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  #1  
Old 04-17-2010, 05:53 PM
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Default The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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  #2  
Old 04-17-2010, 07:32 PM
preslove preslove is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

I stopped listening after a couple of minutes. This Michael Anton needs to stay on cable news. He was very aggressive, talked over Bergman repeatedly, and his point on the treaty disallowing using SLBM launchers in missile defense (when we have no plans to use them) was a complete red herring. This guy was obviously not approaching the conversation in the bloggingheads model of two pundits coming together and having a good faith discussion on issues.

I come to bh.tv and stay away from cable news in order to avoid useless hacks like Anton.
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2010, 09:24 PM
Stapler Malone Stapler Malone is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by preslove View Post
I stopped listening after a couple of minutes.
Sure, he's aggressive, but he's also right. It's about time BhTV finally had someone on who is an expert in this area but not a Zero-fetishist (Pinkerton doesn't count, as he's only the latter; all other BhTV nuke commentators are only the former).

That said, yeah, he shouldn't interrupt.

Last edited by Stapler Malone; 04-17-2010 at 10:07 PM..
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2010, 05:13 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Stapler Malone View Post
Sure, he's aggressive, but he's also right.
Very far right.

Quote:
It's about time BhTV finally had someone on who is an expert in this area ...
I'll agree he was practiced at uttering Cold War and W-era talking points. I'm not sure I can count someone as an expert when he sees everything in terms of the US (always good) versus inferiors (always bad).

Quote:
... but not a Zero-fetishist (Pinkerton doesn't count, as he's only the latter; all other BhTV nuke commentators are only the former).
Disagree. None of Jackie Shire, Matt Duss, Jeffrey Lewis, Joseph Cirincione, or Richard Rhodes, to name a few, struck me as "Zero-fetishists." Or maybe I'm not understanding what you're saying here.

Quote:
That said, yeah, he shouldn't interrupt.
Agreed. Most annoying. On the upside, it further undermined his credibility -- he came across as panicked at the thought that if he didn't keep interrupting and trying to distract, points would be made that would quickly undermine his entire case.
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  #5  
Old 04-18-2010, 05:30 PM
Stapler Malone Stapler Malone is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
Disagree. None of Jackie Shire, Matt Duss, Jeffrey Lewis, Joseph Cirincione, or Richard Rhodes, to name a few, struck me as "Zero-fetishists." Or maybe I'm not understanding what you're saying here.
By "zero-fetishist" I mean the people who are focused on completely eliminating nuclear weapons from the face of the earth. That's the entire point of Cirincione's Ploughshares fund. This is a very popular position (for obvious, primarily emotionalist reasons), but it's one which really should be interrogated. Zero would be nice and all, as would unicorns, but are we sure that the process of getting there isn't more dangerous than the status quo? There are people who spend a lot of time on these issues, in good faith, who do not count themselves among this Zero subset of the "arms control community." So far, Anton is the only one I can think of who has been on Bloggingheads.

As a side note, based on what I know of your politics BJ, I'd expect you to be against Zero. Nukes are something of an equalizer, checking US domination. Once nukes are gone, conventional forces are the only metric to judge powers by. The chasm between the USA and all others then gets unfathomably wider than it is now. Hegemony, Empire, etc.

Last edited by Stapler Malone; 04-18-2010 at 05:41 PM..
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2010, 06:33 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Stapler Malone View Post
[...]
I agree that it will be a long time before we get to Zero and that a lot of other things will have to happen in parallel, including, as you note, alleviating other nation's concerns about US conventional forces, not to mention other large armies.

I also believe that given that the nuclear cat's out of the bag, there will be a desire for a deterrence capability for the foreseeable future.

However, at the same time, I think the longer these things are lying around, the more chance there is that one or more will go off in a way almost no one wants. Therefore, I think Zero is the ultimate goal, and should be kept in mind as the direction in which to head. I am glad that we have people who believe this goal is attainable and so work towards it, even though I am more skeptical than they are.

I suppose if you're describing Anton as someone who wants to keep nukes around forever, even in the best scenarios imaginable, he might stand in contrast to everyone else we've had on to discuss the issue. However, I think lumping all these other people under the label "Zero-fetishist" is unnecessarily pejorative and worse, not very accurate. Even Cirincione and his Fund demonstrate that they understand the journey to a world without nuclear weapons is going to be a generations-long one, involving many steps and much work. This strikes me as a rational and reasonable point of view, and not at all warped.

Seems to me if anyone is a fetishist, it is Anton, with his obvious attraction to these weapons, his love for dangling them over other people to scare them, and his inability to sit still for even a couple of sentences said in support of a small reduction of them.
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2010, 12:50 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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By "zero-fetishist" I mean the people who are focused on completely eliminating nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.
Why call them fetishists? That's just a cheap slur. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Quote:
Zero would be nice and all, as would unicorns, but are we sure that the process of getting there isn't more dangerous than the status quo?
I suppose you could caricature anyone who proposes fundamental changes to the status quo as a believer in unicorns, but again why use silly, demeaning and misleading rhetoric? Are you a propagandist?

By your standard, Henry Kissinger, William Perry, Sam Nunn, James Baker, Barack Obama, the UN and most of the elected heads of state around the world all believe in the equivalent of unicorns.

Quote:
As a side note, based on what I know of your politics BJ, I'd expect you to be against Zero. Nukes are something of an equalizer, checking US domination. Once nukes are gone, conventional forces are the only metric to judge powers by. The chasm between the USA and all others then gets unfathomably wider than it is now. Hegemony, Empire, etc.
I won't speak for BJ, but I will speak on behalf of nuclear abolitionists who generally propose a reduction in conventional weapons and forces as well as nukes and other WMD.

Of course, there are risks associated with abolishing nukes, just as there were risks associated with the abolition of slavery. You might have told the intellectuals of the first half of the 19th century that abolishing slavery could result in a war of secession in the USA, causing a million deaths. Perhaps the most moral position would have been to ridicule the abolitionists as slavery-fetishists and believers in racial equality unicorns. What do you think?
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2010, 12:47 PM
Stapler Malone Stapler Malone is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Why call them fetishists?
Fair enough, I'll gladly endorse the less-inflammatory term "nuclear abolitionist" over my previous formulation. Mistakes were made etc. My comment was based on my sense that Anton was getting a raw deal here in the forum. He's being called a hack and worse, but few are engaging his arguments. Mostly people just rag on him for his manner, which I didn't think was that egregious at all. He knows what he's talking about, but has a radically different perspective than most every other BhTV Nuke 'head, so I welcome his contribution. "Where Great Minds Don't Think Alike," no?

Last edited by Stapler Malone; 04-19-2010 at 12:50 PM..
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  #9  
Old 04-19-2010, 02:40 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Fair enough, I'll gladly endorse the less-inflammatory term "nuclear abolitionist" over my previous formulation. Mistakes were made etc.
Thank you. Much appreciated.

Quote:
My comment was based on my sense that Anton was getting a raw deal here in the forum. He's being called a hack and worse, but few are engaging his arguments. Mostly people just rag on him for his manner, which I didn't think was that egregious at all. He knows what he's talking about, but has a radically different perspective than most every other BhTV Nuke 'head, so I welcome his contribution. "Where Great Minds Don't Think Alike," no?
Yes, that sounds fair.
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  #10  
Old 04-19-2010, 03:20 PM
Stapler Malone Stapler Malone is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Yes, that sounds fair.
Also, FWIW, I don't agree with everything Anton says, not by a long shot. I think the notion that even the demonstrably crazy Norks would sell a fully operational weapon in this day and age is tenuous at best. Jackie & Jeff Lewis once took this topic up and both agreed to dismiss it immediately: "that'd be the end of North Korea." While I'm not quite a full abolition believer, I'm more dovish than Anton on most dimensions. My defense of him was more on the principle of "everybody shut up a minute and listen to a guy you disagree with fer chrissakes"
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:17 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Stapler Malone View Post
As a side note, based on what I know of your politics BJ, I'd expect you to be against Zero. Nukes are something of an equalizer, checking US domination. Once nukes are gone, conventional forces are the only metric to judge powers by. The chasm between the USA and all others then gets unfathomably wider than it is now. Hegemony, Empire, etc.
True enough, but even US superiority in conventional forces is a poor measure of American hegemony. With overwhelming conventional military superiority the US suffered a humilitating defeat in Vietnam (Korea was a draw). During the Cold War NATO was dependent on an utterly crazy (because unbelievable) nuclear "strategy" to deter an (unlikely) Soviet invasion of West Germany. And since then....? If Afghanistan and Iraq eventually prove to be a success (and I am very sceptical about this), it will not be because of the overwhelming firepower and conventional forces that the US has at its disposal.

My point? American military superiority, both conventional and nuclear, does not always translate into intelligent foreign policy. As a student of Clausewitz and his French interpreter Raymond Aron, I think everyone needs to meditate on the famous Clausewitzian formula: "War is the continuation of politics by other means." The emphasis is on politics, not war.
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  #12  
Old 04-18-2010, 07:24 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
Very far right.



I'll agree he was practiced at uttering Cold War and W-era talking points. I'm not sure I can count someone as an expert when he sees everything in terms of the US (always good) versus inferiors (always bad).



Disagree. None of Jackie Shire, Matt Duss, Jeffrey Lewis, Joseph Cirincione, or Richard Rhodes, to name a few, struck me as "Zero-fetishists." Or maybe I'm not understanding what you're saying here.



Agreed. Most annoying. On the upside, it further undermined his credibility -- he came across as panicked at the thought that if he didn't keep interrupting and trying to distract, points would be made that would quickly undermine his entire case.
Well this is a somewhat dumb interpretation of what qualifies someone as an expert. Simply because he has views you disagree with doesn't preclude him from being an expert. An expert is aware of and knowledgeable about a wide range of facts in a given area. It seems pretty clear both guys in this diavlog qualify. He may be in your definition "far right", but then Max would be equally "far left".
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  #13  
Old 04-18-2010, 07:44 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
Well this is a somewhat dumb interpretation of what qualifies someone as an expert. [...]
Sorry you think it's dumb. Probably you don't understand, so I'll restate. I am saying I don't consider him an expert because he showed me no understanding of how people with views different from his view things. His entire worldview is one-sided. He may be a skilled advocate, but he didn't sound like an expert. Further, an expert is someone who can step back from his ideological point of view, and give me an overview of a topic, or inform me about details, nuances, or perspectives that I didn't know about before. I learned nothing from him, after suffering through his annoying manner for nearly an hour.

I know intellectual standards have plummeted on the right over the past few decades, but just because a guy can rattle off a few memorized facts and bluster his way through what could have been an interesting conversation still does not make him an "expert." In my book, at least. Your standards may be lower than mine, I grant.
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  #14  
Old 04-18-2010, 08:07 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
I am saying I don't consider him an expert because he showed me no understanding of how people with views different from his view things.
Even given that the last word is supposed to be thinks...this doesn't make sense. You are saying that an expert must give you understanding of how people with views which differ from his think.
Is this really some kind of description of an expert? It would seem that his primary job would be to give you an understanding of how he thinks and why he thinks that way.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:21 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Even given that the last word is supposed to be thinks...this doesn't make sense. You are saying that an expert must give you understanding of how people with views which differ from his think.
Is this really some kind of description of an expert? It would seem that his primary job would be to give you an understanding of how he thinks and why he thinks that way.
yes...

i suppose this points to the distinction between "expert" and "intellectual." i agree with your characterization of what an "expert" is supposed to do - although i also agree with brendan that i did not find anton persuasive or even pleasant. (is that false balance, bjkeefe?)

but experts by this definition are single-minded, boring, closed. intellectuals, on the other hand, at least according to fitzgerald's famous characterization, are able to hold opposing views in their head at the same time. much richer that way.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:38 PM
Stapler Malone Stapler Malone is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
he showed me no understanding of how people with views different from his view things. His entire worldview is one-sided.
pot, kettle etc
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  #17  
Old 04-19-2010, 12:29 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Stapler Malone View Post
pot, kettle etc
No. There is a difference between me, some guy arguing a point of view in a forum and standing up to an steady onslaught of extremist right-wing positions, and Anton, someone being represented as an expert, doing a diavlog on a specific topic.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:55 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

I found the "madman" theory - or is that the punk mode of doing FP - humorous. But, I like it that Anton articulated such outlandishness in a very reasonable package. This was not Michael Goldfarb or Jonah Goldberg. I think it's important for listeners to support "glib and informative, if crazy right-wingers" as opposed to "incoherent and batshit rightwing hacks".
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:17 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
[...] But, I like it that Anton articulated such outlandishness in a very reasonable package. This was not Michael Goldfarb or Jonah Goldberg. I think it's important for listeners to support "glib and informative, if crazy right-wingers" as opposed to "incoherent and batshit rightwing hacks".
Talk about your low bars.

Would it be too much to ask for conservatives who could actually display some evidence of rational thought? Who could make us, the listeners, think? Who could suggest that there might be something worth considering coming from their camp?

Or are we to bow to the evidence of the past three or four decades, and conclude that "glib ... if crazy" is the best we can expect?
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:38 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

Perhaps Anton is not palatable or tasteful, but bhTV also might have foreshadowed the broader political debate. Judging from this James Jones response, bhTv might have staked a claim to breaking the story about how the rhetorical lines on ratification will go. I think Jones' "We'll dig new ones!" will invite only ire from deficit hawks, but it's fitting for conservatives who did nothing for eight years but use the Defense Department to take the country from surplus to deficit.

BTW, there's another conservative diatribe on the treaty negotiations at WSJ - to which I doubt I'll ever subscribe.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...920779888.html

Anyone with a subscription, please feel free to share.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:55 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
Perhaps Anton is not palatable or tasteful, but bhTV also might have foreshadowed the broader political debate. [...]
I have a feeling this excuse is made all too often at Bh.tv Central. What I would like to know is why we have to suffer "the broader political debate" under the aegis that it represents "half" of informed opinion, just because the right-wing noise machine is so committed to howling if they don't get a disproportionate share of the stage. To my mind, Bh.tv suffers from the same obsession with "balance"/fear of the wingnuts as the MSM does, such that no matter what the issue or how plain the answer is (e.g., yes, reducing the number of nuclear weapons is an unmitigated good), we must always hear from some member of Billy Kristol's Insane Clown Posse.

Put another way, the only reason the political debate is "broad" enough to include the nonsense put forth by the likes of Anton is because there are no respectable voices who will say what he is willing to. I will remind you that, Weakly Standard- and Claremont Institute-paid-for tripe aside, this is the sum and substance of this purported "expert's" published work.

Quote:
BTW, there's another conservative diatribe on the treaty negotiations at WSJ - to which I doubt I'll ever subscribe.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...920779888.html

Anyone with a subscription, please feel free to share.
If you didn't already know, you can generally read a full WSJ article by following a link to it from a search engine result. So here, for example, if you Google the headline of the article, you should see that the top result is the article in question, and clicking that link will give you access to the whole article. (This particular search listing may not last forever, but assuming you try this within the next day or two, it should work, and in any case, the principle is general, even if the top spot doesn't last.)
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Old 04-21-2010, 04:46 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

We've all quarreled on these boards about 'head selection. I'd prefer a more transparent procedure. It would be preferable if the staff had paired Anton with someone who could discipline his rude edges or bring experience to the discussion. Poor Bergmann made Anton and this diavlog as informative as possible I fear.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:08 AM
ChrisC ChrisC is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

I agree completely that the launchers/missile defence issue is a red herring. Seriously are we even a couple of decades from developing the sort of missile defence that can be launched from Silo's designed for ICBMs?! How much area of protection could such systems actually provide, and where are the launch silos located? Any near Washington DC or New York, or any other seriously populated area?

You could always turn the argument on it's head and point out that a silo given over for missile defence is one that won't contain a nuclear warhead. Shock, the republicans want to disarm the US's ability to strike its enemies!!!
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:58 AM
Michael Michael is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by preslove View Post
I stopped listening after a couple of minutes. This Michael Anton needs to stay on cable news. He was very aggressive, talked over Bergman repeatedly, and his point on the treaty disallowing using SLBM launchers in missile defense (when we have no plans to use them) was a complete red herring. This guy was obviously not approaching the conversation in the bloggingheads model of two pundits coming together and having a good faith discussion on issues.

I come to bh.tv and stay away from cable news in order to avoid useless hacks like Anton.
Good Grief ! President Obama, according to Max Bergmann, is responsible for the rise of the Green Movement! Totally naive thinking - the Green Movement is really about 2 distinct groups engaged in a power play for money and influence - nothing more. Michael Anton provides the ballast here, and you are wrong to suggest otherwise.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:36 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default No Foul

I think you're a bit too harsh. Neither sounded like cable talking heads.I wasn't even that annoyed by the interruptions. George Johnson interrupted John Horgan a few times, too, in a recent diavlog, but no one faulted George.

Substantively, I thought this diavlog outstanding. I want more info on the RRW, and I'd like to see either participant with Joe Cirncione or Shire. I also thought the last point about the value of the RRW, either scrap it or plug it as an improvement on the W-88, as very helpful for future debate.
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  #26  
Old 04-17-2010, 08:23 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

I was more sympathetic to a lot of the points that Michael made, but he definitely has an issue with talking over and cutting off here, which does veer this is in an MSNBC panel discussion direction.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:38 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

It's always cute when we hear BJ complain about the "steady stream of right wing extremism". Fight the power man! You're so brave! Speak truth to power! Responding to people anonymously over the internet who probably won't even read what you said really takes a pair of gonads! Moreover, I like the notion that BHTV is the vehicle for this stream of "right wing extremism", when right wingers are pretty sadly under-represented on BHTV.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:55 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
It's always cute when we hear BJ complain about the "steady stream of right wing extremism". Fight the power man! You're so brave! Speak truth to power! Responding to people anonymously over the internet who probably won't even read what you said really takes a pair of gonads! Moreover, I like the notion that BHTV is the vehicle for this stream of "right wing extremism", when right wingers are pretty sadly under-represented on BHTV.
when did he claim bravery or heroism?
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  #29  
Old 04-19-2010, 09:27 PM
johnmarzan johnmarzan is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

the leftwingnuts at bhtv hated one of the new bhtv contributors, that's a good sign that he's worth listening to.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:18 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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the leftwingnuts at bhtv hated one of the new bhtv contributors, that's a good sign that he's worth listening to.
Now, I know it is usually standard practice among your kind to evaluate the worth of something solely by how much it annoys liberals, but I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here. By your reasoning, and given the general wingnut meltdown that occurs every time she's on, I conclude you also highly value Michelle Goldberg.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:37 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

I liked both interlocutors. Does that make your decision any more difficult?
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:49 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

When Anton says that we need an unbridled nuclear arsenal in order to deter hostile foreign powers from devolping "Weapons of Mass Destruction"* because our convential military is unable to do so he misses a key point;

Our convential military does not fail to deter because of a lack of destructive potential, but because of the belief we will not go to the massively expensive trouble of deploying them. Since Max is right that it would more or less take the end of the world in order for us to utilize a nuclear warhead, and that we would carpet bomb and invade with groundforces well before we would even think about using a nuclear bomb; Anton's statement is nonsense.

*I really hate this WMD designator. It almost seems that WMD just designates a weapon in the hands of someone we don't like. How can this not be considered a WMD but anthrax can be?
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  #33  
Old 04-20-2010, 05:06 PM
Stapler Malone Stapler Malone is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
When Anton says that we need an unbridled nuclear arsenal...
Several of his arguments seemed to lack a certain rigorousness. Take his deterrence stuff. Iraqis were deterred from using chem weapons because they thought we'd nuke them, but last I checked both times Saddam snubbed our demands and got himself into a shooting war with us, we had nukes (Anton chalks both these up to failures of conventional deterrence). So when deterrence works its because of our nukes, when it fails it shows conventional forces are insufficiently deterrent?

Then there's the stuff about how we should be perceived as a madman by our adversaries, despite Anton's conceding that everyone knows it's politically impossible for an American president to use nukes. Or the part about how what's wrong with the Prague Treaty is the way it forswears something we have no intention of ever doing (Never surrender! Even in fights that you're not in, and that aren't fights!). Curious.
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  #34  
Old 04-20-2010, 05:44 PM
listener listener is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Stapler Malone View Post
Several of his arguments seemed to lack a certain rigorousness. Take his deterrence stuff. Iraqis were deterred from using chem weapons because they thought we'd nuke them, but last I checked both times Saddam snubbed our demands and got himself into a shooting war with us, we had nukes (Anton chalks both these up to failures of conventional deterrence). So when deterrence works its because of our nukes, when it fails it shows conventional forces are insufficiently deterrent?

Then there's the stuff about how we should be perceived as a madman by our adversaries, despite Anton's conceding that everyone knows it's politically impossible for an American president to use nukes. Or the part about how what's wrong with the Prague Treaty is the way it forswears something we have no intention of ever doing (Never surrender! Even in fights that you're not in, and that aren't fights!). Curious.
Well put.
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  #35  
Old 04-20-2010, 09:45 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Stapler Malone View Post
Several of his arguments seemed to lack a certain rigorousness. Take his deterrence stuff. Iraqis were deterred from using chem weapons because they thought we'd nuke them, but last I checked both times Saddam snubbed our demands and got himself into a shooting war with us, we had nukes (Anton chalks both these up to failures of conventional deterrence). So when deterrence works its because of our nukes, when it fails it shows conventional forces are insufficiently deterrent?

Then there's the stuff about how we should be perceived as a madman by our adversaries, despite Anton's conceding that everyone knows it's politically impossible for an American president to use nukes. Or the part about how what's wrong with the Prague Treaty is the way it forswears something we have no intention of ever doing (Never surrender! Even in fights that you're not in, and that aren't fights!). Curious.
On Saddam, I would argue Saddam snubbed the US because he had split the UNSC (namely, France) and other major states with oil contracts and other carrots.

On the "madman" theory (thanx for the link), I don't rule out its efficacy. I do think Bergmann had a strong rebuttal. But, more importantly, telling everyone that you could be bad blunts the force of the threat. I think the fact, that American conventional forces are stretched through two wars and all its other commitments and the perception that it's badly busted is a more serious threat to America's ability to deter violence than its perceived rationality. Getting evil only works because a state is so reasonable most of the time.
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  #36  
Old 04-21-2010, 03:01 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
On Saddam, I would argue Saddam snubbed the US because he had split the UNSC (namely, France) and other major states with oil contracts and other carrots..
Not true. France was willing to support the US, but only if the US or the UN inspectors could prove that Saddam's WMD in fact posed an imminent threat to his neighbors or the rest of the world. To say that France didn't go along with the US because of oil contracts is nothing but a rightwing calumny.

The details surrounding the UNSC resolutions are to found in this article by Stanley Hoffmann (you need a subscription)

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20040216/hoffman

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Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
On the "madman" theory (thanx for the link), I don't rule out its efficacy. I do think Bergmann had a strong rebuttal. But, more importantly, telling everyone that you could be bad blunts the force of the threat. I think the fact, that American conventional forces are stretched through two wars and all its other commitments and the perception that it's badly busted is a more serious threat to America's ability to deter violence than its perceived rationality. Getting evil only works because a state is so reasonable most of the time.
The madman theory has never fooled anyone but fools. What is mad is the very idea that the US could wage a nuclear war, even with an inferior nuclear power, without putting itself (and the rest of the world) at risk.
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  #37  
Old 04-21-2010, 04:42 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

I stand corrected, and on the second point I agree. I'm just saying that making a policy out of spontaneity is pointless.
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  #38  
Old 04-25-2010, 10:29 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Stapler Malone View Post
Then there's the stuff about how we should be perceived as a madman by our adversaries, despite Anton's conceding that everyone knows it's politically impossible for an American president to use nukes. Or the part about how what's wrong with the Prague Treaty is the way it forswears something we have no intention of ever doing (Never surrender! Even in fights that you're not in, and that aren't fights!). Curious.
I thought that was pretty fucking stupid. Why would one want to risk* nuclear war just to expedite the foreign politics of the day.

*Anything that promotes paranoia in the NORAD's of the world is just not cool.
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  #39  
Old 04-25-2010, 10:34 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
I thought that was pretty fucking stupid. Why would one want to risk* nuclear war just to expedite the foreign politics of the day.

*Anything that promotes paranoia in the NORAD's of the world is just not cool.
Would you like to discuss your asterisk* problem?

* I hadn't noticed this before.
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  #40  
Old 04-26-2010, 03:33 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Nukes (Max Bergmann & Michael Anton)

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Would you like to discuss your asterisk* problem?

* I hadn't noticed this before.
I think, although I can't be sure (though if I had to bet I know how I'd bet (and I'm pretty sure you do, too)), that Starwatcher is reacting to the presence of other commenters -- who shall remain nameless, but I suspect you know who I'm talking about -- who have gotten to the point where their sentences are so long and run-on and filled with interjections (and asides) and all sorts of parenthetical remarks that he (Or she? I guess we never settled that for sure) thinks setting off a peripheral mark as a footnote may promote greater clarity (or at least make for less tedious reading).
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