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Friday Talking Points [193] -- Run It Up The Flagpole

[ Posted Friday, January 13th, 2012 – 16:50 PST ]

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!

The last Friday the 13th of political note took place last year, when Ron Paul announced he was running for president last May (which we noted in FTP [167]). Nothing as momentous seems to have happened today, at least as of this writing, but there are still hours and hours to go, so we'll just have to wait and see, won't we?

Not a whole lot has been happening in Washington, due to Congress being out on one of their countless month-long vacations. Not a whole lot of Democrats have been in the news, either, since the Republican primary season is sucking all the oxygen out of the political arena right now.

President Obama's Chief of Staff quit, but this news wasn't as momentous as the departure of his predecessor, since Daley never went out of his way to personally insult the base of the Democratic Party in the way Rahm Emanuel routinely did.

What has been happening in a quiet sort of way is what I like to call "Flagpole Season." This is the time of year when the White House runs a few things "up the flagpole, to see who salutes" (as the saying goes), in preparation for the State Of The Union address at the end of the month. Various policy ideas are trotted out to gauge reaction, and the ones that are received favorably will wind up in the big presidential speech to Congress. Today's news that Obama is considering consolidating some federal agencies is merely the latest in a series of policy proposals which will be steadily leaking out for the next week or so.

Over in the Republican clown show, I find it interesting that not a whole lot of people have latched onto a key story in the primary season so far: the disorganized nature of the Tea Party folks. While we were flooded with "Occupy Wall Street can't get their act together" stories at the end of last year, not many have picked up on the fact that the Tea Partiers are just as fractured. Here's proof: who is the "Tea Party candidate" on the Republican side? There simply isn't one -- in fact, there are multiple candidates still vying for this role. If the Tea Party rank-and-file had coalesced around one single individual early on, we would currently be in a three-man race (Romney, Paul, and the Tea Partier). We aren't -- there are still six candidates in the race, being propped up by post-Citizens United super PAC money. So while the Tea Partiers were an undoubted force in the 2010 midterm elections, it seems they can't get their act together in 2012. I'm not sure what this means for the future of the Republican Party or the Tea Party faction, but it deserves more attention than it's been getting.

But enough idle speculation, let's get on with the show.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

We truly wish that the rules allowed us to give some sort of award to Newt Gingrich's super PAC, because it's just been a joy to watch the circular firing squad taking place in South Carolina right now. The anti-Romney ads currently running will certainly provide fodder for the Obama team, later in the year, and it is rare to see Republicans savage each other in such a fashion. But the word "Democrat" in these awards precludes us from handing them out to the folks backing Newt, although (as we said) we would dearly like to thank them for their efforts in some humble way.

Elizabeth Warren deserves at least an Honorable Mention for the millions of dollars she raised last quarter to take on Senator Scott Brown up in Massachusetts. More power to her!

But this week's winner of the coveted Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award is Representative Allyson Schwartz, who is the woman most responsible for recruiting Democratic candidates to run for the House of Representatives in 2012. This is a low-profile job, for the most part, but it can indeed be a crucial one. So far, Schwartz has found 75 Democrats to run in open or Republican-held districts. Now, we haven't examined each and every one of these candidates, so this award may in fact be premature (we'll see what type of candidates they are, and how they do in the upcoming election), but we felt the effort itself deserved acclaim.

In the spirit of hoping her efforts pay off in a big and impressive way later this year, Allyson Schwartz is this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award winner.

[Congratulate Representative Allyson Schwartz on her House contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

It's been such a slow week that we are left without any real candidate for the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week. As always, we may have just forgotten someone or some infamous Democratic blunder, so feel free to make nominations in the comments for a possible MDDOTW award.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 193 (1/13/12)

Because, outside the Republican primary, it has been such a slow news week, we thought we'd offer up some talking points for Democrats to consider using to begin framing the general election -- things to point out that separate Democratic thinking from what appears to be the emerging (and quite radical) Republican Party platform (of those people not named "Ron Paul," at the very least).

We'll be revisiting this broad subject all year long, of course, and issues will likely come and go, or rise and fall in importance as time goes by. So don't see this as any sort of end-all be-all list, but rather merely a starting point to frame the opposition's beliefs in a very stark and easy-to-comprehend way.

 

1
   War with Iran, eight bucks a gallon

This one is a good place to start. Virtually all of the Republican candidates (Ron Paul excepted, of course) are all but promising this, out on the campaign trail. They do not go into detail, however, because the details are going to get very messy very fast if it happens.

"Republicans seem to be trying to outdo each other in their rush to start another war -- this time, with Iran. I don't think America is exactly eager for another war in the Middle East, though. The thing to ask these Republicans is how exactly are we going to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb, and even more importantly, at what cost? Iran is not Libya. They have buried their processing factories underneath mountains. So what, exactly, would a Republican president do to solve this problem? Bomb the mountain? What if it didn't work? Send in American troops? Nuke the mountain? Have any of these candidates really thought out the implications of what they are bragging that they'll do, if elected? Personally, I don't think American citizens are ready for another Middle East adventure with rosy promises of early and complete success. And I really don't think people are ready to pay eight bucks a gallon for gasoline for years to come to make it happen, either."

 

2
   Endless war

This is a more general point, but equally as valid.

"The Republican Party seems to never be for ending a war. They were against ending our military presence in Iraq, and they are against pulling troops out of Afghanistan. After an entire decade spent fighting, Republicans still have no vision of any sort of end date for America's wars. In fact, Republicans seem to be a lot better at starting wars than finishing them."

 

3
   Deport them all?

The Latino vote is going to be a big factor in the 2012 election, and (as usual) Republicans are already shooting themselves in the foot on this front. So hammer the point home!

"I've noticed that Republican candidates never seem to have an answer for what to do with the over ten million undocumented immigrants currently residing within the United States. They are eager to talk about bigger and higher fences on the border, but they get very quiet when the subject of what to do with the people who are already here is brought up. This is because they have largely agreed that the only acceptable answer is to deport over ten million people. Can anyone actually imagine what this would entail? How many buses, how many airplanes would it take to deport that many people? How would they be identified for such a mass deportation? I also notice that nobody ever mentions how much all of this would even cost -- how many billions of dollars would it take to physically remove such an enormous number of human beings from our country? The media usually gives them a pass on this question, but I'd like to hear -- very specifically -- what the plans are of each Republican candidate when it comes to the question of what to do with these millions of people. Because I think the answer is going to shock a lot of folks."

 

4
   Medicare vouchers

Remember Paul Ryan and his budget? The Republicans haven't forgotten. So point out what they're actually standing for, in plain language.

"The Republicans running for president all seem to have nice things to say about the Ryan budget which passed the House this year. But nobody seems to ask them about the details, for some reason. The Ryan plan is to replace Medicare as we know it today with a system of vouchers. Granny would get a voucher, and be left to the wilds of the health insurance marketplace to fend for herself. This would result in her paying around six thousand dollars out of her own pocket -- each and every year -- that she doesn't have to pay today. A vote for a Republican is a vote to replace Medicare with vouchers -- and it's going to cost our seniors dearly in the future. Keep that in mind in the voting booth."

 

5
   Repealing gay rights

The last three of these deal with the Republican obsession with sex.

"Republicans talk a good line on 'small government' and 'getting the government out of our lives' except when it comes to the sanctity of the bedroom. For some reason, Republicans want the biggest and most-intrusive government possible when it comes to sex. A vote for a Republican candidate is a vote for repealing all the gains gay rights have made in the past few years. Most of the candidates would bring back the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, for instance. Is that really where we want to go as a country: backwards? Do we really want to start removing rights, rather than expanding them? I thought it was disgraceful when a Republican crowd booed a gay servicemember during a Republican candidate debate -- but I also noticed that not one of the candidates on the stage spoke up about such disrespect for our troops. Look for that sort of thing to continue under a Republican administration."

 

6
   War on contraception

The "right to privacy" goes back further than Roe v. Wade. It actually stretches back to another Supreme Court case -- Griswold v. Connecticut. Remind people what this means.

"When Mitt Romney was asked in a debate about the right to privacy and overturning Griswold v. Connecticut, he responded by saying he didn't think states would ever consider banning contraception. This shows how out of touch he is with his own party, because there is currently a movement to pass so-called 'personhood' laws at the state level. These laws would have the result of making certain forms of birth control -- used by millions of American citizens -- flat-out illegal. Romney tried to laugh the question off as some sort of unthinkable situation, but this effort is already underway. I don't think Americans really want states to be able to ban contraception, and I think what is unbelievable is that Mitt Romney is unaware that his own party is attempting to do so on the state level."

 

7
   Rapists' rights

I've written about this one before. Like most of the rest of these talking points, all you have to do is take the Republican position to its logical conclusion, and lay it before the public to expose the ugliness.

"I notice that this year the Republican Party seems to have taken the most extreme position on abortion imaginable: make all abortions illegal, with no exceptions whatsoever. Why the media doesn't ask them about the result of this stance is beyond me. I'd like to see these candidates asked a few questions, such as 'Would you really force an incest victim to bear a child that will be both her daughter and her sister?' The very idea is repugnant, but this is exactly what the Republicans would force such a girl to do. Even worse is the fact that Republicans are in favor of what would be a 'Rapists' Rights' law. If they had their way, rapists would be able to choose the mother of their children, secure in the knowledge that their victim would be forced to bring their child to term. Why are Republicans standing up for the rights of rapists, and trampling on the rights of rape victims? It just boggles the mind."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
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81 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [193] -- Run It Up The Flagpole”

  1. [1] 
    dsws wrote:

    [Congratulate Representative Allyson Schwartz on her House contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

    Doesn't work. You need an address with matching zip+4 in her district. I've never seen a representative go that far to avoid getting comments from non-constituents before. (Not that I send comments to all that many.)

  2. [2] 
    teragrammy wrote:

    As to the type size. 12 is a little small for me. I think you should try 14. Thanks.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    War with Iran, eight bucks a gallon

    Nothing, I repeat, absolutely NOTHING will be more destabilizing than a nuclear armed Iran...

    The consequences of going to war with Iran will be severe, no two ways about it..

    The consequences of Iran with a nuke are simply too horrible to contemplate..

    Iran must not be allowed to become a nuclear power.

    It's that simple.

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    teragrammy -

    I agree. 12 point was a little too small for me, too.

    Let's try 14 point for a few days, and see how everyone likes it. If it's too big, I suppose I could always just go back to 13 point... seems like a Goldilocks sort of problem...

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws -

    When I looked at her page, it said "I won't answer comments from outside my district" but not "I won't allow you to post them"

    Thanks for the heads-up. Don't know why House members get so snippy about mail, but it seems a lot of them do.

    -CW

  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    OK, setting aside the consequences for a moment, if they've buried their facilities underground, exactly HOW would you go about achieving your goal?

    I'm interested, because I have not heard this question answered by any politician, of either party. And it seems germane, don't you think?

    -CW

  7. [7] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    "Republicans seem to be a lot better at starting wars than finishing them."

    This is driving the pacifist wing nuts, Chris. They didn't want an effective wartime president but got one.

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Osborne -

    The pacifist wing of which party? Heh. With Ron Paul in there fighting, that's now a valid question...

    Yeah, I still meet plenty of Dems who won't give Obama one tiny INCH of credit for ending Iraq. "Bush forced Obama to end the Iraq War" was one of the more revelatory quotes I've heard lately. Bush? Really? Maliki had more to do with it than Bush, but whatever....

    Much less give Obama any credit for how things turned out in Libya. That's a whole 'nother can of worms, according to them.

    Sigh.

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Everyone -

    14 point doesn't seem too bad. What do you all think?

    -CW

  10. [10] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Oh...

    ...and how about those 49ers, eh? Was that a game, or what?

    Heh. Couldn't resist.

    :-)

    -CW

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Two words...

    Bunker Buster

    The US does have the ordinance for deep-penetration in our arsenal. Although it's not widely known, defense contractors have been involved in a crash program to beef up our DP munitions..

    The tricky part is going to be to savage Iranian air defenses so our bombers are not tore up. Especially those defenses that rely on optics..

    While the use of stealth bombers will be the order of the day, you can bet that the US/Israel will not miss an opportunity to wipe out Iran's military infrastructure..

    It's not going to be easy. We can expect regional retaliatory attacks along the lines of Saddam's spasms during the first Gulf War, but a LOT more effective...

    But all of that, all of the pain and suffering we'll experience both in TOP and here at home will completely and utterly pale in comparison to what will happen if Iran joins the nuclear club..

    Most countries are led by responsible leaders who would see a nuclear arsenal as a deterrence to aggression..

    Iran is lead by psychotics who believe it's their sacred duty to bring about the end of the world.

    In other words, Iran would be the first country in the history of the planet to build a nuclear arsenal with the full and complete intent of actually using it..

    That simply CANNOT be allowed to happen.

    Whatever the cost...

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    dsws wrote:

    The very first time any country developed a nuclear arsenal, they had the intention of using it. It was only two bombs, but they did use it.

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    The very first time any country developed a nuclear arsenal, they had the intention of using it.

    Touche'... :D I stand corrected...

    I should have qualified that to read, since their initial creation...

    Thank you for that correction...

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Israeli defense officials tell Channel 2 that Washington wants to avoid causing further tensions in region after various foreign reports of U.S. and Israeli preparations for strike on Iran.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-and-u-s-postpone-massive-defense-drill-in-fear-of-escalation-with-iran-1.407466

    Very interesting....

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    dsws wrote:

    It's not clear to me whether Iran really "is lead by psychotics who believe it's their sacred duty to bring about the end of the world". They certainly have some religious fanatics holding a lot of power, but then again so do we. There's a tendency for clergy in particular to be a bit more connected to the institution than to the doctrine. And there's an incentive for any group engaged in brinksmanship to convince its opponents that its threats are to be taken seriously, by putting its most obviously-insane members into positions of apparent power, while also avoiding actual catastrophe by keeping a sane hand on the mad dog's chain.

    It's not clear to me that our bunker-busters can destroy stuff deeper than Iran can hide it. Our bombs can get deeper than is practical for widespread entrenching, but they would only need to protect a few key facilities. Mines for sufficiently valuable minerals sometimes go kilometers deep, far beyond what any bomb can hit. Iran doesn't have a particularly large mining sector, but every country of decent size has some mines.

    It's not clear to me whether Iran is particularly close to having nuclear weapons.

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    They certainly have some religious fanatics holding a lot of power, but then again so do we.

    For example...???

    It's not clear to me whether Iran is particularly close to having nuclear weapons.

    It's one of those things where the consequences are not worth the risk..

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    dsws wrote:

    There's risk with any course of action. If Iran wanted to keep its nuclear program at a scary-but-not-deadly level, attacking might change its mind and get it to develop nuclear weapons for real. If Iran was going to develop nuclear weapons and attacking fails to stop it, the attack might make it more likely to use the weapons. If Iran is on track to develop nuclear weapons, but attacking will only set it back a year or so, other tactics probably have a greater chance of stopping it from having nuclear weapons ten years from now.

    Domestic politics tends to drive such decisions. On paper, Ahmadinejad is a cipher and all power is in the hands of Khamenei. But Ahmadinejad may have designs on dictator or near-dictator status. The clerics and merchants have their own agendas. There's pressure for the Arab Spring to extend to Persian soil. They can keep a lid on all that if they're in an atmosphere of military confrontation with the outside world, as happens if people are worried about the possibility that they'll get nuclear weapons. But a military disaster, as would likely happen if the outside world goes beyond "worried" to "convinced it's imminent", isn't in the interests of any faction of Iranians.

    If we do need to do something, bombing them isn't likely to be the best option. No country is entirely self-sufficient these days. Iran needs to get along with someone, whether it be China or Russia or India or whoever, at least enough to have relatively normal trade. China and Russia and India and whoever all have interests that the US has influence over, and none of them stands to benefit from a nuclear-armed Iran (at least, not if Iran really is under the sway of eschatologically fixated psychopaths). Then of course there's the option of plausibly-deniable killings: it's not particularly moral, but compared to undeniable mass slaughter it's probably a lesser evil.

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Then of course there's the option of plausibly-deniable killings: it's not particularly moral, but compared to undeniable mass slaughter it's probably a lesser evil.

    See!!???

    We *DO* agree on some things!!! :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    teragrammy -

    Forgot to say...

    We've had quite a few newcomers in the past few days, and I've been remiss in welcoming everyone to the site.

    Your first comment post was held for moderation, which (obviously) took a while. Sorry about that, I was doing important research... um... well, I was watching football all weekend, truth be known.

    Anyway, from now on your comments should post instantly, as long as you only post one link per comment. Mulitple link comments are held for moderation to cut down on comment spam.

    Like I said, welcome to the site!

    -CW

  20. [20] 
    akadjian wrote:

    ...and how about those 49ers, eh? Was that a game, or what?

    Indeed. I have to say I'm starting to believe in the 49ers.

    But the Giants looked awfully good too. Giants/49ers should be a great game.

    -David

  21. [21] 
    akadjian wrote:

    It's not clear to me whether Iran is particularly close to having nuclear weapons.

    @dsws -
    Who needs evidence? It's never stopped us before ... :)

    It's one of those things where the consequences are not worth the risk.

    @Michale -
    I agree completely. Our economy cannot take another war.

    But seriously ... haven't we heard this same thing about every country who's ever developed a nuclear bomb?

    The USSR, India, North Korea, Pakistan ... fear, fear, fear, fear.

    I'm sorry my friend but I just don't buy it. Just like the world hasn't ended since Obama's presidency.

    The last thing we need is another war to completely destroy our economy.

    -David

  22. [22] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    >>>They have buried their processing factories underneath mountains. So what, exactly, would a Republican president do to solve this problem? Bomb the mountain? >>>

    Heat-seeking bunker bombs, and plenty of them. Where do I sign up?

  23. [23] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    >>>Iran must not be allowed to become a nuclear power.>>>

    Totally agree, Michale. (How ya been? Are you still banned from the HuffPo? LOL)

  24. [24] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The consequences of Iran with a nuke are simply too horrible to contemplate..

    agreed.

    if heaven forbid those iranian nukes end up headed for gaza or south lebanon, it will make the cuban missile crisis look like JFK and Castro were singing kumbaya around the campfire. 8 dollars a gallon? tough times, but not even in the same galaxy of scary.

  25. [25] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [11] -

    There are bunker-busters, and then there are bunker-busters. Are we talking conventional? Or nuclear? Big difference. Although both have been planned and designed (although perhaps not built and deployed). I'm not trying to goad you here, I'm just asking for the sake of clarification.

    As for those bombers, Israeli or American? Big difference in the fallout, I think, although I'm not exactly sure what that difference would entail in the end.

    I do agree that, should it happen, American fighters will likely be the ones to take out the Iranian AA network.

    The big aftermath question, though, is: what happens in the Straight of Hormuz?

    dsws [12] -

    Oh, snap. Good call. Michale will appreciate this: "And the quarterback is toast!" -- Die Hard

    [15] -

    Having lived through most of the Cold War, I have to agree about the brinksmanship vs. the concept of "Mutually Assured Destruction." MAD is a powerful argument, even for a fanatic or a godless commie. And not only MAD from the U.S. but also MAD from Israel.

    Also, you bring up a good point. Who in America really knows how deep that processing plant really is? Are our (conventional) bunker-busters up to it?

    [17] -

    This is the most intelligent run-down I've heard in a long time, just had to say that.

    Dubya mentioned three countries in the "Axis of Evil." John Bolton later expanded this to six. Original: Iran, Iraq, North Korea. Bolton's additions: Cuba, Libya, Syria.

    Of those, we've attacked Iraq (non-nuclear), Libya (non-nuclear). We have stood by while North Korea went nuclear, and did not attack. Cuba looks likely to be dealt with on a diplomatic level, after the Castro brothers are dead (non-nuclear). Syria hangs in the balance, currently, as does Iran (both non-nuclear, for now). But leaders of these countries are keeping track, as well. If they get the notion that going nuclear means no American attack, what sort of incentive does than set up? Israel already bombed a Syrian nuke site, fairly recently. Would the US help Israel out to do the same to Iran?

    I'm willing to wait a few months, personally, to see if the crippling sanctions have any effect. Iran's economy could absolutely crater, leading to a change in both the mullahs and the figurehead.

    akadjian [20] -

    I'm personally pulling for the Ravens, although my wife is hoping the 49ers make it to the big game. My thoughts: the Giants will be easier to beat (at home, even) than the Packers. So they dodged that bullet, so far. We'll see...

    Go Ravens!

    Chris1962 [22] -

    Hey, long time no see! Except over at Arianna's goldmine, of course. Heh.

    But would you be willing to pay $8 or $9 a gallon for years to come? That's my test of commitment, personally...

    nypoet22 [24] -

    OK, my main point here is that the average American should be presented with a clear choice:

    Iran with a nuke, or Iran without a nuke. Iran with a nuke = existential threat to Israel (but not, likely, to us). Iran without a nuke (with military involvement by us or Israel) = $8 or $9 a gallon for gas, for approximately the next 4 or 5 years.

    I'm not (at least, not yet) picking any sides in that argument. But -- unlike how we went into Iraq -- I would like to see the consequences laid out in a sober and far-reaching manner to the public at large. I have no idea what the public would think of those choices, but I would dearly like to see them laid out honestly.

    That's really all I'm saying.

    Chris1962 -

    We've missed you around poll analysis time. Do check in the first week of every month, when ObamaPollWatch runs. It's easy to check to see if this month's column is up, just go to:

    http://www.obamapollwatch.com

    :-)

    -CW

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    But seriously ... haven't we heard this same thing about every country who's ever developed a nuclear bomb?

    The USSR, India, North Korea, Pakistan ... fear, fear, fear, fear.

    I'm sorry my friend but I just don't buy it.

    If you can find me quotes from other countries who were developing (key word there) nuclear weapons that have made the same kinds of quotes that Achmedjihdist have made, I'll concede the similarity...

    Just like the world hasn't ended since Obama's presidency.

    No, but it has gotten a LOT worse since Obama's presidency. This is undeniable...

    And he still has a year to end the world as we know it..

    So don't be TOO cocky... :D

    "That's great, kid! Don't get penis-ey"
    -Peter Griffin, FAMILY GUY

    :D

    The last thing we need is another war to completely destroy our economy.

    I think it was your Obama that started the last one.. :D

    CB!!!!!!!

    Good ta see ya!!!! :D

    Yer dead on about the Bunker Busters..

    For those who are not militarily inclined, let me dumb it down for you..

    "If you dumb this down any more, I'm gonna punch you!"
    Lt Col John Shepard, STARGATE: ATLANTIS

    :D

    We have been on a crash program to augment and expand our bunker buster ordinance... Why??

    Because it's not going to take just one to knock out underground facilities...

    One BB missile will hit it's target, creating a big hole... Seconds later, a second BB missile will hit the same target in the same place, making the hole deeper.. Seconds later, a third BB missile will increase the depth of the hole..

    And so on and so on and so on...

    Eventually, we WILL hit the target... It might take a half a dozen missiles to do it, but the technology today allows for such pinpoint accuracy, that we an hit the same hole over and over again until the target is laid bare...

    That will be the Order Of Battle for an Iranian strike...

    The key is to A) have enough missiles to hit each target a dozen times or more and 2) have complete unfettered access to the targets themselves..

    Number 2) will require Wild Weasel and RTBs (Radar Tracked Bombs) that will eliminate all air defenses in the entire country..

    Once Iran is laid bare of defenses, that will herald the start of the BB Missile bombardment..

    Will it be easy?? Of course not..

    Could a million things go wrong?? Of course...

    But it IS doable and, moreover, it must be done...

    Because a nuclear armed Iran is a hundred times worse than ANYTHING that could possibly happen to prevent it..

    CW,

    Also, you bring up a good point. Who in America really knows how deep that processing plant really is? Are our (conventional) bunker-busters up to it?

    The depth is irrelevant.. We will eventually hit paydirt...

    Back in the olden days, there was the term "bouncing the rubble".. This applied to strategic missile targets that would, presumably, be destroyed in the first salvo and any subsequent hits would simply "bounce the rubble" around..

    But in this particular instance, the optimum way to proceed WOULD be to hit the same target over and over again. Because, with Deep Penetration

    "huh.. uh... huh... heh.. huh.... He said 'penetration'...huh..hu..huh.."
    -Beavis... (Or was it Butthead??)

    munitions, the depth of the hole would ever increase until such time as the target is accessible.

    On the face of it, it's quite easy.. Once all other factors are dealt with...

    Iran with a nuke = existential threat to Israel (but not, likely, to us).

    Do not think for one micro-second that, if Israel is eliminated, that it will have no impact on the region and the US. If Iran succeeds in destroying Israel, all other countries in the region would have no choice but to rally around Iran, "The Saviors Of The Middle East"

    You think Iran is a pain in the ass now? If Iran succeeds in taking out Israel, it will be unstoppable in uniting the entire region under one banner of a brutal religious theocracy...

    In the US, Obama will get the blame for Israel's destruction. I don't have to lay out for you how all the Jews in America would feel about Obama and the Democrats if Israel is destroyed on their watch..

    Imagine the worst possible doomsday scenario you can visualize....

    Then triple it...

    That's what would happen if Iran became a nuclear power..

    Iran without a nuke (with military involvement by us or Israel) = $8 or $9 a gallon for gas, for approximately the next 4 or 5 years.

    If that's the cost of preventing Iran from joining the Nuclear club...

    It's a small SMALL price to pay...

    I'm not (at least, not yet) picking any sides in that argument. But -- unlike how we went into Iraq -- I would like to see the consequences laid out in a sober and far-reaching manner to the public at large. I have no idea what the public would think of those choices, but I would dearly like to see them laid out honestly.

    I completely agree..

    But I have a feeling that those on the Left are only interested in laying out their doomsday theories of what would happen if we go to war in Iran..

    The Left would totally and completely ignore the VERY real threat that a nuclear armed Iran would present to the entire world..

    I agree completely with you..

    An HONEST and complete analysis of BOTH scenarios is what is needed..

    What I laid out above IS such a scenario of what would likely occur if Iran became a nuclear power..

    Assuming I am accurate.....

    Whatcha think??

    $8 - $9 a gallon too high a price to pay??

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    As far as the Strait Of Hormuz goes, don't buy into all the bluster..

    Iran COULD easily close the strait....

    But only for a couple hours. A day at the most..

    And, they could only do it once. Because every Iranian ship and aircraft involved would be destroyed either during the process or soon thereafter...

    Closing of the Strait IS a serious issue and it CAN be done..

    But it's unlikely that Iran could KEEP the Strait closed and it's VERY unlikely that Iran could do it more than once.

    The closing of the Strait is another VERY good reason to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power..

    Because a nuclear armed Iran could dictate the passage of the Strait at their whim...

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    If you can find me quotes from other countries who were developing (key word there) nuclear weapons that have made the same kinds of quotes that Achmedjihdist have made, I'll concede the similarity...

    And also would have the CAPABILITY of making good on their threat...

    Let's face it..

    Iran has/will have motive, opportunity and capability..

    And, consider this...

    What if you're wrong??

    "If I'm wrong, nothing happens.. We go to jail.... Peacefully... Quietly... We'll enjoy it... But if I'm right.... And we can stop this thing.... Lenny..... YOU will have saved the lives of MILLIONS of registered voters..."
    -Peter Venkman, GHOSTBUSTERS

    Consider the possibility that you may be wrong and I may be right...

    Is it worth the gamble??

    Because we're not just talking quatloos here...

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And the men who spurred us on
    Sit in judgment of all wrong
    They decide and the shotgun sings the song

    -The Who, Won't Get Fooled Again

    Oddly enough, Michale, the constant fear that conservatives pump out may have the peculiar side effect of blinding us to actual threats.

    -David

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Oddly enough, Michale, the constant fear that conservatives pump out may have the peculiar side effect of blinding us to actual threats.

    That's one of those truisms that is true no matter WHO is the object...

    Oddly enough, Michale, the constant fear that liberals pump out may have the peculiar side effect of blinding us to actual threats.

    You see...

    It works both ways... :D

    Both sides use Fear-Mongering to achieve their political ends...

    The only difference is my career experiences allows me to see the real threats...

    The Left *thinks* that a nuclear Iran is not a threat...

    I *know* better.

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    But let me ask you again, David..

    If I am accurate in what I speculate....

    Is $8-$9 a gallon gas worth it??

    Worth preventing that scenario from coming to pass???

    Right now, we CAN take down Iran.. It would be messy and it would be bloody, but we CAN do it..

    Do you think we will have a snowballs chance in hell of taking down Iran, AFTER they arm themselves with nuclear weapons??

    Consider this...

    If Iran is able to face down nearly the entire world, take on and defeat nearly the entire world arrayed against them, simply to ACQUIRE nuclear weapons.....

    What do you think Iran's mindset will be ***AFTER*** they acquire nuclear weapons???? They will consider themselves invincible...

    You think my scenario is overly dramatic and pessimistic???

    It's probably err'ed on the POSITIVE side of what might happen..

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The only difference is my career experiences allows me to see the real threats.

    Well, we'll see. I think we've all had enough experience with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to have a few opinions on whether we would like to do this again.

    Andrew Sullivan in the Atlantic has a great piece on Obama and his foreign policy strategy.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/01/15/andrew-sullivan-how-obama-s-long-game-will-outsmart-his-critics.html?fb_ref=article&fb_source=profile_multiline

    He went after the right people (bin Laden) and he waited until other countries asked for help before jumping in. Sullivan argues that Obama has diminished the threat of al Qaeda and increased goodwill towards America using this approach.

    I agree w/ some points in the article, disagree with others, but it's an interesting perspective from someone who isn't a liberal.

    -David

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, we'll see. I think we've all had enough experience with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to have a few opinions on whether we would like to do this again.

    It's not a question of "liking" to do it again...

    The *ONLY* question of relevance is do we want to live with the consequences of NOT doing it again...

    Again, assume my scenario is 1000% dead on ballz accurate...

    Knowing that, would you STILL advise against going to war with Iran??

    but it's an interesting perspective from someone who isn't a liberal.

    Andrew Sullivan might not be a liberal..

    But, as he admits, he has had his head up Obama's ass since 2007... So, he hasn't since the light of day in five years...

    Hardly an objective source... :D

    Care to read a rebuttal to Sullivan's god worship piece???

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71501.html

    :D

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Andrew Sullivan in the Atlantic has a great piece on Obama and his foreign policy strategy.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/01/15/andrew-sullivan-how-obama-s-long-game-will-outsmart-his-critics.html?fb_ref=article&fb_source=profile_multiline

    But it's funny you should bring this up... I was trying to figure a way to introduce it here..

    Why??

    Because reading the article, I had an eerie sense of deja vu... Like I was talking to ya'all... :D

    It has the same "Obama is right, regardless of all the facts and reality to the contrary" feel that I get when I talk with ya'all....

    :D

    Michale...

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    By the way...

    If ya'all like Sullivan's NewsWeek cover...

    http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2012/01/15/photoshoppery-newsweek-cover-edition/

    You'll like those too! :D

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Again, assume my scenario is 1000% dead on ballz accurate...

    Knowing that, would you STILL advise against going to war with Iran?

    1000% correct. How are you going to be more correct than 100%? :)

    Statistically, what you are advocating is impossible. So assuming 1000% correctness, yes I would advise against going to war with Iran. Because 1000% correctness is ridiculous.

    You are engaging in rampant 1000% speculation and the usual hyperbole (Millions of people will die!!!)

    On the other hand, I can tell you the measurable costs of spending the past 10 years fighting 2 dubious wars.

    No hyperbole. Actual costs. We can also look at what was achieved for this cost and do a cost/benefit analysis.

    What objectives have they achieved? Well, we removed a dictator from Iraq after devastating the country and replaced him w/ a government that may not last. How about Afghanistan? Very similar except the government seems much more corrupt. In both cases, we've created fertile ground for terrorist recruits as a result of "meddling" and killing thousands of people and destroying the economy.

    Total bill: $3.2 - $4 trillion

    We all know you have your opinion, but mine is not worth it given that your argument is based on pure speculation.

    I mean, why not invade India too? Or Pakistan? Or North Korea?

    Is it worth it to not invade all of these countries too, Michale? Can we risk it? What if millions die because YOU didn't act?

    -David

  37. [37] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Care to read a rebuttal to Sullivan's god worship piece?

    BTW- There's very little rebuttal in the Politico piece. Unless your idea of rebuttal is to attack the author as "liberal".

    This is usually a good sign that there's very little argument.

    "Is there anything the mainstream media will not do to get Obama re-elected?" - Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters

    Really? That's the rebuttal?

    Weak. But I know, I'm a liberal. I'm always going to say that.

    -David

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:
  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Is there anything the mainstream media will not do to get Obama re-elected?" - Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters

    While it may not be a rebuttal, it is definitely a fair question... :D

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    You are engaging in rampant 1000% speculation and the usual hyperbole (Millions of people will die!!!)

    While what you say is technically accurate, you cannot claim ANY facts or personal experiences that would allow you to successfully dispute my claim..

    On the other hand, I DO have real world experience that indicates to me that the scenario that I put forth is likely...

    In other words.. Yes, it's speculation..

    But, in and of itself, that doesn't make it wrong..

    Conversely, everything you post is completely and utterly irrelevant to the question, "What happens if Iran acquires a nuclear device."

    None of what you post will matter one single iota if Iran acquires nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them...

    Everything you post would be downright pleasant in comparison to what this world will be like, if Iran acquires nukes..

    To put it into a better context...

    Imagine how this world would be today if Germany had created nuclear weapons first and perfected their V-2 delivery systems..

    How would we be today if that had happened??

    That's how we'll be tomorrow if Iran succeeds in becoming a nuclear power..

    That's "speculation" that you can take to the bank..

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Imagine how this world would be today if Germany had created nuclear weapons first and perfected their V-2 delivery systems.

    This is like comparing apples and Hitler ... :)

    That's how we'll be tomorrow if Iran succeeds in becoming a nuclear power.

    Not at all. The difference is that we have nuclear weapons and a nuclear deterrent. In WWII with Germany, neither side did.

    2 completely different situations.

    The difference is that if a country attacks us w/ nuclear weapons, we attack back. This acts as a nuclear deterrent and has discouraged the use of nuclear weapons to this day. Basically, if you fire, you sign your own death warrant. This is a strategy that has worked. Iran would bring about the destruction of Iran.

    Ahmedinajad (sic) says crazy things, but he says them for the same reason despots all over the globe do - it plays well with a certain base.

    -David

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Imagine how this world would be today if Germany had created nuclear weapons first and perfected their V-2 delivery systems.

    This is like comparing apples and Hitler ... :)

    Touche'... :D

    But, seriously, the comparison between the Iranian regime and the Nazis are not that far off...

    Keep in mind.. This is a regime that EXECUTES people for being gay...

    EXECUTES them..

    As in KILLS them..

    As in Dead, Dead, Dead...

    Yer right...

    That kind of regime with nuclear weapons???

    What could POSSIBLY go wrong??? :^/

    The difference is that if a country attacks us w/ nuclear weapons, we attack back. This acts as a nuclear deterrent and has discouraged the use of nuclear weapons to this day. Basically, if you fire, you sign your own death warrant. This is a strategy that has worked. Iran would bring about the destruction of Iran.

    That's what Iran WANTS to do. Iran wants to destroy Iran and bring the whole world along for the ride...

    "Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket??" :D

    We're not talking about a MAD doctrine here...

    We're talking about a religious fanatic who WANTS to bring about all the death and destruction he can..

    Read up on the mythology of the Mahdi as it pertains to Islam in general and Achmedjihadist in particular...

    You're right, though.. Achmedjihadist is a different than Hitler..

    Hitler wanted to control the world..

    This Iranian psychotic wants to destroy it...

    Yea... Let him have nuclear weapons..

    What could POSSIBLY go wrong???

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Iran wants to destroy Iran and bring the whole world along for the ride.

    Nah.

    It's what dictators always do when things suck and they want to stay in power. Find an enemy.

    Interestingly enough, it's also a large part of the Republican strategy for governing ... find an enemy.

    -David

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's what dictators always do when things suck and they want to stay in power. Find an enemy.

    And, if I'm right and you're wrong....?????

    What then???

    Just say, "My bad"???

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    I find it ironic....

    In this country, the Left goes all hysterical and utterly demonizes the Right because gay people can't serve openly in the US Military..

    Yet, show them a regime where gay people are actually EXECUTED and that regime is "just playing to their base"....

    It's mind boggling...

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    dsws wrote:

    But only for a couple hours. A day at the most.

    My guess is that they could keep the Straits closed for about a month. It would take more than a couple hours even to verify that the apparent accident that closed them really was no accident. Things wouldn't be going well for Iran within hours after the US took action, but you can't clear all the IEDs out of hundreds of square miles of water in just a couple hours. Forcing the Straits open would be a horrible, bloody undertaking. We would have to stop every small boat that launched, over a substantial area. We would have to stop every group of people at the water's edge who were moving an object large enough to be an IED effective against a tanker. Essentially, we would have to occupy a strip of land along the shore and make it a no-man's-land.

    And, if I'm right and you're wrong....?

    Same question goes back to you. As long as fissile materials are processed anywhere, there's risk of nuclear war, no matter what.

    Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons. Iran is not particularly close to having nuclear weapons. Iran probably isn't really trying to actually get nuclear weapons, only to get to the point where people have to take seriously the possibility that they may get nuclear weapons soon. That's the sweet spot for their domestic politics.

    Going off half-cocked gives Iran, or any future counterpart, the incentive that there's nothing to lose by going all-out, and nothing to gain by holding back. If the US is going to randomly decide to bomb you into, if not the stone age at least the seventeenth century, unless you actually have nuclear weapons to deter it with, then you'd better get them before we do.

    Yet, show them a regime where gay people are actually EXECUTED and that regime is "just playing to their base"....

    How many people have been murdered lately by the Iranian authorities on the pretext of being gay? And how many million people would have to be slaughtered to absolutely guarantee that no one anywhere in Iran was capable of so much as building a centrifuge?

    They're not killed for being homosexual, of course. Something like a million Iranians are homosexual, and the number executed is nowhere near that. They're executed for whatever brings them to the attention of the authorities.

    If a few dead Iranian scientists are a lesser evil, then so are a few Iranians killed supposedly for being gay.

    akadjian wrote:
    The difference is that if a country attacks us w/ nuclear weapons, we attack back.

    Nuclear attack is most likely to arrive in the hold of a container ship, with no return address that's readily discernible after the attack.

  47. [47] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Nuclear attack is most likely to arrive in the hold of a container ship, with no return address that's readily discernible after the attack.

    Could be. If so, you're right that this is an entirely different situation. We were discussing the relationship between nation-states.

    -David

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    My guess is that they could keep the Straits closed for about a month. It would take more than a couple hours even to verify that the apparent accident that closed them really was no accident. Things wouldn't be going well for Iran within hours after the US took action, but you can't clear all the IEDs out of hundreds of square miles of water in just a couple hours. Forcing the Straits open would be a horrible, bloody undertaking. We would have to stop every small boat that launched, over a substantial area. We would have to stop every group of people at the water's edge who were moving an object large enough to be an IED effective against a tanker. Essentially, we would have to occupy a strip of land along the shore and make it a no-man's-land.

    The Strait is 34 miles at it's widest point. Given the capability of our radar capabilities, one CBG could effectively handle the entire Strait and not even break a sweat...

    Within the next 2 weeks, the US will have 3 CBGs in TOP...

    Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons. Iran is not particularly close to having nuclear weapons. Iran probably isn't really trying to actually get nuclear weapons, only to get to the point where people have to take seriously the possibility that they may get nuclear weapons soon. That's the sweet spot for their domestic politics.

    WOW...

    So many wrong assumptions, it's hard to know where to start...

    Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons.

    This much is true, at least in the conventional sense...

    Iran is not particularly close to having nuclear weapons.

    This is out and out false and is, at best, based on wishful thinking and wishful thinking only..

    Intelligence agencies from numerous different countries show a completely different story...

    Iran probably isn't really trying to actually get nuclear weapons,

    Again, more wishful thinking and thinking only...

    How many people have been murdered lately by the Iranian authorities on the pretext of being gay?

    How do you define "lately"??? Within the last 24 hours???

    In a November 2007 meeting with his British counterpart, Iranian member of parliament Mohsen Yahyavi admitted that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality. According to Yahyavi, gays deserve to be tortured, executed, or both.[20]

    Call me silly, but I think that a SINGLE gay person executed for being gay is one too many..

    But that's just me...

    If a few dead Iranian scientists are a lesser evil, then so are a few Iranians killed supposedly for being gay.

    I am simply aghast that you can equate the two...

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    dsws wrote:

    Given the capability of our radar capabilities, one CBG could effectively handle the entire Strait and not even break a sweat.

    If we were that good at detecting IEDs, no American soldiers would ever have been killed in Afghanistan.

  50. [50] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    while execution for being gay is both horrific and incredibly unfair, i think that's kind-of beside the point when it comes to crazy people in charge of large countries trying to build nuclear weapons. iran is not the soviet union who were basically in a pissing contest with us. they are not pakistan or north korea whose dream objectives are not destruction but conquest. the supreme leader has allowed a president who both denies the holocaust and says (in the context of developing nuclear capacity) that he wants to wipe israel from the map.

    you can parse words if you want, but any other interpretation is basically bull. he said it, he meant it, and iran's ties to hezbollah and hamas are evidence enough that they're willing to take extreme measures. mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent when one side doesn't mind if it happens.

    when some crazy person who is in charge of a country says they're going to do something crazy, believe them. iran has not said they need nuclear weapons as a deterrent, they've said that they intend to use them. i for one believe it. 8 dollars a gallon? maybe, maybe more, maybe less. iran trying to use nuclear weapons if they get them? extremely likely. even in the incident that they might not, do we really want to test that question empirically?

  51. [51] 
    dsws wrote:

    We were discussing the relationship between nation-states.

    If you were in charge of a nation-state attacking the US with nuclear weapons, would you want us to know it was you doing it, and have us vaporize your major cities twenty minutes later? Or would you rather have us looking up and down the list of people who have grievances against us (or are just plain insane), and trying to figure out who stole a batch of bombs from whom, or who let their bombs get stolen by terrorists, or what?

  52. [52] 
    dsws wrote:

    Call me silly, but I think that a SINGLE gay person executed for being gay is one too many.

    No, I won't call you silly. Being willing to let a nuclear war happen, with quite possibly the death of every human being on the planet, over the murder of a handful of people? That isn't silly. It's insane. Sure, those murders mean Iran is bad. So what? Nobody ever said they liked Iran. Whether anyone likes Iran is not the question.

    The question is whether we minimize the risk of nuclear war by slaughtering anywhere from several thousand to a few million Iranians, or by doing something reasonable. I don't understand why you brought a handful of irrelevant state-sponsored murders into the discussion, but that's what's at issue.

    Iran is not particularly close to having nuclear weapons.

    This is out and out false and is, at best, based on wishful thinking and wishful thinking only.

    Oh, those Israeli defense analysts and their wishful thinking, telling us that Iran hasn't even decided whether to make a bomb, let alone almost done so.

    "Iran has not yet decided whether to make a nuclear bomb, according to the intelligence assessment Israeli officials will present later this week to Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff."
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israeli-analysts-iran-still-mulling-whether-to-build-bomb-1.407866

    when some crazy person who is in charge of a country says they're going to do something crazy, believe them.

    Ahmadinejad isn't in charge. Khamenei is. Ahmadinejad is trying to get to be in charge, but according to the Iranian constitution he can't so much as scratch his butt without Khamenei's approval. Ok, I exaggerate. But the "supreme leader" isn't called that for nothing.

    Even if he does get to be in charge, and he may, why on earth should we believe that among all the lying politicians in the history of the world, we've suddenly found the one honest guy? Politicians say what serves their purposes, when vital interests are on the line, no matter whether it's Kennedy, Khrushchev, or Ahmadinejad.

  53. [53] 
    dsws wrote:

    Furthermore, suppose Ahmadinejad really is dedicated to ending the world himself instead of letting God do it like all the other theocrats say is supposed to happen, and suppose Iran is weeks away from getting the bomb. Then every Iranian in a position to do anything about it faces the options of dying along with everyone they care about, stopping their country's nuclear program, or seizing power back from Ahmadinejad.

    No dictator can do everything alone. Stipulate that Ahmadinejad is 100% honest, and the spirit of Diogenes can rest easy for the first time in 2400 years. It's silly, but stipulate it. Stipulate that he said that using nuclear weapons is fine and dandy, and he'll do so the first chance he gets. He actually said "The possession of nuclear bombs is not a source of pride; it is rather disgusting and shameful. And even more shameful is the threat to use or to use such weapons" http://www.cfr.org/iran/statement-mahmoud-ahmadinejad-before-2010-npt-review-conference/p22041, but stipulate that he said the opposite.

    So stipulating, ask yourself: is everyone in the chain of command on board with his supposed mission?

    Not likely.

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, I won't call you silly. Being willing to let a nuclear war happen, with quite possibly the death of every human being on the planet, over the murder of a handful of people?

    A nuclear war will only "be allowed" to happen IF the world allows Iran nuclear weapons...

    Matter of fact, a nuclear war is all but guaranteed to happen if Iran is allowed to join the nuclear club..

    I don't understand why you brought a handful of irrelevant state-sponsored murders into the discussion, but that's what's at issue.

    I brought it out in response to (what I saw as) the defense of the Iranian government. That their government wasn't really evil psychotic men who are hell bent on destroying the world's governments.. That this was a government just playing politics, appeasing their base...

    I simply pointed out that a government that systematically executes people for being gay is likely to be the type of government that I claim it to be, rather than they type of government that ya'all claim it to be.

    Oh, those Israeli defense analysts and their wishful thinking, telling us that Iran hasn't even decided whether to make a bomb, let alone almost done so.

    "You don't put on a condom unless you're going to fuck!"
    -Matt Craven, CRIMSON TIDE

    Do you HONESTLY believe that the Iranians would go to all this trouble, endure these punishing sanctions and then say, "Oh just kidding!!"...

    Ahmadinejad isn't in charge. Khamenei is.

    Oh... So the religious crazy is in charge, as opposed to the political crazy..

    "Oh, that makes me feel SOO much better"
    -Sigourney Weaver, GHOSTBUSTERS

    :D

    Politicians say what serves their purposes, when vital interests are on the line, no matter whether it's Kennedy, Khrushchev, or Ahmadinejad.

    If it was just the fact that AchmedJihadist were saying these things, it would be one thing..

    But, you look at what the scumbag is saying, what is being reported about his religious beliefs AND the relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons......

    It doesn't take a nuclear scientist to realize what this all adds up to...

    So stipulating, ask yourself: is everyone in the chain of command on board with his supposed mission?

    Not to unlikely when one considers the hierarchical structure of the Iranian military in general and the Republican Guard in particular..

    They don't have the PRP program that the US does, nor do they have safeguards in place that would allow erratic or illogical military actions to be questioned..

    Further, "do it or not only you, but your entire family, will die" is a very large incentive to do what you are told with no questions asked...

    If you don't think that one or two psychotics could actually launch a nuclear attack, then you are fooling yourself...

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    iran is not the soviet union who were basically in a pissing contest with us.

    Dead on....

    Iran's hatred of the US is not only well documented, it is based on religion...

    That's the most dangerous kind of hatred there can be..

    Our differences with the USSR were ideological... While they (the differences) were deep, there was still the understanding that we were dealing with (for the most part) rational human beings..

    In a religious war, the enemy can convince it's people they THEIR enemy (us) are nothing more than animals and killing them is no more wrong than stepping on a cockroach...

    iran trying to use nuclear weapons if they get them? extremely likely. even in the incident that they might not, do we really want to test that question empirically?

    And THAT is exactly my point...

    I might be wrong. I am pretty sure I am not and I have decades of military experience to back it up..

    So, I MIGHT be wrong...

    But, what if I am NOT???

    What if this is one of those few times :D that I am dead on ballz accurate???

    Is it really WORTH the risk???

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    If we were that good at detecting IEDs, no American soldiers would ever have been killed in Afghanistan.

    Explain to me how Iran will be able to place an IED on the ocean floor and how it would negatively impact a passing CBG??? :D

    Iran would first have to place the "IED" (I am assuming you are referring to mines) in such a manner to be indistinguishable from background noise...

    Then the IED would have to be of sufficient strength to penetrate a ship's or a boat's hull...

    The reason land IEDs are effective is because the "hull" of a HumVee are relatively thin...

    There is no such defect within our CBGs....

    So, I am somewhat mystified of the claim that IEDs are a threat to a Carrier Battle Group...

    Michale

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    Even though it apparently was understood, this glaring typo really bothers me...

    The Strait is 34 miles at it's widest point. Given the capability of our radar capabilities, one CBG could effectively handle the entire Strait and not even break a sweat...

    That SHOULD read..

    The Strait is 34 miles at it's NARROWEST point.

    Michale

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    The question is whether we minimize the risk of nuclear war by slaughtering anywhere from several thousand to a few million Iranians, or by doing something reasonable.

    What would you consider "reasonable" that hasn't been tried and failed??

    Sanctions are a joke...

    Covert Ops have limited success, due in part to their nature.. It's hard to demoralize an enemy when they can chalk up the attacks to random acts of violence... To successfully demoralize an enemy, you have to hit them hard and make sure that they know that EVERYONE knows where the attacks came from...

    So, what would you consider "reasonable" that hasn't already been tried??

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK I really need everyone's help here...

    There was a TV Show or a commercial a while back where (and this is going to be hard to relay in print) a rather high-pitch voice would sing:

    Do Do Daa Do Do

    and then a low pitch baritone would sing:

    Haman naa maa

    Can ANYONE please tell me what that is from. It's been stuck in my head for DAYS and I won't be able to get it out until I identify it..

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    dsws wrote:

    A nuclear war will only "be allowed" to happen IF the world allows Iran nuclear weapons.

    A nuclear war is more likely if "the world" commits atrocities in the name of stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons, and it then gets them, than if "the world" engages other countries such as Russia and China and gets them involved in influencing Iran's behavior.

    What would you consider "reasonable" that hasn't been tried and failed?

    Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons, despite working on its nuclear program for 30 years. The Manhattan Project took less than three years, despite the extreme limitations of 1940s technology. Anything that's been tried may be failing, but it has not yet failed.

    The US hasn't tried seriously engaging Iran, and making clear which of Iran's ambitions we'll tolerate and on what terms.

    Sanctions are a joke.

    If imposed only by the US and some European countries, sanctions are inadequate. If China, India, Japan Turkey, Russia, and the Arab states were serious about sanctions, they would be effective.

    To successfully demoralize an enemy ...

    Demoralizing Iran only makes it more likely to seek and use nuclear weapons.

    So, I am somewhat mystified of the claim that IEDs are a threat to a Carrier Battle Group.

    The Straits aren't closed when Iran destroys entire battle groups. They're closed when Iran creates an unacceptable level of risk for civilian shipping.

    Are oil tankers really that much tougher than the USS Cole? An IED made a really big hole in its hull. Yes, the Cole didn't sink, but it came very close. And an oil tanker doesn't have to sink to cause a massive loss for the owners.

    Do you HONESTLY believe that the Iranians would go to all this trouble, endure these punishing sanctions and then say, "Oh just kidding

    Are sanctions "punishing" or are they "a joke"? You can't have it both ways. In fact, sanctions are enough of an irritant to demonstrate foreign hostility and get Iranians to rally round their so-called leaders, somewhat, but not enough to pose any risk of making the country collapse. The current level of hostilities is a boon to the Iranian government.

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    A nuclear war is more likely if "the world" commits atrocities in the name of stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons,

    For example......???????

    than if "the world" engages other countries such as Russia and China and gets them involved in influencing Iran's behavior.

    Russia and China don't WANT to influence Iran's behavior...

    Or, more accurately, anything that keeps the US occupied and off balance is just fine by Russia and China...

    The US hasn't tried seriously engaging Iran, and making clear which of Iran's ambitions we'll tolerate and on what terms.

    Seriously!??? What is your evidence for such a ludicrous claim??

    Unless you consider total and complete capitulation as "seriously engaging", then the US definitely has been "seriously engaging" Iran.. The US and the EU have offered every carrot imaginable, up to AND INCLUDING financing and building nuclear reactors for electricity.. Iran refused because those were Light Water reactors that doesn't produce nuclear fuel sufficient for weapons....

    If that's not an indication of Iran's intentions, I don't know what is...

    If imposed only by the US and some European countries, sanctions are inadequate. If China, India, Japan Turkey, Russia, and the Arab states were serious about sanctions, they would be effective.

    My mom always had a saying...

    "IF...??? If the dog hadn't stopped, he would've caught the rabbit. But the reason he stopped was to take a crap."

    Now, I am not sure what that means, but it seems to have relevance here... :D

    The Straits aren't closed when Iran destroys entire battle groups. They're closed when Iran creates an unacceptable level of risk for civilian shipping.

    And exactly HOW is Iran supposed to create an unacceptable risk for civilian shipping when all of it's ships and weapons are smoldering scrap heaps???

    Are oil tankers really that much tougher than the USS Cole? An IED made a really big hole in its hull. Yes, the Cole didn't sink, but it came very close. And an oil tanker doesn't have to sink to cause a massive loss for the owners.

    The USS Cole was struck by a ship laden with explosives... Approx 700 POUNDS of explosives were used....

    Conventional IEDs were first used by the IRA against the British Army in the 1970s... Most were old artillery shells and the like that contained, at most, a pound or two of explosives..

    Now, strictly speaking a boat or even a HOUSE could be construed as an IED...

    However, in the here and now, IEDs are usually in the form of roadside bombs that target very lightly armoured vehicles...

    Comparing the bomb that hit the Cole with an roadside IED is akin to comparing a Pea Shooter to an M203 Grenade Launcher...

    Are sanctions "punishing" or are they "a joke"? You can't have it both ways.

    Actually, I can..

    They are "punishing" sanctions insofar as they cause great suffering to the Iranian people..

    They are a "joke" because they have absolutely NO effect on the Iranian leadership because said leadership doesn't give a rat's ass about the people...

    That's a mindset that the bleeding hearts on the Left simply fail to understand...

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    Perfect case in point...

    http://farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13901028001585

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    akadjian wrote:
  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    THAT's IT!!!!!!!

    Thank you!!!!!

    I thought it was from a TV commercial, but that is undoubtly it...

    Thanks again.. :D

    Michale

  65. [65] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Thank you!!!!!

    Heheheh. I think it might have appeared in a TV commercial as well, but don't know for what.

    the supreme leader has allowed a president who both denies the holocaust and says (in the context of developing nuclear capacity) that he wants to wipe israel from the map.

    @nypoet
    There's actually some question about what Ahmadinejad meant by his quote. It seems to have been said in the context of recognizing the Israeli state.

    Oddly enough, Iran is willing to deny Palestine statehood if the cost is recognizing Israel as well. Literally, they do not want Israel drawn on a map.

    So the quote seems to have been taken out of context by many. He was never talking about obliterating Israel. He was literally talking about a map.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/did-ahmadinejad-really-say-israel-should-be-wiped-off-the-map/2011/10/04/gIQABJIKML_blog.html

    Do I think Iran hates Israel? Sure. Do I think Iran would wage nuclear war on Israel? Not if their own destruction is assured.

    @dsws-
    A point to you, sir, on sneaking nuclear material into a country as a likely method. This is why I believe intelligence and prevention efforts are important. I still don't believe this would justify a pro-active strike against a country without some serious evidence showing that an attack was planned.

    I'm not against counter terrorism. What I'm against is the Cheney 1% doctrine that we can act against other countries without the need for evidence or analysis.

    -David

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Do I think Iran would wage nuclear war on Israel? Not if their own destruction is assured.

    What do you base that on??

    I am not being facetious because that is the whole point of this..

    You are implying that the MAD doctrine has some meaning..

    What is that based on??

    If the MAD doctrine is not relevant (which it is not) then a nuclear armed Iran takes a frightening turn for the worse...

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    david,

    did you read the whole article behind that link? the "correct" translation is even more scary than the original misquote. according to the article, both the supreme leader and his predecessor have shared such existential hatred of israel that they'd refuse the palestinians a state if it meant that they would stop trying to end israel's existence, by any means necessary, be it military or political.

    according to the article you provided, the reason Ahmadinejad is misquoted is because those working under him have even more extreme views than he does. perhaps they believe they could send hamas a weapon and escape unscathed. if they provide the weapon and allow the arabs to detonate it, then perhaps they think israel and the arabs will be too busy destroying each other to come after iran.

    regardless of whether MAD is something they don't care about or whether it's something they think they can avoid by being extra-clever, there is zero apparent hesitancy about using the bomb once they get it.

  68. [68] 
    akadjian wrote:

    You are implying that the MAD doctrine has some meaning.

    I am basing this on it's success.

    If the MAD doctrine is not relevant (which it is not) then a nuclear armed Iran takes a frightening turn for the worse.

    I need to see evidence for me to think that Iran would be willing to destroy their own country.

    I see a long history of it working and very little to make me think otherwise.

    -David

  69. [69] 
    akadjian wrote:

    the "correct" translation is even more scary than the original misquote.

    nypoet-
    The correct translation: “This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the arena of time.”

    They don't believe in recognizing Israel as a nation. In fact, they don't believe this so much that they are willing to deny Palestinian statehood so that they don't have to recognize Israel.

    According to the author:

    Ahmadinejad is not the power broker in Iran; it is Khamenei. Khamenei, in fact, has been consistent in speaking of his hatred of Israel, but without a military context, as he demonstrated once again this week. The fact that Ahmadinejad was merely quoting Khomeini suggests that even less weight should have been given to his words, especially since there is a dispute over the precise meaning in English.

    Does this mean we don't worry about Iran? No. What I'm making the case against is war with Iran based solely on "what if" scenarios with no supporting evidence.

    -David

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    I am basing this on it's success.

    It's success vis a vis the USSR/US standoff...

    The USSR/US standoff was not based on religious mania.

    You can't expect a MAD doctrine to be effective when Assured Destruction is the goal of one of the parties involved...

    I need to see evidence for me to think that Iran would be willing to destroy their own country.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_al-Mahdi

    Have a ball.....

    Michale

  71. [71] 
    akadjian wrote:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_al-Mahdi

    Uh ... no Wikipedia today. Shiite, maybe I should have ordered that Funk and Wagnalls update?

    -David

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here's some more reading material for ya... :D

    http://www.allaboutpopularissues.org/12th-imam.htm

    Now, keep in mind that it's all superstitious mumbo jumbo..

    I don't believe it..

    I am sure YOU don't believe it..

    But there is plenty of empirical and undeniable evidence that Achmedjihadist believes it.

    And that is the only relevant point..

    Michale

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    Uh ... no Wikipedia today. Shiite, maybe I should have ordered that Funk and Wagnalls update?

    Wiki goes to the page in question, then flips over to the ANTI SOPA page..

    If you hit the red X to stop your browser when the actual page is displayed, it won't flip over to the ANTI-SOPA page...

    Michale

  74. [74] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I am sure YOU don't believe it..

    But there is plenty of empirical and undeniable evidence that Achmedjihadist believes it.

    AND Ali Khomeini , AND the republican guard, AND a large percentage of the irani population. Ahmadinejad would not be permitted to publicly hold such an extreme stance unless it had broad support from the country's power structure.

  75. [75] 
    akadjian wrote:

    AND Ali Khomeini , AND the republican guard, AND a relarge percentage of the irani population.

    nypoet- Let's assume that you're right for a second. Do we go to war with Iraq based on this and this alone?

    This is what many Republicans I believe are subtly pushing for.

    I would argue no, there's still no evidence of aggression. Just suspicion and what if scenarios.

    There are better ways.

    Now, keep in mind that it's all superstitious mumbo jumbo.

    Yes, exactly. Not anything that I would go to war over.

    If we disagree, we disagree. At least I appreciate your honesty. Most Republicans would not be so forthcoming yet I believe they would, if elected, try to push us into another war (w/ the exception of Ron Paul).

    -David

  76. [76] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Whups, Iran. Heheh. You know where my mind still is.

  77. [77] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    david,

    Let's assume that you're right for a second. Do we go to war with Iraq based on this and this alone?

    i know you meant Iran, but no assumption is necessary on the attitudes of the country's power structure. there are moderate blocs within the citizenry, but any appearance of moderation among the leadership is just that, an affectation. the country's history of activities in gaza and south lebanon, both overt and covert, should be evidence enough of that. said activity was going on well before Ahmadinejad got elected.

    a war with iran would be terrible, but even if we don't end up going to war to prevent them from getting the bomb, i think it serves our interests for them to believe we will. MAD i don't see as being particularly effective in this case, assured destruction for them and not for us, a bit more-so.

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes, exactly. Not anything that I would go to war over.

    Remember, I said that for US, it's all superstitious mumbo jumbo..

    But as Joshua so eloquently points out, it's not what WE believe that is important..

    All evidence points to the fact that the power within Iran DOES believe it.

    And, since this is proven beyond any doubt, it would be foolish in the extreme to allow Iran nuclear weapons...

    What exactly are you disputing??

    That Iran is pursing nuclear weapons?

    Or that Iran would use them against Israel and/or US interests?

    Or both??

    "You wanna throw up here..?? Or in the car???"
    "I think..... both."

    -GROUNDHOG DAY

    :D

    Michale

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    And here is one more undeniable fact....

    If Iran obtains nuclear weapons, then other countries in the region will also develop and build nuclear weapons.

    Saudi and Jordan will have to have them because Iran has them. Syria will have to have them because Jordan has them..

    Do we REALLY want to have a host of countries in THE most volatile region on the planet, all armed with nuclear weapons???

    Talk about your Armageddon scenarios....

    Michale

  80. [80] 
    dsws wrote:

    A nuclear war is more likely if "the world" commits atrocities in the name of stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons,

    For example......?

    For example, bombing Iran to the point where no one in the entire country could possibly build a centrifuge, without even waiting for it to be clear (in the opinion of Israeli defense analysts) that Iran is even planning to make a bomb. You know, the entire focus of the last 60 comments.

    Or, more accurately, anything that keeps the US occupied and off balance is just fine by Russia and China.

    Seriously? You really think that it's just fine by Russia and China to have Tehran, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Baghdad, and Beirut all raining down on them (and us, and everyone else) in the form of little particles of radioactive ash?

    Or maybe you're not serious about claiming that that's the likely consequence of failure to immediately bomb Iran.

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    For example, bombing Iran to the point where no one in the entire country could possibly build a centrifuge, without even waiting for it to be clear (in the opinion of Israeli defense analysts) that Iran is even planning to make a bomb. You know, the entire focus of the last 60 comments.

    There can be no doubt that Iran is building a bomb...

    Every bit of evidence uncovered point to that one inescapable fact..

    You really think that it's just fine by Russia and China to have Tehran, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Baghdad, and Beirut all raining down on them (and us, and everyone else) in the form of little particles of radioactive ash?

    China and Russia know that the Obama Administration is simply NOT stoopid enough to allow a fanatical religious theocracy to possess nuclear weapons...

    Michale

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