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Preview: Comments on: ISRAEL: IRAN COULD HAVE NUKES BY ‘09


Politics served up with a smile... And a stilletto.

Published: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:58:02 +0000


By: Nick Clemence

Thu, 18 Dec 2008 10:06:32 +0000

USA and the rest of teh world should help Iran to develop nukes. Once Iran has nukes, Israel will agree then to talk about ME free of nukes. It is wrong to let Israel to keep between 150-200 nukes while Iran has nothing. A balance of horror is a safeguard for peace... let Iran join the nuke countries, then israel will agree to sit with palestineans and talk about eternal peace and the 2 state solution without any bluffing.

By: DrKrbyLuv

Mon, 12 May 2008 15:29:17 +0000

Ed - Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post (see post #13)- You responded that "Hezbullah did not defeat the Israelis. I’m surprised you fell for that propaganda." The fact that Hezbollah withstood Israel's 2006 military invasion was indeed a huge victory. They stood their ground until Israel retreated without meeting any real objectives. The Israeli people saw this as a defeat and demanded to know what went wrong. The Winograd Commission “was established to respond to the bad feelings of the Israeli public of a crisis and disappointment caused by the results of the 2nd Lebanon war, and from the way it was managed by the political and military echelons; and the wish to draw lessons from the failings of the war and its flaws.” No doubt Israel could have won the war had they been willing to inflict serious collateral damage (Hezbollah positioned rocket/missile launchers in civilian areas). To their credit, Israeli humanitarian concerns compromised the military effort and a possible victory. Hezbullah is stronger than ever. They now control the Lebanese government and the media. The Lebanese population relies on their benevolence.

By: DaleB

Mon, 12 May 2008 01:26:13 +0000

I would like to point out that this country is about to spend BILLIONS on 'climate change' because even if there is any chance at all the mankind is causing 'climate change', we have to do something. I contend that if there is any possibility at all that Iran will use nuclear weapons against the US, than we have to do something to protect the citizens against attack. The problem with negotiating with an avowed enemy is you never really know when he is lying until you get your ass shot off.

By: DrKrbyLuv

Sun, 11 May 2008 16:33:50 +0000

“One of us – Israel or the United States – will almost certainly be compelled to bomb the Iranian nuclear infrastructure – unless the world community, including Russia and China, make a 180 degree turn regarding the seriousness with which they take the Iranian program” Rick Moran It seems to me that this is a rather arrogant position at odds with recent facts. The US is already engaged in military conflict with Iran; albeit via proxies, and we are losing. Iran defies the US saber rattling by stepping up their efforts to develop nuclear weapons. They send weapons and expertise to the “insurgents” in Iraq to kill American and British soldiers. And now, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon; Hezbollah, has taken control of the media and government. Hezbollah can now prepare for war with Israel in earnest within the safety of their new “State within a State” status. The US and Israel are losing. The fact is that the US can do nothing unilaterally and Israel will surely invite a deadly war at their doorstep. We should remember that Hezbollah is the only military force that has actually fought and beat the Israeli army (2006). Andy mentioned in his insightful post (number 7) that negotiating seems to be the best way forward. I agree and think it is time we recognize that US gun boat diplomacy only works if the gun boat isn’t sinking. Hezbullah did not defeat the Israelis. I'm surprised you fell for that propaganda. At wars end, Israel had 15,000 men moving west from the Litani river about to crush the Hez fighters in that pocket. They Israelis also killed at least 3 times as many of the enemy as they lost - a sure sign of battlefield superiority. The perception of an Israeli defeat - the Winograd Commission called it a "disappointment" - is spread by people like you who somehow believe talking with the Iranians (or Hezbullah) will halt their development of weapons or modify their behavior. Ask the Siniora government about talking to Hezbullah - they've been doing it for more than a year and have gotten absolutely nowhere. Meanwhile, the Hez rearmed and planned the current coup. As for the Iranians, the Big Three EU countries negotiated with them for three years and it didn't stop or slow them down one bit in their enrichment program. These are international actors the likes of which the world has not seen before. The burden of proof is on those who say Iran is open to negotiations and will alter their behavior if only we aren't so beastly to them. To do the opposite is madness. ed.

By: bobble

Sat, 10 May 2008 13:35:02 +0000

did it ever occur to anyone that Iran is a soveriegn country? elected their own president given our track record in accusing mid eastern countries of weapons violations, we should probably just attack them i mean we don't need any stinkin facts in saw it on fox news must be true

By: mannning

Sat, 10 May 2008 02:16:50 +0000

Did I understand correctly that the US transferred some KC-10s to Israel in the recent past? And that we also gave them access to our super-penetrator bomb technology and some examples? If so, Israel is close to being fully equipped to make a bomb run to Iran and back, especially if we do not block them from transiting Iraqi airspace, and maybe Jordan looks the other way as well. To me, this means Israel will execute the run the minute they decide that Iran has gone far enough with their nuke development. I agree that the US will not be able to stop them. What I also believe is that we will have to join them, for Iran will retaliate, and will include us in their counterstrikes. I still moan the reductions Clinton made in the Army, and Bush's reluctance to build it back up. We will need a lot of troops, and soon, don't you think?

By: Andy

Thu, 08 May 2008 19:11:39 +0000

Rick, Agree with your comments on my comments. Factions within factions is a good way to describe it. It's unfortunate that many of our leaders do not see these divides and therefore cannot effectively exploit them to weaken the dangerous factions and strengthen those element with whom a deal could be struck. This is the case regardless of party, ITSM.

By: JohnMc

Thu, 08 May 2008 12:43:56 +0000

What seems to be missing from this debate is the consequence of the USA doing nothing, or “accepting” a nuclear Iran. If we, A) fail to stop them diplomatically, and/or B) decide that military option isn’t worth the risks, at some point Israel will act against Iran. People can debate that Israel “lacks the resources” to get the job done, but they have found ways to make things work time and time again and no one should dismiss them out of hand on this brewing crisis. And, don’t think for a minute that a president can “force” Israel from not defending itself in this situation. They know that the worst than could happen would be a rough four years with an adversarial US administration. No president is going to totally cut off all aid to Israel. The Evangelicals and Jewish Lobby would throw and absolute fit if that happens. Regardless of either outcome, this country better start preparing itself for a very bad outcome one way or another. There is no way out of this shit sandwich other than swallowing it.

By: Jazz Shaw

Thu, 08 May 2008 12:25:09 +0000

Iran nukes Israel, then Israel launches her nukes at Iran. Nuclear winter for all and two new parking lots of cooling glass in the Middle East. I liked the previous comment saying "You can't bomb knowlege." The nuke club is growing, slowly but surely. That horse has long since left the barn. We can slow it down, but I can't imagine stopping it entirely. This is a test for the international community that it is failing. It takes more than "knowledge" to build a nuke. It takes expertise and a high tech industrial infrastructure. The technology may have been known since 1945 but there are some extraordinarily difficult steps to turn a lump of 100 lbs or so of HE uranium into something that won't fizzle. Ask the NoKo's. For that reason, there is still time - probably more than the Israelis are saying who are only concerned about Iran's ability to convert enough uranium hex into enriched uranium. A crude device - the gun design we used on Hiroshima - might be within reach of the Iranians in 3 years; if their centrifuges work as planned (a big if) and if they can somehow evade detection by the IAEI and take their uranium that has been enriched to 5% and further the process until it is enriched to the 90% threshold for weaponizing. Then they've got to experiment very carefully to see how much of their HE uranium is needed to achieve critical mass. Then they need neutron inhibitors. Then they need a delivery system. At any one of those steps, they could fail. The point being, Jazz is that the international community can make it extremely difficult for the Iranians to continue their weaponization program by initiating strict sanctions on materials and travel by engineers and scientists to keep them from their goal while insisting on a strict inspections regimine. The genie is out of the bottle but his powers are non existent unless he is enabled by the rest of the world. ed.

By: Andy

Wed, 07 May 2008 23:10:29 +0000

I would only point out that you can't bomb knowledge. Attacking Iran's infrastructure will only delay things and drive the program completely underground as it did with Iraq after the Osirak attack. Iran has already crossed the Rubicon and can build and operate cascades pretty much on its own. We can destroy the facilities they have, but they'll be able to rebuild in secret within a few years. So IMO, attacking Iran not only carries huge risks, but will fail to achieve the objective. A better course of action, IMO, is to get Iran to ratify and fully implement the additional protocol to the NPT. This, along with surveillance by US and other intelligence services, will stymie any major bomb-building effort and may deter Iran from "unhalting" it's weaponization work. Of course, Iran will require some kind of bribe to accede to the AP and the viability of such a solution will obviously depend on what Iran wants in return. Finally Rick, you said, "No one doubts Iran’s desire to possess a nuclear weapon." I'm not sure the issue is that clear. All of Iran's WMD programs were actually a response to Saddam's Iraq and not Israel. Iran knew full well that Iraq was working on a bomb and it saw how close Iraq came in 1991. As long as Saddam was in power, Iran judged, correctly I think, that Iraq would work toward nuclear weapons. After the devastation of the Iran-Iraq war, pursuit of a nuclear capability in response to Iraq seems a completely rational course of action. Now that Saddam is gone and with it Iran's primary regional threat, Iran may indeed have changed, or may be considering a change, it its nuclear weapons program. Iran's intransigence with the IAEA may therefore be an effort to hide its past weaponization efforts rather than its future intentions. Of course this is only a theory, but I think it's important to consider alternatives and look at things from the Iranian perspective - especially since the strategic environment in the Gulf changed so fundamentally with the fall of Saddam. It might be argued that continuing development of nuclear weapons is a bad course of action for Iran since US policy is that such development will be met with an attack. IOW, developing nuclear weapons will not provide Iran with a deterrent - quite the opposite. A true deterrent will require at least several bombs along with a reliable means of delivery - something that's still many years away (warhead miniaturization and mating to missiles is not as easy as is commonly believed). That's an extraordinary risk for Iran to take since further detection of its program is likely which would invite attack. Anyway, just something to consider. As usual, all good points Andy. Your analysis presupposes we are looking at rational actors on the other side - something I think likely but am not sure of 100%. Just today, the mullacracy took Ahmadinejad to task for his obsession with the 12th imam - a good sign that the Rafsanjani/Khatami faction may be gaining the upper hand. But you know Iran - factions within factions all working at cross purposes and trying to discredit each other. There may very well be a nuke faction in Iran that Khamenei is allowing to work. This goes back to your opening sentence; not only can we not bomb knowledge, we can't glean intent with so little information available. ed.