A defiant Iran is a dangerous Iran

There comes a time when threats and rhetoric must be substantiated with tangible action—an egotistical athlete must eventually back up his off-field diatribes—for risk of losing credibility.

For the United States, that time is now.

The Associated Press is reporting that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, addressing professors at Tehran University—amid diplomatic pressure to renounce his country’s uranium enrichment program—will not abrogate an agenda that many believe is heading towards nuclear proliferation, insisting that efforts instead will be made to accelerate the dubious program.

In his address, Ahmadinejad elucidated his unwavering commitment to the enrichment program, hypothesizing that Iran will create up to 100,000 centrifuges used to develop nuclear fuel, while debunking the notion that Iran, in the face of thunderous adversity, will abandon its uranium program, asserting that “not a single person has a right to give up the rights of the Iranian nation,” according to the AP report.

It seems that in Ahmadinejad’s conceited concept of reality, no one is allowed to question his intentions; no nation is allowed to defend itself against a terror-mongering, rogue regime bent on obliterating the West and everything it stands for. Rather, the world must sit by contently and watch as Iran cultivates materials necessary to carry out the demonic ideology of its fanatical allies, who undoubtedly wouldn’t mind ascertaining some recently enriched uranium.

Egregious political nonfeasance like this is blatantly unacceptable.

In fact, it is the moral responsibility, if not the legal duty, of a sovereign nation to inquire about the actions of other states, particularly if the actions in question could potentially impact the autonomy and perpetuation of the sovereign nation.

That is why the American government, in collaboration with its steadfast allies, must act multilaterally to preserve and protect the welfare of its citizens amid this new development—the United States, the United Nations, and all other sovereign states whose interests are in limbo, must make true on their promises to combat the Iranian government’s aggression, or Ahmadinejad and his conniving band of Islamofascists will never relent their insurrection—in fact, they’ll be invigorated by the world’s impotence, coddled by the West’s inability to fulfill its promises, emboldening them to push harder and act more decisively, which will only fortify their cause, leaving innocent civilians exposed and vulnerable.

Apparently, the House of Representatives agrees with the preceding position, as measures were approved Thursday to impose sanctions on amenities used in Iran’s various weapons programs, perhaps a result of intense international pressure to reprimand Iran for its failure to disassemble its enrichment program, according to the AP.

“It would be a critical mistake to allow a regime with a track record as bloody and as dangerous as Iran to obtain nuclear weapons,” said Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, in the AP report. "Enough with the carrots. It's time for the stick.”

Although the House approach is explicitly unilateral, the exploitation of both unilateral and multilateral options is necessary to formulate the most comprehensive solution to this precarious dilemma. Unilateral action alone just won’t suffice.

Speaking multilaterally, the United States must vigorously advocate swift, unapologetic action against the Iranian government, beginning with, but certainly not limited to, international sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council.

That, however, is a feat not easily accomplished.

The U.N. Security Council is notoriously inefficient and infamously complacent concerning controversial policy issues, but it’s not necessarily their fault: the Council is composed of a diverse group of nations championing a diverse set of interests, which often tend to be conflicting and counterproductive. This clash of vastly dissimilar agenda’s often leads to indecisiveness and internal strife, resulting in a finished product that hardly reflects the values of responsibility and ethics.

Despite obvious struggles that will invariably ensue in the Council, it is imperative that an agreement be reached—an agreement that includes, at the very least, stringent economic and geopolitical sanctions. Perhaps unforgiving sanctions will dissuade Ahmadinejad from acting recklessly in the future—but, realistically, it probably won’t, which is why military action, although always a distant possibility, should be publicly elucidated in the diplomatic arena.

But let’s not jump ahead. Any foreseeable military action against the Iranian government is still only a remote possibility, not to be enacted until a reasonable number of diplomatic avenues have been exhausted, and a peaceful solution to any issue, especially this issue, is always preferred.

However, aside from diplomatic sanctions, at least one other short-term option is available: Ahmadinejad claims his enrichment program will be used for peaceful purposes only, and not to promote terrorism. Make him prove it. If Ahmadinejad truly has nothing to hide, the United States should propose that the President consent to unfettered U.N. access to his enrichment facilities, clearing any uncertainty surrounding his dubious intentions.

If he consents and U.N. inspectors find nothing but peaceful enrichment, then problem solved. If the stubborn leader does not consent, he’ll be facing a much less voluntary set of options, perhaps a U.N. endorsed ultimatum forcing him to either halt his program or risk a possible regime overthrow.

This is a critical time in the history of the United States. A terror-sympathizing state is continuing to defy the world’s international agenda, and now the resiliency of the harsh rhetoric enunciated by the world is being challenged. The terrorists have made their move, now it’s time for the world to make their’s.

Posted by Alex Fitzsimmons at October 2, 2006 7:40 AM
Comments
Comment #185661

Just a minor, no, tiny point in your rant that should surely be accompanied with an orchestra completee with Dr. Strangelove props of a Muslim flavor only the GOP could appreciate. You neglected to point out anywhere in your entire piece any evidence that Iran is actually a threat to anyone.

Iran can launch a strike against Israel with various chemical weapons they have had since the Iran-Iraq War, yet these weapons sit and have sat for many years. Although certainly a loud talker, and this is something you should be used to because Republicans are quite similar, the Iranian President has never once said he is making nuclear weapons. US intelligence lacks any sufficient reason to make the claim. The UN and much of the world thinks this is just an extension of our idiotic invasion of Iraq. I just don’t see where you are going with this.

You’ve said a whole bunch, I’m glad you can string words together, but if you are going to lobby accusations at another nation in order justify an invasion you better have all your ducks in a row.

I’m quite tired of seeing US soldiers and civilians get blown to bits because warmongers of the duck & cover party are so busy telling everyone to be afraid that they never have justified the case for their position.

Posted by: Shepherd at October 2, 2006 7:57 AM
Comment #185663

Alex, you wrote: “If Ahmadinejad truly has nothing to hide, the United States should propose that the President consent to unfettered U.N. access to his enrichment facilities, clearing any uncertainty surrounding his dubious intentions.If he consents and U.N. inspectors find nothing but peaceful enrichment, then problem solved.”

I agree, the problem would be solved. I disagree that the U.S. is the party who should making the demand. It would be like asking a Rabbi to plead with Hitler for Jewish lives.

It would be far more appropriate for another nation’s leader, one not viewed as waging crusades against Islam, and which has clout with the U.N. in terms of potentially acquiring U.N. backing, to make the demands for inspections.

This is a complicated and very multi-faceted world we live in today with some big players and growing players on the world stage. A smart manager knows when to delegate to get optimal results. If the U.S. delivers ultimatums, it will only entrench Iranian defiance and rejection. However, if China or Russia, or France were to deliver it, the message will be received without as much of the anti-Islamic U.S. overcast perceived by Iranians.

Also, there is still time for negotiation. Intel. reports it would be 4 years minimum before they could possibly develop enough enriched Uranium to become a weapon threat. There is time, and all other options must be explored and tried before flying off the handle on another military mission we are ill-equipped to handle unilaterally.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 2, 2006 8:20 AM
Comment #185665

I agree with your posting wholeheartedly too bad so many democats in this great country dont’t! Thanks for sticking up for us for a change!

Posted by: Michael C Bonacci at October 2, 2006 8:22 AM
Comment #185671

Iran is indeed a problem - made much more dangerous by the removal of its most immediate threat in Iraq and the replacement of that threat with a friendly government. Thanks to the Bush administration it is more free to spread its nasty wings with little fear of military action from the US since it is no doubt playing a significant part in keeping us in a stalemate conflagration in Iraq by feeding fuel to its shiite allies. The world is not a simple place and the problems we face in it will not be solved with rooster struts and puffed up rhetoric - with patriotic slogans and slung mud designed to win votes and retain power rather than address the real problems with humility and intelligence. This last - the using of rhetoric and mud to gain votes - is a problem with both paties - but the republicans have raised it to an art form. Iran is a problem for diplomacy. Diplomacy that will be difficult and stretch over many years.

Posted by: Terlen at October 2, 2006 8:56 AM
Comment #185672

Nuclear weapons in the hands of a terrorists is an intolerable threat. That’s why people supported the war in Iraq initially. Nobody wanted al-Qaeda with a nuke or a chemical weapon.

Nobody wants an Iran with a nuclear weapon either, for the same reasons.

However, our effectiveness in being able to confront these people depends on our credibility, and that credibility has been strained seriously. In many ways, it isn’t the Iraq war and the failure to find WMDs that Democrats are fighting; those things are past. No, what we fight are the policies and politics that put America in that position.

Whether they honestly believed there were weapons or not, the truth is, this administration did a poor job of responding to the reality on the ground. We are left many times with the sickening dilemma of the administration either having lied to us, or having been unaware of the truth.

Skepticism is not about being contrarian on all things. It’s about looking for clues to the soundness of our hunches, and the validity of our interpretations, adding a crucial element of feedback to our awareness of the world.

This is an administration built on attempting the impossible: anticipating every threat by setting the threshold of response low. We treat anything that has chance of being true as if it were true, and act accordingly. There’s a brute force simplicity to this approach that appeals to people. I can understand why people would prefer it. Unfortunately, it runs into major problems when you consider economy.

Fact is, every time we act, we take on opportunity costs. Striving to be right isn’t just about vindication or the moral question to avoid mistakes. It’s also about efficiency. The more errors one makes, the less accurate the predictions of one’s theories, the more wasteful one’s approach becomes.

That we were wrong on Iraq isn’t merely inconvenient. It means not having soldiers free for other fights. It means greater expense, much of it in the form of debt, thanks to the only wartime tax cut in U.S. History. It means intelligence resources are listening in on Iraq and not other places. It means policy makers are focused on Iraq and not other places. It means that Homeland Security here is taking a backseat in funding and priority to dealing with Iraq’s security problem. All those may have negative consequences later.

The worse thing of all is the refusal of this adminstration to deal with dissenting parties in this country, the refusal to consider the right and wrong of what we say, despite the fact that we have accurately forseen problems much more the time than they did. We told them the low manpower was going to be a problem, that we needed to prepare for occupation, for post-war planning. We told them they needed to take care of Fallujah and Najaf immediately, before it became a bloody mess. We told them, time and again that the arbitrary milestones of the systems would not reduce the violence.

The Republicans who still support Bush are unfortunately locked in a dreamworld where vindication remains down the road, where any information that seems to confirm one of their points of view, regardless of how thin, confirms all the rest. The Bush supporters believe their own theories and hunches about the world all too easily, so its much easier for them to become stuck in an alternate reality from the rest of us.

Willpower, applied without good awareness of the situation, can ultimately lead to stubbornly embraced mistakenness.

Before we make another mistake, let’s get a good read on what’s going on. No more cobbling together cases to serve an agenda-born bias. Let’s know before we act and expect the rest of the world to believe us. Let’s not make the same mistake twice and bring ruin to our interests.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 2, 2006 8:58 AM
Comment #185676

I just have a quick question: If Iran is such a threat because they are now possibly pursuing nuclear weapons, then why wasn’t more (any) action taken against A. Q. Khan and Pakistan when knowledge of nuclear proliferation to Iran (and Libya, and North Korea, etc…) became known.

I have really never been able to figure out why Pakistan was given a pass on this if we are claiming to be truly concerned and consistent with regards to this issue on a world-wide basis. The only explanation given thus far that I’ve heard is because they are an “ally” (with friends like these…). However, if terrorists acquiring nuclear capabilities is really our primary National Security concern, then shouldn’t any other forms of support that Pakistan had provided be negated by such actions?

Just looking for consistency…

Posted by: Liberal Demon at October 2, 2006 9:24 AM
Comment #185680

Liberal Demon, Pakistans Islamic Military Dictator isn’t sitting on top of huge oil reserves. That is the short and long of it.

Certainly, Pakistan has al-Queda and Taliban, likely in greater numbers than even Afghanistan, now. But, Musharraf is Bush’s best buddy and has received huge sums of American taxpayer dollars to make Bush look good in his war on terror.

Bush cut Musharraf off at the taxpayer spigot awhile back, which prompted Musharraf to back off the Afghanistan border a bit. Bush responded by bringing Musharraf back to D.C. for a sit down, and no doubt, for a discussion about more secret defense budget money to be headed his way if he won’t back off the border regions anymore.

That’s the way of it, when one has to buy one’s friends. There is just no cutting them off from the bribes as long as their ‘friendship’ is still needed.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 2, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #185681

“By manipulating insecurity, the New Right has created an extraordinarily successful populist conservative movement. Utilizing extensive documentation, the authors argue convincingly that the fear of immigrants and racial minorities has served as the most effective tactic in the GOP arsenal, while their approach also implicates gays, feminists, and terrorists. The book explains why Americans have willingly supported a party that promises them security, just as it delivers greater economic and political insecurity. The authors argue that, despite their striking political successes, neoconservatives have delivered to voters a set of policies harmful to working Americans in the way of regressive tax measures, military exploits, tort reform, deregulation, and environmental destruction.”
From “Politics of Fear and the Republican Party”

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at October 2, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #185682

A defiant and arrogant U.S. is a dangerous U.S. … a defiant and arrogant president is a dangerous president … a defiant and arrogant vice-president is a dangerous vice-president … a defiant and arrogant secretary of defense is a dangerous secretary of defense …

The U.S. is in trouble…

Posted by: Jilly at October 2, 2006 10:00 AM
Comment #185683

What’s your point Alex? Did you think Iran would roll over and be our bitch? And what ‘agression’ are you referring to? I must have missed their invasion of another country, was it in the news?
Before you talk-point-newspeak, I think Iran is a clear and present danger to our security. The reality is obvious that another nuclear nation is dangerous, especially a religious based one. But this is the direct result of BushCo’s invade-first policy, what else will our adversaries do? They won’t give-up-join-us just because you want them to. Bush flipped the bird at international cooperation and we have no reason to expect anything else from the rest of the world until the chimp is history.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 2, 2006 10:00 AM
Comment #185684

Andre,

For years now I’ve been drawing comparisons to the Party in Orwells 1984 and BushCo. It sucks to be right on this one.
“Freedom is Slavery”

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 2, 2006 10:03 AM
Comment #185685

David,

“But, Musharraf is Bush’s best buddy and has received huge sums of American taxpayer dollars to make Bush look good in his war on terror.” (emphasis mine)
As Liberal Demon said; with friends like these…

Jilly,

I was gonna post the same thing, but you got there first!

Posted by: ChristianLeft at October 2, 2006 10:32 AM
Comment #185693

ChristianLeft, happens a lot when common knowledge is posted. :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 2, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #185705

The entire attitude and stance of this article perfectly encapsulates the belligerence of US policy towards Iran. A country that has a perfectly legitmate desire to explore and expand it’s nuclear capacity legally through the IAEA and the NNPT is being demonized and verbally bashed by an administration that is a little short on veracity and integrity itself. And our country is fast approaching a decision point made illegitimately urgent by increasing bellicosity, saber rattling and sheer hubris. Provocative behavior is a two-way street.


“In fact, it is the moral responsibility, if not the legal duty, of a sovereign nation to inquire about the actions of other states, particularly if the actions in question could potentially impact the autonomy and perpetuation of the sovereign nation.”

This is an extraordinarily duplicitous statement on a number of counts—where was this responsibility when Israel gained nuclear status? Pakistan? India? None of these countries worked within the framework of the NNPT. And then Mr. Bush unbelievably promises on his last trip to Asia, to give India additional nuclear technology, thus practically assuring a nuclear arms race in South Asia. As if we didn’t have enough problems with the powderkeg Pervez Mussharraf and Pakistan represents. It would seem that the only country that has the wherewithall, and the will to “impact the autonomy…of a sovereign nation” is the US. After all, you compare the US track record of interference in other countries’ affairs over the last fify years
with Iran’s, you’re going to have the entire world scratching it’s head in bemusement.

All of this talk, of course, is like a fart in the wind. We’ve had commandos and spies in Iran since the summer of ‘04 looking for and assessing targets. Several naval strike forces are already in the Persian gulf or are on their way there. The supposed draw-down of US troops in Iraq promised on several occasions in late 2005 and earlier this year have gone unfulfilled.

I can’t help but think these feverish negotiations to put in place sanctions against Iraq, or to have them back down on their intentions, are so much subtrafuge. Iran has approached this administration several times in the last three years to talk about this issue—we have turned them down flat.

The military and others have argued that any military effort against Iran will have serious repercussions. Not the least of which, the Chinese, who have a number of agreements to provide energy technology and knowlege to the Iranians, as well as oil contracts, might just take the money that has funded our little economic spending spree on the nation’s credit cards for the past six years, and go home.

But when has good sense and prudence and discretion ever been the by-words of this administration?

I think this administration has already made up it’s mind—and that is why we’re seeing retired generals, and whistle-blowers from State and Defense and the CIA coming forward, trying to put the brakes on this run-away train. I suspect that the career people in these departments, the ones that have been around the proverbial block more than once, are scared shitless. Who can blame them?

If, somehow, the Republicans manage to hold on to their majorities in the House and Senate this election, an attack on Iran, I believe, is assured. The only discussion is whether to use nuclear bunker busters, or stick with conventional weapons. As Ike once said, “If you have a problem that can’t be solved, make it bigger.” And the neo-cons are busily doing just that.

And if any of us are still laboring under the delusion that our easy-motoring, air-conditioned, lifestyle will be shielded from such an attack on Iran, well…there are still people in this world that believe in the tooth fairy, the flag, and Christian rectitude. If we attack Iran, the consequences that can be allowed for and envisioned, will be outnumbered two to one by the fallout we didn’t anticipate. How do I know this? Simple. Look at Iraq and it’s myriad problems. Multiply by a factor of two with Iran.

It has never been more critical for the United States to excercise it’s diplomatic and economic powers of persuasion. And I can’t think of a worse time in the nation’s history to face such a challenge—our integrity and moral authority is severely damaged, our military strained and over-extended, and the absolutely wrong people in exactly the wrong place at the wrong time to do anything constructive and non-violent about it.

In an ideal world, we would enlist the help of Europe and other allies, tell Israel to sit down and shut up, we would placate the Russians, buy off the Chinese, and assure the Iranians that surrendering their nuclear ambitions would confirm no aggressive behavior from us. But, thanks to a cowboy foreign policy with the track record of a very large car wreck, and a total penchant to lie and bully and prevaricate—who, in their right mind, will believe us?

This is a crisis that has largely been self-inflicted. It didn’t need to go the path that it seems to be going now.

I defy the United States to not attack Iran. Even if the worst comes to pass, and the Iranians gain nuclear weapons, what precludes a policy of containment, one that, thus far, has worked successfully with the Russians? Oops, I just thought of one reason—our big, out-of-control ego.

Posted by: Tim Crow at October 2, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #185706

“You neglected to point out anywhere in your entire piece any evidence that Iran is actually a threat to anyone.”

Tell that to Isreal. If Iran launches a missle from Iran, it would be easily tracked. If Iranian soldiers, disguised as Hizbollah, launched nukes from Lebanon, then Ahmadinejad would fulfill his stated goal regarding Isreal. The idiots at the UN would slap the wrist of Lebanon or Hizbollah in public while patting them on the back in private.

Perhaps last month’s “war” was just a test to see if Iran & Syria could “get away with it”….

Posted by: Rich at October 2, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #185717
[…] debunking the notion that Iran, in the face of thunderous adversity, will abandon its uranium program, asserting that “not a single person has a right to give up the rights of the Iranian nation,” according to the AP report.

On its face, this is true. Iran has every right to do what it is doing. Our problem with it is spawned from rampant paranoia and fear, some of which is justified. But just because we feel we have cause to distrust Iran in its pursuit of nuclear energy is no reason to ignore the fact that Iran is merely acting within their rights. If we really want to solve this problem, we can’t demand that the rules be ignored or changed because we’re scared and paranoid. We have to find a better approach. And belligerence should be avoided.

It seems that in Ahmadinejad’s conceited concept of reality, no one is allowed to question his intentions; no nation is allowed to defend itself against a terror-mongering, rogue regime bent on obliterating the West and everything it stands for. Rather, the world must sit by contently and watch as Iran cultivates materials necessary to carry out the demonic ideology of its fanatical allies, who undoubtedly wouldn’t mind ascertaining some recently enriched uranium.

Hyperbole. I don’t deny that Iran sponsors terrorist organizations but what needs to be addressed is their motivations to do so. What we don’t need to do is characterize their motivations as “demonic,” which is both rude and dehumanizing. Portraying an enemy as monsters or subhuman is the first step down the road to genocide. It also leads to overconfidence, deficient estimates, and bad strategy, none of which will serve us well.

Ahmadinejad claims his enrichment program will be used for peaceful purposes only, and not to promote terrorism. Make him prove it.

Guilty until proven innocent, eh? You have this backwards. We make the accusation, we have to prove it. For example, I accuse you of being a child molester and a distributor of child pornography. Then I demand that you have to prove you aren’t. If you have nothing to hide, you won’t mind when I send a SWAT team into your home.

Posted by: Joseph Briggs at October 2, 2006 1:00 PM
Comment #185725

Incredible. Incredible!!!! The US overthrew a democratically elected government in Iran, and installed the Shah, who tortured his people into line with the Savak secret police. The feelings of the Iranian people were amply demonstrated when they overthrew the Shah in 1979. Since that time, the US has treated Iran as a pariah. Now, I know that the mullahs were no ballet dancers, but a lot has changed in Iran in the interim. Many of the people there have tired of the regime, and long for change, and opening to the wider world, particularly the western world. Then along comes Uncle Sam, talking about an axis of evil. One member of that axis, North Korea, allegedly has nuclear weapons, so no war talk there. In addition to this, the US invades Irans neighbour, and reduces the country to chaos and death on an industrial scale.

Now, I don’t know if Iran intends to develop “Nucular” weapons, but if I was an Iranian, I’d be screaming at my goverment to get them developed asap. The US, which is the mentor, guarantor and chief agent provocateur in Israel, taking consistently a one sided approach to Arab Israeli conflict and allowing Israel a free pass on any actions it cares to take, regardless of the impact on the local arabs, has to be a truly scary regime to the whole Arab nation. And I know that the Iranians are not Arabs, but they have many interests in common with the Arabs. It seems to me that in the circumstances, not only is the development of nuclear weapons by Iran entirely rational, it is an absolute necessity. The sad thing is that all of this belligerance by the US against Iran will only drive the population more and more into the arms of the mullah regime. I despair for the future of our world with so much power in the hands of the most ruthless and cynical regime, ie, the US, for many years.

Alex Fitzsimons says -

In fact, it is the moral responsibility, if not the legal duty, of a sovereign nation to inquire about the actions of other states, particularly if the actions in question could potentially impact the autonomy and perpetuation of the sovereign nation.
Alex would indeed be correct if the sovereign nation he was referring to was Iran, rather than the US.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at October 2, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #185734

The US overthrew a democratically elected government in Iran, and installed the Shah, who tortured his people into line with the Savak secret police. The feelings of the Iranian people were amply demonstrated when they overthrew the Shah in 1979. Since that time, the US has treated Iran as a pariah.

Most excellent comment, Paul in Euroland. I don’t think most Americans have any idea whatsoever of the modern history of Iran. They don’t know about Reza Khan, the Pahlavi dynasty, the Majlis, Mosaddeq, Qavam, the Tudeh Party, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, or the Anglo-Persian Agreement of 1919. The complex dynamics of colonial exploitation versus nationalism runs deep in Iran. I think Americans tend to simplify their analysis of Iran down to a base emotional reaction then dump faulty reasoning on top of that to justify their assumptions. What happened in Iran in the 40s and 50s is like ancient history to most Americans.

Posted by: Joseph Briggs at October 2, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #185735

Tim Crow said:

The entire attitude and stance of this article perfectly encapsulates the belligerence of US policy towards Iran. A country that has a perfectly legitmate desire to explore and expand it’s nuclear capacity legally through the IAEA and the NNPT is being demonized and verbally bashed by an administration that is a little short on veracity and integrity itself. And our country is fast approaching a decision point made illegitimately urgent by increasing bellicosity, saber rattling and sheer hubris. Provocative behavior is a two-way street.

Simple question: how do you know if Iran is still acting legally through the IAEA and the NNPT?

All of the rest of your reply is simple misdirection from this central question.

Posted by: DSM at October 2, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #185747

Rich-
One important detail gets neglected in that scenario- the incredibly unlikely aspect of Hezbollah being able to launch nukes on its own.

Because there is no known nuclear program for that group, and its unlikely it could ever support one on its own (the requirements are industrial in scale), blame would immediately fall on the most likely producer. It would be like us having Puerto Rico pitch a nuclear weapon at Iran. Iran would immediately get the blame.

Also, in your quickness to apply the Islamofascist paradigm, you forget that there would be plenty of Arab and Sunni countries that wouldn’t like Iran having nukes one bit.

In conspiracy theories, the villains always have the same superpowers for getting away with things. I’m sorry, but I don’t subscribe to such a comic book sensibility. There are plenty of folks in the region who would prefer that Iran remain non-nuclear. We should be talking to them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 2, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #185751

The above posts pontificate some ideas and thoughts. They mention regimes and dynastys. And you leave your post pretending to know the situation and things to come.

Hogwash!!!!

The sole reason for the existance of the Islamics is to destroy Israel. Of course they will not succeed. But they will try.

Posted by: tomh at October 2, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #185752

Another country joins the nuclear club. This one just happens to have a capital city where they have weekly marches where they chant death to America. For those of you who don’t see a problem with Iran having nuclear facilities I have to assume that you wouldn’t have any problem with Iran then helping other countries build nuclear programs. Syria for example or Indonesia. As long as they don’t have long range missles and they haven’t indicated that they will attack the United States must we assume they want the nuclear facilities for “peaceful means”. Maybe some South American countries can benefit from nuclear energy. Do we have specific evidence that Chavez would develope nuclear weapons to use against us if he were allowed to build nuclear plants? If not then I assume its ok for him to build nuclear plants.
Just where do liberals draw the line in the sand for the 3rd world in terms of allowing nuclear facilities?

Posted by: Carnak at October 2, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #185754

Carnak,
I think you make a good point. Non-proliferation was US policy, but does it still make sense?

Let us face the facts: Pakistan belongs to the nuclear club, and it is an unstable dictatorship with a history of wars against its immediate neighbor, India, as well as a history of supporting the Taliban & essentially ignoring the ungovernable its regions in Wajiristan.

In addition, North Korea may already have nuclear weapons.

During the Cold War, we faced nuclear-armed, totalitarian regimes in China and the USSR. We depended upon a policy of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Despite the literal insanity of MAD, no nuclear attacks occurred.

No one wants to see nuclear proliferation. Obviously, deterrence and discouraging proliferation by diplomatic means makes sense. But perhaps it is time to rethink the policy.

Perhaps it is time to rethink the way we approach the rest of the world.

In the case of Iran, best estimates suggest it will be ten years before the Iranians develop a nuke. Diplomacy and changing Iranian & American administrations make threats of violence totally unnecessary.

No one in the world benefits more from trade, globalization, an international system of law, and peaceful relations than the US. Really, we need to rediscover what we do right, stand for what we believe, and encourage others to do the same. We need to rediscover our confidence, not in our overwhelming military force, but in ideals.

Posted by: phx8 at October 2, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #185789

Is a defiant child, a dangerous child? Only potentially. As every parent knows, a defiant child needs discipline and acceptance for who they are. Probably an excellent course to take with Iran until the time comes that have actually developed enough enriched uranium to actually make a nuclear weapon.

Then, of course, they may have to be treated as a teen with a loaded gun and an unpredictable mood swing disorder. But, until then, discipline and acceptance for who they are as a sovereign nation might be the wiser course.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 2, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #185796

I think the Republicans are better at indulging their worst fears than they are at assessing what the real threats are in the world.

If Iran is truly a threat, truly has the means to deliver that threat, and feels motivated enough to take all the risks, then we should do something about it.

But do it like we did Iraq, with the same slipshod intelligence, the same brainless planning at the top? No thanks. I love my country, so I want us to win wars, not fight them half-assed and make excuses about how the media and the political opposition are holding our soldiers back.

Iran is not going to be easy. We start a war with them, and its going to be significantly more difficult than Iraq. Iran is larger, has not been softened up, has more territory, etc, etc. We should have the courage to fight them if it comes to that, but not the stupidity to repeat the mistakes of going in with too few soldiers, planning for ideal outcomes, rather than doing so to nip potential war-losers in the bud.

Too many on the red column simply think of war in terms of patriotism and morale, dismissing concerns about the practical aspects because it gives pause to action. Too many formulate their ideas of war from movies and axioms and political speeches.

What wins wars is putting the enemy in bad straits, not ourselves. The biggest obstacle to winning Iraq lies in it’s staunchest supporters and their unwillingness to change strategy to match circumstances.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 2, 2006 9:22 PM
Comment #185798

DSM wrote:

“Simple question: how do you know if Iran is still acting legally through the IAEA and the NNPT?”

Here’s a simple answer: I don’t think it matters anymore whether the Iranians are or not—they are perceived to be breaking the NPT, thus they are already guilty by the US. Frankly, at this point, with the constant menacing by the US, I think they’d be fools not to be breaking the treaty. Abiding by the NPT, which they have done for some time, obviously isn’t in Iran’s best interest, because they will be demonized no matter what they do. The United States usually gets what it wants from international agencies—one way or another.

But, I have read a number of articles over the last three years, some written by IAEA officials and others, that insist that Iran’s program was in compliance. The United States has decided that Iran will not have nuclear program. Whether the program now is in compliance really doesn’t make a hell of a lot of difference. We have made up our minds—evidently, so have the Iranians.

“All of the rest of your reply is simple misdirection from this central question.”

Actually, the central question is, “Is there any legal way the Iranians can pursue a peaceful nuclear program without interference from the United States?”

All misdirections really come from the answer to that question. The administration’s track record on non-poliferation is as spotty as everything else it does—North Korea is an example. Evidently, the South African government is working on a nuclear program, as well. The US bias of who and who doesn’t start a working nuclear program undercuts it’s ‘concern’ about proliferation.

Posted by: Tim Crow at October 2, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #185839

Stephen, there is only one way to win the goals we set for Iraq. And that is focus on the prize. The Prize is the people. Win the people over, that was always the goal whether this administration recognized it or not. Obviously, they didn’t.

Now the window of opportunity to win, is closed. More than 75% of the Sunnis and Shiites want us out of their country. More than 60% now agree it is just to kill American soldiers to make them leave. Yep, that window of opportunity to win is closed, nailed shut. America cannot win in Iraq.

If there is a victory to be won, it will be when the Sunnis and Shiites tire of their civil war and come to some accomodation. That is the only victory potential in Iraq now. And it will be years if not a decade or more in the coming.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 3, 2006 1:41 AM
Comment #185841

Paul

Can you possibly respongd to any post without blaming the troubles of the whole world on Israel. You tend to spout the garbage of Noam Chomsky and his acolytes, without any basis in realty.

Keep watching your left wing documentaries and regurgitating the propaganda of the BBC and the Guradian. It’s very entertaining nonsense.

Posted by: Keith at October 3, 2006 2:21 AM
Comment #185858

David R. Remer,

Thanks for the response, although it didn’t make me feel any better and pretty much echoed what was going on in my head as well.

Looks like the American people bought the extra-fancy security system with all the bells and whistles; too bad bells and whistles are just loud and obnoxious and don’t really do all that much in the long run. Too bad we didn’t buy the model with locks included.

[sigh]

Posted by: Liberal Demon at October 3, 2006 7:52 AM
Comment #185864

I got this far:

It seems that in Ahmadinejad’s conceited concept of reality, no one is allowed to question his intentions; no nation is allowed to defend itself against a terror-mongering, rogue regime bent on obliterating the West
Replace “Ahmadinejad” with “Bush” and “the West” with “Arab self determination” and you’d be right half the time. I’ll read the rest when my stomach settles and I stop laughing. Talk about self-righteous! Yikes.

By the way, I like your comparison of America as being the same as an egotistical athlete. That must go over real well at those John Birch meetings.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 3, 2006 9:21 AM
Comment #185896

Oh, just read this article. Appropriate to this thread?

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 3, 2006 12:40 PM
Comment #185909

Keith, first off, I don’t read the Guradian, or the Guardian either for that matter. I generally don’t read the British press. Not particularly because I have any problems with it, but we have our own press and other news media in Ireland, however much that might surprise you.

Speaking of the press in Ireland, today, writing in the Irish Times, Ilan Pappe, a senior lecturer in politics at the University of Haifa, which some of you may know is in Israel, offered his support for a call for an academic boycott of Israeli Universities and academics. He refers to “the callous policies of mass killings, ethnic cleansing, long term imprisonment without trial, demolition of houses and expropriation of land: an endless list of barbarisation….” He goes on, “for years we trusted and the supported the peace process. But after 40 years of it, we realised that every such effort failed due to the basic Israeli wish to have as much of the area it occupied in 1967 with as few palestinians on it as possible.” He goes on the say ” Israeli academia is guilty as charged ……on two accounts. First, by not raising their voices in protest, they allow the atrocities to continue. We have all rightly blamed German academics for their silence during the Nazi period. However, they at least can be excused as they were risking, at best, execution.”

Unlike you Keith, I get my information from a wide variety of sources. I’m certainly not dependant on AIPAC or such like, as you seem to be. Indeed, according to you, Israel is a nirvana of human rights and justice. Not according to B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organisation.http://www.btselem.org/English/index.asp

There are many Israelis who honourably speak out and denounce the policies of their state towards the Palestinians, but of course in the lexicon of people like you, they are merely self hating Jews. On the contrary, they hold the torch for the tradition of Jewish humanitarianism. And they are legion. Just not legion enough as yet. As an Irishman, I recall growing up the older people talking about burning everthing British except their coal. My own fathers home was attacked by the savage British “Auxiliary” forces during our war of Independence. We have a long memory of colonialism. It’s in the blood and the bone. And I can well understand Arab and middle eastern resentment at Western imperialism in their region, whether directly, as the US and Britain in Iran, or indirectly through Israel. People are not stupid, they can see the designs that the powerful nations have on their resources, and they will not submit without an almighty struggle. If you want wars, then as your thug in chief says, bring it on. You’ve already seen how successful that policy is in a nation of 26 millions. Iran has 70 million, and they are not divided ethnically as Iraq is. The US under this regime has turned it back on everthing honourable in its history, and I believe it presages a massive humiliation for the US. Well, perhaps that’s what the US needs right now. Bring it on!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at October 3, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #185914

That link didn’t seem to highlight above, so here it is again;

http://www.btselem.org/English/index.asp

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at October 3, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #185921

Paul

Yes, you pompus ass I do know where Haifa is, I’ve been there have you?

You prove my point for me. The difference between Israel and any other country in the middle east. The fact that someone like Pappe has not only the right to speak freely about the state that supports him, but gives him the platform to do it from shows the lengths a free democratic society will go to protect everybody’s rights.

We have Ward Churchill and Noam Chomsky they have their Pappe’s. I tend not to listen to members of discredtied ideoligies such as the communist party.

But keep up your anti-Israel and anti-semitic rants, I find them very enteraining.

Posted by: Keith at October 3, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #185928

And keep up your defamation Keith, its only typical for your kind. I am neither anti Israeli nor anti semitic, I am however, anti zionist. Unlike you, I, and many others, can tell the difference But then that’s the sop for your kind, try to colour opponents of zionist nazism as anti semitic/israeli. It doesn’t wash, scrub hard as you will. It’s also interesting that you say nothing of B’tselem. But I suppose they’re just a bunch of commie, pinko, self hating jew, nazi, fascists or whatever calumny you see fit to hurl. I know nothing as subtle as facts will change minds such as yours.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at October 3, 2006 3:05 PM
Comment #185961

Here’s another testimony on Israeli and indeed American policy on Palestine.

http://www.bethlehem.edu/archives/2006/2006_051.shtml

Another bloody commie!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at October 3, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #185973

Paul

Can you give me any information from someone who actually works for a living. To call Zionists Nazis is the ultimate anti-semitic anti Jewish remark anyone can make. It is you and people like your friends in the academia who have turned Zionism into a evil thing. For the rest of us it means yearning for a homeland for the Jews.


Posted by: Keith at October 3, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #185984

Zionists Offer a Military Alliance with Hitler


It would be wishful thinking if it could be stated that the leaders of the Zionist movement sat back and ignored the plight of their dying brothers and sisters. Not only did they publicly refuse to assist in their rescue, but they actively participated with Hitler and the Nazi regime. Early in 1935, a passenger ship bound for Haifa in Palestine left the German port of Bremerhaven. Its stern bore the Hebrew letter for its name, “Tel Aviv”, while a swastika banner fluttered from the mast. And although the ship was Zionist owned, its captain was a National Socialist Party (Nazi) member. Many years later a traveler aboard the ship recalled this symbolic combination as a “metaphysical absurdity”. Absurd or not, this is but one vignette from a little-known chapter of history: The wide ranging collaboration between Zionism and Hitler’s Third Reich. In early January 1941 a small but important Zionist organization submitted a formal proposal to German diplomats in Beirut for a military-political alliance with wartime Germany. The offer was made by the radical underground “Fighters for the Freedom of Israel”, better known as the Lehi or Stern Gang. Its leader, Avraham Stern, had recently broken with the radical nationalist “National Military Organization” (Irgun Zvai Leumi - Etzel) over the group’s attitude toward Britain, which had effectively banned further Jewish settlement of Palestine. Stern regarded Britain as the main enemy of Zionism.

This remarkable proposal “for the solution of the Jewish question in Europe and the active participation on the NMO [Lehi] in the war on the side of Germany” is worth quoting at some length:

“The NMO which is very familiar with the goodwill of the German Reich government and its officials towards Zionist activities within Germany and the Zionist emigration program takes the view that: 1.Common interests can exist between a European New Order based on the German concept and the true national aspirations of the Jewish people as embodied by the NMO. 2.Cooperation is possible between the New Germany and a renewed, folkish-national Jewry. 3.The establishment of the Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by treaty, with the German Reich, would be in the interest of maintaining and strengthening the future German position of power in the Near East.

“On the basis of these considerations, and upon the condition that the German Reich government recognize the national aspirations of the Israel Freedom Movement mentioned above, the NMO in Palestine offers to actively take part in the war on the side of Germany.

“This offer by the NMO could include military, political and informational activity within Palestine and, after certain organizational measures, outside as well. Along with this the “Jewish” men of Europe would be militarily trained and organized in military units under the leadership and command of the NMO. They would take part in combat operations for the purpose of conquering Palestine, should such a front be formed.

The Seventh Million
The Seventh Million

The Israelis and the Holocaust

“The indirect participation of the Israel Freedom Movement in the New Order of Europe, already in the preparatory stage, combined with a positive-radical solution of the European-Jewish problem on the basis of the national aspirations of the Jewish people mentioned above, would greatly strengthen the moral foundation of the New Order in the eyes of all humanity.

“The cooperation of the Israel Freedom Movement would also be consistent with a recent speech by the German Reich Chancellor, in which Hitler stressed that he would utilize any combination and coalition in order to isolate and defeat England”.

(Original document in German Auswertiges Amt Archiv, Bestand 47-59, E224152 and E234155-58. Complete original text published in: David Yisraeli, The Palestinian Problem in German Politics 1889-1945 (Israel: 1947) pp. 315-317).

On the basis of their similar ideologies about ethnicity and nationhood, National Socialists and Zionists worked together for what each group believed was in its own national interests.

This is just one example of the Zionist movements’ collaboration with Hitler for the purpose of possibly receiving jurisdiction over a minute piece of earth, Palestine.

And to top it all up, brainwashing!

How far this unbelievable Zionist conspiracy has captured the Jewish masses, and how impossible it is for any different thought to penetrate their minds, even to the point of mere evaluation, can be seen in the vehemence of the reaction to any reproach. With blinded eyes and closed ears, any voice raised in protest and accusation is immediately suppressed and deafened by the thousandfold cry: “Traitor,” “Enemy of the Jewish People.”

Source:-

http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/antisemitism/holocaust/gedalyaliebermann.cfm

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at October 3, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #186045

Paul

So far the only wacked out references you haven’t used are “The protocols of the elders of Zion” and somehting from Jews for Jesus.

Here’s one for you
http://www.zionism-israel.com/True_Torah_Nazis.htm

Posted by: Keith at October 3, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #186096

Doesn’t that just prove my point? Anyone who is not a zionist, is an anti semite or anti jew or anti israeli. It just doesn’t wash anymore Keith. You have heard of the boy who cried wolf, i’m sure.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at October 4, 2006 4:05 AM
Comment #186145

Paul,

That’s like saying it’s ok if the only history you get of the South in America is from the KKK it’s ok.

Posted by: Keith at October 4, 2006 11:27 AM
Comment #186155

Paul

Sorry I don’t want you to criticize my sentence structure.

That’s like saying it’s ok if the only history you get of the South in America is from the KKK.

Posted by: Keith at October 4, 2006 11:56 AM
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