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What we really need to avoid Armageddon (Iran)

Discussion in 'Legal' started by rick_reno, Jan 23, 2006.

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  1. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

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    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10991253/site/newsweek/

    Countdown to a Showdown

    Jan. 23, 2006 - If Armageddon happens, those who survive will look back and see the warnings—so many of them—that were somehow lost from view in the numbing rush of 24/7 news. They will remember that Iran pushed ahead with a nuclear program it claimed was peaceful, although no one (not even some of those who defended its right to do so) really believed that was the case. People will recall the growing sense of urgency as threats were leveled against the mullahs, sometimes from unexpected quarters. Who had thought the French would be the first to say publicly they’d use limited nuclear strikes to retaliate against terror attacks and protect access to vital natural resources? Who could have mistaken Israel’s seriousness when Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told a conference in Herzliya that his country "must have the capability to defend itself, with all that that implies, and this we are preparing”?

    The Iranian leadership, certainly, will be seen as having misread the signs. Great hostage-takers that they were, the mullahs figured the whole world was shackled by its dependence on relatively cheap oil. Any sanctions brought against Iran would mean skyrocketing prices, the ayatollahs’ minions smugly declared. SUVs would go the way of the dinosaur; the global economy would enter its ice age. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dared the West to take that risk. And then …

    If all this sounds alarmist, well, it should. The risk of fatal errors grows every day. Add the influence of messianic fanaticism in Tehran, Jerusalem and, yes, Washington—an apparent desire for apocalypse in some quarters—and it’s hard to have confidence in common-sense solutions defusing this nuclear crisis. (Might the Vanished Imam figure in negotiations? Or the Second Coming? One shudders to think.) It seems we can’t even trust the self-consciously secular rationalists of France. When President Jacques Chirac, 73, said last week that the alternatives of “inaction or annihilation” were unsatisfactory, and a third way could be limited nuclear strikes, he may have been playing to a domestic audience. Or he may have been dreaming about his legacy. He might have been just an old man trying to prove he’s still got some juice. But Chirac is a commander-in-chief with the authority to launch some 300 warheads, and you shouldn’t wave those kinds of things around unless you’re ready to use them.

    So where do things go from here? As the historian Barbara Tuchman pointed out half a century ago, “Men will not believe what does not fit in with their plans or suit their prearrangements.” They will march off to wars as if the conflicts were divinely preordained instead of badly misjudged; they will blame fate—or bad intelligence—instead of their own stubborn ignorance. History is full of examples, the Iraq invasion of 2003 being only the most recent. The question before us now is how to keep Iran from being the next.

    For starters, let’s unravel the diplomatic game. Next week there’s going to be an emergency session of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors, which may or may not refer the Iranians to the United Nations Security Council. This sounds like a waste of time, and it is. Notwithstanding hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles racked up in the last few days by European and American diplomats scouring the globe for support at the meeting, it’s unlikely anything decisive will come of it. Far more important is the regularly scheduled IAEA session about six weeks from now on March 6. IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei says he could issue a report there that will “reverberate … around the world.” And well he might. ElBaradei is a little like the black-and-white Detective Joe Friday on “Dragnet” in the old TV series: he wants “Just the facts, ma’am,” and his checklist is clear.

    The agency would like to know a whole lot more about Iranian deals with the clandestine nuclear network of Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan and his cronies during the 18 years when the mullahs were building their nuclear program in secret. Since 2003, agency inspectors have talked to members of those networks and questioned A.Q. Khan himself through intermediaries. The inspectors now have a pretty good idea what sort of nuclear enrichment technology and hardware was passed on, and they know that in at least one other case, Libya, the package included bomb designs. But the Iranians have supplied very little credible documentation about what they got in 1987 and 1994, what they did with it afterward, and when and where and how.

    Then there’s the problem with the papers Iran did cough up. Last fall, after more than two years keeping the IAEA waiting, the Iranians finally produced two cardboard boxes full of papers which they allowed inspectors to examine only in an Iranian government office in Tehran. As the IAEA’s people read through the documents, they came across about 10 pages that looked suspicious, to say the least: general specifications for casting uranium metal in a spherical form that could well make up the core of an atomic bomb. In a curious arrangement, the Iranians videotaped the inspectors while they were looking at the papers, but wouldn’t allow the IAEA to make any photographs or copies. The IAEA wants to get those documents in its hands, and it wants to know what the hell they were doing in the files of Iran’s “peaceful” program to begin with.

    Another item on the list: An Iranian nuclear research facility known as Lavizan was bulldozed after it was identified as a suspect site. The IAEA wants to take swabs known as “environmental samples” from the machinery that was there and talk to the technicians and scientists to determine just how far the research went. Thus far, Tehran has kept both the machines and the staff out of agency hands.

    Finally, there’s the question of missile design. Starting in 2004, the CIA conducted a road show presenting what it said were the contents of a laptop computer stolen from Iran. Hundreds of pages were presented to the top officials at the IAEA, focusing on what appeared to be designs for missiles specifically meant to carry nuclear warheads. The IAEA is looking for explanations and elucidations from Iran about that laptop and its contents, and it’s not satisfied with what it’s heard so far.

    We keep hearing that the Iranians are ready to negotiate. As far as I can tell from my conversation with ElBaradei, there’s nothing much left to talk about. The IAEA either gets credible answers to all of its questions in the next few weeks, or it submits a damning report on March 6. For world opinion, including the many non-aligned countries that have a voice on the IAEA board and in the Security Council, this is the judgment that counts, not the proclamations of U.S. President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In the aftermath of Iraq, they don’t have much credibility. If Nobel Peace Prize laureate ElBaradei concludes that Iran just won’t give him the information needed to determine its nuclear program is peaceful, then the road to the Security Council, and to possible sanctions or to stronger action, is much clearer.

    We are coming to the litmus test in the next few weeks,” ElBaradei told me when I saw him I Vienna. “Diplomacy is not just talking. Diplomacy has to be backed by pressure and, in extreme cases, by force. We have rules. We have to do everything possible to uphold the rules. … If not, then you impose them. Of course, this has to be the last resort, but sometimes you have to do it.”

    Unfortunately, it seems Washington, the Europeans and the Russians are confusing these issues almost as much as the Iranians. Next week’s rushed meeting of the IAEA board of governors is more likely to be a forum for U.S. grandstanding than for ElBaradei to present his firm conclusions. This morning he sent a response to the French, British, Australians and Americans, all of whom requested a written report from him about the five points on his checklist. He’s almost ready to do that, but not quite, and IAEA credibility could be damaged needlessly by a lot of blunt questions that he’d have to meet with equivocal answers. Any “prejudgments” will just sound like prejudice to many listeners. ElBaradei said a new “verification” mission was on its way to Iran next week—in effect the last chance for Iran to come clean. “Due process,” he said in his response, “must take its course before the Secretariat [i.e. ElBaradei] is able to submit a detailed report.”

    A meeting set for mid-February between the Iranians and the Russians is likely to be another distraction. The Russians are offering a deal allowing Iran to enrich nuclear fuel on Russian territory. Iran has already turned them down once, and that’s hardly surprising. For centuries the Persians have seen themselves at risk of Russian domination. Putting the future of their nuclear energy program in Moscow’s hands would be a dubious proposition for any government in Tehran. Given the Russian bear’s petulant performance turning the natural gas tap on and off in Ukraine, and now the suspicious sabotage of pipelines to Georgia and Armenia, any Iranian regime would balk at a vital energy partnership.

    So let’s not let ourselves be rushed toward an apocalypse with too-fast, too-furious diplomacy. Let’s keep our eyes on the IAEA, and keep the message to Iran as clear as Joe Friday’s: “Just the facts, Mahmoud.” If Iran doesn’t deliver, and it almost certainly will not, then the world should move ahead toward tough, targeted, effective sanctions. But more about those in my next column.
     
  2. Kodiaz

    Kodiaz member

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    Well I just posted this to all the people I care about that might listen to me. I've probably gotten myself a lifetime chair at the family function crazy relative table.


    I've been trying to tell my family to get ready for a while now. I hope they get ready now.


    Now I know what John (The prophet from the bible) felt like well in reverse anyway he had good news and I have horrible news. Get ready because here it comes.
     
  3. Koobuh

    Koobuh Member

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    This is news?

    Iran will do what it wants, just as North Korea will, and China.
    Their leaders are Crazy, not Stupid. They are going to try and out-wait our strategies and planning, not attack us head-on.
    What they are banking on is the US electoral cycle, and the fact that the next US president will likely be weak and worthless on foreign policy, even compared to Mr. Bush. The heads of the various defensive and diplomatic agencies will be changed out, and we will stop meddling vainly in their affairs; because the now-worsening issues back home will become 'more important'.

    All the fancy quotes that can be bandied by a wordsmith can't erase the fact that no huge war will erupt. There is too much at stake economically. The magnitude of smashing Iran or North Korea, let alone China, is too much for the world markets to bear, and the major world leaders are beholden to the almighty dollar, not the security of the western world. The new power structure will be interesting to see, however. Make no mistake, the Pax Americana is coming to a close- not with a bang, but with a cash register's ka-ching.
     
  4. Michigander

    Michigander Member

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    Here we go again.

    Iran is in violation of __________, ____________, __________, and countless other _________. In addition to their failure to allow international inspectors to see __________, ___________, __________, and countless other ____________.

    We must rid Iran of Weapons of Mass Destruction!

    Well forget Bush, Blair and all the usual suspects, this ElBaradei must be legit, I mean heck, he's a Nobel Peace Prize lureate, and we all know only the most upstanding world citizens can acheive that! He only wants the facts! Not like Bush when he spoke to the American people mentioning a lot of innuendo, assumptions and misinformation. No, this ElBaradei we can trust!

    boom, boom, boom

    Hear that?

    boom, boom, boom

    There, that!?

    Boom, Boom, Boom

    There it is again...

    BOOM, BOOM, BOOM

    Know what that is?

    BOOM, BOOM, BOOM

    That is the sound of the drums of war beating...

    Helps get everyone in lock-step...
     
  5. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Hitler was crazy, not stupid also. He took Britain, Russia, and the US head on. At least he ws trying to preserve a way of life not destroy it.

    The mistake most of the people replying to this post is that they look at things from our perspective. If we just sit and and talk nice, we can all go back to Mr Roger's neighborhood.

    We are looking at people that don't care about money, the economy, politics, and have zero morals or scruples as we define them. These are people that would gladly strap bombs to themselves or their families if it means killing someone else

    If they had a bomb that would destroy the entire world with the push of a button, they'd do it in a heartbeat. Their entire existance has one single purpose: to kill as many others as you can. Period

    Enjoy what you have now. In a few years, the world as we know it probably will not exist. If (big if) we are not involved in a nuclear war, the economy will have collapsed due to massive debt and $100+ per barrel oil price. Think $100 is impossible?? Go back a few years and tell eveyone oil would be $70

    Sink two tankers in the Straights of Hormutz (sp?), cut off 60% of the world's oil, and see what happens to prices
     
  6. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    redneck, the Jews and many others may disagree that Hitler was attempting to "preserve" a way of life.:uhoh:

    Nutjobejab is talking smack for the benefit of in own inner circle. In Iran, time is our greatest ally. The people of Iran no longer wish to live in isolation.

    As P.J. O'Rourke said, the Soviet Empire fell apart because people refused to stand in line for Bulgarian shoes. The same will happen in Iran.:)
     
  7. Herself

    Herself member

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    Say what?
    ...Funny how Mrs. Goldstein saw that just a little differently to you; and unlike you, she was there at the time.
    Her gyspy neighbors, the confirmed bachelor down the way and a passel of political outsiders from the neighborhood didn't survive to report. Not a lot of way-of-life preservation going on for them, either.
    The image of "The Fatherland" that was being promoted at the time had little to do with the actual way of life there. It was nothing but a fantasy.

    Most of them have zero anything, or are convinced that they do. It's difficult to reason with a man who believes he has nothing to lose, especially if he's convinced things will be much better in the next life. And it sure is odd how the fellows on the top in the Islamic nations never seem to feel the pinch -- why, it's almost as if they encouage this sort of thing as a safety valve to keep their own selves from being overthrown.
    That's the problem. And there's no easy fix.

    --H
     
  8. Lobotomy Boy

    Lobotomy Boy Member

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    This is an interesting and probably fairly accurate study of the surface politics taking place, but it doesn't even hint at what's really happening. To understand that, follow the money, which in this case takes the currency of the petrodollar.

    Why would the Bush administration be in such a hell-fire hurry to attack Iran that it would rush the process, avoid going through proper channels, and thus lose the support of the rest of the world much as it did in Iraq? Could it be because the Iranian Oil Bourse is slated to go on line in just a few weeks and begin trading oil from the most productive oil fields left on earth in Euros instead of dollars, thereby hastening the collapse of the dollar?

    If not, ask yourself why Iran and why now? North Korea now has nuclear weapons, and we didn't attack North Korea. One argument is that Iran is run by a crazy person. Korea is run by a paragon of sanity? Another argument is that Iran has threatened to attack Israel. North Korea is still technically at war with South Korea. What makes Israel any more important that South Korea? So what else remains? Oil.

    Another even weaker argument is that Iran is a terrorist sponsoring state (although the Persian Shiaa aren't prone to acts of terrorism themselves, as are the Arab Sunni). This is news? Iran provided Hezbollah with the explosives used to blow up the American Embassy in Beruit over twenty years ago. Ronald Reagan didn't even mention attacking Iran because of this. This was in part because his boy Ollie North sold the Iranians the explosives in the first place to fund the Contra insurgency in Nicarauga, but mostly he didn't do it because so many states sponsor terrorism in one form or another that it would be impossible to make a dent in terrorism sponsorship through making war.

    So what is different about the threats eminating from Tehran now and the actual attacks supported twenty years ago? Again, this time the Iranians are doing something very different. This time the Iranians are threatening not just Israel or U.S. military personnel; they are threatening the hegemony of the U.S. petrodollar.

    I don't see how it's possible to take a historical look at what's happening and come to any other conclusion.
     
  9. Lobotomy Boy

    Lobotomy Boy Member

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    This is a much more accurate description of the Arab Sunnis than of the Persian Shiaa. Iran has a large and thriving middle class, which is why Iran has to sponsor terrorists from the neighboring impoverished Arab states--the Iranian people themselves have far too much to lose to make good suicice-bomb fodder.
     
  10. shermacman

    shermacman Member

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    :rolleyes:
    Yup, vast amounts of freely traded oil on the international market is going to ruin America. The Bush Derangement Syndrome of economic destruction.
     
  11. Camp David

    Camp David member

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    How is it you go from Iran rejecting United Nations demands to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions and somehow manage to jump a gulf and blame our president?????:what:
     
  12. goosegunner

    goosegunner Member

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    Haven't you noticed, we europeans have known it for a long time: Everything is Bush's fault. :neener:
     
  13. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Iran, etc., will not pop a bomb on the US.

    They will give one to an organization who will.

    That's why it is called state-sponsored terrorism.

    "You can't do anything to me, because I didn't do it, and you can't prove that I provided the thing either - maybe it was the french!"
     
  14. BigG

    BigG Member

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    That's right, Goose, MA belongs to Europe now. ;)
     
  15. carlrodd

    carlrodd Member

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    great synopsis.
     
  16. Biker

    Biker Member

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    As usual, LB nails it.

    Biker
     
  17. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    Of course, crazy old Kim Jong Il over there is waving working nukes that could possibly hit the US west coast, and if you saw the video smuggled out of North Korea.... Villagers in a really nearly post-civilization area being rounded up for a public execution, their charges shouted to the assembled crowd, and then the accused being shot by firing squad. Their crime? Speaking to outsiders.

    As we ignore that.
     
  18. Lobotomy Boy

    Lobotomy Boy Member

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    And this makes Iran different than North Korea how? Oh yeah, North Korea already has nuclear weapons. And they aren't sitting on one of the largest oil fields on earth.

    If this was really about what our leaders both Democratic and Republican alike are telling us its about, we should be going after North Korea and not Iran, or we should have taken out Iran two decades ago when they actually did give bombs to terrorists who then used them to kill 300+ U.S. marines in Beruit. But we're not, and we didn't. You sort of have to wonder why?

    Oh yeah, that oil thing.
     
  19. middy

    middy Member

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    It's all about the ooooooiiiiiillllllll!!!!

    Oh yeah, and it's all America's fault. And George Bush, of course.
     
  20. Derby FALs

    Derby FALs Member In Memoriam

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    Don't dread the gathering of armies on the plains of Armageddon, yet look forward to it.
     
  21. carlrodd

    carlrodd Member

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    amen.


    Revelation Chapter 16 - King James Version

    1And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

    2And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

    3And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

    4And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.

    5And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.

    6For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

    7And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

    8And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

    9And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

    10And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,

    11And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

    12And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

    13And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

    14For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

    15Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

    16And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

    17And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

    18And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

    19And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

    20And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

    21And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
     
  22. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't know of any animal which can survive without blood.

    I don't know of any industrialized nation which can survive without its own version of blood: Oil.

    Our lives and lifestyles are controlled by oil. If you like being alive, and having any say in how you live, you need a stable supply of oil. You have no choice. It's just not negotiable.

    So why is anybody surprised that "It's all about oil!"? Why be scornful: Our own demands for petroleum products have brought about this political problem--or group of problems--we now face.

    Exxon didn't do it. Bush didn't do it. The whole setup has been building for over fifty years.

    Looks to me like the issue is control of oil: We control or the Chinese control, or the whole deal is free-market from the standpoint of cost vs. supply. What the middle east wants is irrelevant in the Great Game of International Chess--you should pardon my amoral, cold-blooded assessment of the reality of the situation as I see it.
     
  23. carlrodd

    carlrodd Member

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    great take on things art. this is why i chuckle at all the uninformed peace-dicks that hold up signs saying "no blood for oil" etc., as if they have nothing to do with it..being oil consumers themselves.
     
  24. Lobotomy Boy

    Lobotomy Boy Member

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    Exactly. This is why I see no way out of this situation, nor have any ideas on alternative policies. Still, I refuse to allow those who would deny this is about oil to spoon feed us propoganda to the contrary, like this, for example:

    Does the poster offer any reasonable counter arguments to the ones I put forth? Of course not. Why? Because no reasonable person could conclude that this is about anything other than oil.

    If our leaders truly believe that this is the fulfillment of some sort of apacolyptic prophesy, then I will do everything I can to prevent this war, even though I fully understand the need to maintain our oil supply to maintain our way of life. There is no way I'm going to be led around by the nose by people who are making policy based on what I believe to be the superstitions of primative Semetic tribesmen.
     
  25. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Back in 1979, during the dark, dark days of the worst presidency in American history, there was a song on the radio. It was sung to the tune of the Beach Boys' Barbara Ann. It's been resurrected recently with some newer lyrics,

    Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.
    Bomb bomb bomb, bomb.
    Oh, bomb Iran, that's the plan.
    Bomb Iran.
    We're gonna rock your Ayatollahs,
    Sock your Ayatollahs,
    Bomb Iran.
    Bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.

    Went to tehran,
    Lookin' for the man,
    Saw the Ayatollahs,
    And I knew it was a scam.
    So, Bomb Iran.
    Bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.
    We're gonna rock your ayatollahs,
    Sock your ayatollahs.
    Bomb Iran.
    Bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.

    Heard Ahmanijad,
    Claim that he's so bad,
    Says he'll destroy jews,
    It was all over the news.
    So, bomb iran.
    Bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran.
    We gotta bop your ayatollahs,
    Stop your ayatollahs.
    Bomb Iran.
    Bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.
     
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