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

#81 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2012-April-11, 15:48

View Posthrothgar, on 2012-April-11, 07:45, said:

Here's the most relevent quote

well i'll admit it, that surprises me, especially given the wikileaks postings about arab leaders wanting the u.s. to attack iran... i guess there's a disconnect there, as here, between the populace and the leaders
"Paul Krugman is a stupid person's idea of what a smart person sounds like." Newt Gingrich (paraphrased)
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#82 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-April-11, 18:14

View Posthrothgar, on 2012-April-11, 06:46, said:

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


I am largely in agreement with what you say. My comment was in response to a posting that

"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."

My thinking on this, as on many issues, is not very sophisticated. I think it matters that Ahmadinejad goes about the world making outrageous statements.

As to bombing:
When anyone suggests bombing anyone, I think we need to ask "And then what?". Often the answers are very unattractive.
Ken
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#83 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-April-11, 18:26

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

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.


I'm a pragmatist here - the problem is who's disowning Mitch McConnell.. no-one? Yup, thought so. Pandering is politico 101, and unfortunately you cannot make them shut up.
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#84 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-April-11, 19:53

View PostCthulhu D, on 2012-April-11, 18:26, said:

I'm a pragmatist here - the problem is who's disowning Mitch McConnell.. no-one? Yup, thought so. Pandering is politico 101, and unfortunately you cannot make them shut up.


Earlier Santorum was mentioned. But we are not speaking of President McConnell or President Santorum, and while some people may think what Obama says is crazy or at least wrong-headed, people are not saying "Oh, it doesn't matter what outrageous things he says because he has no power anyway". The analogy holds no water at all.

I really do not understand this total resistance to the simple acknowledgement that when the President of a country that is pursuing enriched uranium (for power grids of course) announces that Israel must be wiped from the face of the Earth and denies that the Holocaust happened, this should be seen as a rather worrisome feature of the country. I am not saying we need to bomb them, only that we acknowledge that such rhetoric makes it more difficult to negotiate a reasonable accommodation. One usually has to read the global warming thread to find such resistance to acknowledging reality.
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#85 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-April-11, 23:52

View Postkenberg, on 2012-April-11, 19:53, said:

Earlier Santorum was mentioned. But we are not speaking of President McConnell or President Santorum, and while some people may think what Obama says is crazy or at least wrong-headed, people are not saying "Oh, it doesn't matter what outrageous things he says because he has no power anyway". The analogy holds no water at all.

I really do not understand this total resistance to the simple acknowledgement that when the President of a country that is pursuing enriched uranium (for power grids of course) announces that Israel must be wiped from the face of the Earth and denies that the Holocaust happened, this should be seen as a rather worrisome feature of the country. I am not saying we need to bomb them, only that we acknowledge that such rhetoric makes it more difficult to negotiate a reasonable accommodation. One usually has to read the global warming thread to find such resistance to acknowledging reality.


Mitch McConnell is about as relevant to Foreign Policy of American as Ahmadinejad is to Iran's. Actually he's probably more relevant because he reflects the feelings of a faction that might actually come to power. Israel, the US and Iran are packed with hardliners that say mean things about each other all the time. I used Mitch because he was the one to most recently make a completely preposterous remark about bombing Iran.

What I don't understand is why you are identifying Ahmadinejad as a key player in the problem? Both sides are big on inflammatory rhetoric (remember the Axis of evil speech?). Ahmadinejad is just a bit player - like Mitch McConnell or Santorum. He could have the title of 'Supreme Emperor of all Iran' and it wouldn't make his statements any more or less relevant.

I mean yes, it would be nice if people didn't say mean things about each other, but this isn't going to happen. I think you are overrating the significance of his remarks because his title is 'President' but that title isn't worth 2/5ths of bugger all. It's purely ornamental. Literally the only difference between him and the previous reformist is now that Guardian council doesn't need to veto stuff.

It's even more puzzling because both sides are actually engaged in a proxy war (in Iraq) and a covert war (in Iran) with each other in which people are actually dying. Pretty sure funding anti US militas and political parties and assassinating government researchers makes dialogue more 'difficult' than any contribution from Ahmadinejad.
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#86 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2012-April-12, 04:08

View Postkenberg, on 2012-April-11, 19:53, said:

I really do not understand this total resistance to the simple acknowledgement that when the President of a country that is pursuing enriched uranium (for power grids of course) announces that Israel must be wiped from the face of the Earth and denies that the Holocaust happened, this should be seen as a rather worrisome feature of the country.

sure you do... take a few minutes and think about it... look at the post just above mine, and those like it... by marginalizing Ahmadinejad, they hope to convince that any action by israel or the u.s.a. is overreaction... Ahmadinejad is not a buffoon, as the above post implies... his title is not ornamental... he is not powerless, and his words do have meanings
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#87 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2012-April-12, 06:01

View Postluke warm, on 2012-April-11, 15:48, said:

well i'll admit it, that surprises me, especially given the wikileaks postings about arab leaders wanting the u.s. to attack iran... i guess there's a disconnect there, as here, between the populace and the leaders


Who'd of thunk it?
Alderaan delenda est
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#88 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-April-12, 13:58

There is, as I understand it, a conference starting soon on all these matters. It's too deep for me, but I hope something good comes of it.

Another point that is obvious in my opinion: If matters cannot be settled peacefully, we won't like it. But Israel and Iran really really are not going to like it. We in the US, and those in Europe, of course have a stake in this but we are not the central players. We need to do everything we can to help, but we also need to make it clear that if the central players, one, the other or both or all, can't get this together then we cannot perform miracles. There is entirely too much thinking of ourselves as the rooster that can make the sun come up.

Things may be clearer, but maybe not better, by the end of the conference. I wish them well.
Ken
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#89 User is offline   jdeegan 

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Posted 2012-May-05, 11:44

:P Well, well. A month later things have settled down. Oil prices are below $100. Bibi Barry. Even the mullahs seem to Barry. The Democrats appear to own foreign policy this election - major, but not huge.
Worse for the Republicans, their conservative ideology is off in left field for the current situation. However, they have nominated a serious person who may be able to come up with an economic program that trumps that of Barry, who has a resume that is somewhat distant from the realities of business and economics.
Republicans just keep in mind that tax breaks for the 'rich' (formerly known as 'job creators') will not fly with today's electorate. If they don't respect this, even silly Barry will squash them like a bug in November.
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#90 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-May-05, 20:21

I don't really have a clue who will win in November.

BUT

This is the bomb thread! That's thread, not threat.

Whatever came of that conference of three weeks or so back? There were, for a while, some reports that the Iranians might actually agree to not develop nuclear weapons. I don't suppose anyone actually believed them but there was this conference. Did anything actually happen?
Ken
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#91 User is online   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-May-06, 06:06

You might find this report interesting.
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#92 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-May-06, 09:54

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-May-06, 06:06, said:

You might find this report interesting.


Yes, I did. It's an interesting thought that while having nuclear weapons might be too dangerous, having a nuclear weapons program can be advantageous. I'm still guessing they actually want the weapons but hey, what do I know? They don't send me memos.
Ken
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#93 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2012-May-06, 13:58

the trouble is, israel might take more seriously an iranian program then, say, s. korea (or even the u.s.a) takes a n. korean program... and taking something more seriously can lead to all sorts of actions
"Paul Krugman is a stupid person's idea of what a smart person sounds like." Newt Gingrich (paraphrased)
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#94 User is offline   jdeegan 

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Posted 2012-May-06, 20:13

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-May-06, 06:06, said:

You might find this report interesting.

:P Thanks for the reference. George is almost always good imho because he keeps a firm grasp on the obvious. Iran's foreign policy for centuries has been derived from a position of weakness. They are masters at it. So, American armies on their eastern border and on their western border - no problem. All of which means, I think, they are going to fold on the nuclear question - for sure at least until Barry is re-elected.
I'm not sure I see George's point on the Syrian situation. An apostate ally is under siege from Sunni (ie. real Muslims) supported by America and Germany and Saudi Arabia. Assad the dentist has no real balls. How can this be good for Iran?
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#95 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2012-May-06, 20:27

fold on the nuke question?

what does that even mean?

American armies leaving the western and eastern borders even as we type.
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#96 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-May-06, 21:28

View Postkenberg, on 2012-May-06, 09:54, said:

Yes, I did. It's an interesting thought that while having nuclear weapons might be too dangerous, having a nuclear weapons program can be advantageous. I'm still guessing they actually want the weapons but hey, what do I know? They don't send me memos.


There is at least one other country that has a massive nuclear program but doesn't have Nuclear weapons. Japanese have a nuclear program - they could probably have a bomb pretty promptly if they wanted to (massive nuclear industry, massive electronics industry, they also know how to build delivery platforms). They don't do it of course, and probably for different reasons - domestic sensitivity - but you can get to 'ready' and not build the delivery platform and there are a variety of reasons to do that. I imagine if the Chinese started getting really stroppy with Japan there would mysteriously be nuclear testing...

Also remember that the US invaded Iran because they were 100% convinced by Saddam's bluff about WMDs - a bluff designed to ward off Iran.
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