TCS Daily

War Games 2006

By James D. Miller - April 14, 2006 12:00 AM

According to a well publicized article by Seymour Hersh, the U.S. is planning to attack Iran's nuclear weapons program. Israel could provide the U.S. with a perfect political justification for such a preemptive attack. And raging anti-Semitism will force both Western Europe and the Iranian people to accept this justification.

The President of Iran doesn't believe that Nazi Germany ever perpetrated the Holocaust but thinks his country should. And deterrence wouldn't necessarily stop a nuclear armed Iran from striking Israel, as the mad mullahs who run Iran might be willing to lose 70 percent of their population in return for killing millions of Israeli Jews. Israel, therefore, desperately needs to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately, Iran has buried and spread many of its nuclear facilities. According to the Hersh article, the U.S. is considering using tactical nuclear weapons to take out Iran's atomic production. This is because the U.S. might be able to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities from the air only if we use such weapons. America's conventional airpower is vastly greater than Israel's. So if the U.S. needed nuclear weapons to destroy Iran's facilities then Israel certainly would.

Now imagine that the Israeli Prime Minister writes a letter to President Bush saying that Israel plans to use nuclear weapons to attack Iran unless Iran's nuclear weapons program is halted. Bush could then attack Iran with conventional weapons and justifiably claim that the attack saved Iran from a nuclear strike. Everyone would surely agree that a conventional U.S. attack on Iran would be far superior to an Israeli nuclear attack on Iran.

The only way that anyone could oppose such a U.S. attack would be to argue that Israel is too peaceful a nation ever to use nuclear weapons in a preemptive attack. But after vilifying Israel for so long, it's difficult for countries such as France or Iran to make this claim. Indeed, President Bush could convincingly justify a conventional attack on Iran to the Iranian people if the attack saved Iran from an Israeli nuclear strike.

Israel would even benefit from this plan. If nations such as Syria believe that Israel is actually willing to use nuclear weapons in a preemptive attack they will be much more fearful of Israel and less likely to start another war with her.

President Bush could perhaps even use an Israeli-based excuse to strike Iran with U.S. tactical nuclear weapons. Bush could claim that the only way for anyone, even the U.S., to eliminate Iran's nuclear program was to use nuclear weapons. If the U.S. didn't use them, Bush could argue, then Israel would have. But the U.S. has far cleaner tactical nuclear weapons than Israel does. So by hitting Iran with clean tactical nuclear weapons, the U.S. would save the Iranian people from the greater radiation that would have been created by an Israeli atomic attack.

James D. Miller writes "The Game Theorist" column for TCS and is the author of Game Theory at Work.



We do nothing militarily, as many experts on foreign policy suggest, (the Iranians are just misunderstood), and wait for Iran to launch a missile at Isreal or Bagdad or London, and hope Israeli or US anti missile defense systems can destroy it.
The what do we do?
Even worse, if the Arrow or other BMD system misses, then what do we do?

I seem to remember similar talk in the 1930’s about Hitler. That he was just misunderstood and would stop making problems. This is not to say that Iran is another Nazi Germany, just that the wait and see tactic has been used before and didn’t work too well. The problem is a balancing act between waiting and action and also between diplomatic and military action. Where is the line between the two and when do you know if you have waited too long to take physical action?

In the case of Hitler it was too late by the time he had invaded Poland. In the case of nuclear weapons it is too later to wait until they are launched. The problem is determining when IS the right time. Was Hitler’s take over of Austria too late? Is waiting for Iran to have the parts ready to be put together too late?

You and I disagree on many points, mj. But would you agree that the idea is proposterous that Iran would not be deterred from acting as aggressor against Israel by the certain knowledge that American missiles would destroy their country in retaliation? How could they see a nuclear exchange as being worth it?

To me, they believe so completely in deterrence that they want to set up a nuclear program as quickly as possible-- so they can then deter an aggressive United States. We have never hidden the fact that their destruction is a prime policy goal. That "axis of evil" talk has been going on for years now. And deterrence is working right now for the North Koreans, isn't it?

Or alternatively, do you feel they will gleefully bomb London just to bring down Ragnarok on their own heads, thus propelling themselves to Heaven?

Suicide Attacks
Iran supports suicide attacks by individuals, why would they not support a national suicide attack?

Iran is not Germany
Your analysis seems to me a mite simplistic. In the 1930's the Germans were building a war machine strong enough to take over and occupy nearly all of Europe.

Do you see evidence today that Iran is building a war machine mighty enough to defeat the Americans and the Israelis, and take over Western Asia? I can't imagine any individual in Iran thinking they could do that.

Therefore they will not attack. Therefore there is no need to attack them, goading them into engaging us in another needless war.

Deterrence is Not the Only Option
“But would you agree that the idea is proposterous that Iran would not be deterred from acting as aggressor against Israel by the certain knowledge that American missiles would destroy their country in retaliation?”

The policy of Iran is to destroy Israel. There is no evidence that they are not serious. There is no evidence that they are NOT trying to develop nuclear weapons. And there is not evidence that they would not eventually use nuclear weapons against Israel. Therefore, Israel and the US have only four options:
1) Defensive Option…Develop defense technology that nearly 100% assures that any nuclear technology Iran does deploy would be ineffectual. This implies that all nuclear devices in Iran can be tracked, and that any movement (or launch) of these devices can be intercepted. I am very sure that sufficiently effective detection and destruction capabilities do NOT exist today. If there is sufficient potential to deploy such technologies in the near future, then all possible resources should be allocated.
2) Preemptive Option…Plan and execute a preemptive attack that completely destroys Iran’s nuclear capability.
3) Political Option…Negotiate a verifiable arrangement with Iran that insures it will not have future nuclear weapons.
4) Deterrence Option…Assume the attack is inevitable and plan/publicize the response.

I hope that Option 4 is unacceptable to Mr. Bush/US Congress…I am sure that it is not even an option for Israel. Far more humans will die if Iran (or its terrorist proxies) launches a successful attack than if an attack can be prevented. I prefer pursing Options 1 and 3 simultaneously while planning Option 2 in the event it is needed. It is possible that negotiations can be used to slow down Iran’s nuclear program long enough to allow for deployment of effective defensive counter measures. However, given Iran’s current intransigence, it is at best 50/50 that the required technologies can be deployed in a timely manner. Thus, the likelihood of a preemptive attack by either the US and/or Israel is not as “speculative” as Mr. Bush would have us believe.

Talk about simplistic...
The leaders of Iran are not talking about mere military land-grabbing, they are talking about wiping the infidels and Jews off the face of the planet with holy fire. The president of Iran is as whacked as they come and is in no way comparable to Germany or the 1930's.

Not to mention that Iran is in fact building a war machine. Or perhaps you are forgetting the recent tests of missile technology and their new ultra-fast torpedo system?

Time to pull our heads out of the sand and realize that Iran is a real threat.

My $,02
I can almost see it now:

Ring . . . . Ring . . . .

[whatever the word for hello is in Iranian]

"Hi Iran?

Yeah it's me America, sorry to bomb your nuclear ambitions but you see if I didn't do it them pesky Israelis would have and they most certainly would have used some clumsy large scale nuclear device to do so (rather than our more precise nukes). No hard feelings right?

Great Thanks,


Although I favor a military strike at some point at Iran, I'd like to see it done with the cooperation of the regional power players. (No I'm not talking about some International Community / UN Approaved event) I'd like to see a joint operation conducted by as many players in the region as possible, if it's just America and Israel acting alone it will only empower the mullah and give them a rally call.

But, if Israel, American, Iraq, Saudi Arabie, Kuwait, etc all assisted in the operation and everyone jointly issued the same position (A Nuclear Iran is unacceptable to all of us concerned, hence we felt it in our interests to reign in this danger . . . . ) it can actuall serve to unermine (or at least help polarize) Iranian public opinion. Rather than "them dang westerners" doing it, it'd be "them dang westerners and all my neighbors stopped me."

Verification requested
Have we found even a single Iranian suicide attacker in Iraq, Israel or any other nation on earth?

The policy of Iran is that they'd LIKE TO destroy Israel. For that matter they would also LIKE TO destroy the United States. But they can't do that-- not without destroying themselves in the process. This is the core meaning of the concept of "deterrence".

Second strike capability is certainly assured. The Iranian military will certainly know that any unusual movements on their part will be tracked from the skies, and that American bombs and missiles will rain down upon them moments after any offensive launch. It begs credulity to think they hate anyone so much as to ensure their own national demise.

Iran has been a mighty nation for the past forty centuries. They didn't get that way by being stupid.

I think your assumption that we are a long way from development of an effective means of tracking and destroying missiles prior to detonation is an accurate one. We're a long way from that-- perhaps forever, at the rate we're going.

Therefore I would say that we have two options. That of waiting for them to try something and then obliterating them is likely to be an effective deterrent against aggressive action on their part.

The option of preemptively raining down bunker busting missiles, whether nuclear or non, on their research installations one quiet afternoon is likely to start a war we can't finish. It would never reach the nuclear threshold, but would involve Iranian ground action (their strength) against death from the skies (our strength).

This option is a sure loser, and would drive the Americans out of the Middle East for a generation.

I agree that in the absence of an effective Star Wars defense capability, the odds that some nut in the White House will launch a preemptive strike are much, much greater than zero. The blowback from such a rash decision would endanger the very viability and credibility of our military machine.

Call it a case of overstretch, with an air capability for mainly causing civilian devastation, a miniscule ground force spread far too thin and a concerted if not united resistance movement regnant in an arc from Anbar across to Pakistan. This would be a war in which we would have no targets, and would slowly be worn down by attrition. Unless, of course, the Iranians choose to wear red coats onto the field of battle and confront us with their rifles.

Can you say...
Hezzbollah? This organization is the creation of Iran and is materially funded by them and Syria. They are quite a potent force in Lebanon. Do a quick Google on them if you wish to see a list of their atrocities.

Yes, I'm familiar with the group. They are Lebanese Shiites, concerned with Lebanese political matters (and, of course, Israel). They enjoy Iranian backing in the same way that Pakistan enjoys American backing. They are not Iranian.

All those people may look alike. But they're not. And the premise that the Iranians are all ready to commit national suicide at the whim of their leaders is, I think, a faulty one.

You think?
I think we would want to recognize that Iran is ruled by the Supreme Council, not by the president. And that they would be unlikely to wreck their ability to continue ruling it by allowing an aggressive strike against Israel, US bases in Iraq or any other part of the American domain.

War there may be, but they won't start it.

Correction in context...
All of your arguments are logical and well thought out Roy. Although much of it is inaccurate but I won't address that. Instead let's address the concept that you are dealing with logical people of reason.

Ahmadinejad is devoted to the Hidden Imam, the Messiah-like figure of Shia Islam, and he believes that his government must prepare the country for his return.

One of the first acts of Ahmadinejad was to donate about £10 million to the Jamkaran mosque where the pilgrims can go to drop messages to the Hidden Imam into a holy well. Ahmadinejad does this frequently. Ahmadinejad and his cabinet have even signed a "contract" pledging themselves to work for the return of the Mahdi and sent it to the well in Jamkaran. Now the 12th Iman's return will be preceded by cosmic chaos, war and bloodshed. After a cataclysmic confrontation with evil and darkness, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace.

His first speech in front of the UN ended with the messianic appeal to God to "hasten the emergence of your last repository, the Promised One, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace".

So when you continue to write about deterrence please keep in mind that we are not dealing with a group that considers high-minded military tactics. We are dealing with a theocracy with extreme messianic visions. They don't truly care about Iran, they care about being the first battle in the war to establish a world-wide Islamic uprising that cleanses the world of infidels.

Using logic and reason to deal with Islamofascists is ignorant and quite deadly.

There will be war. Either on our terms or on theirs. I would rather it be on our terms but I am weird that way. Read my post below and we can continue there.

Hezbollah was created by clergy in Iran and is funded by them. They receive around 200 million per year from Iran to fund its operations. It is a Shiite organization and they see Iran as their spirtual and material support center. I would make that a pretty strong case to call it an Iranian organization.

That being said, it has nothing to do with skin color or looking alike. Check out the history of the organization for further clarification. Perhaps the hundreds of Americans and Isrealis killed by Hizbollah will change your mind about Iran not being a center for terrorist activity.

One more thing...
>And the premise that the Iranians are all ready to commit national suicide at the whim of their leaders is, I think, a faulty one.

Do you think the Iranian leadership will take a vote on launching nukes? Do the lauch codes reside in the hands of the population?

I know Iranians. I have several in my family. They are great people with an awesome culture. The ones I know detest the current government and the knowledge that they can not return to the land of their birth because it is in the hand of religious fanatics.

So let us get real shall we Roy? This is not about racism, although that is quite an easy way to get around logical thinking, and this is not about "the people" of Iran. This is about a fanatical government that cares not one bit about the citizens that didn't elect them anyway.

as I said
I did say that Iran was not another Nazi Germany. I just point out how people sat back and watch as a small problem grew until it got almost to big to handle.

If the rest of Europe would of stepped in in the 30's and did something then WWII MAY not of happened.

I was also just pointing out the the other post that waiting until Iran uses nuclear weapons is waiting too long.

The problem with nuclear weapons is that it only takes a one or two to start a real problem.

Iran launchs on Isreal. Isreal stricks back at Iran. The rest of the Middle East declares war on Isreal. Isreal nukes a few more countries trying to stay alive. North Korera sees what is going on and figures the US will be to busy in the Middle East to help South Korea, so they attack. China gets mad at N korea for causing problems and goes after them and figures why not get Tawian back now to. Next thing you know We are facing off China.

You see how this could snowball very fast into a big mess.

A lot of what "ifs" but that is how the game is played.
That is the how Iran COULD be like Nazi Germany. A small problem that is left to grew into a big one that covers the world.

ALso as for building a war machine mighty enough to defeat the US and Isreal. How many nukes would it take to wipe out Isreal? Now many to damage the US? One big one is all it takes.

A side line to the topic:
It is a coomon misconception (and I am starting to think it is deliberate) to equate contempt or even hate for Israel with antisemitism. Israel is a jewish state, but Israel is not "the jews"! "Wants to wipe out Israel from the face of the world", as horrible as it sounds, is not " wipe out the jews from the face of the world".

I have been called antisemite many times for my criticism of the establishment of the state of Israel. I am not! I have nothing agaist the jews. I have many jewish friends and I do not distinguish them from the rest. The problem is when certain jews distinguish themselves from the rest by calling themselves "the nation of god". This would still be fine with me, if they were not using it as a basis to demand my support (political and financial, through my taxes) for a political agenda (zionism), that is foreign to me.

This is not to play down the dangers of Iran joining the nuclear club, but please let's use more precise language and make these distinctions.

I don't believe...
anyone commented on you being anti-semetic. You, most likely, are not. You are merely on of those that believes that we should not support Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, to appease the totalitarian governments that surround it. Fair enough.

But the Iranian government IS anti-semetic, amongst other things. They do wish to destroy, not only Jews, but all infidels in a glorious Islamic uprising. Striking Israel is just a good back to get the most bang for your buck.

Let's use the right terminology
Believe me, I have been accused many times of being antisemitic for laying out my understanding that the creation of Israel was a falacy of the great (imperialist) powers for which we are paying to date.

And, yes, I agree that the Ayatolahs are anti- any other faith (with the superficial knowledge I have on this matter, supplied mostly by the media). But they are equally anti-Christian, -buddhist, -animis... etc, so that grades them up into another quality - fanatics.

Nuclear terrorism
Iran may or may not be willing to directly attack Israel or the USA, however if they supplied nuclear material for a dirty weapon, or for a bomb, or an actual bomb to terrorists then what.
Unless we were lucky, how could we prove where the material/bomb came from. Everyone would deny their responsibility from Pakistan, to N. Korea, Iran, China, India and Russia.
How could we strike back without "proof" of where it came from?
Iran has been supplying terrorists with sanctuary and money for decades, they have shown that they can't be trusted to act responsibly. How can the world possibly allow them to have nuclear technology?
Just because we screwed up with N. Korea isn't an excuse to let this proliferation continue.

Detterance by elimination
"The existence of this (Israeli) regime is a permanent threat" to the Middle East, he added. "Its existence has harmed the dignity of Islamic nations."

Muslims themselves have done more harm to thier dignity then any Jewish state could, ( and they know it).

In the time of Easter, is there a correlation? Jesus, the Son of God is perfect. Pure Good.
Some people seem to be threatened by goodness. Why? Because it make them feel inadequate? Is this why so many, especially on the left, refuse to acknowledge the existence of evil? Because if evil exsists, so must good and that threatens their self esteem? Is this why schools have been pushing self esteem instead of accomplishment?

Again, Hezbollah
You act as though this is an organization I have never heard of.

Iran was material in setting up and training Lebanese Hezbollah back in 1982, to mobilize an effective rewsponse to the Israeli invasion. I believe so far we are together on that point?

Just because Iran has encouraged passionate young Lebanese to become shaheeds, we need not jump to the conclusion that the Iranian leadership-- meaning the Supreme Council-- is passionate about extinguishing their hold on the Republic. The logical inference you employ here is slipshod.

On the one hand: encouraging others to commit suicide. On the other hand: committing suicide oneself. Big distinction.

War, then
With our leadership thinking the same way you do, there will be war very likely. I'm just not sure it will turn out the way you want it to.

Has Iraq turned out the way you thought it would? And Iraq was a weakened state with its offensive and defensive capability hampered. Yet they have tied us down and forced a stalemate. Now you're saying that while trying to hold the course in Iraq and Afghanistan we will prevail by attacking an enemy three times as large as either of them. Plus, the iranians are tanned, rested and ready. Not to mention motivated.

I'm an American. I have a vested interest in making sure our country endures free from harm. But this march of folly will do more to undermine our secure future than any other action we could entertain-- other than declaring war on China.

I know, I know. That's next.

Several myths
"Hezbollah was created by clergy in Iran and is funded by them. They receive around 200 million per year from Iran to fund its operations. It is a Shiite organization and they see Iran as their spirtual and material support center. I would make that a pretty strong case to call it an Iranian organization."

H. is an Iranian client. It is not Iranian. The organization consists of Lebanese. Thus it is a Lebanese organization with foreign backing.

"Perhaps the hundreds of Americans and Isrealis killed by Hizbollah will change your mind about Iran not being a center for terrorist activity."

Again, Lebanon not Iran. Vis a vis the American Marines killed in 1983, they walked into a war zone looking for a fight. They got it.

Regarding those atrocities against the Israelis, are they any more atrocious than Sabra and Shatila? Which came first, gratuitous slaughter of incarcerated Lebanese families, or retaliatory strikes against a military force, the IDF?

Lack of clarity is a big part of the problem
Iran's Head of State clearly and directly stated the intention to destroy Israel and the US. In the case of the US the threat was empty in the short run, but in the case of Israel it is all too credible in the short run.

The next day Israel should have politely invited the Iranian government and the Iranian people to replace him within a week or else recognize that they would enter a state of total war with Israel to be settled by no less than the unconditional surrender or complete elimination of one side or the other. A recommendation to peaceful Iranians to evacuate their cities and the vicinity of all industrial complexes along with instructions for preparing hasty fallout shelters could have been included in the interests of humanitarianism.

I suspect there would by now be a different government in Iran.

World War II was not started by appeasement alone. It was also in part prompted by failure of the German, Italian and Japanese governments and people to appreciate that it would be fought to the death.

Death seeking ninja warriors
You've convinced me, Rainy. It's entirely logical to proceed on the assumption that 70 or 80 million people want to annihilate themselves.

But let me ask you: do you know very many Iranians? Or do you just do a lot of reading? If you met very many, you would find they are indeed a weird, private people by our standards. But I don't think you're going to find much enthusiasm there for collective suicide.

That's just the stuff you read in the rabid, right wing press. Like right here. It's comic book logic.

Which "Great Imperialist powers"?
The U.N. Security Council? The U.N. General Assembly? The (then) Palestinian Jews? The European Jews?

Those were the true major players; which was the "Imperialist"?

Do you know why a Jewish state was established or when? Do you understand why it was set up where it is?

I hear the arguement all the time that the U.S. shouldn't support Israel and that America should never have been a part in creating the Israeli state.

The truth is, the U.S. did not back the Israeli state until after the 67 6-day war and didn't give the full backing we now give until after the 73 Yom Kippur war. The U.S. remained on the fence during the whole U.N. debate to create Israel.

Good points - but you missed one big point that applies
Israel should be carrying out a semi-urgent program of shelter building. I've wondered at their apparent failure to build shelters for a long time, although it may be that the country already has a system of conventional weapons effects shelters which are built to near fallout shelter standards.

I suspect the Israeli government doesn't want to do anything to hint at willingness to appear to absorb a first strike. But is sure seems that shelters could ensure maximum survival when the first nuclear weapon inevitably reaches the country or its borders.

I agree and disagree
I certainly would not push for a ground offensive in Iran. On the other hand, I'm all for multiple air raids to destroy any and all enrichment facilities and know bunkers where weapons work is underway. If we massively pummel the reagon around the known target areas we should be able to do enough damamge to set the program back to near zero.

"But would you agree that the idea is proposterous that Iran would not be deterred from acting as aggressor against Israel by the certain knowledge that American missiles would destroy their country in retaliation?"

This is not certain for several reasons.

Are you positive that the US WOULD destroy Iran in retaliation? Bush would. Can you say the same for Clinton (Bill or Hillary?) Would Al Gore? John Kerry?

Iran has made it clear that it is developing delivery systems that can evade radar and strike most of Europe. What is to stop them from launching a first strike on Israel and threatening to strike Europe if the US retaliates? Would a risk-averse president such as Bill Clinton take that chance?

North Korean has been working on a missle that can reach the US West Coast. There is always the possibility that they would threaten to nuke LA if the US launches a first strike anywhere. Would even Bush take that chance?

Then there is Hezbollah. You have admitted that they are supported by Iran. If Iran gave a nuke to Hezbollah to explode in Israel, what would happen? Would the US back Israel in a nuclear exchange based on terrorists?

Iran borders on EU-member Turkey. How close would the EU let us bomb its borders in order to disable Iranian launch facilities?

Iran is not Germany
"Therefore they will not attack. Therefore there is no need to attack them, goading them into engaging us in another needless war."

The mad dictator ("President") of Iran has promised just that, repeatedly. It is amazing the willful ignorance of modern liberals about the public goals, frequently proclaimed, of the islamic facists.

The lessons of Hitler and the 1938 Munich Peace Confernce are being deliberately ignored by the appeasers of the new facism like "roy_bean".

When an Iranian nuclear bomb is detonated in Tel Aviv, we will undoubtedly see claims from this crowd that Iran is a peaceful state who were "goaded" by the "Jooooooos", who they will then say deserved what they got.

No Subject
roy_bean> "The policy of Iran is that they'd LIKE TO destroy Israel. For that matter they would also LIKE TO destroy the United States."

Absolutely and monumentally false. Are you really this willfully ignorant? Mass murder of Jews and Americans is the POLICY of the mad mullahs of Iran. It has nothing to do with what they like, it has everything to do with what they PLAN.

Hitler wasn't deterred by the appeasers in 1938, and the islamic fascists won't be deterred by today's appeasers in the West. It is insane to believe they won't do what they are repeatedly promising to do.

Who runs Iran?
Certainly a point in your favor that you know Iranians and have them in your family. Let me suggest something about the point of view you're getting from them.

Go to Florida and you'll find a lot of Cubans. Every last one is rabidly anti-Castro. Yet on the island itself people aren't that way. How can that be? Could it be that the richer Cubans all left to come here, and are angry at having been separated from their fortunes?

Likewise in Iran it was the urban, educated elites who all liked the Shah. When he fell, many of them left to come here. Not surprising, then, that they don't like a religious autocracy that hails from the thirteenth century.

In fact there are a lot of Iranians in Tehran that feel the same way. They voted en masse for the two reformist candidates that were on the ballot. In fact in the intial round of elections, Moeen and Karroubi together got 9.1 million votes, while Ahmedinejad only got 5.7 million. Even the most pro-American candidate, Rafsanjani, got more than Ahmedinejad.

Of course there were another 5.7 million people who voted for other conservative candidates. And in the final runoff they voted for Ahmedinejad. So the urban, more secular reformists lost out, having only Rafsanjani to vote for. Tough, but the election was generally judged to be fair and open.

What does this mean? A lot of Iranians want change, but they couldn't even do much when Khatemi was president. That's because the president is more of a figurehead. The Supreme Leader runs the show. Specifically, he also runs the military.

The only thing it shows is that a majority of Iranians really do back the folks in power. They are all the country people-- the "red state" Iranians, if you will. The blue state elites are a large minority, just like our Democrats. Fat lot of good it does them.

None of this impels me to believe that the Supreme One is going to launch missiles. If we want to track what Iran is really thinking, not just what its Bush clone is parading around and shouting, we'll keep an eye on Ali Khamenei.

Death seeking ninja warriors
roy_bean> "You've convinced me, Rainy. It's entirely logical to proceed on the assumption that 70 or 80 million people want to annihilate themselves."

Ye gods. Does this fool really believe the people of Iran have any say in the decisions the dictatorship they live under?

Talk about willful ignorance...

A side line to the topic:
hstoynov>"Wants to wipe out Israel from the face of the world", as horrible as it sounds, is not " wipe out the jews from the face of the world".

Yes it is. All who support the mass murder of every jew in Israel also support the mass murder of every jew in the world.

Nathan Sharansky has a test, "The Three D's", to define who is an anti-semite and who is simply critical of Israel. You should look it up.

It would take more dedication than is usually shown in the US.
But the US could deny Iran the use of their facilities, even if our conventional bombs can't destroy them directly.

We know where the doors are, thanks to satellite observation. Use conventional bombs to blow up the doors.
If someone tries to move in equipment to clear the doors. Blow em up again.

when does talking work
In those cases where both parties are sane, and would rather avoid war if at all possible.

These conditions were not met with Hitler. And they aren't met with today's Iran.

listen to their words
They all say the same things.

Once you have nukes, you don't need a massive army.

Iraq has turned out about the way most pundits thought it would.
A viable stable state.

Nobody's talking about invading Iran.

If you honestly think that anyone is making plans to attack China, then you are as daffy as everyone claims. Maybe more so.

And even if we can't completely destroy the programs. By periodically lobbing bombs into the same areas, we can keep them from trying to restart and rebuild.

Which powers?
I realize perfectly well that US was not the major player in the establishment of Israel. It all started with the Zionist movement around the turn of the 20-th c. Britain, as a Securuty Council member and as an occupier of Palestine was instrumental in making this happen. This was despite the protests of the locals and despite the help they got from them fighting the Ottomans three decades earlier, when the occupation took place.

The other security council members (US and USSR included) agreed to the creation of Israel, so they too are culpable. As Britain's clout waned, US took over the role of prime supporter of Israel. And, I can see the moral rationale behind that: rightfully or not, a few (1-2 at that time) million jewish people already called Israel home and they should not have been left to be anihilated by the sea of arabs around them.

But, this does not mean that the creation of Israel was justified. As much as I do not like Ahmadinejad and his fanaticism, I cannot but agree that if any nation feels guilt or sympathy for the jews for what they went through under Hitler and others in Europe, that does not make it right to take the land from the arabs. And, I know that Palestine was the ancestral land of the Jews, but that was 2000 years ago. We can not, practically, grant the same courtesy to all the peoples that were displaced in the last 2000 years.


Deterence only works when the one you are trying to deter does not want to die.

These guys would gladly die, if they could take Isreal with them. They have said so many times. And they have demonstrated that they mean what they say.

would not exist without the backing of Iran. They are completely under the control of the mad mullahs of Iran.

the mullah council
and they are as fruity as the current president.

And I thought Fortunato was an idiot. What is most striking is that he has no problem relating the IDF to Hizbollah or calling an organization created, funded, and fully supported by Iran Iranian. Quite a disconnect indeed.

A majority of Iranians do not support the Iranian government nor do they have any control over the actions of that government. Perhaps Roy shouldn't rely on Wikipedia for his information if he believes that the "elections" in Iran were not predetermined. I am waiting for him to equate the Iranian elections with the 2000 election in the states. That will be sweet.

classic bait and switch
It doesn't take 80 million. It just takes one.

The guy with his finger on the nuclear button.

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