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What Would You Do if You Were Iran?

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Posted on Mar 5, 2007
Missile Test
AP Photo / IRNA

A Fajr-3 missile is test-fired by Iran in the Persian Gulf in 2006.

By Tad Daley

Any New Yorker will tell you that the best views of Manhattan are to be found not on the island, but from across the water. The most sublime commentator on the workings of “democracy in America,” it is often argued, was not from America, but Europe—Alexis de Tocqueville, in his majestic work by that very title. The Hubble Space Telescope has snapped many breathtaking photographs of wondrous spiral galaxies millions of light years away, but no human has ever held such a perspective on our own spiral galaxy, the Milky Way, because no human (nor even any human artifact) has ever viewed it from the outside.

The greatest insight into a difficult and complex matter often comes from an outside observer. In late February the International Atomic Energy Agency announced that Iran had accelerated rather than suspended its uranium enrichment activities. Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking from Australia, immediately warned Tehran, “All options are still on the table.” Two days later Cheney suddenly showed up, publicly unannounced, in Pakistan, setting off a flurry of talk radio and Internet speculation that the true purpose of the visit was to negotiate flyover rights for an impending air assault on Iran. In response, an Iranian deputy foreign minister stated, “We’re prepared for any situation—even for war.”

To the dismay and astonishment of the peace and progressive Democratic base that swept the party back into power last November, the three early front-runners for the 2008 presidential nomination—Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards—have consistently expressed a similar hawkishness on Iran. Clinton and Edwards have even uttered the identical “all options on the table” phrase!

Why is Iran so intent on pursuing its atomic ambitions, despite such naked saber rattling from the planet’s overweening military leviathan? The most candid, unvarnished answer to that question has recently come not from any Iranian or American but from someone viewing the impasse from across the water. From Europe. From the outside.
Vladimir Putin.

“We are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper-use of military force in international relations,” the Russian president said in Munich last month, referring unambiguously to the United States. “Nobody feels secure anymore,” and America’s adversaries “feel cornered.” Of course, said Putin, “such a policy stimulates an arms race. The force’s dominance inevitably encourages a number of countries to acquire weapons of mass destruction” (emphasis added).

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Putin said what no Iranian officials will say, because if they did they would have to admit that they are seeking not just nuclear electricity but nuclear weapons. Putin said what no Bush administration officials will say, because if they did they would have to admit that all their efforts to, as President Bush put it in 2002, “free the world from weapons of mass destruction in the hands of those who hate freedom” have had precisely the opposite effect.

Make no mistake. The repugnant comments by Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, about the Jewish past and the Israeli future deserve to be renounced by any right-thinking citizen of the world. But Ahmadinejad’s true influence among the mullahs has always been limited, and is now, by all accounts, in free fall. Regardless of who is really running the show, might not Iran have some legitimate national security interests in its own self-preservation?

Consider the world as seen from Tehran in the past half-decade. George W. Bush announced a new doctrine of “pre-emption,” wherein the U.S. may see fit to launch regime-changing invasions of states that Washington, in its own subjective judgment, concludes might pose a threat, someday, to American national security. He declared that of all the odious regimes on the planet, three alone constitute an “axis of evil.” Breaking with the entire Cold War legacy of mutual nuclear deterrence, he issued a new nuclear doctrine, one that contemplated nuclear attacks on non-nuclear states (in explicit violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). He actually named seven states (including Iran) as possible targets of a pre-emptive American nuclear first strike. Then he launched his first pre-emptive war against the country next door to Iran, decapitating its regime and driving its leader first into a spider hole in the ground and then to the gallows.

And after all that, Tehran finds itself surrounded on four sides by American military power—Iraq to the west, Afghanistan to the east, U.S. bases in Turkey and Central Asia to the north, and the mighty U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf to the south (which just recently doubled its presence there).

Putin did not explain exactly how nuclear weapons could serve to defend a country like Iran from an overwhelming American air assault. But the old Cold Warrior surely understands the new model of nuclear deterrence that is emerging in the post-Cold War world—one that could radically transform the 21st century nuclear landscape.

During the Cold War’s long atomic arms race, it became clear that nuclear weapons had little actual military value. It was difficult to conceive of any scenario where the benefits of launching a nuclear weapon could exceed the almost infinite risks. But we needed thousands of nuclear weapons, the argument ran, because the Soviets possessed thousands of nuclear weapons. And they needed them because we had them. Our atomic arsenal deterred them from using theirs, and their atomic arsenal deterred us from using ours. This, of course, was the logic behind “mutually assured destruction,” or MAD—surely the most appropriate acronym in all of human history.

But if a country like Iran manages to acquire a nuclear arsenal, its function will be dramatically different. Iran, of course, cannot hope to defeat the United States in any kind of direct military confrontation. No one can. But Tehran could aspire not to defeat but to deter what must seem to Iranian leaders to be a very real threat of an American military first strike. And to exercise such deterrence, it doesn’t need the capacity to bring about the “assured destruction” of the entire American nation. All it needs is the capability to vaporize an American military base or three in Qatar or Kuwait or Iraq, or an entire aircraft carrier battle group in the Persian Gulf, or even an American city on one coast or the other. It also needs to indicate that it would respond to any attack by employing that capability immediately, before it becomes too late, following the venerable maxim: “Use them or lose them.” This, we learned in recent years from now-elderly Soviet officers who were on the ground during the Cuban missile crisis, is precisely what they were prepared to do at even a hint of an American first strike.

There is, of course, only one thing that can provide Iran with this kind of deterrent capability. Hint: it’s not nuclear electricity. 

When Tehran looks west, it sees an Iraq that abandoned its nuclear weapons program, opened itself to unprecedented intrusions on its sovereignty, did not in fact possess any weapons of mass destruction—and got itself invaded for its trouble.

When Tehran looks east, it sees a North Korea that is one of the most desperate countries in the world. Most of its citizens are either languishing in gulags or chronically starving. It is impoverished, puny, a pathetic excuse for a 21st century nation-state. And yet, because it chose an alternate course—constructing a small nuclear arsenal in secret, then whipping back the curtain to reveal that arsenal to the world—it appears to be successfully deterring any kind of military attack from the greatest military juggernaut in human history.

What would you do if you were Iran?

It is true that neither the International Atomic Energy Agency nor American intelligence officials have put forth a shred of evidence indicating that Iran has diverted materials from its nuclear energy activities to a nuclear weapons program. It is also quite possible that Iran might be dissuaded from its nuclear ambitions, in return for an end to U.S. support for internal Iranian groups seeking the violent overthrow of the regime (imagine if Iran were doing that here!), a formal mutual security pact with non-aggression pledges in both directions, and some acknowledgement on our part that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty doesn’t just impose nonproliferation obligations on them but also disarmament obligations on us.

Instead, astonishingly, with the ceaseless beating of the Iran war drums in the background, the Energy Department on March 2 announced a contract to build a brand-new, ultra-modernized U.S. nuclear warhead—the first in two decades—to ensure the long-term “reliability” of the American nuclear arsenal.

Until more enlightened diplomacy starts emanating from Washington, Tehran will continue its march toward the nuclear Rubicon. The logic of the situation requires it. No rational Iranian defense planner could responsibly recommend anything else.

A Cold War concept that never captured the public imagination quite like MAD was the simple idea of “unacceptable damage.” If a vulnerable nation could obtain the capability to impose unacceptable damage on an adversary, that would probably be enough to cause that adversary to pause, indefinitely, before initiating any kind of war. And the obliteration of an American military base or naval formation or city would clearly seem to qualify as “unacceptable damage” for us. Although “UD” hardly contains the rich acronymphomaniacal irony delivered by MAD, Iran and North Korea may be the first states to base their national security strategies solidly upon it.

There is very little reason to suppose that they will be the last.

Tad Daley is a veteran international policy analyst and nuclear disarmament advocate. He   served as a policy aide to the late U.S. Sen. Alan Cranston, D-Calif., and as national issues director for the 2004 presidential campaign of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. He is presently Peace and Disarmament Fellow in the Los Angeles office of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Nobel laureate anti-nuclear organization. He can be reached at tad@daleyplanet.org.


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By Yep, it's about time someone said it, December 5, 2007 at 5:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The classic goldilocks situation in international relations….foreign policy too hot causes others to seek security for themselves.  This can take the form of seeking advanced weapons (like nuclear), and/or forming opposing coalitions with other states to try to offset the unequal balance of power.

Really, International Relations 101 should be a required course for every undergraduate, and president.

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By Angela, November 1, 2007 at 5:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Some of the comments on this blog are so ignorant as to be embarrassing as someone has already pointed out. Dan Noel’s brilliant “What if the neo-con strategy had actually been a brilliant success?” is about as pie in the sky, as any of the arguments get. Why not ask, If cows could fly… or if pigs could piss gold dust… Because anyone who had a functioning brain in his/her head already knew this mess was coming in Iraq and Afganistan… that it would simply be a mass slaughter of the innocent… that it would be a quagmire, and that the “neocons” were simply out to appease Israel and to steal Iraq’s oil.

There are a lot of legitimate questions one could have asked, such as: What if Bush had a fully functioning brain? or: What if Bush and co weren’t a pack of mass murderers and theives? What if we had used the half Triilion we used on killing people, to help bring countries, whose people are dying in abject poverty, into the 20th Century? What if we funded education and health care in our own country? Then we might get to a place where we could discuss a brighter world.

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By EndAllWars, November 1, 2007 at 12:28 am Link to this comment

To Kien Tieng,

“I think acting like we “persecuted” any of the “commanders” by “decapitating its regime and driving its leader first into a spider hole in the ground and then to the gallows” is a slanderous, irresponsible statemet - especially when describing a man who slaughtered hundreds for his personal amusement.”

So, can you explain why our government, namely, Reagan, cozied up to this spider-hole crawling leader, and supported him through financial and military aid in the 80s?  Or how that same Reagan supported and created the monster that became Osama, also in the 80s?

Ignorance is NOT bliss.  Because then you make the statements that condemen you before anyone else.

Anyway, what you’re condoning is basically how we got into this mess to begin with.  Meddling in other countries affairs creates the Koreas (we have been there since 1951), Vietnam (we got stuck there for many years before we admitted defeat and left), Iraq (4 years and counting).  Go read a history book.  What the righter wingers are blowing on the air has no basis in reality.  It’s meant for the feeble minded who didn’t bother to learn history.

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By amk, October 31, 2007 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The one who says that “no one can dfeat US army” is the biggest stupid in the world. In fact, US army has been defeated badly everytime in the world, but these bastard do not take lessons from their past.

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By diamond 10 years old, July 14, 2007 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i need to know about outer space and if you go on any planets would you fall through!!!!!!!!!!!!  thankyou!

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By Kien Tieng, March 28, 2007 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article is a lot of conjecture, thinly veiled accusations with no actual facts, just political blather as usual, and rehtoric. 

Arms race discussion: So Iran and Iraq and North Korea want in on the nukes, do they?  All this wishy washy pseudo-intellectual conversation about their “rights”.  Individuals have rights, nations do not.  They are representitive bodies of their citizens, and as such, carry the burden or blessing of their citizens’ actions. N.K, Iran, and Iraq are nations which endorse policies of degredation, terrorism and ruthlesness within their own political frameworks and are more than willing to employ them, without respect to other nations, whenever they can - hence why we are minus several builidings in NYC and thousands of fine, innocent people. These are not recent policies, but policies spanning centuries.

Until these nations figure out how to have a society where a small number of wealthy people do not grind the rest of their nation down into extreme poverty, employ personal armies to kill political or social reformists and rejoice in a hundred other inhuman practices, the rationale that they should be allowed to develop anything remotely resembling nuclear energy is a phenomenally stupid indulgence by a bunch of people more interested in intellectual peace than in realistic politics.

The US is, for the moment, leading the world.  I’m getting a little tired of the extreme left telling me I should roll-over and die of shame and apologize to the world for this fact and tell everyone that all they need to do to be like us is build a few nukes and… blah blah blah.  I think acting like we “persecuted” any of the “commanders” by “decapitating its regime and driving its leader first into a spider hole in the ground and then to the gallows” is a slanderous, irresponsible statemet - especially when describing a man who slaughtered hundreds for his personal amusement.  Also, Putin is in charge of a severely weakened country which is staying out of this, not because he cares about the issues, but because he can’t afford to get involved and of COURSE he’s going to have fun taking pot shots and playing the fence, so quoting his opinion as though he has a viable standpoint from which to make valid statements is irresponsible reporting.

People who keep saying that these nations have a right to low-cost fuels, hence nuclear energy -  there are LOTS of ways of getting low-cost energy.  Do you really think a nation which has THAT much sun couldn’t use solar energy?  Or which backs against the ocean where there are constantly high winds couldn’t try wind towers?  They aren’t after energy so let’s stop pretending they are.

Lastly, Mr. Daley, it would be really great if one, single reporter for a news agency other than 13, would try reporting FACTS instead of giving us his personal opinion, or the opinions of somebody else - who usually turn out to be - yup, other reporters, teachers, lawyers, sports stars, uninvolved countries, dogs, cats, hey anyone will do. I don’t care what your “slant” or “spin” or whatever the phrase is on this issue.  I don’t care about your experts “opinions”.  I want YOU to provide FACTS so that I can think for myself - imagine that - without having to wade through garbage introduced to arouse my emotions, not my intellect.  BOTH sides of the issue, how about that, not just one.  See, otherwise that’s called “Yellow Journalism” and it’s a deliberate manipulation of the public opinion.  Try being a good reporter instead of a deliberately inflamatory one.

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By Ron, March 16, 2007 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Stryker,

You’re all over the place buddy.  For one, it’s typical right wing thinking that anyone who discredits their premises is a “lefty”.  You just completely unraveled any kind of judgment you can have on where someone stands on the spectrum by using that label.  I’m completely independent, probably more to the right of you on most issue than you know, such as being opposed to having a big government to which republicans pay lip service but in reality keep making this monster of a government larger and larger.  The trouble is when you keep repeating the unsubstantiation crap Rush Limbaugh spews it’s obvious you think that’s what conservatism is.  I’ll let you go read up and figure out what it is.  Clue: IT’S NOT WHAT THE REPUBLICANS STAND FOR TODAY. 

Two: Your facts on the Persian empire are laughable.  The Persian empire fell over 1400 years ago, the Achamanid empire fell 23 centuries ago. Are you still afraid of them???  There have been many empires since.  We’re safe from them, tyvm.  The British had a larger empire and were going strong until after WWII when their many wars finally finished their empire.  If you’re going to use the past as an excuse why do go you back 1400 years to find someone who never had a beef with us instead of going back 50 to find the remnants of an empire who both has nukes and also once colonized and fought us, such as UK???  Persian might have been an empire of several billion square miles once but now it stands to be a tiny fraction of that. They can barely build bicycles over there, let alone attack and colonize us. See, you don’t know history.  I find that argument ignorant but I’m sorry for calling you a moron.  In return for my apology please go read some history.

If I don’t want my country to be attacking all the other countries that doesn’t mean I’m defending “Persia” or any other weak country.  That means I’m defending what our forefathers stood for which was in opposition to the rule of tyranny.  You won’t get history lessons listening to right wing radio because what they espouse is utterly unfounded and deceptive.  Limbaugh is too busy to learn history and teach it on the air because he’s battling divorce, his racist views, drugs, and defence of corporate goal of turning the citizens of this country into slaves, exporting our jobs and putting our tax dollars into a war machine in a war mongering that will bring down our great country. Go find one industrialized nation, including all those “allies” you mentioned, that don’t provide healthcare for their citizens.  Every one of those you mentioned does.  Funny how when it comes to defending the “West” we consider them one of us.  But when talking about putting the dollars into programs for our own citizens instead of wars overseas then Europe becomes this bunch of tofu sucking communist pinko soft backward nudists.

Thirdly, I thought I made it clear I consider Middle East a very undeveloped and backward place.  But that doesn’t mean I condone attacking it.  I’m certainly not going to move to Persia or anywhere else.  This is my country and I’m going to stand here defending our constitution, our values, our bill of rights, our vast resources, the legacy of freedom our forefathers left for us.  Just because I don’t like the tyranny of right winger wackos or the left wing wannabe-rightwingers in charge doesn’t mean I’m going to give up on my country and move to another place because I know we can salvage our country.  We have withstood the test of time and dealt with our imperfections before, we’ll do it this time too.

Remember, Jesus was against war.

Peace

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By TM, March 11, 2007 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Iran was truly interested in nuclear enegy for peaseful purposes they would be experimenting with and bulding thorium reactors.  Thorium cannot be uses to make weapons.

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By TM, March 10, 2007 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Build thorium reactors in Iran.  The material left over from the reaction cannot be made into weapons.  It seems that if Iran were truly interested in nuclear research for peaceful purposes they would be building thorium reactors.

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By Stryker, March 9, 2007 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

(con’t from part 1).
After that’s well under way, I would show the world that we are no longer militarily involved in anyone’s affairs anywhere.  The local economies of where the U.S. military once was can go to hell in a hand basket for all I care.  I would then tell the world, that we will no longer intervene on behalf of anyone…anywhere outside the 50 U.S. states.  The countries that used to get our military protection and assistance, would now have to pay for it themselves, 100%. 

I would make one thing very crystal clear though.  Aside from a direct attack on any of our 50 states…that if any one of our mutually agreed upon allies (such as many European countries, Israel, some Asian countries, etc.) were attacked by nuclear weapons, we would immediately make the launch point and it’s surrounding area of such an attack, a glass parking lot.  A nuclear attack on any one of our now social and economic partners (allies), would be meet with an undeniable overwhelming nuclear response of our own.  Key word…response.  Outside of that, from now on, our military would play a 100% defensive role strickly within the homeland’s current borders.  Military isolationism.

I think that in either that scenario, or the present real world one, Iran just wouldn’t be able to help itself.  Once it obtains nuclear weapons, it will launch them at Israel no doubt…and Europe if it’s missiles have the range to carry a nuke that far.  It’s their religious duty to do so.  The simply don’t fear the repercussions.

As for energy needs, at the same time as total military pull back, I would initiate the worlds most aggressive research into so called alternative sources of energy.  I don’t know much about this, but Bio fuels come to mind, since ag is big in the U.S. already.  I would set a national mandate to drill our own reserves to their fullest, and get non fossil fuels powering our country from top to bottom within 5 to 10 years.  I’m sure our country has the scientific intelligence to make this happen.  Currently, the big oil companies, coupled with a lack of political will on both sides prevents this from happening.  We would remove ourselves from foreign oil dependency as soon as possible, and not a day later.  Ironically, this would financially cripple the middle eastern countries big time.  They have nothing else to offer the modern world aside from dictatorships, terrorism and oil.

The borders of the U.S. would also be secured as best as possible with 10’s of thousands of National Guard on both borders, fences, UAV’s, etc.  Slam the open door policy closed!  Also, immigration would be limited to 1,000 per year, and not a single 1 more.  Totally lottery based.  Religious persecution?  Economic hardship?  Doesn’t matter.  The U.S. will no longer be the immigration savior of millions every year.  Bad mouth us all you like from your impoverished country.  Tell your own leaders to fix your own problems!

Oh yeah, and I would tell the U.N. to go bash the U.S. from outside of our borders.  No more U.N. inside the U.S.  I would also greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the huge U.S. funding of the U.N. (currently about 20-22% of it’s total operating budget).  They can get the cash from India perhaps.  Along the same lines…no more multi-billion dollar aid packages from us taxpayers, generous U.S. corporations and private citizens for things such as tsunami relief, AIDS in Africa relief, earthquake relief in Pakistan, etc.  I’m tired of them spitting on the U.S. all the while gladly taking such huge aid gifts from us.  The poor and turd world countries of the world can bad mouth and hate the U.S. all they want…but no more cash or materials or help from the U.S. anymore.  None.

Any U.S. presidential hopeful has a plan like this….they’ve got my vote (and many others i know) for sure.

Have a nice day!

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By Stryker, March 9, 2007 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Name calling and personal attacks.  Typical lefty trademarks.  How brilliant and intellectual.

OK…here we go:

Your beloved, innocent Persians are not without their own bloody history (as previously mentioned).  Spanning, at least, more than 10 times the entire age of the U.S..  Simply shocking eh?

Look up the Achaemenid Empire.  In part: “The Achaemenid Persian Empire spanned 7.5 million km² under Darius the Great; the largest of all ancient empires.”  That’s where it begins.

It didn’t get to be that way by playing nice.

One thing I find worth noting, is that the more ‘civilized’ that humankind is supposedly becoming through the ages, the more warfare there is.  The U.S. as a country doesn’t enter the timeline until the last 250 years.  Look at that timeline below with the history of warfare.

Also interesting is Iran’s (& other middle eastern countries) amazing freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of ‘sexuality’ (think how wonderfully they treat homosexuals), freedom of press, women’s rights, minority rights and on and on.  They are a wonderful example of these things aren’t they?

I can never figure out why, if the U.S. is such an evil horrible country, why thousands or millions of people don’t try to escape the U.S. for destinations such as Iran (for example), as opposed to countless people from around the world trying to get into the U.S. either to live permanently, or to work or to study.  Why do people from around the globe want to come to the U.S.?  The answer of course is self evident.  100% perfect?  No, of course not, but no doubt one of the best countries the world has ever known.  Overwhelming immigration into (and not out of) the country says lots for that argument.

I’ve never said an attack on Iran would be a good thing.  Or that I even personally advocated it.  I do think it’s inevitable though.  Post 9/11, the ‘power class’ within both political parties in the U.S. won’t stand idle anymore and will do just about anything to protect it’s interests.  Just as other empires have done since the dawn of time.

I for one wish the U.S. would either shit or get off the pot so to speak.  I know, though, that most of this is related to ‘reconstruction’ and other contracts.  It’s bigger than just oil. 

If it were up to me, I think we should smash the so called insurgent’s in their strongholds, then pull out 100% of all military personal from Iraq virtually immediately.  To top that off, I would also do the same in Afghanistan, including 100% pullout.  After that, I would call back all of our military personal from all over the world.  South Korea, Japan, Germany, U.K., the ‘Stans’...everywhere, and close all those bases.  The world doesn’t want us there anyway (mainly the younger generations that don’t remember past aggression from their neighbors).  So, I would bring all the boys home.  All of them, not just from Iraq.  I would then use the money saved from such a pull back, in part, to immediately build as real and as accurate a missile defense shield as possible.  Something that’s capable of defending against most threats (if neutralizing all threats can’t be achieved).  I would then build a more modern nuclear arsenal, as well as additional next generation carrier battle groups.  I would accelerate the modernization of the U.S. Army and Marines as well.  All across the board, top to bottom, the military gets stronger and even more modernized. (break, due to posting limit).

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By Ron, March 9, 2007 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

to Bob Johnson, comment 57035:

“The Persians have been at war with the ‘west’ for millennia. “

Exactly what history books are you reading, or are you getting your facts from Fox News and the right wing nut jobs who have their own alternate universe with complete histories concucted for the convenience of supporting the current right wing dog barking on the airwaves about how we must nuke all them barbarianses before they comes steals our womenses?  Read a real history book and you’ll learn that if anything, it’s the West who has been colonizing, looting and interfering in that area of the world for the last 300 years.  That area of the world is too backward to be able to “attack” the West.  The last time “Persians” were at war with the “West” (what’s your idea of “West” anyway?) was around 600 AD when the Romans attacked the Persian vessal state of Syria or somewhere in the middle east in order to take over their trade routes, you got it, for the money.  I can’t remember the exact dates, I was very young back then.  Where are you morons coming from anyway?  Why are you so god damn ignorant?  Get off your lazy heiny and read a history book or two before spewing ignorance like that.  It’s embarrassing.

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By Ron, March 8, 2007 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Stryker,

You’re a moron. The mixture of your little knowledge of history and your primitive thinking comes up with garbage that decides if the Persians and Greeks fought in 500 BC we must attack them now or they’ll attack us.  By your logic we must first attack Italy for they had the Roman empire who subjugated most of the known world 2000 years ago.  Better yet, we must attack UK because not only did they have an empire they actually colonized us and attacked us in 1812, and the last time I looked 1812 is a lot more recent than 500 BC.  You haven’t evolved beyond your ape stage to comment on such issues.  Iran hasn’t attacked anyone in hundreds of years.

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By Ken Gardonia, March 8, 2007 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Daley’s quote below illustrates the ongoing arrogance of the United States foreign policy.

“Iran, of course, cannot hope to defeat the United States in any kind of direct military confrontation. No one can”.

Would we seriously consider hitting Iran if we did not think we could do so with impunity?

There is a coalition of countries who have the combined power to destroy the United States.
Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuala all are on record as not being pleased with our foreign policy. Individually they cannot stand against us, however as a coalition they are quite formidable. They have the means and our policies strengthen their resolve each day.

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By Edward Tkacik, March 8, 2007 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Mr. Tad Daley;
I am not sure as to how to take your article about Iran, “What would you do if you were Iran”. First I thught you were a shill for the administration then again I thought you were just another evil Zionist war monger from Israel then again I thought you were trying to bolster the fact that Iran has the same privilage as all other nuclear advantaged nations. And at the end of the article you seem to be an honest journalist seeking a venue for the truth regarding the WMD issue. All in all the article was worth reading and digesting as the truth. Thank you for the thought provoking article. As a WW2 combat veteran I find it difficult to fine reason in many articles on the internet. Being as the administration has the entire media in it’s propaganda spider web. Hopefully you are not a member of that web.

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By Marycatherine Barton, March 8, 2007 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel does not want Iran to have nuclear power, and the powerful and monied classes in the U.S., as well as most Americans who have dual citizenship with Israel, and most of the Zionists, will support this desire or cave in (offering phony justifications) or look the other way, and allow our government as it is now constituted (which I am sure Mark Twain would agree with me does not deserve loyalty) to attack Iran.  We are organized savages.

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By Eso, March 8, 2007 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Our faith and at the same time guilt is that we are animals who have inherited the dream of a virtual world inherent in the fabric of the universe. The cat has no guilt over catching, killing, and eating the mouse. Most human beings exploit Earth and animals and humans in the same way the cat exploits the mouse. But then some of us say that there might be a world in which the mouse lives alongside the cat, if the cat would but sacrifice himself. I am one of these ‘some’. And the only way that I can think of achieving a situation of where the cat and mouse (or lamb and lion) lie down together without the cat eating the mouse is through self-sacrifice by the mouse and/or the cat. Self-sacrifice for sure is an awesome act, i.e., it is pure charisma—whether it works immediately or not is another question. But if self-sacrifice is practiced for a long time by many, well, it ought to work. I have the faith it will.

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By Jeff Badura, March 8, 2007 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
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about the Comment #57302 by Pavel Somakvalov

Paul if your trying to tell me Iran is not the chief exporter of terror world wide than you should take your own advise and get out more !!  yes they are brutal !! this site could not exist in Iran we would all be rounded up, and tortured and re-educated if we wrote this stuff from inside Iran!!  they arrest people for missing prayer!! you my friend are the one who is ignorant of world facts!!  the government of Iran in its current state is a threat to world peace and stability!! regardless of your left wing out of touch idea’s the the USA is the enemy of the world ??? Paul the USA is the backbone of World Wide freedom !! and has been for 100 yrs !!!We are the good guys and Iran’s government are the bad guys!! the elections in Iran are not free? they are a farce, where the Ayatollahs pick the candidate’s and suppress the opposition by imprisonment !! did you also support Saddams Iraq elections too ??

look you wont here me say the other nations you mentioned are beacons of freedom !! but one thing at a time !!! the government of Iran has to be taken out !!

illgramiaticus Knee o’Kaun

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By Greg, March 8, 2007 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
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I certainly will not disagree with Stryker on his previous comment.  Warfare is very much a part of human nature.  Open aggression is what made us the dominate speciaes as opposed to other hominids. 

I don’t believe the nature of man to be in question.  I believe it is a matter of the stakes involved.  The Hellenistic societies, the Persians and the Brits did not have the capacity for the destruction of all living things.  A pre-emptive nuclear strike is something that should NEVER be discussed when talking stategy.  While we used “the bomb” as offensive weapon against the Japanese, ours and the Soviet nuclear arsensals became defensive in nature; a deterant against all out war.  If an inherently unstable and regime such as those found in both North Korea and Iran had “working” arsenals.  They would be very inclined to use them at the slightest provocation.  A single element not to their liking in their particular region (for Iran, the very existance of Isreal)might be enough to stimulate the launch of a nuclear tipped missile.

If other developing countries were to produce nuclear weapons (think Chavez “shudder”).  The idea of any sort of worldwide stability would be out the window.

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By Big M, March 8, 2007 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
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If I were the president of Iran, I would have long ago been engaged in high-level talks with both the Chinese and Russians to plant a couple hundred nukes on Iranian soil. That would end all of the loudmouthing out of these DC terrorists.

The U.S. has—what?—40,000 nukes? And we’re supposed to set our hair on fire and run around screaming, “Save the children!,” because some country on the other side of the world might get ONE in the next decade? You might as well imagine Mike Tyson looking at a baby, asleep in its stroller, blowing strained-pea bubbles, and screaming, “Save me! Save me!”

This is simple. The U.S. doesn’t have the balls to fuck with anybody that has nukes, and, as we’ve seen with Iraq, a country that doesn’t have nukes, and refuses to allow their country to be raped by American transnational corporations, in the name of “profit opportunites,” will quickly find itself a prime candidate for “regime change.”

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By Petkov, March 8, 2007 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
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such total bullshit. full of innuendos, lies, self congratulations and bunch of empty retorics. No one can defeat USA army? Gee and what exactly is going on right now in Iraq? And what happened in Vietnam? It appears the USA hasn’t won a major war since well WWII. The author didn’t forget to mention all the usual FUD such as vaporise “an American city on one coast or the other” subtly giving the impression that Iran has such capabilites. Such total bullshit.
Hey America, you are getting your ass getting kicked in Iraq AND Afganistan. You wanna go for a total humilation in Iran? Be my guest.

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By Bruce G. Richardson, March 8, 2007 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
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Excellent article.  It is absolutely mind numbing that anyone could justify or even consider a nuclear attack on a non-nuclear country.  The problem with Washington war makers is that they have no clue as to what is they unleash with a military attack on another country, and whether conventional or nuclear, makes little difference to the population. Bush and (5-deferments Cheney) have not EVER heard a bullet fired in anger.  What they need to do is to get up from their hand carved desks and exotic-panneled offices and tour a war zone. Witness mothers, fathers, husbands and wives as they dig through the rubble from bombs dropped in the holy name of freedom and democracy, only to find some undescribable mass once their treasured family members. As the ancient Greeks used to say “only the inexperienced delight in war.”
Bruce G. Richardson

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By subHuman, March 8, 2007 at 5:48 am Link to this comment
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Soviet Union justified occupying other nations in the name of workers paradiseS, Bush does it in the name of ‘freedoms and liberties’, Mr. Hitler invaded Poland pre-emptively to prevent Pollacks attrocities towards german minority. Not sure how he justified gas chambers but I am sure his spin-presenters did a good job as it appears he enjoyed great support amongst germans just as Bush did and still does amongst ‘americanpeople’ and ‘americannation’.

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By Gary, March 8, 2007 at 5:30 am Link to this comment
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All of you are lost

OIL, OIL, OIL

Nothing more, nothing less

Its just we have a dishonest moron trying to steal it

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By George Kurian, March 8, 2007 at 5:22 am Link to this comment
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I am an Indian (i.e. Asian). I find it incomprehensible that
1) America should insist that other countries should not ever have nuclear weapons while the Americans fondle and stroke their big arsenals of nuclear bombs.I am not surprised by Hilary Clinton’s (more dangerous than Bush)reaction but I am amazed by Barak Obama.
2) America may call anyone what names it wants and finds terrorists under every bed but Iran is criticised for saying that the Holocaust was a non event. I think the criticism of the Iranian president and the “repugnance” of his statements felt by liberal left leaning people like you stems from your fear of the magic word “Antisemetic”. That word is known to stifle all honest opinion.
Of course the holocaust occurred but it was not the only genocide in the world. The British intentionally caused a famine in Bengal in the early 20th century. Grain decayed in the store houses of Bengal while masses of people slowly starved to death. No one thought it horrible then. Nor did it worry people that Britain had an Indian Empire but everyone thinks that Hitler’s European Empire was repugnant. Why the double standards? I think there is a subliminal streak of racism in all this. We whites can have all the nuclear weapons we want and go in for pre emptive strikes as we like but you cannot do that because you are black/brown and uncivilised. The CIVILISED nations of the world have caused more wars and death than any other people.

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By Pavel Somakvalov, March 8, 2007 at 2:13 am Link to this comment
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Jeff Badura, you should really get out more in the world and try to understand that your points about Iran really point to your igorance of world facts. You say they support terrorist and we don’t (USA)?You say they are brutal to their citizen. They can’t be too brutal if most of them would support their own government instead of ours (USA). And as far as democracy goes, It’s more democratic then our allies such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and Egypt. And it gets more and more democratic with time. It’s inevitable, unless you bomb them and destroy their infrastructure. because infrastructure affects everybody, including the people supposedly in the country of Iran that you think craves for US control. So please step out into the light and think with reason, not blind faith in lies you tell yourself.

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By Dan Noel, March 7, 2007 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment
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What if the neo-con strategy had actually been a brilliant success? Now that the war on terror appears to be little more than a farce and that the Iraq War is slowly but surely coming to an end, North Korea and Iran are going to justify high military budgets, juicy no-bid military contracts, and suppression of civil liberties for decades to come!

Of course, the North Korean problem could be solved for less than $100M by merely parachuting a few containers of dog food stamped “from us the people of the United States with love.” North Korean would swallow that delicacy with deep gratitude, then realize that our dogs live better than them, and quickly move on to question the wisdom of their Dear Leader Comrade Kim and his minions. It is hard to believe that the U.S. Air Force does not understand this; but why would they offer to take an action that would kill a golden-egg goose?

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By Stryker, March 7, 2007 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment
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The world has been at war to some degree since recorded history.  Today, the U.S. is the dominant nation.  Before that, numerious European countries to varying degrees.  Going further back in time, count in the Romans, Greeks, Chinese and yes…the Persians (largely modern day Iran) to name a few.  That earlier posting about the Persians being at war with western countries is right.  It’s not a hope or wish or dream that it be true, it’s part of history that goes back to (at least) the Greco-Persian Wars of around 500 BC, or 2,500 years ago.  The Persians attempted twice to subjugate the Greeks by force.  As a matter of fact, there will be a movie coming out soon called 300 that supposedly details some of that aggression.  So there is long timeline of precedent for Persian initiated warfare upon others.

So, it appears the U.S. is thinking they would rather attack Iran before Iran gets the nuclear capacity to attack the U.S. or it’s allies in Europe or Isreal.

War appears to be an inevitable human nature.  Sort of an animal instinct.  Big fish eats the little fish.  Ironically, it’s sort of Darwinism.  Something the libs love to wrap their arms around.  The stronger outlasts the weaker.  Happens all the time in nature.

I can’t think of a single nation that represents some sort of euphoric state where no warfare has ever taken place by it, in it’s name, within it (i.e. civil wars) etc.

The issue with the U.S. is that it’s essentially the #1 so called superpower right now. Many people don’t like #1 for various reasons.  This occurs in areas such as sports, in business and of course with countries or nation states.  Perhaps it’s the competative nature of people.  The U.S. is just the most current so called #1 power in a very long line of battles for land, power, riches, etc.  There probably will always be warfare over those things.  The war fighting technologies may have changed, but the U.S. is historically no different than all of those other empires through time.  Afterall, the U.S. didn’t ‘invent’ or was anywhere near the first to use war or warfare.  Now that doesn’t mean that war and fighting are a good thing…it just means that it’s a part of human nature unfortunately.

Folks…there is nothing new or novel here about a country / empire / nation state (i.e. the U.S. in this case) wanting to keep and even expand it’s reach.  Would anyone seriously expect any different?

A fairly detailed timeline of warfare can be found here http://www.warscholar.com/Timeline.html

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By Spinoza, March 6, 2007 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

> Let’s everyone join the nuclear club; maybe we’ll have some semblance of respect for one another.


That’s insanity.

It would be better to hire some left wing Green Berets and have them go around and kill off the rather small number of militarists.

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By demon, March 6, 2007 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment
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Nuclear disarmament is the only sane choice.  But human beings, not being quite “sane,” need an alternative.  Universal nuclear armament is probably the next best—albeit poor—solution; ala cold war deterrence.

Let’s everyone join the nuclear club; maybe we’ll have some semblance of respect for one another.

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By daniel, March 6, 2007 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment
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I’d be planning to whack the new neighborhood bully where it hurts the most.  Tell him to get outa Dodge by sundown.

Who likes bullys? nobody.

This whole fiasco ain’t nothing more than pure unadulterated extortion by BushCo.  There will be a price to pay.

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By TAO Walker, March 6, 2007 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment
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People who live in glass houses (Bob Johnson, #57035) should maybe get out occasionally for some fresh air.  In this latest game of nuclear “chicken” it looks from here on the Rez like all the drivers are stoned out of their tiny minds on one kind of drug or another. 

And that “fear of death” Mr. Johnson seems to think is the saving grace of western civ is the same two-edged sword keeping the americanpeople so helpessly cowed while their home-grown predator classes loot the national treasury, shred what little was left of the national constitution, render the national “living room” uninhabitable, and attempt to ram all that down the throats of everyone else in the world, too, at the point of the national gun. Could it be that Muslim Arabs and Persians are still close enough to their free wild human roots to remember that there are any number of fates worse than death?

Bob Johnson neglects to mention that it was his own “leaders” who ordered-up today’s “clash of civilizations.”  Now that this 21st Century “crusade” has gone grievously awry he wants to shift the onus of the whole bloody mess onto those whose fearlessness in the face of mere death has made them such formidable adversaries, despite substantial disadvantages in the technical means for waging war.  Like agressive bullies at all times in all places who start whining “No fair!” when supposed push-overs prove much tougher than expected, Mr. Johnson tries to claim the “moral high-ground” that has been forfeit, for America, since its Puritan forefathers murdered the Indians who’d just kept them from starving to death the winter before.

Some may mourn the immanent collapse and dismemberment of Lincoln’s “....last best hope….”  Others may feel it couldn’t happen to a more deserving mob.  This Indian has watched it coming for a long time, and wouldn’t wish it even on those who declared themselves the mortal enemies of my people….and then proceeded to try and make good on that genocidal ambition, failing at it not for humanitarian misgivings but because they weren’t (and still are not) nearly as smart as they like to believe. 

The Chinese could’ve told Americans how damned foolish it is to go after only those thought to be too weak to resist.  All us free wild natural human beings had to do, finally, was outlast our god-and-greed-driven American attackers.  It’s turning out to be a considerably shorter test of endurance than we figured we were in for nearly forty-eight hundred moons ago.

HokaHey!

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By A khokar, March 6, 2007 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is well known that US after grabbing Iraq; has been on a savage hunt to lace the entire region in some sort of enslavement; Syria and Iran are the prime targets for next US extermination. AS a prelude; US is threatening their security by; scaring them of their existence; encircling the countries and deployment of armies at their door; depriving them of their legitimate right of their defence. Restricting them to acquire even basic technologies and frequently using the UNO and its power to cripple them.

These countries are made vulnerable from all sides and a media campaign is at rampage to malign them.
The planned Instigation to portend the annihilation and running of perverse schemes to punish and crush their sovereignty is vigorously on.
In the light of the above glaring facts; how do we expect the oppressed (victim) to respond?

Any one with an IQ above room temperature may come to a conclusion that the persecuted will certainly devise some ways to get rid of the oppressor and to defeat him and frustrate his plan. Invariably; Iran and Syria are all out to frustrate US Plans.

And we don’t want to talk or negotiate with them in real sence; because we don’t want to solve the problem. If problem is solved; we have to pack up and abandon our dream plans; and that we don’t want to do.
————————————————————
Love for all, Hatred for none

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By jjohnjj, March 6, 2007 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment
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Thanks Tad. At last someone has mades the salient point.

Tehran doesn’t want nukes to destroy Tel Aviv or Washington. They want them to sink American aircraft carriers. And they don’t really want to sink our carriers, they just want to push them back from their shores, outside the range of intermediate-size missles.

Nuclear tipped medium-range missles are the cheapest way to get a superpower with aircraft carriers off your back.

So why do we need to have carriers in Iran’s front yard?

Washington does not want America to answer that question or discuss it in any way. That’s why we’ve been subject to a steady stream of propaganda about the “madmen with nukes”, who want to “wipe Israel off the map”, and spend enternity in heaven with their “72 virgins”.

Back during the Cold War, Communism was called the “religion” of a godless Soviet Union hell-bent on world domination. Americans were frightened into obedience then just as now.

Ever wonder why India’s and Pakistan’s nuclear bombs are always referred to as a “deterrent” and North Korea’s and Iran’s are always referred to as “weapons”?

Iran will get its nuclear deterrent. Our carriers will pull back to a safe distance, and the balance of power will tip slightly in Tehran’s favor. Nothing more. Nothing less.

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By Bob Johnson, March 6, 2007 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment
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The main difference between the old Soviet Union and the Iranians is religion, in it’s extreme.  The Soviet’s didn’t dream of dieing a martyr.  The didn’t have 72 virgins awaiting them.  They were not suicidal.  At the end of the day, the Soviets feared death and loved life just as the American’s do, (or the Britons do, or the French, etc).  The proof is, that if either didn’t…there would have been an all out nuclear war a long time ago.  The Iranians are suicidal and openly wish for death as a martyr (except of course, those in the country who have become ‘westernized’ to some extent…ironically).  When they get nuke(s), they will use them without a doubt.  The Persians have been at war with the ‘west’ for millennia.  I’m no big fan of Bush…but for those who are narcissistically Bush haters, this means that they have been at war with western nations long before Bush was ever president…let alone even born…let alone the U.S. even a country! The extreme religious views of the mullahs and their president are what makes this (potential at this point) war dangerous.  The wanting, or willingness to die for ones religion, the coming of the 12th mahdi, etc. It appears a war with Iran will happen, unless the radical Islamist’s go through a religious reformation of their own…really quick.

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By M Mistoffles, March 6, 2007 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment
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The US has lost the plot. Once a country I liked and respected, it then chose Bush.

Now the US tortures people, apprehends people illegally in foreign lands, imprisons people without trial who have committed no crime, illegally invades other countries and supports terror (Israel/Lebanon/cluster bombs). All of these things are wrong. Period. No argument.

A supposedly civilized country does not do any of these things, whatever the provocation. It relies on habeas corpus and the rule of law, it upholds and defends these principles at all costs and strictly prohibits any action to undermine them.

Yet the US has done the precise opposite amd its peoples have lost much of their freedom. Wisdom and history show us that when you defile the rule of law you strengthen your enemies and weaken yourself. Its strange that our fathers knew this and we don’t.

Maybe the mullahs are right. Maybe the US is the Great Satan.

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By TAO Walker, March 6, 2007 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment
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Primary responsbility for arresting the run-amok military-industrial juggernaut they “own” resides with the pampered “americanpeople.”  One way or another they will pay the bill for all the damage it’s done and continues to do. 

A voluntary undertaking offers a chance (pretty slim maybe, but not quite yet “none”) to spread what is dead-certain to be enormous economic disruption and considerable psycho-emotional pain evenly among them.  “Business-as-usual,” however, guarantees the reckoning will be utterly disastrous….initially for the dwindling “middle” and burgeoning lower classes, but ultimately for even Bush’s “base.”  The various forms the latter “option” may take will no doubt combine violent domestic strife, humiliation and reprisals abroad, and the total bankruptcy of everything supposedly “uniquely American” everywhere. 

Anyone hoping to ride-out the virtual tsunami already coming ashore here (eg. the bursting “sub-prime” lending bubble) will be wise to start boning-up on the Chinese “Book of Changes.”  Start with the Wilhelm/Baynes version of hexagram 7, “The Army.”  Look particularly at line three.  “....a ‘corpse boy’ is sitting in the wagon….”  Elsewhere in the book it speaks of “unwise leaders” who misuse and thus destroy the military power of a nation, thereby opening it up to invasion and subjugation by others.

It may be already too late to prevent much of the “worst-case scenario” from coming about.  If Americans are even remotely the “special” ones they like to claim, though, they’ll bite the bullet anyway, and do what they can to at least make it tougher for their home-grown predator classes to go on with their MAD “project” to rule the world….which is doomed to failure in any event.

When the guard-dog gets vicious it is the owners’ duty to keep it confined.  When it goes from just vicious to outright rabid it must be put down.  Failure to fulfill this responsibility invites somebody else to do it, and somebody surely will….only maybe not before the critter has turned-on those who trained and used and finally abused the poor thing.

This Indian doubts that many (if any) Americans ever thought things would come to this….that the greatest act of national courage they could perform would be, in effect, taking-on in a fight quite possibly to-the-death those long-time privateers among themselves who’ve hijacked the most powerful military machine on Earth and are using it ruthlessly in a vain and bloody attempt to conquer the world.  None of ‘em figured, either, that they would themselves end-up in the cross-hairs.

But here it is.  What’re y’all going to do about it?

HokaHey!

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By Thea, March 6, 2007 at 11:42 am Link to this comment
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All great empires finally fail. Bush and Co seem to have a death wish for America. While we once had the hearts and minds of the world just after 9/11, we now enjoy the animosity of the world.

When will the other great powers view us as too dangerous to support in case of an attack? First goes our reputation, then our economy, (we are greatly indebted to China). We are now surrounded by those who we’ve manipulated and hurt in the past, and/or by those who don’t want to be hurt in the future. S. America has woken up and said NO to the US. China practically owns us and they have so many people they could use them as cannon fodder against us if they chose and still outweigh any army we could muster. Many countries in the middle east, once our allies, now fear and hate us.  Turkey is getting tired of being pushed around and angry that we support the Kurds. Russia is developing its own agenda and it may not include the US in any positive sense. Even European countries are angry at us for what they see as Middle East policies that have created this heinous situation and increased world terrorism. Even those countries who might overtly call us friend, are secretly afraid of us and resent being pushed and pulled at the whim of our leaders.

Like dominoes falling, all they really need is for the first big one to dissent, and woe to the US, the rest may be all to willing to follow. Ask yourselves: what would you do if the great bully on the block had you by the short and curlies and you became aware that he had others in the same compromising position?

So the question might not be if this empire will fall, but rather, when? Yessiree!!! Bush and Co have a death wish and could not have had a better strategy for bringing down the most powerful nation in history. God help us all.

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By Jeff Badura, March 6, 2007 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
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Q- What would i do if i was Iran

1)-  i would write a constitution that gave the power of the government to the people with fair elections and take the power away from the Dictatorial Ayatollahs who now rule absolutely, and brutally !!

2)- i would stop supporting world wide Terror and cut Hamas and Hezbollah off !! and stop supporting the bag guys in Iraq. and give up on world wide Jihad !! 

3)- i would a allow free press to exist. and allow people to worship as they wish, and i would disband the secret police, and the political prisons and stop persecuting non-Shiites

4)- i would stop enriching Uranium then have talks with the USA, explain all our changes i mentioned above and i would join the world community for the good of the planet !!

——-thats what i would do———

PS- do you think we have a problem with Iran cause we like problems ??? No !!! we have a problem with Iran because their government supports terror and brutalized its own populace !!!

illgramaticus knee o’kaun

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By mite, March 6, 2007 at 8:56 am Link to this comment
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What would I do if I was Iran?

I would advise the U.S. Congress to read ‘History.’ Facts- unclassified papers and ten’s of books reveal the deceit committed against the people of the world by the U.S. Government from WW 1 to Iraq wars.

Open an independent investigation into 9/11 and the 15 years prior to it.

I would make a stand against the world media and press and advise them to investigate the ‘truth.’

If China, Russia, India, and the United States and other countries have nuclear energy- Iran will too.

I would advise everyone to read just one book- John Perkins “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”
and William Coopers “Behold A Pale Horse” to name only a couple.

Iran would suggest every U.S. peoples do their own independent investigations of the previous suggestions in this comment- because all our children of the world future depends on it.

Remember the lie of 9/11-“911 was an inside job, and still is.”

Remember every crime-war deals with “Money.”

http://www.valis.cjb.cc/HawksCafe/070106.html

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By Hank Van den Berg, March 6, 2007 at 6:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

An very insightful analysis of the Bush doctrine.  Our unjustified invasion of Iraq and the bloody occupation will haunt us for years and years.  Worse, yet, so many Americans, including the leading Democrats, seem to have jumped on the bandwagon of bashing Iran.  But does anyone understand the inplications and consequences of our aggressive behavior? 
We have so much history to learn from: two completely unnecessary world wars, mass genocides, and arms races just during the last century.  Yet, here we are making the same mistakes that led to those disasters.  This is clearly a case of the worst human instincts overwhelming our ability to think and reason.  Will some intgelligent leaders and outraged citizens pledase step up and stop this madness!

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By Jack Stevenson, March 6, 2007 at 6:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Daley:

  Great essay.

  If Iran detonated a nuclear weapon inflicting unacceptable damage (UD), how would the United States respond?

  If “terrorists” detonated a nuclear device in the United States, how and against whom would the United States respond?

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By Verne Arnold, March 6, 2007 at 6:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Okay, okay, let me think a minute…..yeah, I want a nuke!
Of course if “I” were Iran I’d want a nuke.  Look what it’s done for North Korea.
Hello George Bush!  Hello American neo-cons…wake up and smell the coffee.  Back off, take a deep breath and go diplomatic.  Gee, a little diplomacy over any period of time is better than one more dead American soldier/family man/young man/mother/daughter/son.

Yeah, yeah I know…the enemy’s at the gate…bull puckey, I ain’t going for that one again!!!!!
Grow up and do it soon!  There is no time anymore forever!!!!

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By Brad Arnold, March 6, 2007 at 5:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Actually, the US could be “defeated” quite easily by the use of a highly contagious extremely lethal virus (i.e. a strategic biological attack).

Imagine a scenario where the US economy comes to a standstill, a significant portion of the population dies, international trade and markets cease, and mass hysteria grip the nation.

The mighty US military doesn’t know who to attack because no one claims responsiblity, the funds for the military dry up, the fuel and food to power the military become scarce, and many key soldiers are dead.

The only drawback is that a strategic bio-attack is a two-edged sword, whereby such a novel contagious pathogen would probably surge around the world.  Thus it seems more likely that individuals would conduct such an attack with the intention of bio-bombing the world back to the 12th century-does that sound like any one we know??

Finally, due to advances in life sciences, individuals can now construct highly contagious extremely lethal novel virus.  I suggest reading the CIA report “The Darker Bioweapons Future.”  Also, look up “Dark Winter” for what would happen if a foe released the realitively mild common strain of smallpox.  Or for kicks, look up what happens when you add the IL-4 gene to smallpox (a simple proceedure) to get “superpox.”

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By Jaded Prole, March 6, 2007 at 4:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The policy of threats and demonization against Iran serve only to strengthen the hard-liners, nevertheless, they have repeatedly stated that they have no intent to produce nuclear weapons. According to Hans Blix and the IAEA, they appear to have stopped or slowed thier refining or uranium. As pointed out in this article, history shows that compliance is no defence against the predetermined aggression of our criminal leadership. As for proliferation, the fact that the US is develpoing new hydrogen bombs and persuing a policy of “pre-emption” in a global war without end against “terrorism” (read “resistance to empire”) certainly makes having nukes seem like a good defense.

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