Israel

The Real Nuclear Threat in the Middle East

Iran has never attacked another country, while Israel has attacked Arab neighbors several times.

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RonAlmog/Flickr

To get a sense of how badly the regime in Iran wants sanctions relief for the Iranian people, you have to do more than contemplate the major concessions it has made in negotiations with the United States and the rest of the P5+1. Not only is Iran willing to dismantle a major part of its peaceful civilian nuclear program, to submit to the most intrusive inspects, to redesign a reactor, to eliminate two-thirds of its centrifuges, to get rid of much of its enriched uranium, and to limit nuclear research. It must do all this while being harangued by the nuclear monopolist of the Middle EastIsrael—which remains, unlike Iran, a nonsigner of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and faces no inspections or limits on its production of nuclear weapons.

This is something out of Alice in Wonderland. The Islamic Republic of Iran, born in 1979, has not attacked another country. [With U.S. help, Iraq attacked Iran in 1980.] In contrast, Israel has attacked its Arab neighbors several times since its founding, including two devastating invasions and a long occupation of Lebanon, not to mention repeated onslaughts in the Gaza Strip and the military occupation of the West Bank. Israel has also repeatedly threatened war against Iran and engaged in covert and proxy warfare, including the assassination of scientists. Even with Iran progressing toward a nuclear agreement, Israel (like the United States) continues to threaten Iran.

Yet Iran is universally cast as the villain (with scant evidence) and Israel the vulnerable victim.

You'd never know that Iran favors turning the Middle East into a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone (a nuclear-weapons-free zone was first proposed by the U.S.-allied shah of Iran and Egypt in 1974), and beyond that, Iran over a decade ago offered a "grand bargain" that contained provisions to reassure the world about its nuclear program and an offer to recognize Israel (specifically, acceptance of the Arab League's 2002 peace initiative). The George W. Bush administration rebuffed Iran.

At the last NPT review conference in 2010, Iran renewed its support for the zone. The BBC reported at the time: "Tehran supports the immediate and unconditional implementation of the 1995 resolution [to create the zone], declares the [then] president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

The United States and Israel claim in principle to support having the Middle East free of nuclear weapons—but not just yet. The Israeli government said in 2010 that implementation of the principle could occur "only after peace agreements with all the countries in the region." ABC News quoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying that Israel might sign the NPT "if the Middle East one day advances to a messianic age where the lion lies down with the lambs."

That is classic Netanyahu demagoguery. As noted, the Arab League in 2002—and again in 2007offered to recognize Israel if it accepted a Palestinian state in the occupied territories and arrived at a "just solution to the Palestinian Refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194." At that point the Arab countries would "consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region"; i.e., they would "establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace."

Thus Netanyahu's position is a sham. He could have peace treaties in short order if he wanted to. But, as he said before the recent elections, he will never allow the Palestinians to have their own country.

For its part, the United States "broadly agrees with Israel that conditions for a nuclear-weapons-free-zone do not yet exist in the Middle East," the BBC reported. In other words, the Obama administration slavishly takes the Israel-AIPAC line.

While politicians and pundits lose sleep over an Iranian nuclear-weapons program that does not exist—are they having nightmares of the United States being deterred by Iran?—they support Israel, the nuclear power that brutalizes a captive population, attacks its neighbors, threatens war against Iran, and refuses to talk peace with willing partners.

This piece originally appeared at Sheldon Richman's "Free Association" blog.

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  1. What about iraqs peaceful nuclear program? What happened to it?

    Those meddling Jews that’s what!

    1. What about iraqs peaceful nuclear program? What happened to it?

      Umm, nothing. In the current framework, they would dismantle 2/3 of their centrifuges, continue their peaceful programs and allow inspections of all remaining facilities.

      Those meddling Jews that’s what!

      Huh? Iran can always back out before it’s finalized, but you are severely misinformed on the current conditions.

      1. Did you know, Iran and Iraq, are not the same country? Also, look up “Osirik”.

        1. Osirak.

        2. Do the Iranians know this?

      2. Iran’s Defense Minister has stated that Iran will not allow inspections on military bases. This is AFTER the framework agreement…

        1. But, you see, that ‘agreement’ was but a ‘roadmap’ to further ‘frank discussions’ which might someday yield ‘meetings’ and that could lead to…

          1. If she hasn’t put out by the third date, she’s scoring free meals off you.

        2. They also said the sanctions were to be lifted the day an actual agreement was signed and that they would start up their new centrifuges again the same day.

    2. It’s all the fault of the DA JOOS!

      Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

      Though this is such a thorough going piece of delusional propaganda, I’m beginning to wonder if Sheldon is just some false flag operation by Netanyahu to discredit his opposition. (There I go, blaming DA JOOS for Sheldon’s piffle!)

      Or maybe Sheldon is just trolling on us and yanking our chains. Now he’s a cheerleader for the Persian Theocratic Empire, the worlds leading state sponsor of terrorism, with proxy armies and terrorist cells throughout the Mideast, with the stated goal of wiping Israel off the map and Death to America. Really?

      “This is something out of Alice in Wonderland”

      No, this Reason in Richmanland.

      What is this bozo doing here?

  2. This article is fucking embarrassing.

    1. Forget it, VM, it’s Richman-town.

      1. Sheldon Richman is just like Adam Lanza.

    2. You know, when I see a Sheldon Richman article, I sometime think I accidentally wandered into Salon.

    3. The Islamic Republic of Iran, born in 1979, has not attacked another country.

      Ignorant of Hezbollah?

      1. Or Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Houthis etc

        1. Hamas is Suni and more aligned with Egypt and Saudi Arabia than Iran.

          1. No Hamas is not aligned with Egypt and it is funded by Iran.

      2. Is our embassy our country?

        1. Yes. An embassy is technically considered sovereign territory of the country that owns it. Any attack or transgression upon it is an act of war.

      3. Ignorant of Hezbollah?

        Shoulda read your own link.

    4. Agreed. Pure, unadulterated derp.

      1. I think Sheldon is referring to all the “death to America” rallies Israel holds…er…wait, that’s not Israel; it can’t be the peace loving, western culture loving, gay loving, arab loving, everyone loving Iran.

  3. The truth! How refreshing. When I walk people through this, I conclude that he best recruiter of ISIS terrorists is the United States. ISIS screeches about a “Judeo-Christian war against Islam” — and simply point to our own news,

    Netanyahu can do whatever he wants … enforced by US military. The quickest route to peace in the Middle East is for us to get the hell out. Or broker a peace by committing to defend EITHER Iran or Israel fro attack. if they both abandon nukes. THAT would be leadership.

    We stuck our nose into the Japan/China War, had US pilots shooting down Japanese planes, and suffered Pearl Harbor.

    We stuck our nose into a thousand year conflict in the Middle East, suffering 9/11 and the Boston bombings. The terrorists will keep coming as long as their leaders can portray us as a threat.

    And if we’re to spend trillions defending Israel as our ally, what have they ever done for us?

    1. Oh yeah, we need to change our behavior in the present and be al nice to Islam or people will join the jihadis.

      You mean the same Jihadis that are rallying agains the west because of the fucking crusades a thousand years ago. Islam is a religion of conquest, always has been. ISIS sees themselves at the more perfect instrument of that conquest. Our actions have NOTHING to do with it. They will come after us because its what Islam does and how Islam works.

      1. Oh yeah, we need to change our behavior in the present and be al nice to Islam or people will join the jihadis.

        Didja understand the comparisons of 9/11 and Pearl Harbor

        You mean the same Jihadis that are rallying agains the west because of the fucking crusades a thousand years ago.

        Are you also a Birther?

        Islam is a religion of conquest, always has been.

        Israel began by committing mass genocide of the Canaanites. The only known slaughter of an entire civilization.

        Our actions have NOTHING to do with it.

        Even if your intense hatred made sense … you want us to keep punching a bully in the face. Great strategy!

        They will come after us because its what Islam does and how Islam works.

        You need to believe that. But the Old Testament Jews are the only people ever commanded by a God to kill all the infidels.

        1. BUT THE JOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          And the libertarian label is rejected by 91% of libertarians
          (link to poll)

          59% of the country is libertarian
          (something about fiscally conservative and socially liberal)

          Rand and Ron Paul would use government force to eject black kids from school
          (some innane link to some southern governor)

          Israel committed mass genocide
          (I now think the bible is a history text)

          Your a bully
          (snicker)

          Quit aggressing me
          (Link to comment that shows nothing of the sort)

          I’m the winner
          (Link to comment where I state that I’m the winner)

          You are a caricature of a libertarian
          (laughing)

          1. In Hihnsight, you’ve made some great points.

            1. Now, you quit stalking Hihn!

              1. He’s actually a Pierson’s Puppeteer yclept Hihnmost.

        2. The only known slaughter of an entire civilization.

          More like a tribe or a clan. And many of those have been exterminated throughout history.

          you want us to keep punching a bully in the face.

          You got a better way to deal with bullies?

          You get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish.

          Its funny, the self-centered parochialism of the Islamist apologists. Some research was done the jihadis . Turns out most aren’t jihadis because of America, or Israel. They are jihadis mainly because they are young men looking for status or money, or because they want to defend their sect against aggression by other Muslims.

          Jihadis gonna jihad. Its what they do. Its who they are. We don’t manufacture them; they do it for the same reasons young men have done similar things throughout history.

          But the Old Testament Jews are the only people ever commanded by a God to kill all the infidels.

          Umm, not counting Allah’s demand that Muslims convert everyone, by the sword if necessary.

          1. “Umm, not counting Allah’s demand that Muslims convert everyone, by the sword if necessary.”

            Where exactly is this command? There are entire sections of the Quran and Hadiths dealing with treatment of non-Muslims in society. While many aspects are abhorrent (such as taxes), Muslims are not commanded to forcibly convert or kill everyone. The tax and all other rules regarding infidels wouldn’t be necessary if that was the case.

            That said, Hihn is an idiot.

            1. The Quran:
              Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing…

              but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”
              http://www.thereligionofpeace……olence.htm

              I’ve seen other quotes pretty much along the same lines.

              1. Sevo, More lies about the Quran. His is the middle of the verse, so he’s brainwashed again. And lies about what he did quote

                Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where .

                Self-defense NAP?

                http://bitly.com/1IytFZ2

                002.190
                YUSUFALI: Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.
                PICKTHAL: Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.
                SHAKIR: And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.

                The honest version of his lie.

                002.191
                YUSUFALI: And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the

                Mosaic Law commands death to all infidels Proof: (yawn)

                .http://bitly.com/1Cp0UGS
                .

                Now the gang of thugs will throw a lengthy shit fit. Punishing anyone who dares to challenge their gang. Check the links

          2. you want us to keep punching a bully in the face.

            You got a better way to deal with bullies?

            (laughing) Like without them fighting back?

        3. “Israel began by committing mass genocide of the Canaanites. The only known slaughter of an entire civilization.”

          Michael Hihn, ladies and gentlemen. When hes not here shitting up the comments swction, you can catch him at your local Christian Iddntity Church or Holocaust Denial Book Club.

    2. “We stuck our nose into the Japan/China War, had US pilots shooting down Japanese planes, and suffered Pearl Harbor.”

      Not even the Japanese claim this to be a ’cause’ of the attack on Pearl Harbor! Mike, you just set a new record for ignorance.

      1. “We stuck our nose into the Japan/China War, had US pilots shooting down Japanese planes, and suffered Pearl Harbor.”

        Not even the Japanese claim this to be a ’cause’ of the attack on Pearl Harbor! Mike, you just set a new record for ignorance.

        Wrong again, Sevo (sigh) They were called The Flying Tigers, somewhat famous but you’re still in denial .

        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Tigers

        So sad, that you’re consumed by such hatred and aggression

    3. Why in Christ’s Abraham’s name would either Iran or Israel trust the U.S. after this administration’s inept handling of affairs with both?

  4. “No such agreement has been made; principally speaking, visit to military centers is among our redlines and no such visit will be accepted,” Gen. Dehqan stressed on Wednesday, rejecting “the report by foreign media outlets, such as the Guardian” as “untruthful allegations”.

    Iran DM Rejects Report on Inspection of Military Centers Based on Lausanne Understanding

    http://english.farsnews.com/ne…..0119001411

  5. I subscribe to reason for libertarian stuff not antisemitism.

    1. It seems like anything outside of abject Isreal boot licking is considered “anti-semitism”.
      Apparently facts are anti-semitic too, such as mentioning the USS Liberty.

      1. Oh, so saying that Israel is horribly discriminating and attacking minorities in it’s own borders (little evidence of this) while ignoring the absolute fact that most of its neighbors practice strict Sharia Law, is just slightly above Israel boot licking?

        1. It’s not anti-semitism either. Criticizing the STATE of Israel (whether the basis is questionable or not) is not the same as discrimination or hatred against a particular ethnic group. I swear, Neo-cons with the “anti-semitism” card are worse than Al Sharpton with the race card.

          1. I must live under a rock, but I’ve never heard a neo-con claim that anti Israel bias is antisemitism.

            1. Well I’m not sure what HaydenGalloway’s political leanings are, but he clearly conflated the two, and you seemed to agree with him.

              1. Huh? You think I believe that this article is antisemitic? Where did you get that?

              2. You obviously don’t understand Richmans leanings are then. And that was what he was commenting about.

                1. He was commenting about this article, and this article is not inherently anti-semitic. One-sided, yes, but not bigoted by any stretch. I don’t know Mr. Richman personally, but my assessment on his articles is that he’s more a contrarian/Devil’s advocate than anything more sinister.

            2. briannnnn|4.9.15 @ 11:20AM|#
              I must live under a rock, but I’ve never heard a neo-con claim that anti Israel bias is antisemitism.

              You’ve never even know what you’d heard anyhow.

  6. Oh, fuck me. What a steaming pile of shit article.

    1. I don’t think I’ve read a more naive, stupider article ever at this site. This is like a horse on a constant diet of MiraLax.

    2. What a steaming pile of shit article.

      Look at the byline and you already know what’s coming.

      I’ve deduced that Richman has photos of Welch assfucking underage sheep. That’s the only way his droolings could possibly be published here.

  7. Richman is trollin’ now. Effectively, i might add.

    1. My thoughts exactly. I can only imagine that Reason has some sort of contractual obligation to keep printing him even as he slowly loses his marbles.

        1. Ugh if I wanted clickbait I’d read Salon.

  8. Popcorn! Popcorn! Getcher’ popcorn here!

    1. More butter and salt with mine please

      1. Artisanal Butter? And Sea Salt?

        1. Grass-fed Irish butter and Himalayan pink salt.

        2. All salt was, at one time, sea salt.

    2. Yep. This could be every bit as good as an abortion thread.

      1. The article itself is an abortion so…

        1. I laughed.

  9. Since when did ignoring thousands of years of history become the libertarian position?

  10. If I were an Iranian (of any political stripe) and knew that Israel had nukes, I’d probably want them, too. Just sayin’.

    1. But do you bury your head in the ground and pretend that Iran is not trying to develop nukes? As I think that speaks more to what Richman is talking about.

    2. If I were Iranian, the last thing I’d want is for the theocratic thugs ruling me to get more power, and further solidify their hold on Iran.

  11. So Richman probably reads the comments.

    1. I hope so. It’d do him good to get an idea of how completely ignorant he is of the middle east situation. This article makes absurd claims (ie. arab nations offering to recognize Israel if only they concede a little land!) and ignores reality by saying Israel is torturing arabs in it’s own borders (it actually provides life saving aid to the same people who bomb it) while ignoring the fact that the countries surrounding israel stone women for looking at a guy wrong and throw gays off of buildings.

      1. But think of the page clicks this dribble generates.

    2. And like everything else, he fails to understand them.

      1. The disapproval of others only validates his opinion, don’t you know.

        Crackpot theory: Richman is Bo.

        1. Richman goes so far beyond Bo in this article. Bo seems like he’s come to his opinions through study and critical though. Richman basically just found a bunch of Arab League propaganda and repeated it.

          1. “Bo seems like he’s come to his opinions through study and critical thought.”

            lol

            wait, you’re not kidding.

            1. I can only imagine that brian(x5) hasn’t been on the receiving end of some examples of Bo’s “study and critical thought” like “I know you are but what am I” and “I am going to copy and paste your own comments and repeat them back at you”.

              1. Shouldn’t that be bria(5n)? Otherwise you’re implicating 5xbrian in the shenanigans of briannnnn and that seems unfair.

                1. Shouldn’t that be bria(5n)?

                  If we’re being pedantic here, it should be brian^5 or perhaps bria(n^5) to avoid confusion. If it was bria(5n) then it would be equivalent to bria(n + n + n + n + n) but not briannnnn.

                  1. Good point. I fail.

            2. Honestly, I agree with him on a lot when it comes to Israel. For example, I don’t think we need to give them $3,000,000,000 a year. It’s it’s own country, and that gives us undue influence and steals from the tax payer. Also, I don’t see it as America’s place to tell any country whether it is “allowed” to have a nuclear weapon. We can stop trade, fag our finger, or whatever, but I find there are too many hawks on this site when it comes to the middle east.

              1. Fag your own finger, pal.

                1. HAHAHAHAHA!!!! YES

              2. I find there are too many hawks on this site when it comes to the middle east

                So balance them out. This is the same thing people have been telling Bo. There are personal attacks and there are reasoned arguments. Often from the same person in the same discussion. Understand that we’re all adults here and ultimately it’s the substance of your argument that matters.

                As to the positions Bo takes, as has been repeatedly pointed out by many people, it’s not about being right, it’s about being able to present yourself and your arguments effectively. Which many of us fail at, all the time. It’s just that you have to get back up and do better next time.

      2. Of course he does. Anyone stupid enough to pen this article is probably incapable of reading above a 6th grade level.

        We should write: Arabs have tried to kill all Jews forever. Jews have tried to not get bombed. Jews got big bomb so Arabs would stop bombs. Arabs scared of big Jew bomb, want own big bomb. Israel scared of big Arab bomb, because arabs say they want to use bomb to make Israel go bye bye.

        1. Iran is Persian, not Arab. It might not seem like a big distinction now, but it has been in the past and likely will be again.

          1. My mistake on the oversight. I should have substituted Muslim.

            1. The Great Malaysian-Jewish War has not to my knowledge actually occurred. Although that might just be because of excessive distance rather than lack of motivation.

              1. There’s a ton of terrorism in Malaysia and a bunch of money from Malaysia going to organizations that attack Israel. Of course, Malaysia itself has no intention of supporting these actions.

                1. Keep it up, Abie promised 50c per post. You’re rolling in the shiny pennies now!

                  1. Do you have something to contribute or are you just going to sling baseless accusations around?

                    1. Was that at me or oobins? There actually is money from Malaysia that supports terrorism against Israel… That’s not baseless.

                    2. Sorry, that was at oobins. You haven’t made baseless accusations (that I know of, anyway). I have little doubt there are Malaysians involved in the international terror trade; it’s a common pastime for radicals in Southeast Asia.

                    3. Dont take it personally guys. oobins is a lunatic.

  12. Well, if you’re bored and want some OT:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..28732.html

    I can’t hector my collegues about climate change at work. Unfair! Trigger warning.

    1. As I understand, neither can you do work for a climate change organization on public time. How terrible that is. Anti-democracy!!!111!! Anti-civil rights!!!111!

  13. Talk about an ignorant article. Comparing what Iran wanted to do in the early 70’s Under the Shah’s rule to todays Iran is sophistry

  14. You know, thanks to Richman’s trolling (he is trolling here, right?), we’re going to get a “LIBERTARIANS ARE ANTI-SEMITIC” article out of this. Either on Salon or on PandoDaily or on AlterNet.

    1. No, this is meat for the red team. Salon and Alternet readers would largely agree with Richman’s arguments.

      1. Nobody said that Salon/AlterNet had to be consistent. We know they aren’t. They’ll continue to attack Israel while saying this is anti-semitic.

        Christ. I’m sure that the vast, vast majority of people on Reason would agree that we need to cut off our foreign aid to Israel, and this is still utterly moronic.

        1. Why is that moronic? Is there any proof that $3B/year to Israel benefits the US in any way?

          1. Roll a spot check on your reading comprehension

            1. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that was a natural 1.

              I’ll make it clearer, bria+n^5. “The vast majority of people on Reason [including myself] believe that we need to cut off our foreign aid to Israel. However, [this article] is still utterly moronic.

              1. “Christ. I’m sure that the vast, vast majority of people on Reason would agree that we need to cut off our foreign aid to Israel, and this is still utterly moronic.”

                Independent clause: “I’m sure that the vast, vast majority of people on Reason would agree that we need to cut off our foreign aid to Israel”

                Next independent clause: “this is still utterly moronic.”

                My reading comprehension is fine.

                1. My reading comprehension is fine.

                  Well, I can see why you like Bo.

                  1. My explanation was clear. That’s how the English language works. When you say:

                    “I’m sure that the vast, vast majority of people on Reason would agree that we need to cut off our foreign aid to Israel”

                    and then follow it with: “this is still utterly moronic.”

                    You are saying that cutting off our foreign aid to Israel is moronic. That’s just how our language works.

                    1. Jesus Christ, man, he clarified what he meant. Give it a fucking rest.

                    2. I’m just saying my reading comprehension is fine. It is.

                    3. Can you clarify that for us?

                    4. I’m just saying my reading comprehension is fine. It is.

                    5. thanks

                    6. It’s not really. The “this” in the second sentence is still referential to the “this” in the first sentence, which is the article “the article”.

        2. “Nobody said that Salon/AlterNet had to be consistent.”

          The Progressive Theocracy is perfectly consistent in behavior. They use whatever argument is handy to attack their enemies whenever they can.

          But you meant logically consistent? That’s just a racist sexist homophobic patriarchal western prejudice of those people who care if what they say corresponds to reality. The Progressive Theocracy only cares about power.

      2. What kind of AIPAC hasbarat is that? Salon, AlterNet, various other “leftist” pubs are funded by Shlomo and Shmuel, not Cletus and Goober.

        1. Confirmed for Stormfronter, use of “hasbara”.

          Fuck off.

          1. Sheldon always brings out the Stormfronters. It’s predictable.

          2. I am not surprised. Go home, nazi.

  15. i dont get it i was certain the republicans were saying he is too mean to Isreal and hes hurt thier little feelings (the whole congress visit,etc)
    and this article says he is too nice to them.
    I know im speaking in childish terms, but it seems like he cant win with Isreal, no president can…
    i really donty understand.. it seems the best to do is to walk backwards slowly out of the room when it comes to Isreal..

    1. Correction.. i see by the other comments that the article is off base.. makes sense now, no confusion, just the author.

  16. oh lord standby for shit show

  17. Iran has never attacked another country

    Congratulations, I stopped reading after the preposterous subheadline. It’s a new record.

    1. You missed the assertion that the Six Day War was a war of aggression, not a spoiling attack.

  18. The Islamic Republic of Iran, born in 1979, has not attacked another country.

    Can you say Hezbollah?

    Or, how about this from Wikipedia:

    The United States State Department describes Iran as an “active state sponsor of terrorism.”[2] US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice elaborated stating, “Iran has been the country that has been in many ways a kind of central banker for terrorism in important regions like Lebanon through Hezbollah in the Middle East, in the Palestinian Territories, and we have deep concerns about what Iran is doing in the south of Iraq.”

    You don’t have to believe Rice. there’s been much ink spilled about Iran’s proxy wars around the ME. Richman just hates Israel such that every other player is a good guy by comparison.

    1. Didn’t Iran kidnap 500 people in 1979? Or is “Iranian Hostage Crisis” just a cute little pet name for a big game of hide and go seek?

      1. After attacking and invading our embassy. That’s considered an attack on the USA. Richman and Hihn are both full of shit.

      2. So you’re not aware of what US covert forces were doing in Iran in 1978, I take it.

        Nice awareness. Good to see you stick to AIPAC for global perspectives.

        1. What does this have to do with the kidnapping. I just stated a fact.

          1. I just stated a fact.

            Yes. You indeed typed the phrase, “a fact.” That you did. Well done.

        2. oobins|4.9.15 @ 11:31AM|#
          “So you’re not aware of what US covert forces were doing in Iran in 1978, I take it.”

          I’m sure that subject was discussed. At another time.
          Any other distractions you’re like to try?

    2. I’ve seen this argument that Iran has never attacked another country on multiple occasions, and when I point out the constant Iranian proxy wars where they fund and arm militias all over the region, I get told that doesn’t count.

      It’s funny, because the same people who say Iranian proxy wars aren’t really wars would never make the same claim about American proxy wars or the Bay of Pigs.

      1. the constant Iranian proxy wars where they fund and arm militias all over the region

        You know all this from your office at AIPAC, I take it.

        1. Actually, I know it from the governments of Yemen and Saudi Arabia who have been continuously warning about Iranian support for the Houthi militia in Yemen.

          Unless you think the Saudis are in Israel’s pocket.

          1. People like that usually do. $5 says he thinks that Al Qaeda and ISIS are actually Israeli proxies.

            1. Give me your $5 in monopoly money, Andy. You lose the bet. I don’t think those two are Israel proxies — not at all.

              You’re quite good at guessing others’ thoughts. Have you ever considered being a psychic for pay? I bet you could find a ouija board and tarot cards at the local pawn shop!

          2. Blah blah blah, you’re ignoring the decades of mucking about in Iranian and Iraqi affairs by US Govt both overt & covert, but you’ve got yesterday’s headlines from Foggy Bottom, so that seals the deal on what’s what. Right?

            Tell us your history, Vizier. How do you know which spooks are telling you real truth, and which are working for Your Eternal Enemy? What’s your sifting mechanism? Have you one? Or is it all about the confirmation bias?

        2. Is “hey! You got that from AIPAC!” your only “argument?”

          1. I didn’t realize you were the arbiter, Briney. How much salt is in your water?

            Would you like to have an actual argument, Briney? Please go first. I encourage you to caricature me, label me without proof, and assume you know my mind without ever asking me any questions. That’s sure to win the day. After all, it works when you argue with your friends, doesn’t it?

    3. “Iran’s proxy wars” is hilarious. You look at a puppet and don’t see the hand up its ass, do you? Why would you? Something up an ass is de rigeur for you!

      I didn’t realize Nick Gillespie was on account with the boys at Ft Meade and Foggy Bottom. You’re ignorant of CIA meddling in Iran and causing a regime change to a CIA puppet show, and you think Iran is behind the “proxy wars” and not Langley & Foggy Bottom?

      I love the fraudulence at reason.com. Keep it up Nickster, there’s more pay for bigger lies down the road, ask Abe Foxman!

      1. Who let the fucking Alex Jones looms in?

        1. The anti-semitic loonies hate Alex Jones. They think he’s a Jewish shill, because his wife is Jewish.

          1. Keep casting nets in the air, hoping for a school of flying fish!

            Did you leave out another kook category? I think you did. Exhaust your list of scapegoats, please. Eventually you may convince yourself that you really do NOT need to be correct — you only need to be hasty, angry, and snap-judgment-prone. Vote with your feelings, little one. It’s progressive.

  19. Richman seems incapable of comprehending the possibility that Iran could tell a lie, unless it is when it is pledging to destroy Israel. When it does that, Richman knows they are just kidding around and don’t mean it. When they say anything Richman likes, he knows it is the Gospel truth.

    I don’t understand why Reason publishes this crap. Would they publish some raving Wilsonian talking about the need to enforce international order by invading and occupying the entire Middle East? I doubt it. Yet, they publish Richman who is every bit as stupid and crazy just on the other side.

    1. I think it’s hilarious that Richman seriously believes various Iranian claims about ‘promises’ they were going to make in exchange for concessions.

      They literally chant death to America, death to the Jews at government sponsored prayer rallies, but that apparently tells us nothing about their position.

      1. And they have been funding international terrorism directed at Israel and the US for decades. Does Richman think they do that for fun? Moreover, the entire Middle East from Israel to Saudi Arabia to Jordan to Egypt is terrified of them. I guess Richman thinks the Saudis and Jordanians are just evil Muslim hating Zionists too. I guarantee you, no one in the government of Saudi Arabia or Jordan wakes up in the morning worried about Israel invading or nuking them, but they sure as hell worry about Iran doing that.

        1. “And they have been funding international terrorism directed at Israel and the US for decades. Does Richman think they do that for fun? ”

          They do seem to enjoy it.

      2. Shouldn’t your name be Vizier Jewish, Keeper of Paranoia with a view like that?

        1. I don’t believe it’s paranoid if everything you’re saying is a proven fact.

          1. Well, look at the big brain on you. Asserting it’s a fact, that’s the same as it being a fact. You must be… a progressive.

        2. I am pretty sure taking someone at their word is not paranoia.

          1. I’m also pretty sure this is either a) a troll or b) a legitimate anti-Semite.

            1. Or (c), you don’t know what the fug you’re talking about and are projecting. How progressive of you.

        3. Go home Richman.

          1. Why, are you warning him against globules of chicken fat that fly when you twirl a chicken?

    2. At this point I just assume Reason keeps him around for clickbait. There can’t be any other explanation.

      1. It still doesn’t explain why he seems to be their #1 foreign policy guy. You would think they’d want to balance out his ravings with more sound and rational articles.

        1. Sound and rational doesn’t get you 1000+ comment thread, nor J-List & Friends cred.

          I’ve only been reading Reason for couple years, but at least the completely ass-backwards insanity with respect to Russia has been replaced with turning the blind eye. So maybe that’s why Richman still stands out, they do no other foreign policy articles anymore.

          1. Yes, it should be hasbara, or it’s not “informed”.

            What temple does Nick Gillespie attend? I’d like to go, they’re obviously quite adept at conveying existential truths about their faith and its precarious grip on the world’s minds.

    3. Richman knows exactly jack shit about Iranians. If an Iranian is speaking, he is lying. It is as simple as that. Lying is deeply ingrained in their culture and they are proud of it.

  20. You know, I thought that it couldn’t get worse than the boring, poorly written, self contradictory crap that Shikha writes. But at least she doesn’t just wipe her ass with some computer paper and then send it into Nick and Matt.

    And for that matter. How did this get passed an editor?

  21. Oh, Richman, this is? oh, Richman.

    1. That’s cool!

  22. “While politicians and pundits lose sleep over an Iranian nuclear-weapons program that does not exist?are they having nightmares of the United States being deterred by Iran??they support Israel, the nuclear power that brutalizes a captive population, attacks its neighbors, threatens war against Iran, and refuses to talk peace with willing partners.”

    Iran is currently funding militias that just overthrew Yemen’s government, they have Shi’ite militias in Iraq who are basically engaging in ethnic cleansing and various other war crimes, and Iran has a long and storied history of doing things like blowing up Argentinian Jewish centers just because they like killing Jews.

    Iran has engaged in crimes far in excess of anything committed by the Israelis and it’s amazing that Richman is unwilling to recognize this.

    1. Forget it, Irish, Richman is impervious to facts.

    2. “[…]it’s amazing that Richman is unwilling to recognize this.”

      Irish, you need to read more Richman; it’s not amazing at all. In fact, it’s predictable.
      If only Israel would stop lobbing rockets into the Gaza strip, peace would be at hand in the middle east!

      1. You know who else thought the Jews were the cause of all the world’s problems?

        1. Obama?

      2. You’re right. All problems you have with not being wealthy enough, not having the trinkets you want, not living forever, and not flying to Pluto as a vacation — that’s because of Islam.

          1. I thought maybe it was sarc, but now I’m convinced otherwise.
            Looks like a real ‘case’…

            1. Circle the wagons! A commenter doesn’t agree with the AIPACophile contingent at reason.com! Thus, we brand him a Hitler! He wants to KILL THE JOOOOS!

              It’s great seeing how reason.com, a magazine of liberty, is all about 1-sided liberty. Not tribalist. Not hypocritical. Not inconsistent. Nope.

              Congratulate yourself. And when done, tell yourself I’m an islamic fundamentalist. Or a stupid Progressive. Since, y’know, the Pwogs aren’t UWSers and aren’t Frankfurt Schoolers, and UWSers and Frankfurt Schoolers aren’t Marxist and aren’t the ones who struggle to pronounce Rs and use Ws instead. Right? Or was that, errrr…. Left?

              You win on twitter, you win on reason, you are great at snark! That proves Israel is the victim and Islam is the culprit!

              1. “You win on twitter, you win on reason, you are great at snark! That proves Israel is the victim and Islam is the culprit!”

                Yes, a ‘case’.
                Hint: quacking and waddling like a duck pretty much makes you a random anti-semite. Beyond that, no one really gives a shit about you.

  23. Richman’s mental disintegration over the temerity of Israel to resist submission to Muslim culture continues apace.

  24. …and to limit nuclear research.

    Persians will do that, right now.

    Thus Netanyahu’s position is a sham…

    Nutandyahoo. And it pains me to agree a tad with Sheldon. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has had nukes since at least 1998. Are all systems on full alert already? NK has them now, but without the delivery systems. They will figure that out sooner than John Kerry finds the all Heinz trust funds. There’s been no full accounting of USSR nukes since it collapsed. MAD is the only available answer to the game theory problem.

    1. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has had nukes since at least 1998.

      Have the Pakis sworn to drive the Jews into the sea? Are they funding terror groups that attack Israel and Jews on a regular basis.

      Or did they get their nukes because they hate Hindus, rather than because they hate Jews?

      1. Do you know who else hates Hindus?

        1. Obama?

          I’m beginning to see a pattern here.

    2. I have been to Pakistan twice, and have spent some time there. They hate Jews and Israel. Me, I’m just an engineer working on a project and I got an earfull of it. They love their Palestinian brothers,. I get where coming from though. The immediate reason Pakistan has nukes is to gain military parity with India after a civil war that separated India into Pakistan, India, and Bangledesh.

      For a demographic curiosity Google “How many Muslims live in India”.

  25. There’s an intelligent argument that we’re too much on Israel’s side, maybe shouldn’t send them so much money/weapons, or maybe they’re rich & capable enough to look after themselves so we can stop sticking our dicks in the meatgrinder that is the middle east. Could Reason can Richman in favor of someone that can make that argument?

  26. The refusal to see Israel for what it is, and the numerous AIPAC sentimentals who pretend that the problem is Islam? Well that tells you all you need to know about the reason.com editorial staff and their obedience to paymaster David.

    “If we don’t blame Islam and excuse Judaism & Israel & AIPAC, we might not get to keep writing fluff and traveling around the world, pretending to be great researchers, noble scholars, fantastic writers who MATTER.”

    1. oobins|4.9.15 @ 11:24AM|#
      “The refusal to see Israel for what it is, and the numerous AIPAC sentimentals who pretend that the problem is Islam? Well that tells you all you need to know about the reason.com editorial staff and their obedience to paymaster David.”

      Sarc? Stupidity?

      1. Good job. Yes, it’s stupidity. You, of course, know all about ME history because you are a commenter at reason, and you pretend to care about liberty. That’s proof!

        I like how AIPACophiles only care about the liberty to lie and make money off the lie. True liberty fans.

        L’chaim.

        1. oobins|4.9.15 @ 4:04PM|#
          “Good job. Yes, it’s stupidity. You, of course, know all about ME history because you are a commenter at reason, and you pretend to care about liberty. That’s proof!”

          More stupidity! Way to go!
          Fuck off.

      2. No, oobins is just lame. Like a sick animal needing to be put down.

    2. Ah, I was wondering about your comment before, then I just realized you’re just a garden-variety anti-Semite.

      Go back to /r/conspiracy and hang out with your friend Flytape, or go back to Stormfront. Whatever you do, get the fuck away from here.

      1. No thanks, I’ll stick around and counter AIPAC hasbarats like yourself.

    3. I think you tied your turban a little too tightly.

      1. That’s clever. Yes, I’m an islamist. Right. Because that’s the choice: LOVE ISRAEL or be a crazed islamic fundamentalist.

        You think that’s evidence of your …what? IQ? Partisan pride? Tribalist idiocy?

        1. oobins|4.9.15 @ 4:05PM|#
          “That’s clever. Yes, I’m an islamist. Right. Because that’s the choice: LOVE ISRAEL or be a crazed islamic fundamentalist.”

          Gee, how about you’re just a run of the mill anti-semite, regardless of whether you’re an islamist or not?

    4. If I tell you to go die in a fire, will I get an extra few bucks in my monthly paycheck from the Elders of Zion?

      1. Nope. Don’t much care about apocrypha. But apparently you do — Israel is the victim, right?

    5. What’s that?

      “Death to DA JOOS! Death to DA JOOS! Death to DA JOOS!”

      Thanks for clarifying.

      1. Jacob Bacharach, everyone loves you, even with your clever reason handle.

  27. All this arguing. Can’t we just bring back National Brotherhood Week and let bygones be bygones?

    1. apparently not

  28. Sheldon Richman is the only thing on Reason that unites the commenters. I guess he’s got that going for him, even though it’s against him.

    1. except for the trolls, but they don’t count

  29. I’m putting in overtime here and AIPAC STILL hasn’t gotten my check to me on time. What’s even the point in allowing my soul to be purchased with pouches of Jew-gold if they’re not going to make their payments as agreed?

    1. Your mailman saw checks from both Koch industries and AIPAC and to resolve his confusion just pocketed them instead.

  30. Thus Netanyahu’s position is a sham. He could have peace treaties in short order if he wanted to.

    That’s not how Democracy? works, Sheldon. The way it works is that you keep the population permanently scared of something – a real or imaginary enemy, some crisis, throwing grandma off the cliff, evil eye-rah-nee-ans, etc – so they keep voting for the same assholes.

    1. “The way it works is that you keep the population permanently scared of something…”

      Yeah, because nothing bad ever happens to Jews, right? The whole world is in love with the Jews, and any suggestion to the contrary is delusional paranoia.

  31. What is it with the left and Jew-hate? The same people using the same scapegoat over and over and over again. Whats wrong Sheldon, did we win WWII too soon? I am not going to bother pointing out the obvious in defense of Israel because it will make no difference. Anti-Semitism is not rational so rational discussion is a waste of time.

    Fuck you Sheldon, and Fuck the Mullahs.

    I think the Mullahs get deference from the hard left here because they are envied. They are grinding their own people into the dirt with impunity. Total and complete power over every aspect of life, including keeping half of the population in slavery. The idea of them also having nuclear weapons gives people like Sheldon a hard on.

    Really Sheldon, go fuck yourself you piece of shit.

    1. “What is it with the left and Jew-hate? ”

      Just a manifestation of the Progressive Theocracy’s drive for power. I think the pattern is hatred of freedom in the US, and the defenders of that freedom, because they stand in the way of the Progressive Theocracy’s boot. It’s mainly targeted here at home, to get power here, but it extends to allies abroad to weaken defenders of freedom at home.

  32. Odd how all the “libertarians” here become interventionists as soon as Iran is mentioned.

    1. I haven’t seen many calls for intervention. Just more of a request for Richman to not write ignorant shit.

    2. What the fuck are you talking about, idiot?

      1. Weigel like to have conversations with the voices in his head. They’re easier to defeat in an argument than actual humans.

    3. BUUUUUTTTTPPLLLLLUUUUUUUUUUGGGGG

    4. Palin’s Buttplug|4.9.15 @ 11:58AM|#
      “Odd how all the “libertarians” here become interventionists”

      Not at all odd that turd can’t read.

    5. Only 8% of the comments endorse interventionist measures.

    6. “Funny” how at least some libertarians are opposed to theocratic dictatorships.

  33. Regardless of who did what to whom, first, the US brokering (read strong-arming) a deal that significantly favors the most hated nation in the ME will will breed resentment in every nation in the region that isn’t Jewish.

    Non-Jewish shitbags, who reside in the region will use that resentment to rally forces to their cause, whatever the cause du jour may be. The US will be attacked by these shitbags in the future and claim they hate us for our freedoms, and take no responsibility for the role we played in the creation of said resentment. We will, in retaliation, spend another couple trillion dollars fighting another war that we played a role in enabling.

    The United States of America no longer has ANY vital national security interest in the ME. There is no upside to ANY involvement in the region whatsoever. ANY role we play there will embroil us in conflict.

    Why does the US feel the need to assert our power in areas where they have no national interest?

    1. Why does the US feel the need to assert our power in areas where they have no national interest?

      Because in 1953 something something something. /mini-Chomsky

    2. Regardless of who did what to whom, first, the US brokering (read strong-arming) a deal that significantly favors the most hated nation in the ME will will breed resentment in every nation in the region that isn’t Jewish.

      Except that Saudi Arabia and Egypt are as much in favor of us finding ways to prevent a nuclear Iran as Israel is. Israel has the military resources to defend itself and to project the sort of power necessary to destroy Iran’s nuclear program whereas the House of Saud never doesn’t and has instead largely relied on the U.S. as its military program.

      1. Exactly. Iran is more of a threat to them than they are to Israel. Sure they hate the Jews, but they have a real score to settle with the other Muslims too. Everyone in the region is terrified of them.

      2. Except that Saudi Arabia and Egypt are as much in favor of us finding ways to prevent a nuclear Iran as Israel is.

        And the US cares…why?

        Let’s say I agree. So we are picking sides between Iranians and Saudis AND jews? Is better than picking sides between just between the jews and the rest of the region?

        No. Our best interests lie in removing ourselves completely and let those with actual interests in the region work it out on their own. Our efforts will only make it worse. We no longer need their oil. There is no reason to care.

        1. “[…]Our best interests lie in removing ourselves completely and let those with actual interests in the region work it out on their own.[…]”

          Winnah!

        2. Regardless of who did what to whom, first, the US brokering (read strong-arming) a deal that significantly favors the most hated nation in the ME will will breed resentment in every nation in the region that isn’t Jewish.

          That italicized bit is the original comment I was responding to. Do you put the goalpost on rollers or do you have dismantle and reconstruct it every time?

        3. And the US cares…why?

          It’s probably a real PITA to pump oil out of a nuclear wasteland.

          1. perlhaqr|4.9.15 @ 6:14PM|#
            “It’s probably a real PITA to pump oil out of a nuclear wasteland.”

            Therefore, the US should be the world policeman, right?

    3. You are aware that much of the world’s East/West trade traverses the Arabian sea, aren’t you. Have you heard of the Silk Road? The Suez Canal?

      A major conflict in the region would severely affect world trade–to say nothing about the supply of oil. This is not just about the USA. Just consider what could happen if the conflict in Yemen turns into a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran; Sunni versus Shia. The entire muslim world could ignite. Europe and Asia could be mostly disconnected.

      I don’t like that we are the world’s policeman, either. But I don’t like the idea of Russia or China taking over that role.

      1. FDA is impervious to facts.

        1. you mean the most evil organization in the history of the world? Ya, I’d say that’s about right!

        2. Cytotoxic|4.9.15 @ 12:44PM|#
          “FDA is impervious to facts.”

          Cytotoxic loves him some war porn!

          1. Oh come on! Can’t we all just agree that the FDA has killed more people than HitlerStalinMao?

            1. Hear that sound? That was the point whizzing over your head.

          2. “Cytotoxic loves him some war porn!”

            Obligatory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbMyELNEDLs

            Wargasm, wargasm one, two, three
            Tie a yellow ribbon around the amputee
            Masturbate watch it on tv
            Crocodile tears for the refugee
            Wargasm, wargasm one, two, three
            Smutty, bloody pictures, ecstasy
            Blue balls waiting impatiently
            From Alcatraz to Lady Liberty
            Body bags and dropping bombs
            The pentagon knows how to turn us on
            Wargasm, wargasm one, two, three
            People, people, ecstasy
            Wave those flags high in the air
            As long as it takes place over there
            Wargasm
            Wargasm
            Wargasm
            Wargasm
            Body bags and dropping bombs
            The pentagon knows how to turn us on
            Turn us on
            Wargasm
            Turn us on
            Wargasm

      2. A major conflict in the region would severely affect world trade

        Really? Which nation in the world can threaten the US Navy?

        We no longer need the oil. We’ve accomplished the very thing that, for decades, we’ve said will eliminate the need for involvement in the region. Because of technological advances, we are energy independent. Fracking has allowed us to thumb our noses at the ME. We no longer need what they are selling. Let…them…burn.

        Why, after accomplishing what we’ve always asked for, do we continue to operate wrt foreign policy under a paradigm that no longer exists?

        1. Do you use any products made in another hemisphere? What happens to a spoked wheel when the hub breaks?

          As I said, East/West trade crosses at a choke point between the Indian and Mediterranean seas called the Arabian sea. Plus about a quarter of the world’s oil flows out of the Persian gulf. The USA is extremely dependent upon world trade. If Europe, India and Asia are unable to trade, we will be also affected.

          It’s not just oil.

        2. “Which nation in the world can threaten the US Navy?”

          Iran, dumbass. Been there, done that. 1987. The Strait of Hormuz is a choke-point through which approximately 25% of the world’s oil supply flows through. Unless we are willing to preemptively attack them, a couple dozen Iranian anti-ship missile sites and the threat to use them can close it down. While WE may not need that oil, other nations do, and without it, the price of ALL oil will skyrocket. You think our economy is fucked up now? Try it with $8.00 a gallon gasoline.

          1. Good point. Few people care or understand just how interconnected and interdependent industrialized nations are. For a simple example: Iran is not nearly as open to world commerce as western nations are, yet economic and trade sanctions have forced it to bargain (whether in good faith or bad). That would never have happened were they independent isolationists. How much more would be the impact to the USA whose soft economic underbelly is international trade? Which is why we are cursed to keep up this world-policeman game.

          2. a couple dozen Iranian anti-ship missile sites and the threat to use them can close it down.

            HAHAHAHA!

            For about as long as it takes for the Navy to get there. This isn’t 1987 and it ain’t your grandaddy’s Navy.

            While WE may not need that oil, other nations do

            Then perhaps THOSE nations should field a force to protect it rather than getting their national defence on MY dime?

            1. It’s not that easy slick. What’s the Navy going to do when it gets there? Unless they stand off and launch a preemptive strike from the North Arabian Sea, they’re just targets. Once the first missile flies, Lloyd’s will stop coverage for any ship transiting the Strait, and no shipping company will risk a transit. There you are back in 1987 (Operation Earnest Will), only this time Iran has much more sophisticated ASMs, possibly nukes, and an even crazier leadership.

              Perhaps they should, but that doesn’t change the fact that the loss of 25% of the world’s oil supply will affect our economy drastically. Would you rather have our economic stability dependent on the US military, or perhaps the French or Italian militaries?

    4. The US will be attacked by these shitbags in the future and claim they hate us for our freedoms

      And they clearly do hate us for our freedoms. It’s not my problem that you are impervious to that fact.

      There is no upside to ANY involvement in the region whatsoever. ANY role we play there will embroil us in conflict.

      You’re going to be embroiled in a little bit of conflict no matter what you do. Your position is an attempt to run from the world.

      1. Canadian war mongers make me yawn.

        Show me the national security interest in the ME.

        They are NOT going to storm our shores and raise an Islamic flag over the White House..EVER.

        If you are right, and they DO hate us for our freedoms (and by us, I mean the US, not you) and attack us, we can deal with such an attack AFTER the fact without spending time, money and energy on efforts more likely to bring about such attacks than to dissuade them.

        1. Show me the national security interest in the ME.

          The interest is that: (1) Much (most?) of the oil that powers Japan and China comes from that region;
          (2) Their economies are so intertwined with ours that if they crash so do we.
          (3) The usual ‘free navigation for all through international waters’ yadda-yadda.

          So we have an interest in no one greatly upsetting oil production in the region. An intra-SW Asia nuclear exchange becomes more likely if someone besides the Israelis gets a bomb. It becomes greatly more likely, IMHO, if all three sides—Sunnis, Shiites, Israel—get one, and feasible means to deliver them. KSA let it be known fairly recently that it: secretly bought Chinese IRBMs in the 70s, missiles so laughably inaccurate that the only worthwhile military payload is a nuke (or a bug, but same thing) and that they’ve simultaneously bankrolled part of the Pakistani nuclear weapons effort and have a few devices sitting in layaway. Allegedly. Me, I think they’ve already acquired a few, or at least the material, from the former Soviet Union.

          MAD in SW Asia will be considerable different than the creaky Frankenstein’s Monster that typified the Cold War. There will be more than two main blocs, the battlespace will be much smaller, warning times will be a lot smaller if there’s any at all, and stockpiles will be small enough to allow for a decent chance of a incapacitating/decapitating attack.

          1. Oh, and even if you leave out the proxies that Iran is so fond of using, doesn’t the Tanker War count as attacking other countries? During Praying Mantis, the USN and IRIN shot at each other. Repeatedly, and to not so good results for Iran.

            1. 1) Much (most?) of the oil that powers Japan and China comes from that region;

              Sounds like the purview of the Chinese/Japanese, NOT the US.

              (2) Their economies are so intertwined with ours that if they crash so do we.

              Until the US picks up the slack in production, causing our economy to skyrocket.

              (3) The usual ‘free navigation for all through international waters’ yadda-yadda.

              Which will be ensured by the US Navy, just as it always has and is its very purpose for existence.

              An intra-SW Asia nuclear exchange becomes more likely if someone besides the Israelis gets a bomb.

              No, it becomes LESS likely. Nothing promotes stability like a balance of power. (See uptick in US adventurism since the fall of the Soviets.)

              There will be more than two main blocs, the battlespace will be much smaller, warning times will be a lot smaller if there’s any at all, and stockpiles will be small enough to allow for a decent chance of a incapacitating/decapitating attack.

              None of which guarantees no retaliatory strike, and therefor doesn’t eliminate MAD’s ability to ensure peace.

              And again…not our concern. You said it yourself. Such a strike would be very limited in nature, killing the idiots involved and perhaps some other NON AMERICANS in the region. Not my job to watch other people’s children.

              I don’t give a rat’s ass what happens in the ME.

              1. I don’t give a rat’s ass what happens in the ME.

                Obviously not. You also don’t care what a conflagration there does to world trade and to American commerce. Maybe because you’re an isolationist. Maybe because you don’t get modern commerce.

                1. Um…see the part about the US Navy.

                  I’m not an isolationist. I’m a noninterventionist. Trade with absolutely anyone who cares to do so freely. If others interfere in that transaction, by all means, defend yourself.

              2. China agrees with your first point, given their attempts to develop a blue water navy and influence throughout Africa and Asia. I think Japan might, if the US’d ever let the JSDF off their leash. Equitably, they should take more responsibility for their energy supply lines. Alternately, we could loosen up petroleum exports, and take part of China/Japan’s supply emphasis away from the ME. Or ignore any second order effects from China needing to find other sources of petroleum and taking them from entities that the US is contractually obliged to defend. Not that taking the reserves under, e.g., the Spratlys would help China’s need for oil and gas then and there.

                That said, our economy will not skyrocket if the price of oil goes to a point that threatens the stability of either Japan or China’s economy, anymore than the correction in housing prices and derivative issues in 2008 led to increased prosperity.

                It is hilarious of you to say so, though. “Kids! I burned down the shitter! All those outhouse problems you guys were complaining about are all gone now! What’s that? It’s going to take time to build some indoor plumbing…? The point being that any increased prosperity from the reaction to such a catastrophe is going to take a lot longer to show up than the bad times the US would be going through while it waited.

                Isn’t a crash there, much more likely to lead to a giant economic crisis here, with a libertarian response like TARP the eventual ‘solution’?

                1. As for the nuclear situation in the ME being more stable with more actors, under the conditions I posed, all I can say is that such a dynamic goes against pretty much every thing I’ve read on deterrence theory.

                  To wit: (1) All stockpiles in the ME, even Israel’s, are small, and can conceivably be destroyed in a surprise first strike.
                  (2) Nuclear C3I is the same, until I see any of the actors developing something like NEACP or Looking Glass.
                  (3) The space is small enough that alternate delivery means than ICBMs become feasible. If IRBMs are used, travel times are shorter than in the US/USSR conflict, on par with SLBM delivery.
                  (4) Early warning systems, except Israel’s, maybe, are nowhere near as robust or redundant as either the USSR’s or US’s. How would, e.g., Bushehr even know if an IRBM was inbound?
                  (5) All of the players dislike each other, yet each can conceivably secretly combine with each other to eliminate one of the others. Better yet, A can attack B, and believably make it appear that C was responsible.

                  All of this to me screams instability, and is easily distinguishable from the MAD strategy that somewhat worked for 70 years and counting. I do agree with you that a regional nuclear exchange need not necessarily involve the U.S or Russia. Unless one of the three felt that either the U.S. or Russia needed to feel personally involved to help out.

                  But I’d love nothing more than to tell the ME to choke on their oil and wash the U.S’s hands of the place.

                  1. Great post. Did you serve on the Gray Ghost?

        2. They are NOT going to storm our shores and raise an Islamic flag over the White House..EVER.

          This was almost exactly what I said yesterday in comments on a Rand Paul article at National Review. The screaming, rationalization, and name-calling was delicious. Coherent rebuttals were non-existent.

    5. “Why does the US feel the need to assert our power in areas where they have no national interest?”

      Out with Never Again, in with Not Our Problem! Peace in Out Time!

      An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
      — Winston Churchill

      1. There is no appeaser here.

        Just someone who understands what a real threat is, and realizes that it isn’t the job of the US to provide military force to the rest of the world.

  34. Sheldon, why is it you understand many things so well, but the niche you’ve found (or been put in) here has you writing mostly about your most ridiculous and/or useless ideas?

    1. this is actually a good point.

      Sheldon apparently has a track record of being *not retarded* on topics other than Foreign Affairs.

      yet that’s what he blogs about here.

      if they don’t trade him for someone else, they could at least put him on a beat where he’s not quite so ridiculously out of touch with reality

      I mean, when Welch was on the Indys, i seem to recall him often attempting to moderate the more-extreme libertarian Foreign Policy views that came out of people like Ron Paul… or Kmele (*still the best dressed!!)…. others…. but as editor of the magazine? the lunatic fringe is given free reign.

      1. *”free rein”

        yes, i know…. horses, not kings.

      2. “Sheldon apparently has a track record of being *not retarded* on topics other than Foreign Affairs.”

        Aren’t there any JOOS for him to hate at home?

        1. Right. He could always talk about the way jews have ruined the financial or entertainment industries. He doesn’t just need to dwell constantly on the middle east.

          1. He doesn’t have to write about Jews per se at all. It’s just that lately he’s been stuck either writing about this biz or doing what also amounts to trolling by plowing theoretic ground that’s been gone over forever by libertarians. I can’t say I’m in close touch w Sheldon, but I got to know him (& Kathleen Jacob) 35 yrs. ago & have seen his better work.

            Come to think of it, I’ve seen very interesting stuff from Jacob Sullum, but lately they’ve been milking him dry too, doing things like trying along w everybody else to read Rand Paul’s tea leaves. Come on, Reason, where’s the good stuff? I guess we gotta pay for that.

            And do you have to keep recycling blog entries (in whole or in substance) while restarting the comment threads? Just leave the old comments there so we pick up where we left off.

      3. I’m afraid that somebody has decided lately that this is Reason’s (or at least HyR’s) line, despite their protestations that Reason has no line, on foreign affairs, and that they drew straws & decided that Sheldon was the best heir they had to Murray Rothbard’s thinking on the subject. What’s so funny is that when Murray was around, Reason was the chief counterweight in the libertarian movement to that naivety.

  35. Mini-Chomsky is soooooo cute.

  36. Why is Iran universally cast as the villain and Israel the vulnerable victim?

    Because that’s an accurate summary and non-retards like ‘Not Richman’ can clearly see that.

  37. My Aunty Mackenzie recently got a nearly new blue Toyota Venza by working part time online… website here ????????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  38. The ‘treaties’ Richman refers to and 3 dollars will get you coffee.

  39. so by this logic, the USA should be considered enemy number one world wide. After all, our leaders constantly threaten war, bomb with drones… But I suppose that’s a byproduct of what certain countries have forced us into like Iran and its terror support outreach program. Oh and you have rebellions in what, five or six other non Israeli countries?

    1. “so by this logic, the USA should be considered enemy number one world wide.”

      Yeah, that’s what he thinks. But his Death to America signs were in the shop being repainted.

  40. Was this article supposed to be a late April fools joke or does Richman inhabit some alternate Universe wherein Iran is actually a peacefull country that has never militarily meddled or incited,funded and orchestrated terrorirsm beyond it’s own borders?

  41. “The Islamic Republic of Iran, born in 1979, has not attacked another country”

    You sir, are a fucking idiot. The military and intelligence agencies of Iran, under the direct control of their “Supreme Leader”, are responsible for more terrorist acts around the globe than any other nation/state.

  42. Really don’t know why Richman still has a job here. Terrible analysis.

    That said, I don’t think he writes shit like this out of anti-Semitism, as so many people here are so quick to throw out. I think he’s just a contrarian who falls into second-option bias when it comes to foreign policy (“I don’t like the foreign policy of the US and its allies, therefore they are always the bad guys and their enemies are always the good guys”).

    1. If you are so convinced Richman’s essay above is mistaken, you could always give some contrary thoughts rather than OMIGODHE’SANTISEMITIC or the soft-pedal version where you say

      “I don’t think he’s anti-Semitic, he just tends to believe the people I reflexively hate.”

      1. You want a contrary thought? OK, but it seems too obvious to bother with:

        Based on their behavior since forever, I don’t see the state of Israel using nuclear weapons unless it’s their only chance to prevent Israel’s own annihiliation. I can’t say the same about the countries around them.

  43. Israel already has up to 400 nuclear weapons. It also has excellent delivery platforms, including nuclear armed subs. Iran does not yet have even one. Israel forced Great Britain out, and beat all Arab invaders in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973 and put down 2 Intifadas (rebellions) with lop – sided “enemy” casualties. Also, thanks to our destruction of an WMD-innocent, bi-sectarian Iraq, Israel now faces a Pan Islamic religious civil war making Israel’s endless expansion easier.

    The U.S. relation to Israel is the epitome of the “foreign entanglement” Washington warned about. It not only uses American citizens as agents, it has formed a firm alliance with the most intolerant, war mongering Evangelical Christian religious denominations, e.g., “Pastor” John Hagee’s Dispensationalists.

    Israel is also not our “best ally.” It is a “grosser schnorer,” (free loader, moocher) a rich little country yet takes $3 billion a year from the U.S. Israel, for its size, has a relatively large military. But Israel hasn’t contributed any actual combat units, even one, to our efforts in Vietnam and in other wars.

    The U.S. must protect our citizens at home. But we should re-institute (military) disengagement from all Muslim lands (cease all fire, withdraw all our troops) followed by containment by proxy against non governmental groups that invade, in numbers, across existing borders of Muslim lands.”

    1. I got as far as “WMD-innocent…Iraq”, and realized that you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

  44. Dear Sheldon Richman,

    What part of the statement “Death to America” do you not understand?
    (this has been attributed to Iran’s supreme leader by several different news sources)

    Is the above just another example of anti-Iran propaganda in your view?

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