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Thread: Israel has '8 days' to hit Iran nuclear site: Bolton

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    Re: Israel has '8 days' to hit Iran nuclear site: Bolton

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Then my first question would be.. why? Why should Iran be treated any differently than other nations? Iran has not attacked another nation for centuries, where as countries that are known to have nukes but deny it, have attacked countries within the last 50 years.
    Because there is a clash of national interests that is driving the dispute. The costs of the alternative to an agreement for all parties could be much worse than the concessions each side would have to make in order to bring about an agreement.

    Furthermore, President Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric has raised genuine concerns in Israel. If one were an Israeli policy maker, one would be highly reluctant to place much faith in the hope that Iran would continue to exercise restraint. After all, the long Jewish narrative has been characterized by chronic persecution and then the Holocaust. During much of the duration of that narrative, the Jewish people were largely powerless to fend off the threats that confronted them. More recently, the UN failed to break Egypt’s illegal blockade of the Strait of Tiran in 1967 and it has failed to enforce the terms of UNSC Res. 1701 (to disarm Lebanon’s various militias, including Hezbollah). Nations’ perspectives are shaped, in part, by history. Given those experiences, Israel has developed the expectation that it cannot count on others to safeguard its own security. It must rely on itself to best safeguard its wellbeing and the lives of its people. Furthermore, given Israel’s tiny size, Israel understands that one or two atomic bombs would all but annihilate it. Given the convergence of history and geography, Israel’s margin for error is razor thin. A nuclear-armed Iran would represent a potential existential threat.

    For the U.S. and most of the international community, a nuclear-armed Iran would not pose an existential threat. Iran could create real problems by gaining a capacity to put a chokehold on oil operations and shipments. Complacency and a failure to learn from past oil price shocks (1973, 1979, and 2008) have increased vulnerability to such an outcome. For the U.S. and moderate Arab States, a nuclear-armed Iran would also have profound regional balance of power implications. Nonetheless, most of the international community, including the U.S., would not face an existential threat.

    Failure to reach an agreement could lead to those who have most at risk to respond most sharply. An existential threat dwarfs energy shock or regional balance of power implications, so Israel might be most inclined to take the sharpest action. The tiny Persian Gulf emirates are simply too weak to have a viable option. Hence, in the face of a nuclear-armed Iran, they could simply switch alliances in a hope of purchasing security.

    War, of course, would be very damaging in the region and beyond. I would rather see the threat and, if necessary implementation, of truly crippling sanctions applied to facilitate the prospects of a diplomatic breakthrough than taking a less decisive approach that essentially allows the proverbial clock to wind down until the various parties are left to consider more difficult alternatives.

    No nation would seek such a deal for god sake.
    My illustration was simply for the purpose of suggesting that if Iran were solely concerned about defense or a civil nuclear program, those issues could be addressed. There is no need for illicit nuclear activities.

    It is a voluntary agreement with the IAEA.. Iran can and do say no. If the IAEA came to the US and said give us access to your nukes.. the US would say no.
    Although that may be true, Iran cannot ignore or even threaten the critical or vital interests of other sovereign states and expect that they will do nothing simply because Iran is exploiting technicalities of international law.

    I agree, but as long as ALL diplomatic areas are not covered, then the west is playing right into the hands of the fanatics on both sides that want a war.
    What do you mean by "all diplomatic areas." Certainly, all issues relevant to the dispute, rights under international law, security of the states involved, etc., are legitimate matters for the diplomacy.

    Yes, and Israel's nukes, treatment of the Palestinians, the disputed areas in Lebanon, the whole Palestinian question and so on. Problem is the west has conditions, just as Iran has....

    I have always said, deal with the Israeli-Palestinian issue and that way declaw Iran big time. Fixing the Israeli-Palestine issue would solve a lot of problems or at least start to solve a lot of problems in the Middle East. As it stands now, it is a lighting rod, and excuse for radicals on both sides.
    Those are separate matters. IMO, the linkage between resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and Iran's nuclear dispute is very weak, and probably weaker than resolving issues with Tehran first. After all, it is Tehran that sponsors groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, not the other way around. Then, Hezbollah and Hamas would potentially be weakened if an agreement was sufficiently broad to reduce Iranian assistance to those groups.

    Furthermore, even if there were no Israeli-Palestinian dispute/Arab-Israeli dispute, Tehran would still be governed by the current revolutionary regime. Ideology and historical aspirations would still drive the regime on a course that I believe is aimed at achieving regional hegemony. Hence, that regime would very likely be pursuing a similar course to the one now underway. Its ability to exert influence via its Hezbollah and Hamas allies could be somewhat less if and only if those groups accepted Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab peace (very questionable given those groups' fundamental goals and ideology).

    Of course, I strongly believe that efforts to resolve the historic Israeli-Palestinian dispute and other aspects of the larger Arab-Israeli dispute should be pursued on their own merit. Some improvements in regional stability would be better than none. However, I highly doubt that the path to peace with Iran would be paved by going through Ramallah first. Indeed, there is no silver bullet under which peace with one party would lead to a rapid spread of peace throughout the region. Tough negotiations will be required on all the tracks.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 08-18-10 at 04:41 PM.

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    Re: Israel has '8 days' to hit Iran nuclear site: Bolton

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicup View Post
    Tolerance at all costs, eh? My how foolish..


    Tim-
    War at all costs is even more foolish, and more destructive.

    ricksfolly

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    Re: Israel has '8 days' to hit Iran nuclear site: Bolton

    Quote Originally Posted by Crunch View Post
    Even after the plant is fueled it wouldn't spread much..... 4 or 5 years after would be a different story.
    ..

    My, my, so now you're an nuclear expert...

    ricksfolly

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    Re: Israel has '8 days' to hit Iran nuclear site: Bolton

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Because there is a clash of national interests that is driving the dispute. The costs of the alternative to an agreement for all parties could be much worse than the concessions each side would have to make in order to bring about an agreement.
    I agree.

    Furthermore, President Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric has raised genuine concerns in Israel. If one were an Israeli policy maker, one would be highly reluctant to place much faith in the hope that Iran would continue to exercise restraint. After all, the long Jewish narrative has been characterized by chronic persecution and then the Holocaust. During much of the duration of that narrative, the Jewish people were largely powerless to fend off the threats that confronted them.
    Yes he has raised concerns.. weather they are genuine or just paranoid is another matter. And if one was a policy maker in the middle east, one would be just as reluctant to place any faith in Israel in keeping the peace. After all, it is Israel that has been the aggressor in pretty much every conflict there has been involving Israel.

    More recently, the UN failed to break Egypt’s illegal blockade of the Strait of Tiran in 1967 and it has failed to enforce the terms of UNSC Res. 1701 (to disarm Lebanon’s various militias, including Hezbollah).
    And that just shows the unrealistic aspect of western policy in the region. Both sides ignore UN resolutions, and only try to have them enacted if it is in their interest.

    Nations’ perspectives are shaped, in part, by history. Given those experiences, Israel has developed the expectation that it cannot count on others to safeguard its own security. It must rely on itself to best safeguard its wellbeing and the lives of its people. Furthermore, given Israel’s tiny size, Israel understands that one or two atomic bombs would all but annihilate it. Given the convergence of history and geography, Israel’s margin for error is razor thin. A nuclear-armed Iran would represent a potential existential threat.
    I fully accept this, however the same goes for the nations in the region. History has shaped the view of all Arab nations, a history where outsiders came to what is known as Palestine, installed outsiders to rule over the people there, against the people's wishes, and then in turn these outsiders started to oppress the population and attack its neighbours. Add to that dictators lust for power and keeping power, and you have a perfect powdercake.

    For the U.S. and most of the international community, a nuclear-armed Iran would not pose an existential threat. Iran could create real problems by gaining a capacity to put a chokehold on oil operations and shipments. Complacency and a failure to learn from past oil price shocks (1973, 1979, and 2008) have increased vulnerability to such an outcome. For the U.S. and moderate Arab States, a nuclear-armed Iran would also have profound regional balance of power implications. Nonetheless, most of the international community, including the U.S., would not face an existential threat.
    Iran has always had this power and has it now. It can easily block off the Straights of Hormuz if it wants too and the US will have a hard time stopping them. And thanks to the US, the only person that stood up to the Mullahs had his country taken from him and got him self executed. The power of Iran today is in great part due to the idiotic behaviour of the Bush administration.

    Failure to reach an agreement could lead to those who have most at risk to respond most sharply. An existential threat dwarfs energy shock or regional balance of power implications, so Israel might be most inclined to take the sharpest action. The tiny Persian Gulf emirates are simply too weak to have a viable option. Hence, in the face of a nuclear-armed Iran, they could simply switch alliances in a hope of purchasing security.
    Which is why Saudi Arabia wants nukes now. So what do we have now.. Iran wants nukes because they feel threatened by Israel, and now the rest of the gulf want nukes because they feel threatened by both Israel and Iran.. we have ourselves a nuclear arms race.

    War, of course, would be very damaging in the region and beyond. I would rather see the threat and, if necessary implementation, of truly crippling sanctions applied to facilitate the prospects of a diplomatic breakthrough than taking a less decisive approach that essentially allows the proverbial clock to wind down until the various parties are left to consider more difficult alternatives.
    War would be devastating to the globe, which is why we cant allow Iran to get nukes out of spite or Israel to attack Iran.

    My illustration was simply for the purpose of suggesting that if Iran were solely concerned about defense or a civil nuclear program, those issues could be addressed. There is no need for illicit nuclear activities.
    I see it more like a child being told it cant have something and then doing everything to get that thing. Pride comes into it also... Iranians are very proud of their nation... up near if not more than American's are of the US.

    Although that may be true, Iran cannot ignore or even threaten the critical or vital interests of other sovereign states and expect that they will do nothing simply because Iran is exploiting technicalities of international law.
    They are not ignoring anything, which is my point. It is in fact those sovereign states that are setting conditions to any deal that are causing Iran to act like it is. No conditions from BOTH sides across the middle east, and then we can move on.. but that aint gonna happen.

    What do you mean by "all diplomatic areas." Certainly, all issues relevant to the dispute, rights under international law, security of the states involved, etc., are legitimate matters for the diplomacy.
    I mean everything from the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to fishing rights in the straights of Hormuz. In the middle east everything is dependent on everything else, you cant be "western" and box in things and refuse to talk about some things if you want to get serious about peace.

    Those are separate matters. IMO, the linkage between resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and Iran's nuclear dispute is very weak, and probably weaker than resolving issues with Tehran first. After all, it is Tehran that sponsors groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, not the other way around. Then, Hezbollah and Hamas would potentially be weakened if an agreement was sufficiently broad to reduce Iranian assistance to those groups.
    Sorry but is one of the key issues. The mullahs use the treatment of the Palestinians by the Israelis on a weekly basis to justify everything they do in the region. The threat of Israeli nukes is also used often. The disputed areas between Lebanon, Syria and Israel are also used.

    Furthermore, even if there were no Israeli-Palestinian dispute/Arab-Israeli dispute, Tehran would still be governed by the current revolutionary regime. Ideology and historical aspirations would still drive the regime on a course that I believe is aimed at achieving regional hegemony. Hence, that regime would very likely be pursuing a similar course to the one now underway. Its ability to exert influence via its Hezbollah and Hamas allies could be somewhat less if and only if those groups accepted Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab peace (very questionable given those groups' fundamental goals and ideology).
    You are partly right. It would go after other Arabic states, mostly of the opposite religious sect. But as long as Israel is doing what it is doing, then the Iranians have an excuse to focus on this and gather all Arabs/Muslims behind them (somewhat) against the oppressor.

    Of course, I strongly believe that efforts to resolve the historic Israeli-Palestinian dispute and other aspects of the larger Arab-Israeli dispute should be pursued on their own merit. Some improvements in regional stability would be better than none. However, I highly doubt that the path to peace with Iran would be paved by going through Ramallah first. Indeed, there is no silver bullet under which peace with one party would lead to a rapid spread of peace throughout the region. Tough negotiations will be required on all the tracks.
    Iran is the most powerful muslim nation in the region, and after Saddam's fall has been pushing this power out to create a defacto leadership. The only nation to stand in Iran's way is Saudi Arabia, and that is only because she has Mecca and Medina within her borders. You cant do a deal about Middle East peace without involving Iran now.. you could have before the fall of Saddam, because they were very isolated them, but now... no way.
    PeteEU

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    Re: Israel has '8 days' to hit Iran nuclear site: Bolton

    Quote Originally Posted by tlmorg02 View Post
    I have to agree with Don that the threat is being trumped-up my Mr. Bolten. A question though, why is it that our policy on Iran has not changed in the last 30 years? The US supported the Shah, who's tyranny and cruelty gave rise to the revolution that ended US-Iranian relations, and yet we remain steadfast against having regular diplomacy with them, which may have avoided these developments. We engage China, yet Iran has remained sanctioned and isolated for all of these years of which actual talks may have prevented things going this far. Just a thought.
    444 days......
    There is no such thing as a “Natural Born Dual-Citizen“.

    Originally Posted by PogueMoran
    I didnt have to read the article to tell you that you cant read.

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    Re: Israel has '8 days' to hit Iran nuclear site: Bolton

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Much larger country with more people who are very nationalistic unlike Iraqis. After all Iran has existed for 3000+ years and Iranians are very proud of that fact. That is also why no minor start up nation like the US will dictate or interfere with their policies.
    stop, you're killing me
    There is no such thing as a “Natural Born Dual-Citizen“.

    Originally Posted by PogueMoran
    I didnt have to read the article to tell you that you cant read.

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    Re: Israel has '8 days' to hit Iran nuclear site: Bolton

    Quote Originally Posted by ricksfolly View Post
    ..

    My, my, so now you're an nuclear expert...

    ricksfolly
    My, my, so now you're an nuclear expert...

    So nuclear expert....... refute me.
    There is no such thing as a “Natural Born Dual-Citizen“.

    Originally Posted by PogueMoran
    I didnt have to read the article to tell you that you cant read.

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    Re: Israel has '8 days' to hit Iran nuclear site: Bolton

    Quote Originally Posted by tlmorg02 View Post
    I have to agree with Don that the threat is being trumped-up my Mr. Bolten. A question though, why is it that our policy on Iran has not changed in the last 30 years? The US supported the Shah, who's tyranny and cruelty gave rise to the revolution that ended US-Iranian relations, and yet we remain steadfast against having regular diplomacy with them, which may have avoided these developments. We engage China, yet Iran has remained sanctioned and isolated for all of these years of which actual talks may have prevented things going this far. Just a thought.
    Here's one reason it's one sided... Israel has hundreds of lobbyists in DC, Iran and all of the other gulf nations, none.

    Who knows how much of the billions we give Israel pays for good and bad publicity...

    ricksfolly

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    Re: Israel has '8 days' to hit Iran nuclear site: Bolton

    Quote Originally Posted by GayLibertarian View Post
    My stated opinion about Iran was made objectively clear for you but you have chosen to ignore it.

    Iran is emboldened by left-wing anti-Semitism in America and Israel in same fashion North Vietnamese Communists were emboldened by pro-Marxist student demonstrators during the Vietnam War (1955-75). Unfortunately, after the Fall of Saigon in 1975 (when left-wing, pro-Communist students went back to their university classrooms), the Communist victors in Vietnam exterminated 3,500,000 South Vietnamese, Catholics, Christians, and cultural minorities - primarily the Montagnard tribes who had supported the French, South Viets and the U.S. Most were simply executed with a bullet to the back of the head and then dumped in mass graves --- which are still extant across today's Vietnam. Later extermination and re-education camps were built where the killing continued. The liberal students who had demonstrated against the war: *silence*.

    Iran has threatened to exterminate Israel in the same manner that the North Vietnamese Communists exterminated the South. Israel's only choice: an *arklight* strike on Iran. But such a strike will only have success unless you can also hit the leadership, communications and religious (terrorist) centers of the Iranian state and hobble it for at least 20 years. Iran has drawn many plans from the Vietnam War. Anti-Semitism, at an all time high in America is leading to a resurgent, terror-sponsoring Iran ... and we have done nothing to stop the stosstruppen in Tehran from building a nuclear device. Absolutely nothing.

    My point is that Iran's emboldened stature is made worse by an anti-Semitic State Department and pro-pan-Arab President who remains *silent* while Iran threatens nuclear holocaust on the Jewish state. Our pan-Arab President has chosen instead ... to back an anti-Semitic, homophobic "Mosque" at Ground Zero.

    Now thats diplomacy Ribbentrop would have been proud of.
    Wow. So if you don't support Israel, you're anti-semitic? That's BS propaganda, akin to saying that if you don't support the war in Iraq, you hate America. The state of Israel's history of combat is geo-political in nature. It's a bunch of moronic sentiments about holy war and anti-semitism (I come from a long line of Jewish ancestry, mind you, including individuals who were killed in the holocaust) that drives the extremist opinions on the matter.

    Fight for peace and tolerance and a sensible solution. You're a libertarian and you believe that our president hates Jewish people because he won't unconditionally lend financial and military support to a nation that you believe we should back for religious reasons? You're a libertarian in name only. Your sentiments are those of a religious extremist who purposely obscures the nature of the conflict -- or, alternatively -- purposely remains ignorant.
    A working class hero is something to be

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    Re: Israel has '8 days' to hit Iran nuclear site: Bolton

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Yes he has raised concerns.. weather they are genuine or just paranoid is another matter. And if one was a policy maker in the middle east, one would be just as reluctant to place any faith in Israel in keeping the peace. After all, it is Israel that has been the aggressor in pretty much every conflict there has been involving Israel.
    My point is that while we in the U.S. can have the luxury of sitting back to see what happens, the margin for error in Israel is far smaller. Even if Iran had the theoretical capability of hitting the U.S. with one or two atomic bombs, the damage would be devastating but nowhere near existential. For Israel, one or two atomic bombs would all but mean anihilation. Hence, from that perspective, especially if one considers the Jewish historical narrative, Israel is not going to have a high tolerance for waiting to see if Mr. Ahmadinejad's rhetoric is little more than bluster.

    Iran has always had this power and has it now. It can easily block off the Straights of Hormuz if it wants too and the US will have a hard time stopping them. And thanks to the US, the only person that stood up to the Mullahs had his country taken from him and got him self executed. The power of Iran today is in great part due to the idiotic behaviour of the Bush administration.
    A nuclear-armed Iran's capabalities would be magnitudes of order greater than they are now.

    With respect to Iraq, I agree that the Bush Administration's decision dramatically impacted the balance of power and removed an important constraint on Iran. Unfortunately, at the time, the fundamentally flawed Krauthammer thesis of a unipolar world in which the balance of power had become obsolete held sway in the U.S. government.

    War would be devastating to the globe, which is why we cant allow Iran to get nukes out of spite or Israel to attack Iran.
    That's why I believe time is of the essence. Crippling sanctions need to be agreed and the necessary quid pro quo provided even if it means, for example, U.S. willingness to help China meet its energy needs if Iranian oil is taken off the global market. It also means developing a credible alternative for deterring Iran in the case the Iran gains a nuclear arms capability sufficient to ease the fears of Iran's neighbors and Israel.

    I mean everything from the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to fishing rights in the straights of Hormuz. In the middle east everything is dependent on everything else, you cant be "western" and box in things and refuse to talk about some things if you want to get serious about peace.
    As noted previously, I favor pursuing those other issues on their own merit. I'm just not convinced of the linkage. Since the 1970s, international policy makers in the U.S. and Europe have overestimated the linkages. The breakthrough that led to Egyptian-Israeli peace was supposed to create a dramatically new dynamic. The rollback of Saddam Hussein's forces for Kuwait was supposed to create a new environment. Jordan-Israel peace was supposed to open the door to Israeli-Palestinian peace. Concrete results fell far short of the almost euphoric expectations.

    Iran is the most powerful muslim nation in the region, and after Saddam's fall has been pushing this power out to create a defacto leadership. The only nation to stand in Iran's way is Saudi Arabia, and that is only because she has Mecca and Medina within her borders. You cant do a deal about Middle East peace without involving Iran now.. you could have before the fall of Saddam, because they were very isolated them, but now... no way.
    I agree that ultimately Iran will need to be part of an agreement if regionwide peace is to be achieved. Achieving such an outcome won't be easy with a revolutionary government that is far from sold on maintaining the current Middle East order (Arab-Israeli/Sunni-Shia dimensions, among others).

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