A bird’s-eye view of the Iranian nuclear problem

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The satellite photo above left was taken in February, 2000. The photo above right, of the same site about 20 miles north northeast of the Iranian city of Qom, was taken four days ago, Sept. 26, 2009. It is believed to be the site of the newly revealed Iranian nuclear facility. The satellite photo to the right offers a more detailed look at the above-ground portion of the facility, most of which is underground and difficult to reach by aerial attack.

So what do we do?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said repeatedly that a military effort to take out Iran’s nuclear complex would set back their effort by one to three years, and that is consistent with every other estimate I’ve seen. I’ve seen no authoritative estimate that it would stop the effort. In fact, I think that over the long term it would harden Iran’s resolve to get the bomb and guarantee its eventual success. The Iranians would sensibly reason that with the bomb in their possession, no one would treat their territory with such disrespect again.

Other concerns also weigh against the military option. We’re stretched thin fighting two wars already, and taking on a third would be foolish. As we draw down our forces in neighboring Iraq, they become more vulnerable to attacks as well. And given the state of the global economy, disruption of oil shipments from the Persian Gulf might push us over the precipice.

That said, I also don’t hold out much hope of negotiating successfully with the current Iranian government. I do think it’s worth the effort, if for no other reason than to demonstrate their intransigence to the world. But success is unlikely.

So where does that leave us? Long term, the best hope for stopping Iran short of a nuclear weapon would be a change of government in Tehran. However, the US government can’t achieve that change or even lobby for it too aggressively; the Iranian people have to do it themselves.

That’s another problem with the military option. An attack on Iran, whether launched by Israel or the United States, would instantly rally the Iranian people around their current government and dash any hope of change.

The only good news is that in the wake of the stolen elections, Iran’s government remains in serious trouble with its people. Top Shia clerics are divided about support for the current regime, and dissent and opposition continue to bubble up from the street and mosque. It’s hard to tell what effect that opposition may have, but the fact that it continues with support from high-ranking clerics is encouraging.

262 comments Add your comment

Bruno

September 30th, 2009
2:07 pm

Stan

September 30th, 2009
2:08 pm

So, now the war is about oil, and it’s ok.

Bosch

September 30th, 2009
2:11 pm

“So what do we do?”

Simple. Nothing.

Jackie

September 30th, 2009
2:16 pm

If Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, the question that one should ask is; what will they do with it?

Having 1 or 10 nuclear weapons make them a threat to whom?

They are not insane enough to believe that they can attack ANYONE with any of those weapons without knowing they will draw an immediate, rapid and overwhelming response from many countries.

The President of the country of verbose, no more. Let him keep talking while the young people of the country continue to boil. Soon it will reach a point where he will be out of office and those young folks will be the driving force for a new political direction in the country.

Let them continue to spend money on a weapon that can NEVER be used.

Bruno

September 30th, 2009
2:17 pm

“That’s another problem with the military option. An attack on Iran, whether launched by Israel or the United States, would instantly rally the Iranian people around their current government and dash any hope of change.”

A nuclear-armed Iran is either acceptable or it is NOT acceptable. No one wants to go to war over this, but what other realistic options remain? As provocative and crazy as Ahmedinejad comes across as being, ultimately I think that he is a coward who values his own skin above anything else and would cave in the face of real military pressure.

Bosch

September 30th, 2009
2:17 pm

If we were so stupid as to bomb this nuclear facility, that would give the legitimate reason they needed to one day pay us back.

Bruno

September 30th, 2009
2:21 pm

“Simple. Nothing.”

“Having 1 or 10 nuclear weapons make them a threat to whom?”

I can’t agree with either one of you that a nuclear-armed Iran is acceptable. I’m no armchair general, but hope that someone, whether it be Israel, the US, or even the UN stands up to Ahmedinejad in the only way that he will respect and respond to. In contrast to Kim in N. Korea, I think he would cave before risking his own skin.

Bosch

September 30th, 2009
2:25 pm

Bruno,

I’m with Jackie – nuclear weapons are only dangerous if a terrorist gets their hands on one, because they are the only one who would use it. Now, whether or not Ahmedinejad is crazy enough to sell one to said bad guy terrorist remains to be seen. I think he is just that crazy, but then again, I’m no armchair general either.

Gandalf, the Wise

September 30th, 2009
2:26 pm

Stupid to attack Iraq? I think not, stupid not to attack Iran. Clearly the Bush Doctrine shows we need to keep islamofacist fanatics fighting in thier part of the globe, not ours. Nukes are for grownups, not little kids like Iranians.

Jackie, Iran will use any weapon they have, silly rabbit!

:roll: Damn Skippy! :roll:
:!: Just Saying! :shock:

Gandalf, the Wise

September 30th, 2009
2:28 pm

Use the nukes produced in Korea on Iran! Now there’s a good idea, I bet the Koreans make it better and cheaper! Nuclear Free Atlanta!

Gandalf, the Wise

September 30th, 2009
2:29 pm

First! (Plus 10!)

Normal

September 30th, 2009
2:31 pm

I agree with Bosch. Do nothing. Even as a child, I heard the boogie man story about the old USSR and China when they got their bombs. We aimed our at them and they aimed their at us, we built bombers and they byilt bombers, we built submarines and they built submarines…and the one day…chirp, chirp, chirp…nothing. We were all scared of each other. Let Iran have their one or two nucs. There will be so many nucs now aimed at them,and they realize for the first time what it is like to play with the big boys. There will be so many nucs now aimed at them, they will crap in their pants. And tell them up front that if they should ever decide to use them, they will be revisited three fold. It’s still called MAD, Mutual Assured Distruction. No problem.

N.J.

September 30th, 2009
2:31 pm

As I have often said, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, even if they have them are a result of them being almost as much of a minority in the region as Israelis are. First of all, they are non Arab. One strike against them. Second of all they are non Sunni, two strikes. They want a capacity in order to avoid coming uner the thumb of either a western foreign power, or even worse, become a hated minority in an Arab Sunni region.

Israel has nukes, and they represent the United States in the region and the United States has a policy of regime change in Iran. One justification for the Iranians wanting nukes if that is in fact, what they are actually doing. This “NEW” plant is a decade old at least. There is sign of activity there, but no sign of uranium or enrichment activity there.

The simplest way to ease Iran’s fears of an outside nation overthrowing the regime and putting another Shah like puppet in its place would be for the United States to tell Israel to get rid of IT’S nukes. Israel does not want that, because it does not trust the United States 100 percent to guarantee their existence. Iran has the same distrust of the United States and Israel

However the United States and Israel have a way larger record of attacking other countries in modern times than Iran does. The U.S. and Israel are making the usual argument that an aggressor nation makes when smaller nations arm themselves. The subtext is that by arming themselves it is more difficult to the more powerful nation to attack them and overthrow their government. Iran has really not attacked another nation since the 1700’s. Even then it was in response to a lot of Sunni abuse of Shi’ites. The United States and Israel cannot make that claim

And the predecessors of the current bunch of religious leaders had a very large role in policy making in Iran over the last three centuries. The mullahs were always the advisors of the Shahs and they were often given broad leeway at the local level to act as both civil and religious authority.

Gandalf, the Wise

September 30th, 2009
2:32 pm

ROCK THE CASBAH!

jconservative

September 30th, 2009
2:33 pm

Bosch – “So what do we do? Simple. Nothing.”

I kind of agree with Bosch. If the options are military, talk & sanctions, then that is 3 poor options. And I believe all three are poor options. Are they the only options?

Per international treaty (they signed & we signed) they have the right to develop peaceful nuclear facilities. The problem is they will not
allow inspections of the facilities to insure they are peaceful.

If the 10/1 talks fail, and they will, we do need to officially deliver Hillary’s message to the ruling Ayatollahs, “attack Israel & we will obliterate you”.

And Stan has a wonderful point – “So, now the war is about oil, and it’s ok.” We can have $10.00 a gallon gasoline two ways, federal tax of $7.50 a gallon or use our military to attack Iran.

Bruno

September 30th, 2009
2:34 pm

From this morning:

““we’re in a U-shaped recovery, but a recovery we are definitely in — too bad that you’re so partisan you’re cheering for the country to fail rather than for the Fed’s and Obama’s policies to succeed.”

I gotta pick at you for this statement, USinUK–Every economic recovery, by definition, produces a “U”-shaped graph, at least temporarily. Many people, including myself, think that the recovery graph will be more complex, due to having to factor in all of the unprecedented government spending.

“I wouldn’t count the chickens too early. I’ve read many an economist that are predicting a W-shaped recovery, meaning a double bottom, and with the current un-expected drop in consumer confidence, the upcoming holiday season should give us a good indicator. I’m not seeing it around me, as more and more small businesses continue to close as they have hung on as long as they could and no help in sight.”

I’ve read the prediction of a “W” shaped recovery many times, md, which indicates a double bottom with growth ultimately winning out. Personally, I agree with the double bottom prediction, but think that the ultimate effect of the current runaway spending will be to harm our economy via inflation and the resulting high interest rates. As such, I am predicting an “M” shaped recovery, with the last leg heading down, not up.

AmVet

September 30th, 2009
2:34 pm

Maybe the conned favor this approach!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDABe8AOuCQ

Or maybe we just need to bring back the “policy” of Ollie and Ronnie and sell them MORE of our weapons.

Traitorous RepubliCons…

Mrs. Godzilla

September 30th, 2009
2:35 pm

When was the last time Iran attacked another nation?

And we do all know that this facility and it’s construction
remain within the letter of the law.

Gandalf, the Wise

September 30th, 2009
2:35 pm

NO one can prove that Isreal has nukes, except Iran, by nuking Isreal. Kind of a Catch 22 wouldn’t you say?

Matilda

September 30th, 2009
2:36 pm

What gives US the right? Don’t we have nuclear weapons? What makes it okay for us but not them? Certainly I can’t stand Ahmadinejad either, and don’t presume he’s in any way fond of us, but who says WE have to police the rest of the planet when we can’t even handle our own business here? American kids are getting killed in this country just because they went to school, and somehow we’re qualified to tell other countries what to do?

Gandalf, the Wise

September 30th, 2009
2:36 pm

Laws are made to be broken, as are Iranian nuclear facilities.

Say What??

September 30th, 2009
2:37 pm

Okay, so which issue has the most immediate danger attached to it, (a) nukes in Iran, or (b) global warming. Just sayin….

Gandalf, the Wise

September 30th, 2009
2:37 pm

Might makes right Matilda.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

September 30th, 2009
2:37 pm

Well, I missed most stuff on this blog today because I was down at the courthouse on jury duty. They finally got around to calling some of us down to a courtroom around 11. When I got asked if I could be fair, I said sure I could. I didn’t want the DA to be wasting his time. I said it was plain as day the guy was guilty because he wouldn’t of been arrested in the first place if he wasn’t guilty. Anyway, they didn’t pick me and later they told me I could go ahead and go home. The rest of them will probly let the crook off.

I say we need a drop a couple A-bombs on that place with the atomic plant. If we do that they’ll have a heck of a time getting the thing back in business. I reckon Gandalf is with me on that. If we would of wanted Iran to have atomic weapons we would of give them some. Anyhow, a few countries will hoot and holler about what we done, but it will all calm down in a few months. We got them, they want them, so we’ll give them the business end of them.

That’s my opinion and it’s very true. Have a good p.m. everybody.

Normal

September 30th, 2009
2:37 pm

Let me repost this where it makes sense…I type alot slower than I think…

Normal

September 30th, 2009
2:31 pm
I agree with Bosch. Do nothing. Even as a child, I heard the boogie man story about the old USSR and China when they got their bombs. We aimed our at them and they aimed their at us, we built bombers and they built bombers, we built submarines and they built submarines…and the one day…chirp, chirp, chirp…nothing. We were all scared of each other. Let Iran have their one or two nucs. There will be so many nucs now aimed at them, they will crap in their pants. Then they realize for the first time what it is like to play with the big boys. And tell them up front that if they should ever decide to use them, they will be revisited three fold. It’s still called MAD, Mutual Assured Distruction. No problem.

Gandalf, the Wise

September 30th, 2009
2:38 pm

climate change? Global cooling that has been going on for the last 11 years? I think the answer would have to be…Iran! Yes, a real threat, one we can destroy, not fictional boogie man stories about global warming…

Dusty

September 30th, 2009
2:38 pm

Well, I wonder when Jay will make up is mind. Dissent by the people in Iran is a fine thing and something we must depend upon.

But dissenters in America are named as “teabaggers, morons, racists, and political nuts”. NO, Jay, I cann’t give you exact quotations.. It is the general theme of liberals and we all know you are a liberal. The dissenters of America are just as worthy as any in Iran.

But vitriolic dissent is hatefully non-productive and too close to anarchy. That is another thought and definition to consider.

Bosch may have the best suggestion yet. Just wait.

That’s fine, as long as we do not promise Iran they can wait as long as they like (and finish plants and complete bombs).

Say What??

September 30th, 2009
2:39 pm

Mrs. Godzilla

Your rose colored glasses must not be removable. You said “When was the last time Iran attacked another nation?”. They get a bigger body count by exterminating their own citizens who disagree with the dictator.

Also, prior to 9/11/01, when was the last time muslim extremists flew boarded commercial airplanes into buildings?

N.J.

September 30th, 2009
2:40 pm

Another western lie. Shi’ite Ahmedinejad selling nukes to Sunni Terrorists who think that Shi’ites are heretics who should be wiped off the map. This is occurring in Afghanistan and Pakistan every day. The Sunni’s we have empowered there are slaughtering Shi’ites daily.

You basically have to assert that Iran would give a nuke to groups that have stated they want to attack Shi’ites:

Call for violence

Bin Laden’s call to attack Shiites represents a sea change for al Qaeda, which in the past has been reluctant to criticize Shiites. (Watch how bin Laden urges Sunnis to retaliate — 2:29)

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/07/02/binladen.message/index.html

You can go to the Muslim Brotherhood websites and check out the radical Sunni organization policy on Shi’ites

The Shi’ites of Pakistan and Afghanistan have a long memory for the insults and brutalities inflicted against them. It now appears they’re on the hunt for their sworn enemies, and Osama bin Laden is among them.

That might be because they haven’t forgotten what he did to them in 1988. It was then that hundreds of Shi’ites of the Northern Areas (NA – Gilgit and Baltistan) of Pakistan, known before 1947 as the Northern Areas of Jammu and Kashmir, were massacred after a demand raised by them for the creation of an autonomous Shi’ite state called Karakoram, consisting of the Shi’ite majority areas of the NA, Punjab and the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP). Military ruler General Zia-ul-Haq called in bin Laden, then living in Peshawar, and his Sunni tribal hordes to carry out the massacre.

Since the beginning of 2003, there have been indications that sections of the Shi’ite community have been doing their own hunt for bin Laden and his No 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri. It was reported that the arrest at Rawalpindi, Pakistan in March 2003 of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who had allegedly orchestrated the September 11 terrorist strikes in the United States, was made possible by intelligence provided by some Shi’ites in Quetta, Balochistan province, where Khalid was living before fleeing to Rawalpindi.

After hearing these reports, the SSP and the LEJ, both members of bin Laden’s International Islamic Front, retaliated by massacring a large number of Hazara Shi’ites in the Quetta area in July 2003. This was followed by many anti-Shi’ite incidents in Karachi and other parts of Pakistan.

To be honest. The Shi’ites have been doing MORE to hunt down Bin Laden and Al Qaeda than the Sunni’s in Pakistan have.

The arrest of Khalid Sheik Muhammad was the result of intelligence provided by local Shi’ites not by the Sunni government of Pakistan
Duh…

AmVet

September 30th, 2009
2:41 pm

Just as those who are opposed to continued affirmative action aver, it is time, in fact, WAY past time, for Israel to stand on her own two feet.

Quite giving away untold gazillions of OUR dollars to her and quit propping up the fascist-run DoD contractors who arm her to the teeth.

Watch how the situation in the Middle East would change overnight…

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 30th, 2009
2:43 pm

Cool, we got some “before” pictures.

Now Israel can go in their and get the “after” photos, since we are to skeered to do it.

Bruno

September 30th, 2009
2:43 pm

“Let Iran have their one or two nucs. There will be so many nucs now aimed at them,and they realize for the first time what it is like to play with the big boys.”

“I’m with Jackie – nuclear weapons are only dangerous if a terrorist gets their hands on one, because they are the only one who would use it.”

I disagree with both of you. Of course, none of us are in charge of the military, so we will have to sit back and see what our entrusted leaders decide to do.

@@

September 30th, 2009
2:44 pm

Should’ve listened to Cheney before Iran became the imminent threat it is today.

“I was probably a bigger advocate of military action than any of my colleagues,” Dick Cheney said, regarding Iran and its nuclear ambitions.

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Mr. Cheney described himself as being isolated among advisers to then-President George W. Bush, who ultimately decided against direct military action.

“I was probably a bigger advocate of military action than any of my colleagues,” Mr. Cheney said in response to questions about whether the Bush administration should have launched a pre-emptive attack prior to handing over the White House to Barack Obama.

“I thought that negotiations could not possibly succeed unless the Iranians really believed we were prepared to use military force,” Mr. Cheney said. “And to date, of course, they are still proceeding with their nuclear program and the matter has not yet been resolved.”

Hindsight is always 20/20. Foresight is a gift that few possess.

You libs seem to forget. Ahmadinejad is a religious fanatic…one of those crazy fundamentalists you claim are capable of violence.

Wishy Washers.

Taxpayer

September 30th, 2009
2:44 pm

Let ‘em spend their money on nuclear weapons. It’s their choice as a sovereign nation. Let’s see how THEY act as a nuclear power. Having that power in one’s possession is not all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that there are companies right here in the US that would just love to profit from some ventures with them. Meanwhile, we should stay focused on minimizing the chances of them actually using a weapon against us and other concerned nations should do the same.

Turd Ferguson

September 30th, 2009
2:45 pm

Thanks Matilda…you may return to your slumber…*chirp, chirp, chirp*

Bosch

September 30th, 2009
2:48 pm

Bruno,

What purpose would it serve Iran to attack us? Good Lord, I’m having the same argument six years later.

Matilda

September 30th, 2009
2:48 pm

Thanks Turd. You’re so thoughtful. Bruno’s right, though. “..we will have to sit back and see what our entrusted leaders decide to do.” The President, Cabinet members, Generals, and other world leaders are not calling me for my opinion on this, and I seriously doubt they give a flip what you think, either.

Tom

September 30th, 2009
2:48 pm

Must build some more Green Zones, with plenty of Starbucks, BK’s, McD’s, theaters, video-game warehouses, Mommy-phones, comfy sleep quarters. Further endear the civilians to our wondrous ways. And bring Jesus too. More drones from Nevada. The real hero stuff. That’ll do it. Yup. Bring back BushDrunk from Crawlford.

Turd Ferguson

September 30th, 2009
2:49 pm

At this point, it seems taking out their facilities would be redundant as in the not to distant future they would be back again. NO…what we need here is to reach back to Reagans playbook and bankrupt their Country via UN sanctions, isolation etc.

Perhaps their is a better option?

Turd Ferguson

September 30th, 2009
2:50 pm

Entrusted – The President (Obobo). What a nice oxymoron.

Thanks Mattie…you may resume your slumber

Say What??

September 30th, 2009
2:52 pm

Bosch

September 30th, 2009
2:48 pm

You’re having the same argument 6 years later? Did Iran have long range nukes 6 years ago?

AmVet

September 30th, 2009
2:53 pm

Cheney? Listen to that screw up? Foresight???

OMF’ingG!

Is this the same buffoon that said we would be greeted in Iraq as liberators?

Or the dolt that said in 2005, “The insurgency was in its last throes?”

Or the f&ckup who said (about the economic meltdown), “Don’t blame Bush, nobody saw this coming.”

A “I had priorities other than military service”, draft-dodging coward, a proven inveterate liar and deadly moron.

But still clearly a hero to the always bamboozled “conned-servatives”.

All I can say, is that it must be very dark and malodorous up there…

N.J.

September 30th, 2009
2:54 pm

Well, there is an interesting article in the Armed Forces Journal called “Blood Borders: How the Middle East Would Look Better”. At least from the American need to control the oil in that region looks.

Basically you create an Arab Shiite State by overthrowing Saddam Hussein, and putting the Shiite Majority in charge. Then you sever off the entire eastern coast of Saudi Arabia and give it to Iraq. The you overthrow the government of Iran and have the Arab Shi’ite State merge in some form of Union with the Iranian Shi’ite nation which has a new leader as a result of regime change, which of course is beholden to America for putting and keeping him in power.

Then pretty much 90 percent of the oil of the Middle East is in the hands of an American allied Shi’ite nation, and the Sunnis return to being camel jockeys:

Blood borders
How a better Middle East would look
BY RALPH PETERS
International borders are never completely just. But the degree of injustice they inflict upon those whom frontiers force together or separate makes an enormous difference — often the difference between freedom and oppression, tolerance and atrocity, the rule of law and terrorism, or even peace and war.

The most arbitrary and distorted borders in the world are in Africa and the Middle East. Drawn by self-interested Europeans (who have had sufficient trouble defining their own frontiers), Africa’s borders continue to provoke the deaths of millions of local inhabitants. But the unjust borders in the Middle East — to borrow from Churchill — generate more trouble than can be consumed locally.

http://live.armedforcesjournal.com/2006/06/1833899

The map of the new middle east is no longer linked to the article, but another website has it:

http://www.oilempire.us/new-map.html#neocon

Of course an Iran with nukes would be a lot harder to create this new map of the Middle East.

AmVet

September 30th, 2009
2:55 pm

I wouldn’t worry too much chest-pounders and chickenhawks.

The odds are pretty decent that the Uppity Muslim will again capitulate to his monied masters at General Dynamics and Haliburton…

Mrs. Godzilla

September 30th, 2009
2:55 pm

Say what

no rose colored glasses I…..trifocals. Clear sight is very important to me.

Yes, It appears “imadinnerjacket” et al have ltttle fear of internal war, but no real stomach for it externally.

Smells of bluster to me.

As of this date no Iranian terrorists have flown planes into buildings.
That would be Saudi Arabia, UAE and Lebanon.

If, you’re wearing a war bonnet, I would suggest you put it back in the hatbox.

I’ve seen some interesting talk about energy and financial sanctions, tuff stuff, that looks good to me, for a start.

Paul

September 30th, 2009
2:56 pm

Succinctly stated, Jay.

Problem is, our President has said a nuclear Iran is unacceptable. He’s laid down a pretty definite marker. Now we’re into a lot of perceptions. Ahmadinejad’s gambling and so far it appears he thinks Obama’s bluffing. While our striking has serious ramifications, so does doing nothing. Just as it is speculated striking Iran would rally the people around, if not their leader, then their country (the Russian WWII model) – one can also make a strong case that doing nothing would in fact strengthen Ahmadinejad and embolden the Iranians. The Americans talked, threatened, gave ultimatums… then did nothing.

The President has one advantage – uncertainty. Our enemies are not certain what he will do in a given situation. They have an idea – not much – but like Saddam, they may miscalculate.

Jackie

[[Having 1 or 10 nuclear weapons make them a threat to whom?]] To answer that, one has to listen to what Iran’s said. If you were a neighboring country whom Iran has described as illegitimate, with no right to be, that would soon cease to exist, statements made while a nuke program was underway, what would you risk?

[[They are not insane enough to believe that they can attack ANYONE with any of those weapons without knowing they will draw an immediate, rapid and overwhelming response from many countries.]]

Why do you believe that defines insanity and not acceptable risk? And just who would the “many countries” be that would respond? And ‘overwhelming response’? Please – there would be a chorus within this country calling for proportionality, nonescalation, measured response, etc.

Turd Ferguson

September 30th, 2009
2:56 pm

Or perhaps a military venture with Britain, china, russia. We attack, conquer the heathens, kill as many as we want then a few more just to keep the populace in line, quarter up the Country and the oil, pump out all the oil, bankrupt OPEC, kill some more of the populace if need be, rape and pillage the countryside, steal everything, then hand over the hellhole to someone who enjoys heat, sand and snakes.

Say What??

September 30th, 2009
2:56 pm

I still get a kick seeing how some “fringers” react when they hear the name Cheney. Absolutely hilarious.

Bruno

September 30th, 2009
2:56 pm

“The U.S. and Israel are making the usual argument that an aggressor nation makes when smaller nations arm themselves.”

“What gives US the right? Don’t we have nuclear weapons? What makes it okay for us but not them?”

Demonize the US all you want, but the reality remains that if we weren’t the dominant superpower, someone else would be. I would rather it be us by a longshot. In case you guys forgot your recent history, the US emerged as a superpower following 2 world-wide conflicts that killed well over a hundred million people. Any reason you don’t think it can happen again?

Normal

September 30th, 2009
2:56 pm

SAY WHAT…What Iran calls a “long range missle” is not an ICBM. That “long range missle” can be shot down with a Patriot. It is no intercontinental threat. They have no intercontinental cabability unless they use FedEx

AmVet

September 30th, 2009
2:58 pm

And you fraud conservatives won’t even salute your CiC! Even though he did exactly what you wanted.

He upped the ante in Afghanistan. (And ala Country Joe, Yippee! We’re all gonna die!)

I guess for you pro-war types, once a duplicitous coward, always a duplicitous coward…

Gandalf, the Wise

September 30th, 2009
2:58 pm

Calling Barry an entrusted leader is pushing it, he will get the Olympics into Shytown though!

N.J.

September 30th, 2009
2:58 pm

Jimmy Carter’s Malaise Speech becomes prophecy again. We have spend anywhere betwee 15 20 trillion dollars over the last 30 years attempting to control Middle Eastern oil and the sea lanes that get it to the United States.

Anyone think what American technological ingenuity could have done with even half that money if it was dedicated to alternative energy research?

AmVet

September 30th, 2009
3:00 pm

Say What???

Do you deny the factualness (is that a word?) of what I wrote?

Did he or did he not say and do all the above?

(In my best Judge Smails voice) Well…we’re waiting!

BTW when it comes to the duopoly of the corrupt R & D Party, I guess I am a fringer!

Gandalf, the Wise

September 30th, 2009
3:01 pm

Paul, Barry lies all the time, the unnacceptable is an easy one for him to get out of. Muslims can lie to us nonbeleivers, Mo said so!

Gandalf, the Wise

September 30th, 2009
3:03 pm

AMVET? Who are you calling a coward? I do have my CIB sir!

Say What??

September 30th, 2009
3:03 pm

Mrs. G

No war bonnett here. Was against the Iraq war from the start.

Back to the point again. Please tell me who would have expected what happened on 9/11, and then compare that thought to your question of how many countries Iran has invaded.

Here’s another question – Prior to Columbine, how many schools were invaded by murderous disgruntled students bearing semi-automatic weapons and killing/maiming/wounding dozens of innocent people?

Your words appear far to nearsighted for you to be a person who is truly concerned with your “clear” sight.

Gandalf, the Wise

September 30th, 2009
3:04 pm

Oh, I may be and am many things AMVET, but that is not one of them! :roll:

jconservative

September 30th, 2009
3:04 pm

And give the Iranians a point on the location. 20 miles from Qom.
Whats in Qom? The largest Shi’a religious shrine on the planet.
Bomb Qom & they holler that the Fatima shrine just got bombed.
So what? Who is running Iraq? Shi’a.

Bosch

September 30th, 2009
3:04 pm

Paul,

The President saying that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable does not equate to blowing them up.

Say What??

September 30th, 2009
3:06 pm

AmVet

Not sure how to address your latest rant, but I’m with you if your last comment basically condemns BOTH parties.

Speaking of which….while he ran as a Republican, looking back, just how do you think Ron Paul would have fared?

Taxpayer

September 30th, 2009
3:07 pm

I thought I read that someone said that we would have to sit back and wait to see what our encrusted leaders would do and then I remembered that they are still trying to resurrect Reagan so now it makes sense. After all, if he had not sent Rummy over there to arm Saddam, none of this would have ever happened. Jimmy Carter could have had everyone living side by side in harmony by now, drinking kosher Billy Beer.

Say What??

September 30th, 2009
3:08 pm

Bosch

True, but he President also said unemployement would not rise above 8% (don’t remember the actual number in the 8th percentile), would not raise taxes on ANY family making $250K or less ($200K for single), and too many other things to list here.

Paul

September 30th, 2009
3:08 pm

Bosch

[[The President saying that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable does not equate to blowing them up.]]

True, true.

But what does ‘unacceptable’ mean?

N.J.

September 30th, 2009
3:08 pm

You used the major and most evil words in modern times Bruno:

“DOMINANT SUPERPOWER”

That is the Republican neo-con mentality.

Actually the fact remains that if we were not the dominant superpower in the region no one would be, and if we developed means of not needing oil, it wouldnt matter who was the dominant superpower in the region. It would not be a national interest to be the dominant superpower.

To remain the dominant superpower is basically a waste of resources that could be used otherwise and more effectively and to the benefit of Americans rather than the detriment of other nations.

It is a sign of an aging and failing nation that uses the dominance strategy.

Create a culture and technology that requires that they come to US to get it, rather than requiring us to go to them to get what we cannot do without, and then we become a true superpower, not a dominant one/

The Democrats have one that would be more acceptable and result in more cooperation with Iran as well as make terrorism history”

MUTUAL INTEREST.

George Bush said “They hate us because of what we are” but never said what we are.

What are we

a DOMINANT SUPEARPOWER.

Like the British in India, the French in Africa, the Russian in Central Asia.

People have an aversion to being dominated.

They want to be free to live their own lives, in their own national and cultural interests.

The average Iranian knows TONS about American and European history. It was forced on them when their countries were more dominated by America or Europe.

The capital of Iran has more western classical music radio stations than all of the state of Georgia. you have stations with nothing but Mozart. Or Bach, or Beethoven. They are on average better educated in the history of western culture than Americans or many Europeans are.

Say What??

September 30th, 2009
3:12 pm

N.J.

September 30th, 2009
2:58 pm

“Anyone think what American technological ingenuity could have done with even half that money if it was dedicated to alternative energy research?”

Not bad. In fact, I like it. Now. add to that the trillions wasted on LBJ’s “great society” programs which basically cured, overcame, or ended nothing but created a large group of dependents.

Bruno

September 30th, 2009
3:12 pm

“What purpose would it serve Iran to attack us? Good Lord, I’m having the same argument six years later.”

I don’t think that is the danger, Bosch. The power dynamics in the Middle East are already tenuous at best as NJ has done a good job of spelling out. Ethnic, religious, and tribal loyalties are so deeply ingrained that peaceful coexistence doesn’t seem possible. If Iran goes nuclear, I fear it would set off a Middle East arms race ala India and Pakistan.

“Drawn by self-interested Europeans (who have had sufficient trouble defining their own frontiers), Africa’s borders continue to provoke the deaths of millions of local inhabitants. But the unjust borders in the Middle East — to borrow from Churchill — generate more trouble than can be consumed locally.”

Good point, NJ, except at some point these folks are going to have to put the past behind them and move forward. At some point the ethnic/religious/tribal loyalties which divide them must be culturally diminished, as we have done for the most part here in the US.

Bosch

September 30th, 2009
3:13 pm

Paul,

If I knew the answer to that I’d be rich beyond my wildest dreams! But — I’m not.

stands for decibels

September 30th, 2009
3:13 pm

if we developed means of not needing oil, it wouldnt matter who was the dominant superpower in the region.

Why, that’s crazy talk.

Taxpayer

September 30th, 2009
3:15 pm

For all we know, the middle east was transformed into a desert by nuclear powers thousands of years ago. It’s the circle of life and we are almost back to the beginning, again. Right, Battlestar Bosch or should I call you Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine.

N.J.

September 30th, 2009
3:15 pm

The Chinese were masters of becoming CULTURALLY dominant superpowers. The attempted to conquer and rule bordering nations for centuries, but in the end, it was their culture and sciences that brought people to them rather than the reverse and in many cases nations that they could not conquer, like Japan adopted Chinese writing, Chinese sciences, and Chinese cultural aspects.

Marco Polo traveled thousands of miles across some of the most brutal and hostile territories in the world to get to China for one reason. To get what they had and what Europe did not. And they had to come to China on China’s terms. China only started losing power as it got old and conservative. It started believing its own mythology. And the west used the stuff they got from China to conquer it. Gunpowder,advanced metallurgy to cast canon etc. Empires that think smart remain empires by getting nations to spend their resources getting to them rather than having to go out to the territories to get what they need.

Brad Steel

September 30th, 2009
3:17 pm

I thought the Iranians were scared into submission by Reagan in the early ’80’s. Maybe we can scare’m again with Reagan’s exhumed zombie corpse.

Bud Wiser

September 30th, 2009
3:17 pm

Oh, I suppose if Obowo kneels before the madman of Iran, or slithers on his belly like he did before, all the while trashing America and cursing our very existence as the bane of the known universe, and pulling the rug out from beneath Israel just like he did Poland, maybe the muslim fascists will change their minds about America and finally like us.

Problem solved!

Nail Aluminum

September 30th, 2009
3:18 pm

No, Brad Steel, perhaps Obama can bore them into submission with the aid of his trusty traveling teleprompter.

Turd Ferguson

September 30th, 2009
3:19 pm

Bruno

September 30th, 2009
2:56 pm

HERE HERE!! Were it up to the panzies, Clinton, Carter, obobo we would be pushed into multilateralism. Them and the dem’s hate America and it being the Dominant SUPERPOWER. Hopefully we will always remain so.

Better to Dominate than to be Dominated.

Mrs. Godzilla

September 30th, 2009
3:20 pm

Say What

“No war bonnett here. Was against the Iraq war from the start.”
Wonderful! Proud of ya’!

“Back to the point again. Please tell me who would have expected what happened on 9/11, and then compare that thought to your question of how many countries Iran has invaded.”

Whatever for? If you want to waste your time comparing apples stove pipes go right ahead.

“Here’s another question – Prior to Columbine, how many schools were invaded by murderous disgruntled students bearing semi-automatic weapons and killing/maiming/wounding dozens of innocent people?”

Actually the numbers would surprise you. I did the research a while back the number of school shootings has not significantly increased, simply become more public. This list goes back to 1966…

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/national/2008/02/15/timeline-of-school-shootings.html?PageNr=3

“”Your words appear far to nearsighted for you to be a person who is truly concerned with your “clear” sight.”"

Seems you’re wrong about that.

Bruno

September 30th, 2009
3:20 pm

“And you fraud conservatives won’t even salute your CiC! Even though he did exactly what you wanted.”

“Calling Barry an entrusted leader is pushing it, he will get the Olympics into Shytown though!”

Awesome, AmVet and Gandalf both here at the same time! I’m visualizing the end of “Commando” when Arnold and Vernon Wells went mano-a-mano!

Gandalf–you know I was being tongue-in-chhek with the “entrusted” part.

Am–forgot to give you a tip of the hat for the Manfred Mann “Spirits in the Night” last week. The whole Nightingales and Bombers album is a trip.

Turd Ferguson

September 30th, 2009
3:21 pm

PS…its our oil as we financed and given trillions of dollars to these crappy little countries. We can pay them some more money and get what is RIGHTFULLY OURS or take it by force.

A bomb is a terrible thing to waste.

md

September 30th, 2009
3:22 pm

[[They are not insane enough to believe that they can attack ANYONE with any of those weapons without knowing they will draw an immediate, rapid and overwhelming response from many countries.]]

Might want to look up the role of martydom within the muslim religion. Being a theocracy, why would anyone rule out the ultimate sacrifice. If they get to go to paradise and knock out Isreal all at the same time, might sound good to them.

The option of doing nothing only applies if we plan to abandon Isreal (the only democracy in the ME, Lebanon trying hard) as they will not allow Iran to have nukes. Too dangerous – see above. Although the crusades may be over, these folks are still fighting the same war.

As nj has stated, shiites and sunnis don’t like each other. We have an agreement to protect many of the arab countries in the ME from Iran. We are slap dab in the middle of it.

As for Mrs G asking who has Iran attacked. Try Isreal and the US. Isreal through their proxy armies in Gaza and Lebanon, the US by providing ied’s to kill our troops. They aren’t sitting over there being all goody goody.

Bosch

September 30th, 2009
3:22 pm

Taxpayer,

Me Number Nine? And her Number Six? :shock:

Paul

September 30th, 2009
3:22 pm

Bosch

That’s the difficulty when leaders use such words. “Unacceptable” in such usage generally means ‘we will not accept.’ It ups the ante. So the President says it’s unacceptable, Iran says ‘tough, accept it.’ Then what? Loss of credibility, encouragement of adventurism, loss of trust by others in the region and around the world…. the repercussions are significant.

There’s another wild card here – Israel. The US has a much better chance of crippling Iran’s nuclear development than does Israel. But if we don’t act, and if they perceive America as unreliable and perceive Iran to think America is weak, then the chance they will strike increases.

After all, if Iran develops a nuke and the US says an attack in Israel is unacceptable… well, that’s a word that had been used before.

TnGelding

September 30th, 2009
3:23 pm

Well, not that I’m endorsing it, but repeated destrution of progress at the site at opportune times would keep them from ever completing it. You can certainly understand why they would feel they would need to. We must do everything in our power to conveince them that they don’t.

N.J.

September 30th, 2009
3:24 pm

“Good point, NJ, except at some point these folks are going to have to put the past behind them and move forward. At some point the ethnic/religious/tribal loyalties which divide them must be culturally diminished, as we have done for the most part here in the US.”

Why?

To be honest they have been around doing stuff their way for a long time. They will probably be around long after the United States is remembered like the Roman Empire is. Fallen and history.

That is another part of the American arrogance. That somehow our system is better and transportable. The others tend to view it as an infectious disease, rather than a beneficial cure.

There are good historical reasons for those ethnic/religious and tribal loyalties that have stood the test of time, while imperial power after imperial power failed to assert and dominate those regions. They did not and could not for reasons. Some may be bad, but most are likely good because they stood that test of time.

A British writers once wrote that the only reason that the American political and economic experience survived and thrived is because it inherited a “big fat fowl of a country” he was talking about the frontier. We could afford the luxury of making mistake after mistake after mistake and experimenting because we could just move the frontier and get more or whatever we wasted in experimenting.

The older societies and cultures that have been around for millenia do not have this luxury.
They have been using their resources for much, much longer and have to be more careful in how they use what remains.

jconservative

September 30th, 2009
3:24 pm

Subject change: My apologies Jay. This is big for a lot of us.

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide whether strict local and state gun control laws violate the Second Amendment, ensuring another high-profile battle over the rights of gun owners.
The court said it will review a lower court ruling that upheld a handgun ban in Chicago. Gun rights supporters challenged gun laws in Chicago and some suburbs immediately following the high court’s decision in June 2008 that struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia, a federal enclave.
The new case tests whether last year’s ruling applies as well to local and state laws.

The case is McDonald v. Chicago, 08-1521.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld ordinances barring the ownership of handguns in…Oak Park, Ill.
Judge Frank Easterbrook, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, said that “the Constitution establishes a federal republic where local differences are to be cherished as elements of liberty rather than extirpated in order to produce a single, nationally applicable rule.”
“Federalism is an older and more deeply rooted tradition than is a right to carry any particular kind of weapon,” Easterbrook wrote.
Evaluating arguments over the extension of the Second Amendment is a job “for the justices rather than a court of appeals,” he said.
————-
Notice how he bounced the case to the Court afater making his soapbox speech on federalism.

What will the Court do?

AmVet

September 30th, 2009
3:24 pm

SW,

I stand by my assertion. Dick Cheney, and his puppet GWB, were hands down the biggest scumbags and deadliest liars to ever darken the hallways of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Worse even than Nixon/Agnew. Which took some real doing.

Ron Paul?

An interesting guy. And IMHO preferable to ANY of the right-wing darlings on that stage except McCain. His biggest problem in my view was trying to walk the line between being a Republican and a so-called Libertarian.

One or the other, Dr. Paul.

And frankly being associated with the GOP at this point in the game is a real deal breaker for many, many, many Americans.

I thought he had some great ideas about getting the government out of people’s personal lives. (Ronnie would roll over in his grave if he knew one of his “own” were trying to disband the Sex Police and end his abysmally failed and pathetic War on Drugs.)

And also trying to combat the military-industrial complex that owns the men in Washington DC.

There are any number of people here who are not remotely attentive to detail and who view my incessant neo-con bashing (and yes rants) as some sort of endorsement for the Democrats.

Puerile nonsense.

Of which I have tried to disabuse the conned countless times. But like rats running after the cheese they can see nothing else and have roven time an again that they cannot begin to think for themselves.

This is likely because the worst are lacking in intellectual curiosity, have never even mastered standard, written English and who have been so thoroughly trained and manipulated by the American Politbuto that they see EVERYTHING in the context of this failed duoploy of Democrat/Republican.

This outdated model is in my mind perhaps the greatest aspect of the enormous problems acing the nation…

Confrusion

September 30th, 2009
3:25 pm

Developing the means of not needing oil is far easier than affording the meaning to not use oil.

Utensils

September 30th, 2009
3:25 pm

AmVet needs to change his moniker to Grumpy Grandpa. He sure is cranky when he wakes up from his nap.

@@

September 30th, 2009
3:28 pm

DHULUIYA, Iraq — Iraqi politics has a new catch phrase, the “yes we can” of the country’s coming parliamentary elections. It is “national unity,” and while skepticism abounds, it could well signal the decline of the religious and sectarian parties that have fractured Iraq since 2003.

Across the political spectrum — Sunni and Shiite, secular and Islamic — party leaders have jettisoned explicit appeals to their traditional followers and are now scrambling to reach across ethnic or sectarian lines. In some cases, the shift is nothing less than extraordinary.NYT

All they take from Obama are his words. This one goes to George W. Bush.

Keep it real, Iraq. Not much of that going on in these here U.S. of A.s.

Bruno

September 30th, 2009
3:28 pm

“People have an aversion to being dominated.”

“Better to Dominate than to be Dominated.”

Now there’s another Celebrity Death Match made in heaven–TF and NJ.

Gotta go with TF on this one.

AmVet

September 30th, 2009
3:28 pm

Earth to AmVet. Get a proof reader…

N.J.

September 30th, 2009
3:29 pm

And as long as we act as if it is ours and we can take it they will respond with terrorism. The British attitude in 1776 was pretty much the same. Its ours we give them all this money, and therefore we can take it.. We beat the crap out of the British with French assistance mind you. And that attitude in Americans is infinitely beatable by those in other countries.

And actually we never gave them anything. The ratio was that we took 80 percent of the profits and let them have 20 percent. We actually do not PAY the Iranians for oil. Never did. We paid the oil companies who deemed to allow the oil nations to have a little money for us taking their oil.

Once they had legally elected government that decided they wanted a little more than 20 percent, we overthrew those governments. Nothing noble or decent or even honest about it. Just a fancy form of theft.

Matilda

September 30th, 2009
3:31 pm

Bruno, I like to keep my eyes open and deal with what is. That’s not “demonizing” the US, nor is it forgetting history. I’m not awash in the testosterone of having to prove my (or our) “dominant superpowers.” I believe that strength begins here at home, and that we should keep our own nose clean before pointing out the boogies in others’. Biting off more than we can chew and spreading ourselves too thin are not trite cliches upon which I want my tax dollars spent. What are our priorities? A strong, healthy, educated, productive populace = strength. Meddling in the millenia-long disputes of peoples on the other side of the world, not so much. Just my opinion.

@@

September 30th, 2009
3:31 pm

…and our brave troops.

Shame on me!

Bosch

September 30th, 2009
3:32 pm

Paul@ 3:22 –

Good points, and I agree, but it could also mean that we slap a bunch of sanctions on ‘em too. I am so damn sleepy right now!

Bruno

September 30th, 2009
3:34 pm

“Meddling in the millenia-long disputes of peoples on the other side of the world, not so much. Just my opinion.”

Not a bad strategy, until they start going nuclear. As I said above, we can’t risk a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. So act now, or suffer later is the way I see it from the sidelines.

Turd Ferguson

September 30th, 2009
3:34 pm

Oh yes Matilda…very well spoken like a good little Obamanic. I see you have drank your daily kool-aid. Good girl *pats Mattie on the head* now return to your slumber *chirp, chirp, chirp*.

md

September 30th, 2009
3:34 pm

“Nothing noble or decent or even honest about it. Just a fancy form of theft.”

Funny how that applies to other countries resources according to NJ as he continually campaigns for socialism.

N.J.

September 30th, 2009
3:35 pm

The only thing I liked about Ron Paul was telling the truth about why 9/11 occurred. He had balls. I must admit. He pinned it where it belonged. Six decades of foreign policy. Applause for the man.

His libertarian views on economics leave much to be desired. They have never resulted in a free democratic society, but have always ended up creating tyrannical governments, based on a gentry class that owned the majority of whatever was the prevailing form of wealth. It created a landed gentry in Europe and a monied gentry of corporate executives in the United States once money became the primary base of wealth. European nobles rarely had money. They had property.

AmVet

September 30th, 2009
3:35 pm

Mystery meat flatware, you’re an ageist?

Or a Cheney fan?

Forsooth…

Follow me! Follow me to freedom!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhYxLd8O9lA

Bruno, you are welcome.

Paul

September 30th, 2009
3:35 pm

@@

I did not realize that was you Bosch was having words with downstairs. I just quickly scanned the pages. “Liar” is not a word you employ, even when frustrated. Normally you keep it about the ideas.