You just knew it was coming...

#2
"Just like September 11, only with nuclear weapons this time, that's the threat. I think that is the threat," Bolton told ABC News' Nightline program.
It's deja vu all over again. :D

It's a lot easier for them this way. All they have to do is get the transcripts of the speeches from 3 1/2 years ago and change the odd Q to an N.

While I would agree that there is a chance that there's something dodgier than a 3 week old curry going on in Iran, I am absolutely convinced that the thinly veiled threats that have been leveled against them by the US does absolutely nothing but drive the Iranians in the other direction. It does nothing but steel Iranian public opinion against the West, further diminishing the prospects for meaningful reform from within, and it helps give the Iranian government cause to actually pursue nuclear weapons as quickly as possible. They only have to look at the mishandling of the North Korean problem to learn the important lesson there- you get tooled up and the American threats will stop. THAT becomes the rational course of action if you're the Iranian government.

As an aside, it will be interesting to see if Bolton survives after the November elections, his appointment still needs to be confirmed. My first hunch is that the answer will be yes, but if the senate changes hands, or even if the balance shifts even slightly there is a chance that he can be out on his arrse.
 
#3
The Americans have to talk in a way that their own people will endorse just as much as the Iranians have to talk to please their people. If either side were to back-off in the pugnacity of their terms and conditions, they would lose popular support from their people.
The public pronouncements will continue to be on the play-ground level because of this. It is to be hoped that there are under-cover debates at a more rational level.
 
#4
I just love this double standard.

Iranian "politician" (er, dictator) publicly says "America is the Great Satan, they should fear our wrath and while I'm at it I want to nuke Israel into burning atomic ash! Mwuhahahahhaaa!!"

Liberal commentators stroke their beards and say, "Hmmm, calm down, hyperbole is a core part of their oratory, and they are talking to their own people. Nothing in it."

US politician says "Iran should consider the consequences of their actions in continuing to defy the legitimate will of the international community."

Liberal commentators froth at the mouth, start eating their Birkenstocks and howl about the Nazi NeoCon conspiracy and how America is the most dangerous country in the world (etc).

Am I missing something?
 
#5
OldRedCap said:
The Americans have to talk in a way that their own people will endorse just as much as the Iranians have to talk to please their people. If either side were to back-off in the pugnacity of their terms and conditions, they would lose popular support from their people.
The public pronouncements will continue to be on the play-ground level because of this. It is to be hoped that there are under-cover debates at a more rational level.
With Bush currently enjoying a job approval rating of 34%, I think such talk is no longer working at home either. :?
 
#6
Vegetius said:
I just love this double standard.

Iranian "politician" (er, dictator) publicly says "America is the Great Satan, they should fear our wrath and while I'm at it I want to nuke Israel into burning atomic ash! Mwuhahahahhaaa!!"

Liberal commentators stroke their beards and say, "Hmmm, calm down, hyperbole is a core part of their oratory, and they are talking to their own people. Nothing in it."

US politician says "Iran should consider the consequences of their actions in continuing to defy the legitimate will of the international community."

Liberal commentators froth at the mouth, start eating their Birkenstocks and howl about the Nazi NeoCon conspiracy and how America is the most dangerous country in the world (etc).

Am I missing something?
Umm, the total inability of Iran to strike against the United States and the absence of credible evidence that they have any pretentions towards a nuclear weapons programme while the United States has spent the last 5 years shoring up its presence in the Persian Gulf region, Afghanistan and Central Asia?

If you were running Iran, how would the American posture look to you?

And yes, cultural, linguistic, rhetorical and oratorical factors are significant. If greater attention was paid to it, there'd be an awful lot less confusion.
 
#7
If you were running Iran, how would the American posture look to you?
I don't know. Presumably I'd be too busy subjugating women, rigging elections and cracking down on bloggers trying to exercise free speech.

and....

Umm, the total inability of Iran to strike against the United States.
You honestly think, in the age of asymmetrical warfare, that Iran poses no potential threat to US interests at home and abroad?
 
#8
crabtastic said:
Vegetius said:
I just love this double standard.

Iranian "politician" (er, dictator) publicly says "America is the Great Satan, they should fear our wrath and while I'm at it I want to nuke Israel into burning atomic ash! Mwuhahahahhaaa!!"

Liberal commentators stroke their beards and say, "Hmmm, calm down, hyperbole is a core part of their oratory, and they are talking to their own people. Nothing in it."

US politician says "Iran should consider the consequences of their actions in continuing to defy the legitimate will of the international community."

Liberal commentators froth at the mouth, start eating their Birkenstocks and howl about the Nazi NeoCon conspiracy and how America is the most dangerous country in the world (etc).

Am I missing something?
Umm, the total inability of Iran to strike against the United States and the absence of credible evidence that they have any pretentions towards a nuclear weapons programme while the United States has spent the last 5 years shoring up its presence in the Persian Gulf region, Afghanistan and Central Asia?

If you were running Iran, how would the American posture look to you?

And yes, cultural, linguistic, rhetorical and oratorical factors are significant. If greater attention was paid to it, there'd be an awful lot less confusion.
I don't believe that Iran would use nuclear power for peaceful applications. Iran might not be able to strike the USA but it would try to strike Israel.

Liberals don't live in the real world and will always give in to lunatics.

I think it's all a moot point, Israel will not let Iran have a nuke strike capability.
 
#9
Vegetius said:
If you were running Iran, how would the American posture look to you?
I don't know. Presumably I'd be too busy subjugating women, rigging elections and cracking down on bloggers trying to exercise free speech.

and....

Umm, the total inability of Iran to strike against the United States.
You honestly think, in the age of asymmetrical warfare, that Iran poses no potential threat to US interests at home and abroad?
Interesting that you mention asymmetry:

According to the Defense Department's annual "Base Structure Report" for fiscal year 2003, which itemizes foreign and domestic U.S. military real estate, the Pentagon currently owns or rents 702 overseas bases in about 130 countries and has another 6,000 bases in the United States and its territories. Pentagon bureaucrats calculate that it would require at least $113.2 billion to replace just the foreign bases -- surely far too low a figure but still larger than the gross domestic product of most countries -- and an estimated $591,519.8 million to replace all of them. The military high command deploys to our overseas bases some 253,288 uniformed personnel, plus an equal number of dependents and Department of Defense civilian officials, and employs an additional 44,446 locally hired foreigners. The Pentagon claims that these bases contain 44,870 barracks, hangars, hospitals, and other buildings, which it owns, and that it leases 4,844 more.

These numbers, although staggeringly large, do not begin to cover all the actual bases we occupy globally. The 2003 Base Status Report fails to mention, for instance, any garrisons in Kosovo -- even though it is the site of the huge Camp Bondsteel, built in 1999 and maintained ever since by Kellogg, Brown & Root. The Report similarly omits bases in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, and Uzbekistan, although the U.S. military has established colossal base structures throughout the so-called arc of instability...[/b]
So, from the Martian perspective, which is the more imposing at the strategic level, the above mentioned set-up or the possibility of the odd car bomb?

What frustrates liberals is simply that at no point since 9/11(TM) has anybody, Republican or Democrat, sat down and seriously considered the question "Why do they hate us?" Everyone has simply reached for the most convenient "cookie cutter" approach, from "they hate our freedom" to "The Clash of Civilizations" and all the others we've heard ad nauseum.

My essential point is this- the overwhelming majority of Iranians, like Americans, Brits and everyone else, want no part of any sort of confrontation. However, the inflammitory rhetoric (from both sides, I'll grant you) makes it hard to avoid polarising opinion. The broader issues at stake are not black and white- they're grey. Threatening war will effectively kill the opportunity for any kind of progress in Iran because of this polarisation, but it will also give the government license to clamp down further on dissent. You only have to see the effects of 9/11(TM) and the Iraq war on opposition to the Administration in the US for an example of that.
 
#10
Crabs, we all want love and peace.

Problem is that the modern liberal paradigm pre-supposes that everybody has the ability to be as reasonable as they are.

Theocracies and Dictatorships, generally, are not. They have an unambiguous higher authority to answer to, be it The Chairman or God. It's like the scientists from 1950's sci-fi always trying to reason with the giant killer robots and crying with frustration at the unfairness of it all as the lazer beam rips them in two.

Personally I think that the US will try to forment some sort of slow-burn regime change in Iran. I hope it is successful, from what I've seen and read the Iranian people are well-educated, decent and hungry for more open government.

I cannot say the same for their leaders.
 
#11
olongapo said:
I don't believe that Iran would use nuclear power for peaceful applications. Iran might not be able to strike the USA but it would try to strike Israel.

Liberals don't live in the real world and will always give in to lunatics.

I think it's all a moot point, Israel will not let Iran have a nuke strike capability.
The problem with beliefs is that they tend to obfuscate rational thought. You can believe in the boogy man and spend a lifetime jumping at shadows, despite all evidence pointing to the fact that he doesn't exist.

As has been pointed out my myself and others on other threads, there is fcuk all Israel can do about it from a military perspective. Iran is too big, too far away and Israel doesn't have the toys to do it. Any intervention will have to be led by the US.
 
#13
Vegetius said:
Crabs, we all want love and peace.

Problem is that the modern liberal paradigm pre-supposes that everybody has the ability to be as reasonable as they are.

Theocracies and Dictatorships, generally, are not. They have an unambiguous higher authority to answer to, be it The Chairman or God. It's like the scientists from 1950's sci-fi always trying to reason with the giant killer robots and crying with frustration at the unfairness of it all as the lazer beam rips them in two.

Personally I think that the US will try to forment some sort of slow-burn regime change in Iran. I hope it is successful, from what I've seen and read the Iranian people are well-educated, decent and hungry for more open government.

I cannot say the same for their leaders.
I generally agree with you there, Veg. I'm saying that the current direction of policy shreds any chance reasonable people in Iran have of getting shot of the theocrats and dictators. Everyone knows that war and bellicosity can be a very convenient tool for supressing domestic dissent.

A slow burn approach would be effective, but it'll be tricky to maintain the appropriate balance. I just don't know if the John Boltons and Donald Rumsfelds of this world have the diplomatic (or even linguistic) skills to walk that fine line. Rice might be able to handle it, but everyone will be fcuked if Rummy sticks his oar in- even I can't understand WTF he's talking about most of the time.

I just can't wait for Bush to try to pronunce "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad". :)
 
#14
Vegetius said:
crabtastic said:
Any intervention will have to be led by the US.
Flying planes with IDF markings.
It'd take a very brave US airman to pretend to be Israeli and fly to Iran. If ever there was a member of a nation who would be treated worse on capture than an American... 8O
 
#16
Vegetius said:
Well, I was sort of going by what Condi was saying, as per the link in this thread.
Edited my earlier post to include the Rice factor while you were writing. The trouble is that Rummy doesn't like to be left out of these sort of things. From the US bureaucratic standpoint a lot will hang on whether Bush can (or wants to) keep him quiet. The word is that despite most perceptions of the shaved chimp being a puppet, it's been pretty much established that there's not much confusion about who's boss when he's in the room.

Bolton is a problem also. The US has had a long history of appointing Ambassadors to the UN that are under the impression that they are laws unto themselves (Both parties have done thins: Think Kirkpatrick, Allbright, Holbrooke etc.) and there is a BIG philosophical difference between the true beliver Neo-Con Bolton and his boss, the traditional, pragmatic Realist Rice.
 
#17
I am not at all surprised by the language used by John Bolton. It seems to me that it also panders to the fairly widley held view in the US that the UN is entirely useless and acts contrary to US national interests, since it is inevitable that there will be no agreement about what to do about Iran acquiring/producing nuclear weapons in the short term. It will add to the right wing frustration with the UN. From a recent visit to family in Georgia (and I know Georgia is not renowned for its liberal tree hugging views) most of the family and friends had no idea about the wider role of the UN beyond policing the globe adn were quite prepared to throw teh baby out with the bathwater.

As for assymetrical warfare no amount of bases worldwide are going to alleviate this problem...I agree with Crabs the US Posture in the Middle East must appear to threaten Iran adn therefore is likley to make any self respecting dictator want to redress the balance a bit. I am not sure that in a world where we have allowed India, Pakistan and Isreal to acquire nuclear weapons that we can say that Iran must not have these weapons. It does make it very easy for the anti west propagandists to ramp up their rhetoric and focus the population on something other that the theocratic oppression under which most of them live.

It seems to me that the middle ground/ third way is the only possible solution. Since sanctions are pointless and military action is really a non starter. I only hope Washington/Whitehouse can see this as clearly as the rest of us and start to sideline some of the warmongers especially Rumsfeld. However I am not holding my breath.
 
#18
crabtastic said:
Vegetius said:
crabtastic said:
Any intervention will have to be led by the US.
Flying planes with IDF markings.
It'd take a very brave US airman to pretend to be Israeli and fly to Iran. If ever there was a member of a nation who would be treated worse on capture than an American... 8O
Im sure there are a large number of American Jew's/Isreali's who would jump at the chance to serve on secondment to the IDF. Same planes, same tactics, different country. :D
 
#19
Agent_Smith said:
crabtastic said:
Vegetius said:
crabtastic said:
Any intervention will have to be led by the US.
Flying planes with IDF markings.
It'd take a very brave US airman to pretend to be Israeli and fly to Iran. If ever there was a member of a nation who would be treated worse on capture than an American... 8O
Im sure there are a large number of American Jew's/Isreali's who would jump at the chance to serve on secondment to the IDF. Same planes, same tactics, different country. :D
...just so long as they didn't have to give up pork chops and bacon. :D

Besides, how many of them are FJ trained, combat ready and current on F-15s and 16s?
 
#20
This is getting v political for me so ill just chuck in my 10cents for us lesser beings.........

ITS A S~~T STORM WAITING TO HAPPEN, you just watch as the american spin doctors slowly increase the 'threat' to the public over the next few years. Iraq x10 is in the pipe line.
 

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