So....What To do About Iran?


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The_Shootist
January 15, 2006, 10:48 PM
Face it guys - its getting nasty. There's no way Iran can be allowed the remotest chance of acquiring nukes. I just see Israel (with tacit Us and some West Europe support) mounting some sort of bunker busting operation that at least slows them down.

Given the current regime in Iran, there really isn't any good solution.

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RealGun
January 15, 2006, 11:09 PM
Face it guys - its getting nasty. There's no way Iran can be allowed the remotest chance of acquiring nukes. I just see Israel (with tacit Us and some West Europe support) mounting some sort of bunker busting operation that at least slows them down.

Given the current regime in Iran, there really isn't any good solution.

I can't resist asking how any of this concern is really different than believing the intelligence on Iraq.

txgho1911
January 15, 2006, 11:17 PM
As Iran moves on development they will be engaged as I see no alternative from that region. Most of (90%-98%) of the people in Iran may be oposing the Iranian gov as elections and candidates are tightly regulated.
The best actions against Iran would be against the facilities and the leadership that strangle the gov.

orionengnr
January 15, 2006, 11:22 PM
that their own (newly-elected) leader is verifying the reports?

I can't resist asking how any of this concern is really different than believing the intelligence on Iraq.

Kim
January 15, 2006, 11:35 PM
If he is as Dumb as Saddam to lie so be it. Art's grandma is correct that lying has real life consequences some are quite deadly.

RealGun
January 15, 2006, 11:37 PM
that their own (newly-elected) leader is verifying the reports?

Oh, but it was it treated as equally credible with Saddam playing cat and mouse with weapons inspectors. Saddam supposedly is credited with the ruse of the century, partly to make Iran think twice about attacking Iraq.

Preacherman
January 15, 2006, 11:37 PM
Victor Davis Hanson puts things into perspective in an article for National Review Online. I've reproduced the whole thing below, but I think the last sentence bears highlighting and repeating:

... the public must be warned that dealing with a nuclear Iran is not a matter of a good versus a bad choice, but between a very bad one now and something far, far worse to come.

From National Review Online (http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200601130837.asp):

Victor Davis Hanson

January 13, 2006, 8:37 a.m.

The Multilateral Moment?

Our bad and worse choices about Iran.

"Multilateralism good; preemption and unilateralism bad.”

For four years we have heard these Orwellian commandments as if they were inscribed above the door of Farmer Jones’s big barn. Now we will learn their real currency, since the Americans are doing everything imaginable — drawing in the Europeans, coaxing the Russians and Chinese to be helpful at the U.N., working with international monitoring agencies, restraining Israel, talking to the Arabs, keeping our jets in their hangars — to avoid precipitous steps against Iran.

Its theocracy poses a danger to civilization even greater than a nuclear North Korea for a variety of peculiar circumstances. Iran is free of a patron like China that might in theory exert moderate influence or even insist on occasional restraint. North Korea, for an increasingly wealthy and capitalist China, is as much a headache and an economic liability as a socialist comrade.

In contrast, Iran is a cash cow for Russia (and China) and apparently a source of opportunistic delight in its tweaking of the West. Iranian petro-wealth has probably already earned Tehran at least one, and probably two, favorable votes at the Security Council.

Of course, Tehran’s oil revenues allow it access to weapons markets, and overt blackmail, both of which are impossible for a starving North Korea. And Iran’s nuclear facilities are located at the heart of the world’s petroleum reserves, where even the semblance of instability can drive up global oil prices, costing the importing world billions in revenues.

No one is flocking to Communism, much less Pyongyang’s unrepentant, ossified Stalinist brand. Islamic radicalism, on the other hand, has declared war on Western society and tens of thousands of jihdadists, whether Shiia or Sunnis, count on Iran for money, sanctuary, and support. Al Qaeda members travel the country that is the spiritual godhead of Hezbollah, and a donor of arms and money to radical Palestinian terrorists.

North Korea can threaten Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and the western United States, and so poses a real danger. But the opportunities for havoc are even richer for a nuclear Iran. With nukes and an earned reputation for madness, it can dictate to the surrounding Arab world the proper policy of petroleum exportation; it can shakedown Europeans whose capitals are in easy missile range; it can take out Israel with a nuke or two; or it can bully the nascent democracies of the Middle East while targeting tens of thousands of US soldiers based from Afghanistan to the Persian Gulf.

And Iran can threaten to do all this under the aegis of a crazed Islamist regime more eager for the paradise of the next world than for the material present so dear to the affluent and decadent West. If Iran can play brinkmanship now on just the promise of nuclear weapons, imagine its roguery to come when it is replete with them.

When a supposedly unhinged Mr. Ahmadinejad threatens the destruction of Israel and then summarily proceeds to violate international protocols aimed at monitoring Iran’s nuclear industry, we all take note. Any country that burns off some of its natural gas at the wellhead while claiming that it needs nuclear power for domestic energy is simply lying. Terrorism, vast petroleum reserves, nuclear weapons, and boasts of wiping neighboring nations off the map are a bad combination.

So we all agree on the extent of the crisis, but not on the solutions, which can be summarized by four general options.

First is the ostrich strategy — see and hear no evil, if extending occasional peace feelers out to more reasonable mullahs. Hope that “moderates” in the Iranian government exercise a restraining influence on Mr. Ahmadinejad. Sigh that nuclear Iran may well become like Pakistan — dangerous and unpredictable, but still perhaps “manageable.” Talk as if George Bush and the Iranians both need to take a time out.

I doubt that many serious planners any longer entertain this passive fantasy, especially after the latest rantings of Ahmadinejad. Pakistan, after all, has some secular leaders, is checked by nuclear India, and has a recent past of cooperation with the United States. Most importantly, it is more than ever a lesson in past laxity, as the United States and Europe were proven criminally derelict in giving Dr. Khan and his nuclear-mart a pass — which may well come back to haunt us all yet.

Alternatively, we could step up further global condemnation. The West could press the U.N. more aggressively — repeatedly calling for more resolutions, and, ultimately, for sanctions, boycotts, and embargos, energizes our allies to cut all ties to Iran, and provides far more money to dissident groups inside Iran to rid the country of the Khomeinists. Ensuring that democracy works in Iraq would be subversive to the mullahs across the border. Some sort of peaceful regime change is the solution preferred by most — and, of course, can be pursued in a manner contemporaneous with, not exclusionary to, other strategies.

It is a long-term therapy and therefore suffers the obvious defect that Iran might become nuclear in the meantime. Then the regime’s resulting braggadocio might well deflate the dissident opposition, as the mullahs boast that they alone have restored Iranian national prestige with an Achaemenid bomb.

A third, and often unmentionable, course is to allow the most likely intended target of nuclear Iran, Israel, to take matters into its own hands. We know this scenario from the 1981 destruction of Saddam’s French-built Osirak nuclear reactor: the world immediately deplores such “unilateral” and “preemptory” recklessness, and then sighs relief that Israel, not it, put the bell on the fanged cat.

But 2006 is not 1981. We are in war with Islamic radicalism, at the moment largely near the Iranian border in Iraq and Afghanistan. The resulting furor over a “Zionist” strike on Shia Iran might galvanize Iraqi Shiites to break with us, rather than bring them relief that the Jewish state had eliminated a nearby nuclear threat and had humiliated an age-old rival nation and bitter former enemy. Thousands of Americans are in range of Iranian artillery and short-term missile salvoes, and, in theory, we could face in Iraq a conventional enemy at the front and a fifth column at the rear.

And Iran poses far greater risks than in the past for Israeli pilots flying in over the heart of the Muslim world, with 200-300 possible nuclear sites that are burrowed into mountains, bunkers and suburbs. Such a mission would require greater flight distances, messy refueling, careful intelligence, and the need to put Israeli forces on alert for an Iranian counterstrike or a terrorist move from Lebanon. Former Israeli friends like Turkey are now not so cordial, and the violation of Islamic airspace might in the short-term draw an ugly response, despite the eventual relief in Arab capitals at the elimination of the Iranian nuclear arsenal.

If the Israeli raids did not take out the entire structure, or if there were already plutonium present in undisclosed bunkers, then the Iranians might shift from their sickening rhetoric and provide terrorists in Syria and Lebanon with dirty bombs or nuclear devices to “avenge” the attack as part of a “defensive” war of “striking back” at “Israeli aggression”. Europeans might even shrug at any such hit, concluding that Israel had it coming by attacking first.

The fourth scenario is as increasingly dreaded as it is apparently inevitable — a U.S. air strike. Most hope that it can be delayed, since its one virtue — the elimination of the Iranian nuclear threat — must ipso facto outweigh the multifaceted disadvantages.

The Shiite allies in Iraq might go ballistic and start up a second front as in 2004. Muslim countries, the primary beneficiaries of a disarmed Iran, would still protest loudly that some of their territories, if only for purposes of intelligence and post-operative surveillance, were used in the strike. After Iraq, a hit on Iran would confirm to the Middle East Street a disturbing picture of American preemptory wars against Islamic nations.

Experts warn that we are not talking about a Clintonian one-day cruise-missile hit, or even something akin to General Zinni’s 1998 extended Operation Desert Fox campaign. Rather, the challenges call for something far more sustained and comprehensive — perhaps a week or two of bombing at every imaginable facility, many of them hidden in suburbs or populated areas. Commando raids might need to augment air sorties, especially for mountain redoubts deep in solid rock.

The political heat would mount hourly, as Russia, China, and Europe all would express shock and condemnation, and whine that their careful diplomatic dialogue had once again been ruined by the American outlaws. Soon the focus of the U.N. would not be on Iranian nuclear proliferation, or the role of Europe, Pakistan, China, and Russia in lending nuclear expertise to the theocracy, but instead on the mad bomber-cowboy George Bush. We remember that in 1981 the world did not blame the reckless and greedy French for their construction of a nuclear reactor for Saddam Hussein, but the sober Israelis for taking it out.

Politically, the administration would have to vie with CNN’s daily live feeds of collateral damage that might entail killed Iranian girls and boys, maimed innocents, and street-side reporters who thrust microphones into stretchers of civilian dead. The Europeans’ and American Left’s slurs of empire and hegemony would only grow.

We remember the “quagmire” hysteria that followed week three in Afghanistan, and the sandstorm “pause” that prompted cries that we had lost Iraq. All that would be child’s play compared to an Iranian war, as retired generals and investigative reporters haggled every night on cable news over how many reactor sites were still left to go. So take for granted that we would be saturated by day four of the bombing with al Jazeera’s harangues, perhaps a downed and blindfolded pilot or two paraded on television, some gruesome footage of arms and legs in Tehran’s streets, and the usual Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer outtakes.

So where do these bad and worse choices leave us? Right where we are now — holding and circling while waiting for a break in the clouds.

Still, there are two parameters we should accept — namely, that Iran should not be allowed to arm its existing missiles with nukes and that Israel should not have to do the dirty work of taking out Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

The Europeans and the Americans right now must accelerate their efforts and bring the crisis to a climax at the Security Council to force China and Russia publicly to take sides. India, Pakistan, and the Arab League should all be brought in and briefed on the dilemma, and asked to go on record supporting U.N. action.

The public relations war is critical. Zen-like, the United States must assure the Europeans, Russians, and Arabs that the credit for a peaceful solution would be theirs. The lunacy of the Iranian president should provide the narrative of events, and thus be quoted hourly — as we remain largely silent.

Economically, we should factor in the real possibility that Iranian oil might be off the global market, and prepare — we have been here before with the Iranian embargo of 1979 — for colossal gasoline price hikes. This should also be a reminder that Ahmadinejad, Saddam, Hugo Chavez, and an ascendant and increasingly undemocratic Putin all had in common both petrodollar largess and desperate Western, Chinese, and Indian importers willing to overlook almost anything to slake their thirst. Unless we develop an energy policy that collapses the global oil price, for the next half-century expect every few years something far creepier than the Saudi Royals and Col. Moammar Gadhafi to threaten the world order.

The Democratic leadership should step up to the plate and, in Truman-esque fashion, forge a bipartisan front to confront Iran and make the most of their multilateral moment. If the Democrats feel they have lost the public’s confidence in their stewardship of national security, then the threat of Iran offers a Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, or John Kerry an opportunity to get out front now and pledge support for a united effort — attacking Bush from the right about too tepid a stance rather from the predictable left that we are “hegemonic” and “imperialistic” every time we use force abroad.

Finally, the public must be warned that dealing with a nuclear Iran is not a matter of a good versus a bad choice, but between a very bad one now and something far, far worse to come.

Biker
January 15, 2006, 11:40 PM
And what if Iran already *has* nuc capabilities? What if we're just being baited?
A joint U.S./Isaraeli attack with a nuclear response from Iran and they can claim self-defense. A scary thought...
Biker

Lupinus
January 15, 2006, 11:41 PM
We simply don't have the manpower to do an all out invasion. Maybe if we pulled all of our troops from various countries they aren't needed but that is a stretch. Our best bet is to use covert operations. A good bit of Iran is young, and while maybe not totally pro west aren't anti west either, most want to westernize and modernize a bit. So my idea would be covert ops, take out best teams give them the best rifles and equipment we have plenty of ammo, a target list, and tell them to have some target practice. Nukes like guns themselves aren't a problem, it is the people with their fingers on the trigger that can prove to be a problem. Remove the guys from power that would love to see us and Israel gone and the problem is dramatically reduced.

Option B is the option reserved for if option A doesn't have time to do anything. In short blow them into the stone age. Massive air strike against their air defense system and quick response units with cruise missiles and stealth. Follow that up with a second wave massive air strike against their command and control, nuclear program, weapons program, etc. I do NOT advocate the use of nukes. If anything very small tactical nukes for targets which conventional weapons wont be able to take out, such as some bunkers. But only as a last resort against the most important targets that absolutely need to be taken out that conventional weapons wont be able to do. I understand regime change can't be effective with air power alone. But it can be effective for destroying infrastructure and weapons.

Lupinus
January 15, 2006, 11:50 PM
I can't resist asking how any of this concern is really different than believing the intelligence on Iraq.
Because all we had with Saddam was intel, and a where did they go. Something I supported and to a point still do. Here we have the guy point blank telling us he does, have unquestionable photos, and has Russia admitting. Sure, they say it is just for power, but doubt it highly.

And what if Iran already *has* nuc capabilities? What if we're just being baited?
A joint U.S./Isaraeli attack with a nuclear response from Iran and they can claim self-defense
Truly scary indeed. But with people that fanaticle your chances of getting hit are good reguardless of if you strike first or not. And self defense, if we use large scale nukes maybe. But bombing civilians with nukes doesn't fly to well for the self defence card unless we do the same first. Even if we use tactical nukes, if we don't use them agianst civilians them using ones they may already have agianst civilians still doesn't hold water as self defense.

Biker
January 16, 2006, 12:00 AM
Dunno Lupinus, I don't think that the size of the nuke will matter in the long run.
If we use them first, we're condemned. Now, I don't much care about world opinion, but this could be significant. And really, nukes, either now or downstream, don't really discriminate.
Biker

Standing Wolf
January 16, 2006, 12:14 AM
It's an Air Force problem, not an Army and Marines problem. Land Wars in Asia aren't a bright idea—as we ought to have learned a long, long time ago.

ajkurp
January 16, 2006, 12:30 AM
Welcome them to the NBBC (Nuclear Big Boys Club). And explain the rules of nuclear war. You use one, we target a hundred.

Then leave them alone.

Mohammedites have a pathetic society, but they are not stupid.

Lone_Gunman
January 16, 2006, 12:39 AM
I don't think we can do anything now that involves land troops, considering we have them tied up with Bush's folly in Iraq.

Lupinus
January 16, 2006, 12:42 AM
Dunno Lupinus, I don't think that the size of the nuke will matter in the long run.
If we use them first, we're condemned. Now, I don't much care about world opinion, but this could be significant. And really, nukes, either now or downstream, don't really discriminate.

Good point. But while the world is pretty sympathetic even Europe seems to be fed up with Iran. While using any nukes from our side wont go over well I think them retaliating agianst civilians with nukes will go over even worse then that. The type I am talking about are akin to enhanced bunker busters and the amount needed to give it the extra punch to get through a bunker would be (I'm no rocket scientist so I am guessing here) relativly small and therefore so would the radioactive material. Also keep in mind that since we are talking enhanced bunker busters the main explosion is going to be underground. Now not as deep as an old mine shaft like in the tests we used to do, but still underground. That would seem to contain a reasonable amount of radioactive materal under the ground, at least to the point of keeping it from drifting hundred of miles to heavily populated civilian areas.

Welcome them to the NBBC (Nuclear Big Boys Club). And explain the rules of nuclear war. You use one, we target a hundred.

Then leave them alone.

Mohammedites have a pathetic society, but they are not stupid.
With most countries that would work. It has worked with India and Pakistan, heck even has worked with China. But I doubt that will work with radical Islamics. MAD only works if both sides are afriad of destruction. Islamic terrorists simply are not, and they aren't above sacraficing the lives of themselves or innocents to do that. Not even muslims, plenty of Iraqi citizens coperating with the US and otherwise have been killed by terrorists and they don't care. I doubt they would be afriad of retaliation if they could set off a nuke inside the US. They would see it as a great victory even if it ment a nuke going off over one of their cities.

USMCRotrHed
January 16, 2006, 12:45 AM
If Iran developes nukes and puts them on top of the rockets they have been testing, then fire these rockets from a ship, they can create an electromagnetic pulse that (in thoery) would destroy anything in the USA that relies on magnetic fields for power. Goodbye electricity, computers, cell phones, cars; hello horses, steam locomotives, firearms, kerosene lanterns and splitting mauls for firewood.

Add this to the stuff Iran's president is spewing about preparing for the 12th Imam (end of world prophecy stuff) and it sounds like a dangerous situation.

If you take what he says seriously and if somebody doesn't do something before it's too late, I hope you stocked up on 5.56 and 7.62x39.

I'm starting to sound paranoid aren't I.....I'll stop now.

Moondoggie
January 16, 2006, 01:03 AM
Iran wants nukes sooo bad, I think we should give them some.....used.

Smaller nukes could not only knock out their facilities, but also make them unusable for a few thousand years. Since they are supposedly secret facilities I would think that they are at least somewhat isolated. Civilian casualties might be greatly reduced because of that.

This Iranian President is a whack job along the lines of Kim Jon Il...both of them make my skin crawl every time I see them on the news. Does anybody here think either of these meglomaniacs give a rat's patoot about civilian casualties when they get the chance to make their big splash??? The time is coming when we're going to have to suck it up and take the gloves off with these nimrods. Hopefully TPTB make the decision before it's too late for us.

Be the first to use nukes??? Boat's already sailed on that one. We were the first to use nukes. I fail to see what difference the method of destruction makes. 1 nuclear bomb kills 100K in seconds or 100 conventional bombs kill the same number in hours; it's still the same loss of life. One uses a chemical reaction, the other an atomic reaction...both result in a destructive explosion. Is a 5,000 lb conventional bomb somehow more immoral than a 500 lb bomb?

If the US launched a pre-emptive nulclear strike on Iran I'm sure a lot of folks in the world would have a lot to say about it. I'm also sure a lot would say "They asked for it". I think that it would get very quiet the next time some country decided to head down the path to "Rouge Nation" status.

Of course, all of this drama and angst could be avoided if the UN would extract it's head from it's posterier and take decisive action for the best interest of the whole world. I'm not holding my breath. Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic comes to mind when thinking about the UN.

You've got to stop and remember who/what we're dealing with here, and consider what's at stake. Iran gets nukes, they're going to use them.

grimjaw
January 16, 2006, 01:24 AM
One could argue that Iran had no other choice in pursuing a nuclear option.

We've knocked over two countries in a row and replaced the power structure. All this was done with relatively little fuss. It didn't matter that other countries raised a big stink over our actions in Iraq, because they haven't actually done anything to prevent or halt it. Now Iran is sitting right across the border from an extremely large and seasoned US military force. Wouldn't you feel threatened? What is basically the only thing you could do to keep them from steamrolling you? See nuclear option number one.

I don't think it's rocket science, excuse the pun, and I don't think it's really got much to do with Iran threatening its neighbors. Pakistan and India, nuclear powers, both threaten each other. Why haven't we 'liberated' those countries? If Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, it seems like a self-preservation move to me. If you want the US to dance on its tiptoes, acquire nuclear weapons. Iraq didn't, or at least didn't have the capability to do any damage at range, and now they see Humvees and US flags at the Baghdad QuikMart. It's kind of like the 'have a gun' argument. If you're going to carry a gun, you better be prepared to use it if threatened. Saddam, if he had the option, didn't use it. Now he spends his days impotently yelling at judges.

I think the US power structure thinks like this. There might never be a better time to strike Iran. The Russians are less powerful than in the Cold War, and they still have the Chechens occasionally making noise. They haven't called our bluff twice in a row. The Bush administration has seen what will and won't work with fear-mongering, and "look out they've got nukes/chemical weapons' is a tactic which should work again in the Security Council. Even if we didn't invade, if you attack strategically, you could potentially create the same situation that existed in Iraq before Saddam was toppled: an economically, militarily weakened country, embargoed from every side, that can be picked off in the future with little danger to the homeland.

I personally think we invaded Iraq so that a Russian-backed Iran didn't do it first. Saddam would have died someday. Who was going to fill his shoes? We weakened him enough with war and sanctions. He was primed for being toppled by somebody else if not us.

Will the Russians finally decide the US has made enough noise and secured entirely too many airfields close to its shores in the name of 'freedom'? Will China decide it first?

"Terrorism" will continue to grow, and I think the US power structure knows this. Any large, organized power opposed to the US attracts attention and JDAM's. The only way to fight back for these people is with guerilla tactics and suicide bombings. It doesn't seem to be working for them, but it's the only damage they can inflict.

Iran has organization, access to oil and customers that need it (Asia), access to weapons and technology (Russia/China/North Korea), and a power structure hostile to the US.

I say all this without the benefit of facts. If Iran could definitely show they had no nuclear weapons or intent, I'm sure the US would quit saber-rattling and leave them in peace.

Yeah, right.

jmm

GoRon
January 16, 2006, 01:38 AM
If Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, it seems like a self-preservation move to me.

Or you can believe what they have told the world about destroying Israel. A top cleric just referenced using them in a first strike against Israel.

Lobotomy Boy
January 16, 2006, 01:42 AM
I think you are both right, Grimjaw and GoRon. Iran is a pawn in an international game of risk, winner take all the oil. And it is run by a lunatic theocracy that is unstable and dangerous. There are no easy answers on this one, but I think that before we let our leaders drag us in there like half-cocked cowboys, we aught to take a good long look at where the money goes.

progunner1957
January 16, 2006, 01:45 AM
What to do?

Mushroom cloud, perhaps??:D

skooter2
January 16, 2006, 01:48 AM
I say we send em one via airmail!!:mad:

skooter2
January 16, 2006, 01:57 AM
I don't think we can do anything now that involves land troops, considering we have them tied up with Bush's folly in Iraq.


it would seem to me however that your signature is in direct conflict to your statement here isnt it?:eek:

antsi
January 16, 2006, 02:00 AM
Pakistan and India, nuclear powers, both threaten each other. Why haven't we 'liberated' those countries?


Pakistan and India aren't run by whack jobs who think the US is Satan.

That "welcome to the big boys nuclear club" gets stood on its head when you are facing crazy people who are willing to die so long as they take out a couple of Americans.

Lone_Gunman
January 16, 2006, 02:03 AM
it would seem to me however that your signature is in direct conflict to your statement here isnt it?

No, I dont think my sig conflicts this statement. We have to do something about Iran, I just dont think we have anything to do it with now. Even Bush acknowledges this, and his Secretary of State has said in the last 72 hrs that we have no plans of attacking Iran at this time.

The War in Iraq has been an exercise in how to screw up a war by not planning ahead. Remember all the problems we had at first by not armouring HumVees, and providing body armour to soldiers? If we go into Iran as half assed as we went into Iraq, I think we will lose a lot of good men.

We are sooner or later going to have to deal with Iran, but will probably have to abandon our nation building project in Iraq to do so.

The_Shootist
January 16, 2006, 02:07 AM
I think it will boil down to a strike against their infrastructure with either lower yield nukes or something a little more conventional but stouter. Maybe frying a city's power plant / water supply with limited civilian losses to get the message across.

That might not be enough to effect either a reasonable response or regime change unfortunately.

The biggest problem is a large response that doesn't make the oil glow in the dark - which would have a devasating effect on the world (and certainly our)
economy.

I think a strike with neutron weapons (ie one block blast radiance but 10 mile human casualty toll) will be needed, after a bunker busting effort with nukes/conventional weapons followed up with chemical weapons against survivors.

We just have to keep in mind they'd likely do it to us first if given the chance.

grimjaw
January 16, 2006, 02:11 AM
A top cleric just referenced using them in a first strike against Israel.

It's one thing for a religious 'leader' to spout fire and brimstone from his prayer mat. It's entirely another to target a site several hundred (thousand?) miles away with a nuclear missle without hitting your allies in the same region, especially without satellite guidance or intelligence. Israel is not a wide country east/west, and I'm sure Syria, Palestine, Jordan, and Egypt would not look kindly on nuclear lawn darts launched blindfolded from Iran.

Say Israel was hit with Iran's existing tech. The strike wouldn't be precision, thus allowing retaliation by Israel, and everyone else I can think of. I think even Russia would drop Iran like a hot potato if they launched. It would unify all the UN members, and swift action would follow from a group of allies that would rival the first Gulf War.

For Iran to perform a precision strike, it would take intel that likely only we, the Chinese, or the Russians have re: targeting. What could Russia or China gain from providing intel for such a strike? Zero sum game.

Someone will come along later and school me on where I'm wrong. Either that, or the NSA will come calling, wondering how I'm such a good guesser. :eek:

It's guessing, really!

I'm also confused about why if Iran wants to go after a country persecuting Muslims that they don't go knocking on the Russian door through Chechnya. Russia is somewhat friendlier to predominantly Muslim countries than the US out of necessity, IMO. They're in Russia's back yard and they're good customers. But 200,000+ dead Chechen Muslims doesn't cause Iran to bat an eye?

jmm

Lone_Gunman
January 16, 2006, 02:21 AM
Grimjaw,

Iran can make an absolutely precise hit on Jerusalem, and never even use a missile.

One Nuke + One Palestinian + One Truck = No Jerusalem.

itgoesboom
January 16, 2006, 02:43 AM
A top cleric just referenced using them in a first strike against Israel.

It's one thing for a religious 'leader' to spout fire and brimstone from his prayer mat....


Iran is ruled by it's religious leaders. Their President (who is a nut) is not in full control, thats not how their country is set up. They have a cleric who is actually in control.

I.G.B.

TABING
January 16, 2006, 02:46 AM
the Wall Street Journal:
The Radioactive Republic of Iran

By MICHAEL RUBIN
January 16, 2006

On Friday, George Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood together in the White House to condemn Iran. "Iran, armed with a nuclear weapon, poses a grave threat to the security of the world," Mr. Bush said. "We will not be intimidated," Ms. Merkel added. The press conference marks a turning point in a decade-long saga. Europe's engagement with Iran has failed. While Iranian diplomats met with their British, French and German counterparts in Vienna and Geneva, Iranian technicians toiled to ready Iran's uranium enrichment capability. European officials discussed a China model for Iran, in which they could use trade to catalyze political liberalization. Between 2000 and 2005, EU trade with the Islamic Republic almost tripled. But rather than moderate, Iranian authorities used the hard currency to enhance their military. They built secret nuclear facilities and blocked inspections. They failed to explain why there were traces of weapons-grade uranium on Iranian centrifuges, and refused to detail what assistance Tehran received from Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. On Sept. 24, 2005, the International Atomic Energy Agency declared Iran to be in non-compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty's Safeguards Agreement.

Still, diplomats and doves hold out hope. After a Jan. 12 phone conversation with Ali Larijani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Kofi Annan assured reporters that Tehran was interested in "serious and constructive negotiations." As Mr. Bush met Ms. Merkel, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told the BBC that military action was "not on the agenda" and insisted that the crisis "can only be resolved by peaceful means." But while Mr. Bush and his European allies may agree to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council, traditional diplomacy will not work for a simple reason: Iran's quest for nuclear weapons has nothing to do with the U.S. or Europe. The crisis with Tehran is ideological, not political.

* * *
Destruction of Israel is a pillar of the Islamic Republic's ideology. Soon after leading the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declared, "Every Muslim has a duty to prepare himself for battle against Israel." President Ahmadinejad's recent Holocaust-denial and call for Israel to be "wiped off the map," may have shocked Europe, but his statements mark only a change in rhetorical style, not ideological substance. When it comes to Israel, there is no difference between hard-liners and reformers. While Mr. Annan honored Mohammad Khatami for his Dialogue of Civilizations, the reformist president's instructions to the Iranian people were less high-minded. "We should mobilize the whole Islamic World for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime," he told Iranian TV on Oct. 24, 2000. "If we abide by the Qur'an, all of us should mobilize to kill." In a Dec. 14, 2001 sermon, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, perhaps the second most powerful man in Iran and one often described as a pragmatist by Western officials and journalists alike, declared, "The use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything… It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality." During a Sept. 22, 2003 military parade, authorities displayed a Shihab-3 missile draped with a banner reading, "Israel must be uprooted and erased from history."

The ideological venom of their leaders carries little weight among the people. While the Iran-Iraq War killed hundreds of thousands, Iran and Israel have never exchanged a single shot. Many Iranians express pride that Israeli president Moshe Katsav was born in Iran. Indeed, the real ire of ordinary Iranians is expressed toward their government, not the outside world. In a 2002 labor protest, workers demanding back pay marched through Tehran, chanting, "Forget about Palestine and think about us."

Iran's youth want no more to live under theocracy than do Americans or Europeans. Iran Institute for Democracy telephone polls sampling opinion in every Tehran neighborhood suggest that 80% of the population have lost faith in the Islamic Republic. The Iranian people have little say in their leadership. The Supreme Leader wields autocratic power and reigns for life. The Guardian Council selects who can run for office. Before the 2005 elections, this clerical council disqualified more than 1,000 candidates, allowing the public to choose from only eight, all of whom endorsed theocracy and opposed far-reaching reform. Ordinary Iranians ignore the sham: While the Iranian government claims 50% voter turnout, Iranian pilgrims in Iraq say it was less than 20%. Contrast that with Iraq, where 70% of the population braves bombs and bullets to vote.

The Iranian religious leadership recognizes that demography is against them. Reform is a slippery slope, democracy a theocrat's hemlock. For the Ayatollahs, there can be no Orange, Rose, or Cedar Revolutions. Popular will is irrelevant. Legitimacy comes not from the people, but from God as channeled through a cabal of religious leaders. While Western analysts divide Iran's politicians into hard-liners and reformists, the difference is one of style, not belief. Take Mr. Khatami: Viewed by diplomats as a reformer, he nevertheless demonstrated disdain for popular sovereignty. "Knowledge of God's commandment must be the foundation of … life," he wrote in the state-run daily Kayhan. "People are not able to comprehend God's will through the explanations contained in the Quran and Sunna. Acquiring such comprehension requires several years of studies and much effort." Democracy is fine, but only clerics should be able to participate fully. Khomeini's successor and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called liberal democracy "the source of all human torment."

Such statements ring hollow among the Iranian people. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Iran's constitutional revolution. Many people wonder why they no longer have today rights they had a century ago. Since the 1999 student protests, they have taken to the streets with increasing frequency to demand real reform. Iranians are losing their fear of the Islamic authorities. State control is eroding. Televised confessions once broke dissidents, now they build them. A stint in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison has become a badge of honor. Last summer, dissident author Akbar Ganji shook the Islamic Republic with a two-month hunger strike that captivated his countrymen. "I have become the symbol of justice in the face of tyranny," he wrote from prison, "my emaciated body exposing the contradictions of a government which has reversed justice and tyranny."

The ideological guardians can suppress wildfires of dissent, but Iran remains a tinderbox. Demography pours fuel on the fire. The leadership is following a different China model: Only with a nuclear deterrent can the ayatollahs launch the Cultural Revolution that will ensure their survival without fear of outside interference. The Revolutionary Guards are preparing for not one, but dozens of Tiananmen Squares.

As they cleanse their home front, the theocrats may use their nuclear capability to act upon their ideological imperative to destroy Israel. The West once ignored Saddam Hussein's threats against Kuwait. But dictators often mean what they say. Even if Iran does not use its bomb, a nuclear deterrent will enable it to lash out conventionally without fear of consequence.

Diplomacy can only work when both sides are sincere. Like an abused spouse, Western policy makers blame themselves rather than understand the fault is not theirs. There is no magic formula waiting to be discovered. To Tehran, the West is naïve. More diplomacy will only give the Islamic Republic time to achieve its nuclear goal. The only solutions that can rectify the problem are those that deny the Islamic Republic its nuclear arsenal or those that enable Iranians to cast aside theocracy and its aggressive ideology and instead embrace freedom.

Mr. Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is co-author, with Patrick Clawson, of "Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos" (Palgrave, 2005).

URL for this article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113736575780147145.html

Below, originally posted on TLF:

I spent 7 years in Iran working for their miltary, survived the revolution, and was married to an Iranian for 16 years. There's no way of knowing what they're thinking. I work with, and know many Iraninans here in Abu Dhabi. They all hate their government and are waiting for the inevitable change to come. Keep in mind, that 75% of the population is under 25 years old and they are fed up with the Ayatollahs, they see the world on the internet and satellite TV passing them by, and they are frustrated by this. This demographic time bomb worries the govenment and they know that time is not on their side. Most Iranians I know are very nice, (there are around a half million here in a total population of about 3 and a half million). When in Iran, they just try to live their lives as best they can and always find ways to do what they want even under the eyes as the gov't.

What this new president has been spouting has been for domestic political comsumption, leaders in this part of the world all have big mouths.

I say let Europe handle this, it's in their backyard and they've been kissing a** for years. This a big wake up call from them, and they better get serious about it.

grimjaw
January 16, 2006, 02:48 AM
One Nuke + One Palestinian + One Truck = No Jerusalem.

Lone_Gunman, agreed. But that's still a zero sum game. If Iran claimed responsibility for the strike, the gloves are off and they'll be neutered. If Palestine claimed responsibility they too would be annihilated, if not by Israel, then by us. Does anyone believe that Palestine is developing nuclear capability without help?

This can of nuclear worms was opened in WW2, guys. What are we going to do, take over every country in the Middle East with crazy preachers and patrol their borders? We can't even police our border, and we've got crazy preachers (http://www.cbn.com/700club/showinfo/staff/patrobertson.asp) with their own TV networks!

I don't mean to say that an attack against Iran isn't justified if they are trying to develop WMD's. I think it does damage to the confidence the American people have in our elected leaders if we cannot prove it after the fact. I for one do not want to fund another 'nation-building' exercise, no-fly zone, or embargo. I have a nephew that wants to be something when he grows up, and it isn't drafted.

jmm

cosine
January 16, 2006, 03:15 AM
Iran is a pawn in an international game of risk, winner take all the oil.

I like that analogy. :D It seems pretty accurate.

RealGun
January 16, 2006, 09:20 AM
I don't think we can do anything now that involves land troops, considering we have them tied up with Bush's folly in Iraq.

I predict a draft within months.

RealGun
January 16, 2006, 09:27 AM
Pakistan and India aren't run by whack jobs who think the US is Satan.

Pakistan is not our friend. We aren't allowed to go in there and look for bin Laden. It's an uneasy peace, partly because they have nukes. We sent a cruise missile in there recently, trying to take out one of the al Quaida leaders. Pakistan protested. I thought it was pretty gutsy. Do it now and apologize later.

RealGun
January 16, 2006, 09:30 AM
Reading this thread makes it sound like preemptive war has become pretty popular. Of course, all that will change when it becomes George Bush's plan.

Lobotomy Boy
January 16, 2006, 09:57 AM
I think it will boil down to a strike against their infrastructure with either lower yield nukes or something a little more conventional but stouter. Maybe frying a city's power plant / water supply with limited civilian losses to get the message across.

That might not be enough to effect either a reasonable response or regime change unfortunately.


Nope, but it would be enough to strengthen the resolve of the leaders to do everything possible to retaliate against the U.S., and it would be enough to turn a population that is not now anti-U.S. against us.

Think about this for a minute. How did we react when we were attacked by Al Qaeda? Did they "get the message across?" Did they make us cower in fear and change our foreign policy? Hell no. It's basic human nature to pull together against an attacker, regardless of who is right or wrong, and we're talking about human beings in Iran, not monkeys.

USMCRotrHed
January 16, 2006, 10:52 AM
I, too, think that if Iran launched a nuke at Isreal, the UN would be unified. My main concern is just which side they would be on. If history is any indicator, they will side with Iran and against Isreal and US. As far as I'm concerned....Our only real ally is Isreal, and sometimes they don't act like it!

Here's one pre-emptive theory. What if we pulled mostly out of Iraq and moved into Iran to take out any nuclear threat and "encourage" a regime change there too. Maybe, just maybe all the "insurgents" would follow us to Iran leaving a moderately peaceful Iraq. My main reason not to go this route is that I think there would be a civil war between the Sunnis and the Shi'ites, but most of the Sudanese and Iranian fighters will follow us to where the fight is.

It's just one possible course of action. Here's another, more likely, theory. Isreal has a small bluewater force of ballistic missle capable submarines. These subs could launch a strike against Iran from just about anywhere in the Indian Ocean. No need to penetrate any other country's airspace and therefore take the chance of alerting Iran before the strike occurs. Could this be the strike Netanyahu has eluded to if he is elected next month (or is it in March).

Lobotomy Boy
January 16, 2006, 10:59 AM
Here's one pre-emptive theory. What if we pulled mostly out of Iraq and moved into Iran to take out any nuclear threat and "encourage" a regime change there too. Maybe, just maybe all the "insurgents" would follow us to Iran leaving a moderately peaceful Iraq. My main reason not to go this route is that I think there would be a civil war between the Sunnis and the Shi'ites, but most of the Sudanese and Iranian fighters will follow us to where the fight is.

There's a plan. According to your logic, if we pulled out of Iraq we would leave a mostly-peaceful Iraq.

Good lord. After reading some of the posts on this thread, I think it's time to start buying as much stock in oil companies as possible because I see their profits skyrocketing in the near future.

USMCRotrHed
January 16, 2006, 11:15 AM
One step ahead of you there.

I may have a few crack pot theories, but I do try to follow the money.

antsi
January 16, 2006, 11:34 AM
Pakistan is not our friend.

I didn't say "Pakistan is a strong, reliable ally of the U.S." I just said Pakistan is not run by whack-jobs who think the U.S. is Satan.

People seem impervious to the basic fact, this conflict is not like the US/USSR cold war, where both sides calculate their long term risks and interests before acting. In that conflict, even our enemy could be relied upon to behave in fairly predictable ways according to a semi-rational accounting of their own interests.

The current conflict is different.

But that's still a zero sum game. If Iran claimed responsibility for the strike, the gloves are off and they'll be neutered. If Palestine claimed responsibility they too would be annihilated, if not by Israel, then by us.

Grimjaw you are assuming an enemy who thinks through their actions and consequences in more or less the same way we do (albeit with different motivations). I don't think that's a safe assumption.

It's kind of like saying "that crazy guy on the water tower with the rifle won't shoot anyone, because he knows he'll be caught and prosecuted." Not a safe assumption, because he's not thinking the same way we do.

I'm not saying the Islamofacsists are clinically insane, but they sure don't think the same way we do and I don't think you can count on them to weigh actions and consequences in the logical, predictable way you are proposing.

Manedwolf
January 16, 2006, 11:37 AM
We simply don't have the manpower to do an all out invasion. Maybe if we pulled all of our troops from various countries they aren't needed but that is a stretch. Our best bet is to use covert operations. A good bit of Iran is young, and while maybe not totally pro west aren't anti west either, most want to westernize and modernize a bit. So my idea would be covert ops, take out best teams give them the best rifles and equipment we have plenty of ammo, a target list, and tell them to have some target practice. Nukes like guns themselves aren't a problem, it is the people with their fingers on the trigger that can prove to be a problem. Remove the guys from power that would love to see us and Israel gone and the problem is dramatically reduced.

Option B is the option reserved for if option A doesn't have time to do anything. In short blow them into the stone age. Massive air strike against their air defense system and quick response units with cruise missiles and stealth. Follow that up with a second wave massive air strike against their command and control, nuclear program, weapons program, etc. I do NOT advocate the use of nukes. If anything very small tactical nukes for targets which conventional weapons wont be able to take out, such as some bunkers. But only as a last resort against the most important targets that absolutely need to be taken out that conventional weapons wont be able to do. I understand regime change can't be effective with air power alone. But it can be effective for destroying infrastructure and weapons.

And then they have a whole lot of martyrs, lots of footage of dead children, and recruiting for entire armies of terrorists will SKYROCKET. That'd be fighting a fire by spraying it with gasoline!

And if we EVER used a nuke of any kind, seriously, the rest of the world would look at us as if we had suddenly adopted the swastika and one-hand-high salute. We'd be finished. Period.

Manedwolf
January 16, 2006, 11:40 AM
Smaller nukes could not only knock out their facilities, but also make them unusable for a few thousand years. Since they are supposedly secret facilities I would think that they are at least somewhat isolated. Civilian casualties might be greatly reduced because of that.

And send a Chernobyl x10 fallout plume over most of Europe, depending on winds. You think allies would remain allies if their people started dying of radiation poisoning and their children started being born with horrible defects?

Even the official studies on a bunker-buster nuke allowed for "a million" civilian casualties downwind.

A MILLION?!

Manedwolf
January 16, 2006, 11:45 AM
I predict a draft within months.

With nudge-nudge-wink-wink easy-outs for the children of the rich and powerful, of course.

You won't see any of the precious babies of congresspeople of either party, or of the "captains of industry" being taken away from their MBA/law/med school coddling to be put in fatigues and tossed out there, for sure.

There was another system that existed for a long time where the poor fought the wars and the lords, who started the wars they fought in, lived in decadent castles. It was called feudalism.

RealGun
January 16, 2006, 12:06 PM
With nudge-nudge-wink-wink easy-outs for the children of the rich and powerful, of course.

You won't see any of the precious babies of congresspeople of either party, or of the "captains of industry" being taken away from their MBA/law/med school coddling to be put in fatigues and tossed out there, for sure.

There was another system that existed for a long time where the poor fought the wars and the lords, who started the wars they fought in, lived in decadent castles. It was called feudalism.

The thread might quickly become about the draft, but I will say that allowing those doing [well] in school to have a pass would be a masterful piece of social engineering. Postgraduate students should be left alone except for critical skills. What the rest need is some way to get their act together. The military is a tried and true method of providing that. It also provides weapons training and that many fewer anti-gun people.

Lone_Gunman
January 16, 2006, 12:06 PM
I think Real Gun was being facetious with his prediction of a draft.

Neither party will ever ask for a draft, as they know it would be political suicide. Power is coveted above all things, even national security. Bush would love to wage war throughout the Middle East, but he wants to maintain power here more than even that.

I don't know how we will deal with Iran, but it will not be through the use of conscripts.

grimjaw
January 16, 2006, 12:17 PM
Grimjaw you are assuming an enemy who thinks through their actions and consequences in more or less the same way we do (albeit with different motivations).

I don't assume that Palestine or Iran think that way. I'm saying that if they attacked Israel with weapons on the order of a nuke, they would be attacked I don't think Israel would stop after six days this time, either.

Iran and Israel have never attacked each other. Iran's last major war was with Iraq, even though they'd been calling for the annihilation of Iraq for years before that.

jmm

RealGun
January 16, 2006, 12:21 PM
I think Real Gun was being facetious with his prediction of a draft.

Neither party will ever ask for a draft, as they know it would be political suicide. Power is coveted above all things, even national security. Bush would love to wage war throughout the Middle East, but he wants to maintain power here more than even that.

I don't know how we will deal with Iran, but it will not be through the use of conscripts.

I was serious, believing that no option would be off the table for lack of manpower.

Biker
January 16, 2006, 12:28 PM
We're under-manned now. I don't see how we could possibly fight another ground war with our present troop strength.
Biker

taliv
January 16, 2006, 12:35 PM
i'm telling you guys, lack of military manpower and out-of-control immigration are two problems that solve themselves. tab A -----> slot B

Lone_Gunman
January 16, 2006, 01:29 PM
I was serious, believing that no option would be off the table for lack of manpower.

Really. I don't see it happening for the reasons I enumerated above.

Before we start a draft, I believe we will out-source our military to foreign countries (like we do all other labor) or create an amnesty program for Mexicans and Central Americans whereby they can come here, sign up in the military for 4 years, and get fast-tracked to American citizenship.

No way are we going to ask Americans to lay down their Nintendos and go to war. It is better to keep Americans here in their jobs as consumers, so the economy will stay strong, and allow us to continue funding our wars.

RealGun
January 16, 2006, 01:47 PM
Before we start a draft, I believe we will out-source our military to foreign countries (like we do all other labor)

Perhaps the constraint will be taking action only as an allied effort. I think that abdicates control to the UN or NATO. That's not the American way, but we'll see.

Lobotomy Boy
January 16, 2006, 02:23 PM
The thread might quickly become about the draft, but I will say that allowing those doing [well] in school to have a pass would be a masterful piece of social engineering. Postgraduate students should be left alone except for critical skills. What the rest need is some way to get their act together. The military is a tried and true method of providing that. It also provides weapons training and that many fewer anti-gun people.


I have to agree with Realgun on this one. I hate to see people being conscripted to be cannon fodder, which seems to be the fate of a soldier under Neocon philosophy, but if we were to pursue a more sane foriegn policy, I believe the draft would be a tremendous benefit for our society for the reasons stated above.

WT
January 16, 2006, 02:25 PM
The size of our military is too big. Even the Pentagon agrees with me as evidenced by this article which appeared in the news last month.

_______________

Pentagon talks of slashing strength of National Guard

Tom Bowman, Baltimore Sun
Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pentagon officials are considering cutting as many as 34,000 soldiers -- the bulk of them from the National Guard --, according to defense officials.
The manpower cuts stem from a decision by Army leaders to sacrifice troop strength in order to provide more money for new weapons systems.

The plan calls for the reduction of some 26,000 Army Guard soldiers. It would eliminate as many as six brigades -- each with about 3,500 soldiers -- as well as two division headquarters, officials said. One aviation brigade would probably be targeted, along with five ground brigades, including as many as four armored and mechanized units, officials said. No specific states have been singled out for cuts, but those types of ground units are in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Washington, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Minnesota and Idaho.

The rest of the proposed cuts would come from the 189,000-soldier Army Reserve, which would lose 4,000 soldiers, and the 492,000-soldier active-duty Army, which would be cut by one brigade, officials said.

"The Defense Department does not have enough money to pay for all the bills it has to pay," the official said.

At the same time, the Army hopes to field the Future Combat System in the next decade, a complex network of armored vehicles, unmanned drones, sensors and weapons systems. Last month, the Pentagon said the system will cost $161 billion, a 64 percent increase from last year's estimate.

The Army had hoped to create between 43 and 48 of these brigades, an increase over the current 33 brigades. But with the planned budget cuts, the Army will settle on 42 brigades, the official said. Thirty-four of the modular brigades were planned for the Guard, up from the current 15 Brigade Combat Teams or "enhanced" brigades. Now, under the cost-saving plan, the Guard would be held to 28 modular brigades.

Asked why proposed troop cuts were focused on the Guard, the Pentagon official said the Guard is already some 17,000 soldiers below its congressionally authorized strength of 350,000. As a result, he said, the reductions in Guard troops wouldn't be that difficult to achieve.

_______________

On TV the other night, the reporter stated that 200 National Guard units would be disbanded.

Ermac
January 16, 2006, 03:58 PM
We're under-manned now. I don't see how we could possibly fight another ground war with our present troop strength.
Biker

agreed...we have over 134,000 troops in Iraq, some 30,000 in the south korean border, and still ????loads in Europe (bosnia area I guess) and Afganistan. We are spread to thinly across the world for another ground campaign. I don't see it happening...but Air power...now thats another story :D

Frandy
January 16, 2006, 04:12 PM
At the same time, the Army hopes to field the Future Combat System in the next decade, a complex network of armored vehicles, unmanned drones, sensors and weapons systems. Last month, the Pentagon said the system will cost $161 billion, a 64 percent increase from last year's estimate.


Anyone remember the (original series) Star Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon?

http://www.thelogbook.com/log/toslog1.html#tos24

Back on topic... All I can say is that the key to success in Iran is to not kill the Iranian people...the common citizen. Blow them away indiscriminately (is there any other way in war?) and we lose them and any chance they would overthrow their government. Of course, we haven't been very good lately at winning hearts and minds. :rolleyes:

Manedwolf
January 16, 2006, 04:36 PM
_______________

At the same time, the Army hopes to field the Future Combat System in the next decade, a complex network of armored vehicles, unmanned drones, sensors and weapons systems. Last month, the Pentagon said the system will cost $161 billion, a 64 percent increase from last year's estimate.

_______________



Yyyeah....Because remember how invincible the ultra-high-tech Luftwaffe and Panzer Corps were? Until they got into a LAND WAR IN ASIA...going into Russia, and got their behinds handed to them by Soviet troops using clunky, durable and far less advanced weapons?

Or how about when the Soviets went into Afghanistan (hint, LAND WAR IN ASIA) and got their APCs and Hind helicopters blown to pieces by mines and duct-taped RPG-7's in the hands of the mujahadeen?

Do ANY of these Tom Clancy disciples study REAL military history? :banghead:

Lobotomy Boy
January 16, 2006, 04:42 PM
Yyyeah....Because remember how invincible the ultra-high-tech Luftwaffe and Panzer Corps were? Until they got into a LAND WAR IN ASIA...going into Russia, and got their behinds handed to them by Soviet troops using clunky, durable and far less advanced weapons?

Or how about when the Soviets went into Afghanistan (hint, LAND WAR IN ASIA) and got their APCs and Hind helicopters blown to pieces by mines and duct-taped RPG-7's in the hands of the mujahadeen?

Do ANY of these Tom Clancy disciples study REAL military history?

In World War I the British discovered that advanced weaponry like armored tanks were useless without an infantry force to back them up. Near as I can tell that principle holds true to this day, as in the above examples posted by Manedwolf.

Manedwolf
January 16, 2006, 05:24 PM
In World War I the British discovered that advanced weaponry like armored tanks were useless without an infantry force to back them up. Near as I can tell that principle holds true to this day, as in the above examples posted by Manedwolf.

Yup. From prehistory till now, it's all been about putting feet, sandals, or boots on the ground. Enough to HOLD territory and establish order.

If you break stuff with air power and wreck the infrastructure, all you do is create a resentful population and open the field for a charismatic leader to rise up and get their support.

bogie
January 16, 2006, 11:08 PM
What to do about Iran?

Wait until they give a glowbomb to someone who sets it off in either New York or Los Angeles (or even New Orleans...), and then carpet bomb the country into the stone age. Oh wait... They're almost there already.

Thing is, if we do anything preemptive, the same people who will be hollering for vengeance after Iran does something will be protesting today...

Remember all the "patriots" right after 9/11? Sheesh - I was patriotic when patriotism wasn't cool. And it's getting to be that way again...

Lobotomy Boy
January 16, 2006, 11:31 PM
Wait until they give a glowbomb to someone who sets it off in either New York or Los Angeles (or even New Orleans...), and then carpet bomb the country into the stone age. Oh wait... They're almost there already.

I've never been to Iran, but people I've spoken with who have been there say it's a modern, sophisticated state and definitely not "stone age." If anyone with experience in Iran is reading this, could you share your insight?

Lupinus
January 16, 2006, 11:38 PM
Grimjaw,

Iran can make an absolutely precise hit on Jerusalem, and never even use a missile.

One Nuke + One Palestinian + One Truck = No Jerusalem.
VERY TRUE. Only thing on your part misguided is the target. No way in hell it would be agianst Jerusalem, that is probably the safist city in Isreal reguarding being targeted for a nuke. Some of the most holy sites of Islam are in that city, and they wouldn't take those out. Now that said most anywhere else in Isreal is fair game.

Also keep in mind we aren't talking a huge nuke, that much material takes a lot of time and resources to prepare. We would likly see from Iran a much smaller nuke, say Hiroshima sized explosion perhaps, probably even smaller then that. So the size of Isreal across isn't as big a problem as some have said. Sure it is possible, but not to the level of a nuke the US would have at its disposal to launch.

TABING
January 17, 2006, 03:58 AM
You're right, Iran is certainly not "stoneage "like Afghanistan, or Pakistan. I lived theere for several years under the Shah, during the revolution, and for a time after it. (was married to an Iranian). Living now only 60 miles away in the UAE, I have many Iranian friends and collegues where I work. There are a half million Iranians living in the UAE who travel regularly back and forth, so I keep up to date as to what's going on there. (may even make a visit there myself soon as a guest of my friends). Iran has a very modern infrastructure and a highly educated population, thanks to the Shah, many who have been educated in the USA, (their favorite place ),(my ex-wife has 4 nieces studying HARD sciences at the U. of Az, a brother teaching at MIT).

Keep in mind that Iran has the second highest oil reserves. These people are not Arabs, have a very high civilization and culture that dates back more than 2500 years and are not "mentally challenged" like some of thier neighbors in the Gulf who stumbled out of the desert after western oil companies found oil and started them on the road to excessive riches. There haven't been any Iranian suicide bombers, and they are not among the "foreign fighters" around the world.

Although this new president has a big mouth, a lot of this is "talk" IMHO. Leaders in this part of the world do that a lot, I see it in the local papers everyday.

There's also the Shi'a(Iran)-Sunni (Arab) Muslim split that has a powerful influence on politics in this area. The Gulf arabs have a long standing nervousness about Iran because Iran has a population double that of all the Gulf arab states combined, AND there are a few outstanding border and territory issues (Abu Moussa, and the greater and lesser Tumbs islands in the gulf) that get almost daily coverage. Now while the Arab Gulf States would not openly applaud an air strike on Iran, they would privately be happy and maybe make a few negative comments about western interference (for local comsumption), at the same time increasing oil production to make up for any shortfall. They see themselves as a possible target of a nuke just as Isreal does.

In the end, I think a " wait and see" attitude is the the best from my perspective. The Iranian people have made signifcant gains in personal freedom since the days right after the revolution, and only see it getting better. The government well knows how unpopular they are and would be reticent to upset the applecart so drastically thereby provoking a new revolution that would quickly topple the Ayatollhs.

Lobotomy Boy
January 17, 2006, 10:33 AM
Thanks Tabing. It's good to get the perspective of someone who actually knows what he's talking about before deciding to send in the "nuculer" cowboys.

Given what's at stake here I'd think a little logical thought and less mindless, uniformed emotion was in order.

antsi
January 17, 2006, 10:52 AM
I don't assume that Palestine or Iran think that way. I'm saying that if they attacked Israel with weapons on the order of a nuke, they would be attacked I don't think Israel would stop after six days this time, either.
jmm

I agree with you that those things would happen. That's not where I'm disagreeing with you.

In an earlier post, you seemed to be implying that Iran would not attack Israel with nuclear weapons because Iran would calculate the likely consequences and realize that such at attack would be self-destructive to their own interests. What's more, you seemed to be implying that the we, the US, can make sound security policy on the assumption that Iran will think and behave in this way.

That's where I'm disagreeing with you.

I think it is perfectly plausible that an Islamo-Fanatic Iran government would undertake a nuclear attack on Israel DESPITE the likely consequences to themselves. Think "suicide car bomber" writ large. It is certainly plausible enough that we should not base our security policy on the contrary assumption.

Lobotomy Boy
January 17, 2006, 11:04 AM
I think it is perfectly plausible that an Islamo-Fanatic Iran government would undertake a nuclear attack on Israel DESPITE the likely consequences to themselves. Think "suicide car bomber" writ large. It is certainly plausible enough that we should not base our security policy on the contrary assumption.

If Iran was Syria, your scenario would seem a lot more likely, but it's not. From a Tabing's post above, a person who actually lives and works in the region and has lived in Iran:

These people are not Arabs, have a very high civilization and culture that dates back more than 2500 years and are not "mentally challenged" like some of thier neighbors in the Gulf who stumbled out of the desert after western oil companies found oil and started them on the road to excessive riches. There haven't been any Iranian suicide bombers, and they are not among the "foreign fighters" around the world.

and:

The Iranian people have made signifcant gains in personal freedom since the days right after the revolution, and only see it getting better. The government well knows how unpopular they are and would be reticent to upset the applecart so drastically thereby provoking a new revolution that would quickly topple the Ayatollhs.

These people have not resorted to suicide bombings yet--why do you assume they will do so in the future? You are confusing Iranians with Arabs.

A big part of the turmoil in the Middle East is caused by the fact that American policy is too often based on ignorance of the people and of regional politics. It's possible that our leaders have a complete understanding of these things but choose to keep the U.S. people ignorant in order to foster turmoil in the region, thus protecting the hegemony of the petrodollar, but that's another story. When we start talking about starting World War III, we better do so with knowledge of what we are dealing with and not ignorance.

UWstudent
January 17, 2006, 11:20 AM
sheesh.. touchy subject

Iran is probably the biggest problem that's ever hit united states..

Iran wants to begin manufacturing nuclear weopons but we don't want them too. They're also threatening to cut oil export (they produce 10% of the world's oil from their reserves) if the west intervenes to stop or slow down their nuclear research. 10% is A LOT. It could easily put our economy (ours!) to a halt.

carrying a covert strike WILL piss them off and they'll stop their oil trade. bombing them WILL piss them off and they'll cut their oil trade.

i believe right now Russia is trying to cut the tension by storing their nuclear weopons, but i dont know how our government will take on that idea.

i believe, not sure.. but believe that we are looking for some sort of leverage to use against Iran to make them slow down or stop their nuclear research. it could probably be something with trading or technology. i don't know.. we might share some decade old military technology with them to cut the tension down but it could still put Israel at risk.

whatever the case is, the best thing (IMO) for our government is to lie, cheat, steal, attack and blow iran up, take total control of the country and total control of their oil reserves.. which would keep our economy up ahead from our competition (china)..

we actually MIGHT start a draft soon.. and i garuntee you with my luck i'll be the first one forced in (not that i have a problem with that)

and isn't it what's best for our country anyway? we've always been dirty to get ahead.. that's what iraq was all about (and probably a couple other stuff)

Lobotomy Boy
January 17, 2006, 11:27 AM
whatever the case is, the best thing (IMO) for our government is to lie, cheat, steal, attack and blow iran up, take total control of the country and total control of their oil reserves.. which would keep our economy up ahead from our competition (china)..

You mean the same way we've taken total control of Iraq, a country that practically was in the stone age when we invaded? (BTW, which smilie do I insert to indicate irony, for the ironically challenged?)

roo_ster
January 17, 2006, 12:27 PM
The mullahs in Iran will have to be dealt with, sooner or later. The VDH article is spot-on: our options today are bad, our options in the future are worse.

Eventually, it will come down to violence. If we act sooner, we will get to jump into it on our terms and at our convenience.

tellner
January 17, 2006, 12:31 PM
You may well be right. Unfortunately, we squandered our credibility with the Iraq fiasco.

Manedwolf
January 17, 2006, 12:32 PM
Eventually, it will come down to violence. If we act sooner, we will get to jump into it on our terms and at our convenience.

That sounds like Rummy's quote about "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you want." That only applies to when you are attacked...not when you start a war. The latter is what caused the end of the Roman Empire to lose unprepared legions they sent up to Europe.

That's why we went into Iraq with old unarmored trucks with canvas tops, and a lot of the uparmoring on them doesn't even reach head level on the troops in the back.

We should act WHEN we have all the proper equipment and number of troops and logistics and strategy in place to ensure that things work out closer to an intended purpose, and not another "Well, gee whiz, how could we know they'd fight back?" debacle like this one.

antsi
January 17, 2006, 03:55 PM
If Iran was Syria, your scenario would seem a lot more likely, but it's not. From a Tabing's post above, a person who actually lives and works in the region and has lived in Iran:

These people have not resorted to suicide bombings yet--why do you assume they will do so in the future? You are confusing Iranians with Arabs.

OK, let me get this straight, just so I'm sure where you are coming from.

You are totally confident that the Iranian government would behave circumspectly, responsibly, and rationally with a nuclear weapons arsenal. You are so confident that Iran will not nuke Israel that you are willing to make that an underlying assumption of our national security policy.

Therefore, the Lobotomy Boy US national policy is that there is no reason to interfere with Iran's attainment of nuclear weapons, because the Iranian government is too rational and too responsible to nuke Israel, or turn nukes over to terrorists, or anything crazy like that.

If I'm misunderstanding your position, please correct me.

------------------

Look, I never said Iran WOULD nuke Israel. I just said, I don't think it is resonable to bet the whole world on the assumption that they WOULDN'T nuke Israel. Especially when their stated government policy is to destroy Israel, it seems like a pretty shaky assumption to base our whole nuclear foreign policy on.

I DO NOT assume that they will resort to suicide bombings. I am not assuming anything. I am trying to point out how dangerous are the assumptions other people in this thread seem to be making.

To me, a lot of the talk in this thread sounds like Chamberlain's talk about how "Mr. Hitler is a man we can negotiate with," and "the German people don't want another war," etc. I just hope it's true this time.

Lobotomy Boy
January 17, 2006, 04:23 PM
Before I can answer you, I need a bit more information. You write:

You are totally confident that the Iranian government would behave circumspectly, responsibly, and rationally with a nuclear weapons arsenal. You are so confident that Iran will not nuke Israel that you are willing to make that an underlying assumption of our national security policy.

Then you write:

Therefore, the Lobotomy Boy US national policy is that there is no reason to interfere with Iran's attainment of nuclear weapons, because the Iranian government is too rational and too responsible to nuke Israel, or turn nukes over to terrorists, or anything crazy like that.


I'm anxious to respond, but first I need to know how you got from the first quote to the second quote. There seems to be quite a leap of logic between the two.

antsi
January 17, 2006, 04:45 PM
I'm anxious to respond, but first I need to know how you got from the first quote to the second quote. There seems to be quite a leap of logic between the two.

I agree there is a huge leap there, and I wouldn't characterize it as "logic." It is not a leap that I agree with. I wasn't stating my own position there, I was stating what I understand to be your position. If I misunderstood, then I repeat, please correct me as to what your actual position is.

I happen to think that there are huge potential problems with Iran attaining nuclear weapons, and that we should look into possible ways of interfering with their attainment of nuclear weapons. If you agree with this, then we are in agreement and there's nothing to argue about here.

However, you and others in this thread seem to be arguing that we don't need to interfere with Iran's attainment of nukes, because they are such an enlightened and rational society that they would never do anything untoward with them. I think that's a dangerous assumption and I'm trying to challenge it.

Lobotomy Boy
January 17, 2006, 04:53 PM
The huge leap of non-logic, as you descvribe it, is that we either have to go into Iran and start World War III or do nothing at all. There is an entire world of options between those two. To think that those extremes are our only options borders on criminally insane.

To answer your questions, first I don't think Iran will be any more likely to use nukes than India, Pakistan, or Israel, and possibly less likely than the neocons running the U.S. executive branch today. Why? Because Iran is in the process of opening up its own oil exchange in March of this year. Starting World War III will definitely put a damper on their plan to control the world's economy, which is what will happen if they open up an Iranian oil boursa in a couple of months.

That doesn't mean we should do nothing. I think the Russian solution, in which Russia enrichens the fuel for Iranian nuclear power plants, is a pretty good solution. It beats the hell out of us or Isreal starting World War III.

TABING
January 17, 2006, 06:15 PM
Russia surely doesn't want a nuclear Iran on it's doorstep, ready to export nuclear material to Chechniya or any of the other Muslim populated former and present territories that surround it. They won't come out and say it blatently because of the trade they have with Iran, (and their desire to see us sweat), but I guarentee there's a lot of mid-night oil being burned in the Kremlin over this issue.

Iran doesn't have weapons sitting on lauch pads ready to go, it may be years before they do. If they wanted to go the dirty bomb route from a pick-up truck, they could have done that years ago.

China has lived with a nuclear N. Korea for years next-door, and while they are not the targets of them, (S. KOrea is), they have acted as a restraint to their use. They are also big trading partners with Iran. China, and Russia to a lesser extent are in a major economic development stage and have a lot more to lose than we do in the event a major upheaval in the middle east. The US only gets 10-15% of it's oil from the Gulf. Europe and Japan-East Asia are the major recipients of Gulf oil. If we back off and stand mute, they should, and will do all they can to reign in the Iranians.

As I said before, "talk is cheap" and the Ayatollahs are laughing at the response they are getting from "the great Satan", the US, by throwing out a few caustic remarks. We are falling into their trap.

I think we have too much on our plate over here to get heavily involved in this one. The Israelis are fully capable of taking care of themselves when the time is ready.

For a change, we have the world aligned with us, let them take the lead and the heat. As Winston Churchill (no dove by any means) said "Jaw, Jaw is better than war, war".

Something that gets overlooked because it's well nigh unbelievable is that there is a LOT of good will towards the USA people (not the US gov't)on the Iranian and Arab "street". I know this personally because I am in daily contact with Arabs from all Arab countries and Iranians, literally on the Arab street here in the UAE. They aren't all completely stupid and they realize that America is a great place of freedom and opportunity regardless of who you are, what your family name is and what your background is, which is totally opposite of where they all come from. (If you haven't spent time outside the USA it's difficult to conceive what life is like where you have to measure every word and action as there is no rule of law and no bill of rights, you should thank your lucky stars that you're in the USA, something I NEVER forget).The line at the American Consulate here forms at 5 am for people who want to get American VISAs. The fist shaking, flag burning yahoos that you see on CNN are a tiny part of any middle eastern population. Everyone has a brother, cousin, uncle, aunt in the USA, (" I have a brother in New York, his name is Mohammed, do you know him?" is an oft asked question). It would be foolish to squander this good will. Nobody around here wants to see more nukes in the area, and while they resent Israel's possession of them, they know that Israel is not irresponsible like some of their own governments are. TABING

This just in from the BBC:

Iran crisis a dilemma for China
By Jill McGivering
BBC News


As Washington, now joined by the EU3, presses for punitive international action against Tehran, one of its most difficult tasks will be to win China's support.
The first step is to persuade China to agree to support - or not to block - an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) referral of Iran to the UN Security Council.

China, like Russia, feels it is in an awkward position.

An important development for Beijing will be how Russia decides to react.

Initial reports from Washington, soon after news broke that Iran was resuming work, said that Moscow had privately agreed not to veto referral to the Security Council but it is still unclear if that is true.

Diplomatic preference

If it were, Beijing could find itself diplomatically isolated. That would only increase the pressure on Beijing to follow Moscow's lead.

But Beijing would like to avoid that crisis altogether if it possibly can. Its own focus is firmly on a non-confrontational diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Beijing's initial reaction to news that Iran was breaking its deal with the EU3 was to express its concern, but immediately reaffirm its commitment to multilateral negotiations.

Since then, the diplomatic temperature has increased dramatically but China has refused to change its position.

Officials have repeated the Chinese government's view that the best way forward is to restart the EU3 diplomacy with Iran, despite the fact many in the West are now dismissing it as exhausted.

China's work behind the scenes seems to be focussed on trying to keep the diplomacy alive.

Energy ties

China's most obvious interest is energy.


Three years ago, when Iran was already supplying 13 per cent of China's oil needs, the two governments signed a major deal which included Chinese development of Iranian oil fields.

It is a source of supply of growing importance for China - one it doesn't want disrupted by politics.

China also has a deeply-engrained reluctance to takes sides with the US against a fellow non-Western nation.

Much of its current energy-driven diplomacy is on forging political alliances which exclude the West and are faithful to Chinese principles of non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

But Beijing is also keen not to cause fresh tensions in its relationship with Washington.

Compliance on Iran may be seen by Washington as an important test of its sincerity.

'Force for peace'

The Bush administration is pressing China hard to be a more engaged and responsible player on the international stage as it emerges as an increasingly dominant world power.

Support on North Korea and Iran are exactly what it has in mind, a way of proving to Washington that China is, as it claims, a force for peace in the world and can be trusted at a time of crisis.

China has shown itself willing to play an active role as long as the focus in both cases is on peaceful diplomacy but it's unclear whether China would be prepared to endorse US-led punitive action which could be detrimental to its own interest.

Chinese willingness to take sides with the US against a friend and energy supplier like Iran could alarm some of its other suppliers, from Sudan to Burma.

All of this will be high on the agenda of Hu Jintao's forthcoming visit to Washington, expected in April.

For China, they are impossible choices. As Beijing scours the world for oil and gas, its strategy is to keep politics and energy as separate as possible, however impossible a task that is starting to look.

roo_ster
January 17, 2006, 07:29 PM
Eventually, it will come down to violence. If we act sooner, we will get to jump into it on our terms and at our convenience.

That sounds like Rummy's quote about "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you want." That only applies to when you are attacked...not when you start a war. The latter is what caused the end of the Roman Empire to lose unprepared legions they sent up to Europe.

That's why we went into Iraq with old unarmored trucks with canvas tops, and a lot of the uparmoring on them doesn't even reach head level on the troops in the back.

We should act WHEN we have all the proper equipment and number of troops and logistics and strategy in place to ensure that things work out closer to an intended purpose, and not another "Well, gee whiz, how could we know they'd fight back?" debacle like this one.

You might want to gather (and peruse) some English reference books, as my words and Rummy's words carry neither the same meaning nor refer to similar situations.

I'll go into a bit more detail:
"Eventually, it will come down to violence."
This means I expect Iran and the US to be at war in the not too distant future. I base this on thier mullacracy's actions and words. When it comes down to it, we won't allow the nutcases to wipe either Israel or Europe off the map. At some point we might also perceieve the threat to the supply of oil to east asia (where most iranian oil ends up) too great to allow to ferment.

"If we act sooner, we will get to jump into it on our terms and at our convenience."
Choosing the time and place of battle is a great advantage and not to be lightly given up. If we go to battle on our timetable, we will likely sustain fewer casualties, complete the mission more quickly, etc. If we go into battle in reaction to the actions of the mullahs, we lose that advantage.

That sounds like Rummy's quote about "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you want." That only applies to when you are attacked...not when you start a war.
You might also want to pick up some history books. Most battles and wars are "come as you are" affairs. The examples abound:
1. We did not have any fighter aeroplanes when we entered WW1. We bought/borrowed some from the English & French.
2. We did not have many/sufficient machine guns for our first few battles in WW1. Again, we used Brit & French MGs (and our boys cursed mightily when we got our own MGs, as they had lesser effective range).
3. We went into our first land combat operations in Africa with POS M3 tanks, an even bigger POS than the Sherman, in that its main gun used an archaic sponson mount. I don't recall it was the Germans who sunk our ships at Pearl Harbor.
4. Any of the dozens of small wars/conflicts from our country's birth fought mostly by the USMC & Navy.

Face it: Rummy was right, especially considering the time it takes to acquire new equipment. Most events that require violent action by our boys occur well within the acquisition cycle of a new weapon system.

If you wait until everything is absolutely perfect and you have 100% of the information you want, you never will act. I think it was Colin Powell who said, "You act when you have 60% of the information you want. To wait any longer is to lose the opportunity."

AZLibertarian
January 18, 2006, 12:38 AM
...Face it: Rummy was right [on going to war with the army you have, vice the army you'd like]... Rummy isn't the first to make this observation...

Once, during the Siege of Boston, when almost nothing was going right and General Schuyler had written from Albany to bemoan his troubles, Washington had replied that he understood but that "we must bear up against them, and make the best of mankind as they are, since we cannot have them as we wish." It was such resolve and an acceptance of mankind as they were, not as he wished them to be, that continued to carry Washington through. "I will not however despair," he now wrote to Governor William Livingston. [emphasis added] 1776 by David McCullough, page 256

AZLibertarian
January 18, 2006, 01:04 AM
Reading this thread makes it sound like preemptive war has become pretty popular. Of course, all that will change when it becomes George Bush's plan. I think it's important to remember that America did not start this war. We've been in a low-level conflict for at least 25 years. Osama declared war (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1996.html) against us. It is only after 9/11 that we've begun to fight back.

However, George Bush has already begun exploring preemptive nuclear use (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/10/AR2005091001053_pf.html) (note the article's date).

Shadizar
January 18, 2006, 03:45 AM
I don't doubt that Iran with nuclear weapons would be a disasterous shift in power in that region. A dangerous one at that. I would like, however for ONE of the major news networks to at least mention the fact that Iran will be opening a new Oil Bourse.

An oil bourse, like the one they are creating, is also very destabalizing to the region and the world. Word has it (look into it, don't take my word for it) that this oil exchange will be handled in Euros. Given the massive amounts of US debt and the absolute neccessity for all of the counties in the world to hold US dollars because of the fact that only US dollars can be used to purchase oil (now), this developement could have a potentially huge impact on the US (and world) economy.

I have trouble believing that the Iranian plan to switch a portion of Petrodollar sales to Euro sales does not severaly impact the national security of the United States. The fact is that Iran and the other middle-eastern nations have us in a stranglehold because of our reliance on oil. Without it our society cannot function the way it is accustomed to. "The American way of life is not negotiable," is something we have heard time and again from our government. Some people don't truly understand what this means, I fear.

I find it very suspicious that Iran is opening this Bourse (scheduled for March 2006) at the very time that world attention is becoming more focused on them. Are there equally valid reasons for this? Yes. Should some attention be paid to a potentially equally disruptive move of thiers? IMO yes!

-Shadizar

Preacherman
January 18, 2006, 03:58 AM
Stratfor (http://www.stratfor.com/) just put out an interesting e-mail alert about Iran's nuclear shenanigans.

GEOPOLITICAL INTELLIGENCE REPORT 01.17.2006

Iran's Redefined Strategy

By George Friedman

The Iranians have broken the International Atomic Energy Agency seals on some of their nuclear facilities. They did this very deliberately and publicly to make certain that everyone knew that Tehran was proceeding with its nuclear program. Prior to this, and in parallel, the Iranians began to -- among other things -- systematically bait the Israelis, threatening to wipe them from the face of the earth.

The question, of course, is what exactly the Iranians are up to. They do not yet have nuclear weapons. The Israelis do. The Iranians have now hinted that (a) they plan to build nuclear weapons and have implied, as clearly as possible without saying it, that (b) they plan to use them against Israel. On the surface, these statements appear to be begging for a pre-emptive strike by Israel. There are many things one might hope for, but a surprise visit from the Israeli air force is not usually one of them. Nevertheless, that is exactly what the Iranians seem to be doing, so we need to sort this out.

There are four possibilities:

1. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, is insane and wants to be attacked because of a bad childhood.

2. The Iranians are engaged in a complex diplomatic maneuver, and this is part of it.

3. The Iranians think they can get nuclear weapons -- and a deterrent to Israel -- before the Israelis attack.

4. The Iranians, actually and rationally, would welcome an Israeli -- or for that matter, American -- air strike.

Let's begin with the insanity issue, just to get it out of the way. One of the ways to avoid thinking seriously about foreign policy is to dismiss as a nutcase anyone who does not behave as you yourself would. As such, he is unpredictable and, while scary, cannot be controlled. You are therefore relieved of the burden of doing anything about him. In foreign policy, it is sometimes useful to appear to be insane, as it is in poker: The less predictable you are, the more power you have -- and insanity is a great tool of unpredictability. Some leaders cultivate an aura of insanity.

However, people who climb to the leadership of nations containing many millions of people must be highly disciplined, with insight into others and the ability to plan carefully. Lunatics rarely have those characteristics. Certainly, there have been sociopaths -- like Hitler -- but at the same time, he was a very able, insightful, meticulous man. He might have been crazy, but dismissing him because he was crazy -- as many did -- was a massive mistake. Moreover, leaders do not rise alone. They are surrounded by other ambitious people. In the case of Ahmadinejad, he is answerable to others above him (in this case, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), alongside him and below him. He did not get to where he is by being nuts -- and even if we think what he says is insane, it clearly doesn't strike the rest of his audience as insane. Thinking of him as insane is neither helpful nor clarifying.

The Three-Player Game

So what is happening?

First, the Iranians obviously are responding to the Americans. Tehran's position in Iraq is not what the Iranians had hoped it would be. U.S. maneuvers with the Sunnis in Iraq and the behavior of Iraqi Shiite leaders clearly have created a situation in which the outcome will not be the creation of an Iranian satellite state. At best, Iraq will be influenced by Iran or neutral. At worst, it will drift back into opposition to Iran -- which has been Iraq's traditional geopolitical position. This is not satisfactory. Iran's Iraq policy has not failed, but it is not the outcome Tehran dreamt of in 2003.

There is a much larger issue. The United States has managed its position in Iraq -- to the extent that it has been managed -- by manipulating the Sunni-Shiite fault line in the Muslim world. In the same way that Richard Nixon manipulated the Sino-Soviet split, the fundamental fault line in the Communist world, to keep the Soviets contained and off-balance late in the Vietnam War, so the Bush administration has used the primordial fault line in the Islamic world, the Sunni-Shiite split, to manipulate the situation in Iraq.

Washington did this on a broader scale as well. Having enticed Iran with new opportunities -- both for Iran as a nation and as the leading Shiite power in a post-Saddam world -- the administration turned to Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia and enticed them into accommodation with the United States by allowing them to consider the consequences of an ascended Iran under canopy of a relationship with the United States. Washington used that vision of Iran to gain leverage in Saudi Arabia. The United States has been moving back and forth between Sunnis and Shia since the invasion of Afghanistan, when it obtained Iranian support for operations in Afghanistan's Shiite regions. Each side was using the other. The United States, however, attained the strategic goal of any three-player game: It became the swing player between Sunnis and Shia.

This was not what the Iranians had hoped for.

Reclaiming the Banner

There is yet another dimension to this. In 1979, when the Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini deposed the Shah of Iran, Iran was the center of revolutionary Islamism. It both stood against the United States and positioned itself as the standard-bearer for radical Islamist youth. It was Iran, through its creation, Hezbollah, that pioneered suicide bombings. It championed the principle of revolutionary Islamism against both collaborationist states like Saudi Arabia and secular revolutionaries like Yasser Arafat. It positioned Shi'ism as the protector of the faith and the hope of the future.

In having to defend against Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the 1980s, and the resulting containment battle, Iran became ensnared in a range of necessary but compromising relationships. Recall, if you will, that the Iran-Contra affair revealed not only that the United States used Israel to send weapons to Iran, but also that Iran accepted weapons from Israel. Iran did what it had to in order to survive, but the complexity of its operations led to serious compromises. By the late 1990s, Iran had lost any pretense of revolutionary primacy in the Islamic world. It had been flanked by the Sunni Wahhabi movement, al Qaeda.

The Iranians always saw al Qaeda as an outgrowth of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and therefore, through Shiite and Iranian eyes, never trusted it. Iran certainly didn't want al Qaeda to usurp the position of primary challenger to the West. Under any circumstances, it did not want al Qaeda to flourish. It was caught in a challenge. First, it had to reduce al Qaeda's influence, or concede that the Sunnis had taken the banner from Khomeini's revolution. Second, Iran had to reclaim its place. Third, it had to do this without undermining its geopolitical interests.

Tehran spent the time from 2003 through 2005 maximizing what it could from the Iraq situation. It also quietly participated in the reduction of al Qaeda's network and global reach. In doing so, it appeared to much of the Islamic world as clever and capable, but not particularly principled. Tehran's clear willingness to collaborate on some level with the United States in Afghanistan, in Iraq and in the war on al Qaeda made it appear as collaborationist as it had accused the Kuwaitis or Saudis of being in the past. By the end of 2005, Iran had secured its western frontier as well as it could, had achieved what influence it could in Baghdad, had seen al Qaeda weakened. It was time for the next phase. It had to reclaim its position as the leader of the Islamic revolutionary movement for itself and for Shi'ism.

Thus, the selection of the new president was, in retrospect, carefully engineered. After President Mohammed Khatami's term, all moderates were excluded from the electoral process by decree, and the election came down to a struggle between former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani -- an heir to Khomeini's tradition, but also an heir to the tactical pragmatism of the 1980s and 1990s -- and Ahmadinejad, the clearest descendent of the Khomeini revolution that there was in Iran, and someone who in many ways had avoided the worst taints of compromise.

Ahmadinejad was set loose to reclaim Iran's position in the Muslim world. Since Iran had collaborated with Israel during the 1980s, and since Iranian money in Lebanon had mingled with Israeli money, the first thing he had to do was to reassert Iran's anti-Zionist credentials. He did that by threatening Israel's existence and denying the Holocaust. Whether he believed what he was saying is immaterial. Ahmadinejad used the Holocaust issue to do two things: First, he established himself as intellectually both anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish, taking the far flank among Islamic leaders; and second, he signaled a massive breach with Khatami's approach.

Khatami was focused on splitting the Western world by dividing the Americans from the Europeans. In carrying out this policy, he had to manipulate the Europeans. The Europeans were always open to the claim that the Americans were being rigid and were delighted to serve the role of sophisticated mediator. Khatami used the Europeans' vanity brilliantly, sucking them into endless discussions and turning the Iran situation into a problem the Europeans were having with the United States.

But Tehran paid a price for this in the Muslim world. In drawing close to the Europeans, the Iranians simply appeared to be up to their old game of unprincipled realpolitik with people -- Europeans -- who were no better than the Americans. The Europeans were simply Americans who were weaker. Ahmadinejad could not carry out his strategy of flanking the Wahhabis and still continue the minuet with Europe. So he ended Khatami's game with a bang, with a massive diatribe on the Holocaust and by arguing that if there had been one, the Europeans bore the blame. That froze Germany out of any further dealings with Tehran, and even the French had to back off. Iran's stock in the Islamic world started to rise.

The Nuclear Gambit

The second phase was for Iran to very publicly resume -- or very publicly claim to be resuming -- development of a nuclear weapon. This signaled three things:

1. Iran's policy of accommodation with the West was over.

2. Iran intended to get a nuclear weapon in order to become the only real challenge to Israel and, not incidentally, a regional power that Sunni states would have to deal with.

3. Iran was prepared to take risks that no other Muslim actor was prepared to take. Al Qaeda was a piker.

The fundamental fact is that Ahmadinejad knows that, except in the case of extreme luck, Iran will not be able to get nuclear weapons. First, building a nuclear device is not the same thing as building a nuclear weapon. A nuclear weapon must be sufficiently small, robust and reliable to deliver to a target. A nuclear device has to sit there and go boom. The key technologies here are not the ones that build a device but the ones that turn a device into a weapon -- and then there is the delivery system to worry about: range, reliability, payload, accuracy. Iran has a way to go.

A lot of countries don't want an Iranian bomb. Israel is one. The United States is another. Throw Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and most of the 'Stans into this, and there are not a lot of supporters for an Iranian bomb. However, there are only two countries that can do something about it. The Israelis don't want to get the grief, but they are the ones who cannot avoid action because they are the most vulnerable if Iran should develop a weapon. The United States doesn't want Israel to strike at Iran, as that would massively complicate the U.S. situation in the region, but it doesn't want to carry out the strike itself either.

This, by the way, is a good place to pause and explain to readers who will write in wondering why the United States will tolerate an Israeli nuclear force but not an Iranian one. The answer is simple. Israel will probably not blow up New York. That's why the United States doesn't mind Israel having nukes and does mind Iran having them. Is that fair? This is power politics, not sharing time in preschool. End of digression.

Intra-Islamic Diplomacy

If the Iranians are seen as getting too close to a weapon, either the United States or Israel will take them out, and there is an outside chance that the facilities could not be taken out with a high degree of assurance unless nukes are used. In the past, our view was that the Iranians would move carefully in using the nukes to gain leverage against the United States. That is no longer clear. Their focus now seems to be not on their traditional diplomacy, but on a more radical, intra-Islamic diplomacy. That means that they might welcome a (survivable) attack by Israel or the United States. It would burnish Iran's credentials as the true martyr and fighter of Islam.

Meanwhile, the Iranians appear to be reaching out to the Sunnis on a number of levels. Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of a radical Shiite group in Iraq with ties to Iran, visited Saudi Arabia recently. There are contacts between radical Shia and Sunnis in Lebanon as well. The Iranians appear to be engaged in an attempt to create the kind of coalition in the Muslim world that al Qaeda failed to create. From Tehran's point of view, if they get a deliverable nuclear device, that's great -- but if they are attacked by Israel or the United States, that's not a bad outcome either.

In short, the diplomacy that Iran practiced from the beginning of the Iraq-Iran war until after the U.S. invasion of Iraq appears to be ended. Iran is making a play for ownership of revolutionary Islamism on behalf of itself and the Shia. Thus, Tehran will continue to make provocative moves, while hoping to avoid counterstrikes. On the other hand, if there are counterstrikes, the Iranians will probably be able to live with that as well.

roo_ster
January 18, 2006, 08:51 AM
This is power politics, not sharing time in preschool.
Some folks still haven't figured that out.

AZLibertarian
January 18, 2006, 10:12 AM
I don't doubt that Iran with nuclear weapons would be a disasterous shift in power in that region. A dangerous one at that. I would like, however for ONE of the major news networks to at least mention the fact that Iran will be opening a new Oil Bourse.

An oil bourse, like the one they are creating, is also very destabalizing to the region and the world. Word has it (look into it, don't take my word for it) that this oil exchange will be handled in Euros. Given the massive amounts of US debt and the absolute neccessity for all of the counties in the world to hold US dollars because of the fact that only US dollars can be used to purchase oil (now), this developement could have a potentially huge impact on the US (and world) economy....You're exactly right.

The Iranian Bourse is the real reason we'll get into it with Iran. Nuclear proliferation is bad, but as someone earlier here pointed out: We didn't pound Pakistan or India when they got theirs. Mad Mullahs with Nukes are also bad, but it is the macro-economics of the matter which will make us act.

And the reason that the MSM won't cover it is that the public can't be made to understand why these macro-economics matter. [And I don't at all pretend to understand completely either. But neither do I have my head in the sand over it.] The reason that the Iranian Bourse is a problem is that the PetroEuro will be challenging the PetroDollar for preemince as the world's trading currency. Shazidar is right that this matters when speaking of our debt.

Our core problem is that we don't have a money backed by something tangible (typically gold). Instead, we're backed intangibly by "the full faith and credit" of the US--which is wearing pretty thin. The Fed and other central banks have been in a spiral of printing money and deflating their currencies to see which currency will be the last one standing when the whole thing comes crashing down.

But back to the Iranian Bourse...it is interesting to note that Iraq was about to begin trading it's oil in PetroEuros when we finally had had enough and invaded.

Saddam and his support for terrorism were good reasons to invade Iraq. The Iranian Mullahs and their nukes will be a good reason to strike Iran. However, the real reasons are economic.

Lobotomy Boy
January 18, 2006, 10:24 AM
By creating an oil market that trades in petroeuros instead of petrodollars, a market that trades oil from one of the world's final remaining oil fields that is not near peak capacity, the Iranian Boursa will destroy the hegemony of the U.S. dollar. This is what props up our currency in spite of our spiraling national debt. This could prompt countries like China, which hold vast amounts of U.S. currency, to start dumping dollars. The end result could be a massive and immediate deflation of the dollar. Overnight that $3-$4 dollar gallon of gasoline could suddenly cost $8 dollars.

Should this happen, you would see a dramatic shift in the way the world treats us. We'd go from being the whacky big brother to the perverted uncle. Overnight it would become an economically feasible proposition to impose sanctions on us should our behavior not meet world standards. Certainly the world would feel the loss of the U.S. as a consumer giant, but between the rise in value of the Euro and the importance of the emerging markets in China and India, the rest of the world would find consumers to replace the suddenly-impoverished Americans.

Thanks for the informative post, Preacherman. That clarifies the intra-Islamic political piece of the puzzle.

superhornet
January 18, 2006, 10:32 AM
Wire check, Pro-load B66 silver bullet, low level, 4 G pull up at IP, 72 degree AJB-3A over the shoulder auto pitch computer release, fuzed 1800 foot baro or rad alt timed. Miller time...........

TABING
January 18, 2006, 01:05 PM
Would someone give me a link to information about this "Iranian Boursa", cuz I'm sitting right now on a bizillion barrels of oil here in the UAE and I have never heard one word about this. This country lifts 2 million barrels a day, (about the same as Iran due to Iran's broken down oil drilling and pumping equipment which they can't get from the US, we make absolutely the best oil equipment, bar none), and could lift double that if they wanted. Oil is the lifeblood of this area, and this is something that would be all over the local news.

All the Gulf currencies are linked to the dollar, these people are so conservative that they won't be changing that link over night. There are other reasons not to change; military contracts, investments, offsets on capital goods purchases from the USA, (oil drilling stuff), and other things that are generally not known to the public.

If it did change, I'd be getting a 40% pay increase. Go Ayatollahs

Optical Serenity
January 18, 2006, 01:11 PM
I think its a matter of time before we invade iran.

The best part is that the huge majority of the populace over there wants us to, and they hate the govt that is in place over there.

The bad part:

Huge country, bad terrain, their navy, their jets, drafting of such a large young population...

I'm getting the popcorn out, it'll be a long one...

Biker
January 18, 2006, 01:16 PM
Would someone give me a link to information about this "Iranian Boursa", cuz I'm sitting right now on a bizillion barrels of oil here in the UAE and I have never heard one word about this. This country lifts 2 million barrels a day and could lift double that if they wanted. Oil is the lifeblood of this area, and this is something that would be all over the local news.

Here ya go.

www.321gold.com/editorials/petrov/petrov011706.html

Biker

Sindawe
January 18, 2006, 01:33 PM
On the economic basis for "Operation Iranian Freedom", this as been pointed to as well.

http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/discm3.htmDiscontinuance of M3

On March 23, 2006, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System will cease publication of the M3 monetary aggregate. The Board will also cease publishing the following components: large-denomination time deposits, repurchase agreements (RPs), and Eurodollars. The Board will continue to publish institutional money market mutual funds as a memorandum item in this release.

Measures of large-denomination time deposits will continue to be published by the Board in the Flow of Funds Accounts (Z.1 release) on a quarterly basis and in the H.8 release on a weekly basis (for commercial banks).

taliv
January 18, 2006, 01:34 PM
thanks for the article. it was an interesting read.


i'm skeptical about the anticipated effects of iran/china dumping dollars. i'm inclined to think that long-term, it would be good for us. annoying in the short-term, for sure. but not as big an impact in either case as claimed


as for iran, they're playing a very high-stakes game of chicken.


sindawe, as has been discussed before, that is VERY troubling

Sindawe
January 18, 2006, 01:42 PM
i'm skeptical about the anticipated effects of iran/china dumping dollars. i'm inclined to think that long-term, it would be good for us. annoying in the short-term, for sure. I concur that in the long run, it MAY be a good thing for this nation, provided it brings to heel the rampant spending of our government and our populace, and puts and end to the apparent drive of that government to become a globe controlling empire.

Short term could be VERY painful if our currency collapses and folks abroad stop selling us all the junk the American consumer has become addicted too, as well as the oil our culture mainlines daily.

taliv
January 18, 2006, 01:52 PM
more specifically, the chicken-little contingent hasn't shown that iran and china would dump enough dollars to cause us more than an annoyance. maybe they would. i don't know. but they haven't provided numbers, just speculation.

so, if, for instance, all the made-in-china stuff in walmart is suddenly 3x higher, we'll stop buying CRAP which frankly isn't a necessity, and instead spend our money on more expensive gas bills. in the long run (which won't be that long time-wise), we'll start making all that crap domestically because it will be cheaper, which means more jobs, etc.

AZLibertarian
January 18, 2006, 01:55 PM
Would someone give me a link to information about this "Iranian Boursa"... Google up "Iranian Bourse", and I get this list (http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial_s&hl=en&q=iranian+bourse&btnG=Google+Search). William Clark is the author of most of the top citations in this list and while I think he gets a bit too wrapped around the axle regarding "the stated neoconservative project of U.S. global domination" and blaming this on Bush and the NeoCons, I also think his point about the effects of the Iranian Bourse on our Dollar is a good one. The fight for the Dollar would be taken regardless of party. The real drivers here are the Bankers of the world's Central Banks.

This fight has been coming since we came off the Gold Standard.

And as much as part of me thinks I'm drifting off the deep end of the world for even saying this, even some of the nutcases over at DailyKos (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/12/27/115725/53) get it.

Master Blaster
January 18, 2006, 02:04 PM
so, if, for instance, all the made-in-china stuff in walmart is suddenly 3x higher, we'll stop buying CRAP which frankly isn't a necessity, and instead spend our money on more expensive gas bills. in the long run (which won't be that long time-wise), we'll start making all that crap domestically because it will be cheaper, which means more jobs, etc.

+1 at least there is someone here who understands economics, I dont have the patience anymore to try to explain it. My patience ran out long ago with the thread on how the USA should have never gone off the gold standard, and how that wrecked our economy since 1972.:rolleyes:

The US dollar is now and will continue to be the currency of international trade, and more specifically oil trade for a variety of reasons. The most important of those reasons is stability. There simply isnt and will not in the near future, be any currency that is more stable than the US $.

Maybe in 10 years the Euro will be strong and stable enough but it aint there yet.

antsi
January 18, 2006, 02:16 PM
i'm skeptical about the anticipated effects of iran/china dumping dollars. i'm inclined to think that long-term, it would be good for us.

In China's case, if they were able to inflict a serious devaluation on the dollar the results would be very bad for them. In the past, they have been working overtime to keep the dollar strong. If the dollar weakens, imported consumer goods from China suddenly get a whole lot more expensive in US stores. We quit buying Chinese crap and start buying stuff made here by Americans paid in US dollars - good for us, bad for them.

The cost, of course, is that US consumers don't get as much cheap Chinese crap as they're getting right now. Inconvenient, rude awakening, maybe. Major threat to our economy? Could be the opposite.

tellner
January 18, 2006, 02:21 PM
On the economic basis for "Operation Iranian Freedom", this as been pointed to as well.

http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/discm3.htm

Not publishing M3 anymore? It's typical of this Administration. We've already stoped publishing large swaths of labor statistics, world terrorism reports and a a number of other things when the results would have been less than supportive of policy.

AZLibertarian
January 18, 2006, 02:46 PM
Not publishing M3 anymore? It's typical of this Administration.... The Fed is an independent agency within the government. It does not fall under the Executive Branch. It is responsive to oversight from Congress, and it's Governors are appointed by the President, but it's actions are independent. Lots of good information on it here (http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/faq/faqfrs.htm#5).

Blame things on Bush if you will, but it will be entirely misplaced. What is happening here is far, far beyond party or partisans.

taliv
January 18, 2006, 03:00 PM
perhaps not entirely misplaced. bush deserves blame at least obliquely for his culture of secrecy, even though as far as we know, he didn't sign an exec order to cover up M3. if he were promoting transparency and honesty, instead of trying to cover everything up, then it would be trivial to point at the fed and say "who are you to withhold data from the public?" instead, we're all focused on trying to figure out more important things he's covering up

RealGun
January 18, 2006, 03:15 PM
perhaps not entirely misplaced. bush deserves blame at least obliquely for his culture of secrecy, even though as far as we know, he didn't sign an exec order to cover up M3. if he were promoting transparency and honesty, instead of trying to cover everything up, then it would be trivial to point at the fed and say "who are you to withhold data from the public?" instead, we're all focused on trying to figure out more important things he's covering up

Your point notwithstanding, there is always a way to blame Bush.

TABING
January 18, 2006, 03:28 PM
The dollar is here to stay for a long while.

I just spoke to some oil people (not ivory tower academics), here, they never heard of this upcomng Bourse, and said if does indeed open, it's not going anywhere. The current way of doing things is too entrenched to change. Keep in mind, the culture here is being dragged reluctantly kicking and screaming into the 14th century.

AZ Jeff
January 18, 2006, 05:57 PM
Certainly the world would feel the loss of the U.S. as a consumer giant, but between the rise in value of the Euro and the importance of the emerging markets in China and India, the rest of the world would find consumers to replace the suddenly-impoverished Americans.
I think you make a pretty gross assumption that the rest of the world can step in quickly to consume the goods that Americans could no longer afford.

For example, in such a scenario, the Indians might now be financially ABLE to afford those color TV's that would be out of our financial reach, but since rural electrification of India is still a dream in many areas, what difference would it make? They wouldn't WANT half the crap we now buy. In other words, EVENTUALLY, the rest of the world might become the consumers we are/were, but NOT VERY QUICKLY.

The fact that a rapid drop in the dollar would leave a huge void of consumers would translate into a world-wide economic seismic event, and no one (except selected Islamists) would want that to happen.

taliv
January 18, 2006, 06:22 PM
back to iran...

Rice has reportedly said today that France and the US are turning down Iran's requests for talks, because there's nothing to discuss.

What could that possibly mean? (besides the decision has already been made to bomb them back to the Stick Age)

Lobotomy Boy
January 18, 2006, 09:44 PM
The fact that a rapid drop in the dollar would leave a huge void of consumers would translate into a world-wide economic seismic event, and no one (except selected Islamists) would want that to happen.

I agree with you on this point. That is why Germany, France, and even Russia and to some degree China are bending over backwards to find a way out of this situation.

Optical Serenity
January 18, 2006, 09:52 PM
An interesting website to look at is this:

http://www.daneshjoo.org/

Very pro-liberation of Iran folks there.


I think the govt over there knows the people hate them, so they may as well play chicken with the world's largest superpower.

benEzra
January 18, 2006, 11:11 PM
The fact that a rapid drop in the dollar would leave a huge void of consumers would translate into a world-wide economic seismic event, and no one (except selected Islamists) would want that to happen.
Unless you can envision a scenario in which the dollar falls as the Euro rises.

Art Eatman
January 19, 2006, 12:42 AM
A serious drop in the value of a dollar would mean a helluva hickey in the $ value of imports, including petroleum and petroleum products. The U.S. is roughly 30% of the total world economy. Japan is around 15%, and the entire rest of the world is the remaining 55%.

A small amount of change in the demand for oil makes for large swings in the price, regardless of $ or Euros as the determinant currency.

Iran would not benefit were the price of oil to drop by 50%, which could happen with the reduction in demand on the part of China, India and Japan.

Just another side-effect of an intertwined world economy. It can be a serious negative on other countries, not just the U.S.

Art

AZ Jeff
January 19, 2006, 11:58 AM
Unless you can envision a scenario in which the dollar falls as the Euro rises.
Even if the Euro rose as fast as the dollar fell, it' wouldn't compensate in the world consumption equation. Those countries tied to the Euro DO NOT have the same consumption patterns as the US. It's cultural more than economic as to the reasons why.

Due to the relatively dense populations, Europeans simply don't buy and own as much "stuff" as Americans do. The EU would never step up to fill the consumer void left by the US, simply because the EU does not have the consumption culture that we have here.

taliv
January 19, 2006, 06:48 PM
well, here's Hillary's answer to the question

link (http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/archives/2006/01/18/news/14289.shtml)

I believe that we lost critical time in dealing with Iran because the White House chose to downplay the threats and to outsource the negotiations. I don't believe you face threats like Iran or North Korea by outsourcing it to others and standing on the sidelines. But let's be clear about the threat we face now: A nuclear Iran is a danger to Israel, to its neighbors and beyond. The regime's pro-terrorist, anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric only underscores the urgency of the threat it poses. U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal. We cannot and should not — must not — permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. In order to prevent that from occurring, we must have more support vigorously and publicly expressed by China and Russia, and we must move as quickly as feasible for sanctions in the United Nations. And we cannot take any option off the table in sending a clear message to the current leadership of Iran — that they will not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons.

Lone_Gunman
January 19, 2006, 08:04 PM
All hope is lost when Hillary starts sounding like a Republican.

Master Blaster
January 20, 2006, 12:19 PM
I don't believe you face threats like Iran or North Korea by outsourcing it to others and standing on the sidelines. But let's be clear about the threat we face now: A nuclear Iran is a danger to Israel, to its neighbors and beyond. The regime's pro-terrorist, anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric only underscores the urgency of the threat it poses. U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal. We cannot and should not — must not — permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. In order to prevent that from occurring, we must have more support vigorously and publicly expressed by China and Russia, and we must move as quickly as feasible for sanctions in the United Nations.

Is it just me or did Hilda Beast contadict her self from the first part of the statement to the last, note the parts I highlighted in red.

So her clear unequivocal stance is WHAT?????????

taliv
January 20, 2006, 12:49 PM
heh, i'd just like to point out that i didn't claim it was clear or unequivocal or consistent!

even so, for the next month or two, the UN is probably the best way to build consensus for nuking iran. after a couple "resolutions" it will be a lot more interesting to hear what the dems have to say

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