Israel to World: "Suck It."

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saw nuseibbeh speak once and was completely transported by his groundedness and good sense, walked away thinking "why don't they just put this dude in charge of the middle east and everything will be fine" but apparently that is not possible

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 30 April 2012 01:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_05/behind_the_political_shift_in037185.php

So all in all, there may be less in the political shift than immediately meets the eye.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 18:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/the-axis/the-most-important-report-on-nuclear-iran-you-are-likely-to-read.premium-1.429774

Here is a short summary of the document. I hope I do it justice:

- Anyone who believes that Iran is not yet actively pursuing a nuclear-weapons program and merely developing the capabilities is committing an act of willful delusion. The intelligence supplied to the IAEA and verified by different "member countries," is clear on that Iran has been working on a wide range of projects for over a decade, all of which are specifically aimed at acquiring the capabilities necessary not only to enrich uranium to weapons-grade, but to assemble a nuclear advice that can be launched by long-range missile. Talk of a fatwa against nuclear weapons is just that: talk.

- Despite sanctions and international monitoring, Iran has received highly specialized instruments and equipment, benefited from the knowledge of foreign nuclear weapons designers and made impressive advance in its own scientific centers, so as to be able to carry out most of the necessary testing for a nuclear device, without actually creating a nuclear detonation. There has also been preparation for an actual nuclear test.

- The P5+1 talks will be useless if they continue to focus only on an Iranian commitment to curtail uranium enrichment for two main reasons. First, Iran is simultaneously advancing on multiple fronts of nuclear development and can continue even if it delays enrichment. Second, advances in centrifuge technology by Iran mean that it could well be capable of building a new network of smaller, easily dispersed enrichment installations unknown and unmonitored by the IAEA.

- A military strike on Iran, whether by the U.S, Israel or anyone else, may take out some of the key installations but the technological advances already achieved by Iran, mean that the damage will be limited and not prevent the continuation of the nuclear program. Only a willingness by whatever country attacks Iran to carry out a series of follow-on attacks can seriously endanger the nuclear weapons project.

- Iran will be extremely reluctant to abandon its nuclear program as it is a key element to the regime's entire regional strategy. In order to offset Iran's inferiority in conventional weapons when compared to other regional powers, it sees the nuclear option as its only way of fully countering that imbalance of force. Any future dealings with Iran or military strikes must take that into consideration.

Mordy, Monday, 14 May 2012 19:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

welcome to the nuclear club you crazy kids

goole, Monday, 14 May 2012 19:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

a series of follow-on attacks

An easy thing to do as well I'm sure.

curmudgeon, Monday, 14 May 2012 19:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

well put but seems to ignore the israeli tactic of killing nuclear scientists and other acts of sabotage. people are probably harder to replace than equipment.

also i know everyone's got their tits up about nuclear iran giving shit to terrorists but isn't pakistan nuclear too? surprised nobody's shitting pants abt that

the late great, Monday, 14 May 2012 19:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

everyone is always shitting their pants about pakistan

Mordy, Monday, 14 May 2012 19:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

i kind of am

only so many pant tho, if you get me

xp ha

goole, Monday, 14 May 2012 19:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

true but i haven't heard about pakistani WMD security, fingers crossed its not the ISI's job and/or they realize that would not be wise

the late great, Monday, 14 May 2012 20:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

honestly, i think pakistani WMD security and concerns about what would happen to said WMDs in light of a governmental crisis have been circulating for a long time

Mordy, Monday, 14 May 2012 20:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

stratfor link or it didn't happen

the late great, Monday, 14 May 2012 20:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

re:Pakistan - you guys have already forgotten about AQ Khan eh

Roger Barfing (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 14 May 2012 20:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

nah but he was supplying to nations not suicide bombers

the late great, Monday, 14 May 2012 20:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

ha there's a semantic argument to be had there, but i get you

goole, Monday, 14 May 2012 20:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
2 months pass...

fuuck

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/09/intelligence-committee-chair-describes-explosive-confrontation-between-netanyahu-and-american-ambassador/262056/

maybe we'll be so busy being entertained by election season that we won't notice when the world ends

Mordy, Thursday, 6 September 2012 19:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

Plus there's this related item:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/world/middleeast/netanyahu-cancels-security-meeting-after-leak.html

curmudgeon, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

Atlantic piece reads like Israelis pissed the US won't give them blanket permission to bomb Iran. Puts Obama in a no-win situation. Don't give them the OK, and Iran likely finishes its work. Give them the OK, and Iran gets bombed, and surely something goes wrong, and surely a regional war is in the cards, too. Do nothing and possibly all three things might happen: Iran finishes work, Israel bombs it, and there's a war.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

my guess is the Obama administration would be totally fine with Israel doing a preemptive strike against Iran as long as they could plausibly deny US approval of it

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

this is a republican congressman talking 2 months before an election btw

max, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

is there really any doubt there's going to be a war over this at some point?

the only scenario I can envision in which there isn't a war is if the Iranian regime totally collapses, which is not really likely.

also max OTM I don't really give a shit about what got leaked from some meeting between the US and Israel, this is all "optics" (a term I hate)

xp

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

when was the last time two non-contiguous, non-US countries went to war over anything?

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm highly dubious of anything leaked or released about the Iranian nuclear program this close to a major election. I wonder, though, exactly who would go to war if Israel bombed Iran. Most of the countries in the region just not up to it at the moment: Iraq, Syria, Libya ... I'm not even sure how Iran would go about retaliating.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

Atlantic piece reads like Israelis pissed the US won't give them blanket permission to bomb Iran.

As far as I understand things (and I'll admit my knowledge on this is imperfect - I don't have inside information) Israel isn't looking for permission from the US to attack Iran. If Israel does attack Iran, US will likely support them w/ fuel + ammo reserves in Negev. Obama does not want Israel to airstrike Iran (for the many obvious reasons), but the only way he can keep Israel from doing that is by a) convincing Bibi that sanctions + international pressure will work to stop the nuclear program and b) that if they do not, America will step in at the final hour (American zone of immunity is longer than Israeli zone of immunity re taking out nuclear facilities). (A) seems less likely every day, Iran is going full steam ahead w/ program acc to most recent IAEA reports. Only chance that (A) still works is with more time, but zone of immunity closing for Israel. So if you believe Iran can't still be stopped from getting nuclear weapons through diplomatic means, you need to promise Israel that you'll step in even after their zone of immunity has closed (ie: while US is still able to drop bunker busters or whatever magic war technology means that they can take out program). This whole thing rests on Obama convincing Bibi that after X occurs, he will attack. This seems to indicate that Obama has been wavering over what X is. If that is true, and Bibi loses confidence that X even exists, he will want to launch the strike as soon as possible lest he lose the chance to strike at all.

Mordy, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

Basically, the tension is over whether the US will attack Iran before they develop nukes. Not whether US will condone Israel doing so.

Mordy, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

I wonder, though, exactly who would go to war if Israel bombed Iran. Most of the countries in the region just not up to it at the moment: Iraq, Syria, Libya ... I'm not even sure how Iran would go about retaliating.

Major question, I think, is what Arab participation in war would be. If Israel could get Saudi Arabia to participate it would be a totally different ballgame (and a serious realignment of politics in Middle East). Obv concern for SA is that if they join Israel in attacking Iran, that might be the end of their government in SA. Oops.

Arab countries broadly support ending Iranian nuclear program tho and most would probably not get involved at all. Certainly not in any overt fashion.

Mordy, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm not even sure how Iran would go about retaliating.

^^^yeah this, hence my question about the last time a war like this happened. what, are they just gonna lob missiles at each other? Iraq and Syria are in the middle and both of those countries are handling their own internal disasters, and neither Iran nor Israel is seriously gonna mobilize troops across any of the countries in between (or through the Suez Canal for that matter). neither country can invade the other, so would this just be an aerial war? if so I can't imagine that Israel, with the US's backing, wouldn't summarily crush Iran's air force. I suppose Israel could just nuke Qom or something and be like "What? You gonna do something about it?"

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

The other big question is whether Israel can actually shut down the program thru an airstrike. Worst case scenario - you don't want to deploy your airforce, expend all that fuel, ammo, bodies, etc, fly home and the job isn't done.

Mordy, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

Sunni monarchies not super fond of Iranian nukes. Would likely vocally condemn and privately shrug. Iraq would be further destabilized. Syria is a shitshow and will be for tff. Libya probably rankled and divided but unlikely to do much. Egypt is the scariest unknown here. Iran would retaliate primarily via Hezbollah, methinks.

Adesso vorrei assistere alle esequie vichinghe (Michael White), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

I don't think the US will bomb Iran. I'm not even sure that would be a better option than Israel doing it, and it could end up being worse. We're just not in a postion to bomb anyone these days, and the fact that we held back so much during all the Arab spring stuff pretty much underscores that we've benched ourself barring extreme circumstances.

Is the "red line" referred to in the piece basically the proverbial line in the sand?

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

Iranian nukes means Assad stays in power.

Mordy, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hezbollah proxy war a good call, but I'm not sure how effective that would be. Could spark another Intifada, but so could anything.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

I don't think Iran loves Assad so much it would wiggle nukes at folks to make them leave him alone.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

The biggest concern for non Middle-Easterners is what the Iranians would do in the Persian Gulf and the last time I looked the locals are woefully underarmed with minesweepers. 5th Fleet would bear brunt of defense of an open Gulf.

Adesso vorrei assistere alle esequie vichinghe (Michael White), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

US isn't gonna bomb Iran come on now

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm not sure. I don't think they will now, but I think they could. I certainly think they need to convince Iran and they might (whether or not that's true).

Mordy, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

Like, when we're talking about depleted US military, we're still talking about the biggest, most expensive, most technologically advanced military in the world. It wouldn't be a great thing to bomb Iran, but it's not outside the realm of possibility.

Mordy, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

setting a "red line" for military action really worked in the region before eh

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

they need to convince Iran that* they might

Mordy, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean how many of these goddamn countries are we gonna try to invade anyway, so far we've chalked up two failures with nothing to show for it but a lot of collateral damage and squandered resources

Iran knows all this

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

Things I think I know for sure:

1. Iran is going to make a play for nuclear weapons.

2. Bibi is going to intervene before that happens.

Only chance that (2) doesn't look like an Israeli airstrike on Iran is because Bibi believes Obama when he says he'll attack before that happens. Do you believe we know something about US willingness to bomb Iran that Bibi doesn't?

Mordy, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

Think convincing Iran is not out of the question. Iran might have issues, but it's not some psycho despotic regime. Not exactly. Often unreasonable, but mostly talks a big game. It's no hermit kingdom.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

Iranian nukes means Assad stays in power.

Meh. They might mean the civil war doesn't end and the country gets partitioned but there's no way he 'stays in power'. I predict someone's going to have to off him at some point, prolly someone in his own camp. You can fight to the death but at some point Syria or Alawia or whatever have to eat and want to make a pound or two.

Adesso vorrei assistere alle esequie vichinghe (Michael White), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

but it's not some psycho despotic regime

I dunno they look pretty psycho to me. I can't really figure out what they think they'll gain from their nuclear program, the entire reasoning behind it is specious ("we need it to make sure no one fucks with us!" except by pursuing the program you are GUARANTEEING that people will fuck with you! so uh)

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

Iran might be fundamentalist but there's a rationality there born of many, many years of playing the game.

Adesso vorrei assistere alle esequie vichinghe (Michael White), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

Assad's leaving in a bodybag, this is a foregone conclusion.

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm pretty sure after last IAEA report that Iran is making a play for nukes. They are really out of plausible deniability about their program. If diplomacy + sanctions can still make a difference - which are the ones the world haven't used yet?

Mordy, Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

I dunno they look pretty psycho to me. I can't really figure out what they think they'll gain from their nuclear program, the entire reasoning behind it is specious ("we need it to make sure no one fucks with us!" except by pursuing the program you are GUARANTEEING that people will fuck with you! so uh)

― stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, September 6, 2012 4:48 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

TBF, doesn't that almost exactly describe the Cheney Doctrine?

look at this quarterstaff (Hurting 2), Thursday, 6 September 2012 20:51 (2 years ago) Permalink


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