December 3, 2007

Too optimistic?

The headline in the New York Times, based on a National Intelligence Estimate, says:

U.S. Says Iran Ended Atomic Arms Work

On the other hand, Greg Cochran, who made the correct call back in 2002 that Iraq had no active nuclear weapon program, thinks that might be over-confident, saying that the line between civilian and military uranium-enrichment is fuzzy. He figures that the grown-ups in Washington, such as the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, don't want a war with Iran and just want to run out the clock on the 13.5 months left in the Bush Administration without anything too stupid happening. So they might be spinning this report to calm the war fever.

Back in 1994, when Bill Clinton wanted to invade Haiti as a sop to the Congressional Black Caucus, an operation the Joint Chiefs thought was pointless, the brass hats misled the militarily-ignorant President for several months about how tough the job would be. Perhaps something similar is happening here?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

This may be. If it is the case, I think it's probably a good idea. At this point, I don't trust the administration, the Wall Street Journal, Norman Podhoretz (or the kid), or the rest of the gang to tell us the truth. I am recalling Iraq's lack of WMD's, or threat (imminent or not) to the U.S.

Bush used 9-11 to settle an old score. He probably thought this would make him Reagan or Truman or something, as opposed to Johnson, but without the civil rights legislation.

Pretty much everything he has done, faith based initiatives, immigration 'reform', nation building, has smacked of elites knowing oh-so-much that they can't sit by and wait for a mandate from the ignorant masses.

I live in Colorado and I see bumper stickers with just the date '1/20/09' on them. I didn't start out feeling this way about Bush, but I agree now.

Evil Neocon said...

Very likely Val Plame and her Dem buddies wrote the report to elect soft-on-Iran Dems. Dems have no answers for Iran so prefer to define the problem away.

I'll bet Iran explodes a nuke within two years:

As Wretchard at Belmont Club points out, Iran has been threatening to nuke Israel off the face of the earth. While if you believe the NIE, slowly unloading it's gun. Iran's leaders don't want to do what Saddam did: bluff they have nukes without having them.

Iran has continued to boast about how many centrifuges they have up and running, refused deals from Russia for nuclear fuel that can't be used for weapons, and has refused any inspection.

If Iran has nothing to hide, why hide? Why refuse inspectors? Why pick fights with Israel in Gaza and Lebanon? With the US in Iraq and Afghanistan? With Britain in the Gulf?

You might even argue that Iran's actions now are under a limited nuclear shield (buying a few lower end nukes from North Korea). Iran has had a joint public arrangement with North Korea including observers at NK nuke tests.

Iran's publicly stated policy from Khomeni onwards was for nuclear weapons. Iran spent hundreds of billions on a "secret" effort that shocked the IAEA when the MEK (Iranian Communist terrorists) revealed the effort in 2003.

Very likely Iran has simply wrapped in it's former military nuclear efforts into it's "civilian" efforts. Racing to create enough plutonium for the more efficient design (they could probably make the crude "gun" type Uranium bomb but that can't be fit on ICBMS).

Moreover, how does America KNOW FOR CERTAIN that Iran does not have nukes? By the time they demonstrate they DO have them it's too late: see North Korea, Pakistan, India, etc. The only way to be certain is go-anywhere inspections, which Iran has already ruled out (even the limited inspections are now forbidden).

It comes down to "trusting" Iran's leadership not to get nukes, and not give them to Osama or use them via Hezbollah when they get them. Not something I'd want but maybe others trust Iran with their lives.

This NIE is all about assuring nervous voters that Dems are not that much of a risk with Iran. Of course the closest in time threat is Pakistan, which already HAS nukes and is in slow-motion-collapse into Osama-Taliban control.

Evil Neocon said...

Anon -- tell yourself that fairy tale if you want. Before 9/11 no one including Bush had much appetite for getting rid of Saddam.

After 9/11, Saddam kicked the inspectors out (Clinton had to bomb the heck out of him 98-99 just to get them in after he'd kicked THEM out). Saddam did everything he could to bluff that he HAD nukes, figuring it would scare off America and Iran.

Let's review: Saddam's word worthless, kicking out inspectors TWICE after he'd been bombed to bring them back in. Saddam bluffing he had nukes (why else kick out the inspectors?)

Our choices in Iraq were to get rolled by Saddam, and appear weak, or take him out. Saudis already vetoed continuation of No-Fly aka the endless combat patrol.

This is why Clinton, Biden, Edwards etc all backed the decision to take out Saddam. I don't like GWB on amnesty and open borders any more than you do anon, but I can recognize reality when I see it.

The choices all sucked in 2003. They sucked because Saddam kicked out the inspectors and forced the issue. Leaving Saddam in place after he picked a fight with us would merely have made us look weak. If you think things are bad in Iraq now, imagine more Saddam adventures with Saddam's plan to nuke up ASAP (Duelfer report, i.e. Saddam's plan to go big with WMD as soon as he got sanctions dropped).

US policy when deals can't be reached was drop bombs, ala Kosovo, Saddam, Sudan, Afghanistan under the Taliban. Mostly it doesn't work. Bush tried "nation building" and that obviously failed. We are probably going to have to go nuclear on someone just to be believed when we threaten.

But I won't fault Bush for Iraq (at least the initial decision). It's better to deal with a problem when it's small than to wait (like the Idiot Pat Buchanon argued) for a life-or-death threat. And it's always better to take your destiny in your own hands than to just wait for someone else to decide.

Evil Neocon said...

One last add on Bill Clinton and Haiti.

It was not "a sop to the CBC." Haiti was sending tons of boat people to Florida which did not want to become Haiti North.

Haitian thugs had run off the US Navy in Port Au Prince (fear of killing black men on camera). Quite literally.

Clinton wanted the problem solved and sometimes to solve a problem you need a military solution. You can't make deals with everyone. Likely the credibility of the threat forced the Haitian thugs to back down.

gcochran said...

Pretty much everything 'evil neocon' says is false, of course.

TGGP said...

I think it's just racist of you, Sailer, to belittle the noble efforts of the Congressional Black Caucus to have the military kill a load of black people. Haitians are just as deserving of dying in an unnecessary war under the confused banner of freedom and democracy as Arabs and Slavs are.

simon newman said...

"...just want to run out the clock..."

That was my immediate reaction on hearing this story on the radio this morning. The sane people within the US leadership just want to run out the clock on the Bush presidency without any more major disasters, and are spinning accordingly.

simon newman said...

gcochran:
"Pretty much everything 'evil neocon' says is false, of course."

Well he is an evil neocon, what you do you expect? :)

daveg said...

Is is worth picking apart Evil Neocon's posts issue by issue?

I'll just make one easy point.

Before 9/11 no one including Bush had much appetite for getting rid of Saddam.

Secretary of Treasury Paul O'Neil wrote that the Bush administration was discussing overthrow of Saddam as early as February 2001, well before 9/11.

Robert said...

If Iran does get a nuclear weapon who cares. The United States would annihilate Iran or any other third world country that would even try to use them against us or any ally. The craziest leader of any country in the world by far, and one hostile to the U.S., Kim Jong-il, has nuclear weapons and we do not seem to be freaking out and threatening an invasion of North Korea.

Anonymous said...

Evil Neocon,
thanks for showing us why we don't want another republican administration.

You completely ignored the fact that there were no WMD's. Your concern about looking weak is misplaced. You can use the same argument to get us into Iran, Venezuala and North Korea.

David said...

Evil said:

Iran[...]has refused any inspection.

False. Iran has allowed inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and is negotiating further inspections.

Iran has been threatening to nuke Israel off the face of the earth.

False. Iran has uttered no nuclear or other military threats against Israel. The "wipe Israel off the map" meme is a canard.

Iran's publicly stated policy from Khomeni onwards was for nuclear weapons.

America's publicly stated policy from Truman onwards was for maintaining a nuclear arsenal. In fact, many countries avow their nukes. Even Israel did so, though it imprisoned the man who published their existence.

Iran spent hundreds of billions on a "secret" effort that shocked the IAEA when the MEK (Iranian Communist terrorists) revealed the effort in 2003.

Source? (Debka is not acceptable.) Hundreds of billions?

Moreover, how does America KNOW FOR CERTAIN that Iran does not have nukes? By the time they demonstrate they DO have them it's too late[.]

How do we know for certain that you aren't a child murderer? Can you PROVE you AREN'T? By the time you demonstrate that you are, children will be dead. Better to lock you up now.

How do we know for certain that your neighbors aren't plotting to kill Jews? (Or child molesters, plotting to harm kids?) Can they PROVE they AREN'T? By the time they demonstrate that they are, people will be dead or harmed. Better to storm their homes and burn everyone inside, just to be safe.

How do I know for certain that the man approaching me on the sidewalk isn't a homicidal maniac? I have reliably learned third-hand that he wants my neighborhood rezoned for commercial development exclusively; i.e., he wishes to wipe me off the map. And by the time he demonstrates that he IS a crazy killer, I will be dead. Then it will be too late, won't it? It will be like locking the barn after the horse has run out. The only rational, responsible, and conservative thing to do is to draw my revolver and kill him now.

For unless every individual and every nation on the planet can prove to our satisfaction that they AREN'T homicidal, they deserve death. Death. It's as simple and as morally clear as that.

Very likely Iran has simply wrapped in it's [sic]former military nuclear efforts into it's [sic] "civilian" efforts.

(Scare quotes around "civilian" because, in the minds of neocons, there are no civilians in Iraq. Even the very infants are antisemitic combatants.) Very likely? On what basis?

Those tricky wogs. They got rid of their nuclear weapons program in order to fool us into thinking that they don't have a nuclear weapons program!

This NIE is all about assuring nervous voters that Dems are not that much of a risk with Iran.[...]Very likely Val Plame and her Dem buddies wrote the report to elect soft-on-Iran Dems.

Hello, Dale Gribble.

I'll bet Iran explodes a nuke within two years[.]

I'll take you up on that.

For an informative discussion with the Director General of the IAEA (and a breath of fresh air), go HERE.

MQ said...

Pretty much everything 'evil neocon' says is false, of course.

No. His prediction that Spain would soon be invaded by a fleet of angry Moroccans in speedboats is not only true, but one of my favorite postings ever on the net.

Son of Con said...

Moroccan speedboats? You can't put anything past those brown Nazis. They're almost as bad as the white Nazis. Red Nazis scare me but not so much. Though I am worried about the Yellow Nazis. My doctor has recommended that my pills be color-coded - he's a Nazi!

(If I repeat the word Nazi enough, maybe you'll be scared with me? Paranoia doesn't love company, though, so go away, you liberal Nazis!)

David said...

Correction of my post: "in the minds of neocons, there are no civilians in Iraq" should be "...in Iran." Sorry. Go HERE for one out of many examples of this general attitude.

Steve Sailer said...

Iraq, Iran, whooping crane, whooping cough ...

Anonymous said...

Evil Neocon wrote:
", Iran has been threatening to nuke Israel off the face of the earth. "

You don't expect me to start crying now do you? Israel has one of the most potent strategic arsenals on this earth apart from the US, and a massive army and Air Force to boot. Thanks in part to plenty of US and European cash and technology, and otherwise their known smartness and military prowess.

It’s inconceivable that Iran could be an existential threat to Israel. They (both Israel and Iran) are just using the fear of nuclear weapons prevalent in western society to arouse support for their respective hegemonic ambitions. And on top they are playing the typical Middle Eastern strong man ego game. Making sure they are the tough kid on the block.

People in the West cannot fathom just how ego- and honour-driven Middle Eastern societies are, it would embarrassing to the average American or European to strut about as is commonly done there (and in Africa). No one in the western world seriously thinks of dropping Israel. But it would help if they were just a tad less belligerent. After all, the only reason we take them seriously as opposed to Arabs is that they are western and the root of Christianity.

rationalview said...

An Iranian bomb would be a good thing for the United States and most of the rest of the world. It would bring much-needed military balance to the Middle East, helping to deter the frequent aggression we've seen from Israel against Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. It would thus bring much more peace to the Middle East than many decades of talks under the current imbalance have done. It would also allow Iran to be secure in its production of oil, lowering the cost of oil for us all.

Svigor said...

After all, the only reason we take them seriously as opposed to Arabs is that they are western and the root of Christianity.

Yeah, it's all about who's "western" and "roots" and stuff. It's all about who's "won the argument," etc. Nothing to do with raw power or anything.

Svigor said...

If Israel's so "western," then why do NONE of the standards applied to the west(open-borders, foreigner-favoring, minority rules, majority dies, majority ethnocentrism the greatest sin conceivable, etc.,) apply to her?

If Abrahamic roots are so important, why aren't Muslims our "brothers" and stuff?

Svigor said...

I forgot the biggest: why is colonialism okay for Israel, but pure evil for real westerners? Just try and imagine an actually western colony in the ME today. LOL!

BrianFH said...

"Greg Cochran, who made the correct call back in 2002 that Iraq had no active nuclear weapon program"
Uh, read much? The NIE report says that the program was active as late as 2003. That, in case you don't have your shoes off, is later than 2002.

And it can't realistically say anything much about whether the program is a) restarted since 2005, or b) building up enriched Uranium for quick push to assemble devices when enough is available.

As for the “Iraq fiasco”, it's turning out quite well, don’t you think? Per Bin Laden et al.’ s recent statements, the design to suck it into a quagmire it could not survive has worked quite well, and its prospects are now “blacker than night”. It has gone, for the first time, on a financial begging spree to keep alive, and can’t find replacements for either its expiring emirs or its cannon fodder. As Zarqawi once feared, before being deleted, the Iraqis have figgered out that AQ’s plan to have them kill each other is a bad deal, and have decided to stop and focus on the instigators.

A fine quagmire, indeed!

David said...

Uh, read much? The NIE report says that the program was active as late as 2003. That, in case you don't have your shoes off, is later than 2002.

While the most recent NIE states that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, the IAEA has consistently said since 2002 that no such program exists or ever existed. Link.

NIEs on Iran are untrustworthy. The previous NIE asserted that Iran had a nuclear weapons program in 2005. The current one says it didn't. Which NIE is correct?

NIEs seem to be politically motivated statements.

It is true that Iran did not halt its nuclear weapons program in 2003. It is also true that I did not stop beating my wife in 2003.

But hey, they're brown Nazis, so let's get the more capable of America's youths maimed or killed attempting to ethnically cleanse them. I'm sure a stirring country music song is being written in LA right now to increase enlistment, or mentally to prepare the populace for a draft.

This strategy of "let's you and him fight" has worked before, many times, so what's not to love?