Israel

America Must Reject Netanyahu's War Cry on Iran

Netanyahu's narrative is a fabric of lies and omissions.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to Washington this week to prepare the American people for war against Iran. Backed by American neoconservatives, the Israel lobby, and assorted other war hawks, Netanyahu insists that Iran intends to build a nuclear weapon and thus is an "existential threat" to Israel. He has no confidence that President Obama will negotiate an agreement that once and for all will end Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions.

Thus the prime minister's objective is nothing less than to wreck the current negotiations and push America into a regime-changing war against Iran.

Netanyahu's narrative is a fabric of lies and omissions.

To begin, Iran has not sought a nuclear weapon, and the country's leader declares such weapons contrary to Islam. [For details, see Gareth Porter's well-documented Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.] For a quarter century, Netanyahu has warned that an Iranian bomb is imminent. But U.S. and Israeli intel say he's wrong.

Iran nevertheless wants to reassure the world so that crushing economic sanctions will be lifted. Hence, the current negotiations. (Iran made similar overtures before.)

Iran's government is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), subjecting it to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which can account for every atom of uranium.

Members of the NPT are free to have a civilian nuclear-power program, including the ability to enrich uranium, and Iran insists that it be treated as other members are. Nevertheless, for decades the U.S. government has exerted pressure to stop Iran from having a civilian nuclear industry. When Iran a few years ago agreed to forgo enrichment and obtain enriched uranium from abroad, the U.S. government blocked the deal. Netanyahu and his American allies oppose Iran's having any enrichment capability.

Moreover—and this ignored fact seems rather important—Israel is the nuclear monopolist of the Mideast. That hardly anyone talks about this is at once remarkable and unsurprising. But think about it: Israel has hundreds of nuclear warheads—some of them on invulnerable submarines capable of surviving a first strike. Even if Iran built one warhead, it would be useless—except as a deterrent against Israel—and the country's rulers know it. Israel has not signed the NPT and does not submit to IAEA inspections. It is a nuclear rogue state.

As Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs magazine (published by the establishment Council on Foreign Relations), said on CNN recently, Israel could "destroy Iran this afternoon." If there is an existential threat, Israel is the source and Iran is the target.

How does Netanyahu's alarmist narrative look now?

It is erroneously believed that Iran has threatened to attack Israel. In fact, Israel and the United States have been waging war—economic, covert, proxy, and cyber—against Iran for decades. Since the repressive U.S.-backed Iranian regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a close friend of Israel, was overthrown in 1979, Israel's leaders have openly rattled sabers at the Islamic Republic. American presidents have repeatedly declared that "all military options are on the table"—which would include nuclear weapons. The United States helped Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein fight a war of aggression against Iran in the 1980s, providing him with components for chemical weapons and satellite intelligence. Why wouldn't Iran feel threatened by the United States and its close ally Israel? Even so, Iran has not threatened to attack Israel or America.

Netanyahu would have us believe the Iranian regime wants to exterminate all Jews. But that's hard to square with the continuous presence of a Jewish community in Iran—today the largest in the Muslim Middle East—for two thousand years. Iran's steadfast opposition to Israel's institutionalized injustice against the Palestinians is not anti-Semitism.

So why is Netanyahu pushing war? Among several reasons, demonizing Iran reduces pressure on Israel to negotiate seriously with the Palestinians. Many Israelis prefer building Jewish settlements on Palestinians' land instead. Moreover, Israel's rulers oppose any development—such as an Iranian-U.S. detente—that could diminish Israel's U.S.-financed hegemony in the region.

War with Iran would be a catastrophe all around. Netanyahu and his hawkish American allies—the same people who gave us the disastrous Iraq war and ISIS—must be repudiated.

NEXT: Things we learned at today's oral argument in King v. Burwell

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  1. Uh oh… here we go again.

    To begin, Iran has not sought a nuclear weapon, and the country’s leader declares such weapons contrary to Islam

    Srsly?

    1. It’s Richman, what the hell do you expect?

    2. Citations desperately needed.

    3. What is the case or evidence that Iran is building a bomb as opposed to some general nuclear power? Does anyone have a nice statement of such evidence they could link to?

      1. They’re Muslims! That’s all the evidence anyone needs!

        1. Implying that the only reason anyone would disagree with you on this issue is racism and anti-Islamism. Got it.

      2. Well, you can always take them at their word:

        Iran has the capability, which means they have pushed their nuclear program past what it needs for civilian uses. Gosh, why would they do that?

        http://www.theguardian.com/wor…..ior-cleric

        Oh, but it would be contrary to Islam to build a bomb, so that’s why they don’t. For what that’s worth.

        Only a fool would believe Iran isn’t pursuing bomb-making technology. Personally, I think they want to push their program to the break-out point, so they don’t technically have one but can put one together in short order. Its the kind of pointless legalism that appeals to our President, and it gets Iran where they want to be.

        And if the Shiites get to that point, the Sunnis will need to as well. Good news for the Sunnis – they can just buy them from Pakistan.

        Eh. Horse, barn, etc. Time for a new second strike doctrine: the first county to poop a nuke in the Mideast gets a retaliatory strike from the US, no questions asked. Non-proliferation has failed, time to dust off deterrence.

        1. Does ‘poop a nuke’ mean produce or use one?

        2. Your evidence is “a ‘senior’ cleric says Iran ‘can’ enrich uranium to the point for a bomb but in the same statement says it would be wrong to?”

        3. That includes Israel, too, right?

      3. My understanding is that the case is more circumstantial. Essentially, my understanding is that the cost of actually purchasing uranium enriched to the level they’d need for general nuclear power can be bought for less than their current program is costing them.

        Doesn’t seem like a call to arms. But, it is suspicious.

        1. I’m afraid given our last disaster based on guessing about a ME nation’s WMD program I’m going to need something pretty strong to be convinced.

          1. I’m not disagreeing with that. As I said, before, it’s hardly a call to arms.

            That said, that does provide good reason to be somewhat skeptical of Richman’s insistence on Iran’s good intentions.

            1. I agree that I would never put stock in the ‘good intentions’ of any government, and to be honest I’d put even less than usual in Iran’s.

          2. What disaster there was in the Iraq war was based on staying after we had toppled the government. We should have left then. As to WMDs, we did find material all over, we did find facilities, we did find extensive proof that Saddam had never even come close to the terms of surrender for the Gulf War. We didn’ find an armed and fueld nuclear missile. I sometimes think that if we had, the people who so desperately want Iraq to be another Vietnam would be denying that we had.

            We CAN wait until one of these Third World cesspits manages to detonate a Nuclear bomb on a city full of people we like. What we can’t do is wait until then and then keep the resulting rage from getting us hip-deep in the Middle East for the next century.

            You pick.

            1. We CAN wait until one of these Third World cesspits manages to detonate a Nuclear bomb on a city full of people we like.

              Both Pakistan and North Korea have nukes, and this has not happened.

              1. And some fine day we may discover that alllowing tyat was a serious mistake. But, weird as this may sound, I am less worried by North Korea than I am by Iran. For one thing, I strongly suspect that North Korea is a puppet state of the Chinese.

            2. everything you said about the hunt for WMD was wrong, with the exception of ypur concession that we did not find a nucleae missle. Feel free to cite a credible source to back up any of your outlandish claims. Its amazing that even all these years later, there are still ppl clinging to this fantasy.

          3. You should read the book The Bomb In My Garden

      4. Do some research on the Stuxnet virus and educate yourself.

        1. Mike,

          I think that is the/one of the cyber attacks to which Mr. Richman referred.

    4. That’s the sentence that jumped out at me. Exactly how stupid does Richman think we are?

      Obama himself actually repeated this same argument a few weeks back.

      I posted at the time that this means, logically, that Pakistan is in violation of Islam, and wondered when the fatwas against Pakistan’s nukes were going to come rolling out. Still haven’t seen them.

  2. But, but.. the SAID!!

  3. Alt Text: George “W” Bush’s new avatar?

  4. Sheldon’s positions are those of an idealistic sophomore coed.
    Please, Reason, enough with this know-nothing troll.

    1. It’s a pretty common retort to libertarians in almost any area that we’re not being ‘realistic.’ It’s funny the mess the ‘realistic’ view always seems to lead to in the ‘real’ world.

      1. Point taken. Principles are important, but pacifism isn’t one I share. Nether is the romantic (literary) idea that the underdog is right, the powerful side is wrong, prima facie, because fairness.

        1. I’m not arguing for pacifism nor do I have some romantic idea about Iran, which is pretty far from Libertopia to put it mildly. The principle I’m talking about is non-intervention and non-aggression: it’s none of our business.

          1. In my estimation it becomes the business of the United States when Iran repeatedly threatens to destroy it and its allies. The instability likely to be caused by Iran possessing nuclear weapons is itself enough to make it the business of the United States given the vulnerability of its economy to disruptions in oil supply. Is that enough justification to begin bombing now? Reasonable minds can certainly differ. But it is ludicrous to take the position that Iran isn’t pursuing a nuclear weapon given that it is taking all the steps necessary to reach the point of producing a nuclear weapon. The idea that Iran possessing a nuclear weapon is something about which the United States should not concern itself is nearly as ludicrous given that (a) Iran has frequently called for the destruction of the United States and its allies; and (b) it is ran by a government that is paranoid at best and irrational at worst.

            1. In my estimation it becomes the business of the United States when Iran repeatedly threatens to destroy it and its allies.

              Nope.

              It only becomes our business if they do.

              The instability likely to be caused by Iran possessing nuclear weapons is itself enough to make it the business of the United States given the vulnerability of its economy to disruptions in oil supply.

              Try to keep up. The US is no longer reliant upon ME oil, and therefor has no national interest in the region.

              Is that enough justification to begin bombing now?

              Certainly not. Prior to agressing, one must first be aggressed upon.

              The idea that Iran possessing a nuclear weapon is something about which the United States should not concern itself is nearly as ludicrous given that (a) Iran has frequently called for the destruction of the United States and its allies; and (b) it is ran by a government that is paranoid at best and irrational at worst.

              Claiming something is ludicrous, does not make it so.

              Deterrence works. In fact, deterrence prevents war. It’s a net positive.

              1. We’ll have to disagree. While preemptive war is certainly something that should be very carefully considered, I for one consider it foolish to sit back and wait to be attacked by a country that has already threatened to do so but in fact has done so in the past.

                Oil is a fungible commodity. That the US isn’t “reliant” on ME oil (even if true) doesn’t change the fact that turmoil there can and does have negative effects on price. Steep price rises have negative effects on the US economy.

                As I said, reasonable minds can differ. If someone has threatened to strike me, has struck me in the past, and is actively taking steps to acquire a greater striking ability, circumstances might dictate that I not wait for that to occur. Reasonable minds can differ, but that’s my position.

                I’ll stand by my position. The position that the US should not concern itself with Iran’s development of nuclear weapons is ludicrous. It’s also naive and potentially self destructive. I’m not a warmonger, but I am a realist. AS for deterrence, that only works with rational actors and I’m not convinced the government of Iran is entirely rational.

                1. We’ll have to disagree.

                  Then…you are quite simply…immoral.

                  You don’t get to kill thousands of innocent people (a low estimate) because you are afraid of what might happen at some time in the future.

                  James Lane looks scary to me. He said he’ll kick my ass. I’ll simply kill him now, just in case he’s serious. I’ll claim self defense and the courts will see it my way and release me. Hell, there’s lots of people that need killing to ensure my future safety.

                  That the US isn’t “reliant” on ME oil (even if true) doesn’t change the fact that turmoil there can and does have negative effects on price. Steep price rises have negative effects on the US economy.

                  So you are going to slaughter innocent people to ensure the price of oil doesn’t go up in some possible future?

                  Dude, listen to yourself. That’s some Hitler level immorality right there.

                  1. As I said, reasonable minds can differ. If someone has threatened to strike me, has struck me in the past, and is actively taking steps to acquire a greater striking ability, circumstances might dictate that I not wait for that to occur. Reasonable minds can differ, but that’s my position.

                    A. You are not even close to reasonable on this.
                    B. Did we attack the Soviets, the Pakis or the Koreans when they were developing nukes against our wishes? No. And you know why? Because killing innocent people to head off one possible (highly improbable) future is immoral.

                    Do you have ANY idea what war is? War is misery for everybody involved. It is death, starvation and suffering… It is sending fathers and mothers to kill other people’s fathers and mothers. It’s babies and dogs and cats being torn limb from limb because they happen to live a little too close to a high value target. It’s people being burned alive. It’s our guys coming home having to live with the knowledge that they had to do that. It’s our guys coming home in bags.

                    And for what? Because you are afraid that something bad has a .001% probability of happening in some distant future?

                    Gut check here James.

                    1. Having been in combat I am fully aware of what war is. Again, I’ve not advocated attacking anyone but merely suggested that a set of circumstances could arise where such an attack would be justified and that set of circumstances need not include actually being attacked. This discussion between us started with you suggesting that this situation is none of the business of the United States. I disagree and pointed out a couple of reasons why it is the business of the United States. That this is the business of the United States is not the same as justifying an attack, which I thought I made clear in my first post when I asked the rhetorical question.

                  2. Your strawmen are showing. Who said anything about slaughtering innocent people? In the first place I’ve not said I’m advocating attacking Iran. Go back and look at my first post and actually read what I said. Note that the only mention of “war” is a question as to whether or not the current state of affairs justifies bombing Iran. You chose to answer that rhetorical question and to follow up with the idea that the US has to wait to be “aggressed on” before it could be justified in launching an attack. I disagree. What I didn’t say was that the fact that Iran possessing a nuclear weapon could negatively impact the US economy is sufficient justification to attacking them.

                    That said, since you seem to want to talk about the subject I’ll bite. Indeed I believe there could arise a set of circumstances that might justify a preemptive strike. If you have previously attacked me, state you are going to do it again and are in the process of picking up a club to make your promised attack more effective I think I have every right to take preemptive action to not only prevent you from striking me with it but to prevent you from picking up the club to begin with. It’s absurd to argue that I have to literally wait for you to swing the club at me.

                2. James, I’d like to know when specifically Iran threatened to destroy the United States or Israel.

                  Also, you may care to read this report by the Council on Foreign Relations, which makes a strong case for why Iran SHOULD get the bomb:
                  http://www.foreignaffairs.com/…..t-the-bomb

                  And when you’re done with that, read a policy paper by the influential Brookings Institute that outlines what appears to be the exact strategy the U.S. and Israel are following to engage Iran in a war:
                  http://www.brookings.edu/~/med…..rategy.pdf

                  Here’s an excerpt:
                  ” ?any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context? both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer?one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.”

                  1. Again, I have not at any point advocated attacking Iran. Read my posts.

              2. Certainly not. Prior to agressing, one must first be aggressed upon.

                The hundreds of thousands dead in the U.S. (briefcase bomb dirty nuke) or Israel (medium? range missile) will be much comforted by your words, should that ever come to pass.

                1. Yes, we should kill innocent people ourselves before the improbable happens and they do it to us. (sarc)

                  Think about what you are saying and where it leads.

                  Once you cross the line of preemptively starting wars, where does that stop. You are claiming justification to kill innocent Iranians based upon something that hasn’t happened yet, but might. Completely contrary to libertarian principle (the NAP).

                  You claim you should be able to exempt yourself from the NAP and initiate aggression upon another state, because the state you wish to attack is “bad”. That’s your argument. They are bad people. I should be able to kill them before they have the capability to kill me.

                  So let’s say, evil wins that argument and you do. Is that it for the “bad” guys? Or are there more? The next guys on the list are just a little less “bad”. Kill em, right? And we eventually justify killing anyone we have the slightest disagreement with. You slowly become the evil you started out fighting.

                  Preemptive killing can never be allowed to be the standard for war. If it does, there will be no end to it because there is never anyone as “good” as you are. You are therefore justified in killing everyone not you.

                  1. Well said. It’s just a shame you have to spell out what should be obvious. But some people just don’t get it. Maybe it they received a bill for their portion of the cost of actually waging all these illegal and unconstitutional wars, they might sing a different tune. But unfortunately, all of this foreign policy foolishness is financed by a virtually unrepayable debt that will be passed on to our children’s children. But SOME people don’t really care. “Not my problem.”

                    Also, I would add that it’s bad enough that we preemptively strike countries that have not attacked us, but it’s far worse that we fabricate intelligence, like (non-existent) WMDs, stage false flag attacks (e.g., Gulf of Tonkin), and support known extremists (e.g., Bin Laden when he was part of the Mujahideen), and al-Qaeda cells during Balkan Wars.

                    Yet most Americans are blissfully unaware of any of this. They swallow whole the predigested media sound bytes about “fighting terror” and “defending freedom.”

            2. “But it is ludicrous to take the position that Iran isn’t pursuing a nuclear weapon given that it is taking all the steps necessary to reach the point of producing a nuclear weapon. ”

              To produce a nuclear weapon you need highly enriched uranium. If you have evidence that Iran is producing this, please link to it. You might want to inform your government as well.

              If Iran wanted to damage the USA, they have the capacity to do so now, today, without resorting to unconventional weaponry. Blockading the mouth of the Persian Gulf would inflict damage on the US, and her allies around the world.

              1. Of course I don’t have first hand knowledge or evidence that Iran has made highly enriched uranium. However, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been evidence they have or are at least capable of doing so in short order. For example, take a look at the following articles:

                http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05…..level.html

                http://isis-online.org/uploads…..ne2012.pdf

                1. I just noticed the pdf link includes the acronym “isis.” This particular ISIS stands for the Institute for Science and International Study. Just wanting to clarify. 😉

                  1. Riiiiiiiiiight…

                2. ” doing so in short order”

                  Iran has the capacity to severely damage the US today, this very minute using entirely conventional weaponry.

            3. James Lane — I agree.

              I remember when Reason’s main thrust was “Free Minds and Free Markets.” It often dealt with real world approaches to how to increase net liberty — as opposed to team Red’s attempts at codifying social conservatism into law, or team Blue’s attempt to nanny/wallet-rape anyone in it’s crosshairs. But around the time of the Iraq war, a lot of libertarians seemed to adopt some kind of “we can be neutral in conflicts between people who like us and people who are openly calling for our destruction, and it would be better” stance. The idea that the current governments of Iran or North Korea are ever going to like us, no matter what we do, is the height of naivete,

              While I totally understand the impulse toward non-intervention, and think that most of the world should be left to stew in the messes it makes for itself, I don’t understand the line of thinking that says we should be just fine with collectivist nations who are entirely hostile to the values that we uphold.

        2. Um, pacifism isn’t a mainstream libertarian position, doc. Strawman much?

          1. Referring to Sheldon himself, not Bo.

        3. Point taken.

          There is no point, it’s the Asperger’s talking.

          1. I try to be generous.

            1. I’m sure you are, but generosity will NOT encourage him toward the treatment he needs to help lead a more normal life.

  5. “Israel is the nuclear monopolist of the Mideast”

    Yes, and we want to keep it that way, you goddamned fool.
    This isn’t about fairness, you blubbering moron.

    1. “Yes, and we want to keep it that way”

      Why? Why is it any of our business or concern?

      1. I recommend checking this out:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EDW88CBo-8

        p.s. Why are the Palestinians any of our business or concern?

        1. I’m not sure they are any of our concern either.

      2. Because the Israelis are the only people in the area we can count on to keep their word the moment it becomes slightly inconvenient to. Lebanon used to be semi-civilized, but has essentially vanished. Egypt occasionally flirts with civilization, but never manages,to sustain it. The rest of the States in the area are barbarous.

        1. Because the Israelis are the only people in the area we can count on to keep their word the moment it becomes slightly inconvenient to.

          Why does the US need to count on someone in the ME?

          1. And there is the crux of the matter.

            China is far more economically dependent on what happens in the Middle East than the US at this point. They require that oil.

            What are we afraid of? Probably the end of the petrodollar if you ask me.

    2. “we want to keep it that way”

      Speak for yourself, doc. You surely don’t speak for me. To be perfectly clear, I don’t think it’s our problem to pick winners and losers in this. Israel’s problems are her own.

      1. We agree.

        Surely the good doctor realizes that the Israeli government is fully capable of defending itself and the people of its country.

        1. My point was there seems to be a lot of “Israel has nukes, so why shouldn’t her neighbors? It’s not fair!”
          This isn’t dividing the last cookie between ones children. Fairness has nothing to do with it.

          1. I understand your point. To me this isn’t about fairness, it’s about understanding a government’s desire to defend itself.

            My points were that the government of Israel is fully capable of defending itself, and that I don’t think you need be concerned with them being able to do so.

            1. Got it. I’m trying to understand why commentators here seem to want us to treat our Ally, Israel, the same as our enemy, Iran. Or is basic diplomacy now considered too ‘nationalistic’ and passe?

              1. Got it. I’m trying to understand why commentators here seem to want us to treat our Ally, Israel, the same as our enemy, Iran.

                Why is Israel our ally and why is Iran our enemy? How do the existence (or non-existence) of either affect me, as a US citizen, in the slightest. They could both disappear tomorrow and the only thing I’d notice is the extra $3B in taxpayers pockets every year (yeah, I know) to be spent productively rather than pouring it down a shithole.

                1. History.

            2. I would simply like to avoid the Crusade I see coming if one of the multitudinous Islamic pestholes manages to seriously piss us off. You know, bomb Israel. Bomb us. Bomb London.

              There used to be a supply of rulers in the area who aspired to 19th century levels of civilization and diplomacy. We seem to have driven them under by punishing them for not being modern enough while rewarding nutjobs who ambitions are centered on the 8th century.

              I call for a,return to good old fashioned colnialism. It’s where we are going to get if an Islamic bomb goes off in, say, Washington, and we could short circuit the process and save all those nice museums.

              1. There used to be a supply of rulers in the area who aspired to 19th century levels of civilization and diplomacy. We seem to have driven them under by punishing them for not being modern enough while rewarding nutjobs who ambitions are centered on the 8th century.

                Interesting insight. This may be due to the fact that the ME and Muslim world in general have never experienced/embraced the Enlightenment.

                1. Well, the upper classes of those countries used to go to England to be educated. So while the British “Public” Schools were teaching Victorian respectability, the Shahs and Sheiks aspired to that. But then the schools in the first world got infected with the Revolutionary claptrap of Socialism and Marxism.

                  That’s one explanation.

                  Another is that there have been violent elements of Islamic society essentially forever. One theory is that polygamy, by depriving young men of much chance of courtship and marriage, naturally channels their energy into less stable pastimes. Like running around in the hills with a Kalashnikov. Before WWII, and for a short while after, local rulers who kept and clamp on that kind of thing were generally approved of. But as the Kumbaya/Peace and Light school of postwar diplomacy got going, rulers like the Shah, who for some reason objected to religious nut cases fomenting revolution, came under fire. They used violent techniques to keep that kind of thing down and that Wasn’t Modern and Enlightened (the Left keeps using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means). As so now we have a State a good deal more violent and oppressive in place of the Shah’s regime.

      2. ‘Speak for yourself, doc’

        I should fess up that I have no PhD.
        It’s just that ‘MrAwkward’ isn’t palindromic.

      3. Now I think I finally understand the sort of people who sat by and let Kitty Genocese scream for her life and did nothing about it.

    3. Yes, and we want to keep it that way, you goddamned fool.

      Why?

      1. Because letting a bunch of bloodthirsty, murderous Islamic states have nuclear weapons is a pretty goddamned stupid and shortsighted thing to do. FFS, I think this would be obvious to even the most obtuse of you.

        1. Ahhhhh. The old, “because if you don’t you’re stupid”, argument. How can I argue with that? Topped off with the “it’s obvious” argument. Well, looks like ya got me.

          The reason these nations want parity with their perceived foes is that they fear attack.

          1. It’s a proven fact that the US will invade a nation without provocation. The US government will convince it’s citizenry that any other nation possessing the same weapons the US has is provocation to go to war. It doesn’t even need to be true. They just need to say so. And the idiots who cannot distinguish the difference between support for their troops and support for war (the killing of thousands of innocent people) will gladly waive the flag and say, “We’ve got to do SOMETHING about this horrible menace before something bad (who knows could be anything) happens.” So, if the US leaders don’t have a good reason for war, they can always invent one. If you can be accused of a thing, you may as well be guilty of it.

          2. The only people the US won’t go to war with are those who have nukes.

          So, yes, I’m shocked…SHOCKED I tell you, that anyone on the US shitlist would want nukes.

          You cannot prevent a sovereign from arming itself in the face of a perceived threat.

          By your standards, they are justified in attacking us any time they please, because we have WMD and have clearly shown we will use them. Additionally, have no problem preemptively attacking anyone we feel like.

          1. By your standards, America is the bad guy for standing up to tyrants and monsters. If you think a nuclear armed Iran us equivalent a nuclear armed Pakistan, or any other country, you are sadly deluded.

            And your notion about the US invading ‘without provocation’ is crap. It’s just not provocation with which you agree.

            1. Technically the US is the only nation in the history of the earth to use a WMD for the express purpose of attacking its enemy.

              Would Iran attack the US if they achieved nuclear weapons? Personally, i doubt it since Israel would make a more cost-effective target to an already impoverished nation.

              Is it our fault if Iran “Nukes the Joos”? No, it is Iran’s fault, not to mention the radioactive fallout that will end up in their own country for such a stupid move.

              Personally I cant fucking stand Richman, i didnt even need to read more than the first paragraph to know it was his article, that dude fucking hates America and he wears it on his sleeve and tries to peddle it in all his articles. Please shitcan him reason.

            2. Technically the US is the only nation in the history of the earth to use a WMD for the express purpose of attacking its enemy.

              Would Iran attack the US if they achieved nuclear weapons? Personally, i doubt it since Israel would make a more cost-effective target to an already impoverished nation.

              Is it our fault if Iran “Nukes the Joos”? No, it is Iran’s fault, not to mention the radioactive fallout that will end up in their own country for such a stupid move.

              Personally I cant fucking stand Richman, i didnt even need to read more than the first paragraph to know it was his article, that dude fucking hates America and he wears it on his sleeve and tries to peddle it in all his articles. Please shitcan him reason.

            3. By your standards, America is the bad guy for standing up to tyrants and monsters.

              By my standards, my MORAL standards, derived from the NAP, the US should stand up to those who attack it or for those who are first attacked (only when there is vital national interest).

              If you think a nuclear armed Iran us equivalent a nuclear armed Pakistan, or any other country, you are sadly deluded.

              North Korea

              And your notion about the US invading ‘without provocation’ is crap.

              No, it is not crap. There was NO provocation whatsoever. It was based completely on some ridiculous scenario seen in Bush’s crystal ball.

          2. I respect your opinions, Francisco, not least due your role in the Central American copper mine affair.

            “You cannot prevent a sovereign from arming itself in the face of a perceived threat.”

            How far does this go? It’s hard to avoid resorting to analogy, but a sovereign individual can display a history of behavior that give others in the neighborhood the right to disarm him. The question is, what is Iraq’s history of behavior?

            1. How far does this go?

              Until they actually attack or are in the process of attacking.

              Think about what we do to other nations. Somebody flipping us a little shit? We park a Carrier off their coast. Are you claiming they’d be justified in attacking it?

              1. “We park a Carrier off their coast. Are you claiming they’d be justified in attacking it?”

                I guess it depends on what ‘flipping us a little shit’ means, as well as the recent history of actions between the two nations (let’s say, nations A and B). I don’t think there is a slam dunk right answer, but when you have 7 billion people stuck to a spinning rock, speeding towards nowhere, one must at some point take decisions to strap down a few lunatics, for survival purposes. Or something like that..

                1. What is the definition of lunatics and who decides? You don’t really think the leaders of the opposing nations believe they are wrong (or lunatics) do you? They act the way they do for legitimate (in their eyes) reasons. Our perspectives are different, however.

                  Once you start killing people simply because they are lunatics and you are frightened by them, you are justified in attacking anybody for any reason you choose. Why? Because I can claim that ANYONE is a lunatic and I can claim that ANYTHING scares me. I’ve just justified any immoral action I want to take based on the way I FEELZ.

                  When you base your actions upon an actual rights violation, you avoid such moral hazards.

                  1. One could retort that you merely FEELZ the nonaggression principle.
                    You certainly didn’t deduce it from how most other animals on the planet make a living. Those that survive, anyway.

                    1. Animals don’t have rights. People do. The NAP exemplifies the only logical boundary for rights.

                      I may do anything I choose, PROVIDED in doing so I don’t infringe upon the rights of another. It is the maximization of liberty for everyone. It is the most liberty there can be. It works on the individual level. It works for groups of individuals provided membership within that group is voluntary.

                      The NAP isn’t isn’t something pulled from one’s ass or derived by feeling. It is the basis for liberty.

                    2. I FEELZ ya.

                  2. “What is the definition of lunatics and who decides”

                    When they fund terrorist orgs and suicide bomb attacks against civilians, to name two.

                    1. Fine. When attacked by terrorists and in the process of hunting them down, try them, convicting them and punishing them, you find proof of an accomplice in their actions, you may bring them to justice as well.

                      If it’s a nation state, you have an argument for war.

                      Claiming you are justified in going to war based upon an action that hasn’t been taken, is another matter entirely.

                    2. Fd’A, I’d like to point out that, in many cases, the “enemy” we’re talking about here is NOT a “nation-state,” has no federal capital or capitol and that the very concept of “war” against a bunch of radical terrorists in and from a multitude of Recognized States but not OF those Recognized States really means we all need to re-look at the concepts of War and Rules Of Engagement.

                      It’s not necessarily Iran that’s the Danger… the risk is, imnsho, ANYONE who openly announces that they’re ready and willing to kill civilians and innocent ‘women and children’ in order to promulgate their beliefs and VERY aggressively ‘crowd into our personal space.’

                      Unless you think all of the YouTube videos of imams and ayatollahs saying those exact things are faked. It appears as though there are a LOT of Islamists who Really Do want to see the Entire World convert to Islam, and Refusal means slavery, death or taxes They Collect.

                      The proverbial looking and sounding like a duck… if you don’t come to the conclusion that those ‘ducks’ want our asses on a plate, I think there’s some other agenda going on for you and I don’t like it.

                      Iran doesn’t scare me. Islamist Fundamentalists scare the crap out of me. They’re up-front about what they want, and ‘understanding where they’re coming from’ might fly on the CA coast, but in the real world, it looks more like a suicidal death-wish.

        2. “Because letting a bunch of bloodthirsty, murderous Islamic states have nuclear weapons”

          But you’re OK with North Korea, China, Russia, Pakistan, Israel and India having them? That’s sound strategic thinking in your eyes?

  6. Anthony Bourdain made it into Iran for his Parts Unknown show.

    At one point the people gathered for their two minutes of hate, chanting “Death to America!” and he was obviously a bit disconcerted. Then it was explained to him that “Death to [fill in the blank]” was not meant literally. It was a bit of a joke. They’d chant “Death to shoes!” if they had a pair that didn’t fit well.

    So I don’t really know what to think.

    1. That reminds me of that Simpsons episode: “Don’t you hate pants?”

    2. I think they shouldn’t make jokes that can be construed as threats. If everytime I saw my neighbor and he told me he was going to kill me, he might be joking, but I’m not amused.

  7. I say give every country one nuc. Maybe then we may see a little less military tourism and all the misery that comes with.

    “A well armed society is a polite society.” RAH

    1. Assumes that everyone is as rational as yourself. Naive.

      1. So you are going to decide who gets to have gun in their home? If not, then how is this different? With regard to nucs, so who decided that Israel was, is, and will forever act rationally?

        1. “who decided that Israel was, is, and will forever act rationally”

          I heard they were Chosen a long time ago 😉

        2. Don’t know how I can use my AR to kill 100 million people at once.

      2. define rational.

  8. Sheldon Richman must be the pen name for Valerie Jarrett.

  9. Israel is the nuclear monopolist of the Mideast. That hardly anyone talks about this is at once remarkable and unsurprising.

    1) How can something be “remarkable and unsurprising”?

    2) Israel’s nuclear program is mentioned all the damn time in these discussions. Stop acting like this is some kind of Illuminati-level secret hidden by the government, known only to those who frequent antiwar.com.

    As Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs magazine (published by the establishment Council on Foreign Relations), said on CNN recently, Israel could “destroy Iran this afternoon.”

    Didn’t you just say that “hardly anyone talks about” Israel’s nukes? Eh, whatever.

    So why is Netanyahu pushing war? Among several reasons, demonizing Iran reduces pressure on Israel to negotiate seriously with the Palestinians.

    This is so wrong it is impossible to know how the hell to respond to it.

    the continuous presence of a Jewish community in Iran?today the largest in the Muslim Middle East?for two thousand years [proves] Iran’s steadfast opposition to Israel’s institutionalized injustice against the Palestinians is not anti-Semitism.

    1) Jews in Iran are institutionally discriminated against, solely because of their religion and have been emigrating out of Iran for many years. How the hell is that proof that Iran is not anti-Semitic?

    2) Iran doesn’t give a shit about the Palestinians.

    1. I think he means it’s remarkable but unsurprising given the unusual levels of support for Israel in the US. And by it not being talked about I imagine he’s talking about officially, there’s this strange dance where it’s not mentioned officially although everyone knows about it and talks about it unofficially.

      Also, do you think Iranian citizens don’t care about the Palestinians? I’d be surprised if they didn’t.

      1. It’s remarkable but unsurprising that you would be lapping up the sloppy seconds of a Sheldon Richman article.

        And how is this “strange dance” different than most of what goes on in geopolitics? Our government doesn’t recognize the Armenian genocide or any number of facts which would be inconvenient in the context of foreign policy; hell, they run an un-Constitutional spy program dedicated to ferreting out the metadata of US citizens which we wouldn’t know about if not for the heroic actions of Ed Snowden. The open secret of Israeli nukes is completely unremarkable and entirely unsurprising, and — as I point out — is mentioned all the damn time to the point where it is common knowledge wrt Israeli military capability.

        1. Ha, so you actually did fully understand how something can be seen as remarkable and unsurprising all along.

          “And how is this “strange dance” different than most of what goes on in geopolitics?”

          It’s not, in fact I almost nodded to the weird way we recognize but don’t recognize Taiwan in my first response. That doesn’t make any of the examples that much less bizarre and ‘remarkable but unsurprising.’

          1. It’s not remarkable at all, dimwit. None of those examples (Taiwan, Armenian genocide, etc.) is “remarkable”, and they occur with enough frequency that they are also “unsurprising”. Declaring something “remarkable and unsurprising” is bad writing worthy of an Amanda Marcotte op-ed.

            If Richman is going to be the token Chomskyite Reason writer, I merely ask that his writing be on the level of his linguist idol.

            1. It’s remarkable because it’s crazy to ignore something when it’s so obviously so. Taiwan is its own country and has been for a long time, it’s hilarious to see our government unwilling to ever officially just say it. At the same time, given the nature and importance of Chinese relations it’s unsuprising that they do this.

      2. do you think Iranian citizens don’t care about the Palestinians?

        Doesn’t matter. They’re not the ones driving the bus.

        The educated Shia clerics and their acolytes entrusted with governance would be able to list chapter and verse why Sunni is an evil perhaps worse than non-Muslims.

      3. “Also, do you think Iranian citizens don’t care about the Palestinians? I’d be surprised if they didn’t.”

        Yes, they care about them insofar as they aid in the propaganda war against Israel. As far as caring about them otherwise — they’re Arabs, and they’re mostly Sunni, and if you know anything about the history and geopolitics of the region (i.e., more than Sheldman) then you wouldn’t pose such an idiotic question.

        If they cared about them, they’d simply say, “Come to Iran. You’re welcome here.” The fact that no Arab state does this says a lot more than any of their rhetoric at the UN.

      4. The Iranian government doesn’t care about the Palestinians and that’s who we are discussing here. The Iranian citizenry having nothing to do with this discussion. As they have no real say in their government. Do you understand that?

    2. “Iran doesn’t give a shit about the Palestinians”

      Other than as a tool. Persian Shi’a are not usually bleeding hearts about Sunni Arabs.

      1. That strikes me as silly. People often care about co-religionists they see being oppressed by others even if other things being equal they wouldn’t be big boosters of those co-religionists. See the strong sympathy by Russians for the Serbians during that conflict.

        1. They are not coreligionists. Sunni Arabs and Shia Persians don’t exactly have a long history of cooperation (see ISIS and Iranian meddling in Iraq for the latest manifestation of this friction).

          1. They’re not both Muslims?

            I mean, Serbian and Russian Orthodox don’t believe exactly the same thing either.

            1. Uh, yes they do. The Serb and Russian Orthodox recognize each other and endorse the same councils as binding. They are autocephalous churches independent in ecclesiastical governance, which is not the same thing as considering one another to be heretics.

              A better example would be Catholics and Protestants — and a good Catholic archbishop sure as hell would not consider an English Protestant a coreligionist.

              I hate how broad your ignorance is. It makes it impossible to stick to the topic at hand and necessary to address other topics you lack knowledge and sophistication in.

              1. Says the guy who argued that Andrew Johnson’s relection demonstrated the unpopularity of the Radical Republicans!

                But more to the point, then use Catholics and Protestants. Heck, let’s use Catholics and Coptics. Do you think Catholics don’t care about the treatment of the Copts?

                1. The relationship between Catholics and Oriental Orthodox is complex, but they don’t see each other as heretics — certainly not of the same degree as Catholics and Protestants or Sunni and Shia. Getting back to the main point, a theocracy holding itself out as Shia would not regard Sunni Arabs as co-religionists and the religious motivation you suggest is therefore not in play in explaining the acts of the Iranian government.

                  1. “a good Catholic archbishop sure as hell would not consider an English Protestant a coreligionist.”

                    Would a good Catholic archbishop consider a Coptic Christian (not the minority associated with Catholicism obviously) a coreligionist? And yet they would probably particularly speak out about what they see as their oppression I bet.

                    And again, I don’t care about the acts of the Iranian government here, I said the Iranian people, and iirc from polls of them they say they care quite a bit about the Palestinians.

                2. No, this isn’t theoretical lawyer world. Stop with your bullshit false equivalences, theoretical strawmen, and generally diversionstic attorney bullshit if you want to be taken seriously.

                  We’re not talking about any of those other groups. So they have no place in this discussion.

              2. It more lime the difference between Catholics and Orthodox. Some minor doctrinal diffrences, but the main duspute is over who was the historical leader of the entire religion.

            2. Many Russians saw Serbs as fellow Slavs during the Balkan conflicts. Were you paying attention then?

              Your idea that Sunni and Shia see each other as “co-religionists” speaks volumes both about your knowledge of the area and why you should spend more time educating yourself, and less time in comments sections.

              Aren’t you in law school or something? Maybe concentrate on Bluebooking or something that will actually help you once you get out, instead of spewing blather all day on teh intrawebz.

        2. yes, the palestinian co-religionists care so much about them that they let them rot in refugee camps throughout the Muslim world, or in the case of Syria outright stave.

          But hey, it strikes you as silly, so it’ can’t be right, because you’re Bo Cara, Esq. the omniscient.

          1. So because the Russians didn’t take in all Serbians they didn’t care a whit about them?

            1. Seriously, just stop. You’re being diversionitic again. This is like jacking off in the shower. Sure, it might be fun. But it’s not what you’re in there for.

      2. Nobody gives a shit about the Palestinians, except as a tool. If anybody ever had, they would have been absorbed into that country instead of staying stranded where they can be used as a club against the Jews.

    3. Perhaps Sheldon can explain how bombing the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires is a demonstration of Iran’s philo-semitism.

    4. 2) Iran doesn’t give a shit about the Palestinians.

      Does anyone (with the exception of Israel, who has to deal with them) — except as a club to beat Israel with?

      1. Most Muslims around the world do, even if their governments may not. And that makes perfect sense. Christians around the world are particularly concerned with the treatment of the Coptic Christians, for example.

        1. The individual Muslim may care about the Arabs in Palestine but nobody really cares what individual people think and you know that. The various Arab gov’ts don’t give two shits about them. Read up on the wars that the Arabs have fought with the Jews. Every damn time they divide up their perceived winnings and never have they left room for a Palestinian state.

          That’s why I laugh when the queen of Jordan starts ranting about how she cares about Palestine and Jordan stands with them. I’m like, “Didn’t your husbands ole grandpappy declare war on Israel but then make a secret agreement with Israel to only invade the West Bank because that’s all he wanted?”

          Yea boy, Jordan has a really strong tradition of standing with those Arab rejects known as the Palestinians.

          The only people that even half way do anything for the Pals are the Israelis. They give em food, water, electricity, etc.

          It’s kinda like a mean ass guard dog. You feed it, give it a little shelter, never let it come in the house, and every now and again you gotta kick the shit out of it when it starts getting uppity.

    5. “Israel is the nuclear monopolist of the Mideast. That hardly anyone talks about this is at once remarkable and unsurprising.”

      Fucking retarded. People talk about this all the goddamn time. Especially on the left, where Richman hangs out to get his anti-Israel boner.

      What do you think would happen if Israel did not have nukes? They’ve had them forever (they used to hide them from the U.S.)

      I have no desire to go to war with Iran, but the “none of our business” crowd (bullshitters, almost all of them) have nothing to say when the United States actively prevents Israel from taking out Iran’s nuclear sites. Suddenly the U.S. throwing its weight around internationally is not work bitching about.

      That Polish psychopath Zbigniew Brzezinski advocated us shooting down Israeli planes, should Israel try to stop Iran from doing exactly what Iran said it was doing: developing a nuke to use on Israel. No moaning about Zbigniew Brzezinski’s war cry, I noticed.

      1. “What do you think would happen if Israel did not have nukes?”

        Not. Our. Problem.

        1. So why are we actively intervening to stop Israel from taking out Iran’s nuclear sites?

          Do you know the meaning of non-intervention?

          1. I’m not actively intervening. Don’t presume to speak for me.

          2. Where did Tonio approve of “intervening to stop Israel from taking out Iran’s nuclear sites”?

            1. Dang it.

              Refresh. Then post.

              1. That’s OK, Chuck. Thanks.

            2. Because I’m obiously an anti-semite who wants Iran to finish the job that Hitler started. Duh.

        2. Israel is the beachhead to the rest of the Western world. It’s that first domino.

          1. It’s that first domino.

            Yeah, amazing how SE Asia is all commie now.

            1. +1 Indochina

          2. Israel is the beachhead to the rest of the Western world.

            This makes zero sense geographically or militarily.

            There are several Arab Muslim countries with direct access to the Mediterranean already, and Israel doesn’t have much of a navy. The US is already the primary force holding them in check. There are only 10 miles between Gibraltar and Morocco, so if anywhere is a beachhead to the West, it is Spain.

            By land, there is Turkey (not an Arab country, although a Muslim one) and Eastern Europe sitting between Arab Muslim countries and the West, not Israel. While you could argue Israel makes a convenient distraction, it is not in any way a land-based gateway to the West.

            Politically, it is difficult to make predictions, but the likelihood that the whole of the West would roll over after Israel fell to Arabs/Muslims strikes me as extremely low. First of all, it is an explicitly Jewish country, and a fairly liberal one, so for symbolic reasons alone the involvement of the West in such a conflict is practically guaranteed. Secondly, it is a fairly small country, so the notion that much larger and more powerful countries would be cowed by its demise seems quite unlikely.

            1. Nitpick: Eastern Europe is really part of the West at this point.

              But I do agree that Israel isn’t important geographically. It is more important symbolically and alliance-wise… we don’t want them allying with PRC.

              1. Fair enough on the nitpick, but otherwise what you said has nothing to do with the “beachhead” comment that I was responding to.

  10. The usual dispassionate analysis I expect from the Pali flag waver (the exception to “nationalism is bad”). I guess he brings on the clicks, so Reason will keep putting this stuff up.

    1. I think Pali flag waiver is too generous.

    2. Well, it is at least refreshing to hear a counterpoint to the Israel-first narrative that predominates in conservative circles.

      1. I can direct you to a number of sites that are even more “refreshing” when it comes to blaming Israel for the world’s woes and kissing Arab Muslim ass, but you probably have those sites bookmarked.

        1. Ah, the defining characteristic of the Israel-firster: anyone who doesn’t actively support everything Israel wants is anti-israeli, anti-semite, pro terrorist, etc. There is no such thing as neutrality or American self-interest. Thanks for outing yourself as someone whose opinion may be easily ignored.

      2. I can find you some websites that will also give you a ‘refreshing’ counterpoint about Nazi Germany too. Why the hell why you want to read either?

  11. Netanyahu’s position can be summarized as follows: “Iran is run by genocidal maniacs who are intent on building a nuclear weapon which they will use the destroy Israel, so rather than conduct any effort to stop that through dialog, lets wait and see what these genocidal maniacs will do.”

    It’s insane. It is nothing but a push toward war that will surely involve the US if it happens. And Netanyahu knows this.

    What is even more incredible is how many commenters here buy into the supposition that every problem occurring overseas requires a US solution. If so, then lets hope the last one is always a military one.

    Let’s face it…what Obama is attempting to do through negotiation is EXACTLY what either Rand or Ron Paul would do…negotiate first and forestall as a last step any military solutions. You may believe that the latter two would be better negotiators (and that isn’t clear at all) than Obama, but the fact remains that both the Paul’s have always suggested negotiation before military incursions.

    1. This.

      I don’t give Obama much credit for it, as I don’t think he’s doing it out of some non-interventionist principles (see Libya and Syria) but rather the usual Dem post-Vietnam fear of starting a ‘ground war’ but yes, since war is the health of the state it should always be avoided if possible.

      1. “I don’t give Obama much credit for it…”

        The first time is often the best time, Bo. Savor it.

    2. “Iran is run by genocidal maniacs who are intent on building a nuclear weapon which they will use the destroy Israel….

      Given that Iran’s leadership has said as much, this isn’t an unreasonable position. The only real question is whether it serves our interests to intervene.

      1. I do not suggest for a minute that Netahyahu has no right to be concerned. He does, and he should hold onto his skepticism.

        But it is clear that he is trying to scuttle any attempt at dialog when he says he knows that any deal coming out of this will be bad. And we fostered negotiations not be lead us all into war, but to in fact enter into a dialog that will keep Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. The dialog was the point of the sanctions.

        I would suggest this to you, Bill…if these negotiations fail, we almost assuredly are headed toward a war. Israel will start bombing Iran since Netanyahu has said they are trying to build a bomb, and we have said almost as much ourselves, when we said we will never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.

        And no matter who is President…Obama, Rand Paul, or anyone else, once Israel starts bombing Iran we are involved.

    3. how many commenters here buy into the supposition that every problem occurring overseas requires a US solution

      Few people buy into that supposition. What I would like (and I suppose many others) is that we do not RESTRICT Israel from pursuing their own response. We threaten them and refuse to allow them to fly over Iraq, for example, on their way to Tehran. The US need not join Israel in defending itself, but we definitely should not limit their actions. And that is what I would expect Rand Paul would do.

      1. Well for some reason on this issue they do.

        I don’t think anyone is restricting Israel on anything…if they want to bomb Iran, they certainly are free to do so. The only reason Netanyahu even sees fit to address this here is because of his nation’s absolute imperative of continued US support of Israel. We spend an awful lot of money and worldwide cred on that support his country gets.

        He knows we have every right to pursue our own foreign policy interests, and it surely is in OUR best interests to avoid any further wars in the Mideast, and to at least make an attempt at negotiation in order to avoid that war.

        It would be impossible for any President, including Rand Paul, to sit on the sidelines on a war between Iran and Israel that engulfs that region.

        1. I don’t think anyone is restricting Israel on anything…if they want to bomb Iran, they certainly are free to do so.

          In order for Israel to overfly Iraq they need our Friend/Foe codes or else our AF will engage them. We have consistently refused to provide these as a means of controlling Israel’s actions. Thus, without engaging the USAF, Israel cannot readily bomb Iran.

          If things got really sticky – Iran detonates a test nuke – they might cross that line. That’s why Obama’s position is so foolish. We are essentially pushing Israel into a desperate position. Don’t forget that for Israel this is an existential issue, not a mere political problem.

    4. What an idiotic thing to say. As if a peaceful dialogue with Iran has ever produced anything but lies, deception, and broken promises. If you believe otherwise you’re a fool.

  12. weird to see Zionists on here. Fact is, no wars have occurred between nations with nuclear capability to destroy each other. I say let Iran get a nuke, it is a great deterrent to Israeli or Saudi aggression.

    And this nonsense about Iran not being rational- no, they are perfectly rational. With nukes, they must be brought to the table and taken seriously. Without them, Israel and US get what they want 100% of the time. Iran is acting in it’s own self-interest. It just doesn’t happen to be in our interest- that doesn’t make it irrational.

    1. “weird to see Zionists on here”

      Wait…what?

      1. as in, for those who are typically anti-TEAM, there seems to be a lot of commenters who are 100% team Israel

        1. Yes, because not wanting a war in Iran but thinking Richman is full of shit means we are willing tools of the Mossad.

          Dumbass. Go back to Lew Rockwell’s site and bitch about how Jewish Neocons control America… but you’re not the least bit anti-Semitic.

          1. strawman, ad hom, carry on.

      2. This had to have been linked to some antisemite site somewhere.

        1. why is any critique of the official Israel govt position necessarily anti-semetic?

          1. I didn’t say anything about a statement being anti-semetic. Your reading skills are poor at best.

            1. ad hom, I see. You don’t refute the points made in my post, you simply “suggest” anti-Semitism. Nice job bro, 6/10 troll harder.

              1. FUQ’s a mid grade troll in my experience, so you got that right on.

                1. FUQ’s a mid grade troll in my experience, so you got that right on.

                  Hilarious coming from the only guy that agrees with PB, tony and JackassAce on a regular basis.

                  1. See, a guilt by association argument. I’d give him a 5 personally.

              2. 1) I didn’t respond to your post. I responded to someone else’s comment about a comment you made. In no way did I say or suggest yours was anti-semetic.

                2) I don’t disagree with the basics of what your original post made.

                3) Richman generally attracts the anti-semites because he hates Israel with a burning passion so his articles tend to fill with comments from anti-semites who only post here for that reason.

                1. “because he hates Israel with a burning passion ”

                  I’ve seen no evidence of that. He seems more to hate Israeli policy in the same way that many Jews do, and to be particularly upset by that because he feels a tie to the only Jewish state in the nation. ‘Not in my name’ kind of thing.

                  1. “He seems more to hate Israeli policy in the same way that many Jews do…”

                    I think you mean, “He seems more to hate Israeli policy in the same way that many Iranians do.”

                2. isn’t he Jewish?

                  1. Yes. But the knee jerk labeling of any critic of Israel as ‘anti-Semitic’ often snares many Jews in it’s silly net. It’s like how the leftist black organizations label many blacks as ‘not authentically black’ when they criticize the NAACP approach or what have you.

              3. I said it. Go fuck yourself.

                1. My, but you’re upset.

                  1. You know how we Zionists get. We’re emotional folk.

                    Excuse me, I’m getting a text from my taskmasters in Tel Aviv…

                    1. It’s interesting you’re so sensitive about people using the labels Zionist or neocon but you toss out ‘anti-Semite’ pretty casually.

                    2. I threw it out and it stuck. Not to worry; it washes off.

                    3. Haha

    2. Anything counter to the Israel-first narrative always draws a bunch of new, or infrequent commenters.

    3. Fact is, no wars have occurred between nations with nuclear capability to destroy each other

      What was the 4th Indo-Pakistani War,/a, chopped liver?

      1. “capability to destroy each other” being operative. India/Paki were in early test stages, having both only tested initial nukes in 1998. Nice try tho

        1. What do you call what you just did again? Adjusting the bases? Modifying the height of the basketball hoop? Calibrating the wicket?

          Help me out here.

          1. I call it correcting your piss poor reading comprehension and a response to the gotcha kind of bullshit that avoids the larger point

    4. Dare I suggest that, as a U.S. citizen, “Israel and US get what they want 100% of the time” is a desirable outcome?

      1. no, it’s not. A certain German wanted to get his way all the time…

  13. What is missing in this article is the fact that the United States is a signature of the Symington Agreement, which makes it illegal to provide aid to ANY nation that builds nuclear weapons. However, we provide $3 billion in aid annually, plus whatever Israel comes back and begs for during the year, which goes towards Israel’s defense program, which includes their nuclear program, which Israel had been ambiguous about for decades. The US has been violating this law for as long as it has been in place.

    1. I think there are other moral equivalents we should take into consideration, too.

      For instance, if all those Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere are so miserable, instead of criticizing Israel for refusing to take them in and resettle them, maybe the Democrats should be offering to resettle them here in the United States.

      I don’t care if they’re Hamas, former PLO, hell, let’s even bring in Hezbollah. We could settle them all right here in suburban America–among Democratic voters in greater Boston, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, preferably.

      I mean, how can we expect Israel to do something we aren’t willing to do ourselves?

      1. if all those Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere are so miserable, instead of criticizing Israel for refusing to take them in and resettle them, maybe the Democrats should be offering to resettle them here in the United States.

        More significantly, none of the other Muslim nations in the ME has invited them to settle there. These countries use the Palestinians as a bargaining chip and constant irritant to Israel and the US. It is in their interest for the Palestinians to be miserable.

      2. I vote to relocate them to Richman’s neighborhood. Then he can, on behalf of all of us, apologize personally before fellating them.

  14. “Thus the prime minister’s objective is nothing less than to wreck the current negotiations and push America into a regime-changing war against Iran.”

    There are other possibilities.

    Suffice it to say, one of the alternatives in a false dichotomy doesn’t always result in a slippery slope.

    “To begin, Iran has not sought a nuclear weapon, and the country’s leader declares such weapons contrary to Islam.”

    Yeah, they’d rather suffer sanctions for years than abide by the Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which they’re a signing party, and they’re building enrichment facilities underground where no one can see what they’re doing. They’re enriching uranium without informing anyone beforehand–a direct violation of the treaty–but there’s no reason to think they might have developing nuclear weapons in mind?

    Meanwhile, Islamophobes aren’t likely to find their suggestion that nuclear weapons are contrary to Islam very persuasive–but no one else should be persuaded by the suggestion that anybody should believe anything just because Iran’s leaders said so, either.

    This whole post is juvenile. Naive beyond credibility.

    1. false, NPT allows all nations civilian nuclear capacity. Iran has never NOT complied with IAEA inspections.

      1. “Iran has never NOT complied with IAEA inspections.”

        Does the term “red herring” mean anything to you?

        “In November 2003 IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei reported that Iran had repeatedly and over an extended period failed to meet its safeguards obligations [in the treaty], including by failing to declare its uranium enrichment program.[22]”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Treaty_on_the_Non-Proliferation_of_Nuclear_Weapons #Iran

    2. He is not naive, he is either fucking stupid or on the other side or both. Richman has long passed the point of anything thinking he is well meaning but mistaken. He is a first class fascist shit bag.

  15. Either Richman is actually retarded or he is on the Iranian payroll. Those are the only two explanations I can see for him writing this crap. Israel has never attacked its neighbors and has been the victim of surprise attacks multiple times during its history. Israel never had any issue with Iran at all until the religious fanatics took over. Does Richman actually believe that if Iran were not threatening Israel, Israel would be some kind of a threat to Iran? Israel made peace with Egypt and Jordan in 1977 and there hasn’t been a war or a threat of one since, except when the MB took over Egypt and promised to destroy Israel.

    Iran has been one of the biggest sponsors of international terrorism for decades. They have a horrible oppressive government that imprisons and kills it population by the thousands. They have built far more enrichment facilities than they need and have repeatedly turned down offers for a supply of reactor grade uranium in return for giving up their enrichment capability. They clearly are building a nuclear weapon.

    Richman has gone past the point of embarrassing. Why does Reason publish this shit? They might as well hire Dunphy to write about police abuse.

    1. if Iran is building a nuke, so what? Israel has ~200. I say, build it and force everyone to the table. Otherwise, Israel is just pushing people around using the US as a threat.

      1. When they use it and there is a nuclear war, that will be the so what. And a full scale nuclear exchange would have world wide environmental consequences. And nukes are not as destructive as you think. Even 200 fission weapons would not completely destroy Iran. A dozen or so would destroy Israel. The Iranian government doesn’t care about its people. There is no guarantee that they might view losing 50% of their population in return for finally destroying Israel as a good trade.

        And gee maybe letting their lunatic leaders start a nuclear war would be a really bad thing for the people of Iran too? Regardless, Richman claims they aren’t building one, which is fucking idiotic.

        1. The Iranian government doesn’t care about its people.

          No, but they do care about their power, which they’d lose in a war.

        2. won’t happen and you know it. Pakistan, a muslim nation, has had them since 1998 and hasn’t nuked India yet. It’s a defensive weapon and renders Israel’s coercion toothless, which I am fine with tbh

          1. Pakistan isn’t Iran. And what other than wishful thinking makes you think a nuclear war can never happen? Nothing. The US and USSR almost blew up the world several times during the cold war and both were a hundred times more sane and competent than the Iranians.

            Is it certain? No. But it is a real possibility and only an idiot would say otherwise.

            1. “Pakistan isn’t Iran.”

              Yeah, Pakistan is a model of stability, non-aggression and opponent of terrorism! lol

            2. Pakistan is more unstable and military-ruled than Iran ever has been, if you are a student of history you know this.

              Iran will never nuke anyone, because the backlash would be eradication. Being rational actors, no country will voluntarily eradicate itself.

              1. Being rational actors, no country will voluntarily eradicate itself.

                Being rational actors, no one would every intentionally fly into a building or blow themselves up in a suicide attack.

                Thus, many are not rational actors.

              2. In my opinion it is arguable at best that the government of Iran is a “rational actor.”

              3. Pakistan is more unstable and military-ruled than Iran ever has been, if you are a student of history you know this.

                A military govt is much less likely to use nukes than a theocratic one. For reasons that should be obvious.

                BTW, the US govt has shit its pants every time Pakistan enters a period of political instability since 1998. Imagine if the Taliban or something similar took over Paki. Pleasant thought? Well that’s what a nuclear Iran would be like.

          2. I would venture to say that the government of Pakistan is a more rational actor than the government of Iran.

            1. And they’re heavily dependent on US aid.

        3. Give it up, John. There’s no winning here. When you are dealing with people who blithely compare Israel to Iran as if there is no difference between the two; who openly wish for Iran to get nukes to “even things up” between them; and who make transparent comments about how criticizing Richman’s shit makes them “100% team Israel” and “Zionist,” there is no way bringing in the actual history of the region or logical argument is going to work.

          Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

          1. strawman, no one ever said Iran equals Israel. Stop lying to yourself- Israel only cares because t’s coercive power would be threatened with a deterrent nuclear power in the region.

            And my comments about Zionism and team Israel stand- I do not think you have to be anti-Semitic to criticize Israel, or anyone for that matter. It’s odd that “libertarians” seem to run to rally around a flag, a foreign one, when Israel is brought up, but any other conversation it’s about “team red vs team blue”. Collectivism runs rampant, even at Reason, I see. I just try to apply the same rules for all nations.

            1. “It’s odd that ‘libertarians’ seem to run to rally around a flag, a foreign one, when Israel is brought up, but any other conversation it’s about ‘team red vs team blue’. ”

              e_f,

              I don’t identify as a libertarian/Libertarian and thus don’t take offense, but that’s quite the Wide Brush you just painted with.

              “I just try to apply the same rules for all nations.”

              Good.

          2. And for years there was “no Israel lobby” and if you suggested there was you were a paranoid nutcase. Perhaps if the pro-Israel crowd hadn’t been dishonest and deceptive for so many years they’d be more trusted.

            1. Yes, that shadowy cabal known as AIPAC, (I can tell you what those initials stand for only if you reach the 36th degree of Freemasonry) hidden in their secret bunker in an undisclosed location where they plot and scheme their sinister agenda.

              Why can’t they be more open, like our friend Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud?

        4. Why does Reason publish this shit?

          Clicks. And they can’t afford Chomsky.

          1. Thats hilarious and sad at the same time.

          2. Probably the most cogent post on this entire board

          3. Probably the most cogent post on this entire board

      2. Israel is the size of New Jersey. How many nukes do you think Iran would need??

        1. Iran doesn’t need any nuclear weapons. When the Palestinians attack Israel, they don’t use nuclear weapons either. They use dozens of home-made rockets but still manage to send Israelis scurrying to bomb shelters in their thousands. Iran could match and increase this intensity without resorting to anything but conventional weaponry. They could cripple the Israeli nation.

      3. I say build it and afterward Israel will only have 180.

        1. Good one…

      4. “if Iran is building a nuke, so what? Israel has ~200. I say, build it and force everyone to the table. Otherwise, Israel is just pushing people around using the US as a threat.”

        The problem is that Israel isn’t a security threat to the United States, and Iran is a long term security threat to the United States–especially with Iran’s long range missile program. Hell, they’ve already successfully launched multistage rockets.

        I know it’s become hard for some people to understand, but American foreign policy is meant to put the interests of…American security first. Not Iraqi security. Not Iranian security.

        You know what the definition of “fair” is in foreign policy?

        It’s whatever is in the best interests of the United States.

        Iran having nuclear weapons and long range missile program is not in the best interests of the United States, so fuck Iran’s long rang missile program, fuck Iran’s nuclear program, and fuck Iran.

        1. Iran cannot fuel its own aircraft to launch attacks and needs extremely high oil prices to make a profit, as they use horrendously outdated tech. These rockets you refer to all have ranges of under 200 miles, not exactly a threat to the homeland brother.

          Iran is not a threat to us. They are a threat to Israel’s coercive power, yes. I don’t have a problem with that.

          1. “These rockets you refer to all have ranges of under 200 miles”

            You’re either an ignoramus (who’s so ignorant he doesn’t know how Google works), or you’re making shit up, or you’re a liar.

            Iran has numerous military missile CLASSES that have a range of 1200 miles, as detailed on wiki:

            http://tinyurl.com/nq6qdf9

            In addition to that, they already have already launched multistage rockets

            “The Iranian space program has been condemned by United States and Europe because of their concern over its military potential. Some analysts have compared the relatively fast Iranian advancement in space technology to Russia’s Sputnik program with the prediction that this advancement will propel Iran’s military capability in other areas as well. The recent launches of the Iranian space program has put its rocket technology ahead of North Korea’s, especially in multi-stage technologies necessary for orbital launch. The military concerns over Iran’s space program has been exacerbated over Safir rocket’s advanced 2nd stage which Iran has kept secret by not releasing any technical information related to the second stage of the rocket, keeping outside observers guessing over the technicalities”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_Space_Agency

            Can’t you make any of your points without making shit up?

        2. and if we are to put American interests first, why would we put Israeli interests first? Friends with all, alliances with none? Or something like that? Sound familiar?

          1. “and if we are to put American interests first, why would we put Israeli interests first?

            Well, for one thing, Israel is enemies with our enemy, Iran in this case.

            Right?

            Iran is a long term security threat to the United States because of its nuclear and long range missile programs.

            Israel is an enemy of Iran–according to Iran.

            If it’s in the United States’ security interests to be allied with an enemy of what is probably our biggest and most serious long term security threat, then why the hell wouldn’t we be allies with Israel?

            “Friends with all, alliances with none?

            That was before the threat of nuclear ICBMs emerged during the Cold War.

            Our alliances were a crucial part of the reason why we won the Cold War without an ICBM ever being fired at us, and abandoning an ally in the region in that light would be foolish.

            Would the Soviet Union have collapsed the way it did without us being able to leverage our security relationships with countries like Turkey in Russia’s backyard?

            I don’t think so, and a lot of other people don’t either.

        3. The problem is that Israel isn’t a security threat to the United States…

          They are unlikely to directly opposed us, but coopting our foreign policy to their advantage is a problem.

      5. if Iran is building a nuke, so what?

        I’d much rather they didn’t. But there’s no indication that they are anywhere close or are trying. I’m glad they are part of the NPT and under IAEA inspection. I think the NPT regime is a good one and if the UN has ANY function at all it should be to limit or reverse the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It really is the most important issue in the world. It’s a shame it’s not treated that way and is seen mainly as a tool with which to bludgeon your rivals.

        1. When Iran willingly suffers a decade of sanctions rather than assuage the world’s fears about their nuclear intentions, it is not unreasonable to assume that they’re doing what the rest of the world is worried about.

          Why pay such a terrible price unnecessarily?

          They could have complied with the IAEA at any time over the years–and they chose to suffer sanctions instead.

          And the sanctions have worked–insofar as they’ve finally made Iran burn through their foreign exchange reserves and come to the bargaining table.

          Thank God they ran out of foreign exchange reserves before they could test a nuclear device. Because if they’d been able to test a device before they ran out of foreign currency reserves, all bets would have been off.

          And, by the way, they’re still playing for time.

    2. Even if they are building a nuclear weapon, I don’t think they’d use it for anything other than defense/deterrence. Unless they’re suicidal. Having nukes is about the only thing that stops the US from invading a country. Being that the US has invaded two of their neighbors who did not have nukes, while not invading the one with nukes, it seems only rational.

      1. only reason NK exists is because of nukes. Otherwise we wouldn’t be throwing them food aid, we’d be throwing cruise missiles.

        1. Even without nukes, NK has enough conventional artillery trained on Seoul to flatten the city in short order.

          1. yeah but the US has no reason to barter with them without nukes in play

          2. Yep. Look at a map of Korea. Seoul is way too close to the DMZ for comfort. NK is able to ensure South Korea loses its capital if war broke out. And they can do it with 50 year old technology hiding in bunkers in the mountains just north of the border.

          3. It’s not because NK has god weapons. All their military equipment is decades old and in disrepair. BUT the fact that Seoul is so close means that it’s vulnerable even to those shitty outdated weapons.

            1. *good weapons

            2. NK doesn’t really need nukes. They have hundreds of artillery pointed at Seoul. They could raise absolute havoc if they wanted to.

              1. A preemptive strike could have taken out a large fraction of that artillery before it could do anything, not to mention the damage we could do to their command and control. As long as we were willing to absorb some artillery fire on Seoul, there was nothing further the Norks could do to deter us. They knew this.

                Now that they have nukes and missiles capable of carrying them, the game has totally changed.

        2. Chinese patronage, too. Just as Israel is dependent upon US patronage. Interesting parallel there.

          1. Israel’s not ‘dependent’ on US patronage, that’s the exact problem with the foreign aid program. Israel can handle their own shit and has been able to do so since at least the Six Day War. They have a well developed economy and major industries that are vital to the global market. You’re typing on a computer that is likely a product of Israeli processor technology. North Korea, on the other hand, is a crippled broken state that has always been dependent on foreign aid and luxury goods, be it from China or the USSR. Not an apt comparison.

            1. so then you’re cool with ending $4B in aid annually to Israel? Cool, me too

              1. Absolutely, it’s absurd that its continued on this long. Of course, there’s some crony factors as to why aid has continued (military aid to Israel is used to buy equipment from American arms manufacturers).

                1. Of course, there’s some crony factors as to why aid has continued (military aid to Israel is used to buy equipment from American arms manufacturers).

                  Well that’s the thing, isn’t it. When people trot out the 4 billion number, they never give the context so that it appears as if we hand over 4 billion dollars to Israel as like a tribute to a Ming Dynasty emperor or something. In actuality, only around 25 to 30 million dollars of direct economic assistance is given; where as the rest is in the form of “discounts” on purchasing military equipment”.

                  Of course, when we offer discounts on purchases to Israel it is somehow sinister, but the 9 billion in discounts offered to Afghanistan, the 1 billion to Egypt and Iraq, the 77 million to Pakistan, etc. etc. are barely worth a raised eyebrow. If most people commenting on foreign aid to Israel were consistent in their principals, they would direct most of their invective toward the military contractors and their political cronies developing and offering these Keynesian pump-priming discount packages. But, alas, it’s much easier for Richman and company to rhetorically pen the textual equivalent of the old Star-of-David adorned octopus on top of the globe, clutching the world in its tentacles, cartoon

                  1. Great points. I understand the value of foreign aid in diplomacy, but it is exactly it’s feeding of the crony monster both here and abroad that I abhor. Add to that the ridiculous situations whereby we arm our future enemies with weapons and I wonder if military aid should be more restricted than it has been.

      2. “Even if they are building a nuclear weapon, I don’t think they’d use it for anything other than defense/deterrence. Unless they’re suicidal. Having nukes is about the only thing that stops the US from invading a country. Being that the US has invaded two of their neighbors who did not have nukes, while not invading the one with nukes, it seems only rational.”

        I agree with this, regardless of the government/country in question.

        1. “Being that the US has invaded two of their neighbors who did not have nukes, while not invading the one with nukes, it seems only rational.”

          Which only reinforces the case that Iran is likely pursuing nuclear weapons. That leaves only the issues of (a) whether or not the US should do anything about it; and (b) if so, what.

          1. The US is doing something about it.

      3. This. So much this.

        Libya is the prime example. Within a decade of giving up his WMD program, Gaddafi was booted out of power by a US-backed revolution and shot dead in the streets. Don’t think dictators around the world didn’t notice.

    3. I suspect he got beaten up by a Jew as a kid or something, and has never been able to get over it.

      1. Richman is Jewish himself, for the hundredth time.

        1. Then he’s a self-loathing Jew! /Israel-firster

    4. “Iran has been one of the biggest sponsors of international terrorism for decades. They have a horrible oppressive government that imprisons and kills it population by the thousands. They have built far more enrichment facilities than they need and have repeatedly turned down offers for a supply of reactor grade uranium in return for giving up their enrichment capability. They clearly are building a nuclear weapon.”

      Richman can reply that Israel has regularly struck targets throughout the world (they just call them special ops instead of terrorism), they can be said to be horribly repressive to those in the occupied territory and they’ve already built many nuclear weapons.

      1. (they just call them special ops instead of terrorism)

        Yep. When the good guys do it it’s special ops. When the bad guys do it it’s terrorism.

        1. Soft targets v/s military targets.
          Makes a big difference.

          1. No, everything and everyone is equivalent.
            That way, no one has to discriminate or judge or think.
            Context is irrelevant, history is for suckers, morality is subjective.

        2. “When the good guys do it it’s self-defense. When the bad guys do it it’s aggression.”

          Right? It’s all the same in a world without that pesky thing called Judgment.

          1. It all depends on which side you’re on.

      2. If you think Iran and Israel are in anyway morally equivalent or equally dangerous to the rest of the world you are either anti-Semitic or a complete fucking moron. I don’t think you are an anti-Semite and Richman is clearly a moron but he might be both.

        1. “you are either anti-Semitic or a complete fucking moron.”

          Captain False Dilemma is still at his post I see.

          1. You’re right on that one. I don’t think you’re anti-semitic. You are however a complete fucking moron.

            1. It’s fortunate for me what you think matters none.

              1. Is must matter to you since you now follow me around.

                1. That’s a lot of projection there FUQie.

        2. Moral equivalency all the way down with these guys.
          The mistake that runs the world is thinking other people are just like you.
          Not everyone is motivated by a desire to coexist in peace.
          Not everyone is satisfied to just live and let live.

          1. Not everyone is motivated by a desire to coexist in peace.
            Not everyone is satisfied to just live and let live.

            All Israel wants to do is coexist in peace with the Palestinians, right?

            1. Considering Israel could have easily exterminated them 50 times over by now with no real fear of reprisals from Arab countries which they defeated in three wars, yes, it would appear so.

              That’s not to pretend that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians has been appropriate, but there’s no evidence of animosity toward them.

          2. There are quite a number of people here (and elsewhere) who seem blinded by the delusion that these savages view others as individuals rather than members of a collective “west” or “Americans,” and that telling them “I PERSONALLY DON’T SUPPORT DRONING/BUSH/ISRAEL (or whatever)” suddenly will make them decide not to cut your head off. Remember Michael Moore asking, “Why did they attack New York? New York didn’t vote for Bush!” Ugh.

            My wife is a foreigner, and always cracks up when she hears Americans think that their particular/opposition policies will be noticed and respected by those in the 3rd world. As she’s said, “We don’t care if you’re a Republican or Democrat or with Obama or against him; all we know is you are Americans.” And that about sums it up. “Not Your President?” They don’t care. You’re fair game. Act accordingly.

        3. Your view of morality depends upon which tribe you belong to. Israel has done quite a bit of awful shit for sake of their security. A Palestinian who’s home was bulldozed to make way for a settlement can’t be blamed for failing to see what a beacon of freedom Israel is in an otherwise backward part of the world.

          I make no excuses for Iran however. They sponsor indiscriminant terror aimed at innocent civilians, and that is worse than what Israel does.

        4. If you think Iran and Israel are in anyway morally equivalent or equally dangerous to the rest of the world you are either anti-Semitic or a complete fucking moron.

          No, it’s Asperger’s, not retardation. Hard to tell sometimes, I’ll grant you, but as caring people, we have to urge him into getting treatment rather than just flinging poo at him.

    5. Publishing Richman is their way of moving away from Team Red and Team Blue, and towards Team Ayatollah.

  16. It’s silly to argue whether Iran wants a bomb or not. Only they truly know. The question is: Can we do anything about it IF they do?

    My take, maybe in the very short term. But long term, they’ll get one if they want. So what is the point of bombing them and further embroiling the US in the quagmire that is SW Asia. The sooner we can extricate ourselves from having any responsibility in that part of the world, the better. Israel, at some point, is going to have to learn to take care of itself in the schoolyard without hiding behind the US. I’m rooting for them, but I truly hope that my son isn’t called to fight for them any time soon.

    1. Clearly the economic sanctions are having an effect, otherwise Iran wouldn’t be at the negotiating table. I think that’s a reasonable approach for the US/UN to take if it helps to keep ‘nucs from nuts’ which is certainly a potential risk. However, if Iran chooses to still proceed with a nuc program, I’m not certain of our moral standing to preemptively intervene militarily or support Israel in doing so.

    2. Israel bombed Iraq and permanently sidelined its nuke program. So, although the conditions are certainly a lot different, there is at least some precedent for thinking it may work to greatly slow down such a program. Whether or not the differences are such that a strike in this case may not suffice is a separate question.

  17. Was Netanyahu calling for war or just pointing out that the useless treaty where Obama hands Iran everything they want is crap and should not go forward since it lets Iran do what they want which is no different then what Iran does now since inspectors are already not allowed into certain nuclear facilities already. What could they be hiding? Treaties with people who have secrets are useless.
    OTOH it’s really none of our bussiness if they build a bomb until they use it then, we should solve the problem forever with several return strikes.

    1. He didn’t call for war at all. But Richman hates Israel and frankly I think wants Iran to get the bomb and use it. I think is is affirmatively on the other side.

      1. Richman is what’s known as a ‘self-hating jew’.

        1. Like ‘not authentically black’?

          1. My, aren’t you the Clown Prince of non-sequiturs.

          2. Yes. An ‘uncle Tom’, if you will.

            1. I’m glad you see the analogy (maybe explain it to poor frayed knot if you would)

              1. I am afraid not.

        2. Yep, right out of the IF playbook, doc. Stay on script…

        3. Richman is what’s known as a ‘self-hating jew’.

          On the contrary, he thinks quite highly of himself.

  18. I see no difference between Sheldon Richman’s assault on reality and Adam Lanza’s murdering of children.

    1. Nicely played, sir.

  19. I really fail to see the difference between Netanyahu and Hitler.

  20. I used to think Richman was getting way too much stick lately here. Today I was proven wrong.

  21. Definition of irony: the only country that has ever used nukes is the country that sets itself up as arbiter of other countries owning nukes.

    1. You are the definition of sophistry.

    2. Ironic, but inevitable. Who else is going to do that?

    3. That’s not irony. And considering the US is the only country that’s ever shown self-restraint in using nukes, it makes perfect sense.

      1. the US is the only country that’s ever shown self-restraint in using nukes

        What?

        The United States is the only country to use nuclear weapons offensively, but not the only country to possess them.

        At any time post-1949, there were at least two countries possessing nuclear weapons, and none were used offensively. So either every country possessing nuclear weapons has exercised self-restraint since 1949, or else none of them have.

        So apparently you are talking about 1945-1949 (after Nagasaki and before the Soviets had nuclear capability), which is a fairly brief period of time, following a major worldwide conflict, and one in which communism expanded greatly throughout Europe and Asia.

        1. So apparently you are talking about 1945-1949 (after Nagasaki and before the Soviets had nuclear capability), which is a fairly brief period of time, following a major worldwide conflict, and one in which communism expanded greatly throughout Europe and Asia.

          Yep. Would have been an ideal time for us to use nukes to further our interests, and we didn’t. Proving our self-restraint. You think Stalin would have been so restrained?

          And to your point that it was “a brief period”, well the period where we did use nukes was far briefer at about 9 days.

          1. It might prove Harry Truman’s restraint but it says nothing indelible about the United States itself.

            1. Past performance is not a perfect predictor of future rewards.

              But it is pretty much the best we have.

              1. And the United States is the only country to ever use nuclear weapons offensively. So by the same predictive mechanism, the US is the most dangerous country to possess nuclear weapons!

                Context matters.

      2. The U.S. is the only country that’s ever shown self-restraint in using nukes? Really? Because the Soviets were completely willing to hand them off to the North Vietnamese or drop them on Afghanistan when the going got tough.

        1. I think in both cases they were restrained because of the opposition posed by another nuclear power, the United States. However, as I tried to argue above, based upon such criteria, there is only a narrow period of time and circumstances where “self-restraint” meant anything, and thus the statement about the US being “the only country to show self-restraint” is consequently insubstantial.

          1. You are correct about the restraint imposed by US nuclear capability.

          2. I really don’t think that the opposition of the United States is the sole factor (but an important one) in other countries not using nuclear weapons. Admittedly, there’s no scenario where nations have nukes while the U.S. does not, but ultimately nukes are messy. Using my Afghanistan example, when the Soviets wanted a client state, dropping a nuclear on wherever carried long term severe damage that conventional weapons simply lack. In many cases the use of nukes is just counterproductive to a nation’s actual goal. I just don’t buy the argument that Americans have magically endowed self-restraint for the use of nukes when again, they’re the only nation to ever use them offensively.

  22. The thing that interests me in regards to this is the fact that both sides of the Iran nuclear debate are perfectly willing to take whatever Iranian politicians/clerics say at face value as long as it confirms their bias. I don’t hold ‘what Iranian politicians say’ seriously one way or the other as fact. Iranian politicians say that they’re not pursuing nuclear weapons technology and clerics say its ‘against Islam’? Couldn’t possibly be they’re covering up their program for the sake of developing it secretly. Iranian politicians say they’ll wipe out Israel? Couldn’t possibly be empty ‘big man’ talk in an attempt to stuff their foreign policy jock strap and rile up support from their anti-Israel followers. The Kims loved to get their hate on for South Korea, talking about cleansing it with fire and all that, but it’s just empty rhetoric.

    You’d think that people who are openly skeptical of the bullshit that American politicians say on a daily basis would hold other foreign political entities to the same standard. So why exactly are Iranian politicians/clerics some amazing arbiters of truth (where their grandiose political speeches are argued as fact) rather than purely talking out of their ass? It’s rich hearing Netanyahu’s speech being called a ‘fabric of lies’ while upholding the words of Iranians with their motives.

    1. More of this please.

      /Standing O

    2. Good points.

      Not only are nuclear weapons un-Islamic, so is terrorism.
      So no need to be concerned about either. They are impossible. QED.

      1. It really is a specious argument. That Richman would use it throws discredit on his entire premise.

    3. I think you can be skeptical of both Israel and Iran’s words.

      1. That’s my point, you can clearly see that both sides are willing to lie for their own self-interest. Richman is declaring Netanyahu’s argument a ‘fabric of lies’ while acting like Iranian politicians/clerics would never have any kind of interest in lying for their own self-interest. Everything Iranians say that confirms his bias is the obvious truth. He’s holding one to a standard he refuses to hold to another (and it’s likely a product of his ‘nationalism is bad unless it’s Palestinian nationalism’ attitude when it comes to his idea of Middle East politics).

    4. Iranian politicians say they’ll wipe out Israel? Couldn’t possibly be empty ‘big man’ talk

      That’s very possible, but there comes a point where originally empty talk leads to concrete actions to back it up. President A says he wants to wipe Israel off the map, intending it as empty talk. General B (who is actually a true zealot) says to president A that he can produce a weapon to do just that if he’s given funding and resources. President A can’t really say no without losing face, so he gives a little funding for the weapons program to start up.

      A few years later, General B’s program is making slow progress, and Administrator C wonders aloud why President A is not following through on his promise to wipe Israel off the map. This is also possibly empty talk aimed at improving Administrator C’s career, but President A has to respond concretely, and to show his resolve at wiping Israel off the map (more empty talk), he gives more funding to General B’s weapons program, which now makes faster progress.

      A few more iterations of this empty talk leading to concrete actions, and you see where the problems arise. Eventually the weapon is going to be ready and the president is going to have only one way of backing up his empty talk.

      1. There is plenty of examples of ’empty talk’ and saber rattling that amount to absolutely nothing, enough that concrete actions occurring from empty rhetoric is more unlikely than not. Again, has North Korea wiped South Korea off the map yet? Did Khrushchev really bury the United States? What happened when Obama drew his red line in Syria?

        1. Of course. My point is that even if it is intended as empty talk (which it might not be), there is a strong chance of it being backed up.

          It behooves us to take Iran’s threats much more seriously than we take their claims of innocence.

          1. If I was an Israeli politician, sure. Rational response for self-interest. If I’m the United States, I should probably be looking at it more broadly and be willing to call a buff, if that’s what evidence beyond the words of corrupt dishonest Iranians points to.

        2. And as stated below, we really, really don’t want the Iran situation to become anything like the NK situation. You are aware that NK occasionally blows up South Korean ships, right? And we still have to kiss their asses.

          1. Why are South Korean ships the responsibility of the United States?

            1. They are not. But it behooves us to look after them if we want to have power in that part of the world.

              1. “Look after them” does not translate to “start a war that would wipe out half the population of Seoul because the North occasionally blows up some boats”.

                I don’t believe you’re arguing in good faith when you stress the destruction of South Korean ships while pretending that actually intervening in even a pre-nuke North Korea would have left the South in fine shape.

                1. while pretending that actually intervening in even a pre-nuke North Korea would have left the South in fine shape.

                  Where did I do this?

                  Much is always lost in war, but in some cases much is also saved by war. The trouble is picking those cases where more is saved than lost. Living under the omnipresent threat of annihilation is worse than enduring a lot of death and damage once to get it over with.

                  NK getting pissed off is far more dangerous now than it was in the 1990s. And what they will be pissed off about is also harder to predict. It’s not at all clear that SK is better off than they would have been had Seoul been struck by the limited artillery capacity that would survive our initial strike.

                  1. So the threat of destruction is far worse than the actual destruction that would occur as a result of an actual intervention.

                    Living under the omnipresent threat of annihilation is worse than enduring a lot of death and damage once to get it over with.

                    And this is incredibly easy to say as a person far away from any harm. South Koreans, on the other hand, might have a negative view of having their lives thrown away due to the fears of another nation. Sounds like a decision the South Koreans, not you, should make.

                    Of course, by this logic, a limited nuclear war in the 1950s between the U.S. and USSR was preferable to the collapse in 1991.

                    It’s not at all clear that SK is better off than they would have been had Seoul been struck by the limited artillery capacity that would survive our initial strike.

                    Again, I think South Koreans would disagree with you.

                    1. So the threat of destruction is far worse than the actual destruction that would occur as a result of an actual intervention.

                      The destruction threatened in 2015 is far greater than the actual destruction would have been in 1998. So yes.

                      You seem to think that threats are never carried out.

                      Of course, by this logic, a limited nuclear war in the 1950s between the U.S. and USSR was preferable to the collapse in 1991.

                      I don’t see how you reach this conclusion.

                      And this is incredibly easy to say as a person far away from any harm. South Koreans, on the other hand, might have a negative view of having their lives thrown away due to the fears of another nation.

                      A US draftee tortured and killed by Imperial Japanese troops in the Phillippines would have been better off if we’d not entered the war. That doesn’t change the calculation.

                    2. And you seem to think threats are inevitable.

                      I don’t see how you reach this conclusion.

                      That is based entirely on your logic. The threat of destruction by the USSR in the 70s or 80s is far greater than the actual destruction would have been in the 1950s. Living under the omnipresent threat of annihilation is worse than enduring a lot of death and damage once to get it over with. Therefore, an early war with a limited nuclear exchange is preferable to the continued threat of annihilation as Soviet nuclear stockpiles expand. That is your EXACT argument based applied to the Soviet threats in the Cold War rather than the North Korean ones today. At least be consistent.

                    3. That is your EXACT argument based applied to the Soviet threats in the Cold War rather than the North Korean ones today.

                      No, it’s not. The USSR had enough nukes to obliterate us in the 1950s. NK in 1998 did not pose nearly the threat it does now.

                      If you wanted to extend “my logic” to US-USSR dealings, you would ask whether it was preferable to confront the USSR militarily in, say, 1947, before they had nukes but after it was clear they were going to be a problem. That would be an interesting discussion.

                    4. First of all, read Command and Control. The Soviets did not the ability to project enough nukes to completely obliterate the United States in the 50s.

                      And no, you don’t get to suddenly make nukes a qualifier. Your argument is that:

                      “Much is always lost in war, but in some cases much is also saved by war. The trouble is picking those cases where more is saved than lost. Living under the omnipresent threat of annihilation is worse than enduring a lot of death and damage once to get it over with.”

                      Dealing with the Soviet Union in the early 1950s when it had the capacity to inflict a great deal of destruction, but nowhere near as much as it did when it threatened annihilation in, say, the late 80s, is the logical outcome of your argument. You could also argue for dealing with them in the late 40s, but your entire position is based around the concept that limited destruction is more preferable to the possible threat of annihilation. Nukes cannot be a sudden qualifier for this argument given that one or several is not capable of the ‘omnipresent threat of annihilation’ you wish to eliminate. “NK in 1998 did not pose nearly the threat it does now”? Neither did the Soviet Union in 1952 compared to 1982.

    5. I agree that its plausible that Iranian leaders are talking out of their ass when it comes to open war with Israel. The problem is(for Israel) the ratio of the chance Iran is lying vs the risk if they aren’t. When a man tells you he’s going to kill you, you should generally believe him. Even if there’s a 90% chance he’s lying, the risk of ignoring the threat isn’t worth it.

      1. This is one of a few legitimate applications of the Precautionary Principle, since one of the credible outcomes would be, not just bad, but ruinous.

      2. And that’s absolutely a rational response on the part of Israel. The problem comes down to dragging the United States into the whole mess due to their connections. I basically support cutting Israel lose from American foreign aid and letting them make up their own minds on this shit. The United States can’t babysit Israel and Iran forever.

        1. Seriously? We really don’t want our allies in the ME to have to start shopping for a new superpower protector. Russia or the PRC would use such a position in ways that would be very, very bad for us and most of the world.

          It would be charitable to say dogmatic noninterventionism is like trying to play checkers on a chessboard. I’m not even sure the noninterventionists’ game has a board.

          1. Considering your ‘stomp North Korea early’ foreign policy belief would have massively depopulated South Korea I don’t think you get to lecture on other people on playing the game poorly.

            1. I wasn’t proposing a full blown assault on NK. Though the destruction they could have wrought in Seoul with artillery alone, while considerable, is a lot less than they could do now with nukes AND artillery, so it’s not at all clear an assault would have been counterproductive.

              Getting rid of the Kims would have to be done carefully, no doubt, but it could have been done. Sufficient pressure on the PRC via our trading relationship (somewhere “free trade” libertarians also oppose having leverage) could probably have done the trick, getting them to replace KJI with another less-squirrelly dictator friendly to Beijing.

              1. Or they could have end up with a replacement far more willing to engage in open warfare once in power. Or the Kims could have told China to go fuck themselves and create an even more unstable North Korea willing to fight. It’s easy to dream up hypotheticals to support whatever you want. What you ‘probably think’ would happen is in no way a guarantee.

                1. Or they could have end up with a replacement far more willing to engage in open warfare once in power.

                  Highly unlikely. The PRC was not looking for a war at that point, it would have been disastrous for them.

                  Or the Kims could have told China to go fuck themselves

                  He could say that all he wanted and it would not matter. PRC had numerous means to dispose of KJI all along.

                  The realistic problem with my plan was that the PRC could tell *us* to go fuck ourselves. Hence the need for trade policy leverage.

                  1. Again, you’re just constructing hypotheticals to fit what you think would happen. You hand-wave possibilities that don’t fit your narrative. What the PRC was looking for is irrelevant to what the actual leader does while in power. You have zero evidence to support that ‘numerous means to dispose’ would actually work or not have negative long term consequences. Alienating the PRC itself couldn’t possibly have side effects. You refuse to consider the negative consequences of these actions and assume everything would work out just as planned. You’re not Tallyrand, and hypotheticals fail when reality kicks in.

                    1. Again, you’re just constructing hypotheticals to fit what you think would happen.

                      That’s what everyone does when evaluating future courses of action. Even noninterventionists are doing the same thing when they claim there were better alternatives to the Iraq War, for instance.

                      I’m offering ideas that I think have the least risk vs. the reward. If you disagree with my evaluation of risk vs reward, please share your thoughts. But dismissing them as “hypotheticals” is a total copout.

                    2. Except what we’re not arguing about a future course of action, it’s a past one that you’re constructing your ideal outcomes out of. Non interventionists are just as willing to engage in idealist fantasies about past conflicts. It’s all glorified alternative history.

                      It’s not a copout, it’s recognizing the fact that you’re constructing an ideal and ignoring the possibility of it going to shit. I question your notion of ‘least risk’ given your willingness to allow actual destruction to placate your fears of possible destruction that has not occurred nor is there current signs of it occurring. If we take your hypothetical attempt to overthrow the South Korea regime, and compare it actual history, there’s no idea of how it constitutes ‘least risk’. The outcome could be your idealist coup working perfectly, or it could be open conflict between the two Koreas, or it could be some combination of the two. This is not ‘risk evaluation’, it’s constructing an outcome that can’t be supported because it didn’t happen.

                    3. It’s not a copout, it’s recognizing the fact that you’re constructing an ideal and ignoring the possibility of it going to shit.

                      I am not ignoring the possibility of it going to shit. I am acknowledging and seeking to minimize that possibility by modifying the chosen actions.

                      Doing anything introduces risks. Doing nothing also does.

                    4. And again, my point is that you’re arguing a hypothetical to something that has already occurred. The outcome of ‘doing nothing’ (or more accurately, doing the United States’ current foreign policy towards North Korea) has been clearly shown by reality. The outcome of your opinion is unsupported and can never be shown. That’s why I’m shooting it down as a hypothetical, because you can construct whatever outcome, good or bad, you want and require zero evidence to support it because it’s an unfalsifiable argument about something that never happened and is impossible to replicate.

                      Hypothesizing about future events in the context of foreign policy is an exercise in risk evaluation, arguing about what ‘should have happened’ is an exercise in mental masturbation fraught with personal bias.

          2. Now, call me crazy here, but if Israel is so eager to shack up with Russia or the PRC, then they’re not really much of an ally, are they? There is a difference between client state and ally, you know.

            In reality, the Israelis would sooner go it alone than be Russia or China’s puppet. Their relationship with us, while not exactly equitable, should not be construed to imply some innate desire upon Israel’s part for a strong foreign backer.

            1. Israel is not “eager” to go into Russia/PRC orbit, but if the choice is between that and annihilation at the hands of Iran, it’s hard to see them ruling it out.

              In any case, I’m far more concerned about losing Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, etc. (and thus control of the Gulf) to the Russians or Chinese. And that would happen in a heartbeat under dogmatic noninterventionism.

              1. Alliance is a mutual relationship. Any country that is eager to make itself a pawn is not an ally. That is the salient point, would you care to actually address it?

                1. Alliance is a mutual relationship.

                  That may have been the dictionary definition at some point, but many relationships officially termed “alliance” are de facto suzerainty arrangements. Nobody could seriously claim KSA and USA are equal partners in their relationship, but “ally” sounds better than “client state”, so we let the Saudis use that term to save face.

                  1. I don’t like politicians and their games, so I’m not going to endorse their perversion of the language. It’s not an alliance if it’s so transparently unmutual.

                    1. OK, then we don’t have any alliances (and in fact, a superpower can never have alliances with anyone but other superpowers).

                    2. The UK is going to jump in bed with Russia, too?

                      Sure, if you think every country is just looking for dictators to cozy up to, then we don’t have any allies. I don’t agree with your premise.

                    3. Most of those countries would vastly prefer to cozy up with us than with PRC and Russia. Noninterventionists would have us essentially kick them out of the bed.

                      Say a prostitute has a choice of three johns, one very gentle and the other two abusive. Which one do you think she’s going to sell herself to?

                      Now suppose the gentle guy goes back to his wife and vows never to solicit prostitutes again. Do you think the prostitute is going to suddenly embrace celibacy?

                    4. Is there a purpose to this continued quibbling? Allies are mutual; unmutual relationships are not alliances. That is the definition. Pick your premises and categorize accordingly.

                    5. I don’t even think you understand what you’re saying.

                      Mutual does not imply permanent. Even “mutual” alliances can change as circumstances change.

                    6. So the prostitute and the john are on equal footing then?

                    7. Morocco and Canada would probably disagree.

  23. America Must Reject Netanyahu’s War Cry on Iran

    Reject I shall!

    Iran has not sought a nuclear weapon, and the country’s leader declares such weapons contrary to Islam. [For details, see Gareth Porter’s well-documented Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.] For a quarter century, Netanyahu has warned that an Iranian bomb is imminent. But U.S. and Israeli intel say he’s wrong.

    There was once a Bald Man who sat down after work on a hot summer’s day. A Fly came up and kept buzzing about his bald pate, and stinging him from time to time. The Man aimed a blow at his little enemy, but his palm came on his head instead; again the Fly tormented him, but this time the Man was wiser and said:
    “You will only injure yourself if you take notice of despicable enemies.”

    — Aesop.

    1. So the man whipped out a can of Raid and gassed the little fucker, and enjoyed the rest of his afternoon in peace.
      -WTF

  24. Who cares?

    Sovereign nations have EVERY RIGHT to defend themselves.

    If they use them, come see me…we’ll talk.

    1. And we have every right to glass a nation whose leadership threatens us or our allies.

      1. And we have every right to glass a nation whose leadership threatens us or our allies.

        NO…we do not.

        We have every right to self defense. We have a right to act when actually aggressed upon. We even have a right (though not a responsibility) to act when others are aggressed upon. We have no right to initiate aggression.

        EVER!

        Bush opened Pandora’s box when he claimed the right to preemptively invade a sovereign nation cuz we’z ascared. Now that the precedent has been set, people like you claim scariness as justification to kill people. That belief is immoral.

        1. We have every right to self defense. We have a right to act when actually aggressed upon.

          The right to self-defense also includes the right to prevent credible threats from being acted upon.

          The guy in a dark alley pointing a gun toward you and making a “gimme” gesture has not aggressed against you, yet I would support your right to shoot him as self-defense.

          1. He actually has aggressed against you at that point. That is a credible threat at that point. He is standing in front of you pointing the gun and letting you know that he kill you if you don’t hand over the money. The guy who just bought a gun and is sitting in his house is not a credible threat.

            1. He actually has aggressed against you at that point.

              No, he has not. I have suffered no harm and none of my rights have been violated.

              The guy who just bought a gun and is sitting in his house is not a credible threat.

              The analogy breaks down there. A guy can’t shoot me with a gun while sitting in his house, but Iran can nuke us while sitting in their house.

              1. I’ve argued this point on these forums before, Sagittarius. Some of the True Believers here will argue that the neighbor — looking through the rifle’s scope, aiming at your family member, and with his finger on the trigger — does not entitle violent response on your part. You’re supposed to wait until he actually pulls the trigger.

                While I agree with a more noninterventionist policy than we currently have, the adherence to academic theory I’ve seen from some posters here is basically a policy prescription consisting of stupidity and suicide.

                1. looking through the rifle’s scope, aiming at your family member, and with his finger on the trigger

                  Fucking drama queen. Russia did that for 50 years.

                  Seems we waited for them to pull the trigger…

                  Still here. Didn’t need to kill anybody over it.

                  1. It didn’t happen in one situation with a totally different country, therefore it will never happen.

                    Still here. Didn’t need to kill anybody over it.

                    Korea, Vietnam, Afganistan… never happened?

                    1. Yes, let’s examine where involvement in those three conflicts got us:

                      Korea- Half the peninsula still communist. Been in a state of war for 64 years now. $341B (2011 $). 128,000 dead or wounded (US).

                      Vietnam- Complete failure. Entire country communist. 211,000 dead or wounded (US). $738B (2011 $)

                      Iraq/Afghanistan- Our nation worse off than when we started. Created more terrorists than we killed. 57,614 dead or wounded (US). $1.1T (2011 $) with estimates that the entire thing will cost an eventual $4T.

                      Bravo. Well done.

                      What we need is a few more such wars as the last handful worked out so well.

                      The stupid, it burns.

                    2. The consequences of not going to war in Korea would have been far more devastating. The entire peninsula would have been ruled by the Kims, and Japan would have been in serious jeopardy with the commies riding one hell of a winning streak. (oh wait, you would have us sit on our hands and let Japan fall too…. “bravo” indeed!)

                      Vietnam was screwed up, no argument there. A lot of it had to do with mismanagement of the war, though.

                      By Afghanistan I was referring to the 1970s-80s rebelliion against the USSR, not the 2001-present one during which time the USSR didn’t exist. Thought that was obvious.

                    3. The consequences of not going to war in Korea would have been far more devastating.

                      HAHAHAHAHAHA!

                      What did Korea have that we needed?

                      Japan’s issue, not ours (other than we handcuffed them after the war).

                      A lot of it had to do with mismanagement of the war, though.

                      ALL of it had to do with killing people (war) without any achievable objectives. EXACTLY like the GWoT.

                      By Afghanistan I was referring to the 1970s-80s rebelliion [sic] against the USSR

                      And how did THAT turn out? WE CREATED our own enemy, OBL. Are you shitting me?

                    4. What did Korea have that we needed?

                      My car, my phone, my TV, ….

                      You would have us stand idly by while the rest of the world outside our borders goes to communist hell, as long as they don’t cross our borders. I would call it a “Fortress America” philosophy, except you guys want us to have open borders too, so it’s more like “Hide Under Your Bed America”.

                    5. My car, my phone, my TV

                      HAHAHAHAHA! In 1950?

                      You would have us stand idly by while the rest of the world outside our borders goes to communist hell, as long as they don’t cross our borders. I would call it a “Fortress America” philosophy, except you guys want us to have open borders too, so it’s more like “Hide Under Your Bed America”.

                      No. NO. NO! NO! NO! NO!

                      Wars don’t defeat communism (as proof, I give you every war we fought against it). The free market defeats communism! You trade with them. They see what you have compared to them and they throw off their own chains. Often peacefully. (As seen throughout Eastern Europe.)

                      I would have us trade with EVERYONE. I would have us go to war, as an absolute last resort and then only if attacked or in defense of allies when there is a vital national interest to do so.

                    6. No. NO. NO! NO! NO! NO!

                      So you wouldn’t stand idly by while communists took over Mexico and Canada? Why not? Isn’t that intervention?

                      The free market defeats communism!

                      Only after you remove the ability of communist regimes to enslave further territory and populations, which can’t be done with the free market.

                      NATO stopped communist expansion in Europe. Not the free market.

                      The Korean War stopped communist expansion in East Asia. Not the free market.

                      Once they were contained it was a matter of letting them slowly deteriorate from the problems with their economic system, yes. But that containment cannot be provided by the free market. Hell, the free market is powerless to prevent socialism from taking hold even here in the US, let alone elsewhere.

                    7. As compared to our non-involvement in any, as well as our disengagement from the world, which would no doubt have produced a Golden Age.

                      You’re looking at the utility of these engagements in a vacuum, much like the broken window fallacy. You’re not looking at the opportunity costs of NOT doing anything, which are though assuredly speculative, also real.

                    8. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan cost the equivalent of 2 years worth of US deficits? Sounds less than I would have thought, actually.

                      The 400,000+ US casualties is a far more meaningful accounting of the cost, between the two.

                    9. The 2000s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have nothing to do with this discussion.

                  2. It’s not a drama queen to use a hypothetical situation to illustrate a position. It’s done all the time in philosophy. And it’s rich to be called a “drama queen” by someone calling himself Francisco d’Anconia.

                    We did it with Russia because we had no choice.

                    And if you’re saying you would sit and wait it out with your neighbor, you’re either full of shit, or your family should disown you for being an irresponsibly deluded fool.

                    1. It’s not a drama queen to use a hypothetical situation to illustrate a position.

                      It is if you are attempting to justify a war by looking into a crystal ball. Where did you get that, I might want to pick one up. Just think, I could bet on all the sporting events between 1955 and 1985 and get rich like Biff.

                      WE DID WHAT WITH RUSSIA? We sure as shit didn’t start a fucking war with them. We prepared for war based upon a potential threat. We didn’t preemptively attack them, as you are suggesting we do with Iran.

                      And guess what? After doing nothing more than preparing and waiting, we never had to fight that war at all. We saved trillions of dollars and millions of lives…BY NOT ATTACKING!

                    2. That is not a legit analogy. USSR already had nukes sufficient to obliterate us in 1955.

                      So yeah, going to war with them then would have been a bad idea. Just like waiting to go to war with Iran until they have nukes would be a bad idea.

                    3. OR…JUST like Russia, you may not need to go to war with them at all…EVER.

                      Wouldn’t that be preferable (not to mention moral)?

                    4. It would be preferable if that is the way things play out. But they may not play out that way.

                    5. They CERTAINLY won’t play out that way if you don’t allow them to.

                    6. And guess what? After doing nothing more than preparing and waiting, we never had to fight that war at all. We saved trillions of dollars and millions of lives…BY NOT ATTACKING!

                      I imagine some people were telling the French prime minister that same thing when Hitler militarized the Rhineland in 1936 in violation of Versailles. And when Hitler demanded the Sudetenland in 1938.

                      Sometimes you can get away with not attacking. Sometimes you can’t. A dogmatic ideology is a poor guide.

                    7. That’s why you carry a big stick. The entire reason to have a mighty military force is so you NEVER have to use it.

                      (By the way, this is the SAME reason Iran wants Nukes.)

                    8. The entire reason to have a mighty military force is so you NEVER have to use it.

                      “Entire” reason? Seriously? Most mighty military forces have existed for other reasons, indeed the complete opposite reasons.

                    9. And those reasons were immoral.

                    10. What crystal ball are you talking about? You’re the one talking about philosophical NAP (as though it applied as evenly to nation-states as individuals) and then complaining when someone employs a hypothetical.

                      Uh, yeah, thanks for alerting us that we didn’t actually start a war with Russia. As if someone said we did. Rather, we did what we had to: Sit, and watch them point missiles at us, and pointed ours at them. We didn’t have a choice — as I said. We could have preemptively attacked them in 1945-1947, but after they had the bomb, the situation changed. As it will with Iran. At which point, we will have to deal with an enormous fucking mess on top of what is already an enormous mess in the region. But it is wrong to preemptively attack dictators — against the NAP? — so we can all go back to the days of the Cold War and wonder if today will be the day when the nukes are unleashed. Were you around then? Because nuclear armageddon always hanging over our heads is not really something to which I’d like to return.

          2. Show me a credible threat. Show me a threat that has even the slightest possibility of being carried out. These are idle threats at best. A country claiming that it is willing to be completely eradicated so it can carry out one attack on its enemies is HARDLY credible.

            1. The threat is less that Iran will launch a nuclear attack directly, but provide the means for Hezbollah, Hamas, Taliban, etc, of which they are state sponsors.

              1. So the EXACT same argument used to invade Iraq. How’d that work out?

                We’ve been at war for 14 years now. Our military is trashed. We’ve achieved nothing. If anything we are in worse shape than we were. 4500 good guys dead. Tens of thousands of bad guys and innocent bystanders. $1.7T.

                And you want to sign up for another 14 years of waste based upon actions that haven’t happened and are not likely to?

                Pass. I’ll wait and address problems I actually have rather than attempt to solve those I don’t.

                1. Yours is actually one of the most cogent attacks on my position. I certainly don’t have the answers, but it seems if we all reached unanimous accord on this issue on Reason comments, it would make zero difference.
                  I can’t affect anything with official Iranian relations, and wouldn’t want to. The reality of war, the waste and pure destruction brought down on individuals is brutal and regrettable. Unfortunately, a war-free world is not one of our choices. Trying to defend our kith and kin from aggression is.

                  1. But DrAwkward — you’re supposed to let your loved ones walk into the crazed gunman’s sights, and attempting to stop him violates some theoretical nonagression principal — as, apparently, does the law, when it punishes people for simple assault.

                    Don’t you realize that risking their lives in order to adhere to this principle trumps any other considerations you might have?

    2. That philosophy works OK when we’re talking about slingshots. Not so much when we’re talking about nukes. Retaliation does not undo the damage, and with a whackjob state like Iran it may not even function as a deterrent.

      1. Correct.
        Thus it is important not to let them get nukes.
        Letting twelvers get nukes is like selling Tommy-guns to rabid frothing psychopaths.

      2. Retaliation does not undo the damage, and with a whackjob state like Iran it may not even function as a deterrent.

        You mean a whackjob state like the PRK? They don’t come nuttier than the Ils. Seeing a lot of nukes being exchanged in Korea?

        1. NK is nutty in many ways, but not suicidal. KJU and his generals aren’t expecting a reward in the afterlife for striking SK or Japan.

        2. NK is a pretty cruddy example for your side anyway. We should have exterminated the Kims when they were merely threatening to obtain nukes during the Clinton and Bush II administrations, rather than coddling them with food and fuel aid programs.

          Now we basically have to kiss their asses in every negotiation, regardless of how many South Korean ships they sink.

          1. And WHY is the number of SK ships sunk by NK ANY of our concern?

            1. Unless we want to be conquerors, we need allies in that part of the world.

              If we can’t defend SK they will find someone who can.

              1. Unless we want to be conquerors, we need allies in that part of the world. If we can’t defend SK they will find someone who can.

                Setting aside the use of the term “ally”, you seem to agree that these relationships are unmutual.

                Protection is not free. What does Russia gain from being South Korea’s protector? A port? A military base? What are they going to do with those things, and how is it going to hurt the United States? Right now, they are running out of money just trying to take over the Eastern part of the Ukraine.

                Also, painting all of these countries as helpless sans US is pretty ridiculous. Nothing is going to change the artillery pointed at Seoul, and backed by a superpower or not, South Korea is still militarily superior to North Korea. So the stalemate would remain. Why would they go running into the arms of the Russians in the first place?

                1. You’d fit right in at the State Dept with this level of ignorance about how global affairs work. Seriously.

                  Putin would give his left nut to have bases and ports in South Korea. What would he do with it? Probably the same stuff PRC is trying to do in the South China Sea, deny us naval access.

                  1. Well I see that you are more interested in preening yourself than engaging in debate, so good on you. I’ve got better things to do.

  25. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1 hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is what- I do…… ?????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  26. I didn’t know Reason had taqiyya spewing Muslims on staff.

    1. And here comes the “Jihad Watch” crowd.

      1. Someone has to counter the “Jihad Love” crowd, and their asinine assertion that Jihadists have the right to have nukes.

  27. Here is an old (2012) but thoughtful discussion of Israel’s 1981 attack on the Iraq nuclear facility and some thoughts on a new strike on Iran.
    .

    On June 7, 1981, eight Israeli F-16 fighter jets, protected by six F-15 escorts, dropped 16 2,000-pound bombs on the nearly completed Osirak nuclear reactor at the Tuwaitha complex in Iraq. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and other prominent members of the government such as Ariel Sharon saw the reactor as central to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s quest to build nuclear weapons, and they believed that it posed an existential threat to Israel.
    []
    Iran’s nuclear program is more advanced than Hussein’s was in 1981. But the Islamic republic is still not on the cusp of entering the nuclear club. As the IAEA has documented, Iran is putting all the pieces in place to have the option to develop nuclear weapons at some point.
    []
    An Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure would be more risky and less effective than the Osirak raid. In 1981, a relatively small number of Israeli aircraft flew 600 miles across Jordanian, Saudi and Iraqi airspace to hit a single, vulnerable, above-ground target. This was no easy feat, but it is nothing compared with the complexity of a strike on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

    1. Israel should cozy up to Russia and buy a bunch of FOABs.

  28. The fact is, Israel is a secular democracy, where citizens are equal before the law.
    Iran, Palestine, etc are run by Islamic theocrats, who stone women, hang gay folk, punish blasphemy and apostasy, treat women as property, etc.
    Any real libertarian would want to see Israel conquer the entire region.

    1. So you have never spoken with a real libertarian then?

      1. Ah, so you’re one of those “Nation States have the right to forge their own destiny”, even if it means oppression of all of it’s citizen’s rights type of neo-libertarians.
        I’m one of the classic “individual rights and freedom trump everything” libertarians.

        1. So why not conquer the entire world in the name of freedom?

          1. If it was feasible, it would be a good idea.
            You see, conquering a tyranny and establishing freedom for individual citizens is not a violation of the NAP, it is enforcement of it, in much the same way as if you see your neighbor killing, torturing or enslaving folk, it is no violation of the NAP to free said folk.

            1. Yeah. It’s worked so well in Iraq and Afghanistan…

              1. As much as Churchill gets shit on for it, his quote about the only thing Afghani nomads wanting from the modern world is long range rifles to shoot their neighbours does carry weight.

              2. Yes, I know.
                We cannot impose freedom on those who do not want it, on those who actively despise it.
                We can, however, defend ourselves and other (relatively) free people from folk like that.

            2. Meanwhile, state expansion as a result of your constant warfare state would never result in the destruction of the freedom of individual citizens in your own country. Ignoring the more obvious logistical and economic problems like long term expansion of public debt and massive military budgets required to fund your little empire.

              1. “If it was feasible, it would be a good idea.”

                1. Except that’s exactly what happens when you push an aggressive military policy for the sake of ‘individual rights and freedoms’. An Israel that conquered the entire region would not be a realm of individual rights and freedoms, it would be an oppressive military state.

                  Ignoring the fact that those examples are exactly why it’s not a ‘good idea’ at all, regardless of its feasibility.

        2. So you’re one of those guys that would kill someone to free them? Part of the Nation building crowd.

    2. Not sure about the ‘secular’ part, since Judaism is the official religion of Israel.

      1. It’s secular is the same sense as Turkey.

        1. ***SIGH***

          Israel has no blasphemy laws, Turkey does.

          If your idea of “secular state” includes blasphemy laws, well, I don’t think that word means what you think it does.

          1. In Israel, blasphemy is covered by Articles 170 and 173 of the penal code.[39][40]

            Insult to religion
            170. If a person destroys, damages or desecrates a place of worship or any object which is held sacred by a group of persons, with the intention of reviling their religion, or in the knowledge that they are liable to deem that act an insult to their religion, then the one is liable to three years imprisonment.

            Injury to religious sentiment
            173. If a person does any of the following, then the one is liable to one year imprisonment:
            (1) One publishes a publication that is liable to crudely offend the religious faith or sentiment of others;
            (2) One voices in a public place and in the hearing of another person any word or sound that is liable to crudely offend the religious faith or sentiment of others.

            The law is traced back to the British High Commission “The Abuse and Vilification (religious invective) Order No. 43 of 1929”, enacted in efforts to suppress the 1929 Palestine riots. The order contained the language: “Any person who utters a word or sound in public or within earshot of any other person that may be or is intended to offend his religious sensitivities or faith can expect to be found guilty and eligible for a one-year jail sentence.”[41]
            .
            .
            .

          2. Article 216 of the Turkish Penal Code (“Provoking people to be rancorous and hostile”) criminalizes blasphemy and religious insult, as well as hate speech. The article, which is in the fifth section of the Turkish Penal Code (“Offenses Against Public Peace”) is as follows:

            Article 216. ? Provoking people to be rancorous and hostile

            (1) Any person who openly provokes a group of people belonging to different social class, religion, race, sect, or coming from another origin, to be rancorous or hostile against another group, is punished with imprisonment from one year to three years in case of such act causes risk from the aspect of public safety.

            (2) Any person who openly humiliates another person just because he belongs to different social class, religion, race, sect, or comes from another origin, is punished with imprisonment from six months to one year.

            (3) Any person who openly disrespects the religious belief of a group is punished with imprisonment from six months to one year if such act causes potential risk for public peace.[98]

            Blasphemy_law

          3. ***SIGH***

            1. ***SIGH***

              If he would throw in some Hihn stylings like (snort) (laughing) and (giggle) I would be convinced of his argument.

          4. Notice that in neither case is the law specific to any religion.

            1. (3) Any person who openly disrespects the religious belief of a group is punished with imprisonment from six months to one year if such act causes potential risk for public peace.[98]

              It is used almost exclusively to punish blasphemy against Islam.

              1. *whoosh* go the goalposts

          5. You mean like the ‘secular states’ of the West that had blasphemy laws on the books up until the late 2000s? (Ignoring that a lot of Western states, especially European ones, have just reinvented blasphemy laws as hate speech laws)

            1. I mean the ones where you go to jail or get killed for blasphemy.

      2. sec?u?lar
        ?seky?l?r
        adjective
        1.denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.

        “A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion.”

        Israel is not ruled by Talmudic or Old Testament law, it is ruled by secular law.

        Palestine, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, etc are all ruled by Islamic law, to one degree or another.

        1. Yep, the state that allows its military to overthrow the government if it becomes ‘too Islamic’ and has done so multiple times is governed by Islamic law.

          1. That was before Erdogan neutered the military and placed his stooges.

            Blasphemy agains Islam is currently punishable by prison in Turkey

            1. And Article 173 of the Israeli Penal Code says nothing about prison time for offending religions?

              What a ‘secular state’.

              1. And Article 173 of the Israeli Penal Code says nothing about prison time for offending religions?

                Never let the facts get in the way of a good argument.

            2. Blasphemy against Islam any religion is currently punishable by prison in both Israel and Turkey

              ftfy

              1. I see.
                And how many folk are in jail in Israel for blasphemy, compared to Turkey?

                How do the female or gay murder rate v/s conviction rates stack up.

                Where I grew up, it was still illegal for a girl to ride a bike in a skirt.
                What is on the books is not as important as what is actually enforced on the streets, and you all know this, but, it seems, you prefer to be disingenuous.

                1. First there were no laws. Now it’s how they are enforced. Keep moving those goalposts. Run, Forest! Run!

                  1. So, you are suggesting that blasphemy against Islam in Turkey is the same as it is in, say, Canada, where they also have “hate speech” laws.
                    Or that in Turkey, you can go to jail for blasphemy against Judaism.

                    OK, I hereby change all my post to “rigorously enforced” laws.
                    Of course, that’s just moving the goalpost, because, as real libertarians, you know that what’s on the books is so much more important that why, where, when and how often armed thugs go after citizens.

                    Thanks for clearing that up for me. I thought it was bad to go after citizens, but now I know the real crime is what’s written in penal codes, and the thugs behavior is purely incidental.

                    1. I’m saying that Turkey, despite being predominantly Islamic, is not a theocratic Islamic state.

                      Just as Israel, despite being predominantly Jewish, is not a theocratic Jewish state.

                      In that sense they’re both secular. That’s all I’m saying.

                    2. Fair enough, and I agree, Turkey is a far cry from say, Iran, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. I do see some disturbing trends in Turkey over the last decade or so, though.
                      I will say that I have read many of your comments here at Reason, and I do respect your views, and you have made me laugh out loud more than once.
                      Thanks.

                    3. and you have made me laugh out loud more than once

                      I do my best. Thanks.

                    4. Being that Turkey is 99% Islamic, then yeah the vast majority of blasphemy complaints will be by Muslims. Duh.

                    5. Ergo, it is a de-facto Islamic state (lite) as far as enforcement is concerned.

                      I don’t hear of any Jews in Israel getting Muslims or Christians arrested for blasphemy, or of any Jews or Christians getting Muslims arrested in Canada, England, Europe, etc, on charges of blasphemy.

                      Then again, perhaps my news sources are biased, but, given how the whole world erupted in “hate-crime” cries after some atheist killed 3 Muslims over a parking space here in the USA, I’m pretty sure that Muslims are not being arrested for blasphemy.

                    6. That’s not the same as being a theocracy.

                    7. I agree.
                      Although, it’s hard to pin down exactly where secularism ends and theocracy begins.

                      Many of the western European laws, as well as the underpinnings of British Common law, Locke, the US bill of rights, etc, have as part of their underpinnings aspects of Judaism and Christianity, without actual referral to God.

                      I would say that as far as the situation on the street is concerned, Turkey does have some aspects that are very similar to Sharia, despite the fact that isn’t explicitly enshrined in their laws.

                      The thing is, Sharia is almost entirely antithetical to the NAP, whereas many aspects of the NAP are enshrined in Christianity.
                      I am not saying Christianity is blameless, however.

                    8. Although, it’s hard to pin down exactly where secularism ends and theocracy begins.

                      Yeah, actually. It is. Iran is a theocracy, where the elected government is subservient to the unelected religious imams who actually call the shots.

                      I think you’re confusing religious influence with religious control.

                      A secular government can be influenced by religion while not being controlled by religion.

                      It’s all in who has the last word. In a secular government it’s the popularly elected government that has the last word. They can tell the religious people to pound sand. In a theocracy it’s the other way around.

                    9. Who has the last word is defined by who has control over the guns.
                      So, if it isn’t politically feasible for the elected (or hereditary, or appointed) secular leaders to tell the Imams to pound sand, and the Imams have the most influence over law enforcement and jurisprudence, is it then a theocracy?

                      Canada, for example, is, on paper, a Constitutional Monarchy, and the power to govern comes from the Crown, as limited by the Constitution/Bill of Rights.
                      In reality, the RCMP and other bureaucracies make laws and enforce them without the approval of Parliament, and even Parliament passes laws that violate the Canadian Constitution and Bill of Rights. In my books, that makes Canada a de-facto police-state/oligarchy, regardless of it’s official structure.
                      It is not politically feasible for the elected officials to tell the bureaucracies to pound sand.
                      A similar situation exists in America.

                      I think we are debating two different things.
                      Do you consider Pakistan to be a theocracy?

                    10. Canada, for example, is, on paper, a Constitutional Monarchy, and the power to govern comes from the Crown, as limited by the Constitution/Bill of Rights.

                      Constitution Act has absolutely zero mention of the Crown as chief in governance. I haven’t read the 1960 Bill of Rights in awhile but I’m pretty sure they only mention the Crown in regards to legal justice.

                      Parliament passes laws that violate the Canadian Constitution and Bill of Rights.

                      Read the Section One of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It’s entirely constitutional to pass those laws in the context of the Section One qualifier, it just has to be successfully argued in court if challenged.

                      Don’t get me wrong, I hate bloody Trudeau and this shitty ‘social democracy’ constitution. But you clearly don’t know about what Canada’s ‘official structure’ actually entails. You might not like it, but Canada is not a ‘de-facto police-state/oligarchy’, it’s a democratic state with a constitution that gives the government and bureaucracies a lot of leeway.

                    11. The 1982 Charter is in violation of British Common law.
                      Hate speech laws are in violation of British Common law.
                      Let us not forget the RCMP re-classifying which guns are restricted or prohibited, and their warrantless searches and seizures, also in violation of British Common law.

                    12. Common law is primarily under provincial control as per the 1867 Constitution Act, with the Supreme Court serving as ultimate arbiter since 1949. Canadian courts have not held themselves to British precedent for decades and appeals to English courts stopped around sixty years ago. Sorry, but self governance and Confederation makes British common law able to set precedence if allowed by Canadian courts, but ultimately those courts still have the power pre-1982. ‘British common law’ only really holds as much water as the courts were willing to give it.

                    13. Indeed.
                      Unelected judges and politicians taking away rights that were granted to Canadians as subjects of the Queen.
                      Canadians are still subjects of the Queen, and all the Queens subjects have had their common law rights granted under the magna carta and the older British Bill of Rights systematically removed.
                      Canadians now suffer warrentless search and seizures, hate speech laws and all sorts of other indignities that were once protected by law, much of this done by unelected judges.
                      It was illegal when it started, and it’s still illegal now, no matter what the judges say.

                    14. The definition of “secular state” seems a little squishy, but it does seem inconsistent with a nation also known as a “Jewish state”, and was founded as such.

                    15. Agreed.
                      That being said, IMHO, the situation on the ground, that the citizens have to deal with on a daily basis, who is using state force against citizens, when and why, is the criterion that I fall back on when it comes to defining what sort of government a given nation has. Others may use different criteria.

      3. “Not sure about the ‘secular’ part, since Judaism is the official religion of Israel.”

        the united kingdom goes a step further and has a state-sponsored church

        its still a ‘secular’ state, despite this. In that, the ‘official religion’ of the nation has no influence over jurisprudence or legislation.

        1. I’ll buy this. If a state has an “official religion”, but laws that otherwise do not reference that religion is secular?

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  30. Ok, now he’s just trolling. I got nothing here.

    Well at least Obama has the magic sauce that will bring peace to the middle east and make all the jews see the light.

    1. As soon as Obama makes them love us, by making apologies for our existence to anyone who’ll listen, you will really see the peace start rollin’ in.

  31. Netanyahu’s War Cry on Iran

    When even the title is a lie, you know that what follows will be less than worthless. Once again, Richman doesn’t disappoint.

  32. I see this is yet another issue where the stupid comes out of the woodwork. Between “Israel Firster” and “Jihadi Love”, I’m sure we’ll be able to find some nuance on this topic.

    1. Pot-kettle disclosure: I called somebody a “Soviet apologist” for defending conscription by using the USSR in WW2 as an example.

  33. I would think this is a joke article. But I’m sadly familir with what this idiot writes.

  34. “Netanyahu’s narrative is a fabric of lies and omissions.”

    And 0bammy’s narrative is gospel truth? For starters, 0bammy claims Iran has halted their nuke program, but inspectors don’t have full access, so the truth of this claim cannot be known, hence it’s a lie.

    Israeli might be able to destroy Iran, but to be an existential threat they’d have to couple capability with intent. Iran has professed to destroy Israel and their behavior suggests they’re seeking the capability.

    1. All Obama has achieved at best is stopping enrichment to weapons grade. This allows Iran to increase their supply of almost weapon grade material to where they can produce 100s of weapons mounted on their ICBMs in a very short time when their ready. That’s if they aren’t cheating.

  35. Here is Iran’s long game. Note the global aspirations…

    Three months prior to his death, the founder of the Islamic Republic spoke of the role of the revolution in preparing for the government of the occult Imam: “Those in power must know that our revolution is not specific to Iran; the revolution of the Iranian people is a point of beginning for the flaring of the great Islamic revolution in the Muslim world under the banner of the Guardian Imam (Mahdi), who was a gift granted by God to Muslims and all of humanity, making his advent and reappearance take place in our present times. The government of the Islamic Republic must exert its efforts and resources to serve the people, but not in the sense of diverting them from the paramount objective of the revolution, which is the establishment of a global Islamic government.” Ayatollah Khomeini’s insistence on this function of the Islamic Republic, consisting of preparing for the advent of the occult Imam and his global Islamic government, laid the ground for appearance after his death of a political and theological current that views the project of the Islamic Revolution as a sacred truth…

    http://english.dohainstitute.o…..01ae66.pdf

  36. Fanatics lead Iran. Perhaps they simply want all those centrifuges to build nuclear reactors to generate electricity so they can all get around in Nissan Leafs. Or, maybe it has something to do with their belief that a nuclear weapon could be used to trigger world wide chaos, a prerequisite for the Mahdi to crawl out of the well he’s been hiding in for centuries, and then to restore the entire world to the religion of peace.

    The mullahs must be wetting themselves as they move closer to getting their Mahdi on, compliments of 0bammy, whose starting point was an end to Iran’s nuke program as articulated in UN resolutions, and who now seeks a 10 year moratorium and an unverifiable framework that fantasizes that the world will be able to tell when Iran crosses some lead time number of days red line that separates them from having weapons grade uranium and a nuke warhead. And if they cross it, then what? Back to the negotiating table? This is just fucked up.

    Even The Atlantic gets the ideology that drives this extremism. Would love to understand the decision by Reason to pay and publish Richman’s cheerleading for left wing fascism, not much different from Islamo-fascism.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/mag…..ts/302393/

    1. As John Titor explained above, you can’t just blindly take people at their word. If the Iranians really meant all that they said, they would have engaged Israel with conventional arms a long time ago. The same goes for the Palestinians, Hezbollah, etc. They are at the very least yielding to some considerations other than ideology. That may indeed make them more dangerous but at the same time it makes their actions less predictable based solely upon their claimed motivations. Really, you don’t know what someone is going to do unless you have concrete evidence. I think it’s pretty clear from that standard that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. It is not at all clear what they will actually do with it once they have it. Trying to stop them is not free of consequences.

      1. Iran arms Hamas.

        1. That doesn’t really address anything. I never said Iran was run by fluffy bunnies, I said you can’t predict what they will do with a nuke when they get one.

          1. They would attack Israel were it not for Israel’s nuclear deterrent, so they use Hamas as a proxy.
            Not to take them at their word would be foolhardy.

            1. You are doing a masterful job of addressing nothing that I said.

  37. How the hell does this fanciful shit even get published on Reason, seriously?

    The only lies and ommisions here, is all the shit in this article.

    1. Well said

  38. I’m not sure whether the author of this article could be any more naive. “To begin, Iran has not sought a nuclear weapon, and the country’s leader declares such weapons contrary to Islam.” Seriously? Them\n, it’s “Iran’s government is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), subjecting it to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which can account for every atom of uranium.” Laughable. If true, why do secret sites keep popping up which haven’t been inspected by the IAEA? Finally, we have this: “Israel is the nuclear monopolist of the Mideast.” My initial response: Pakistan’s fairly close. My final response: “Thank God.” Because we can be certain Israel won’t use them unless her existence is threatened. Iran has repeatedly called for the destruction of the Jewish state and refers to Jews as “pigs” worthy of slaughter. It’s amazing the contortions some libertarians will go through to justify their policy of isolation and appeasement.

    1. it doesnt come much more naive than a sheldon richman article

  39. Reason must reject Richmans war cry on America.

  40. It occurs to me we are enablers of Sheldon Richman posting here, as we run up 500+ comments…

  41. I don’t mind a law abiding legal citizen owning 6 semi automatic rifles. I do mind violent gang members known for violence obtaining weapons of any kind. The same goes for Israel and Iran’s nuclear weapons. I don’t mind AMERICA stockpiling nuclear weapons. NK is surrounded by US allies that host American military bases, and at least Japan is hostile to the Kim regime.

    Richman describes Iran and Israel as if they were just random ME countries on equal terms. They’re both theocracies, but one of them is a known sponsor of terrorism. And Israel, unlike the United States, is actually attacked by their ideological foes.

    As for the intel, let me try to get this – if the intel says Iran has nukes, we should doubt it immediately (because of Bush, you know), but it if claims that they don’t have nukes, we should believe it on the spot? As far as I know, there’s no conclusive proof that Iran ISN’T using civilian nuclear programs for other purposes.

    If you’re a terrorist sponsoring state, you don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. Iran called Obama’s proposal (freezing nuclear plans for 10 years?) as unfair. That’s too freaking bad. Richman is so lost that he’ll wonder “Why aren’t we demanding the same to Pakistan and Israel” Holy cow.

    1. Israel is not a theocracy.

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  43. I think the larger problem for the US is that when Iran goes nuclear, most of the rest of the middle east will also go nuclear.

    The rational countries in the Middle East don’t care if Israel has nukes, because they know that Israel won’t use them except if their existence is threatened.

    OTOH, they won’t feel that same way with Iran having them.

    And once the whole Middle East has nukes, there’s a much greater chance of someone crazy getting a hold of them.

    And that’s the best case scenario. The worst case scenario is that Iran actually does try to nuke Israel, because you know, they constantly say they are going to destroy Israel, and Israel responds.

  44. After rereading the thread, John Titor wins this one.

  45. Gee?!? I just don’t know who to disbelieve. Should we wait for a crisis. Our Gov’t does nothing until a crisis so that makes some sense. Should we be proactive and stop evil before it happens? . . . Nah! that is only for personal decisions concerning our personal lives. Because those in power have agendas that do not match the hoi poloi we are screwed no matter what. Sooo. . . I will see how I can invest and make money off of this for myself. Good luck out there!!

  46. The author is delusional. When Ajhimenijad was President he stated many times once at the podium in the UN that he wishes to serve in the return of the Mahdi which would require setting the world on fire which would require nuclear weapons.

  47. You think the Shah of Iran was repressive? Compared to what? The current regime?

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