Foreign Policy

The Tantalizing, Sober, Respectable Joys Of Nuking Iran

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There's a lot you can say in this country that will get most respectable voices leaping forward to mock and deride you as a dangerous lunatic–like, for example, believing that people should have the right to choose who they deal with on their property as businessmen.

However, as Robert Kaplan's latest warm, hairy rub up against the leg of Henry yes that's right Kissinger in the September Atlantic shows, advocating blowing up people with nuclear weapons because you just don't trust those obviously extremely dangerous bastards, is one of those things that's it's always OK to say in America.

By gosh, we mean we can use our nukes, and it'll be totally OK–in fact, the right, smart, wise, thing to do? What a "tantalizing" thought, Dr. Kissinger! Read the whole article, somewhat misleadingly titled "Living with a Nuclear Iran" since its prime conclusion is that "we must be more willing, not only to accept the prospect of limited war but, as Kissinger does in his book of a half century ago, to accept the prospect of a limited nuclear war between states."

And that Kissinger is so fucking "forceful and articulate" in calling for mass murder, Kaplan notes approvingly. And while Kissinger's status as the shambling corpse of bloody and horrific "foreign policy realism" (kill them, with sober, articulate, often even courageous force: kill them, kill them, before it is too late to kill them!) is too settled for me to be surprised no one is calling him out, I'd sure love to see someone raise an eye at Kaplan or The Atlantic for running that article, which is part of a growing and alarming set of prominent public pronouncements preparing we the people for war against Iran

NEXT: How Not To Fix the Haitian Economy, Courtesy of Naomi Klein, et al.

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  1. It’s my lifelong dream to see a country nuked within my lifetime.

    1. I’ve got a sizable bet with some of my colleagues that we will see the offensive use of a nuclear weapon by a nation or group before 2025. It’s looking more and more like money in the bank each day.

      1. Do “dirty bombs” count?

        1. Dirty bombs and other RDDs count in my pool

  2. I’d sure love to see someone raise an eye at Kaplan or The Atlantic for running that article, which is part of a growing and alarming set of prominent public pronoucements preparing we the people for war against Iran

    Who is going to call him out? TEAM RED wants to fuck with Iran, and TEAM BLUE won’t peep if their guy initiates it, so we’re left with…uh, John Stossel?

    1. I know, Eps. I know. I just wish sometimes I lived in a world where advocating setting off nuclear bombs was less respectable than advocating free association.

      1. Just get hammered and you won’t care any more. It’s what Warty does. Every day.

        1. You’d be amazed at how well tequila goes with coca tea. Wait. I mean, you’d be amazed at how little I care about how terrible it tastes.

          1. That’s your approach to bodily fluids as well, is it not?

            1. I don’t hear you complaining about what’s mixed with your coke, dude.

              1. That’s because it’s Ritalin.

      2. If every public figure that loudly advocated nuking people got stabbed in the face shortly thereafter, it wouldn’t be an issue for long. Unfortunately, pacifists have something of a self-defeating philosophy.

        1. I think stabbing in the face is too extreme. What’s wrong with an old-fashioned stabbing of the buttocks.

          1. They should die in a fire.

            1. BACK OFF DAMNIT!

              Must defend non trademark

    2. Islam is building a mosque at ground zero, and you want to TALK before we nuke somebody??? What the fuck are you, an Al Qaeda?

      1. FTW. Searched for something that would allow me to go to sleep happy tonight – this is it. Thanks, Warty!

        1. I mostly aim to horrify, but if I can’t achieve that, pleasing is good enough.

      2. muslim lover!

    3. I figured most of TEAM RED wants the Israelis to deal with that shit.

      1. No Team Red wants to have the fun themselves. Team Blue wants the Israelis to do it for them.

  3. from TFA:

    But in spite of Iran’s refusal thus far to avail itself of “the genuine opportunity to transform itself from a cause to a nation,” Kissinger told me, the country’s true strategic interests should “run parallel with our own.”

    Meaning that both Iran and the US would benefit from the former’s immediate withdrawal from the Middle East and its affairs.

    1. Meaning that both Iran and the US would benefit from the former’s immediate withdrawal from the Middle East and its affairs.

      I want to agree, but I am not sure how Iran would be able to withdraw from the Middle East since that are kind of located there.

      1. If Iran was melted glass it wouln’t be an issue.

  4. Nuking Iran is almost as bad an idea as allowing them to have nukes. A better idea is to put an end to the war Iran has been waging upon the West with a full scale invasion of Iran. Anything else is a continuation of the tit-for-tat bullshit we’ve had since 1979, and therefore de facto warmongering.

    1. To believe otherwise would definitely be a thoughtcrime.

      1. We’ve always been at war with Iran

    2. Dude, I know that Persian girls are hot, but they’re still not going to let you keep one if we invade.

    3. better idea is to put an end to the war Iran has been waging upon the West with a full scale invasion of Iran. Anything else is a continuation of the tit-for-tat bullshit we’ve had since 1979, and therefore de facto warmongering

      Damn straight,
      Just think how great it will be when there is finally a western democracy in the heart of the mid east. They will be an example for the mooslems, who will surely embrace modernity, moderation and moolah.

      Their regime is a hated dictatorship that will fall in the face of our military superiority. We won’t have to scale up militarily because a little shock and awe will chase the evil doers out of dodge and the town folk will greet their liberators with flowers.

      And the best part is that Iran’s oil will pay for the cost of the invasion and occupation.

      1. Having never heard these ideas expressed before, I am fascinated by them, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

      2. I believe so much in your strategy I am willing to shirk my potentially high paying career for the chance to be murdered by angry brown people.

        1. I believe so much in your strategy I am willing to shirk my potentially high paying career for the chance to be murdered by angry brown people friendly fire.

          FTFY

      3. They rural inhabitants who wear lots of sunscreen will probably thank us for freeing them from the tyranny they are currently living unde.

      4. They rural inhabitants who wear lots of sunscreen will probably thank us for freeing them from the tyranny they are currently living under.

      5. When did I ever advocate any of this democracy crap? Sounds like nation building, which is crap. We just need to make clear that one mustn’t fuck with us, that is all.

  5. What tit for tat, virtually all the terrorist attacks against the US or its forces around the world have come from Saudi Arabians, not Iranians. Osama = Saudi, foreign fighters in Iraq or Afghanistan = Saudi’s, Cole attack = Saudi’s

    1. The Saudis borrow money from Kissingers friends to buy the jets from Kissingers friends…so they are cool…good allies. Sure the House of Saud could use their money to buy the jets with no debt, but that is barabric…there is a right way to do things you know.

      And sure the House of Saud ain’t perfect, but they are still a valuable ally to help us do secret stuff so just focus on Iran…they are the dirty muslims we need to nuke!

  6. Actually, Clinton was dealing quite successfully with Iraq without handing the country to Iran the way we may have gone and done…the no-fly zone and de-facto occupation of Kurdistan left Saddam pretty well boxed up and a threat only to some of his own people. Now if only the Russians or Chinese were as dumb as us and decide that they want to invade Iran like we invaded Iraq… The best move we could make would be to stand well back and watch.

    1. If Israel lets that nuke plant open, I’ll eat my shoe.

      I have a strong suspicion it’s their mess we’ll be cleaning up… after we stood back and watched.

      1. That’s pretty much what Kaplan’s article said.

        1. I didn’t get that at all.

          There’s a quick mention of the threat of an Israeli pre-emptive strike, but Kaplan later dismisses the idea that it would even be possible to destroy Iran’s entire nuclear capability.

          It seems to me Kaplan assumes the neo-wilsonian internationalist (for now) fucktard approach we’re taking now to prevent Iran from going nuclear will fail (all signs point to yes), then advocates cold-war style containment of the new and improved revolution-exporting nuclear-armed Iran. The bonus to this wonderful strategy is that not only will it mean eventually going to war with Iran, but also its proxies much more regularly – and, we’re not leaving out the idea of using our own nukes.

          Kaplan assumes Iran is going to gain operational ICBMs. I do not think Israel will allow that to happen under any circumstance.

    2. if he needed “boxing up” then why did we put him in power? Sadam was more of a thug when we put him in power than he was after he ended the Iran war and started paying off debt to the world bank and producing too much oil …your so fucking naive if you buy this Sadam/Hitler bullshit…was he a piece of shit? of course…most dictators installed by the CIA to run a war for our country are pieces of shit…but given the situation…a constat regime of bombing people all over the country and albright/clinton trade sanctions was a horrible policy.

  7. …we had a limited war in Vietnam, in which a sector of the U.S. population wanted to lose the war in order to purify America’s soul. To a lesser extent, that was also the case in Iraq. That is a new experience. You can’t fight a war for an exit strategy.

    OMFG *pounding head into keyboard*, why is anyone still listening to this warmongering fossil? Kissinger doesn’t have to live with the consequences of a “limited war;” he’s a sumptuously-living old geezer who’s due to check out any year now. If and when Iran and their allies (the allies they’ll much more easily make after they’ve become nuke victims of the western Goliath) retaliate, Kissinger will be neatly tucked into his fallout-proof “undisclosed location” for his few remaining years, leaving the rest of us to take on that sexy, youthful plutonium glow.

    A “sector” of the U.S. wanted out of Vietnam because we had no business there. Jesus f%#$ing Kee-ryste, he’s still playing Vietnam in his basement with his die-cast armies, and I’m sure he’s got a victory all worked out, and he’d have won, too, if it weren’t for us meddling kids.

    International regime change is an extravagant hobby of Mr. Burns, Cheney, Kissinger, and other members of the Stonecutters, not a Constitutional mandate, and not a public priority.

    Not that nuking Iran would actually bring about any regime change whatsoever. Or end their pursuit of nuclear weapons. Can a policy be any more *%#@ing stupid?

    1. Post of the day, if not the month.

    2. I’m shocked that no Vietnam vet with a terminal disease hasn’t assassinated this ass-clown.

    3. his fallout-proof “undisclosed location”

      New term for “grave”?

    4. Why would Iran have allies after getting owned by America?

  8. All this fighting, nation against nation were predicted in the holy scripture… it is the beginning of the end…
    Let there be peace!

    1. You know who deserves to be nuked? Those goofballs who stick an extra ‘u’ in every other word.

      1. They’re nancy-boys to man.

    2. A metallic gold V1. Seriously. If that is the height of their technological prowess do we really have much to be worried about?

  9. Foreign policy realists would never have advocated for invading Iraq or nation-building in AFG.

    1. It’s hard to remake the world in your image AND keep America safe by letting reality get in the way of your statecraft.

  10. In fact, I would assert that Condi and Hillary together are not fit to unfasten Henry Kissinger’s absorbent, activated-charcoal-coated undergarment.

    1. wicked bad mental picture there…

      1. wicked, wicked bad…

        1. my eyes…it burns

  11. Kissinger makes me believe the tinfoil-hatters when they talk about “reptilians”

  12. The idea that the US is going to launch a nuclear first strike against Iran (or any other country) in the foreseeable future is so absurd that nobody with an iota of common sense would take it seriously (unless perhaps the person was blinded by ideology). The article Doherty links to does not advocate that the US do so. Kaplan’s statement about “accepting limited nuclear exchanges” didn’t mean the US would launch a nuclear first strike, but rather be prepared to respond with nuclear weapons if someone hit us with a nuke first.

    One may debate what the US should do in response to another country attacking the US with a nuclear weapon, but there is clearly a deterrent value to at least looking like you will respond with overwhelming force (whether or not you actually intend to).

    The article does allude to the fact that a “limited war” between nuclear armed states has a chance of escalating ? possibly even escalating to the point where one side initiates the use of nuclear weapons. But if Iran ends up getting nuclear weapons, the US will want to contain them. And to do that, one needs to be willing to fight limited conventional wars ? even with the knowledge that the other side might escalate to using nuclear weapons. That may sound reckless, but the alternative is saying “the US will fight no wars with a nuclear power, whether direct or by proxy, regardless of what that nuclear power (or proxy) does”. Such an attitude eliminates any possibility of US deterrence.

    1. To be clear, I am not a Kissinger fan either. I would point out, however, that preemptively “nuking Iran” is not the position advocated in the article, nor do I think it would be considered a “respectable” or “mainstream” opinion. I am pretty sure most people would oppose it (for good reason).

    2. It eliminates deterrence against nuclear powers. So everybody who is not aligned with the U.S. has a sudden incentive to proliferate. And our allies without nukes, who now realize that the U.S. won’t protect them against the bad guys with nukes, will want nukes themselves.

      That would probably be a stable equilibrium, but mass proliferation brings a lot of risks (crazy leaders, accidents, terrorists, etc.) So what’s the libertarian position on the optimal number of nuclear weapons states? This is a problem I have a hard time wrapping my head around.

      1. The point about increased incentives for other countries to go nuclear as their rivals do (so that nuclear proliferation begets more proliferation) is something to consider. There is also the question of whether or not the regime in Tehran is crazy enough to launch a nuclear first strike – despite the balance of power being strongly against them.

        I can’t speak for “the libertarian position”, but I think the “optimal” situation would be if either no country had nuclear weapons, or only relatively free countries, like the US or Switzerland, had them. Of course there is not likely to be any way to get to that situation in the near future.

        What should the US and its allies do about Iran? First, try to figure out what they would do if they succeeded in getting a nuclear weapon.

        Are they crazy enough to opt for nation-wide martyrdom in a nuclear jihad against Israel and the west? If so, the US should bomb them (with conventional targeted weapons against nuclear facilities) to prevent them from getting nukes in the first place.

        If not, I think containment is the best option. If the concern about that is that they would step up support for Hamas and Hezbollah; we could respond by giving Israel a free hand to take out Hamas in response to any aggression, and getting serious about having the UN force in Lebanon crack down on illegal Hezbollah arms stockpiling. There is no way Iran’s proxies could win a war with Israel if Israel had the diplomatic support needed to fight until victory is achieved.

        If the concern is about other countries in the region (and around the world) going nuclear since it appears that defiance of the Security Council on the nuclear issue has no consequences, there are numerous ways to make going nuclear a bad deal without launching a preemptive bombing (which, rightly or wrongly, would make the US/Israel/whoever look like the aggressor). For example: the Security Council could pass a resolution right now stating that: in the event that Iran is found to have, or announces it has, a nuclear weapon, they will impose a naval blockade on Iran, and force its ships in international waters to turn themselves over to western countries. Since their claim is that they are only developing nuclear energy for peaceful energy purposes, they can hardly complain without giving lie to their official story.

        1. Thanks, BG. Nice to see there’s at least one grown-up around here.

          I’d just add that there are serious consequences to Iran acquiring nuclear weapons other than simply the concern that they’re “crazy” — though that is a concern. Look at the reactions of its Arab neighbors to such a prospect, for example.

        2. “”Are they crazy enough to opt for nation-wide martyrdom in a nuclear jihad against Israel and the west?””

          Iran wants to be the dominate power in that region, suicide does not further that goal. They want nukes for the same reason everyone else does. To look tough.

          Striking with nukes first is not accepted in the world. If Iran did that, they would have no friends and the military and political responses against them would be great. It would be a good opprotunity for us to unload some of our nukes. Not exactly according to treaties, but it would lower our stockpile.

  13. Having expressed an opinion about US government mass murder that is not enthusiastic, blas?, or meekly opposed, Doherty’s days at Reason are surely numbered.

    1. Drink!

      1. Wait, now you’re supposed to drink every time Reason is criticized in any way? I don’t think you understand the “Drink!” joke.

        1. I think any occurrence of the “Doherty’s getting fired for not being cosmo enough” meme should warrant a drink.

  14. “We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.”

  15. Not to suggest there’s any moral equivalence between us and Iran–and I really, really mean that–it’s a little weird to suggest that nuking a country because it might nuke another country is just hunky-dory.

    I could see attacking or allowing Israel to attack nuclear facilities if the world viewed Iran as a true threat, but things are rarely so cut and dried.

  16. I doubt anyone is going to Nuke Iran now that 250 Russian Scientist are there.

    The Russians truly deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for this one.

    Iran would NEVER bomb Israel 1st. They know that this act would be suicide on their part. And, contrary to popular belief, propaganda, and Israel/American Rhetoric; Iran is NOT suicidal.

    Israel, on the other hand, would bomb Iran if they thought that they could get away with NO retaliation. However, with Russian Scientist dedicated for the next two years, I doubt Israel will do it. THANK GOD!!!

    Now, Iran doesn’t even have to Blow up a Nuke in indian ocean or dessert to Stop Israel from attacking.

    1. I’m not sure Israel gives a fuck about 250 scientists, nor should they.

      1. These are Russian Scientist. And, the purpose of putting them there is so that Israel doesn’t attack.

        Israel has enough enemies, they don’t need Russia on the same list as the rest of the world.

        1. Wait are you saying that Russia is israels friend?

          1. I don’t know about friends but Russia has many Jews. But Israel doesn’t need a war posture with Russia. Russia could kick their ass. Israel has never fought a country with a good military, and by judging by their last engagement with Lebanon, they really should avoid it.

            1. Soooo the resident russian jews represent a third column? or hostages against Israels war plans against Iran? or you suffer from rectal-cranial inversion?

              1. Since you are puting forth those ideas, you obviously suffer from rectal-cranial inverion.

                I’m merely making a point that Russia has a reason to be friendlyish with Israel, and if push comes to shove Russia could kick their ass.

                1. or inversion.

                2. Bullshit. Russia could barely take on Georgia.

  17. I’m pretty sure we’ve always been at war with Iran, so I don’t see what the big deal is.

  18. That’s your approach to bodily fluids as well, is it not?

  19. I could see attacking or allowing Israel to attack nuclear facilities if the world viewed Iran as a true threat, but things are rarely so cut and dried.

  20. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.”

  21. To repeat others: Why is a “respectable” magazine quoting without criticism a mass-murdering warmonger like Kissinger? What’s changed to make that idea even remotely acceptable?

    Also: If Iran ever becomes a “nuclear threat”, why would be feel compelled to nuke them as a “deterrent” before Russia or China or India or Israel or Pakistan would? Do we always have to do the world’s presumed “dirty work”?

    1. There’s a mysterious respect that Kissinger gets from the mainstream. I think willful ignorance is the only explanation for it.

      http://www.thedailyshow.com/wa…..nger-pt–1

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnIu9AffqX4

      I disagree with Hitchens on several things (women can be funny!), but his take on Kissinger is the best, and most accurate.

    2. What’s changed to make that idea even remotely acceptable?

      A Democrat in the White House, and Democrat control of congress.

      Anti-war my ass.

      There’s nobody left to argue.

  22. Has an active nuclear reactor ever been struck with bombs? If it ends up messy it could be called the king of all dirty bombs by Iran. We would end up looking like the bad guys, which Iran would love.

  23. “…part of a growing and alarming set of prominent public pronouncements preparing we the people for war against Iran.”

    You mean “part of a growing and alarming set of prominent public pronouncements preparing we the people for war against Iran, all of them published in the Atlantic.”

    Want the total truth on HK? Go here:

    http://amv3bullets.blogspot.co…..inger.html

    1. “”Want the total truth on HK? Go here:””

      HK? What does chef Ramsay have to do with this? 😉

    2. I could only get thru three paragraphs. You shouldn’t use so many ‘I’s and ‘you’s in your soliliquies, makes you sound like a bombastic pompous ass.

  24. Does anyone actually believe there could be such a thing as “limited nuclear war between states”?

    I mean, come on now, we all saw WarGames.

  25. Pretty easy to pile on any particular scenario when the alternative eventualities are conveniently ignored, including the possibility that it happens regardless of your desired fantasy future.

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