Monday, January 16, 2006
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It's been a busy day for Iran-watchers
Let's see what's been going on with regard to Iran for the past day or so, in order from tragedy to farce:
1) The BBC reports that Britain, France and Germanyt will request an extraordinary session of the IAEA in order to refer Iran to the UN Security Council.If Iran keeps this up -- making news, kicking out competitors -- they're going to exhaust that poor AP guy based in Tehran. posted by Dan on 01.16.06 at 02:42 PM
So just how close is Iran to having a nuclear weapon?
The answer to that question will tell us whether we are looking at a major --perhaps THE major -- international crisis of the next couple of years, or whether Iran is looking at several more years of isolation. The problem, of course, is that we don't know the answer. Prudent policy must treat the worst case as a possibility. But we really don't know how close it is to becoming a reality.posted by: Zathras on 01.16.06 at 02:42 PM [permalink]
Off topic comment -- you know whats always bugged me, not so much about El Baradei, but about his qualifications ? Baradei is a lawyer ? Why the devil dont we have an engineer in charge of this organization ?
It may be hard to get a nuclear engineer with the requisite management and political skills (given the small size of that pool), but a general engineer shouldn't be that hard to get. Obviously top appointments to these international bodies are still very much a matter of who you know and how well you can schmooze.
Even WHO has a genuine MD in charge.
The person in charge doesn't have to be a (non-peace) Nobel Prize physicist. But is should be an engineer or a physici
To halt a country's nuclear weapons program, do we have to invade and occupy it as we've invaded and occupied Iraq?
If so, how many times can we do this?
Or, is it possible to perform pin-point strikes, by missile or special forces, to prevent a country like Iran from acquiring nukes? If this is possible, can we keep it up indefinitely?
Can economic and political sanctions work, and can we afford to try them? Sanctions seem to assume rational actors have some control over policy. Is this the case?
Speaking of rational actors in control, what about deterrence? Could we accept Iranian nuclear weapons with the idea that it would establish some sort of MAD stability?
I don't know.posted by: Andrew Steele on 01.16.06 at 02:42 PM [permalink]
Sanctions can work; they worked against Saddam, and they worked against South Africa.
"Pinpoint bombing" installations assumes that 1) we know for sure where they are, which we don't; and 2) "pinpoint" means "pinpoint," which it doesn't.
Invading Iran is just about the only thing Bush and the GOP can so at this point to change the conversation from corruption, cronyism, and abuse of power - so you betcha there will be an invasion. And the Bush Admin will screw it up, just like they screwed up in Iraq. And anyone who dares to oppose the invasion, or express doubts about Bush &Co.'s competence, will again be vilified.
I hoped that the sheer godawfulness of what's going on in Iraq, along with all the other evidence we've had since 2003 that the Bush Admin can't be trusted to run a tea party, much less a large-scale military operation, would slow down or halt a drive to war against Iran.
I was wrong.
It's really kind of amazing, how the Right is already hauling out the same rhetoric it used for Iraq, and how the MSM is already repeating it without question. It also amazes me how nobody on the Right- not a single soul! - has made any reference at all to Iraq when talking about a war with Iran: neither to warn against repeating the mistakes made there, nor to mention the effect a war on Iran will have on the ongoing violence and instability in Iraq.
I'd love to know if that's because the Right doesn't think any mistakes were made in Iraq, or because the Right's so excited by the prospect of invading Iran it's completely forgotten all about Iraq.
That amnesia includes the wee fact that we couldn't secure Iraq when we had the greater part of our ground troops there, hadn't already lost at least 10% of them to death or serious injury, and hadn't already had to lower recruiting goals by 33% in order to meet the quotas (and are still having trouble doing so). Now we're suppposed to secure two hostile countries, with fewer troops than we had when we invaded Iraq?
And before anyone here says, "Yes, but can you deny Iran is a real threat?" let me remind you that one of the reasons so many of us are enraged by the FUBAR in Iraq is because we knew it'd mean we'd be in deep doodoo if a "real threat" opened up somewhere else --
Oh, Christ. Why bother. I'm shoveling sand against the tide. If Bush wants another war, he'll have it, and his supporters will again play the role of amen chorus.posted by: CaseyL on 01.16.06 at 02:42 PM [permalink]
Interesting enough, Iran has told the world how to response to it's atomic program.
Iran has plainly said that it's for peaceful purposes, not making atomic weapons.
With that statement Iran has no defense. None. Zero. Zip.
If Iran can be shown that it is breaking that statement about developing atomic
Who committed the first military strike against the world? Iran did by lying about
The first thing the world needs to do is lay the foundation for the second
"Iran - You have declared in open that you have no intent of obtaining atomic
"Iran - WE, the world, have evidence that the statement about your
"Iran - You have committed a first military strike by lying to us."
"Iran - You will stop all atomic activities and allow our inspectors
"Iran - If you fail then WE, the world, will use our Right to commit to a
"Iran - WE will continue the military strikes until you are brought
"Iran - Compliance means no future atomic activities of any kind."
If done right this 'could' force Iran into compliance.
But hey...your dealing with people who just want that Bomb.
It will take a strong will and skill for the world to do it.
Side note: You don't have to destroy any atomic structures themselves.
If your lab is under a mountain, just destroy the tunnel into the lab.
You can destroy bridges, roads, and all other support materials
And if you are really really serious you could start by destroying
Bottom line: Just how bad do you want them to have The Bomb?
Face it people. You just may have to get into a big ole war.
Remember though, Iran is the nation that lied. Everyone else has the high
Come to think of it...Is this situation really that hard? How do you
The human race is acting as if it never confronted a situation like
"Remember though, Iran is the nation that lied. Everyone else has the high moral ground to do anything they want."
Of course, the US has never ever lied on matters related to national security and was perfectly truthful in the lead up to the war in Iraq. Wait ...posted by: Jon on 01.16.06 at 02:42 PM [permalink]
"The human race is acting as if it never confronted a situation like this before...Ohhhh...pleaseeeeeee."
It certainly has. Very very similar.
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