We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Nukes – a prediction

I remember, on either September 11 or 12, 2001, in a conversation about the war, I predicted that we would not get out of the current unpleasantness without nuclear weapons being used.

While the strength of my belief in this prediction has wavered a bit over the years, it has now hardened into near certainty.

Read it and weep.

Additional thoughts:

There is no chance whatsoever that the Americans will end the Iranian nuclear threat by preemptive military action. The threshold for certainty and “imminence” has been set too high, the political consequences for waging “preventive” or “preemptive” war have been made too dire, for American politiicans by the last five years of relentless dishonesty and fecklessness in the American media and political scenes.

The Iranian mullahs will get their nukes, (and sooner than the ten years generally bandied about in the media). Once they have them, they will be immune from diplomatic and military pressure. The odds that they won’t use one, either directly or by proxy? Nil.

There remain two interesting questions: Who will they nuke, and what will we do about it?

I doubt they’ll hit Israel, for all their bluster, because Israel is the one country that is certain to launch a massive counterstrike. There are lots of easier targets for them. There probably won’t be any need to nuke Europe – the descent of that continent into dhimmitude will most likely be satisfactorily accelerated by the mere presence of nukes in Iran. I wouldn’t be surprised if the mullahs chose Baghdad or possibly the Iraqi oil port as their first target, to get the Americans out of their face and off their borders.

No one but the Americans will be in a position to respond to the Iranian nuclear attack. Whether we respond in a meaningful way depends on whether whoever happens to be the leader of the US on that day will have the fortitude to nuke them back. The odds of that are rather small, I fear, and once the mullahs have used a nuke with impunity, they will do it again and again. Why not? Is there any reason whatsoever to believe that their behavior of the last 30 years will change for the better once they obtain the combination of more leverage and immunity from real consequence provided by nuclear weapons?

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VKEmail this to someone

162 comments to Nukes – a prediction

  • Uain

    With the west’s feckless media and political types “just looking for some one to surrender to” I can understand why the Islamist scum are feeling upbeat. I saw an article that the leaders of the Islamists are now confidently waiting until 2008 when they believe the gutless US voters will vote in some surrender monkey like Hillary, Frist or so many of the other unworthies.

  • Verity

    I read it several days ago and didn’t weep. Why would I weep? A solution is a solution. and we know this one works. As Harry Truman did, I want my civilisation to prevail.

  • Verity – I assume you “aren’t weeping” at the thought of American using tactical nukes to reduce Iran’s capability. The Steyn article does not discuss that at all and I think Robert is talking about the increasing likelyhood of Iranian-built nukes being used in the short to medium future.

    Are we right to assume that your “workable solution” refers to tactical nukes against Iran’s facilities and not Iranian nukes against Western or Israeli cities?

    For the record I think tactical nukes against the Iranians is both unlikely and undesirable (the threshold of American resolve has not nearly met the horror with which they regard using nuclear weapons). But I recognize the difference between the scenarios in the previous paragraph.

  • I think Robert (and Mark Steyn) realize that the September 11th attacks was the first*, not the last, battle of the war of Western liberalism vs. Islam. We lost that day, and since have won some battles (Afghanistan) while losing others (Madrid leading to the surrender of Spain, London) and have generally been losing the greater war due to lack of conviction in the West (Steyn’s point that the “Long War” ultimately plays against the West).

    We have more wins and losses coming. It is increasingly probable that one or more future losses will be worse than the September 11th attacks (possibly much worse). Future wins? How about 10 years from now when American, Iraqi, and British forces cross into Syria and put the finish on a failing Syrian regime.

    * A middle battle if you bring it back to 1979, which is acceptable in the same way the start of WW2 to the 1931 Mukden incident or the events of 1933 in Germany.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    This, I thought, was Steyn’s answer to isolationist naysayers who claim there is nothing much one could or should do about Iran:

    Nukes have gone freelance, and there’s nothing much we can do about that, and sooner or later we’ll see the consequences—in Vancouver or Rotterdam, Glasgow or Atlanta. But, that being so, we owe it to ourselves to take the minimal precautionary step of ending the one regime whose political establishment is explicitly pledged to the nuclear annihilation of neighboring states.

    Steyn’s whole piece is brilliant. It’s a cliche, but read the whole item.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Even the worst defeatist will eventually stand up and fight back when pushed around enough… if he’s still alive by then, of course.

    Will civilization be able to turn the tide when the apologists, the self-hating left, and the utterly insane come to their senses? Will there be enough of us left?

    TWG

  • Keith

    The clock’s ticking down to a stark choice: use nukes or lose Western civilisation.

  • John Ellis

    Steyn’s piece was good, well-written and well argued, and it’s not often I say that about his articles.

    But you are scary, Keith. MS is not saying we must use nukes against Iran, only “de-capitate” their regime before they use nukes on “us”. (Israel, probably)

    Or maybe you are just trying to be the biggest, baddest neo-con on this boards – a truly daunting challenge…

  • Pete_London

    TWG

    Even the worst defeatist will eventually stand up and fight back when pushed around enough… if he’s still alive by then, of course.

    Will civilization be able to turn the tide when the apologists, the self-hating left, and the utterly insane come to their senses?

    You make the mistake of assuming that these people are merely misguided and will be able to see the error of their ways. The truth is they are not on our side. When Tel Aviv or somewhere else disappears under a mushroom cloud they’ll be celebrating. Their aim is to end western civilisation, to bring it down. If we lose to islam it will be because of leftism, not islam. Leftism is by far the greatest danger to the West. In just 60 years it has turned this country upside down and is now a real danger to the West’s determination to defend itself.

  • watcher in the dark

    On the quiet, it ought to be made clear to Iran that the first nuclear attack that is linked to them and their pursuit of weapons will be the last thing to come out of that country for a thousand years.

    Comments have also been made about the lefties hating the west. I agree: the socialist scum hate everything about us and our civilisation except themselves, who they mutually stroke – via an accountable committee structure, of course.

  • Alex

    You guys are mad, its exactly this type of posturing that means many ‘normal’ Iranians support nuclear power and weapons. God , if your country was in the middle east surrounded by nuclear powers, (Isreali, pakistan, Former USSR), constantly threatened by the worlds only Hyperpower wouldn’t you want them. I used to live next door to a few different Iranian nationals they didn’t hate the west, they justed wanted jobs and security, just like you and me. Admitedly the new president does seem like a total nut job but he’s no Hitler and Iran is certianly no econmic power house like Germany in 1938.

    I don’t want them to have nueclear weapons, but i don’t want an untold amount of people to die because of a ‘Clash of Civilisations’.

    The article quoted both the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, these papers are well known for there hate of everything and everone who doesn’t behave in exactly the way they themselves proscribe. Both were massive supporters of the iraq war on the basis of WMD. Both published totaly false reports about iraqs WMD, (don’t get me wrong i supported the war in iraq as saddam is a murderous scum bag). These papers have a long tradition of misinformation including the daily mails case of knowingly publishing falcified docs puporting to show that the labour party in the uk was a front for a violent stalinist reveloution the moment they got into power, subscently Labour were decimated at the polls and Daily Mail got the govt it wanted. So i wouldn’t trust them or there inveriably Belicous arguments.

    As for Iran ruling a caliphate, i don’t think the sunni Wahbist are going to be too keen on that one do you?

  • Verity

    Yes, Steyn’s piece was brilliant. Iran has been acting extraterrorially for 30 years, seizing American territory in Teheran, holding American citizens hostage, ordering the execution of a British citizen in Britain. And the people who claim the left is to blame are dead on target. Iran got away with seizing American territory because occupying the White House was one Jim Bob Carduh, the Lefty’s Lefty, who judged that negotiating for American territory with religious lunatics for an entire year would somehow impress them that his Christian forgiveness.

    I think Mr Bush, Cheyney and Rummy have the bottle. I think towards the end of his term, Mr Bush will nuke Iran. If the left wins the next election, there will be calls to put them on trial for crimes against humanity. A Lefty’s dream. But they will still do what they believe is right.

    I also think that if they do nuke Iran, a Republican will win the next election. Finally, I also think that if he does nuke Iran, terrorism by hysterical little bullies will dry right up.

  • Nick M

    While it is impossible to second-guess the lengths they Ayatollahs will go to (they’re inscrutable because they’re playing a totally different game to everyone else) here’s a different scenerio.

    The Iranians deliberately explode a nuke in their own backyard, or possibly in Iraq. The entire Islamic wworld assumes it was the Crusaders / Zionists. All hell breaks out.

    I consider this more likely than a direct attack on Israel which would not be possible without Israel retailiating devestatingly. The Ayatollahs are mad and bad but not stupid. They’d know that they’d scored a phyrric victory and they’d be so weakened that they’d have lost the leadership of the Islamic world they crave.

  • Verity

    Alex, your usage of the word proscribe delivers a meaning 180 degrees from that of your intention. “prescribe” was the word you wanted.
    How can anyone take your thoughts seriously when you don’t have the mental equipment to spell your own language correctly? Surely, if you read the newspapers and the internet, something correct must seep in by osmosis?

    You refer to a ‘Clash of Civilsations’. Didn’t you see that brilliant video interview with Wafa Sultan? When the chairman mentioned “a war of civilisations”, she jumped right in and said it couldn’t be a war of civilisations because only one side has a civilisation and it’s not the Muslims. She said it is a war of civilisation against barbarity. It’s enlightenment against the Dark Ages. It’s civilisation against barbarianism. All delivered in flawless, elegant Arabic. She blew her opponent out of the studio. Go to MEMRI and watch the video.

    You write a sentence that I had to read several times to try to figure out whether you were serious: “As for Iran ruling a caliphate, i don’t think the sunni Wahbist are going to be too keen on that one do you?”

    And? The effete, corrupt, cowardly Wahabbis are going to counter Iran’s nuclear capability how exactly?

  • God , if your country was in the middle east surrounded by nuclear powers, (Isreali, pakistan, Former USSR),

    None of which has shown any intention of initiating a nuclear strike on Iran.

    constantly threatened by the worlds only Hyperpower wouldn’t you want them.

    I must have missed that. I seem to recall the US deferring entirely to an EU led diplomatic effort. Do please let us in on the nuclear threats made by the US against Iran.

    I used to live next door to a few different Iranian nationals they didn’t hate the west, they justed wanted jobs and security, just like you and me.

    Those would be Iranians chased out by the mullahs, no? Why should they be any indicator at all of what the mullahs will do?

    Admitedly the new president does seem like a total nut job but he’s no Hitler and Iran is certianly no econmic power house like Germany in 1938.

    Did you read the Steyn article? The Iranians have repeatedly said they are willing and will soon be able to nuke Israel, which is plenty close enough to Hitler for me. And the great thing about nukes is they obviate the need to be an economic powerhouse.

  • Verity

    Well fisked, R C Dean!

  • The effete, corrupt, cowardly Wahabbis are going to counter Iran’s nuclear capability how exactly?
    I think that he was talking about Wahabis like Bin Laden and al-Zarqawi. With the Bin Laden cheaque book they would just try to buy one of their own, or try to take over Pakistan and use theirs.

  • Verity

    Oh, for god’s sake, how on earth are they going to “take over Pakistan”? The Saudis and whose army? And you think we would let the Saudis take over Pakistan, even if Pakistan wasn’t able to defend itself (which it is)?

    I think the idea of buying a bomb is also rather far fetched. The Western intelligence services would know about it the second it entered one of their tiny brains.

    Anyway, we need to take out Iran’s nuclear capability with a clean first, and final, strike. If we let them strike somewhere first, things will only get messy.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Alex’s posting is such a jumble of confusion, half-truths, truths and silly observations that I don’t know where to begin, but that has not put me off in the past. To take one point, he argues that the Iranian leader is not at all like Hitler. Well, I guess the former has more facial hair, was not chucked out of a Vienna art college; probably does not listen to Wager (though you never know), and does not live in a Bavarian mansion. But seriously, Iran’s leader has pledged, in public, to wipe out Israel, questioned the Holocaust, is anti-semitic, and has defied international treaties on arms. Sounds pretty familiar to me.

    As for the idea that Iran is a poor country, yes, it is certainly poor compared with America or even Britain, but it does have considerable buying power because of oil, and even a poorish nation can do a lot of damage with weapons.

    I dunno if military strikes are the answer. It would be nice to imagine that the West could carry out an Osirak-style operation similar to that of the Israeli Air Force in 1981, but this may prove difficult.

  • “I doubt they’ll hit Israel, for all their bluster, because Israel is the one country that is certain to launch a massive counterstrike.”

    And what, exactly, does that have to do with it?

    I see people asserting that they’re smarter than that, but no evidence whatever in support of the assertions.

    I take them at their word. I think they’re exactly that crazy.

  • I don’t doubt the plausibility of all the scenarios herein, but I must say the more likely result will be Iran using nukes as simple leverage. They see how North Korea has been successful and wish to do the same. This is not to downplay the issue — quite the contrary. For reasons already stated, extremist Islam has proven itself far more dangerous than Communism. A nuclear-equipped, and thus emboldened Iran, will be freer to spread its influence in the region through more aggressive conventional means. Iran is banking on nukes allowing it to step-up its terrorism activities. End game is the same, they cannot be permitted to reach that point.

  • Verity

    Well, for the first time in human history, I agree with Billy Beck. Mark Steyn, in the article that only two or three of us seem to have actually read, tackled this issue. They’re well aware that Israel would strike back, but this is the religion that produces volunteer suicide bombers, don’t forget. They would know their own people were going to die in the retaliation, but they would be dying for Allah! So it’s OK! They’ll get promotions in the afterlife.

  • Pete_London

    As we’re pulling apart Alex’s argument, I particularly liked:

    I don’t want them to have nueclear weapons, but i don’t want an untold amount of people to die because of a ‘Clash of Civilisations’.

    Well that might just have to happen, but it’ll be over sooner and with fewer deaths when you snivelling, whiny losers STFU and let those with a backbone get on and defend you and your decadent, self-obsessed ways.

  • They’re well aware that Israel would strike back, but this is the religion that produces volunteer suicide bombers, don’t forget. They would know their own people were going to die in the retaliation, but they would be dying for Allah! So it’s OK! They’ll get promotions in the afterlife.

    I disagree, because a comprehensive nuclear counterstrike would end the game. The death of suicide bombers does not cause structural damage to the jihadi cause. Israeli nukes erasing Iran would. The mullahs are willing to sacrifice Muslims, no doubt, but not willing to sacrifice their power base. Attacking Israel would likely result in just that.

  • michael farris

    “The Iranians have repeatedly said they are willing and will soon be able to nuke Israel”

    This would be one of the stupidest acts in human history (not that I think the Iranian government is smart or anything). Israel’s not large and nukes would kill lots more Palestinians than even the Jordanians could manage (current champions in that sport) and make large chunks (or all) of “Palestine” inhabitable for a very long time. As well as inviting massive retaliation that would kill lots more Iranians than Israelis. I would hope they’d realize that.

    But then again, they have their very own Shia End Times scenario and President Nutjob is apparently ambitious to bring it about.

  • Verity

    R C Dean, you may be right, but I still believe they have factored in the cost of Israeli massive retaliation and will press ahead anyway. No one ever accused Muslims of being logical.

    Pete_London – There is no “clash of civilisations”. It takes two to clash and there’s only one. If you haven’t watched that extraordinary discussion with Wafa Sultan, you should go to MEMRI without further delay and click on it. It has subtitles in English and this lady is mind-bogglingly brilliant. Also, very brave. She’s a clinical psychologist from LA.

    I think Mr Bush has the backbone for a preemptive strike.

  • Nick M

    Purplethink is spot on. They want nukes because that makes them militarily untouchable. Their huge oil reserves makes them already economically untouchable. The only fly in their ointment is they’re not Sunni, so they’re alienated from 80% of the worlds muslims, but they’re working on that.

    So Iran is in a very strong strategic position. They’re not going to throw that away by nuking Israel ASAP, they’re going to be sneakier than that. Seen this

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060404/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_war_games

    That is a 200mph+ torpedo with a big warhead. That is a major risk to a US carrier force in the narrow, congested waters of the Persian Gulf, and it’s potentially nuclear capable.

    How about they bag a Nimitz-class battle-group and then claim it was the result that of the premature explosion of a nuke on board which was being prepared for launch at Tehran. A lot of folk will buy that. Any US counter-strike will be seen by many as proof of the original US aggresion. They could close the straights of Hormuz, cutting oil shipments and stopping the seaborne resupply of our lads in Iraq. That could result in us having to leave Iraq by an airborne Dunkirk, with a spectacular loss of heavy kit.

  • Verity

    michael farris – The Palestinians are pawns. Nothing more. The Muslim world has kept them in abject poverty for 50 years, when, with their vast lands and their vast oil revenues, they could have absorbed all of them 50 years ago. That they didn’t, tells you exactly how much they care about the Palestinians.

  • Pete_London

    Verity

    I saw the footage, laughed lots and watched it a few more times in admiration. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m no knicker-wearing feminist sympathiser, but if islam is ever to reform it needs people like Wafa Sultan. The quote I responded to was from Alex above, but as Wafa Sultan stated, this is a clash between civilisation and barbarity. Mark Steyn states in his piece, in a long war the side with belief and numbers will defeat the side with tanks and bombs. He’s right. We’ll win with tanks and bombs and belief, but the left is doing everything it can strip us of the belief and will to defend ourselves.

  • No one but the Americans will be in a position to respond to the Iranian nuclear attack. Whether we respond in a meaningful way depends on whether whoever happens to be the leader of the US on that day will have the fortitude to nuke them back. The odds of that are rather small, I fear, and once the mullahs have used a nuke with impunity, they will do it again and again. Why not?

    This would be a major miscalculation on their part, probably their last. Any US administration that failed to respond to a nuclear attack on us, on an ally, or on our interests would be driven from office. Do you really think we have forgotten how to fight?

    “What kind of people do they think we are?”

    Besides, the MAD doctrine is so thoroughly imbedded in our military thinking that a massive retaliation would be the default response, and a great effort would be required to stop it. Any president making that effort would be a disgrace to his office and treated accordingly.

  • rosignol

    That is a 200mph+ torpedo with a big warhead. That is a major risk to a US carrier force in the narrow, congested waters of the Persian Gulf, and it’s potentially nuclear capable.

    The Russians might have a nuclear warhead design that’s minituraized enough to fit in a torpedo, but I’m pretty sure the Iranians don’t.

    How about they bag a Nimitz-class battle-group and then claim it was the result that of the premature explosion of a nuke on board which was being prepared for launch at Tehran. A lot of folk will buy that.

    Maybe internationally. In the US, only the radical leftist fringe will.

    Any US counter-strike will be seen by many as proof of the original US aggresion. They could close the straights of Hormuz, cutting oil shipments and stopping the seaborne resupply of our lads in Iraq. That could result in us having to leave Iraq by an airborne Dunkirk, with a spectacular loss of heavy kit.

    Let me check this scenario- CVN & support fleet lost in nuclear explosion, Iranians close strait of Hormuz, and you think the US military in Iraq are going to pack up and fly home?

    You know better.

  • michael farris

    Verity, of course they’re not pawns, they’re the queen in the middle eastern chess board.

    Yes, they are treated worse by other Arabs than they ever were by Israelis. Everyone knows that (or should). But they’re also a chameleon-like political property used by various Arab and Muslim leaders for whatever particular end they have in mind at the moment (whether secular or fundamentalist, socialist or reformist) and as a distraction from their own corruption and malfeasance(sp?).

    Israel is the pawn, restricted in movement and liable to be sacrificed for other players’ political ends.

    I just wonder what sort of player would sacrifice the queen to get rid of a pesky pawn ….

  • Sandy P

    –constantly threatened by the worlds only Hyperpower wouldn’t you want them. —

    HORSEHOCKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We’re 25 years late to this war.

    They’ve been ignored for far too long. Carter should have taken them out and we wouldn’t be here today.

    Where are you from, Alex?

    —-
    Via Rantburg a couple of days ago:

    Tehran’s Unfriendly Skies
    John Weisman | April 11, 2006
    A group of well financed Islamo-fascist terrorists buy current models of American-built jets, paint them to look like passenger or cargo aircraft, then fly suicide missions against targets in the West.

    That sounds like the plot of one of my novels. But according to a well-placed source of mine, it’s exactly what the Iranian government has been trying to do for more than a year now. Commercial aircraft brokers on at least two continents have received shadowy inquiries they believe originate in Tehran to buy eight-year-old or younger B737 new generation airplanes, and B747-400 aircraft of the same vintage, price no object…..

    —-

    As to blocking off the Straits of Hormuz, let them, oil’s the only thing they’ve got to bring in lots of money, their people will hurt a lot more than the world will. And a lot faster.

  • Verity

    Pete_London – and Wafa Sultan is fearless. The first time I watched it, my mouth dropped open. The poor compere gave up and decided to keep his head down but that Islamist cleric kept popping up above the parapet because he just couldn’t believe what he was hearing, and she cut him down with articulacy and ruthlessness. I too have watched it several times. Apparently her Arabic is not only flawless, but she speaks a particularly elegant form of it, which doubtless intimidated them even more. Watching her shred these two Muslim men into ribbons was just so cheering.

  • Sandy P

    –“As for Iran ruling a caliphate, i don’t think the sunni Wahbist are going to be too keen on that one do you?”–

    Once they take care of US, they’ll start killing each other to see who reigns supreme. It’s not like their sects haven’t fought before.

    As to muslims not killing muslims – they’re doing a good job in Darfur. But they’re black muslims but that’s the lower end of the totem pole.

  • Sandy P

    Verity, didn’t you move to Mexico?

    Are you going to run across the border?

  • Sandy P

    Michael F. when did muslims care about the Palis other than to browbeat Israel and US?

    The muslims kill them or cast them out of their countries.

  • Sandy P

    And “nuking” someone doesn’t actually mean using nukes.

  • Verity

    Sandy P – Agreed. I said at the top of this thread that it was Appeaser-in-Chief Jimmuh Cahduh who caused this situation with his indecision, fecklessness and preachiness and wittering about “the hostage situation”. The US should have gone in and taken their territory back, rescued their hostaged citizens and killed every “student” holding the embassy. Maybe killed a few bystanders just for the hell of it. No Christian mercy, no trials – just something they could understand: defeat. This was the start of the current jihad and Jimmuh furthered its cause.

    Next came the bombing of the US Marine barracks in Lebanon, the Achille Lauro, Lockerbie, the first attempted bombing of the WTC – which killed over a thousand, so not exactly a failure from the Muslim point of view – the Iranian bombing of the Israeli embassy in BA, etc etc etc. All launched by the Iranian seizing US territory and citizens in Teheran.

    Sandy P is correct when she says we’re 25 years late to this war. But better late than never and we should get on with it now.

  • Not Dave

    The US was late to both WW1 and WW2 and look what happened when they got seriously involved.
    We really need a similar late entry now.

  • Verity

    Sandy P – Yes, I had aspirations to be a wetback, but then I realised the Rio Grande is too deep to just wade across and I can’t swim, so I’ll have to put on some ManTan and run across the border before they build the wall.

    Michael F – The Muslims have used the Palestinians as pawns for 30 or 40 years, when the oil-rich countries could easily have absorbed the entire population by now instead of leaving them to fester for three or four generations in “refugee camps”.

    The Palestinians are only useful stuck in those camps. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Libya blah blah blah import Christians from the Philippines and Tamils from Lanka.

    With Palestinians, they wouldn’t have to train them as to how to live in a Muslim home; they wouldn’t have a language problem; the maid would know how to cook Islamic food. They import hordes of men to do boring work like gas station attendant, gardeners, pool boys, etc. Why not give refuge to the Palestinians instead? Because they’re of more use to the Arab cause as a rod to beat the back of the West. So much for Muslim brotherhood.

  • Any US administration that failed to respond to a nuclear attack on us, on an ally, or on our interests would be driven from office. Do you really think we have forgotten how to fight?

    I think a significant fraction of our population has no stomach for this war and has forgotten how to fight, a fraction that has come very close to electing Presidents in the last two elections.

    I think Iran has learned the lesson of Saddam Hussein, and is busy buying up international support right now.

    Conventional military action against a nuclear-armed Iran is a very dicey proposition. Meaningful retaliation will almost have to be nuclear. It is very easy for me to imagine a Senate or a President that is not willing to take that step. Very easy.

  • Verity

    Well, Jimmuh certainly wouldn’t take that step and he would try to stop a real president taking that step, but I think George Bush has the nerve. And Rummy and Cheyney have the savvy and the nerve. The Senate … I don’t know. Does the president have to get permission from Congress?

  • Does the president have to get permission from Congress?

    I think nuking Iran would require a declaration of war.

  • Verity

    But in the urgency of declaring a state of war, there isn’t time for endless debates and subcommittees. Surely a president can act with his cabinet in an emergency? This is a genuine question.

  • Ken

    Only Americans will have sleepless nights over the nukes, after all they decided to baptise the world with the blood of ‘capitalism’

    Islam as a religion and Islam as part of the state cannot be separated and once Bush and his cohorts learn this, the better for everyone.

    Shariah law isnt evolutionary and wont gel or blend or crossbreed with your funny free for all and wisdom of the crowd policies.

    In the meantime, you can expect the Americans to continue polluting the world with their bombings, their propaganda and their interventionist foreign policy.

    I will hold my breath and count the days, a world war is looming.

  • Nick M

    Verity,
    I’m 99% certain that the president of the US has the executive authority (as commander in chief) to declare war in the circumstances you describe.

    Ken,
    You’re beyond contempt. And World War isn’t looming, it’s here.

  • Verity

    Whatever your confused, emotional post means, I believe capitalism has been going for a great deal longer than the existence of the United States. And what this has to do with nuking Iran, who knows?

    No matter what he says for the sake of diplomacy, Bush is very well aware of the creeping evil that is Islam.

    If Bush nukes Iran, you can expect 75% of Britons to commit suttee in grief. And expect black sheet clad blobs marching through London with banners threatening to bomb Buckingham Palace.

  • Nick M

    Verity,

    The president of the United States has no clear constitutional authority to declare war without congressional approval. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that the president, as commander-in-chief of the military, does have the authority to recognize a “state of war” initiated against the United States and may in these circumstances unilaterally send U.S. troops into battle. President Bush has also stated that his powers as commander-in-chief allow him to act independently in defense of the nation.

    From MSN Encarta

  • At some point the Koran will be shown for what it is – a work of Man.

  • Verity

    Who cares?

  • Jacko

    A number of scenarios have been implied in these posts, beginning with the original author asking who Iran will nuke. I am surprised no one is talking about what must be the most likely scenario:

    Israel will send Iran back to the Pleistocene Age if that’s what it takes to pre-empt Iranian nukes. Israel is living in the eye of the hurricane and will never allow Iran to have a nuke. Regardless of our own banter, self-centered, politicized, partisan, and theoretical, Israel must live and breathe the reality of the Middle East every day. Outnumbered and isolated both geographically and politically, they will act without fanfare or warning or preening, for their survival. This is not a philosophical or political discussion for them. And you can be sure they are ready now to take out any part of Iran if even a hint of capability comes down their intelligence pipeline.

    So the discussion on this board really might center around the world’s reaction after that Israeli pre-emptive strike is made. Because if Iran is really serious about developing a nuke, make no mistake, Israel will act and world opinion be damned.

    And the interesting thing is that every bureaucrat making speeches today must know that. So all the UN posturing and negotiation, and public speeches fired over the bows by the heads of state of all countries, including Iran and the USA, must be interpreted in the light of that quiet but most assuredly impending outcome if the current course of events is not changed.

  • My conclusions,

    We cannot stop Iran from getting nukes short of a war we are not currently willing to engage.

    If they nuke us or Israel, we will nuke them. (Use strategic and tactical nukes to remove the threat).

    If they don’t use them, we scowl at each other for fifty years and fight limited engagements. (cold war) This is the best scenario.

  • Verity

    Jacko has brought an interesting view to the discussion and I think perhaps he is right. I have one question, the PM at the moment is a stand-in for Mr Sharon, who, according to his doctors, will never recover consciousness. So I think we will have to wait for the new PM to get legitimised by the vote. Do you agree?

    Now, what is your view of a post-Israeli strike world? Israel will get the blame, as always, of course, but what will be the real effects other than the ranting and raving of the grand alliance of the Muslims and the commies? The Yazmonster will work herself into a heart attack, so there will be some side benefits.

    Europe will go into shock, that is for sure. But as Europe, especially France (but save Denmark), is now so anti-Semitic and dhimmified, it won’t cause the Israel any loss of sleep. Especially as Europe doesn’t have any means of defending itself. Its tiny armies are “peacekeepers”, and their economies are plummeting, as is the “European project” so they are irrelevant as a voice in the world.

    My guess: The Anglosphere will do a little posturing, but will back Israel. India, a semi-member of the Anglosphere, will back Israel.

    The Muslims will go into seething mode and will riot in the streets of Britain and Europe. Hard to say whose side the police will be on.

    Big question: China.

  • michael farris

    SandyP and Verity,

    You both seem to think we disagree about one fact when I’m trying to agree: Arab (and other Muslim) governments certainly don’t care about the Palestinians’ well-being at all. The late King of Jordan killed more Palestinians that Israel could if it wanted to (which it mostly doesn’t). Look closely at what I wrote, you’re making me feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

    But …. where I think we disagree is here: the Pal’s are too valuable as a sideshow for them to want Iran to nuke Israel (even if they understood the longterm health consequences of that, which I’m not at all sure they do). That is, Arab governments get a lot of mileage out of the Pal’s and Israel and that suits them fine, the last thing they want is a change in the status quo. I’m sure they don’t an Iranian nuclear attack against Israel.

    On the other hand, President Raving Lunatic of Iran apparently believes he can bring about some scenario with the 12th Mullah (google it and I’m sure there are lots of horrifying details). In that way he’s a little like the Christian fundamentalist endtimers but a _lot_ more willing to help things along…

  • Whoa, did I click on Little Green Footballs by mistake?

    – Josh

  • No, Josh, this is pretty normal here.

    Personally, I don’t like the idea of a bunch of genocidal maniacs in a country with nuclear weapons–but it’s too late, these posters are from the US and UK, which already have them.

    Fortunately the Bush Administration, detached from reality as it seems to be sometimes, isn’t as bad as its more rabid supporters (ever notice how they mostly complain that he doesn’t hate Muslims enough), so I’m hopeful that if the Persians manage to convince the world that they have at least one working bomb the Feds will back off as they did with North Korea.

  • Israel will send Iran back to the Pleistocene Age if that’s what it takes to pre-empt Iranian nukes.

    We can hope so. However, whether they would do so depends very much on who is in charge in Israel at the time.

    As to whether or not a nuclear strike on Iran would require a Congressional of war, I find it hard to imagine a scenario where it would not. We are not currently at war with Iran, and short of a strike on the US a state of war with the US would not exist that the President could react to.

    Even if Iran were to poop a nuke in Iraq or otherwise use it on US military assets, we can basically nuke them back at our leisure, so there would be no reason not to have the Congress declare war first.

  • I’m hopeful that if the Persians manage to convince the world that they have at least one working bomb the Feds will back off as they did with North Korea

    It seems to me that this is indeed the Iranian strategic calculation, and given their situation it makes a lot of sense. I think it’s unlikely that America will attempt anything against a nuclear armed Iran. Even if it tries to do it before Iran has a functioning weapon, Iraq has long since ensured they’d be doing it on their own. Whilst this is technically feasible, it is diplomatically and politically extremely unlikely and would only play into the hands of the Islamists, many of whom already seem quite convinced that America seeks the destruction of Islam. It wouldn’t be hard for them to say after an attack on Iran “see, we told you so…”

    I think America has lost this one, and should probably accept that Iran is going to become a nuclear power & seek a suitable modus vivendi.

    Remember also that Iran has sought nuclear capability since before the revolution, and this is not simply Islamism at work, it is also Iranian national pride.

    EG

  • Verity

    it is also Iranian national pride.

    They don’t recognise nations and man-made governments. So it would be Muslim pride. Congratulations, fellas! You’re all the way up to 1943!

    We cannot accommodate ourselves to such excitable, delusional, religious hysterics having nukes.

    I agree with Jacko. I think Israel will take out their nukes in a tacit arrangement with the United States. Or without US approval. They will still do it. One thing the Israelis do not lack is clarity of purpose.

  • Nick M

    EG,
    I think America has lost this one, and should probably accept that Iran is going to become a nuclear power & seek a suitable modus vivendi.

    But there isn’t one. There is no way this can be tolerated. This isn’t the cold war with rational players, this is an apocalytic regime. Yes, they may just use their nukes for political leverage, but that isn’t acceptable either. The sort of political leverage they want isn’t a case of getting a few percent on a trade deal, it’s the freedom to engage in terrorism and the spread of radical Islam throughout the world.

    I’ve read the flight 93 transcript this evening. I’m mad as hell.

    I’m actually coming round to nuking the entire Islamic world tomorrow and killing all muslims in Western lands if they don’t desecrate a Koran in front of witnesses as a proof of apostasy. Drown ”em in pig slurry and ensure nothing can living in Mecca for a thousand years. And we’ll see how all powerful Allah is.

    That’s the trouble with Islam. It forces your hand to absolutism.

  • Verity

    Are other people’s comments getting caught in the spam trap? I’ve just had one snapped up in a spam trap.

  • Sandy P

    America lost this one?

    We go down, you go with us.

    India and the Chicoms will do what we might not have the guts to do.

  • There is no way this can be tolerated. This isn’t the cold war with rational players, this is an apocalytic regime

    Oh, these things never can be tolerated. And yet … they are tolerated.

    Fair enough, Russia was (generally) governed by pragmatic, if unpleasant, people. But China wasn’t – even the Russians though Mao was a lunatic. And yet China was tolerated, even embraced for strategic reasons.

    What about North Korea? The Dear Leader ™ is hardly a model of pragmatic reason, is he? And yet … tolerated. Why?

    For much the same reason one tolerates wasps in the garden – get a bit too aggressive with them and they sting. Won’t kill you, but it will hurt. For all the rhetoric, America will not seek war with a nuclear power. Equally, for all the rhetoric, Iran is not likely to launch a nuclear attack on Israel, or western interests in Iraq.

    EG

  • Sandy P

    Ken, you’re late to the party, WWIV already started.

    And the opposite of capitalism is working so well in frogistan right now, the country that gave us communism.

  • We go down, you go with us

    No, on balance I don’t think so. Western civilisation is more than just America, and one must distinguish between the interests of western civilisation in general and American state interest, since the two are not necessarily coincident.

    It is certainly not in western interests, viewed in general, to provoke unnecessary violence with Islam. Some here would like to see such violence, even on an apocalyptic scale – but they’re in good company, because that’s precisely what the nuttier Islamist elements want.

    Islamism *wants* you to feel provoked, and so to over-react, and so to give them the apocalypse they predict as inevitable. Why should you give them what they want?

    Better to contain them where you can, and learn to live with them when you cannot.

    India and the Chicoms will do what we might not have the guts to do

    India, with a huge Islamic population, simmering tension between Hindus and Moslems, and bordered by a nuclear armed Moslem state? I think not. China, with its own internal problems with Islamism and a strategic outlook that, frankly, does not include the Middle East? No again.

    EG

  • Verity

    No need for absolutes, NickM, but they have to be cut back harshly. “OK, we’ve tolerated you and your nitwit behaviour – because it is in our power not to tolerate it when we think you’re getting out of hand.

    “Right. We’ve reached that point. Wefare has just dried up, and you’re no longer eligible for treatment on the NHS. And from now on, Britain being as crowded as it is, we cannot afford to reserve graves for Muslims any more when they are needed to bury our own people. So you’ll have to agree to cremation no matter what your Koran instructs. We don’t take orders from your koran. Feel free to leave any time.”

    What Muslims understand is power and purpose. We haven’t shown much of these over the last few years, which is why they have inched their agenda forward. They have interpreted our tolerance as weakness.

  • John K

    I said at the top of this thread that it was Appeaser-in-Chief Jimmuh Cahduh who caused this situation with his indecision, fecklessness and preachiness and wittering about “the hostage situation”. The US should have gone in and taken their territory back, rescued their hostaged citizens and killed every “student” holding the embassy. Maybe killed a few bystanders just for the hell of it. No Christian mercy, no trials – just something they could understand: defeat. This was the start of the current jihad and Jimmuh furthered its cause.

    To be fair to Jimmy Carter (never thought I’d say that) he did try to rescue the hostages, and it was a fiasco, not of his making. He did at least have the guts to try, and it was a huge shame it failed.

    If you cast your mind back to 1979-80, you have to factor in the Soviet Union. It would have been very risky to have launched a war against a state which bordered the USSR, tempting though it might have been.

  • Verity

    After months and months, Jimmuh got up his nerve over “the hostage situation” and launched a rescue attempt that failed. Shortly after that, wossname, the founder of EDS, went in with a helicopter and got his own employees out – successfully. A great ad for private enterprise, though.

    Yes, I hadn’t thought of the Russia situation. Nevertheless, the seizing of US territory and citizens should have been dealt with more firmly and with more finesse – perhaps in conjunction with the Soviets, or at least in consultation with them.

  • Matt O'Halloran

    Deleted. Bugger off Nazi.

  • Nick M

    Matt,

    I have no idea what you’re getting at.

    Verity,

    What Muslims understand is power and purpose. We haven’t shown much of these over the last few years, which is why they have inched their agenda forward. They have interpreted our tolerance as weakness.

    Spot on. People who respect only power and totalitariansim will never understand liberal toleration. They will always see that as capitulation. You only have to look at the bizarre comments on the web from muzzies with their knickers in a twist over the MoToons to realise they fundamentally don’t understand the West. Our attempts to resolve things diplomatically, our use of PGMs to reduce collateral damage, the renaming of “Operation Infinite Justice” all show weakness to muzzie.

    The only way to make ’em respect us is to nuke Mecca until it glows in the dark. They respect force, coercion and the strong wielding power over the weak because that’s the way they’ve operated since the days of Chairman Mo (pigs be upon him).

    That’s why I say that the greatest corrosion that Islam carries out is forcing liberal minded chaps like me to think in absolute and apocalyptic terms. Appeasement is not an option. EG and others on this thread will “appease”, “contain” or “box in” Islam until they’ve got metre-long beards and are chanting Arabic nonsense to a rock in Arabia.

    On the subject of TB’s attempts to reach out to the muzzie “community”. I don’t believe he has any hidden agenda to destabilise the UK on this one. I think he’s vain enough to believe that if he says to people, “Come on guys! We can all work together” they’ll take notice because he is obviously the greatest statesman and peacemaker the world has ever seen.

  • Nick M

    WRT Carter’s failed hostage rescue. It was an audacious plan and would’ve been an absolute triumph if it had worked. This was not JC’s direct fault, exactly. The fault lay in the parlous state of the post-Vietnam US military. Something Reagan put right, and something the Carter Administration has to shoulder much of the blame for.

    I don’t date the main Islamist threat from the Iranian Revoultion (though it certainly upped the ante). I date it from Nassar and Pan-Arab Socialism. This was a marked failure and the Islamists now are the same sort of people who supported Nassar then. The tangibile failure of the movement and the tarnishing of socialism following the demise of the Soviets has lead them to re-brand. Yes, it is different in many respects, but it is a new way for being awkward buggers for the same sort of people in muslim lands who were awkward buggers then. Essentially they tried a political solution to the many woes of the Middle-East. It failed, now they’re trying a religous solution.

  • permanent expat

    Verity: I have news for you; our tolerance is weakness

  • Verity wrote:

    Shortly after that, wossname, the founder of EDS, went in with a helicopter and got his own employees out – successfully.

    That was Ross Perot, who later ran for President and (because of his enormous wealth) did about as well as it’s possible for a non-Boot On Your Neck Party candidate to do.

  • Verity

    Matt O’Halloran – NickM had just read the Flight 93 cockpit transcript and he was very angry.

    “Bigotry” is prejudice based on no reason. I think we can accept that Islam has given the world ample evidence of fuckwittery, bizarre and twisted cruelty in the cause of subjugating others – FGM, slavery, “honour” killings, hanging homosexuals, etc – to exculpate anyone who doesn’t like them of claims of bigotry.

    There are some Muslims who are genuinely reasonable and want to see a reformation of Islam and we should support them and not paint them with the same brush as the majority, but they need to talk over the noise of the aircraft engines on 9/11 and the trains in Madrid and the noise of London Underground and the rock music in Bali, the screams of terror and pain of hostages being beheaded and all the other terrorist outrages perpetrated on innocent people by their co-religionists. And they have to drown out the lying, predictable drone of “moderates” who are not moderate at all – just quieter – like Iqbal Sacranie and Bungalawangla and all the other worker ants in Muslim “councils” and “parliaments” and “committees”.

  • Verity

    permanent expat – acuerdo.

  • Nick M

    Verity,

    Thanks for that.

    Something else that made me angry was that I’d just heard our super-friends in the Saudi Royal Family have ponyed-up GBP 5 million to buy a rather nice mid-Victorian building (owned by the University of Manchester) just up the road from me with plans to convert it into an “Islamic Cultural Centre”.

    It’s not as if South Manchester is short of such “facilities”. But that’s not what really gets me. It is those stinking Saudi hypocrites pouring out their filth from a major facility just up the road from me. The same filth they pour out to mollify the imams at home while they’re whoring on the BAE Systems slush fund and drinking the finest single-malts.

  • Islam has given the world ample evidence of fuckwittery, bizarre and twisted cruelty in the cause of subjugating others – FGM, slavery, “honour” killings, hanging homosexuals, etc

    None of these are unique to, or even more pronounced in, Islam:

    Female genital mutilation is widely practiced in non-Moslem African tribal cultures.

    Slavery has been part of almost all cultures in human history until the past few centuries.

    Honour killings are more a feature of tribal culture in certain parts of south Asia than they are a feature of Islam. It’s to do with dishonour on the family or tribe, not on the religion.

    Homosexuality has been a capital offence in western Christian countries too.

    EG

  • Verity: Big Question: China

    Absolutely. Once Iran sends most of its oil to China and not the US, the US can afford to whack it.

    China will eventually (it cannot resist!) become an imperial power and places like Iran will be where they will want to exercise their will and have cheap extraction rights.

    If anything, the long game for Iran is to defend itself from Chinese Imperial Aggression. I foresee a Chinese “Blue Water Port” for its military on the coast of Iran, just as Britain needed its ports and the airfields of Iraq in the 1920’s until advances in aircraft rendered them obsolite for the run to India…

    It is all about securing access to resources. India will not be happy if China can run its blue water navy right round to Iran and China knows this. Once it gets a southern Iranian base, it can protect the trade from E Africa. I can see India doing what it can to prevent itself being “stitched up like a kipper” and encircled.

  • Nick M

    permanent expat,
    Tolerance is not weakness. Tolerance is strength. It is, though a tautology, and therefore logically inescapable that we cannot tolerate the intolerable.

    Theo Van Gogh knew this and died because he was brave enough to draw a line in the sand. Karl Poper kner this which is why he wrote a book called “The Open Society and it’s Enemies“.

    We no longer tolerate guest-houses with signs in the window saying “no dog, no Irish, no blacks”, why should we tolerate Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani calling on Muslims to kill homosexuals in “the most unpleasant way possible”.

    Sorry, no longer got the url, but Google it. I’ve got gay friends, why should I tolerate someone inciting over a billion people to torture them to death?

  • Verity

    I don’t read or respond to Euan Gray’s drab, apologist, contrarian posts, even the comparatively short ones. Kodiak, we didn’t appreciate what we had as a star troll …

  • China will eventually (it cannot resist!) become an imperial power

    Why?

    EG

  • Verity

    The beautiful, brilliant and brave Hirsi Ali also knows this and is a very public apostate. But she’s under 24/7 security protection. What a way to live her life! She’s slender, sensationally beautiful, has elegant taste and looks wonderful in her designer clothes … but she can’t go out.

  • Nick M

    EG,
    But, big point, very big point. Islam doesn’t look much like it’s gonna embrace tolerance for “the other” anytime soon and most Western nations decriminilised homosexuality before I was born and banned slavery over a hundred years ago. FGM may not be unique to Islam, but has never been part of Western culture. I can’t say western culture has been perfect for all time but we have improved, life in Yemen hasn’t.

    It is the worst form of cultural relativism to suggest that we can’t criticise them because we carried out things they still do (and in many cases increasingly do) before my grandparents were born.

    Honour killings and FGM in particular may not be fully mainstream Islamic doctrine (though, in Islamic scrptures, Mo gives advice to a woman performing FGM “not to cut too deep, for it will harm the pleasure of the husband“.

    They are tribal practices, but Islam is intrinsically tribal hence it’s championing of endogenous marriages. By maintaining the tribal structure it has allowed such barbarities to survive into the age of the internet.

  • Nick M

    Hey Verity,

    Sounds like ya got a crush?

    You’re right though. She’s gorgeous.

  • Verity

    By maintaining the tribal structure it has allowed such barbarities to survive into the age of the internet.

    And by codifying it under the name of their diety and thus embedding it for all time. (Or until Islam is destroyed, whichever comes first.)

  • Nick M

    EG,

    Perhaps because for the best part of several millennia China has been an Empire.

    Perhaps because they’ve got 1.x billion people, an economy going through the roof, nukes, a space program, a major scientific and technical base (unhindered by some of the west’s vague timid morality on stem-cell research etc), a growing middle-class and a desperate need for imported natural resources.

    EG, you’ve clearly never played Civ have ya?

  • Andrew Lale

    This post reads far too fatalistic. Half an hour ago, Ms Rice said in a press conference that the Security Council of the UN is considering all options about what to do about Iran. I believe that the distinct probability that is despite their ostensible positions, both Russia and China will want the US to destroy the Nuclear sites in Iran that pose the risk (easy to do without resort to anything like tactical nukes). I have felt for some weeks that this was the probable outcome, and that the Chicken Little armageddon scenarios being spun on all sides were as air-headed as usual.

  • Verity

    What a bizarre, adolescent statement, NickM. I made a political comment. Despite being beautiful, elegant, and designer-conscious, she can’t go out because there is a death fatwah on her head for apostasy. Why trivialise this?

  • FGM may not be unique to Islam, but has never been part of Western culture

    Not entirely true. Female circumcision has been practiced as a “cure” for masturbation and is not as absent from the west as you might think.

    I hesitate to provide a direct link, but on http://www.noharmm.org there is a reproduction of a 1950s medical journal article detailing the procedure and going into its history a little.

    The page is femcirctech.htm, but DON’T open it if you would be offended by graphic images of that part of the human body.

    They are tribal practices, but Islam is intrinsically tribal

    All of humanity is tribal. We’re social creatures, after all.

    EG

  • Nick M

    Andrew Lale,

    By it’s very nature a nuclear program is a big undertaking. We are not talking about tactically simple strikes. Of course, semi-secretly pretty much everyon including the Chinese and Russians want Iran taken out of the nuke game, but they will create a furor for their own purposes if the US or Israel takes military action. But it’s a double score for them. A potentially trouble-some loose cannon is removed and they get a stick to beat their major strategic rivals with.

    The only way we can win is if all the sane countries (including Russia, China and India) speak with once voice and tell Iran that unless they desist they’ll get hammered. Alas globalisation hasn’t gone that far yet for economic pragmatism to have replaced petty C19 -style big-power bickering.

    We can win a victory at a cost by flattening Iran. The only positive here is the price is infinitely less than allowing a bunch of nutters to have the capacity to unleash an apocalypse.

  • because for the best part of several millennia China has been an Empire

    But not an overseas one. China’s principal strategic interests are and always have been in the South China Sea and northwards into eastern Siberia. There is little if any prospect of China developing serious imperial ambitions outside those areas.

    you’ve clearly never played Civ have ya?

    Actually, it’s one of the very few computer games I enjoy. It’s a simplistic representation of reality, but it does show that imperial expansion is not necessary for national success.

    EG

  • Verity

    Andrew Lale – if we can take out Iran’s nuclear capabilities without resorting to nukes ourselves, so much the better, but take them out we must, because they will use them. They are not calm people. I cannot imagine China or India demurring in the prosecution of this eminently sane exercise.

  • Nick M

    EG,
    “Social” is not “Tribal”. There is a hell of a difference between a culture that encourages first-cousin marriages to help ensure the keeping of property within the clan (know much about sharia inheritance law?) and cultures that have smiled upon wider unions to unite groups of people rather devide them.

    Clitoroidectomy has been suggested over the years by some of the more whacked out western doctors as the cure for a variety of real or imagined maladies. Interesting thing is even the US surgeon in the C19 who was the largest proponent of it (as a cure for frigidity oddly enough) was regarded by most contemporary gynaecologists as a dangerous fruit-loop. Of course it’s been done in the west, what hasn’t? It never took root here, and it never blighted or ended the lives of 100s of thousands or millions of girls a year the way it has done in the Islamic world or parts of Africa.

    It is also illegal now in many western countries. Even in those where it isn’t illegal, the rate of practice must be next to nill in the indiginous and most immigrant communities. Again, only muzzie.

  • Nick M

    EG,

    Actually, it’s one of the very few computer games I enjoy. It’s a simplistic representation of reality, but it does show that imperial expansion is not necessary for national success.

    It bloody well is the way I play. Get the science up and running. Bootstrap the economic base. Get your trade up. Get a technical and military superiority (I usually wait till the early industrial age before any big-scale adventures) and go on a monster stomp. Secure your resources and luxuries, make everyone pay through the nose for them, kill Bismarck, keep on side with Catherine (while it’s politic), then flatten your neighbours to the extent their cities are useful and extort a hideous peace deal from them. At the end Good Queen Bess rules the World.

    How can you enjoy a world conquest game without indulging in imperialsim?

    Try Alpha Centauri, old but great and even more amoral than Civ. I think it’s available on The Underdogs and lose yourself for a bank holiday weekend.

    I love amoral games. Hardwar is another oldie but goldie from the Underdogs. My girlriend got quite worried when I told her I’d made a mint running bodyparts, missiles and narcotics.

  • David Roberts

    The conflict is between the irrational and the rational. Nuclear bombs are an inevitable consequence of the rational enterprise. The irrational will use them against the rational. The rational will not respond in kind. Even if you are able to be certain of the source of the nuclear strike, how does killing another lot of innocent people help?

    The rational must organise to minimise their damage and maximise their capability to identify, neutralize and if possible put on trial the individuals responsible.

    If the rational believe that the vast majority of humanity wish for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness then they must not play the games of the irrational.

  • Verity

    David Roberts – Whatever.

    Even if you are able to be certain of the source of the nuclear strike, how does killing another lot of innocent people help?

    It gets them dead.

    As we don’t know who sympathises with the aggressor, we have to take out everyone on that side. There may be an amiable cockroach or good-natured virus floating around in a deadly disease, but we don’t have the time to find out. Dead is best.

  • Nick M

    David Roberts,

    That’s rot. Harry Truman acted perfectly rationally when he nuked the Japs.

    Sometimes it comes to causing an appalling slaughter to prevent an alternative and much greater one.

    And sometimes, just sometimes the “innocent” must die. As Patrick Henry put it, the “Tree of Liberty must be refreshed periodically with the blood of patriots and tyrants, it is its natural manure”.

    For the first time in human history, over the last two hundred years, the civilised world has really got to the brink of something spectacular. There is the possibility of space flight and cures for cancer. Somethings are worth more than the lives of a few million pig-ignorant savages in a hot and dusty country run by a certifiable loon.

    We have the potential to create a material heaven or hell. We have that power as long as we stick to the agenda and don’t give in to failed cultures who want the rest of us dead or enslaved. I for one do not want that to be derailed by a bunch of idiots who follow the deranged rantings of an illiterate peadophil from the dark ages.

    That is what global conflict is about. That is what it has been about for the last hundred years.

    Oh, it’s about another thing as well. If you kill enough of them they’ll surrender. And that’s how you win. You have to be able to astonish with your violence. You have to show these depraved idiots that your technology and reason is more powerful than that rock they worship in Mecca.

    Choose your side. Fight for civilisation or assume the pose, on your hands and knees, buttocks spread and hope Allah brought the vaseline.

    This is not rational against irrational, it’s right vs. wrong. good vs. evil. islam against civilisation.

  • Jim

    “As we don’t know who sympathises with the aggressor, we have to take out everyone on that side. There may be an amiable cockroach or good-natured virus floating around in a deadly disease, but we don’t have the time to find out. Dead is best.”

    Of course, knowing that people on ‘this side’ think that justifies people on ‘that side’ thinking exactly the same thing. Really well thought out position you’ve got there.

  • Nick M

    Yeah Jim,
    Lets build a bomb that only homes in on people who have chanted “Death to the West” at least twice in the last week!

    If you can get the patent for it, I’m sure Rummy would give you a big advance.

  • RAB

    “Sometimes the light’s all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see”
    What a long strange trip it could be!

  • Verity

    Jim – Your point?

  • permanent expat

    Back a tad late & catching up on the latest comment. How lovely that EG is back again with the history lessons ……and the ‘we-used-to-do-that-too-once-upon-a-time’ excuses for unacceptable mediaeval primitives.
    Nick M: When I mentioned that our tolerance is also our weakness I’m sure that you’re perfectly aware of the context in which the statement was expressed. Tolerance is sometimes akin to ‘keeping an open mind’, a state which includes the danger that one’s brains might fall out………. 😉

  • lucklucky

    Iran will get the bomb and do nothing (with the bomb). Then will step up Islamic and terrorism ideology support everywhere, specially looking for Europe. This will also mark the end of the last superpower probably pleasing some american obsessed french at Quai D’Orsay with his multipolar world.
    Of course everyone in superpower world that NOW more or less invest in status squo since the profits are known will start to think… “Iran did not invested in status squo and won and we are better then bloody persians so….

  • permanent expat

    luckylucky…………..of this planet?…..me no unnerstan.

  • Verity

    Lucky Lucky, Quite right, old chap! Carry on posting!

  • Alice

    Love all the talk about bombing Iran’s nuclear sites. Sounds like strategic disinformation. As the old saying goes, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people”. Same goes for nuclear bombs.

    Likely scenario is that the Iranian regime will be allowed to make a mistake in the next year or two — e.g., get caught trying to interfere in Iraq, or supporting Hizbullah in an attack on Israel. And then the Iranian regime will be swiftly eliminated — decapitated with regular old bombs using Alfred Nobel’s prize invention. When the dust clears, the US will announce a revision to the Powell Doctrine — “We broke it; you fix it. And you fix it right, or we will break it again.” It is quite possible that the boundaries of Iran will be permanently changed — Kurdish, Arab, Baluch areas could all break away.

    And when the people in what is left of Iran finally install a non-threatening government, they will find that their best ally in the whole world is the United States of America.

  • At a certain point, cynicism becomes inanition. Euan Gray, you will be “understanding” the savages who cut your throat. Enjoy your feelings of superiority as your last earthly sensations. It’s something I will never understand, and I hope my sons never do, either. We will fight.

  • John_R

    Just the odd observation or two:
    TimC said:

    Absolutely. Once Iran sends most of its oil to China and not the US, the US can afford to whack it.

    UHH, we haven’t gotten oil from Iran since about ’76.

    The 200 mph torpedo is a well know Russian system, nothing new or mysterious about it. It’s called the Shkval

    A likely scenario for an Iranian nuke is to try and cripple the U.S. with an EMP, which I suspect is easier said than done since the threat of EMPs was well-known during the Cold war.

  • David Roberts

    Nick thank you for your comments.

    But what was rational for Harry Truman in 1945 is not rational now. One strength of the rational is the ability to learn and thus improve on our forebears. Also I do not think we are on the brink of something spectacular, it has already happened thanks to rationality. A future for humanity which will involve greatly expanded life spans and the exploration of the Galaxy are a strong possibility. Not though if we underestimate the strength of rationality and think it wise to nuke those who disagree with our views.

  • Jim

    “Jim – Your point?”

    Oh, you missed it, did you? No surprise there. I suppose my point is that genocide isn’t a very good foreign policy.

  • John K

    The 200 mph torpedo is a well know Russian system, nothing new or mysterious about it. It’s called the Shkval

    Good point. The Russians are selling some very advanced arms to the Iranians. I wonder what sort of game Putin thinks he is playing? I don’t trust this Chekist one little bit.

    Most analysts agree Iranian is several years from getting the A bomb. Why this is a big story is that they are only a few months from getting some very advanced Russian anti-aircraft missiles. Thus, if the USA or Israel is planning to take out Iran’s nuclear programme, it has to be sooner rather than later.

    Nice one Vladimir.

  • “Social” is not “Tribal”

    Actually, it pretty much is. The major distinction is that in the west the tribes are a lot bigger and they are called nations.

    There is a hell of a difference between a culture that encourages first-cousin marriages to help ensure the keeping of property within the clan (know much about sharia inheritance law?) and cultures that have smiled upon wider unions to unite groups of people rather devide them

    So what do you know about western inheritance law? The presumption is that if one dies intestate one’s estate is divided amongst the next of kin. Keeping it in the family, as it were.

    Consider also the practice in the west of close kin marriages within royalty and settled aristocracies – this sort of thing is hardly unique to Islamic societies. Consider the fact that until recently most people from most cultures did not travel widely and therefore that closer marriages were much more common simply from necessity.

    A likely scenario for an Iranian nuke is to try and cripple the U.S. with an EMP, which I suspect is easier said than done

    Very much so. In order to cause damage from EMP over any but a local area, you need (a) a very large weapon and (b) a means of detonating it at extreme altitude. This means you need thermonuclear technology, since a pure fission bomb reaches its limit around 500 kilotons. Thermonuclear bombs are VERY much more complex to design and build than simple fission bombs. The EMP scenario also means you need advanced rocketry capability, since you need the detonation point to be several miles high.

    Iran is working on uranium enrichment. This suggests they are aiming for relatively simple gun-type fission bombs. To get from there to more compact bombs, which you need for thermonuclear devices, you need implosion designs, which only work with plutonium. So, if you see Iran working on plutonium manufacture AND lithium deuteride manufacture AND high suborbital rocketry, THEN you can consider a plan to cause massive damage by EMP.

    EG

  • Matt O'Halloran

    I’m actually coming round to nuking the entire Islamic world tomorrow and killing all muslims in Western lands if they don’t desecrate a Koran in front of witnesses as a proof of apostasy. Drown ”em in pig slurry and ensure nothing can living in Mecca for a thousand years. And we’ll see how all powerful Allah is.

    This comment by ‘Nick M’ has been allowed to stand, but when I queried why it was so much less offensive than my impersonal and apolitical attempts to present current scientific understanding of genetics, I received the cordial retort ‘Bugger off Nazi’.

    Clearly my understanding of the etiquette of libertarianism is deficient. What would a third party make of the scale of values symbolised by such adjudications?

  • It is the worst form of cultural relativism to suggest that we can’t criticise them because we carried out things they still do (and in many cases increasingly do) before my grandparents were born

    Forgot to reply to that point earlier.

    I’m not suggesting this means we cannot criticise them. I am suggesting it means that the practices they carry out and which we dislike are NOT unique to Islam and therefore that it is an error to link the two. In most cases, the practices cited have been or are found in almost all societies at some point, they are tribal customs and they long pre-date Islam.

    EG

  • Alcoholiday

    Matt O’Halloran –

    I haven’t spotted any of the site editors taking part in the later sections of this thread, so perhaps they just aren’t aware of what is being posted. Perhaps they are happy with the comments so far, perhaps not, but as has been pointed out to you frequently it is none of your business what the site owners allow on their own property.

    As always, you attempt to hijack threads and bring things back to your usual rather nasty comments about “current scientific understanding of genetics” which betray your own prejudices more than your understanding of science.

    (aside to Johnathan Pearce, if reading- sorry for responding to this guy once more – has he not been banned previously?)

  • O’Halloran is a troll, pure and simple. He never misses an opportunity to air his uncomprehending views about liberalism, usually by making petty snipes – apart from his National Socialist-like views on race, who knows what he stands for? If he hasn’t been banned yet, he should be.

  • O’Halloran is a troll, pure and simple. He never misses an opportunity to air his uncomprehending views about liberalism, usually by making petty snipes – apart from his NSDAP-like views on race, who knows what he stands for? If he hasn’t been banned yet, he should be.

  • rosignol

    Good point. The Russians are selling some very advanced arms to the Iranians. I wonder what sort of game Putin thinks he is playing? I don’t trust this Chekist one little bit.

    Putin’s playing the old Soviet “Cause trouble for the Americanskis” game, same as always.

    I’m thinking it’s about time we started causing some trouble back, preferrably something very high-profile that was utterly unthinkable 20 years ago, and will have strategic implications for the next century. Something along the lines of “Begin negotiating Ukraine’s membership in NATO”.

    Yeah, I know the Ukranian government is a bit dodgy. So were the other Eastern Europeans a few years back, but they’re coming along.

  • rosignol

    Very much so. In order to cause damage from EMP over any but a local area, you need (a) a very large weapon and (b) a means of detonating it at extreme altitude.

    Why would they want to EMP the midwest, when doing it over Washington DC, NYC, or (especially) southern San Francisco would be quite disruptive?

    You’re making large assumptions about objectives and how they might be achieved, when the party under discussion is noted for using non-conventional means to accomplish it’s goals. Do try to remember that these are not people who fire rockets at Israel themselves- they have Hizbullah and Hamas do it for them.

  • Anyone who wants to take a look at Matt O’Halloran’s “interesting” interpretation of science pertaining to race need only click here and scroll some way down.

  • A lot of my comments are being held for moderation.

    Verity – I love that clip of Wafa Sultan; it makes me want to jump out of my chair with enthusiasm every time I watch it. I would march for that woman.

    The only criticism I have is that we don’t see enough of the knuckle dragging rock ape Muslim enthusiast’s rantings and his reactions to Wafa Sultan’s thorough demolition job.

  • Do try to remember that these are not people who fire rockets at Israel themselves- they have Hizbullah and Hamas do it for them

    Do try to remember that in some cases there are technical limitations to what can be done and how it can be done – in this case, because of the laws of physics.

    There are also practical strategic limitations. If anyone used a nuclear device against Israel, the list of possible suspects is extremely short, and basially consists right now of one name. This would be unwise, and whilst it is the case that Iran might well make some silly decisions, national suicide is unlikely to be on their “things to do today” list.

    Iran is the major regional power. It would like to remain so. Part of that is ensuring there is an enemy, and ensuring that Iran’s rivals concentrate on the enemy rather than start thinking about Iran and its position. It is an error to think the Islamic world is a monolithic entity, and petty rivalries best the whole Middle East. The only thing that the various governments can agree on is that they hate Israel. Whilst Israel still exists for them to hate, Iran can get away with apocalyptic rhetoric, thus making the rest of the ME countries see their big powerful neighbour as being on their side. A degree of antagonism with America supports the noble-striver-for-Islam idea, too, and bolsters Iran’s strategic position. Even strikes by America (or especially Israel) against the nuclear sites in Iran hugely boost Iran’s reputation and like nothing else would unite the ME against the west in general and America in particular – Iran knows that, and so does America.

    Provided Iran doesn’t actually use, or permit anyone else to use the nuclear weapons they are likely to develop, it shouldn’t lose from this position. Pace certain commenters above, it is *NOT* necessary to use a weapon in order to gain advantage from it. Just having it is often enough. America is obviously keen to stop them getting the weapons, not because they are afraid Iran will use them – I think that’s highly unlikely – but because it renders Iran largely immune to western diplomatic pressure and reduces American influence in the region. America also knows that there is no support from its erstwhile allies for conflict with Iran, so what does it have left – rhetoric, threat, and bluster.

    America talks up the Iranian threat in an attempt to muster support for bringing Iran into line. But they know, I think, that they are too late, that Iraq has robbed them of any tangible support for war, and that Iran’s rhetoric is just that, rhetoric.

    EG

  • This post reads far too fatalistic. Half an hour ago, Ms Rice said in a press conference that the Security Council of the UN is considering all options about what to do about Iran.

    Which gives one exactly zero reason to believe that anything will be done about Iran by the UN. Number of nations whose nuclear programs have been shut down by the UN: zero.

    I believe that the distinct probability that is despite their ostensible positions, both Russia and China will want the US to destroy the Nuclear sites in Iran that pose the risk (easy to do without resort to anything like tactical nukes).

    China gets its oil from Iran, and the Russians are selling advanced weapons to Iran eminently suited for keeping US carrier battle groups at bay. What on earth makes you think either nation is interested in reining in the mullahs?

    I’m not so sure it is easy to destroy deeply bunkered facilities without nukes. Worst case scenario is that we engage in a bombing campaign without nukes, destroy the schools and hospitals these facilities are buried under, and don’t destroy the facilities themselves.

    Likely scenario is that the Iranian regime will be allowed to make a mistake in the next year or two — e.g., get caught trying to interfere in Iraq, or supporting Hizbullah in an attack on Israel.

    Good God. The Iranians have already repeatedly been caught doing precisely these things. No consequences ensued. Why should that change?

    And then the Iranian regime will be swiftly eliminated — decapitated with regular old bombs using Alfred Nobel’s prize invention.

    You cannot do regime change without holding the ground. A bombing campaign alone will not get rid of the mullahs, only an invasion will.

  • Verity

    James Waterton, I suspect much of reaction of the Islamist who was her opponent was edited out because he was getting demolished and that doesn’t look too good for a cleric. On the other hand, all credit to al-Jazeera for running that tape. I’m assuming it was actually broadcast before MEMRI picked up on it.

    I liked the way the compere started out in charge of the programme and then seems to have abandoned his authority in favour of lying low.

  • lucklucky

    In my rumble above i just want to mean that Iran+Bomb means the end of last Superpower, i dont mean the end of USA or anything like that, just the end of it’s Superpower credibility. Most countries more or less invest in status quo right now , with some under the table kicks of course, everyone in every game want to get advantage, but that is made under a set of rules . Iran with the Bomb means that there is another track to race on and not only in the Superpower track.

  • Nick M

    RC Dean,

    Regime change was achieved in Japan in ’45 by bombing.

    It is possible, but you have to astonish with your violence. The reason the mullahs don’t take the West seriosuly is that for them the worst case scenario is a very survivable limited bombing campaign which will boost their anti-Crusader/Zionist chic no end and rally the disparate elements of Iranian society round to the cause.

    If something astonishing (real Shock & Awe) is done to them, like a single nuke strike on some big military industrial complex, and a note promising the same again in 48hrs if they don’t desist, then they might come round.

    Japan was preparing a ferocious defense of the Home Islands until Hiroshima and Nagasaki proved to them that it would only end in the total destruction of the country.

    Iran needs to be shown that the “worst case scenario” for them is total annihilation of their nation.

    Let’s call it “Operation Damocles” and I’ll mail Rummy about it.

  • Nick M

    Matt O’Halloran,

    What is a “Transhumanised Metacontext” and why did you capitalise it?

    Is it somesort of browser plug-in. And where can I get one?

    More generally, why harp on about genetics on a thread to do with Iran and nukes, Physics is the relevant branch of science here.

    And you can stick that in your ThM and smoke it.

  • Regime change was achieved in Japan in ’45 by bombing

    Followed by occupation and the administration of Japan as an American protectorate until 1952.

    EG

  • Nick M

    EG,
    Yeah, but they behaved after 1945. They knew they were well beaten. Not like or great pals in Iraq or the ‘stan.

  • What the hell, Nuke the place?
    Cooking the books a little bit people, how about just ordinary plain air strikes on strategic targets.
    And I would state with some serious emotion, that the USA is a dieing Civilization, and depending on her in the future is indeed a fanciful idea: It will not be long before Liberalisms hold will force the total disintegration, unfortunately for the rest of Western civilizations, we follow as the foe become overwhelming.
    I suspect it will be a futuristic war between Islam and China.

  • Nick M

    Dr Evil,

    Huh? Me no comprendez.

  • Yeah, but they behaved after 1945. They knew they were well beaten

    The presence of tens of thousands of American occupation troops on the ground and the subjection of the Japanese government to the authority of an American military administration might have had something to do with this.

    The same thing would have happened (eventually) had nuclear weapons not been available and the conventional invasion of Japan gone ahead as planned. The body count would have been very much higher, though. Nuclear weapons were used not to “shock and awe” the Japanese, but in an attempt to end the war without having to kill millions more people.

    If you still don’t get it, consider the first Gulf War in 1991. Iraq’s military structure was smashed and its offensive capability essentially eliminated. Did this make them behave?

    EG

  • Nick M

    Saddam portrayed his defeat as a victory, of sorts. You have to beat them morally. The 100hrs of the ground war didn’t inflict enough carnage on the Iraqi civilians for his lie to be completely found out. You have to deliver a really big shock and nukes give you bang for buck.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    China will bluster loudly and ineffectively, condemning the US, Israel, and the West… but it will back Israel quietly and do nothing of consequence. A islamic state with nukes, though a potential short term ally against the US, is also a guaranteed enemy in the long term with the Uighur rebels.

    TWG

  • The Wobbly Guy

    BTW, nice to see folks who play(or played) Civ and Alpha Centauri. In my estimation, AC was actually the better game, and the tech advances were mind boggling, and in many cases as said, numbingly amoral and immoral.

  • Nick M

    Wobbly Guy,
    Can’t wait till I can junk this keyboard and plug into a Mind Machine Interface. And I’m sure as hell a Plasma Shard would put a swift end to the Iranian’s nuke facilities.

  • I have not seen anything yet, and perhaps deliberate, Saudi Arabia has already built nuclear facilities!
    But are importing the scientific technology under cover from Pakistan, (German Intelligence ) Why does it seem that information is not as free run on some subjects when it comes to Geographic positioning. The Chosen Ones “Saudi”
    Any Islamic country, especially Middle Eastern with Nuclear weapons is a death warrant; they relish the thought of being immersed with Virgins and Idolize death. Mutual destruction is not high on their list of priorities.
    Strategic targeting would be in the Holy grounds of you know where, and it ought be known , that if any Moslem scumbag puts one foot out side the playing field, then it is that Moslem cities that will have bigger holes in it , with servings of mushroom . Medina and Mecca, with a few more on the Scheduled co-ordinates.
    That is where the problem originated from, so end it, and Islamic Occupation so the rest of the world can get on with it.

  • The 100hrs of the ground war didn’t inflict enough carnage on the Iraqi civilians for his lie to be completely found out. You have to deliver a really big shock and nukes give you bang for buck

    Thank God you never decided to be a soldier or a politician.

    EG

  • rosignol

    Provided Iran doesn’t actually use, or permit anyone else to use the nuclear weapons they are likely to develop, it shouldn’t lose from this position.

    …what you (and possibly the Iranians) don’t seem to be taking into account is that groups of Iranians have been getting together and chanting “Death to America” for around a quarter-century now, and Americans know this. Convincing the American electorate that allowing such people to possess nuclear weapons is intolerable will be very, very simple.

    America also knows that there is no support from its erstwhile allies for conflict with Iran, so what does it have left – rhetoric, threat, and bluster.

    Have you already forgotten what happened to the last guy who decided that all Bush had was “rhetoric, threat, and bluster”?

  • Nick M

    EG,

    I never wanted to be a soldier. I didn’t have the eye-sight for the airforce though… Woulda liked that.

    Death From Above!

    Look Euan, wars have to be fought to a decision. Otherwise things fester and you end up having to fight the same bloody people all over again. Surely we’ve all learned that from WWI and WWII, from the ongoing chaos in the Gulf…

  • what you (and possibly the Iranians) don’t seem to be taking into account is that groups of Iranians have been getting together and chanting “Death to America” for around a quarter-century now

    Are you perhaps overlooking the fact that such demonstrations are hardly spontaneous these days, by all accounts don’t attract popular support and are in fact largely made up of elements recruited by the Revolutionary Guards? Revolutions don’t last for ever. Pretty quickly, the ideological fire goes, and whilst it remains in rhetoric the practice is often rather different.

    However, you’ve got to hand it to the Iranians – their propaganda is so successful that several commenters here have clearly fallen for it hook, line and sinker. See beyond the rhetoric, please.

    Have you already forgotten what happened to the last guy who decided that all Bush had was “rhetoric, threat, and bluster”?

    That was before he squandered any good will he may have had by launching a war on the basis of what was, in the most charitable interpretation, a misunderstanding of speculative analysis. Or less charitably, a plain lie.

    There is a strategic case for containing Iran, but I think America blew it in Iraq.

    EG

  • permanentexpat

    History teacher EG: Am I wrong in stating that America went to war in Iraq based on the available intelligence supplied by most western agencies?
    That it was faulty is tragic. Full marks to Saddam for mind-boggling deception. Rightly or not, the precepts of Sun-Tzu had to be followed in order to come to the truth, however disappointing it may have been.

  • Am I wrong in stating that America went to war in Iraq based on the available intelligence supplied by most western agencies?

    Yes.

    That it was faulty is tragic

    It wasn’t faulty intelligence. It was highly speculative, was without sound basis in fact, was described by these same agencies as no more than theoretical possiblity, was suitably massaged and finessed to present something utterly different as the conclusion, and in the end turned out to be completely wrong. And they knew it.

    They went to war on a lie, and it was planned long before. They sought war for reasons of strategic interest, and lacked only a pretext – but with a little massaging of vague speculative theory, they found one.

    Why is it that people around here who assume governments are oppressive, corrupt and grasping incompetents suddenly believe and trust them implicitly and support them to the hilt and beyond when those same governments decided to start kicking foreign butt?

    EG

  • lucklucky

    From your BBC…

    Sunday, 25 February, 2001, 12:40 GMT
    Iraq ‘could build N-bomb’
    Weapons inspectors leave Baghdad
    UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in 1998
    Iraq could produce nuclear weapons within three years, according to a German intelligence assessment.

    The report also says the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has evidence that Baghdad is working to develop its short-range rockets.

    Germany believes Saddam Hussein is restoring Iraq’s weapons capabilities
    The BND also believes Iraq still possesses the capacity to resume the production of biological weapons at short notice.

    Details of the information contained in the report was published in various German newspapers following a briefing to journalists by BND officials.

    “It is clear that we have suspicions about Iraq,” a BND official told Reuters news agency.

    Ceasefire agreement

    The intellegence agency believes that Iraq has resumed efforts to build chemical and biological weapons since UN inspectors left the country in 1998.

    But it says that Baghdad currently possesses only 10-20% of the conventional weapons it had during the Gulf War.

    Under the ceasefire agreement which ended the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq was obliged to end its chemical and biological weapons capacity.

    The United Nations team appointed to monitor Baghdad’s compliance with the agreement left Iraq in 1998 after the government ceased co-operation with the weapons inspectors.

    The BND says it has evidence to suggest the following:

    * Iraq has resumed its nuclear programme and may be capable of producing an atomic bomb in three years. Work has been observed at the Al Qaim site, believed to be the centre of Baghdad’s nuclear programme.
    * Iraq is currently developing its Al Samoud and Ababil 100/Al Fatah short-range rockets, which can deliver a 300kg payload 150km (95 miles). Medium-range rockets capable of carrying a warhead 3,000km (1,900 miles) could be built by 2005 – far enough to reach Europe.
    * Iraq is also believed to be capable of manufacturing solid rocket fuel.
    * A Delhi-based company, blacklisted by the German Government because of its alleged role in weapons proliferation, has acted as a buyer on Iraq’s behalf. Deliveries have been made via Malaysia and Dubai.
    * Since the UN inspectors left, the number of Iraqi sites involved in chemicals production has increased from 20 to 80. Of that total, the BND believes a quarter to be involved in making weapons.
    * Widespread procurement activity has been observed abroad and production of biological weapons could be resumed at short notice. It is possible that production may already have begun.

    There has been no response to the report from Iraq.

    But US Secretary of State Colin Powell referred to it during his tour of the Mid-east.

    He told a news conference in Jerusalem that it underlined the need to contain Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

    “We have to make sure he is denied the opportunity to continue moving in this direction,” Mr Powell said.

  • rosignol

    Why is it that people around here who assume governments are oppressive, corrupt and grasping incompetents suddenly believe and trust them implicitly and support them to the hilt and beyond when those same governments decided to start kicking foreign butt?

    Possibly because I expect a government I think is largely composed of ‘grasping incompetents’ to screw up.

    If it had been a planned deception, you can be damn sure WMDs would have been found- if you’re basing a casus belli on something you know isn’t true, you damn well make sure nobody figures it out, and you do it by producing evidence supporting the claim.

  • Nick M

    EG,
    It was tragic. Saddam’s military was mashed in ’91. His neighbours wanted to hang him by his knackers from a lamp post and he needed to keep up a pretense that he had something really nasty up his sleeve (apart from a used hanky). He pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes on that. Cunning bugger, Saddam.

    I suspect one of the reasons there is still such debate on invading Iraq is probably because there was no single reason. Different people in the Bush Admin probably saw different reasons for doing it. I think that lack of clarity of purpose tallies with the fact that they clearly weren’t sure what the hell to do with the country once they’d taken it.

  • If it had been a planned deception, you can be damn sure WMDs would have been found- if you’re basing a casus belli on something you know isn’t true, you damn well make sure nobody figures it out, and you do it by producing evidence supporting the claim

    So, if the intelligence is true and they find the weapons, you’re faith in the incompetents is justified because they were right (but they cannot be right about anything else). But if the intelligence is wrong and they find nothing, your faith in them is justified because they acted responsibly on the available data (but that doesn’t justify them acting responsibly about anything else). On the other hand, if it’s all a lie from the start and planned so, they’ll plant evidence to justify their actions and once more your faith is justified because you won’t know it’s fake (but everything else they do is wrong and easily exposed).

    Basically, all you’re saying is that you don’t trust the government at home, but it gets a free pass when it starts kicking Johnny Foreigner about a bit. Unimpressive.

    EG

  • Different people in the Bush Admin probably saw different reasons for doing it. I think that lack of clarity of purpose tallies with the fact that they clearly weren’t sure what the hell to do with the country once they’d taken it.

    Wrong. There’s no controversy about that at all.

    The invasion was a lot easier than expected, and the armies’ own momentum ran ahead of the political process. Once it was clear that Iraq was defeated, the casus belli was removed and any attempt to continue and essentially occupy the country would have broken the coalition. This was made perfectly clear at the time.

    EG

  • We need some kind of corollary to Godwin’s law, to the effect that any online discussion about the Middle East will inevitably degenerate into an argument about whether Bush Lied People Died!!

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Alcoholiday, Matt O’Halloran has been banned from this site and he is probably posting from a different IP address. How rude and boorish can one get? He sneers at our invocation of private property rights to protect this site from trolls. Interesting isn’t it how racists are as hostile to private property rights as any communist, but then racism is just another version of collectivism, arguably the oldest kind. These folk would spray grafitti on your house.

    Perhaps we should learn the lesson of this time in the Christian calender to rise above the taunts of such lowlifes and take pity on him. He’s probably not quite right in the head.

  • Nick M

    If he isn’t quite right in the head, I’m sure has an explanation in terms of “the current state of genetic science”.

  • I can’t find it now, but Gen. Wm. T. Sherman – a man with no illusions – said that the Civil War could not be brought to an end until the 50,000 to 100,000 most fanatical Southerners had been killed. That’s what happened in Germany and Japan; our failure to do it in Iraq has contributed to the mess.

    If Iran were to use the bomb, I don’t see this problem recurring, to say the least.

  • That’s what happened in Germany and Japan; our failure to do it in Iraq has contributed to the mess

    How the hell can you possibly justify saying that America has failed in Iraq because it hasn’t killed enough Iraqis?

    EG

  • “…what you (and possibly the Iranians) don’t seem to be taking into account is that groups of Iranians have been getting together and chanting “Death to America” for around a quarter-century…”

    This is a mighty interesting statement:
    There have also been a large number of Academics-Politicians- Migrants etc. or Marxism subscribers that share this very same view, however, liberalism ( Marxism) will not suggest that they should nuke them selves out of existence:
    It would be poignant to note using that scale of retaliation and the rhetoric used by Middle Easterners, then equal force is adequate to end the enemies within the USA- (or the West) Communism of the Intellectuals and their friends.

    The Internal enemies pose a more serious threat -at the moment than external threats?

  • Nick M

    EG,

    Reductio ad absurdum:

    Kill all Iraqis,
    None left,
    No insurgents,
    No problem.

    Ever seen the Untouchables? Sean Connery says to Costner, “If he sends one of yours to hospital, you send one of his to the morgue”.

    I think that’s the point. You have to totally outclass them in slaughter to win. Especially in countries where life is cheap. It’s a simple calculus.

    It’s frequently occurred to him that upping the brutality, especially against “civilians” could help engender the terror the US needs to win.

    Most of the middle-east already believes the most lurid tales about US soldiers bayoneting babies etc. So there’s no PR harm in upping the horror if that’s what they think is going on anyway.

    Almost all colonial-era insurrections that were put down, were put done with short spells of utter brutality. It’s better in the long run. Nail Moqtada al Sadr’s dick to a see-saw and bounce on the other end with a cmcorder, mail tape to Al-Jazeera. See if other radical clerics pipe-down a bit, repeat until satisfaction is obtained.

  • Winzeler

    Why is it that people around here who assume governments are oppressive, corrupt and grasping incompetents suddenly believe and trust them implicitly and support them to the hilt and beyond when those same governments decided to start kicking foreign butt?

    And why is it that people who trust governments implicitly and support them to the hilt and beyond suddenly believe they are corrupt and grasping incompetents when those same governments decide to start kicking foreign butt?

    For what it’s worth. I’m passively anti-war. In that, part of having a freedom-loving mindset is that I don’t feel compelled to force (get it -“force”) freedom on anyone, and the only benefit I can see from the war is that a people who don’t seem to care too much about freedom are now given the chance to abuse it.

    If Iran gets the technology soon (seems inevitable), I kind of hope they use it. (Though I agree that it’s unlikely anything really drastic will happen too soon.) The western world could use a bit of a shake down. Most of us have grown spineless and lacking in any deep convinctions, the type we’d die for. Maybe I’m just a rambling numbskull who should be quiet.

  • John R – I stand corrected.

    The bigger issue might well be Iran’s plans to create a Euro-denominated oil market. Didn’t Saddam muse on that just before…

  • EG, please read my comment again. The Fedayeen Saddam and most of his intelligence services (really state terror agencies) survived the short war to make trouble afterwards. I’m not talking about random mass murder. I’m talking about the hard core who will never be reconciled, many of whom could face death from the families of their victims.

  • Nilsson: you obviously do not grasp the concept of ‘private property’. This blog is private property. You no more have a ‘right’ to express yourself here than I have in your house. Anything you write here is at our sufference. If you invite me into your house and I piss people off, you are not ‘censoring’ me if you then throw me out, you are just exersing your rights over your own property.

  • Alex

    Hi Guys

    i seemed to have caused quite a reaction before so please let me reply to some of your comments

    Alex…How can anyone take your thoughts seriously when you don’t have the mental equipment to spell your own language correctly

    Dear Verity, im sorry i am dyslexic however what is your excuse for this:

    Iran has been acting extraterrorially for 30 years

    any way back to the debate, let me try putting this another way, what if the US was surrounded by necluer powers but wasn’t one herself, wouldn’t her populace think it was their right to posses them?

    I must have missed that. I seem to recall the US deferring entirely to an EU led diplomatic effort. Do please let us in on the nuclear threats made by the US against Iran.

    ok, lets do some history, the US first became intrested in Irainian internal affairs around the 1950s, in this decade the CIA sponsered a coup to otherthrow a democratically elected govt. they then supported said violent puppet regime even when it was obvious that it would fall. After the supporting of the murderous regime they then impossed an imbargo which i think lasts untill this very day. If the US had tried anything like that in my country i to wouldn’t be that trusting of the worlds Hyper power would you?

    Those would be Iranians chased out by the mullahs, no? Why should they be any indicator at all of what the mullahs will do

    no actually they were all economic migrants, due to the poor state of the iranian economy (see above)

    also verity, i think the massive radicalised pakisatni army could easily take over its self, with out any help from the outside.

    The thing is guys EM really has a point when he said

    Why is it that people around here who assume governments are oppressive, corrupt and grasping incompetents suddenly believe and trust them implicitly and support them to the hilt and beyond when those same governments decided to start kicking foreign butt?

    As for Japan, they used the weapon to end the war yes, but mainly to say to the ussr, don’t think your having any influence in japan post war oh and by the way were the daddies now.

    this of course wasn’t so sussesful as the next 40 years were dominated by MAD.

    i await your replies.

  • Good afternoon. The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
    I am from Suriname and learning to read in English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “Paper airline tickets finished – airlines to go all electronic june st.”

    With love :o, Sandi.