Gates is right: There’s no clear answer for Iran

On Sunday, the New York Times reported that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates wrote a secret memo in January to the White House warning “that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability.”

Wrote the Times:

“One senior official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the memo, described the document as “a wake-up call.” But White House officials dispute that view, insisting that for 15 months they had been conducting detailed planning for many possible outcomes regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

… in his memo, Mr. Gates wrote of a variety of concerns, including the absence of an effective strategy should Iran choose the course that many government and outside analysts consider likely: Iran could assemble all the major parts it needs for a nuclear weapon — fuel, designs and detonators — but stop just short of assembling a fully operational weapon.

In that case, Iran could remain a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty while becoming what strategists call a “virtual” nuclear weapons state.

According to several officials, the memorandum also calls for new thinking about how the United States might contain Iran’s power if it decided to produce a weapon, and how to deal with the possibility that fuel or weapons could be obtained by one of the terrorist groups Iran has supported, which officials said they considered to be a less-likely possibility.”

In response, the Obama administration moved quickly to downplay the story. Through his press secretary, Gates said that the Times article “mischaracterized (the memo’s) purpose and content.”

As the Washington Post reports:

“The memo was not intended as a ‘wake up call’ or received as such by the President’s national security team,” Gates said. “Rather, it presented a number of questions and proposals intended to contribute to an orderly and timely decision making process.”

The White House had also pushed back hard against the story when it was posted on the Times Web site Saturday night. Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said: “It is absolutely false that any memo touched off a reassessment of our options. The administration has been planning for all contingencies regarding Iran for many months.”

Various other officials, while acknowledging privately that Gates has sent some sort of memo on Iran, declined to discuss its content but suggested it was not an earth-shattering moment in the administration’s Iran discussions.

In that memo, Gates was merely stating the obvious. It doesn’t require top-secret intel and access to briefings to know that our options with Iran are limited. Nor does it take a Phd in international affairs to conclude that throughout the Bush administration and now into the Obama administration, we’ve lacked an effective strategy.

The easy, knee-jerk response is of course to resort to force. It’s an option that many Republicans are willing to hint at but in most cases stop short of outright advocating. They want the credit for acting tough, but not the responsibility that comes with it.

The Pentagon strongly opposes the military option, just as it did during the Bush administration. The generals and admirals understand that attacking Iran’s nuclear complex would be an act of war that in turn might touch off a much larger and longer conflict involving Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and the Gulf states, with potentially devastating consequences for global oil supply.

Unless we’re fully willing to shoulder that burden, we should find a better way to address the problem.

A couple of other considerations also come into play. Given the secretive nature of Iran’s program and the steps it has taken to protect its nuclear complex from attack, experts predict that an attack would probably only delay Iran’s nuclear ambitions for three or four years. Just as critically, an attack by either the United States or Israel would rally the nationalistic Iranians around their government, throttling the resistance movement that offers our best hope for more responsible Iranian leadership.

None of that offers a clear, effective way forward of course. That’s probably because no such strategy exists. The world is like that sometimes.

236 comments Add your comment

USinUK

April 19th, 2010
11:39 am

all covered in ash … and still first.

Bosch

April 19th, 2010
11:42 am

“The easy, knee-jerk response is of course to resort to force. It’s an option that many Republicans are willing to hint at but in most cases stop short of outright advocating.”

What have they done exactly so that we are hinting at attacking them?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

USinUK,

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes victorious!

JM

April 19th, 2010
11:42 am

We must stop the infidel volcano Eyjafjallajoekull with strict sanctions on Iceland and all those nations contemplating volcanic terrorism.

JM

April 19th, 2010
11:44 am

jt

April 19th, 2010
11:45 am

“The easy, knee-jerk response is of course to resort to force. It’s an option that many Republicans are willing to hint at but in most cases stop short of outright advocating.”

There is no knee-jerking here. The R & D plan this kinda stuff for years. The only jerking is with the people that vote for them.

“When President Obama presented his budget recently for fiscal year 2011, he proposed that the Pentagon’s outlays be increased by about 4.5 percent beyond its estimated outlays in fiscal 2010, to a total of almost $719 billion. Although many Americans regard this enormous sum as excessive, few appreciate that the total amount of all defense-related spending greatly exceeds the amount budgeted for the Department of Defense.”

http://www.lewrockwell.com/higgs/higgs147.html

USinUK

April 19th, 2010
11:46 am

how do you solve a problem like Ahmadinijad? well, first of all, you need to disavow the idea that there is a simple solution.

I think, whatever is done, it’s going to require a regional solution – this can’t be the west vs. Iran … it has to involve Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, UAE, Pakistan, India, etc – they ALL have a stake in this game.

and secondly, it has to involve the people of Iran – they are finding their voice and are losing their fear of using it forcefully. they need to realize what is at stake for them if Iran continues down this road.

just my £0.02.

JM

April 19th, 2010
11:47 am

pence not accepted as currency in USinUK

USinUK

April 19th, 2010
11:47 am

Bosch – “Like a phoenix rising from the ashes victorious!”

yep. that’s me, alrighty … all victorious and stuff … :-)

jewcowboy

April 19th, 2010
11:48 am

USinUK,

“all covered in ash … and still first.”

Don’t make an ash of yourself ;)

JM

April 19th, 2010
11:49 am

in addition, we are insulted by the suggestion that your £0.02 are worth more than our $0.02

USinUK

April 19th, 2010
11:53 am

jm – “in addition, we are insulted by the suggestion that your £0.02 are worth more than our $0.02″

using the current exchange rate, my £0.02 is currently worth $0.0324 … but, since we’re all friends here, I’ll leave out the bid/ask spread, making my £0.02 worth $0.0304 :-)

jewcowboy

April 19th, 2010
11:53 am

USinUK,

“how do you solve a problem like Ahmadinijad?”

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/iran-so-far/169811/

jefferson

April 19th, 2010
11:57 am

Send Iran a map with red x’s denoting where we will strike them with nuclear arms if they use a weapon of mass destruction. If they do, then do it.

JM

April 19th, 2010
11:57 am

Then henceforth, I will only contribute my $0.04. However, I’m free-arbing off someone else’s ideas. More profit that way.

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/66032/james-m-lindsay-and-ray-takeyh/after-iran-gets-the-bomb

AmVet

April 19th, 2010
12:00 pm

Who would Jesus bomb?

Thank gawd, McSame isn’t near the buttons…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-zoPgv_nYg

JM

April 19th, 2010
12:03 pm

containment. fence’em off (to the best of our ability) and offer security agreements (retaliation agreements) to all of Iran’s neighbors in the event of attack. fun world we live in.

Paul

April 19th, 2010
12:04 pm

“Mr. Gates wrote of a variety of concerns, including the absence of an effective strategy…”

“Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said: “It is absolutely false that any memo touched off a reassessment of our options. The administration has been planning for all contingencies regarding Iran for many months.”

Rhodes says Gates is wrong?

“Gates was merely stating the obvious. It doesn’t require top-secret intel and access to briefings to know that our options with Iran are limited. Nor does it take a Phd in international affairs to conclude that throughout the Bush administration and now into the Obama administration, we’ve lacked an effective strategy.”

USinUK – back to that ‘Bush had a whole 8 months to turn around the bureaucracy to effectively deal with the warnings….’ thing…..

We’re now into, what, twice the time Bush had? And still, nothing? Not excusing the Bush Administration – just pointing out the parallels. ‘Cause I don’t excuse the Obama Administration in this regard.

“The easy, knee-jerk response is of course to resort to force. It’s an option that many Republicans are willing to hint at but in most cases stop short of outright advocating.”

Just Republicans? Have we forgotten the pronouncements of our now SecState Clinton and our now-President Obama on the campaign trail? Or all the ‘we will NOT allow Iran to get nukes’ since they’ve become SecState and Pres?

“The Pentagon strongly opposes the military option, just as it did during the Bush administration. The generals and admirals understand that attacking Iran’s nuclear complex would be an act of war”

They also understand the Obama Administration would have launched a preventive war. Hope the intel indicating an imminent threat is definitely conclusive and that Obama shares that all with us…. And that he gets a declaration of war from Congress…. And that he… hmmm… what else didn’t Bush do?

“Unless we’re fully willing to shoulder that burden, we should find a better way to address the problem.”

One thing conservatives have been critical of is the ineffectiveness of the Obama Administration in this regard over the last 15 months.

Bottom line: the Obama Administration has no effective, nonmilitary option. And that might make a military option more likely.

Paul

April 19th, 2010
12:08 pm

JM

“offer security agreements (retaliation agreements) to all of Iran’s neighbors in the event of attack.”

Saudi Arabia? Qatar? Iraq?

Why?

Outhouse GoKart

April 19th, 2010
12:09 pm

Lets send Jimmy Carter over for direct negotiations. With any luck the Iranians will keep him.

USinUK

April 19th, 2010
12:12 pm

Paul – “USinUK – back to that ‘Bush had a whole 8 months to turn around the bureaucracy to effectively deal with the warnings….’ thing…..”

I would have been happy if he just LISTENED to the warnings … but, considering that Ashcroft made terrorism a 2nd tier priority and that they never even made any appointments with Clark to hear his analysis, that wasn’t happening …

JM

April 19th, 2010
12:12 pm

Paul – so they don’t feel compelled to go build nukes themselves. Otherwise, the whole ME ends up nuclearized, and dis is a baaad ting.

@@

April 19th, 2010
12:13 pm

Gates is right: There’s no clear answer for Iran

Well, there was one…but Bush closed that window of opportunity on Cheney’s fingers.

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
12:13 pm

“Rhodes says Gates is wrong?”

The quotes you provided do no iullustrate this question. But these answer it in the negative:

“Through his press secretary, Gates said that the Times article “mischaracterized (the memo’s) purpose and content.””

“The White House had also pushed back hard against the story when it was posted on the Times Web site Saturday night. Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said: “It is absolutely false that any memo touched off a reassessment of our options. The administration has been planning for all contingencies regarding Iran for many months.””

It was the STORY Rhodes was criticising, not the memo.

Dave R.

April 19th, 2010
12:13 pm

The problem, as I see it Paul, is that since we are now woefully engaged in two incursions into Middle East countries, our military options are no virtually nil as well.

Iran is going to get the bomb, and heaven help them if they are dumb enough to use it.

Dusty

April 19th, 2010
12:13 pm

Well, if Robert M. Gates sent a memo to the White house, somebody better read it. That is one level headed man that even Obama had the good sense to keep in his cabinet. Now if they just LISTEN!

Sounds like the other “lighter” members of the Obama gang are saying “Pooh pooh! We knew that!” Hard for them to recognize the value of sensible planning and consideration that Gates seemed to find missing.

I wanted Robert Gates to run for president in the last election. But, alas, he is too sensible, modest and a mild speaker to make a hit with the masses. His way is no swooney star quality of charisma!

Robert M. Gates has an almost unbelievable record of good leadership. So I say again, SOMEBODY better read and listen to what he says. (Uh oh!!! I agree with Bookman!!!)

JM

April 19th, 2010
12:14 pm

Paul – by the way, we’ve already been doing this informally (and possibly formally, if one only had access to classified docs) for 2/3rds of your list. And Qatar is a side beneficiary.

Paul

April 19th, 2010
12:15 pm

UsinUK

Richard Clarke’s on NPR’s Fresh Air right now.

He’s discussing all the ways in which cyberwar can kill thousands of Americans. Just said the Obama Administration’s ignoring his warnings. Oops.

Fresh Air
Terry Gross
Former anti-terrorism czar Richard Clarke discusses the next threat facing National Security: Cyber War, Monday on NPR’s Fresh Air.

Paul

April 19th, 2010
12:23 pm

USinUK

[[I would have been happy if he just LISTENED to the warnings]]

So Obama Administration listened but can’t figure out what to do…. okaaaay.

JM

That’s the fear. But there are real problems with extending American nuclear guarantees to such countries and their current governments.

If we do extend the guarantees, there’s no reason for the Arab regimes to deal with Iran. Or to make concessions in their behavior towards Israel. So I think we should not make that offer.

Doggone/GA

Rhodes said they’d been preparing for ALL contengicies for months.

Gates said Obama Administration doesn’t have an effective strategy.

Let me put it this way. Gates is saying they’re planning for what they’ll do if worse comes to worse. Gates says we’ll get there because Obama Administration doesn’t have a way to make the contingencies inevitable.

Dave R.

We’re in a static, withdrawal mode in Iran.

Afg doesn’t at all impact an AF or Navy strike on Iran’s facilities. I don’t believe any of the contingencies we’re discussing envision a follow-on with ground forces (although I’m sure such has been gamed).

JM

I’m not aware of “informal” security guarantees that include assurance of nuclear response..

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
12:25 pm

“Rhodes said they’d been preparing for ALL contengicies for months.

Gates said Obama Administration doesn’t have an effective strategy”

I don’t see any conflict in these. They could very well have BEEN preparing for “all contingencies” but it’s still possible for one person to decide that none of those plans constitutes an EFFECTIVE strategy. He may, or may not, be correct.

@@

April 19th, 2010
12:25 pm

Something else I found interesting…it was the NYT that exposed the contents of the “secret” memo? The NYT leaks! What’s the problem with that paper….incontinence?

jefferson

April 19th, 2010
12:26 pm

For a country without nukes, there sure is a lot of fear of Iran. Is there money to be made in the fear business ??

You Distort/We Deride

April 19th, 2010
12:28 pm

Sarah Palin would be satisfied if we simply threatened to drop nukes on Iran if they continue their nuclear development…as long as she could see it out her back window. Trust, but verify.

@@

April 19th, 2010
12:35 pm

Off-topic but onto one downstairs. Normally I have no reservations when it comes to gays adopting, but if this story is true, there are reasons to be concerned.

That’s because this case involves a homosexual Duke University official
who does AIDS research; who lives with his partner in a sexually
liberated and eco-friendly housing community; who adopted two black
boys; who allegedly drugged and sodomized one of the boys; who allegedly
broadcast the sodomy online; and who reportedly offered the 5-year-old
boy up to other gay abusers on the Internet.

We all know how adept pedophiles are at infiltrating. This is a problem for the gay community.

Off to work in the yard. Perfect weather on and off…from sunny to cloudy. I’m partial to one and it ain’t the latter.

Paul

April 19th, 2010
12:38 pm

Doggone/GA

Gates (Defense) strategies are reactive. They’re what we do as a last resort. Rhodes says we’ve been preparing for all contingencies for months.

Rhodes is engaging in spin to deceive, to imply Gates is wrong because we’ve been preparing for months. What he’s saying is we’ve been preparing to execute strikes. It does not address Gates’s charge: that the Administration does not have an effective nonmilitary means to make those military contingencies unnecessary.

12:28 the ultimate Democratic answer when confronted with an ineffective Administration policy: say “Palin.”

Matilda

April 19th, 2010
12:38 pm

USinUK, We’re still covered in that yellow YUCK! Cleansing rain eludes us still.

On Iran, maybe if we do them a favor, you know, like invade their most hated neighbor, remove their arch enemy from power, and set the stage for Iran-friendly militants to increase their numbers in that country, THEN they’d realize we rate best-friend status! Oh wait… never mind.

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
12:38 pm

“there are reasons to be concerned.”

And would you be just as concerned if it was a heterosexual couple that did something like this? Think of the kidnapped girl who was found just recently.

This has nothing to do with homosexuality…and everything to do with a perverted lust for power.

Dave R.

April 19th, 2010
12:40 pm

Paul, my issue isn’t that we CANNOT do something militarily regarding Iran, but that we lack the moral standing due to our ill-conceived forays into Iraq and Afghanistan, and the will to do so given this current administration.

@@

April 19th, 2010
12:42 pm

Doggone:

And would you be just as concerned if it was a heterosexual couple that did something like this?

Not only WOULD I be, I AM. The difference is heterosexuals are not allowed to confront the gay community on their issues without being labeled a homophobe by people like you.

Now CIAO!

JM

April 19th, 2010
12:42 pm

paul, i’m not necessarily referring to nuclear response. The biggest risk, at least in some minds, is that Iran will use the nuclear weapon as protection to engage in conventional warfare. Our response, in part, could obviously be to protect states in the event of conventional warfare. Ala Kuwait, ala what we would do if Iran invaded Iraq or afghanistan.

This issue is too complicated for a blog. Suffice it to say, I’m not sure we drastically disagree. Not to be myopic, but I’m more worried about transportation in Georgia at the moment.

RW-(the original)

April 19th, 2010
12:43 pm

I seem to remember it was candidate Obama that went to AIPAC and stated unequivocally that there was NOTHING he wouldn’t do to prevent Iran from going nuclear. Since when is Obama a Republican? Actually I think he misread his speech. It probably read that he would do nothing, but a good start would have been standing with the people when they took to the streets to ask for freedom. As President he made a speech saying we would always stand with people striving for freedom, which apparently meant we would in theory but not if they actually did the striving.

RIP Neda Agha-Soltan

Outhouse GoKart

April 19th, 2010
12:43 pm

Beastiality seems to be the next underground problem. Well maybe not so much in Sweden.

Brings a whole new meaning to “Mary had a little lamb”.

md

April 19th, 2010
12:47 pm

“For a country without nukes, there sure is a lot of fear of Iran.”

Wonder why?

Might it be that the country is run by a theocracy,and radicals of the same persuasion have no problems with individuals strapping bombs on their persons and going boom.

There are many in this world where belief trumps reason, and to be the ultimate homicide bomber would appeal to these folks. And it will only take one to set everything in motion.

Iran will get their nukes – the only question will be will they use them. The rest of the world does not want to preempt, and Iran knows it.

And if a nuke finds its way to the black market, then what?

Mark

April 19th, 2010
12:49 pm

Accept and recognize Iran as a regional power house and deal with them at that level with respect. Demand transparency though IAEA and put in place other inspection mechanizem to ensure control and verification. Include them in WTO and have full diplomatic,cultural and trade relation with them.
Include them in the Palestinian and Israel land for peace negotiations and respect their opinion.
Assit them with their drug war and involve them in anti terror campaign. I will guarantee you world be a much safer place with Islamic Republic on our side.

Outhouse GoKart

April 19th, 2010
12:50 pm

IAEA = a group of talking heads and butt kissers.

Gator Joe

April 19th, 2010
12:53 pm

Jay,
The Chicken Hawks are at it again, hoping to involve us in another unnecessary, unjust war. Apparently public funding for Halliburton and Blackwater (or whatever they are called now) are beginning to dry up. Are we so weak [in the eyes of Conservatives] as to doubt the US military’s air forces, in days, could remove Iran from the face of the earth if need be? I might consider the use of force against Iran, if the Draft were reinstated and all of the conbat-averse Chicken Hawks were in Harms way.

AmVet

April 19th, 2010
12:54 pm

BHO and the United States of America truly has its hand full trying to recover from his predecessor’s Unending Policies of Failure as illustrated by the Cheney Doctrine – If there is only one chance in a hundred that you know what you’re talking about, you must act on it.

But the bottom line is that the immoral destructive neo-cons can never again be trusted with foreign policy.

Or domestic policy.

Or fiscal policy.

Or…

Nick

April 19th, 2010
12:55 pm

Mark: your comments made sense if we were dealing with a rational regime. They are repressive and brutal when they deal with their own brother ,sisters. World witness that last summer. They are not trust worthy.
I recommend a full invasion and regime change. In five years world be a much safer place to live without the Mullahs.

stands for decibels

April 19th, 2010
12:57 pm

I’m afraid this comment from the linked story seems all too plausible:

Is this the New York Times again leading the charge to attack another country? It sure sounds and feels like the beating of the war drums like the lead-up to the Iraq invasion. When will we hear about the mushroom clouds and the uranium from Niger?

and, lest we forget, a new version of Judith Miller claiming she was “proved f—ing right” about all that waxy war build-up stuff.

NANO THERMATE

April 19th, 2010
12:59 pm

The only way is to get the evil QRISTOFASCIST and oil hungry maddog YANK BUSTARDS and the NATO BUSTARDS out of the region.

911 was inside job and nato bustards were as guilty in making the lie stick.

get them out and make every african and moslem country like europe, belgium and iran, ie virtual nuclear power. even denmark is virtual nuclear and so is finland and iceland.

md

April 19th, 2010
12:59 pm

“Are we so weak [in the eyes of Conservatives] as to doubt the US military’s air forces, in days, could remove Iran from the face of the earth if need be?”

You mean like shock and awe……………7 years ago?

Unless we use nukes…………

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
1:00 pm

“The difference is heterosexuals are not allowed to confront the gay community on their issues without being labeled a homophobe by people like you”

And this has NOTHING TO DO with the issue of pedophelia. There is nothing to confront the “gay community” ABOUT. Not any more than there is something to confront the non-gay community about. Pedophelia is not about the sexuality of the perpetrator. It is only about their lust for power over those weaker than they are. Their sexual orientation MIGHT “inform” the sex of their target, but is not the CAUSE of their targeting a child.

AmVet

April 19th, 2010
1:05 pm

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
1:09 pm

“It does not address Gates’s charge: that the Administration does not have an effective nonmilitary means to make those military contingencies unnecessary”

and you know that Gates is the one that is correct…how? He’s entitled to his opinion. He’s even entitled to express that opinion. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s right and everyone else is wrong.

Outhouse GoKart

April 19th, 2010
1:11 pm

Uh…thats exactly what it means…Obama is wrong.

Paul

April 19th, 2010
1:12 pm

Dave R

The “will to use force” has many concerned, increased force in Afg notwithstanding.

JM 12L42

Yeah, many mistake a ‘what about this?’ as a disagreement. Not all blog posts are like that. Some of us even like to discuss. But I do not think it too complicated for a blog. You’d be amazed at how many good ideas come from people who aren’t qualified to have one!

RW-(the original) – glad you’re back. Heh heh heh.

Mark

[[I will guarantee you world be a much safer place with Islamic Republic on our side.]]

And what if they don’t want to be on ‘our side’?

AmVet

Kinda seems that regards Iran, the Obama Administration’s having a bit of a problem coming up with an effective counter to a neocon proposal.

AmVet

April 19th, 2010
1:18 pm

I think what Barry needs to do is to release a hurricane of hype based on irrational emotions, misinformation and BIG TIME fear.

You know, use words like mushroom clouds, smoking guns, Niger, national security, fight them over there, War on Terror, etc.

Then he needs to ensure that all dissenting, contrary or otherwise “not acceptable” opinions and voices are squashed.

In other words, basically cook the books to “go it alone”.

Then for the coup de gras completely botch almost everything about the operation. From the very get go. Get about 5,000 American kids KIA’d needlessly and then claim victory…

Paul

April 19th, 2010
1:19 pm

Doggone/GA

[[and you know that Gates is the one that is correct…how? He’s entitled to his opinion. ]]

Because no one has said what the United States’ effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability is.

JM

April 19th, 2010
1:20 pm

When will Obama fix the volcano problem? Oh chosen one, please put out the volcano so I can go to Europe. Please.

Paul

April 19th, 2010
1:20 pm

AmVet

[[Then he needs to ensure that all dissenting, contrary or otherwise “not acceptable” opinions and voices are squashed.]]

Well… he did lose his war with Fox…

:-)

Outhouse GoKart

April 19th, 2010
1:21 pm

AmVet…

Im surprised the Bush Crime Twins, George and Jeb, havent already made off with the entire US supply of “nukuler” weapons and sold them to the Iranians or held the US hostage in a “return George to the Presidency or else” blackmail scheme.

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
1:23 pm

“Because no one has said what the United States’ effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability is”

and maybe that’s because the policies proposed don’t fit their idea of what would be “effective” – just for an extreme example: if someone is absolutely convinced that the ONLY way to deal with Iran is to “nuke ‘em back to the stone age” then ANYTHING proposed that is “less” than that is going to be judged “ineffective”

Night Train

April 19th, 2010
1:26 pm

BEIRUT — A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear revealing clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes.

And we want them on our side?

AmVet

April 19th, 2010
1:28 pm

Paul, can you even imagine the rhetoric coming out of Washington right now, if 9/11 Rudy or one of the other Bush acolytes was sitting in the West Wing?

OMG.

They’d need a shop vac to suck up all that neo-con and chickenhearted drool…

Paul

April 19th, 2010
1:28 pm

Doggone/GA

This could be disposed of quickly by relating what, specifically, the Administration touts as its effective long-range policy for preventing Iran from acquiring nukes.

Outhouse GoKart

April 19th, 2010
1:29 pm

Night Train. That isnt such a far-fetched theory. Visited the clairmont lounge lately…all that excess cellulite has to have an effect on the earth crust, rotation and underground pressure buildup.

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
1:29 pm

“And we want them on our side?”

Trust me, we have our own brand of idiots like that. Only here it’s homosexuals that are responsible for disasters.

Paul

April 19th, 2010
1:31 pm

AmVet

I just finished lunch.

And just about lost it.

OMG………….

Sometimes it’s tough to admit there aren’t any good options. And sometimes its tougher to refrain from saying what you’ll do if what you can’t stop comes to pass (note to the Pres….).

JM

April 19th, 2010
1:31 pm

I think we have all finally learned what Iran has been up to. Underground tunnels to Iceland, where they have managed to cause a volcanic explosion with their new found nukes.

They must not have learned about wind directions though, because the volcano has affected their pacifist neighbor Europe far more than the infidel US.

Someone must find a way to contain the volcano.

Paul

April 19th, 2010
1:33 pm

AmVet

There may have been some decent options a year or so ago. But the Administration was too much about consensus with those who don’t want it and trying to make themselves different from ‘go it alone.’ Those options still exist, I’m just not sure if they’d be effective now.

Mick

April 19th, 2010
1:38 pm

**And if a nuke finds its way to the black market, then what?**

Duck and cover, try not to live in NY, DC or florida – cause bad things happen here..

Normal

April 19th, 2010
1:42 pm

The knowledge of science is mind boggling…is this the mind set
that we want to have the bomb? Yes, :D

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/iranian-cleric-promiscuous-women-473697.html?cxntlid=thbz_hm

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
1:45 pm

“This could be disposed of quickly by relating what, specifically, the Administration touts as its effective long-range policy for preventing Iran from acquiring nukes.”

Except it may not be a case of “specificity” – because it does no good to have plans in place for Iran to “jump to the right” and then find they’ve “jumped to the left” It may be more a case of having a list of contingency plans to pull from…depending on how Iran seems to be trending.

And, there’s the issue of giving Iran too many clues…and the time to develop a counter to them. Keeping the contingencies closer to our “chest” may actually BE one of the contingency plans. “Keep ‘em guessing” can be very effective, if used correctly.

Mick

April 19th, 2010
1:46 pm

Normal

I’m expecting a class 12 tsunami to be hitting miami beach any day – these women flaunt their assets quite irrevalently, which is no problem for me…..just sayin

AmVet

April 19th, 2010
1:48 pm

“BEIRUT — A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear immodest clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes.”

Who knew there were Islamic versions of Charlatan Falwell?

The Snake Oil Salesman who ascribed the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center to “the pagans, the abortionists, and the feminists and the gays and lesbians.”

Bosch

April 19th, 2010
1:48 pm

“its effective long-range policy for preventing Iran from acquiring nukes.”

We’ve had this discussion before, but why do we need a long-range policy on something that is probably gonna happen anyway, and we are really powerless to do anything. I know that Obama has said, “iran can’t have nukes no matter what or else” – but saying and doing anything about it are two totally different things.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Impeach Drunken Fool obozo! Just sayin...

April 19th, 2010
1:49 pm

Annihilate now! Talk later!

Uh, that’s Iran’s “answer,” just sayin…..

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
1:51 pm

“They must not have learned about wind directions though”

Yep. They should have dug the other way and set off a Pacific volcano!

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
1:54 pm

“Annihilate now! Talk later!”

Paul…I rest my case about “effective” plans and those who judge them. Thanks Whiner, for proving my point for me.

Paul

April 19th, 2010
1:54 pm

Doggone/GA

It’s not about the contingencies. The Pentagon contingencies we’re discussing are to be used if the plans for how to keep Iran from getting nukes fail.

It’s the plan(s) for keeping Iran from getting nukes that’s the question. That’s what Gates said the Administration doesn’t have.

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
1:55 pm

“That’s what Gates said the Administration doesn’t have.”

Does he?

Paul

April 19th, 2010
1:58 pm

Doggone/GA

The contingencies Report/Whine referenced are the punishments.

It’s like if you have a kid who won’t do his chores. The contingencies – punishments – are what you do to him if he doesn’t clean his room.

That’s different from the long-range strategy to encourage the behavior to clean the room and keep it that way.

JDW

April 19th, 2010
1:58 pm

The best thing we had going for us relative to Iran was Saddam, opps those darn unintended consequences again. Now there is really no regional power save Israel and that most certainly ends bad. That means at the end of the day we really only have four choices:
1) Damn the torpedoes full steam ahead
2) Subversion
3) Russia and China…without their full support we will not be able to squeeze them enough to deliver any kind of results.
4) Do nothing and hope it turns out ok AKA just what we have been doing for the last 30 years or so.

mm

April 19th, 2010
2:00 pm

Gosh Jay, you’re scaring the bedwetters.

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
2:00 pm

“The contingencies – punishments – are what you do to him if he doesn’t clean his room.

That’s different from the long-range strategy to encourage the behavior to clean the room and keep it that way”

Yes, punishments are different from stratgies…but it’s not necessarily a case of many punishments, but only one strategy. You can, in fact in this case MUST, have contingent strategies as well. Because at this point we DON’T know which way Iran will jumep – so we have to be prepared to face whichever direction they take.

Bosch

April 19th, 2010
2:02 pm

“The best thing we had going for us relative to Iran was Saddam,”

I believe that too – when Bush had to change his tune from saving us from WMD to delivering the people from an evil dictator, he obviously showed his ignorance of how things work over there, imho.

Bosch

April 19th, 2010
2:02 pm

“to encourage the behavior to clean the room and keep it that way.”

I have found that impossible to do. With kids, and evil empires.

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
2:05 pm

“With kids, and evil empires”

Forget kids and evil empires…I can’t even make it work on MYSELF!

Bosch

April 19th, 2010
2:08 pm

Doggone,

“I can’t even make it work on MYSELF!”

Well, yeah, there is that too.

Paul

April 19th, 2010
2:09 pm

Doggone/GA 2:00

What we want is for Iran to not develop nukes.

We have contingencies/punishments if they do develop nukes.

Either they will, or they won’t.

We don’t have a strategy for ensuring they don’t.

That’s what has Gates concerned.

And the Administration’s response is “All is well.”

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
2:12 pm

“What we want is for Iran to not develop nukes”

Sure, that’s what we want. Are we going to get it? Probably not…unless you want to buy into the “nuke ‘em back to the stone age” scenario.

“And the Administration’s response is “All is well.””

I’d like to see that quote. Just because they aren’t shouting “run for your lives” off the rooftops doesn’t mean they don’t have a finger on the pulse of what is happening…and not happening.

JDW

April 19th, 2010
2:13 pm

Bosch, I with you on the 2:02. Of the long list things Mr. Bush clearly did not understand this one may well be in the top two before we are done.

JDW

April 19th, 2010
2:14 pm

opps “I am with you” fat fingers get you in trouble.

Bosch

April 19th, 2010
2:16 pm

Paul,

“That’s what has Gates concerned.

And the Administration’s response is “All is well.””

Are you so certain that it is “All is well,” or more like “There’s sqat we can do.” I mean as I said earlier, what is illegal about them developing nukes? What have they done to warrant an attack from us?

jefferson

April 19th, 2010
2:17 pm

It is 60 year old technology. Fuel and delivery is the problem and it is only a matter of time. A deterent worked against the USSR, but won’t against Iran? Give them that map with the x’s !!!

Paul

April 19th, 2010
2:18 pm

Doggone/GA

“All is well” was a parody of Rhodes’s statement.

[[“What we want is for Iran to not develop nukes”

Sure, that’s what we want. Are we going to get it? Probably not}}

Because the Administration doesn’t have a plan.

That’s Gates’s point.

The Cylons had a plan.

Obama should learn.

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
2:18 pm

Bosch – “What have they done to warrant an attack from us?”

And here’s another take on it: what is our success rate in stopping other countries from acquiring nuclear weapons? Just off the top of my head, the only one I can think of is Nazi Germany.

JDW

April 19th, 2010
2:18 pm

Just to give everyone nightmares, look 10 years into the future. One very real possiblity is a united Iran/Iraq with bombs, oil and that deep seated belief that their religion is the only real way.

Doggone/GA

April 19th, 2010
2:20 pm

“Obama should learn”

I think he already has. There is no plan. There’s nothing we can do…short of the nuke ‘em scenario…to actually prevent them from developing the weapons, if that’s what they choose to do.

See my question to Bosch about our “success rate”

Paul

April 19th, 2010
2:20 pm

Doggone/Ga

Just substitute “Iranians” for Cylons.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLCej27ot4w

:-)

Bosch

April 19th, 2010
2:22 pm

Paul,

“Because the Administration doesn’t have a plan.”

I think that’s preposterous. Plain and simple poppyc0ck.

Doggone,

“the only one I can think of is Nazi Germany.” Yeah, and that wasn’t so much all US.