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A Ray of Sunshine
Posted by: Dale Franks on Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Thomas Sowell is in a fine mood.
It is hard to think of a time when a nation — and a whole civilization — has drifted more futilely toward a bigger catastrophe than that looming over the United States and western civilization today.

Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran and North Korea mean that it is only a matter of time before there are nuclear weapons in the hands of international terrorist organizations. North Korea needs money and Iran has brazenly stated its aim as the destruction of Israel — and both its actions and its rhetoric suggest aims that extend even beyond a second Holocaust.

Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

This is not just another in the long history of military threats. The Soviet Union, despite its massive nuclear arsenal, could be deterred by our own nuclear arsenal. But suicide bombers cannot be deterred.

Fanatics filled with hate cannot be either deterred or bought off, whether Hezbollah, Hamas or the government of Iran.
It's not pleasant to think about the implications if what Dr. Sowell says is true. Be we need to be thinking about them nonetheless.

This isn't rocket science. If the Islamists cannot be bought off, or appeased, then what policy option remains?

That's not pleasant to think about, either, is it?
 
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Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran and North Korea mean that it is only a matter of time before there are nuclear weapons in the hands of international terrorist organizations. North Korea needs money and Iran has brazenly stated its aim as the destruction of Israel — and both its actions and its rhetoric suggest aims that extend even beyond a second Holocaust.
Good thing we invaded Iraq!

After all, Saddam was on the verge of handing off nukes to terrorists. He obviously had nuclear reactors. Big ones. Functioning. That was well documented.

There was also no doubt he was obtaining mass amounts of uranium. Not just trying, but actually obtaining. We had intelligence on how the uranium moved out Niger and ended up in Saddam’s hands. No one ever suggested otherwise.

And that presentation that Powell put on the UN in 2/2003? Slam dunk. You can just see the nukes.

And no one could in the Bush administration could have figured out that Saddam just might be bluffing. Just maybe he was more concerned with bluffing Iran than he was with the nuking the United States - Iran, of course, a country with numerous ties to the majority Shia in Iraq who were Saddam’s prinicipal threat. The United States, of course, a country that had previously kicked his ass but that, when given the opportunity, had not occupied Iraq.

And of course back in 2003, Iraq was clearly more of a nuclear threat than either Iran or North Korea.

And this is the administration that is poised to win the current War in Iraq. And if anyone says otherwise, they are a traitor.

Now, on with the bombing.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
On the verge of an extended break, I think I deserve one open agreement with McQ:

Thomas Sowell is a f*cking idiot.

If and when an Iranian-made nuke is detonated in a populated area, I will stand corrected. But frankly, I don’t think Western civilization will end even then. The Soviet Union collapsed into near-anarchy while it had enough nuclear missiles pointed at the world in general to extinguish all life on the planet, and yet here we are. BTW, we called them undetterable, hate-filled fanatics for decades. For that matter, the USSR had a record of conquest and massacre that made Iran look like Sweeden. They used some pretty not-nice rhetoric, too.

If I actually succeed in getting off the blogosphere for a while, I wonder if I’ll miss my rage at these manipulative, demagogic war pimps.

Good g*d.

PS: No, the increased danger to the world from Iran’s nukes isn’t nonexistent. It’s fourth, behind Pakistan, India, and North Korea, in my estimate. Every nuclear weapon on earth is more dangerous than -1 nuclear weapon on earth. We won’t keep the eggs in the basket for ever. Get serious about world disarmnament, or get the f*ck over it.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
pardon: one open agreement with mkultura.

Heh.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
On a more serious note, let’s break down the number of countries that might actually give nukes to Islamic terrorists.

North Korea? Not likely. Sure, they don’t like us. But how do they benefit by nuking a few cities in the West? Sure, Western civilization is devastated, but not to the point it cannot recover. So how is Kim’s rule benefitted by that? He would have to know that Western wrath would be so great that it is more than likely that the West would go after him, if only on suspicion.

No, Kim has no reason to hand nukes over to terrorists.

Iran. Why would it? The Bush and Olmert administrations are doing their utmost to increase Iranian power in the region. Why spoil a good thing? Bush did Iran a favor by eliminating the onr regional threat to Iran. Olmert screwed up big time in Lebanon by effectively strenghthening Iran’s proxy in the region, Hezbollah.

For the foreseeable future, as long as there is a demand for oil, Iran has no reason to hand over nukes to terrorists. And the interesting thing about Iran is that, unlike our next and last candidate, Iran is not in serious danger of being overtaken by radicals; they are already in charge.

Pakistan. This is the country that Sowell should worry about. But he is obviosly clueless, so what do you expect. If Musharaff is killed, or even if he is not, all hell could break loose any moment. And this country is armed with nukes. No question.

Pakistan is the country to worry about. Not NK or Iran. Sowell is such an uniformed idiot.

But would Pakistan hand over a nuke to terrorists? Most likely not. The provenance of a nuke would probably be relativley easy to trace, for dozens of reasons. Given the limited number of sources, and the worldwide outrage a terroristic nuke attack would provoke, there is really no reason for even a radiclaized Pakistan to hand over nukes to terrorists. Remember, the people who would get to make these decisions are not suicidal. They like power. Unlike the sheep who follow them, they don’t want to die, at least not now. And they know that even the thought that they might be the source of a terroristic nuke attack would surely be their death warrant.

The odds of a terrorist getting a nuke are so low they really don’t warrant serious concern. Could it happen? Well, yes, it could happen. But an asteroid could also hit the earth.

Any other candidate? Russia. But for the reasons expressed above, that doesn’t seem likely either.

Oh, by the way, Russia and Pakistan are not part of the Axis of Evil. In fact, both are ostensibly our allies. But both are more of a threat in this context - loose nukes - than NK or Iran.

Sowell is mainlining the Bush kool-aid. Can’t you cite a more thoughtful commentator in the subject, or must you cite a BushBot?
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Sowell -
This is not just another in the long history of military threats. The Soviet Union, despite its massive nuclear arsenal, could be deterred by our own nuclear arsenal. But suicide bombers cannot be deterred.
Sowell is wrong on deterrence. It always rested on killing the innocent in unacceptable (for the nation being deterred) numbers. The Soviet Union would fry if it attacked us in MAD because MAD was based on insuring those precious 99.99% innocent Soviets would burn. 99.99% of Soviets would be absolutely not part of a decision chain that led the Communist dictators to launch an attack.

In the world where neocons assure us that terrorists are undeterrable because —- "well, Geneva would prevent us from nuking any threat other than a nation which declared war on us or lobs directly traceable missiles at us." And - "The lawyers would have a hard time justifying wiping out Mosques and nests of radical Islam like Quetta, Riyadh, Qom and how we would surgically strike such places to keep inniocent civilian casualties at a minimum.." Which is garbage because Geneva and various idiotic UN "Declarations on Justice for the Planet" would get junked right away of tens of millions of Americans are killed, economy and infrastructure gravely damaged by 5-10 Islamic weapons....The only question would be what parts of the Islamic world must be "thermonuclearized". Be roasted and blasted and how many tens or hundreds of millions should die - to ensure no Islamic threat existed in the future.

MultiKultra sez:
The provenance of a nuke would probably be relativley easy to trace, for dozens of reasons. Given the limited number of sources, and the worldwide outrage a terroristic nuke attack would provoke, there is really no reason for even a radiclaized Pakistan to hand over nukes to terrorists. Remember, the people who would get to make these decisions are not suicidal. They like power.
When you say the provenance of a bomb "would be easy to trace", I doubt you understand that only a few telltales would exist after a bomb blast. Basic design used, if it was a PU or U-235 device. If it was a homemade gun-type device using "donated" U-235 I doubt you would have an easy time tracking who did give the Islamists the fissile material. But we know that many in radical Islamist leadership would indeed give their lives to take many of the infidel enemy. The history of 20th Centuru radical Islam was leaders fearlessly dying in battle or executed after arrest, and knowing many of them in martyrdom made the causes get stronger, and any number of other eager Islamists were ready to step in the martyrs shoes to also get a shot at Paradise.

Mkultra also ignores other WMD that are even harder to trace - anthrax, viral contagion agent, nerve gas that could also produce casualties in the 10,000 to 3-4 million range. We got rid of chem and bio because our nuclear stockpile was so lethal that deterrence was satisfied with nukes alone. Meaning if the Muzzies hit us with non-nuke WMD, we might respond with a 600KT thermonuclear device on the culpable Faith’s spiritual center or on a major city or two of the nation the WMD came from, if we can backtrack it or torture it out of any attackers we grab. They bitch, they get another couple of 600KT devices or some smaller ones put on places like Fallujah and the Aswan Dam...until learning occurs and they conclude mass infidel deaths may be religiously uplifting, but half of Camel Land smoking, flooded with glowing poisoned water, or given lethal radiation sickness from fallout sucks.

My suggestion to Iran is to back off. Even if they go fullbore, they are as outmatched as a guy with a gun trying to take on 3 combined SWAT teams.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
Of course the Nazi-appeasing “let’s wait until we’re nuked” nuts writing in this comment section are self-refuting.

For the rest of us, it would pay to consider how to establish a policy of deterrence even it is too late with regard to Iran. I’m confident that such a policy could have been established and ultimately that is the solution to the Islamic threat. But to do so requires knowledge of the culture including the variants of the religion. In many ways, we have to fight this enemy differently from our past enemies: communism, Japanese militarism, and European fascism.
 
Written By: Jason Pappas
URL: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/
Ya know, you’d think you wouldn’t have to point out to people that a fanatic with a bomb who’s willing to blow himself, and his wife, and his kid, up on a plane, or in a pizza parlor to gain paradise, isn’t particularly worried about his genetic legacy, or pretty much anything else, other than himself, and his trip to paradise and the glory he’ll obtain. The bigger the boom, the higher the glory.

Now couple that with people who have power, who have capability, and who can always do their best to muddy the trail back to their ’house’ while they provide said lunatic with the means to use his probably small, newly acquired nuke somewhere in the world where it would make NOKO or Iran glad.

As a ’responsible’ nation we’re not, despite public opinion and desire, going to start randomly firing nukes at NOKO or Iran even if a nuke were to go off in an American city. Even if we can PROVE they were behind it we probably won’t retaliate with nuclear weapons. ("The United States used ’disproportionate response’ today when they wiped Ponyang off the face of the earth...")

So we have no deterrent on them in the way we did MAD. If they think they are clever enough to keep the trail of providing the nuke to someone hidden then they have every motivation to use them to punish us for whatever ideaological reason they can manufacture.
Do you suddenly think Osama Bin Laden thought he’d ’win the war’ against the great Satan by flying planes into the WTC?
How would this be different boys?

The Soviets were always, ultimately, totally rational and calculating and that was precisely why MAD worked.
The Soviets were living in some version of the 20th Century, and wanted to keep it that way because Allah wasn’t going to welcome them with open arms. On an official basis the Soviets believed when they were dead, they were dead, and that was the end.

Iran? Virgins here we come.
NOKO? I have not a clue what that whackjob believes about the after life, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he figures rather largely in any image of paradise he has (assuming he believes in one of course).

But there’s not danger, because these guys, despite daily behaviors to the contrary, are ’western style’ rational, rght?



 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The "killing of innocents" had nothing to do with the success or failure of MAD. It had everything to do with the basic ideology of Communism.

Go back to your basic Marx and Engels and you will see the idea was the working class was going to rise up and overcome the capitalists of the world. I know this is a simplistic rendering but nonethless realistic. MAD worked because the Soviets realized if they pushed the button they were admitting failure. Their own ideology dictated they would win, they had to win. The BOMB was not redundant in that sense; they had the bomb in order not to be dictated to by the West.

The ideology here is much different. Islam teaches the one true road to Paradise is martyrdom. If the West can be made to bow to the will of Allah then they win. But if the West cannot be made to bow, the use of the bomb is still good - even to the level of a complete nuclear holocaust. Because then all Muslims would enter Paradise as martyrs and they still win. (Note: The Ayatollah taught this himself.)

Pakistan is a threat, but only so far as a future Pakistan potentially dominated by Islamic fundamentalism. Iran today is that threat because their leaders were taught at the feet of The Ayatollah.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Nice misuse of the "it tolls for thee" quote. The point of the original quote is that all men are diminished whenever any person on the planet dies, be he Israeli, American or Iraqui. Sowell seems to think it is taken from Children of the Corn and means "they are coming for you, Hezekiah."
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
If and when an Iranian-made nuke is detonated in a populated area, I will stand corrected. But frankly, I don’t think Western civilization will end even then.
For someone who rages at "manipulative, demagogic war pimps" you’re suprisingly blithe about all those who could die because of an Iranian/terror nuke. Ok boy, you’ll "stand corrected" which I’m sure will be of oh so much comfort to everyone in the aftermath. When that happens, please go to the fallout zone and let them know you "stand corrected" And hey, why should you even care at all- after all, Western Civ. won’t end! In that light, a nuke, a suicide bomber, a stink bomb, a paintball attack- all the same to you. Pathetic. You rage (your own words) about war but about this, shrug of the shoulders.

You’re sick of war pimps? I’m sick of moral equivilance pimps like you.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"... the Nazi-appeasing “let’s wait until we’re nuked” nuts writing in this comment section are self-refuting."
"I’m sick of moral equivilance pimps like you."
Both good comments. But, let’s take a moment and pity Glasnost. IF he was born an American, he has lost his country:
"I don’t think Western civilization will end even then."
Glasnost is not an American. His liberal-textbook-addled brain self-identifies as a morally-equivalent member of "Western Civilization". If America is destroyed, he can transfer easily to Europe, where he can "stand corrected" for a minor misjudgement that caused him to vote [if, indeed, he has the right to vote in America] into power liberal idiots who lost the confrontation with islamo-fascism.

Glasnost really sounds like a whacko Canadian.




 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
You know what Glasnost, I’ll bet YOU WON’T STAND CORRECTED! I’d imagine that when Peoria disappears in a flash of actinic light Glasnost will join the chorus who will ask and declare:
1) "Why did we not ’connect the dots’ and stop this awful event?";
2) "This is the Administration/America’s fault for not understanding the Middle East and the legitimate needs of its denizens."

I don’t think Glasnost and his ilk will say, "My bad. We were WRONG about Iran. So just ignore our opinions on foreign/national security issues, until we have a thorough review of how we arrived at such a wrong set of opinions."

Nope, don’t see it. Glasnost, you’re statement is silly one and not overly believable. But it IS mighty big of you to at least suggest you’d admit some error, in the face of a few hundred thousand dead civilians. After all it’s an ill wind that blows NO good, eh?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
When is the IAEA going to inspect Israel’s nuke program???
 
Written By: clan
URL: http://
Tony Blankley has some ominous thoughts too:

We are all aware of the dangerous Middle East conditions the United States faces today after five and half years of President Bush’s leadership. So let’s consider what the world might well look like if, in his remaining two and a half years, he were to follow the recommendations of his critics.

Check it out:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/08/are_bushs_critics_right.html
 
Written By: Shoulung
URL: http://shoulung.wordpress.com/
When is the IAEA going to inspect Israel’s nuke program???
Shortly after Israel begins to execute gays and women who were raped, and after they begin to declare that their neighboring states have absolutely no right to exist.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran and North Korea mean that it is only a matter of time before there are nuclear weapons in the hands of international terrorist organizations.
As has already been mentioned, by far the biggest nuclear proliferator of the past decade didn’t even make it into Sowell’s "editorial".

If Iran gets a nuke, it won’t be due to the actions of N. Korea or any of Iran’s neighbors. It will be the direct result of the actions of Khan and Pakistan.

Of course, we might "pre-emptively" invade Iran to stop the threat of proliferation. But we won’t even insist Khan face punishment for his crimes and apparantly don’t care to discuss with him his past deals.
 
Written By: davebo
URL: http://
When is the IAEA going to inspect Israel’s nuke program???
When Israel becomes a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
First off, where do MK and glasnost get off calling Thomas Sowell a f*cking idiot? Never mind the fact that if logic and reason were brains, you two couldn’t pool enough cash to buy a single subway token. You saved your harshest attacks for an educated black man.

THAT’S BECAUSE DEMOCRATS ARE RACISTS.

Damn, it feels kinda cool to throw around accusations of racism with no justification. Now I see the appeal of the Democrat Party - no heavy lifting!

"We do the heavy thinking so you don’t have to!!!"

Feel free to put that in your campaign literature, no charge.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
Seriously, though. Look at what passes for critical thinking in the space between MK’s ears...
No, Kim has no reason to hand nukes over to terrorists./blockquote>

Hmm... how about hard currency, Mr. Current Affairs? Even dictators need money to feed and equip the apparatus that keeps them in power. In case you hadn’t noticed, the DPRK isn’t exactly a hotbed of consumer goods and agriculture exporting. When you need tech support, Dell doesn’t route your question to a call center in Pyongyang. Why else do you think they would risk exporting missles and missle technology? To prolong K-Jong’s stay in power.

Which is the only purpose of dictatorships.
Which apparently you don’t understand.
Which isn’t surprising.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
Damn unclosed tags...

Sorry about that.

And then there’s glasnost:
Get serious about world disarmnament, or get the f*ck over it.
Kumbaya, my lord...
Kumbayaaaaa.....


Iran: We have disarmed, Zionist entity. Your turn.

Israel: Okay, we’re disarmed, too.

Iran: Suckers! lilililililililililililililiiiii!!!! KA-BLAAAAAAMMMM!!!

Yeah, Thomas Sowell is the f*cking idiot. Gotcha.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
But to answer Dale’s original question:
If the Islamists cannot be bought off, or appeased, then what policy option remains?
To paraphrase my favorite book, we could apply the ’ol hoof-and-mouth disease remedy. If there isn’t any hoof-and-mouth disease, then there won’t be any.

Or we could "get serious about global disarmament."
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
The terrorists need not start out by wiping our cities off the map. Chances are they would first want to force us to humiliate ourselves in whatever ways their sadistic imaginations could conceive, out of fear of their nuclear weapons.
I note that mk and glasnost are not particularly interested in taking up this point made by Sowell.

To expand a bit on this, let’s imagine that, at some point in the future, we know for sure that the Iranians have produced nuclear weapons. Hezballah then makes the following threat:

"We have now acquired two nuclear weapons. We’re going to use one on Tel Aviv and one on a random American city, unless you immediately do the following:

"First, all American troops are to pull out of the Middle East and never return. If any American troop sets foot in the Middle East in the future, we’ll blow up an American city.

"Second, we give Israel a month to abandon their country. Then we will occupy it.

"Third..." Well, I’ll let your imagination carry you from there, for those who have any.

We can assume the Iranians will deny giving them any weapons. Which means exactly nothing except that our anti-war leftists would say that we shouldn’t take any action against Iran no matter what intelligence we have to the contrary. ("They were wrong about Iraq’s WMD! They’re probably wrong about this, too!")

So what do we do then? Give in? Threaten to incinerate Tehran if Hezballah follows through? Sit tight and hope they’re bluffing? Bomb everything in site hoping to get lucky? Do the Israeli’s pre-emptively nuke South Lebanon because their survival is at stake? What do the Russians and Chinese do if Americans or Israelis use nuclear weapons?

None of us can judge the probability of this scenario. But anyone who says it is impossible is living in a dream world. And if it ever did happen, the quote from the Fred Thompson character in Hunt for Red October would apply. "This is going to get out of control, and we’ll be lucky to live through it."

This is what we face if non-rational, faith-motivated political actors acquire nuclear weapons. As even our resident left/liberals have pointed out, we’re already dangerously close to that territory because Pakistan has those weapons. Heck, I’m worried about Musharif right now, but in general he seems to have things under control. But multiply that problem enough times, and the probability that terrorists or a rogue regime acquires nuclear weapons eventually approaches 100%.

And the left’s answer? Oh, well, it probably won’t happen. And if does, we’ll stand corrected....

 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
If the Islamists cannot be bought off, or appeased, then what policy option remains?
This is a pretty serious question. Here is what the leftists have bought to the table:

MK: IRAQ BAD!!!!!!! BUSH BAD!!!!!!

Glastnost: NUKES ARE BAD, BUT EVEN IF IRAN/IRAN SPONSORED TERRORISTS POP ONE OFF, IT’S REALLY NO BIG DEAL

Klan: ISRAEL BAD!!!!

What substantative discussion. The left is just not to be taken seriously on these issues.

The answer to the question has been written on this blog several times before- a whole host of bad options. Trying to take out their facilities may not work and may spark a war. Going the "forment domestic unrest to cause regime change" route may or may not work- who the heck knows. Allowing them to get nukes would be a disaster and would put us under the gun forever.

It’s all about minimizing risks. Assuming worst-case scenario, they won’t stop or be bought off, AND the mullahs will not be overthrown by the Iranian people, the sensible and horrible conclusion is war- hopefully at a time and place of our choosing.

If that makes me a "war pimp" so be it.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Shark...you "War Pimp"

You own shares in Haliburton don’t you? You see this as an opportunity to win further "No Bid" Contracts in a Quagmire...a QUAGGY quagmire....with NO Exit Strategy....leading to Doom, Dooooom, I say.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
BTW, we called them undetterable, hate-filled fanatics for decades.
Hmmmmmm. What do I believe:

#1. 70 years of history on US policy vis-a-vis the Soviet Union based that was on the idea of deterrence; or

#2. glasnost’s deranged ranting in a blog comment that we "called" them undeterrable?

Dude, you seriously do need to take that break from the blogosphere.

 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
The Iranian problem is not just religious.

A. It is rational at a secular level for Iran to seek strategic parity or establish deterrence, given it’s nuclear-armed and not so friendly neighbors. It is currently under no nuclear umbrella from a defense pact with a large pre-existing nuclear power.

B. It is rational knowing that oil and gas stocks will be gone in a few generations to diversify and have the nuclear energy program the US recommended Iran go for back in the 70s - and NOT burn expensive oil and gas for electricity that could be sold for more as export items. Iran has large uranium and thorium deposits, and links to poor African countries with plenty of the stuff. They also have some 30,000 nuclear engineers and technicians, most trained in the USA or trained by those educated in the USA. The Iranian diaspora has thousands working in civilian nuclear power plants and facilities in the West.

That is why going ahead with nuclear energy is a matter of national pride all political parties of Iranians agree on. The Devil is about enrichment and the lack of trust that Iran would just want to deter the nuclear tipped missiles Sunni Pakistan, Israel now have pointed at it.

**********************************

Those worried about how China or Russia would react if we struck back at radical Islamic cities after a nuclear attack can probably breath easy - same with N Korea. Ample talks and hypotheticals have been laid out in "what if??" diplomatic talks.

Those worried about how "America would accept it couldn’t kill innocent Muslims back under "human rights" treaties, or how Sweden and Gaboon would "take" America roasting a good chunk of Camel Land miss the point that we wouldn’t care what they think, or the "spirit" of the treaties we would have thrown out in an instant if the Soviets or China started a nuclear war. Stopping a future existential war rests on everyone believing we would kill as much as needed - in order to make use of Martryrdom devices by the 2-3% of the Muslim population that favors their use - strongly rejected by the other 97-98% of Islam. Deterrence rests on convincing those majorities that Kofi and Geneva would not spare a horrible nuclear vengence and spare large swaths of Islam from destruction on an unimaginable scale....

 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
Well, we could always just be open and tell them -

Nuke a western city, have it traced to Islam, kiss Mecca goodbye.
The Ka’bah and the al-Masjid al-Haram will be radioactive dust scattered across the globe.
You’ll be able to pray in any direction after that.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
C Ford is right. C Ford is self-evidently correct to anyone who approaches international behavior with anything close to objective study.

For people that think with their spleens, you get no further than:

Muslims tried to blow up America + Iran is Muslim + Iran doesn’t like us + Iran is getting nukes = Iran will try to blow us up with nukes.

That’s Thomas Sowell’s column, condensed. Add on 1000 faux-poetic words about the End of Days and a heaping load of attempted scorn for people still trying to think rationally, and there you have it. Sixth-grader bullsh*t.

Thomas Sowell is one small step removed from the people convinced Iran was going to nuke us yesterday, on August 22. He’s a hysteric, and people like him are driving America’s foreign policy into the dirt. He deserves my contempt and ridicule.

I know some of you are getting mighty frustrated with these neutral, professional-sounding arguments that don’t leave you easy targets. You’re obviously glad to see me vent a little so you can get yours. Have a ball.
Thomas Sowell’s article is worthless. And f*ck you right back.


PS:
Look into the number of countries invaded, countries conquered, civilians massacred, governments overthrown, and lives lost during the Soviet Union’s first 30 years. Then contrast with equivalent numbers for Iran. Do the same for relative military balances between competing blocs. And the world is in its greatest mortal danger now Chr*st on a stick.

PPS: good job there demonstrating Iran’s capacity to end western civilization.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
I know some of you are getting mighty frustrated with these neutral, professional-sounding arguments that don’t leave you easy targets.
I’ll let you know if I run across one. Until then:
For people that think with their spleens, you get no further than:

Muslims tried to blow up America + Iran is Muslim + Iran doesn’t like us + Iran is getting nukes = Iran will try to blow us up with nukes.
Yeah, that whole "Death to America" chanting thing is probably just their version of "Hey-Hey! Ho-Ho! Western Civ Has Got to Go!" Never mind their stated intent to destroy Israel, I’m sure that’s just hyperbole. And as Israel’s sole ally, I’m sure they’re no danger to us, either.
PPS: good job there demonstrating Iran’s capacity to end western civilization.
Who says they can end Western Civilization? The point is that they can take out a lot of infidels in their death throes. Iran may not be the BIGGEST potential threat looming (cough... China... cough), but I’d argue that they are the most IMMEDIATE, as concerns state actors and state sponsors of terrorism. You can’t deny that. Oh, wait. Of course you can.

And here’s the only thing you said which I thought showed some promise...
And f*ck you right back.
It’s direct and states your position clearly. On 9/11, Islam told America "F*ck you." If we had responded with "And f*ck you right back," I’d feel a lot safer. It’ll get to that point eventually, but for now, there will be more hand-wringing and tippy-toeing around irrational, saber-rattling players like Iran. And it will be done by YOUR contemporaries, not mine. Perhaps you could focus that ire at the enemies of our country, m’kay?
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://repatriate.blogspot.com
Look into the number of countries invaded, countries conquered, civilians massacred, governments overthrown, and lives lost during the Soviet Union’s first 30 years.
Look at the destructive capabilities of the human race NOW versus in 1918.

Idiot.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Sixth-grader bullsh*t.
Anybody who looks at Thomas Sowell’s contribution to the debates of our time and renders this judgement is practicing wishful thinking of the worst sort to avoid facing unpleasant truths.

We’ve seen this psychological mindset before. "Those Germans had their economy devastated in the 1930s. There’s no way they’re a threat to us." "It will take the Soviets at least twenty years to develop nuclear technology. They’re no threat."

If 3000 people lost in one day is not enough to shake such people out of their comfortable delusions, then I guess we’ll just have to either ignore them - or wait until it’s 100,000.

If that’s enough. Can’t you just hear them already, based on the arguments they make today? "Yeah, I thought they’d never actually use a nuclear device. I stand corrected. And, yes, that’s a lot of people. But it’s only 1/3000 of our population. Western Civilization will survive. So what are we so worried about?"
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Me: PPS: good job there demonstrating Iran’s capacity to end western civilization.


Jeff: Who says they can end Western Civilization?


And, Thomas Sowell:

It is hard to think of a time when a nation — and a whole civilization — has drifted more futilely toward a bigger catastrophe than that looming over the United States and western civilization today.

You want to pick nits about that statement, huh?


Billy: If 3000 people lost in one day is not enough to shake such people out of their comfortable delusions, then I guess we’ll just have to either ignore them - or wait until it’s 100,000.

Yeah, when the Iranian government, five years ago, flew civilian aircraft into the World Trade Center, and...

oh, wait.

That was Al-Quieda.

So what were you saying?




 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
The Iranian War Machine

I did some Google searches for "Iran" and "military build-up" and found lots of documents ... almost all from the mid-1990s.

If Iran is really out to conquer the region, it would need tanks, lots and lots of tanks, plus air cover, since tank armadas are dead ducks in the open desert. So, is Iran building up its tank fleet and air force preparatory to its upcoming blitzkriegs? Here’s what the Center for Strategic and International Studies says about Iran:


"Most of Iran’s military equipment is aging or second rate and much of it is worn. Iran lost some 50-60% of its land order of battle in the climatic battles of the Iran-Iraq War, and it has never had large-scale access to the modern weapons and military technology necessary to replace them. It also has lacked the ability to find a stable source of parts and supplies for most of its Western-supplied equipment, and has not have access to upgrades and modernization programs since the fall of the Shah in 1979."


Here is Iran’s tank fleet, according to a site called MILNET:


Tank Type Count Manufacturer
M-47/48 150 U.S. (*)
M-60A1 150-160 U.S. (*)
Chieftain Mark 3/5s 100 U.K. (*)
T-54/55 250 Russia/Soviet
T-59 150-250 (35-?) Russia/Soviet
T-72/S 480 Russia/Soviet
T-69II 150-250 ? Russia/Soviet
Zulfiqar 100 Iranian made from T-72 and M48 pieces
Total Estimate 1600
* delivered prior to the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979


A reader comments:


I believe the name of the Iranian-made main battle tank, the Zuliqfar, literally means "burning torment" and is perhaps best rendered colloquially as "flaming coffin" or "death trap."


And here are other regional powers:


Country Main
Battle Tanks Comments
Israel 4300 Modernized, well maintained
Egypt 4300 Fairly Modernized, maintained
Syria 4600 Fair maintained
but much older technology
Iran 1565
(1000) * Mostly older technology, maybe one to three full divisions of modern equipped
Jordan 1217 Fair maintenance, old technology
Saudi Arabia 1055 Well Maintained, modernized regularly
Lebanon 315
(100)* Well aged, poorly maintained,
single battle ready only


So, it looks like Iran would match up pretty well with mighty Jordan.

And then there’s the Iranian Air Force, which resembles the raw materials for a nostalgic air show more than a war-winning military arm:


Aircraft Made in Count Mission Comments
F-14
U.S. 50 Air Defense Poorly maintained, Little/no AAM, gun only
MiG-29 Russia 6 Air Defense Highly capable, heavy maintenance costs, fuel hungry
F-7M China 35 Air Defense Fairly modern and capable
F-4D/E U.S. 260 Attack/Defense
Very poorly maintained, parts not available to Iran
some in ME market
F-5E/FII U.S. 260 Attack/Defense Very poorly maintained,
parts not available from U.S., some in ME market
Su-24 Soviet 30 Attack Some parts purchases with Russia have taken place, these may be the best maintained of all Iranian aircraft
Su-25K Soviet 7 Attack Seized during Gulf War (Iraq inexplictedly flew them out)
May be operational but doubtful
Mir F-1 France 24 Attack/Defense Seized during Gulf War (Iraq inexplictedly flew them out)
May be operational but doubtful


The theoretical bulk of the Iranian air force (520 planes) is made up of F4s, which first flew in 1958, and F5s, which first flew in 1959. If any are still flying, the rest must be used as sources for the cannibalizing of of parts.

As for the F-14s, which were the pride of the Shah’s air force:


"One report suggested that the IRIAF can get no more than seven F-14s airborne at any one time"


So they’ve got 6 good MiG-29s, 30 Soviet Su-24s, and 35 pretty good Chinese planes.

In contrast, Israel, for example, has "555 combat aircraft (90 probably stored)."


And, of course, Iran is missing most of the components of post-1979 air supremacy, such as AWACS-style flying command posts and stealth planes.


Look, Iran was deterred, fairly successfully, by Saddam Hussein’s post-1991 House of Cards regime. That’s one of the reasons the President’s better-informed father and the younger, more sensible Dick Cheney left it stand in 1991.


What the Iranians have been investing in are, intelligently enough, missiles and, presumably, nuclear weapons development, which makes a lot of sense if their military strategy is to deter attack. Iran hasn’t started a war with anybody since, at least, the middle of the 19th Century.

Or, as many theorize, they might be intending to attack the world so suicidally that they get nuked so they can get their hands on those 72 virgins faster. I wouldn’t know.


These days, foreign policy commentary appears to be the obsession of men with the irrational emotional instincts of baseball fans, but who are just too innumerate to be baseball fans. Anti-NY Yankee baseball fans rightly feared George Steinbrenner’s acquisition of Bobby Abreu, because they knew Abreu’s impressive career OPS figure, and they knew Steinbrenner’s budget.

In contrast, most of the Iranian fear-mongering takes place in a mental world devoid of numbers. That Iran’s GDP is about 1/20th of ours and they have been spending a no higher percentage of that paltry sum on their military than we have suggests Iran is not a major threat to conquer the Middle East. This is like bored New York sportswriters getting in a frenzy over the long term threat to Yankee dominance posed by the Kansas City Royals. Well, it wouldn’t happen on the sports pages, because baseball fans know the numbers.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Forgot to link:

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2006/08/iranian-war-machine.html
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Billy:
"We have now acquired two nuclear weapons. We’re going to use one on Tel Aviv and one on a random American city, unless you immediately do the following:

"First, all American troops are to pull out of the Middle East and never return. If any American troop sets foot in the Middle East in the future, we’ll blow up an American city.


First, the very scenario you presage demonstrates an interest in survival and power, not suicide: in using nukes to control behavior. Of course, the whole point of the editorial is the exact opposite, we should be afraid, because we’re going to be immediately nuked as soon as Iran can fire up that reactor.

Second, what would we do? We’d hold a press conference and say, "Just like in 1960, and 1970, and 1980, and 1990, and 2000, it is U.S. policy to automatically respond to a nuclear weapons attack on our soil or that of a U.S. ally with massive nuclear retaliation. The bombers circling over Lebanon and Iran right about, oh, now, are in fact armed with nuclear weapons. So, make our day.

The end.


Fr
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
For somebody on break, glasnost, you’re sure posting a lot.

And I’m sorry to say that the world I live in is a bit more complex than the one you seem to inhabit.
Of course, the whole point of the editorial is the exact opposite, we should be afraid, because we’re going to be immediately nuked as soon as Iran can fire up that reactor.
Really? The section of the article I quoted to start my piece was explicitly about nuclear blackmail. Did you actually read it?
Second, what would we do? We’d hold a press conference and say, "Just like in 1960, and 1970, and 1980, and 1990, and 2000, it is U.S. policy to automatically respond to a nuclear weapons attack on our soil or that of a U.S. ally with massive nuclear retaliation. The bombers circling over Lebanon and Iran right about, oh, now, are in fact armed with nuclear weapons. So, make our day.


If you really don’t see the difficulties in massive nuclear retaliation against a non-state actor, I don’t really see much point in trying to find any areas of agreement between us.

I expect about the same response from us that you do. That doesn’t mean Hezballah would be dissuaded. I think it’s quite possible they would seek shelter in Beirut and dare us to nuke the rest of the Lebanese to get them. And I really don’t know what would happen then (and neither do you), because it would depend a lot of who’s sitting in the White House and what the other circumstances are. But my best guess is that it would lead to non-nuclear war against Lebanon because of reluctance to nuke the whole country or to nuke Iran on inconclusive evidence of their involvement. You can write a variety of bloody scripts from that point.

Now, your analysis of Iran’s capabilities definitely has merit. There are some severe limitations to their capability to be a threat. For now.

I think the basic difference between our positions comes to this. You believe we are opposed by rational actors. I don’t. Much of your expectation of how Iran will act has that hidden assumption of rational actors.

Perhaps they would be. Perhaps their president blathering about annihilating the West is just bluster for the home folks. Perhaps they would be afraid to let terrorist groups use any nuclear techology they obtained.

And perhaps they would not risk war by attacking the embassy of the most powerful country in the world... Oh, wait...


 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
For somebody on break, glasnost, you’re sure posting a lot.

It’s easier said then done, ain’t it?
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
It’s easier said then done, ain’t it?
Yeah, but I took a couple of weeks in July. I had started getting angry at people that I realized were silly targets for anger. A couple of weeks off cured it.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://

 
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