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Opinion

Opinion

U.S. policy on Iran is weak, incoherent

September 15, 2012

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— There are two positions one can take regarding the Iranian nuclear program: (a) it doesn’t matter, we can deter them, or (b) it does matter, we must stop them.

In my view, the first position — that we can contain Iran as we did the Soviet Union — is totally wrong, a product of wishful thinking and misread history. But at least it’s internally coherent.

What is incoherent is President Obama’s position. He declares the Iranian program intolerable — “I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon” — yet stands by as Iran rapidly approaches nuclearization.

A policy so incoherent, so knowingly and obviously contradictory, is a declaration of weakness and passivity. And this, as Anthony Cordesman, James Phillips and others have argued, can increase the chance of war. It creates, writes Cordesman, “the same conditions that helped trigger World War II — years of negotiations and threats, where the threats failed to be taken seriously until war became all too real.”

This has precipitated the current U.S.-Israeli crisis, sharpened by the president’s rebuff of the Israeli prime minister’s request for a meeting during his upcoming U.S. visit. Ominous new developments; no Obama response. Alarm bells going off everywhere; Obama plays deaf.

The old arguments, old excuses, old pretensions have become ridiculous:

  1. Sanctions. The director of national intelligence testified to Congress at the beginning of the year that they had zero effect in slowing the nuclear program. Now the International Atomic Energy Agency reports (Aug. 30) that the Iranian nuclear program, far from slowing, is actually accelerating. Iran has doubled the number of high-speed centrifuges at Fordow, the facility outside Qom built into a mountain to make it impregnable to air attack.

This week, the IAEA reported Iranian advances in calculating the explosive power of an atomic warhead. It noted once again Iran’s refusal to allow inspection of its weapons testing facility at Parchin, and cited satellite evidence of Iranian attempts to clean up and hide what’s gone on there.

The administration’s ritual response is that it has imposed the toughest sanctions ever. So what? They’re a means, not an end. And they’ve had no effect on the nuclear program.

  1. Negotiations. The latest, supposedly last-ditch round of talks in Istanbul, Baghdad, then Moscow has completely collapsed. The West even conceded to Iran the right to enrich — shattering a decade-long consensus and six Security Council resolutions demanding its cessation.

Iran’s response? Contemptuous rejection.

Why not? The mullahs have strung Obama along for more than three years and still see no credible threat emanating from the one country that could disarm them.

  1. Diplomatic isolation. The administration boasts that Iran is becoming increasingly isolated. Really? Just two weeks ago, 120 nations showed up in Tehran for a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement — against U.S. entreaties not to attend. Even the U.N. secretary-general attended — after the administration implored him not to.

Which shows you what American entreaties are worth today. And the farcical nature of Iran’s alleged isolation.

The Obama policy is in shambles. Which is why Cordesman argues that the only way to prevent a nuclear Iran without war is to establish a credible military threat to make Iran recalculate and reconsider. That means U.S. red lines: deadlines beyond which Washington will not allow itself to be strung, as well as benchmark actions that would trigger a response, such as the further hardening of Iran’s nuclear facilities to the point of invulnerability and, therefore, irreversibility.

Which made all the more shocking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s dismissal last Sunday of the very notion of any U.S. red lines. No deadlines. No bright-line action beyond which Iran must not go. The sleeping giant continues to slumber. And to wait. As the administration likes to put it, “for Iran to live up to its international obligations.”

This is beyond feckless. The Obama policy is a double game: a rhetorical commitment to stopping Iran, yet real-life actions that everyone understands will allow Iran to go nuclear.

Yet at the same time that it does nothing, the administration warns Israel sternly, repeatedly, publicly, even threateningly not to strike the Iranian nuclear program. With zero prospect of his policy succeeding, Obama insists on Israeli inaction, even as Iran races to close the window of opportunity for any successful attack.

Not since its birth six decades ago has Israel been so cast adrift by its closest ally.

— Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group.

Comments

Abdu Omar 2 years, 3 months ago

Chuck, are you another zionist who wants the US to go to war for Israel? If I am reading what the American People are saying, they don't want another war. If Iran becomes "nuclearized" they can certainly blow up the world, but for what purpose? They, too, would be blown away and have nothing left. So, please, stop your sabre rattling and trying to push America into another war just to save the back sides of the zionists. If the Israelis want war, let them have it and we will sit this one out.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Wounded, I find your suggestion that should Israel and Iran come to blows, the U.S should sit this one out to be an interesting, even quaint notion. I wonder how something like that would work in reality.

Let's look at history for guidance. Do you recall the first Gulf War? As the U.S. assembled a coalition to kick Saddam out of Kuwait, Israel was specifically excluded, the fear being that Israel's participation would cause other regional countries to back out. Israel was told "sit this one out". Yet several Scud missiles did find their way into Israel. How is it that a neutral country could have this happen? Easy, very easy.

Countries get drawn in, even against their stated desires. Should Israel and Iran begin to fight, does anyone believe Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Libya, and on and on and on, will simply sit and watch? Does anyone doubt what the reaction will be by "the Arab Street"? Does anyone believe that western interests throughout the region won't be attacked? Does anyone believe U.S. citizens, U.S. embassies, U.S. companies, U.S. military bases won't come under fire?

Sit this one out? I doubt that's possible. Unless we build a very high wall around our country, pull every U.S. citizen inside that wall, every U.S. company, every U.S. interest. Unless we ends all imports and exports. Unless we become complete and total isolationists, we might get drawn in. Unless the nuclear fallout simply decides to not follow the winds and remains where it is, we'll get drawn in.

Can we prevent the Israelis from attacking? Can we prevent the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons? If the answers to both those questions is no, then how best do we prepare for the fight to come? Because the fight will come.

Abdu Omar 2 years, 3 months ago

I suppose the fight will come but for what? Iran nor Israel can use atomic weapons so what is the big deal? If Iran has the bomb in equals out in the ME and we both know that. What American policy should be is that if any other country gets into the fight, we will go after them. Let us referee this time instead of losing our blood and treasure for a country that doesn't appreciate us. Yes, I mean Israel. Second, the scud missles that found their way into Israel was because Israel keeps killing Palestinians and taking more and more of their land. This must stop and Obama has been pretty clear about it.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

So with an entire coalition fighting to remove Iraq from Kuwait, Saddam takes the time to launch some missiles into Israel, trying to protect the Palestinians. That's your position, right. What a great humanitarian he was. I guess it's a shame there aren't more like him throughout the region. Whoops, there are. Many.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Iran has long been a strong supporter of groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and the P.L.O. Those organizations have carried out attacks that have killed many, many Americans. Just look at the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, where 300 died, and you will see far more deaths than the attack on the Liberty, which is what I assume your post is alluding to.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

That was quick. You went from Iran should be our ally to they should not be our ally based on the comment of one anonymous poster, me. Perhaps before anyone jumps on your bandwagon, you should give some more thought to your positions. I certainly hope those in Washington do so.

Abdu Omar 2 years, 3 months ago

If you would read the book "By way of Deception" you will discover an Israeli member of the Mosad claims that the Mosad bombed the barracks in Beirut, killed the Israeli athletes in Germany, blew up the Achille Laurel, etc., not Hamas or Hesbollah. I guess we don't know the truth about too many things, do we? So lets not blame them for everything.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Really, wounded? Israel blew up the Marine barracks is Beirut? And killed their own athletes in Germany? Really? Are you so far gone, so far down that road, wounded? I pity you.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Your problem, wounded, is that you're like the president of Iran. He doesn't deny the holocaust, he just thinks it needs to be studied more, to see if it really happened. You, also think the obvious needs to be studied more, so you can deny behind a shield. You say the Jews of Germany might have caused the hatred that caused the holocaust. The Jews in the twin Towers were tipped off, so let's investigate if this was a Jewish plot. There is a writer who says the Israelis killed their own athletes at the olympics, so let's look into that. Hide behind your shield, wounded, but you're nothing but a person who is ready willing and able to blame Jews for everything, all the while denying. And should a Muslim be insulted, Oh, tragedy of tragedies, how could such prejudice be tolerated?

I can find a source that says the Prophet Mohammed had sex with little boys and sheep. Shall I believe that source, wounded? Shall we open an inquiry? Shall I enter the subject with an open mind? Of course not. But that's what you are doing. So filled with hate, that you don't even see your own prejudice. You see, you have an open mind, an inquiring mind, you don't pre-judge. BS, wounded. You're the worst form of hypocrite. One who demands fairness for your people while denying the same to others. And for as long as you cling to those beliefs, you'll always be one of them and never be one of us.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

You and wounded soldier appear to me to be the opposite sides of the same coin.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

No, Jafs. You are misunderstanding my point on a most fundamental level. That wounded and I might disagree on a certain issue is obvious. But it's not an honest disagreement because he is not being honest. This isn't like a liberal and a conservative disagreeing with each other. That's a legitimate point of discussion. This is one person bringing dishonesty to the discussion. Then it's no longer liberal vs, conservative. Then it's honesty vs. dishonesty. In liberal vs. conservative, there doesn't have to be a winner and a loser. Both points of view can be honestly achieved and respected. Dishonesty should neither be approved or respected. Just to give you a quick example. I note on another thread the discussion about the open meetings law. An analogy of wounded's arguments might be something like this. That wasn't Brownback or Republicans in those meetings. Those were Democrats disguised like Brownback and Republicans. That, Jafs, is a dishonest argument. Wounded has suggested that Jews in Germany brought the holocaust upon themselves. He gives several instances of events that turn reality into fiction. That's dishonest. Now if you want to discuss whether Brownback and company knew, should have known, should have behaved differently, that's an honest discussion. Saying they were Democrats in disguise is a lie and should be condemned by everyone who respects honesty.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

I haven't seen him suggest that Jews in Germany brought it on themselves.

My perception is that he tends to see Arabs/Palestinians in a positive light, minimizing their flaws, and Israel in a negative one.

While you do the opposite.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

I can only say that you haven't seen some of his most inflammatory remarks. All the old negative stereotypes, including the Jewish bankers in Germany destroying the economy, etc. But even here, Israel killing it's own athletes at the Olympics, Israel pushing a Jewish man into the sea, Jews blowing up the U.S. Marine barracks, etc. Lies all. Dishonesty entirely. It would like if I said Arabs attacked the U.S.S. Liberty. They didn't. I know that, everyone knows it. If I said it, it would be a lie. That's what he's doing. Lying.

Sorry, Jafs. There is a huge difference. You should be able to see the difference between advocacy and lying.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

He quotes a book by a member of the Mossad.

If the book exists, and says what he says it does, he's not lying.

I'll do a little quick research and get back to you.

According to a very quick search, there is such a book and it does claim that Israel and the Mossad engaged in a variety of unpleasant activities, similar to the ones he mentions. It's controversial, of course.

So, I'd say that ws is not lying in his post to which you reacted so strongly.

Whether or not the book is factual is another question entirely.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Listen, I can find any number of books that deny the holocaust. That doesn't mean I can make such a claim and then step away from it without consequences. I can find a "good" book that says the world was created in six days. But I can't make such a claim and then say I'm making a rational, scientific argument. I can quote the film that has started this whole mess and say Islam is a cancer. But I would then have to live with the consequences. Wounded has made some very inflammatory remarks previously. He challenged me to seek the reasons the Jews of Europe were so hated that violence erupted, culminating in the holocaust. As if any reason could possibly exist that would justify that. Now he is taking well known, well documented events from history and turning truth on it's head. That can't go unchallenged, as if maybe his version of history is correct and maybe my version of history is correct. Right is right and wrong is wrong.

BTW - The writer of the book wounded mentions also says those facts were revealed to him while he was aboard a UFO. (I just made that up to show how quickly arguments can be made that are inaccurate, false, misleading. But if I were to find just one nut case out there on the internet who did make that claim, may I suddenly repeat it as if it were fact?).

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

The book is written by a Mossad operative, so it has a bit of credibility from the get-go, unlike many other sources.

And, his post specifically says that an Israeli Mossad member "claims"...

If you said that the Bible "claims" the world was created in 6 days, you'd be correct.

Your certainty is not completely convincing to me either - there's a lot of deception and double dealing in international circles, and one of the claims I found made a certain amount of sense to me.

Given the vast amounts of money we give to Israel, they have a vested interest in continuing that aid, and may very well engage in some manipulative actions that we don't know about.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Jafs, many "claims" are made. You can't just throw something out there and then hide behind someone else's words. Earlier I gave the example of Iran's president who has repeatedly said he doesn't deny the holocaust, he just thinks it needs to be studied more, to see if it really happened. You can't do that and also maintain credibility. I recall a number of years ago some preacher said the world would end on a certain date. When it didn't and he was asked about it, he said the world did end, but we were all too unenlightened to perceive it. So, someone "claims" it and that become a valid point of discussion. It becomes just as real as someone else who says the world didn't end. We can just discuss it like it's a sane, rational line of thought? I don't think so. On another thread, wounded again mentions "from what I've read" and then goes on about the Jewish bankers who hurt Germany's economy pre-WW II, which prompted the hatred. Now the Mossad person. The point is that wounded is specifically reading some pretty slanted materials. His choice, and he can believe whatever he wants. Just as the preacher can believe that the world did end. But when you start throwing around disinformation, again and again, you should be called on it. Suppose I said Israel donates money to the U.S., billions and billions of dollars every year. Is that an O.K. statement. I mention some author who says it and backs it up with some charts. That's O.K. Of course not. Because we all know the truth. Or at least we all should. If I said something like that, I should be called a liar. Because I would be a liar. With any reading of history, you can find out who killed the Israeli athletes in Munich, who Killed Mr. Klinghoffer, who blew up the Marine barracks in Beirut. Wounded's lies, notwithstanding.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

I'll stop after this one.

From my perspective, you and ws are opposite sides of the same coin.

He's always casting Arabs/Palestinians in the best light, and Israel in the worst, and you do the reverse.

As far as I can tell, you're both wrong. Neither side has "clean hands" here, and neither one is the "good guy", with the other being the "bad guy".

In fact, and ironically, this tendency to project the shadow, as Jung put it, is one of the causes of the Holocaust. And we can see it alive today in politics at all levels. I think it's just as important today to see this clearly as it was during WWII.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Jafs, you too can believe whatever you want. But in my mind, it's still a matter of truth vs. lies. I'm not lying. Wounded is. It's that simple. The nature of his lies aren't about harmless issues. It's not like he's saying the world is flat or 2+2=5. Every single event in history that he mentions, people died. Millions in the holocaust, 250 Americans in the Beirut bombing. These aren't harmless little falsehoods.

That I'm a strong advocate for Israel is obvious. But I don't lie.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Jafs, I know you said you would stop after your last post, but just in case you're still reading, I hope you will see that on another thread our friend wounded has suggested that the attempts to keep Obama off the Kansas ballot is part of an Israeli plot because one of the people behind the birther movement is a self proclaimed Jew. He sees a Jew behind every plot, Israel behind every plot. Given this, and many, many more instances, wouldn't it be wise to question his motives, his sources, his opinions?

Getaroom 2 years, 3 months ago

Charles Krauthammer for President anyone? It would appear he has all the answers to everything, maybe he should have a shot at it? NOT!

I guess that Chuck missed something in the news with Israel, I should say Faux Nuz missed something, since they never report anything except GOP rhetoric and lies.

http://www.jacpac.org/index.php/issues/united-states-israel-relations/105-fact-vs-fiction-debunking-internet-hoaxes-and-urban-legends

Get real people, there is always more to the story, and Krauthammer's only objective is to embrace Grover Norquist's Pledge, even thought he is neither a Senator or Congressman, thank GOD!!

Abdu Omar 2 years, 3 months ago

What Kraut means to say is that he doesn't agree with the policy. It is neither weak nor incoherent.

Armstrong 2 years, 3 months ago

Option (C) how I ran how well our nuclear program works. End of story

Richard Heckler 2 years, 3 months ago

Bringing republicans back to power brings back this very right wing imperialistic foreign policy position.

Charles Krauthammer has endorsed the below policy.

"Rebuilding America's Defences," openly advocates for total global military domination” (Very dangerous position which threatens OUR freedoms and the nations security) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Project_for_the_New_American_Century

Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today.

We need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global protection for Wal-Mart,Oil,Coca Cola,Pepsico,diamonds,gold etc etc etc.

We need to strengthen our ties to dictator regimes friendly to American interests and Bogus values.

We need to promote the cause of the political right wing and economic rape for corp USA abroad.

We need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in forcing others to accept our corrupt principles.

Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and immoral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the extortions of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness no matter how many innocent USA soldiers die.

The Plans may bring out a shiver or two.

------ http://www.antiwar.com/orig/stockbauer1.html

------ http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Project_for_the_New_American_Century

------ http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1312540,00.html

------ http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0208-05.htm

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 3 months ago

I went back and read some of Krauthammer's columns relating to North Korea and Iran during the Bush administration years and the tone was completely different.

Krauthammer wants to come across as an expert on foreign policy and all things political but he is in my view a complete fraud who is enjoying his so called success among conservatives and the massive amount of money he is getting paid to blather on.

The problem for Charlie is that he has created a written history of his ramblings on these topics and he is all over the map in his opinions. In other words, he doesn't know what he is talking about. He is simply feeding his customers what they want to hear. Don't take anything this joker says seriously.

Patricia Davis 2 years, 3 months ago

Let Israel fight Israel's wars. Let us stop sending billions each year to this Zionist, war mongering state.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

Yeah. Uh huh. Keep trying Mr. Kraut. You haven't quite graduated from the Joseph Goebbels School of Propaganda yet.

msezdsit 2 years, 3 months ago

The war hawks will forever have a dire reason to go to war . They are the hate and war people and the wars are very profitable for a all their buddies.

verity 2 years, 3 months ago

That pretty much says it all.

Too much blood and treasure lost and for what? And whose blood is it? Certainly not those profiting from the endless wars.

If one does a little reading, endless war is part of the platform of the neocons like Krauthammer and the peons (us) are only useful for cannon fodder.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

For those ideologically predisposed to allergic reactions to facts, please don't follow this link.

"Top Myths about Iran’s Nuclear Enrichment Program"

http://www.juancole.com/2012/09/top-myths-about-irans-nuclear-enrichment-program.html

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Did you notice that last week, Canada broke diplomatic relations with Iran because they are convinced Iran is being deceptive while continuing to engage in their nuclear weapons development program. I guess they didn't read your link. Or maybe, just maybe, they have different information. Maybe.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

So, what information is that? Do you have a link? Is it as easily verifiable as the information above?

Or is this yet another war that the neocons will drag us into based on their secret evidence that turns out to be complete BS?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

I assume Canada, like many first world countries, spends a considerable amount of money gathering information, hiring professionals to analyze data etc. I assume they share information with their allies, mostly Great Britain. Then they make decisions based on that information. What they don't do, I assume, is scour the internet for opinion pieces that would only confirm their preconceived notions. That's the type of thing you or I might do. So if I were someone coming to this issue without prejudice, without an already formed idea, would I believe the writer of your opinion piece, or Canada?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

Given that the writer is a veteran scholar of Middle Eastern issues, and everything he lists is a verifiable fact, and that the rightwing government of Canada has withdrawn diplomatic relations with Iran based on wholly undisclosed "facts," I'll believe the writer, thank you.

"So if I were someone coming to this issue without prejudice, without an already formed idea,"

But, you're clearly not. Not even close. Which is why you choose to believe Canada despite knowing nothing about the basis for their decision.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

I take them at their word when they said it was because of Iran's deceptions.

One scholar vs. the entire intelligence gathering operations and an entire country's diplomatic corps?

Let me tell you a story of something that I experienced many years ago. I worked at a law firm that specialized in civil litigation. Nothing criminal. What the jury believed rested largely on what the experts testified to. From my experience, you can get an expert to testify to just about anything. Seriously, I could probably find some guy with a half dozen Ph.Ds to testify, under oath that the moon was made out of cream cheese. Why do I bring that up? Because if you (or anyone) provides a link where an individual says something, that's fine, for what it's worth. When a thousand Ph.Ds say something, that's a different thing. Your one scholar vs. an entire country, that an entirely different matter. And for all your claims that my mind is already made up, look in the mirror.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

So far, you've completely ignored the information provided in the link I provided, and chosen instead to do a very weird ad hominem attack on the writer without ever even bothering to demonstrate any knowledge of him or his bona fides or the quality of his work.

Then you claim that Canada's action was based on some sort of distillation of the sum total of knowledge of all 35 million Canadians (who, coincidentally, are all experts on Iran.)

But apparently it's never occurred to you that governments take actions all the time that are strategic acts of drama design to advance an agenda that is based more on ideology than fact.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Governments take actions ... Yes, governments take actions. What they don't do on a whim is break off diplomatic relations. Governments don't take a slight turn to the left or right and then start breaking off diplomatic relations with those that they might have disagreements with. The breaking of diplomatic relations is one of the most extreme expressions of displeasure that any government might take. There are a myriad of actions they might take, short of the breaking of all relations. And despite your claims, Canada does not strike me as one of these right wing reactionary countries.

As my story about my experience in the law firm tried to highlight, you can provide a link, I provide one, someone else provides one, they're all over the place in all forms stating all sorts of things. I'm not going there. I concede you can find a link as can I as can everyone else. And we can all pick and choose. What's the point? But when entire intelligence agencies and diplomatic corps in a fairly neutral third countries behave with such indignation, when they state clearly that they are tired of being deceived, I think it's wise to listen. Or we can surf the net for an article stating what we want to read.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

I didn't say they did it on a whim. I think there a lots of reasons (whether I agree with them or not is immaterial) for Canada to do this. But the fact that they took this action is in no way some sort of proof positive that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. That's merely your wishful thinking.

"And despite your claims, Canada does not strike me as one of these right wing reactionary countries."

Your insistence on continuing to dismiss the content of the article with a pitifully superficial argument about the infallibility of a rightwing government you appear to know little about isn't particularly helpful to your argument.

And just because this article was on the interweb doesn't make it "wrong." If you want to argue against it, argue it on the very clear content that was enclosed therein.

To do otherwise is extremely intellectually lazy, even for you.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

"Proof positive", Is that the standard? Educated guesses aren't good enough, right? A little common sense isn't going to cut it, right? Hearsay, as in a link to articles wouldn't suffice, right? So if I say Israel possesses no nuclear weapons and you can't provide proof positive, then my statement stands, right? That's an interesting standard you propose, since providing that "proof positive" is a very hight standard, one that might not be met until it's too late. Or until Iran or Israel admit it, or until they detonate one. You are O.K. with me saying Israel possesses zero nuclear weapons, aren't you?

BTW - Wasn't that the same standard the president of Iran was asking for, "proof positive" when he questioned whether or not the Holocaust really happened? Or was that the standard when he claimed there were no gays in Iran? Yes, his voice of reason is the one that gives me the peace of mind I need when I wonder if his denials that Iran is building a nuclear bomb are true or not. And I'm even more comforted by your suggestions that even if you're wrong, and they are building the bomb, that they have no intention of using it. The fact that millions of lives hang in the balance shouldn't matter. After all, you've never been wrong about anything, ever? I have proof positive.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

"A little common sense isn't going to cut it, right?"

Bring it on, if you got it. So far, all you have is pure partisanship.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

The same common sense that suggests Israel has nuclear weapons suggests Iran is developing the same. There is no proof positive of either.

The same common sense that suggests Canada broke off diplomatic relations because Iran was being deceptive suggests they firmly believed there was significant evidence of what they were being deceptive about. Proof positive? No. But very suggestive.

If I said "I think, therefore, I am" proves I exist, it doesn't prove you exist. But your posts "suggest" you do exist. Proof positive? No. But common sense suggests you do exist. So tell me, Bozo, do you exist? Does Israel have nuclear weapons? Is Iran developing nuclear weapons? Will Israel attack the facilities that are making those weapons? Why would Israel attack unless they were convinced those weapons were being developed, given the likely consequences?

Common sense is a tool. Not the only tool, but a useful one. There is no reason to keep that tool in the toolbox.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

"The same common sense that suggests Israel has nuclear weapons suggests Iran is developing the same."

I read no further than this fact-free straw man.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

All you're saying is that it's OK for you to assume facts not in evidence but it's not OK for me to assume facts not in evidence. Some might call that a double standard, but I'm sure you can rationalize that away.

oldbaldguy 2 years, 3 months ago

I personally would piss on the grave of the Ayatollah. These guys will go one day but it will not be because of us. The Iranians will have to do it. They want nukes to keep us from intervening with them. See Korea. They know full well, bombing Israel will lead to an attack from Israel and probably the U.S.

Contrary to popular opinion, the leaders are not suicidal. The poor fools that follow them may be.

tbaker 2 years, 3 months ago

Krauthammer’s point is tough to argue. He makes a strong case.

I personally do not want to see the US involved in another war. I also don’t want to see Iran get its hands on a nuclear weapon. Clearly the President feels the former is more advantageous. Staying out of another war is a very intoxicating proposition to a politician trying to get re-elected. I don’t blame him. Having no red-line policy with Iran is very bad as Krauthammer points out, but he fails to mention that this isn’t the sort of thing that costs you votes in November.

Failing to draw a line invites aggression. History is full of grizzly examples of this fact. Dr. Krauthammer is spot on with this assessment.

What keeps the Iranian government up at night is their own population, not the threat of a US attack. They know that if the attack on the nuclear facilities avoids civilian casualties and is coordinated with the opposition groups in the country, we might get a two-fer. Get rid of the nukes and the Mullahs all at once, but that is a very rosy forecast. The nanosecond an American or Israeli bomb lands on Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas will launch an all-out attack on Israel and this thing will become a much larger conflict overnight.

I hope and pray we have a source inside the Iranian government who knows exactly what is going on and can provide timely and accurate assessments of current and future intentions and capabilities. I would love to assume we do and believe the President’s apparent failure to draw a line with Iran is actually intentional and based on good information none of us are privy to, including Dr. Krauthammer. Gosh I hope I’m right, but history tells me this is wishful thinking.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

"Clearly the President feels the former is more advantageous."

That's an absurd statement, and the rest of your post based on this straw man is just as absurd.

tbaker 2 years, 3 months ago

Whats absurd about it? Mr. Obama has no red-line policy with Iran. Period. Unless the US foreign policy is to ensure Iran gets a nuclear weapon it’s pretty tough to argue the US policy towards Iran – thus far – has been anything less than a failure. By all means, please point out the strawman.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

Aside from the fact that everything you say is wrong, it's a perfectly valid position.

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