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YYW on Iran

YYW
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8/15/2015 5:06:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This whole business with Iran is absurd. The opposition to the nuclear deal is rhetorical garbage. The deal itself is precisely what it is: a means to get Iran to bow to American interests (which I'd say is probably a good thing).

No serious person thinks that Iran would actually use nuclear weapons in a war, because everyone knows that Iran is not suicidal. Their pursuit of nuclear weapons was basically like when a child acts out to get mommy and daddy's attention. It was nothing more. I'm going to set the context (read: talk generally about US and Iranian relations in the 20th century), and then talk about what this "nuclear deal" means in that context. Finally, I'm going to tell you how this is going to change stuff. Make no mistake, the nuclear deal will change things, but not in a way that is going to matter to anyone in the United States... unless you're part of the corporate or political elite. Let's go.

In the past, Iran did something really really profound... in 1979, that created huge problems for it later on, because Iran thought (naively and stupidly) that it could (1) actually beat the US in an international political struggle, by (2) going out on its own, with the effect that (3) the US would have to negotiate with it as a major power. This was all really dumb, on Iran's part. Incredibly dumb.

The reason that Iran's 1979 revolution was really dumb is because it was categorical rebuff of the US's extending the Monroe doctrine into the Middle East (i.e. this is our turf, and what we say goes and woe unto anyone who dares stand in our way). To be explicitly clear, it is a very good thing that the United States exerts that kind of control in the middle east, because it prevents certain "rogue elements" (read: terrorists) from trying to vie for power. We don't want that, because it disrupts the flow of oil, which makes oil more expensive for everyone, which negatively affects the entire US economy.

Now, when the Shah was in power (the Shah was the United States' puppet), this wasn't even a problem and the US and Iran had pretty good relations (at least, good relations between DC and Tehran; what certain rebel factions of Iranians thought... well that was another matter). The problem is that Iran is a country of people whose civil society was more sophisticated than we (the US) thought, and within the scope of that civil society, there were certain developments that coalesced into the Iranian Revolution in 1979, which was as much a rebuke of the Shah (directly) as it was the United States' assertion of power in the middle east (indirectly).

That created tremendous tension in Washington, because Iran is a major power in the world oil supply. (Iran produces, or at least has the capacity to produce, about 1/5th to 1/4th of the entire world oil supply.) The problem with the Shah is that he was too overtly a US puppet. If you're going to be a puppet dictator, you've got to do two things: (1) you've got to be discrete about your affiliations (like who is really paying you, and whose interests you really serve), while (2) being at least "benevolent" enough that you don't create a popular uprising in your own country against you. You have to "appear" to be good, and to be a good leader. Whether you are "actually" good, or a good servant to your people maters less.

Now, this kind of unpleasantness kept on until it kind of reached a head a few years ago. There were other things that happened between '79 and now, but they don't really matter. What matters is that the Iranians were really seriously close to developing nuclear weapons in less than 5 years. That got Washington's attention. Even though Washington (and everyone with a brain) knows that Iran would NEVER nuke any country (because it desires to continue to exist, and is savvy enough to know that no country would EVER come to their aid if they attacked the US or one of its allies), we can also know that Iran is not going to ever "use" their nukes for any reason... but the problem of their "having" them creates serious problems given Iran's extensive history of funneling money to groups like Hezbollah.

While it would be "unlikely" that Iran would give nukes (or even a dirty suitcase bomb) to Hezbollah, Iran's even having the capacity to do that makes the United States and Israel very nervous, and rightfully so. I mean, today they're funneling missiles to Hezbollah... tomorrow, suitcase bombs? That can't happen, also for obvious reasons. (If those reasons are not obvious to you... well... maybe I can make another post about that later.)

So, what's interesting is the *specific kinds* of disarmament that Obama's deal requires of Iran. It basically forecloses Iran having the kind of technology to give dirty bombs to groups that we would like very much not to exist. The curious thing is, though, that it is really unlikely that Iran ever even would have done that because they would know that it would mean that the US and Israel (and any other country that might like to join in) would start killing thousands of people in big Iranian cities with long-range missiles.

What does all of this mean? It means that Iran was playing a very dangerous game with Washington, and Washington won, but Iran is less worse than they were before they started playing.... which was the whole point of this to begin with. I think that Iran's endgame, really, is to do what Egypt did back around the end of the cold war where it went from "rogue state status" (the term "rogue state" was a product of the Bush administration, but conceptually describes the way in which Egypt was regarded before it became the second largest recipient of US military aid in the region).

Basically, Iran wants to work with the US because it realized that it can't beat the US. Iran tried that for like 40 years, and it costed them a lot, and Iran's government -resentfully- has obviously come to the realization that what we say goes, because we (the United States) say it. We don't care about international law (which is a joke anyway) unless we're using it as a reason to advance out interests, and we don't care about really anything other than our interests.....Which is why, for example, we continue to trade with India even though India basically was in the same functional status several years ago -read: it was pursuing nukes, in violation of the NPT, which we don't really care about anyway.

But, what distinguishes India from Iran is that India plays ball and works with the United States (it also is a huge contrast to China with respect to "methods of economic development" so we prop up India to make China's "method" of industrialization look less palatable to other third world countries), and India serves our interests. Iran, in contrast, has been a persistent thorn in our side and the Iranians (who have always been self conscious of that), really are tired of being left out in the cold. It's much better to be a US ally than not to be a US ally. Give it ten years, and we'll be giving some form of "aid" to Iran, which is really what they want. The Iranians really did what they did just because they wanted a better deal than Pakistan.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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8/15/2015 5:16:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Now, with respect to the opposition to the deal... like really? Are you kidding me? lol the GOP is so stupid.

The whole reason that the GOP is opposing the deal in Iran (and the whole reason fools like Lindsey Graham are predicting nothing less than the biblical end of days when it goes through) is because they have to rally their profoundly ignorant base (which, btw. is not to say that the DNC base is any less ignorant) as a "rhetorical tool" for purposes of the 2016 election. Precisely no one should be surprised. It's all bullsh!t, and what's worse is that like everyone with an active brain in the GOP (I question whether Rubio has an active brain) knows it's bullsh!t. Even Trump knows it's bullsh!t.

No republican in their right mind wants the deal not to go through, because as soon as it does, and as soon as the sanctions are lifted, Iran is going to be open for lots and lots of business, which means that the United States will be able to make tremendous amounts of money in the aftermath of the sanctions being lifted. (By "the United States" I mean "American corporations who donate to the Republican party.")

But they have to "oppose" the deal because it's politically expedient for them to do so, and they know that no matter how stupid they look their base is going to be too ignorant to be able to distinguish fact from bullsh!t. In the alternative, what will happen is what always happens when the GOP goes fear-mongering: the base will believe what their leaders say (because FOX news has created the context in which that garbage is believable) and they will be very sure to rally behind whoever wins the thing because even if it's an establishment bitch (read: Jeb Bush), that person is still a "Republican" which means that he (not she, there is no conceivable world in which Carly Firo.... gets the nomination) will be "necessarily" tougher on Iran... and the base thinks they care about that kind of thing.

Hopefully, this "big picture" sketch hasn't been too complicated to follow. It's all simple stuff, really.... the kind of thing that anyone with a high school education should be able to understand... but most people never will, because they "believe" what they are "told" because they are "taught" and "conditioned" not to read between the lines when all of this stuff is like so plainly obvious.
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Vox_Veritas
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8/15/2015 6:18:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
There are instances whenever Iran would be willing to use nuclear weapons (such as to deter invaders). Were the U.S. to invade a nuclear-armed Iran, the Iranians probably would use nuclear weapons.
Iran is led by radical Islamic fundamentalists who sponsor Shi'ite terrorist groups (such as Hezbollah) and, probably, al-Qaeda. Iran likely aided al-Qaeda in the 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings and it's possible that they aided al-Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks. The Iranian government has been called the no. 1 sponsor of terrorism on the planet, and not without reason. It is obvious that if they ever had a "clean shot" (that is, if they were able to annihilate the United States and Israel without being destroyed themselves) they would take it in a heartbeat. The only question is whether or not they'd be willing to sacrifice themselves to accomplish this.
Some Iranian leaders would not. On the other hand, extremists can take power in Iran with relative ease. Some of these extremists may be willing to make that sacrifice.

However, even if not it's extremely probable that the Iranian Government would use their position of being a nuclear power to make the United States and Israel bend to its will, or at least in the region. Iran would dominate the Middle East and turn it into hell, and the U.S. wouldn't be able to save the world from Iran by invading it, for obvious reasons.

In any case I think that even a bloody non-nuclear war against Iran is preferable to Iran attaining nuclear weapons and violently remaking the Middle East in its own image.
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YYW
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8/15/2015 6:21:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 6:18:12 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
There are instances whenever Iran would be willing to use nuclear weapons (such as to deter invaders). Were the U.S. to invade a nuclear-armed Iran, the Iranians probably would use nuclear weapons.

This is how I know that you know basically nothing about how nuclear weapons work. There is this thing called "first strike capacity" and "second strike capacity." Iran could, at best, have first strike capacity and they wouldn't even have a viable ICBM, and even if they did, we could (and would) shoot it out of the sky (because we can do that) before it even got across Africa.... and the Iranians know that.
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YYW
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8/15/2015 6:33:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 6:18:12 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Iran is led by radical Islamic fundamentalists

So, sure... that's what FOX has been saying since, basically, Iraq went to sh!t. Iran's rhetoric (the whole "wipe Israel off the map" and all that jazz) is pretty radical, but what they actually DO is not. It's very strategic, and it's been gradual, and highly goal oriented... which, again, you can see by how and why these negotiations we just finished even happened. That's what Iran wanted. It's not what the US wanted, but it's the most easy way to get the best out of a less pleasant situation. The US wants a pre-1979 thing with Iran, and Iran wants to be treated like a major power. That's not going to happen, but at the end of the day, both parties got a lot out of the deal, and to the extent that it creates the kind of conditions for American corporations to make lots of money in Iran, it's a good deal.

who sponsor Shi'ite terrorist groups (such as Hezbollah) and, probably, al-Qaeda. Iran likely aided al-Qaeda in the 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings and it's possible that they aided al-Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks. The Iranian government has been called the no. 1 sponsor of terrorism on the planet, and not without reason. .

In terms of what terrorist groups Iran sponsors, you're talking out of your @ss here, whether you're cognizant of that or not. All Iran really does, for purposes of advancing terrorism, is it gives resources of various kinds to anti-Israel groups. There is no (real) evidence that Iran does anything else, and the thing is that Iran's arming those groups actually is very helpful for the United States to continue to justify giving tremendous amounts of military aid to Israel, and to keep ratcheting up defense spending.

I mean, please don't be so naive as to think that the United States "couldn't" prevent Iran from arming Hezbollah if it wanted too. We certainly could, but the costs of doing so do not, at all, outweigh the benefits, which is why it doesn't happen.

It is obvious that if they ever had a "clean shot" (that is, if they were able to annihilate the United States and Israel without being destroyed themselves) they would take it in a heartbeat. The only question is whether or not they'd be willing to sacrifice themselves to accomplish this

This is outrageously stupid. I mean, there is no other way to describe it other than as outrageously stupid. It's an assumption based on, for example, Mahmoud Ahminidejad's posturing that Iran should "wipe Israel off the map." That is "rhetoric" not "a statement of formulated intent to act." Do not conflate the two.

You have to think about what would happen if Iran actually did even mobilize in a way that it looked like they were preparing to strike Israel. Israel would kill thousands of Iranians. Thousands. The United States would also barricade the Iranian coast, and probably launch long-range bunker busters against Iranian military and command facilities. I'm not saying that's a good or a bad thing... I'm just saying it's "what would happen."

So, this really speaks to how you (although by no means only you... almost all people without formal instruction on military strategy, for example, have no idea about how the US or any military works) do not know what you're talking about. It's not like Iran ever even could have a clean shot, and even if they (the Iranians) did, they would never do it because there is no such thing as a "singular" clean shot, because of the US-Israeli alliance. You have to be smart enough and informed enough think about what happens (at least) three or four moves after Iran would mobilize to do that, even if they were successful. (Or, if you wanted to be really clever, think 30 or 40 moves ahead.)

And Iran isn't going to sacrifice anything.... Iran wants things to get better for them, not to "not exist" by courtesy of the US and Israeli military. So, you are categorically wrong in basically everything you said here.
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Vox_Veritas
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8/15/2015 6:38:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 6:21:29 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/15/2015 6:18:12 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
There are instances whenever Iran would be willing to use nuclear weapons (such as to deter invaders). Were the U.S. to invade a nuclear-armed Iran, the Iranians probably would use nuclear weapons.

This is how I know that you know basically nothing about how nuclear weapons work. There is this thing called "first strike capacity" and "second strike capacity." Iran could, at best, have first strike capacity and they wouldn't even have a viable ICBM, and even if they did, we could (and would) shoot it out of the sky (because we can do that) before it even got across Africa.... and the Iranians know that.

I know a fairly good bit about nuclear weapons and nuclear psychology (especially the latter). Even if Iran did not have second strike capacity, there'd always be a risk that they did secretly. Our intelligence was off in Iraq, and it could just as easily be off in Iran by the time of an invasion.
Another thing about invasions is that you cannot just have your troops stationed far away from Iran, snap your fingers, and the troops are invading Iran. You have to station tons and tons of men and equipment near the object of invasion first, and it might take several days of such preparation before you could actually invade. This would give Iran plenty of time to launch a first strike. Could those weapons be shot down? Sure. But what happens if just one hits its target? How about two? Just how many nuclear weapons do you think it would take to kill millions of people?
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

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YYW
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8/15/2015 6:42:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 6:38:37 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 8/15/2015 6:21:29 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/15/2015 6:18:12 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
There are instances whenever Iran would be willing to use nuclear weapons (such as to deter invaders). Were the U.S. to invade a nuclear-armed Iran, the Iranians probably would use nuclear weapons.

This is how I know that you know basically nothing about how nuclear weapons work. There is this thing called "first strike capacity" and "second strike capacity." Iran could, at best, have first strike capacity and they wouldn't even have a viable ICBM, and even if they did, we could (and would) shoot it out of the sky (because we can do that) before it even got across Africa.... and the Iranians know that.

I know a fairly good bit about nuclear weapons and nuclear psychology (especially the latter). Even if Iran did not have second strike capacity, there'd always be a risk that they did secretly. Our intelligence was off in Iraq, and it could just as easily be off in Iran by the time of an invasion.
Another thing about invasions is that you cannot just have your troops stationed far away from Iran, snap your fingers, and the troops are invading Iran. You have to station tons and tons of men and equipment near the object of invasion first, and it might take several days of such preparation before you could actually invade. This would give Iran plenty of time to launch a first strike. Could those weapons be shot down? Sure. But what happens if just one hits its target? How about two? Just how many nuclear weapons do you think it would take to kill millions of people?

I mean, I know you think you know stuff... but you don't... and I don't really care to have a conversation about what you think you know versus what you actually know because that doesn't matter. What matters is that you understand (1) what resources both parties and their allies have relative to one another, and (2) how those resources work. That's all you've really got to know, and right now you're deficient on both, while simultaneously making ill-founded assumptions about Iran's intent with regard to any resources they may have, and misunderstanding what that means.

You haven't really rebutted what I said, so I'll leave it here, though.
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airmax1227
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8/15/2015 6:44:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
When one reads the details of the agreement it becomes clear that this arrangement is best for all the parties involved. The strict restriction on the amount of enriched uranium (and its level of enrichment specifically) that Iran can maintain is especially important, and reflects the extent to which the deal goes to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. I believe the inspections too, should be sufficient.

While I have my reservations about Iran in general now that its economy can get back on track as sanctions are lifted, the deal itself is nonetheless prudent and should meet all the agendas of the parties involved.

Also it lead to this hilarious piece of pro-Iran deal propaganda:

https://www.youtube.com...
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Vox_Veritas
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8/15/2015 6:52:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'm not going to continue this conversation with someone who makes ad homs.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

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YYW
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8/15/2015 6:57:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 6:52:17 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
I'm not going to continue this conversation with someone who makes ad homs.

lol

An ad hom is a logical fallacy which says "you shouldn't believe what X says because X has qualities Y and/or Z" for example. I'm not saying that you should be discredited because you're dumb/ignorant.

This is a common mistake whereby people confuse the necessary and sufficient conditions for the fallacy... and it's depressing... because people complaining about logical fallacies don't even understand the fallacies they're complaining about, because if they did they wouldn't be complaining to begin with.

In your case, the issue is that there is this huge gap between "what you know" and "what you think you know" and I've explained that pretty clearly. I mean, that's what's happening here. You think you know stuff that you don't, and then you got corrected. But here, like, what you're saying is just so implausible that only the most ignorant of the Fox News people could say it with a straight face because it doesn't even make logical (or any other kind of) sense.
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Romanii
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8/15/2015 7:46:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 5:06:22 PM, YYW wrote:

I think that Iran's endgame, really, is to do what Egypt did back around the end of the cold war where it went from "rogue state status" (the term "rogue state" was a product of the Bush administration, but conceptually describes the way in which Egypt was regarded before it became the second largest recipient of US military aid in the region).

Basically, Iran wants to work with the US because it realized that it can't beat the US. Iran tried that for like 40 years, and it costed them a lot, and Iran's government -resentfully- has obviously come to the realization that what we say goes, because we (the United States) say it. We don't care about international law (which is a joke anyway) unless we're using it as a reason to advance out interests, and we don't care about really anything other than our interests.....Which is why, for example, we continue to trade with India even though India basically was in the same functional status several years ago -read: it was pursuing nukes, in violation of the NPT, which we don't really care about anyway.

But, what distinguishes India from Iran is that India plays ball and works with the United States (it also is a huge contrast to China with respect to "methods of economic development" so we prop up India to make China's "method" of industrialization look less palatable to other third world countries), and India serves our interests. Iran, in contrast, has been a persistent thorn in our side and the Iranians (who have always been self conscious of that), really are tired of being left out in the cold. It's much better to be a US ally than not to be a US ally. Give it ten years, and we'll be giving some form of "aid" to Iran, which is really what they want. The Iranians really did what they did just because they wanted a better deal than Pakistan.

I think this is really what it boils down to. If it is true that Iran's goal is to get rid of its status as a "rogue state" and work with the US, then we need not worry. But as long as Iran does have some underlying desire to see the destruction of the US and Israel, I think opponents of the deal still do have some ground to stand on - there's always the possibility that Iran will be able to subvert the regulations placed on it and continue to funnel resources into terrorist groups like Hezbollah. Especially since the Iranian government is going to have a lot more money on its hands after sanctions are lifted.

The curious thing is, though, that it is really unlikely that Iran ever even would have done that [give bombs to terrorist groups] because they would know that it would mean that the US and Israel (and any other country that might like to join in) would start killing thousands of people in big Iranian cities with long-range missiles.

I don't know that this is necessarily true. They've done similar things before (albeit to a much lesser extent), yet we didn't take any drastic action...
imabench
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8/15/2015 10:35:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Can we actually shoot down a nuke in mid-air? I dont know if thats true.

I know that we can down scud missiles cause we did that in Iraq with the patriot missile system, but nukes usually travel via sub-orbital trajectories unlike smaller missiles so i dont think its true that the US has the capability to shoot down nukes after theyve been fired
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YYW
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8/15/2015 10:42:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 7:46:49 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 8/15/2015 5:06:22 PM, YYW wrote:

I think that Iran's endgame, really, is to do what Egypt did back around the end of the cold war where it went from "rogue state status" (the term "rogue state" was a product of the Bush administration, but conceptually describes the way in which Egypt was regarded before it became the second largest recipient of US military aid in the region), to "US Ally."

I think this is really what it boils down to. If it is true that Iran's goal is to get rid of its status as a "rogue state" and work with the US, then we need not worry. But as long as Iran does have some underlying desire to see the destruction of the US and Israel, I think opponents of the deal still do have some ground to stand on - there's always the possibility that Iran will be able to subvert the regulations placed on it and continue to funnel resources into terrorist groups like Hezbollah. Especially since the Iranian government is going to have a lot more money on its hands after sanctions are lifted.

Sure. But, here's something you might consider. Take it for what you will. The country of "Iran," (like, not just its government, but also the people) is what I think you're referring to here. So, I think you're using the country's name differently than I was, and perhaps I should have more precisely indicated that when I spoke of "Iran" I was only speaking of "The Iranian Government" (although that was generally hinted at by my references to Washington and Tehran).

It's important for America and Americans (both government and people) to appreciate the cultural impact that two generations of state-executed brain-washing of each and every Iranian has translated into certain socially and culturally held "feelings" of considerable negativity towards both America and the West generally. What I mean by that is that Iranian people, like, the individuals, really do not hold America in very high regard. Some might even go so far as to say that "they hate us."

The reason, however, that they hate us is the same reason that we hate them: we have been taught, for a really long time, to hate these brown-skinned Muslims who live in a country whose government is directly connected to terrorist activities in the Middle East. Their government emphasizes things like what we did in Nicaragua, or, at least it probably does. It's not as if it's a big secret. The point is that there is a collective lack of understanding, which is bred of cultural divides that have been manufactured by media outlets that exist in both countries.

That said, I don't give a sh!t what other people think about the United States. That's not my problem, and it's never going to become my problem. (I can elaborate, ad nauseum, about why our concerns about "Anti-American sentiment" are perfectly ludicrous. Please, just ask, if you'd like to hear about it.) What I care about is what other governments, and in this case, Iran's government, actually does that affects the US.

[Ok, so what does Iran's government actually do?]

Iran's government operates to undermine US power in the Middle East because it (and the people who comprise it) viscerally oppose the US's extension of the Monroe Doctrine to the Middle East. It's a very straightforward thing to understand. We're playing (and in fact dominating) what they consider to be "their" sandbox. Their notions that the Middle East is "their" and only "their" sandbox is really stupid... but that's how they feel, and it is that impulse which has defined the tone of US-Iranian relations (or, perhaps better described, "the lack" of US-Iranian relations) since 1979.

What I care about is really nice and cheap oil, coming to the United States, and preferably being extracted by US oil companies. (As an aside, I would nationalize the American oil industry for domestic extraction, but I have no qualms about American companies extracting oil from other countries to be shipped back to the US.) The reasons why I do and should care about oil are, again, in the category of "so obvious they need not even be said."

Now, this Iran deal that we have literally means "cheaper oil." That's what it means. It means a whole bunch of other things before it means "cheaper oil," but the end-game is that it means "cheaper oil." So take that in mind. Also keep in mind that there is really no reason why we shouldn't be doing that. It is profoundly better that the US rule the Middle East with an iron grip than any conceivable alternative. Arab states often do stupid, violent things that make our lives more complicated. Doing what we do over there makes things easier for everyone.....but I digress.

The point is that Iran has learned an extremely hard lesson, which came at a tremendous price for them: what America says goes, because we're America and we have all the power that matters. Try as you may to resist, it will not go well for you. And here we are.

The problem is that mot Americans don't have the background in the history of American foreign policy to have a freaking clue what Iran was doing, because (1) we have a very short cultural media, (2) the pundits who appear on shows and the so-called "experts" are -with very few exceptions- utterly stupid (in that they are as incompetent as they are ignorant), and (3) people just don't have the time to really think about these things. I think that if people had full access and unlimited time to read what I've read, do what I do and know what I know, they would very obviously see that this is what is going on. But they don't so they let the media do the thinking for them and there is nothing so hilarious as to watch a journalist (or a person who calls themselves a journalist) attempt to make sense of international relations. It's just hilarious. It's like watching a child play with blocks. (Except Fox, which is more like watching a toddler throw a temper tantrum because he hates green vegetables even though he has never eaten green vegetables.)

The curious thing is, though, that it is really unlikely that Iran ever even would have done that [give bombs to terrorist groups] because they would know that it would mean that the US and Israel (and any other country that might like to join in) would start killing thousands of people in big Iranian cities with long-range missiles.

I don't know that this is necessarily true. They've done similar things before (albeit to a much lesser extent), yet we didn't take any drastic action...

The basic problem is the way that Iran's sponsorship of terrorism has been framed. Americans get the motive wrong because the people who report stuff in the American media, with very few exceptions, are incredibly stupid. There is no hard-hitting IR analysis that appears in almost any mainstream publication. The NY times does maybe three or four times per year. The Wall Street Journal never does. Foreign Policy Magazine is the only thing that comes close, and it's not really main stream.

The point is this: Iran sponsors terrorism because it cannot directly confront those whose power it desires to challenge. Iran funds and arms Hezbollah because it resents Israel because it resents the United States' dominating what Iran considers to be its exclusive sphere of influence (read: sandbox). Now, there are definitely radical Muslim clerics who want that support to go to Hezbollah for existential and/or religious reasons... but that's ancillary. The real reason that weapons and cash go to Hezbollah is because Iran wants to challenge US power and Israeli power (an extension of US power) without incurring the risk of Tehran being bombed by PATRIOT missiles. So, innocent Palestinian civilians get caught in the cross-fire. It's all very sad.
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YYW
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8/15/2015 10:43:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 10:35:26 PM, imabench wrote:
Can we actually shoot down a nuke in mid-air? I dont know if thats true.

Yes.

I know that we can down scud missiles cause we did that in Iraq with the patriot missile system, but nukes usually travel via sub-orbital trajectories unlike smaller missiles so i dont think its true that the US has the capability to shoot down nukes after theyve been fired.
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YYW
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8/15/2015 10:44:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The basic thing here to also consider is that in 20 years, this Iranian deal (unless the Iranian government has a repeat of '79, which is not an entirely unreasonable thing to consider) could mean that Hezbollah dries up. I mean, it's not inconceivable.
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YYW
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8/15/2015 10:50:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 6:44:19 PM, airmax1227 wrote:
When one reads the details of the agreement it becomes clear that this arrangement is best for all the parties involved.

I would just qualify what you said there by adding the phrase "without large-scale violence." If we went to war, we could definitely get a much better deal, but we don't want to do that for (and I think I'm using this phrase pretty often here) manifestly obvious reasons.

The strict restriction on the amount of enriched uranium (and its level of enrichment specifically) that Iran can maintain is especially important, and reflects the extent to which the deal goes to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. I believe the inspections too, should be sufficient.

I agree, and I ultimately think that this deal could mean normalized relations between the US and Iran over the next ten years or so. I mean, escalation is as tit-for-tat as normalization, and it's going to take a long time for Washington to be comfortable with working with the Iranians again, but I'm encouraged.

Really, though, when the US starts sending aid to Iran is when you know that things are all good. I look for that to happen.

While I have my reservations about Iran in general now that its economy can get back on track as sanctions are lifted, the deal itself is nonetheless prudent and should meet all the agendas of the parties involved.

Well of course, and this is why I'm kind of glad that we had a lawyer as president as opposed to a general. A lawyer sees legal solutions (or at least quasi-legal solutions) but a general sees solutions that only involve violence. Obama is probably the only president ever that could have made this work. I mean, yes, he was the right guy at the right time, but I think most people would have given up more easily. It's a tremendous accomplishment, and it's one of the crowning achievements of his presidency.
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Salemdidit
Posts: 21
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8/15/2015 11:31:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 10:43:06 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/15/2015 10:35:26 PM, imabench wrote:
Can we actually shoot down a nuke in mid-air? I dont know if thats true.

Yes.

I know that we can down scud missiles cause we did that in Iraq with the patriot missile system, but nukes usually travel via sub-orbital trajectories unlike smaller missiles so i dont think its true that the US has the capability to shoot down nukes after theyve been fired.

Its not that simple.

We can shoot down some missiles. Examples being more primitive ones, which would be used by North Korea or likely Iran. But its never really been used in a real scenario. The problems are how darn fast those things go, detecting them in time, and hitting them preferably over an area that isn't a landmass, like the Pacific.

Can we shoot down missiles that are the top of the line stuff most nuclear armed-European countries, the US, probably China and Russia uses? Almost certainly not, though they aren't the problem.

The problem would be if Iran got a higher-class missile, which is more feasible of happening than North Korea. Then we couldn't shoot it down. However the ones they would likely end up using if they were to shoot a nuke at least have a decent shot of being shot down.

The issue isn't that though. I seriously doubt Iran would want to be known for hitting the last superpower with a nuke. The wrath of the US being more or less united against you isn't something any country wants.

What the problem is that, due to their known terrorist support, that a nuke or dirty bomb could be made or somehow smuggled out of Iran and set off somewhere like Europe, Israel, the US, ect.

Could that happen? Yeah. But its unlikely if we keep a close eye on their uranium. Pakistan is a similar situation, and they've been nuclear capable since 1998.

Good read on shooting down nukes: http://www.airspacemag.com...
YYW
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8/15/2015 11:34:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 11:31:34 PM, Salemdidit wrote:
At 8/15/2015 10:43:06 PM, YYW wrote:
What the problem is that, due to [Iran's] known terrorist support, that a nuke or dirty bomb could be made or somehow smuggled out of Iran and set off somewhere like Europe, Israel, the US, ect.

Could that happen? Yeah. But its unlikely if we keep a close eye on their uranium. Pakistan is a similar situation, and they've been nuclear capable since 1998.

I'm glad we agree. That is exactly correct.

Good read on shooting down nukes: http://www.airspacemag.com...

That's not current, and it wasn't current in 2007, either. I don't want to say more here, though.
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Salemdidit
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8/15/2015 11:36:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 11:34:49 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/15/2015 11:31:34 PM, Salemdidit wrote:
Good read on shooting down nukes: http://www.airspacemag.com...

That's not current, and it wasn't current in 2007, either. I don't want to say more here, though.

http://www.extremetech.com...

Here's a more current article. Same problems really.
YYW
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8/15/2015 11:41:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 11:36:48 PM, Salemdidit wrote:
At 8/15/2015 11:34:49 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/15/2015 11:31:34 PM, Salemdidit wrote:
Good read on shooting down nukes: http://www.airspacemag.com...

That's not current, and it wasn't current in 2007, either. I don't want to say more here, though.

http://www.extremetech.com...

Here's a more current article. Same problems really.

There are reasons why our "hand" isn't going to be publicly available, and why articles like that are really useful. But again, I'm not interested in discussing it further.
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bsh1
Posts: 27,504
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8/16/2015 1:48:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I agree fully with the OP.
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F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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8/16/2015 1:51:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Nuclear deals are always interesting because there's a really big difference between what the nuclear aspiring countries *should* do and what they are actually capable of doing.

From a moral perspective, there is no reason at all why only the 5 or so nuclear powers should have nuclear weapons. The countries who are trying now to develop nuclear capability have the moral high ground. The United States trying to block their efforts is done solely to benefit the United States but the media spends a considerable amount of time spinning it as if it as a moral good rather than American self-interest.
Romanii
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8/16/2015 1:56:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/16/2015 1:51:06 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
Nuclear deals are always interesting because there's a really big difference between what the nuclear aspiring countries *should* do and what they are actually capable of doing.

From a moral perspective, there is no reason at all why only the 5 or so nuclear powers should have nuclear weapons. The countries who are trying now to develop nuclear capability have the moral high ground. The United States trying to block their efforts is done solely to benefit the United States but the media spends a considerable amount of time spinning it as if it as a moral good rather than American self-interest.

There's a solid case to be made that maintaining US Hegemony is desirable for the majority of the world (rather than just the US)
YYW
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8/16/2015 2:08:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/16/2015 1:56:36 AM, Romanii wrote:
At 8/16/2015 1:51:06 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
Nuclear deals are always interesting because there's a really big difference between what the nuclear aspiring countries *should* do and what they are actually capable of doing.

From a moral perspective, there is no reason at all why only the 5 or so nuclear powers should have nuclear weapons. The countries who are trying now to develop nuclear capability have the moral high ground. The United States trying to block their efforts is done solely to benefit the United States but the media spends a considerable amount of time spinning it as if it as a moral good rather than American self-interest.

There's a solid case to be made that maintaining US Hegemony is desirable for the majority of the world (rather than just the US)

I think so, but at the same time I'm not going to pretend that it has any real moral force or anything like that. It's just better than all the alternatives.
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Salemdidit
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8/16/2015 2:12:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/16/2015 1:51:06 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
Nuclear deals are always interesting because there's a really big difference between what the nuclear aspiring countries *should* do and what they are actually capable of doing.

From a moral perspective, there is no reason at all why only the 5 or so nuclear powers should have nuclear weapons. The countries who are trying now to develop nuclear capability have the moral high ground. The United States trying to block their efforts is done solely to benefit the United States but the media spends a considerable amount of time spinning it as if it as a moral good rather than American self-interest.

Which is what I wish the media would just put out there more. Each country inherently works in its best interest. The its in the best interest of the US to stem the ability of people to have nuclear weapons. Just like its in Iran's to try to access nuclear capabilities, or at least nuclear power.

Why can't we just say that? Why do we have to have the moral high ground? Who cares?

Same with anything else really.
YYW
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8/16/2015 2:36:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/16/2015 2:12:19 AM, Salemdidit wrote:
At 8/16/2015 1:51:06 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
Nuclear deals are always interesting because there's a really big difference between what the nuclear aspiring countries *should* do and what they are actually capable of doing.

From a moral perspective, there is no reason at all why only the 5 or so nuclear powers should have nuclear weapons. The countries who are trying now to develop nuclear capability have the moral high ground. The United States trying to block their efforts is done solely to benefit the United States but the media spends a considerable amount of time spinning it as if it as a moral good rather than American self-interest.

Which is what I wish the media would just put out there more. Each country inherently works in its best interest. The its in the best interest of the US to stem the ability of people to have nuclear weapons. Just like its in Iran's to try to access nuclear capabilities, or at least nuclear power.

Why can't we just say that? Why do we have to have the moral high ground? Who cares?

Same with anything else really.

The thing is that that comes very close, too close really, to the idea that the US does anything other than "defend peace" or whatever. That's why the idea that we "advance our interests" (which we obviously do) never gets said. Everyone knows it, but there's like an unspoken agreement that we're all going to frame it in terms of "defense of peace" or "defense of human rights" or "defense" generally of whatever expedient thing we can think of for the moment.
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imabench
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8/16/2015 2:50:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 11:36:48 PM, Salemdidit wrote:
At 8/15/2015 11:34:49 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/15/2015 11:31:34 PM, Salemdidit wrote:
Good read on shooting down nukes: http://www.airspacemag.com...

That's not current, and it wasn't current in 2007, either. I don't want to say more here, though.

http://www.extremetech.com...

Here's a more current article. Same problems really.

I found something similar indicating we can take down cruise missiles, but not any kind of well built nuke that goes suborbital

http://www.popsci.com...
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Salemdidit
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8/16/2015 3:18:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/16/2015 2:50:40 AM, imabench wrote:
At 8/15/2015 11:36:48 PM, Salemdidit wrote:
At 8/15/2015 11:34:49 PM, YYW wrote:
At 8/15/2015 11:31:34 PM, Salemdidit wrote:
Good read on shooting down nukes: http://www.airspacemag.com...

That's not current, and it wasn't current in 2007, either. I don't want to say more here, though.

http://www.extremetech.com...

Here's a more current article. Same problems really.

I found something similar indicating we can take down cruise missiles, but not any kind of well built nuke that goes suborbital

http://www.popsci.com...

Basically. We have systems in place similar to Israels Iron Dome defense, or I assume we do.

Which, speaking of that, here is a rather morbid but cool video of the Iron Dome in effect over a wedding: https://www.youtube.com...
Romanii
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8/16/2015 4:50:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
@YYW

I agree with pretty much everything you said, but as far as I can see, you just confirmed that the Iranian government still does have an interest in funneling resources into terrorist organizations (because, like you said, it's a way to try undermining Western power in the Middle East without directly incurring retaliation) -- that is the basis of most reasonable opposition to the deal. The deal empowers Iran to funnel even *more* resources than before thanks to the lifted sanctions (although it does presumably prevent the provision of especially dangerous weapons).