Potential US attack on Iran
OverviewThere is persistent discussion of a possible United States attack on Iran.
The pro-attack argument seems to be, as explained here:
- Iran is an oppressive, totalitarian regime with Islamofascist values we do not want to see spread at all, much less throughout the world.
- Iran is on the verge of developing nuclear weapons, despite their claims that their nuclear program is entirely for nuclear power.
- Once they have developed nuclear weapons, they will be in a position to "start exercising its Islamic agenda and dominance across the Middle East and throughout the world".
- Therefore, we must stop their nuclear program at any cost.
The obvious counters to this:
- When has a pre-emptive strike ever been a good idea? (Any historical examples?)
- A pre-emptive strike could start a conflagration which could do tremendous physical harm, eclipsing even the long-term physical harm which might be done by the resulting hypothetical accelerated spread of Islam.
- A pre-emptive strike would inflame the Islamic world, driving yet more otherwise-neutrals into the arms of the terrorists (as the US invasion of Iraq has done)
- There are better ways to fight the spread of Islam, even though neocons have done their best to pretend they don't exist. Carefully-engineered regime change within Iran would be more likely to have a good effect. After all, we toppled the former democratic government and put the current one in place; surely we can do the reverse.
- At the very least, even if you insist that all these objections are outweighed by the urgency of the matter, George W. Bush is not the leader who can do this properly. This is likely to be another fiasco like Iraq, with more unaccounted-for billions of dollars spilling into the desert for the enemy to find and use against us.
- Most recently, the National Intelligence Assessment has concluded that Iran has not had a nuclear weapons program since 2003, once again undermining Bush's claims that Iran is a threat.
- If we need to attack Iran to defend ourselves, then was the $5 trillion (1950 dollars) nuclear deterrent a waste of money? 
- We have yet to see a good case that Iran is even a repressive regime. Wouldn't the pro-war people be focusing more on this, if it actually is true?
- 2009-01-11 [Talk|Index] NYTimes-Story: Iran vor Atombombe § A tale of Iran's nuclear ambitions, spun by the New York Times, is methodically unraveled.
- 2008-11-11 [Talk|Index] Natürlich wird Barack Obama den Iran Überfallen § “Nobody who is of sound mind and body doubts that the US has their armed robbery of Iran completely planned through and the dates for it to get started have already been set.”
- 2008-05-08 [Talk|Index] Terrifying religious insanity § “Watch this heartwarming display of inter-faith unity, in which crazy Jewish nationalists and crazy Christian fundamentalists overcome their differences and get in bed together over their common religious insanity. Featuring Tom DeLay, John Hagee, and Joe Lieberman.” Includes many believers stating passionately that they are looking forward to Armageddon. (In one scene, Lieberman praises Rick Santorum, in the audience.)
- 2008-05-04 [Talk|Index] United States is drawing up plans to strike on Iranian insurgency camp § “The US military is drawing up plans for a â€œsurgical strikeâ€ against an insurgent training camp inside Iran if Republican Guards continue with attempts to destabilise Iraq, western intelligence sources said last week. One source said the Americans were growing increasingly angry at the involvement of the Guardsâ€™ special-operations Quds force inside Iraq, training Shiâ€™ite militias and smuggling weapons into the country. .. Despite a belligerent stance by Vice-President Dick Cheney, the administration has put plans for an attack on Iranâ€™s nuclear facilities on the back burner since Robert Gates replaced Donald Rumsfeld as defence secretary in 2006, the sources said.”
- 2008-05-04 [Talk|Index] Iraq says no hard evidence of Iran support for militia § “[ Iraq ] government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said there was no "hard evidence" of involvement by the neighbouring Shiite government of Iran in backing Shiite militiamen in the embattled country. .. Asked about US reports that weapons captured from Shiite fighters bore 2008 markings suggesting Iranian involvement, Dabbagh said: "We don't have that kind of evidence... If there is hard evidence we will defend the country." Tehran strongly opposes the US military presence in Iraq, while Washington has repeatedly accused Iranian groups of arming and training Shiite militia groups in its neighbour. .. Iran, whose ties with Washington have been severed since 1980, strongly denies the allegations.”
- 2008-05-01 [Talk|Index] Iran Opens War Avoidance Flank § “As threats of military action against Iran continue to issue from various spokesmen of the war party in the U.S., the Islamic Republic has launched an ambitious initiative aimed at preventing war, based on a comprehensive package of economic, political and security measures on a vast regional plane. The package includes proposals to settle remaining questions related to Iran's nuclear energy program, but is not limited to that. ... Jalili declared that his government was presenting the Russian delegation a package of proposals aimed at solving the problems of the world. "The package is about the great questions of the world," he said, "and the nuclear question could be the subject of discussion." While declining to give details, he added, "We spoke in detail with our Russian friend and we explained our vision. Our approach could be a good basis for negotiation between the influential powers of the world," according to AFP.” The article seems to be interpreting this event as an Iranian overture to an alliance with Russia so that Iran will have Russia's help if the US attacks (or, possibly, to convince the US not to attack because of the threat of retaliation from former superpower Russia). As the US's own forces are currently in a bad way, this would be a serious threat.
- 2008-03-12 [Talk|Index] Head of US Forces in Mideast Resigns § “Gates said he did not think it was the Esquire article alone that prompted Fallon to quit. Rather, Gates thought it was "a cumulative kind of thing" that he and Fallon had failed to put "behind us." He also dismissed as "ridiculous" any notion that Fallon's departure signals the United States is planning to go to war with Iran.”
- 2008-03-11 [Talk|Index] The Man Between War and Peace § “As the White House talked up conflict with Iran, the head of U.S. Central Command, William "Fox" Fallon, talked it down. Now he has resigned.”
- 2008-03-11 [Talk|Index] A Pentagon problem â€“ loose lips § by Jim Miklaszewski: “The Pentagon sharks are circling CENTCOM Commander Adm. William "Fox" Fallon for a magazine interview in which he appears to openly criticize President Bush on the administration's Iran policy. The very public comments raised speculation Fallon would either volunteer or be forced to resign. .. Defense Secretary William Gates announced Tuesday that Fallon is stepping down as head of U.S. Central Command.” ... “Gates has said publicly and privately that under current conditions he's opposed to war with Iran. Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen is also against it. In fact, almost every senior military officer we've talked to is against launching military strikes against Iran, because as one senior official told us, "then what do you do?"” ... “...during a conference in Bahrain last December, Gates had to convince Gulf state Arab allies that the United States was not going soft on Iran, because from their vantage point it appeared the Bush administration was backing away from its tough stand against Iran.” Perhaps this explains why an attack is even being contemplated – Bush's Saudi masters want it.
- 2008-03-05 [Talk|Index] Bush May Fire CentCom Chief Adm. Fallon, Replace With Commander More â€˜Pliableâ€™ To War With Iran § “Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called CENTCOM commander Adm. William Fallon â€œone of the best strategic thinkers in uniform today.â€ Fallon opposed the â€œsurgeâ€ in Iraq and has consistently battled the Bush administration to avoid a confrontation with Iran, calling officialsâ€™ war-mongering â€œnot helpful.â€ Privately, he has vowed that an attack on Iran â€œwill not happen on my watch.â€ .. Unfortunately, this level-headed thinking and willingness to stand up to President Bush may cost him his job.”
- 2008-01-10 [Talk|Index] Will the Iranian "Provocation" Ruse Be Allowed to Succeed? § 2=“The navy showed a tape of what they claimed were Iranian speedboats "harassing" a U.S. warship, along with audio of foreign-sounding bad guys making very threatening statements. .. However, after a blogger pointed out that the accents of the supposed speed boat passengers could not have been Iranian, the government changed its story...”
- 2007-12-03 [Talk|Index] Intel Chief Breaks New Non-Disclosure Policy With Dovish Iran Report § by Spencer Ackerman: "Hmm. Could it be that Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell is trying to signal his opposition to a war with Iran?"
- 2007-11-06 [Talk|Index] Poll finds Americans split on taking military action in Iran § by Susan Page, USA Today: "Americans are concerned about Iran's nuclear program but split on whether military action should be undertaken if diplomacy and economic sanctions fail to stop it, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll."
- 2007-09-24 [Talk|Index] 60 Minutes: Ahmadinejad plays coy § (video/text) “60 Minutesâ€™ Scott Pelley sat down with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for what can only be termed a surreal interview. Pelley was combative for most of the interview, White House talking points quite literally in hand. Ahmadinejadâ€™s responses were frustratingly equivocal. It sparked a great debate in my home as to whyâ€¦if Ahmadinejad does want to reach some sort of detente with the rising escalation of war rhetoric, his dancing around direct questions did not truly help him.”
- 2007-05-28 [Talk|Index] Bush sanctions 'black ops' against Iran § by Tim Shipman: “Mr Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilise, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs. .. Bruce Riedel, until six months ago the senior CIA official who dealt with Iran, said: "Vice-President [Dick] Cheney helped to lead the side favouring a military strike, but I think they have concluded that a military strike has more downsides than upsides."”
- 2007-02-25 [Talk|Index] US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran § “America is secretly funding militant ethnic separatist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear programme. .. The operations are controversial because they involve dealing with movements that resort to terrorist methods in pursuit of their grievances against the Iranian regime.” So... in pursuit of the War on Terror, we are now funding terrorist organizations.
- 2007-03-23 2007 Iranian seizure of Royal Navy personnel
- 2007-10-18 Iran brushes off Bush 'World War III' warning
- 2007-10-17 The Future Equilibrium of Planet Earth - The Iran Question?: the argument for attacking
- 2007-10-19 There is no peace, prepare your family.: commentary
- Shifting Targets: The Administration’s plan for Iran. by Seymour M. Hersh
- Big Coffers and a Rising Voice Lift a New Conservative Group: "Freedom's Watch, a deep-pocketed conservative group led by two former senior White House officials, made an audacious debut in late August when it began a $15 million advertising campaign designed to maintain Congressional support for President Bush’s troop increase in Iraq. .. Next month, Freedom’s Watch will sponsor a private forum of 20 experts on radical Islam that is expected to make the case that Iran poses a direct threat to the security of the United States, according to several benefactors of the group."
- US trains Gulf air forces for war with Iran by Tim Shipman: "The American air force is working with military leaders from the Gulf to train and prepare Arab air forces for a possible war with Iran, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal."
- Neocons seek to justify action against Teheran by Tim Shipman: "American diplomats have been ordered to compile a dossier detailing Iran's violations of international law that some fear could be used to justify military strikes against the Islamic republic's nuclear programme."
- Head of IAEA defies criticism on Iran by George Jahn: "Criticized by the U.S. but backed by other world powers, chief U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei is walking a fine line in trying to cajole Iran into revealing past nuclear secrets."
- I hate all Iranians, US aide tells MPs by Simon Walters: "The all-party group of MPs say Debra Cagan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs to Defence Secretary Robert Gates, made the comments this month."
- So what about Iran? Israel and the USA plotting to attack Iran, by "Israeli journalist, writer and peace activist" Uri Avnery
- 2007-09-28 The Iran War is on the Front Burner by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
- 2007-09-27 Senate Urges Bush to Attack Iran by Joseph A. Palermo: "Yesterday, Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton (NY), Chuck Schumer (NY), Bob Menendez (NJ), Barbara Mikulski (MD), and Ben Cardin (MD) all voted in favor of the "Kyl-Lieberman Iran Amendment." This piece of legislation actually encourages the practitioner of cowboy diplomacy, George W. Bush, to be even more belligerent in his foreign policy. The Kyl-Lieberman Amendment passed by a vote of 76 to 22. Chris Dodd and Joe Biden voted against it, and Barack Obama missed the vote."
- 2007-09-16 France warns of war with Iran but also doesn't explain why we need to do this, other than the usual shouting about nuclear weapons for which nobody has yet shown any evidence.
- 2007-09-01 We Are Going To Hit Iran. Bigtime may be disinformation, but seems consistent with other news
- Study: US preparing 'massive' military attack against Iran
- Discussion here seems to be conflating Tarpley's warning about US faked "false flag" attacks with a 2005 Fox News story warning of an imminent terrorist attack (presumably intended to stir up support for Bushco) within "Ninety days at the most", which obviously didn't happen: Fox News 2005-07-13. Both the poster and the source referred to (Arabesque: 9/11 Truth) claim the story was reprinted essentially verbatim in 2007, but the link for 2007 is the same exact URL as the link for 2005. Not sure what's up with that. The rawstory.com story about the study warning that the US is planning to attack Iran seems genuine and is consistent with other sources.
- Bush warns Iran over insurgents: "US President George W Bush has warned Iran to stop supporting the militants fighting against the US in Iraq."
- Study: US preparing 'massive' military attack against Iran
- 2007-08-21 Former CIA officer: US to attack Iran within 6 months: includes video
- 2007-08-09 Wash Post Provides Discredited Neoconservative Pundits A Platform To Advocate For Iran War: "In today’s Washington Post, reporter Robin Wright gives neoconservative pundits like the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol and AEI’s Michael Rubin a platform to advocate for military action against Iran. Wright suggests these calls are part of "a new drumbeat for bolder action." Without offering opposing viewpoints, Wright recycles the preemptive strike theories of her sources — all prior advocates of preemptive military action against Iraq."
- 2007-07-21 impeach or face a new round of synthetic terror this summer to kickstart the war in Iran (see also we need another 9/11)
- 2007-07-13 Ron Paul: U.S. In "Great Danger" Of Staged Gulf Of Tonkin Style Provocation: "Congressman & presidential candidate warns of economic collapse precipitated by bombing of Iran"
- 2007-07-02 US links Iran to attack in Iraq "The US military in Iraq has accused Iran of orchestrating an attack that killed five US soldiers and of using Lebanese militants to train insurgents."
- 2007-06-01 The coming Iran war--- or perhaps they are not morons, after all (from Contrary Brin): discusses some of the loony neocon "logic" behind the push to invade
- 2007-05-22 Lying War Propaganda Against Iran by Ron Paul: Statement on H Con Res 21 Before the U.S. House of Representatives
- 2007-05-15 CENTCOM Commander's Veto Sank Bush's Threatening Gulf Buildup by Gareth Porter
- 2007-04-02 US jet fighters violate Iran's airspace: are we seeing the beginning of a series of provocative "incidents" designed to provide an excuse for war?
- 2007-03-14 Triggering the Next Iranian Revolution, Part I and Part 2, by Poland's former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Professor Grzegorz W. Kolodko: very cogent statement of the situation
- 2007-03-05 Kidnapped or Defected? Top Iranian General Disappears by Hoda Osman and Christopher Isham
- 2007-02-25 US generals ‘will quit’ if Bush orders Iran attack
- 2007-02-21 Iranian official offers glimpse from within: A desire for U.S. (as an) ally by Christiane Amanpour, CNN chief international correspondent
- 2006-11-22 Bomb Iran by Joshua Muravchik
- 2006-11-20 The Next Act by Seymour M. Hersh: inside notes on the administration's Iran strategy, both pre- and post- election
- 2006-09-30 President Applauds Congress for Passage of Iran Freedom Support Act
- 2006-09-26 Why Bush Will Nuke Iran by Paul Craig Roberts
- 2006-05-04 The Intelligence War Over Iran by Robert Parry, TomPaine.com: "Intelligence Czar John Negroponte splashes cold water on the neocons who are hot to attack Iran"
- 2006-01-17 coming soon: the neo-cons next war... by Krassimir Petrov
- George W. Bush, 2005-08-13 (answering reporter's question "Sir, when you talk about Iran, and you talk about how you have diplomatic efforts, you also say all options are on the table. Does that include the possibility of a nuclear strike?"): "All options are on the table."
- 2008 presidential candidates:
- Barack Obama, 2007-02-11 (responding to the question "Would you advocate the use of military force to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons?") "I think we should keep all options on the table..."
- John Edwards: "All options must remain on the table in regards to dealing with Iran, whose nuclear ambition threatens the security of Israel and the entire world."
- Hillary Clinton: "We cannot, we should not, we must not, permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons, and in dealing with this threat, as I have said for a very long time, no option can be taken off the table."
From Contrary Brin :
|Russ Daggatt said:|
|These people really, truly are insane. The same Joshua Muravchik (a “resident scholar” at the American Enterprise Institute) quoted above has an op-ed piece in the LA Times titled simply and honestly "Bomb Iran". Among the insights of this 'scholar":
This crazy man, who is getting ink in Foreign Policy and the op-ed page of the LA Times, doesn’t even seem to be aware that the president of Iran, far from being a dictator, isn’t even particularly powerful in that government. As Scott Ritter notes in the New Republic ("The Case for Engagement"):
More than two-thirds of the population of Iran is under 30. Unlike North Korea or Iraq under Saddam, the people of Iran are not isolated from the rest of the world. Iranian youth, in particular, are quite Westernized. Before Bush deemed Iran part of the "Axis of Evil" (a watershed event in the relations between the US and Iran) reformers were on the ascendancy in Iran.
After teetering for years and almost toppling before liberalizing pressure, the hardliners have benefited from Bush’s blunders and belligerence (even in our country, people tilt toward the hardliners when they feel threatened by external forces). Unless we do more really stupid things, like bombing Iran, it is probably just a matter of time before the clerics lose power.
As the Washington Post reported last June:
Think of it this way. Bush will have squandered thousands of American lives and a trillion dollars, destroying US military readiness in the process, in order to take out Iran's two main rivals, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam in Iraq. AND HE GOT NOTHING FROM IRAN IN RETURN!
In addition to making Iran the dominant power in the region, he managed to undermine the reformers in that country. AND actually made our relationship with Iran WORSE. Now THAT is diplomatic skill! Potential US attack on Iran/excerpt