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Thread: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

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    Default At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Gawin's thread got me thinking. Should countries go to war to stop the spread of nuclear weapons? Obviously no one wants to see a spread of a weapon that can kill thousands, but the degree that needs to done to stop this is a completely different question.
    We know that diplomacy sometimes works in the case of North Korea and South Africa but on the other hand we've seen it's failure in India and Pakistan as well. Sometimes the only way to stop such a country is war.
    Some may also say that the said country will never risk using them and if they do it's not our issue. This may be true as the rule but the exception could prove to costly to take chances with. It is also not just an issue between the two waring countries. Fallout can travel into other countries, and extreme sencerios even predict a nuclear winter or major damage to the earth itself. With these and besides the fact that the use of a nuclear weapon will always come with mass civilian causalities I can see the logic behind such a Cauis Beli.
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    Kanto Kanrei Member Marshal Murat's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Every case is special and should be treated differently.

    Sometimes there are variables that lend countries to take a more bellicose stance than in other instances. Race, religion, ethnicity, economic system. They all affect the way we look at nuclear handling.

    Also, I think the whole 'nuclear winter' theory was disproved.
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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Destroyer of Hope
    Gawin's thread got me thinking. Should countries go to war to stop the spread of nuclear weapons?
    To answer your question yes they should. Preemption while not popular has merit when you believe someone is going to use the weapon against you. It boils down to intent, and while its a slippery slope at times if you think someone is going to attack you and you can prevent it wouldnt you?
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    Senior Member Senior Member English assassin's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Should we go to war to stop people developing nukes?

    As a rule, no. How could you have invaded India? And what message does it send that its OK for whitey to have nukes, but no one else? Also I am not sure that more war is the answer to a fear that a new weapon might be used in war.

    In limited circumstances it may be an idea (ie the Israeli raid on Iraq's reactor in the 80's). But basically we need to find a way to live with a world where a number of states, and possibly non-states, have nuclear know how, and maybe even nuclear weapons.
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    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    IMHO, the best way to stop nukes is to make them harmless by developing new technologies that can neutralize them, but by that time another generation of even worse weapons will already been developed...
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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Were back to the question of do nukes actually save lives by preventing war.
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    i think we're focusing a little bit on the wrong thing. technology, especially military technology usually gets cheaper and proliferates over time. it is almost inevitable. and as a collorary to what Xdeathfire said, we should be spending a majority of our resources on ways of neutralizing them because eventually places like iran and n. korea and lunatic groups like al qaida will get nukes. that is a fact. i'm not saying we should not be threatening them now and trying everything to delay them from getting them, but i hope we are also implementing ways of coping with them once they get nukes because they will eventually get nukes.
    indeed

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    Mafia Hunter Member Kommodus's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by English assassin
    Should we go to war to stop people developing nukes?

    As a rule, no. How could you have invaded India? And what message does it send that its OK for whitey to have nukes, but no one else? Also I am not sure that more war is the answer to a fear that a new weapon might be used in war.

    In limited circumstances it may be an idea (ie the Israeli raid on Iraq's reactor in the 80's). But basically we need to find a way to live with a world where a number of states, and possibly non-states, have nuclear know how, and maybe even nuclear weapons.
    Agreed.

    When your enemy possesses nuclear weapons, you can be said to be at risk from those weapons, since your enemy may use them against you at a high cost. But when you go to war to prevent this risk, you are guaranteeing a high cost. Therefore it is generally illogical to go to war for that reason.

    Also, as you say, it's hypocritical to deny others the right to possess nuclear weapons when we possess them. We say we'd feel less safe if Iran were to gain nuclear weapons, but might they not feel at risk from our nuclear arsenal already?

    Once your enemy has used a nuclear weapon against you, you have the moral high ground and justification to go to war against them. Until then, who does and does not have them is a matter for the diplomats. War is never clean or civil, and it should be hard to wage it - people should be damn sure before they're willing to commit to an armed conflict.
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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kommodus
    Once your enemy has used a nuclear weapon against you, you have the moral high ground and justification to go to war against them.
    Well yes thats true, but thats a moral high ground many arent willing to wait to have. Are you?

    The key is intent, I concede the reasons why countries want nukes, it gives security legitamcy... I get it. However one must be honest about intent, and what they believe the intent is of the person attempting to obtain them.

    Thats where the problem lies, intent is a hard concept to prove, and because its so hard we are left with supposing to know what the other person is thinking based on thier actions.

    Waiting for the action you propose is beyond my personal comfort level, but Im not mainstream, if I think someone is going to attack me, I attack first.

    A paradox of logic I concede but self preservation is a concept that is often devoid of logic
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    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    I'm interested to understand why the policy of deterrence no longer seems to be given much weight.

    I've seen the argument put forward that for deterrence to work, there must be some evidence that both sides value staying alive, and that Iran's brand of Islamic fundamentalism therefore counts against them, but I do find it a flaky argument. After all, as raffia-work basket-cases go one would be hard pressed to find a leader loopier than Kim Jong-Il, and no-one seems to be keen on invading his patch to sort out his weaponry violations.

    Ahmadinejad may be a firebrand, but there's no evidence he's suicidal - let alone those who surround him, and he doesn't have the dictatorial powers that Jong-Il enjoys.

    Certainly one takes the risk that a major city might be destroyed by the offensive action of a rogue state, but it's a small risk with the counter-measures available against the ancient delivery mechanism likely to have been developed by that state. As opposed to the guarantee of utter annihilation from the US - almost certainly supported by a wide coalition in this case.

    It's far more likely that Iranian nuclear ambition goes only so far as a defensive measure - again, seeing that North Korea is now left very much alone despite being a founder member of the Axis of Evil.

    If Ahmadinejad obtained a nuclear weapon, why do we think that IAD (Iran's Assured Destruction) wouldn't deter him/a future president from any offensive action? Why is a costly preventative war preferable to laying down the deterrent law, especially since deterrence has had a long and effective history?
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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Banquo's Ghost
    I'm interested to understand why the policy of deterrence no longer seems to be given much weight.

    I've seen the argument put forward that for deterrence to work, there must be some evidence that both sides value staying alive, and that Iran's brand of Islamic fundamentalism therefore counts against them, but I do find it a flaky argument. After all, as raffia-work basket-cases go one would be hard pressed to find a leader loopier than Kim Jong-Il, and no-one seems to be keen on invading his patch to sort out his weaponry violations.

    Ahmadinejad may be a firebrand, but there's no evidence he's suicidal - let alone those who surround him, and he doesn't have the dictatorial powers that Jong-Il enjoys.

    Certainly one takes the risk that a major city might be destroyed by the offensive action of a rogue state, but it's a small risk with the counter-measures available against the ancient delivery mechanism likely to have been developed by that state. As opposed to the guarantee of utter annihilation from the US - almost certainly supported by a wide coalition in this case.

    It's far more likely that Iranian nuclear ambition goes only so far as a defensive measure - again, seeing that North Korea is now left very much alone despite being a founder member of the Axis of Evil.

    If Ahmadinejad obtained a nuclear weapon, why do we think that IAD (Iran's Assured Destruction) wouldn't deter him/a future president from any offensive action? Why is a costly preventative war preferable to laying down the deterrent law, especially since deterrence has had a long and effective history?
    Because deterrence assumes both parties want that result. Ahmadinejad claims his nuke program is for energy only, and he may very well be right. However he also supports claims of the U.S. being the great satan, and evil yadda yadda (and for the record Iran was screaming this well before the axis of evil remark).

    Additionally its speculated with some degree of fact that Iran supports organizations that support terrorism. Now I by no means dispute the mindset of Iran as to wanting weapons as a deterrent, I get it.

    I am not sold on the notion that Iran wouldnt use these weapons offensively, and that dosent necessarily mean silo's with ICBM's flying out of them either. Thats the part of the deterrence argument that dosent add up, not that it is for the U.S. to determine intent of anyone, but should we wait until they have the capability to make that determination?

    I for one believe the U.S. should be talking to Iran one on one, right now and see where it leads but if I have to gamble on the intent of a country whose controlling minority advocates the destruction of my allies, and considers me "satan" I'm cashing my chips in now while I hold the favorable hand.
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    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    I for one believe the U.S. should be talking to Iran one on one, right now and see where it leads but if I have to gamble on the intent of a country whose controlling minority advocates the destruction of my allies, and considers me "satan" I'm cashing my chips in now while I hold the favorable hand.
    I would certainly agree that the US should be in talks with Iran and urgently. Much of this mess is down to a long history of distrust on both sides. It is impossible for anyone to guess at "intent" without serious diplomatic contacts over a long period of time.

    The USSR planned for the destruction of not only your allies, but your very way of life. They also actively armed opponents by proxy, terrorists and behaved rather poorly. It was long time before the west realised that the Russians love their children too.

    But deterrence worked with them, and they actually had the capacity to target the US mainland. Why anyone thinks Iran could make that capability (accurate delivery ICBMs are a technical feat way in advance of actually making the bomb itself) and defeat the counter-measures the US has in place - or indeed, why they would be suicidal enough to want to - rather escapes me.

    Judging "intent" is a notoriously inaccurate way of conducting foreign policy, even if the opponent directly says they want you dead. Populist claptrap is a tool used on both sides - after all, we've not exactly been coy about threatening the Iranians either, have we? We didn't do too well on judging Saddam's intent, either before he chucked our "friendship" in the bin to invade Kuwait, nor later when we judged him capable of delivering chemical weaponry against our interests. One terrible war has been started over "intent" - do we really want another, particularly one which will decimate the US and global economy at a time when you are mired in debt?

    Perhaps it would be a lot simpler to actually engage with the Iranians, and understand that they - in the vast, vast majority - have no desire to to use a nuclear weapon offensively. The Iranian people have no wish to be destroyed, and Iran has a flawed, but significant democracy. Perhaps offering them guarantees against invasion so that they felt less need for a defensive nuke might be a cheaper way forward too? Not that anyone would believe the word of President Bush, but it might bring forward the time when the next president could talk with sincerity about bringing Iran back in from the cold.

    I recall such diplomacy worked rather well with that other terrorist state in Libya.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    The dterrence thing sounds interesting, but one thing bugs me about it, and that are those so-called cofferbombs. Just imagine they give their nuclear knowledge to terrorists and one of them blows himself up in a city. Now their ICBMs have been in their silos all the time and there is nothing at all left from the bomber after he got cooked with several thousand degrees celsius. How do you know whose bomb that was? There may be no intelligence info either, so how do you prove that nation x gave the bomb to those terrorists? Or will you just nuke every nuclear country to be sure?


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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Banquo's Ghost
    I would certainly agree that the US should be in talks with Iran and urgently. Much of this mess is down to a long history of distrust on both sides. It is impossible for anyone to guess at "intent" without serious diplomatic contacts over a long period of time.
    Agreed

    The USSR planned for the destruction of not only your allies, but your very way of life. They also actively armed opponents by proxy, terrorists and behaved rather poorly. It was long time before the west realised that the Russians love their children too.
    Yes but there is a very large difference between the ideology of Russia at the time and Iran now, I think you know what i mean, and thats another topic in itself.

    But deterrence worked with them, and they actually had the capacity to target the US mainland. Why anyone thinks Iran could make that capability (accurate delivery ICBMs are a technical feat way in advance of actually making the bomb itself) and defeat the counter-measures the US has in place - or indeed, why they would be suicidal enough to want to - rather escapes me.
    Perhaps your looking at the application of the technology through a historical prespective? Perhaps we assume for a minute that Iran is supply arms to Hamas, now one would think with all the controls Israel has that would be nearly impossible.

    the fact is the delivery system dosent need to be an ICMB to do massive damage, one dirty bomb that goes off at the washington monument effectively shuts down the federal government. Again we come back to intent, do the iranians as a nation intend to do this? Do a minority in Iran intend to do this?

    Judging "intent" is a notoriously inaccurate way of conducting foreign policy, even if the opponent directly says they want you dead. Populist claptrap is a tool used on both sides - after all, we've not exactly been coy about threatening the Iranians either, have we? We didn't do too well on judging Saddam's intent, either before he chucked our "friendship" in the bin to invade Kuwait, nor later when we judged him capable of delivering chemical weaponry against our interests. One terrible war has been started over "intent" - do we really want another, particularly one which will decimate the US and global economy at a time when you are mired in debt?
    All to easy to use the saddam argument, but okay I'll bite. A military strike in Iran will not "decimate" the US or the global economy. Secondly, debt is deceptive, the federal government could enact a .10 cent tax on gas tomorrow, bye bye debt. Our GDP is strong enough that if somone had thier drothers they could handle the debt fairly easily.

    Back to Saddam, yep we were wrong, but then again he didnt have the IAEA confirming he had centerfuges active, and a growing nuclear program. So it seems to me we have even more compelling data that suggests Iran is devloping its nuclear technology.

    So we are back to intent only, verification has happened, we know they are developing it.

    Perhaps it would be a lot simpler to actually engage with the Iranians, and understand that they - in the vast, vast majority - have no desire to to use a nuclear weapon offensively.
    You state that as fact, and maybe your correct, but the vast, vast majority isnt controlling the mechnisms of military and nuclear development.

    Perhaps offering them guarantees against invasion so that they felt less need for a defensive nuke might be a cheaper way forward too? Not that anyone would believe the word of President Bush, but it might bring forward the time when the next president could talk with sincerity about bringing Iran back in from the cold.
    I'm all for diplomacy, one on one with the Iranians, now and the next president. on this we agree I have no problem with full relations with Iran and diplomatic normalcy. Is that what they want? Is it up to the U.S. exclusively to make the first move?

    Oh wait, it was the U.S. backed (puppet if you like) government in Iraq that brokered the face to face over Iraq wasnt it? Or was it at Iran's insistance?

    I recall such diplomacy worked rather well with that other terrorist state in Libya.
    Yes it did, but Libya has hardly the resources that Iran does, Iran is a powerful country no one here disputes this or takes it lightly, and thats why when they chant in thier mosques "death to america" we take it seriously.
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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Because deterrence assumes both parties want that result. Ahmadinejad claims his nuke program is for energy only, and he may very well be right. However he also supports claims of the U.S. being the great satan, and evil yadda yadda (and for the record Iran was screaming this well before the axis of evil remark).

    Was it also before U.S. actively supported Saddam in his war on Iran?

    Really, is there really significant difference between calling someone "evil" and "satan"?

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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian
    Was it also before U.S. actively supported Saddam in his war on Iran?

    Really, is there really significant difference between calling someone "evil" and "satan"?
    Using historical context to forcast a current situation is a novelty of the comfort of knoweldge from "after the fact".

    As far as satan and evil, well no there isnt a difference, accept that Bush isnt leading the cheer on sunday in church is he?
    There are few things more annoying than some idiot who has never done anything trying to say definitively how something should be done.

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    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Yes but there is a very large difference between the ideology of Russia at the time and Iran now, I think you know what i mean, and thats another topic in itself.
    I think that they have one important thing in common - bluster for consumption at home, to divert their people from reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Perhaps your looking at the application of the technology through a historical prespective? Perhaps we assume for a minute that Iran is supply arms to Hamas, now one would think with all the controls Israel has that would be nearly impossible.

    the fact is the delivery system dosent need to be an ICMB to do massive damage, one dirty bomb that goes off at the washington monument effectively shuts down the federal government. Again we come back to intent, do the iranians as a nation intend to do this? Do a minority in Iran intend to do this?
    Iran doesn't need a nuclear programme to make a dirty bomb. If they had the intent, they could buy whatever they needed in Uzbekistan, or southern Russia. Shipping it to the US to detonate is an entirely different logistical exercise. I'm sure you will agree that al-Q'aeda has by far the most proven intent in this area, and they haven't been able to do it. There is absolutely no evidence that the Iranian government plans to attack the US mainland. There might be one or two crackpots who dream of it, but that's hardly enough reason to invade when there are better options.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    All to easy to use the saddam argument, but okay I'll bite. A military strike in Iran will not "decimate" the US or the global economy. Secondly, debt is deceptive, the federal government could enact a .10 cent tax on gas tomorrow, bye bye debt. Our GDP is strong enough that if somone had thier drothers they could handle the debt fairly easily.
    You have noted this sanguine attitude before, and I admire your fortitude. You are aware that a great deal of the world's oil comes through the Straits of Hormuz, I'm sure, and that Iran controls those straits? When oil hits $200 a barrel the hour after starting a war, your government is going to tax gas even more? When China sells its stock holdings in the US because the economy is going to freefall, your business community is going to sit back and clap? And whither the US economy, so crashes the world. I suggest that an action against Iran will have much more serious consequences than you allow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Back to Saddam, yep we were wrong, but then again he didnt have the IAEA confirming he had centerfuges active, and a growing nuclear program. So it seems to me we have even more compelling data that suggests Iran is devloping its nuclear technology.

    So we are back to intent only, verification has happened, we know they are developing it.
    But as I understand it, you are objecting to the intent to use such a weapon offensively. Verifying that they are working towards is irrelevant, in that we agree they are - but if they keep it for defensive purposes, I cannot see the objection on "intent" grounds.

    Here's a case to judge for intent. Pakistan is a Muslim military dictatorship which is constantly supplying weaponry to terrorists fighting another of your allies, India. They have overtly threatened to use their nuclear bomb against that ally, a thriving democracy. They also supply arms and support to insurgents fighting NATO troops in Afghanistan. Just today, the Religious Affairs Minister has announced that suicide bombings in the UK are an appropriate response to the British government awarding a knighthood to a novelist. They are actively shielding the most wanted terrorist of all, bin Laden, from justice at your hands. They refuse to recognise Israel at any level and many senior politicians have called for her destruction as a state.

    Yet they say, they are your friends. What is their intent? How can it be measured to be different from the words expressed and actions in Iran? Why are they not on the list for pre-emptive invasion (aside from the obvious "they have a bomb" answer?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    You state that as fact, and maybe your correct, but the vast, vast majority isnt controlling the mechnisms of military and nuclear development.
    I note it as a fact because I have never met a group of ordinary people that harbour a desire to be annhiliated by nuclear strikes. I concede your point about the control of mechanisms, but Iran does have a lot of powerful factions that don't want any sort of confrontation with the US. My argument is that even those who bluster about it are intelligent enough to know it is just hot air because they are not suicidal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    I'm all for diplomacy, one on one with the Iranians, now and the next president. on this we agree I have no problem with full relations with Iran and diplomatic normalcy. Is that what they want? Is it up to the U.S. exclusively to make the first move?

    Oh wait, it was the U.S. backed (puppet if you like) government in Iraq that brokered the face to face over Iraq wasnt it? Or was it at Iran's insistance?
    Yes, it is up to the USA since it is the US that has refused point blank all these years to recognise the Islamic republic and has waged war by proxy on them. They are also in the position of power, and are the ones threatening to invade. I will concede that the Iranians could make it easier, but they know that the US is the one who needs peace more. Also, Ahmadinejad will need a bone to throw to his people, and allowing him to be the big "I am" for a few weeks is a small price to pay compared to the damage a war with Iran will bring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Yes it did, but Libya has hardly the resources that Iran does, Iran is a powerful country no one here disputes this or takes it lightly, and thats why when they chant in thier mosques "death to america" we take it seriously.
    I note Libya because they were also international pariahs cast beyond the pale, and also had nuclear ambitions. Libya was not considered an irrelevant country fifteen years ago, but with diplomacy, they have abandoned terrorism and their nuclear programme.

    There are lessons to be learned from talking to Libya, just as from invading Iraq.
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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Banquo's Ghost
    Iran doesn't need a nuclear programme to make a dirty bomb. If they had the intent, they could buy whatever they needed in Uzbekistan, or southern Russia. Shipping it to the US to detonate is an entirely different logistical exercise. I'm sure you will agree that al-Q'aeda has by far the most proven intent in this area, and they haven't been able to do it. There is absolutely no evidence that the Iranian government plans to attack the US mainland. There might be one or two crackpots who dream of it, but that's hardly enough reason to invade when there are better options.
    Two things first a concession on my part, I agree there is no evidence to a direct link of the iranian government and a desire to attack the U.S.

    The second point, the availability of purchasing materials in former soviet satellites. I have heard this for years, yet it never comes to fruition and I believe absolutely there is a will to get this material. So why hasnt it been obtained yet? I question its availability first, and second, the resolve and expertise of terrorists who wish to obtain it.


    You have noted this sanguine attitude before, and I admire your fortitude. You are aware that a great deal of the world's oil comes through the Straits of Hormuz, I'm sure, and that Iran controls those straits?
    Yes I am positive that the U.S. economy can handle the deficit and increases in oil prices, we have before. As far as who controls the straights of Hormuz I dispute your claim, as of right now there are two carrier strike force groups in that area, I put forth the claim that should control of the straights become contested, U.S. naval forces could rest control from Iran.

    I do concede that it would disrupt oil supply and have a negative impact on the world economy, i disagree as to the degree of impact, and i disagree as to the length of time the oil from Iran would stop flowing, unless they have another income generator?

    When oil hits $200 a barrel the hour after starting a war, your government is going to tax gas even more? When China sells its stock holdings in the US because the economy is going to freefall, your business community is going to sit back and clap? And whither the US economy, so crashes the world. I suggest that an action against Iran will have much more serious consequences than you allow.
    I allow for serious consequences, I dont suppose it will be business as usual, however I dont concede that the U.S. economy, and those reliant on its consumption will heave it overboard. Yep we will all take a hit, but unless someone else starts consuming billions of dollars of goods a year its in everyones intrest to keep the U.S. economy afloat.

    China may sell, and yep that would hurt a lot, but where praytell would they be investing thier profits after that? Oh wait, that 10% economic growth they have enjoyed was somewhat predicated on thier manufacture of goods sold abroad.

    Until China shifts its economic policy of manufacture growing its economy (not likely in the next 5-10 years) they need our consumption.


    But as I understand it, you are objecting to the intent to use such a weapon offensively. Verifying that they are working towards is irrelevant, in that we agree they are - but if they keep it for defensive purposes, I cannot see the objection on "intent" grounds.
    thats just it, I dont know what there intent is. I do know I dont want to gamble on it, considering my countries history of antagonism towards tehran I dont blame them either. But I cant change the past, I can change the future though, and there in lies the key to it all. No one wants to look forward here, using the past a measurement for a present condition leaves out the possible future outcome.

    This is why we need to go to Tehran right away, and talk one on one, not some silly security meeting in Iraq, we need to know what thier intent is for our selves and act accordingly.

    Short of that happening, what are we left with to measure it? The actions of the other side, thats really it. Nothing would make me happier then to normalize relations and purchase loads of Iranian oil and everyone go home with thier ball and play.

    But Iran dosent seem to want that either do they? This isnt a one way street here.

    Here's a case to judge for intent. Pakistan is a Muslim military dictatorship which is constantly supplying weaponry to terrorists fighting another of your allies, India. They have overtly threatened to use their nuclear bomb against that ally, a thriving democracy. They also supply arms and support to insurgents fighting NATO troops in Afghanistan. Just today, the Religious Affairs Minister has announced that suicide bombings in the UK are an appropriate response to the British government awarding a knighthood to a novelist. They are actively shielding the most wanted terrorist of all, bin Laden, from justice at your hands. They refuse to recognise Israel at any level and many senior politicians have called for her destruction as a state.

    Yet they say, they are your friends. What is their intent? How can it be measured to be different from the words expressed and actions in Iran? Why are they not on the list for pre-emptive invasion (aside from the obvious "they have a bomb" answer?)
    Because of the obvious answer, the genie is out of the bottle for them. Sorrry to keep it simple, your thoughtful example deserves more, but you answered it yourself in the end. Iran dosent possess the genie yet, and we arent talking to them.


    I note it as a fact because I have never met a group of ordinary people that harbour a desire to be annhiliated by nuclear strikes. I concede your point about the control of mechanisms, but Iran does have a lot of powerful factions that don't want any sort of confrontation with the US. My argument is that even those who bluster about it are intelligent enough to know it is just hot air because they are not suicidal.
    Okay but its clear the direction its heading, neibhors invaded, aircraft carriers in hormuz, UN sanctions, deals offerred by the EU backed by the U.S. Yet we are still here, debating thier intent, why? because while its logical to assume they are intelligent enough to not want suicide, its nieve to think all they want is security.

    The hot air dosent suggest it, nor does thier willingness to move forward with the program after the UN security council unanimously told them not to. So you want to hope for the best? Your entitled, its my country there shouting death to in thier mosques.



    Yes, it is up to the USA since it is the US that has refused point blank all these years to recognise the Islamic republic and has waged war by proxy on them. They are also in the position of power, and are the ones threatening to invade. I will concede that the Iranians could make it easier, but they know that the US is the one who needs peace more. Also, Ahmadinejad will need a bone to throw to his people, and allowing him to be the big "I am" for a few weeks is a small price to pay compared to the damage a war with Iran will bring.
    On this point I concede, I didnt at first but I think you might be right. Allowing the Iranians to crow a bit isnt the end of the world.
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    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Two things first a concession on my part, I agree there is no evidence to a direct link of the iranian government and a desire to attack the U.S.

    The second point, the availability of purchasing materials in former soviet satellites. I have heard this for years, yet it never comes to fruition and I believe absolutely there is a will to get this material. So why hasnt it been obtained yet? I question its availability first, and second, the resolve and expertise of terrorists who wish to obtain it.
    Indeed, I have heard it for years too. I know that there is a reasonable availability from the reports of intercepted material - hardly any sufficiently enriched for the fabled suitcase bomb, but lots of medium to low level stuff that could be used for a dirty bomb. I have often maintained that most terrorists are ignorant fools that pose little threat beyond the odd lucky strike, and therefore complex operations like the use of a dirty bomb are beyond most of them. However, I digress. State intelligence operatives are capable of sourcing and using this material, but have no desire to because of the consequences. Iran for example, has a lot of trouble with terrorism in its own borders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Yes I am positive that the U.S. economy can handle the deficit and increases in oil prices, we have before. As far as who controls the straights of Hormuz I dispute your claim, as of right now there are two carrier strike force groups in that area, I put forth the claim that should control of the straights become contested, U.S. naval forces could rest control from Iran.

    I do concede that it would disrupt oil supply and have a negative impact on the world economy, i disagree as to the degree of impact, and i disagree as to the length of time the oil from Iran would stop flowing, unless they have another income generator?

    I allow for serious consequences, I dont suppose it will be business as usual, however I dont concede that the U.S. economy, and those reliant on its consumption will heave it overboard. Yep we will all take a hit, but unless someone else starts consuming billions of dollars of goods a year its in everyones intrest to keep the U.S. economy afloat.

    China may sell, and yep that would hurt a lot, but where praytell would they be investing thier profits after that? Oh wait, that 10% economic growth they have enjoyed was somewhat predicated on thier manufacture of goods sold abroad.

    Until China shifts its economic policy of manufacture growing its economy (not likely in the next 5-10 years) they need our consumption.
    As I said, I admire your confidence. perhaps you are right. I would just note that land-based missiles are very deadly to ship-borne operations, even if you have air superiority. I think the losses on the US Navy would prove unacceptable to the public.

    I also suspect you are banking on a short, surgical air war taking out Iran's nuclear facilities and then everyone goes back to normal. I fear this would be optimistic. But we won't know the true economic impact until it happens. My view is of course, that it is an unacceptable risk when Iran, even with a nuclear weapon, poses no direct threat. (You will no doubt level the charge of undue optimism right back at me!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    thats just it, I dont know what there intent is. I do know I dont want to gamble on it, considering my countries history of antagonism towards tehran I dont blame them either. But I cant change the past, I can change the future though, and there in lies the key to it all. No one wants to look forward here, using the past a measurement for a present condition leaves out the possible future outcome.
    But I put it to you that pre-emptive war is far more of a gamble, based on not knowing what the intent really is. Past behaviours are important guides to future actions, but not the entire story. One can influence the the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    This is why we need to go to Tehran right away, and talk one on one, not some silly security meeting in Iraq, we need to know what thier intent is for our selves and act accordingly.
    Here we are in absolute agreement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Short of that happening, what are we left with to measure it? The actions of the other side, thats really it. Nothing would make me happier then to normalize relations and purchase loads of Iranian oil and everyone go home with thier ball and play.

    But Iran dosent seem to want that either do they? This isnt a one way street here.

    Because of the obvious answer, the genie is out of the bottle for them. Sorrry to keep it simple, your thoughtful example deserves more, but you answered it yourself in the end. Iran dosent possess the genie yet, and we arent talking to them.
    My example was designed to show that actions often belie words. Much of Pakistan's rhetoric echoes Iran's yet we don't ascribe offensive nuclear strikes deserving of invasion to them. They have actually threatened a nuclear offensive against an ally, yet still we don't attribute the same "intent" to them as we appear to do to Iran. The actions are broadly the same. Does it really all change simply because of the possession of the bomb? If we say "Pakistan won't attack because it has the bomb" but "Iran will as soon as it has the bomb" what evidence leads us to that conclusion? Not the rhetoric, nor the actions.

    If possession of a device makes everything a rose garden no matter your actions, you can see why Iran so desperately wants one. Again, how is "intent" judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Okay but its clear the direction its heading, neibhors invaded, aircraft carriers in hormuz, UN sanctions, deals offerred by the EU backed by the U.S. Yet we are still here, debating thier intent, why? because while its logical to assume they are intelligent enough to not want suicide, its nieve to think all they want is security.

    The hot air dosent suggest it, nor does their willingness to move forward with the program after the UN security council unanimously told them not to. So you want to hope for the best? Your entitled, its my country there shouting death to in thier mosques.
    Almost all the heavy action described above is at the United States' instigation. As far as I'm aware, there are no Iranian aircraft carriers off Cape Cod nor did Iran invade Quebec. I agree with you that Iran wants more than security - I suspect they are flexing their muscles at a wounded enemy who is preoccupied with reviving the corpse of an old regional foe whilst trying to look as macho as possible in his tatters - and see their historical role as the regional power back in their grasp. We ought to pander to this egoism. Iran gave a lot of support against the Taleban after 9-11 - they might be brought back to this level of partnership. Maybe not with Ahmadinejad in charge, but as I noted, his star is fading, and would wink out a lot faster if we didn't give him headlines to play at home.

    I have no trouble conceding your point about Ireland being much less in the frame for any attack than the USA. I don't think we have even inflicted a theme pub on the innocent Iranians.

    Nonetheless, I care very much what happens to the USA, and would not like your country to make another mistake.
    "If there is a sin against life, it consists not so much in despairing as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this one."
    Albert Camus "Noces"

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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Banquo's Ghost
    As I said, I admire your confidence. perhaps you are right. I would just note that land-based missiles are very deadly to ship-borne operations, even if you have air superiority. I think the losses on the US Navy would prove unacceptable to the public.
    I am under no illusion that it wouldnt be costly, perhaps even unacceptable. However it dosent negate the fact that the capability to wage an air campaign aganst Iran is in place, right now as we speak.

    This isnt something that needs to be shipped over, and while I'm not trying to over simply a limited war, I am saying that the assets needed to perscute an effective campaign exsist in the theatre.


    I also suspect you are banking on a short, surgical air war taking out Iran's nuclear facilities and then everyone goes back to normal. I fear this would be optimistic. But we won't know the true economic impact until it happens. My view is of course, that it is an unacceptable risk when Iran, even with a nuclear weapon, poses no direct threat. (You will no doubt level the charge of undue optimism right back at me!)
    Well okay, point taken. We wont know the economic impact until it happens, however we disagree that Iran is not a direct threat with a nuke. Right now i dont feel threatened at all, but Iran with a nuke, and the death to america chants played for a few weeks on the air waves and those losses you mentioned in the prior paragraph might not be so unacceptable.




    My example was designed to show that actions often belie words. Much of Pakistan's rhetoric echoes Iran's yet we don't ascribe offensive nuclear strikes deserving of invasion to them. They have actually threatened a nuclear offensive against an ally, yet still we don't attribute the same "intent" to them as we appear to do to Iran.
    Because Pakistan is barking at another atomic power in the region, Iran is barking at anyone who will listen, before they have the capability. Imagine the bark once they do have it? Or will it evolve into a bite?

    The actions are broadly the same. Does it really all change simply because of the possession of the bomb? If we say "Pakistan won't attack because it has the bomb" but "Iran will as soon as it has the bomb" what evidence leads us to that conclusion? Not the rhetoric, nor the actions.
    Fair point.

    If possession of a device makes everything a rose garden no matter your actions, you can see why Iran so desperately wants one. Again, how is "intent" judged?
    Agreed, but since we dont have an absolute judge yet, what are we left with? Faith, hope? Those are two notions that dont inspire confidence when attempting to apply logic, based on historical behaviors.


    Almost all the heavy action described above is at the United States' instigation. As far as I'm aware, there are no Iranian aircraft carriers off Cape Cod nor did Iran invade Quebec. I agree with you that Iran wants more than security - I suspect they are flexing their muscles at a wounded enemy who is preoccupied with reviving the corpse of an old regional foe whilst trying to look as macho as possible in his tatters - and see their historical role as the regional power back in their grasp. We ought to pander to this egoism. Iran gave a lot of support against the Taleban after 9-11 - they might be brought back to this level of partnership. Maybe not with Ahmadinejad in charge, but as I noted, his star is fading, and would wink out a lot faster if we didn't give him headlines to play at home.
    Fine and dandy, but what about the business of thier nuclear program? Its ongoing, didnt the IAEA confirm that last week? So perhaps what your saying is true, and if its bluster wonderful, but there is this little side show of thier program, thier willingness to use it as an antogonistic tool, and there defiance of the UN at the price of sancations.

    Now thats a bit more then flexing the bicep, this is costing them domestically, who is going to do business with them under these conditions? Given the facts, they seem to be ready to risk a lot just to poke a stick at an old foe. Im not buying it, Iran is to smart, they know if they get a weapon they become the power broker in the middle east, and in that case everyone looses.
    There are few things more annoying than some idiot who has never done anything trying to say definitively how something should be done.

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    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Now thats a bit more then flexing the bicep, this is costing them domestically, who is going to do business with them under these conditions? Given the facts, they seem to be ready to risk a lot just to poke a stick at an old foe. Im not buying it, Iran is to smart, they know if they get a weapon they become the power broker in the middle east, and in that case everyone looses.
    I think this is the crux of the matter. I too think Iran is smart, too smart to risk nuclear annihilation by offensively using their bomb. Smart enough to risk sanctions and even limited war to get the bomb that will make them safe.

    They do desire to be the regional power, and if we can help them rid themselves of Ahmadinejad and the hardliners, they are a regional power that we could do business with.

    After all, there isn't any other game in town. Iraq's ruined, Syria's much more duplicitous, Saudi more concerned with not imploding.

    We have a great deal to gain by diplomacy and practically nothing by war. So does Iran.

    At least you and I agree that a lot of serious talking would be a pretty good precursor in either scenario.

    Thank you for a fascinating discussion.
    "If there is a sin against life, it consists not so much in despairing as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this one."
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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    As to the general question:

    Going to war to prevent nuclear proliferation is a potentially costly strategy, but can, at least in certain circumstances, be effective (Israel v. Iraq 1980s).


    As to Iran:

    Has anybody got a good sense of/source for summarizing their internal politics? -- and I do not mean the press release version, but the nature of power and its use "on the ground.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh
    As to Iran:

    Has anybody got a good sense of/source for summarizing their internal politics? -- and I do not mean the press release version, but the nature of power and its use "on the ground.
    This summary, from a source that you might find reliable, has an excellent summary of the political conditions just before Ahmadinejad came to power, and the opportunties that may lie ahead should we choose to engage more constructively.

    EDIT: Trawling my library, I found the book I was going to recommend: Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic by Ray Takeyh. It has quite an interesting analysis of the Ahmadinejad years and the US relationship, as well as a deconstruction of the political factions. Worth a read.

    This is a useful diagram showing how the Iranian power structures interface. The personnel named are out of date, but the complexity is well illustrated.
    Last edited by Banquo's Ghost; 06-18-2007 at 22:00.
    "If there is a sin against life, it consists not so much in despairing as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this one."
    Albert Camus "Noces"

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    Amphibious Trebuchet Salesman Member Whacker's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    I'm a bit curious. Is this thread more aimed at actual capabilities re: nukuler weapons, or just knowledge dissemination in general? Reason I ask is because my understanding these days is it really just boils down to the former. Documentation and knowledge on nuclear technology is very freely available on the internet and through other means, so I'd pretty much rule that out as a given at this point. Sorry if this has already been clarified.

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    I find it kind of amusing that most of those who see no problem with Iran having nukes are the same ones all gung ho about gun control? Is it me or does this seem kind of hypocrytical on their part.
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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    I find it kind of amusing that most of those who see no problem with Iran having nukes are the same ones all gung ho about gun control? Is it me or does this seem kind of hypocrytical on their part.
    It's you.

    Hypocritical is when you have world's second largest nuclear arsenal and then deciding who shouldn't have nuclear weapons...

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    It's you.
    I dont think so

    Hypocritical is when you have world's second largest nuclear arsenal and then deciding who shouldn't have nuclear weapons...

    So you think everyone should have nukes but not guns. No its not me its you.

    You should all thank your lucky stars that it was the US who got nukes first and not Russia or Germany. The world would loom very differently today. maybe you would have preffered either of those two, Many here seem to think that every nation and government(other than the US) is just as good as any other(especially as good as the US).
    Last edited by Gawain of Orkeny; 06-19-2007 at 03:03.
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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    I dont think so
    You're entitled to your own opinion...


    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    So you think everyone should have nukes but not guns. No its not me its you.
    I just wonder who choose U.S. to be the world's policeman and decide who should have nukes and who shouldn't...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    Many here seem to think that every nation and government(other than the US) is just as good as any other(especially as good as the US).
    By the grace of God, of course not!!! I completely understand that US are given the divine mandate to be the beacon of light, democracy and culture in this dark world. Everyone else should pray at least three times a day because we have US to watch over us...

    Why did I even start to talk about politics with a guy who is qouting Supermen in his signature...

  29. #29
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian
    By the grace of God, of course not!!! I completely understand that US are given the divine mandate to be the beacon of light, democracy and culture in this dark world. Everyone else should pray at least three times a day because we have US to watch over us...
    Actually, the phrase we'uns in the USA use is the "shining city upon a hill," which serves as a beacon of hope to all you poor benighted ones. Twice a day will be enough on the prayer thing -- traditionally before and after sleeping -- and no rug is required (kneeling optional).


    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian
    Why did I even start to talk about politics with a guy who is qouting Supermen in his signature...
    I agree, you should have got to the "meat" of things much earlier....
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: At what cost? Stoping Nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Banquo's Ghost
    This summary, from a source that you might find reliable, has an excellent summary of the political conditions just before Ahmadinejad came to power, and the opportunties that may lie ahead should we choose to engage more constructively.

    EDIT: Trawling my library, I found the book I was going to recommend: Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic by Ray Takeyh. It has quite an interesting analysis of the Ahmadinejad years and the US relationship, as well as a deconstruction of the political factions. Worth a read.

    This is a useful diagram showing how the Iranian power structures interface. The personnel named are out of date, but the complexity is well illustrated.
    The first two suggestions are longer projects. The diagram & explication are a wonderful precis. Thanks a lot Banquo.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

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