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Iran next?

This article speaks of the recent history of US threats against Iran and the possibilities of a US attack against Iran and the threats posed by Iran to the US currently.

My own opinion is that we should keep away from Iran and engage them diplomatically only. Iran has supported a nuclear free zone in the middle east, which seems like a great idea to the average joe, but the problem comes when we require Israel to disarm as well. We don't hold Israel to the same standards as everyone else. Pakistan and India have received our support recently in spite of their nuclear weapons programs. So apparently our allies can have nuclear weapons but those who we don't like can't. Of course, there is no current evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Everthing they are doing would be compatible with a legal nuclear energy program if the IAEA was actually there to observe.

Then there's FISSBAN which Iran supported and the US was the only country in the world to vote down at the UN. It would have stopped the production of nuclear weapons grade fissile material in all countries.

Going to war in Iran would be a bad move no matter how you look at it. We would further alienate ourselves from the world, kill masses of people, put our middle eastern troops in very dangerous circumstances, endanger our allies and rally support for radical islam. War is always a bad idea and this case is no different. Hopefully our collective amnesia will wear off before the fools in D.C. ruin the world.

A little stingy with the other side's opinions, eh?

Iran has also threatened the United States and Israel with extinction.
India and Pakistan are, at best, allies of contingency. They have not directly threatened the US, something which Iran has.
And, last but not least, sometimes diplomacy is not a good solution. Appeasement has never worked very well, particularly well with genocidal regimes-- think Khmer Rouge, Slobodan Milosevic, Mussolini, Hussein and the Kurds, the Indo-Chinese war preceding WWII, the Hmong in Communist Vietnam, indigenous tribes of Latin American states, the conflict between the Hutus and the Tutsis in Africa... and on and on. In all of those cases, appeasement served only to increase the blood that was spilt.
I'm not saying that we should go to war with Iran. Frankly, I leave deicisions like that up to intelligence experts and policy analysts who have exensive experience in Middle East affairs and a better understanding of their culture. But you seem to have just as bad a case of amnesia as the folks in DC; you only seem to remember the incidents that prove your case the best and completely neglect to mention those that would disprove it. It's a poor way to argue, and grossly unfair and misrepresentative of the reality of the situation.

?

I hate to say this, but you're being disingenuous. Name one of the regimes I listed that we supported?
"There is no good reason to go to way with them any way you look at it..."
Well, from a variety of perspectives, there ARE good reasons to go to war with them. By refusing to acknowledge that other intelligent people can arrive at different opinions than you, you're being disingenous.
Keep in mind, decisions are not made lightly. While the public regrets some wars, I'm sure-- Vietnam and Iraq, most recently-- I'm equally sure that the same public wishes we would have gotten involved in some wars sooner-- like WWII, WWI, Afghanistan and the Taliban, the Balkan conflict, etc.
History will be the judge. But your assertions that no reasonable person would say we should go to war are incredibly short-sighted and narrow-minded.

What you wrote:

"Going to war in Iran would be a bad move no matter how you look at it. We would further alienate ourselves from the world, kill masses of people, put our middle eastern troops in very dangerous circumstances, endanger our allies and rally support for radical islam. War is always a bad idea and this case is no different. Hopefully our collective amnesia will wear off before the fools in D.C. ruin the world." (emphasis mine)
It was those two statements I was referring to when I wrote that you were being disingenuous, because you seem to think that war is always a bad idea (when it is clearly, at least sometimes, a good idea, unless you are an avowed pacifist, which in any case might be a personal preference but probably poor national policy), and, most emphatically: going to war in Iran would be a bad move no matter how you look at it. Well, from the viewpoint of several qualified individuals, it's not a bad idea, so your first statement is false as well, unless you would like to accuse everyone who does not share your opinion of lying.
And as far as the substance of your argument goes, I have very little knowledge of the current state of affairs in Iran, and thus I'm not qualified to deem it a bad idea or a good idea, though I wouldn't say, no matter how detailed my information, that others might not arrive at a different viewpoint than I.
Sorry for all the comma splices. It's still early.

RC wrote on another thread,

RC wrote on another thread, "We had terrible intel coming out of Iraq a few years ago. Now, all of a sudden, it's miraculously gotten better?"

My sentiments exactly. That's where the amnesia comes in.

kopite is with curtis--NO WAR IN IRAN

curtis is right, we should not go to war with iran or waste a single American soldier's life there--

the situation we face with iran is precisely what we have a nuclear arsenal for

GBU-28 RNEPs, Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, long range artillery (already in afghanistan and iraq) so on and so forth

curtis, if you were as far to the right as you are to the left...you'd sound just like me. translation: you're a complete nut

to murder

the situation we face with iran is precisely what we have a nuclear arsenal for

To slaughter people. To spread war to millions of more people. To destroy homes and the bodies of human beings.

I can't believe I'm hearing religious arguments to bomb people because one day they might be a threat. I once heard something about blessed are the peacemakers, I'll give you a hint he didn't mean bomb some of the poorest people on the planet.

Which one of you chickenhawks is going to fight in Iran? Kopite, you signing up or are you going to send someone else to die for your desire to kill.

Listen to how people talk about war. I'd like to see anyone of you say that to the Iranians picking up the limbs of their children. I'd like to see you speak so casually about murder to those people who watch their loved ones burn in the effects of our bombs.

Looking at the Iran/USA situation from the outside

Here's a nice look from the outside at the ridiculousness of the situation with Iran from Tinyrevolution.com

"What would we think if we were outside looking in at this? Imagine two countries, A and B.

Country A:

• is the richest and most powerful country that's ever existed
• has been inexorably expanding since its founding 230 years ago
• has previously used nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear nation
• has invaded a dozen countries within past 50 years, and recently attacked Country B's neighbor on the pretext this totally disarmed neighbor of Country B posed an intolerable threat to it

And Country B:

• was until 25 years ago ruled by a dictator installed when Country A overthrew its democratically-elected government
• has 1/4 the population of country A
• has an economy 1/25 the size of country A's
• has not invaded anyone in living memory
• was recently invaded by Country B's neighbor—at the urging of Country A
• has no proven nuclear weapons program

Then, a prominent news anchor in Country A advocates a nuclear first strike against Country B in "self-defense," and claims the rest of the world may beg Country A to do this.

Also, the anchor's network is owned by a billionaire who's a ferocious supporter of Country A's government, while also hosting fundraisers for the most prominent member of the "opposition" party."

No evidence? Weapons grade uranium in Iran

Of course, there is no current evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

Well, here's a report from today, emphasis mine:

The U.N. atomic agency found traces of highly enriched uranium at an Iranian site linked to the country's defense ministry, diplomats said Friday, adding to concerns that Tehran was hiding activities aimed at making nuclear arms.

Of course, I'm sure that their defense ministry is playing an integral part in developing peaceful, nuclear energy. Oh, but wait...

Uranium enriched to between 3.5 percent and 5 percent is used to make fuel for reactors to generate electricity. It becomes suitable for use in nuclear weapons when enriched to more than 90 percent.

This is the real deal, not some "we want to have cheap energy like the West" nonsense.

Frankly, Curtis, you sound very misinformed. This is only the most recent of many discoveries that demonstrate Iran's true intentions to anyone rational human being.

Now, what to do? There is (and should be) much debate about that. War? Sanctions? Do nothing? There are arguments to be made for each option. But to say, as you do rather cavalierly, that no evidence exists as to Iran's nuclear weapons program, is ignorant at best and disingenious at worst.

Curtis, do you hate America?

Curtis, your hatred for America is astounding. Hopefully it can be attributed Bush Derangement Syndrome...but who knows.

Here is what you wrote in your original post (emphasis mine):

We don't hold Israel to the same standards as everyone else. Pakistan and India have received our support recently in spite of their nuclear weapons programs. So apparently our allies can have nuclear weapons but those who we don't like can't.

Uhh...yeah! Thank God you are not running our country or any other!

Given the option, I would rather have my friends with guns than my enemies. I dunno...that's just me. And when it comes to "guns" that can kill hundreds of thousands or millions, I would prefer that they not exist. In the alternative, I definitely only want my friends to have those "guns".

Perhaps I'm misreading your post, but you make it sound like nuclear weapons and speech are in the same category - they should be available to anyone and everyone. Of course, most of your post is an indecipherable diatribe against the United States...so I'm not sure exactly what your position is vis-a-vis an ideal nuclear policy.

War is never the answer. We

War is never the answer. We should have stopped the british, confederates, nazis, etc. with diplomacy. History certainly proves that words always work, and that any country who lifts a gun to defend itself is a war-mongering nation. We can just keep passing laws and resolutions and sanctions against Iran and they can just keep ignoring them.

War is not the answer

Why should we pass any sanction against Iran when they haven't broken a law? They are being crucified for a nuclear program when they are strictly within their rights as a signator of the NPT. Noone ever addresses this point on this thread. Iran hasn't broken any laws. Then many call me a USA hater when I point out that the USA is the really big rogue nation when it comes to breaking the NPT committing the supreme international crime. It seems like the general public here has bought hook line and sinker into the same sorts of distortions and deceptions that led us into the Iraq war. War is not the answer for sure in this instance.

There you go again, Curtis

"War is not the answer for sure in this instance."

Unless you have monopoly on opinion here, that is a distinctly false statement to make. And inasmuch as you make good points, they are completely undermined by your refusal to acknowledge evidence that conflicts or opposes your viewpoint. You are not the sole source of information, and other well-informed and intelligent people have drawn completely different and even polarized opinions than what you drew. Until you can recognize that, you are being hopelessly close-minded.

Being hopelessly closed-minded

The other side is at least as closed-minded as me and I have heard no concessions on any of the points I've made on this thread, making you and others who have commented, at least as hopelessly closed-minded as me. As I've said, I'm open to new evidence that Iran is out to nuke us or Israel, but so far, noone here has produced. How can war be the answer when there is no punishable crime committed?

Look at the front page of www.nytimes.com to see how hypocritical our foreign policy is; while we threaten Iran with war, at the same time we offer the olive branch to North Korea which has a verifiable nuclear weapons program. What gives? Why isn't war the answer in North Korea if it is in Iran?

Read my posts again

I have never said war is the ONLY answer in this particular case. However, the ,possibility that it is the answer exists. And people have made several good posts to this effect.
Like I said in my first post, neither I nor you have the qualifications to effectively debate Middle Eastern policy, since neither of us holds any kind of knowledge about Middle Eastern culture or Iranian culture specifically. People who have access to more knowledge than you disagree with you-- that alone should be cause enough for you to stop saying your arrogant "War is for sure not the answer."
Sorry, but debate is absolutely impossible until one is willing to recognize the other side's sincerity and the efficacy of their points, something you seem to be failing to do.

People who know more than me

Here are comments from people who know more than me.

"Let me remind everybody that nothing Iran is accused of doing is illegal," said Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector who challenged the Bush drive to war against Iraq, in an interview last month. "We're condemning Iran for doing that which is permitted under a treaty which it has signed and entered into in force, and has UN inspectors on the ground verifying Iranian compliance."

And then there's.....

Kennedy-era Defense Secretary Robert McNamara declared last year that the U.S. is nothing short of a "nuclear outlaw." "I would characterize current U.S. nuclear weapons policy as immoral, illegal, militarily unnecessary and dreadfully dangerous," said McNamara.

And...

"The White House staffers, who are trying to deny Iran the right to develop its own nuclear energy capacity, have conveniently forgotten that the United States was the midwife to the Iranian nuclear program 30 years ago," wrote nuclear weapons expert William Beeman in January. "Every aspect of Iran's current nuclear development was approved and encouraged by Washington in the 1970s. President Gerald Ford offered Iran a full nuclear cycle in 1976, and the only reactor currently about to become operative, the reactor in Bushire, was started before the Iranian revolution with U.S. approval."

All of these quotes can be found at:

http://www.counterpunch.org/ruder05182006.html

more from people smarter than me (war is a bad idea)

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hard line former national security advisor, was moved to write in the Los Angeles Times on April 23 that, "If there is another terrorist attack in the United States, you can bet your bottom dollar that there also will be immediate charges that Iran was responsible in order to generate public hysteria in favor of military action."

Brzezinski also pointed out that a US attack on Iran “in the absence of an imminent threat…would be a unilateral act of war.” He argued that, "If undertaken without a formal congressional declaration of war, an attack would be unconstitutional and merit the impeachment of the president. Similarly, if undertaken without the sanction of the United Nations Security Council, either alone by the United States or in complicity with Israel, it would stamp the perpetrator(s) as an international outlaw(s)."

In any case...

In any case, whether we are planning to attack Iran with nuclear weapons (and the rumors do suggest this may be possible) or if we are just planning to attack them with conventional weapons, or if we are planning to let Israel do our dirty work; either way, in my humble opinion, the situation doesn't warrant any of these alternatives.
We as a nation in general are falling for the same kind of hype that we saw in the run-up to the Iraq war and we seem to be gullible enough to fall for it again.

Hypothetical

The UN is currently discussing sanctioning Iran. Now, if the UN were to endorse the position that, for the safety of the international community, Iran would either need to make itself compliant or the UN would use one of its member nations to launch an attack on Iran's nuclear facility, would you support such a resolution?

Twist in the Iran story

In an interesting turn of events, if this article speaks the truth, the US rejected overtures from Iran in 2003 to make peace with Israel, cease support for armed resistance in Palestine, and an end of support of civilian attacks within the 1967 borders, and urge Hizbollah to change to a purely political organization. They would also offer much tighter control to the IAEA in their peaceful nuclear energy program. In return, Iran wanted, "an end to US hostility and recognition of Iran as a legitimate power in the region."

Unfortunately, this seemingly really good proposal was never answered by the folks in D.C. and instead they rebuked the swiss diplomat who conveyed the document in the first place!

You can find the article here: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HE26Ak01.html

If this is true, I would like to know why this proposal was not considered by our leaders. It sounds good to me. Of course, if we were bent on going to war with Iran in spite of all else, we would reject this proposal outright. Sort of like Iraq and similar concessions that were ignored on the eve of war.

From a man who should know...

Mohamed ElBaradei, the man in charge of inspections of nuclear facilities in Iran said some good things today. This is from Reuters on the NYTimes at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/world/international-nuclear-elbaradei.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

``Our assessment is that there is no immediate threat,'' the winner of the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize told a forum organized by the Monterey Institute of International Studies south of San Francisco. ``We still have lots of time to investigate.''

``You look around in the Middle East right now and it's a total mess,'' he said. ``You can not add oil to that fire.''

ElBaradei said he believed a majority in the Iranian leadership was still interested in a negotiated solution and normal relations with the world. The United States is pressing for tough U.N. sanctions if Iran does not comply.

``It would be terrible'' to try to strengthen sanctions, which could force Iran to retaliate, he said.

``We have learned some lessons from North Korea,'' he said. ''When you push a country into a corner, you are giving the driver's seat to the hard-liners there.''

More evidence that war with Iran is not the answer.

Ahmadinejad makes a good point

''Unfortunately, some who have huge arsenals of nuclear weapons and are not members of NPT, are today in the position of decision making and want to deprive us from our inalienable rights,'' he said.

This is from today's NY Times.

Of course he was speaking of Israel and he makes a good point.

Bush cares about world opinion. Stop the presses!

And this most hilarious quip from Bush in today's NYTimes:

''If they (Iran) continue to say to the world, `We really don't care what your opinion is,' then the world is going to act in concert,'' Bush said.

Since when did Bush start caring about world opinion? Not with FISSBAN, not with star wars, not with land mines, not with Kyoto, not with Iraq etc etc.

US the greatest threat to world stability?

Interestingly, a recent Harris/Financial Times poll found that there are more Europeans who think the US is the greatest threat to world stability than Europeans who think Iran is the greatest threat to world stability. I wonder why...

http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.asp?Feed=FT&Date=20060618&ID=5804323

Stinginess is in the eye of the beholder

Iran has also threatened the United States and Israel with extinction.

I think that Iran's threats against the US have been in reply to the US's threats against Iran. As far as Israel goes, they're big boys with about 200 nuclear warheads apparently and can take care of themselves. In spite of Iran's rhetoric, I doubt they would attack Israel with all of that nuclear firepower coming back at them.

India and Pakistan are, at best, allies of contingency. They have not directly threatened the US, something which Iran has.

Allies regardless. And we Bush just promised India we'd help them with their nuclear energy industry in spite of their blatant disregard for the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. India and Pakistan do directly threaten each other, but I guess we don't care if they have a nice local nuclear war over there?

Appeasement has never worked very well, particularly well with genocidal regimes...

Appeasement is not a good word for many of the situations you list. Often times the genocidal dictators aren't appeased by us, but openly supported with money and weapons and a pat on the head. Appeasement would be more like what we are doing in North Korea. Appeasement is also not what happened in Vietnam by a long shot.

The amnesia I speak of is that which allows us to forget the beat of drums which lead to the Iraq war, the supporting evidence for which turned out to be full of hot air. Now a similar drum beat is getting louder with respect to Iran. There is no good reason to go to war with them any way you look at it and the consequences could be awesome on both sides. Not something I'd like to see in my lifetime.

Leaving policy up to the intelligence analysts is what got us into the Iraq war, a poor manner of exercising your democratic right, responsibility and privilege.

Being incredibly narrow-minded

Name one of the regimes I listed that we supported?

Hussein against the Kurds is a good example. Besides openly supporting him in the Iran/Iraq war, we provided the weapons and capabilities needed to gas the kurds. We then blocked efforts to condemn Saddam at the UN. Saddam was our boy up until the Kuwait invasion. We've supported numerous dictators thru the years in their mass murders without batting an eyelash. One of the first directors of the US State Department planners after WWII, George Kennan, put it in very clear terms when he spoke thusly: "we have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population....In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity....To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives....We should cease to talk about vague and...unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."

We have followed that line of thinking perfectly in the subsequent 60 years.

By refusing to acknowledge that other intelligent people can arrive at different opinions than you, you're being disingenous.

I don't think I am guilty of this accusation. I never stated that intelligent people can't think differently than me.

Keep in mind, decisions are not made lightly...

Says who? And what if they aren't made lightly? Does a wicked man or an evil man necessarily have to make decisions lightly?

History will be the judge. But your assertions that no reasonable person would say we should go to war are incredibly short-sighted and narrow-minded.

I don't think I said such a thing though Brigham Young did say the following, “Is there war in our religion? No, neither war not blood-shed… Of one thing I am sure: God never institutes war; God is not the author of confusion or of war; they are the results of the acts of the children of men. Confusion and war necessarily come as the results of the foolish acts and policy of men; but they do not come because God desires they should come… War is instigated by wickedness--it is the consequence of a nation’s sin.”

I suppose that the fools in D.C. are leading us like the jaredites of old and if we, “perish it will be like unto the Jaredites, because of the wilfulness of their hearts, seeking for blood and revenge.”

I suppose Brigham Young was also narrow minded and disingenuous when he said, “No man or people possessing wisdom will give vent to wrath, for that is calculated to weaken, to destroy, to blot out of existence. When the Supreme Ruler of the universe wishes to destroy a nation, he takes away their wisdom… and they are filled with wrath: they give way to their anger, and thus lay the foundation of their own destruction.”

It was also incredibly shortsighted of Brigham Young to say, “Our traditions have been such that we are not apt to look upon war between tow nations as murder… Does it justify the slaying of men, women and children that otherwise would have remained at home in peace, because a great army is doing the work? No: the guilty will be damned for it.”

You're taking my sarcasm

You're taking my sarcasm well out of context. It tends to lose its poignancy if used in such a fashion.
Second, I'm not arguing for or against invading Iran. You just happened to present a very one-sided post, and then said that there are no good reasons to invade Iran and that war is always bad-- two hasty generalizations that I thought should have been pointed out. Like I said before, I have much less information at my fingerprints than those tasked with making the decisions, and whether or not their decisions are the right ones, they are eminently better prepared than I to make them.

Brigham Young

Brigham Young and Captain Moroni probably wouldn't have gotten along too well.

Thirst for blood

Thank you Nabber,
The hardline warhawks among us thirst after blood and I dare say they will get their share of blood if we continue along the lines we are on now. Those who seek war don't know what spirit it is they serve.
I wish that we would all take the Lord's declaration seriously and "renounce war and proclaim peace..."

I can't believe I'm hearing

I can't believe I'm hearing religious arguments to bomb people because one day they might be a threat. I once heard something about blessed are the peacemakers, I'll give you a hint he didn't mean bomb some of the poorest people on the planet.

I have to agree with NabberGnossi on this one. I'm sorry, but that's not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it's false doctrine.

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." - Hamlet, Shakespeare

A and B

country B begins building a nuclear program to murder millions of country A's citizens and then country B threatens to "wipe off the map" one of country A's allies. in the mean time, country B is an oppressive and tyrannical place that abuses women, minorities, and enforces strict islamic law that allows for no freedoms. (and this is the government that the people have elected into power...not just some evil dictator in a takeover.) so on and so forth
let me tell ya, my heart really bleeds for country B.