during the Vietnam conflict. That was a stupid move. What he should have done is left and returned with forces to retrieve his fellow Americans. He knew exactly where they were being held. So he spent 5 years in a place for nothing. He also made them spend five years there for nothing. Sometimes you have to look further than your nose to find the truth. This was very poor judgement for which he is being applauded everyday! One of his best friends said he should not have his hand on the trigger because of his temper. I am in agreement. But I am also of the opinion that he should not have his hand on the trigger because he doesn’t know what he is doing.

  125. Folks its all about Israel. We are fighting in the ME not for US interests at all but to destroy all neighbors of Israel. Thats how the jews lobby group always work. We destroyed and killings our own US soldiers for Israel in Iraq and same thing going to happen in Iran. Iraq was never our never and neither Iran. Please think about the real issue. The mullahs in Iran have nothing to do with USA.

  126. I have a bone to pick. Everyone thinks McCain was heroic when he chose to stay with his fellow prisoners during the Vietnam conflict. That was a stupid move. What he should have done is left and returned with forces to retrieve his fellow Americans.

    Oh, man you are so ignorant of history and The Code of Conduct. I don’t say that to be insulting, it’s just true.

    robin,
    Oh man. Just, oh man.

  127. See: This and this.

  128. Art-P.O.G, you are really a Bush copy. You want to talk about history then open your history book about Israel. You will see how this lobby is putting us into war each time. You dont have to go back to 100 years of history. Its there everyday.

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