Iran

Iran War Worry Watch

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Last week President Obama told Israeli TV news that he is confident Iran is only "over a year or so" away from having a nuclear weapon:

Sanctions for Iran Poster: United Nations
Photo credit: ajagendorf25 / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

"Right now, we think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don't want to cut it too close," Obama told Israeli Channel 2.

"They are not yet at the point I think where they've made a fundamental decision to get right with the international community," he said, "but I do think that they're recognizing that there's a severe cost for them to continue on the path that they're on and that there's another door open."….

"When I'm consulting with Bibi, as I have over the last several years on this issue, my message to him will be the same as before: If we can resolve it diplomatically that is a more lasting solution," Obama said in the interview.

"But if not," he added, "I continue to keep all options on the table."

Earlier this month, Vice President Joe Biden warned Iran in a spirited speech to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the powerful pro-Israel lobby, that those "options" include U.S. military action.

"Let me make clear what that commitment is:  It is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.  Period.  End of discussion.  Prevent — not contain – prevent," Biden said.

And yet, and yet:

U.S. officials have said they believe Iran is developing the technical capability to be able to sprint to a obtaining a nuclear weapon on short notice but has not yet actually decided to pursue that course.

"The intelligence we have is they have not made the decision to proceed with the development a nuclear weapon," outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in an interview last month.  "I can't tell you they are in fact pursuing a weapon, because that's what not intelligence say they're doing right now."

And, completely coincidentally, the Washington Post tells us today that various high mucketymucks are reporting more in sorrow than in anger that, well, sanctions just don't seem to be working to stop the Iranians from doing whatever it is they are doing:

Harsh economic sanctions have taken a serious toll on Iran's economy, but U.S. and European officials acknowledge that the measures have not yet produced the kind of public unrest that could force Iranian leaders to change their nuclear policies.

Nine months after Iran was hit with the toughest restrictions in its history, the nation's economy appears to have settled into a slow, downward glide, hemorrhaging jobs and hard currency but appearing to be in no immediate danger of collapse, Western diplomats and analysts say…..

Marine Gen. James Mattis, head of U.S. Central Command, said Iran has accelerated its nuclear program in the past year, despite the diplomatic and economic pressure. Iran continues "enriching uranium beyond any plausible peaceful purpose" and is probably using negotiations to stall for time, Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 5.

"I'm paid to take a rather dim view of the Iranians, frankly," he added.

Yes, General, yes you are.

Some interesting details on the specifics of how the current round of sanctions is working:

The United States has granted six-month exemptions to all 20 of Iran's major oil buyers in return for pledges to reduce the amount they buy. Among the exempted countries are China and India, Iran's No. 1 and No. 2 oil customers, respectively.

Iranian oil exports, though sharply down compared with 2011, increased slightly in February, according to figures released by the International Energy Agency. The agency said Iran's exports totaled 1.28 million barrels a day in February, compared with 1.13 million barrels the month before.

A senior administration official said cheating by Iran could help explain the unexpected spike…

"Cheating." An attempt to sell a wanted product in the world market to willing customers is "cheating" because we say they aren't allowed to do it. Alas, sanctions are not a game–they are a damaging act of war–but one that, as the rest of that Post article and most history demonstrate, harms people other than the government we are allegedly targeting first. Our goal: to make the people so unhappy they begin rioting in the streets. Why might these crazy Iranians be so truculent about just doing whatever we say?

Adding the two stories together–we will not let them have nuclear weapons (even though we aren't sure they are trying)! Our current form of low-grade economic warfare isn't making them surrender!–leads to a very grim result.

Reason on Iran.

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  1. The United States has granted six-month exemptions to all 20 of Iran’s major oil buyers in return for pledges to reduce the amount they buy. Among the exempted countries are China and India, Iran’s No. 1 and No. 2 oil customers, respectively.

    This is the shit that irritates me, a sovereign country giving other sovereign countries exemptions. The arrogance of the USGOV is a sight to behold.

  2. That sign is so ironic – sanctions only make war MORE likely.

    Oh, I forgot, that “hate us for our freedom”. So the solution is to get rid of any and all remaining freedoms!

  3. My Congresscritter sent me a poll question about whether or not people the FedGoV accuses of being terrorists deserve a trial to determine whether or not they actually are terrorists. Feel free to answer the question yourself. The wording in the poll, of course, is very biased. I would love this poll to not go his way.

    http://buchanan.houseenews.net…..9.39&gen=1

    1. Looks like most people think people the government declares terrorists should not be afforded a trial.

      The short shortsightedness of this opinion is incredible.

      1. That poll was mostly sent to people who have contacted Verb Buchannan about something or other. So it is a little skewed, but you are right in that those who think that are VERY shortsighted.

  4. Good thing we didn’t elect those war monger Republicans. They were going to bomb Iran. LOLOLOLOL

    No US President, not even Ron Paul, is going to let Iran get nukes. Yeah, we are going to bomb Iran and keep them from getting nukes. And we were going to do that regardless of who won the election. You may not be interested in war, but sometimes it is interested in you.

    1. You may not be interested in war, but sometimes it is interested in you.

      John, do you consider sanctions as acts of war? I would consider it another form of a blockade, and therefore an act of war. So I would say the USGOV is interested in war.

      1. As long as we are not forcing countries to abide by the sanctions, no. Choosing to to trade with a country is not an act of war.

        1. John, you personally not trading with Iran is not an act of war, but prohibiting ME, as an individual, from trading with Iran, that IS an act of war.

        2. We’re certainly forcing our own citizens not to trade with Iran. How is that, in effect, any different than forcibly sending citizens to fight Iran in regards to being an act of war?

        3. As long as we are not forcing countries to abide by the sanctions, no. Choosing to to trade with a country is not an act of war.

          Did you read the first comment where the USGOV is giving exemptions to other countries so that can trade with Iran without us taking action against them? Do you consider that an economic blockade and therefore an act of war? We also have numerous sanctions against Iran, again, do you consider these acts of war?

      2. Let’s not forget, of course, that Iran has committed innumerable acts of war against the US via its proxies in Iran, just for starters.

        A state of war exists. The only question is how (or, I suppose, whether) we fight the war with Iran.

        1. should be “proxies in Iraq”, but you knew that.

        2. Which begs the question “Why does the US FedGov have proxies in Iran?”

          Imagine, for a moment, that China invaded and overthrew the government in Canda. How would the US FedGov likely react?

          1. Should be “Canada”, but you knew that.

            1. I’m suspecting it should also be “proxies in Iraq”, but I knew that, too.

              A state of war existed with Iraq since they invaded Kuwait. We escalated, in part, because of the consensus that Iraq had WMD (a consensus Iraq was eager to encourage, I believe). Knowing what we know now, would we have been well advised to stay out? Maybe/probably.

              If we had, would it have made any difference to Iran’s nuclear program? I can’t see why. Iran doesn’t want nukes just to deter us. Iran wants nukes to be a ME hegemon.

              1. RC Dean,

                “If we had, would it have made any difference to Iran’s nuclear program?”

                Perhaps not, but US Soldiers, Marines, and Airman would not have been victims of Iran’s war against Iraq.

            2. Something like this:
              http://images.wikia.com/fallou…..Post_3.png

        3. THANK YOU. Any action by America is merely in self-defense. Iran is the one who knocked.

          1. Horse shit.

            I hate Iran more than any motherfucker on here, but we have no grounds for war. Yes, they illegally fought a proxy war in Iraq…but that’s not the rationale for action against them.

            The idea that they might get ONE of what we have thousands of, what we are the only people in history to use against others (twice!) justifying action on our part is shit-nosed cowardice from a bunch of pussies. No other way to describe it.

            1. Cavpitalist –

              1979 Invasion of our embassy – hostages held for over a year

              1983 Bombing of Beirut embassy – 17 US dead

              1983 Bombing of barracks in Beirut – 241 US dead

              1996 Khobar Towers attack – 19 US dead

              These are the major ones… any one of which is grounds for war, regardless of whether they get nukes.

              1. DonH,

                “1979 Invasion of our embassy – hostages held for over a year”

                During a revolution in which they were overthrowing a tyrannical regime that was instaled by the CIA.

                “1983 Bombing of Beirut embassy – 17 US dead”

                Then, as now, they want U.S. Troops to leave the Middle East alone. I agree with them on this point.

                “1983 Bombing of barracks in Beirut – 241 US dead”

                Then, as now, they want U.S. Troops to leave the Middle East alone. I agree with them on this point.

                “1996 Khobar Towers attack – 19 US dead”

                The Khobar Towers were housing U.S. Military personnel, specifically members of the U.S. Air Force. Then, as now, they want U.S. Troops to leave the Middle East alone. I agree with them on this point.

                Got any more?

                1. (repeated instances of killings of US troops by Iran or their proxies)

                  Auban: “Then, as now, they want U.S. Troops to leave the Middle East alone. I agree with them on this point.”

                  … which basically puts you in the same category as the Westboro Baptist folks disrupting the funerals of dead soldiers, except that instead of “God hates fags”, you say “I hate US foreign policy.”

                  1. David Emami,

                    I want to save the lives of our troops by bringing them home. And I think it is disgusting to protest at a funeral. I support free speech ? including speech I strongly disagree with ? but a funeral is not the proper venue for a loud street protest. Those people are despicable.

                    I simply want our foreign policy to be like that which was recommended by the founders of this once-great nation. We have no business meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. Letters of Marque and Reprisal are a constitutional way of dealing with non-state actors who are intent on doing us harm.

                    1. I want to save the lives of our troops by bringing them home.

                      The troops are volunteers, and on the whole quite a bit more interventionist — and significantly less naive — than you.

                      I simply want our foreign policy to be like that which was recommended by the founders of this once-great nation. We have no business meddling in the internal affairs of other countries.

                      As I pointed out, the founders recommended we stay out of conflicts between countries because at that time getting involved was not in our interest and because at that time those countries were not morally distinguishable. The Declaration of Independence makes it clear that governments not formed with the consent of the governed have no just powers. No just powers, no sovereignty, and the very use of the term “internal affairs” obfuscates things. If, tomorrow, the leaders of Sweden or South Korea decide to build nuclear weapons, then (treaties aside) that’s their choice, and it would be immoral of us to use force to stop them, because those leaders have been legitimately chosen by the people of their countries. This is not the case for the mullahs of Iran.

                      Dictatorships have no sovereignty. The modern-day pretense that they do is largely the result of FDR happily kissing Stalin’s ass in order to get his beloved UN founded.

                    2. David Emami,

                      “The troops are volunteers … ”

                      I was in the military. In fact I was in on 9/11 & part of Afghanistan. We joked about being mushrooms. Kept in the dark & fed bullshit. Ten years ago I would have made the same arguments that you are. The troops may very well believe that what they are doing is right and just ? there are 3 problems with the “volunteer” argument. The operations are paid for with taxpayer money ? taxpayers do not volunteer to pay taxes. People on the other side of their weaponry do not volunteer to get shot at.. Their “briefings” are full of lies ? they are mushrooms as I once was. When you are working 12 + hours a day, time for fact checking is limmited.

                      “the founders recommended we stay out of conflicts between countries because at that time getting involved was not in our interest and because at that time those countries were not morally distinguishable.”

                      George will argue with you on this point : http://www.earlyamerica.com/ea…../text.html

                      ” Dictatorships have no sovereignty.”

                      No nation-state of any sort has sovereignty. Only individuals do. A democracy (or republic) is nothing but a dictatorship of that group that has managed to win favor with a majority or plurality of those who show up at the polls. Another founding father, Benjamin Franklin, once wrote “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

            2. So you’re in favor of letting Iran get nukes, which will lead very shortly to either Iran nuking Israel, or Israel bombing or nuking Iran?

              Gee, it’s not like Iran hasn’t said repeatedly what they intend to do with nukes once they get them. Why don’t you believe them?

              1. Finrod,

                Their words have been deliberately “mistranslated” and twisted.

                http://www.antiwar.com/orig/no…..leid=11025

    2. “let Iran get nukes.”

      Gee, what possible motivation would a country with enemies who have nuclear weapons have for wanting nuclear weapons itself? ……..

      1. They hate us for our freedumz!

        1. The question is, does Iran yet realize we are rapidly running out of freedomz? We are in an anti-freedom arms race! He who looses all freedom first wins!

          Yea!

        2. They certainly do.

          1. Cytotoxic,

            “They certainly do.”

            For most members of this forum that would have been sarcasm, with you I suspect it is not. Do you have an actual evidence that Iranians “hate us for our freedom”?

      2. Gee, what possible motivation would a country with enemies who have nuclear weapons have for wanting nuclear weapons itself?

        Iran has an extra motivation. Their government is a sect of Shiite Islam called “Twelvers.” They believe that at the end of the world, the twelfth imam, currently hiding in a well, will return and usher in a golden age in which Islam rules the world. This is not something that they believe they must wait for: they also believe that they can make this happen by initiating something like a nuclear war.

        Still OK with them having nukes?

        1. Bullshit. They’d need a lot of nukes to cause the end of the world, and they know this.

          The reality is that they want nukes because they see how the US treats nuclear dictatorships like NK vs nonnuclear dictatorships like Libya. Interventionists like yourself have caused this mess by tossing the realist doctrine that we only attack when provoked.

          1. Perhaps I was too strong in saying “the end of the world.” “Apocalypse” means the end of the world in some senses, but not in others. I don’t know the Arabic terminology, but something like “a time of war and chaos” might be more accurate. Something on the scale of a worldwide nuclear war is not required, according to their beliefs as I understand them.

            In any case, unlike most Christians with similar beliefs, Twelvers do seem to believe that they can bring about the situation needed to bring back the Mahdi, and top Iranians have also said that the destruction of Israel would be worth the destruction of Iran. Thinking that Iran is rational and merely interested in self-defense seems naive.

            1. PapayaSF,

              “, according to their beliefs as I understand them.”

              And just how well DO you understand their beliefs?

              Who are your sources of information? Are any of them actual Muslims?

        2. PapayaSF,

          Forgive me if I don’t believe rantings about a sect of Islam by people who dislike ALL sects of Islam.

          You should read this:

          http://www.antiwar.com/orig/no…..leid=11025

          1. Eh, I think that Antiwar piece is mostly quibbling. If that one quote is a bit of a mistranslation, Iranian bigwigs have repeatedly said and done many other things that make their feelings toward Israel quite clear, and they generally aren’t in the “live and let live” category.

            I am moderately conversant with Islam, having read several books (one pro by a Muslim, and one anti by a non-Muslim) as well as numerous articles. I think my summation would be considered accurate by, say, Bernard Lewis.

            1. Their feelings toward Israel are related to the way in which the modern state of Israel was created and the way the government treats the Palestinians.

              Please NOTE : Israel has MANY sites that are considered holy in Islam – do you really think Iran would want to contaminate holy sites with radiation that would prevent thier visitation by observant Muslims?

              1. Israel was created out of a tiny sliver of the de-colonialized Middle East. Yeah, the Arabs didn’t get everything: tough, deal with it.

                Yes, I have no doubt that Iran thought they could wipe out Israel with nukes, they would do it. Muslims often destroy their own holy sites.

                1. “The Arabs” are not who I am referring to getting screwed over in the deal, it is The Palestinians. There were people who actually were living there before the creation of the modern state of Israel. Need I also point out that the Iranians are not Arab?

                  The holy sites in Israel are not just holy to one sect or other within Islam but to ALL of them. And if the nuked Israel it certainly wouldn’t help the Palestinians any.

  5. Let’s take away their guns too!

  6. Yes, General, yes you are.

    Well, we don’t have very good historical experience with military folks who like to take a sunny and optimistic view of our enemies, so why the snark? You feel he was a better planner if he had said, “despite their constant boasts of wiping a friendly nation of the map, opening and closing their parliament with chants of ‘Death to America’, we choose to disregard these and anticipate Iran with a purely peaceful nuclear program, exports of medical radioactives and a more carbon friendly electricity grid!”

    1. You feel he was a better planner if he had said, “despite their constant boasts of wiping a friendly nation of the map, opening and closing their parliament with chants of ‘Death to America’, we choose to disregard these and anticipate Iran with a purely peaceful nuclear program, exports of medical radioactives and a more carbon friendly electricity grid!”

      Yes Reason would as a matter of fact.

  7. Ten years, thousands of lives, and trillions of dollars later, like Saddam’s WMDs, evidence of Iran’s nuclear weapons program remains to be found.

    /snippet from future article

    1. Actually, its my understanding that their uranium enrichment program has been upgraded beyond what is needed for purely peaceful purposes, and is capable of making uranium which has only one purpose: bombs.

      That upgrade strikes me as a nuclear weapons program.

      1. That upgrade strikes me as a nuclear weapons program.

        And if it is, so. Why is it that the US, which has nuclear weapons, gets to decide whether or not another country gets the same? Do you really feel that Iran will launch a nuclear attack on the US?

        1. Why is it that the US, which has nuclear weapons, gets to decide whether or not another country gets the same?

          Well, there is some notion that countries which are rabidly hostile to the US and in bed with folks who would be willing and likely able to smuggle a nuke into the US shouldn’t have nukes.

          Here’s the problem, as I see it. Sure, we could go hands-off on the ME, but for at least a generation the ME will be amply supplied of expansionist religious fanatics. I for one think the odds of our interests and theirs not being at odds, ever, are small, and once we are at odds with them, they will express their hostility explosively, as is their wont. I’d rather those (inevitable) explosions weren’t nuclear.

          1. Well, there is some notion that countries which are rabidly hostile to the US and in bed with folks who would be willing and likely able to smuggle a nuke into the US shouldn’t have nukes.

            If you think that Iran would do that, then your stance that we should do whatever it takes to ensure they don’t get nuclear weapons would be the correct one.

            I, on the other hand, do not think they would do that. They are not irrational as some say, they know we would discover who the nuclear weapon belonged to and retaliate. All leaders want to remain leaders, and Iran is no different. I do not think it rational to start another war based on a “maybe.” Others of course can disagree.

            I for one think the odds of our interests and theirs not being at odds, ever, are small,…

            If our interests and theirs is a stable ME, I think they will coincide. It depends on who we think should ensure that stability is where things get sticky.

            1. your stance that we should do whatever it takes to ensure they don’t get nuclear weapons would be the correct one.

              Believe it or not, that’s not my stance. I’m really not sure what we should do about Iran.

              I’m just trying to lay out some realities here.

              I think Iran has a nuclear weapons program, because they are doing things that really don’t make sense otherwise.

              I think Iran wants to be the boss of the ME, and that is the primary driver of their nuclear weapons program.

              I think a a nuclear Iran poses a threat to the US. Now, we’ve managed other hostile nuclear nations with MAD, so maybe that’s all we need to do with Iran. A credible MAD threat* and no dependency on ME oil would make me fairly indifferent to a ME that is under Iran’s thumb.

              *I think it would have to be very explicit in Iran’s case, as in “If there is any nuclear attack on the US, you will be glassed within hours. We won’t be stopping to investigate or ask UN permission. Here’s a copy of the current targeting orders. Note the megatonnage and redundancy.”

              1. *I think it would have to be very explicit in Iran’s case, as in “If there is any nuclear attack on the US, you will be glassed within hours. We won’t be stopping to investigate or ask UN permission. Here’s a copy of the current targeting orders. Note the megatonnage and redundancy.”

                This is the only response we need to make to Iran, or any other country. The talk of keeping them from developing weapons and that we are willing to bomb them it they try is ridiculous.

                1. I like the idea of making these kinds of threats super explicit, maybe by sending the cable to all the newspapers and broadcasters in the ME instead of to the actual Iranian government. Mail them a copy of the morning’s Times to let them know what to expect.

            2. They are not irrational as some say, they know we would discover who the nuclear weapon belonged to and retaliate.

              If we weren’t dealing with a suicide bomber culture, then you might have a point. But since Iranian leaders have openly said that they’re willing to risk the destruction of Iran if it means they destroy Israel too, your statements seem naive at best.

              1. Finrod,

                You really should read this:

                http://www.antiwar.com/orig/no…..leid=11025

        2. Because America is a free state and therefore has rights. Iran is an unfree state and so has no rights.

          1. Because America is a free state and therefore has rights. Iran is an unfree state and so has no rights.

            They are both sovereign states and therefore have the same rights.

            1. NO. Rights do not come to out of thin air. They are earned by a state’s ability and willingness to protect and respect its citizen’s rights.

              1. NO. Rights do not come to out of thin air. They are earned by a state’s ability and willingness to protect and respect its citizen’s rights.

                As a sovereign nation, they have the same rights as any other sovereign nation. They fact that you do not like that is irrelevant.

                1. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

                  A dictatorship does not rule with the consent of the governed. Therefore, no just powers. Therefore, no sovereignty.

                  And before you point out the obvious: no, the US and the rest of Western civilization have definite flaws, but the difference in degree is still so big as to be a difference in kind. Only someone who has gone off the deep end would equate freedom in the likes of the US, Taiwan, and France with the likes of Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

                  1. ” Only someone who has gone off the deep end would equate freedom in the likes of the US, Taiwan, and France with the likes of Iran, North Korea, and Syria.”

                    Guess what country has the highest per capita incarceration rate?

                    http://tinyurl.com/chh7jeh

                    1. Guess what country has the highest per capita incarceration rate?

                      Living in a dictatorship is basically a milder form of incarceration. In the US, the violations of freedom are concentrated amongst those involved with drugs. In Iran or Syria, the average citizen may not be as oppressed as the average US drug prisoner, but they’re far more oppressed than the average US citizen. Rather tough to quantify “oppression per capita”, of course, but Cato’s “Economic Freedom” survey is a place to start for one aspect of it.

                      And in the case of North Korea, the entire country is basically one big prison — with the exception of where they can walk around to, the average North Korean is probably notably less free than the average US convict.

                    2. David Emami,

                      If you need to go to the extreme examples of Iran, Syria, and North Korea to point out that the United States is not the most oppressive regime on Planet Earth than I think I have more than made my point clear.

                    3. If you need to go to the extreme examples of Iran, Syria, and North Korea to point out that the United States is not the most oppressive regime on Planet Earth …

                      If you need to have it proven to you that the United States is not the most oppressive regime on the planet, then you have so many wrong facts in your head that it’s not worth the time to debunk them all.

                    4. Finrod,

                      You apparently do not understand my point. We are an oppressive regime and the criminals in DC who claim to represent us are making this an ever more oppressive state and are using “security” and ouside “threats” as justifications.

                    5. If you need to go to the extreme examples of Iran, Syria, and North Korea to point out that the United States is not the most oppressive regime on Planet Earth than I think I have more than made my point clear.

                      You seem to have lost track of what the point was. Ptah-hotep claimed, in his argument with Cytotoxic, that sovereign states had the same rights. I pointed to the Declaration of Independence as an articulation of my view that states most certainly do not have the same sovereignty, and gave examples of some (the US, Taiwan, and France) that are free enough to be considered sovereign, and others (Iran, Syria, North Korea) which are not. If you consider any members of the first category to be even close to those in the second category, you’re delusional. The study by the Cato Institute has the US dropping but in the top 15%, so far as economic freedom goes. The same for Reporters Without Borders on press freedom, the Democracy Index on general democracy, and various others.

                    6. David Emami,

                      “I pointed to the Declaration of Independence as an articulation of my view that states most certainly do not have the same sovereignty,”

                      Why do you believe that ANY nation-state has sovereignty? Only individuals can be truly sovereign. It is certainly possible for a majority to consent to being governed but if you have even a moderately large population you will never have universal agreement. Given that the United States had a far smaller population at the time it was more possible then than now. Today it is FAR less likely to have universal consent ? especially given the tyranny reigning down upon us from the criminals in Washington, DC.

              2. Cytotoxic,

                Rights belong to the individual, not the state – either one. By dropping bombs on the heads of Iranian, it is the rights of Iranian citizens that are being violated, not the Iranian government.

            2. Since when do states have rights? I thought they only had power.

              1. “Since when do states have rights? I thought they only had power.”

                I agree. Rights belong to the individual, not the state – either one. By dropping bombs on the heads of Iranian, it is the rights of Iranian citizens that are being violated, not the Iranian government.

                1. I agree. Rights belong to the individual, not the state – either one. By dropping bombs on the heads of Iranian, it is the rights of Iranian citizens that are being violated, not the Iranian government.

                  If anyone were suggesting carpet-bombing Tehran, you would have a point. But the scientists working for the Iranian nuclear program are no more innocent than the German scientists at Peenemunde.

                  1. David Emami,

                    “If anyone were suggesting carpet-bombing Tehran, you would have a point. But the scientists working for the Iranian nuclear program are no more innocent than the German scientists at Peenemunde.”

                    I have three points: Point one -There are people, within this very thread, who are making such a suggestion. Look at the quote from John below. Point two : even the supposedly accurate drones make many, many, mistakes resulting in many innocent dead. Point three ? From the perspective of those scientists they are helping their homeland, either to provide their people with energy, or two provide their country with a beefed up defense system, or both. The United States is the only country on Earth that has used a nuclear weapon to wipe out a city. The United States is their enemy now, is it any wonder they might want one themselves?

                    -=-=-=-=-=
                    “John| 3.18.13 @ 10:01AM |#

                    I think they can be stopped. They just can’t be stopped with a single bombing mission. But if the US launched a sustained bombing campaign for weeks or months, they would be stopped. You can’t build a bomb if all of your scientists are dead and all of your cyclotrons and reactors are destroyed.
                    log in or register to reply”

                    1. 1 & 2. I don’t see John suggesting bombing Iranian cities. The facilities he’s talking about are isolated and/or buried for security and to make bombing difficult — the centrifuges near Natanz are nearly 20 miles outside of town, for example.

                      3a. I’m sure the scientists at Peenemunde were trying to help their homeland as well (except the ones who were doing it For Science like Von Braun was). I have zero interest in seeing things from their perspective.

                      3b. The max comment size here won’t allow for proper discussion of the A-bomb attacks on Japan, but I view them as the least-bad options among many worse ones. My reasons are here http://news.slashdot.org/comme…..d=41710999 and here http://news.slashdot.org/comme…..d=41726863 .

                    2. ” I have zero interest in seeing things from their perspective.”

                      [sarcasm] What a surprise! [/sarcasm] It is lack of empathy that leads to war. A note from Oxford Dictionaries Online “People often confuse the words empathy and sympathy. Empathy means ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another’ (as in both authors have the skill to make you feel empathy with their heroines), whereas sympathy means ‘feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune’ (as in they had great sympathy for the flood victims).”

                      To understand a point of view does not imply that you yourself hold that point of view or in any way agree with it.

                      I find it Ironic that you are defending the US use of nukes but are horified at the thought of Iran having a bomb. You don’t see the cognitive dissonance in holding those two positions at the same time?

                    3. [sarcasm] What a surprise! [/sarcasm] It is lack of empathy that leads to war.

                      Maybe in the rare, legendary Battle of Salisbury sort of way, but in general, wars happen because some people have evil intentions, not because the people involved don’t understand one another.

                      I find it Ironic that you are defending the US use of nukes but are horified at the thought of Iran having a bomb. You don’t see the cognitive dissonance in holding those two positions at the same time?

                      If you mean do I consider them contradictory positions, then: most certainly not. Truman’s use of them was justified by circumstances. I do not trust Khamenei or the rest of the mullahs’ idea of “justified.”

                      No, that’s not quite accurate. “Do not trust” implies doubt. I don’t doubt their ideas of what would justify the use of nuclear weapons (or force in general) are absolutely vile.

                    4. ” in general, wars happen because some people have evil intentions, not because the people involved don’t understand one another.”

                      It is very rare that someone considers him or herself evil ? others, after the fact, may consider a person or a group of people to be evil but they hardly ever consider themselves to be so. I repeat my statement: It is lack of empathy that leads to war.

                      “Truman’s use of them was justified by circumstances. I do not trust Khamenei or the rest of the mullahs’ idea of “justified.” No, that’s not quite accurate. “Do not trust” implies doubt. I don’t doubt their ideas of what would justify the use of nuclear weapons (or force in general) are absolutely vile.”

                      You have proven my point here. They do not consider themselves to be evil. I repeat my statement: It is lack of empathy that leads to war.

                    5. I don’t give a damn if an evil person considers himself evil, just that he is evil.

                      Or as Heinlein put it: “That old saw about ‘to understand all is to forgive all’ is a lot of tripe. Some things, the more you understand the more you loathe them.”

                    6. David Emami,

                      I never suggested “forgiveness” of evil actions. If you understand what motivates people it is more possible to find a peaceable solution. Now, you may not “give a damn” about that but one again you are proving my point with your own words.

                    7. I never suggested “forgiveness” of evil actions. If you understand what motivates people it is more possible to find a peaceable solution.

                      I’m interested in what motivates someone until such point as they demonstrate an evil nature, at which point any sensible person ceases to care except as a means to predict and counter the evil person’s actions. That goes both for the guy holding up a 7-11 and the scientist building a bomb for Ayatollah Khamenei. Or to borrow a quote: “When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher’s knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn’t out collecting for the Red Cross.”

                      Now, you may not “give a damn” about that but one again you are proving my point with your own words.

                      All that’s being proven is that you’re a moral relativist.

                    8. David Emami,

                      “That goes both for the guy holding up a 7-11 and the scientist building a bomb for Ayatollah Khamenei.”

                      Might you not be interested in what would motivate the 7-11 clerks to have a gun behind the counter? It might be the same thing that motivates Ayatollah Khamenei to want a bomb.

                    9. I find it Ironic that you are defending the US use of nukes but are horified at the thought of Iran having a bomb. You don’t see the cognitive dissonance in holding those two positions at the same time?

                      You don’t see a difference between using nukes to end a war and using nukes to start one?

                    10. Finrod,

                      The premise of your question is that nukes were the only way, or the best way, to end that war.

                      I reject your premise.

                      In any case, WWII is the result of Woodrow Wilson’s meddling in World War I AKA “The Great War”. The United States had no business getting involved in World War I, in reality the two wars could be considered one large war with a brief pause in the middle.

                    11. The premise of your question is that nukes were the only way, or the best way, to end that war.

                      I reject your premise.

                      And you are incorrect to do so. Even if the Allies had ceased all military operations against Japan rather than drop the atomic bombs, millions of Japanese, tens of thousands of Allied prisoners, and hundreds of thousands of Asian (mostly Korean) slave laborers would have died of starvation. Food distribution in Japan had pretty much ceased, and it was only food relief brought in by the occupation that prevented a massive famine in 1946.

                      In any case, WWII is the result of Woodrow Wilson’s meddling in World War I AKA “The Great War”.

                      Which has absolutely zero bearing on which of Truman’s available options was the least awful in 1945.

                    12. “Even if the Allies had ceased all military operations against Japan rather than drop the atomic bombs, millions of Japanese, tens of thousands of Allied prisoners, and hundreds of thousands of Asian (mostly Korean) slave laborers would have died of starvation. Food distribution in Japan had pretty much ceased, and it was only food relief brought in by the occupation that prevented a massive famine in 1946.”

                      Gee, maybe that has something to do with the fact that the criminals in DC stopped all trade with Japan. Ya-think?

                      On July 26, 1941, Roosevelt “froze Japanese assets in the United States, thus bringing commercial relations between the nations to an effective end.

                      http://www.independent.org/new…..sp?id=1930

                  2. But the scientists working for the Iranian nuclear program are no more innocent than the German scientists at Peenemunde.

                    This territory was covered in the old Kevin Smith movie _Clerks_, where the two convenience store workers were arguing whether it was ethical or not to blow up the second Death Star because it was still under construction with contractors there. Their conclusion was that the contractors knew what they were getting into when they took the job, and it’s a conclusion that I agree with.

                    1. Finrod,

                      Blowing up a Death Star does not put civilians at risk. In any case, The [original and actually well-written] Star Wars Trilogy is a work of fiction.

                    2. Attempting to shoot down planes coming to bomb your city puts civilians at risk — enough Londoners were killed by errant anti-aircraft shells during the Blitz that the British government had to issue guidelines for compensation. So unless you’re a pacifist, it comes down to how bad the risk is, not whether there is risk at all.

                      And, as I pointed out to you before, Iran’s nuclear facilities are outside of populated areas and usually underground, for reasons of security and hardening. There is no guy living next door to a reactor at risk of getting blown up if a pilot’s aim is off by a few meters.

                    3. David Emami,

                      Finrod was relating a question from a work of fiction in which people were speculating about another work of fiction. What you are raising are possible scenarios in the real world. Frankly, given the CIAs track record of inaccuracy, lies, and deceit I do not put much stock in anything they have to say. It may as well be from a George Lucus film.

                    4. Auban: I don’t have a high regard for the CIA either — while individual members may be brave, smart, and/or diligent, as an organization they couldn’t find their ass with both hands. Given that many of these facilities are at locations which are public knowledge, that’s not an issue in the “risk of civilian casualties” department — and I notice you seem to be ignoring my previous points about degrees of risk, and the fact that there are no civilians near the potential targets.

                    5. David Emami,

                      I am glad you don’t have a high regard for the CIA. An attack such as you are advocating would be wonderful propaganda for the Iranian regime. Once again the West could be shown as the enemy. When people are attacked they often rally around the flag – even if they don’t like who the current leader is. Think back to 9/11: Even most people who hated Bush’s guts put flags on their cars and supported the troops etc. If even one innocent person is killed in bombing Iran for the sake of “what might happen” that person’s body will be shown on state TV and used to rally support for possible retaliation. These tactics often backfire.

                      The CIA itself created the problem in Iran by installing a cruel regime known as the Shaw. Those in charge now in Iran are there because of a revolution that many Iranians supported at first because they had hope it would at least be better than the Shaw.

                      Bad things often result from outsiders meddling in affairs they do not fully understand. When the U.S. FedGov interfered in Chile the result was Pinochet. The FedGov should stop trying to interfere in the affairs of other countries – it does not have a good track record.

                    6. Shaw – or Shah – whatever it is a translitteration anyway.

              2. Since when do states have rights? I thought they only had power.

                You are correct.

        3. Why is it that the US, which has nuclear weapons, gets to decide whether or not another country gets the same?

          It is not, at root, a question of what countries, but what people. I have no worries about President Mukherjee of India being in command of nuclear weapons, because he was is more or less answerable to a free populace. The same goes for PM Cameron of the UK. Iran’s leaders only get to stand for election after being vetted for religious purity by the mullahs first, and are, ultimately, only answerable to them.

          So, Indian, British, French nukes? No problem. Nukes for Iran or for Westboro Baptist? Stop that before it happens.

          1. David Emami,

            And the candidates of our two major parties, the only two that have an actual chance of winning, are also vetted by fanatics before recieving the nomination.

            Again, only the United States has actually used nukes in war.

            1. And the candidates of our two major parties, the only two that have an actual chance of winning, are also vetted by fanatics before recieving the nomination

              Umm… no. “Not libertarian” does not mean “fanatic.” They certainly fall far short of what I want, as would probably any leading political figure anywhere right now, but if you equate the political process in the US, the UK, or similar countries with the vetting of candidates by Iran’s “Guardian Council”, you’re simply being silly.

              1. David Emami,

                John McCain humming “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran ….” certainly would sound fanatical to the ears of an Iranian. Obama helping to overthrow a Libyan government that had recently agreed to GET RID of its nuclear program certainly sounds fanatical to Libyans. Mitt Romney taking a position that is even more pro-war than Obama would certainly sound fanatical to anyone who might wind up living under drones.

                1. John McCain humming “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran ….” certainly would sound fanatical to the ears of an Iranian.

                  Oddly, I know quite a few Iranian emigres, all with family in Iran, who voted for McCain. So apparently he doesn’t sound as fanatical as you think. When was this, anyway?

                  Obama helping to overthrow a Libyan government that had recently agreed to GET RID of its nuclear program certainly sounds fanatical to Libyans.

                  What, stopping one bad thing (trying to become a dictator with nukes) doesn’t get him off the hook for other bad things (being a dictator in the first place). And I’m sure the Libyans who rebelled against him didn’t find our support fanatical.

                  Some people might think the things you cite. Some people think JFK and Elvis are still alive. That doesn’t mean we should take such people’s views seriously, except to the degree that it’s necessary to counteract them.

                  1. David Emami,

                    One of the problems in the modern world is the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” mentality. Osama bin Laden was a great help to the CIA et al in kicking Soviet Forces out of Afghanistan, but when he saw us siding with forces he found corrupt in his homeland he turned into Enemy #1. That is the way of the world now. Libyan or Syrian oposition forces might not mind US help now, but when they want to run the country as they see fit they may find themselves on the wrong end of a drone bomb.

      2. Just like Saddam’s mobile bioweapon laboratories?

        Haven’t these people heard the story about the boy who cried wmd?

        1. Haven’t you heard that Sadaam’s Iraq did have limited stocks of WMD? Cuz it did. And just because Iraq did or did not has no bearing on Iran. That would be a logical fallacy.

          1. OK, retard. I guess I’ll have to spell it out.

            The “boy who cried wmd” was in reference to a children’s tale called The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

            It is about a boy who is responsible for watching the sheep. He runs to the town and cries “Wolf!” and the townspeople come to his aid. But there is no wolf. After he does this a couple times, they no longer believe him. When a wolf actually comes, they do not come to help him and the sheep are slaughtered.

            The intelligence community has repeatedly exaggerated or outright lied when making the case to go kill people in foreign lands to the point where some of us no longer believe them, even though they may be right.

            Does that make sense to your itty bitty retarded brain?

          2. Haven’t you heard that Sadaam’s Iraq did have limited stocks of WMD?

            No. I assume you have a link for this claim?

            1. Here is a wikipedia link (apologies if it doesn’t work)

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I….._Recovered

              1. Not an Economist,

                Perhaps you missed this point:

                ” The munitions addressed in the report were produced in the 1980s, Maples said. Badly corroded, they could not currently be used as originally intended, though agent remaining in the weapons would be very valuable to terrorists and insurgents, Maples said”

                Insurgents, it should be noted, did not exist before the fall of Saddam.

      3. its my understanding

        Based on what?

        It better be stronger evidence than Bush claimed to have about Saddam’s WMDs.

  8. I don’t think the US govt is going to do a goddamned thing in terms of wafare. I think Iran gets a nuke, and they can’t be stopped.

    This bluster and bullshit increases tensions and satisfies some warboners, but I think in the end Iran gets a nuke.

    We shall see.

    1. I think they can be stopped. They just can’t be stopped with a single bombing mission. But if the US launched a sustained bombing campaign for weeks or months, they would be stopped. You can’t build a bomb if all of your scientists are dead and all of your cyclotrons and reactors are destroyed.

      1. Oh, I think they CAN be stopped. But we won’t do it.

      2. Sorry – realized I’d said “can’t” in orig note – should have chosen words more carefully and said “won’t”.

        Cause I do think we (or someone else) CAN stop them – but we won’t. They’ll get a nuke if they want one.

      3. Would average Iranians on the ground be more motivated or less motivated to attack the United States after such a sustained bombing campaign?

        Or does that not matter to you?

        1. Would average Iranians on the ground be more motivated or less motivated to attack the United States after such a sustained bombing campaign?

          Since average Iranians hate their government, I would imagine some of them would be happy to see it. Beyond that, since the Iranian government doesn’t care what they think, their opinion doesn’t matter too much does it?

          I guess maybe you are right. We should bomb ourselves. That should get everyone to love us.

          1. Red Tony goes full retard!

            1. Whatever shreek. I am just going to start posting screaming monkeys on these threads. It is about the level of discourse you are capable of.

              1. You post things like “I guess maybe you are right. We should bomb ourselves.” and lecture me about the level of discourse?

                Really?

                Why is it that certain subjects turn you into a total retard?

                Seriously.

                1. ‘Red Tony’ is sarcasmic’s way of saying ‘John got me’.

                  1. Just curious Cyto, does your mom wipe the drool off of your retard chin or do you wear a bib?

                    1. RED TONY WARMONGER DRROOL

                    2. Uh, no. That’s just garden variety retard drool. You didn’t answer the question. Does Mommy wipe it or does she give you a bib?

                    3. sarcasmic, are you this stupid on all the forums you post on, or just here?

          2. Even Average Americans who hate their government would likely side MORE with thier government if some other country invaded and started killing their family members.

            1. So what? They have no vote in what their government does. Their government is going to do what they want to do regardless of what the people think.

              And if bombing a country makes it a permanent enemy, I guess that is why Japan and Germany are still our enemies. right? And we bombed the shit out of Serbia, have they attacked us lately?

              It is funny, libertarians have absolutely no will to fight about anything. Yet they seem incapable of understanding that anyone else would ever lose the will to fight. This is why no one pays any attention to them on these issues.

              1. Maybe you go around punching people in the face for what they might do in the future, but libertarians are a little more civilized than that.

                1. Allowing a foreign entity to murder your countrymen because retaliating might cause ‘hard feelings’ is not ‘civilized’. It is farcical.

                  1. Speaking of retarded.

                    1. “Maybe if I glib it up they won’t notice I’ve got nothing else”. -Sarcasmic

                  2. Cytotoxic,

                    D?tente seemed to work fine when the USSR had missiles pointed at us. Even Ronald Reagan was willing to negotiate with them. Iran doesn’t even have nukes.

                    1. Right MAD worked with Ivan because they were sane. What if a crazy Mahdi seeking nut has control of a nuke and wants to bring on Armageddon?

                    2. “Right MAD worked with Ivan because they were sane. What if a crazy Mahdi seeking nut has control of a nuke and wants to bring on Armageddon?”

                      If I believed the neocon spin on Islamic theology I might be concerned. But I don’t.

                    3. If I believed the neocon spin on Islamic theology I might be concerned. But I don’t.

                      You mean you don’t believe that these towel heads have no sense of self preservation, and are intent upon bringing the end of the world?

                      Because you know that that’s what this is about, don’t you? It’s about the end of the world!

                      What greater cause is there than preventing the end of the world?

                      So unless you want to bring about the end of the world, you better support bombing those dirty towel heads into the stone age.

                    4. What if they’re planning on using the nuke on their own shield wall?

                  3. Because “not killing scientists” in the name of slowing down technology is the exact same thing as allowing a foreign entity to murder your countrymen.

                    It’s so heartening that so many commenters keep showing such explicit philosophical kinship with Al Qaeda.

              2. And if bombing a country makes it a permanent enemy, I guess that is why Japan and Germany are still our enemies. right?

                Except the Axis actually attacked us first.

                Every military action is WW2 in the eye of a neocon, I guess.

                1. But we embargoed Japan, and sold weapons to Germany’s enemies in time of war. Both can be considered acts of war.

          3. Since average Iranians hate their government, I would imagine some of them would be happy to see it.

            We’ll be welcomed as liberators, and the oil revenues will pay for our war expenditures.

            MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Again.

      4. who let the neocon in?

        1. What an intelligent come back. Did you think hard about that one?

          1. RED TONEY NEOCON BOMBING BROWN BABIEZ

            1. Iranians are Persians. They’re not brown. They’re white.

              You’re so retarded you don’t even know the skin color of the babies you want to kill.

              1. Funny, I seem to remember a fair number of darker-skinned folks when I lived there. There’s been quite a bit of ethnic mixing due to various conquests, primarily by the Arabs and Mongols.

                But then, Cytotoxic was referring to the strawman bruited about by the left and, to a lesser degree, anti-interventionists in general: that anyone not following the Prime Directive foreign policy does so out of racist, murderous impulses.

                1. There was a reason that the founders of this once-great nation supported a Prime Directive foreign policy and it had nothing to do with race. They studied history and understood that empires fall and intervention backfires. They studied the history of Rome and did not want the United States to repeat its mistakes.

                  1. They advocated staying out of the way of the European powers because we were, at the time, too weak, and because there’s no reason for free Americans citizens take sides between European monarchs grabbing land from each other. Doing so would be morally beneath us. That’s definitely not the same thing a Prime Directive “must not interfere in the internal development of other cultures” policy, where taking sides is seen as a wrong committed by us.

                    1. “They advocated staying out of the way of the European powers because we were, at the time, too weak,”

                      And now we are too deeply in debt.

                      “and because there’s no reason for free Americans citizens take sides between European monarchs grabbing land from each other. Doing so would be morally beneath us. ”

                      Replace European Monarchs with Middle Eastern dictators and the concept still applies.

                    2. If our economy in 1789 had been tied as tight to Europe as our economy is tied to the Middle East in 2013 thanks to oil, I imagine George Washington would have taken a different tact. How long was it after the founding of the country that we were dealing with the Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean? Was that an unjustified act of war as well?

                    3. Finrod, there is a constitutional way of dealing with non-state actors : Letter of Marque and Reprisal. They were used in our early history and there is no reason they could not be used again today.

                      http://www.politico.com/news/s…..21245.html

  9. Also,

    DOMINO EFFECT!!11!!

    1. Not so much domino effect as arms race. If Iran gets the bomb, Saudi Arabia gets one too. No way to the gulf Arabs choose to live under the Persian Shia nuclear umbrella. Is it really a good idea to have a nuclear arms race in the middle east?

      1. Can you hug your child with Nuclear Arms?

        /60’s idiot

        1. No. But fortunately you get to keep your regular arms too.

          1. Till Dianne Feinstein takes them.

            Oh! That’s not what you meant..:)

      2. “Is it really a good idea to have a nuclear arms race in the middle east?”

        That is for people who actually live there to decide. I don’t live there and want the ability to buy a Persian Carpet if I want.

        1. That is for people who actually live there to decide
          ————–

          maybe, until they decide to point those things at someone else. For the most, the existence of nukes has been for the purpose of deterrence. Iran is the only place that talks openly and regularly about using them offensively.

          1. Kim Jung Number Un is offended you overrook North Korea.

            1. Somebody call Hans Brix!

      3. ” Is it really a good idea to have a nuclear arms race in the middle east?”

        It’s probably a terrible idea. But the question is, is it up to the US?

        1. It’s probably a terrible idea. But the question is, is it up to the US?

          It should be. We’re the ones who have used them before, we should be the experts.

      4. it really a good idea to have a nuclear arms race in the middle east?

        Why is it that so many people can see that the intra-US use of force/legislation against everything that’s a bad idea is folly, but completely fail to see that extra-US use of force/legislation against everything that’s a bad idea is also folly?

  10. Iran has been a year from having a nuke for a couple years now, hasn’t it?

    1. They’ve been a year away from having a nuke for at least ten years. Maybe more.

      1. Yep, what Sarc said.

        Not discounting the possibility that US, Israel and maybe others have been productively interfering with their efforts.

    2. Any. Minute. Now. Fist.

      Why do you want Americans killed at the end of an Iranian Snuke?

  11. OK, let’s say we go to war with Iran to prevent them from getting a nuke. That means that we have to go to war with the next enemy that starts working on a nuke or an ICBM. Eventually one of our enemies is going to get one. And we won’t have many friends left at that point.

    I’m not happy about this, but you can’t stop the inevitable without serious negative consequences.

    1. So if we let our enemies have nukes they will become our friends? Seriously, what are the negative consequences? Our enemies hating us? They already do that.

      And unless we start bombing our friends, how would bombing our enemies cause us not to have any friends left?

      Why are not happy about this? What do you think is going to happen? If you are not willing to do anything about it, are you really that unhappy about it?

      1. Well John America let the USSR have a bomb and look how well that went. Good thing there weren’t any crisis that nearly got millions of people killed or proxy wars that got millions of people killed.

      2. So if we let our enemies have nukes they will become our friends?

        Nobody said that.

        Seriously, what are the negative consequences?

        Of a war? I don’t know, maybe thousands of innocent people getting killed, spending more big piles of money that we don’t have for starters.

        1. Nobody said that.

          That doesn’t stop Red Tony from arguing against it. He likes straw man arguments when he goes retard. That’s why I call him Red Tony.

  12. Bibi is bloodthirsty, and he is looking for a scapegoat for when his reasoning and intelligence to attack Iran can’t stand up to any scrutiny.

    To Israel, the USA is a very useful idiot in this kind of situation

    1. And here comes the genuine Jew haters.

      1. lol…so you support neocons as long as they’re not on our soil?

        why don’t you call me an anti-semite and shut me up like every other statist liberal

  13. “Harsh economic sanctions have taken a serious toll on Iran’s economy, but U.S. and European officials acknowledge that the measures have not yet produced the kind of public unrest that could force Iranian leaders to change their nuclear policies.”

    Regardless of what you may have heard, the purpose of sanctions isn’t to cause public unrest in Iran. The purpose of sanctions is to make Iran burn through its foreign currency reserves.

    Last I checked, Iran had about 6 months of foreign currency reserves at the then current burn rate–and that was a couple of months ago. When Iran burns through all of its foreign currency reserves, it will have no choice but to bargain in good faith.

    I’m generally not a fan of sanctions, and I’m not saying that sanctions are going to work this time. But I think this is something we have to try. If Iran can achieve a successful nuclear test before it burns through the last of its reserves, then the international community will cave. If they can’t achieve that before they burn through their reserves, then Iran will cave.

    I hope I’m wrong about sanctions, this time, and they work as well as we like. Regardless, I think this is something we have to try–since the other options are even worse. …especially the option where we stand by and do nothing and hope that if we’re nice, the Mullahs will be nice to us with their long rang missile program, too.

    1. U.S. and European officials acknowledge that the measures have not yet produced the kind of public unrest that could force Iranian leaders to change their nuclear policy’

      Well, not after we hung them out to dry last time they tried.

      1. The lack of support for the Green Revolution was shameful. At the time I agreed with Reason that America should stay on the sidelines but that was clearly wrong. America should have at least given the revolutionaries weapons.

  14. WMDs are so scary. Don’t you guys watch movies?

  15. “Cheating.” An attempt to sell a wanted product in the world market to willing customers is “cheating” because we say they aren’t allowed to do it.

    Hello, Brian? This isn’t the DEA busting in to arrest Alice for selling Bob some weed. The seller, Iran, is a dictatorship. By definition, they have already guilty of initiation of force to a degree that’s very high even when we’re talking about governments. They are on a lower moral plane than even semi-free countries, and are subject to restrictions, just like a felon can be prohibited from owning a gun.

    1. Assuming that both Alice and Bob are consenting adults why should this be prohibbited?

      Iran’s internal politics are nobody’s business except for the people who live there. There are pleny of tyrannical developments in my own country, I don’t want a bomb on landing on my house by outsiders who call themselves “liberators” as a result.

      1. Iran’s internal politics are nobody’s business except for the people who live there.

        It’s also the business of the people they attack, directly or indirectly, e.g. Iran-sponsored terror attacks in Argentina, Iraq, etc.

        1. You mean against the interests of countries that are trying to meddle in their internal affairs?

          1. What “meddling” was Israel doing to Iran in the ’90s that justified bombing their embassy in Buenos Aires?

            1. Iran’s view seems to be that the mere existence of the state of Israel is justification for anything Iran does.

              1. Finrod,

                Iran’s view is that the State of Israel is oppressing the Palestinian people.

            2. Israel has been meddling in the Palestinian territories for a long time.

              Do not forget that Israel contains a large number of Muslim holy sites. They are oppressing Muslims in a land of Muslim holy sites.

              1. Israel “meddles” with the people who repeatedly try to kill them.

                1. PapayaSF,

                  How would most Americans react if two-thirds of the United States were given to Chinese colonists?

                  1. Nonsense. Jews lived in Palestine, and all over the Middle East, before Islam even existed. It’s absurd to think that Jews don’t have the right to live in (e.g.) an area traditionally known as “Judea.” But Jews were forced out of nearly everywhere else in the Middle East, now have a tiny sliver of it, but somehow that’s a huge oppression of the violent Jew-haters who have 98% of the land in the region, and have a bug up their butt about the remaining 2%.

                    1. PapayaSF,

                      Jewish people still do live all over the Middle East ? including in Iran but now face greater discrimination thanks to Israel’s association with the United States.

                      The settlers who came to the modern state of Israel were largely European and perhaps have some distant ancestry with Middle Eastern Jewish people but other than religion have very little in common with them. Your argument is no stronger than arguing that Chinese Christians have a right to take over 2/3rds of the Italian peninsula and kick out the Italians who now live in those areas.

                    2. I doubt if the number of Arabs “kicked out” of Israel in ’48 is much if any greater than the number of Jews kicked out of Egypt, etc. Plus, large numbers of Arabs voluntarily left Israel in ’48 because the Arabs told them to get out of the way of the Arab armies which were going to destroy Israel. Oops.

                      And, of course, many Arabs stayed in Israel, and now live far better than their co-religionists do in neighboring countries.

                      Sorry, the “plight of the Palestinians” gets no sympathy from me. If they’d had an ounce of sense or decency they’d have renounced violence generations ago, and probably gotten much of what they want. But no, they have shown no interest or ability in getting their act together, preferring Jew-hatred and dictatorship and terrorism. At this point they’re just a bunch of violent welfare cases with an old grudge. Screw ’em.

                    3. PapayaSF,

                      Israel was not carved out of Egypt was it? No, it was carved out of Palestine, and yes, that is what it was called at the time.

                      You seem to have this habit of collective thinking. You lump all Muslims together or all Arabs together or all Palestinians together. You lump generations together and as though one generation is to blame for what a previous generation did or did not do. This is part of the problem with the whole Middle East mess. Palestinians are not to blame for what Egyptians do and Jews in Iran are not to blame for what Israelis do. And yet there is collective blaming on both sides ? and from you apparently. In fact what one small group of Palestinians does creates problems for other Palestinians. This has to stop and when an outside party, such as the U.S. FedGov subsidizes both sides and tries to stick its nose in the middle it only makes things worse. Let them make their own mistakes and learn from them. We have no business being there. With the oil deposits in north Dakota we can’t even use oil as an excuse any more. So lets let the whole place be ? or not be ? but we shouldn’t be there in any case.

                    4. When dealing with countries and ethnic groups, collective thinking is unavoidable. It’s not possible to judge and treat each individual separately. It seems fair to me to note that Israel is (generally) a democracy friendly to us, and that the people and countries who surround it generally are not. Also, the enemies of Israel regularly try to destroy it, including by terrorist means, while Israel defends itself and does not stoop to the level of its enemies, nor does it try to destroy them. It seems obvious to me that one side deserves our support, and that the other does not.

                    5. PapayaSF,

                      ” It’s not possible to judge and treat each individual separately.”

                      If you reject the concept of the nation-state it certainly is.

                      “It seems obvious to me that one side deserves our support, and that the other does not.”

                      It isn’t our land, they aren’t our people. We should stay out of their internal squabble. We should subsidize neither side with our taxpayer dollars. Right now we are subsidizing BOTH sides with our taxpayer dollars.

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