cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2016 06:16 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I know. It's a 'what if' scenario.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2016 06:29 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Well he's talking about bombing them to prevent them building the nuke so it seemed incongruous.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2016 11:24 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
I know but I find this worldview too simplistic. There are undeniable costs to bombing other countries.

I don't perceive any costs.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Then this is a cost. An opportunity cost. Bombing will kill all cooperation we have on this, we'll become the bad guys. You can just say you don't care etc about the world and their opinions since we can just bomb everyone and all but that does matter. We will see a further reduction in our soft power, what you described as the more effective power in this situation.

We wouldn't become the bad guys, any more than the police become the bad guys when they shoot at bank robbers.

I'm not good enough with soft power to understand what would increase or decrease it. But bombing as a last resort would be preferable to letting Iran get nukes.


Robert Gentel wrote:
That is the kind of thing that may well result in sanctions against the US.

I doubt it. Crippling a nation's economy is a legitimate method of warfare. If merely bombing their nuclear sites didn't deter them from building new nuclear sites, we would have a good case that it was necessary to escalate.


Robert Gentel wrote:
And I don't share the notion that that is all just fine because it will hurt other countries.

Not all fine. Just trying to make the best of a bad situation. There is nothing that I can do to change Mr. Trump's mind regarding trade.

When you see that something bad is going to happen, and see that you will avoid the worst of it, you might as well be grateful that you're going to avoid the worst of it.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Bombing economic targets in Iran will have precisely one country in favor (Israel, and even that will be controversial in their country) and unite the entire world against us.

Plenty of the world would understand that we were only doing what was necessary to preserve the Non Proliferation Treaty.


Robert Gentel wrote:
I get that you just don't care about this harm and like to think our might just makes right but that is really where our views drastically differ.

It is not our might that makes us right. We are right because we are upholding international law and preventing Iran from wreaking mayhem around the world.

It is a stroke of luck for the world that the world's most powerful country is also moral and upstanding.


Robert Gentel wrote:
We can't find them all, and they can fortify them even further (to the point that we'd have to use tactical nukes, which would just not fly, to use nukes to kill a nuclear program that might merely produce nukes).

We might be able to find them all. So far we've been pretty good at finding their secret sites. If not, we can find enough to derail their overall program.

So far Iran has been incredibly bad at fortifications. So bad that their fortifications are almost a parody of fortifications. They have a long way to go before they build something that would require nukes to destroy.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Bottom line is that outside of Israel bombing a sovereign country over the concern of non-proliferation is seen as insane and would make the US a global pariah. Iran has no obligation like Iraq with the UN and there is no legal basis whatsoever for this act. This would turn our allies against us and for little to no strategic gain.

Only the bad guys would see us as a pariah.

Iran signed the NPT. They have a legal obligation to not develop nuclear weapons.


Robert Gentel wrote:
No, it wouldn't. It is not ideal, but represents a negligible risk. Bombing Iran represents a much bigger risk of regional conflict (they could decide to retaliate at Israel and we could get drawn into a ground war).

This is a slippery slope argument. It is not ideal to have more countries have nuclear weapons, and yes it will inspire the Saudis and others to pursue it but it won't be the end of the world and nuclear war is not inevitable (just made incrementally more likely, of course).

Sometimes slippery slope arguments have a very good point.

Once nuclear weapons have spread to most of the world, the odds of a nuclear war will grow quite high. The odds of nuclear war not happening at some point are pretty slim.

The world will be much better off if the US preserves the NPT.


Robert Gentel wrote:
It already has. The current generation of Americans is not facing the same economic prospects of their parents or grandparents.

There was an economic dip after the financial crash. We'll get past it.

It was not caused because other nations have prospered.


Robert Gentel wrote:
I honestly don't think you are capable of seeing us declining, for sentimental reason.

It is because I do not see the rise of other powers as a zero sum game.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Well you certainly are consistent in your strength of conviction about things you want to happen. I am of the worldview that there is no way to have non-superficial predictions that far out, and that it represents a failure to acknowledge the role of random, situational factors that are simply not predictable.

Not exactly what I want to happen. It is true that I like the coming Republican victories because they'll protect my freedom from the Democrats, but Trump isn't exactly my first choice.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2016 10:27 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
I don't perceive any costs.


I know, you might want to get that fixed. ;-)

There are always some costs to bombing a country, if you see none at all it is only more starkly evident that you are not able to take a nuanced view of the situation.

Quote:
We wouldn't become the bad guys, any more than the police become the bad guys when they shoot at bank robbers.


The police uphold the law. In that case we would be breaking the law to prevent an entirely legal event from happening (Iran is under no obligation to refrain from nukes, they merely have to withdraw from a treaty that they have every legal right to).

Quote:
But bombing as a last resort would be preferable to letting Iran get nukes.


Only one country on earth (Israel) would possibly agree. To everyone else we would be the bad guys and they much prefer Iran having nukes than the US attacking who we want.

Quote:
I doubt it. Crippling a nation's economy is a legitimate method of warfare.


Yeah, but starting a war with Iran is not legal. We would be the aggressors.

Quote:
If merely bombing their nuclear sites didn't deter them from building new nuclear sites, we would have a good case that it was necessary to escalate.


No country on earth other than Israel considers it necessary to deter them at that cost. It would only be a "good case" to people like you already convinced that the folly is sound.

And that's why we aren't going to do it, and this is a mood discussion.

Quote:
Not all fine. Just trying to make the best of a bad situation. There is nothing that I can do to change Mr. Trump's mind regarding trade.


You could reconsider your support for the party he is nominated to, but let's not get crazy here right?

Quote:
Plenty of the world would understand that we were only doing what was necessary to preserve the Non Proliferation Treaty.


No, it's a voluntary treaty and we would be breaking international law and be the villains.

Quote:
It is not our might that makes us right. We are right because we are upholding international law and preventing Iran from wreaking mayhem around the world.


Your view of international law is not one shared by any other country. Not even Israel makes that argument, they simply don't care about international law in theirs.

Quote:
It is a stroke of luck for the world that the world's most powerful country is also moral and upstanding.


Attacking other countries might be something you consider moral but I guarantee that the world would not.


Quote:
So far Iran has been incredibly bad at fortifications. So bad that their fortifications are almost a parody of fortifications.


Natanz is fortified close to the point where only the most extraordinary of conventional weapons would be effective.

We have conventional "bunker busting" bombs capable of this but these are not as readily deployable as other conventional weapons and they can continue to fortify and hide these operations, short of invading and occupying we can't prevent them from having nukes if they are determined to have them. We can only change their cost calculus.

Quote:
Only the bad guys would see us as a pariah.


You mean the whole world other than Israel and possibly Saudi Arabia? Doesn't matter since this is in the realm of pure fantasy and won't happen, and the reason it is is because this is not true.

Quote:
Iran signed the NPT. They have a legal obligation to not develop nuclear weapons.


They can legally withdraw from it anytime they wish. And furthermore, we are insisting on restricting their nuclear program far beyond what the NPT requires.

Quote:
Sometimes slippery slope arguments have a very good point.


Sure, they can be correct, just like any argument can be correct. And when their validity is substantiated it is no longer a slippery slope fallacy, but failing to validate them makes them deeply flawed arguments given that a fantasy slippery slope can be constructed anywhere.

Quote:
Once nuclear weapons have spread to most of the world, the odds of a nuclear war will grow quite high. The odds of nuclear war not happening at some point are pretty slim.


Depends on how you define it. After all they have already been deployed in war. They are likely to be deployed again one day (the greatest current threat is non-state deployment).

And when smaller states like Iran develop them yes the chance of two states exchanging nuclear weapons becomes more likely.

But Mutually Assured Destruction levels of nuclear war remain a slim prospect for mankind. And advances of other weapons technology (missile shields etc) may server to mitigate their risk even fruther.

Quote:
The world will be much better off if the US preserves the NPT.


I agree, I just happen to think that the US abiding by international law and using its soft power is the best way, given that it is the only legal way. Using hard power against international law (which what you advocate undeniably would be) would undermine the NPT much more than if Iran joins the nuclear club.

Pakistan is much more of a risk with nukes than Iran is, and their joining the club (with a nuclear neighbor they are at deep odds with) has not killed the NPT and neither would Iran joining it.

Quote:
There was an economic dip after the financial crash. We'll get past it.


You are giving this short shrift. In the past low-level American workers (think retail workers etc) were able to have a house and a car on one person's low-level worker salary.

Those days are not coming back. This generation will never have it that easy. Their most skilled service workers will do better than ever, while the low-skilled American workers will not ever see the same luxury that their grandparents did.

Now that jobs compete on a global marketplace the low-skilled American worker is just not going to have it as easy ever again.

Quote:
It was not caused because other nations have prospered.


It is caused primarily by globalization, and when other nations prosper in the global marketplace it makes it more competitive for American workers.

American workers absolutely have suffered due to the rise of billions of people in China and India from poverty. I don't see this as a bad thing (for different reasons than you) but it is fact. Some of those millions of jobs have come at the cost of jobs in the US.

Quote:
Quote:
I honestly don't think you are capable of seeing us declining, for sentimental reason.


It is because I do not see the rise of other powers as a zero sum game.


I don't see it as a zero-sum game either, so that doesn't describe the differences in our thinking. It does not have to be a zero-sum game for the US to be declining on the global stage. I do think we differ in that you are a US nationalist while I do not have as much sentimental value for any state and that this is the reason I can tolerate the notion, the mere idea, of the US declining in power while you seem unable to even in theory.

Quote:
Quote:
Well you certainly are consistent in your strength of conviction about things you want to happen. I am of the worldview that there is no way to have non-superficial predictions that far out, and that it represents a failure to acknowledge the role of random, situational factors that are simply not predictable.

Not exactly what I want to happen. It is true that I like the coming Republican victories because they'll protect my freedom from the Democrats, but Trump isn't exactly my first choice.


I know he's not your first choice but your emotional response to seeing him as the inevitable Republican candidate is to double down on the wishful thinking and predict 5 consecutive Republican victories.

That doesn't make sense. He's not a palatable choice for even most Republicans and puts the Republican chances of winning this very next election in more jeopardy. He is not going to make it more likely to win 5 consecutive elections, he is going to make it less.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2016 11:49 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
Iran is under no obligation to refrain from nukes, they merely have to withdraw from a treaty that they have every legal right to).

It is debatable how easy it is for them to withdraw from the treaty. The language specifies that they have to have a good reason for withdrawing. I would argue that "I want to build nuclear weapons now" is not a good reason by itself.

However, even if it were legitimate for Iran to withdraw from the treaty and THEN start developing nuclear weapons, it is not legitimate for Iran to develop nuclear weapons while still a member of the treaty. And Iran cannot legitimize an already-illegitimate program by withdrawing from the treaty after the fact. So at this point there is no longer any possible way that Iran can develop nukes within international law.


Robert Gentel wrote:
I know, you might want to get that fixed. ;-)

There are always some costs to bombing a country, if you see none at all it is only more starkly evident that you are not able to take a nuanced view of the situation.

Nothing that can be fixed. My mind has its strengths and its weaknesses. Overall it serves me very well and I'm happy with it.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Only one country on earth (Israel) would possibly agree. To everyone else we would be the bad guys and they much prefer Iran having nukes than the US attacking who we want.

I think there are a lot more people around the world who would be happy if the US bombed a country, if that bombing were necessary to preserve the NPT.


Robert Gentel wrote:
And that's why we aren't going to do it, and this is a mood discussion.

I think you are underestimating the strength of America's resolve. Perhaps Mr. Sanders would not do it. But Mr. Obama would bomb Iran as a last resort. Mrs. Clinton (were she to be elected) would bomb Iran as a last resort. And certainly any of the Republican candidates would bomb Iran as a last resort.

I don't think it's going to happen. But that's because I think Mr. Obama's diplomacy with Iran will be successful.


Robert Gentel wrote:
You could reconsider your support for the party he is nominated to, but let's not get crazy here right?

As far as voting is concerned, I'm still ticked off at the Democratic Party over the 2008 Michigan primary and am still throwing all my votes to the Republicans in every general election.

Also, the Democrats would have to start respecting the Second Amendment before I could actively support them again. The Second Amendment is far more important than prosperity.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Your view of international law is not one shared by any other country. Not even Israel makes that argument, they simply don't care about international law in theirs.

I think my view of international law is quite mainstream.

Actually Israel is quite good about adhering to international law. They even go above and beyond what international law requires of them.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Natanz is fortified close to the point where only the most extraordinary of conventional weapons would be effective.

We have conventional "bunker busting" bombs capable of this but these are not as readily deployable as other conventional weapons

5000-pound bunker busters should suffice.

We have bombers that can easily carry 30,000-pound bunker busters.


Robert Gentel wrote:
You mean the whole world other than Israel and possibly Saudi Arabia?

No. I think most reasonable people see the merit in using military force to keep rogue nations from developing nuclear weapons.


Robert Gentel wrote:
I agree, I just happen to think that the US abiding by international law and using its soft power is the best way, given that it is the only legal way. Using hard power against international law (which what you advocate undeniably would be) would undermine the NPT much more than if Iran joins the nuclear club.

If Iran is allowed to develop nukes with no consequences, the NPT is gone.

It is hard to see how bombing a violator of the NPT would undermine the NPT.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Pakistan is much more of a risk with nukes than Iran is, and their joining the club (with a nuclear neighbor they are at deep odds with) has not killed the NPT and neither would Iran joining it.

Pakistan never signed the NPT to begin with. Iran has illegally developed nuclear weapons while a member of the NPT. They are completely different situations.

A better comparison to Iran is North Korea. They illegally developed nukes while a member of the NPT just as Iran tried to do. In the case of North Korea, the world hit them with crippling sanctions when they developed nukes.

It is possible that, were Iran to develop nukes, the world could preserve the NPT by isolating Iran the same way as North Korea. But the sanctions would have to be overwhelming.


Robert Gentel wrote:
You are giving this short shrift. In the past low-level American workers (think retail workers etc) were able to have a house and a car on one person's low-level worker salary.

Those days are not coming back. This generation will never have it that easy. Their most skilled service workers will do better than ever, while the low-skilled American workers will not ever see the same luxury that their grandparents did.

Now that jobs compete on a global marketplace the low-skilled American worker is just not going to have it as easy ever again.

Things were pretty good in the 1990s. I think we can return to the 1990s level of prosperity again.


Robert Gentel wrote:
American workers absolutely have suffered due to the rise of billions of people in China and India from poverty. I don't see this as a bad thing (for different reasons than you) but it is fact. Some of those millions of jobs have come at the cost of jobs in the US.

Specific jobs were lost, but other jobs were created. The economy is going to get better.


Robert Gentel wrote:
I don't see it as a zero-sum game either, so that doesn't describe the differences in our thinking. It does not have to be a zero-sum game for the US to be declining on the global stage. I do think we differ in that you are a US nationalist while I do not have as much sentimental value for any state and that this is the reason I can tolerate the notion, the mere idea, of the US declining in power while you seem unable to even in theory.

I can tolerate the notion, although it would be a tragedy for the world unless some equally-benevolent power were to rise in our stead.

I just don't see it as happening any time soon. And I don't see the rise of a rival power as causing the decline of the US.


Robert Gentel wrote:
I know he's not your first choice but your emotional response to seeing him as the inevitable Republican candidate is to double down on the wishful thinking and predict 5 consecutive Republican victories.

I'm basing it on logic, not on wishful thinking. My logic may be wrong. I don't claim infallibility. But it is more than wishful thinking.


Robert Gentel wrote:
That doesn't make sense. He's not a palatable choice for even most Republicans and puts the Republican chances of winning this very next election in more jeopardy. He is not going to make it more likely to win 5 consecutive elections, he is going to make it less.

Let's compare notes after each of the next five elections. Maybe I'll be wrong. It's happened before. But I've also been right before. We'll see.

I looked at those online "invest in predictions" sites, and I could make a killing right now if I put money on Trump winning in a massive landslide. It's a shame I don't have a whole lot to invest.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2016 12:22 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
It is debatable how easy it is for them to withdraw from the treaty.


No, it is an entirely voluntary treaty and they can withdraw from it anytime they want. The only thing the world can or will do about that is economic sanctions.

Quote:
The language specifies that they have to have a good reason for withdrawing. I would argue that "I want to build nuclear weapons now" is not a good reason by itself.


That would work just fine. The treaty stipulates the right to withdraw from the treaty if it is deemed not in the interests of the country.

Quote:
However, even if it were legitimate for Iran to withdraw from the treaty and THEN start developing nuclear weapons, it is not legitimate for Iran to develop nuclear weapons while still a member of the treaty.


Which is why they have not done so. They are, just like Japan is, simply interested in being close should they decide to do so. This is perfectly compliant with the treaty, our conflict with Iran goes beyond this and we do not want them to have "break out" capacity which they can technically develop under the treaty.

Quote:
And Iran cannot legitimize an already-illegitimate program by withdrawing from the treaty after the fact. So at this point there is no longer any possible way that Iran can develop nukes within international law.


You do not understand this treaty or the laws involved then. The NPT treaty is entirely voluntary and everyone has the right to withdraw if they want. They will be faced with sanctions from the others.

Quote:
Nothing that can be fixed. My mind has its strengths and its weaknesses. Overall it serves me very well and I'm happy with it.


Doesn't mean all thoughts it produces can't be improved upon.

Quote:
I think there are a lot more people around the world who would be happy if the US bombed a country, if that bombing were necessary to preserve the NPT.


You don't understand the NPT, as this would not do anything to preserve it. It is a voluntary organization preserved through sanctions and the use of military force to prevent countries from obtaining nukes is not lawful.

Quote:
I think you are underestimating the strength of America's resolve. Perhaps Mr. Sanders would not do it. But Mr. Obama would bomb Iran as a last resort. Mrs. Clinton (were she to be elected) would bomb Iran as a last resort. And certainly any of the Republican candidates would bomb Iran as a last resort.


Nope. We'll say it might be on the table for the purpose of negotiations but I do not think we would do it. Either way it's not going to happen.

Quote:
I don't think it's going to happen. But that's because I think Mr. Obama's diplomacy with Iran will be successful.


I agree, but even if it fails we will not bomb Iran over it. We didn't bomb Pakistan over it, we didn't bomb North Korea over it and we will not bomb Iran over it.

Quote:
As far as voting is concerned, I'm still ticked off at the Democratic Party over the 2008 Michigan primary and am still throwing all my votes to the Republicans in every general election.

Also, the Democrats would have to start respecting the Second Amendment before I could actively support them again. The Second Amendment is far more important than prosperity.


That's fine but don't pretend like there's nothing you can do about a Trump presidency, there's just nothing you are willing to do (nothing wrong with that).

Quote:
I think my view of international law is quite mainstream.

Actually Israel is quite good about adhering to international law. They even go above and beyond what international law requires of them.


I think you just call whatever you want to be international law international law but while Israel has generally high standards for combat they are most certainly flouting various international laws. They are in violation of UN resolutions just as Saddam was. Their bombing of the Osirak reactor was illegal and there are plenty of cases where they simply do not care for international laws and do what they see as being in their interests.

Quote:
No. I think most reasonable people see the merit in using military force to keep rogue nations from developing nuclear weapons.


The world is much more scared of the US as a rouge nation than Iran.

Quote:
If Iran is allowed to develop nukes with no consequences, the NPT is gone.


No it isn't. It wasn't gone when North Korea or Pakistan did it and won't be gone over Iran either.

Quote:
It is hard to see how bombing a violator of the NPT would undermine the NPT.


1) Iran is not in violation
2) the NPT establishes the right to withdraw
3) the UN establishes the illegality of bombing Iran for their right to nuclear technology

Bombing Iran would undermine international law, it would be illegal Iran developing nukes is legal and withdrawing from the NPT is their right.

Quote:
Pakistan never signed the NPT to begin with. Iran has illegally developed nuclear weapons while a member of the NPT. They are completely different situations.


Iran did not develop nukes.

Quote:
A better comparison to Iran is North Korea. They illegally developed nukes while a member of the NPT just as Iran tried to do. In the case of North Korea, the world hit them with crippling sanctions when they developed nukes.


The world hit Pakistan with sanctions too and would do so if Iran did.

Quote:
It is possible that, were Iran to develop nukes, the world could preserve the NPT by isolating Iran the same way as North Korea. But the sanctions would have to be overwhelming.


The sanctions already brought them to the table, and these were sanctions we mustered now without them having nukes and while being compliant.

Yes, the sanctions they would face if they withdrew from the NPT would be severe and are strong enough that it is not in Iran's benefit to do so. But if we were to bomb them we would galvanize nationalism and increase their willingness to endure sanctions.

Quote:
Things were pretty good in the 1990s. I think we can return to the 1990s level of prosperity again.


Maybe, I doubt it. But ultimately it would still represent a decline in standards of living from America's peak.

Quote:
Robert Gentel wrote:
I know he's not your first choice but your emotional response to seeing him as the inevitable Republican candidate is to double down on the wishful thinking and predict 5 consecutive Republican victories.

I'm basing it on logic, not on wishful thinking. My logic may be wrong. I don't claim infallibility. But it is more than wishful thinking.


I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, I think calling it logic is just more wishful thinking.

Quote:
Let's compare notes after each of the next five elections. Maybe I'll be wrong. It's happened before. But I've also been right before. We'll see.


Let's just wait till the next one, I think you'll be wrong on the first try.

Quote:
I looked at those online "invest in predictions" sites, and I could make a killing right now if I put money on Trump winning in a massive landslide. It's a shame I don't have a whole lot to invest.


At least your money is not as confident as your mouth is, that is actually a good thing here. I think you are being unreasonably confident.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2016 12:30 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
Quote:I looked at those online "invest in predictions" sites, and I could make a killing right now if I put money on Trump winning in a massive landslide. It's a shame I don't have a whole lot to invest.

You do understand that the majority of Trump's supporters are the uneducated?
Good luck with your bet. You need it.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2016 06:13 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
That would work just fine. The treaty stipulates the right to withdraw from the treaty if it is deemed not in the interests of the country.

Not exactly. It requires extraordinary events involving nuclear weapons that jeopardize the interests of the country.

"Deciding that they want to build nuclear weapons now" is not an extraordinary event that jeopardizes the interests of their country.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Which is why they have not done so. They are, just like Japan is, simply interested in being close should they decide to do so. This is perfectly compliant with the treaty, our conflict with Iran goes beyond this and we do not want them to have "break out" capacity which they can technically develop under the treaty.

That is incorrect. Iran has been illegally working on the development of nuclear weapons for decades.


Robert Gentel wrote:
You do not understand this treaty or the laws involved then. The NPT treaty is entirely voluntary and everyone has the right to withdraw if they want.

Only if they have not already been developing nuclear weapons, and only if they can present a good reason for doing so.


Robert Gentel wrote:
They will be faced with sanctions from the others.

Yes.

There would be no sanctions if they withdrew legitimately (i.e. for a good reason, and without having worked on nuclear weapons before withdrawing).

They face sanctions when their withdrawal from the treaty is illegitimate.


Robert Gentel wrote:
We'll say it might be on the table for the purpose of negotiations but I do not think we would do it.

Have you forgotten how often the United States goes to war with other countries in order to uphold international law?

A simple bombing raid against a few nuclear sites would be "just another Tuesday morning" in the US.


Robert Gentel wrote:
We didn't bomb Pakistan over it, we didn't bomb North Korea over it and we will not bomb Iran over it.

Pakistan, like India and Israel, never signed the NPT. That means their development of nuclear weapons is perfectly lawful.

North Korea has a mass of artillery waiting to pounce on Seoul. It kind of deterred us. Luckily the world hammered North Korea with overwhelming sanctions. If not for those sanctions, the NPT would already be dead.


Robert Gentel wrote:
That's fine but don't pretend like there's nothing you can do about a Trump presidency, there's just nothing you are willing to do (nothing wrong with that).

The only way I could prevent Mr. Trump from becoming president would be to go back in time and convince Mr. Obama not to pursue the 2013 gun control debacle.

It's out of my hands I'm afraid. But Mr. Trump won't be all bad. We're finally going to see the end of this terrible assault against the Second Amendment.


Robert Gentel wrote:
I think you just call whatever you want to be international law international law but while Israel has generally high standards for combat they are most certainly flouting various international laws. They are in violation of UN resolutions just as Saddam was. Their bombing of the Osirak reactor was illegal and there are plenty of cases where they simply do not care for international laws and do what they see as being in their interests.

The notion that it is illegal to bomb an illegal nuclear weapons program seems... well it just fails to compute for me.


Robert Gentel wrote:
The world is much more scared of the US as a rouge nation than Iran.

Those people are silly.


Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
If Iran is allowed to develop nukes with no consequences, the NPT is gone.

No it isn't. It wasn't gone when North Korea or Pakistan did it and won't be gone over Iran either.

Pakistan's development of nuclear weapons did not violate the NPT.

North Korea's development of nuclear weapons carried harsh consequences (crushing sanctions). Had North Korea been allowed to develop nukes with no consequences, that too would have been the end of the NPT.

If Iran developed nuclear weapons and then faced harsh crushing sanctions like North Korea, the NPT would survive.

If any member of the NPT (including Iran and North Korea) were ever allowed to develop nuclear weapons with no consequences, that would be the end of the NPT. Once one country is allowed to get away with it, every other country who wants nukes will simply follow in their footsteps.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Iran did not develop nukes.

They have not finished developing them, but Iran has worked on developing them for decades.


Robert Gentel wrote:
The world hit Pakistan with sanctions too and would do so if Iran did.

Any sanctions against Pakistan are unjust, as Pakistan's nukes are legal. Any such sanctions though were not overwhelmingly crippling as they are with North Korea.

If Iran were to develop nuclear weapons, and was then to face crushing sanctions as in the case of North Korea, that would save the NPT. But we'd have to count on the world to really smash them hard with brutal sanctions.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Yes, the sanctions they would face if they withdrew from the NPT would be severe and are strong enough that it is not in Iran's benefit to do so. But if we were to bomb them we would galvanize nationalism and increase their willingness to endure sanctions.

The thing about bombing and sanctions is that bombing only works before they develop nuclear weapons. Crushing sanctions are only applied after they develop nuclear weapons.

So if they are about to develop nuclear weapons, we would face a choice. If we don't bomb, we are gambling that the world will be willing to apply crushing sanctions on them after they develop nukes. If the world doesn't come through with those sanctions, then the NPT is gone.

Likely the decision on whether to bomb would be based on our sense of how willing the world would be to hit them with crushing sanctions. If we had high confidence that the world would be willing to use harsh sanctions to preserve the NPT, then it would be an easy decision not to bomb. But if it looked likely that they would be allowed to get away with building nukes without any consequences, then the case for bombing becomes much stronger.


Robert Gentel wrote:
At least your money is not as confident as your mouth is, that is actually a good thing here. I think you are being unreasonably confident.

I think you misunderstood. Before I can invest money, I have to have it to begin with. I could certainly invest a small amount and maybe pay for building my new computer (and I just might do that). But I don't have enough on hand to invest an amount that would produce returns that would change my life.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2016 03:00 pm
@cicerone imposter,
You are responding to the wrong person.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2016 03:18 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Sorry, my mistake. I copied and pasted from your post, and mistakenly gave your credit for that post.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2016 03:35 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
Not exactly. It requires extraordinary events involving nuclear weapons that jeopardize the interests of the country.

"Deciding that they want to build nuclear weapons now" is not an extraordinary event that jeopardizes the interests of their country.


They can really just say that they feel threatened by a nuclear power threatening to bomb them and wish to join the nuclear club. They have no obligation whatsoever to remain in the treaty if they don't want to and history has shown that other nations can and have withdrawn and all we can do about it legally is sanction them.

Quote:
That is incorrect. Iran has been illegally working on the development of nuclear weapons for decades.


No, you are overstating the case significantly. I don't dispute that their program is crafted so as to be useful for military means, but they have not yet weaponized any of it and what they have done so far is legal under the NPT.

Quote:
Only if they have not already been developing nuclear weapons, and only if they can present a good reason for doing so.


You are simply factually incorrect about this, Iran has the legal right to withdraw whenever they want.

You can make the case that we need to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons outside the framework of the NPT but under the NPT they have the right to withdraw, it is a voluntary treaty with the explicit right to withdraw from it.


Quote:
There would be no sanctions if they withdrew legitimately (i.e. for a good reason, and without having worked on nuclear weapons before withdrawing).

They face sanctions when their withdrawal from the treaty is illegitimate.


Incorrect, they would face sanctions no matter how they withdrew because that was the whole point of being in the NPT in the first place. The only carrot the world has for anyone being in the NPT is avoiding sanctions. No matter how they withdraw from the treaty the response would be sanctions. This is not necessarily stipulated by the NPT this is how the power calculus works.

Just as we used sanctions to get them to the table now (even as signatories to the NPT) that is the primary tool the world has to motivate any state to refrain from joining the nuclear club.

Quote:
Have you forgotten how often the United States goes to war with other countries in order to uphold international law?


No, and given that the US has overextended itself it makes it even less likely to do so. Had the US not invaded Iraq there would be capital (both political and resources) for using the military as a response to Iran, but now there is not.

There is not any political capital for a ground war against ISIS and it took way too damn long for there to even be enough political capital to bomb ISIS.

Barring any huge changes we are just not going to go to war over Iran and nukes and would not even be willing to bomb them over it. The American public would have none of that right now, and that is not going to change for a while.

Quote:
A simple bombing raid against a few nuclear sites would be "just another Tuesday morning" in the US.


This is a statement so absurd on its face that it really doesn't need any refutation.

Quote:
Pakistan, like India and Israel, never signed the NPT. That means their development of nuclear weapons is perfectly lawful.


If Iran withdraws so will they be perfectly lawful, and we didn't go to war with North Korea either.

Quote:
North Korea has a mass of artillery waiting to pounce on Seoul. It kind of deterred us. Luckily the world hammered North Korea with overwhelming sanctions. If not for those sanctions, the NPT would already be dead.


Iran has enough weapons ready to hit Israel too. We are just not going to get into a hot war with Iran unless they start it.

Quote:
The only way I could prevent Mr. Trump from becoming president would be to go back in time and convince Mr. Obama not to pursue the 2013 gun control debacle.


You are being comically single-minded here, no that is not the only thing, it's just one of the only things that you think about.

Quote:
It's out of my hands I'm afraid. But Mr. Trump won't be all bad. We're finally going to see the end of this terrible assault against the Second Amendment.


That's just more wishful thinking, the tendency in the long term in the US as in the rest of the developed world will be for more gun control.

Quote:
The notion that it is illegal to bomb an illegal nuclear weapons program seems... well it just fails to compute for me.


You are declaring it illegal as an ipse dixit, but you aren't who would adjudicate it. And even if Iran were in violation of the treaty the body that would have to declare it illegal or not and allow for a legal military response has two permanent members who would never do so.

Barring that the only way to argue a legal attack on Iran is self-defense and even you know that this would not be self-defense it would be pre-emption of capability.


Quote:
Robert Gentel wrote:
The world is much more scared of the US as a rouge nation than Iran.

Those people are silly.


They are not, Iran does not have any way to change their life at all but the US does and has. The US is the sole superpower and what we do and even how our economy goes affects them all.

We have been throwing our weight around recently with tenuous substantiation (i.e. Iraq misadventure) and the world is legitimately worried about what we do.

You yourself think that Trump will destroy international trade, yet think that the world is silly to be worried about the US. These positions do not reconcile logically.

Quote:
Pakistan's development of nuclear weapons did not violate the NPT.


Neither would Iran's they would presumably withdraw and face the sanctions. But do note that Pakistan was sanctioned none-the-less. The Clinton Administration sanctioned them and Bush lifted the sanctions in exchange for their cooperation post 9/11 with the campaign in Afghanistan.

Quote:
North Korea's development of nuclear weapons carried harsh consequences (crushing sanctions). Had North Korea been allowed to develop nukes with no consequences, that too would have been the end of the NPT.


The same would happen with Iran. You really don't seem to understand how the NPT works. The whole thing basically goes like this:

Let's all agree to limit the nuclear club to the extant members and sanction the countries that violate this.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. Anyone can be sanctioned whether or not they sign it if people decide to sanction them, and the whole point of the NPT is a sanctions club for

Quote:
If Iran developed nuclear weapons and then faced harsh crushing sanctions like North Korea, the NPT would survive.


You aren't paying attention, Iran faced harsh crushing sanctions even while compliant with the NPT. They are at the table now because this has debilitated their economy.

So if they withdrew, or violated it, of course there would be harsh sanctions. They would be completely destroyed economically and this is the only thing that keeps them from joining the nuclear club.

If they are willing to endure those sanctions then there's nothing that will stop them short of an illegal invasion and occupation of their territory.

Quote:
If any member of the NPT (including Iran and North Korea) were ever allowed to develop nuclear weapons with no consequences, that would be the end of the NPT. Once one country is allowed to get away with it, every other country who wants nukes will simply follow in their footsteps.


You aren't paying attention then, because every nation that joins the nuclear club since then has been sanctioned. That's how the whole thing works, yes.

Quote:
They have not finished developing them, but Iran has worked on developing them for decades.


So do many other countries party to the NPT, that is not proscribed by the NPT. They want the nuclear technology and want it ready to weaponize but refrain from weaponizing it. Japan could have nukes much faster than Iran could.

We simply see Iran as a rogue state and are not willing to let them get close enough to where they could withdraw from the treaty and weaponize it quickly. We want more of a time buffer.

That is what this is all about, but if they wanted to weaponize they could just abandon the NPT and do so, and face the sanctions. But we've already sanctioned them while being compliant with the NPT so it is bloody obvious that they would face much worse sanctions if they were to withdraw and/or weaponize.

Quote:
Any sanctions against Pakistan are unjust, as Pakistan's nukes are legal.


That's the only reason to join the NPT though. Why else would countries voluntarily do so? It is in their interest for there to be an NPT but it is not in any of their interest to join it. The sanctions are both the stick and the carrot that underpins the NPT.

Pakistan's nukes were legal, yes. The US sanctions were too. And no, none of this is "fair". The nuclear club denying new members is not inherently fair, and is not meant to be.

Quote:
Any such sanctions though were not overwhelmingly crippling as they are with North Korea.


That's because North Korea is sanctioned for a lot more than just the nukes. The sanctions would exist independent of the nukes because the sanctions are aimed at the regime toward regime change or Korean unification.

Quote:
If Iran were to develop nuclear weapons, and was then to face crushing sanctions as in the case of North Korea, that would save the NPT. But we'd have to count on the world to really smash them hard with brutal sanctions.


You are so weirdly informed about parts of this while being so weirdly uninformed about other basic parts. We do not have to count on it, we've already had it. The world has been ready to sanction Iran to the point it had to come to the table and this is while they have been compliant with the NPT.

Their oil had to be sold on the black market, their economy was being crushed. This is all just from people who agree with us that they should not be allowed to develop break out capacity, even if they comply.

If they go so far as to weaponize, or to withdraw from the NPT, the sanctions would be more severe, involving more players and this is all very obvious. This is how the whole NPT thing works, and how it always has.

Quote:
The thing about bombing and sanctions is that bombing only works before they develop nuclear weapons. Crushing sanctions are only applied after they develop nuclear weapons.


Both are demonstrably false. There are countries that have given up on WMD programs after the fact due to bombing (see Iraq) and there are countries that have been sanctioned prior to the development of nukes (see Iran, it was what just brought them to the table).

Quote:
So if they are about to develop nuclear weapons, we would face a choice. If we don't bomb, we are gambling that the world will be willing to apply crushing sanctions on them after they develop nukes. If the world doesn't come through with those sanctions, then the NPT is gone.


If the world you live in is the same world I do then there's no reason for this fantasy. It's obvious what would happen and no need to speculate about it.

If Iran develops nukes it will face crushing sanctions. This is obvious to the whole world, including Iran as it is the only reason they do not do so.

Quote:
Likely the decision on whether to bomb would be based on our sense of how willing the world would be to hit them with crushing sanctions. If we had high confidence that the world would be willing to use harsh sanctions to preserve the NPT, then it would be an easy decision not to bomb. But if it looked likely that they would be allowed to get away with building nukes without any consequences, then the case for bombing becomes much stronger.


There is no legal case for bombing them to prevent nukes. And there is no strategic case either. The sanctions obviously would happen and do work so there's no need for all this fantasy of yours.

Quote:
I think you misunderstood. Before I can invest money, I have to have it to begin with. I could certainly invest a small amount and maybe pay for building my new computer (and I just might do that). But I don't have enough on hand to invest an amount that would produce returns that would change my life.


Your prediction is so absurd that it would be given odds that a small amount bet would change your life if you actually won. If you can bet computer sized money you would win house-sized money for winning that bet.

But don't go do it, I'm not encouraging you to throw money away. I really do think it's a good thing you aren't as confident with your money as you are with these predictions.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2016 04:05 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Oralloy said
Quote:
Quote:
I think you misunderstood. Before I can invest money, I have to have it to begin with. I could certainly invest a small amount and maybe pay for building my new computer (and I just might do that). But I don't have enough on hand to invest an amount that would produce returns that would change my life.


I think too many people do not plan early enough to save money for that rainy day and/or retirement. My wife and I saved 15 to 20% of our income since early in our marriage. I've been retired since 1998, and we do not have money worries. Our home in the heart of Silicon Valley is worth more than $1.5 million, and we don't have a mortgage. We didn't know this area would become the center of high tech companies when we bought, so location, location, location is a very important consideration when buying a home. We just got lucky.

Too many people say they're going to start saving next year, but next year never comes.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2016 09:14 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
They can really just say that they feel threatened by a nuclear power threatening to bomb them and wish to join the nuclear club.

Such a claim would have no legitimacy. The only reason we would be bombing them to begin with would be because of their illegal weapons program. And we would be using conventional bombs if we did attack. If Iran made such a claim, that could not in any way legitimize their withdrawal from the NPT.

Note that my computer is kaput. Until I build a new one, my replies will be few and far between.


Robert Gentel wrote:
They have no obligation whatsoever to remain in the treaty if they don't want to and history has shown that other nations can and have withdrawn and all we can do about it legally is sanction them.

The treaty says they are only allowed to leave because of extraordinary events involving nuclear weapons that jeopardize their security.

Absent such extraordinary events, they are obligated to stay in the treaty.


Robert Gentel wrote:
No, you are overstating the case significantly. I don't dispute that their program is crafted so as to be useful for military means, but they have not yet weaponized any of it and what they have done so far is legal under the NPT.

It was not legal under the NPT for them to conduct research and testing on how to weaponize.

It was not legal under the NPT for them to try to keep their nuclear facilities secret.

And while the development of dual use technology is allowed under the NPT, it is questionable whether the NPT would allow it when it is clear that there is no civilian use being planned for it.


Robert Gentel wrote:
You are simply factually incorrect about this, Iran has the legal right to withdraw whenever they want.

You can make the case that we need to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons outside the framework of the NPT but under the NPT they have the right to withdraw, it is a voluntary treaty with the explicit right to withdraw from it.

The language of the NPT is clear. They are only allowed to withdraw if extraordinary events involving nuclear weapons threaten their security.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Incorrect, they would face sanctions no matter how they withdrew because that was the whole point of being in the NPT in the first place. The only carrot the world has for anyone being in the NPT is avoiding sanctions. No matter how they withdraw from the treaty the response would be sanctions. This is not necessarily stipulated by the NPT this is how the power calculus works.

If a country withdrew from the NPT legitimately, they would not face sanctions. Or if they did it would only be token sanctions that no one would bother to enforce.


Robert Gentel wrote:
No, and given that the US has overextended itself it makes it even less likely to do so. Had the US not invaded Iraq there would be capital (both political and resources) for using the military as a response to Iran, but now there is not.

There is not any political capital for a ground war against ISIS and it took way too damn long for there to even be enough political capital to bomb ISIS.

There is a sizable difference between bombing a few nuclear sites and an extended ground invasion.

Bombing would be trivial for the US.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Barring any huge changes we are just not going to go to war over Iran and nukes and would not even be willing to bomb them over it. The American public would have none of that right now, and that is not going to change for a while.

The American public won't have any objection to a simple bombing raid that will cost nothing and will be over before they even hear about it.

And the Obama Administration is resolved to bomb as a last resort, if it ever came to that.


Robert Gentel wrote:
This is a statement so absurd on its face that it really doesn't need any refutation.

I don't think you really understand the US.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Iran has enough weapons ready to hit Israel too.

Without nuclear weapons, Iran can only do token damage to Israel.


Robert Gentel wrote:
That's just more wishful thinking, the tendency in the long term in the US as in the rest of the developed world will be for more gun control.

No wishful thinking. A Trump presidency means a strong rightward shift on the Supreme Court. Mr. Trump will pick Justice Scalia's replacement, and there are three non-conservative justices who are nearing retirement. Mr. Trump will pick some of their replacements as well. There is no question that a Trump presidency means the Supreme Court will start enforcing the Second Amendment.

And even without the Supreme Court, the NRA will never allow Congress to pass any more laws that violate the Second Amendment.


Robert Gentel wrote:
They are not,

Those people seem pretty silly to me. We're the good guys here.


Robert Gentel wrote:
But do note that Pakistan was sanctioned none-the-less. The Clinton Administration sanctioned them and Bush lifted the sanctions in exchange for their cooperation post 9/11 with the campaign in Afghanistan.

The sanctions against Pakistan were token and trivial, and did no real harm to Pakistan.

The sanctions against North Korea are overwhelming and crushing, and will not be withdrawn until North Korea gives up their illegal nuclear weapons.

If Iran were to develop illegal nuclear weapons like North Korea did, it would take North Korea-type sanctions to protect the NPT. Otherwise the treaty is history.


Robert Gentel wrote:
You really don't seem to understand how the NPT works. The whole thing basically goes like this:

Let's all agree to limit the nuclear club to the extant members and sanction the countries that violate this.

The NPT does not advocate sanctions against countries that are not a party to the treaty to begin with.


Robert Gentel wrote:
So do many other countries party to the NPT, that is not proscribed by the NPT.

The NPT bars non-weapons members from working to develop nuclear weapons.


Robert Gentel wrote:
That's the only reason to join the NPT though. Why else would countries voluntarily do so?

They get aid for peaceful nuclear technology if they join. It makes nuclear power much more affordable.


Robert Gentel wrote:
That's because North Korea is sanctioned for a lot more than just the nukes. The sanctions would exist independent of the nukes because the sanctions are aimed at the regime toward regime change or Korean unification.

The sanctions on North Korea got considerably harsher once they developed nuclear weapons. And the world is unified on keeping them under all of those harsh sanctions until they agree to give up their nuclear weapons.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Both are demonstrably false. There are countries that have given up on WMD programs after the fact due to bombing (see Iraq) and there are countries that have been sanctioned prior to the development of nukes (see Iran, it was what just brought them to the table).

The bombing of Iraq was not after the fact. Iraq was bombed before they could develop nuclear weapons. No country that has developed nuclear weapons has ever had their nukes subsequently destroyed by a bombing raid. Aside from the sheer impossibility of destroying all the weapons after they are already built, any reactors that are bombed after they've started operating will undergo a meltdown even more severe than the Chernobyl disaster.

The sanctions on Iran were not of the harshness that would be needed to punish them for illegally developing nuclear weapons. If they developed nuclear weapons, it would take North Korea-like sanctions to save the NPT. Sanctions that harsh will only be placed on a country after they have already developed nuclear weapons.


Robert Gentel wrote:
If the world you live in is the same world I do then there's no reason for this fantasy. It's obvious what would happen and no need to speculate about it.

If Iran develops nukes it will face crushing sanctions. This is obvious to the whole world, including Iran as it is the only reason they do not do so.

If Iran were to develop nukes, and it was clear to the US that the world was willing to hammer them with North Korea-like sanctions, then the US would decide not to bomb.


Robert Gentel wrote:
Your prediction is so absurd that it would be given odds that a small amount bet would change your life if you actually won. If you can bet computer sized money you would win house-sized money for winning that bet.

I was thinking of betting a couple hundred, and winning enough to build a decent gaming computer.

I'm not sure when the best time to bet is though. I'd like to time it right at the moment when they are offering the longest possible odds so I can get the largest possible payout. I'd hate to lose out on a bunch of cash because I placed my bet before they offered the longest odds.

On the other hand, if I keep waiting for long odds that are never offered, I might never get the bet placed.


Robert Gentel wrote:
I really do think it's a good thing you aren't as confident with your money as you are with these predictions.

You are misunderstanding what I am saying. I'm willing to bet some money. Perhaps even the limit (which I guess is $850).

If I wait for odds of 100 to 1 and then bet $850, that'll get me $85,000. But will they ever offer odds of 100 to 1?

I do understand that I could be wrong. The odds are pretty good though that I'm completely right. The bet is well worth the risk.
0 Replies
 
 

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