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Bloggingheads 12-07-2011 12:14 AM

Words Are Wind (Robert Farley & Michael Cohen)
 

Baz 12-07-2011 01:03 AM

Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Cohen brings up Serbia in WW1 as an example of national suicide to which Farley responds and totally objects to as an example of national suicide but rather coherent rational long tern planning...Cohen replies "Well ok...I'm not sure I agree with that but we don't have to talk about WW1 here."

Ok carry on...

Baz 12-07-2011 01:53 AM

Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
So even Farley supports illegal covert operations against Iran and further sanctions against the Iranian people (and our own crippled economies) which we know from history will further entrench the regimes power and ramp up the anti western sentiment of even the reformers inside Iran.

I prefer Ron Pauls "We should offer them friendship."

Wonderment 12-07-2011 03:39 AM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baz (Post 233772)
So even Farley supports illegal covert operations against Iran and further sanctions against the Iranian people (and our own crippled economies) which we know from history will further entrench the regimes power and ramp up the anti western sentiment of even the reformers inside Iran.

I prefer Ron Pauls "We should offer them friendship."

Good point on the incoherence of Robert's position, at least as he stated it here. He might flesh it out by saying he would reluctantly support some sanctions on Iran as a form of appeasement to the Israeli and US hawks who would rather bomb Iran, micromanage regime change and engage in a new round of failed-state fixing.

This is often the sanctions quagmire, however. Sanctions proponents start slowly and escalate, so it's important to reject sanctions as an act of war from the beginning, or at least an act of lethal hostility that portends war. There are ways to get off the sanctions train before hot war breaks out, but the USA and Israel have already gone way beyond sanctions in "covert" acts of violence within Iranian borders.

"We should offer them friendship" is excellent policy, from whomever it comes.

Also, it seems fair to me to ask (demand?) that the USA butt out of the entire matter. Let the Israelis and Iranians work it out amongst themselves.

The best thing we can do for the region is comply with the NPT (disarmament), which would allow a nuclear weapons-free Middle East to prosper.

Great article by Michael on Gene McCarthy, by the way (see links next to diavlog). Homework: apply Gene's philosophy to the Middle East today.

Florian 12-07-2011 05:17 AM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
[QUOTE=Wonderment;233778]
Quote:

"We should offer them friendship" is excellent policy, from whomever it comes.

Also, it seems fair to me to ask (demand?) that the USA butt out of the entire matter. Let the Israelis and Iranians work it out amongst themselves.

The best thing we can do for the region is comply with the NPT (disarmament), which would allow a nuclear weapons-free Middle East to prosper.
Leaving aside your last proposal, which is not going to happen within the lifetime of anyone reading this, it seems to me that your first and second proposals are mutually incompatible. States cannot be both "friends" (allies) and neutral with regard to two other states that regard themselves as enemies. That is just not how international relations work. Since the US is a friend (ally) of Israel, which considers Iran an enemy, just as Iran considers Israel an enemy, the US cannot be both a friend (ally) of Iran and neutral between the two countries. It could of course choose to be neutral, but only at the cost of no longer being an ally of Israel (or Iran).

I am not knocking your good intentions, but there is a certain logic to international relations---often a diabolical logic.

thouartgob 12-07-2011 05:32 AM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 233778)
Good point on the incoherence of Robert's position, at least as he stated it here. He might flesh it out by saying he would reluctantly support some sanctions on Iran as a form of appeasement to the Israeli and US hawks who would rather bomb Iran, micromanage regime change and engage in a new round of failed-state fixing.

It's quite funny how the discussion now focuses on how much Iranian sovereignty can be abused to further the goal of stopping the hawks from dismantling it almost entirely.

Also the arguments over why Iran getting the bomb would only further the chance of an Israeli nuclear first strike is a new one on me.

More "farce" than "foreign" policy :)

Simon Willard 12-07-2011 09:08 AM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 233780)
States cannot be both "friends" (allies) and neutral with regard to two other states that regard themselves as enemies. That is just not how international relations work. Since the US is a friend (ally) of Israel, which considers Iran an enemy, just as Iran considers Israel an enemy, the US cannot be both a friend (ally) of Iran and neutral between the two countries.

I think this is an exaggeration. It is quite possible, indeed common, to be allied with two other states which are in conflict. For example, it is possible for the US to consider both India and Pakistan as allies. This does not imply complete "neutrality" on every contentious issue, of course. In times of conflict, we may swing more towards one side or the other. Being allied means that we have shared values and shared interests with both states. Indeed, it is these relationships that can help to defuse conflict.

As you know from your own experience with human relationships, it is sometimes a common friend who breaks up an argument between two others.

Simon Willard 12-07-2011 09:49 AM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 233778)
This is often the sanctions quagmire, however. Sanctions proponents start slowly and escalate, so it's important to reject sanctions as an act of war from the beginning, or at least an act of lethal hostility that portends war. There are ways to get off the sanctions train before hot war breaks out, but the USA and Israel have already gone way beyond sanctions in "covert" acts of violence within Iranian borders.

"We should offer them friendship" is excellent policy, from whomever it comes.

Also, it seems fair to me to ask (demand?) that the USA butt out of the entire matter. Let the Israelis and Iranians work it out amongst themselves.

I have argued in the past that living with an Iranian bomb is not an unthinkable disaster. The devil is in the details. These details mostly revolve around questions of security and command and control. It requires considerable wealth, and the stability that comes from some kind of democratic or collective control so that madmen can't make rash decisions.

This does not mean it's OK for anyone to build a nuke, anymore than it is OK for my peaceful next-door neighbor to store a ton of TNT in the privacy of his own home.

The problem with your position is that you decline to consider the development of a nuclear weapon as an act of aggression. It is. It is, just because of the nature of the weapon. By producing highly-enriched fissionable material, the Iranians are engaged in an overt act of low-level warfare. This is warfare against the US, or alternatively, against anyone who feels threatened. The US should not butt-out.

It is appropriate to respond to this low-level warfare in proportionate ways. Sanctions are appropriate. Covert operations and dirty tricks are appropriate. Bombing to cripple key components of the program may be appropriate. These should not be actions driven by hatred; they should be actions taken with specific goals to thwart or delay the nuclear program.

The argument for such low-level warfare is that it kicks the can down the road. Kicking the can down the road is a good thing, because the passage of time may bring about a modern government more in line with the criteria previously mentioned: wealth, stability, democracy, etc. In such a case, even if the effort to restrain nuclear development has been lost, we are in a good situation with respect to the stability and security issue. We must constantly probe and harass other nations with weapons of mass destruction to insure the security of such weapons. I can't think of a better method to protect against rogue actors getting hold of a weapon.

I would have made the same argument against Israel, if we could turn the clock back.

Florian 12-07-2011 09:50 AM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 233788)
I think this is an exaggeration. It is quite possible, indeed common, to be allied with two other states which are in conflict. For example, it is possible for the US to consider both India and Pakistan as allies. This does not imply complete "neutrality" on every contentious issue, of course. In times of conflict, we may swing more towards one side or the other. Being allied means that we have shared values and shared interests with both states. Indeed, it is these relationships that can help to defuse conflict.

As you know from your own experience with human relationships, it is sometimes a common friend who breaks up an argument between two others.

What you say is true if the conflict (s) between two states can be arbitrated by a neutral third party, i.e. if they consent to arbitration (as in a court of law). That implies that the two states in conflict accept the third party as truly neutral and that they both have an interest in a peaceful rather than a violent settlement of their conflict (s). Otherwise, why would they accept arbitration? It seems to me that the only "value" all the parties have to share is an "interest in peace."

IMO, it it is impossible for the US to arbitrate between two states that consider themselves irreconcilable enemies, as Iran and Israel do, because the US has not been a neutral broker for some time. It is clearly an ally and a friend of Israel. The fact that the US shares certain "values" with Israel only complicates the situation further. The only real value the US needs to share with Israel and Iran in order to be an arbitrator is an "interest in peace."

Simon Willard 12-07-2011 09:56 AM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 233791)
The fact that the US shares certain "values" with Israel only complicates the situation further. The only real value the US needs to share with Israel and Iran is an "interest in peace."

I grant that we are not in a good situation with Iran. I just think it's a multi-dimensional problem that goes beyond "We're for peace". There can be economic interests, for example.

Florian 12-07-2011 10:27 AM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 233792)
I grant that we are not in a good situation with Iran. I just think it's a multi-dimensional problem that goes beyond "We're for peace". There can be economic interests, for example.

It is the bare minimum, the sine qua non, which is lacking in this case. If the US is to act as an impartial, neutral arbitrator, it has to be "for peace." As long as the US takes the side of Israel and is perceived by Iran as taking the side of Israel, it does not have an interest in peace. It is a party to the conflict.

thouartgob 12-07-2011 12:16 PM

(Robert Farley & Michael Cohen) vs (Elliot Jager & Larry Derfner)
 
Before the end of classic bloggingheads can we get this cage match ?? I see that all of the pundits reside on the same planet but you wouldn't know it from their respective diavlogs.

Simon Willard 12-07-2011 12:18 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 233798)
It is the bare minimum, the sine qua non, which is lacking in this case. If the US is to act as an impartial, neutral arbitrator, it has to be "for peace." As long as the US takes the side of Israel and is perceived by Iran as taking the side of Israel, it does not have an interest in peace. It is a party to the conflict.

If you want to bring about peace, you have to be "for peace"? OK, I guess that's a tautology.

And no, I don't think the US can act as an impartial, neutral arbitrator. The US has interests closer to Israel's. That doesn't mean US actions have to be 100% consistent with Israel's wishes.

"Impartial neutral arbitrator" is strange idea. What does that mean in this context? Someone who just doesn't give a damn? What would an impartial arbitrator do? Award Iran half-a-bomb? Award Iran equally many bombs as Israel has? Destroy only one-half of Israel and protect the rest? I think it's an undefinable concept.

Florian 12-07-2011 12:55 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 233831)
If you want to bring about peace, you have to be "for peace"? OK, I guess that's a tautology.

And no, I don't think the US can act as an impartial, neutral arbitrator. The US has interests closer to Israel's. That doesn't mean US actions have to be 100% consistent with Israel's wishes.

"Impartial neutral arbitrator" is strange idea. What does that mean in this context? Someone who just doesn't give a damn? What would an impartial arbitrator do? Award Iran half-a-bomb? Award Iran equally many bombs as Israel has? Destroy only one-half of Israel and protect the rest? I think it's an undefinable concept.

No, it is not a tautology. The US is an ally of Israel, therefore it is not an impartial arbitrator of the conflict between Israel and Iran. The US "has interests closer to Israel's?" Thank you for repeating exactly what I said.

Baz 12-07-2011 01:30 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 233831)
"Impartial neutral arbitrator" is strange idea. What does that mean in this context? Someone who just doesn't give a damn? What would an impartial arbitrator do? Award Iran half-a-bomb? Award Iran equally many bombs as Israel has? Destroy only one-half of Israel and protect the rest? I think it's an undefinable concept.

Is there any real evidence that Iran is building a bomb? As far as I'm aware the most authoritative answer on this is from America's own intelligence from the CIA and the pentagon who say even if Iran decides to build a bomb its years down the line. Any state with nuclear power capabilities can decide at any time to start developing a weapons program which Iran hasn't yet. I'm afraid Israel and the US are the only ones blocking a nuclear weapons free zone in the middle east.

Baz 12-07-2011 01:35 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 233780)
Leaving aside your last proposal, which is not going to happen within the lifetime of anyone reading this, it seems to me that your first and second proposals are mutually incompatible. States cannot be both "friends" (allies) and neutral with regard to two other states that regard themselves as enemies. That is just not how international relations work. Since the US is a friend (ally) of Israel, which considers Iran an enemy, just as Iran considers Israel an enemy, the US cannot be both a friend (ally) of Iran and neutral between the two countries. It could of course choose to be neutral, but only at the cost of no longer being an ally of Israel (or Iran).

I am not knocking your good intentions, but there is a certain logic to international relations---often a diabolical logic.

A candidate like Ron Paul could have an impact on US foreign policy if elected which I admit is a long (long) shot.

Wonderment 12-07-2011 01:43 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

A candidate like Ron Paul could have an impact on US foreign policy if elected which I admit is a long (long) shot.
Forget about Ron Paul being elected. He won't be. He can have an impact on US foreign policy without being elected, however. He already has. His foreign policy views are influential and expand the circle of the peace community.

Work for candidates down the road who will share the foreign policy views of Ron Paul, but lack some of his unappetizing domestic views and his personal baggage.

Wonderment 12-07-2011 01:49 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
[QUOTE=Florian;233780]
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 233778)

Leaving aside your last proposal, which is not going to happen within the lifetime of anyone reading this, it seems to me that your first and second proposals are mutually incompatible. States cannot be both "friends" (allies) and neutral with regard to two other states that regard themselves as enemies. That is just not how international relations work. Since the US is a friend (ally) of Israel, which considers Iran an enemy, just as Iran considers Israel an enemy, the US cannot be both a friend (ally) of Iran and neutral between the two countries. It could of course choose to be neutral, but only at the cost of no longer being an ally of Israel (or Iran).

I am not knocking your good intentions, but there is a certain logic to international relations---often a diabolical logic.

I see your point. I suppose it depends what you mean by "friendly." I'm just arguing for not tethering the future of the world to Israel and Iran, or Pakistan and India, for that matter.

The US can offer friendship to Iran and Israel in the same way it can offer friendship to Bolivia and Paraguay. If Bolivia and Paraguay get into a war, the US should maintain neutrality and support peace talks at the UN.

This is all easier to do in the Middle East if everyone complies with the NPT (which requires steady progress toward disarmament) because it takes the nukes fears off the table. The nuclear genie can and ought to be put back in the bottle. In fact, that is the promise of the current POTUS (for which he received a premature Nobel Prize) and that is the commitment of all signatories of NPT. Israel is a rogue NPT state (along with India, Pakistan, North Korea). Iran claims to be complying, but then so do the USA and Russia.

Simon Willard 12-07-2011 02:44 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baz (Post 233839)
Is there any real evidence that Iran is building a bomb? As far as I'm aware the most authoritative answer on this is from America's own intelligence from the CIA and the pentagon

Depends on what you mean by "real" evidence. All the items below are bits of evidence, some stronger than others. As with any mystery, you have to correlate all the bits of information you have to arrive at an estimate. Or you can accept the assessment of the International Atomic Energy Agency (see Nov 8, 2011, below).

(Reuters: )

November 23, 2010 - An IAEA report says Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on November 22 that 28 cascades, or interlinked units of normally 164 centrifuges, are now enriching uranium.

Iran tells inspectors it has produced around 7,017 pounds (3,183 kg) of low-enriched uranium (LEU) since February 2007, about 840 pounds (380 kg) more than at the start of August. That amount is enough for at least two atom bombs, if enriched further to 90 percent fissile purity.

December 5 - Iranian nuclear energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi says Iran will use domestically produced uranium concentrates, known as yellowcake, for the first time at a key nuclear facility, cutting reliance on imports of the ingredient for nuclear fuel.

January 21, 2011 - The six powers fail to prise any concessions from Iran, such as limits on enrichment activity and transparency about it, in talks.

April 9 - Iran holds annual celebration of nuclear program, announcing the production and testing of second and third generation centrifuges.

May 24 - The IAEA says it has received new information about possible military aspects to Iran's atomic activities. Its report also shows Iran amassing more low-enriched uranium, despite increased international sanctions.

June 9 - Russia and China join Western powers in telling Iran its "consistent failure" to comply with U.N. resolutions "deepened concerns" about possible military dimensions to its nuclear program.

The statement was issued a day after Iran said it would triple production of higher-grade uranium and shift it to an underground bunker, protected from possible air strikes.

October 18 - Iran's nuclear program is struggling with low-performing centrifuges but would still be able to produce material usable in atom bombs, says a report by the Institute for Science and International Security, a U.S. think-tank.

October 21 - Iran plans to soon start moving nuclear material to its underground Fordow site for the pursuit of sensitive atomic activities, diplomatic sources say.

The first batch of uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6), material which is fed into machines used to refine uranium, is to be transferred to Fordow site near the holy city of Qom in preparation for launching enrichment work there.

November 8 - IAEA releases a report saying Iran has worked on developing a nuclear weapon design, and testing and other research relevant for nuclear arms, and some of the activities may still be going on.

Nov 18 - The IAEA censures Iran over findings that it is trying to develop atomic bombs. The resolution did not mention any further sanction on Iran.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Baz (Post 233839)
...even if Iran decides to build a bomb its years down the line.

That's what they said about Pakistan.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baz (Post 233839)
Any state with nuclear power capabilities can decide at any time to start developing a weapons program...

So what? That doesn't make it acceptable.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baz (Post 233839)
I'm afraid Israel and the US are the only ones blocking a nuclear weapons free zone in the middle east.

I respectfully disagree about the US. I suspect Washington would be delighted to see Israel's nukes gone. But there is no good way to make that happen.

Simon Willard 12-07-2011 02:59 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 233842)
I see your point. I suppose it depends what you mean by "friendly." ...

The US can offer friendship to Iran and Israel in the same way it can offer friendship to Bolivia and Paraguay. If Bolivia and Paraguay get into a war, the US should maintain neutrality and support peace talks at the UN.

OK. But please note that in the service of "neutrality" you have watered-down the definition of "friendship" to the point where it has lost all meaning.

Wonderment 12-07-2011 03:36 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 233849)
OK. But please note that in the service of "neutrality" you have watered-down the definition of "friendship" to the point where it has lost all meaning.

I actually think that's how Ron Paul meant to use the word. I would extend that to include considerable humanitarian aid, however. But all of that could be handled through the UN.

Florian 12-07-2011 04:31 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 233842)
The US can offer friendship to Iran and Israel in the same way it can offer friendship to Bolivia and Paraguay. If Bolivia and Paraguay get into a war, the US should maintain neutrality and support peace talks at the UN.

I agree, but (and I am sure you will agree with me on this) the US has done everything to thwart the mediation of the UN when it comes to Israel. The US thinks it can be both an impartial, neutral peacebroker and an ally of Israel, but who else does?

Quote:

This is all easier to do in the Middle East if everyone complies with the NPT (which requires steady progress toward disarmament) because it takes the nukes fears off the table. The nuclear genie can and ought to be put back in the bottle. In fact, that is the promise of the current POTUS (for which he received a premature Nobel Prize) and that is the commitment of all signatories of NPT. Israel is a rogue NPT state (along with India, Pakistan, North Korea). Iran claims to be complying, but then so do the USA and Russia.
The nuclear genie OUGHT to be put back in the bottle, I firmly agree with you. Whether it CAN be put back in the bottle, in the Middle East or anywhere else, is another question.

TwinSwords 12-07-2011 05:15 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 233854)
I actually think that's how Ron Paul meant to use the word. I would extend that to include considerable humanitarian aid, however. But all of that could be handled through the UN.

Gingrich declares John Bolton would be his Secretary of State, "but only if" Bolton agrees to remake the entire department in his image.

Chilling.

TwinSwords 12-07-2011 05:18 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 233871)
Gingrich declares John Bolton would be his Secretary of State, "but only if" Bolton agrees to remake the entire department in his image.

Meanwhile:

Topline Results of Nov. 29-Dec. 6, 2011, CNN/TIME/ORC Poll


FLORIDA

Gingrich 48%
Romney 25%
Paul 5%
Bachmann 3%
Huntsman 3%
Perry 3%
Santorum 1%
Someone else (vol.) 1%
None/ No one (vol.) 3%
No opinion 7%


IOWA

Gingrich 33%
Romney 20%
Paul 17%
Perry 9%
Bachmann 7%
Santorum 5%
Huntsman 1%
Someone else (vol.) *
None/ No one (vol.) 2%
No opinion 5%


NEW HAMPSHIRE

Romney 35%
Gingrich 26%
Paul 17%
Huntsman 8%
Bachmann 3%
Perry 2%
Santorum 2%
Someone else (vol.) 1%
None/ No one (vol.) 1%
No opinion 6%


SOUTH CAROLINA

Gingrich 43%
Romney 20%
Perry 8%
Bachmann 6%
Paul 6%
Santorum 4%
Huntsman 1%
Someone else (vol.) *
None/ No one (vol.) *
No opinion 11%


(Full Results)

Baz 12-07-2011 07:14 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 233846)
I respectfully disagree about the US. I suspect Washington would be delighted to see Israel's nukes gone. But there is no good way to make that happen.

Hang on...its not my opinion that the US is blocking a nuclear weapons free middle east...thats just fact. The US demands that any nuclear agreement (including NPT) for the middle east must exclude Israel.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 233846)
(Reuters: )

November 23, 2010 - An IAEA report says Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on November 22 that 28 cascades, or interlinked units of normally 164 centrifuges, are now enriching uranium.

Iran tells inspectors it has produced around 7,017 pounds (3,183 kg) of low-enriched uranium (LEU) since February 2007, about 840 pounds (380 kg) more than at the start of August. That amount is enough for at least two atom bombs, if enriched further to 90 percent fissile purity.

December 5 - Iranian nuclear energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi says Iran will use domestically produced uranium concentrates, known as yellowcake, for the first time at a key nuclear facility, cutting reliance on imports of the ingredient for nuclear fuel.

January 21, 2011 - The six powers fail to prise any concessions from Iran, such as limits on enrichment activity and transparency about it, in talks.

April 9 - Iran holds annual celebration of nuclear program, announcing the production and testing of second and third generation centrifuges.

May 24 - The IAEA says it has received new information about possible military aspects to Iran's atomic activities. Its report also shows Iran amassing more low-enriched uranium, despite increased international sanctions.

June 9 - Russia and China join Western powers in telling Iran its "consistent failure" to comply with U.N. resolutions "deepened concerns" about possible military dimensions to its nuclear program.

The statement was issued a day after Iran said it would triple production of higher-grade uranium and shift it to an underground bunker, protected from possible air strikes.

October 18 - Iran's nuclear program is struggling with low-performing centrifuges but would still be able to produce material usable in atom bombs, says a report by the Institute for Science and International Security, a U.S. think-tank.

October 21 - Iran plans to soon start moving nuclear material to its underground Fordow site for the pursuit of sensitive atomic activities, diplomatic sources say.

The first batch of uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6), material which is fed into machines used to refine uranium, is to be transferred to Fordow site near the holy city of Qom in preparation for launching enrichment work there.

November 8 - IAEA releases a report saying Iran has worked on developing a nuclear weapon design, and testing and other research relevant for nuclear arms, and some of the activities may still be going on.

Nov 18 - The IAEA censures Iran over findings that it is trying to develop atomic bombs. The resolution did not mention any further sanction on Iran.

So where's the evidence that Iran is building a nuclear bomb? You have just written that Iran has large amounts of enriched uranium and has moved it to underground sites...ok. Iran, as a signer of the NPT, is perfectly entitled to enrich uranium and move it around their country. The IAEA report about Iran's weapons program is based on information going back nearly 10 years to pre 2003 and thats why it was laughed at by almost every serious analyst I've heard.

Iran has called on the IAEA and the US to provide sources for the allegations made in the report but they have refused so all we have is hear say by the Obama administration without any sources provided. Read the CIA and Pentagon reports that they issued to congress...the IAEA report is purely political.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 233846)
That's what they said about Pakistan.

??

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 233846)
So what? That doesn't make it acceptable.

Are we talking about the same issue here? Do you understand what the NPT is? Do you understand that as a signatory to the NPT, Iran is entitled to develop and advance itself in the nuclear field? This means that any country on the planet who develops a nuclear power program will at some stage have the potential to start a weapons program. This is physics, technology, an inevitability of any advanced nuclear power program...get it?

Japan and Germany could decide tomorrow to start a nuclear weapons programme and they could build a bomb in a few months such is their expertise and technology in the field...but they haven't and neither has Iran as far as we know.

Wonderment 12-07-2011 08:02 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 233871)
Gingrich declares John Bolton would be his Secretary of State, "but only if" Bolton agrees to remake the entire department in his image.

Chilling.

Yes, Bolton is horrifying, as is Gingrich himself.

However, a Gingrich nomination would hand an easy victory to Obama, I think. Go Newt! Romney, OTOH, actually has a good chance of beating Obama. Of course, I could be wrong about how repulsive Gingrich will be to independent voters. If so, I'll be moving to my underground bunker in Tahiti, which still won't be far enough away from the USA.

Cincinnatus 12-07-2011 08:03 PM

Re: Words Are Wind (Robert Farley & Michael Cohen)
 
Did I just have an auditory hallucination? Farley arguing that nuclear proliferation has a rationalizing effect on hostile actors? Nuclear proliferation begets security? I feel vindicated as a conservative.

Simon Willard 12-07-2011 08:17 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baz (Post 233883)
So where's the evidence that Iran is building a nuclear bomb? You have just written that Iran has large amounts of enriched uranium and has moved it to underground sites...ok. Iran, as a signer of the NPT, is perfectly entitled to enrich uranium and move it around their country. The IAEA report about Iran's weapons program is based on information going back nearly 10 years to pre 2003 and thats why it was laughed at by almost every serious analyst I've heard.

I suppose it depends on what you mean by "building". The production of large quantities (kilograms) of highly enriched uranium is the main bottleneck, the most difficult part of the process, and that seems to be what Iran is pursuing with vigor.

We each make judgments about what Iran's true intentions are, based on evidence, our understanding of human nature, and our common sense. Strangely, we have come to different conclusions. If we happen to learn in 10 years the news that Iran has several weapons ready to go, it will be cold comfort for me to know that I guessed correctly.

Just to help me calibrate your intuition, I have a question. Do you think Israel has the bomb? If so, what's the basis of your belief?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baz (Post 233883)
Do you understand that as a signatory to the NPT, Iran is entitled to develop and advance itself in the nuclear field? This means that any country on the planet who develops a nuclear power program will at some stage have the potential to start a weapons program. This is physics, technology, an inevitability of any advanced nuclear power program...get it?

Japan and Germany could decide tomorrow to start a nuclear weapons programme and they could build a bomb in a few months such is their expertise and technology in the field...but they haven't and neither has Iran as far as we know.

You are focused, like some accountant with a green eye-shade, on the details of the NPT, and you conclude with scholarly authority that under law Iran is equivalent to Germany. Why is this important to you? Iran is unlike Germany in so many other ways. One would think that concern about nuclear holocaust would transcend arcane academic arguments about the niceties of a treaty.

I only hope that when Iran gets its bomb (and that's my prediction) that the US has poked, prodded, sabotaged and made life sufficiently difficult for Iran. Because that will make it less likely the weapons are distributed haphazardly or stored insecurely.

Diane1976 12-07-2011 08:23 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baz (Post 233839)
Is there any real evidence that Iran is building a bomb? .

I wondered about that too. From reading the report from the IAEA it seems that Iran hasn't given them enough information to prove they aren't. This somehow gets translated into they are ready to wipe out Israel tomorrow, knowing full well they will be wiped out themselves if they do. So, of course, we should all be prepared to go to war with Iran any minute.

At least, that's my take on it.

BTW, I saw a poll showing something like 50% of Americans are prepared to go war with Iran. I thought that was kind of amazing. But I guess they think it would be quick and cheap, not like a "regime change" thing, although some of the Republican candidates were saying there is no point in doing it without "regime change". But, hey, what's a little regime change.

Simon Willard 12-07-2011 08:26 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 233884)
However, a Gingrich nomination would hand an easy victory to Obama, I think. Go Newt! Romney, OTOH, actually has a good chance of beating Obama.

I agree with this analysis. I have to admit, I find Newt's energy to be bracing, and I think it would make for an exciting summer. And the inevitable Newt self-destruction would be entertaining to watch. As for Mitt vs. Barack, I don't yet know which way I would vote.

Wonderment 12-07-2011 08:31 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

And the inevitable Newt self-destruction would be entertaining to watch.
I also think it was a mistake to go public with his Bolton predilection. That means there are now two reckless bloviating egomaniacs to destroy the campaign, instead of just one.

Simon Willard 12-07-2011 08:36 PM

Re: Words Are Wind (Robert Farley & Michael Cohen)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cincinnatus (Post 233885)
Did I just have an auditory hallucination? Farley arguing that nuclear proliferation has a rationalizing effect on hostile actors? Nuclear proliferation begets security? I feel vindicated as a conservative.

Farley must have been reading my post from last month.

Simon Willard 12-07-2011 08:42 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 233889)
I also think it was a mistake to go public with his Bolton predilection. That means there are now two reckless bloviating egomaniacs to destroy the campaign, instead of just one.

I don't know - I doubt Bolton can do that kind of damage because he's not the candidate, he's just part of Newt's red-meat-for-the-right formula. Newt will find a way to shoot himself in the foot more directly.

badhatharry 12-07-2011 09:27 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 233891)
I don't know - I doubt Bolton can do that kind of damage because he's not the candidate, he's just part of Newt's red-meat-for-the-right formula. Newt will find a way to shoot himself in the foot more directly.

Has there ever been a more bizarre primary season?

badhatharry 12-07-2011 09:29 PM

Re: Words Are Wind (Robert Farley & Michael Cohen)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cincinnatus (Post 233885)
Did I just have an auditory hallucination? Farley arguing that nuclear proliferation has a rationalizing effect on hostile actors? Nuclear proliferation begets security? I feel vindicated as a conservative.

MAD is having a comeback!

Wonderment 12-07-2011 09:45 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Has there ever been a more bizarre primary season?
It's been a fantastic circus. I've looked forward to every debate for the fun factor.

Bachmann, Cain, Perry -- Who could ask for anything more absurd and hilarious? And now the return of Birther Trump as Kingmaker. It's a thrill a minute.

Simon Willard 12-07-2011 09:50 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 233899)
It's been a fantastic circus. I've looked forward to every debate for the fun factor.

Bachmann, Cain, Perry -- Who could ask for anything more absurd and hilarious? And now the return of Birther Trump as Kingmaker. It's a thrill a minute.

Don't forget about the hundreds of posts bjkeefe made, wringing his hands about Sarah Palin.

Simon Willard 12-07-2011 10:04 PM

According to Intrade: Romney 43%, Gingrich 35%
 
...and Obama has a 50% chance of winning the general election.

Baz 12-07-2011 10:58 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 233886)
Just to help me calibrate your intuition, I have a question. Do you think Israel has the bomb? If so, what's the basis of your belief?

Confirmation Hearing of Robert Gates to Be Secretary of Defense
December 5, 2006


Gates (on Iran) "They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons: Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west and us in the Persian Gulf."

Israel has deployed nuclear weapons so no need for intuition.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 233886)
I suppose it depends on what you mean by "building". The production of large quantities (kilograms) of highly enriched uranium is the main bottleneck, the most difficult part of the process, and that seems to be what Iran is pursuing with vigor.

We each make judgments about what Iran's true intentions are, based on evidence, our understanding of human nature, and our common sense. Strangely, we have come to different conclusions. If we happen to learn in 10 years the news that Iran has several weapons ready to go, it will be cold comfort for me to know that I guessed correctly.

It seems to who? I've tried to point you in the direction of the actual evidence thats available on the issue from the proper sources in the intelligence community but you don't seem interested in this evidence. If you want me to put links up then I will for the sake of clarity but I'm astounded as to why you have not already done so before making claims about these issues.

As far as I can tell there's nothing "strange" about our different conclusions here. You say you're making the judgements based on evidence but you haven't provided any, then you mention "human nature" and "common sense" which is intriguing to say the least. Guess away all you want Simon.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 233886)
You are focused, like some accountant with a green eye-shade, on the details of the NPT, and you conclude with scholarly authority that under law Iran is equivalent to Germany. Why is this important to you? Iran is unlike Germany in so many other ways. One would think that concern about nuclear holocaust would transcend arcane academic arguments about the niceties of a treaty.

I only hope that when Iran gets its bomb (and that's my prediction) that the US has poked, prodded, sabotaged and made life sufficiently difficult for Iran. Because that will make it less likely the weapons are distributed haphazardly or stored insecurely.

You mean I look for evidence on important issues instead of relying on political propaganda and intuitions which are based on nothing but rhetoric. I thought all states were equal under international law, I thought that was the point of international law. You have absolutely nothing so you bring up the holocaust, shame on you. The Jews weren't the only group of people who suffered at the hands of the nazi's incase you didn't know but we don't exhalt these other groups above international law and everyone else...but what the hell does that have to do with this issue anyway...we are talking about Iran's nuclear power program and evidence that its not for peaceful purposes.

Simon Willard 12-07-2011 11:28 PM

Re: Robert Farley & Michael Cohen
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baz (Post 233910)
Gates (on Iran) "They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons: Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west and us in the Persian Gulf."

Good answer. I accept your implication that the US Defense Secretary is a highly credible source.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Baz (Post 233910)
You have absolutely nothing so you bring up the holocaust, shame on you. The Jews weren't the only group of people who suffered at the hands of the nazi's incase you didn't know but we don't exhalt these other groups above international law and everyone else...but what the hell does that have to do with this issue anyway...we are talking about Iran's nuclear power program and evidence that its not for peaceful purposes.

Just to head off any misunderstanding on this narrow point - I was using the word "holocaust" in its generic sense, having nothing to do with Jews. You might want to take note that Israeli security is pretty far down my list of top concerns. The real issue with this technology in Iran (or Pakistan, India, North Korea) is security against loose nukes and crazy people who could threaten any major industrialized city anywhere in the world.

Kindly remind me of all the reasons Iran is a stable, trustworthy partner in peace, and perhaps we can come to some agreement.


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