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Bomb, bomb. bomb, bomb, bomb Iran What did Barry and Bibi actually agree to in their recent meeting?

#61 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2012-April-09, 12:40

Actually there is direct Iranian government direction in training and in fact telling people to bomb Israel.


I better example would be if I gave my neighbor a gun, training and told him to shoot his wife or at athe very least we knew he was going to use the gun to shoot is wife......they are not just supplying weapons to an ally. That is just plain misinformation.


Of course Israel did some of the same things in Lebanon and clearly we are bomb, bomb bomb Pakistan.
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#62 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-April-09, 13:22

I realize that my summary "Don't bomb someone unless you plan to go to total war" is a simplification, and that we and others regularly violate it. Still...
A surgical strike on Iran's nuclear sites is apt to be the type of surgery where the operation is successful but the patient dies.

I guess the death toll in WWII was around 40 million so it's hardly something to get nostalgic about but the the thing started a little after I was born and ended before I was six, and then we started rebuilding cities, economies and trust. We now seem to be stuck in a never ending conflict. I don't know that I am psychologically prepared for unending conflict and I am not sure I want to become prepared for it.

Which brings me to another view, also a simplification: Get out and stay out of the middle east. We need oil? I guess we do. But we rationed oil to win (yes, of course, to contribute to winning) WWII, so maybe we could take some strong actions to avoid getting involved in another war. Avoiding war, if possible, is better than wining wars, and much much better than losing wars or dragging out a war to an at best ambiguous conclusion. No I haven't been reading old Ron Paul speeches but pulling back from places where conflict seems eternal has an appeal. Really it is all God's fault. He told three different religious groups that the same piece of land belongs to them. Let them sort it out.
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#63 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2012-April-09, 14:52

I understand it is very seductive to just do nothing or as you say pull back, and let someone else fill the void.

After ten years or more of constant war and body bags and wounded and as much if not more of the world hating or at the least distrusting us well.............


The debate as always is are the US interests, whatever they are or should be, better served by doing nothing or close to nothing.


As many said when I was younger, I will fight the vietcong or the commies when they come over my back fence.
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#64 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-April-09, 16:28

I am not really suggesting isolationism in the manner suggested by the "over my back fence" quote. More, it is that we have to recognize a hopeless case. I was sort of joking about it being God's fault (of course I was sort of joking) but maybe only in the formulation. There are quite a few people there whose religious convictions set them on a pretty non-negotiable path. Compare with here: I heard this morning that in Tennessee teachers will now be free to teach non-evolution in science class. These folks never give up . Teaching evolution in science class mostly brings chuckles, maybe a few exasperated groans. Two people thinking that God has promised them the same spot of ground brings war.

Then there are cultural gaps. There is the old joke about the kid showing up at a boy scout meeting all battered and bruised. He tried to help an old lady cross the street. She didn't want to go. My guess is that if we told the typical Afghan we could help him become more like an American he would run in the opposite direction. That's if he was feeling kindly toward us.

So I favor staying involved in the world. But not everywhere.
Ken
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#65 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-April-09, 17:13

View Posthrothgar, on 2012-April-09, 12:37, said:

I think what Mike MEANT to say is that elements of the Iranian government have provided military aid to Islamic militants who have then turned around and launched rocket attacks against Israel...

Kind of like the USA provided military aid to Islamic militants in Afghanistan who then launched rocket attacks against Soviet helicopters? What were they called again... oh yes, the Taliban.
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#66 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2012-April-09, 17:22

Of course over the years the USA/CIA have supplied weapons, training and to various degrees battle/leadership.

We basically did everthing but pull the trigger. Of course everyone does that....I think the Brits armed the Indians against young America.

I did not mean to suggest Iran is doing something new.

Only that many around the world feel that war is worse than letting Iran build whatever/whenever.
Many others feel there are worse things than war.
Many in America at this time are just tired of the many US body bags and tens of thousands of wounded young men and women for what seems at best confusing or as Ken said hopeless goals.

I think one of the really great things about the USA is that elections do matter and that there are many outlets for dissent of those elections.
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#67 User is online   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-April-09, 17:53

The Brits armed the Indians against the French long before the American Revolution. And the French did the same thing, although with different Indians.
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#68 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-April-10, 00:25

View Postkenberg, on 2012-April-09, 06:32, said:

Tp add a little to Blackie's comment:

Roughly speaking, Iran
a. Is pursuing nuclear material capability
b. Has repeatedly called for teh destruction of Israel

Now I understand that politicians everywhere say all sorts of stupid things so one should not take all their utterances as gospel.But at what point is a nation allowed to act in self-defense based on clear indications of future intent?That is, where a nation announces its intent and carries out preparations to act on announced intentions. Does a country always have to allow the other side the first blow? We managed to survive the balance of terror with the Soviet Union. I wouldn't trust that things will always work out that way.


I'm not sure why people think that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's statements mean anything. It's like suggesting that Dmitry Medvedev's statements on any topic are 100% reflective of Russia's policy on that topic.

The guy is about as relevant as Nikolay Shvernik in 1950.
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#69 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-April-10, 05:51

View PostCthulhu D, on 2012-April-10, 00:25, said:

I'm not sure why people think that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's statements mean anything. It's like suggesting that Dmitry Medvedev's statements on any topic are 100% reflective of Russia's policy on that topic.

The guy is about as relevant as Nikolay Shvernik in 1950.


One can say that his statements mean nothing, one can say that he was mis-translated, one can say that he is just bluffing, etc. As of now, he is listed as the President of Iran and, for example, he makes speeches on behalf of Iran at the UN.

If the Supreme Leader, and other less supreme leaders, think that Ahmadinejad in no way speaks even a little bit for Iran, now would be a good time to make that clear. I think all of these "Oh what's the big deal" arguments are wishful thinking, and certainly such arguments will fall on deaf ears with those most directly affected. It is not too late to avoid calamity, but claiming that what Ahmadinejad says is irrelevant is not likely to be a productive approach. Those who have influence with Iran's leadership, whoever the leadership is and if anyone does have influence, could help here.

In short, words have consequences. If Ahmadinejad's words are irrelevant to Iranian intentions, those whose words are relevant need to say so, very soon and very clearly. They could toss him out of office, perhaps, if he is seriously misrepresenting Iranian policy.




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#70 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-April-10, 18:49

View Postkenberg, on 2012-April-10, 05:51, said:

One can say that his statements mean nothing, one can say that he was mis-translated, one can say that he is just bluffing, etc. As of now, he is listed as the President of Iran and, for example, he makes speeches on behalf of Iran at the UN.

If the Supreme Leader, and other less supreme leaders, think that Ahmadinejad in no way speaks even a little bit for Iran, now would be a good time to make that clear. I think all of these "Oh what's the big deal" arguments are wishful thinking, and certainly such arguments will fall on deaf ears with those most directly affected. It is not too late to avoid calamity, but claiming that what Ahmadinejad says is irrelevant is not likely to be a productive approach. Those who have influence with Iran's leadership, whoever the leadership is and if anyone does have influence, could help here.

In short, words have consequences. If Ahmadinejad's words are irrelevant to Iranian intentions, those whose words are relevant need to say so, very soon and very clearly. They could toss him out of office, perhaps, if he is seriously misrepresenting Iranian policy.



You do not understand the role of the President. Ahmadinejad's job is to appeal to the audience at home and shift the blame for, say, high petrol prices onto the US and Israel.

They are not going to stop him making outrageous statements because his job is to make outrageous statements and pander to the base at home. It's like how the GOP hasn't disowned Santorum for making insane comments about pink bowling balls. His job is to pander to the Christian right, and he does that just fine.
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#71 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2012-April-10, 19:07

View PostCthulhu D, on 2012-April-10, 18:49, said:

You do not understand the role of the President. Ahmadinejad's job is to appeal to the audience at home and shift the blame for, say, high petrol prices onto the US and Israel.

They are not going to stop him making outrageous statements because his job is to make outrageous statements and pander to the base at home. It's like how the GOP hasn't disowned Santorum for making insane comments about pink bowling balls. His job is to pander to the Christian right, and he does that just fine.

But Santorum doesn't think his positions are insane, and I'm relieved that he won't be president.
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#72 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2012-April-10, 20:52

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-April-09, 17:53, said:

The Brits armed the Indians against the French long before the American Revolution. And the French did the same thing, although with different Indians.


Same tribe - just different indians - and different guns, of course.
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#73 User is offline   BunnyGo 

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Posted 2012-April-11, 00:15

View Posthrothgar, on 2012-April-09, 09:33, said:

The debate is whether

1. The commonly quoted translation bears any relationship to the original Farsi
2. The expression in question referred to the current inhabitants of the land or the Israeli government
3. Whether the statement is a call-to-action or a (belated) wish

Simply put there is an enormous difference between

1. Let's go nuke Tel Aviv!

and

2. Live would be a lot nicer if the Netanhayu government went away...

FWIW, I consider it a rather extreme position to suggest that the Iranian statements really meant item 2. At the same time, I think that its ridiculous that there meant item 1.


Dude, seriously I've met you...you're too smart to not look up your own undoctored media out of Iran. They have taken the time to translate their own quotes (the "they" being the regime) and put English language banners on missiles in parades saying "Israel should be wiped off the face of the world." This is not a "misunderstanding" or "mistranslation" it is repeated and often...quite frankly, I'd like to say the benefit of the doubt is that you don't bother reading about Iran--but you seem equally loud and misinformed about whether North Korea's influence is contained:

North Korea is the main nuclear arms dealer to the world's least stable and trusted regimes: Syria, Iran, Pakistan. Thank you North Korea for helping them build plants to produce weapons. I'm sure this will lead to no extra issues if/when the governments fall, if/when the governments sell their weapons to extranational groups, if/when they just decide, "***** it--MAD doesn't apply to us."

North Korea's regime also makes most of their money in the counterfitting, arms dealing, and other wholesome international criminal activities genre. They are less a self-contained country, and more a mafia organization that also happens to control a country. The fact that so many supposedly well informed people have posted to the contrary in this thread is disturbing.
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#74 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-April-11, 00:44

View PostBunnyGo, on 2012-April-11, 00:15, said:

Dude, seriously I've met you...you're too smart to not look up your own undoctored media out of Iran. They have taken the time to translate their own quotes (the "they" being the regime) and put English language banners on missiles in parades saying "Israel should be wiped off the face of the world." This is not a "misunderstanding" or "mistranslation" it is repeated and often...quite frankly, I'd like to say the benefit of the doubt is that you don't bother reading about Iran--but you seem equally loud and misinformed about whether North Korea's influence is contained:


Iran's messaging is no accident, but I would bet a large sum of money against the primary motivation for the banners being externally looking. Iran has serious internal problems, and they follow the established playbook - blame a external party for all your problems to distract the population. Government's total failure to invest in infrastructure, resulting in petrol shortages in a large oil producing country? Peg it on a Jewish conspiracy rather than a failure of a corrupt government.

As the Government is literally pre-selected by the Supreme Leader and his minions, any failing would be his failing and call the very structure of government into question. Those questions are bad because they feed directly into the student activist movements and social unrest, so mobilising the anger against some one else is critical.

Of course when Israel actual is running a covert assassination campaign in Iran, it becomes much more believable to boot.

There is a risk with this sort of brinkmanship is that it can all go horribly wrong, and it has at-least once in the last decade.
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#75 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2012-April-11, 03:54

View PostCthulhu D, on 2012-April-10, 18:49, said:

You do not understand the role of the President. Ahmadinejad's job is to appeal to the audience at home and shift the blame for, say, high petrol prices onto the US and Israel. They are not going to stop him making outrageous statements because his job is to make outrageous statements and pander to the base at home.

how many in iran, and the rest of that part of the world, share your opinion? do you think, for example, the average person in say saudia arabia feels as you do about him?
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#76 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2012-April-11, 04:27

View PostBunnyGo, on 2012-April-11, 00:15, said:

Dude, seriously I've met you...you're too smart to not look up your own undoctored media out of Iran. They have taken the time to translate their own quotes (the "they" being the regime) and put English language banners on missiles in parades saying "Israel should be wiped off the face of the world." This is not a "misunderstanding" or "mistranslation" it is repeated and often...quite frankly, I'd like to say the benefit of the doubt is that you don't bother reading about Iran--but you seem equally loud and misinformed about whether North Korea's influence is contained:

North Korea is the main nuclear arms dealer to the world's least stable and trusted regimes: Syria, Iran, Pakistan. Thank you North Korea for helping them build plants to produce weapons. I'm sure this will lead to no extra issues if/when the governments fall, if/when the governments sell their weapons to extranational groups, if/when they just decide, "***** it--MAD doesn't apply to us."

North Korea's regime also makes most of their money in the counterfitting, arms dealing, and other wholesome international criminal activities genre. They are less a self-contained country, and more a mafia organization that also happens to control a country. The fact that so many supposedly well informed people have posted to the contrary in this thread is disturbing.


I believe that my original quote regarding North Korea was

Quote

For what its worth, I think that the North Korean regime is horrific

It starves and oppresses its own citizens, kidnaps foreign nationals, contributes to nuclear proliferation, counterfitting, any number of horrific crimes.

With this said and done, its a small poor country and its limited wrt the degree of harm it inflicts on the rest of the world.


I am well aware of all the ***** they pull.
From what I recall, the point that I was making is not

"The US is worse than North Korea", but rather

Quote

I don't find it surprising that the USA reputation in the world has suffered as a result.


As for the quotes cited in the Atlantic...

I readily agree that these are terrible things to say.

However, I don't put much weight on them. (Just as I don't really believe that Israel is going execute Arab members of the Knesset just because Israel's foreign minister say that they should)
Alderaan delenda est
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#77 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-April-11, 05:04

View Postluke warm, on 2012-April-11, 03:54, said:

how many in iran, and the rest of that part of the world, share your opinion? do you think, for example, the average person in say saudia arabia feels as you do about him?


Given Saudi Arabia's laughable average education level, and relentless hatred of S'hia Muslims taught by Whabbists who literally run the entire education system, a random Saudi off the street is most likely to not care in the slightest, and if they do, they won't like him much. The Saudi elite doesn't like him, but that's because they hate Iran, so that's sort of a generalized hatred.

In Iran the conservatives generally like him - he's a conservative activist, and the liberal reformists will not like him. They heavily protested his re-election (you may remember this). Also, everyone in Iran knows that the Republican Guard and the Clerics run things really.
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#78 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-April-11, 06:28

View PostCthulhu D, on 2012-April-11, 00:44, said:

There is a risk with this sort of brinkmanship is that it can all go horribly wrong, and it has at-least once in the last decade.


Whether or not we agree on anything else, I agree with this totally.

One way to encourage people to stay within bounds on what they say is to hold them accountable for what they say. In the case of a country, that means holding the country accountable for what its president and other spokespeople say. I really don't agree with this "Aw, they're just sayin" approach.
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#79 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2012-April-11, 06:46

View Postkenberg, on 2012-April-11, 06:28, said:


One way to encourage people to stay within bounds on what they say is to hold them accountable for what they say. In the case of a country, that means holding the country accountable for what its president and other spokespeople say. I really don't agree with this "Aw, they're just sayin" approach.


Last I saw, there was a rather impressive set of sanctions and trade embargos in place...
The US government is funding insurrectionist movements within Iran.
Israel is assassinating Iranian scientists.

How do you plan to ratchet up the stakes?
Other than actual bombing campaigns, what option is there?

Please note:

I am strongly opposed to a US or Israeli military strike against Iran.

This has nothing to do with any objection to military action per see, but rather, I don't think that the costs of such an attack far, far out-weight the benefits.

1. I think that any such attack will cause Iranians to rally around the flag
2. We'd be launching a "hot" war against yet another muslim country which would inflame Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. (If you're really worried about nuclear proliferation the real danger is the Pakistan blows up)
3. Oil prices would explode (I, for one, really don't want another Great Depression)
4. You'd have a very real chance of a major regional war in the Middle East

In return, we get to delay the Iran nuclear program by a couple years
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#80 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2012-April-11, 07:45

View Postluke warm, on 2012-April-11, 03:54, said:

how many in iran, and the rest of that part of the world, share your opinion? do you think, for example, the average person in say saudia arabia feels as you do about him?


Conveniently, Foreign Policy magazine published the results of just such a study on Monday

http://mideast.forei...uclear_programs

Here's the most relevent quote

Quote

To learn more about how Arabs view the threat that Iran poses to Arab national security and about nuclear weapons in the Middle East, the Doha Institute recently surveyed the publics in 12 Arab countries covering more than 85 percent of the total population of the Arab world. The survey, which was conducted from February to July 2011, consisted of more than 16,000 face-to-face interviews with representative samples in these countries, with a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

The results were unambiguous: The vast majority of the Arab public does not believe that Iran poses a threat to the "security of the Arab homeland." Only 5 percent of respondents named Iran as a source of threat, versus 22 percent who named the U.S. The first place was reserved for Israel, which 51 percent of respondents named as a threat to Arab national security. Arab societies differed modestly in their answers: The largest percentage viewing Iran as a threat was reported in Lebanon and Jordan (10 percent) and the lowest (1 percent or less) was reported in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, and the Sudan. Even when respondents were asked about the state that poses the greatest threat to their particular country, the pattern held: Iran (7 percent), U.S. (14 percent), and Israel (35 percent). Interestingly, while Saudi Arabia is often cited as the primary Arab state in support of belligerence against Iran, the data indicate that this view doesn't seem to extend to its public. In the Saudi Arabian sample, only 8 percent believed that Iran presents a threat -- a lower percentage even than that which viewed the U.S. as a source of threat (13 percent).

Alderaan delenda est
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