See, what's hilarious is that Ahmadinejad never actually said that Israel should be physically "wiped off the map." I listened to the speech in Farsi and there's a great web site about the mistranslation.
He said the current Israeli regime should be wiped from the history books, meaning they should be REPLACED by another government (because the current government is an embarrassment, has committed atrocities against Palestinians, etc), not that there should literally be a second Holocaust killing more Jews.
Also, with respect to his Holocaust comment, although VERY poorly worded, his point was that in WWII there were a good 11 million people killed; to speak only of a Holocaust which is associated with the Jews (when referencing WWII) would be to deny the genocide against the other 5 or so million people that died. Now, KNOWING the world stance against Iran in general should have tipped off Ahmadinejad's advisors to keep the president's mouth shut about anything regarding Israel.
It's a very poor misstep for a political leader to say such a thing at all, but we all know demonizing an entity begins with propaganda. Naturally, all countries against Iran needed this sort of word play to start painting the desired picture.
Minimum civilian loss as part of a proposed short term solution that would cause ANY future government regime in Iran to STILL HATE THE US. Do you think it matters that the government has a bunch of Mullahs that are religious zealots? Are the North Koreans a bunch of religious zealots?
If Iran is bombed and there are civilian casualties and then a revolution (not related to the bombing) takes place, do you think the new government will forget about those casualties, even if it were a pro-West democratic government? No, the new government would still try to stand up to the US.
The whole argument that Iran should not have nukes is retarded. Why is the US not part of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty but demands that other countries - namely those that Washington is not happy with - not have nukes? Answer that question honestly. Please do not respond to my post without an answer to this question that is well thought out and not some redneck response that "well, them dern terr'rists shouldn't have nukes!"
Why do you think Iran is sour with the US? Duh, they funded the Shah (who abused the shit out of his people), gave weapons and intelligence to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War, where a majority of an entire generation of young men who served ended up sterile or with fertility problems because of the chemical weapons that Saddam used and the US provided him.
Iran was laughing at the US accusing Saddam of harboring chemical weapons. Of course he'd have them; the US gave him a fucking stock pile for the war against Iran.
That's like me giving you a $100 bill to put in your pocket and then accusing you of having a $100 bill that belongs to me.
Iran would never launch a nuke at Israel. Never. The point of having nukes is that your neighbors have them so you want them, too, as a deterrent. If my neighbors on both sides have guns, I will want to own a gun. Simple.
The only chance for war is if Israel tries to pre-emptively strike Iran. What's the difference between that argument and Iran striking Israel first with an ICBM because "Netanyahu called Iran a bunch of terrorists" ? It's only a matter of perspective but the argument is equally valid in principle.
If Washington really wants to cripple the Iranian government, it should make it VERY easy for Iranian nationals to get visas (in general, offer great incentives for their professionals to leave the country) and it should discreetly fund a revolution in Iran. Or are coup d'etats passe these days?
There are plenty of ex-pats living the States that have been successful and see the US as their second home, a lot of them very prominent in their industries (e.g. Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Omid Kordestani of Google). Besides, Iranian culture actually predates Islam by a good 5,000-7,000 years, so in many ways the current population views Islam as an intrusion on what were once Iranian (read: virtually faith-agnostic) traditions and values.