View Poll Results: Are nuclear weapons a deterrent?

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  • Yes

    41 75.93%
  • No

    4 7.41%
  • Maybe

    7 12.96%
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Thread: Are nuclear weapons a deterrent?

  1. #111
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    Re: Are nuclear weapons a deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    Well, the only other option being considered at the time was an full-scale invasion of ground forces in Japan. It's widely assumed that total casualties would have been higher in that case, especially for the Americans about whom Truman was first and foremost concerned. Remember Japan didn't even surrender after the first one was dropped on Hiroshima. It wasn't until we dropped the second one and they came to believe we could mass produce a-bombs that they gave up.
    Yes, American casualties would have been higher - which supports one part of my original statement, "The button pusher has even less guilt because his people won't be dying like they would in a conventional war - only the enemy will die."

    Your other assertion, "Its quite another to kill innocents." I interpretted to mean "kill civilians". Had we invaded Japan there would have been many more casualties overall but most of those casualties would have been military, not civilian. Fewer "innocents" would have been killed. So, again I say, your point #2 above does not apply to nukes as much as it applies to warfare in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by EagleAye View Post
    If a terrorist wanted to set off a homemade nuke (supplied by Iran) dead in the middle of New York, would our Trident missiles protect us?
    While I agree with the rest of your statements I'm not so sure about this one. Everything would depend on how good and well-recognized nuclear forensics is and how much responsibility for the material most nations placed on the producing nations. If any nation making bomb material is held responsible and the material can be traced back to it's origin then I'd say, yes, our nukes would have some power to stop this from happening. Still, that's a long list of "what if's", which is why I'm not so sure.

  2. #112
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    Re: Are nuclear weapons a deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Are nuclear weapons a deterrent?
    So far, so good.

  3. #113
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    Re: Are nuclear weapons a deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    While I agree with the rest of your statements I'm not so sure about this one. Everything would depend on how good and well-recognized nuclear forensics is and how much responsibility for the material most nations placed on the producing nations. If any nation making bomb material is held responsible and the material can be traced back to it's origin then I'd say, yes, our nukes would have some power to stop this from happening. Still, that's a long list of "what if's", which is why I'm not so sure.
    We can't always rely on a smart thief. Thieves commit crimes when they think they can get away with it. Smart thieves will not do crimes that dumb thieves think are foolproof.

    You can identify something about the source of a nuke by its chemical footprint, provided you know enough about the manufacturing facilities that made the uranium. How much do we know about Iran's? How smart is Iran in addressing nuclear forensics as a possible problem? Can we count on them to be smart thieves (and realize they'll likely be discovered and made to pay the price)? We already know that Iran was supplying artillery shells (to build IEDs with) to the insurgents in Iraq. So much for being sneaky. But Iran did this because they felt they could get away with it. So much for being smart thieves.

    But when it comes to Iran and nuclear weapons, can we afford for them to be a dumb thief? Wouldn't one *oops* be one too many? Sure, we could make them pay (and without the use of a single nuke), but wouldn't it be better not to lose Manhattan in the first place?
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  4. #114
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    Re: Are nuclear weapons a deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by EagleAye View Post
    We can't always rely on a smart thief. Thieves commit crimes when they think they can get away with it. Smart thieves will not do crimes that dumb thieves think are foolproof.

    You can identify something about the source of a nuke by its chemical footprint, provided you know enough about the manufacturing facilities that made the uranium. How much do we know about Iran's? How smart is Iran in addressing nuclear forensics as a possible problem? Can we count on them to be smart thieves (and realize they'll likely be discovered and made to pay the price)? We already know that Iran was supplying artillery shells (to build IEDs with) to the insurgents in Iraq. So much for being sneaky. But Iran did this because they felt they could get away with it. So much for being smart thieves.

    But when it comes to Iran and nuclear weapons, can we afford for them to be a dumb thief? Wouldn't one *oops* be one too many? Sure, we could make them pay (and without the use of a single nuke), but wouldn't it be better not to lose Manhattan in the first place?
    Absolutely it would be better! Like I said, it's a tentative position. If it was well understood by all that nuclear material could be identified and traced - and that the material producer is responsible for that material - then it could be a deterrent. I'd rather not have to face that future at all but the thing is, I think at some point we're going to have to. As posted elsewhere, I'm surprised we've kept the genie confined as long as we have. Eventually it's going to escape.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 02-03-12 at 12:27 AM. Reason: legibility

  5. #115
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    Re: Are nuclear weapons a deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by stsburns View Post
    All I have to say is this. An empty gun, never shoots.
    What does this mean? One could, presumably, load the gun and shoot it. Then what was an empty gun has been fired. I also find it disturbing that the gun itself would be referred to as the actor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud South Korean View Post
    I understand people's concerns with potentially mad governments and such, but I have to call anybody who thinks nuclear war is possible now legally insane
    It must be nice to completely write off any possibility of occurance regarding the greatest threat to mankind and life on Earth. There are mad people with nukes: nK and Pakistan, for two examples and perhaps soon Iran. It's not nuclear war that people are rightly concerned about, it's some whackjob getting their hands on one via any of the aforementioned craphole, backwards garbage governments.

    If you meant an exchange of warheads, fine. But we cannot write off the possibility of a detonation.
    Last edited by ecofarm; 02-03-12 at 02:58 AM.

  6. #116
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    Re: Are nuclear weapons a deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    It's interesting to me that you say, "Westerners don't understand the train of thought Islamic fanatics possess," and then you proceed to explain what you perceive as their train of thought. It seems to me that when you say, "Westerners don't understand", you actually mean, "people who don't agree with me don't understand". I guarantee that Stephen Walt understand them 100x more than you do because this is his specialization just like a doctor understands the human body 100x more than you do. So if the best point you can make is, "You just don't understand," then that's not much of an argument.
    How often do you think Walt has fought against Islamists? How often do you think he has spent an entire year sleeping beside, eating with, fighting with, and living with practicers of Islam? We can go ahead and answer those questions with never. I have done that. I do know how these people think. I would wager Stephen Walt has probably never even been in a Mosque! I don't really care what some professor from Harvard that has come up with all of his foreign policy in a sanitized lab thinks. People like that reflect their own inner thoughts much more than an interpretation of the reality on the ground. The reality on the ground is that these people would want nothing more than to see an "infidel" dead, no matter the consequences to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    Moreover, you've moved the goalposts. First, you talk about intra-state genocide. Then when I counter than argument, you change it to inter-state genocide. You also mention Iran. Now you're talking about Islamic fanatic suicide bombers. You need to stick to a subject and I'll address it. Now if you're trying to say that Iran "doesn't care about self-survival", then I think that's a bold statement that requires proof since Iran's actions say the exact opposite. However, if you're talking about terrorists, then yes, you've definitely moved the goalposts as Walt's theory and our conversation doesn't have anything to do with terrorists although I imagine it could work for some terrorist organizations as well.
    You moved the goalposts on yourself bro. I am speaking of the same people. Iran and Islamic terrorists are one and the same. Don't think so? Why have we fought Iranian Republican Guard already in Iraq? Why are we being hit by Iranian made IED's? Your argument is the equivalent of thinking terrorists on the Afghan/Pakistan border are saying "We're not fighting the US. We're fighting the CIA." Its one and the same. Proof of Iran not caring about their existence? How about stamping "Made in Iran" on and IED! How about threatening a country (Israel) with nuclear genocide every chance you get and then working toward obtaining that weapon. This, despite Israel's repeated promises that they will attack them if they develop said weapons. How about their country being put under tough sanctions yet continuing to posture and antagonize every chance they get. American can keep underestimating the boldness of Islam all it wants. Last time we did that, we had two burning skyscrapers and our military's headquarters burning. They can only go up from there, never down.
    “Mr. Speaker, I once again find myself compelled to vote against the annual budget resolution for a very simple reason: it makes government bigger.” ― Ron Paul
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  7. #117
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    Re: Are nuclear weapons a deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    How often do you think Walt has fought against Islamists? How often do you think he has spent an entire year sleeping beside, eating with, fighting with, and living with practicers of Islam? We can go ahead and answer those questions with never. I have done that. I do know how these people think. I would wager Stephen Walt has probably never even been in a Mosque! I don't really care what some professor from Harvard that has come up with all of his foreign policy in a sanitized lab thinks. People like that reflect their own inner thoughts much more than an interpretation of the reality on the ground. The reality on the ground is that these people would want nothing more than to see an "infidel" dead, no matter the consequences to them.
    LOL, I knew this would come down to, "But he didn't fight against them!" That's not an argument - it just means that you can't address his arguments from an intellectual level so you have to attack him on a personal level. No thanks. I'm not engaging in that. LOL. How about you read one of his books and actually examine him for yourself instead of making baseless assumptions? You probably won't though, you seem like you prefer to argue from ignorance.

    You moved the goalposts on yourself bro. I am speaking of the same people. Iran and Islamic terrorists are one and the same. Don't think so? Why have we fought Iranian Republican Guard already in Iraq? Why are we being hit by Iranian made IED's? Your argument is the equivalent of thinking terrorists on the Afghan/Pakistan border are saying "We're not fighting the US. We're fighting the CIA." Its one and the same. Proof of Iran not caring about their existence? How about stamping "Made in Iran" on and IED! How about threatening a country (Israel) with nuclear genocide every chance you get and then working toward obtaining that weapon. This, despite Israel's repeated promises that they will attack them if they develop said weapons. How about their country being put under tough sanctions yet continuing to posture and antagonize every chance they get. American can keep underestimating the boldness of Islam all it wants. Last time we did that, we had two burning skyscrapers and our military's headquarters burning. They can only go up from there, never down.
    The Iranian government is a state that is interested in survival. Even if some of its leaders in their hearts, want to blow up Israel, they want to survive which is why they want nuclear weapons. They know that the US and Israel won't invade them like the US did Iraq if it has nukes. If you understood the international system beyond "omg, Islam is scary!", then you would understand that.

  8. #118
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    Re: Are nuclear weapons a deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    LOL, I knew this would come down to, "But he didn't fight against them!" That's not an argument - it just means that you can't address his arguments from an intellectual level so you have to attack him on a personal level. No thanks. I'm not engaging in that. LOL. How about you read one of his books and actually examine him for yourself instead of making baseless assumptions? You probably won't though, you seem like you prefer to argue from ignorance.
    I made one mention of fighting against them. All of that statement was about living with and beside practicers of Islam for over a year. You read what you wanted to read and then stopped. So, by your calculation, a person only needs to read a book to be an expert in a field? That is the true "LOL" of this whole debate. I would take a person's opinion that has been there, done that 10 times out of 10 over some idiot who thinks a piece of paper enables him to set policy and craft a logical theory. Your assumption that I have not read one of his books is also a true "LOL". I would suggest you get off Walts jock and try observing a different perspective besides one Harvard elite's pov.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    The Iranian government is a state that is interested in survival. Even if some of its leaders in their hearts, want to blow up Israel, they want to survive which is why they want nuclear weapons. They know that the US and Israel won't invade them like the US did Iraq if it has nukes. If you understood the international system beyond "omg, Islam is scary!", then you would understand that.
    Once again, a person who underestimates the ability of the human mind to devolve into a hate consumed state. The same was said of the Third Reich. You like to read, I suggest you read about that. No one wanted to believe that a human being, much less a group of human beings, would ever engage in the genocide and systematic eradication of a group of people simply because of their race. Reports came from intelligence sources all the time about "work" camps the Germans were running. No one wanted to believe it. We all know the outcome of that. No one wanted to believe that someone would actually run a plane into one of our buildings. Even after it happened, people didn't want to believe it. Still to this day, people don't believe it. Don't underestimate the capability of a human being, especially one driven by an ideology, to destroy its fellow man in the name of that ideology. Its not "omg Islam is scary". It's the fact that we've seen the ability of our fellow man to hate, we've underestimated it before, and we don't need to do it again. You can continue to live in your nice, safe, American bubble though bro. I won't hate you for it.
    “Mr. Speaker, I once again find myself compelled to vote against the annual budget resolution for a very simple reason: it makes government bigger.” ― Ron Paul
    Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty. – Thomas Jefferson

  9. #119
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    Re: Are nuclear weapons a deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Remember when the world was going to go bonkers if USSR/DPRK/China acquired nuclear weapons?
    We said their leaders were ****ing crazy (which are)...
    Why can Israel be the only people in the middle east with nukes?
    Because they are the only ones that did not join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty.

  10. #120
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    Re: Are nuclear weapons a deterrent?

    Of course it's a deterrent. No country possessing nuclear weapons has ever been invaded, at least successfully. I can't say I blame Iran for wanting nuclear weapons for protection considering the US has bases in 10 of Iran's surrounding countries.
    Quote Originally Posted by LowDown View Post
    I've got to say that it is shadenfreudalicious to see the rich and famous fucquewads on the coast suffering from the fires.

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