It depends on what the meaning of "is" is.

By Erick Posted in | | Comments (83) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

So yesterday, Obama could not classify Iran as a serious threat.

If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn't stand a chance."

Today, however, Iran is a grave threat.

"Iran is a grave threat. It has an illicit nuclear program. It supports terrorism across the region and militias in Iraq. It threatens Israel's existence. It denies the Holocaust," he said.

Just to clear things up from the New American Dictionary:

grave |grɑv| |greɪv| |greɪv|
adjective
giving cause for alarm; serious : a matter of grave concern.

serious |ˈsi(ə)rēəs|
adjective
significant or worrying because of possible danger or risk; not slight or negligible.

Ah, I see. Us working class, Jesus loving, gun toters in middle America aren't used to such flourishing nuance from a Presidential candidate.

The Soviet Union was a serious threat (glad the left finally acknowledges that). It was "significant or worrying."

Iran is a grave threat or "gives cause for alarm."

Now, it may be just be me, but it seems based on those definitions and word usages that a grave threat is actually more serious than a serious threat.

And I would have to agree here. The Soviet Union certainly could have wiped us out, but we could have wiped it out too. The players were rather rational and neither wanted to be destroyed.

Iran could wipe us out through proxies with dirty bombs, but President Obama would never wipe Iran out. The players are not rational*. Both Iran and Obama supporters are wrapped up in messianic zeal for their respective sides.

*Of course, Iran probably knows President Obama would turn the other cheek, so perhaps only one of the players is irrational and it's not the one you'd think.


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We don't have to worry about Iran. Israel will be invading Iran at the end of the year. I think we should be more focused on issues at home, like how milk prices are being Manipulate. Can you stay focused on issues tht affect Americans at home, or you just don't care?

Milk prices are being Manipulate??? Head for the hills! Load the pistols and put Grandma in the van!

I never thought that I would live to see the day that milk prices would be Manipulate...it's a crazy world we live in, that's for sure...

Nihilist Mints
Nihilists don’t believe in flavor! Each sleek, black 3" x 3/4" x 5/8" tin contains sixty completely flavorless mints.

It's how the mannary gland lactates.

Have you never heard of government cheese?

Lord have mercy on us. Obama is attracting all of these first time voters who have no life experience and little/limited education.

The issue that most greatly affest Americans at home is a bunch of neophyte voters with no understanding of the whys and hows of America's greatness are supporting a Marxist socialist bent on destruction of the very foundations of what makes America the greatest nation in the history of earth.

M Penny

--
"A witty saying proves nothing."- Voltaire

So would you charge that Obama supporters are elitists or schmucks with limited education? I've heard both arguments on redstate so it's impossible to find where people stand or really what this community believes. What desecrates the foundation of American more: Changing opinions on economic policy or the erosion of rights? If you say rights, then where do you stand on the patriot act?

Some food for thought for your to chew on before you open your mouth again.


The Unofficial RedState FAQ
“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say. ” - Martin Luther

Freedom of Religion NOT Freedom from Religion

some thin leftist gruel that I feel is somehow more profound than it really is.

I would not say that most Obama supporters have limited education, I would say that so much of what they know is wrong.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

are a complete moron on so many levels. You have to be a Karl Rove disinformation campaign..

"Small town folks get bitter after which they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren't like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment."

absentee
Also Find Me Here.

John Kerry in the second debate in 2004:

I do believe Saddam Hussein was a threat. I always believed he was a threat. Believed it in 1998 when Clinton was president.

Kerry a few minutes later in the same debate:

I don't think you can just rely on U.N. sanctions, Randee. But you're absolutely correct, [Iran] is a threat, it's a huge threat.

And what's interesting is, it's a threat that has grown while the president has been preoccupied with Iraq, where there wasn't a threat.

Reality is fungible.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

Serious or Grave? I thought our side were the ones that fretted over the "meaning of a word." But, touche for the point made. Good one.

Obama may have to go back to cue cards.An audio recorder would help also since he can't remember what he says from one primary to another.

I will not allow another Holocaust -John McCain

Someone in Obama's camp had have just put their head through a wall. Everytime Obama opens his mouth its like he's drooling stupid.

"Iran could wipe us out through proxies with dirty bombs, but President Obama would never wipe Iran out. The players are not rational*. Both Iran and Obama supporters are wrapped up in messianic zeal for their respective sides."

You have a point overall, but saying "Iran could wipe us out" is pretty silly, particularly through dirty bombs. They would be a real problem, but they would not "wipe us out."

Fr Martin Fox

Let's say they use a few 'dirty bombs'in Washington D.C., New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami! How would that affect our economy?? Is that "wipe us out" enough for you???

neca eos omnes, deus suos agnoscet

except that they are probably supporting Muqtada al Sadr and his Shia forces in Iraq to fight us? Are we really concerned that Iran is somehow going to pull off a mass attack of dirty bombs up and down the Eastern Seaboard? Probably not. That an absolutely absurd comment. Israel already has hundreds of nuclear weapons with first, second, and third strike capabilities, and they also have the most powerful military in the region. Iran is a serious threat to Israeli security way beyond any threat they are to the US.

Yes, Iran is a threat, but nowhere near even what Russia is today, let alone back in the 1960s at the peak of the Cold War. We're comparing apples and nuclear superpowers, which doesn't exactly take sides with logic.

Iran has diesel electric missile submarines (Old Soviet Kilo Class one of the quietest boats ever built)

They currently have a cruise missile capability I am not certain if that is native or import.

Finally they are on the way to building a nuclear weapon.

If that doesn't constitute a threat I don't know what does.


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Iran is a threat, but not nearly as much as some people want us to believe, not even close. In the Middle East they are a serious threat to all its neighbors. The only reason they are a threat to the US is because we are stuck fighting in Iraq without a clear goal or way to get out. Please, somebody here define for me what Iraq looks like when we can leave. This entire war has been counterproductive in virtually every measure--our military is significantly weaker, Iran and al Qaeda is significantly stronger, we are bankrupting ourselves in the process, and our allies have all taken a huge step back. We have 158k troops in Iraq right now. The other 21 countries that are still supporting only make up about 5000, 4000 still coming from the UK. We invaded with almost 300,000 coalition forces from all around the world, but they have all left except us.

Iran and Syria have formed an alliance of convenience. And with their proxy, Hezbollah, in Lebanon, they are gradually encircling Israel.

Evidently, Israel bombed a Syrian nuclear installation last year. It had been built with North Korean help. Syria is a lot closer to Israel than Iran is.

A nuclear Iran allied with Syria will make Israel's strategic position increasingly indefensible. It will also make any American assurances of support for Israel in the event of an attack worthless.

Beyond that, Iran will be able to dominate the Persian Gulf and control oil shipping through there. A nuclear Iran won't have to worry about military threats from the U.S. anymore and will start throwing its weight around in that part of the world.

Did the Iraq War tip the balance of power toward Iran? Unfortunately, yes it did. Prior to the Iraq War, Iran was facing a hostile Saddam Hussein and his Republican Guard. Now the only thing facing Iran is U.S. troops, who have their hands full policing Iraq (something Saddam didn't have to worry about), and are likely to be withdrawn from Iraq in a couple of years anyway. America's military troubles in Iraq have also made any military threats against Iran far less credible; Iran must regard America as a paper tiger by now.

The neo-conservatives who went to work for Bush when he became President, always considered Saddam a far bigger threat to America than either al-Qaeda or Iran. And hence they demanded that America put the bulk of its military effort into deposing Saddam. They got that so wrong.

"Please, somebody here define for me what Iraq looks like when we can leave.''

Easily answered- any of these:

1) South Korea
2) Japan

As for this jem:

"and al Qaeda is significantly stronger"

Jesus, seriously, dude, read some Michael Totten or Micheal Yon.

Please!

If you think, for just one second, that in ten years time there will be discos open in downtown Baghdad where US Soldiers can drink rum and pick up Iraqi women, you are seriously mistaken. As long as there is any US presence in Iraq there will be an effort to mortar/blow up/IED/kill us. Any time anyone tries to make that straight-line comparison with Iraq and any post-WWII countries or Korea you should be concerned. The population of Germany, Japan, or Korea was very tame and peaceful compared to modern day Iraq. Virtually every Iraqi owns a AK-47 7.62mm assault rifle and probably knows how to get their hands on an RPG if they really needed to. Germany was a functioning democracy until Hitler merged the powers of Chancellor and President pretty much making himself king.

After 9/11 al Qaeda wanted us to react the exact way we did—large scale ground forces—but in Afghanistan because they just finished the ultimate Jihad a decade earlier against the Soviet Union (a Jihad we completely funded to kill Russians). Bin Laden wanted us in those same circumstances because in his grand scheme, he wants to bleed us financially. It takes 10 dudes and about $10,000 to blow up an oil pipeline that costs $500 million in damages and lost revenue—that’s a hell of a return on investment and al Qaeda knows this. They sent one envelop with anthrax through our postage system and we reacted by spending roughly $1 billion to prevent it from happening again. They’re playing cat and mouse…read Brave New War by John Robb.

We invaded with almost 300,000 coalition forces from all around the world ...

You guys really need to work harder to keep your stories straight.


"First you win the argument, then you win the vote." - MARGARET THATCHER.
So let's start winning the argument.

"Are we really concerned that [two dozen craven Saudis who like to hang out in ti**y bars are] somehow going to [simultaneously hijack four domestic passenger jets and crash them into military and commercial targets] up and down the Eastern Seaboard? Probably not. That an absolutely absurd comment."

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. - Frank Zappa

Nobody saw that coming. And if it happens again, God forbid, we will retaliate. But how do you predict something like that? Even our own intelligence was so flawed we completely missed it. I think we learned, or at least I hope we did.

Is invading Iran going to keep that from happening again? Is talking with Ahmedinejad, Assad, and Abbas--as Obama proposes--going to guarantee that it does happen again? The answer to both is no.

Iran is a threat, but not to the extent some want us to believe. If we aren't going to sit down and conduct diplomacy--throw it off the table--what do we do? More of the same? Talk tough and try to bully them around? Bomb and invade a bigger and messier country at the exact moment our military is falling apart? They know we are hurting right now. Ahmedinejad knows what he can get away with right now. He may be crazy, but not stupid.

I never said America should not negotiate. For your information and Obama's information, Europe has been trying to negotiate with Iran for maybe 5 years now, without success.

I have said that it's wrong to try to negotiate without preconditions, as Obama is proposing.

If Iran is seriously interested in peace negotiations (and so far they haven't been), they can try to meet some of our preconditions. For example, they can stop shipping arms into Iraq to kill our soldiers, as a signal that they want peace.

When an enemy really wants peace, they make their intentions clear enough. Anwar Sadat journeyed to Israel on his own initiative. Gorbachev decided to give the Baltic states their freedom. And so on.

Let's wait for a comparable signal from Iran.

Clearly you must be an enlisted PFC to have such little grasp of geopolitical strategy. So, the only countries in the world now that can be powerful and threaten American interests are superpowers with vast nuclear arsenals?!

I guess that is why Obama threatens to invade Pakistan? So let's see: Iran threatens to annihilate an ally, take over the entire Middle East oil fields, is at war with the US for 30 years now, and is working on obtaining nuclear weapons with a leadership not afraid to die.

And you being a "soldier" see nothing at all worrying about that development?! If you were in my foxhole, I would get out and go to another one..

"Small town folks get bitter after which they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren't like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment."

Clearly, I am Private first Class Joe Infantry. I read an article last week in Newsweek about Iran and here I am.

You can try to twist what Obama said and meant with regards to Pakistan, but for the record, he never once used the words "Invade" or anything close. What he said he would do--act on actionable intelligence--is exactly what the White House did a few months ago to take out al Qaeda's number three by using long-range missiles. I think our military has a pretty vast arsenal at its disposal, and as Commander in Chief, it’s up to your imagination on who to best utilize those assets. So are you saying that if we knew the exact location of Osama bin Laden, and he was in Pakistan, you wouldn’t want our president to act and try to kill him? That’s pretty weak, my friend.

You’re right—Iran’s actions are a threat to the region and long-term US security interests. But just like Saddam Hussein, the level of threat is not yet imminent and we still have enough time to get this right…if we don’t jack it up like Iraq.

Iran is a direct threat to US citizens. We cannot afford to let Iran continue unchecked with nuclear weapons development and development of long range missiles of increasing range and accuracy. The US must continue to develop and install missile defense systems in Europe, give support to Israeli military actions aimed at frustrating Iran's goals of using using proxy states(eg Syria,Lebanon,Palestinian Entity) to shorten missile flight to Europe. We must also remain credible as a threat for this type of military action ourselves. We must also continue to block nuclear and missile technology exchanges between Iran and other like-minded states.

If we lessen our vigilance and our resolve to fight Iran every step of the way, we may find our bases in Europe being closed by host countries threatened by Iranian nuclear missiles and having no ABM deterrent. The increasing size and political influence of Muslims in European countries may also factor into such decisions. It is no coincidence that Bush plans to site ABM systems in nations such as the Czech Republic.

The US must continue to make Iranian adventurism as costly as possible to them financially, diplomatically and militarily. Obama is either talking out the side of his neck, naive, or,worst of all, sympathetic to Iranian hegemony. He cannot have unconditional talks with Iran when de facto preconditions are staring him in the face. The Iran with which he wants to talk has not existed for at least thirty years.

"Let's say they use a few 'dirty bombs'in Washington D.C., New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami! How would that affect our economy?? Is that "wipe us out" enough for you???"

Well, let's say they fire 200 ICBMs at us, while we're at it.

My point is, you can say they'll use seven dirty bombs, but saying doesn't make it so. That would be an extremely difficult conspiracy to pull off.

My understanding is that a dirty bomb would not kill a huge number of people, the way a fission or fusion bomb would, but would make a chunk of real estate radioactive, requiring a lot of money and time to clean it up.

Far more plausible is one, perhaps, two, dirty bombs. Which would be bad, but I repeat, it would not "wipe us out."

Fr Martin Fox

as well but darn it they did it! I see lets go on defense because offense isn't working...oh yeah it is my mistake.

I am glad you think two would be bad but not "wipe us out" I sure hope you are not in the area of the two because that would just be bad...not wouldn't it?

Freedom of Religion NOT Freedom from Religion

*Sigh*

The four-plane conspiracy was pretty impressive. But note, it involved no contraband--no radioactive material, no explosives at all.

But fine, you disagree with me when I insist two -- or for that matter seven -- dirty bombs will not, quote, "wipe us out."

Therefore, please explain how two--or seven--dirty bombs will mean the United States will cease to exist, especially as:

> almost the entire military structure would still be intact,
> the nation's electrical grid would be almost entirely intact,
> most government would still be in operation,
> the vast majority of the nation's infrastructure would be undamaged,
> travel would go on, since railroads, highways and air travel would still operate,
> the nation's ability to produce and ship food would be intact,
> the nation's health system would be intact...

Please explain how, despite all that...two dirty bombs would "wipe out" the United States of America.

Fr Martin Fox

would be a need to "throw" any American under the bus with the two or seven dirty bombs....and if you don't think the terror of a dirty bomb will not "freeze" Americans and their ability to operate "normally" you are quite mistaken....wiped out...no...but whipped more than likely....the objective is to ensure that we never find out and to say that it is operationally impossible is naive and begs the question of "do you pay attention to history?"

Freedom of Religion NOT Freedom from Religion

that Iran hitting us with a dirty bomb would, quote, "wipe us out." I said it wouldn't. Now, if you want to change the subject, and say it would be have a very bad effect on the country...well, I agree, and I said so in the first place.

But by changing the subject, then you are tacitly agreeing with my original point, that saying such bombs would, quote, "wipe us out" was overstated.

I never claimed it was impossible, I never made any such assertion, so please don't put words in my mouth.

Fr Martin Fox

No big deal. Ten of thousands? Again, not a threat.

Only until the armies of Iran are airdropping into Miami and New York ala Red Dawn or Red Alert 2 should we be concerned, since only then could they 'wipe us out.'

The resultant panic at having to move over 16 million people from those seven cities(try convincing them that the radiation really won't harm them.) While they're not working because they've been evacuated you'll have to find someway to shelter them (FEMA trailers???) and feed them.

Add the cleanup cost and the disposal of the tons of radioactive material (where? NIMBY!!). Let's not forget the lost productivity at all those radioactive sites (don't worry, 8 hours a day of exposure won't harm you!!).

If the detonations on the West coast push enough of the radioactive debris into the upper atmosphere the resultant plume would drift over the California Central Valley and the plains states raising the radioactive levels of food.(oh don't worry we've tested all the food and the USDA and the FDA both say it's perfectly safe!!!)

The cost would be enough to cripple the country economically and might 'kill' it politically!

I guess it all depends on what your definiton of 'wipe out' is!!!
(cue the Surfaris)

non progredi est regredi

We were talking about a so-called dirty bomb--that's a conventional explosive that sends radioactive material spewing around the area. It would not have a radioactive "plume" anywhere near the "upper atmosphere; it would send nasty stuff several blocks around.

It's silly to assert dogmatically as you do that people would panic and run for their lives; that's the stuff of Sci-Fi Channel disaster movies, but its not actually what happens. Did you witness such a panic on 9/11? Nope. How about when the Three Mile Island accident happened? Nope.

In the area where the radioactive material was spewed around, it would be a mess to clean up, at great expense, and probably some area of that city wouldn't be usable for quite awhile.

A bad hit on the economy, yes. Causing the United States to disintegrate, dissolve, fall apart, or whatever you mean by "wiped out"? No.

Fr Martin Fox

say on a very tall building, the radioactive material can be sent high enough (and it doesn't have to be 20,000 ft) to be carried with the prevailing winds. Fr Martin I am well aware of the difference.

There wasn't panic with Three Mile Island because it was contained within the reactor core and everyone even the news media acknowledged that.

The situation at Chernobyl was different though. The containment building was breeched and radioactive material was released into the atmosphere, no explosion per se. The government there chose to not apprise people of the danger and slowly evacuated people. The level of cancers in people who lived hundreds of miles downwind has risen significantly even though they were eventually evacuated. Radiation levels even further away have been detected.

I saw the footage of the 'calm' evacuation of the area around the towers on 9/11 but there was no radiation reported or involved! The situation changed quickly when the towers actually collapsed. If there had been radiation involved two scenarios could have taken place:

1)The Government and press would have announced it and everyone would have just accepted it and quietly evacuated the area (right!)

2) The Government and press (I'm sure the MSM would go along)would have kept quiet about the radiation and 20 or 30 years down the road there would be a mysterious increase in the reported number of cancers.

I don't see either of those two scenarios having any basis in reality. At the first mention of radiation I'm pretty sure that the bulk of the population would try to get the h*** out and wouldn't accept anybody's assurances of safety. Now imagine that scenario played out in several major cities all at the same time!

The left has made an industry 'educating' the public about the dangers of radiation. The general public is deathly afraid of minimal amounts of radiation and that colors their decisions regarding anything nuclear. That explains why France has more nuclear power plants than we do!

How much material do you think it would take to contaminate a large area? What level of radioactivity in food is safe enough to eat? Safe enough to live in?? How many people would trust anything the Government would say is safe?

A large segment of our population don't believe the USDA now when they say our food supply is perfectly safe. What makes you think their credibility is going to skyrocket suddenly after a dirty bomb attack??

The United States isn't the ground it sits on! The United States is the politcal aggregation of groups of people who have agreed to abide by a set of rules giving a central Gov't limited authority. With a large enough destabilizing influence or a combination of influences the political landscape of the country can be radically altered. Once the incentive to maintain that agreement is no longer apparent the need to remain part of the political entity disappears.

Your original contention was to wipe out the US with a Soviet era bombing with nukes. I agree, Iran can't do that. But destroying the US as a nation can take place without wholesale physical destruction.

Just hacking the web and causing all those hundreds of thousands of financial transactions that happen every day to suddenly come to a screeching halt would shut down our economy. How long could the United States survive without a banking system?

They can also hack into other systems. The New York Times is not reliable on political matters but on this story I can believe them:



What scenarios can you envision if the Chinese hacked into our miltary computer system?

You are falling prey to underestimating what a truly motivated state sponsored terrorist can accomplish! No one thought anyone would ever use box cutters to highjack airplanes and then fly them into buildings! After all, box cutters aren't weapons and no one is crazy enough to deliberately fly airplanes into buildings are they???

Don't plan on fighting the next war like the last war. The enemy has already gone past that and is planning something totally different. You just have to guess what it is and plan accordingly Pray that you've guessed correctly!

Again, it all depends on your definition of 'wipe out'!

From ME to you, MSGT, USAF(Ret.)

non progredi est regredi

It was a bad mistranslation from Farsi. He menat remove us from the pages of history.


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

and then someone has to explain what he really meant to say when he misspoke!(LOL)

omnia dicta fortiora si dicta Latina

That huge rally was in Oregon right? A hotbed of antiwar sentiment comparable to San Francisco?

I'll guess that what happened is, the first time Obama got a question on Iran (or had to speak on foreign policy) in front of a strongly antiwar audience, and so he gave an antiwar answer. Hence his dismissal of Iran as a "tiny nation."

This time, faced with growing questions (even from some senior Democrats like Biden) about his willingness to talk with Iran without preconditions, Obama trotted out a more hawkish-sounding answer.

The "Obama Flip-Flop" is a poorly constructed argument at best, and partisan hackery if taken at face value. What exactly is the threat that Iran poses?

Destabilizing the region? We're pretty close to doing that ourselves with Iraq. If we pull out of Iraq we'll destablize it even further. Iran needs us there, thats what the NIEs have concluded over the past 2 years. If we pull out Iran will not be able to control the chaos. If Iran is such an "imminent threat, then perhaps we should pull out of Iraq, if only to destablize them." Of course you won't buy that argument no matter how many facts I throw at you. You toe the policy line, can't really think for yourself.

Nuclear weapons? I'm pretty sure we're past the practical application of these weapons - No country is crazy enough to launch a nuclear attack via ICBM. Yes, Ameninajad is batshit crazy, but I doubt he's suicidal.

Threaten to cut off Western oil supplies? Go ahead, we don't get oil from you anyway and to quote/paraphrase Dick Cheney, "We have to get off this idea that cheap oil is good for America." We do, the higher oil prices go the more economic incentive there is to discover alternative fuels thus rendering their highest playing card obsolete.

Dirty Bombs? Yeah, it could happen, but invading that country and forcing a regime change seems more likely to make that a possibility. Not to be cavalier, but living in a free society means people are basically free to blow up whatever they want, that fact won't change no matter what country we invade or how much we spend on national defense. It's sad, but such a fear is no way to guide our lives or policy decisions.

To end on a more bitter note... stick to real conservative issues. You're obviously not cut out to be a political hack. Your post reminds me of why people continue to make fun of conservatives for being uniformed and ignorant.

"Land of the Free and Home of da Whopper" Peter Griffin...Family Guy

conform and celebrate diversity....or else!!!

...but I get the feeling that you kind of want us to ban you.

It's a weird hobby to have, but hey! It takes all kinds.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

"Land of the Free and Home of da Whopper" Peter Griffin...Family Guy

conform and celebrate diversity....or else!!!

Didn't mean to "borrow" your fire..... Nobody *steals* Moe's fire. Nobody *could* do that. That's akin to somebody *stealing* Fred's cool. Been tried. Not possible.

Unfair. Unbalanced. Unmedicated. -- IMAO

"Land of the Free and Home of da Whopper" Peter Griffin...Family Guy

conform and celebrate diversity....or else!!!

and even if they did, AND were "batshit crazy" enough to flip the switch, the very next moment Israel would "totally obliterate" Iran. What many people don't understand about Israel (or just care to ignore) is they are very powerful--that's the reason we are allies. They have land based nukes on ground in Israel, second strike capabilities from nuclear submarines. Even if the country of Israel was completely destroyed they could still completely destroy Iran right after it happened. No, not even Ahmedinejad is that "batshit crazy" enough (I like your phrase).

To achieve military goals. They lost 4% of their population in the Iran Iraq war and were willing to send brigades of children against automatic weapons positions.

You are thinking with a western mind they aren't


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

The latest NIE confirms that they even gave up years ago, basically saying Ahmedinejad was flapping his gums to get a rise out of us. He's not stupid. Crazy? Yes. Stupid? No. He knows how much the war in Iraq has damaged our military. He says stuff like "Iran's nuclear program is moving forward like a train" because he knows he can get away with it and we can't do anything about it.

and has given up the quest for them.

Let me ask then, if we are correct not to act on that report were we correct to act on all the reports that said Saddam had WMD and was actively pursuing them. That is not to mention our own observation of his having had them and using them in the past.


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

No, what I believe is Iran has bad intentions and is a serious threat in the long-run if not properly dealt with today. I know they would love to get their hands of nuclear weapons, but what country without nuclear weapons wouldn’t like the added security of having nukes? We have been watching Iran very closely for decades, and what our latest National Intelligence Estimate tells me is that Iran’s program is so weak, slow, and ineffective that it doesn’t register on our radars—either that or it’s really good and we can’t track it and we’re screwed anyway. If Iraq taught us one important lesson, it should be this: You don’t go to war based off intelligence alone, and faulty intelligence at that. If the folks at Langley say Iran is no less than 10 years from acquiring nuclear weapons then that’s what I am going with and they do not pose an imminent threat to US security.

the NIE makes any assessment you want it to make, read the dissenting views.

Two points: Why do you trust this NIE when the track record of our intel community in predicting actions is very poor? In other words why, other than your personal agenda, is this NIE trustworthy while the Iraq NIE was not?

Going to war is a political not an intelligence decision. The quality of the NIE is totally irrelevant to a decision to commence hostilities with Iran or anyone else.

"A man does what he can and endures what he must."

You have the NIE and what else? Gut instinct? “I can just feel in my bones that Iraq/Iran/fill-in-the-blank has WMDs/seeking to get WMDs/is harboring terrorist.” That’s basically what we’re saying here. I heard a rumor from a dude named CODE NAME: CURVEBALL says they have them, so it must be true. So if we are to concede that our intelligence doesn’t work, then what do we have left? The answer is Judgment, and you can make whatever claim you want, but Barack Obama knew enough about what was going on in this region of the world that going into Iraq was a bad move, and every day his assessment back in 2002 gets more accurate.

“War is an extension of policy”, and going into Iraq was a horrible political decision and has only left us with even less-attractive options in dealing with Iran and how we get out of Iraq.

It is far too early to tell if the Iraq war was a positive or a negative. When you political horizon is only one year you will make short term decisions. But when you take a more long term, historical view thing change.

It might very well be a huge positive for the free world to have a free, democratic, Muslim state which respects human rights in the middle of the middle east.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

Like it or not; the Iraq NIE represented the overwhelming majority view (every NIE has both majority and minority reports) of the Intelligence Community at the time, and this is confirmed by contemporary statements of Democrats who have been sitting on the Intelligence Committees (same security clearance levels as the President) since before Bush entered the White House.

Bill Clinton himself confirmed the same thing on Larry King Live in 2003; that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that remained unaccounted for and that Saddam was fully capable of passing a few to outside terrorist organizations. Heck, his own administration indicted Osama Bin Laden in 1998 citing Intelligence reports that posited that Saddam and Osama had reached an agreement to cooperate.

Bush's major mistake was in relying on the good faith of the Democratic Party and their handmaidens in the Press, and not launching a full-blown scorched earth campaign against them when the BushLied!™ meme started being promoted by the Democratic leadership only to be uncritically echoed by the Press Corps.


"First you win the argument, then you win the vote." - MARGARET THATCHER.
So let's start winning the argument.

That's my point, that even when the majority rules a certain direction we don't have a 100% full-proof way on determining its credibility. The NIE prior to Iraq said that there were WMDs, forget if the information was cooked or not--take it at face value. Now the NIE with respect to Iran says they don't have a program any longer. Should we trust that and plan accordingly? No, we should prepare as if we are not sure what Iran's intentions are because we can't be sure. Then it comes back to judgment.

Iraq was a horrible political decision and has done much more harm than good with respect to US and Israeli national security. Go back to 2002. McCain said "we won't be going house to house in Baghdad" and "I believe victory in Iraq will be relatively easy". Obama said it was a dumb war, an occupation in Iraq will lead to a war of undetermined length, undetermined consequences, at an undetermined level of cost in blood and treasure, and will only serve to ignite the feeling of anti-Americanism in the Middle East.

Where are we today?

Either McCain was completely wrong prior to Iraq, didn't have the gonads to stand up and say it was wrong, or straight-up lied to us about how this was going down.

... and cost in blood and treasure.

In fact, in 2002, opponents of the war were predicting deaths going as high as ten thousand from chemical attacks within the first week. The word "quagmire" made its first appearance in the news in the second week of the invasion.

Bush, on the other hand, repeatedly pointed out that it was going to be a long and hard multi-year slog - even when he was standing in front of the Mission Accomplished sign on that ship.

And to be honest, you're being remarkably dishonest if you really are pushing the notion that McCain's statements about how the war would go are encapsulated by your cherry-picked quotes. Like Bush, he has said on various occasions that it was not going to be a walk in the park.

Either McCain was completely wrong prior to Iraq, didn't have the gonads to stand up and say it was wrong, or straight-up lied to us about how this was going down.

Contrary to what you may think - the Presidency does not require precognition skills. And Obama does not have them. Mouthing conventional wisdom (increase anti-Americanism - exactly how pro-America was the ME before the war? Not much more than it is now) and truisms which apply to all wars does not really mean much.


"First you win the argument, then you win the vote." - MARGARET THATCHER.
So let's start winning the argument.

"Heck, his own administration indicted Osama Bin Laden in 1998 citing Intelligence reports that posited that Saddam and Osama had reached an agreement to cooperate."

True- but you forgot to mention that that same administration removed any reference to an Iraq-Al Qaeda cooperation with a superceding indictment several months later, after failing to substantiate the relationship you referenced.

But then, you're making the mistake of forgetting that the standard of proof in courts are higher than they are in matters of Intelligence.

In other words, just because Reno decided to remove the reference does not in any way mean that the Intelligence agencies no longer thought that Saddam and Osama were considering a partnership.

And by the way, Clinton Administration officials were telling the Press things like this in 1999.


"First you win the argument, then you win the vote." - MARGARET THATCHER.
So let's start winning the argument.

"But then, you're making the mistake of forgetting that the standard of proof in courts are higher than they are in matters of Intelligence."

Forgetting? There is a reason for this higher standard.

"In other words, just because Reno decided to remove the reference does not in any way mean that the Intelligence agencies no longer thought that Saddam and Osama were considering a partnership."

Minor correction- Patrick Fitzgerald removed the inference. This also does not in any way mean the intelligence agnecies believed there was or had been consideration of a partnership.

"And by the way, Clinton Administration officials were telling the Press things like this in 1999."

Not sure what you're referencing here- did a Clinton admin. official write this? Or are you referring to something specific in the link?

Was he the US District Attorney bringing the indictment against Osama in 1998/9?

There is a reason for this higher standard.

Yep. In a court. The standard for Intelligence analysis are somewhat different - they don't have the luxury of "beyond reasonable doubt."

This also does not in any way mean the intelligence agnecies believed there was or had been consideration of a partnership.

And yet, somehow, it got into a DoJ prepared indictment brief and newspaper articles citing American Administration and Intelligence officials. Amazing what Karl Rove gets up to with his time machine.

Not sure what you're referencing here- did a Clinton admin. official write this? Or are you referring to something specific in the link?

Like I wrote above, the articles are citing American Administration and Intelligence officials ... in 1999. When a certain former Governor of Arkansas (not Texas) was President.

In fact, the guy had all sorts of things to say about Saddam Hussein, WMD and the likelyhood of his handing a canister of interesting chemical compounds to terrorist organizations during his Administration. e.g.

The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.


"First you win the argument, then you win the vote." - MARGARET THATCHER.
So let's start winning the argument.

opposed to Bush, they cannot be trusted. I have heard rumors I feel to be much more credible, that they already have a couple of nukes which they bought black market, And that they already used them to threaten Putin, which is why Russia went 180 degrees on Iran about three years ago and decided to support them.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

Or did you not notice that somebody just got banned for it?

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

I didn't even catch it. I apologize.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

A nuclear-powered Iran, allied with Syria and Hezbollah, will make Israel's strategic position increasingly untenable. Syria just tried to get a nuclear capability from North Korea. Israel was forced to bomb it out of existence. If Iran gets nukes, you can expect Iran to give some to Syria and Hezbollah forthwith. Then what?

As for Iraq, Iran doesn't care if Iraq is "destabilized." Iraq is majority Shiite. Iran would be quite happy to take the Shiite two-thirds of Iraq and see the Sunnis ethnically cleansed out of there.

Finally, a militarily dominant Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis will destroy whatever is left of Lebanese independence. Lebanon will become nothing but a base for Hezbollah to launch attacks on Israel.

So I guess it comes down to this: Why don't you left-wing supporters of Obama, and you paleo-conservative supporters of Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul, just admit you're perfectly happy to see Israel destroyed, and we'll let it go at that?

Because the policies you're espousing will put Israel at ever-increasing jeopardy.

Erick was on the right track but he actually doesn't nail Obama as he should have.

How about playing the "Yes I would meet with no preconditions" right next to the "I would never appease dictators"

right next to the "Jimmy Carter was wrong to meet with Hamas" right next to the "It is ludicrous for us not to talk to our enemies"..

right next to Obama saying we can't talk to Osama Bin Laden, but then saying he would meet with Chavez.

And yesterday saying the Iranians were a "tiny threat" and today saying they are a "grave threat"

please tell me there is ONE intelligent GOP ad maker who can put this stuff together into a one minute ad to run across the country this summer?!!

"Small town folks get bitter after which they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren't like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment."

Are we really only worried about making the other guy look retarded? Do you not really care about what is actually right here?

Meeting with leaders of foreign nations that we consider "enemies" to have real diplomatic talks is completely different from "appeasement". If Obama said that he would meet, talk, and give Hamas Jerusalem, that would be appeasement. But that isn't even close to anything he has ever said. He has always said he wouldn't talk with Hamas, Hizbollah, or al Qaeda for that matter.

Our current strategy with dealing with nations we don't like, like Iran and Syria, is we don't talk to them unless they completely agree with everything we say before we sit down. So of course Iran isn't going to want to talk because right now they are only getting stronger with each passing day we are occupied in Iraq. Iran has been the biggest winner out of every country in that region as a result of our current strategy, and even if we wanted to use force and had a real legitimate reason to do so, we could not because we couldn't sustain the kind of force necessary to get the job done in Iran. That country is like Iraq on steroids--it's bigger, more populated, and they have been getting stronger while our force has weakened severely. Tehran is a much bigger city than Baghdad, and the terrain of Iran is much more difficult for both fighting and logistics.

Both Iran and Syria have strong ties to Hizbollah and Hamas. Hizbollah has a great amount of support from the general public in Lebonon because they provide a lot of basic services for the people, and Hamas is the same in the Occupied Territories. You don't beat groups with that type of support by bombing them or with any type of military force because their roots are too deep. You have to get them to agree to work with you or you cut off their resources and turn the people on them. Iran, Syria, and Palestine are their main sources for everything they do, so they are the ones we should be dealing with.

Bin Laden is Enemy Number One, leader of the most effective terrorist organization in the world. Chavez is the president of a country, was elected semi-fairly, and his state-run oil company CITGO is a huge source of oil for our country. If you are trying to say for one second that we shouldn't talk to Chavez you should probably give that some thought. Wow, bin Laden = Hugo Chavez--that's pretty good.

And trying to twist "tiny threat" around is a pretty ridiculous stretch. Good luck with that.

So of course Iran isn't going to want to talk because right now they are only getting stronger with each passing day we are occupied in Iraq. Iran has been the biggest winner out of every country in that region as a result of our current strategy

If Iran is really getting stronger every day, and they are really the big winner of the current situation, then any "negotiation" we have with them can only end in our surrender. Right?

Why should Iran make ANY CONCESSIONS at all in negotiations with America, if they already know that they're on a roll and they are getting stronger every day? Why won't they just run out the clock, stall for time in the "negotiations," continue bleeding America white in Iraq, and continue developing nuclear weapons?

Where does the negotiation come in??? Why would Iran have to make any concessions?

I find this absolutely amazing. First you tell us how strong Iran is getting, and how weak America has become. Then you tell us we "must" negotiate with Iran--without realizing that if they're that strong, any deal America reaches with them will reflect their superiority and we'll get the short end of the stick.

You NEVER negotiate from a position of weakness if you can possibly avoid it. Negotiating from weakness can only lead to surrender.

Whatever happened to Reagan's "Peace Through Strength"?

Ok, so do you not agree that Iran has gotten much stronger over the past six years? Do you not think this war in Iraq has serious long-term consequences for our military? We had a pretty good strategy during the Iraq-Iran war by funding both sides and keeping both sides relatively weak. But then we decided to throw off the entire balance of power in the region by ruining Iraq’s military and economy, which has made Iran—who has been sitting on the sidelines—much stronger than they were before we invaded. General Cody, the Army Vice Chief of Staff, told Congress last month that "The current demand for our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan exceeds the sustainable supply and limits our ability to provide ready forces for other contingencies".

Right now we have 15 of our 33 active duty brigade combat teams in Iraq, with a total force of around 158k. When we invaded Iraq we had a coalition force of just fewer than 300k. Iran is three times the size population wise, four times land; Tehran is twice the size of Baghdad, and the terrain is a logistical nightmare compared to Iraq. Right now we couldn’t sustain the type of force structure needed to start the job in Iran, let alone finish it.

A realistic military option with Iran is growing the force by about 500k, with all the up-armored vehicles, body armor, weapons, and logistics to finish the job which will cost well over one trillion dollars and we would need a draft to get enough people. We would have no choice but to significantly raise taxes to fund this. Do you think the international community is going to support any action in Iran after what we did to Iraq?

Peace through strength isn’t easy to accomplish when your strength is diminishing constantly. We need to get out of Iraq and get this government to finally step up and take responsibility for its country. Then, we can have the type of force available to use as leverage when at the table with Iran.

You’re right—Iran doesn’t have any incentive to negotiate because as long as we are distracted in Iraq, they can just run out the clock.

Time is ticking…

Republicans are stupid too. An American corporation is funding a university in Russia that is building the nuclear program in Iran. GE is still giving Iran supplies that build Iran's economy (Bill O'Riley, The Factor). The same way Elites manipulate the Democratic Party, Neo Cons are making idiots out of you. GEEZ, face reality!

justreality but ended up a realty agent instead!

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They spent the better part of several days trying to tell us that Iran was not a threat. Now they have to spend even more time telling us that of course Iran is a threat!

I wonder if we can get one that didn't hear the latest pronouncement from the messiah to argue with one who did hear the latest?

Pass the beer and chips (since the popcorn is gone).

Socialism doesn't work. It looks nice on paper, but it's been tried and it's failed miserably every time (usually accompanied by widespread death and suffering).
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