Friday, August 04, 2006

Pouring Gas On The Fire

Nothing new in this report, of course, but a timely reminder of why we must do everything possible to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Can you imagine the current situation with a nuke-wielding Iran in the equation? Israel armed to the teeth with nukes is bad enough; it's an impediment to our efforts via-a-vis Iran and a destabilizing factor in the region. But our efforts on Iran must be methodical, honest, and in concert with the international community. Since I haven't had to post a PIA Alert recently (you didn't think I hadn't been maintaining vigil, did you?) it appears we're doing it the right way, at least for now. But we know that in this administration, duplicity never sleeps---it just takes breaks to clear brush and go bird hunting. Vigilance....

27 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing new in this report, of course, but a timely reminder of why we must do everything possible to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.


If doing "everything possible" includes going to war, I disagree. Our troops' supply lines are dangerously exposed, and any conflict would almost certainly cause the death of tens of thousands of people, possibly more.

And what would we have achieved? At the end of the conflict the Iranians would be radicalized and just as intent on getting nuclear weapons.

Since Ahmedinejad doesn't control the armed forces, and can't order an attack, his words are outrageous but not dangerous.

Cal

8/04/2006 3:36 AM  
Blogger OrganicGeorge said...

Remember Karl doesn't roll out new marketing programs until after August.

8/04/2006 10:03 AM  
Blogger owenz said...

Sigh.

I don't know about you, CR, but I took the generals' admission that a civil war was brewing in Iraq as a trial balloon to prep the American people for ultimate failure in Iraq. We all know it's gonna happen - the only question is Karl Rove's time frame. Once we pull out, Iran becomes the regional power in the middle east, with Iraq linking Iran and Syria and creating a Shia crescent across the entire area.

The new crescent (Iran to Iraq to Syria) will make Israel and Iran neighbors, of a sort. Good times!

Once this happens, we will be in all God's hands, although it's not clear if we're talking Allah, a Rapturized Jesus (who shoots lightening bolts from his eyes), or the wrathful old testiment God from the Torah. I'm not as pessimistic as Billmon (http://billmon.org/archives/002627.html), but here's the reality: when we leave Iraq, we'll be handing the keys of the world to the Iranian Mullahs and the Israeli public. (Cue Ledeen giggling.)

We know Iran's president is nuts. We can only hope the Mullahs are more practical - that they will avoid war with Israel in favor of slowly gaining control of Iraq, forming oil-based relationships with Russia and China, and exerting control over the region in a semi-non-maniacal fashion. You know, run of the mill Islamic empire-building stuff.

Likewise, we know the Israeli leadership is borderline nuts (or so insecure they feel they need to act nuts to impress everyone). We can only hope that the Israeli public - a far more sensible bunch - does whatever it can to reign in the hawks and avoid war. Which is asking a lot, considering the daily dose of 150 rockes raining down - but hopefully the Mullahs call off the Hezbollah attack dogs once it becomes clear they've won this round.

And that's that. If a shooting war between Iran and Israel breaks out, it quickly envelops Iraq and Syria, the US joins in, and the neocons finally get their wet dream: WWIII. J-Pod columns referencing Hiroshima will be all the rage.

But why be so pessimistic?!? Between the Israeli public and Iranian Mullahs, I'm at least as confident as I would be if, say, Richard Perle was dictating the world's foreign policy through the Pentagon.

Heck, it might even be an improvement.

8/04/2006 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Since Ahmedinejad doesn't control the armed forces, and can't order an attack, his words are outrageous but not dangerous."

I agree entirely. The Fox News crowd's claim that Iran is seeking nukes in order, among other reasons, to carry out its dream to destroy Israel is utter nonsense. A nuclear armed Iran is undesirable, of course, but conventional deterrance would work, just as it worked with other regimes whose leaders used equally radical and inflamatory rhetoric:

http://www.amconmag.com/2006/2006_04_10/cover.html

http://www.realisticforeignpolicy.org/archives/2006/02/we_can_live_wit.php

8/04/2006 10:26 AM  
Blogger Tlaloc said...

I have to disagree with your contention. If anything it would seem that having a credible nuclear rival in the area might just curb Israel's violent tendencies.

Detente sucks but the one thing worse than two sides having nukes is one side having nukes.

8/04/2006 11:10 AM  
Blogger owenz said...

"Detente sucks but the one thing worse than two sides having nukes is one side having nukes."

By this logic, the world would be safer if everyone had nukes.

Just plain silly.

8/04/2006 11:24 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

"Just plain silly"

No...not really. Wars are started by our political leaders. If our own political leaders lives are in danger...wars become less likely.

8/04/2006 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The current Israeli regime is not the state of Israel, no more than the Bush regime is the United States. All arabs and Israelis would be better off without this militant Israeli regime in power.

Calling for a change of regime in Israel is not the same as calling for the detruction of that country. This CNN story is blatantly spun to make Iran's stance look more militant and reactionary than it really is.

Frankly, I agree that the fascist expansionists in charge of Israel should be replaced -- hopefully with Rabin-style moderates. And the same goes for the USA.

8/04/2006 1:27 PM  
Blogger owenz said...

"No...not really. Wars are started by our political leaders. If our own political leaders lives are in danger...wars become less likely."

I return to my original point: By this logic, the world would be safer if everyone had nukes.

Of course, a third grader knows just the opposite is true. The more countries there are possessing nukes, the more likely nukes are to be used. And once they are used, they will be retaliated against in kind, with other nukes. And due to their enormous killing power, the likelihood that other countries would get involved is overwheling - leading to the launch of still more nukes.

The people most likely to evade these attacks? The leaders of the countries that launch them. The idea that national leaders would hesitate to launch nukes out of fear for their personal, physical safety is, of course, laughable. If physical safety was their prime concern, they'd just launch first and leave the scene. (Again, ask a third grader...)

It takes a special kind of person to argue against the basic theory of nuclear non-proliferation.

8/04/2006 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

"We know Iran's president is nuts."

Why not? Our own executive (and vice) leads by example.

8/04/2006 2:16 PM  
Anonymous scott_api said...

To quote an older movie: I'm not afraid of the man who wants ten nuclear weapons, Colonel. I'm terrified of the man who only wants one.

Iran with Nukes is bad, and bad mostly because if they figure it out, they're gonna share. And whom they choose to share with WILL strap one around his or her waist, and walk into the middle of a crowd in downtown Bethlehem / Baghdad / New York.

8/04/2006 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iran's financial, military and logistical support for terrorist organizations is too great to risk them acquiring nuclear weapons. This requires negotiation, albeit with a despicable regime, but it is the only option.

Those (favorably) comparing Iran to Israel show a complete lack of understanding about the fundamental realities of both countries. One is an extremist country using nationalist rhetoric to disguise their fragile economic policies (despite $76 per barrel oil) and the other is a vibrant democracy and diverse economy making lasting contributions to science and the arts.

Not a Jew or Israeli, quite far from it, but facts are the facts.

8/04/2006 5:22 PM  
Blogger Tlaloc said...

"I return to my original point: By this logic, the world would be safer if everyone had nukes."

Um... well yeah. We wouldn't have troops in Iraq had Hussein actually had nukes. Indeed if every country on earth were capable of MAD then we'd have a lot less violence.

Of course it is far more ideal to have nobody with Nukes but that doesn't seem to be an option now does it?



"The more countries there are possessing nukes, the more likely nukes are to be used."

No that doesn't follow automatically. What is the single situation most likely to result in the use of nuclear weapons? If only one country has them. Indeed notice that the only time nuclear weapons HAVE been used was when only one country had them (the US bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima).



"If physical safety was their prime concern, they'd just launch first and leave the scene. (Again, ask a third grader...)"

Um your third grader is apparently unfamiliar with the basic concept of MAD: i.e. said leader has no where to go that won;t be in the primary, secondary, or tertiary effect zone of the reprisal atack.



"It takes a special kind of person to argue against the basic theory of nuclear non-proliferation."

Getting rid of them all would be great, but in the absence of that leaving a single proven violent country as the only member of a region with nuclear backing is a bad idea.

8/04/2006 5:46 PM  
Blogger Tlaloc said...

"Those (favorably) comparing Iran to Israel show a complete lack of understanding about the fundamental realities of both countries. One is an extremist country using nationalist rhetoric to disguise their fragile economic policies (despite $76 per barrel oil) and the other is a vibrant democracy and diverse economy making lasting contributions to science and the arts. "

That's one way to look at it, another of course is that Iran hasn't actually started a war in... well it's been a hell of a long time.

Israel on the other hand has started or provoked war after war with its neighbors.

I don't trust either because both have proven imminently untrustworthy.

8/04/2006 5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say that contributing arms and cash to paramilitary groups that ordinarily defy their national governments would demonstrate at some level a willingness to engage in violence. Add to that Iran's support in the bombing of the military barracks in Saudi Arabia as well attacks on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires is a pretty good indication that we're not dealing with normal nation-states.

8/04/2006 7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this guy (revolutionary marxist)attempts to put it all together...

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=MAS20060802&articleId=2886

think a lot depends on whether the establishment 'realists' like kissy or brzy prevail over the bunch ready to 'party'...whatever anyone says, iran is a nice chunk of property...

8/04/2006 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But our efforts on Iran must be methodical, honest, and in concert with the international community."

You really believe that this idiotic government that we have is working methodical and honestly?

What were you smoking when you wrote that sentence?

We have the misfortune to have people in position of power that are borderline "insane".
They think you only talk and deal with your friends and shunt aside and ignore your enemies and shock and awe them, childish!

Government that are democraticly elected are legit only if we agree with the outcome.

And getting the Israelis to attack Syria and /or Iran is so totally insane that words fail me.

We are addicted to middle eastern oil supply. If they think that that oil line will continue as normal if that happens, you demonstrate that you have lost your mind.

I would not be surprised in that case that oil will shoot up to 100 or 200 dollars a barrel.

That will destroy utterly our economy and probably that of the rest of the worlds also.

What then will follow will make the French Revolution of 1789 seem like a tea party.

It will then really be the end of the world as we know it.

At this rate, I wonder if I will live to see New Years Day 2007.
I hate to say it but I think we have less than a 50/50 chance of that.

8/04/2006 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suggest you read Billmon's "The War Party".

And, for whomever said Iran's preznit was nuts .... have you looked @ your own lately??
judyo

8/04/2006 9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'It's a big mistake for us to grant any validation to international law, even when it may seem in our short-term interests to do so—because, over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrain the United States.' [John Bolten, 1999]

has he been confirmed by the senate yet?

8/05/2006 12:35 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

Clearly Bolten doesn't comprehend the role of Treaties as understood by the Founders and written into the Constitution.

This seems to be a common problem throughout the administration.

8/05/2006 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you catch Nightline. I think it was Thursday night. "Evangelical Christians are taking sides in the Mideast conflict and lobbying Washington -- because, they say, the Bible tells them to." They are quite giddy for the return of Jesus and 1000 years (what is the radioactivity half life) of peace because what they pick and chose to believe in their bible tells them so. It was scary to see these folks walking around Washingon with so many connections. Bill Maher has a point: The disease is religion. Fundamentalism crazies of all brands.

8/05/2006 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually it's possible that Iran acquiring nuclear weapons could lead to a balance of power and greater stability.
Israel is completely out of control because it is unmatched in regional military power. A little nuclear deterrence from Iran might go a long way towards reining in the expansionist wing of Israeli politics.

On a related note, I am beginning to believe that the solution to the problem of Israel is to go back to the drawing board, scrap the 1947 partition and create fresh states based on certain ground principles.
The ground principles should be that the Jews and the Palestinians deserve a state; furthermore, financial incentives should be given towards the end of creating a strong majority Jewish state.
Compensation to the Arabs who were forced out of Israel in 1948 should be on the table as well.
Possibly the issue of compensation for Jews who were forced out of Arab countries should also be considered.

8/05/2006 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Everything possible" done "honest[ly]" would start with public recognition of Israel's nuclear arsenal, and steps towards dismantling it.

If the Iranians are developing nukes (still not proven) they are doing so to strategically counter Israel.

8/06/2006 1:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Responding (late) to the logic of nonproliferation, from my hazy memory of the end of "Dark Sun" (an excellet history of the atomic bomb project), "proliferation" was the preferred strategy of the pointy-heads actually making the bomb and philosophising about how it would change the world. They proposed an international collaboration to avoid an arms race, and it breaks the heart to read how the USA vs. USSR positioning for the post-war period made this idea die in the political ranks.

8/07/2006 5:24 PM  
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