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Author Topic: Iran
Too Cool To Quit
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Icon 1 posted April 18, 2006 08:57      Profile for Too Cool To Quit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ooby:
Reza Aslan, author of No God But God has speculated that Iran is years from developing any kind of threatening nuclear technology.

He could be lion too.

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Alright now, that's the last straw, I'm calling the ass taxidermist to tell him to stop making hats in your size RIGHT NOW.

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted April 18, 2006 09:08      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Too Cool To Quit:
quote:
Originally posted by ooby:
Reza Aslan, author of No God But God has speculated that Iran is years from developing any kind of threatening nuclear technology.

He could be lion too.
Clever pun, TCTQ...not only is there the Narnia reference, but aslan is Turkish for "lion" (which is where C.S. Lewis got the name in the first place).

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted April 18, 2006 12:01      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Erbo:
The Europeans are too busy kissing Muslim ass to do anything about Iran

...just like we were too busy kissing Communist ass to do anything about Vietnam?

The fact that the whole world has escaped being taken over by the Red Menace cannot really be attributed to that, or any other, American intervention into the affairs of a communist country. Therefore, by extension, do we really need America to take it upon itself to protect the world from Islam?

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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ASM65816
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Icon 2 posted April 18, 2006 15:51      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
April 18, 2006 12:01
...just like we were too busy kissing Communist ass to do anything about Vietnam?
The fact that the whole world has escaped being taken over by the Red Menace....

[Confused] Europe is to Islam, as US is to Vietnam? Uh? ... ok....

Uh, I guess this just goes to show: just because something looks bad, that doesn't mean you should do anything about it. After all, "the whole world will escape" bad consequences somehow.

For example, someone kills 6 million Jews (and others) ... why should anyone interfere with that? The regime of Joseph Stalin leaves 13 million dead ... at least he didn't start a war. Khmer Rouge kills 1.7 million ... let them work through their conflicts. Massacres in Rwanda with a death toll of 800,000? Disappointing underachievers, but watching blood and corpses fill the streets was the smart thing to do.

At this point it becomes clear that Communist governments, and others, have set higher standards for what it means to serve the greater good of the world.

Now, the US has to ask itself: Why aren't we as good as Stalin or Rwanda? Did you know that executing a million really old people in the US could save nearly a billion dollars in Medicare and related expenses from the elderly? For as little as $0.10 a bullet, the AIDS problem could eliminated. Numerous birth defects could be removed from the gene pool with a deep trench and a bulldozer.

The US may not be as good as those other countries, but right now, let's have a big round of applause for "not protecting the other people of the world."

  [Applause]   [Applause]   [Applause]   [Applause]

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted April 18, 2006 16:39      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ASM: That was sort of an incoherent rant.

The real point is that before deciding on any action (or inaction) you should think through a lot of different scenarios and outcomes. Polititicians have proved repeatedly that the laws they enact to cause one effect often have significant unexpected side-effects. Things generally reach an equalibrium by themselves. It's when you add outside influence that change happens.

It's all much saner when you stop thinking of right vs. wrong, and think about what your goals are, why those are your goals, how much your plan to achieve them will cost, and what are your downside risks. You can't talk about the potential of Iran being a threat to anyone without thinking about what your nation's long term goals are and if Iran matters. If they waste money on developing nuclear weapons, that is less to spend on funding low-level terrorists. If they succeed, it's not like they can use them without massive retaliation. If they don't, they will have pissed away a lot of funds. I haven't found a downside yet.

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Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted April 18, 2006 20:10      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by quantumfluff:
ASM: That was sort of an incoherent rant.

The real point is that before deciding on any action (or inaction) you should think through a lot of different scenarios and outcomes. Polititicians have proved repeatedly that the laws they enact to cause one effect often have significant unexpected side-effects. Things generally reach an equalibrium by themselves. It's when you add outside influence that change happens.

It's all much saner when you stop thinking of right vs. wrong, and think about what your goals are, why those are your goals, how much your plan to achieve them will cost, and what are your downside risks. You can't talk about the potential of Iran being a threat to anyone without thinking about what your nation's long term goals are and if Iran matters. If they waste money on developing nuclear weapons, that is less to spend on funding low-level terrorists. If they succeed, it's not like they can use them without massive retaliation. If they don't, they will have pissed away a lot of funds. I haven't found a downside yet.

I'm not sure that they care about retaliation, though: they seem to have a "we'll develop nukes and you can't do a thing!" attitude. Maybe their leader really does think that the other nations of the world are too weak to retaliate.

The problem is that we're assuming that Iran is going to follow the MAD doctrine. That worked during the 20th century, but I don't think we can safely rely on that paradigm anymore.

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted April 18, 2006 22:27      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:

Uh, I guess this just goes to show: just because something looks bad, that doesn't mean you should do anything about it.

Of course there is plenty of justification for taking a stand in a desperate situation, but that is very different from invading any country which shows signs of, at some point in the future, doing the same things that your own country is proud to have done already.

And if you insist on sorting out other countries "for the protection of the world", it might be nice if you got it right once in a while. [Wink]

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 02:06      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So, why do Americans have the right to have nuclear weapons, and not the Iranians?

<sarcasm>
Because are government isn't run by religious fanatics?

Because we wouldn't use them against our enemys?

Because we don't want to rule the world?
</sarcasm>

Why do we not care that Isreal, france, Pakistan, Inia have WMD, and care that Iran does? Ok maybe we care that Pakistan has WMD, but we are still buddying up to them.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 02:20      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Metasquares:
The problem is that we're assuming that Iran is going to follow the MAD doctrine.

Has it occured to you that the Iranian governments thinking might be something like this...

Observation: Iraq had no nukes, and got invaded.
Observation: North Korea has nukes, and didn't get invaded.
Conclusion: Possession of nukes makes you less likely to be invaded.

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 02:26      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by Metasquares:
The problem is that we're assuming that Iran is going to follow the MAD doctrine.

Has it occured to you that the Iranian governments thinking might be something like this...

Observation: Iraq had no nukes, and got invaded.
Observation: North Korea has nukes, and didn't get invaded.
Conclusion: Possession of nukes makes you less likely to be invaded.

A very insightful comment Druid. I would like to add one thing though.

quote:
from Wikipedia's article on the Korean Peoples Army

The North has an estimated 1.08 million armed personnel



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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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schnurren
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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 05:07      Profile for schnurren     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I also find it hypocritical of the US Government to disallow other nations from having nuclear weapons when we oursleves have them, and have used them.

The American Government's attitude seems to be that of a chosen nation, meant to defend itself and keep itself powerful at all costs. I think that this is a ridiculous and dangerous mentality.

And besides that, we made mistakes in Iraq, shouldn't we hang our tails between our legs and have a time out and think about what went wrong and why? Perhaps rushing to war based on the threat of potential WMD is not a sound policy?

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 05:21      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
Why do we not care that Isreal, france, Pakistan, Inia have WMD, and care that Iran does? Ok maybe we care that Pakistan has WMD, but we are still buddying up to them.

While I agree that the United States war mongering government is wrong, and the way they've gone about just about everything since Mr Bush got into office has been wrong, catastrophic, terribly expensive, or an absolute beating on the very outlook on the United States of America to pretty much every other country in the world, I can understand their fear if Iran should successfully develop Nuclear weapons.

It's not the United States Iran would be trying to bomb should they develop them.

The minute Iran develops nuclear weapons, you'll know it, because there'll be a series of mushroom clouds over Israel.

In that light, I still understand if Iran genuinely wants to use nuclear technology for electricity, the issue is how do you get to the happy medium? How do you get it so that they can do that, but can't make weapons?

The answer, I'm afraid, I have no idea.

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ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 07:30      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
April 19, 2006 05:21
If Iran genuinely wants to use nuclear technology for electricity, the issue is how do you get to the happy medium? How do you get it so that they can do that, but can't make weapons?

Russia made the "perfect" offer and Iran refused. Buying Russian "power-plant-grade" uranium would have saved Iran billions of dollars building enrichment facilities, and the uranium would be useless for weapons.

About US and "the Bomb":

* Did the US Nuclear Weapons use start a war?   No.

* Did the US Nuclear Weapons use force more countries to join a war?   No.

* Did the US Nuclear Weapons use prolong a war?   No.

* Have the US Nuclear Weapons been used in warfare during conflicts over the past 60 years?   No.

(Using "nukes" isn't cost effective in economic and political terms. It kind of a last resort thing.)

About Iran and "the Bomb":

Iran openly insists on the "elimination" of another country and its people, and openly recruits, supports, and intensely praises suicide bombers.

(You can bet that Nuclear "suicide bombing" looks good to them because it will kill more than 10 or 20 people at a time. For Iran, "suicide" bombing has been the first choice in warfare.)

quote:
April 18, 2006 22:27
And if you insist on sorting out other countries "for the protection of the world", it might be nice if you got it right once in a while.

Has the UN followed its stated purpose? What has "the UN" done to "protect the world"? (Delivering food and aid doesn't stop bullets and bombs.) The Gulf War in 1991 wasn't an "affirmation of the noble moral values of the UN"; it was to prevent a global, oil related, economic catastrophe, and fought by the countries that need oil (except for China and Russia who need oil but just watched).

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 07:59      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816: and commented on by Ash.

About US and "the Bomb":

* Did the US Nuclear Weapons use start a war?   No.

ASM, These arguments are not valid from the Iranian perspective. From thier perspective Isreal started a war with them.

* Did the US Nuclear Weapons use force more countries to join a war?   No.

--US nuclear weapons forced other countries to develop nuclear weapons. i.e. 1949 USSR.

* Did the US Nuclear Weapons use prolong a war?   No.

--yes, The US testing the H-bomb prolonged and inflamed the cold war.

* Have the US Nuclear Weapons been used in warfare during conflicts over the past 60 years?   No.

--No, but the US does have the distiction of being the only country to ever use nuclear weapons against an enemy. Iranians see thier struggle with Iseal just as valid as our struggle with the Axis.

(Using "nukes" isn't cost effective in economic and political terms. It kind of a last resort thing.)

About Iran and "the Bomb":

Iran openly insists on the "elimination" of another country and its people, and openly recruits, supports, and intensely praises suicide bombers.

--Americans, rightly so, have insisted on the elimination of many countries. The allies agreed on total defeat of the axis powers in the WWII. We insisted on the elimination of Taliban afganistan after 9/11. We also used to say that countries aren't allowed to be communist. We are not so different.

(You can bet that Nuclear "suicide bombing" looks good to them because it will kill more than 10 or 20 people at a time. For Iran, "suicide" bombing has been the first choice in warfare.)

--Simply not true, I don't remember Iran using suicide bombers in thier 11 yar war with Iraq. They didn't use chemical weapons either.




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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 08:53      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Look, in intelligence work, you deal with two major things: capabilities (i.e. "What can my opponent do?") and intentions (i.e. "What does my opponent want to do?"). We can look at the question of nuclear weapons in terms of those two things.

Can the United States attack and destroy large portions of the world? Yes, we have that capability, easily. Why haven't we done so? Because we have no intention of doing so; in general, unless some other country is doing something pretty nasty, we tend to leave them alone. (Yes, you can cite counterexamples from recent history. I'll just point out that, before WWII, there was a very strong isolationist streak in America, and there are indeed many people today who would advocate a return to such.)

Does Iran want to attack and destroy large portions of the world? Yes; they've said as much on several occasions, and, in any event, their primary motivations are rooted in Islam, which has doctrines that are quite clear on this subject. Why haven't they done so? Because they lack the capability. Nukes would give them this capability, and that is a major reason why they must be prevented from having them. There's no "we're better than them" morality involved here; it's a question of having the intentions to use the weapons or not.

(Of course, there are other reasons involved, one major reason being the lesson we've unintentionally taught dictators around the world: if you want to keep yourself from being overrun under any circumstances, get nukes and get them as quickly as possible. I understand that that Commie wacko Hugo Chavez in Venezuela is making noises in this direction now, too...)

EDIT: For further reading, I suggest Mark Steyn's essay "Facing Down Iran: Our Lives Depend On It." Steyn is one of those writers that can cut through the fog as if he were wielding a lightsaber, and I generally recommend almost anything he writes.

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 17:09      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by schnurren:
I also find it hypocritical of the US Government to disallow other nations from having nuclear weapons when we ourselves have them, and have used them.

The U.S. Government assigns weapons to its soldiers, but it's illegal for a private citizen to own many of them. Is it therefore hypocritical? I know it's a poor analogy, but my point is that sometimes distinctions are made about whether an entity is responsible enough to handle certain kinds of weapons.

Is there anyone out there who wouldn't be concerned at the thought of Iran with nuclear weapons? Never mind whether or not you consider the U.S. responsible enough to have them, would you trust Iran with something like that?

quote:
Originally posted by schnurren:
The American Government's attitude seems to be that of a chosen nation, meant to defend itself and keep itself powerful at all costs. I think that this is a ridiculous and dangerous mentality.

Of course the U.S. Government is trying to defend itself and keep itself powerful, but "at all costs" strikes me as a bit of an exaggeration. There are a number of things the U.S. could conceivably do that have not been attempted.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 18:39      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sxeptomaniac:
The U.S. Government assigns weapons to its soldiers, but it's illegal for a private citizen to own many of them. Is it therefore hypocritical? I know it's a poor analogy, but my point is that sometimes distinctions are made about whether an entity is responsible enough to handle certain kinds of weapons.

Uh huh, and it just happens to be the United States who has deemed themselves responsible enough. Talk about impartiality.
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Danimal
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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 19:33      Profile for Danimal     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sxeptomaniac:
The U.S. Government assigns weapons to its soldiers, but it's illegal for a private citizen to own many of them. Is it therefore hypocritical? I know it's a poor analogy, but my point is that sometimes distinctions are made about whether an entity is responsible enough to handle certain kinds of weapons.

I don't know of many places in the US where gun ownership is unlawful. The second amendment of the US Constituion ensures "the right to keep and bear arm."

Are you talking about the types and class of weaponry? If so then I would say that it is consistent with the self preserving interests of the country.


Best,

Danimal

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Danimal
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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 19:45      Profile for Danimal     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
Uh huh, and it just happens to be the United States who has deemed themselves responsible enough. Talk about impartiality.

Does not each country do this in their own way?

If a country does not deem itself responsible enough to do something then who is? God? (No sarcasm intended.)

At some point in time we have to get to the top of the heap, don't we?

Best,

Danimal

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 20:36      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
quote:
Originally posted by Sxeptomaniac:
The U.S. Government assigns weapons to its soldiers, but it's illegal for a private citizen to own many of them. Is it therefore hypocritical? I know it's a poor analogy, but my point is that sometimes distinctions are made about whether an entity is responsible enough to handle certain kinds of weapons.

Uh huh, and it just happens to be the United States who has deemed themselves responsible enough. Talk about impartiality.
I'm not really talking about whether or not the U.S. is responsible enough. I consider that a different matter. Several people in this thread have mentioned that if Iran gets nukes, they probably will use them fairly soon afterwards. I don't see any reason why the U.S. shouldn't use diplomatic means to try to stop them at using nuclear power, if that.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2006 23:06      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sxeptomaniac:
Several people in this thread have mentioned that if Iran gets nukes, they probably will use them fairly soon afterwards. I don't see any reason why the U.S. shouldn't use diplomatic means to try to stop them at using nuclear power, if that.

All well and good...if Iran had any respect for diplomacy as it is commonly understood. However, the Mark Steyn article I linked to gave some good reasons to believe that they don't.

Example: The invasion of the U.S. Embassy and taking of hostages. Under international law as it exists today (and as existed at the time of the takeover), embassies are considered the sovereign territory of the government that maintains them, and the violation thereof is considered an act of war. Iran showed no respect for these conventions.

Example: The fatwa against Salman Rushdie. The de facto head of state of Iran (Ayatollah Khomeini) claimed jurisdiction over the national of a foreign state (the UK), passed sentence on him without benefit of trial, and conscripted (Muslim) citizens of other countries to carry out his sentence. Again, complete disregard for principles of law, and an unwarranted claim of extraterritoriality. And let me remind you that this sentence has yet to be lifted.

Doesn't sound like "diplomacy" will do much good, will it? In fact, as Steyn wrote, "to enter into negotiations with a jurisdiction headed by a Holocaust-denying millenarian nut job is, in itself, an act of profound weakness--the first concession, regardless of what weaselly settlement might eventually emerge."

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schnurren
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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2006 04:22      Profile for schnurren     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But regardless of whether or not we expect them to respond to diplomacy, we must try it before we resort to force.

We could do something like, aid them in getting nuclear power plants set up, in exchange for having open access to all their nuclear information. Myabe even give them funding for the nuclear power project. If they truely want nuclear power, this might be acceptable. It would certailny be cheaper for us than a military action.

Not to mention, our military is a bit tied up right now. How would we effectively take on Iran, if we were to do so, in our curent situation?

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Danimal
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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2006 10:45      Profile for Danimal     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by schnurren:
But regardless of whether or not we expect them to respond to diplomacy, we must try it before we resort to force.

We could do something like, aid them in getting nuclear power plants set up, in exchange for having open access to all their nuclear information. Myabe even give them funding for the nuclear power project. If they truely want nuclear power, this might be acceptable. It would certailny be cheaper for us than a military action.

Not to mention, our military is a bit tied up right now. How would we effectively take on Iran, if we were to do so, in our curent situation?

I think that diplomacy is being tried as we speak. I think that diplomacy is performed with respect for what history teaches us, as well. If a country truly changes its attitude then I think that diplomacy has to take another tac entirely.

To use Germany for example. Would US diplomacy towards Germany be different today than it was after WWII if Nazi'ism was still the ruling government? I don't think it would.

However, the German Gov't is different and so diplomacy, too is different.

With respect to Iran's history along with the recent comments by its new President I suspect that the US diplmacy will be a little tougher that it otherwise might be.

Best,

Danimal

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2006 12:28      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Erbo:
All well and good...if Iran had any respect for diplomacy as it is commonly understood. However, the Mark Steyn article I linked to gave some good reasons to believe that they don't.

Example: The invasion of the U.S. Embassy and taking of hostages. Under international law as it exists today (and as existed at the time of the takeover), embassies are considered the sovereign territory of the government that maintains them, and the violation thereof is considered an act of war. Iran showed no respect for these conventions.

*cough* Chinese Embassy in Belgrade *cough*

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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ooby
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I think that all of our ursine allies should have the right to bear arms!

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