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    Iran

    So I read this essay on a political cartoon I read regularly.

    http://www.filibustercartoons.com/in...nny/#more-5130
    If you have a moment to spare after solving the Syrian crisis, maybe you can help the world solve the Iranian one, too?
    In a brazen display of chutzpah (although I’m sure he wouldn’t call it that) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held a big photo op on Wednesday to brag about all the progress his nation has made in its ongoing efforts to enrich uranium. Decked out in a white lab coat, he proudly toured a Tehran facility claiming to have just finished production of the first Iranian-made, weapons-grade nuclear fuel rods, and announced that his government was set to begin the production of yellowcake too, which, as we may recall from Valerie Plame-gate, is a vital ingredient in the construction of a nuclear bomb.
    The Israelis, it is widely suspected, have been doing their best to thwart all this, and are assumed to be behind the four “mysterious” assassinations of leading Iranian nuclear scientists that have taken place over the last two years. Small wonder, then, that a string of equally “mysterious” follow-up attacks against Israeli targets this week, in Georgia, Thailand, and India, have been seen as the latest escalation in what is fast becoming a very hot cold war between the two Middle-Eastern powers.
    As Iran grows more open about its nuclear ambitious and the rest of the world grows more wary and frightened, the new pressing question is fast becoming “when exactly are you at war?” Certainly there have been no shortages of lines drawn in the sand; the major western powers have all repeatedly demanded Iran stop what it’s doing, and have imposed increasingly harsher and harsher sanctions when they haven’t. The Europeans are poised to impose a complete embargo on Iranian oil this July, and Japan has already reduced its imports by 40% over the last five years. Put together, this has caused a 75% market decline for Iran’s biggest — and indeed, basically only— foreign export, but we’re not done yet!
    The Belgian-based Society for Worldwide International Financial Telecommunication is moving to blacklist Iranian banks from its network, making it increasingly difficult for Iranians to access foreign currency, and the White House has frozen all Iranian assets in the United States. Even good old Canada has blocked “virtually all financial transactions with Iran.”
    Many news reports now make mention of the fact that Iran’s economy is “crumbling,” or, at the very least, is at one of its lowest lows. Day-to-day business in the country has become deeply arduous and frustrating as a result of the punitive web of restrictions and bans that now strangle so much of Iran’s trade and banking infrastructure, the currency has tanked causing huge inflation, and some reports suggest the nation has resorted to bartering with its few remaining friends simply to import food.
    Satisfying though they may be on a purely vindictive level, sanctions have an overall mixed legacy when it comes to securing meaningful change in the behavior of rouge regimes, however. At best, history has proven that in cases where the national leadership is reasonably pragmatic and moderate, as in apartheid-era South Africa under President de Klerk, outwardly-imposed economic hardship can, in fact, beget political reform, but in cases where the leadership is dogmatic and indifferent to anything but its own glory and survival, as in sanctioned-choked Baathist Iraq and modern-day North Korea, financial turmoil merely imposes a new burden on an already long-suffering people.
    Israel, for its part, seems unwilling to take a chance with either proposition. A fascinating story out of the London Guardian framed the entire sanctions drive as little more than an anxious stalling tactic on the part of the western powers to distract the Jewish state into delaying a unilateral military strike as long as possible. Among other things, President Obama is said to decidedly not want an Israeli-Iranian war to break out during his bid for re-election, since it would be almost impossible to frame a sane American response in the midst of what would no-doubt be an extraordinarily polarizing moment between left and right.
    Unlike Syria, which, at worst, is simply a localized bloodbath that will eventually bleed itself out, the Iranian standoff is a true dilemma with profound consequences for global stability. At some point, something will simply have to happen; either nukes, a war, or a nuclear war.
    What would be your guess?
    Many of you know I am pretty much a dove. I'm for the most part against running into war for the hell of it as you can get into disasters like Libya where one god awful government is replaced by another/others.

    Iran though has me a bit conflicted. Unlike Iraq, Afghanistan, or Libya it has a homogeneous populace. It also has a democratic history before Operation AJAX. So there does seem like there is potential for them to become a healthy democracy.

    The problem is taking the country would not be easy. The U.S. has gone out of its way to torment it since Operation AJAX. When the U.S. was in the Gulf of Hormuz last it shot down a civilian airliner killing 280 innocent civilians (guess that sort of thing isn't considered a terrorist act if we do it). This resentment could easily make the U.S. quite unpopular which would make a war very hard and nothing at all like the pushovers we have fought in the past. How many U.S. soldiers would be killed? How would this affect the already horrible debt?

    I'm conflicted on this and would appreciate hearing the opinions of others.

    As a note, I will always argue ideas if I don't agree with the evidence or think it is strong enough. I have shown in the past that I am willing to accept ideas I at first was against. I am a believer in dialectic reasoning. So if I disagree with you on a point and as for evidence don't assume I am using a personal attack. The point of arguments isn't to 'win' an established idea, but to come to the best idea. Since this is a thread I created I feel I have some dictate concerning the rules here. Name calling and insults will be neg rep'd by me. Not the harshest of punishments but hopefully it will make things a bit more civil.
    bogative ☭

    "Any car which holds together for a whole race is too heavy." - Colin Chapman
    "If you think about it breast implants aren't much different than braces. Their main purpose is to improve one's appearance, at least that's how it was in my case." - KaJun
    "So the [suspension's] spring seats fail every 2 years, so what? They cost less than $250 to fix. And if a person can't afford that every two years, than maybe he shouldn't own a car at all." - _HighVoltage_ on Volvos.

    #2
    I'm sure i've posted various things on this issue relating to historical relations. Iran is acting well within their rights as signatories to the NPT. The United States and Israel are belligerents. Furthermore, the United States has violated the NPT (besides assisting the Israelis and striking deals with India) with their hardline approach to Iran and war mongering....see below

    Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.
    Do I want Iran to build a bomb? Of course not. It could set off an arms race and destabilize the region. Do I think we should go to war to prevent it? Nope. The notion that the Iranians are too crazy to have a bomb is itself crazy....considering the one country that has used nukes (twice) is still allowed to have them.

    These Presidential candidates are going on about how they may smuggle a nuke into one of our cities. Well, any country that has nukes would use it against a city and kill massive amounts of innocent people...right? I'm not the least bit concerned that Iran is going to nuke any country.

    The debate seems to be between rational thinkers and hypocrites.

    I'm for global nuclear disarmament.


    *edit

    This all assumes Iran actually wants to build a bomb. I'm not naive. My personal feeling is that they want nuclear technology and the knowledge or ability (capacity) to make a bomb, not that they actually plan to make one.
    Last edited by Firecat; February 19th, 2012, 2:16 AM.

    Comment


      #3
      I always wonder why Uncle Sam always points fingers at others instead of looking under its own sleeves..

      The only country to have "actually" used a nuclear bomb? U know it.

      Who is to say they won't do it again?

      You don't see Iranians going up in arms about that, or any other naion for that matter... The world is full of double standards.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by predator101 View Post
        Who is to say they won't do it again?

        That's really the key question, isn't it? Are nukes a "last resort?"....who determines what defines a last resort? So if you are losing you can use them? If you aim to quickly end a war you can use them? When is it ok to use them?

        Comment


          #5
          Never.
          "I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating" -Boss Tweed

          "No man's life, liberty or happiness are safe while Congress is in session,"- Mark Twain

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Firecat View Post
            That's really the key question, isn't it? Are nukes a "last resort?"....who determines what defines a last resort? So if you are losing you can use them? If you aim to quickly end a war you can use them? When is it ok to use them?
            In a democracy we can ask those questions.

            A fundamentalist theocracy can just say, "god wills it".

            Comment


              #7
              Would have thought the Iraq experience, and what happened in Iran v Iraq war might dissuade the hawks.
              Team Black Jack

              __________________________

              So, that's all good.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jmsprovan View Post
                In a democracy we can ask those questions.

                A fundamentalist theocracy can just say, "god wills it".
                In a democracy, the President of the United States has to convince one other member of the NSC, and then nuclear armageddon is upon us.

                I don't like the idea of Iran having a nuke, per se. Iran isn't sure footed enough, I think. Iran can go either way at any moment, and that's an issue. Then again, Iran probably just wants a terror balance with Israel, and by definition the US. Understandable enough. Iraq was a reminder for Iran, to put it that way.
                "If you're not getting the picture you want, you're not close enough" - Robert Capa
                "Your first 14000 pictures are your worst" - HCB
                - David Bailey! Who's he?!
                I am one of "the two most level headed and pragmatic regular posters on the politics forum" according to anonymous sources.
                blog
                Bustin' chops since the late 80s

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by nomix View Post
                  In a democracy, the President of the United States has to convince one other member of the NSC, and then nuclear armageddon is upon us.

                  I don't like the idea of Iran having a nuke, per se. Iran isn't sure footed enough, I think. Iran can go either way at any moment, and that's an issue. Then again, Iran probably just wants a terror balance with Israel, and by definition the US. Understandable enough. Iraq was a reminder for Iran, to put it that way.
                  The deployment of nukes in a democracy might be that simple, but (assuming we weren't all completely destroyed) the politicians will have to justify their use afterwards.

                  Iran wants the bomb because it gives them immunity against conventional attacks from Israel/US and others (Saudi), if they weren't actually building a bomb then the recent rhetoric against them has probably pushed them further in that direction. Then it becomes a race for who will show their hand first; Iran by demonstrating that they have one, or the "allies" by launching a unilateral strike against all their nuclear facilities and government.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The project has had at least one successful Flight Test MOP launch.[11] The final testing will be completed in 2012.[3]
                    The Air Force took delivery of 20 bombs, designed to be delivered by the B-2 bomber, in September 2011. In February 2012, Congress approved $81.6 million to further develop and improve the weapon.
                    It could be as simple as delaying until the MOP is ready as it represents the only weapon capable of actually targeting the Iranian facilities.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jmsprovan View Post
                      The deployment of nukes in a democracy might be that simple, but (assuming we weren't all completely destroyed) the politicians will have to justify their use afterwards.

                      Iran wants the bomb because it gives them immunity against conventional attacks from Israel/US and others (Saudi), if they weren't actually building a bomb then the recent rhetoric against them has probably pushed them further in that direction. Then it becomes a race for who will show their hand first; Iran by demonstrating that they have one, or the "allies" by launching a unilateral strike against all their nuclear facilities and government.
                      Yeah. Iran's scared and cornered. We'll just have to wait and see when the war comes.
                      "If you're not getting the picture you want, you're not close enough" - Robert Capa
                      "Your first 14000 pictures are your worst" - HCB
                      - David Bailey! Who's he?!
                      I am one of "the two most level headed and pragmatic regular posters on the politics forum" according to anonymous sources.
                      blog
                      Bustin' chops since the late 80s

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I don't think Iran will use nuclear force and as been stated they most likely want nuclear weapons to stop Israeli and American aggression. Reflecting since I posted this yesterday I do see this countering my values of non interference.

                        I do have a soft sport for Iran as I have been obsessed with pre-Islamic Iran for awhile and that is probably coloring my opinion, not to mention as an American I do hold shame over Iran's last government. The theocracy in many ways isn't better than that of the self titled "King of kings" Reza Pahlavi. People are still being thrown is prison for harboring beliefs seen as against the state. Iran's short lived native democratic movement is encouraging to the idea that they might once again go that route.

                        But then I remember why Iran is in the situation they are in the first place, Western intervention. If there is a war and the U.S. wins (at a great cost I am sure) it will mean BP and/or another oil company will jump in and start exploiting their resources. The West could setup a puppet democracy like it had setup a puppet dictatorship in the past.

                        Risking the U.S. economy (judging by the money pit Iraq and Afghanistan were) and sending U.S. troops to their death doesn't seem worth the gamble.
                        bogative ☭

                        "Any car which holds together for a whole race is too heavy." - Colin Chapman
                        "If you think about it breast implants aren't much different than braces. Their main purpose is to improve one's appearance, at least that's how it was in my case." - KaJun
                        "So the [suspension's] spring seats fail every 2 years, so what? They cost less than $250 to fix. And if a person can't afford that every two years, than maybe he shouldn't own a car at all." - _HighVoltage_ on Volvos.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Has anyone taken the time to consider this issue from the perspective of the countries around Iran? Israel has nuclear weapons but it is an outsider. In a sense Israel having nukes does not matter. The only repercussion is that Israel can't be conquered. There is a Cold War style situation between Saudi Arabia and Iran at the moment. Each is vying influence in the Middle East. If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, Saudi Arabia will have to get one also. Iran getting a nuke changes the whole power dynamic of the region. What about Turkey? It sees itself as a leader of sorts in the area. Can it still be that if Iran is equipped with nuclear weapons?

                          To me however it comes down what Iran having a nuke would mean to the United States strategically and geopolitically. Would it be advantageous or disadvantageous? To me there are no benefits. As such we have an interest in preventing Iran from achieving nuclear capability.

                          It is entirely possible that Israel might be able to pull off a limited strike. It worked against Iraq and Syria without sparking off a larger conflict.

                          If there is a war and the U.S. wins (at a great cost I am sure) it will mean BP and/or another oil company will jump in and start exploiting their resources. The West could setup a puppet democracy like it had setup a puppet dictatorship in the past.
                          lol, I wish it were that simple. At best Iraq got us access to oil but we do not own it. Some of the biggest contracts to exploit the oil fields of Iraq went to Chinese and other foreign companies.
                          Last edited by jetsetter; February 22nd, 2012, 12:42 AM.
                          "I saw myself founding a new religion, marching
                          into Asia riding an elephant, a turban on my
                          head and in my hands the new Koran I would
                          have written to suit my needs." - Napoléon Bonaparte

                          "More than 60,000 Germans fell, not beneath the
                          Roman arms and weapons, but, grander far,
                          before our delighted eyes. May the tribes, I pray,
                          ever retain if not love for us, at least hatred for
                          each other; for while the destinies of empire bear
                          hard upon us, fortune can give no greater boon
                          than discord among our foes." - Germania, Tacitus

                          Comment


                            #14
                            There's nothing to be gained from invading Iran and the US can't afford it anyway. Israel could take some pot shots at some existing facilities but it too would be pointless with the Iranians finishing their new centrifuge centers deep under ground out of reach of air strikes.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jetsetter View Post
                              Has anyone taken the time to consider this issue from the perspective of the countries around Iran? Israel has nuclear weapons but it is an outsider. In a sense Israel having nukes does not matter. The only repercussion is that Israel can't be conquered. There is a Cold War style situation between Saudi Arabia and Iran at the moment. Each is vying influence in the Middle East. If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, Saudi Arabia will have to get one also. Iran getting a nuke changes the whole power dynamic of the region. What about Turkey? It sees itself as a leader of sorts in the area. Can it still be that if Iran is equipped with nuclear weapons?
                              This is true. Iran getting a nuke will start an arms race between them and the House of Saud. No doubt. Saudi Arabia does have some history with planning and thinking about getting the bomb, much like South Africa but without any real work done, other than debate.

                              However, Iran has a reason to feel threatened. They are. By Israel, but also by the US and Saudi Arabia. While Saudi Arabia has an immense force of modern fighters like the F-15, and a relatively impressive force of western armour and helicopters, Saudi Arabia is not ready for a war against Iran. I don't think their army is ready enough anyway.

                              That said, Israel is..
                              "If you're not getting the picture you want, you're not close enough" - Robert Capa
                              "Your first 14000 pictures are your worst" - HCB
                              - David Bailey! Who's he?!
                              I am one of "the two most level headed and pragmatic regular posters on the politics forum" according to anonymous sources.
                              blog
                              Bustin' chops since the late 80s

                              Comment


                                #16
                                I say it is time to stop this foolishness and simply give any one that wants a nuke an older one from the USA's or Russian stock piles. Set them up so that the moment it launches it goes up to an effective range to not cause any direct damage from the explosion, but cause maximum EMP effect. this way it simply causes that country to return to a state of stoneageness for a period of time.
                                "I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating" -Boss Tweed

                                "No man's life, liberty or happiness are safe while Congress is in session,"- Mark Twain

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Firecat
                                  Iran is acting well within their rights as signatories to the NPT.
                                  They've got the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, sure. But they started their enrichment program in secret and when they finally admitted what they were up to, the IAEA found they weren't in compliance with safeguard obligations. For the last few years the IAEA has been trying to figure out just what Iran's intentions are, but Ahmadinejad (obviously) isn't willing to play ball. I don't see the point of sanctions against Iran (for reasons outlined in the article argatoga posted), but they're hardly such a clear-cut victim here.

                                  Originally posted by nomix View Post
                                  Iraq was a reminder for Iran, to put it that way.
                                  Exactly. They fought each other to a standstill over nearly a decade and we overran Saddam's military in a matter of weeks. Twice. Can't blame them for looking for some kind of insurance, though it's ironic that their quest for a bomb might be just what triggers a war. Or what could supposedly trigger a war anyway. I don't see Iran or the US firing the first shot. The ball is in Israel's court.

                                  Originally posted by GRtak View Post
                                  I say it is time to stop this foolishness and simply give any one that wants a nuke an older one from the USA's or Russian stock piles. Set them up so that the moment it launches it goes up to an effective range to not cause any direct damage from the explosion, but cause maximum EMP effect. this way it simply causes that country to return to a state of stoneageness for a period of time.
                                  Nah man, you know someone would find a way around that.
                                  Saying smaller engines are better is like saying you don't want huge muscles because you wouldn't fit through the door. So what? You can bench 500. Fuck doors. - MadCat360

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    I was mostly joking. But with all of the energy we spend to try and keep the "other guy" from getting them, the cat is out of the bag, and there needs to be another look at how we try to discourage the development.
                                    "I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating" -Boss Tweed

                                    "No man's life, liberty or happiness are safe while Congress is in session,"- Mark Twain

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by tigger View Post
                                      They've got the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, sure. But they started their enrichment program in secret and when they finally admitted what they were up to, the IAEA found they weren't in compliance with safeguard obligations. For the last few years the IAEA has been trying to figure out just what Iran's intentions are, but Ahmadinejad (obviously) isn't willing to play ball. I don't see the point of sanctions against Iran (for reasons outlined in the article argatoga posted), but they're hardly such a clear-cut victim here.
                                      I can't blame Iran for not being forthcoming, especially when there are forces out there (USA, Israel) that actively seek to disrupt their research.

                                      Originally posted by nomix View Post
                                      This is true. Iran getting a nuke will start an arms race between them and the House of Saud. No doubt. Saudi Arabia does have some history with planning and thinking about getting the bomb, much like South Africa but without any real work done, other than debate.
                                      South Africa did have nukes, but gave them up.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by GRtak View Post
                                        I was mostly joking. But with all of the energy we spend to try and keep the "other guy" from getting them, the cat is out of the bag, and there needs to be another look at how we try to discourage the development.
                                        I know you were joking, just saying. I have no better solution to nuclear proliferation, I just know it's pretty damn hypocritical for us, with over 5,100 nukes and being the only nation to have used them in anger, to tell another nation they can't have them.

                                        Originally posted by Firecat View Post
                                        I can't blame Iran for not being forthcoming, especially when there are forces out there (USA, Israel) that actively seek to disrupt their research.
                                        That's sort of putting the cart before the horse, isn't it? If Iran hadn't begun their research clandestinely that would've given opponents one less leg to stand on. Trying to run an enrichment program in secret (and at military controlled installations, no less) does nothing but hurt their claim that it's a peaceful program.
                                        Saying smaller engines are better is like saying you don't want huge muscles because you wouldn't fit through the door. So what? You can bench 500. Fuck doors. - MadCat360

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