Next stop Iran?

Locked
Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Next stop Iran?

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:37 am

Too much to hope for . . .

Image
Next stop Iran?
Feb 8th 2007
From The Economist print edition


Why George Bush should resist a Wagnerian exit from the White House


“WE ARE not planning for a war with Iran.” So said Robert Gates, America's new defence secretary, on February 2nd. You cannot be much clearer than that. With a weak and isolated president, and an army bogged down in the misery of Iraq, the American Congress and people are hardly in fighting mood. Nonetheless, and despite Mr Gates's calming words, Iran and America are heading for a collision. Although the risk is hard to quantify, there exists a real possibility that George Bush will order a military strike on Iran some time before he leaves the White House two years from now.

America and Iran have been at loggerheads ever since Ayatollah Khomeini's revolution of 1979. But four things are making this old antagonism newly dangerous. One is Iran's apparent determination to build nuclear weapons, and a fear that it is nearing the point where its nuclear programme will be impossible to stop (see article). The second is the advent of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a populist president who denies the Holocaust and calls openly for Israel's destruction: his apocalyptic speeches have convinced many people in Israel and America that the world is facing a new Hitler with genocidal intent. The third is a recent tendency inside the Bush administration to blame Iran for many of America's troubles not just in Iraq but throughout the Middle East.

Any one of these would be destabilising enough on its own. Added together, they make the possibility of miscalculation and a slide into war a great deal more likely. That is all the more so when they are combined with a fourth new source of friction between America and Iran. This is the predicament of Mr Bush. A president who is now detached from electoral considerations knows that his place in history is going to be defined by the tests he himself chose to put at the centre of his foreign policy: bringing democracy to the Middle East and preventing rogue regimes from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Given his excessive willingness to blame Iran for blocking America's noble aims in the Middle East, he may come to see a pre-emptive strike on its nuclear programme as a fitting way to redeem his presidency. That would be a mistake.

Never attack a revolution

This newspaper supported America's invasion of Iraq. We believed, erroneously, that Saddam Hussein was working to acquire nuclear weapons. And we judged that the world should not allow a mass-murderer to gather such lethal power in his hands. In the case of Iran, the balance of risks points, though only just, in the other direction.

Even if it became clear that Iran was on the threshold of acquiring an atomic bomb, an American strike on its nuclear facilities would be a reckless gamble. Without America invading and occupying Iran—unthinkable after Iraq—such a strike would at best delay rather than end Iran's nuclear ambitions. It might very well rally support behind a regime that is at present not conspicuously popular at home, emboldening it to retaliate inside Iraq, against Israel and perhaps against the United States itself. Besides, it is far from clear exactly how dangerous a nuclear-armed Iran would be. Unlike Iraq under Saddam, Iran has a complex power structure with elements of pluralism and many checks and balances. For all its proclaimed religiosity, it has behaved since the revolution like a rational actor. To be sure, some of its regional aims are mischievous, and in pursuing them it has adopted foul means, including terrorism. But the ayatollahs have so far been shrewd calculators of consequences. There are already small signs of a backlash against the attention-seeking Mr Ahmadinejad. Like the Soviet Union, a nuclear Iran could probably be deterred.

But don't think Iran isn't dangerous

All of this suggests that in present circumstances it would be wrong for America to launch a military strike against Iran. But it would be the height of self-deception for anyone to jump to the conclusion that a nuclear-armed Iran would not be dangerous at all. It would be very dangerous indeed.

For a start, there is a danger that Iran's nuclear efforts will provoke a pre-emptive strike by Israel, which is already a nuclear power, albeit an undeclared one. For Israelis, whose country Mr Ahmadinejad says he wants to wipe off the map, it is not all that reassuring to hear that Iran can “probably” be deterred. Even if Israel were to decide against such a strike, Iran's going nuclear could destroy what is left of the international non-proliferation regime. It has proved hard enough for Arab states such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia to live with Israel's undeclared bomb; if their Iranian rival got one too, the race to copy might soon be on. On top of this is the danger that a nuclear Iran would feel safe to ramp up attempts to spread its revolution violently beyond its own borders.

Every effort should be made to stop an Iranian bomb. But there is a better way than an armed strike. In 2002 Mr Bush consigned Iran along with Iraq and North Korea to an “axis of evil”. Since 2004, for lack of good alternatives, he has been helping the efforts of Britain, France and Germany to talk rather than bludgeon Iran into nuclear compliance. Iran claims that its nuclear programme is for civil purposes only. Last year, the Europeans called its bluff by offering trade, civil-nuclear assistance and a promise of talks with America if it stopped enriching the uranium that could produce the fuel for a bomb. When Iran refused, diplomacy led in December to the imposition of economic sanctions by the Security Council.

This is a promising approach. The diplomacy at the United Nations proceeds at a glacial pace. But Iran is thought to be several years from a bomb. And meanwhile the Americans, Europeans, Russians and Chinese have at last all lined up on the same side of the argument. What is required now is a further tightening of the economic squeeze coupled with some sort of an incentive—most usefully an unambiguous promise from Mr Bush that if Iran returns to compliance with the nuclear rules it will face no attempt by America to overthrow the regime. Even then, America and Iran may be fated to lock horns in the Middle East. But the region, and the world, will be a good deal safer without the shadow of an Iranian bomb.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:41 am

Dealing with Iran

A countdown to confrontation
Feb 8th 2007
From The Economist print edition

Can anything deter Iran from its nuclear ambitions?*

THE streets of Iran are festooned this week with revolutionary bunting. Black and green banners commemorating the martyrdom of the third Shia imam, Hussein, still flutter from lamp-posts, even though the mournful Ashura rites of late January are over. They now hang beside flags looking forward to February 11th, when Iranians mark the anniversary of the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Such celebrations usually go unnoticed in America. But not this time. The two countries are moving slowly towards confrontation, both over Iraq—where Iran is meddling—and over Iran's nuclear programme. Its provocative president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (above right), has hinted that February's celebrations will include “good news” about the progress of nuclear work. Iran says it is fiddling with uranium and plutonium to produce more electricity. But America and many other countries suspect it is building a bomb.

Last month, when President George Bush announced the deployment of extra troops in Iraq, he also laid out a new strategy to confront Iran. A second carrier strike group, led by the USS John Stennis, is about to join the USS Dwight Eisenhower in the Gulf region. American aircraft will patrol more aggressively close to Iran's airspace. At about the same time as Mr Bush's speech, American forces raided an Iranian office in Arbil, in Iraq, and arrested five men. On January 26th Mr Bush appeared to confirm that he had authorised American forces to kill or capture Iranian agents in Iraq, where they are accused of providing training and sophisticated weapons to Iraqi insurgents. In the words of John Negroponte, America's outgoing director of national intelligence, Iran is beginning to cast a shadow over the whole Middle East.

The United States says it has no intention of attacking Iran's nuclear facilities. Robert Gates, the new defence secretary, stresses that “We are not planning for a war with Iran.” But he will not take the military option off the table. One line of thought is that since Mr Bush is not up for re-election, and because his legacy will be defined mostly in terms of security, he might not be prepared to leave office with the Iranian question unresolved, especially if he looks likely to be succeeded by a Democrat. That points to the possibility, at least, of a military strike.

Those keen to avoid a conflict over Iran's nuclear ambitions now pin their hopes on diplomacy toughened by sanctions. Iran has repeatedly rejected an offer made more than a year ago by Britain, France, Germany, America, Russia and China to persuade it to stop its troubling activities. That offer included a proper dialogue with America, improved trade and political ties, co-operation in less proliferation-prone nuclear technologies that would have allowed Iran to produce electricity, but not weapons, and discussions on regional security. Now tougher measures are being tried.

After months of haggling, in late December the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1737, for the first time ordering, rather than asking, Iran to halt its suspect nuclear activities. Sanctions were imposed on ten organisations and 12 individuals involved in either Iran's nuclear or its missile programmes, or both. Further measures may follow unless, within 60 days, Iran suspends its uranium and plutonium-related work and resumes talks.

Time is almost up, and Iran remains defiant. Its president has called the UN resolution a “piece of torn paper”. That attitude seems self-defeating. Iran is not isolated, as North Korea is: it depends heavily on trade, and not just as a seller of oil. Two-thirds of its population is under the age of 30, and unemployment is high; it needs to attract as much outside investment for its oil and gas industry, and finance for building roads and other projects, as possible. Already, the investment pinch from sanctions is being felt across the country: the government now offers cash for some priority jobs, such as building oil refineries, but it struggles to attract reputable international contractors to build them. Sanctions have a better chance of working here than they did in North Korea. But will better be good enough?

For Iran's clerical regime, gaining advanced nuclear technology means irresistible regional clout. By declaring Iran a member of the “nuclear club”, Mr Ahmadinejad puts his country on a par with India and China—as well as Israel (see article). Meanwhile, at home, nuclear achievements are a way to rally popular support round Iran's “inalienable” right to whatever nuclear technologies it chooses. The regime calculates that it can ride out sanctions, and so far it has been proved right. Ordinary Iranians barely feel them: the shops of Tehran are still crammed with foreign goods, from televisions to cornflakes.

Iran has also been doing its damnedest to exploit what it perceives to be divisions within the Security Council, and especially among the six heavies that have taken the diplomatic lead against it. They are in many ways a disparate bunch. Russia, the country Iranian officials have been counting on to protect them from real pressure, deliberately dragged its feet at the UN. It knew America was impatient for results and wanted to flex its muscles. But Russia also wanted to protect its investment in the nuclear reactor it is building for Iran at Bushehr. Tortuous exemptions were written into Resolution 1737 to enable Russian companies to be paid for construction costs, the future supply of reactor fuel, and even for anti-aircraft missiles recently sold to Iran (see article) that could be used to protect its nuclear sites against attack. China, a big buyer of Iranian oil, is no keener on sanctions than Russia is.

Yet the six have nonetheless managed to keep in step. Over the past year America's secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, has persuaded Mr Bush to keep the diplomacy on track, both by accepting that Iran can have a nuclear programme (just not a weapons-building one) and by agreeing that, if Iran does decide to suspend its nuclear work, America will join in serious talks “any time, anywhere”. Those were big concessions from what Iran likes to call “the Great Satan”. Meanwhile Russia, for all its truculence, has repeatedly delayed supplying the nuclear fuel for Bushehr.

So the six all still see mileage in their diplomatic efforts. And already, in diplomatic terms, Iran is quite isolated. Although it claims the backing of the 114 members of the non-aligned movement for its right to enrich uranium, many are unhappy at its defiance of the Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear guardian.

The ponderous process of adopting a new sanctions resolution at the UN will probably get under way next month. But Iran is already feeling a much sharper pinch from financial sanctions that do not require further UN approval. Operating under the United States Patriot Act, as well as on the basis of a presidential directive adopted in 2005 to target the funds of proliferators, officials from America's Treasury Department have been criss-crossing the globe to persuade governments and banks to curb their business with Iran.

As a result, Iran is finding it increasingly expensive to borrow money. Foreign government-backed credits are getting harder to come by; Japan is among countries that have scaled back their plans to invest in Iran's oil and gas industries. Even legitimate businesses are suffering, as foreign banks find it hard to be certain that the transactions they handle are not being diverted, for nefarious purposes, through Iran's network of front companies. All dollar exchanges, including small transfers for private individuals, have become extremely complicated, and it is very hard to use a credit card to buy online from inside Iran. Already capital is fleeing the country, much of it reportedly ending up in Dubai.

Inside Iran a heated debate is now under way over how to respond to its growing isolation and the prospect of more sanctions to come. There are signs of rising popular discontent with Mr Ahmadinejad's firebrand rhetoric and his capricious management of the economy—as well as worries about sanctions, and how much the nuclear programme will cost Iran. More pragmatic politicians, such as Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, would prefer to re-open negotiations with the West to avoid open confrontation.

When Mr Ahmadinejad and his allies did badly in recent local elections, criticism came into the open. Last week, for the first time, a newspaper editorial even argued the case for suspending nuclear work, as the UN has demanded. Mr Ahmadinejad's wings have been clipped a little. But there is no sign yet that Iran's leaders will reconsider their nuclear ambitions.

The ticking atom bomb

Last summer Mr Negroponte reckoned that Iran could become a nuclear power sometime between 2010 and the middle of the next decade. A recent study by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London reckoned that it would take two to three years “at the earliest” for Iran to go nuclear.
AFP
AFP

Small but defiant

Once Iran has learned how to enrich uranium to make nuclear fuel, it will quickly be able to make highly enriched uranium for bombs. So far, it has assembled two experimental “cascades” of 164 interconnected high-speed centrifuges to produce small amounts of the low-enriched sort. It may soon announce the first cascades in the underground hall at Natanz, where it seeks to link up 3,000 centrifuges by June. Once up and running, these could produce enough highly enriched uranium for one bomb in less than a year—if left undisturbed.

Nuclear experts, however, are sceptical about Iran's real progress. Running high-speed centrifuges reliably for a long period of time is a difficult task which Iranian engineers appear not to have mastered. According to the IISS, setting up the 3,000-centrifuge plant would be a “political act”, designed to show defiance and improve Iran's bargaining position if negotiations are resumed.

Israel, which has tried for years to mobilise international action against Iran, suddenly appears more sanguine. Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, this week insisted “there is still time” to apply diplomatic pressure. Many people, including America's vice-president, Dick Cheney, have suggested that Israel could take matters into its own hands and bomb Iran's nuclear facilities as it did Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981. But the task may defeat even Israel's air force. Iran has buried many of its nuclear facilities deep underground and has carefully dispersed them, so there is no single target. Senior Israeli security officials argue that, if there is to be military action, it should be carried out by the United States.

Arguably, the best opportunity for a surgical strike has already passed. The Isfahan conversion plant, which produces uranium hexafluoride (UF6, the uranium compound that is passed as a gas into the centrifuges to be enriched), is above ground and vulnerable to attack. It was the first part of the nuclear programme to be restarted by Iran in 2004, and has since produced about 250 tonnes of UF6—enough for 30-50 atomic bombs. But it is now thought to be stored in underground bunkers, much harder to hit.

Another choke-point is the Natanz enrichment facility; but this is buried some 15-18 metres under soil and concrete, and modern bunker-busting bombs might not be able to destroy it. The use of ground forces to secure the area long enough to do the job would be highly risky; the use of a low-yield nuclear weapon, as some suggest, might work physically but is hardly conscionable politically—or morally.

In any case, centrifuges can be rebuilt and hidden elsewhere in a large, mountainous country like Iran. A study last August by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a think-tank in Washington, DC, said there were 18 known nuclear sites, many of them underground or close to populated areas, and perhaps as many as 70 unknown ones. One place alone, the Parchin military complex (where research on nuclear warheads may be being done), has hundreds of bunkers and several tunnels.

Many of the sites are protected, and any operation would have to suppress at least part of Iran's air defences, and all its missiles and naval power, to limit any retaliation. The CSIS study concluded that even a large-scale attack, taking several weeks to complete, could leave much of Iran's technological base intact, and allow the country eventually to reconstitute an underground nuclear programme. In short, it would be very difficult to stop a determined Iranian regime from going nuclear, either by military action or by sanctions, if it were willing to pay the cost.

The cost of striking

Military action could be painful not just for Iran, but for America as well. The Muslim world would see it as yet another instance of “attacking Islam”. Iran, moreover, has several means of retaliation. It could fire missiles at American bases or Israel, perhaps tipped with chemical or biological weapons. It could also attempt to close off the flow of oil from the Gulf.
AFP
AFP

How much will she suffer for what her government does?

A less overt response would be to stir up its allies to attack coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran could do much worse than its current meddling in those places. (Indeed, though its political influence in Iraq is undisputed, the scale of its military involvement in the anti-American insurgency has still not been proved for sure.) It could also resort to terrorist tactics farther afield, perhaps even assisting al-Qaeda, some of whose leaders may be under house arrest in Iran.

According to Mr Negroponte, the ability to carry out terrorist attacks is “a key element” of Iran's security strategy. “It believes this capability helps safeguard the regime by deterring United States or Israeli attacks, distracting and weakening Israel, enhancing Iran's regional influence through intimidation, and helping to drive the United States from the region,” he said last month. For the moment, everything Iran does is drawing America in closer, and the risks of an Iranian miscalculation are growing by the day. But America is still uncertain which is worse: to let Iran go nuclear, or to try to stop it by force.
**************************************************************
*No, and even if we could/would do anything about it, the fact that many of Iran's facilities are located amongst civilian populations would prevent us from doing anything meaningful. What a sorry state of affairs the human rights crackpots like HRW, Amnesty International, and the ACLU have brought us to.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:43 am

How MAD can they be?
Feb 8th 2007 | TEL AVIV
From The Economist print edition


Deterrence and its limits

EVEN if Iran got the bomb, it would know that Israel had one too, and that knowledge would deter both countries from using their weapons, just as the doctrine of “Mutual Assured Destruction” kept America and the Soviet Union at peace during the cold war. That is the soothing assumption of those who say Israel can live with a nuclear Iran. Is it correct?

In the cold war, the foes were both big countries with big populations. But at 65m Iran's population is ten times bigger than Israel's, and Iran is 80 times bigger. In 2001 Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran's once and perhaps future president, mused ominously in a Friday sermon that “an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damage in the Muslim world”.

This lack of symmetry may be more apparent than real. Israel is reckoned to have around 200 nuclear warheads, more than enough to destroy all Iran's towns and cities. Some strategists argue that tiny Israel could be disabled by a first strike. But to prevent any Israeli retaliation, an Iranian attack would not only have to overcome Israel's Arrow air-defence missiles and destroy its airfields but also penetrate the silos of its nuclear-tipped Jericho missiles. In recent years, moreover, Israel is rumoured to have put nuclear cruise missiles on board its three Dolphin submarines.

In contemplating an attack on Israel, Iran would have also to weigh the (possibly nuclear) reaction of the United States. “In the event of any attack on Israel,” George Bush said last May, “the United States will come to Israel's aid.” If Iran got the bomb, America might formalise this promise—and maybe put an umbrella of “extended deterrence” over other American allies in the region.

All in all, this suggests that deterrence can be made to work. But for Israel it would still be a gamble. During the cold war America and the Soviet Union communicated constantly in order to avoid a miscalculation. Even so, they came close to nuclear war over Cuba. Iran, in contrast, refuses to talk to “the Zionist entity”, and its president yearns noisily for Israel's disappearance. Indeed, his apocalyptic threats have started to erode the previous conviction of most Israeli analysts that, for all its proclaimed religiosity, Iran is still a rational actor.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

RebLem
Posts: 9117
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA 87112, 2 blocks west of the Breaking Bad carwash.
Contact:

Post by RebLem » Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:29 am

Corlyss_D wrote:Can anything deter Iran from its nuclear ambitions?*

*No, and even if we could/would do anything about it, the fact that many of Iran's facilities are located amongst civilian populations would prevent us from doing anything meaningful. What a sorry state of affairs the human rights crackpots like HRW, Amnesty International, and the ACLU have brought us to.
Check out the Eight Beatitudes, and then add Jesus to your list of crackpots.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:08 am

RebLem wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:Can anything deter Iran from its nuclear ambitions?*

*No, and even if we could/would do anything about it, the fact that many of Iran's facilities are located amongst civilian populations would prevent us from doing anything meaningful. What a sorry state of affairs the human rights crackpots like HRW, Amnesty International, and the ACLU have brought us to.
Check out the Eight Beatitudes, and then add Jesus to your list of crackpots.
Add him yourself. Here's one of Jesus' sayings according to the NASB translation of the New Testament:

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. . . . ." (Matthew 10:34-39)

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:10 am

RebLem wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:Can anything deter Iran from its nuclear ambitions?*

*No, and even if we could/would do anything about it, the fact that many of Iran's facilities are located amongst civilian populations would prevent us from doing anything meaningful. What a sorry state of affairs the human rights crackpots like HRW, Amnesty International, and the ACLU have brought us to.
Check out the Eight Beatitudes, and then add Jesus to your list of crackpots.
I might use another classical allusion. Cassandra was condemned always to be right but never to have her prophecies believed. If you look beyond the well known drama of the situation, that was because she always prophesied ridiculous and worst case scenarios. Of course nobody ever believed her.

In modern times we are hampered by the living memory of a complex of worst case scenarios actually working themselves out, but this should not mean that we should pay attention to a crazy woman on a stage tearing our hair out about doomsday (not Corlyss--I am being hypothetical). We cannot approach every foreign policy challenge on the basis of what we discovered in hindsight about Japan and Germany that we imagine might have been prevented.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Ted

Post by Ted » Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:21 am

Pizza Wrote:
Add him yourself. Here's one of Jesus' sayings according to the NASB translation of the New Testament:

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. . .
Atta Boy Joshua! Spill that blood!

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:26 am

jbuck919 wrote:In modern times we are hampered by the living memory of a complex of worst case scenarios actually working themselves out, but this should not mean that we should pay attention to a crazy woman on a stage tearing our hair out about doomsday (not Corlyss--I am being hypothetical). We cannot approach every foreign policy challenge on the basis of what we discovered in hindsight about Japan and Germany that we imagine might have been prevented.
There were people who predicted the effects of Hitler's rise to power with amazing accuracy well before he implemented his programs, including the destruction of European Jewry. It wasn't "hindsight" at all. Tyrants must be taken at their word. Only the self-delusional disregard or minimize the probable consequences of the direction in which Iran is headed.

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:31 am

Ted wrote:Pizza Wrote:
Add him yourself. Here's one of Jesus' sayings according to the NASB translation of the New Testament:

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. . .
Atta Boy Joshua! Spill that blood!
I suspected all along that you had some redeeming features. Atta boy, Ted. :!:

Barry
Posts: 10230
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:32 am

Without addressing Iran specifically, as a general principle, the notion that a nation should never attack an enemy's military programs that are being built with the eventual purpose of doing harm to that nation because the enemy places those programs in the middle of highly populated areas is pure folly and could very likely lead to national suicide. If many civilians are killed as a result of the attacks, the moral responsibility for those deaths is on the head of those who decided to build the weapons systems (or nuke programs....whatever the case may be) in densly populated areas.

I saw a great cartoon during last summer's Israel-Hezbollah war. It showed an Israeli soldier protecting a mother and baby by keeping himself between them and the enemy; while in the next panel, a Hezbollah soldier was doing just the reverse: placing the mother and baby between him and the enemy. Is the Israeli soldier who kills the mother and baby in the process of defending himself and his country to blame for their deaths or is Hezbollah to blame for shooting off rockets from civillian neighborhoods? I think the answer is obvious.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

RebLem
Posts: 9117
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA 87112, 2 blocks west of the Breaking Bad carwash.
Contact:

Post by RebLem » Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:15 pm

pizza wrote:
RebLem wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:Can anything deter Iran from its nuclear ambitions?*

*No, and even if we could/would do anything about it, the fact that many of Iran's facilities are located amongst civilian populations would prevent us from doing anything meaningful. What a sorry state of affairs the human rights crackpots like HRW, Amnesty International, and the ACLU have brought us to.
Check out the Eight Beatitudes, and then add Jesus to your list of crackpots.
Add him yourself. Here's one of Jesus' sayings according to the NASB translation of the New Testament:

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. . . . ." (Matthew 10:34-39)
Sounds like dem fundie Muzzies interpreted things right after all. :x
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:45 pm

Barry Z wrote:I saw a great cartoon during last summer's Israel-Hezbollah war. It showed an Israeli soldier protecting a mother and baby by keeping himself between them and the enemy; while in the next panel, a Hezbollah soldier was doing just the reverse: placing the mother and baby between him and the enemy. Is the Israeli soldier who kills the mother and baby in the process of defending himself and his country to blame for their deaths or is Hezbollah to blame for shooting off rockets from civillian neighborhoods? I think the answer is obvious.
Not to the BBC or The Guardian.

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:52 am

RebLem wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:Can anything deter Iran from its nuclear ambitions?*

*No, and even if we could/would do anything about it, the fact that many of Iran's facilities are located amongst civilian populations would prevent us from doing anything meaningful. What a sorry state of affairs the human rights crackpots like HRW, Amnesty International, and the ACLU have brought us to.
Check out the Eight Beatitudes, and then add Jesus to your list of crackpots.
Nations cannot and do not conduct themselves like individuals. It's foolish to think they can or they will. What Jesus said, if he existed at all, has no bearing on the conduct of nations.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:57 am

Barry Z wrote:Without addressing Iran specifically, as a general principle, the notion that a nation should never attack an enemy's military programs that are being built with the eventual purpose of doing harm to that nation because the enemy places those programs in the middle of highly populated areas is pure folly and could very likely lead to national suicide. If many civilians are killed as a result of the attacks, the moral responsibility for those deaths is on the head of those who decided to build the weapons systems (or nuke programs....whatever the case may be) in densly populated areas.
That's not the way the screwed up "international community" views it. And that little joke, the International Criminal Court, will be only too happy to charge American and Israeli policy makers with war crimes for defending themselves.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:15 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Barry Z wrote:Without addressing Iran specifically, as a general principle, the notion that a nation should never attack an enemy's military programs that are being built with the eventual purpose of doing harm to that nation because the enemy places those programs in the middle of highly populated areas is pure folly and could very likely lead to national suicide. If many civilians are killed as a result of the attacks, the moral responsibility for those deaths is on the head of those who decided to build the weapons systems (or nuke programs....whatever the case may be) in densly populated areas.
That's not the way the screwed up "international community" views it. And that little joke, the International Criminal Court, will be only too happy to charge American and Israeli policy makers with war crimes for defending themselves.
3:1:28 of the 4th Geneva Convention says: "The presence of a protected person (meaning civilians) may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations."

and

3:1:29: "The party to the conflict in whose hand protected persons may be, is responsible for the treatment accorded to them by its agents."

Thus by international law, the party using civilian human shields is the war criminal.

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:51 pm

pizza wrote:Thus by international law, the party using civilian human shields is the war criminal.
The idiotic doctrine of proportionality has renedered those clauses meaningless.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

burnitdown
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:15 am
Contact:

Post by burnitdown » Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:17 am

Well, humanity's overpopulated. More wars is good health.

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests