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Is a Nuclear Iran Really to Be Feared?

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Posted on Jan 25, 2012

By William Pfaff

The obsession of the American foreign policy community, as well as most American (and a good many international) politicians, by the myth of Iran’s “existential” threat to Israel, brings the world steadily closer to another war in the Middle East.

The debate over Iran takes for granted that the country soon will have nuclear weapons and would use them. The debate back in 2002-’03 over Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of nuclear weapons did the same. After the United States had gone to war against Iraq, no such weapons were found to exist.

The actual winner of the war that followed the American invasion of Iraq was Israel, which saw Iraq, its principal regional rival, destroyed at no cost to itself. The military victor of the war, but politico-strategic loser, was the United States, which destroyed Iraq, a country in no position to harm the United States, at a trillion-dollar cost, enormous human suffering and waste, and the effective transfer of Iraq to Iran’s zone of military and strategic influence.

The present debate over Iran’s nuclear program, like the pre-2003 debate concerning Iraq’s nonexistent WMD program, has never extended to the most important question in the matter: What difference would it make if Iran did have nuclear weapons? What could it do with them, considering the nuclear deterrent force possessed by Israel, generally thought to be the fifth or sixth largest nuclear power in the world?

Between the start of the nuclear era to the end of the Cold War, tens if not hundreds of thousands of earnest scholars, strategists, pacifist activists, journalistic commentators, politicians and prospective victims of nuclear war brooded over how nuclear weapons might be used in war. So far as I know, the only conclusive answer we found (I was, on occasion, one of those people) was that they were only useful as a threat to deter someone else from aggression. They cannot stop the aggression, but they will exact a serious penalty for it.

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The best known of these thinkers was undoubtedly my late colleague Herman Kahn. He made a professional career of lecturing to military staffs, scholars, politicians and concerned laymen about how in the last analysis nuclear weapons had no real military or politico-strategic utility against another nuclear-armed power, other than when one actor possessed an absolute monopoly of these weapons, as was the case of the United States in 1945.

The U.S. used its monopoly to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki and put an end to the Second World War (over-used its monopoly—one would have been enough; indeed the Army Air Force might have dropped a nuclear bomb on an unoccupied island or deserted atoll, and told the Japanese to watch, or to go afterward and take a look at the hole).

Kahn’s characteristic conclusion was that the only future constructive use for nuclear weapons lay in creating a Doomsday Machine, the Ultimate Deterrent. It would be a thermonuclear device that would destroy the entire earth if a nuclear weapon were ever exploded anywhere in the world or in surrounding space.

The Iranians, a highly intelligent and well-educated people, know all of this perfectly well. If they intend to produce nuclear weapons, it is to possess a deterrent to foreign aggression. The Israelis, another highly intelligent and well-educated people, also know nuclear history. Their present policy is not based on fear of a nuclear attack by Iran (or by an Iranian proxy). It is calculated to prevent the United States from imposing on Israel a solution to its relationship with the Palestinians. They do not wish a permanent legal frontier dividing them from some new and recognized Palestinian state—a frontier sponsored and also guaranteed by the United States, as well as by international law.

Such a border, and such an internationally guaranteed Palestinian state, would stop further Israeli expansion into Palestinian territory, and possibly reverse the expansion that already has taken place. Continuing expansion is the present Israeli government’s policy, as President Benjamin Netanyahu stated in the presence of the international press at Davos, at the start of the first Netanyahu government in 1996.

The propaganda concerning Iranian nuclear weapons is deliberately promoted by Israel and its allies in order to inspire an attack on Iran by the United States, or more likely, to rationalize such an attack by Israel itself. An attack, by either government, would undoubtedly provoke Iranian retaliation against American troops, ships and installations in regions neighboring Iran. It would also distract the United States from the Palestinian issue.

This explains recent efforts by the American military to dissuade Israel from such an attack. At the same time, others in the American government, and all but one of the present Republican candidates for the presidential nomination, irresponsibly promote such an attack, against the interests of their own nation.


Visit William Pfaff’s website for more on his latest book, “The Irony of Manifest Destiny: The Tragedy of America’s Foreign Policy” (Walker & Co., $25), at www.williampfaff.com.

© 2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


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By prosefights, January 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

billp37 wrote:
The new rules will force the industry to retire at least one unit at more than 30 coal-fired power plants in 12 states, according to a survey by The Associated Press. Those units account for nearly 13,000 MW of capacity. Another 11,000 MW are at risk of being shut down due to the costly new rules, the survey showed.

The loss of capacity could cause electricity to become less reliable, depending on the amount of new generation the industry builds in the next few years. Google ‘New Year, New Rules, New Challe’ for full article.

Both Iran and the US face future electricity generation problems.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/29/us-iran-idUSTRE80S01720120129

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By heterochromatic, January 28, 2012 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

prose——China is in the happy position of being able to exploit the situation and
not only get more oil from Iran, but all demand a much lower price per barrel for
the all that they get.


China has long been getter oil at a lower price from other suppliers and has
several times grumbled about hard bargaining on the part of the Iranians.


this isn’t about oil, but as oil is iran’s main non-violent contribution to the world
and the mainstay of the Iranian economy, oil will play a large part

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By prosefights, January 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

This may be all about energy, not nuclear weapons?

The EU accounted for 25 percent of Iranian crude oil sales in the third quarter of 2011. But China, India and others have made clear that they are keen to soak up any spare Iranian oil, even as U.S. Treasury measures to choke Tehran’s dollar trade make it harder to pay for supplies.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46172944/ns/business-stocks_and_economy/

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By Syarif Hidayat, January 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THE US AND ISRAELI THREATS vs. THE IRANIAN THREAT…TO THE WORLD SECURITY:

Wake Up Americans and the world. Please don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the Zionist Israeli agenda!!

The Zionists and the Imperialists have been demonizing Iran as a threat to Arab world and the world security!

THE REALITY:
- Since the Iranian revolution, no country has been invaded by Iran and not a single person has been killed by Iran in a foreign country and not a single Iranian spy drone is detected over Israeli, the UK or US Air Space!

- Since 1979, the US has invaded Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and has been bombing Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen using drones bombers and killing almost two millions (and continue counting) of innocent people including old men, women, children and babies. The US has also killed Third World leaders such as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.
- Since Iranian revolution, Israel has killed thousands of Palestinians and some Iranian nuclear scientists.
- Not a single Israeli or US scientist killed by Iranians.
- Some US and Israeli spy drones reportedly shot down or forced down in Iran.

IF ISRAEL, THE US AND UK ATTACK IRAN. THIS WAR MIGHT TRIGGER A WORLD NUCLEAR CONFLAGRATION!!


THE ACTUAL THREAT TO THE WORLD SECURITY COMES FROM ISRAEL!!

Iran is developing nuclear energy program must not alarm the Arab world and the world as a whole. Israel has more than enough nuclear bombs to destroy the whole Middle East at any moment! So what?

The Israeli weapons of mass destruction (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Bombs) and weapons of ethnic cleansing (Ethnic Bomb) are the real threat to the world security!!

However, just as threatening to Arabs, and the world, is Israel’s aggressive stance towards using its own 200 to 500 nuclear weapons—ones which it has never formally admitted exist. These weapons can be deployed by air, missile or submarine to almost any place on earth.

Although dwarfed by the nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and Russia, each possessing over 10,000 nuclear weapons, Israel nonetheless is a major nuclear power, and should be publicly recognized as such. Possessing chemical and biological weapons, an extremely sophisticated nuclear arsenal, and an aggressive strategy for their actual use, Israel provides the major regional impetus for the development of weapons of mass destruction and represents an acute threat to peace and stability in the Middle East.

The Israeli nuclear program represents a serious impediment to nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation and, with India and Pakistan, is a potential nuclear flashpoint.(prospects of meaningful non-proliferation are a delusion so long as the nuclear weapons states insist on maintaining their arsenals).

The bombs themselves range in size from “city busters” larger than the Hiroshima Bomb to tactical mini nukes. The Israeli arsenal of weapons of mass destruction clearly dwarfs the actual or potential arsenals of all other Middle Eastern states combined, and is vastly greater than any conceivable need for “deterrence.”

A staple of the Israeli nuclear arsenal are “neutron bombs,” miniaturized thermonuclear bombs designed to maximize deadly gamma radiation while minimizing blast effects and long term radiation- in essence designed to kill people while leaving property intact.

The Israeli nuclear arsenal is backed-up by the delivery mechanisms that include the long-range all-weather attack fighter bombers: F-4E-2000 Phantoms, F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-35 Radar Evading Stealth Bombers as well as Jericho intercontinental ballistic missiles with a range of 11,500 km, bringing all countries in the Middle East and Gulf regions including Iran and Europe as far as UK into its range.
http://youtu.be/9wRjbuR67R8

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, January 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

By The Realist, January 26 at 3:18 pm

“This article is completely right in that Iran would be looking for a means of deterrence if it is seeking a nuclear weapon. The biggest threat to the region and the world has always been Israel. In order to understand Israel psyche, one must understand where they’re coming from: Zionism.”
================================================
The Realist,

Great post indeed, reflecting true knowledge and truth! However, I would like to add few comments to supplement and complement what you said:

1. It’s true that “in order to understand Israel’s psyche, one must understand where they’re coming from: Zionism.” And there was a time that the United Nations, which gave the birth certificate to Israel, has passed a resolution equating Zionism with Racism. However, this resolution was revoked under pressure from colonial Britain and Colonial America. Of course, that was before the decent President Carter wrote his book, “Palestine: Peace Not
Apartheid,” in 2006, for which he was violently attacked by rabid Zionists! 

2. But without the Balfour declaration of colonialist Britain, most likely the Zionist scheme might not have been implemented.

3. The Holocaust, which is highly exaggerated in terms of the number of Jews killed, based on a research done by a Jew scholar (I am sorry not to remember his name at the time of this writing), is indeed a convenient excuse used by Zionists to both win sympathy and to blackmail the Europeans and Americans into supporting the Zionist evil scheme.

4. And remember that the Holocaust since then and continues to be a big money generating industry as explained in a book entitled: “The Holocaust as an Industry,” also written by a decent and truth-loving Jew. So in a sense, the Holocaust has become for many Jews a psychic factor justifying the terror and ethnic cleansing they are inflicting on the Natives of Palestine (i.e.Palestinians) as a justified revenge for what Nazi Germany did to some of their coreligionists.

5. But there is also what is called the “Masada Complex” which I call the Masada Disease. And remember that all young Israeli recruits, after completing their initial indoctrination and training in terror, go to take an oath at the site of historic Masada!

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By heterochromatic, January 27, 2012 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Sub Realist—-” So you’re telling me that Zionism no longer exists and that
Israel’s fascist attitude just comes naturally?”—-

that’s not what I was telling.

What I said was that your first comment was incredibly stupid…..I had thought
that you might have merely been enthusing and gotten carried away.

But this second comment seems to show that the first wasn’t an aberration.


“....supporting the existence of Israel means the extermination of another
people “... you really are of sub-normal ability….and an idiot.


try to learn how to reason and you’re going to need to really really try.


goodbye,

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By The Realist, January 26, 2012 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So you’re telling me that Zionism no longer exists and that Israel’s fascist attitude just comes naturally? If you can’t rebut a fact, just leave it alone.

Most of Israel is still bent on wiping out the native population. Lieberman has commented numerous times about what Israel should do with the 1948 refugees within Israel (purge them). Tzipi Livni recently made Condi Rice “disgusted” when she mentioned that Arabs are muddying Israel’s purity. Zionism is the reason why Israel is in existence. It’s not the Holocaust, it’s not the Torah, it’s Zionism.

Just think, if Palestine was never picked, you’d be defending the ethnic cleansing of Argentina or Uganda right now. Those were the two previous choices before Palestine in case you forgot your history.

Hopefully you’ll see the light and realize that supporting the existence of Israel means the extermination of another people in its goal to create an “all-Jewish” state. Just imagine if the US wanted to create an all-Protestant state, I wonder if you’d be in support of that when it means the genocide of everyone who is not.

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By gerard, January 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

hetero:  What a relief!  You have a sense of humor!

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

Zounds!!!!


Forsooth, tootsie, i quitith not, but needs must knit up some raveled sleeves and
post some tunes on mine own home blog before so doing.

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By gerard, January 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic:  You quit on me—and I haven’t even got started on “costs” yet:
  Consider:  There’s the disaster of the Marshall
          Islands.
          Add to that, Shoshone land, and Yucca
          Valley.
          Then there’s that little 12 year old
          girl trying to fold 1000 origami
          cranes before she died.
          And the pain and cost of thousands of
          skin grafts, many unsuccessful.
          Plus all the money wasted on propaganda
          to tell everybody that it had to be
          done because, because… and we have
          to get them before thay get us
          Etc. etc. ad nauseum, and anyway the
          Shah had nothing to do with it,
          And what would Jesus do, etc. plus
          The world’s gonna end anyway, so why
          should I care?
  Wake up and smell the dying moral conscience of
  the world, buddie, then tell me about costs!

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By prosefights, January 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

[S]o far I have only described what is already obviously going on. Add to this the likelihood that Iran is closer to achieving membership in the atomic weapon club. They’ve been spinning their centrifuges all year and nobody has done anything about it. My guess is that neither the US nor Israel will attempt to take out their facilities in the year ahead. If Iran used a nuclear device against Israel, or anybody else, they would be asking to become, in turn, the world’s largest ashtray. ...

James Howard Kunstler

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

Realist——- “In order to understand Israel psyche, one must understand where
they’re coming from: Zionism.”——-


this an OUTSTANDINGLY stupid contention.  truly exquisitely stupid.


really remarkable.


the single overwhelming impression on the psyche of every living Israeli sure as
shit ain’t the written theories of Zionism.


does anybody able to piss without wetting their own feet really need to be told
that something that happened to the families of most every living Jew is that
signal event and not some theorizing????

or you gonna try telling us that all Americans have their thoughts organized
around Manifest Destiny?


http://images.icanhascheezburger.com/completestore/2008/11/18/12871519
3689573189.jpg

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

it’s good to know that you’re still thinking that
you’re still thinking, blue eyes.


http://youtu.be/aYzuytza7FU

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By gerard, January 26, 2012 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

heterodynamic:  Huzzah!  I thought you wouldn’t be able to answer that one.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

gerard—-when you can get past the your own
metaphysical bullshit——“the reduction in life
vigor”—???????

THEN offer me your lecture about what’s sane or not.

and BTW—- review the meaning of costs rather than
making the simplistic reduction of thinking that
they’re all expressed in coin…..

g.night baby blue

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By gerard, January 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic:  Wow!  Are you nuts!  Do you realize what you actually said?  “..nations with nukes are simply stuck with the costs, they’re not victims of the things.“Simply, indeed!
  On what desert island have you been living for the last 60 years or less?  They (we) are all stuck with more than the costs of the weapons themselves, both financial and (more importantly) moral costs: What about the waste products of nuclear energy? the illnesses and disposal costs of uranium tailings and otherwise? the enormous worldwide loss of reputation and respect due to not being able to lead the world away from nukes before they “got a grip” on the Pentagon? for not following through on the various deals proposed with Russia?  for possibly introducing to the world the means for some idiot to destroy the human race itself?
  And the fear alone?  What cost is that—the reduction of life vigor, courage and confidence in several generations of children who, sooner or later, get clobbered with the fact that they may be “nuked”—and even “by accident”—before they have a chance to grow up.  If that isn’t self-destructioin, what is?  Come off it, will you?

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

gerard—-“hoist etc” means something other than what you suggest. nations with
nukes are simply stuck with the costs, they’re not victim to the things

Report this

By gerard, January 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Famous Last Questions:  “What kind of silly sense does it make to say that we are possibly going to be
having a future problem with someone possessing nukes so let’s ignore that we have problems now with someone who is trying to build them?”

If we have problems now with someone who is trying to build nuclear weapons, it is because we have already had trouble with someone who has succeeded in not only building them, but in using them.

Furthermore, every hour of every day of every year since the dissolution of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the entire world has been “having a future problem” with ALL THOSE possessing nuclear weapons.  In fact, “nuke” nations are even having problems with themselves and among others. Nobody can justify any “nukes” with a straight face, yet everybody who has them is too chicken to get rid of them, even though they know:
  1.that there’s an equal chance that they themselves may be liquidated by one or more in the foreseeable future, and
  2. that because they have some is the very reason that others want some.
  Furthermore, “nukes” very hard to get rid of, even when they are not used. Those nations that have them are “hoist by their own petard,” to refer back to a bit of the classic 15th century just for the hell of it.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

No, they won’t cut off the EU. The Iranians want to be able to decry the sanctions
as them being picked on my all those Westerners.


and they’ll not gain anything to cutting off their income 6 months earlier than
necessary.

as well, the prices aren’t going to go sky-high. when Iranian oil gets pushed and
their market share shrinks while their per-barrel price gets pegged above-market,
the GCC nations are going to increase output to cover the suppliers weaned away
from iran.

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Oceanna's avatar

By Oceanna, January 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

So, will Iran pull the cord on their EU exports ASAP?  That seems to be a topic of
disinterest for most of the MSM and Democratically leaning media outlets.

If the parliament passes the measure on Sun, I’m sure they’ll be on guard for
retaliative responses for acting with autonomy.  Iranians haven’t been allowed that option much from at least 1953, as far as more recent history goes.

I think the sanctions are going to backfire.  I would hope only with the price of
gas. 

In the meantime, the commandeer-in-chief is busy campaigning.  Did he not
see the potential for a lot of things to go wrong with war sanctions that mostly
hurt the Iranian middle class while strengthening their leaders in a country that
is a centerpiece of the geo-political chessboard?  And it’s a precariously balanced piece. 

Abject force in trying to send a country to its knees is not diplomacy, much less  
the “smart diplomacy” that the Obama administration insists it uses.  Time will
reveal the stupidity of the sanctions, probably sooner than later.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

Troy——quite a few people have pointed out that it’s damned near impossible to
remove nuclear weapons from those possessing them and that having additional
people possess such weapons is not OK in and of itself without regard to some
folks already having them.


that the prospective possessor is a present-day enemy surely does not make the
prospect any more attractive.


what kind of silly sense does it make to say that we are possibly going to be
having a future problem with someone possessing nukes so let’s ignore that we
have problems now with someone who is trying to build them?

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

prose—- I’m suggesting that the ease and low-cost in generating electricity from
oil makes the need for nuclear power generation far from important for Iran.

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By prosefights, January 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

‘prose—having limitless easily-obtainable crude oil makes those “possible electrical power shortage problems”  pretty darn unlikely.’

Are you suggesting that Iran generate electrcity from oil?

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By Troy Davis, January 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

So far, not one person has explained why it is okay for Israel to possess nuclear weapons and why Iran should not have them, too.

Todays ally is tomorrows adversary! If and when Israel becomes the adversary of the US [some think they already are] then what?

Do we demand that Israel dearm itself of nuclear weapons?

I seriously doubt anyone believes that would ever happen.

Meanwhile, America did in truth drop two atomic bombs on civilian populations.  It was an immoral act. It was an egregious war crime. Just because America won the war does not mean it was NOT a war crime!

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

prose—having limitless easily-obtainable crude oil makes those “possible
electrical power shortage problems”  pretty darn unlikely.

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By The Realist, January 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article is completely right in that Iran would be looking for a means of deterrance if it is seeking a nuclear weapon. The biggest threat to the region and the world has always been Israel. In order to understand Israel psyche, one must understand where they’re coming from: Zionism.

Zionism is the last surviving Social Darwinist governing ideology in the world. The second-to-last one in existence was the South African apartheid government. Zionists consider themselves superior to all beings and have proven it by manipulating the US and other governments of the West for more than six decades as they build on their plans of a “pure race” (if that’s even possible since Jews are part of a religion) in an ethnically cleansed state. Zionists have made a mockery out of Judaism and have convinced themselves to follow yet another false deity (anyone see a Messiah? Anyone?).

Once Zionism and Israel fall: 1) Palestine can go back to normal being a home to all three religions; 2) Fanatacism will die off becuase it has no recruitment mechanism anymore; and 3) The US would be able to actually dictate a foreign policy that favors Americans and not a tiny foreign country that never should have been created in the first place.

To put it in perspective, Zionism is the big monster that has plagued the region and little monsters have sprouted up that feed off of it. Once Zionism dies, so does the feeding mechanism for those other monsters that will just whither away. Then we don’t have to “worry” about Iran, Syria, or any other oil-producing nation because our politicians will be friends with them since their pull-strings will have been cut.

Happily Ever After.

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By stanley Marcus, January 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To comment:
1) The writer assumes that people in charge of gov’ts are rational, like say Hitler
and Stalin-so of course we can rely on them doing what is rational -and when
several other mid-east countries go for their bomb,(to balance Iran’s)  no Hitler
will be among their leaders
2)Israel also lost when we invaded Iraq, for while it was Israel’s enemy, Iran was a
greater one as witnessed by the prolonged conflict between the two

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By prosefights, January 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Iran, like other countries, faces future possible electric power shortage problems.

Bombing Iran’s nuclear electric generating facilities may not viewed favorably by other countries.

Altenergy, despite Obama administration, support.

Solar Facility Makes for Ironic Photo Op

By John Fleck / Journal Staff Writer on Thu, Jan 26, 2012

When Energy Secretary Steven Chu steps before the media this morning at Sandia National Laboratories to promote Obama administration renewable energy initiatives, the photo op backdrop will convey a mixed message.


The US is relying increasingly on natural gas for generation of electricity.

Anti-fracking efforts described here

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/fracking_gets_its_own_occupy_movement_20120125/

may cause future electricity shortage problems?

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

Huzzah???? (who says the 19th century does not endure?)

thanks gerard and you might baste my base lingeringly lingually….

and we’ll worry over the gagging when it comes up.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

Aarky—- I’m no friend of any of the Isaraeli lobbying groups and fuck you very
much.

I loathe the present israeli right-wing government and agree with the assessment
that Israeli isn’t going to bombard iran because the israelis can’t do much more
than squat to the Iranian nuke program. McGovern of course is entirely full of shit
(finally in context) about his “non-threat” from iran.

The threat isn’t at the Israelis as much as against the Arabs.

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By gerard, January 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Huzzah!  Mr. heterochromatic says of having nuclear weapons:  ” it’s to insulate your base from
retaliation and allows you to feel more free to commit acts of aggression….” 

Now all we have to do is convince heterochromatic that “feeling more free to commit acts of aggression” is wrong. Then we can all fight until the end of time over what is “an act of aggresesion” and what does “commit” mean in this context.
Good luck with “insulating your base”, fella!

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

gerard=== i enjoy your gags.they are amusing.

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By gerard, January 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

Though it’s virtually useless to do so, I always gag when somebody inevitably comes up with: “The US wasn’t going to accept a surrender unless it was unconditional and the Japanese were NOT willing to do that.  THAT’S a fact…and that’s one that
mattered quite a bit.”
  Everyone knew the Japanese (Imperial!!) Government was finished but, being (Imperial!!), could not find the necessary reality-thinking to admit it.  (I am bitterly reminded about how now the United States Government seems totally unable to admit its obvious contemporary (imperial???) mistakes!) Everyone also knows the truth about that.
  Ignorance and pride in a handful of government officials does not justify the extinction and the slow death of tens of thousands of its innocent bystanding citizens—I hope. From what I have seen with my own eyes, I would prefer not to go that way and I presume the vast majority of people think the same!
Note to heterochromatic:  The ones who lived in the town where I stayed didn’t even have pitchforks. They met the landing of U.S. ships—a rag-tag bunch of senior citizens, women, and children under 15, brandishing bamboo sticks. The only American in town—a woman married to a Japanese—walked forward when the first soldier got close enough to see her face.  “Blue Eyes!” he yelled. Dropping his gun in dismay and happiness, he ran forward, picked her up off her feet and carried her in his arms.
The scene dissolved into a scene of mutual tears.
The lies that propaganda perpetrates are cheap and unforgiveable!

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By nikto, January 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well shucks, but I’m for $9-dollar a gallon gas, any way we can get there.

If we have to make war on Iran just to get $9-dollar a gallon gas, well then I’m all for it.

If you want the prize ($9 dollar gas), then you’ve got
to pay the price (war).

As a bonus, we get to burn-up women and children too.

American values at work, for, who else, Jesus.

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By Aarky, January 26, 2012 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Too many arguments have been made about why or why the US shouldn’t have dropped the nukes on Japan. Ray McGovern,“US/Israel: Iran Not Building Nukes” quotes Ehud Barack, the present defense minister of Israel, in an interview on Israeli Army Radio, as stating that any attack by Israel against Iran would be a long way down the road. We also have the statements of Meir Dagan,the past head of the Mosaad,“An attack against Iran would be the stupidest thing I could think of”, and “Former Mossad Chief: Iran Far From Achieving Nuclear Bomb”. The present head of Mosaad Tamir Pardo, “Israeli Spy Chief Downplays Iranian Nuke Threat (Washington Times-Dec 29, 2011).Pardo tells a group of Isareli Ambassadors that, “Iran is not an exisential threat to Israel, even with a bomb”  McGovern does an excellent job of pointing out that there is no threat but that the New York Times has continued to hype the threat when they know it’s all a lie. Pepe Escobar in the Asia Times has written some excellent articles that point out that for all the bombast about the efectiveness of the supposed embargo against buying Iranian oil, the pushback has been very strong. Korea, Pakistan, China, India,Japan, and a number of countries in the EU are not bowing to the US bully. The big fear for the US is that they are already starting to pay for the oil in other than petro dollars, and even barter and it scares the US that they are losing their grip.
Heterochromatic—Most posters here understand that you are a troll for one of the Israeli lobbying groups and must lie and insult. The Israelis call it, “The Noble Lie” and believe it’s justified. Hopefully AIPAC or WINEP pays you enough so you begin to believe your Noble Lies.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Oceanna—- sorry for the error about McGovern. was arguing elsewhere about a Ray
McGovern article and confusedly inserted his name here and that sentence here.
——-


@ Devon Noll———Middle East nations have NOT all maximized production and
Saudi Arabia is produced @ more than 2million barrels/day LESS than their present
capacity…..last summer, in a demonstration, the Saudis increased output by more
than 2.5 million b/d for a month.

You might remember that out is regulated by OPEC and free market principle are
not controlling.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

FRTothus——-The US knew Japan was going to surrender.  The
Japanese had been trying to do so for months.”————

The US wasn’t going to accept a surrender unless it was unconditional and the
Japanese were NOT willing to do that.  THAT’S a fact…and that’s one that
mattered quite a bi:::


———


“Israel is the 3rd largest nuclear power, with the US
being first, and Russia being second.  France is a
distant 4th.”


that’s not a fact…...unless you know stuff about Israel and China that most
everyone else does not.


————-


” Iran is no threat to the US or to anyone else in the
region. “


that also is not a fact.

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By gerard, January 26, 2012 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Hello again, IMax:  As one of your friends brought up the Japan matter, I responded for some of the people I know whose lives were ravaged by the infamous Abombs. Most of the victims and the propagators, are dead by now, so you won’t be irked by references to past sins much longer.

As to the Iranian government, neither you nor I know enough about it to say anything reliable. What we do know, being highly colored by propaganda, looks very autocratic—as in Saudi Arabia, which at present is our friend.
  However, I have known several very smart and kind Iranians here, so the people can’t all be killable on grounds of their evil ways.  As to the government, it’s obviously not in the hands of a democratic populace. (Neither is ours, by the way, but let’s criticize the other guys. That way, we don’t have to do anything about our own affairs.)
  It is doubtful if bombing from the US, even though it might raise a little MCain, would very likely do more harm than good. In the process, of course, it might “create some jobs,” as we say.
  Another point:  Governments in the hands of religious zealots are particularly repressive and fearful because religious zealots themselves are particularly repressive and fearful—not just in Iran, but quite widely elsewhere. Violence against them tends to scare them into retrenching, and then they become even more hateful and repressive. (Crusades, anyone? Before those episodes were over, both sides were exhausted, defeated and blood-soaked. Only Frederick II of Germany and the Sultan of Egypt seem to have escaped more or less level-headed—and possibly also, that great lady, Eleanor of Acquitaine.)
  When anyone says:  “You must believe this;you must do that!”, look out,unroll your Book of Smarts,and
think twice before you drop any bombs. It’s much easier not to start than to quit.
  And you can die in peace.  You don’t have to bang on and on about why you dropped that bomb when you really didn’t have to. Sincerely.

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By balkas, January 26, 2012 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

hetero,
you misquoted me! why? and you slipt by or slept over the desired principle that no land has the right to attack
another UNDER NO KNOWN CIRCUMSTaNCE.
and not even US in retaliation for a-bombing japan. but yes, to arresting, prosecuting, and sentencing US
leadership which ordered one of the greatest crimes against humanities.
if world supremacists, who now rule almost all of the world and threaten with destruction parts they don’t rule,
would adopt the desired principle i posited above, then it would not have aggressed against afgh’n, korea,
vietnam, nicaragua, cuba, iraq, somalia, et al.
instead of such aggressions, world fascists wold have only called for prosecution or even only assassination of the
leaders of iraq, afgh’n, korea…
in case of iraq, an extreme dysfunction, no matter who would have been in charge of it, even killing saddam was
more than useless—it actually resulted in much more blooddshed there.
but, then, how’d fascist obtain the planet and destroy all vestiges of justice unless they engage in mass execution
and execution of chosen few!
does anyone know another way to achieve that? thanks

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By Devon J. Noll, MPA, January 26, 2012 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As someone pointed out here, all out nuclear war is not an option for any nation, and the Iranians know this.  They also have a fanatic at the head of their government who is running scared.  Yes, scared.  For someone who watches the oil industry, this makes sense.  Oil production in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia, has not increased in nearly 5 years.  Iran is no different.  Considering the rise in price of oil, this is inconsistent with the oil market and free market principles, and there can be only one reason for a nation not to maximize production - they already have. Many of the Middle East/OPEC nations restated their reserves when the US was forced out as lead producer in the 1980s, and so now are actually cutting into those reserves to maintain income.

In Iran there is oil rationing, and people are prohibited from using gas powered vehicles by law.  This tells most watchers that all their oil production is going into sales on the world market - not domestic access for power.  They need an alternative source of power, and like their Western counterparts, they have chosen nuclear power because the technology is readily available for it, having been in use around the world since the 1950s.  The fact that Israel, which seems to determine US foreign policy these days, is even more scared of Iran than of us, and so is trying to push to stop the development of nuclear power in Iran by saying that it is solely for bombs.  What a load of….(well, you know what word to use!)!

It is time that we started facing a few facts and use them in assessing situations like Iran:

1.  Who will benefit if Iran is prevented from creating nuclear power?  Israel? The US? Saudi Arabia? China? Oil companies?  None of the above? Perhaps only the Iranian people who will have access to electrical power as their oil runs out.

2.  If Iran is at maximum oil output as Iraq was at the time of our invasion (something the oil companies do not discuss), what is to be gained by invading it except to pander to Israel which in over 60 years has yet to live peacefully with any of its neighbors because of its policies? Nothing of any significance, but more death and dishonor.

3.  If the world is forced to face up to the fact that oil is a finite resource and it is dwindling, then would we be better off helping Iran develop other forms of power generation than nuclear, rather than threatening them or invading them?  If Iran is running out of oil, and I suspect it is, then working with them to create better energy resources to help their people using the last of their oil profits might be a more productive way of proceeding, rather than saber rattling with Israel.

It is time we pulled our heads out of the sand and our foreign policy out of the hands of Israel, and started looking for more honest assessments of what is going on in Iran.  If we do not, and we continue down this path with false intel and oil company hype, we are going to force Iran into nuclear arms capability because like any cornered and scared animal, it is going to want to protect itself, and possibly lash out in fear. It is time to face up to the fact that we are running out of oil globally, and start working with nations who will be hurt by this in ways that are productive, not destructive.

I know if I were the leader of Iran and was facing the imminent collapse of my society by the loss of its greatest natural resource, I would be looking for ways to create a soft landing for my people, not a war based on a fading asset that will kill millions.  But then I am someone who looks for truth and bases my conclusions on it instead of self-serving political rhetoric fed by religious fanatics in Tehran, Israel, and DC, and oil company shills.

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By M Henri Day, January 26, 2012 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

With regard to which aspects of an extremely unfavourable situation exerted the greatest influence on the Japanese WW II leadership’s decision to surrender, let me recommend Professor Hasegawa Tsuyoshi’s detailed examination of the issue in The Atomic Bombs and the Soviet Invasion: What Drove Japan’s Decision to Surrender? (http://japanfocus.org/-Tsuyoshi-Hasegawa/2501) in a recent issue of the journal Japan Focus, an indispensable on-line source for all with an interest in East Asia….

Henri

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By Oceanna, January 26, 2012 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

“The evidence is solid and McGovern is quite full of shit.”

I wrote that LEON PANETTA, head of the CIA, recently stated that Iran has not
decided to develop nuclear weapons.  I don’t know how you came up with the
name of McGovern for him.

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By CTF, January 26, 2012 at 8:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Take away quotes.
“....was that they were only useful as a threat to deter
someone else from aggression. They cannot stop the
aggression, but they will exact a serious penalty for it.”

“Hell, we ought to give them the bomb. every time someone
gets the bomb, things get a little more calm.”

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By aacme88, January 26, 2012 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The Iranians, a highly intelligent and well-educated people, know all of this perfectly well. If they intend to produce nuclear weapons, it is to possess a deterrent to foreign aggression.”

The Iranians also have TVs, and were no doubt watching when G. Bush declared them, along with North Korea and Iraq, the Axis of Evil. And later when nuclear armed North Korea received a continuous bye, even after plainly and gratuitously sinking a South Korean ship with all aboard, while Iraq, without nukes and having done nothing to provoke it, was annihilated by the US.
Anybody who can’t read signs like that has no business running a country.

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By FRTothus, January 26, 2012 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

Facts don’t matter to columnists.

The US knew Japan was going to surrender.  The
Japanese had been trying to do so for months.  The US
dropped the WMDs on civilian populations, not to end
the war, but to commit mass murder, and show the
Soviets that the US had a very powerful weapon, and
dropped two just to show them we had more than one,
and had no qualms about using them on civilians (as
if the firebombing of Tokyo wasn’t enough of such a
demonstration of US ruthlessness).

Israel is the 3rd largest nuclear power, with the US
being first, and Russia being second.  France is a
distant 4th.

The notion that Iraq had nuclear weapons was
introduced only after the notion of Iraq’s possession
of US-supplied chemical and biological weapons proved
to no longer be effective propaganda to justify the
US’s illegal invasion.  If one lie doesn’t work,
switch to the next.  What was important to the US was
to grab the oil.

Iran is no threat to the US or to anyone else in the
region.  It is the US and Israel that are the
threats, constantly seeking enemies and targets to
attack under whatever pretext, no matter how false or
absurd.  While Iran’s government is certainly brutal,
they make the US favorite Saudi Arabia look like a
human right’s paradise.  And it takes a very keen eye
and a very good education not to notice what Israel
(with full US support) is doing to the Palestinians.

While the dictators of the Middle East are in
agreement with the US dictators about the alleged
Iranian threat, the majority of the world’s
population understand that it is the US and Israel
that are the real threats to peace in the region, and
indeed, across the globe.  In a recent public opinion
poll conducted in the Middle East, there were indeed
some who thought that Iran was the threat - about 10
per cent.  The other 90 per cent believed that it was
the US and Israel who were the threat, and indeed,
around 80 per cent believe that the region would be
safer if Iran had nuclear weapons.  But public
opinion does not affect state policy in the Middle
East any more than it affects state policy in the
West or in the US itself. 

The US war on terror is a US war OF terror, and has
been at least since since Reagan declared it some
thirty years ago.  It is the US with its obedient
clients that are the world’s largest and most
dangerous terrorist state.  The alleged Middle
Eastern “terrorist states” are not even in the same
league.

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By jjohnjj, January 26, 2012 at 1:45 am Link to this comment

Iran’s nukes will not be a threat to Tel Aviv. They will be a threat to the U.S. Navy. Even a near miss from a Hiroshima-size bomb can sink or cripple a carrier. And the blast will take place out at sea, without collateral damage.

It would be very easy for Tehran to justify a nuclear strike against carriers launching air strikes on Iran. It would be much harder for the U.S. President to justify nuclear retaliation against targets on Iranian soil. Advantage: Iran.

In a military confrontation, we’d have to pull our carriers well back into the Indian Ocean to give anti-missile systems room to operate. The longer flight time for our planes would benefit Iran’s air defenses.

Israel is safe. She has a triad of nuclear deterrence, deployed on aircraft, cruise missiles, and submarines. The mullahs might be crazy, but they aren’t suicidal.

Nuclear forces give credibility to conventional forces. Conventional forces give credibility to diplomatic positions.

So a nuclear-armed Iran will tip the military balance of power in the Gulf and it will tip the diplomatic balance of power in Gaza, in ways that the NeoCons and Likud do not wish to contemplate.

—————————————————————————
Not sure why the author brought up Hiroshima, but…

Japan was bombed in 1945, not to break the will of the Japanese people, but to break the will of the military junta running the country. The ruthless firebombing of Tokyo and Yokohama wasn’t enough to bend the stubborn samurai pride of the Imperial General Staff. It took the sacrifice of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to convince the Emperor to intervene and force the generals to submit.

I wish that Truman had waited a few more days before incinerating Nagasaki. Russia’s entry into the war might have proved decisive. But the story goes that the U.S. wanted to convince Tojo (and perhaps Stalin too) that we had an unlimited supply of these new weapons. There was a third bomb under construction, but it was at least three weeks away.

They were different times. Those who witnessed the ferocious Japanese defense of Iwo Jima and Okinawa were convinced that Japan would fight to the last man - and they still had a lot of troops and aircraft to pull back from the Asian mainland.

The use of nuclear weapons on Japan was a tragedy, but we should not be too quick to judge from our very different vantage point, 67 years later.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 1:17 am Link to this comment

Oceanna__ Israel is not going to war with Iran any more than Iran is going to
war with Israel…..neither country can sustain a war against the other and Israel
can not, with a bombing campaign do any more than inflict damage to Iran’s
nuclear weapons program that would set it back 6 months or a year….

If Israel COULD stop it the way that they took out iran’s nuclear site, they
WOULD have and they wouldn’t be engaged in a loud and shrill publicity
campaign.

Other than that, you need to understand this isn’t the Cheney/Rumsfeld/ Bush
gang making up phony stuff about iraq’s nuclear program. The Iranians really
and truly ARE working on getting everything ready to assemble nuclear
weapons and all the Europeans who were back then saying that Cheney was
lying about Iraq are at present quite convinced that the allegations about Iran
are quite true.

The evidence is solid and McGovern is quite full of shit.

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By Oceanna, January 26, 2012 at 12:28 am Link to this comment

There are similarities between the saber rattling towards Iran now and Iraq 8-9
years ago.  Like Iraq, there are accusations of WMD and mushrooms clouds
against Iran that exist almost simultaneously with the official denials.  In 2003
the reassurances that WMD didn’t exist came from the UN and IAEA, while
Israel’s Barak and Leon Panetta have unequivocally stated that they don’t exist. 
I think Panetta stated on the 18th of this month that Iran had not decided to
develop them.  LIke 2003, you have a cacophony of voices contradicting one
another, and no doubt there’s been a lot of encouragement at this point for an actual development of nuclear self-defense in Iran. 


However, I strongly disagree that Iran would be “another war” in the Middle
East. It has the potential for engulfing the region and beyond.  I think the
digression into WW2 by Pfaff was apropos to the potential for destruction with
the present course of US and its European enablement with the embargo, which
threatens the financial solvency of Iran while impacting mainly the Iranian
people.

If the objective is regime change, then its bound to fail.  Like Americans,
Iranians will look to their present leaders to protect their economic survival and
national sovereignty against those who directly and clearly threaten.  The
threats to them are glaringly non-existential, unlike the reasoning often doled
out to the American public on Iran’s nuclear weapon capacity.  Ahmedinejad will
likely be embraced, rather than rejected as he was during the brief Iranian
Green Revolution of approximately two years ago that the Obama
administration did little to support at the time.

I have a hard time believing that the US is actually in the position of having to
dissuade Israel from attacking Iran, which has a far greater self-defense capacity
than Gaza or Lebanon.  Netanyahu may be reckless in his rhetoric and actions,
but he wouldn’t risk preemptively attacking Israel without the assurance of US
backup. 

Americans need to fear what lies within their borders rather than outside of
them.  Our access to reliable information and protection against assaults on our
most basic of liberties are becoming increasingly threatened, as our tax dollars
are used against us and those overseas that we are increasingly becoming to
resemble.

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By vajoiner, January 25, 2012 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

not nearly as much as the republican lineup. hah!

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By IMax, January 25, 2012 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

gerard,

Do you have any sort of opinion on the current Iranian government? 

What, precisely, is your point in arguing about U.S. actions in Japan nearly six decades past?

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By heterochromatic, January 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

``````Yet another ignoble ‘reason’ was so that
America wouldn’t have to lose as many troops as would
be required without the A-bomb droppings. (I use that
word advisedly.)```````

ill-advisedly.  the Japanese dead from the invasion
of the Home Islands would have been greater than the
ones from the A-bombs, far, far more.


perhaps you should do the reading and review the
Japanese plans for arming (with pitchforks and
whatever else that could be scrounged)the entire
post-pubescent population.

no estimate ever suggested less than 50,000 US dead
and the DIRECT battle deaths were running 7 Japanese
soldiers/US in prior invasion battles… arming
civilians and sending them into battle was going to
bring that ratio way the hell up.

those bombs were not dropped just to see what would
happen….that’s a terrible and terribly stupid
claim.

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By heterochromatic, January 25, 2012 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

and here’s a couple for the A. Skinhead~~~~~~


~~~~The secretary-general of the Syrian Arab Red
Crescent was shot dead Wednesday as he travelled
outside the capital Damascus in a clearly marked
vehicle, the International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC) said.

Megevand-Roggo, who had just returned from a two-week
trip to Syria, Yemen and Lebanon, said checkpoints
and harassment in Syria prevented ambulances and
medical workers from evacuating and treating the
wounded, some of whom have died as a result.

“It is very difficult for the wounded, notably those
among the opposition forces, to get access to
necessary medical care. It is difficult for medical
personnel to do their work without being under
pressure,” she said. “Lives have been lost.”

“There have been repeated incidents where Red
Crescent ambulances have been shot at, our volunteers
have been wounded. Their work is very dangerous,” she
said.~~~~~

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/us-syria-
cross-idUSTRE80O28E20120125

——-


~~~~~~” SYRIA is deploying large numbers of Hezbollah
and Iranian snipers as “military consultants” to
murder anti-regime protesters, a senior government
defector has told The Times.

The salaries of the marksmen are paid through a slush
fund replenished with US dollars flown in from Iran,
according to Mahmoud Haj Hamad, who was the
treasury’s top auditor at the Defence Ministry until
he fled Syria last month.

The same fund is used to pay the Shabiha, the gangs
of thugs who have joined the state security services
in torturing and killing protesters.

Mr Hamad, appalled at the destruction of cities by
the armed forces, fled Syria with his family last
month. His account is the first by a senior insider
to confirm the presence of foreign forces in Syria to
help to prop up the regime.~~~~~~~

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/syrian-
regime-importing-snipers-for-protests/story-e6frg6so-
1226254330519

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By gerard, January 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Dear Howard:  Regarding the myth:  ..“they had to use the nukes on Japan at that time if you read some little bit of history, because Japan would not surrender in the huge war they started without tens of thousands of GI’s lives certain to be lost.” 
  You may have thought you were “reading history” but actually you were almost surely reading propaganda. It is quite generally believed in Japan that the bombs were dropped more to “find out what would happen” than to “end the war.” Yet another ignoble ‘reason’ was so that America wouldn’t have to lose as many troops as would be required without the A-bomb droppings. (I use that word advisedly.)
  Many people living there at the time were almost universally destitute; down to boiling tree bark for soup, eating grass and weeds, etc. They were told if Japan surrendered the entering ground forces would rape all the women,and kill the children and old men (who were the only men left on the island).  They believed what they were told. When troops landed, distributing candy bars and milk, the people thought it was poisoned until some soul was brave enough to try it.
  On the other hand, the US had information about how near to surrender they were, and also wondered seriously if it was actually necessary to drop the bomb there.  Nevertheless, probably because they had it they thought they had better use it because, for one thing, it cost a pile of money to make. So instead of paying attention to how destitute the island was, the US went ahead with the two A-bombs (rather than only one) and went ahead with the terrible fire-bombing of Tokyo.
  Not to say that the Japanese Army didn’t do almost equally despicable things in other parts of Asia, but .. the fact is that it is doubtful whether dropping the A-bombs was “necessary” militarily speaking.  The Japanese government had already put out “peace feelers”—for what that might have been worth.
  At any rate, it is almost impossible to “justify” the horrors that were—and still are—Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Maybe you have to go there and talk to the people first hand to realize it. But if you are half-way smart, you don’t want it to happen to you! Nor do you advocate doing it again somewhere else to some other victims who never did anything to “deserve” it.  Collateral damage, they call it. Thousands of them, some killed instantly, but many others left to sicken and die slowly for years.  And at 8 o*clock in the morning, right when children were on their way to school! Oh!  We never thought of that! 
  Give me a break!

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By Arabian Sinbad, January 25, 2012 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

The article under the following link is dedicated to the evil Zionists who already dominate this thread! Read about your terrorist Mossad, the trademark of terrorist Israel! The Iranians are angels compared to the devilish, evil entity known as Israel!

And Obama yesterday, in his State of the Union Address, proved himself to be the ultimate sucker, hypocrite and coward by paying special words of support for terrorist Israel! What a disgrace!!!
 
http://original.antiwar.com/alison-weir/2012/01/24/israeli-assassinations-and-american-presidents/

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By heterochromatic, January 25, 2012 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

some people absolutely refuse to believe that the right
to bear nuclear weapons is a universal right…..

and go even further and insist that it’s not an
inalienable right in any case.

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By heterochromatic, January 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

MeHere——the opposition to Iran having nuclear
weapons can not be dismissed as being engendered by
people “who benefit from finding enemies”.

No one is recently finding the Iranian theocracy to be
an enemy…..they ARE our enemy and insist on shouting
that out for the last 30 years.

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By balkas, January 25, 2012 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

some people [and probably 98% in US] cannot see that the right to bear arms is an
universal right.
right not to be attacked under any known circumstance is also an universal right.
however, in the last 70 years it is the world supremacists, led by ones in US, which is in
negation in both of the two universals.
canada, european lands, much of asia/s.america, australia, new zealand cannot in good
faith and honesty deny other countries the right to possess wmd while they are
protected with wmd umbrella from france, UK, and US.
so we will see wmd proliferation. and america high moral ground; while continuously
killing millions of people in much of the world, is not gonna work.

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By MeHere, January 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

In the event that Iran is prevented from developing nuclear weapons, nuclear proliferation will not be stopped in the long run.  There’s not only money in selling materials and secrets but alliances in the political landscape often change thus enabling other countries to achieve nuclear capability. If any country is serious about protecting their own and the rest of the world from nuclear devastation the only thing to do is to demand universal, full nuclear disarmament.  Israel should be a leader in this instead of pushing for war games.

The obsession on the part of the US and allies with regard to Iran is motivated by those who benefit from finding enemies.  They are the politicians who want to appear strong and patriotic, segments of the military and intelligence establishments who want fat budgets, the weapons industry, certain lobbies and businesses, and regular citizens who have nothing to gain but strangely continue to make fool of themselves by buying into it.

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By heterochromatic, January 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

nalkas, the point of nukes is not to use them in wars
of aggression, it’s to insulate your base from
retaliation and allows you to feel more free to commit
acts of aggression…. and Iran has committed such acts
since Khomeini came to power.

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By balkas, January 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

if iran would obtain nuclear weapons i do not think that it would use them in an iranian war
of aggression. i also believe that iran would not for decades or even centuries wage war of
aggression.
and particularly not if US would for once in its 300 years history show a human face
towards the world or iran
but US would not do that because the planet and israel belong to the world supremacists.
israel is, i suggest, de facto 51st US state. iran disapproves of it and thus has to be
continuously threatened, weakened, and eventually attacked.
but never if iran obtains WMD.
so, it would be very irresponsible of the iranian theocrats if they would not allow iranians
to obtain wmd.
how about syria? it has no wmd. so, we can expect a war against it as well; however, much
sooner than against iran. troop withdrawal from iraq, heralds a new war by world
supremacists.
and if the THOUGHT get’s at polls once again an approval by, say, 97% of the voters, there
go baathists and in come theocrats. and that’s what happened in libya. thanks

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By heterochromatic, January 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

Yes a nuclear-armed Iran is to be feared and the
repeated attempt to shrug it off as “not an
existential threat to israel” misses the goddamned
point.

Israel is not the primary target of Iran’s
expansionist aims and if Pfaff was honest and as
informed as he attempts to com off as being, he
wouldn’t attempt to push this bullshit and completely
omit any mention Iran’s real aims and ongoing efforts
to subvert their neighbors.

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By IMax, January 25, 2012 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

What difference would it make if Iran did have nuclear weapons? What could it do with them, considering the nuclear deterrent force possessed by Israel, generally thought to be the fifth or sixth largest nuclear power in the world?

-

It is dangerously narrow to believe this issue is all about Israel.  A nuclear Iran will almost certainly cause the breakout of nuclear weapon states in this heatedly unstable region of the world.  I can scarcely imagine a more frightening future.

Every one of Iran’s near and near-far neighbors have voiced terrific concerns over Iran’s intentions with its nuclear programs.  Several have begged the international community to prevent Iran from possessing both a nuclear weapon and the missiles to deliver one.  It’s right to ask ourselves why that is - regardless of how we feel about the U.S. or Israel.

Step one: a. the world must find ways of disarming Israel and b. take extraordinary steps in preventing Iran from possessing nuclear “breakout” capabilities.

Step two: Realizing the Jeanie cannot be put back into the bottle, all current nuclear nation states must work together to transparently reduce aging weapons and, slow Chinese, Japanese,  Korean, Russian, U.S., Indian and Turkish plans for weaponizing space.

We need to think globally and 15-25-and 50 years into the future. These are not issues having everything to do with Israel and Iran.

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By Howard, January 25, 2012 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

Well sir Troy,
  get hold of yourself.  What country you live in being so very critical of the U.S.  ?
  they had to use the nukes on Japan at that time if you read some little bit of history, because Japan would not surrender in the huge war they started without tens of thousands of GI’s lives certain to be lost.
  And notice that the 150 year old slavery issue was settled by a civil war, so your calumny falls very short as slavery still exists in many other countries even at this time
  And lastly Iran is quite paranoid and has threatened to wipe out other countries, so they are a definite threat to the whole world if they develop nuclear weapons.  The world will not think lightly of ignnoring again another Hitler like leader.

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By gerard, January 25, 2012 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

The one and only benefit of nuclear weapons is to clearly show the childish tit-for-tat stupidity of those who manage governments, wherever they are, whoever they are. Such governments are exactly like incompetent, adolescent bullies showing off their private parts in public. (Excuse the indelicacy, but this particular exhibitionism is worse than gross,  since it can easily lead to millions of innocent people being burned alive.)
  Yet governments cling to this exhibitionism in spite of the gruesome evidences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As to “taking it off the table” ... stop to think of it, tables are mainly for sharing meals, for doing homework, for writing communications, for sewing up wounds, delivering babies and dressing dead bodies etc.  Tables are also useful for groups who wish to discuss and share opinions.  It is doubtful that much homework, communication, healing, cauterizing or cleansing discussion can be held about getting rid of “nukes” so long as they are “on the table” staring everybody in the face with probable and unequivocal extinction. 
  At this point in the gruesome charade, one wishes that “full disclosure” might reveal the forlorn nakedness of these oversized “private parts” that threaten the human race so that they might be seen for what they are—gross fetishes of male supremacy.

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By Troy Davis, January 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

I most assuredly would like to come to a full and comprehensive understanding why Israel can be in possession of a nuclear weapon but Iran must never be allowed to obtain one.

America, that shining beacon upon a hill, that is the only country in recorded history to have dropped not one but two nuclear bombs upon a civilian population and then continue to lay claim to being the “moral authority” for the rest of the world.

What unbelievable arrogance and utter hypocrisy America has become. In truth, always was such a nation of hypocrites that carved out an elitist nation that codified slavery into law in the original constitution and limited the freedom alleged bestowed upon all singularly to white, propertied males.

The utter madness of it all. The total and complete evil of it.

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By Big B, January 25, 2012 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

When the Russkies got the bomb, the world was surely going to end. Then the chinese got it, then the Isrealis were given the bomb by us. The world was certainly going to burn when the Indians got the bomb. And then when the Pakistanis got it, well, the whole world was going to hell in a handbasket.

But it didn’t.

Even the jews have come to realize that an offensive move with the bomb would most likely lead to their annihilation.

Hell, we ought to give them the bomb. every time someone gets the bomb, things get a little more calm.

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