Do you support any strike or war with Iran?
(1) I dont believe we can stop nuclear proliferation....maybe we had a chance a few years ago but now its no more likely than the idea we can stop drug trafficking.
(2) We dont have the right to stop any nation from developing nuclear powerstations
(3) its only a hopskip and a jump from a nuclear powerstation to a nuclear weapon
(4) half the mad bastards in the world already have WMD...China, pakistan, North Korea(!), Israel, America...
(5) The democratically elected leader of Iran has publicly stated that Israel has no right to exist
(6) The predominant religion is one whose members would see sacrificing themselves to take out Israel something of a treat
(7) Most of the people in Iran are just normal people who want to make a decent life
(8) The leader is Iran is simply chasing votes, just like every other politician in the world
(9) The fewer countries in the world with nuclear weapons the better
(10) We would fail to win any war with Iran....Im not saying we'd lose it, but we sure as hell wouldn't win.
(11) a failed Israeli commando strike would leave us in a much worse position
(12) The only realistic way of taking out the nuclear program, assuming that the facilities are underground and reasonably guarded in the expectation of just such a strike...not a big assumption given the previous strike on Iraq, is with bunker buster nuclear weapons.
(13) I dont believe that Iran would launch a serious attack against israel, Israel is a nuclear power and to do so would be suicidal.
No. I do not support a war or a nuclear strike against Iran.
I am against a strike on Iran, and in fact am against our embargo with Iran. I think we should restore normal relations with them. Get that Iranian oil flowing our way, and open up the Persian culture to US tourists. Maybe in exchange for them toning down the rhetoric a little.
Before Ahmadinejad was "elected" president I was generally against any type of military action. Specifically in Iran, but in the Middle East in general.
Now, honestly, I'm not so sure. I agree, he's probably exactly like our assf*ck politicians in the US - just trying to keep his face in the spotlight. However, I'm concerned that his rhetoric would be instigating other hard liners in Iran into action.
"(6) The predominant religion is one whose members would see sacrificing themselves to take out Israel something of a treat"
BTW, I agree 100% with this. I have a very close friend who was born in Egypt to Iranian/Egyptian parents who are back in Iran now. His been in the States since the early eighties. 31yo. American citizen. American wife. Two kids. Two cars. Picket fence. Yadda Yadda. If you knew him you'd think he's the last guy on earth to strap on a bomb.
Well, he hates Isreal and the Jews with an incredible passion. He freely admits that he fantasizes about doing just that - strapping on a bomb and killing whomever he can. We've talked specifically about this recently and he says he absolutely would welcome dying if he could take some Jews with him. He admits that this is all very irrational, but he has the thoughts none the less.
Sure, he still may be in the minority, but my point is where there's one, there's a million. Something tells me that a very sizeable chunk of the Middle East would mind taking a nuke up the ass as long as they get the chance to lob one at Isreal first.
"Something tells me that a very sizeable chunk of the Middle East would **NOT** mind taking a nuke up the ass..."
No. I see no pressing reason other than a bunch of self-important middle aged men in a willy-waving competition.
Perhaps we should just issue Heads of Government with pointy sticks and let them sort it our amongst themselves without bothering the rest of us.
I hope they blow up the Middle East, im fed up on hearing about it on the news.
Since even the Chinese (Iran's major oil partner) and the Russians (Iran's major nuclear supplier, and oil customer) seem to be alarmed, probably U.N. action will be sufficient.
The goal of course is to allow Iran to HAVE a civilian breeder-reactor program, without letting them use it to create nuclear weapons.
Since that's what they keep SAYING they want to do, it should be possible to put in place monitoring to guarantee that is what they are doing. And hopefully they themselves are aware of the alarming effect of their rhetoric, which other countries should use to justify such an "interference" in their nuclear program.
However, the U.S. has now spent over 300 billion dollars trying to pacify and "turn into a democracy" a much smaller country (Iraq). We've obligated a third of our standing forces there, having activated National Guard reserve units to do so. I don't think we have the patience, the troops, or the dollars left to open yet another front in the "war against terrorism" at this point.
Russia and China have both stated, two days ago, that they don't think UN actions are apropriate now.
I'm not sure why Russia supports Iran as much as it does. It doesn't need Iran's oil, and it has been in conflict with Iran for fear of them helping the chechnians. And having yet another nuclear neighbor doesn't seem like much of an advantage...
"Perhaps we should just issue Heads of Government with pointy sticks and let them sort it our amongst themselves without bothering the rest of us."
I remember reading somewhere ("The Human Zoo", IIRC) that maybe the solution to keep the peace was not to dismantle the nuclear arsenals, but rather the bunkers specially reserved for those who have the power to "push the button".
Of course, the odd "madman-with-a-warhead-in-a-goat-track-somewhere" would probably be somewhat safe, unless there's some way of tracking the point from where he shot it.
With the great success of the iraqi invasion how could we not invade iran? I mean bush became popular with the first invasion. It will certainly happen again.
"(10) We would fail to win any war with Iran....Im not saying we'd lose it, but we sure as hell wouldn't win."
I guess it depends upon your definition of win. To air/missile strike Iran's weapon program out of existence could easily be accomplished using resources sitting idle, with very little risk to anyone.
By classic definitions, as an aside, the US "won" the Iraq war with enormous ease. It's the whole nation building thing that's difficult.
"By classic definitions, as an aside, the US "won" the Iraq war with enormous ease. It's the whole nation building thing that's difficult."
I've said this a million times. When Germany trounced over France in WW2, there was a still a large guerilla movement, but nobody complained that the Nazi's weren't "winning the war in France"
But they were NAZI's, Phil. They didn't WANT a democracy in France, they wanted to CONTROL France. Having won the battle, their job was done. We don't want to CONTROL Iraq. Having won the war, our job was just beginning.
I don't think you want to advocate the U.S. coming right out and saying "OK! You guys don't want a democracy? Fine! Here starts the true American Empire! We will install a "governor" in Iraq, supported by American troops ruling over a Colonial militia. We'll BRING you democracy, whether you vote for it or not." ("And Iran? You're NEXT!")
It was not the U.S's purpose to plunge Iraq into a civil war -- but apparently, without a 'strong man' in power, the three major ethnic groups of Iraq don't know how to agree or comprimise. Yet.
Personally, I think in a year or two, there may be an indigenous military, loyal to the Iraqi constitution, and Iraqi politicions with enough experience in Parliamentary action for Iraq to be stable. Oh, who am I kidding, that's going to take decades. In a year or two we may have enough stability to pull out.
True Allan, but we still "won the war". Have we suceeded in the mission of having a free democratic iraq? No. But if the mission was to stop saddam hussein from developing chemical or nuclear weapons, and prevent the iraqi air force from violating the no fly zone, etc... then we have won.
> Have we suceeded in the mission of having a free democratic iraq?
The mission was to protect the US from WMDs. Nice history rewrite.
SOP, why don't you read the resolution for action against Iraq. WMD's were one of many reasons, and yes we technically suceeded in stopping that too, since they never existed.
The Osirak reactor (the one in Iraq that the Israelis bombed) was a 40-75MW "research" reactor. This sort of reactor is used for:
learning details about operating and maintaining power plants,
making radioactive materials for chemotherapy,
making radioactive stuff for bombs.
If the reactor is over 20MW in size it is generally only used for weapon production. The Osirak facility had no turbines for power generation.
The Bushehr reactor (the one in Iran that folks want to blow up) is a 1,000MW power generating reactor. It has turbines for power generation. Oil industry analysts predict that with Iran's growth in internal oil consumption, they will stop being an exporter of oil around 2010 if they don't build nuclear reactors.
Currently, Iran exports 2/3 of the oil they produce. The third that they use internally is consumed as fuel for cars/trucks and generating electricity. And they export 5% of the world's production of oil. Last time that Iran's oil went "off line" was in 1979 and world oil prices only doubled because Saudi Arabia was able to take up most of the slack.
All uranium nuclear power plants produce plutonium. The design of the plant affects whether they produce a tiny amount (CANDU design) or produce vast quantities (most US boiling water designs). The Bushehr plant was originally started back in the early 70s and was probably a typical US boiling water design (I've heard some folks claim it is a German design).
The 2 "wild cards" in anything that the UN does about Iran are Russia and China. Russia, while supplying technology and materials for the Bushehr reactor, is a major oil exporter and would benefit extremely well from any economic sanctions against Iran, so they would likely vote FOR sanctions against Iran. China has sold Iran hundreds of anti-aircraft and anti-shipping missiles, and has entered into a large, long-term purchasing agreement with Iran for natural gas (Iran and Qatar have something like 30% of the world's NG reserves). They would cast a veto against any sanctions should Iran get referred to the security council. Under the worst case scenario, the Chinese would assist the Iranian, perhaps by threatening to invade Taiwan (which would draw off most of the US forces from supporting an invasion of Iran). A trade war would also cripple the US as almost nothing is domestically produced anymore, and the Chinese, by purchasing T-bonds and T-notes are subsidizing US financial deficits.
Unilateral military action:
Most of Iran's oil production is in the NW area, near Iraq, making it relatively easy to capture from Iraq. Almost none of the nuclear facilities are located in that region. Bagdad is within flying range of Israeli aircraft, so a round-trip without refueling was possible. The Iranian facilities are beyond that range, so the Israelis would have to refuel their planes going and coming back. Flight (by Israeli aircraft) over Turkey or Saudi would be considered an act of war against those countries and lead probably to the collapse of their regimes should they fail to attack back. Flight (by Israeli aircraft) over Iraq means approval by the US, so that would be seen by the arab world as a US attack. Should the US bomb Iran, or allow Israel to bomb Iran, the most probable cause of Iranian response would be to shut down the Gulf of Hormuz. All Saudi, Kuwaiti, Iraqi, Iranian and UAE oil is shipped out via the Persian Gulf. As cutting off Iran's oil production caused a doubling in world oil prices, cutting off all Persian Gulf oil supplies would probably cause oil to hit $1k/barrel within weeks. Very few supertankers would be willing to risk getting sunk for oil. It would take several years for the Saudis to build a pipeline across the kingdom and build a Red Sea oil terminal. The pipeline across Iraq to send oil to the Med is constantly being attacked by insurgents/guerillas.
The Shiite wild card:
The insurgency in Iraq is predominantly sunni. The shiite majority (about 60% of the population) was suppressed under sadam and they see the US invasion as a win for them. Should Iran be invaded, it is likely that they would start attacking US forces in Iraq as Iran is the only other shiite country in the world (Iraq + Iran comprise something near 90% of the shiite population). How well would US troops prosper should the hostile population swell from 20% to 80%. Fall of Saigon anyone?
The oil Bourse:
Iran has been trying to open an oil bourse (or commodity exchange) for some time. In the past, the US would rattle sabres everytime the Iranians would get close to opening the exchange, so the Iranians have twice delayed opening the exchange. The current scheduled opening is in March 2006. The Iranians have made it clear that oil sold in the bourse/exchange will not have to be denominated in dollars, but rather the buyer + seller can trade using any currency. The last country to sell oil in any currency other than US dollars was Iraq. The two countries discussing selling oil in euros are currently being threatened by US military action: Iran and Venezuela. Countries that do no trade with the US are still having to purchase dollars in order to buy oil. Removing the dollar from that equation will cause the dollar to plunge in value.
The Lying incompetant idiots:
By every measure, the bush administration screwed the pooch invading Iraq. They lied about WMDs and lots of other things. "The Iraqis will throw flowers at our troops" and "we know where the WMD are located" and "We'll be out in 6 months" and "Mission Accomplished." They are too incompetant to be allowed near a lego set, let alone attempt to invade another country. Iran is 3x the size of Iraq, has 4x the population. Very few other countries believe anything the bush administration says at all, anymore. The best case scenario for invading Iran leads to $200/barrel oil, and the worst well over $1k/barrel. All down-side and no upside.
Do you really, truly think Iran could shut down the Persian Gulf? Do you think everyone would sit on the sidelines while the vast military might of Iran dominated the sea?
In reality Iran would have no anti-sea capacity left virtually overnight, and their own access to the gulf would disappear.
BTW: I'm entirely against any hostility towards Iran, and I think it's hypocritical that everyone knows Israel has nukes (hundreds of them supposedly) and that's okay, just as long as the other countries in the region don't. HOWEVER I think people confuse themselves into believing that these micro-regional powers are stronger than they are. The US has one hell of a miliary machine (the F22 just entered operational service, by the way. Not the the last generation couldn't thoroughly kick anyone's ass anyways), and from a pure militarism perspective is overwhelmingly dominant.
As for Israel flying over other countries: They did it before and they'd probably do it again. Strong diplomatic protests will occur, but really what is anybody going to do about it?
"The two countries discussing selling oil in euros are currently being threatened by US military action: Iran and Venezuela. Countries that do no trade with the US are still having to purchase dollars in order to buy oil. Removing the dollar from that equation will cause the dollar to plunge in value."
The "collapse of the dollar" thing has been debunked countless times. As for Venezuela, despite the dislike between the two countries the possibility of any sort of military action is non-existent. Maybe the CIA would incite some local dissent or something, but certainly no bombers or anything like that.
Dennis, yes. They have lots of brown water naval forces: small speed boats, scuba divers. Supertankers are huge slow moving targets. A speedboat with some RPGs can make a huge mess out of any tanker. The Gulf of Hormuz is 34 miles across at its narrowest, and shipping channels are about 10 miles across at that point.
It won't take too many sunken ships to cause insurance companies to cancel all coverage, leading tanker owners to avoid the region.
>The "collapse of the dollar" thing has been debunked countless times.
I've never seen any "debunking" that involved anything more than handwaving and screaming "bullshit" all the time.
Peter, if they did what you're talking about, every middle eastern country in the region would join against them. Not to mention that with the Persian Gulf only represents like 10% of the US's oil supply.
"A speedboat with some RPGs can make a huge mess out of any tanker."
And tankers are infrequent, high-value and thus easy to secure objects.
"It won't take too many sunken ships to cause insurance companies to cancel all coverage, leading tanker owners to avoid the region."
You're talking about a HUGE financial and society impacting event ($1K oil?) and then you mix in insurance. Insurance would become irrelevant, and nations would take over tankers, and tanker security, themselves. That scenario is ridiculous far fetched.
In any case it goes something like this.
"-Boom- there goes your weapons plant.
You gonna do something about it? Next up is your X and your Y and then your Z, and then A1 - A390, and then B1-B9000 targets. Keep on harrassing oil tankers. You lookin' at me, punk?"
These "Worse Case" scenarios always surmise that the other party is a crazy with nothing to lose, willing to go to the ends of the Earth to avenge their loss. That is seldom the case.
"I've never seen any "debunking" that involved anything more than handwaving and screaming "bullshit" all the time."
Funny, because the only support of it I've ever seen for that scenario are "HOLY SHIT THE WORLD IS ENDING!" conspiracy sites, sure that every single world event is going to lead to a domino-effect, wiping out civilization.
Peter probably also predicted a Kerry victory. Things just don't always seem to go the way we think they will. It's a funny old world.
A 30 mile range means simple land based artillery can hit the tankers. (or small mobile missile systems).
OK, you take the artillery piece out after it destroyed the tanker, but that's an expensive exchange rate.
The Strait is easily and cheaply mined.
"OK, you take the artillery piece out after it destroyed the tanker, but that's an expensive exchange rate."
Yeah it'd be a very expensive bit of petulance by Iran, because I hardly think the cost to them would be just an artillery piece.
This is just nuts. There is no way, imaginable, that Iran would do anything more than make some noise around the strait. Anything else would be _enormously_ self-destructive.
I was talking about after Iran would have been attacked.
They would have all the rights to close the Strait.
"They would have all the rights to close the Strait."
You don't think maybe UAE and Oman might have an opinion on that?
Why don't you ask them if they like an airstrike on Iran?
"I was talking about after Iran would have been attacked."
Right, and so am I.
If you're a kid and a group of bullies take your toy, do you go kick them in the legs?
No, because then they'll pound the tar out of you, even having a strange bit of justification for it. You'd have made a bad situation much, much worse, and only a stupid or suicidal kid would resort to such actions.
During Gulf War I, it is known that Saddam _did_ have chemical and biological weapons...yet he didn't use them. He didn't use them because even though his forces were getting the crap kicked out of them, using them would have brought on a much greater assault, basically opening up all options (including tactical warfield nuclear weapons).
That scenario isn't even remotely logical.
The US doesn't have the capacity at the moment to launch a full invasion of Iran now without going into some state of emergency.
Iran would escalate after a strike, because it would inflict a heavy price on the US, and because they wouldn't be isolated after beeing attacked illegally.
"The US doesn't have the capacity at the moment to launch a full invasion of Iran now without going into some state of emergency."
Eric, what part of remote striking capabilities don't you understand? We don't need to invade with troops. We have plenty of available Air Force and Naval Units. Cruise Missles, Drones, Tomahawks, and jets could rain down on Iran 20 minutes from now if necessary. We don't need to take over a country to completely destroy their infrastructure and fighting capabilities.
You don't take out their capacity to strike in the strait that way.
It's easy to destroy large static civilian targets, or military targets that are opposing your forces on the ground, but hard to pick small mobile military units without presence on the ground.
Do you remember the trouble to take out the Scuds in Gulf War I? They couldn't do it in a desert, and those launch units are large.
"Do you remember the trouble to take out the Scuds in Gulf War I? They couldn't do it in a desert, and those launch units are large."
The desert is also much larger then the small, known, precise area you are talking about, a few daisy cutters and precision high yield missles could take out the whole area.
>This is just nuts. There is no way, imaginable, that Iran would do anything more than make some noise around the strait. Anything else would be _enormously_ self-destructive.
You do not understand the shia mythology. Nor do you understand just *why* the shiites celebrate the glorious defeat at Karbala over 1000 years ago. That battle is at the core of the difference between the sunni and shiite.
"Death with dignity is better than life with humiliation."
The shiites would see any such battle with the US as a reincarnation of the battle with Yazid. Mutually assured destruction doesn't work to prevent a people for whom suicide is "glorious." To "stop" Iran, and the Iranian people would take every nuclear weapon we possess, and to turn the entire place into glass.
The problem is that both the US and Iran are headed by messianic apocolyptic fanatics. Both bush and ahamdinejad are total nut cases.
Phil, you - or rather the lot of your kind - are a dangerous idiot.
>Taking out an area with precision missiles
Ah go back to your hash bar Erik and leave the geopolitics to the real countries ;)
Yeah, but don't come crying when they take out some trade center then.
Oooh, burn! +1 for Erik.
Star Wars Kid
January 19th, 2006
>> ... the Persian Gulf only represents like 10% of the US's oil supply.
Petroleum prices fluctuate according to global spot prices, not local availability. If you believe that disruption of 10% of world crude supply will have a commensurate or limited affect on US prices, you are mistaken.
"We don't need to take over a country to completely destroy their infrastructure and fighting capabilities."
We do if we don't want to be fighting again a few years later.
-----"It would take several years for the Saudis to build a pipeline across the kingdom and build a Red Sea oil terminal. "-----
They've had both for decades. The Oil from the Gulf terminal isn't shipped to the West, it goes to Asia, particularly China and Japan.