The Iran War

Tanglebones wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Folks I talk to in State and Defense of all political stripes (aside from the radical zionists and neoconservatives) all pretty much agree that the nature of the relationship with Israel began to change under GHWB and is now in a place where the understanding in Washington policy circles is that Tel Aviv doesn't have the Cold War leverage that it once had. Most also agree that the Netanyahu phenomenon is a desperate expression of a need for international attention. A last beating of the drum to announce their significance.

The fact, however, is that they are not nearly as important to our interests as they once were and just about everyone knows it.

Then why all the recent political rheoteric from the GOP about how important Israel is to our interests?

It appeals to end-times evangelicals & far-right AIPAC jews.

This.

But among folks in policy circles, it appears there is an understanding that there is one message for voters and an entirely different one for folks doing the math on where to commit American influence.

Whenever I think of neo-cons/evangelicals and their relations with people of the Jewish faith, I can't help but think of that Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man"

Paleocon wrote:

But among folks in policy circles, it appears there is an understanding that there is one message for voters and an entirely different one for folks doing the math on where to commit American influence.

It is all about protecting the US dollar's status as the reserve currency of the world. With how closely the US dollar is tied to oil, ensuring the oil market's stability is paramount. It has nothing to do with Israel being the holy land and the Middle East being full of heathens. It does, however, make a great selling point to people that don't understand the world financial system.

ZaneRockfist wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

But among folks in policy circles, it appears there is an understanding that there is one message for voters and an entirely different one for folks doing the math on where to commit American influence.

It is all about protecting the US dollar's status as the reserve currency of the world. With how closely the US dollar is tied to oil, ensuring the oil market's stability is paramount. It has nothing to do with Israel being the holy land and the Middle East being full of heathens. It does, however, make a great selling point to people that don't understand the world financial system.

Which are all excellent reasons for closer relations with Saudi Arabia, but not terribly compelling ones for expending American influence on furthering Israel's territorial interests. When it comes to exerting leverage on the oil markets, Israel is a pretty broken tool.

I have heard someone on the radio that claims that Israel is trying to convey the message "We are crazy enough to attack even if it has no effect on the nuclear program". They claimed that the fear of being attack is making the Iranians slow down their nuclear weapons program.

It's generally American interest that the Iranians slow down because it can delay the any action until after the election.

I think Israel has an interest to make thing look worst than they seem while the US which is far from threat has an interest to calm things down. It doesn't really matter what action is taken or not taken the outcome is bad. This is why the likelihood of a crazy Israeli attack is still fairly high. People here are looking for signs for when the attack would happen. Recently Netanyahu wanted to change is investment portfolio and the media totally freaked out. In the Lebanon war 2 Dan Halutz (chief of staff at the time) was suspected of using inside information about the war in order to change his investment. Other than talking about investment portfolio the media was also talking about the Gas Masks that are being distributed (I'm not sure if we got atropine this time)

The war can start today, tomorrow, nobody know when Bibi decide to attack . It could be a bluff. A good timing will be during the holidays when the kids are not at school . Rosh Ha-Shana is about September 18th so that week would be a good guess.

I think Romney's position on the subject kind of remind me of Ron Paul isolationist positions. I think that it doesn't matter who gets elected this year because we'll have to deal with our regional problems on our own.

Niseg wrote:

I think that it doesn't matter who gets elected this year because we'll have to deal with our regional problems on our own.

Thanks for the post Niseg, some interesting stuff. This last line though made me smile a little. By on your own do you mean with billions of dollars, weapons and diplomatic backup from the US? I think Israel kind of forgets sometime how much the US has poured into their country and keeps giving.

They claimed that the fear of being attack is making the Iranians slow down their nuclear weapons program.

Not big on critical thinking, are they?

Iran took a huge sanction hit recently. If this won't break them I don't know what will.

Persians *invented* diplomacy. If anyone can hold out, it's them. They still have sub rosa allies who are willing to work with them, and lots of porous borders. (No, I'm not on their side, just observing.)

Robear wrote:

Persians *invented* diplomacy. If anyone can hold out, it's them. They still have sub rosa allies who are willing to work with them, and lots of porous borders. (No, I'm not on their side, just observing.)

I doubt porous borders and helpful allies will be any use in the sanction I linked.

Good point. Reading before posting is over-rated, by the way.

Okay, so I know basically zero on the Iran nuclear issue. Can anyone recommend any good places to begin a comprehensive understanding?

Global Security's SitRep on Iran is always a good place to start.

I was down in Arlington earlier this week and had a conversation with a couple contractors I've been courting for business lately. One of them had an interesting take on the importance of Iran in the entire global security conversation.

His take on it was that the two richest counties in the United States of America are, in order, Loudon (Northern Virginia) and Fairfax (also Northern Virginia). They are the richest because they are the locations of the world headquarters of the three largest defense contractors on the planet (Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, and General Dynamics). Moreover, the status of Virginia in the 2012 Presidential election as a swing state makes the stakes for winning Fairfax and Loudon about as high as high gets. If Obama wins Virginia, the rest of the country may as well not even show up to the polls.

This presents an interesting issue for policymakers on either side of the aisle. As evidenced by the hamfisted post-production editing of the movie Red Dawn, the emergence of China as an enormous consumer market makes China an unattractive global boogeyman. North Korea is unattractive largely because only someone suffering from a catastrophic traumatic brain injury would seriously consider them a meaningful global threat. And no one seriously thinks that a few butt-scratching primitives in Yemen really constitute the sort of existential villain that would justify a continued $1trillion military budget expansion over the next 5 years.

This pretty much leaves dubious claims of an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Not to mention a nuclear weapon that could make it to the US.

Boats! Submarines! Model airplanes! Cruise missiles! Ballistic missiles! All these have been discussed as within Iranian capabilities, to use to deliver nuclear and chemical weapons to the US.

Robear wrote:

Boats! Submarines! Model airplanes! Cruise missiles! Ballistic missiles! All these have been discussed as within Iranian capabilities, to use to deliver nuclear and chemical weapons to the US.

Even if all this were true, what would be the win for Iran in doing this? Even if they could project nuclear or chemical capability to the U.S., even if they managed to kill 150 million American's, it's not like they're going to come here and occupy the U.S. Not to mention, the response of the U.S. military would remove the country of Iran from the face of the earth and likely anyone that tried to come to their defense.

I just don't understand ..

Robear wrote:

Boats! Submarines! Model airplanes! Cruise missiles! Ballistic missiles! All these have been discussed as within Iranian capabilities, to use to deliver nuclear and chemical weapons to the US.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012...

“The bottom line,” says Paul Pillar, a veteran CIA Mideast analyst, “is that the intelligence community does not believe [the Iranians] are anywhere close to having an ICBM

"All these have been *discussed*..." I was pointing out that when your threat is a country on the other side of the globe, that's not a tech leader, you've got to really reach to create a threat to scare people with. I don't believe anything they have could reach the US, with the unlikely exception of a smuggled weapon. I'm just pointing out that yet again, even the most ridiculous things can be made into a Really Scary Threat, given the right noise engine behind it.

Oh sorry, I missed that you weren't being serious and were really agreeing with me.

I just figured everyone remembered the run-up to the Iraq War.

Bear

In a theocracy, there doesn't have to be a logical reason for starting a war - all you need is for the leader/s to think it's what God wants.

1Dgaf wrote:

Bear

In a theocracy, there doesn't have to be a logical reason for starting a war - all you need is for the leader/s to think it's what God wants.

Yup. Just look at the Iraq invasion.

Or the occupation of Palestine.

1Dgaf wrote:

Bear

In a theocracy, there doesn't have to be a logical reason for starting a war - all you need is for the leader/s to think it's what God wants.

Malor wrote:

Or the occupation of Palestine.

That's so unfair! Israel owns that land not because someone thought it was a good idea, but because it is in the Bible!

Robear wrote:

I don't believe anything they have could reach the US, with the unlikely exception of a smuggled weapon.

Wasn't a briefcase nuke/dirty bomb the big scare leading up to Iraq? I mean they even included the scenario in a season of 24. Admittedly, most defense analysts stated this scenario was about as likely as having a zepplin constructed of garbage bags and towed by Canada geese drop gamma bombs on LA but it didn't stop people from trotting it out as the big security threat.

I thought it was a ship bomb, given that Iraq would not have had the technology to miniaturize a nuke that way. We had lots of discussions about this stuff, back then.

A CIA report was just declassified that essentially said: "Yeah, we totally f*cked up the whole Iraqi WMD thing. Our bad."

Looks like any mention of biasing to meet White House goals was either redacted or dealt with elsewhere. No Curveball discussion, for example. Doesn't add a whole lot to what we already knew. If I read it correctly, most of what's left in the document is pre-2001.

Robear wrote:

Looks like any mention of biasing to meet White House goals was either redacted or dealt with elsewhere. No Curveball discussion, for example. Doesn't add a whole lot to what we already knew. If I read it correctly, most of what's left in the document is pre-2001.

It basically says that all the dissenting opinions about things like the yellow cake, aluminum tubes, and everything else was actually the correct intelligence and the CIA just missed it because they were looking at things through the lens of Iraq just had to have WMDs.

I just wonder if they're suffering from the same problem looking at Iran...