Iran

An Iran Deal Is Nothing to Fear

Such an accord would shelve the option of attacking Iran, a longtime dream of neoconservatives.

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Tehran
Behrooz Rezvani

Pondering the looming specter of a nuclear-armed Iran, some Americans are deeply worried that we won't reach a deal to block that possibility. Some people have a different fear: that we will.

This second group is enthusiastically in favor of legislation to impose new and more punitive sanctions on the Tehran regime if the ongoing talks fail to yield an agreement by July.

The bill's purpose is to "strengthen the United States' hand in negotiations in order to reach a peaceful, diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear ambitions," claims the Bipartisan Policy Center. But it also serves the purposes of those people who run screaming from any realistic agreement with Iran.

One of them, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is coming to Washington for a joint session of Congress, where he can expect a warm reception from both parties—though not from President Barack Obama, who has no plans to meet with him.

Netanyahu insists any deal must force Iran to not just hobble its program, but dismantle it, and he knows Obama is willing to settle for something less. So an agreement that Iran will accept is one Netanyahu and his allies in Congress will reject.

Obama has good reason to promise to veto the sanctions bill if it passes. Josh Rogin and Eli Lake of Bloomberg View report that Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, is "telling U.S. officials and lawmakers that a new Iran sanctions bill in the U.S. Congress would tank the Iran nuclear negotiations."

The critics have not been happy since the six nations negotiating with Iran (the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany) reached an interim deal over a year ago, and they are not happy that the talks have been extended after failing to settle all the issues.

But that framework is a big improvement on what went before. Iran had to agree to a number of real limits—freezing the number of its centrifuges, neutralizing its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium, which can readily be converted to weapons-grade material, and granting greater access to international inspectors.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which does inspections on a daily basis, affirms that the regime has complied with its obligations under the interim accord.

Obama overstated his case in the State of the Union address when he declared that "we've halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material." Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, says it's more accurate to say we have "halted the most worrisome projects that Iran has."

There's no guarantee the talks will ultimately produce an agreement that will make it sufficiently difficult and time-consuming for Iran to build a bomb. The Iranians know that U.S. enemies that lack nuclear weapons (like Iraq) are more likely to be invaded than countries that have them (like North Korea). They are not likely to forfeit such a useful capability without strong reasons.

One is escaping the economic sanctions imposed by the world for its nuclear activities. Another is avoiding a preemptive strike by the U.S. or Israel.

But sanctions have a poor record of diverting nations from policies they see as vital for survival. A bombing raid would only delay the nuclear weapons quest, while giving the regime more reason than ever to persist in it.

Iran may be prepared to accept a deal that would greatly lengthen the time it would need to "break out" to acquire nuclear weapons. But it clearly isn't going to completely surrender that option forever.

Hawks have much invested in the belief that force is the only useful tool in countering adversaries and that Obama is a naive appeaser. It would be a huge embarrassment if diplomatic pressure and hard bargaining by the administration produced a deal putting nukes beyond Iran's reach indefinitely.

Such an accord would also shelve the option of attacking Iran, a longtime dream of neoconservatives. Before the Iraq invasion, a British official quipped, "Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran." Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton insists an attack by Israel "is the only way to avoid Tehran's otherwise inevitable march to nuclear weapons."

In truth, there is a plausible deal that would stop that march—and give us plenty of time to act should it ever resume. If what the critics really want to do is close the road to a peaceful outcome, though, they've got the right idea.

NEXT: "The 5 Worst Moments" from Obama's State of the Union Address

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  1. Libertarians are among the best on the difference between offensive and defensive force. It’s mostly libertarians who understand that we are using the threat of military force to assure that Israel remains the only country with nuclear weapons in that part of the world. But if Muslim states cannot have such weapons, then why would Israel need them at all … except to launch further aggression?

    Radical Muslims recruit and inflame from the Muslim majority by describing a religious war against Islam, initiated by the Judeo-Christian west, and we keep giving them more evidence.

    Santayan warned that those who who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. The same might be said by those who DENY the past. We interfered in the war between Japan and China and suffered Pearl Harbor. We stuck our nose into the Middle East and suffered 9/11.

    Americans are correct to fear more terrorist attacks. But the greatest threats to American security are America’s own neocons and other hawks.

    1. But if Muslim states cannot have such weapons, then why would Israel need them at all … except to launch further aggression?

      Oh, perhaps because their territory is 0.1% of the Middle East (and thus the cause of all of the problems in the region), they are outnumbered by about 100:1, and surrounded by huge numbers of people who want them dead?

      Note that even that 0.1% of Middle East land has been shrinking monotonically since 1967. So much for the “aggression.” It’s of the same genus as the “genocide” which has caused an fourfold increase in the population of the people they’re supposedly wiping out.

      Main point is: NOT OUR BUSINESS.

    2. But if Muslim states cannot have such weapons

      What is Pakistan, chopped liver?

      1. Chopped liver would be an improvement over Pakistan.

      2. Pakistan – the New Jersey of South Asia

          1. Yeah. I mean, Pakistan isn’t that bad, is it?

          2. Harsh…but no truer words have been posted on a comment board today.

        1. Don’t forget bangle’douche

    3. But if Muslim states cannot have such weapons

      Crazy anti-American regimes are not allowed to have such weapons indeed. That’s pretty easy to figure out.

  2. Okay, your view on history is skewed. The Japanese didn’t just attack us because of interference in China. If your going to draw that parallel you need to go further back to their war with Russia.

    Also, the roots of our meddling in the Middle East stems from the Cold War. Western fucking over the Iranian people is almost a century and older.

    With all that being said, it isn’t in our best interest to screw with every state that has a regime we dislike. Iran has an ancient society, and is a regional power. Iran is so far away from launching nukes at the continental US it’s not worth discussing. Iran also knows that they can get on with their lives if they have nukes. The way the world deals with the madman in North Korea is a good example of this.

    Iran is a nation -state actor that does things we dont like. If they do anything that rates a war then we can have a pleasant little vote and take real estate in another shitty ME country.

    1. So if Japan did not just attack us because of interference, why did they attack us?

      1. Because they thought they could knock us out by destroying our carriers at Pearl Harbor, which would have kept us from dealing with their aggressive expansion in a timely manner.

        They failed.

      2. They attacked us because they saw US power and interference in the Pacific as directly impacting their ability to seize their “manifest destiny.”

        They thought that a solid punch in the face would keep America from interfering with their land grab for resources throughout the South Pacific.

        They miscalculated.

    2. “Also, the roots of our meddling in the Middle East stems from the Cold War. Western fucking over the Iranian people is almost a century and older.”

      True, but I’d still pick the Shah over Khomeini any day of the week.

      Like most things in the ME we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Might as well don’t since it saves us money and lives.

      I think the Chinese will be the next big interveners as they depend on that sweet Saudi crude anyway and the Sauds are the ones who are most likely to get it from Iran once they get the bomb.

      1. Sure, but I would submit that like/dis-like and good and evil are bad reasons for war. Stability and chaos are the real enemies of the world order in my mind.

        BLUF: The less countries that have a generation whose mantra is “fuck America” the better off we will be.

  3. I have a bad feeling about where the comments in this thread are going to end up…

    1. File under: Sheldon Richman.

  4. Peace in our time, Steve. Peace in our time.

    1. Come on. What’s the worst that could happen?

      1. Well, they could decide to use the bomb against either the Sunnis or the Israelis, both of whom are within reach. Of the countries most likely to use the bomb, I’d rank Iran up near the top.

    2. +1… Are some people so against the neocons solutions to world problems they’d rather pretend the problems don’t really exist?
      It’s so obvious appeasement won’t keep Iran from developing nukes & hiding their centrifuges, why not propose a real alternative solution to outright war or at least admit you’re so isolationist you don’t care very much about Iran getting nukes. (After all, only France, Russia, Saudi Arabia & Israel will have to deal with the fallout)

      There has to be a middle-ground between milquetoast appeasement isolationism and a NeoCon Persian carpet-bombing.

  5. You know who should have feared a deal with Iran?

    Alberto Nisman

    http://fusion.net/story/39232/…..with-iran/

    1. Argentina really is a basket case of a country

    2. Not Hitler? I thought the answer always was Hitler. No?

      1. The answer is always Hitler.

          1. I know! Bees ?are? scary! But ninjas are kinda cool.

  6. I don’t see any benefit in continuing to fuck with Iran. I love the, “We can’t LET them get a nuke!” Cause it’s the US’s call, man! Fuck YEAH!

    Am I excited Iran’s got (or is getting) nukes? Nah – as someone else noted, I rank them way high on the “might use the motherfuckers” chart (NOTE: US still NUMBER ONE cause we DID use ’em!)

    So….meh. Whatever.

    1. Cause it’s the US’s call, man!

      Well, we invented the damn things.No one else would have had them if the Soviet Union didn’t break the patent.

    2. US still NUMBER ONE cause we DID use ’em!”

      Who is this “we” you people keep referring to? If you weren’t alive and/or not involved in the deepest bowels of the government in 1945, you/me/mostly everyone had nothing to do with this foolish waste of lives, capital, and technology.

      1. whatever. “We” the US. derp derpity derp Mister Pedant.

        1. I repeat. If you had nothing to do with it, why should you associate yourself with it? There is nothing to feel guilty about if you are under 60 years old. And it’s still unlikely you had an effect on the situation if you’re over 80.

          I think this is an important distinction of libertarianism. There is no reason to bear the bloody radioactive crosses of your great grandfather. Unless you are into that kind of thing.

      2. By waste of lives, capital & technology I assume you’re referring to the Tokyo firebombings and the Emperor’s willingness to have his people’s lives, capital and technology completely destroyed rather than admit defeat

        1. Dropping those bombs was probably the best outcome. Was it horrible, yup. Was the invasion of mainland Japan going to make Okiawa look easy, yup.

          We would of had to move divisions from Europe to Asia to pull it off. Given what Stalin was doing in the several years following the war I think not dropping the bombs might have changed to landscape of Europe as well as Asia.

        2. There also was the concept of just pulling a Cuba with Japan. What were they going to do? Inner-tube it to China, build industry at the point of depleted guns, and what? Fight? For what? No one ever has an answer to this one. How was blockading Cuba an option, but Japan wasn’t?

          1. For one, Cuba is right next door. Maintaining a blockade from across an ocean is an entirely different matter. The resources it would have taken would have been immense. In any event, the only reason the blockade and subsequent embargo was a preferable option was that the Soviets had nuclear weapons and it was two minutes to midnight.

  7. On a somewhat-related topic: Whatever happened to all the concern over “dirty bombs”?

    1. That was only a way to throw a guy in a cage without trial for a few years.

      The concern about a radiologic (non-fission, that is) device is hype. The biggest risk from something like that is the hysteria it would cause.

  8. The Israel fetehists want WAR!

    1. First off, the retarded don’t rule the night. They don’t rule it. Nobody does. And they don’t run in packs. And while they may not be as strong as apes, don’t lock eyes with ’em, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming “No, no, no” and all they hear is “Who wants cake?” Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

    2. Why do you want war? Over their precious tin deposits?

      1. because JOOOOOOS? You know how greedy they can get. Always talking about pushing the arabs into the desert and wanting to take their lands.

  9. Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran…

    /McCain, John, Cyto…

    1. Yeah it’s their favorite song. But I wonder if they’ve thought it through. I’ve yet to hear any sort of realistic plan for using military force that would stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

      I mean, they don’t really think that a few “precision airstrikes” are going to cut the mustard, do they? And I can’t imagine they’d be crazy enough to call for outright invasion; for one thing there’s no way to pull that off without conscription and a lot of other vastly unpopular things. Are they hanging their hopes on fomenting internal revolt?

  10. So the Iranians are following all the deals and not trying to get a bomb, but they know if they get it, they will be safe, so they want one.

    Make up your mind, Chapman.

    1. Forget it, it’s Chapman town.

      1. It is a worst town than that. It is Paulapolis. Ignore Iran’s nationalization of US oil companies in the fifties. We are the bad guys no matter what.

        Libertarians are headed for the ash heap because they will not stand up against those who have and will continue to attack us. And screw the Neocons and that idiot McCain. Neocons never talk about defending freedom or liberty; it is always some nebulous, altruist, stupid geo-political goal. In any case neocons don’t count. It is the American people that will not give libertarians any political power–with good reason. They cannot be counted on to defend them. Ron ruined any chance of his son in overcoming an association of libertarianism’s fatal flaw.

        1. What’s the solution to “US Companies” having their shit nationalized? War, always war? Who cares. Those companies took a risk and they lost out. Razing a nation to the ground in an attempt to cleanse the commie heathens ain’t gonna bring business back. If anything, it gives little Sayid a reason to shank the next Jim Bob trying to pump oil in his shithole cuntry. (That last word was intentionally misspelled).

          1. The only purpose of government is to defend individual rights. Property rights are an individual right. The Iranians would not have dared nationalized if they knew the American government would do what it is suppose to do–and the government had been explicit about it. That is the how the concept of projecting strength through power works. But American business has not been defended by its government for over 100 years. In fact the government is the biggest violator of the individual rights of businesses there is.

            But thanks for making my point. You guys go on calling the US the bad guy. You and Michael Moore should be happy together.

            1. You and Michael Moore should be happy together.

              And yet you say you’ve visited here before. I think you’re a liar.

              1. Almanian–you have posted counter arguments against me at least 2 times in the past that I remember. Why would I lie? I know you guys hate Moore, but on this issue you are allies.

            2. The current U.S. government is an incompetent piece of shit that can’t win a war in Iraq, and is a product of the one that fucked up that previous situation. Those companies would have been better off with private armies paid for with their own money. Also, maybe they wouldn’t have wasted the investment in Iraq if they knew their vaunted piece of shit government couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything. Going to war for moronic companies (partially owned by rich parliament members) is what the British did. Worked out well for them I think. Oh..wait…

              1. Are you advocating American companies have private armies? Somalia anyone? The progs criticism of libertarians on this issue is dead right, btw. Stop giving them ammo (if you’ll pardon the pun).

                1. Whatever, as long as we’re not on the hook.

                2. Eh, you’re not really being fair.

                  There are many of us libertarians who think the carry a big motherfucking stick foreign policy is the way to go.

                  We do not believe in nation building, but if a country aggresses (why does no spell check on earth know that aggresses is an actual word?) on us or our allies we punish them to the point that they would never even think about doing this again.

                  As far as Iran, the biggest problem is that we can’t deal with them, the same as N. Korea, because we are too extended at the moment. You can thank Bush and his idiotic nation buliding policies that were nothing of the sort.

                  If you did want to nation build for whatever reason, you do it like you did with Japan. Our reforms, we supervise your constitution. Problem is though, that it probably wouldn’t even work for most countries because most cultures don’t have the honor that the Japanese do.

                  1. Nation building is altruist crap. If someone attacks us and we have to destroy them to defend ourselves, justice demands that they rebuild their own damn country.

                    Japan rebuilt herself for the most part, and regained its national pride in the process.

                3. It’d be better if they had private armies. When they would fuck up morally, they’d go down like Bond super-villains to everyone’s hurrah. And in contrast, they could at least exit the offending country with most of their assets in tact.

              2. The current U.S. government is an incompetent piece of shit that can’t win a war in Iraq

                Really. The idea of a full-out war with Iran run by Barack Obama…sounds like a fucking nightmare to me.

                1. The super retard is the child of the retard is the child of the moron. It. Just. Gets. Worse.

            3. “You and Michael Moore should be happy together.”
              You know what? You’re right. You’ve completely convinced me with your carefully constructed arguments.

        2. You need to quit arguing with the libertarians in your head and engage some real ones. The NAP is not a suicide pact. If someone aggresses against us we most certainly with fight back. But not every blowing sand in the desert is a reason to blow the shit of the Middle East.

          1. I wish to hell I was arguing with libertarians in my head. But I am not. I have been called immoral and an advocate for genocide for stating the the US has the right to defend itself on this blog.

            My uncle was a B-29 pilot shot down over the Sea of Japan in 1946. I have also had it implied that he was a war criminal and deserved what he got by libertarians because he fire bombed Japanese cities. That really won over my relatives to the libertarian cause when I told them that. Most other Americans would undoubtedly have the same attitude as my relatives–screw those libertarians. That is where my rants are coming from if you want to know.

            1. Right. “Libertarians”.

              You “screw” anyone you want, but you sound like the spittle-flecked ranter to me, not these “Libertarians” you keep running into.

              Do they have a card they show you before they besmirch your uncle’s name, or does the monocle give them away?

              1. Look at Chapman’s article here and others before. Read what Ron Paul recently said. They want to blame America for these attacks. I wanted to believe libertarians were the center of the liberty movement, but on national defense they too clueless about the threats this country is facing from these half-assed, no account ME countries. Iran’s support of terrorism has already killed Americans and is already compromising freedom of speech in this country. Saudi support financed 911. It is disgusting that these punk-assed countries are truly causing us to lose our freedom and American lives. Just because I sound radical in my call to stop these threats post haste, does not make these threats and attacks any less real. It just means you minimize them and I don’t.

                1. Look at Chapman’s article here and others before. Read what Ron Paul recently said.

                  Chapman is not a libertarian. Ron Paul is a “libertarian leaning” Republican, but I doubt he could pass the purity test nor does he speak for all libertarians. Last but not least, you’re taking shit that 2 people said and assuming that an entire group of people all think the same way. Read this next part carefully, and then re-read it until it sinks in to your tiny little brain: libertarians are not a monolyth, just because a couple of people that you’ve identified as “Libertarians” said something mean once about your uncle doesn’t mean we all agree. Collectivist asshole.

                  1. Okay. I’ll take that point. Libertarianism attempts to have a big tent. But here’s the deal. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. Reason magazine is universally seen as a a place to go for libertarian viewpoints. Chapan, Sheldon and others have advocated similar points as Ron Paul. Who the hell knows what the REAL libertarian position is, they are all over the map. However, these “blame America firsters” are given an uncontested voice here at Reason. Many people posting here agree with this viewpoint. What am I suppose to think? That it doesn’t represent at least a good portion of libertarian thinking?

                    Collectivist asshole, tiny little brain? Come on. Read my post carefully. I am all by myself here in what I am advocating. Can’t be anymore individualists than that. Don’t use prog tactics and use nasty ad hominems simply because you disagree with me. Geezopete, Dude!

                    1. If you actually came here often, you’d know that the commetariat generally mocks Richman and Chapman, especially on their foreign policy.

                      It is not about having a big tent, it is about the ability to discuss differing viewpoints to come to the best logical conclusion.

                      This is the single best attribute of libertarians. You have an opposing view point and you can back it up with logic, you’ll get people to agree with you.

                      You come and spew idiocy trying to put us all in some sort of box that doesn’t exist, and you’re probably going to get mocked as well.

                      That is the thinking of your standard Team Red, Team Blue person. We do not play for teams, not even Team Libertarian. Team is not sacred to the libertarian. Logic and reason are sacred to the libertarian.

                    2. Actually you just named the only reason I come here. More than most political blogs, many here do offer logical arguments. But I see a lot of cynicism and ad hominems. For instance you say I spew idiocy, but you do not name specifically what you think I have said that is idiocy.

                      Also, I deny that I put everyone in a box, but I do read the articles and the post and can see definite patterns that I strongly disagree with, so I will post about them. In fact foreign policy is really the only thing I post about because the libertarian view given here is weak and wrong headed as I have tried to point out in my views.

                    3. Yes, I did name it, but not in so many words. I assume it is understood. The idiocy is trying to put everyone here in a box.

                      Your foreign policy stances, I can see the merit of. Do we agree 100%? Probably not, but we never got a chance to hash out those differences because you seemed to be more interested in calling out libertarians than putting forth your view for debate.

                      I understand you get frustrated with many libertarians on foreign policy, as do I. As do many of us. Left-leaning isolationist libertarians are a dying breed. Why? Because logic dictates that those stances are incorrect.

                      The ad hominem attacks are generally reserved for people who are trolling or are so jacked up on emotion that they’re not seeing reason.

                      The cynicism, well… What can you say?

                    4. You’re right libertarians suck at foreign policy – it and anarchy vs minimalist state, environmemtal issues & free labour movement/cultural assimilation issues are major weak points where there’s no unified “libertarian” position (or rather there is one superficially that falls apart upon closer examination) and people have to pragmatically decide what makes sense.

                    5. You’re right libertarians suck at foreign policy – it and anarchy vs minimalist state, environmemtal issues & free labour movement/cultural assimilation issues are major weak points where there’s no unified “libertarian” position (or rather there is one superficially that falls apart upon closer examination) and people have to pragmatically decide what makes sense.

                    6. And by the way, the collectivist asshole and tiny little brain part, I’m sure, doesn’t have anything to do with what you’re advocating. Advocate that without building strawmen, and you’ll get a decent discussion.

                    7. I appreciate the mostly civil comeback, but now you have indicated that I build strawmen without support. Where have I built a strawman?

                    8. Sigh.

                      “I wanted to believe libertarians were the center of the liberty movement, but on national defense they too clueless…”

                      def. a weak or imaginary opposition (as an argument or adversary) set up only to be easily confuted.

                      Can we stop now?

                    9. I’m done.

                    10. Anyway. The issue as I see it, with too many libertarians is that *some* are incapable of understanding aggression on a geopolitical and economic scale.

                      Most can see that pollution is a form of aggression on other people, but cannot see that geopolitical instability due to aggression on other countries that affects us, especially as concerned with energy is also another form of aggression on us. Call it a pollution of economies.

                      Others see our own aggressions throughout the world, that were needless and counter-productive and conclude that what we do isn’t working, and the government is not competent enough to be trusted to assure stability. They are probably right for the most part.

                      So then libertarians are stuck doing something they are loathe to do, advocate for government to work in the correct manner. This is difficult because the libertarian understands the problems with any form of government will always be a constant burden, and there is not so easy a solution as the free market that could be applied to most of our problems.

                      The isolationist libertarians are lazy. I’m glad there are not many of them. Others have differing view points that should be heard and understood, even if the conclusions of their points are not spot on, their points are almost always something that should be taken into consideration.

            2. Libertarians can act like retards sometimes which is why it took me years to call myself one. At least we don’t censor ourselves like the Left… but we argue about dumb shit sometimes and some libertarians have what Thomas Sowell would call the Tragic Vision, others have more of the Utopian Vision. Some of our members, just like Utopian leftists, are uncompromising utopian extremist ivory tower self-righteous assholes.

              1. I agree.

                Foreign policy is a weak point in the libertarian philosophy. It kind of always has been because it has been mostly ignored as we have tended to focus on domestic issues for the past 40 years.

                The differing view points, some extreme, some not, to me are welcome, as it helps us all come to a more logical stance eventually. This is an issue in which, as a group, we are still evolving, and there has been much progress as of late.

                Dinosaur foreign policy people like Chapman really should just shut the fuck up for a while and let us open minded people hash it out.

                1. Paul: Part of the problem is, even if the military is used for self-defense, as opposed to say, raiding & pillaging, how do we define self-defense? Iran is an anti-West theocracy whole religious teachings say it’s a grave offense to God that a kafir Jewish state took over parts of a once-Muslim Turkish province.

                  Looking at it a certain way it makes sense to pre-emptively oppose it as it’s very likely it will cause trouble down the line with nukes.
                  Then again shouldn’t the focus be on immediate threats, not potential threats, to USA & allies?
                  And what about all those mutual self-defense treaties & NATO, etc. the U.S.A. is involved in, is this good or foolish? This helps U.S. allies but it’s also arguably the biggest factor in the USA’s high military expenditures… and SHOULD the USA be spending so much on military? Why? Why not?
                  What about humanitarian crises in foreign lands like the Sudanese Arab racial genocide of black Sudanese? Rwanda? (or Hitler’s genocide?) Should America act as a World Police? That too will cost money and lives.

                  1. I honestly think that we do need to prioritize. We cannot be World Police all of the time, everywhere.

                    There are certain issues, such as genocide, that we should intervene in as human beings with consciences. The rest of the world should as well. A strict definition on what genocide is, and a pact among nations to put forth military aid at some set ratio would be good, imho.

                    Either way, we should prioritize. There is no way we can fix every problem.

                    The first priority should be to set a good example. Show what freedom and free markets can do. We are doing a fairly bad job at setting this example right now due to Progressive creep.

                    Mutual self defense treaties are good to an extent, until you are obviously poking the bear like Europe and us are doing with Ukraine. The other problem is that these treaties are not in a fair ratio. We act like other country’s daddies, rather than partners.

                    As far as our military expenditures, I’m sure there is much we could cut if we could convince other country’s to stop using our military by proxy. How to do that is an entirely different question, though.

                    1. *Countries, wtf with that apostrophe.

                    2. One thing the US military could do is build a Southern version of NORAD – why hasn’t it done so yet is a mystery to me.

  11. Why would we want a deal with Iran? They won’t keep,their word to us. There was a point to making deals with the U.S.S.R. When we knew they would break them; we wanted tyenworld to see tham to be liars, and we wanted to avoid engaging their military because they were powerful enough to give us a real fight. Neither point applies to Iran.

    The only reasons to make a deal with Iran that make any kind of sense have to do with shoring up Obama’s miserable foreign policy reputation. That isn’t a good enough reason to justify the expeniture of aviation fuel involved, much lees,the studied insult to Isreal.

    1. These are all very good points

      *golf clap….I’m in my office, so no one noticed….*

      1. Agreed utterly and completely.

  12. As far as being a neocon dream, well that’s easy to say given some of the rhetoric by the punditry but very few would actually be for such a move if all the estimates for attrition, cost, etc. were really considered.

    A reasonable strategy is just to keep an eye on them, punish any excursions into Iraq, keep them off of Israels back, etc. It’s too bad the Persian society has been co-opted by seething Muslim lunatics.

    1. Israel can keep their own shit off their own fucking back.

    2. ” punish any excursions into Iraq ”

      We are actually encouraging their current incursion into Iraq. They are doing much more with Iraq than we are to help Iraq fight ISIS on the ground.

      Has anyone noticed that this administration continues to label ISIS as ISIL. No other voice addressing the issue refer to them as ISIL except the White House. Even ISIS calls itself IS or ISIS.

      It was said that the White House tried to name them ISIL to avoid the Syrian connection after their stumble bumble in Syria, arming and supporting what evolved into ISIS.

      Does anyone know if that is true ?

      1. We are actively helping the Kurds attack ISIS elements.

    3. The neocons will have us busy on the other side of the NAG soon enough I think.

  13. Unlike other countries in the middle east, Iran has a HUGE moderate young population whose time will come soon to displace their crazy Islamic radical mullahs. But as friendly as that young generation is to more reforms, they have pride in their own nation too and wonder why they should be deprived of the right to own nuclear weapons when Pakistan, Israel and N Korea already have them. Of course, it is in our interest to discourage every country from possessing nuclear weapons, and I support every measure that does so. but we can’t be alienating potential future friendly populations with reckless rhetoric we get from the neocons.

    One thing is for sure, Iran is not a threat to the U.S. So we have the luxury of planning for the long term.

    1. Iran is a threat to the US insomuch that they can destabilize our economy and the world’s economy by starting expansionist war in the ME.

      Oil is extremely important. Economies run on energy.

      1. Actually, according to my financial advisor, since America is much less dependent upon foreign oil, fear of a war in the ME has a much less destabilizing effect on the US than it has in the past.

        Iran wants us dead, though. They repeatedly tell us that and threaten us by supporting terrorist attacks. The terrorism keeps major American newspapers from running cartoons of Mohammed. Their proxies are therefore successful in diminishing free speech and criticism of Islamists in this country. Also, if they become a nuclear power, they show every indication of using it or using the threat against the US and other Western countries to instill more more influence over us. That’s what the conversation should be about.

        1. America is only less dependent of foreign oil because it adds more to the world surplus.

          If a country or two in the ME stopped producing oil all of a sudden, oil prices would skyrocket, as supply would not meet demand.

          Of course, the US could stop exporting oil and fix prices, but I hope everyone here can understand the problems with that.

          Your points on Iran are well taken, and are part of the issue. The problems are easy to spot. The question is then what the best thing to do about it is?

          To me our hands are tied because we are overextended. In the Neocons thirst for blood, we blow certain threats out of proportion and respond too aggressively, leaving us weak in other areas such as our dealings with Iran and N. Korea.

          1. This is a historic problem and the root is the crappy altruist “wars” mixed with appeasement that has been American policy since after WWII.

            Arguable, it started when the US did not make it clear it would be an act of war to nationalize American oil companies in the Iran (the first country to nationalize them). We were by far the most powerful country and all we had to do was indicate that there would be a military reaction. But the government was already being led by anti-business liberals who refused to defend the businesses and isolationists (Ike for gods sake) that made it clear we would not defend America’s clear interest and individual rights of our citizens who had legal contracts in those countries.

            It became worse when there was virtually no response to the Iranian take-over of the embassy and the hostage taking. Iran suffered NO penalty for that crap. None. So why shouldn’t they think they can get away with more and more crap. But the appeasement has to stop sometime and the sooner the better, otherwise those assholes might get lucky and their proxies might figure out a way to destroy and American city. After 911 I really don’t understand why that seems like such a far-fetched idea, but most people obviously don’t see it.

            1. So what is the solution then today? I understand the issues that brought us to this place, and I think you are spot on.

              Do we bomb the shit out of them and turn a relatively moderate young population against us? I can’t see that working out well for our interests. Especially when you tell them we bombed them because they might some day in the future be responsible for the death of Americans.

              This is why the carry a big fucking stick foreign policy is the only way to go. Attack America, directly or through proxy, and your largest city is destroyed. Make it clear. Put the onus of aggression on them.

              If you try to develop nuclear weapons, we will destroy your military/nuclear installations, no questions asked. Diplomacy and appeasement are not how we deal with such threats as nuclear weapons or attacks on America. If that is clear to the entire world, it would do much more preemptively than preemptive strikes.

              1. My daughter lives in NYC–a past target and very likely a future target of the Islamists totalitarianist. It helps me focus. Sorry but we can’t worry about what the Iranian population thinks. Defending ourselves is not a popularity contest.

                If we seriously stand up to Iran, other powers in the ME will take notice and it will start to end most of the problems.

                Start by giving Iran time (2-3 months) to start the dismantling their nuclear facilities, and if they don’t respond, do it for them. No more negotiations. When the air clears, give another ultimatum about supporting in Jihadist activities and terrorist groups like Hamas and other trouble makers. If they continue to support these groups, go after more military targets and the Islamist leaders where they live and hold power in Iran. They will buckle fast when they see the game is up and the sleeping giant has awoke. No rules of engagement, no messing around. Show that the threats will end or they will end. It is their choice.

                A similar policy can be used against the Saudi’s and I doubt very seriously if the Saud family would hesitate at all to cease and desist with their terrorist support.

                1. Have any of you seen the French movie Persepolis? (subbed or dubbed in English).
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1LPToZPf5c

                2. Something is very fishy about the US and Saudi relations. Case in point, the President of the Free World attending the funeral of the King of a terrorist supporting country that treats women no better than slaves.

      2. If only North America could be energy independant.

        1. North America IS energy independent, especially in a time of war where governments could justifiably force the preferential selling of oil to North America.
          Canada has an estimated reserve of over 2 trillion barrels and the 170 billion salvageable barrels can supply the world for 100 years (or so they say) – albeit Alberta oilsands cost more that cheap Saudi oil but still. (and in situ drilling and high technology is lowering the costs more and more)

          1. Oh wait I forgot Canada’s oil is “dirty” heavy crude unlike Venezuela’s heavy crude or Putin’s oil which is why the EU is always talking about banning it and prefers to get its energy needs from friendly neighbourhood Russia.

  14. “Shelve an attack on Iran”

    Yeah, the attack that has been just around the corner for decades. Now Iran gets to attack America and renege on its deals with impunity!

  15. With Iran the US needs to answer two questions, i.e.,: one, can it live with a nuclear power in Persian Gulf and two, if the answer is no to question one, what is US willing to risk? A nuclear Iran would be a very destabilizing force in the ME and probably start nuclear arms race in the region. During the Cold War strong alliances in East and West kept many nations safely under either Soviet or US nuclear umbrella. That is now gone (just look at Ukraine or Georgia). US cannot maintain the world peace but is the only country in the world to keep it relatively safe. But is it willing to do it?

    1. I also seriously wonder what will France do as it’s a nuclear power that like Israel could be directly attacked by Iranian nukes

  16. Have any of you seen the French movie Persepolis? (subbed or dubbed in English).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1LPToZPf5c

  17. FYI – the Mossad did not recommend delaying the bill.

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/israel…..brication/

    “Mossad Head Tamir Pardo met on January 19, 2015, with a delegation of US senators. The meeting was held at the request of the senators and with the prime minister’s approval. At the meeting, the Head of Mossad stressed the extraordinary effectiveness of the sanctions that have been placed on Iran for several years in bringing Iran to the negotiating table.

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