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War With Iran: An Extremist Fantasy

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Based on the recently submitted and very likely to pass House Resolution 362, many on the extremist fringes of both the right and the left are announcing in dire (or hysterical) tones that we're on the verge of war with Iran.

They're calling the resolution the "Iran War Resolution" and yammering about how it was authored by AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) and is all being done on behalf of the evil Zionist oppressors in what ought to be a free, Islamosocialist Palestine. They claim that it's going to be used as a secret authorization for military action against Iran to launch us into the ultimate Neocon-inspired war of international imperialism, or some such claptrap.

Among the most outspoken opponents of the bill is the increasingly shrill and irrational Representative Ron Paul who has apparently completely abandoned his Republican roots to become the voice of the anti-war left and the anti-Israeli John Birch Society. Paul announced on the floor of the House, "I cannot believe it, that we may well be on the verge of initiating the bombing of Iran," and went on to ask: "Where do we have this authority? Where do we get the moral authority? Where do we get the international legality for this? Where do we get the Constitutional authority for this?"

What Rep. Paul and other opponents of the resolution seem not to have done is to actually read the document. It is not a declaration of war or even an authorization for the use of military force. It's basically just a list of bad things Iran has done, coupled with a very weak call for diplomatic and economic sanctions. It doesn't even have the weight of legislative authority because it is only a 'sense of the house' resolution which is rather like a public press release from Congress. It doesn't say one word endorsing military action, deploying troops, bombing anyone, or even flying over Iran and thumbing our noses at them from an F-15.

In fact, the bill clearly states that "nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization of the use of force against Iran." That seems like a pretty definitive indication that the bill isn't authorizing anything resembling a war, even if it weren't a powerless 'sense of the house' resolution.

As for the bombing of Iran which Rep. Paul was ranting about and the massive "land, sea and air blockade" which the hysterical socialists at Just Foreign Policy are ranting about, not a word about any of that in the bill. I suppose that by extension you could argue that the proposed sanctions could require the use of naval forces to inspect ships, but that's hardly an attack on Iran or a major new deployment given our current massive presence in the Persian Gulf. And bombing? Just pure insanity. There's nothing even close to an endorsement of that kind of direct action.

As for the 'moral authority' Rep. Paul asks for, perhaps he should take that up with the tens of thousands killed by Iranian-backed terrorists in Iran and Lebanon and Israel and Sudan and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Russia and India and China and just about everywhere else in the world. As for the 'international legality' Rep. Paul is concerned about, perhaps he forgot about UN Resolutions 1696, 1737, and 1747 which attempted to curtail Iran's nuclear program and then instituted sanctions in response. As for the 'constitutional authority' Dr. Paul makes an issue of, I'm positive that there's nothing in the Constitution prohibiting a non-binding, non-appropriating resolution which amounts to nothing more than a public statement.

No one opposes the idea of war in Iran more than I do. It would be suicidally stupid, and if the President even began to suggest it, the generals at the Pentagon ought to have the good sense to shout him down. We attacked Iraq in 2003 because we knew Iran was too much for us to take on then, and now that we're so over-committed in Iraq and Afghanistan substantial military action against Iran is literally inconceivable. We don't have the men and we certainly don't have the money to even contemplate such a boneheaded move, no matter what horrible things Iran is up to. Any kind of war with Iran is a logistical impossibility.

Yet it's equally ridiculous to get hysterical over this pointless Congressional resolution. Calling it an "Iran War Resolution" is such blatant spin-mongering that it insults the intelligence of every American. It doesn't call for military action. It specifically prohibits it. Plus it has no legal authority to do anything at all. The only thing it really does is tell Iran that the Congress is serious about getting them to behave like a halfway civilized nation, rather than destabilizing every country in the region, deploying hundreds of thousands of covert troops in other countries and funding worldwide terrorism.

What the hysterics seem not to grasp is that this little resolution is not the problem. The problem is Iran and its oppressive government and belligerent policies. Forget about Israel and the evil Jews for a minute. Isn't the harm Iran has done just to the people of Lebanon and Iraq sufficient to make them a rogue nation and justify some sort of statement in opposition to their behavior? And ultimately that's all this is, a simple statement of disapproval with an endorsement of the use of non-violent "economic, diplomatic and political pressure" to get Iran to reign in their nuclear program and stop exporting terrorism.

The hysterics who are so eager to make it look like the US is declaring war on Iran seem to have forgotten that Iran is already actively making war on its neighbors and threatens greater violence if given the opportunity.

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About Dave Nalle

  • Judy P

    Dave, you are becoming more increasingly shrill and irrational with every blog post.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Sorry if it seems that way, Judy. Perhaps I’m just a bit frustrated with the raging idiocy of the body politic and the constant lies and distortions from extreme partisans. If those things don’t bother you then just sail on obliviously.

    Dave

  • buzzy bop

    “The only thing it really does is tell Iran that the Congress is serious about getting them to behave like a halfway civilized nation…”

    If Iran were ever to model itself on the barely civilized US we’d really be in serious trouble.

  • SAS

    No war with Iran. The Iranians have suffered enough due to US foreign policy, with their nascent democracy in the 1950s being sabotaged by the US’s overthrow of the Mossadegh, with the support for the Shah’s repression, the material support for the invasion by Saddam Hussein in the 1980s and the shooting down of a civilan airliner by the US in the 1988. Stop this madness NOW.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    SAS, the ‘nascent democracy’ was on the way to turning into a communist puppet state and the ‘shahs repression’ was a renaissance of education, cultural growth and economic opportunity for Iran.

    Since the removal of the Shah Iran has slid farther and farther into darkness and oppression, turning from being a leading light for modernization and reform in Islam to becoming a force for destruction and extremism.

    The main failing of the US is not intervening more directly so that when Iran made the transition from the Shah to democracy it might have avoided sliding into the cesspit of religious extremism and theocracy.

    Dave

  • JollyRoger

    You, sir, are a liar.

    H. Con. Res. 362 clearly states the following:
    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress…
    demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program…

    Now, if you cannot understand what it means to ‘prohibit the export to Iran all refined petroleum products,’ ‘impose stringent inspection requirements’ on goods going in or coming out of Iran, and to prohibit international movement of Iranian government officials, then you sir are a complete idiot.

    Your claim that this is meaningless because it is just a resolution is another nugget of the obtuse sort. Congress only passed a resolution to go to war with Iraq. Furthermore, it was only a ‘sense of the Congress’ resolution that gave Bush the power to declare the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.

    This is a blockade measure pure and simple. The clause that says the resolution does not authorize force is a non sequitur; if there is to be physical interference of Iranian commerce, that is ipso facto authorization of force.

  • Pablo

    Great post Jolly. I would remind Dave, that the AUMF (Authorization to use Military Force in Iraq) was also a Resolution bucko.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    “We attacked Iraq in 2003 because we knew Iran was too much for us to take on then”

    Oh, I see – nothing to do with national security or self-defense or anything like that, then. Good to see we’re finally all on the same page.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Jolly, Pablo. Perhaps you should not post on topics where you are fundamentally ignorant.

    There’s more than one kind of resolution. I made clear the difference in the article AND provided a link to documentation explaining the nature of a ‘sense of the house’ resolution, yet STILL you seem not to be able to grasp the concept.

    A ‘sense of the house’ resolution, unlike the AUMF or other resolutions which include appropriations or make law, is a specific type of resolution which does not require passage by both houses and does not get sent to the president for his signature. As such, under the constitution, it has ZERO legal standing. It’s just a statement.

    it was only a ‘sense of the Congress’ resolution that gave Bush the power to declare the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.

    Incorrect. The executive branch can declare any group to be a terrorist organization without any urging from congress. That there was a resolution only encouraged them to do it. They could have done it on their own authority as thye have with many other groups, anytime they wanted.

    Please, go read the Constitution and perhaps a book on our legislative process before sounding off like a pack of idiotic sheep.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    Won’t do any good to read the constitution (again) since GWB seems to consider himself above it.

    We’ve seen GWB consider it OK to treat laws as he pleases.

  • Pablo

    Not according to Davey, I cannot recall ONE time where Dave said or implied that Bush has acted unconstitutionally, not surprising. Oh and Dave, under the USA Military Commissions Act, the prez can declare ANYONE a terrorist, and that includes YOU bucko.

  • spinnikerca

    If Congressman Paul’s comments were shrill and irrational, why was the resolution modified? At least, looking it up on Thomas today, things Dr. Paul specifically called out, such as barring international travel to their officials, and inspecting every boat going into or coming out of Iraq, had been removed. There is still the general call for the President to act urgently to impose sanctions, specific serious financial sanctions, and a call to blockade 40% of the needed daily oil requirements of Iraq from being delivered.

    One wonders what we would do to someone who did that to us?

  • spinnikerca

    Dang, those measures are only out of the Senate version. They are in the House version, still.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Perhaps you should not post on topics where you are fundamentally ignorant.”

    That’s awfully ironic because after reading Seymour Hersh’s piece in the New Yorker it sounds like we are already at war with Iran.

  • Pablo

    Dave ignorant? Cmon surely you jest. :)

  • Cannonshop

    Amusingly, I don’t think it’s going to happen, and here’s why:

    We didn’t do it in 1980, or 1982, we didn’t in 1987, we didn’t go after them in 1991, 92, or 2002. The pretext just wasn’t there, even if more folks in 2002 would have supported going into Iran than going into Iraq (a Hostage Crisis and two decades as the “Great Satan”, plus Hezbollah, the Embassy hostage crisis, the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon by Hezbollah-sponsored group…)

    It still hasn’t been released publicly all the shit we sold Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war, and he certainly had enough gas to gas the Kurds in ’91 and ’92, and when added to Clinton-Era statements about WMD and Inspectors being barred and resisted by the Iraqi government, the WMD issue was publicly credible-remember, lots of guys from my era got sick during Gulf 1 with mystery illnesses that the Pentagone was all too eager to pretend didn’t exist.

    But not once have we seriously gone after Iran, and Iran, unlike Iraq, openly sponsors international terrorist groups (Hezballah) that have targeted U.S. citizens, and has made no bones about their support for a radicalized islamic movement to topple the west-they don’t even DENY IT.

    Now, Iran wants “The Bomb”, and we’re still not going to do anything about that, and the reason is because of Domestic Politics-another front opening on “The war on terror” is a death-sentence for any U.S. political Party that tries it before Afghanistan and Iraq are fully over. The guys in D.C. aren’t QUITE that stupid. (close, maybe, but not quite).

    the U.S. isn’t going to… at least, at first. the guys more likely to do something are the Israelis-their recent long-range-strike practices over the Med weren’t for Western observer’s benefit. If Iran gets “The Bomb” the first target’s going to be Tel Aviv, not New York, and in spite of the collaborationist, appeasement-obsessed government in Israel (taking guidance from New York Liberals and Hollywood, no doubt), they aren’t ENTIRELY suicidal, or so stupid they can’t read the message being sent in the clear from Tehran.

    The real question isn’t whether it should happen, it’s not a matter of some secret cabal in D.C. or the GOP, or the DNC, it’s more a matter of whether or not they measure the ground-shock from the first bomb test at Livermore before the shooting starts.

  • Ruvy

    There has been an awful lot about Iran in the news, and I was going to write an article myself, but since Dave has beaten me to it, I’ll content myself with a mere comment or two here.

    I believe in the Prophecies of the Tana”kh as foretelling the future. Now, there is a condition that can cancel many of these prophecies, particularly the painful ones about death, earthquakes, war, etc. This condition is called repentance. It involves honestly asking, nay, begging G-d to forgive the immense amount of sin we humans have committed against Him. Based on my mere reading on the commenters here, this repentance is unlikely at all to happen.

    Will atheists like Dave, Clavos, Dan Miller or Chris Rose repent to a G-d they don’t believe exists? I doubt it. Will others, whose beliefs are less clear to me do such a thing. Well, I honestly do not know. But based on the commenting I find here, I honestly doubt it as well.

    So, resolution or not, there will be war of one kind or another with Iran in the not too distant future. And all the other lovely stuff predicted by the ancient prophets of my people will also come true as well.

    With that pleasant thought, I leave you for now….

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    That’s awfully ironic because after reading Seymour Hersh’s piece in the New Yorker it sounds like we are already at war with Iran.

    That’s not what I get from the Hersh article. Just presenting Bush with options for military action doesn’t mean we’re actually at war. The Pentagon does that all the time. Making scenarios is what they’re all about.

    For the most part Hersh is just joining in the alarmism, IMO.

    I do think we might eventually bomb Iran, but I’d lay money that it will be under president Obama.

    Dave

  • Ricky

    Ahhh, those Jewish laddies are at it again! Woo for America, the Israel-Firsters are out in force in the media trying to start another war in Iran! People losing homes, economy falling apart, gas at $4 and all our congress can do it pass one stupid bill after another for Israel. Lets hope Israel or the Neocons attack Iran. I love chaos and when gas is at $9 a gallon or more….there will be unimaginable chaos in America. Who will the media look to blame for it..

  • Ralph

    It seems that the evangelicals followers of John Hagee and the extremist elements of the Isreali government are using religion to justify another war. AIPAC paid for this resolution …er, i mean Blockade (act of war) and both Dems and Reps are equally guilty of backing this bill despite the American public not wanting a war..much less ANOTHER war. CNN today is reporting that GW Bush funded 600MM in covert operations in Iran by signing an executive “finding”. AIPAC needs to be reminded they are US citizens and should put America first not Isreal.

  • http://www.libertyrepublican.com Dave Nalle

    Prodding the anti-israel zombies is almost as much fun as tweaking the Paultards.

    Dave

  • Ruvy

    I find the remarks of the anti-Israel zombies rather amusing, most of the time. It’s rare that these zombies ever have their facts straight. What is usually most bothersome about them is how they can’t even spell “Israel”. I’ll grant that it is sometimes painful looking at signs or menus here in Israel in what purports to be “English”. But natives here have an excuse. They are writing in a foreign language that uses funny letters and goes the wrong way altogether – and has ridiculous spelling rules to boot!

    The “nativist” types posting on BC don’t have that excuse. They’re just plain ignorant.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’ll grant that it is sometimes painful looking at signs or menus here in Israel in what purports to be “English”.

    Hmm… I’ll ask my friend Maggie – who visits Israel frequently with her church – if she remembers seeing any gems. She’s quite an afficionado.

    I’ve heard that China is also a goldmine for such ‘Engrish’ – alas, I have yet to visit the place. But Argentina – especially outside Buenos Aires – is a veritable goldmine of them. I remember especially fondly a menu offering ‘main curses’ and another describing spaghetti bolognese quite accurately, if unappetizingly, as ‘tomato sauce with little bits of meat’.

    I’m going to Peru in September and look forward to what they have to offer…

  • Miriam

    I guess the biggest problem we have is how the House and the Senate is completely hijacked by AIPAC of sorts. Very few patriots work in both houses. When Jim Moran (A Patriot) dared to speak of this issue, he was immediately called anti-Semite, a “hater of Jews”, was openly condemned by his colleagues , etc.. AIPAC arrogantly believes that this is not the United States of America, but rather the United states of Israel! All American lives are worthless to them only the Israelis matter! And in effect they openly sacrifice our tax dollars, our stability, our integrity, our lives, and our children’s lives for Israel(One of the most irresponsible and aggressive nations in the Middle East). My daughter has to sit in classes with 60 other children, while billions of dollars worth of arms get sent to Israel Free of Charge every year, since they are after all our friends! Tell me something is it our friend or our Master!! And these resolutions, H.Con.Res.362, the Senate companion is S.Res.580, floating in Senate and House, these senators who do they work for me or Israel?! And when these backdoor provocations of war, create wars, who will truely fight these wars, the Israelis,AIPAC, or my brother, sister , sons and daughters? It is just outrageous and shameful!

  • Lucy

    Dave, if you are correct, then please explain away these two articles

  • http://www.DouglasTaxes.com Brad Forschner

    More and more every day I am beginning to believe that the bill of rights in our constitution should be considered the rules in which our Government must treat all individuals. If these are rights inherent to us as individuals, and our govt is not allowed to infringe upon them, by what authority does our govt infringe upon those rights by individuals not considered citizens?

    By the logic that allows such treatment, then why is it foreigners/illegals are afforded any of our privileges or given any recognition of rights under our justice system? Seems if they are foreigners, they have no grounds to even appeal to our court systems.

    Or are these “rights” tied to the soil, so that our govt doesn’t have to respect any of those rights unless you are on “American” soil? Does soil have the privilege or authority to grant or deny rights?

    Until Iran petitions to join the US, there’s not much we really have a right to force upon them.

  • Cannonshop

    Brad, with “Rights” come “Responsibilities”-whether you go the Canadian model and spell them out, or the American model that presumes the citizen already knows what they are (Unspoken cultural in other words). This is why Children don’t have the right to vote, bear arms, and why their Free Speech and Assembly rights are somewhat more restricted than adults.

    People whose answer to speech they don’t like consists of car-bombings, riots, Clerical Death Sentences and Murder probably should NOT be treated with the same rights as people whose reaction to offense is to get a bit miffed, huff and hiff and maybe throw some insults back. Free Speech, like most of the others, depends on a level of reciprocity that is absent in the Middle East-In order for the Bill of Rights to mean anything to that culture, you’d have to first violate ALL their human rights by erasing the cultural norms that make Fatwas of Death-for-Heresy not an artifact of the past, but a current and accepted practice in the PRESENT. Otherwise, it’s just showing weakness in the eyes of people whose cultural norm is to respect the intolerant strongman.

    Generally, it’s been found (from the British Empire’s example) that you can’t beat reason into someone, and offering it to them when their instinct is to reject it leads only to rejection OF reason. Without Reason, Rights become meaningless.

  • troll

    …typical nonsense of the Congress – sanctions (even those imposed by god) only serve to harden Pharaoh’s heart

  • troll

    (G_d if you prefer)

  • Michael

    Lets substitute some words and see what you think about it…

    “Resolved by the UN General Assembly, That the General Assembly… demands that the Secretary-General initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on the United States to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to the United States of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing the United States; and prohibiting the international movement of all US officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of United State’s nuclear program…”

    If that was a resolution before the UN General Assembly (or any government parliament), what would you think about that?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “That’s not what I get from the Hersh article.”

    The US is kidnapping Iranian soldiers to interrogate in Iraq. If the Iranians were kidnapping US soldiers and interrogating them in Russia or Syria, I have a suspicion the Bush Admin would consider that an act of war.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    HR 362 is a strongly worded document. If passed, it will express the sense of the House of Representatives that U.S. policy toward Iran should be changed. As Dave notes, it will have no legal effect and the President is under no legal obligation to consider it.

    However, it seems likely that the people in power in Iran have no better understanding of the way that the U.S. Government functions than we have of the way that the Iranian Government functions. The U.S. separation of powers is quite different from anything in Iran, and it may well be considered by Iran (and by its allies) that HR 362 is of much greater significance than it actually is. That seems to me to be unfortunate.

    If the resolution is adopted, it may well be viewed as a statement of U.S. policy, rather than merely a statement of what a majority of the members of the House think. If it is not adopted, it may well stimulate the view in Iran that the U.S. is weak and is unwilling to do any of the things suggested in the resolution. Either result would be unfortunate.

    Resolutions such as HR 362 diminish the ability of the President and other members of the Executive Branch to carry out their duties in the area of foreign policy. Matters such as those raised in HR 362 should be dealt with through informal consultations between members of the House, the President and the Secretary of State. They should not be reflected in publicly available documents likely to be misconstrued by other countries or intentionally used by them for propaganda purposes in their relations with others.

    Dan

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    Doc,

    Re your comment#23: Wandering through Tokyo one late night, I encountered a nice little restaurant with big red neon flashing sign advertising “Severed Meat”…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The US is kidnapping Iranian soldiers to interrogate in Iraq. If the Iranians were kidnapping US soldiers and interrogating them in Russia or Syria, I have a suspicion the Bush Admin would consider that an act of war.

    Then perhaps the US should be at war as both our citizens, our soldiers and allied British soldiers have been seized from boats in Iraqi waters by the Iranians and interrogated and held prisoner for extended periods of time, in multiple instances stretching back 5 years.

    The Hersh article does not specify where the al Quds soldiers were captured. It’s entirely possible that they were camptured in Iraq or Afghanistan or even Pakistan, since they rergularly carry out commando/terrorist operations outside of Iranian territory, that itself being another act of war from the Iranians against their neighbors.

    Dave

    As for

  • Michael

    “demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program”

    That is right from the site you have linked in your article!

    Are you seriously going to say that Congress has not authorized, excuse me, DEMANDED the President implement a blockade of Iran?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Michael,

    As I understand the situation, HR 362 has not been passed yet, and may never be. Hence, the Congress has neither authorized nor demanded anything, yet.

    Should HR 362 pass the House, it still will not be an action by the Congress; there are two houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    Should HR 362 be adopted by both houses of Congress, it will certainly state what the Congress wishes. Still, it will have no legal effect authorizing or effectively demanding anything.

    The Congress can “demand” anything it wishes, including the abolition of hurricanes and earthquakes with equal effect. Passage of a law, signed by the President or with his veto overridden, might have some legal effect on whether the things discussed in HR 362 become effective. Such a law probably would not, however, be effective with respect to hurricanes or earthquakes.

    Dan

  • bliffle

    Geez, if I was POTUS I’d consider 362 a demand that I use my power as CinC to invade Iran.

    Personally, I wouldn’t do it. But if I wanted to I would, and later I’d point to 362 for justification. In addition to my absolute power as CinC, of course.

    But that’s just me, and I’m a nut. No reasonable POTUS would do that, would they?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Biffle,

    In recent years, hasn’t the phrase “reasonable POTUS” become rather an oxymoron?

    Dan

  • Lumpy

    what is wrong with u oeople and your obsession with AIPAC? it’s just another lobby just like the NRA or AARP who also have lots of influence. oh wait. AIPAC is different in one way. it’s full of jews. never mind.

  • Michael

    “I suppose that by extension you could argue that the proposed sanctions could require the use of naval forces to inspect ships, but that’s hardly an attack on Iran”

    There are so many things wrong with this, I’m not sure where to begin…

    First, the resolution calls to inspect all forms of cargo leaving Iran on ships, PLANES, TRAINS, etc… So, it would require more than ‘naval forces’.

    Second, would the United States allow a foreign government to inspect all cargo coming from/to the United States? How would we interpret such an act?

    It is like someone blocking someone delivering heating oil to your house… Sure there is no authorization to ‘attack’ Iran, but again, I ask you, what would the United States do if someone threatened our supply of ‘refined petroleum products’?

    Hmmm, isn’t that what we are saying Iran is doing? Threatening “America’s vital national security interests in the Middle East”.

    We take Iran’s threatening of our oil supply as an ‘attack’ but when we do it back to Iran, it doesn’t fall under that category?

    Didn’t we almost invade Saudi Arabia during the height of the first oil embargo?

  • Ruvy

    Dear Miriam,

    I’m writing to you from Samaria, which as you may know is the mountain heartland of my country – Israel.

    In all truth, I’d be very happy if

    1. The Americans got their asses out of our affairs;
    2. The Americans stayed out of our affairs;
    3. The Americans cut off what they call “foreign aid” to this country, and pulled their money out of this country;
    4. The Americans stopped pushing their “peace” process;
    5. The Americans quit training killers of Jewish children;
    6. The Americans stop pretending to be our friends – we know better, especially those of us born in the States
    7. That the American Jewish blowhards at AIPAC would put their checkbooks away and leave America and come home – or leave us alone altogether. We do not need arrogant Americans Jews to tell us what to do, we need them to learn Torah, the Books of Prophecy and to bring themselves closer to G-d.

  • Lumpy

    michael. the key difference is that the US is not a rogue state that sponsors terrorism. once the entire internatiinal community starts condemning u it’s reasonable to expect to put up with some indignities like searches.

  • stevoi

    “Now, if you cannot understand what it means to ‘prohibit the export to Iran all refined petroleum products,’ ‘impose stringent inspection requirements’ on goods going in or coming out of Iran, and to prohibit international movement of Iranian government officials, then you sir are a complete idiot.”

    ditto

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Now, if you cannot understand what it means to say “nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization of the use of force against Iran,” then you are a complete idiot.

    That goes for ditto boy too.

    Dave

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “The Hersh article does not specify where the al Quds soldiers were captured.”

    Wrong. It clearly states “United States Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with Presidential authorization, since last year. These have included seizing members of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation….”

    I am not absolving Iran for their actions, but like I said before “it sounds like we are already at war with Iran.” It may be a cold one, but a rose by any other name.

  • Pablo

    Well Dave hypocrisy does seem to be your middle name. In your article you said quite emphatically, and I might add falsely:

    “No one opposes the idea of war in Iran more than I do.”

    Then you go on to say in comment 34:

    “Then perhaps the US should be at war as both our citizens, our soldiers and allied British soldiers have been seized from boats in Iraqi waters by the Iranians and interrogated and held prisoner for extended periods of time, in multiple instances stretching back 5 years.”

    Excuse me if I don’t by your bullshit. The first quote is obviously untrue on its face. The second one contradicts the first. Your one confused politico brother. Smirk

  • Lumpy

    pablo. is it tht you are stupid, illiterate or just being deliberately dense? prefacing something with ‘perhaps’ does not mean you agree it means you’re postulating.

  • Lumpy

    pablo. is it tht you are stupid, illiterate or just being deliberately dense? prefacing something with ‘perhaps’ does not mean you agree it means you’re postulating.

  • Pablo

    Oh sweet Lumpy, how I love it when you criticize me, and how you attempt to portray yourself as semi-literate, but cannot seem to help duplicating your comments, and you are obviously in need of spelling lessons.

    That being said Lumpy boy, I do find you adorable, in as much as your hatred for everything you cannot understand or tolerate is nevertheless very cute! I do understand how you have a difficult time seeing the hypocrisy in Dave’s article and subsequent comment, I suggest that you take a reading comprehension course too; if you are interested I can provide you with a few urls that might assist you in that endeavor. Thanks again for your comment.

  • bliffle

    The POTUS doesn’t need an authorization in 362, he has already said that if a US soldier is injured or killed by a foreign soldier that the POTUS is constitutionally allowed to invade as CinC.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Pablo, Lumpy has you nailed dead to rights. You’re manufacturing argument out of thin air. Go read #34 again. All I did was take the earlier claim that whatever the Iranians did was okay because we’ve interrogated their soldiers and turn the argument back on itself by pointing out the fact that the Iranians have seized and interrogated far more of our people.

    They’re trying to defend Iran by making them out to be the victims, when they have done exactly the same thing, and that’s what I’m pointing out.

    You’re calling me a hypocrite for pointing out the hypocrisy in someone else’s argument. Makes no sense at all.

    dave

  • bliffle

    Like many others, I dread the idea that GWB will invade Iran before his term is up and thus doom us to more years of senseless war.

  • Clavos

    It DOES seem to be ramping up pretty quickly; especially today, with all the sabre rattling over the Strait of Hormuz.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I still don’t see it. Give me a scenario under which we could invade Iran and not get our asses completely kicked?

    I could see some limited bombing and a blockade, but beyond that, no way.

    Dave

  • STM

    There won’t even be any limited bombing or a blockade unless Iran attacks first, and they’re not that dumb.

    And seriously, there is no way even this administration would be stupid enough to engage the United States in another mid-east conflagration while the other one is still raging.

    Think things are bad now? If that cracker ever goes off, the ice cream will hit the fan big time.

    Simply, it just won’t happen.

    The Iranians aren’t Ahmajinedad. Most of them don’t like him or his government. I’d suspect the average Iranian isn’t that different to the average American and wants no part of anything that might see his or her country turned into a sheet of glass.

  • bliffle

    So, bombing Iran isn’t war?

    The POTUS has already indicated justification by saying Iranian soldiers in Iraq are killing Americans (even if they are American soldiers).

    And now he blames all his failures on Iran, in that irresponsible way that he has.

    What makes more sense than bombing Iran?

  • Robert Maxwell

    “I still don’t see it. Give me a scenario under which we could invade Iran and not get our asses completely kicked?”

    Define “our asses completely kicked.”

    Do you mean by the Iranian army? I would severely doubt it.

    Do you mean that it would be near impossible to securely occupy the mountainous Persian interior and root out whatever partisan/loyalist forces might rest there in the aftermath of an American(-led?) invasion? Probably.

    However, I’m relatively confident that the U.S. Military is privy to far more (vital) information, sc. the Iranian military, etc., than we are, and form their plans and estimations accordingly.

    I would like to see citations on the claims that Iran has captured as many Americans as has been suggested here (no number given, but a fairly decent amount has been implied). But I should like to note that, as I’ve seen it, international relations very rarely take as linear a cause-and-effect step as we seem to be suggesting.

    A violation of sovereignty doesn’t necessarily lead to war if, in this case, the radically stronger of the two nations does not want a war. Similarly, the kidnapping of “citizens” (were they citizens? What was their status viz-a-viz the US Government?) will not lead to war if the center of power of the nation does not necessarily want it.

    Rather, it seems to me that in most cases wherein a war is declared for whatever casus belli, the justification is not the true “case for war”, but just that: a justification for a declaration of war at that moment in time, with the true case for war being in the more complex issues of economy, international relations, domestic situations, etc.. We might have had more justification in the past, just as some might argue that we had more solid justification (and international backing) during the First Gulf War to invade and occupy Iraq, as I seem to remember some politicians in the United States and abroad were pushing for.

    In short, captured citizens or not, it will likely remain immaterial to the United States government until such a time as a) it’s convenient for the United States to go to war, if it ever decides as such, b) there is resulted, whether through independent journalism or a formal government press releases, a strong enough public sentiment for war such as to influence the political platforms of a party.

    Just my views on the issue.

  • Lumpy

    Iran is th preeminent terror sponsoring nation. if we were at all serious about making war on terror then we have to make war on iran. itls the nexus.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Jew hatin’ and self-righteous anti-war hysterics aside, what do we do about Iran? We essentially have a choice of US and/or Israel attacking them, or absolutely allowing them to get nuclear weapons. Which is more dangerous?

    And as to the morality of such an attack, Ron Paul et al can seriously go fug themselves. The Iranian regime has no rights or legitimacy that any civilized human being is bound to respect. There might be some question as to our abilities or prudence in such a move, but denouncing the morality of attacking some of the very most dangerous and barbaric killers in the world today rather than letting them acquire nukes is just dumb.

  • Robert Maxwell

    Al –

    I believe that’s essentially a false choice. It does not out of necessity, in my opinion, follow that a failure to declare war or in some way attack Iran will result in their acquisition of nuclear weapons, or that, should they indeed do so, they would immediately use them in anything else than a defensive capacity.

    We, of course, hear the belligerence of some of the members of the Iranian government, but it might be premature, and we must remember that the threats of Ahmadinejad do not necessarily equal the policy of the Iranian state, just like Wilson’s creation and talk of a League of Nations did not translate into American policy due to Congress’s resistance. Couple this with the fact that the Iranian government is essentially not stupid, as well as the fact that Ahmadinejad is not the power center of the country, and sets of Ayatollahs who are just as concerned about retaining their power as any other power center on the globe, and we have a situation wherein there is more than the false dichotomy of “bomb Iran” or “Israel will be glass.”

    I would prefer to leave the specifics to the professional diplomatists and policy makers, but I would argue that there is always the opportunity for peaceful diplomacy to reach a sustainable peace. I’m aware I might be accused of being a Chamberlain, but all it would require is the correct application of diplomatic, and perhaps economic, pressure, in concert with support from other nations.

    I should also like to reject your claim that the Iranian Islamic Republic holds no legitimacy or rights. The Islamic Republic is legitimate in that: a) the Iranians themselves, by and large, either support the workings of Government, or at least do not obscure it. In other words, the Iranians accept the government (unless there are large areas of the country which no longer accept orders from Tehran, which would surprise me, b) the Islamic Republic is internationally recognized as the ruling government of Iran, and a representative thereof is present at the United Nations.

    Therefore, the Iranian Islamic Republic holds both domestic and international acceptance, and from this, legitimacy.

    Furthermore, Iran, as a member of the United Nations, benefits from the charter of that Body, not least in the first heading of Chapter One, Section Two of the UN Charter, which states the guarantee of “sovereign equality for all of its Members.”

    The Iranian government has the requisite legitimacy to garner international recognition and a seat at the United Nations, as well as enough to enforce their rule at home. They also have the rights of any other sovereign nation, as guaranteed by international law.

    Unless, of course, we make a case of naming every single member of the modern international diplomatic community uncivilized.

    We can argue on the justness of declaring war against a sovereign country due to any number of reasons previously stated, but we cannot discount their sovereign national status off-hand. Nor can we confine ourselves to only two choices when there are, in fact, innumerable others, and wiser choices at that, free from bayonet-bearing jingoism and fear-mongering.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Robert, a legitimately constituted and elected government can still be a rogue nation. Hitler was elected and Germany was recognized as a legitimate nation by all of its neighbors.

    As for seats at the UN, they let every tinhorn dictator and tyrant have a seat regardless of their crimes. Hell, most of the worst ones are on the Human Rights Commission, in fact. That certainly says nothing about the legitimacy of the government.

    Do you think we should tolerate any attrocity because a country has a seat at the UN?

    DAve

  • Robert Maxwell

    Dave –

    I’m surprised we’ve Godwin’ed so quickly (and look, ye faithful! At the end, a strawman!), but just a quick bit of fact checking:

    a) Hitler was not elected; he was appointed by Hindenburg. He gained dictatorial power via the Enabling Acts passed by the Reichstag in 1933, and later the office of President by his own decree after Hindenburg’s death. His people, though they might have openly supported the National Socialists (who held a majority in the Reichstag, if I remember correctly), we cannot say that Hitler was ELECTED.

    b) The Weimar government was barely legitimate. With the exception of some bright stars like Stresemann, Weimar Germany had poor leadership, combined with astronomical inflation and an inability to gain superior authority and recognition over groups such as the Spartacists and the Freikorps. Part of the reason for this must at least be that the Weimar Government was a foreign conception basically forced upon Germany in the face of the foreign diktat.

    It barely even had foreign recognition, and joined the League of Nations only under Stresemann, some decade or so after the Weimar government was created by foreign impetus.

    “As for seats at the UN, they let every tinhorn dictator and tyrant have a seat regardless of their crimes.”

    And due to their membership, their sovereignty is guaranteed by the charter, unless we decide out of thin air that, for some reason, the charter we [the United States and UK] basically authored does not apply.

    “That certainly says nothing about the legitimacy of the government.”

    Yes it does. It says that they are recognized internationally to be the governing body of that particular nation.

    “Do you think we should tolerate any atrocity because a country has a seat at the UN?”

    Where are you reading this? First, if we’re using some sort of atrocityometer to figure out if we’re going to declare war, we should’ve invaded North Korea, Georgia [ethnic cleansing and basic genocide], Rwanda [genocide], Chad [genocide], the Congo [vast genocide, the most deadly war since WWII], etc.. Your argument about Iran’s vast atrocities are immaterial and hypocritical – these nations have caused/are causing far more serious atrocities than the Islamic Republic ever has, relative to their scale, and yet I don’t see anyone threatening war against them.

    Second, the term “rogue state” is, by my opinion, a term suitably easy to apply arbitrarily to states against which we would like to justify military or economic action. To put it very plainly: the term “rogue state” is a bullshit political term, as is the term “War on Terror.” The term doesn’t even refer to any uniformity of action! Pakistan, called a “rogue state,” was fervently supported by the United States during the reign of a military dictatorship, North Korea, the number one rogue state, faces basically no sort of American threat. Yet Iran, mystically, is condemned as a rogue state, and therefore action must be taken against them.

    Third, accepting the term “rogue state,” legitimacy does not preclude “rogue state” status. Nor does a state of legitimacy forbid preventative and/or defensive action in the occasion of a concrete and credible threat. And I never stated to the contrary – I merely noted that we cannot discount Iran’s domestic and international legitimacy, and declare that their state has no rights. This does not mean that the Islamic Republic should be under no occasion overthrown, although I believe it’s a monumentally stupid idea at this point.

  • bliffle

    Al is recycling the old anti-Saddam and anti-Iraq diatribes from 6 years ago.

  • Michael

    Al,

    Let’s just forget about the right/wrong arguments and let’s look at the costs…

    Almost 600 billion for the Iraq/Afghan wars …
    Almost 5,000 soldiers dead (thousands maimed?) …
    Oil, $35-ish a barrel before, $142-ish today …

    Was it worth it?

    All this saber rattling is doing more harm then good…

    Honestly, for 600 billion, we could have:

    1. built a 25′ high “Great Wall of America” around the whole country
    2. inspect every individual/container coming into America
    3. built a state of the art anti-missile system
    4. built a state of the art fusion power plant
    5. built a state of the art battery (100-200% capacity then currently available)
    6. built a state of the art radiation detector

    Yet as it stands:

    1. our borders are wide open
    2. we don’t even know how many illegals are in the country or what is shipped in/out
    3. we still don’t have a working anti-missile system
    4. we still rely on non-renewable energy supplies
    5. we still have crappy batteries
    6. and we can’t detect radiation isotopes

    I haven’t even begun to mention what this war has done to the value of the dollar…

    If we would have spent those 600 BILLION dollars just on fusion/battery technology, the Iranians wouldn’t have the money from $142-ish a barrel oil…

    I’m not saying sit around and do nothing, or roll over and play dead. Quite the contrary, let the Iranians know that if a wmd goes off they will be on the top of the list to be flattened…

  • John Crowley

    I think it is kind of naive to think that putting economic sanctions, and thus inhibiting their ability to function, to provide food their inhabitants, to take care of the needs of their people. By meddling with the internal politics of these countries and deploying troops onto their soul we only build natural human resentment to Unwelcome Occupation…

    Take Granada for example. Reagan said, “Nutmeg is not the issue, which is Granada’s biggest export, we can get perfectly good nutmeg from South Africa, we don’t need Granada’s nutmeg.” We invaded Granada because we were serving notice to the people of Central and South America, and the Carribean that you cannot drop out of your client-based free market system. If you use your land, labor, and capital to benefit the needs of your people, rather than being milked like a cow by foreign investors. This is what will happen to you…

  • bliffle

    If someone blockaded and embargoed the USA we’d take it as an act of war.

  • Robert Maxwell

    If the person who blockaded us was significantly stronger, and war would almost certainly entail a forced change of government, I would expect the regime/government (depending on if you like the nation or not) would be far more open to solutions alternative to war or violence.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    If someone blockaded and embargoed the USA we’d take it as an act of war.

    So, if rather than embargoing us absolutely, a group of nations colluded to rise the price of a vital commodity so high that it devastated our economy, would that be an act of war?

    Dave

  • Conrad Dalton

    So, if rather than embargoing us absolutely, a group of nations colluded to rise the price of a vital commodity so high that it devastated our economy, would that be an act of war?

    No.

  • Conrad Dalton

    The US embargo on oil to Japan was a vital commodity and was the reason Japan committed its act of war on December 7m 1941.

    Was Japan justified?

  • bliffle

    “justified”? Justice has nothing to do with it.

    “expected” might be a better word. And a word we should have paid attention to. Instead, many foolish people thought we could squeeze the Japanese without consequence, one of the results of which was the foolish massing of the fleet at Pearl. Another result of our foolish arrogance was the unguarded nature of our defenses. (Of course, the Japanese leadership was equally foolish in thinking that the US would not go to war after Pearl).

    People commit provocative acts and then wonder that there is war.

    One can argue that Japans situation was more sensitive because of their great dependency on trade, which doesn’t affect Iran as much, and ought not affect the USA as much, except we’ve (foolishly?) volunteered to be dependent.

  • Clavos

    “…we’ve (foolishly?) volunteered to be dependent.”

    Definitely foolishly.

    Imagine how much better off we’d be if we hadn’t foolishly turned those oilfields (which we and the British discovered, developed and exploited) back to the Arabs.

  • Conrad Dalton

    “Why, then the world’s mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.”

    — William Shakespeare

  • Conrad Dalton

    Discovering oil on someone else’s land doesn’t entitle anyone to own it.

    The Central Intelligence Agency’s covert operation to overthrow Iran’s government in 1953 was instigated by Britain which was fearful of Iran’s plans to nationalize its oil industry, and came up with the idea for the 1952 coup and pressed the United States to mount a joint operation to remove Mossadegh, the Iranian prime minister. The United States and Britain plotted the military coup that returned the shah of Iran to power and toppled Iran’s elected prime minister. Iranians working for the C.I.A. and posing as Communists staged the bombing of one cleric’s home in a campaign to turn the country’s Islamic religious community against Mossadegh’s government.

    The C.I.A. and the British intelligence service handpicked Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi to succeed Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and covertly funneled $5 million to Zahedi to accomplish the coup

    This all came back to haunt the US when the shah‘s repressive regime was overturned by Iranian students in 1978 after Jimmy Carter refused to return the shah to Iran for trial by that country.

    The Iran debacle is just one more example of the tangled web the US has woven in the Middle East since the end of WWII.

  • Clavos

    “Discovering oil on someone else’s land doesn’t entitle anyone to own it.”

    Didn’t say it did.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Conrad, based on #69 and #70 you clearly believe that Japan was not justified in attacking the US despite our embargo on the oil they needed to run their country. So you’d presumably therefore agree that Iran would not be justified in considering American measures against them to be acts of war, correct?

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    when the shah’s repressive regime was overturned by Iranian students

    That would the the ‘repressive’ regime which created the universities those students studied in and the economic prosperity which made it possible for them to go to university in the first place. And those would be the students who took and imprisoned more political prisoners in their first year in power than the Shah had in 17 years.

    So what you’re arguing is that if a regime is created under questionable circumstances and then rules well, it’s okay to overthrow it and replace it with a much more repressive regime on that basis. So tyranny is okay, so long as it’s tyranny that’s anti-western, right?

    Dave

  • Conrad Dalton

    “So tyranny is okay, so long as it’s tyranny that’s anti-western, right?”

    Wrong.

    The issus is who started the cycle of tyranny and violence. In case you haven’t noticed, violence begets violence.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    LOL. Who started it? When the Franks defeated the Moors at Roncesvalles who was the invader? Who was defending their home territory at Thermopylae?

    The cycle of tyrrany and violence and conflict between east and west goes back at least 3000 years. You’re buying into the insanity which drives the Jihadist mentality if you start playing the ‘who went first’ game.

    Dave

  • Conrad Dalton

    The only ‘who went first’ game that really matters is the one being played now.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    The only ‘who went first’ game that really matters is the one being played now.

    It seems a tad academic if not callous to refer to these things as a game, sort of like soccer, where no evil is involved, but what the hell. So be it.

    Actually, this seems to be one of the principal arguments against the death penalty; no matter how horrific the crime, the vicious rape of a small child, for example, may have been, the only thing that matters is that the death penalty is wicked because, well, uh, because it is. All enlightened folks know that and those who don’t, should.

    Dan

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Conrad, if you’re going to set an arbitrary limit on what parts of history to remember, I say let’s start remembering things at 9/11 and forget whatever went before. How’s that?

    Dave

  • bliffle

    Seems like people just can’t resist harking up some kind of contrived moralism to ‘justify’ their ideas of international affairs. Gee, I thought it was all about naked power. What happens? If you lose do you sue for ‘justice’ in hopes of wresting victory from defeat?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Naked power sounds good to me, Bliffle. At least it’s honest.

    Dave

  • Conrad Dalton

    “Naked power sounds good to me… At least it’s honest.”

    — Adolf Hitler?

  • Clavos

    “”Naked power sounds good to me… At least it’s honest.”

    — Adolf Hitler?”

    Possibly.

    Also, FDR, JFK, and LBJ, among others.

  • Conrad Dalton

    Compared to Adolf Hitler, FDR, JFK, and LBJ are not in the same category.

    But in their class, GWB deserves mention.

  • Clavos

    “Compared to Adolf Hitler, FDR, JFK, and LBJ are not in the same category.”

    In your opinion.

    In terms of the use of naked power, (the original point, remember?) they are most definitely in his class; in fact, FDR used naked power to the extent of defeating Hitler’s naked power.

    Nobody since WW II has even begun to approach the USA’s use of “naked power.”

    And, as an American, I’m glad.

  • bliffle

    The USA has actually been pretty efective at using naked power for the last 60 years. I do wish, however, that all that cleverness had been put to better purpose. Namely, advancing the causes of USA citizens instead of the Vested Interests, which, more and more, are speaking with foreign accents.

  • Conrad Dalton

    “FDR used naked power to the extent of defeating Hitler’s naked power.”

    Naked power is power devoid of justice or morality.

    FDR had justice and morality on his side.

    Adolf Hitler’s only competition is Joseph Stalin.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Conrad, you earlier suggested that Bush was on a par with Hitler and presumably Stalin.

    As for FDR’s ‘morality’ you must have a different definition of the word. FDR may have been an angel compared to Hitler, but that’s hardly a great accomplishment. More damage was done to the rights of citizens during his period in power than under any president before and since, including the dreaded GWB.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    “Naked power is power devoid of justice or morality.”

    According to whom?

    Wikipedia attributes this definition of naked power to Bertrand Russell:

    “…naked power is the ruthless exertion of force without the desire for, or attempt at, consent.”

    Which is a pretty accurate description of the USA’s wielding of power over the past 60 or 70 years.

  • Conrad Dalton

    “Conrad, you earlier suggested that Bush was on a par with Hitler and presumably Stalin.”

    No such suggestion was made.

    “Compared to Adolf Hitler, FDR, JFK, and LBJ are not in the same category. But in their class, GWB deserves mention

    “Not in the same category” is not the same as “on a par.”

  • Conrad Dalton

    “Naked power is power devoid of justice or morality.”

    “According to whom?”

    Most likely Machiavelli.

  • http://www.utube.com/HABAKKUP Cary Ace Bowers Jr

    death is the moral teaching of govts,just like on our roadways of life,everyone really wants to kill each other,go on,the meek get the planet afterwards!!!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Looks like things are heating up a tad, what with the Iranian long range missile tests and Russian unhappiness over a deal to put radar sites in one of its former satellite countries. Even Deputy Warmonger in chief Rice is talking about defending our interests and those of our allies.

    Obviously, this is all a giant conspiracy among the wicked Bush administration, Iran, Israel and Russia so that the U.S. elections can be canceled and to obtain passage of the despised spying legislation so favored by all of them.

    It’s a vast right wing conspiracy, I tell ya.

    Dan

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The cleverest part of the neocon conspiracy is the way they’ve recruited Iran to be a bunch of militaristic and expansionistic warmongers just so they have someone to motivate themselves against.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Dave,

    Believe me, it wasn’t easy, particularly for a bunch of stupid neocons who, we all know, can’t do anything right correctly.

    Dan

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Anyone else thoroughly amused by the dodgy Photoshop job done by someone in the Revolutionary Guard in an attempt to cover up the fact that one of the missiles failed to fire?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Wow, that’s pretty blatant. You would think that with their resources they could find someone a bit more competent and a bit more creative. I wonder if they use the same guy who doctored all those photos of Israeli attacks on civilians for Hezbollah.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Dave,

    Remember how terrified we were back during the cold war days over the tremendous competence and stellar military abilities of the USSR?

    It’s always silly to under-estimate one’s enemies, but it’s almost as silly to over-estimate them.

    Dan

  • http://www.libertyrepublican.com Dave Nalle

    I lived in Russia at the time, Dan. I figured that if they couldn’t make the elevator or heat in our apartment building work they weren’t likely to be able to dominate the world. As an ideology Marxism seems to have had more success since the USSR fell working through their old network of organizations and agents which are still alive and well.

    I always figured that if a nuclear war started and the launch command went out half the soviet missiles would be duds and a good number of them would hit the wrong targets or blow up on launch – that’s in the unlikely event their launch crews were sober enough to launch them – but enough would get through to really piss us off and that our missiles would work and wouldn’t miss.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    As Dan says, Dave…

    I’m fairly sure that at least part of the reason nothing worked or could be bought when you lived in the USSR was that the bulk of resources was diverted to the military.

    Remember that that military defeated the German Wehrmacht in 1945, quashed revolutions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia and kept half of Europe under its thumb for almost half a century.

    You’re probably right in your assessment that they weren’t nearly as formidable and unbeatable as they were made out to be, but your surmise that any attack on the West would have fallen flat is very blasé.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Well, that’s a theory, Dr. D. But rather than letting their veterans sit around and drink on the dole all day they might have tried putting them to work so they could use the skills they learned in the nuclear silos to fix elevators or furnaces or hot water heaters. But the truth was that under the soviet system they got paid whether they worked or not, so they generally preferred not.

    I’m sure that they could have put together some kind of most unpleasant nuclear attack. They certainly tried pretty hard to make that possible. But based on all the problems they had towards the end of the cold war and after with defective equipment and decomissioning warheads I suspect that the glowing reports that went with every 5-year plan were mostly bullshit.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    Dan sez:

    “It’s always silly to under-estimate one’s enemies, but it’s almost as silly to over-estimate them.”

    How a about trying to correctly estimate ones enemies? How about trying to get it right from the start instead of using the lazy persons method of applying a fudge factor to inaccurate estimates?

  • Clavos

    “How a about trying to correctly estimate ones enemies? How about trying to get it right from the start instead of using the lazy persons method of applying a fudge factor to inaccurate estimates?”

    Wow. Profound…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Gee Bliffle, sounds like in your administration you’d like to bring in some experts on foreign intelligence and policy. Perhaps some folks from a think tank like PNAC would be useful to you.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Here is something I find a bit scary, and as to which I must confess I hadn’t previously given much thought.

    It seems that Iran, and/or a bunch other neat folks, could without much difficulty or expense launch an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack on the U.S., which might even disable BlogCritics. Collateral damage could easily deprive the U.S. of just about everything dependent upon electricity. The article goes on in some detail.

    Doubtless the infallible experts referred to elsewhere on the thread have the problem all figured out and can deal with it appropriately. The teeny weeny lingering reservations I feel are probably unwarranted, but then I’m just a scardy cat.

    Dan

  • bliffle

    Good grief! Now we have the newest EMP threat that I’ve been hearing about for 50 years. Maybe longer.

    People REALLY should take some good science courses at the Junior College down the street so they’re not lead around like children by such nonsense.