Iran

Iran: It's Not About Nuclear Weapons

It's actually about Israel and Saudi Arabia.

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If you want to understand the U.S.-Iran controversy, know this: It is not about nuclear weapons.

You're thinking: Of course it's about nuclear weapons. Everyone says so.

Well, not everyone does. But it isn't a numbers game. As William O. Beeman points out in the Huffington Post,

There is a strange irony in President Obama's announcement of the temporary agreement. He mentioned the term "nuclear weapon" multiple times in his announcement, implying that Iran was on a path to develop such a weapon. One wonders if he actually believes this or if his repeated implied accusation was a rhetorical device designed to placate his hard-line critics.

The president must know by this time that there is no evidence that Iran has or ever had a nuclear weapons program. Every relevant intelligence agency in the world has verified this fact for more than a decade. Two U.S. National Intelligence Estimates that were made public in 2007 and 2011 underscored this. The International Atomic Energy Agency has also consistently asserted that Iran has not diverted any nuclear material for any military purpose.

Even Israeli intelligence analysts agree that Iran is "not a danger" to Israel.

Ironically, when critics of the interim agreement say Iran gave up little, they are right. "By yielding to the P5+1 demands, in essence Iran has allowed itself to be persuaded to stop temporarily doing what it never intended to do — make a nuclear weapon," Beeman writes. "The United States and its allies … made the improbable leap that having enriched uranium would immediately lead to a nuclear weapon. This is an immense mistake — so large that one must suspect that it is essentially hyped for public consumption."

In return for agreeing to stop doing what it had no intention of doing, Iran will get the slightest relief from the economic sanctions that inflict so much suffering on the people.

There's another irony. The reactionaries on all sides – including in the U.S. Congress – oppose rapprochement between Iran and the United States for some of the same reasons.

Look at the leading opponents of the agreement: Israel and Saudi Arabia. They are among the U.S. government's closest allies in the Middle East. For overlapping reasons, both would hate to see the 34-year-old cold war between the United States and Iran come to an end.

Saudi Arabia, which is well-equipped militarily by the United States, is an Arab Sunni Muslim kingdom. Iran is the large, influential Persian state dominated by the other side in the Islamic schism: Shiism. (What Iran calls the Persian Gulf, Arabs call the Arabian Gulf.) Iran was a U.S. client-state until 1979, when the Islamic Revolution overthrew the repressive shah, whom the U.S. government had restored to power after ousting a democratic regime in 1953. Saudi Arabia, which  enjoys protection under America's nuclear umbrella, does not want to see Iran back in the good graces of the United States, since it would diminish its prominence in the Middle East.

Israel, the world's largest recipient of U.S. military armaments, a nuclear power, and thus the most potent country in the region, has used its might to subjugate the Palestinians, systematically steal their land, and intimidate its neighbors, for example, by periodically invading Lebanon. Its leadership needs to manufacture enemies to distract the world from its inhumane policies, which the U.S. government, pushed by Israel's lobby, enables. Thus the Iranians, who have made repeated peace overtures, are portrayed as an "existential threat," which is absurd: Even if one were to make all the fantastic assumptions required to see Iran with a nuclear weapon, what good would it be against Israel, which has hundreds of nukes, some of them on invulnerable submarines?

Yoel Guzansky, a former member of Israel's National Security Council, revealed much when he condemned the interim agreement as giving "Iran … a signature that it's a legitimate country." How hypocritical.

The Iranian people, which includes a large, educated middle class, would welcome friendship with America. Both they and the American people would prosper from trade, tourism, and other personal contact.

As a bonus, such friendship would inevitably weaken Iran's theocracy – which is why the hardliners on all sides are determined to prevent it.

This column originally appeared on the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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  1. It’s also about votes here in the US. Some are going to gain votes, others are going to lose votes.

  2. True that! The real issue is Iran’s status as the lead sponsor of global terrorism and its continuing support for enemies of America and freedom of speech.

    1. Saudi Arabia is a larger sponsor of terrorism, with al Qeada and all.

    2. Fuck off neocon. Objectivist nazis like you aren’t real libertarians and have done everything over the past 30 years to destroy our movement. No advocate for limited government can support Israel, the greatest recipient of US foreign aid. And this excludes the money spent on the Israel agitated war on Iraq. I don’t give a shit about food stamps; defense needs to be gutted. Those who support the empire should not be on this website. Iran had every right to nuclear weapons; their government is more moral than America’s empire.

        1. I always fear that somebody is going to quote some douche canoe like this and turn it into a “This is what libertarians actually believe!” thing.

          1. Why bother quoting some nobody in a forum when they can quote any of Richman’s foreign policy pieces.

      1. al Qeada is and always has been a puppet, a wholly owned subsidiary of US foreign policy. Iran has nothing to do with al Qeada, and never has. Everywhere al Qeada appears it advances US policy, which is usually to start a war – Afghanistan (1978), Chechnya, Bosnia, Chechnya again, or pretty much continuously, Libya, and now Syria.

        P.S. Objectivist = not-so-crypto Zionist

  3. You’re being critical of Israel. You must be an anti-Semite. I’ll bet you keep a copy of Mein Kampf next to your bed and a picture of Auschwitz over your fireplace.

    1. So anyone critical of Israelis anti-Semitic? Is it because you think the Zionist state is the same Israel of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob? I can assure you it’s not!

      1. No, not anyone. If a Leftist criticizes Israel, he is just simply telling “hard truths” that others are afraid to say. From a great handbook on this sort of thing, “The Tyranny of Clich?s” by Jonah Goldberg. Beginning of chapter 18.

      2. The problem with trying to be obviously sarcastic these days is that it’s almost impossible to be over the top enough so that everyone gets it.

        I am not a supporter of the process that led to the formation of the state of Israel nor do I believe that it is of any strategic value to the U.S. and for that I am regularly accused of antisemitism.

        1. I’m not a supporter of the process that led to the formation of the USA, but it happened a long time ago and now constitutes part of reality.

          The strategic usefulness of Israel is being in the Middle East and well armed. Sort of the same usefulness that the USA exhibits, but on a smaller scale.

        2. I am not a supporter of the process that led to the formation of the state of Israel nor do I believe that it is of any strategic value to the U.S. and for that I am regularly accused of antisemitism.

          let’s be honesty (I know, you’re a leftist and so are completely incapable of it) – there is a great deal of anti-semitism on the left. It’s fine to not support Israel or even be critical of it’s policies.

          But when you do so through blatantly dishonest propaganda as Sheldon Richman has in this article, or associate yourself with those who do, the charge of anti-semitism isn’t so far fetched.

          1. How do you know angus is a ‘leftist?’ Because he was not thrilled with the formation of the US or Israel? That is not an unheard of position among libertarians, to cite one group that is not ‘leftist.’

            -there is a great deal of anti-semitism on the left

            That strikes me as a weaselly overgeneralization.

            1. Open your eyes.

            2. His comment directly quotes Dave so I don’t think he was saying angus is a leftist.

        3. If you don’t understand the strategic value of Israel, you need to bone up on your Hegelian dialectic. All “progress” comes about through conflict (war). The government of Israels existence is an affront to ethics, morality and the rule of law, therefore, perpetual conflict with its neighbors, and, viola! “Progress”. If you read Foreign Affairs, the mouthpiece of the Council on Foreign Relations, you will in nearly every issue, find the phrase, “managed conflict”. These slavers have the process down pat, you see.

          1. Can you please post instructions on how to construct your tin foil hat?

            1. First, you have to understand the particular form of evil death rays that your enemy is projecting toward you, and then, using that knowledge, attenuate, or neutralize its effect on your consciousness. For you, that would entail ignoring, at least for quite a while, all mainstream accounts of history/news and anything published by the western/NATO military/industrial/information complex, and partaking of a steady diet of 9/11 Trutherism, Historical Revisionism, and general far-left (what you would call anti-americanism but is actually) anti-imperialism. Rothbard’s analyses aren’t bad but will not defend you against fact-based attacks, as they are purely deductive in nature.

              Some good websites to peruse are: lewrockwell.com , strike-the-root.com , antiwar.com , infowars.com , prisonplanet.com

              Follow these practices and you will be well defended against the ideologies of any of the war-mongering, fascistic, sociopathic slavers that are popular these days. Only after a steady, sustained diet of fact-based as well as theory/logic based ideas will you be well enough inoculated to read Foreign Affairs and understand its meta-messages without your consciousness degenerating into a primitive dominance/submission hierarchical paradigm.

              1. You mentioned infowars, you lost me.

      3. Clearly sarcasm.

    2. Don’t forget, political incorrectness is evil among “conservatives,” unless Israel or the United States empire is brought up, as seen by what happened to Finkelstein, Jeremiah Wright, and Pat Buchanan.

  4. YOU CAN’T HUG CHILDREN WITH NUCLEAR ARMS

      1. I thought Norm McDonald was the voice of Death on that show?

  5. I’m not convinced that Iran doesn’t want a nuke for several reasons. One, I personally know someone who worked for the IAEA in Vienna on the Iran issue his entire career and when asked if Iran was developing a nuke the response was, “HELL YES THEY WANT A NUKE!” The other reason is why develop nuclear power for electricity generation when you have unlimited domestic oil and natural gas supplies to do the same?

    Our relationship to Iran has more to do with them using the dollar for oil transactions like the rest of OPEC thus keeping our dollar as world reserve currency and it’s buying power high while the Fed prints more money. Our deal with Iran was no more than a bribe to convince them to keep using our dollar.

    1. If they can build nuke plants for cheaper than they can sell oil, why not? Especially since the price of oil is likely to only increase, save your reserves for export. Russia is doing this exact thing: 50% nuclear electricity by 2050, 80% by 2100. They want to be able to sell as much fossil as they can to an fossil fuel energy dependent Europe.

    2. One, I personally know someone who worked for the IAEA in Vienna on the Iran issue his entire career and when asked if Iran was developing a nuke the response was, “HELL YES THEY WANT A NUKE!”

      The claim that Iran doesn’t want nukes is blatantly dishonest propaganda.

      It is totally rational for them to want nukes for deterence against aggression from any number of countries, including the US.

      That doesn’t mean that it is in US interest for them to gain that capability. Especially with their current government of religious fanatics.

    3. Our deal with Iran was no more than a bribe to convince them to keep using our dollar.

      This is exactly right. They were on the verge of large scale exports in other currencies. Something that strikes at the heart of America’s empire.

  6. Just checking in after a pre-dinner nap. Any recent news on baby Liberty?

    1. Still playing in the Thanksgiving thread.

  7. Is the author so ignorant to think Iran is enriching uranium for shits and giggles?

    Not to mention Iran actively supports a number of terrorist groups and was plenty happy to engage the US in Iraq with numerous IEDs that they supplied.

    Many of the leaders of Iran are scum who murder their own people in the streets, but this author trusts that scum because he is an idiot.

    There are plenty of reasons to avoid war with Iran, but that does not mean that Iran has leaders who can be trusted one bit. Saudia Arabia and Israel should be concerned as long as those leaders have power.

    1. Sheldon is not only ignorant but wantonly ignorant and deluded. He and other peacenazis will believe anything to justify their narratives just like progs.

      This Iran deal is going to be something like their ACA the way they keep defending it even though it’s doomed. I’d savor their tears but I know they’ll just blame NECONS and JOOOOS.

      1. -This Iran deal is going to be something like their ACA the way they keep defending it even though it’s doomed.

        And sanctions, or war, would of course work out just dandy.

        1. Hey, I know we haven’t seen much affect from them over the last 3 1/2 decades but, like global warming, we’re almost at a tipping point.

          Any day now.

          You’ll see.

          1. This isn’t actually true and, for anyone that believes in free trade, cannot be true.

            Sanction have not led to regime change. However they have impoverished countries that they have been used against which leads to degraded military capabilities and lessens or ends those country’s foreign adventurism.

            Which is actually the only legitimate point of sanctions, ie to prevent hostile, aggresive countries from attacking their neighbors. The stated goal or regime change is propaganda to sell the policy to the rubes.

            1. -lessens or ends those country’s foreign adventurism

              I thought Iran was the greatest global exporter of foreign terrorism? How can that be under the sanctions?

              1. Sanctions don’t work that great against oil producing countries because there’s such demand for oil.

                Elsewhere I commented that the real reason for the deal was to keep Iran’s oil sales in dollars – meaning that the sanctions were increasingly ineffective.

                1. Yes well, if you want them to trade in dollars: The first thing you don’t do is prevent them from trading.

                  That’s a ‘save capitalism by installing communism’ moment.

          2. Iran’s currency reserves have been trashed. Sanctions played a role in that although to what extent compared to bad economic policy and bleeding for Syria’s Assad is hard to know.

        2. Sanctions and war are equivalents? Wow.

          1. Yep. Sanctions are acts of war. The US govt uses violence (war) to keep me from trading peacefully (a natural right recognized throughout all international law) with Iranians.

            1. That’s some weapons-grade stupid right there. Blocking banking transactions = bombing cities. Wow. Just wow.

              1. Take down your strawman, you asshat. They are not equivalent, but they are both acts of war.

      2. Where do you think Iran can use a nuclear weapon without they themselves being destroyed in a retaliatory attack? Iranian leadership may be radical, but I doubt they are suicidal. They save that for the low level believers.

        1. And I’m not saying they don’t ultimately want the bomb, I’m saying the idea that they want the bomb so they can turn around and use it on us or our allies in a first strike seems very unlikely.

          1. Great. Instead they’ll continue to terrorize us and others with even more impunity.

            1. “terrorize us and others”? Who are these people you speak of?

          2. Actually very frighteningly likely, if you delve into the return of the 12 Imam, end of world, apocalyptic nastiness lurking around in their theological beliefs. Which they kinda hint they’re using as a playbook, every once in a while.

          3. Well, they’re not going to use the bomb in their crowded neighborhood. Forget a round of 5 minute atomic dodgeball; if only one party drops, everyone in the region is hosed for the fallout.

            What is a legitimate concern is that they’ll take the suitcase nuke approach of Russia. Float a boat up the Potomac and relieve the US citizenry of the idiots in DC.

            The problem with retaliation under such an attack is you can’t know who popped until after you’ve done an isotope analysis and if you know the isotope mix of the culprits breeders. Without that you’re stuck taking it on the chin with a smile.

        2. You can’t use an atomic weapon if you don’t have one. I like that “kill the alternative” when it comes to nukes

          Saddam Hussein ended up hiding in a hole and ultimately dieing for his deceiving the world of his WMD’s. Iran is run by some crazy people with crazy ideas. I guess they are leading us by example

          1. Well I don’t believe stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is worth my life so I would not ask the US Military to risk their lives to do it. Nor would I ask the tax-payer’s to fund another ME conflict.

          2. No current world “leaders” are crazy. Such demagoguery is beneath the high level of intellect displayed by the posters here on the commentariat.

            1. “No current world “leaders” are crazy.”

              An assertion steeped in as much bullshit as FDR’s “hunch” about Stalin.

              1. They are rational actors. No one gets/holds on to this much power without being rational. Don’t be so chauvinistic. The demagoguery being spouted by the MSM is meant to keep you from seeing things from a point of view other than that of the TPTB, in other words, to keep you from understanding your (their) “enemy”.

      3. Sheldon is not only ignorant but wantonly ignorant and deluded. He and other peacenazis will believe anything to justify their narratives just like progs.

        The warmongers are at work tonight!

      4. peacenazis

        War has its place..

        Still does not explain why the hell we have to use American blood and treasure protecting the interests of Israel and and Saudi Arabia when both are plenty rich enough to do that shit themselves.

        The US is producing oil now…and there is plenty of it to buy from Canada and Mexico.

        Why the fuck are we involved at all?!??!

        1. I was unaware that the US is sending in soldiers to protect Israel or Saudi Arabia. Could you explain that one a bit more?

          1. What do you think the Iraq war(s) were about? Are you aware of the animosities between Shia (Iran) and Sunni (Saudi Arabia)? Do you watch Fox News? And more importantly, do you believe what they say?

            1. Except the Israeli’s were at best indifferent to the Iraq war.

              1. They actually opposed it. Nothing even vaguely in their interests. But when you’re a progressive troll, facts don’t get in the way.

              2. Says who? Didn’t Israel send “advisers” to Iraq? Weren’t there Israelis in Abu Graib?

      5. War is the health of the state.

        Fuck off, slaver.

  8. Well, you can find some evidence of Richman’s honesty: Click through (twice) on the “repeated peace overtures” and you’ll find an opinion piece on the current agreement.
    No, Mr. Richman, that is NOT “repeated peace overtures”. Now if you have something honest to post and you have the evidence to back it, I’ll be happy to see it.
    Right now, you’ve got claims, opinions and theories.

    1. Sheldon and other Liars for Faux-Peace are still banging on about Iran’s non-offer in the mid 2000s. That’s when a couple of Iranian and Swiss diplomats got together and talked some stuff about a bargain. Iran’s government never sanctioned it but that doesn’t stop the Liars for Faux-Peace from claiming it was anything but a distraction.

      1. Do you whack off to snuff films? I am 99% sure you do.

    2. I think he is sourcing the Gareth Porter article discussed, and linked to, in the article on the first click.

      1. “I think he is sourcing the Gareth Porter article discussed, and linked to, in the article on the first click.”

        Yes, and shame on me.
        Not sure what to think about the article. I’ve never seen any confirmation of what the guy claims, and he seems to lean pretty heavily on the ‘neo-cons will cut off nose to spite face’ argument. And it doesn’t help that he’s a Khmer Rouge apologist.
        Hey, Cyto! Comments?

        1. -Yes, and shame on me.

          No shame, what you said was correct in that the linked phrase ‘repeated peace overtures’ takes one to an article with the linked phrase ‘overtures’ which ends where you said. Reasonable mistake.

          1. And your take on the article?

            1. I really can not say. As you say, it names names and such, but I am not an expert on such matters nor would they be easily verifiable via internet searches. It seems reasonable and plausible that the Iranians may have made such overtures and that the Bush administration may have not been interested. Hard to say.

              1. But…. but…Bush MUST have been interested in peace, because…. he’s a compassionate conservative!!! So, it must be one of those lies that people that don’t think like me tell.

  9. Being the nexus of that is pure and good, the US is completely justified in determining which nations should have nuclear weapons.

    Remind me again – which is the only country to ever employ nuclear weapons against another?

    1. In fairness, they were developed for one country that deserved it, but they folded before the bombs were ready. Then they were used on another country that deserved it, while we were allied with the country that deserved a nuking the most.

    2. “Remind me again – which is the only country to ever employ nuclear weapons against another?”

      The one that used two of them to end a vile war and save likely a million or so lives. That one.
      The US can be mighty obnoxious at times, but that wasn’t one of the times.

      1. My disagreement there is that it was not strictly either/or: you could have done some demo drops on unpopulated areas, first. If you say “hey, on Tuesday, you guys really need to watch what happens at such-and-such location, because we guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it” a few times, and it doesn’t yield any result, then at least you know they made their choice in full knowledge of what would come next.

        Yes, I’m aware there weren’t exactly a thousand bombs lying around the arsenal, but given the gravity of the situation, I wish they’d done something like that.

        1. 0x90|11.28.13 @ 8:20PM|#
          “My disagreement there is that it was not strictly either/or: you could have done some demo drops on unpopulated areas,”

          Read “Downfall”, Richard Frank. That option was considered and rejected by the people on the spot at the time.
          If you think you have better data to make the choice, I’m gonna argue you don’t.

          1. I don’t think it’s really a question of data, when you’re trying to predict how humans will act, given that the main factor is something of which they currently have no concept.

            1. 0x90|11.28.13 @ 10:15PM|#
              “I don’t think it’s really a question of data, when you’re trying to predict how humans will act, given that the main factor is something of which they currently have no concept.”

              Well, it was data concerning the use of civilians for combat, and yes, it was an unknown quantity.
              To you, too.

        2. I cannot say for sure, but wasting any amount of highly enriched uranium or plutonium on a demo was probably too risky at that point. There was not a lot of HEU around and even less weapons grade plutonium.

          1. And where were there unoccupied areas in Japan for them to do this?

          2. The argument at the time was that it would be ignored in that it would be witnessed only by the officials who were in favor of continuing the war.
            The decision was that it MUST be dropped where the population (and Hirohito) got a convincing demonstration of what ‘prompt utter destruction’ meant.
            And remember that it took TWO of the things to get the Jap government to (for the first time) give serious thought to peace. It was close even then.

        3. And then the regime-which was insane-would have changed nothing. They were so crazy that if not for an errant bomb, Tokyo would have had to have been nuked to force surrender.

          1. War mongering, mass murdering sociopath!! You know LESS THAN NOTHING. see previous post. Where do you get your info from, your high school history book? Fox? State dept spokesmen?

      2. Utilitarian morality at it’s finest. I certainly hope I don’t see you expounding about how it’s so evil anymore, since you’re such a great proponent of it’s wonders.

        1. darius404|11.28.13 @ 10:07PM|#
          “Utilitarian morality at it’s finest.”

          Yes, of course, wars are to be fought only through the highest level of self-righteous bullshit.
          And I’m sure your principled solution would have saved millions more lives, right?

          1. It’s a strange argument, really. If the only valid use of force is in self defense, and lethal force is permitted, then the best way about it is to make it as short and brutal as possible.

            Though, by the same analysis, that makes nukes the first choice weapon of any national conflict: Unless it’s going to piss the neighbors off badly enough.

            But otherwise, I’m good with the idea of total warfare. In a democracy of any fashion, you have to be: It’s the voters fault. There’s simply no such thing as a non-governmental target there. But in a despotic regime, I’m still good with it. Getting rid of tyrants often involves spilling the blood of the citizenry. I’m not kosher with giving them a free pass when and if some nation does it for them.

            1. If the only valid use of force is in self defense, and lethal force is permitted, then the best way about it is to make it as short and brutal as possible.

              Murdering civilians, including children, isn’t self-defense, it’s just murder. “Self-defense includes murdering those who can’t even harm us” certainly IS a “strange argument” to make. You fucking slimeball.

              Though, by the same analysis

              The nonsensical analysis?

              The last thing we need is more Cytotoxics.

          2. Yes, of course, wars are to be fought only through the highest level of self-righteous bullshit

            No, they’re to be fought with standards, if fighting the damn war is meant to be in self-defense. The last thing we need are two-faced hypocrites like you talking about how utilitarian calculations are evil on the one hand, then condoning them when it comes to your pet issues.

            Make up your damned mind, hypocrite. If bombing innocent people to save lives is ok, why isn’t experimenting on them? Why can’t we kidnap hobos off the street and do forcible organ transplants on them, as long as it saves more lives than it ends?

            And I’m sure your principled solution would have saved millions more lives, right?

            I don’t know, but I can honestly say mine wouldn’t involve murdering cities full of people.

      3. What unmitigated horse shit. Japan had offered terms many times. US said no, unconditional surrender. Japan said anything you want, just let us keep our emperor. US: no, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and then you can keep your emperor.

        Plus, US blockaded Japan and instigated the Pearl Harbor attack. Read Day of Deciet.

  10. I’m not going to defend the treaty one way or the other.

    But at this point, Iran would be insane to not want nukes for, at the very least, defensive purposes. Seriously, why would they push to enhance their nuclear capabilities at the cost of sanctions? On principal? Those are pretty poor choices for a leadership to make – to make them continually for so long means that the US cannot truly understand Iran intentions.

    Additionally, if they wanted to bomb Israel the number of bombs needed to wipe them off the map would be much fewer than most countries. This is the fear that Israel has. Sure, Iran would also be wiped off the map at that point and that is what likely would keep them in check. The key word is “likely”. Even now, post cold war, the US still has a fear of being bombed, but we also realize that if some zealot gets in with a bomb then only one location will be taken out. We fear the bomb, but not to the point of crazy.

    Rational fear is based on the likelihood of damage multiplied by the amount of damage. So, let’s change the equation and say that it would only take 5 bombs to lay the entire US barren. Would/should we fear the bomb more? Yes. If that were the case, what would we have done to Russia at the end of WWII? Would we have allowed anyone else to have the bomb? I don’t think so.

    Israel has been our ally for many years – it would not be sane to take into account their fears just because their fears are not as dire as ours.

    1. uhg… not be sane to not take into

    2. When Dumbya named Iran as one part of the ‘Axis of Evil’ with NK and Iraq back in 2002 he pretty much told them to Nuke Up.

      1. “When Dumbya named Iran as one part of the ‘Axis of Evil’ with NK and Iraq back in 2002 he pretty much told them to Nuke Up.”

        When you refer to the US as the “Great Satan”, fund terrorism worldwide, do insane shit like issuing hit contracts on people for writing books and boast every chance you get about your holy intentions to enact armageddon to bring about a vaunted One World Caliphate, you’re gonna get that, you mentally stunted fucking halfwit.

  11. Thanksgiving Proclamations From Washington and Jefferson

    Washington

    Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor ?

    Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be ? that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions

    Jefferson

    I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct it’s exercises, it’s discipline, or it’s doctrines; nor of the religious societies that the general government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting & prayer are religious exercises. The enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, & the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands, where the constitution has deposited it.

    http://www.volokh.com/2013/11/…..jefferson/

  12. Excellent article.

  13. Mr. Richman, you must be mental.

    The Shah was only “repressive” in that his people enjoyed Western style freedoms even though a majority would have voted for the tyranny they have now. That’s a change for the worse, and I know people who fled the country at the time and are glad they did.

    Saudi Arabia is an unfree country, whose only legal code is the Koran as interpreted by whatever judge you land in front of; and to this day they are holding innocent American women captive. It’s idiotic for us to be protecting them or even arming them. The same (except the kidnapping part) also goes for Turkey, which opposed us on both Gulf wars and supported Russia against Georgia. If I were President they’d be booted out of NATO by this afternoon.

    And the so-called Palestinians, who have never been a nation, have long since given up any right to the moral high ground by attacking innocent people, both in their homeland and elsewhere. Indeed, Israel is the only completely rightful country in the region.

    I say screw all the Muslim countries. We have plenty of our own oil. Let the US pull out of the region except to defend Israel if attacked, and let Iran, Iraq, and the Arabs fight their hearts out.

    1. -The Shah was only “repressive” in that his people enjoyed Western style freedoms

      What’s a little Black Friday between tyrants?

      -Indeed, Israel is the only completely rightful country in the region.

      One thing that can be counted on is for extreme supporters of Israel to invoke the most over the top claims possible in its defense. Israel is not just right, it is ‘completely rightful!’

      1. What’s a little Black Friday between tyrants?

        Bo, does the flow of people out of Iran following the Islamic revolution tell you anything?

        1. What does the flow of people into Iran in the same period tell you?

          1. So let me get this straight.

            You think that the 5 million people that fled the Islamic republic were balanced by an equal number of immigrants to it?

            1. If I recall correctly they have had a million Afghans emigrate in just the last five years.

              And where do you get the 5 million figure?

              1. You are wrong. According to the World Bank, from 2009-2013 net migration for Afghanistan was -399,999.

                That same figure for Iran was -300,001.

                IOW, a country that has not experienced a major war in 30 years is nonetheless experiencing almost the same net migration as an utter shithole which has been in a state of war for 12 years. Heckuva job, Shah.

      2. It’s not over the top. Israel is the only consistently rights-respecting nation there and therefore the only one with any rights at all save *perhaps* Turkey.

        The Shah, contra Sheldon’s fairy tales, was better than what came before or after.

        1. You will pardon me if I doubt the accuracy of your judgment of what is a ‘consistently rights-respecting nation’ given your repeated calls for countries to ‘sh*t bomb’ others into submission.

          1. You will pardon me if I interpret this as a tacit admission that I’m right and you have nothing.

            1. You have only an ipse dixit statement as your argument, and given your odd comments regarding human rights in past discussions again pardon me if I find that unpersuasive.

        2. Yup. I’m biased, obviously, since I have Iranian relatives who were Shah supporters.

          But they are completely rational people, not nutso religious fanatics.

          It’s not an easy choice – dictator that ensures certain freedoms while persecuting the fanatics, or a democracy that represses everyone..

          Sometimes you really do have to choose the lesser of two evils. But then again, I don’t understand why Reason often supports the greater of two evils, like in this case.

          1. Agreed. The Shah’s regime, best as I can tell, tried to do something similar to what was done in Turkey by Ataturk: create a fanatically secular, anti-clericalist quasi-capitalist mixed economy regime dedicated to rooting out religious sentiment and to modernizing the country. This viewpoint was especially promulgated in the military, which was by far the most modern and Westernized element of the Iranian government (and indeed, the most modern armed forces in the ME).

            Problem is, the Shah was not Ataturk and didn’t have broad-based support or Ataturk’s political savvy. Sure, the small Iranian middle class and upper ranks of the military supported him but not enough to back every decision or subdue every rebellion. The 1979 revolution was a kitchen sink revolt against ancien regime, and there simply wasn’t a pro-Shah counterweight strong enough to act against it (especially when the Shah left the country). The regime may have survived if it had acted sooner to nip the revolt in the bud and the Shah had been perceived as more competent and assertive — but c’est la vie.

        3. Rights respecting?

          wikipedia.org/wiki/Deir_Yassin

          Your delusional psyhcopathy would be funny if it weren’t so widely held.

        4. “Israel is the only consistently rights-respecting nation there and therefore the only one with any rights at all save *perhaps* Turkey.”

          Unless your family isn’t of Hebrew descent and lived there for the last thousand years, then you’re fucked.

  14. Sometimes man you jsut have to roll with it.

    http://www.Ano-VPN.tk

    1. LardoSardo will have his revenge!

      1. Jack Frapp won’t like it, man!

  15. This is as good a place as any.
    Whales get T-Day off Monterey! Strange weather patterns benefit whales!
    “Tons of whales feasting on anchovies near Monterey”
    […]
    “For almost three months, Monterey and nearby coastal areas have played host to a mammoth convocation of sea life that scientists here say is unprecedented in their memories,”…
    http://www.sfgate.com/science/…..019949.php
    Two points to note:
    1) Not one word about Climate Change. I guess if weather is different on the positive side, we’ll sort of ignore what’s claimed every time there’s a thunderstorm.
    2) This is in the SF Chron, published ~80 miles from Monterey, but it is written by the NYT. The Chron is now a vehicle for several dreary lefty columnists, and a reseller of AP and NYT news. Pathetic.

  16. Israel, the world’s largest recipient of U.S. military armaments, a nuclear power, and thus the most potent country in the region, has used its might to subjugate the Palestinians, systematically steal their land, and intimidate its neighbors, for example, by periodically invading Lebanon.

    Ok, You’ve just demonstrated that you’re a lying sack of crap so I can disregard everything else that you wrote.

    1. What in that comment is a lie?

      1. The “systematically steal their land” bit is an outright lie. The Palestinian territories, you may recall, were captured when all of Israel’s Arab neighbors decided to launch an all-fronts first-strike attack and subsequently lost the war. Israel didn’t march on Lebanon like Hitler into Poland and annex it just for the fuck of it.

        The rest is, at the very least, histrionic, loaded language. For example, the last time Israel “invaded” Lebanon was as a result of rocket attacks on Israeli cities from within Lebanon and the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers on the Israeli side of the border. If that was “intimidating” to the Lebanese, I assume it was probably intended to be, in the same way that drawing a gun during a mugging is intended to intimidate the mugger.

        It’s a lot easier to dodge charges of being a terrorist apologist and anti-Semite if you can speak with at least some modicum of objectivity.

        1. Israel didn’t march on Lebanon the Palestinian territories

          Obviously.

        2. There was more systematic to it than that, you can read 1948 for descriptions of that.

          I agree there is important context to the invasions of Lebanon left out, but I think you do the same (for example, since the Lebanese did not largely support the PLO and Hezballah, respectively, your analogy is inapt; pulling a gun and shooting it at the housing development a mugger ran into would be more on point).

          1. for example, since the Lebanese did not largely support the PLO and Hezballah

            Revealed preference, I’d say. They didn’t exactly rush to expel those elements from their country in response to the shellings and kidnappings.

            In any case, Richman, as usual, paints a simplistic picture that Pollyanna herself would envy. I don’t know if I’d be comfortable calling him an anti-Semite, but he’s certainly got a strongly stated preference and bias in his outlook on the middle east.

          2. But if your neighbor won’t expel the guy in his yard lobbing grenades into yours, you go after the problem, not eschew survival of your family for esoteric complicity arguments.

        3. Israel now admits that the previously maintained lies about the origins of the ’67 war were, in fact, lies. Israel admits the de-stabilization of Lebanon, and anyone in the area that reads the local papers knows that the provocations are almost entirely Israeli, but not well reported, and the Lebanese response is always loudly proclaimed by AIPAC and its running dogs.

          1. by AIPAC and its running dogs

            Hey bub, better adjust your mask, your antisemitism is showing.

            1. You’re a lousy mind-reader. My current g/f is of Hebrew extraction. Love the Heebs. Wish they would all move to America, preferably to central Indiana (near me). Salt of the earth, I tell ya. Zionists, on the other hand, most of which are evangelical “Christians”, are fucking monsters, not fit to breath the same air as us decent folk.

      2. Bo Cara Esq.|11.28.13 @ 9:22PM|#

        What in that comment is a lie?

        1)Israel, the world’s largest recipient of U.S. military armaments,

        2)has used its might to subjugate the Palestinians,

        3)systematically steal their land,

        4)and intimidate its neighbors,

        5)…periodically invading Lebanon.

  17. The Iranian people, which includes a large, educated middle class, would welcome friendship with America.

    Perhaps, but unfortunately the ruling clique of Iran thinks we are the Great Satan and wants to inflict punishment on the US while driving us completely out of the region.

  18. Iran was a U.S. client-state until 1979, when the Islamic Revolution overthrew the repressive shah, whom the U.S. government had restored to power after ousting a democratic regime in 1953.

    The Shah was instrumental in enacting the ‘Arab’ oil embargo and the creation of OPEC – some client.

    1. a democratic regime in 1953.

      In Sheldon world I guess Hugo Chavez is totally democratic. Sheldon = Joe?

      1. I guess the best response to the illiberal elements of the Mossaddegh government was to use force to install a Western friendly illiberal government.

        1. Actually, yes. And it wasn’t “illiberal elements”; Mossy was running the show illegally and undemocratically — his regime by the end was blatantly illegal per the Iranian constitution, as well as undemocratic per the rules of parliamentary democracy. Indeed, at the time of the “coup” the Shah was both quite popular and the government quite stable afterwards for some time. Given the strategic importance of Iran during the Cold War, the coup was one of the few intelligent things we have done in the ME. The problem with the Shah was that he was a rather inept and stubborn ruler, and did a poor job of managing his country’s problems (esp economic problems) despite help from the outside.

          Even so, it was far preferable to the socialist Islamic regime which followed and was already undertaking the same reforms which led S Korea, Taiwan, Chile and many other US clients to become liberal democratic in character.

          1. Actually, no

            FIFY. We should never have gotten involved in their affairs.

            Given the strategic importance of Iran during the Cold War

            But the Cold War didn’t end because of countries of “strategic importance”. It ended because their economic “system” wasn’t sustainable. The most you might be able to say is that they sped up their ruin by trying to compete with us as the same time.

            Even so, it was far preferable to the socialist Islamic regime which followed and was already undertaking the same reforms which led S Korea, Taiwan, Chile and many other US clients to become liberal democratic in character.

            Agreed. I don’t imagine that I have the ability to divine alternate paths of history, but I’ve never been convinced that international relations with Iran would have turned out worse today if we hadn’t gotten involved with regime change there.

            1. But the Cold War didn’t end because of countries of “strategic importance”. It ended because their economic “system” wasn’t sustainable.

              Uh, not quite — that is why the USSR failed ~50 years after the start of the Cold War. In the interim, if you take note, Eastern Europe, much of the Balkans, and a country with 1/6th of the world’s population were forced into communism through military force (be it conventional or revolutionary). There were a lot more countries (including the whole of Western Europe) that could have failed alongside the captured Warsaw Pact nations, had the US acted in sympathy with the USSR’s desires after WWII and averted the Cold War — and for that matter, there were several points during which the Cold War almost turned hot. As the experience of Nazi Germany shows, death by way of bad economics is far from the only way a regime can flame out.

              At any rate, that is an argument against the Cold War paradigm and not our involvement in Iran given that we were in the Cold War.

              I’ve never been convinced that international relations with Iran would have turned out worse today if we hadn’t gotten involved with regime change there.

              That’s fair, but considering that Mossy was dealing with similar rebels and problems during his tenure it’s likely that he would have faced something similar to the Revolution.

          2. -his regime by the end was blatantly illegal per the Iranian constitution

            With all due respect, are you some kind of expert on Iranian constitutionalism? On what do you base this charge?

            I will acknowledge not knowing a great deal about it. What I do know is that it seems strange that the CIA would have to exercise so much effort to engineer a coup against someone who was in such blatant violation of his nation’s legitimate constitutional doctrines.

            -Given the strategic importance of Iran during the Cold War, the coup was one of the few intelligent things we have done in the ME

            What do you think would have happened sans the coup? Because we know what happened as a result (extreme hostility to the US for decades).

            I also have to say I find it a bit interesting when libertarians, who believe that people should make their own decisions, back overthrowing democratically supported governments in order to further liberalism. It appears freedom must be sacrificed to be saved.

            1. I’m not an expert on the Iranian constitution, but I’m pretty sure that under any reasonable interpretation of parliamentary democratic monarchy, ruling through emergency power, interfering in democratic elections and referenda, restricting the monarch and parliament’s constitutional powers, and refusing to submit to the parliament’s revokation of a PM’s emergency power all constitute violations of a constitution which delineates those powers. It also constitutes a violation of rule of law as well as of democratic consent.

              it seems strange that the CIA would have to exercise so much effort to engineer a coup against someone who was in such blatant violation of his nation’s legitimate constitutional doctrines.

              Why would it? The CIA, just like anyone else, undertakes actions based on perceived self-interest. Their opinion on the constitutionality of their actions motivated them not at all.

              What do you think would have happened sans the coup?

              Iran going from being a strong western ally to becoming a Soviet ally or satellite.

              It appears freedom must be sacrificed to be saved.

              Negative rights have nothing to do with democracy, which is a means for making decisions about people outside oneself.

              1. -ruling through emergency power, interfering in democratic elections and referenda, restricting the monarch and parliament’s constitutional powers, and refusing to submit to the parliament’s revokation of a PM’s emergency power all constitute violations of a constitution which delineates those powers

                I seem to remember a somewhat different story (or let us at the least say a somewhat more complicated story with important additions present) in my admittedly limited readings on the subject. Without more information I cannot say much in rebuttable, except to point out that I am not sure how much respect a constitution with a monarchy deserves.

                -The CIA, just like anyone else, undertakes actions based on perceived self-interest.

                No, what I meant was that, perhaps I am na?ve, but I think if a ruler was really in such stark violation of his nation’s constitution foreign power would not have to exert so much effort to depose him.

                -Iran going from being a strong western ally to becoming a Soviet ally or satellite.

                And? What would that have resulted in?

                -Negative rights have nothing to do with democracy, which is a means for making decisions about people outside oneself.

                I think, 1. it is not just about making decisions for people outside oneself, since the laws made would apply to every voter and 2. I am not sure it is not something to do with negative rights. Let me ask you, do you think the due process rights in the US Constitution are negative rights?

                1. What I am thinking of with the last point:

                  Even in a libertarian paradise there will probably be a minarchist government which will make some decisions that some libertarians will think are in violation of their rights (just think of libertarians here!).

                  What is the legitimate way for such decisions to be made? Would you say that libertarians in Libertopia have a ‘right’ to these decisions being made in a certain way (for example, being made by majority rule vs. by the person with the reddest hair in the group)? If so, would that right be a ‘negative’ one?

                  I will leave you to answer that question as I am going to bed. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

                2. I am not sure how much respect a constitution with a monarchy deserves.

                  A constitutional monarchy with a parliament and rule of law is infinitely better than an unlawful quasi-socialist dictatorship. Better the UK model than the Nazi Germany model of governance.

                  What would that have resulted in?

                  Given that Iraq was also a Soviet client at the time, USSR hegemony over the Middle East and a loss of the valuable intel we obtained through Iranian sources (the only consistent ally we had which bordered the Russian SSR).

                  do you think the due process rights in the US Constitution are negative rights?

                  No, they are civil rights (albeit important ones in a governmental context). Negative rights are valid outside the context of government, generally applicable, and do not relate to process.

                  1. Loss of intel? So if you like to peep on the neighbors, then you’re justified in killing the husband because he keeps drawing the curtains? With all due respect, go fuck yourself.

                    If it’s worth getting involved in such a manner, and I submit that it may and can be, then what you do is raise the flag and invade with a proper army.

            2. I’m not an expert on the Iranian constitution, but I’m pretty sure that under any reasonable interpretation of parliamentary democratic monarchy, ruling through emergency power, interfering in democratic elections and referenda, restricting the monarch and parliament’s constitutional powers, and refusing to submit to the parliament’s revokation of a PM’s emergency power all constitute violations of a constitution which delineates those powers. It also constitutes a violation of rule of law as well as of democratic consent.

              it seems strange that the CIA would have to exercise so much effort to engineer a coup against someone who was in such blatant violation of his nation’s legitimate constitutional doctrines.

              Why would it? The CIA, just like anyone else, undertakes actions based on perceived self-interest. Their opinion on the constitutionality of their actions motivated them not at all.

              What do you think would have happened sans the coup?

              Iran going from being a strong western ally to becoming a Soviet ally or satellite.

              It appears freedom must be sacrificed to be saved.

              Negative rights have nothing to do with democracy, which is a means for making decisions about people outside oneself.

  19. In return for agreeing to stop doing what it had no intention of doing, Iran will get the slightest relief from the economic sanctions that inflict so much suffering on the people.

    Iran’s primary point of trade is oil which is entirely controlled by the dictatorship that rules Iran. They are the ones that will benefit from expanded trade, not the people.

    1. So the sanctions have no negative impact on the people of Iran? That is an incredible statement.

      1. Bo, he didn’t say that.

        1. If the sanctions have a negative impact on the people of Iran then easing or lifting them would lessen that impact, no?

          1. If he wants to say they disproportionately fall on the ruling class, or that their lifting/easing would disproportionately benefit them, then fine. But his statement was that the easing/lifting would not benefit the people, and I find that incredible.

            1. If he wants to say they disproportionately fall on the ruling class, or that their lifting/easing would disproportionately benefit them, then fine.

              And I wrote: They (the dictatorship) are the ones that will benefit from expanded trade, not the people.

              1. Again, if the sanctions are harming the people in some way, then how could lifting them not benefit them in some way (though it may benefit the dictatorship the most)?

                1. Ok, let me correct me previous statement.

                  Lifting the sanctions will primarily and overwhelming benefit the dictatorship and their cronies

                  Happy now?

  20. “By yielding to the P5+1 demands, in essence Iran has allowed itself to be persuaded to stop temporarily doing what it never intended to do ? make a nuclear weapon,”

    Right, it’s totally crazy to think that a bunch of evil religious zealots that have a multi decade history of exporting terrorism to regions that have no direct or peripheral effect on Iran will seek the ultimate weapon.

    1. VG: http://www.informationclearing…..e14497.htm
      Comments? I’ve never read any confirmation, but the guy names names.

      1. I’m sure I’ve heard of this before and it’s total hokum. It’s what I mentioned above. An Iranian diplomat and some other diplomat came up with a ‘wouldn’t this be an awesome deal’ fantasy. It never had backing from the clerical regime.

      2. I’ve heard that before. The problem that I see with it is: 1) It’s too rational. Iran’s dictators are religious fanatics. It’s not just some cynical pose. So I can see them making a short term alliance of convenience, but that’s all that it would be. 2) It would freak the fuck out of the Saudis – who are a key to our empire and that alone would prevent any grand bargain between the US and Iran.

        Regarding point number 1, There is no rational reason why Iran is funding terrorists in Israel and Lebanon. Both are far from Iran’s territory and ultimately have no consequence to Iran other than the religous hatred of Israel. Along the same lines, it would be rational policy for Iran and Israel to be allies, not enemies as the intermediary Arab states between both countries are enemies to both.

        1. -It’s too rational. Iran’s dictators are religious fanatics. It’s not just some cynical pose. So I can see them making a short term alliance of convenience, but that’s all that it would be

          So what, are they irrational fanatics or not? You say the deal can not be as described because they are irrational and irrational people would not do the deal, and then you say it may have been part of a short term alliance of convenience (which would be a rational thing to do, no?). I can not tell if your comments are circular, incoherent, or both.

          1. I’m saying that there would not have been any grand bargain wherein the territorial integrity of Iran and safety of its ruling regime would be guaranteed in exchange for their foregoing terrorism.

            They may have (and some would argue did) make a tactical short term deal of not attacking the US while the US military was eliminating their local enemies. And that defacto arrangement did in fact breakdown in 2006 when Iran began arming Iraqi Shiite groups.

            1. -And that defacto arrangement did in fact breakdown in 2006

              You mean when the offer was rebuffed?

              1. defacto = unacknowledged.

                The Iranians were happy to see us take down Saddam in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

                Appreciation didn’t stop them from helping to kill American soldiers in Iraq from 2006 forward.

    2. Thanks for slogging through that cesspool of lies and misinformation. Why does Reason allow this asshole to write here? To make Doherty look honest?

      1. I’m rather thankful, in that it gives insight into the particular brand of poo is being slung by the million apes with keyboards. Pre-warned, one may then better keep a straight face when such is blindly regurgitated at them.

      2. Because anybody who is sane doesn’t want to repeat Iraq. Why don’t you donate all your money to the Treasury and sign up for the army if you want to defeat the Iranians, instead of being a chickenshit keyboard warrior and using other people’s money to do so?

        1. Sanctions = invasion? Really?

          1. Sanctions = finger in the pussy.

            1. “Advisors” = “I’m just putting the tip in.”

  21. “and intimidate its neighbors, for example, by periodically invading Lebanon.”

    For no reason at all.

    1. I’m certainly no fan of Israel but come on. Seriously?

      1. Has to be one of the worst pieces of writing I’ve ever seen here.

    2. That stuck out to me too. Yeah, Sheldon, what could Lebanon have ever done to upset Israel? It’s not like they provided safe harbor for Hezbollah when the launched rockets at civilian population centers.

      If they’d done something like that, then Sheldon’s point would be ridiculously mendacious and stupid.

      I mean sweet Christ, Hezbollah has seats in the Lebanese government.

      Hezbollah, which started with only a small militia, has grown to an organization with seats in the Lebanese government, a radio and a satellite television-station, and programs for social development.[26]

      When a terrorist organization that fires rockets into your country has seats in a neighboring country’s government, I feel like you have a reason to attack that country when said terrorist group is bombing you.

      Again, this isn’t to say that Israel is blameless or somehow pure and noble. It’s just to say that it’s ridiculous to act as if Lebanon did nothing to force Israel’s hand when it came to the 2006 war.

      1. It amazes me how Israeli Derangement Syndrome can unite liberals, socialists, and certain libertarians into one derp-tastic fold of ignorance and mendacity.

        It’s fine to criticize Israel and to question if their policy interests align with ours, but you can’t whitewash the reality of anti-Israeli terrorism.

        1. On the other hand, there are conservatives (and some libertarians) who will claim that any criticism of Israel proves you’re an anti-Semite.

          It’s hilarious when I hear that argument because it comes from the exact sort of people who get called racists for ever criticizing Barack Obama. You’d think that would make them hesitant to use the same bullshit argument when defending Israel.

          1. This really is the foreign policy equivalent of abortion. I mean how can I possibly express my discomfort with the amount of influence the Israel lobby has in Congress without sounding like a Zionist conspiracy monger?

            And how can I possibly defend Israeli responses to terrorism and Arab hostility without sounding like someone who supports Palestinian genocide?

            1. That’s the catch 22 of being a Libertarian, you can smell the bullshit and point out the truth, but still be labeled Anti-Semetic and/or a wacko.

              1. I’ll take wacko.

            2. Personally, I’d suggest the consistency standard. If someone faults Israel for failing to live up to standards that would be considered laughable if they were applied to any other nation state actor, it’s reasonable to suggest there is some antisemitism going on. Otherwise, you should probably assume the criticism is in good faith.

              1. What about standards that they themselves proclaim? I’m thinking also of the NSA/4th amendment debacle.

          2. there are conservatives (and some libertarians) who will claim that any criticism of Israel proves you’re an anti-Semite.

            Guys like Pat Buchanan who don’t help on that front since they are, in point of fact, rabid anti-Semites and employ the exact same arguments. It’s sometimes hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.

            1. Slander. You should read some Pat Buchanan from the Nixon era. Biggest Zionist on the planet.

      2. I am not sure how Lebanon provided ‘safe harbor’ for Hezbollah. Hezbollah was a military and political force in Lebanon that most Lebanese opposed (evidence of this can be seen in elections).

        If you are one of the many Lebanese who opposed Hezbollah, at risk of your life at times, I bet it was hard to swallow the idea you were being bombed because you harbored them.

        1. Lebanon basically runs the fucking country, Bo. They have a larger military force in Lebanon than the Lebanese Army. They have multiple elected seats in the Lebanese government.

          They are essentially a shadow state. Israel’s 2006 war with Lebanon was an absolutely justified response to repeated attacks by a terrorist organization that Lebanon was at best unable to control and at worst was actively aiding.

          As for your claim about Hezbollah’s popularity, there is this to consider:

          Hezbollah’s popularity peaked in the 2000s, but took a dent among pro-Western Lebanese when it was at the centre of a major, destructive war with Israel following the capture of two Israeli soldiers in 2006.

          Hezbollah is the strongest member of Lebanon’s bloc of pro-Syrian parties and clashed with the pro-Western government led by Saad Hariri, the late prime minister’s son.

          It also blocked the election of a new president by repeatedly boycotting sessions of parliament.

          The attack by Israel on Lebanon severely decreased Hezbollah’s popularity among the Lebanese, which drastically improves Israeli safety.

          Hezbollah also holds enough seats to block the election of presidents. When a terrorist organization holds that kind of power in Lebanon, I can’t fault the Israelis for the 2006 war.

          1. -Hezbollah also holds enough seats to block the election of presidents. When a terrorist organization holds that kind of power in Lebanon, I can’t fault the Israelis for the 2006 war.

            Again, that is like saying that it was OK to firebomb the Waco compound.

            I mean, the ‘bad guys’ in Waco held ‘that kind of power.’ So any deaths of the many other people in the compound is on them, not Reno and her thugs, right?

            Look, I do not fault Israel for striking back at Hezballah when they were attacked. It was striking Lebanon in general that strikes me as a violation of the NAP.

            1. Again, that is like saying that it was OK to firebomb the Waco compound.

              I mean, the ‘bad guys’ in Waco held ‘that kind of power.’ So any deaths of the many other people in the compound is on them, not Reno and her thugs, right?

              This is exceptionally stupid, even by your pigheaded contrarian standards.

              If the Branch Davidians were launching rockets into Waco killing innocent civilians, than absolutely law enforcement would have been justified in neutralizing them with force.

              The people in southern Lebanon were in a warzone, if they don’t want to be in harm’s way they can move away from where the rockets are launched.

              1. -The people in southern Lebanon were in a warzone

                Have you admitted your own defeat here? The reprisals were not limited to Southern Lebanon.

                1. Well, Bo, exactly why do you think Israel bombed areas outside of Southern Lebanon? Shits and giggles?

                  Irish provided an answer which has far more explanatory power than any others I have seen on the subject.

                  1. -Well, Bo, exactly why do you think Israel bombed areas outside of Southern Lebanon?

                    To pound a neighboring country into a submissive posture for their own gain?

                    Of course they never would do that, angels that they are!

                    1. To pound a neighboring country into a submissive posture for their own gain?

                      Otherwise known as “war”. That’s the entire fucking point. Killing just the bad guys doesn’t necessarily do you any good if there are 10 guys lined up to take the place of every bad guy you kill. Beating the population into submission so that they don’t keep up the same bullshit in perpetuity is the actual objective of war. Or at least it was up until, say, Korea.

                2. Nor were the reprisals required to be limited to Southern Lebanon. There is no nation of Southern Lebanon that had jurisdiction over the area in question. There was just Lebanon.

                  The only relevancy is that Lebanon claims jurisdiction over those lands, and thus responsibility for them. If Lebanon didn’t like that state of affairs it could have asked for assistance from neighbors or disowned itself of the territory causing the ruckus.

            2. The Waco comparison is ludicrous. The people in the Waco compound had not shown any evidence that they were a threat to anyone outside of that compound. If they’d been firing off rockets this comparison would make sense.

              More importantly, my point was that Hezbollah not only has military power but serious political power in Lebanon. If a terrorist organization had seats in the U.S. Congress and said terrorist organization was attacking another country, don’t you think that country would be justified in fighting us since those terrorists are actually within our government?

              What Israel did made complete sense given the situation and it actually achieved their goals splendidly. Hezbollah’s popularity was at a high point and growing. Israel’s intervention broke the trend of increasing Hezbollah support and actually rolled that support back.

              They shattered Hezbollah’s political power at its highest point.

              1. -If a terrorist organization had seats in the U.S. Congress and said terrorist organization was attacking another country, don’t you think that country would be justified in fighting us since those terrorists are actually within our government?

                If the GOP were a terrorist organization and had even control of one house, would I think it justified for a country that felt attacked by the GOP to bomb New England?

                Er, no.

                1. would I think it justified for a country that felt attacked by the GOP to bomb New England?

                  This isn’t a debate about a country that “felt” attacked. Regardless of whether or not a country “feels” attacked or not, when rockets are landing in its cities, it is being attacked. Objectively. That word has actual meaning, like most of the rest of the words in the English language.

                2. There is a terrorist organization in our Congress, they are called Zionists.

                  1. And here I thought the only 3 parties represented in congress were Democrat, Republican and Independent. Can I read a mission statement on this Zionist Party at least? You know, just to see for myself. It’s not that I don’t trust you, just sometimes idiotic wackbags say things that are, you know, a little wacky.

                    1. Anvil didn’t say “party” he said “organization”. You can get the Zionist mission statement from AIPAC.

              2. -What Israel did made complete sense given the situation and it actually achieved their goals splendidly. Hezbollah’s popularity was at a high point and growing.

                Er, you should google Cedar Revolution.

  22. The worst part about thanksgiving?

    Watching football with family and having to listen to their half informed “insights” to the game.

    1. Are they really any worse than Jon Gruden?

      1. They are worse than Dan Dierdorf, that’s how bad it is!

  23. hoax keeps getting posted over and over.

    1. It’s impossible for a python to open to consume a fully grown human being. Our shoulders are too wide, and that’s assuming it could get it’s jaw to open wide enough.

  24. Black Friday: RAAAAACCIIIIIIST!

    Admittedly most of those tweets are clearly joking, like this one:

    Hitler Edits @Hitler_Edits
    Follow
    Black Friday? How racist.

    I mean, it’s from a guy called ‘Hitler Edits.’

    But this:

    ? @iconicJUNIOR
    Follow
    I still think the term ‘Black Friday’ has alot of hidden racism behind it.

    sounds disturbingly serious.

  25. Gawkerites butthurt over a conservative Tweet

    Ben Shapiro @benshapiro

    Thanksgiving was about collectivism failing. Hanukkah was about assimilation to secularism failing. Happy Thanksgivukkah!

    Commentary:

    I don’t know why some Republicans have to make everything about politics. Every time I read anything on the Internet, there’s invariably someone who uses it as an excuse to bash liberals (especially Obama, of course).

    Miley Cyrus twerked? “What else can you expect from a slutty liberal?”
    Gang shooting in Chicago? “Of course – that’s where Obama comes from!”
    It’s cold outside? “See Obama? Global warming is a myth!”
    Clooney’s movie bombed: “That’s because he’s a liberal.”
    Clooney’s movie was a hit: “Those limousine liberals are hypocrites.”
    Obama pardons a turkey: “Promptly signed him up for food stamps, welfare, ACA and registered him to vote.” (Robert Gladding, on Yahoo.)

    Relax, Republicans. Eat your turkey and give your obsession a day off. Tomorrow you can go back to whining because the black guy you deeply hate kicked you ass. Twice. Happy thanksgiving.

    The irony is lost on him. #NativeAmericanGenocide

    1. To be fair, Ben Shapiro is an idiot.

    2. Ben Shapiro is a massive asshole who spends inordinate amounts of time trolling people on twitter so of course he’d be the center of this nonsense.

      At the same time, this story can be basically summed up as follows:

      Asshole conservative says something accurate, asshole liberals throw a petulant hissy fit.

      And around and around we go.

      1. Yes, but it does amuse me so.

    3. I don’t know why some Republicans have to make everything about politics. Every time I read anything on the Internet, there’s invariably someone who uses it as an excuse to bash liberals (especially Obama, of course).

      This is just bizarre from the person who votes for a political party that sent out talking points about how to ruin Thanksgiving by rambling about Obamacare around your table.

      I don’t know how a progressive, the political philosophy that coined the phrase ‘the personal is political,’ could attack Republicans for making everything about politics.

    1. At first I thought they were stamps that a vegetarian could lick.

  26. Data released Tuesday show CNN shedding 48 percent of total viewers since last November and MSNBC dropping 45 percent. The numbers were even worse in the all important demographic of people aged 25 to 54 as CNN’s ratings dropped 59 percent and MSNBC’s 52 percent.

  27. The real reason why Israel wants the US to go after Iraq is because they are one of the few nations left that do not have a centralized banking system, nor participate in the World Bank.

    Guess who runs these banks?

    The US is Israel’s bitch and has to do the bidding to keep Zionism alive.

    This whole nuclear deal is just for show.

    1. j000000000s

      Is Stormfront down or something?

    2. So, teh Joooooos are the lizard people?

    3. Israel’s urging for us not to invade was part of their evil plan, no doubt.

  28. Does anyone really believe Iran would offensively use a nuclear weapon? I mean, c’mon man. That would be national suicide. We would turn that entire country to glass in a matter of minutes. Aside from that, Iran has seen what happens to countries that don’t actually posses a nuclear deterrent, a la Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and others.

    1. They don’t have use a nuke, just possessing one is enough to change the balance of power in the ME. It’s like a Tidehunter Ravage or Engima Blackhole, just the threat of them is a deterrent to offensive action.

      1. OK, what’s so bad about the balance of power shifting from corrupt Wahabbis in Saudi Arabia to Shiite Theocrats in Iran?

        1. Because the corrupt Wahabbis interests align with our own on occasion, whereas the Shiite Theocrats just about never do.

          1. They did in Afghanistan, and continue to align against Al Qaeda

            Apart from selling us oil I can’t think of a single thing we align with the Saudis on. They’re two-faced fucks

  29. The U.S. is only looking for an excuse for war. Gotta’ keep that complex goin’!

  30. I’m surprised that Sheldon Richman’s clueless musings have found space in Reason. Sheldon has not made a serious study of the issues, and makes many preposterous assumptions.

    Iran temporarily suspended it’s nuke program right after the US-led invasion of Iraq. For the same reason, Gadaffi came clean with his AQ Khan nuke connection, dismantled his program while allowing inspectors in.

    The Iranians were a little more intelligent than Gadaffi. Once they realized that Bush Jr. would not attack them, they resumed. Instead of attacking Iran, Obama attacked Libya. Go figure. In any event, the Iran enrichment program has accelerated greatly since then.

    The most difficult part of making nukes, is getting the fissionable material. Once that’s done, making into a bomb takes a matter of weeks or months. The most difficult part of the enrichment process is enriching to 5% and that is what this agreement allows Iran to continue doing. To go from 5% to 20% is next hardest, and going from 20% to weapons grade can be done very quickly.

    Once they have a lot of 5% enriched uranium, they could break in and produce a bomb before the west could react.

    There are other logical and factual flaws in this “article” (if that is what it can be called); how about Reason giving space to dissenting views?

  31. The theocratic wingnuts ruling Iran don’t want nukes, they’re just really really interested in nuclear physics.

    I’m sure that’s it.


  32. until I looked at the check which was of $4814, I be certain that…my… mom in-law could actually bringing home money in there spare time on-line.. there aunt started doing this for under 20 months and at present cleared the debts on their appartment and got a top of the range Ford Mustang. why not try this out

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  33. Bwah-hahahahahaha!

    At first I thought this article was real!! 😀

    Whew! I needed a good belly laugh.

  34. “Even Israeli intelligence analysts agree that Iran is “not a danger” to Israel.” What is he, in 3rd grade?

  35. Google is paying 75$/hour! Just work for few hours & spend more time with friends and family. On sunday I bought themselves a Alfa Romeo from having made $5637 this month. its the best-job Ive ever had.It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out http://www.Buzz95.com

  36. Love all the libertarians coming out in defense of a racial state (Israel) and a corrupt Wahabbi Monarchy (one that is much more religiously oppressive than Iran, in fact)

    1. I’m not sure how either of those conflict with being libertarian.

      1. Then you’re either an idiot or deliberately obtuse.

        But I’m glad you’re willing to admit this has nothing to do with Iran’s human rights violations or ideology and everything to do with protecting people who are just as bad

    2. Plalestine wants to be Judenrein.

  37. “The Iranian people, which includes a large, educated middle class, would welcome friendship with America.” Really? Was that before or after the “Death to America” demonstrations?

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