Senate Iran-- now discussing a lessening of sanctions and continued negotiation

Discussion in 'Community' started by KnightWriter, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    And, continuing on....

    US Intelligence agencies (all sixteen of them) still don't think Iran is trying to develop a bomb.


    Are we seriously going to keep believing neocons and panic-mongers? 2007: the NIE states that the Iranian nuclear weapons effort ended in 2003. 2010: The NIE STILL states that the Iranian nuclear weapons effort ended in 2003. The trend here is clearly of trying to establish a threat where there is not one. As illustrated by my previous post, there is no threat even if Iran does develop a bomb, and it's extremely doubtful that they're even trying to. Sorry if I'm spamming up the thread, but this is getting absurd.
  2. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Obama's red line is if Iran is found to be building a nuclear weapon, and I fully agree. The "zone of immunity" line we've been hearing from Israeli politicians is flat-out wrong. If Iran builds a nuclear warhead, it'll take them time to miniaturize it to where it can fit onto a missile, which means they won't be able to use that warhead while having made their intentions known to the world. In that event, we can destroy Iran's nuclear facilities, its missile arsenal, as well as its air force. More importantly, Iran having a nuclear weapon would instantly show its claim of a "peaceful nuclear program" to be a lie; world opinion would turn decisively against Iran and even Russia and China would be forced to stop defending them. By contrast if we bomb them now, Iran can just claim to be the victim, and without any proof that Iran was really working on a bomb (or even proof to the contrary) the world will see America and Israel as being the ones who are overly aggressive and heavy-handed. Needless to say, America losing its legitimacy in the eyes of the world would be utterly disastrous.
  3. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Israel has turned into nothing but a bunch of warmongering idiots. Or at least their government has--so by extension the citizenry has. They're like conservative Republicans who see 'Liberal conspiracies' everywhere. Israel may have started out with the noblest of intentions, but it has become the very society that was the catalyst for its formation. With the United States giving it blanket immunity no matter how reprehensibly it treats the Palestinian population or threatens its neighbors. So I don't put much stock in what's coming out of Jerusalem these days as it's tainted by a bully government that wishes to continue bullying its neighbors into submission and knows it has its American BFF to watch its back despite it acting immorally.
  4. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I wouldn't say that. A majority of Israelis trust Obama more than Netanyahu, and only 19% if Israeli's support a unilateral attack on Iran.
  5. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Then how are any of those goons still in power?
  6. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    For the same reason Dubya got a second term. Fear.
  7. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    The Israelis who have been there for decades tend to be more liberal, and less likely to go to war with Iran.

    The new Jewish settlers, who have been coming from the former Soviet Union since it collapsed, are much more conservative and radical. They're mostly the ones who are insisting upon the new settlements in the West Bank. They're a minority, but a growing and very vocal minority, and that's who Netanyahu is trying to pander to.

    Bill Clinton wrote an article in the fall about how the new Jewish settlers keep pushing Israel to the right, and that the more time goes by the more right-wing Israel will become, with the window of opportunity for peace beginning to close since it's expected that these new Jewish immigrants will only keep increasing (through immigration and just having a lot of kids, while the Jews who have been there for a while tend to have a demographic rate like Europe's) until they become the majority and peace is impossible (unless they and/or their kids become more liberal). Clinton wrote that Netanyahu basically has all that Israel has been asking for, Abbas has given in to all the traditional Israeli demands, but Netanyahu has just pressed for new demands (under pressure from his base) and that he's letting the chance of peace and a two-state solution slip away.
  8. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Like the Republican overreach on birth control, the far Right in Israel is beginning to demand a level of control over civil society that is generating intense resistance.

    The main catalyst for this was the eight-year old girl who was verbally assaulted and pushed on her way to school for her (conservative) dress a couple months back; the outcry was enormous, and it brought the divisions within the country to head.

    The question now becomes, will this spill over into a broader discussion of the right-wingers' hold on power, and the effect this has had on Israel's international standing as a whole. Netanyahu's calculation is that by moving the center to the right, he can outlast the Palestinians, their allies, Iran, and even the Obama administration.

    I am hoping that, like in America, change in Israel can come from within. War would be the worst possible solution, and Obama is pretty much stuck here. If he tries to strong-arm Netanyahu, he magnifies the potential for military action, which will likely cost him re-election due to the economic ripple effects. If he gives in, he damages America's credibility with those who are looking to the US for moral leadership on a variety of issues, not the least of which has been the peace process.

    Iran, in many ways, is the wild card here. It can make or break Israel going forward, both in war and in peace. How Israel handles this situation will probably predict whether or not the country becomes even more isolated than it has been up until this point. International opinion has finally started to come down on it's side where Iran is concerned, and it would be a shame if they blew it by giving the impression that they are a wild card in the vein of the very thing they are working to defeat.

    However, I will say that pidgeonholing an entire society because of bad leadership, FID, is childish. So are indirect Nazi comparisons ;). On the international stage, it allows Israel to label such criticisms as grounded in anti-Semitism, and makes it easier for them to dismiss. The "average" Israeli is not a "warmongering fool" any more than the average American was during the Bush years.

    Israel's coaltion-style government makes it much harder to dilute such craziness, and given what has been going in the United States over the past month in regards to women's health and sexuality, we are hardly ones to point a finger on the crazy-meter.

    Peace,

    V-03
  9. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
  10. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    That linked PowerPoint has at least two remarkably silly errors for a former general and supposed "expert" to be making.

    [image=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EcBlWG2AbUs/T01cHxgA1BI/AAAAAAAAAyY/uNNj-WPxEXQ/s1600/mcaffrey.png]

    The Kilo-class submarine is neither silent nor a "mini sub". It is also highly unlikely that Iran could sink a carrier, particularly one with it's associated surface ships in the area.

    He sites that Iran will have a "dozen nuclear warheads" within sixty days; okay, source? Big surprise that there isn't one. Even if they did, NATO and Israel both possess hundreds without even counting the US arsenal, and furthermore, both possess the BMD systems to blunt any Iranian attack. Everyone remember the nightmare scenario that lead to the US-Russian ABM treaty, where one side could hide behind a comprehensive defense system and launch a nuclear strike without fear of retaliation? That scenario would probably have proven impossible with the US-Russian Cold War arsenals that included tens of thousands of warheads, but a war where one side has a dozen warheads makes precisely that scenario completely realistic. The Salon article is basically accusing Gen. McCaffrey of warmongering to icnrease his company's profits; I'm in agreement here. I'll take an intelligence community whose jobs aren't really dependent on whether or not Iran is going to start a war over a contractor-linked General officer any day.
  11. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    You guys probably already saw this, but last week, Netanyahu announced that if Israel attacks Iran they will not tell the United States until after it happens.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57386328/ap-israel-wouldnt-warn-us-about-iran-strike/


    Israeli officials say they won't warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, according to one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions. The pronouncement, delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations, sets a tense tone ahead of meetings in the coming days at the White House and Capitol Hill.


    Israeli officials said that if they eventually decide a strike is necessary, they would keep the Americans in the dark to decrease the likelihood that the U.S. would be held responsible for failing to stop Israel's potential attack. The U.S. has been working with the Israelis for months to persuade them that an attack would be only a temporary setback to Iran's nuclear program.


    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak delivered the message to a series of top-level U.S. visitors to the country, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the White House national security adviser and the director of national intelligence, and top U.S. lawmakers, all trying to close the trust gap between Israel and the U.S. over how to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions.




    Maybe this will change after Obama and Netanyahu meet on Monday.


    I really want Netanyahu and his political coalition to be replaced. Not including dictators, I don't think I've ever wanted a foreign leader out of power as much as I want Netanyahu kicked out of the Israeli Prime Minister's office.
  12. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    Yes, that's why I posted it. I wanted to highlight what is happening to the public discourse with regard to Iran lately. The opinion of someone like a general carries a lot of weight with a lot of people, as long as they don't know that he has an obvious interest in seeing war breaking out, which they of course don't, because the news outlets that interview these people as experts never point this out.
  13. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    The number of retired Generals I'd take as genuine experts on anything I can count on the fingers of one hand. :p Gen. Petraeus and Gen Powell, to be precise. It's pretty telling that the 2007 turnaround in Iraq started because of the actions of an (at the time) mid-level officer:

    Col McMaster and the surge


    This became the blueprint for the surge, to put it mildly.
  14. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I don't want to derail the thread, but I'm not sure I would agree with this. Whilst there certainly has been an influx of Jewish settlers from the former Soviet Union the underlying incentive for Jewish settlement in the West Bank arises from the designation of much of the West Bank as a 'National Priority Area A" which entitles 'settlers' ( from inside or from outside of Israel) to lucrative benefits, subsidies and rebates in housing, employment, mortgages, free education, taxation, indemnity from municipal rates and utilities and financial grants for agricultural pursuits. A good chunk of US Israeli aid goes to subsidizing settlers in the West Bank.

    http://www.btselem.org/sites/default/files2/201007_by_hook_and_by_crook_eng.pdf

    Having spent some time in the West Bank near Hebron (albeit over a decade ago), I can tell you from first hand experience that the most militant and violent settlers come from the United States. It's like the Wild West in those settlements, you can walk around with a gun and shoot people indisciminately without consequence. The Russian Jews are actually looked down upon and rank very low on the social status scale (the lowest being the Ethiopian and African Jews).


  15. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Oh ho! You're a clever one. No, actually the whole society can be condemned for not putting a lid on the crazy. I will agree we have our own set of vocal nutters, but since the positions are very unpopular I doubt any of them will be given the white house since they're showing how backwards they are. You know, the line you never cross--well they crossed it. The same cannot be said for Israel, in fact they were given power over the society despite the claim that the citizens don't want war. So why were they elected in the first place? And why is their government practically committing genocide and getting away with it? If, as you say, the populace doesn't support them and these views are a minority then why are these nutters continuously elected? Why is Israeli society bending over backwards for a minority?

    If it's voter apathy then they're to blame because they know what's going on. If it's the majority voting for it then they also know what's going on. Therefore I can only conclude that they support these creeps and/or don't care enough to vote them out. And I wasn't alluding to Nazis, sure, the attitude was displayed by them, but it's not exclusive. I was alluding to a society that is exclusionary, repressive, and controlled by a minority.
  16. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    And this is why I've always said Magneto's a stand-in for the Israelis. Seriously, this officially makes Netanyahu a loose cannon and if there is a more blatant example of a rogue state in the last 60 years, I don't know what it is.
  17. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    That's not without precedent. The Israelis never bothered notifying us the previous two times they felt inclined to bomb Middle Eastern reactors; Syria in 2007 and Iraq in 1981. TBH, when has notifying the United States been a prerequisite for any nation going to war, justified or not? If it is, there's an awfully large pile of "rogue nations" (which in and of itself is fundamentally an absurd term, as any nation that isn't a puppet government is going to put its own interests first 90% of the time) out there.
  18. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    I'd be inclined to agree if the US didn't send $8 million in military aid to Israel.
    Every day.
  19. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I'd agree with you on that, Watto, but the reality is that Israel is hardly the only country that both receives US military aid and acts contrary to US national interests. The whole US military aid system hasn't had a great deal of success in influencing national behavior; countries will invariably act to their own perceived or real interests over US interests if there is a conflict between those. US aid is not and has never been given with anything beyond implied requirements or expectations, and IMO attaching political aspects to US aid would actually lessen US influence, not enhance it, as a lot of countries (there are currently about 150 countries that we either give money to or have troops in) would reject aid outright if it came with political requirements, especially those where the citizens can vote.
  20. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    CRS Report for Congress:
    Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. From 1976-2004, Israel was the largest annual recipient of U.S. foreign assistance, having since been supplanted by Iraq. Since 1985, the United States has provided nearly $3 billion in grants annually to Israel.
    Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance. In the past, Israel also had received significant economic assistance. Strong congressional support for Israel has resulted in Israel?s receiving benefits not available to other countries. For example, Israel can use some
    U.S. military assistance both for research and development in the United States and for military purchases from Israeli manufacturers. In addition, all U.S. foreign assistance earmarked for Israel is delivered in the first 30 days of the fiscal year. Most other recipients normally receive aid in installments. Congress also appropriates funds for joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs.


    You could argue that they get all this without political ramifications, but then I'd say: just imagine the U.S. would withhold their funding for a year... 18% of the Israeli defense budget... I'm sure the warm relations would cool down a bit.
  21. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Sure, but when are cool/cold relations ever preferable? The US and Iran have cold relations. The US and North Korea have cold relations. The US and Pakistan have cool relations. None of these are by any stretch of the imagination remotely useful relationships to either party and actually create further issues for the US, so how exactly is cutting off aid to Israel going to accomplish anything?
  22. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Out of all the possible options, it's actually more in the US's interests to have Israel carry out a targeted strike. Bonus points would be awarded if the GIP (that's Saudi Arabia's intelligence agency) actually provided intel to the IDF in order to make the strike more successful.

    It wouldn't really matter if the Israelis notified the US before or after. An even better option would be to work out a deal with Israel where US technology would be made up to look like it's part of the IDF, and carry out a secret joint mission, as long as both sides agreed to deny the existence of the US's role and pretend it was all the IDF. That's what Iran would suspect anyway, so nothing would be lost from actually doing it.
  23. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    DB, I'm not saying it's a preferable option - I only said that to show that the suggestion that support doesn't come without political ramifications is probably untrue.

    44, don't you think a targeted strike by the IDF could result in a shower of rockets raining down on Tel Aviv? For starters. Of course Hamas will join in. Then maybe war with Egypt? Syria could certainly use a good war. And don't you think one targeted strike might not actually be enough? You'd risk war on all sides of Israel, with Iran still on course for the bomb. And you think that's the best option?

  24. RKORadio Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2004
    The reality is that as long as countries in the Middle Eastern Islamic world desire the destruction of Israel, either physically or through the extinction of its Jewish character via the so-called "one-state" solution, neither Israel or the U.S. is going to allow them nuclear weapons. That's been the policy as far back as 1981.
  25. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    SW, I just don't think our dollars really provide that much influence as long as AIPAC is still a viable lobby. Not to mention that Israel been more than happy to go to other big powers in the past; they and China already have a pretty decent relationship.