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February 03, 2005

Comments

chad

Actually I would argue that he is entirely wrong. The first question he asks is how many times have people risen up against a dictatorship and effected change. Of the top of my head I can think of a few. Iran 1979,
Soviet Union, 1992, East Germany 1989, Romania, Albania, The French Revolution. The Spanish Revolution, although that one probably dosen't count since the replaced a socialist government with a Fascist government. The Belgian Congo.

While I agree that economic pressure alone will not cause the government to fall it can destabilise it. I forget who said it but the relevant though is any government is 3 meals away from a revolution.

As far as asking others to do our heavy lifting that is exactly the opposite of what GWB did last night in my opinion. He told the Iranian people if you rise up we will stand with you. The subtle implication is that we will provide support (probably air support if they rise).

Again just my uneducated opinion.

DevP

Check out the Atlantic Monthly's article by RIchard Clarke - a sort of narrative from 2011 where War on Terror had gone extremely poorly. A key part of that was poorly thought out strikes Iran due to nuclear proliferation.

Also, bear in mind that military aggression risks uniting the reactionary and progressive factions in Iran against a common (exterior) enemy, just as in the wake of 9/11, Democratic/Republican unity was at first easy (hence easy passage of Patriot Act et al).

Finally, consider the case where a democratic Iran desires nuclear weapons. What do you do? Isn't democracy, then, just a bit of a canard?

Please be more critical of the neocon ideologues in your party, as they most certainly do not have your best interests in mind.

DevP

To be fair, there aren't any easy solutions in this field - an nuclear Iran is a very scary thing. That's all the more reason not to be "100%" persuaded by this kind of dangerous planning.

David

This guy's post is not original thinking. But he is correct, a nuclear Iran is without any argument a direct threat to US security and, unfortunately, will have to be dealt with. And a surgical strike is the way to go. Yeah, it will rile the "Arab street" (even though they are Persian), if there even is an "Arab street" anymore, but better to have some regional unrest than a nuclear weapon in the hands of Iran.

And when did Iran become democratic? Did I miss that memo?

Outlaw3

Military action in Iran... hmmmm. Direct action would have to be limited to a blockade (there is a task group there anyway), and the inevitable air strikes (cruise missiles and manned aircraft, conventional bombs only thank you). Those are your cheap options, but probably the least effective as the Clinton administration showed (Arabs took his strikes as cowardice, in case you missed it). CIA has proven itself pretty ineffective, so your other indirect action is the special operating forces in the military; they train and equip local groups in Iraq and send them into Iran, but most likely don't lead them into combat. If you provide direct air support then you pretty well tip your hand about surrogate forces. You might risk a SOF only operation against a high value (really high value) target that has to come off just right, but they would be sterile for the operation, hard to trace back.

The ground forces just aren't an option right now. The U.S. military is pretty well maxed out, as are the UK and Australia. I doubt anyone else is interested unless the U.S. is going to back it with fire support and troops and logistics.

There is another option. If you provide strategic forces to strike Iran high value targets (maybe with SOF ground units) and remove the Iranian Air Force (what is left of it) along with their mechanized units (what is left of them), you open them up for neighbors to do the ground work or even the population to rise up. I doubt there is a lot of love between Pakistan, India and Iran. No one else in the area is in any position or strength to do anything. Russia could never handle it and China doesn't have the strategic lift or a land border. I can't see the population rising up, but then, what is the state of their disarmament by the religious fanatics? What is the rumble about their military - how is morale under the religious rule? And that is why you need a CIA and national intelligence structure, minus the partisanship and plus the professionalism to figure it out.

Just an opinion, of course. Except I haven't been nationally embarrassed as a liar and charlatan like Richard Clarke and his CIA wife, what's her name.

Outlaw3

Oh, just remembered, there is more than 1 Richard Clarke, so was that the liar or the other one, DevP?

chad

Actually Outlaw 3 I believe you are thinking of Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame. Richard Clarke wrote the book Against All Enemies. He was the one who completely contradicted himself between his book and previous sworn testimony, thats neither her nor there though. The problem with his Atlantic Monthly article is that it is basically speculative fiction. I admit I haven't read it because I don't read anything other than Maximum PC, Juggs, and Soldier of Fortune (that was just a joke by the way I don't read Soldier of Fortune), however think back to 1985 and the articles that were coming out then, very few predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most actually predicted that the United States would collapse under Economic pressure from Japan. That isn't to say his views aren't without validity just that he is basically looking into a crystal ball with all that implies.

mikeca

Much of the Iranian nuclear program is in facilities buried deep underground. It will take very good intelligence, and very accurate air strikes with bunker busting bombs to do much damage. (Is this the reason the Bush administration wants to develop bunker-busting bombs with tactical nuclear ware heads?).

Iran has repeatedly warned that it will retaliate for air strikes at its nuclear program by attacking US forces in Iraq. I doubt that this means air attacks or an invasion of Iraq by Iran. It probably means Iranian sponsored terrorist attacks on US forces in Iraq.

From what I have read, there is broad support in Iran for their nuclear program. It is not just the hard line mullahs. This is an unintended consequence of the invasion of Iraq. Everyone recognizes that if Iraq already had nuclear weapons, Saddam Hussein would still be in power in Iraq. North Korea and Iran are now full speed ahead on their nuclear program trying to make sure they have nuclear weapons before the US army gets out of Iraq. Most Iranians believe Iran has the right to develop nuclear weapons, since Israel and Pakistan already have them, and very few Iranians want to see the US treat Iran the way Iraq has been treated and believe nuclear weapons are the only way prevent the US from eventually invading Iran.

chad

There may be broad support for the Iranian Nuclear program but there is also a heavy pro-US sentiment in the general population. If the Iranians are banking on Nukes keeping the US at bay they are sorely mistaken. The offical US policy is use a WMD on us or an ally and we will reatliate with nukes. (Massive Retaliation policy) The definition of massive retaliation is complete destruction. Considering we can hit Iran from the continental US and they can't hit us we kind of have the upper hand.

dadahead

I really, really hope these four "points" are not supposed to constitute an actual argument for military action against Iran, because that would be a hideous argument indeed.

Unfortunately, I suspect that its writer does intend it to be an argument, mainly because the last line says "therefore".

People, you can't just say a bunch of shit, slap a "therefore" on the end of it, and think that makes it an actual argument.

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