May 25, 2007

Remind Bush not to accept an invitation to go dove hunting with Cheney: Steve Clemons claims that President Bush is now listening more to sane people like Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about not starting a war with Iran, and the insane people in Dick Cheney's office aren't happy about it:

The thinking on Cheney's team is to collude with Israel, nudging Israel at some key moment in the ongoing standoff between Iran's nuclear activities and international frustration over this to mount a small-scale conventional strike against Natanz using cruise missiles (i.e., not ballistic missiles).

This strategy would sidestep controversies over bomber aircraft and overflight rights over other Middle East nations and could be expected to trigger a sufficient Iranian counter-strike against US forces in the Gulf -- which just became significantly larger -- as to compel Bush to forgo the diplomatic track that the administration realists are advocating and engage in another war.

There are many other components of the complex game plan that this Cheney official has been kicking around Washington. The official has offered this commentary to senior staff at AEI and in lunch and dinner gatherings which were to be considered strictly off-the-record, but there can be little doubt that the official actually hopes that hawkish conservatives and neoconservatives share this information and then rally to this point of view. This official is beating the brush and doing what Joshua Muravchik has previously suggested -- which is to help establish the policy and political pathway to bombing Iran.

The zinger of this information is the admission by this Cheney aide that Cheney himself is frustrated with President Bush and believes, much like Richard Perle, that Bush is making a disastrous mistake by aligning himself with the policy course that Condoleezza Rice, Bob Gates, Michael Hayden and McConnell have sculpted.

According to this official, Cheney believes that Bush can not be counted on to make the "right decision" when it comes to dealing with Iran and thus Cheney believes that he must tie the President's hands.

On Tuesday evening, i spoke with a former top national intelligence official in this Bush administration who told me that what I was investigating and planned to report on regarding Cheney and the commentary of his aide was "potentially criminal insubordination" against the President.

The standard reason other Presidents haven't given their Vice Presidents the kind of power that Cheney has is because you can't fire the Vice President when they do things like this.


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

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, what would you do about the Iranian nuclear problem? What options, other than an attack, do we have?

Surely you don't think that this problem can be negotiated away.

The Iranian government is an oppressive third world theorcray, known for its sponsorship of terrorism, headed by a whack job who has made all sorts of apocylptic statements in his public speeches. It would be a very bad idea to allow a country like that to obtain the bomb.

It's bad enough living in a world where Pakistan and North Korea have nukes. We don't want yet another unstable dictatorship, one charismatic colonel away from a coup, to have nuclear weapons. If countries like this keep going nucelar, eventually a weapon will find its way into the hands of terrorists and will be detonated here.

Even a military strike isn't guarnateed to put an end to the Iranian nuke program, but it's the best option we have.

You might think it's messy, and uncertain, and you'd be right about that. But we live in a very dangerous world, and as a result we need to make some ugly choices. Your personal opinions on subjects such as Dick Cheney's strategic acumen, Iraq, and the Neocons is irrelvant.

This choice is very simple. Do you want to try to stop the Iranians from getting the bomb, or do you want to sit around and do nothing while go nuclear?

Hulk said...

Steve,
As usual great comments!

savvygoper said...

I second anonymous' comments. It seems that Steve is advocating nothing expect resentment- resentment against a nebulous concept of neoconservatives. How Dick Cheney can be called a "neo" conservative puzzles me. Contra Steve allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons is clearly insane if it can be prevented. All options should be on the table, including of course, military action. There is evil in Iran, and allowing it to grow in power and influence is not a responsible position for America or the West.

Chief Seattle said...

savvygoper and anonymous - ever read the story about the boy who cried wolf?

The Bush administration's lies before Congress, the U.N., and the American people have consequences. The warmongerers got their war, but they lost the trust of the American people. The bar is going to be set a lot higher next time.

I worry a lot more about my state being overrun by poor non-english speakers than I do about some theoretical Iranian nuclear threat.

Luke said...

I high-ranking Israeli official the other week said that Iran was not nearly as close to getting the bomb as is being reported. Given that Israel has stated unequivocally that it will not allow it to happen, and that they presumably have much better intelligence in this matter than we do, I think we should take him at his word.

Anonymous said...

It's worth noting that Iran would happily accept quitting its nuclear program if the U.S. would simply be reasonable. This offer has been on the table for a long time. But, Jews like the first "anonymous" poster on this thread won't tolerate Israel being forced to accept the peace treaties offered to it by the rest of the Middle East.

The same was true of Saddam, who made several offers of full peace and WMD disarmament. I'd bet that 99.9% of posters on this thread are not even aware of the existance of those offers.

aceflyer said...

It seems that Steve is advocating nothing expect resentment- resentment against a nebulous concept of neoconservatives.

Quite the opposite. Steve is advocating against the nebulous POLICY of neoconservatives, which amounts to little more than resentment of anyone who opposes Israeli domination.

Horatio said...

What is the NPV of a war with Iran? If it is handled like Iraq, negative.

If the government were willing to seize the major oil fields, expel any Iranian in the area by force and guard the perimeter so that private oil companies could extract the oil safely, the war would have a positive value. What are the chances of Washington having the balls to do that?

It wouldn't be hard to make the case for a war with Iran. They are making things worse in Iran. However, an occupation of Iran would cost more than it's worth. The people in that part of the world are barbarians. Imagine how hard it would have been to force liberalism on Europe in 1000AD. The state of liberty and rationality in the Middle-East is comparable to Europe in 1000AD. We cannot convert them by force, but we sure can kick their asses and take their land. Any war with a nation in the region should be based on the latter.

Anonymous said...

But we live in a very dangerous world, and as a result we need to make some ugly choices. Your personal opinions on subjects such as Dick Cheney's strategic acumen, Iraq, and the Neocons is irrelvant.

...do you want to try to stop the Iranians from getting the bomb, or do you want to sit around and do nothing while go nuclear?


It really helps to 1) take a look outside and 2) digest history (instead of just reading it).

Nuclear creep is an unstoppable force. Obviously. You might as well try to keep Spencer rifles out of the hands of the Apaches.

What we should be doing is bolstering our nuclear defenses. That means sealing the borders, developing accurate missile-defense systems, and reversing Muslim immigration from all Western nations.

And then we need to prepare for nuclear conflict. That is the pragmatic, adult thing to do. Because that is what the future holds. The top priority should be to win that conflict decisively. Trying to prevent the conflict from occurring at all is just more utopian nonsense.

And as far as the Middle East specifically, what an insanely tangled web we have weaved there. The chickens are coming home to roost. We have allowed Israel to flout all international nuclear controls for decades. We are rightly viewed as arch hypocrites on this issue. Total lack of credibility has been achieved. And there are consequences for that. We have motivated the Arabs to acquire nukes at all costs.

So, your plan is preemptive war on any Middle Eastern country that aspires to a nuke arsenal of their own. But that will work out about as well as the War in Iraq.

You might at least get priorities straight. Iran is years away from deployable nukes. Israel and Europe should dedicate themselves to nuke-defense in the meantime.

But radical Islam is very close to forcibly acquiring a mature nuke arsenal in Pakistan. Why are you not freaking out about the unrest in Pakistan?

The way things are going radical Islam will likely control France's world class nuclear arsenal in 20 years. Where is your plan to head off that looming disaster?

We can either devote huge sums to protecting the homeland or huge sums to preemptive wars across the planet. We cannot do both. Your plan will leave this nation in financial ruin and ultimately much less unable to defend itself here at home.

Anonymous said...

If we want to prosper in the long term we must get back to being an American Republic and not an empire. All empires crash hard. That is the future for us unless we act in the national interest instead of the international interest.

Once this empire falls the internationalists will simply take flight to the next host and we will be left holding the bag (a bag full of wretched third world tribal balkanization).

We are instructed by the Founders to avoid foreign entanglements. But "we" have ignored that wisdom and are now reaping the bitter harvest.

Anonymous said...

Iran is not another North Korea. It is far more modern than it looks on the surface.

It is a really bad idea to play in someone else's sandbox. Iraq is someone else's sandbox, and Iran is someone else's sandbox.

If our leaders were sane, they would find a way to negotiate an under the table agreement with Turkey and Iran to quietly take over the mess in Iraq. They would probably go for it, even if they pretended not to. So much the better for us saving face.

Second best, put it under some kind of UN control. All we're doing in Iraq is teaching Arabs how to kill Americans.

If Cheney & Co really believe they can somehow "manage" a small missile exchange better think twice before they pry open Pandora's Box. They should think back to all those Beltway "experts" who were so convinced that once US troops landed on Iraqi soil and toppled the Saddam statues, the Iraqis would certainly line up in an orderly fashion to join hands and sing Kumbaya in a modern Western democracy.

Anonymous said...

Agree 100% with anon. The idea of fighting wars for other people - or, worse, abstract principles like "participatory democracy" (that's just a statue, guys) - is idiotic. Want to win a war in the Middle East? Settle there. Settle lots of people there. Bring in some Russian street thugs like the Israelis did. Then you just might have some kind of lasting effect in the region.

Do you know why people complain about "colonialism" to this day? Because it worked. It puts bugs in people's butts that takes centuries to dig out (unsuccessfully). That's how you spread the flame of democracy, if you spread it at all.

If you want to pour water into sand, spend money on "correcting" the "unfortunately backwards" customs ingrained in the locals by thousands of years of their own traditions.

mepo said...

Do I want Iran to have nukes? No. Do I want Iraq to be ruled by Saddam? No. Do I want a Communist Vietnam? No.

But it's not enough to say you want those things. You have to decide if you can get them at a price you can afford. Presumably, with decent leadership, we could have done a better job in Vietnam and Iraq. But we didn't. Perhaps this is an indication that we shouldn't expect unlimited competence in dealing with Iran.

I don't know what a war with Iran will look like. I feel certain that there are people in the US government who do know, but I have seen nothing to make me believe that Bush and his cronies will listen to any of them, at least not once they've got an ideological position established.

So, maybe we can do something about Iran's nuke program at a reasonable cost--surely, the world is a better place without a nuclear Iran. But why should I expect that to happen? Why should I trust the Bush administration's evaluation of the likely outcome of this war, given how poorly they did on the last one?

Udolpho said...

Whether Saddam had offered to deal was irrelevant. He was a totally unreliable negotiator (in retrospect he probably believed that Iraq had a far more advanced weapons program than it actually did).

Iran however is a different story, because the government is not an extension of one man and his tortured cronies. Going in on a unilateral military mission is indefensible and would only further isolate the United States instead of Iran. Iran getting the bomb is probably inevitable and we should move forward with making nice. Hell, we lived with Stalin and Mao having the bomb.

Maybe Cheney's heart medication is making him paranoid. Prior to Dubya's administration I had always figured him as a sane, steady hand--just the kind of boring white guy you want minding the flaky, vainglorious politicians. Alas!

jody said...

perhaps i'm in the minority, but i hope iran gets a few low yield nuclear weapons and puts them on ballistic missiles. anything that keeps the united states out of the middle east is good in my opinion. the current US administration just wants to invade iran and kill thousands of people before they're not able to do that without getting hit back.

gw bush talks a tough game but he's full of it. lots of rhetoric about "wepunz of mass destrukshun" and then instead of invading north korea, a nation with real and functioning fission devices, he decides to invade iraq, a country that turns out to have nothing.

this is exactly what his father decided not to do. we can see who the better president was.

Julio said...

It's possible to agree with each of these statements...

1) The invasion of Iraq has been a colossal fuck-up.

2) Neocons/The Israel Lobby/Dick Cheney want us to bomb Iran.

3) It would help Israel if we bombed Iran, since Iran has threatened to destroy them.

4) George Bush was wrong about WMD in Iraq.


... And still understand that it is in our interest to keep Iran from getting nukes. This would be the first time a theocracy with long-time terrorist connections (Hezbollah), and leaders whose religion makes look forward to the apocalypse got nukes. Bad fucking news, and well worth the bad PR of a massive bombing campaign to stop, or at least buy us a few more years.

Spite for Bush/Cheney/Neocons/Israel is a really stupid reason not to do what is in America's interest, which is to keep Iran from getting nukes. Remember, this is a country that has repeatedly shown they cannot be deterred by threats of retaliation by us. After all, did we retaliate when Iran:

- Invaded our embassy and took Americans hostage for over a year?

- Killed hundreds of U.S. Marines with a truck bomb in Lebanon, via their Hezbollah proxies?

- Bombed U.S. Air Force troops in Saudi Arabia, again via Hezbollah?

The answer, of course is "no". Iran is led by nutters, and we've already demonstrated to them that they can commit acts of war against us and kill Americans without any fear of retribution. Rolling over and letting them get nukes would be a mistake so costly as to make the Iraq invasion seem like a brilliant policy move.

Remember: Clinton's 4-day bombing campaign against Saddam Hussein's Iraq (Desert Fox) effectively ended his WMD program. Don't sell our air power short. We are better and blowing shit up than the Iranians are at defending it. And considering that they don't have the capital to build gas refineries in their country, or effectively exploit their oil wealth, they would be hard-pressed to re-build what we destroy. And if they did, we could always bomb it again.

Anonymous said...

Udolpho -- like many smart, middle class people you are IMHO fairly dense when it comes to violence. And violent people who are not nice, middle class westerners.

The entire premise of the lunatic parent article is ridiculous. Israel's current political leadership is paralyzed and inept. Dick Cheney's mind-control rays aren't going to work. Responding to dangerous provocations that could not go unanswered, Olmert conducted a weak and half-hearted war against Hezbollah that handed victory to them (and Iran) and exposed dangerous weakness and decay in the small and now not very competent Israeli Military as the Winograd Report makes clear.

Israel should have already struck first against Iran, which has made clear just two days ago it's intention to wipe Israel off the map (again). Sharon or even Barak would have done so (Barak after making some "deal" any deal with Abbas to cover the West Bank/Gaza). Olmert who has no military experience and approaches life as though everyone is a nice, middle class person, has dithered like France in November 1939.

Israel will get nuked, and disappear. Disastrous for Israelis, and bad for us. Because it would only encourage those who believe in "a World without America and Israel" if one part inevitably comes true. Of course Iran would be hit in retaliation, but so what?

The idea that Darth Cheney will make Israel hit Iran is laughable and speaks more to the intellectual weakness of those pushing this than anything else. The Iranians are hardly likely to be fooled.

Neither Steve nor Udolpho can understand the threat, outlined in Robb's "Brave New War." It is not primarily the state actors like Japan or Germany. No aircraft carriers or ICBMs. Rather trans-national terror/criminal groups who seek to build nothing but destroy the nation state so they can flourish. Think the Taliban in Afghanistan, narco-groups in Rio, Hamas in Gaza, and so on. These are distributed groups that use post-modern Western Weakness (the emotionalism provoked by news media on the side of the enemy to fight politically correct wars and avoid killing) to destroy order and the nation-state.

They are dangerous when matched with dangerous nation-states that use them as deniable proxies for making war. Like Iran and Hezbollah.

Like it or not, Iran has been at war with the US continuously since 1979 and we have pretended we are not. At each turn: the 79 Hostage takeover, the 83 Beirut Barracks bombing, the 94 Buenos Aires bombing, the 96 Khobar Towers bombing, the US has not reacted at all or has sought to appease the Iranians, only inviting more aggression. This is bipartisan policy carried out by Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 2. More recently the Iranians have used the IRGC to directly kill and kidnap our troops, raid our British allies and take them hostage, openly boast of 93 US Continental sites they will destroy, and boasts that they will create "a world without America" and so on. Bush has done ... nothing.

Because like every other President since Carter he wants to defer action. Taking on the Iran problem will cost a lot of blood and money. And it will make things ugly.

However: Ayatollah Khomeni on the plane ride from Paris told astonished reporters he cared not a fig for Iran or the Iranian people, only the Islamic Revolution which he viewed had to conquer the world. Iran's Mullahs have consistently followed this vision and sought confrontation against a "weak" America and Israel even when their interests against Saddam coincided. Unlike NK we have no nuclear samples from their nuke programs so can't match fallout from nuclear weapons. NK also has in theory a Chinese leash. Iran has none.

Iran is also very close to weapons, according to the IAEA, and has a market supposedly more robust than AQ Khans. They have the means to hit us through deniable Hezbollah proxies (no need for missiles) and have nearly 30 years of bipartisan Democrat and Republican appeasement to believe nuking two-three US major cities would cause US collapse and possibly even surrender to Islam. Chillingly, Ahmadinejad issued the traditional call to Islam to avoid attack in his letter to Bush.

Udolpho and Steve, the men who run things in Tehran, the Mullahs, do not think nor act like you. They've personally overseen the liquidation aka murders of reformers, union organizers, women's rights activists, and so on. Their entire lives have been filled with personal violence as a means to power and wealth. They have no experiences to believe that attacking the US with deniable nuclear weapons won't result in our retreat from the Gulf.

And the announced nuclear programs of the following nations: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, UAE, Kuwait, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Jordan all shout loudly that local governments believe US protection useless and that Iranians will be allowed to attack with impunity and the US Navy forced to withdraw.

I agree with Anon 5:12 that Nuke proliferation cannot be stopped. The tech is old, and there are too many sellers. HOWEVER, there are no bright lines drawn, because our deeply feminized, suburban, feminist political class has no clue about violence and it's prevalence.

Have we demonstrated clearly to Iran's leaders that a nuclear attack on the US would be followed by erasing Iran? No. Indeed Obama's comment about it was he would only make sure first responders had enough support. Only Hillary said she'd retaliate. And Iran feels confident there would be enough doubt to keep us from retaliating.

Will we pre-emptively strike if we feel threatened by Iran's nukes, open alliances with Al Qaeda (Saad bin Laden lives there, openly organizing), and control of Hezbollah? What's the red line the Iranians dare not cross? What bipartisan agreement is there?

If anything Steve and Udolpho are as naive as Olmert, recoiling away from violence now in guarantee there will be only worse later on.

Israel will be nuked, regrettable and a huge loss for Western Civilization (and proof to Jihad that the West can indeed be destroyed). Israel will of course retaliate but they'll all be dead. And Hezbollah will carry out nuclear attacks on cities like NYC and Chicago leaving 3-10 million dead and the US economy in ruins.

From there it is an open question as to what will proceed.

The problem is not "war-mongering" GWB but the failure to make credible threats to deter aggressive non-state actors allied with Iran (or Pakistan, nearly everything said about Iran applies to Pakistan).

No one internationally believes the US will do anything other than impotent lobbing of cruise missiles ala Clinton after a nuclear attack. THAT rather than the Iraq War is the big danger. Unless you think the Mullahs are like the spineless EUnuchs of the EU.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how many words Jews can expend when rationalizing militant support for Israel. It seems that the centuries of doing nothing but debating the nuances of the Talmud have selected for this sort of behavior.

Iran's war with the U.S. does not date to 1979. It dates to 1953, when we overthrew their parliament and replaced it with a terrorist dictatorship. But by the 1990s, Iran was ready to let bygones be bygones, because Iranians are rational thinkers. Unfortunately, the irrational Zionists overruled the oil lobby and canceled the peace process, which had progressed very well.

Anonymous said...

Whether Saddam had offered to deal was irrelevant. He was a totally unreliable negotiator

Ah, yes, THEY are all dishonest liars, whereas WE are honest to a fault. It is a wonder that the U.S. has survived so many years despite our scrupulous adherence to treaties and international law in the face of such an implacably mendacious world.

tommy said...

One thing I cannot understand is why we don't move more of the current guerrilla war being fought by Iran against us in Iraq onto Iranian soil. Why aren't a whole lot more Iranian soldiers being blown up with IEDs? Why aren't top Iranian officials being targeted for assassinations? If Iran wants to stir up trouble and kill our people, then it would seem wise to ensure the current chaos spills over onto their side of the border and let them know that two can play this game. This could provide us a golden opportunity to try to co-opt some of the more moderate Sunni/Baathist elements in Iraq that must undoubtedly be aware of the game Iran is playing in their backyard. They might wish they had a way to extend their war with the Shiites beyond only targeting Iran's proxies in Iraq. We could provide them with such an increased striking capacity.

Udolpho said...

Ah, yes, THEY are all dishonest liars, whereas WE are honest to a fault.

And another Internet debate won by saying something stupid. Congratulations! We are all so proud of you.

Udolpho said...

The point is moot, there's no public support for extending war to Iran. Who is going to send in American troops with no credible long-term commitment to backing them up and making the sacrifice worthwhile. We already face that in Iraq.

Freddie said...

"It's amazing how many words Jews can expend when rationalizing militant support for Israel."

So we should let Iran get nukes. That'll stick it to the Jews. Can't imagine how there could be a downside to us in that deal...

Theron said...

"The point is moot, there's no public support for extending war to Iran. Who is going to send in American troops with no credible long-term commitment to backing them up and making the sacrifice worthwhile. We already face that in Iraq."

Troops? No one is talking about invading Iran, just bombing it. Night and day from fighting a counterinsurgency. The last thing Cheney and Bush want to do is get into another ground war; anyone who claims they do is full of shit.

daveg said...

If we are not going to secure our borders and virtually eliminate Muslim immigration into the united states we should not attack Iran in any way, shape or form.

Otherwise, we are setting ourselves up for more domestic terrorism.

We also need to get our troops out of Iraq before such a bombing, as they will be sitting ducks for the "blowback."

If we are willing to take both of these steps I could support bombing Iran.

However, you and I both know we will do neither so bombing Iran is strategically stupid at this time.

Anonymous said...

The Iranians attempted a cautious rapprochement with the West a few years ago when the Guardian Council permitted the election of a mildly reformist government under Seyyed Mohammad Khatami. It's now well established that approaches were made to the US via the Swiss in 2003, which were not so much rebuffed as ignored. In return for an abandonment of the policy of "regime change" and the normalisation of trade relations, the Iranians had offered a "grand bargain" in which all outstanding issues would be dealt with - including (implicitly) the question of Israel.

The response of the Iranian leadership to the failure of diplomacy was to batten down the hatches by installing a more aggressively nationalistic and overtly fundamentalist government (by preventing any credible alternative candidates from standing in the 2005 elections) and ratcheting up the level of confrontation with the US and its allies. The message is exactly what we have seen in the recent arrest / abduction of the British personnel - "either give us some of what we want, or we will make life difficult for you in whatever way we can".

The US, of course, as well as making a mighty rod for its own back in Iraq, has provided the Iranians with a major new source of leverage against it. The Iranians believe the Americans are unlikely, in the final analysis, to attack them (at least, directly) because of the huge political and economic downside of doing so, which hardly needs elaborating. They have embarked on this risky course because they see the struggle with the US as being literally of existential importance. They also seem to believe that any attack, if it did come, would be limited in scope (however damaging), and survivable by the regime.

In other words, what we are witnessing is, in effect, a game of "chicken" between the US and Iran. I don't think Iran will blink first.

I suspect that the present stand-off will be resolved one way or the other fairly soon - if the US is going to strike Iran's nuclear facilities it will need to do so quickly, or else the radioactive fallout from the bombed nuclear facilities will be catastrophic.

Who is elected in the 2009 Iranian presidential election will depend on whether the Guardian Council feels it is in its interests to display a "nice" or "nasty" face to the world. In the latter case, it may be Dr Ahmadinejad, or it may be someone else - it hardly matters, as the President and Parliament have little real power.

Ralph said...

Speaking of Muslims, here's something disturbing. The results of a Pew poll of American Muslims were just released, and politically correct folks are rushing to put a positive spin on it. Don't take their word though -- check out page 54 of the PDF.
In response to a question about whether suicide bombings against civilian targets are ever justified in defense of Islam, 26% of American Muslims between the ages of 18-29 said yes, and an additional 5% said they didn't know or refused to answer.

That means that there are hundreds of thousands of Muslims in America who condone suicide bombings against civilians. Are you willing to bet that a handful of these folks won't someday help foreign Muslims detonate a nuke here?

As fucked up as Bush has been as a president, I still hope we get another Republican. Only because I'm afraid a Dem might kill the surveillance operations Bush has run against domestic Muslims.

David Davenport said...

Given that Israel has stated unequivocally that it will not allow it to happen, and that they presumably have much better intelligence in this matter than we do, I think we should take him at his word.

Oh yes, just as the Israelis provided the US with such good intelligence about Iraq's WMD's.

Udolpho said...

Troops? No one is talking about invading Iran, just bombing it.

No one knows for sure (particularly with this administration) where bombing will lead. At any rate there would be other forms of blowback from a bombing campaign, diplomatic for instance. Even though tough guys like you don't care what the world thinks, there has already been enough ruinously bad diplomacy for three or four administrations.

The point is moot, though, you're not going to get the bombing you long for. Whether this means Iran flirts with obliteration by immediately nuking Tel Aviv (seems unlikely) or we are forced to go a more sensible route with them, time will show.

Anonymous said...

I'm a non-jew who favors aggressive action against Iran and disruption of its weapons program. The number of isteve commenters favoring military action is higher than might be expected. But then again the site pulls in a rational readership. I read about 20 pages of "Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebannon", by Robert Fisk, which were so filled with (well written) shock stories of tribal blood letting it changed my entire perspective on the middle east. In-bred, throat slitting tribalists + the great satan concept + nuclear weapons = ??.

Anonymous said...

Taking a page from Pablo Escobar, I favor a "plato o plomo" approach in which epic bribes/aid might allow us to accomplish both reform and weapons containment without necessarily resorting to military action. The plomo option, however, would always be on the table.

tommy said...

I read about 20 pages of "Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebannon", by Robert Fisk, which were so filled with (well written) shock stories of tribal blood letting it changed my entire perspective on the middle east.

Perhaps, but take anything written by Fisk with a grain of salt. In fact, make that a sizable chunk of rock salt. This is a man who notoriously couldn't even get Jesus' place of birth right. Fisk's name has been become synonymous with easily identified inaccuracies and shoddy argumentation on the internet.

daveg said...

Actually, I take back my very limited support for bombing Iran.

I only meant to say that IF you support bombing Iran philosophically, it would still be stupid to do so strategically with our current troop deployment and immigration situation.

I personally think that, even if you could correct these gross strategic problems, it is still not a good idea geo-politically to bomb Iran, but at least you could start to support it stratigically.

Now, annexing Baja California, that’s an idea that makes sense for a bunch of reasons.

Anonymous said...

the Abduction of Lebannon", by Robert Fisk, which were so filled with (well written) shock stories of tribal blood letting...

You mean incidents like Qana?

Yes, it is very disturbing that middle eastern countries like Israel have nukes.

Fred said...

Iran could be stopped from building nukes without the use of force. Real economic pressure (which would require getting the Europeans on board for more than just interminable negotiations) Could bring Iran to its knees. Its oil production has been dropping 7% per year, unemployment is over 20%, and it is heavily dependent on imports of refined gasoline. Even without a cut off of those gas imports, Iran was just forced to raise its gas prices by 25%. Iran's not a strong country economically.

Perhaps in return for giving up nuke ambitions, we could offer to build enough gas refineries in Iran that they would be self-sufficient in that area.