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Iran's threat. Iraq's threat. The same old BS or not?

 
 
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 04:12 pm
Well?
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 04:20 pm
I think Iran is a much greater threat than Iraq ever was.

But things are complex. Our adventure in Iraq has made Iran much more militant and more dangerous at the same time it made the US much weaker.

It is questionable if Iran would be such a threat had we not attacked Iraq... but we will never know that now, will we.

The even greater irony is that because of the ties between the Shiite majority in Iraq and the religous/political establishment in Iran, we can't even get things straight in Iraq without Iran's help.

What a mess Bush has created. Iran is just a part of that. I don't know what the heck we should do now that things are so disasterous. It would sure be nice to have a credible military option, wouldn't it.
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blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 04:35 pm
This kinda sums up my thinking on war with Iran, http://www.palestinechronicle.com/story.php?sid=03160601533 "The Bush administration has no proof that Iran has violated the terms of its treaty.

The IAEA has no proof that Iran has violated the terms of its treaty.

The UN Security Council has no proof that Iran has violated the terms of its treaty.

The whole fiasco has been orchestrated to deceive the public and pave the way for war."
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 04:44 pm
I started this thread out of respect to Sozobe; who started this one out of respect to Nimh. It seems BlueFlame would prefer to derail her Obama in 08 thread into the 438,476th Anti-Bush thread.

This was the post that provided the catalyst:

BlueFlame wrote:
NEOCON SMOOTHIE : BARAK "OBOMBA" IRAN
Democratic simpletons are falling into the ditch - yet again. The latest snake oil salesmen that has renderd them agag is Ill. junior Senator Barak "Obomba" Iran. He's another DLC-crat , a minstrel in black face ..... Infantile peabrains want to install this neocon stalking horse as the running-mate to Hillary " Bolton" -Clinton..... They richly deserve each other...... And all those who would fall under the spell of this "progressive" Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker act richly deserve the ignominy of watching their heros go down to crashing defeat in' 08 ..... Neocons Obomba and Bolton-Clinton both are zealous advocates of miltary strikes against yet another straw man , "Atomic Iran" ..... We've got to take out their nuclear bomb programme , the threat is grave and imminent ,they insist . Yet no credible evidence has emerged that Iran has an atombic bombs programe . .... They are acting as outlaws ,international pariah , Obomba insists . In fact Iran has signed the NPT , submitted to far reaching inspections which have yielded no results indicating that "Atomic Iran" is anything but yet another neocon paranoid fantasy... Obomba and Bolton - Clinton won't let small things such as facts & evidence get away of their crazed pursuit of power...... To hell with the safety of United States Armed Forces , to hell with the depleted uranium thatb has decendd on not just Iraq, Afghanistan, and the former Yugoslavia but the entire world - including "Amurka". .... "Neocon" Trotskyites must be appeased at all cost .

By : SON OF A BUSH
March Saturday 18th 2006


Strikes me as utter nonsense since practically every credible world leader seems to agree that Iran is flirting dangerously with WMD potential.

Ebrown, I disagree with you completely that we don't have a credible military option, though I too would like to avoid it. It falls back to the difference between winning the war and winning the peace. Regime change in Iraq was accomplished in short order... to what end we have yet to see. Militarily, Iran could be defeated almost as easily. The peace is the hard part, and where we are stretched thin.

Where Iraq could easily end up a worse enemy for our trouble; the Supreme Leader of Iran couldn't be much more anti-American than he already is… so I don't think winning the peace would be as imperative. I have little doubt the United States can eliminate the WMD potential if they choose to do so. There is plenty of room for debate over whether or not we should… but I really don't believe there's much question whether we could.

The principle point of the thread is to compare the rhetoric. While the words are indeed similar; the threat is not... and I welcome anyone to try to prove otherwise. Take this thread wherever it may lead.
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 04:45 pm
Oops, good to see you here BF. I retract that portion of the above...
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 04:51 pm
Rolling Eyes I hereby retract my retraction. Rolling Eyes
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blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 05:00 pm
OCCUM, well it's kinda unfair to imply I was derailing anyone's thread. The topic was Obama and I posted a piece criticle of Obama in ways I agreed with. I dont like his position on Iran at all. It's very hypocritical of the USA to be destroying arms treaties and pushing for a new generation of nukes and a resumption of underground nuclear testing as Bushie has done. It's the wrong direction and was deseigned to push Iran and others into building a deterrent. I believe as ElBaradei says that the US must lead the world by example towards non-proliferation and arms control. And I believe the Dems should make Bushie's assault on arms control an issue. He has driven the world towards needless confrontation and unjust and very bloody war. It's the wrong way.
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Anonymouse
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 05:05 pm
Iranophobia

by Paul Craig Roberts

If you were President George W. Bush with all available US troops tied down by the Iraqi resistance, and you were unable to control Iraq or political developments in the country, would you also start a war with Iran?

Yes, you would.

Bush's determination to spread Middle East conflict by striking at Iran does not make sense.

First of all, Bush lacks the troops to do the job. If the US military cannot successfully occupy Iraq, there is no way that the US can occupy Iran, a country approximately three times the size in area and population.

Second, Iran can respond to a conventional air attack with missiles targeted on American ships and bases, and on oil facilities located throughout the Middle East.

Third, Iran has human assets, including the Shia majority population in Iraq, that it can activate to cause chaos throughout the Middle East.

Fourth, polls of US troops in Iraq indicate that a vast majority do not believe in their mission and wish to be withdrawn. Unlike the yellow ribbon folks at home, the troops are unlikely to be enthusiastic about being trapped in an Iranian quagmire in addition to the Iraqi quagmire.

Fifth, Bush's polls are down to 34 percent, with a majority of Americans believing that Bush's invasion of Iraq was a mistake.

If you were being whipped in one fight, would you start a second fight with a bigger and stronger person?

That's what Bush is doing.

Opinion polls indicate that the Bush regime has succeeded in its plan to make Americans fear Iran as the greatest threat America faces.

The Bush regime has created a major dispute with Iran over that country's nuclear energy program and then blocked every effort to bring the dispute to a peaceful end.

In order to gain a pretext for attacking Iran, the Bush regime is using bribery and coercion in its effort to have Iran referred to the UN Security Council for sanctions.

In recent statements President Bush and Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld blamed Iran for the Iraqi resistance, claiming that the roadside bombs used by the resistance are being supplied by Iran.

It is obvious that Bush intends to attack Iran and that he will use every means to bring war about.

Yet, Bush has no conventional means of waging war with Iran. His bloodthirsty neoconservatives have prepared plans for nuking Iran. However, an unprovoked nuclear attack on Iran would leave the US, already regarded as a pariah nation, totally isolated.

Readers, whose thinking runs ahead of that of most of us, tell me that another 9/11 event will prepare the ground for a nuclear attack on Iran. Some readers say that Bush, or Israel as in Israel's highly provocative attack on the Jericho jail and kidnapping of prisoners with American complicity, will provoke a second attack on the US. Others say that Bush or the neoconservatives working with some "black opts" group will orchestrate the attack.

One of the more extraordinary suggestions is that a low yield, perhaps tactical, nuclear weapon will be exploded some distance out from a US port. Death and destruction will be minimized, but fear and hysteria will be maximized. Americans will be told that the ship bearing the weapon was discovered and intercepted just in time, thanks to Bush's illegal spying program, and that Iran is to blame. A more powerful wave of fear and outrage will again bind the American people to Bush, and the US media will not report the rest of the world's doubts of the explanation.

Reads like a Michael Crichton plot, doesn't it?

Fantasy? Let's hope so.
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blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 05:10 pm
Anonymouse, great article.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 05:11 pm
Quote:

Ebrown, I disagree with you completely that we don't have a credible military option, though I too would like to avoid it. It falls back to the difference between winning the war and winning the peace. Regime change in Iraq was accomplished in short order... to what end we have yet to see. Militarily, Iran could be defeated almost as easily. The peace is the hard part, and where we are stretched thin.


O'Bill,

Do you really want to argue that the US can afford to do in Iraq what it did in Iran?

We have spent 300 billion dollars now, we don't have an exit strategy or timetable, and the Iraqi's still don't even have a government. In addition public support for the war (which is essential in a democracy) is plummeting.

Assuming you are right that it would be "almost as easy" (and I question this), I promise you we don't have the manpower, the political will, the international support or the money to invade another Muslim country.

The Iranian government knows this which explains their rather confident behavior right now.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 05:15 pm
BF, I understand your argument, I don't think I buy it.

I am not so extreme as to say that the Iranians are evil incarnate, but they are not my favorite people either. I don't think they have the best interests of the world, or even their own people at heart.

The "president" of Iran threatening Israel and making bellicose threats on the US doesn't sit well with me.

I agree that a nuclear Iran would be a very bad thing and would hope a reasonable government in Iran would accept the fears of the world.

And yes, I understand the the arguments of western agression etc. etc. etc.

As a citizen of the world, I do not want a nuclear Iran.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 05:19 pm
Not to be quoted and just on a gut level I would think that Iran needs some really hard kicks on the nuts.

But what ebrown said ...I promise you we don't have the manpower, the political will, the international support or the money to invade another Muslim country.

The Iranian government knows this which explains their rather confident behavior right now.
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blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 05:26 pm
ebrown, I'm not at all happy with Iran's leadership. I dont trust them anymore than you. They are much more dangerous than Iraq as you pointed out. But I dont think we should tolerate lies from our leadership on Iran's nuclear program. I listen more to ElBaradei. And I believe Bushie has been pushing nukes from the beginning looking for fights. It's the wrong direction and he should be called on it. I posted this on another thread but am not sure if you saw it so I'll post it here too. In my opinion this is the voice of reason on this issue. The last American leaders who put it this way were JFK and MLK. "BERLIN (Reuters) - The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog called on the United States Tuesday to set an example to the rest of the world by cutting its nuclear arsenal and halting research programs.

"The U.S. government demands that other nations not possess nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, it is arming itself," Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told Germany's Stern weekly.

Criticizing President Bush's plan for a national missile defense shield, he said: "Then a small number of privileged countries will be under a nuclear protective shield, with the rest of the world outside."

"In truth there are no good or bad nuclear weapons. If we do not stop applying double standards we will end up with more nuclear weapons. We are at a turning point," ElBaradei told Stern in the interview released ahead of publication."
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 05:47 pm
Man, it took me forever to try and cut and paste ElBaradei from a PDF, but here you are.

http://img82.imageshack.us/img82/6565/eib6xf.jpg

You'll notice Blueflame, that El Baradei himself considers Iran to be a threat, contrary to your unsubstantiated assertions. You can read the interview for yourself at the IAEA's website here.

Will catch up and respond to the other posts in a few minutes.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 05:49 pm
Quote:

"In truth there are no good or bad nuclear weapons."


Did he really say this??? There are most certainly bad nuclear weapons.
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blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 05:55 pm
Another angle. "Update 6: Russia Rejects U.N. Proposals on Iran
By NICK WADHAMS ,

Russia's U.N. ambassador on Friday rejected proposals that would have the U.N. Security Council demand a quick progress report on Iran's suspect nuclear program, saying - half in jest - that fast action could lead to the bombing of Iran by June.

Andrey Denisov spoke just before a U.N. Security Council meeting where diplomats planned to consider a revised list of British, French and American proposals for a statement on Iran. The latest draft proposals, obtained by The Associated Press, retain many elements that Russia and China have opposed.

A key sticking point for Russia is a proposal asking Mohamed ElBaradei, the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to deliver a progress report in two weeks on Iran's progress toward clearing up suspicions about its nuclear program. Russia and China say two weeks is far too soon.

"Let's just imagine that we adopt it and today we issued that statement - then what happens after two weeks?" Denisov said in an interview. "In such a pace we'll start bombing in June."

Denisov chuckled after he made the remark, but it reflected Russia's fears that the international community has not yet decided how to respond if Iran continues to resist demands that it make explicitly clear it is not seeking nuclear arms.

To address that concern, senior officials from six key countries involved in negotiations over Iran's nuclear program will convene Monday to discuss both initial council action and the larger strategy toward Iran. The officials from Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany will talk about both the proposals circulated Friday and overall strategy.

For the last week, the Security Council has debated the best way to address the Iran issue. The split is now between Britain, France and the United States, which want a statement spelling out a number of detailed demands, and Russia and China, which believe that such action would send the wrong message to Iran.

Russia and China, which are allies of Iran, have said in the past that tough council action could spark an Iranian withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. They also fear council action could eventually lead to tougher measures, such as sanctions.

Backed by the United States, Britain and France have proposed a statement that would spell out a list of demands that have already been made by the IAEA. They include a demand that Iran suspend uranium enrichment and take steps toward greater transparency and more cooperation.

Uranium enrichment can be used either in electricity generation or to make nuclear weapons. Iran insists its program is to produce nuclear energy - not weapons - but the IAEA has raised concerns that Tehran might be seeking nuclear arms.

Even though the demands in the British and French proposals are not new, Denisov said Russia would prefer the council to simply refer to IAEA documents that also contained those demands.

The primary concern of Russia and China throughout has been that the IAEA play the main role in handling Iran. They fear that such demands by the council would mean that the council, which has the power to impose sanctions, would be taking the lead.

"We need to send a message ... that the Security Council is supporting and reinforcing the role of the IAEA, not to replace or take it over from the IAEA," China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said.

The discussions came a day after Tehran offered to enter into talks with the U.S. aimed at stabilizing Iraq. The Bush administration said it would discuss the insurgency with the Islamic republic, but both sides said the talks would not address the standoff over Iran's nuclear activities.
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blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 05:58 pm
ebrown, obviously ElBaradei is saying all nuclear weapons are bad. He is saying no to double standards. That America cannot consider her nukes to be good and others nukes to be bad. They're all bad. "The U.S. government demands that other nations not possess nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, it is arming itself," Mohamed ElBaradei.
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blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 06:12 pm
OCCUM, of course ElBaradei considers Iran to be a threat. That's why I like him. He's evenhanded. He sees all sides as being threats. Certainly you cant expect him to trust Bushie after he told Bushie Saddam had no nukes and Bushie still talked of mushroom clouds. Bushie, Cheney and Bolton seem to be playing the same kind of game they played with Iraq. And they are very much in contradiction with what ElBaradei is saying. "The 2006 NSS focuses mostly on Iran and the nuclear weapons program Bush-Cheney-Bolton claim - without a shred of evidence - Iran has.

Iran denies that it now has - or has had, since the CIA-installed Shah fled - a nuclear weapons program.

For more than two years, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have been conducting intrusive inspections of all Iranian civilian nuclear sites - as well as numerous military sites suggested by the CIA. Iran has been voluntarily cooperating with the IAEA, even though the number and scope of these inspections go far beyond that required of Iran by its Safeguards agreement, even beyond that would be required if an Additional Protocol to Iran's Safeguards agreement was in force, which it is not since it hasn't been ratified by Iran's parliament.

As best the IAEA can tell, the Iranians are telling the truth, even about things they have told the IAEA that they were under no obligation to tell.

In report after report, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei says that all "declared source and special nuclear materials" are now accounted for and that there is "no indication" of undeclared materials, nor of a nuclear weapons program in Iran." http://www.antiwar.com/prather/?articleid=8721
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 06:32 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
Quote:

Ebrown, I disagree with you completely that we don't have a credible military option, though I too would like to avoid it. It falls back to the difference between winning the war and winning the peace. Regime change in Iraq was accomplished in short order... to what end we have yet to see. Militarily, Iran could be defeated almost as easily. The peace is the hard part, and where we are stretched thin.


O'Bill,

Do you really want to argue that the US can afford to do in Iraq what it did in Iran?

We have spent 300 billion dollars now, we don't have an exit strategy or timetable, and the Iraqi's still don't even have a government. In addition public support for the war (which is essential in a democracy) is plummeting.
Are you deliberately ducking my win the war/peace point? Saddam and any WMD aspirations he may have had were swiftly defeated years ago.

ebrown_p wrote:
Assuming you are right that it would be "almost as easy" (and I question this), I promise you we don't have the manpower, the political will, the international support or the money to invade another Muslim country.
Saddam and any WMD aspirations he may have had were swiftly defeated before manpower, the political will, the international support (or lack thereof) or money become much of an issue. So too could be the case in Iran. "Winning the Peace" is not necessary to eliminate (or greatly reduce) the threat of WMD.

Extreme example: if we left Iraq tomorrow and it descended into a full-blown civil war; the threat of Saddam or any WMD aspirations he may have had would remain history.

ebrown_p wrote:
The Iranian government knows this which explains their rather confident behavior right now.
That rings some bells too though doesn't it? Saddam seemingly believed we'd back down in the face of his rather confident behavior too, didn't he? The doomsday predictions of an Iraqi invasion were ever present then as well... However accurate they may have been in retrospect; they didn't save Saddam or whatever WMD aspirations he may have had. Frankly; I thought Saddam would have the good sense to fold when the world's only superpower went "over the top" to put him "all in".

Now, Iran seems to have a better hand then Saddam's Iraq, but in terms of military prowess they can still be sent "All in" against a superior hand at any time of the United State's choosing. Whether or not the United States will choose to commit to such a wager has yet to be determined but I think it foolhardy to doubt their ability. With liberal's trying to out hawk the hawks; I think Iran's current bluff could easily find the Supreme Leader as well as their nutty mouthpiece in the same boat as Saddam.

Anyone who doubts the superiority of the United States Military need only check the CIA's world fact book to see that our expenditures in this department dwarf that of any potential opponent, let alone Iran. What we may lack in available "boots on the ground", we more than make up for in available heavy artillery. Iran deadlocked against Saddam for nearly a decade at such an enormous expense their median age is still FUBAR. The US took what, 3 weeks, to drive Saddam out of power?

Militarily; it is a rather simple matter of if we will, not if we can. This part of the equation is not unlike the Iraqi dilemma at all.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Mar, 2006 06:45 pm
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Extreme example: if we left Iraq tomorrow and it descended into a full-blown civil war; the threat of Saddam or any WMD aspirations he may have had would remain history.


This is a naive point of view, at best. I have never bought the argument that Iraq was a proximate danger with WoMD, justifying an invasion. However, the personality of Hussein had nothing to do with it. Were Iraq a thread, it would have been the Ba'aht Arab Socialist Party which was the threat, not Hussein personally. Had Hussein been assassinated, for example, any threat Iraq posed based on resources would have remained, and any ideological threat would have been implicit in the Ba'aht Party, not Hussein.

Were we to leave Iraq, and there were civil war, the Shi'ites would likely win. The ability to develop and deploy WoMD requires only money and expertise. The Iraqis have the expertise, and petroleum would provide the financial wherewithal.

Without asserting that it was your point, it appears that your point was about Hussein. That to me is a "Hitler" argument, and argument that a single bad man were responsible. I don't subscribe to such a notion, and consider that no matter when we leave Iraq, nor why, nor how--the potential for destabilizing military and ideological situations arising remains just as it was before we invaded.

One of the reasons i opposed this idiotic war is because it essentially changes nothing. The only point which such a war could have had which would have entailed a significant change in the situation would have been to establish permanent American military bases there. This has been part of the PNAC agenda since before Bush was put in office, and was the intent all along, in my never humble opinion. I doubt now that Americans will go along with attempting to maintain permanent military bases there. I have never doubted that no Iraqis would ever accept having permanent American military bases in their country.

Ipso-fatso, sozyeroldman, it was a pointless and stupid war by a greedy and venal administration headed by a clueless demagogue . . .
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