T Nation

Some Sense on Iran

http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/opinion_columnists/article/0,1406,KNS_364_5273290,00.html

And if you think Barnett’s just some blowhard, look him up on Amazon or Google his reviews.

From your article:

“Sooner than we think, Iran’s Gorbachev-like figures will reveal themselves, not because we desire it but because Iran’s rate of internal decay ? so visible in its oil industry ? will demand it. Remember, Gorby wanted to fix ? not dismantle ? the U.S.S.R.”

Let’s hope this happens. Anyone think it will?

The Iranians are adding 300 centrifuges a week to their capacity. They need 3000 to be able to produce one bomb a year. Do the math and you see that events are running faster than the time frame the author describes.

Ahmadinejad came to power on a populist platform that he was going to improve the standard of living for the poor. Starting a war with America was not what people voted for. Nor did they vote to provoke the Israelis into nuking uranium enrichment facilities so that Iran becomes one big Chernobyl.

The authors conclusion that the US should be begging them to talk to us is backwards. Despite the commitments in Iraq, America is disproportionately the more powerful country.

If a lack of dialogue is not percieved well in the US, imagine how it is percieved in Iran. Especially when two American carrier battle groups just went throught the straight of Hormuz in daylight and the Enterprise is on its way with a fourth to follow. This is why you see Ahmadinejads support evaporating. To begin a dialogue now would shore him up.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
The Iranians are adding 300 centrifuges a week to their capacity. They need 3000 to be able to produce one bomb a year. Do the math and you see that events are running faster than the time frame the author describes.

Ahmadinejad came to power on a populist platform that he was going to improve the standard of living for the poor. Starting a war with America was not what people voted for. Nor did they vote to provoke the Israelis into nuking uranium enrichment facilities so that Iran becomes one big Chernobyl.

The authors conclusion that the US should be begging them to talk to us is backwards. Despite the commitments in Iraq, America is disproportionately the more powerful country.

If a lack of dialogue is not percieved well in the US, imagine how it is percieved in Iran. Especially when two American carrier battle groups just went throught the straight of Hormuz in daylight and the Enterprise is on its way with a fourth to follow. This is why you see Ahmadinejads support evaporating. To begin a dialogue now would shore him up.[/quote]

Good post.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
The Iranians are adding 300 centrifuges a week to their capacity. They need 3000 to be able to produce one bomb a year. Do the math and you see that events are running faster than the time frame the author describes.

Ahmadinejad came to power on a populist platform that he was going to improve the standard of living for the poor. Starting a war with America was not what people voted for. Nor did they vote to provoke the Israelis into nuking uranium enrichment facilities so that Iran becomes one big Chernobyl.

The authors conclusion that the US should be begging them to talk to us is backwards. Despite the commitments in Iraq, America is disproportionately the more powerful country.

If a lack of dialogue is not percieved well in the US, imagine how it is percieved in Iran. Especially when two American carrier battle groups just went throught the straight of Hormuz in daylight and the Enterprise is on its way with a fourth to follow. This is why you see Ahmadinejads support evaporating. To begin a dialogue now would shore him up.[/quote]

Sifu,

I wanted to echo Zap’s sentiment.

Do you see any hope that this pyscho will be reigned in?

iran is extremely frightening right now.

JeffR

Here is an interesting news source that is based in Israel. http://www.debka.com/

If you read what they have been saying, you can see that the Israelis are thinking about what they are going to do if Bush doesn’t get things resolved.

One thing that I have gleened from them is that they think Olmert is spineless for letting Iranian backed Hamas take over Gaza and Bush has lost confidence in Olmert for the same reason.

I don’t think anything is going to happen until the Enterprise and the fourth carrier battle group are in position.

If America takes out the Iranian facilities they would most likely do it with multiple strikes with conventional weapons. If the Israelis do it they aren’t going to be able to do around the clock airstrikes like the US. They are going to want to take it out the first time, that’s why analysts are thinking they would use nukes. The US might have to use nukes also.

I have a strong hunch that Bush is not going to leave this unresolved when he leaves office. If it comes down to military action it makes the most sense for Bush to be the bad guy one more time. Otherwise you are going to have first term president who has to make the big decision the might cost them a second term.

I really don’t think any of the Democrats would be willing to risk losing a second term as president by doing something that would be politically unpopular with their base.

Obama certainly has an ideology of don’t use the military until after there are a lot of dead Americans. His is an ideology of reaction over proaction.

Hillary always tries to make statements that are so heavily nuanced that she doesn’t ever really take a stand. I’ve heard her begin a policy statement with the weasal clause “I don’t know” when talking about military action. If you are going to be president you have to know.

She reminds me of a scene from the karate kid where Mr Miyagi takes a grape and says your are a grape in the middle of the road you are karate yes, you are karate no, you are karate maybe, splat like the grape.

I don’t think Bush will trust it to a democrat.

The republicans I think will be somewhat gun shy after the Bush experience and Bush won’t want to dump the problem on them.

Another thing people need to really consider is the fact that the Iranians had a team of scientists present and participating when the North Koreans did their nuclear test. Analysts who say it will be years before the Iranians are ready to do a test are ignoring the help they have gotten from the Koreans.

Americans in Iraq are being killed by Iranian made IED’s and it is interfering with the policy in Iraq.

The Iranians are producing enriched uranium right now and they don’t need enough for a nuclear device to make a dirty bomb that could kill a quarter of a million in downtown Manhattan.

I think things will go for a little while longer while the case against Iran builds but I wouldn’t be surprised to see something happen towards the end of summer/fall. That way there will be some time for the dust to settle before the elections.

Sifu

Good analysis of the situation. Militarily I think the US decaps the program and most of the sophisticated weapons such as aircraft, naval forces and infastructure. Maybe the gasoline storage areas to really ground the response capability.

What happens after that is the difficult part. The Iranians will be offered some sort of terms but I think they will retaliate. It will be difficult to control at that point. However, no matter how they respond it is better then a nuclear Iran so I see it as being almost a given the program will be hit.

I agree Israel will not let them go nuclear. Iran has made too many pucblic statements about their intentions. Even if you don’t think they are credible it still speaks to a lack of control and a risk that cannot be taken. I also believe that Israel has lot’s of people inside the program and know exactly when the deadline for action is reached.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010256

From today’s WSJ. Interesting perspective on a broader ME conflict and what is driving it.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
The Iranians are adding 300 centrifuges a week to their capacity. They need 3000 to be able to produce one bomb a year. Do the math and you see that events are running faster than the time frame the author describes.
[/quote]

No offense, but I’m more inclined to take his word over simplistic internet math. Building a nuclear bomb is not easy, contrary to what a lot of pundits say.

Agreed.

The authors conclusion that the US should be begging them to talk to us is backwards. Despite the commitments in Iraq, America is disproportionately the more powerful country.

[quote]
If a lack of dialogue is not percieved well in the US, imagine how it is percieved in Iran. Especially when two American carrier battle groups just went throught the straight of Hormuz in daylight and the Enterprise is on its way with a fourth to follow. This is why you see Ahmadinejads support evaporating. To begin a dialogue now would shore him up.[/quote]

I highly doubt Ahmedinejad’s support is evaporating because of anything we’re doing. Domestic concerns dominate. And if his support is evaporating, why would we bomb Iran and drive the population into his arms. Rally round the flag is not a myth; see the results of sustained strategic bombing of Germany.

[quote]hedo wrote:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010256

From today’s WSJ. Interesting perspective on a broader ME conflict and what is driving it.[/quote]

Wow, Josh Muravchik? Do you know who you’re linking to?

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Sifu wrote:
The Iranians are adding 300 centrifuges a week to their capacity. They need 3000 to be able to produce one bomb a year. Do the math and you see that events are running faster than the time frame the author describes.

Ahmadinejad came to power on a populist platform that he was going to improve the standard of living for the poor. Starting a war with America was not what people voted for. Nor did they vote to provoke the Israelis into nuking uranium enrichment facilities so that Iran becomes one big Chernobyl.

The authors conclusion that the US should be begging them to talk to us is backwards. Despite the commitments in Iraq, America is disproportionately the more powerful country.

If a lack of dialogue is not percieved well in the US, imagine how it is percieved in Iran. Especially when two American carrier battle groups just went throught the straight of Hormuz in daylight and the Enterprise is on its way with a fourth to follow. This is why you see Ahmadinejads support evaporating. To begin a dialogue now would shore him up.

Good post.[/quote]

Word up!

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
hedo wrote:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010256

From today’s WSJ. Interesting perspective on a broader ME conflict and what is driving it.

Wow, Josh Muravchik? Do you know who you’re linking to?[/quote]

Yep. It was published in today’s WSJ too which makes it widely read and an interesting observation.

Iran is expanding assembly of centrifuges by 300 a week, diplomats in Vienna

June 10, 2007, 9:44 PM (GMT+02:00)

Two weeks ago, the UN nuclear watchdog reported Iran had assembled 1,600 centrifuges at its underground facility at Natanz. Sunday, unnamed diplomats at the IAEA Vienna headquarters said the number had risen to more than 2,000 and was expanding at the rate of about 300 per week.

DEBKAfile?s military sources estimate that Tehran may have produced enough enriched uranium for one or two nuclear devices, though lacking the technology to build a bomb. Diplomatic efforts to stop Iran?s rapid progress are paralyzed.

US intelligence estimates Iran has overcome technical difficulties in uranium enrichment, shortening to 2010 the date for enough bomb-grade material ? CBS

April 29, 2007, 1:49 PM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile adds: This new assessment is down from the original 2015 date and closer to the Israeli intelligence 2009 estimate - although PM Ehud Olmert said this week that Iran is far from a technological breakthrough. CBS?s sources note that Iran could meet or beat that date, depending on further technical progress in operating a uranium enrichment plant now under construction. According to Pentagon officials quoted in the broadcast, the window has narrowed for Israel to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran, which could involve the US in a war against a much tougher opponent than Iraq.

DEBKAfile?s military sources report that the revised US estimate rests on word that the Iranians have overcome the difficulties stalling the operation of the P2 centrifuges at the Natanz plant at the requisite speeds for producing weapons-grade uranium. The low-grade material was good enough for a primitive device, but not a bomb.

Even with sufficient bomb-grade uranium, Iran must still master the technology for building a bomb or a warhead which can be delivered by air or missile. All the timelines released thus far, including the CBS disclosure of Fri. April 27, are no more than estimates. None of the intelligence agencies, American, Israeli, or even Iranian, can precisely date the moment of breakthrough, or predict when Tehran will acquire the technology it lacks on the black market.

Olmert?s estimate that Iran?s nuclear program is far off and can be halted by diplomacy and sanctions was offered in a speech this week to American Jewish leaders. Wide of the mark, it was produced as anodyne for an audience nervous of a US-Israeli war against Iran. The CBS reference to a possible Israeli pre-emptive strike involving the US was a roundabout way of intimating that American military action against Iran involving Israel has moved closer to reality. The Olmert government would not dream of going it alone against Iran, as did Menahem Begin in 1981, when he ordered the bombing of Saddam Hussein?s nuclear reactor.

Tehran obviously expects an American attack in the summer months, judging by the threat issued Thursday by deputy interior minister Mohammad Baqer Zoldghadr, favorite for taking charge of the Revolutionary Guards. Should the US attack, he said: ?Nowhere would be safe for America with (Iran?s) long-range missiles? we can fire tens of thousands of missiles every day.? He added: ?With long-range missiles Iran can also threaten Israel as America?s ally? and US Middle East bases.

DEBKAfile Reports: US troops in Iraq may attack nuclear and military targets in Iran when a high-casualty attack is traced to Tehran

February 27, 2007, 9:04 PM (GMT+02:00)

This new presidential directive extends the license President George W. Bush issued last month to US troops to capture or kill Iranian agents supporting Iraqi insurgency and al Qaeda attacks on American forces.

It is causing great concern in Tehran’s ruling circles - especially as the new license may well be applied when the downing of a large US helicopter ends in a heavy US death toll.

DEBKAfile?s military sources report that American commanders in Iraq are studying the innovative methods for shooting down US aircraft which Iranian Revolutionary Guards instructors are imparting to Iraqi insurgents.

Maj. Gen James E. Simmons, deputy commander of US forces in Iraq, describes multiple weapons systems fired at the same time as having brought down 7 American helicopters in the last month. This, says Simmons, is the sign of ?a thinking enemy? - although sometimes the insurgents appear to have got lucky and hit helicopters with automatic weapons fire as they chanced by.

The New York Times reports these multiple systems may include shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades ? RPGs and unguided rockets that can?t be diverted by American helicopters? anti-heat-seeking flares.

Our military sources say this mix of weaponry is designed to ambush the aircraft at any altitude chosen to escape the ground fire.

Under the new presidential directive, the downing of a helicopter carrying a large number of US troops could trigger a bombing campaign against Iran such as, for example, the dispatch of long-range B2 stealth bombers with bunker-busting bombs for dropping on the 25m deep Natanz site, where centrifuges are positioned for enriching uranium.

Attacks mount also be mounted against Iran?s military infrastructure.

[quote]hedo wrote:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010256

From today’s WSJ. Interesting perspective on a broader ME conflict and what is driving it.[/quote]

Good article.

I can’t find anything to disagree with.

You know what is truly sick and frightening?

The silence from the democrats.

Where are the: “Well, iran was the real enemy. Why attack Iraq when iran truly has WMD crowd.”

I don’t want this country to have to fight iran, however, the silence from the dems infuriates me.

I know they will sit on the damn sidelines. Anything that goes wrong, “Well we never supported it in the first place.”

Or, if they take a stance, “Well, I was wrong and lied to.”

It’s too bad that political power is more important to the dems than principle.

It sickens me to no end.

JeffR

[quote]hedo wrote:
GDollars37 wrote:
hedo wrote:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010256

From today’s WSJ. Interesting perspective on a broader ME conflict and what is driving it.

Wow, Josh Muravchik? Do you know who you’re linking to?

Yep. It was published in today’s WSJ too which makes it widely read and an interesting observation.

[/quote]

He’s an original neo-con. If you still believe in the ability of America to export democracy at the point of a gun, despite the last six years of evidence, then maybe he’s your guy.

And the Journal’s opinion page has become increasingly unhinged, a couple weeks ago they had another neo-con comparing Scooter Libby to “a fallen soldier,” one of the more disgusting things I’ve read in American journalism in a while.

And as for the man’s argument, Daniel Larison notes:

A large portion of modern wars erupted because aggressive tyrannies believed that their democratic opponents were soft and weak. ~Joshua Muravchik

Except for the Napoleonic Wars, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Crimean War, the War of Secession, the Franco-Austrian War (1859) and the other Wars of Italian Unification, the War of the Triple Alliance (South America), Franco-Prussian War, the Russo-Turkish Wars, the War of the Pacific (South America), the Boer War, the Spanish-American War, the Russo-Japanese War, the Sino-Japanese Wars, the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, WWI, the Spanish Civil War, Suez, Vietnam, Panama, the Bosnian War, NATO?s bombing of Yugoslavia, the First and Second Congo Wars and the invasion of Iraq, Muravchik?s generalisation holds up pretty well.

Damn,

JeffR

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
hedo wrote:
GDollars37 wrote:
hedo wrote:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010256

From today’s WSJ. Interesting perspective on a broader ME conflict and what is driving it.

Wow, Josh Muravchik? Do you know who you’re linking to?

Yep. It was published in today’s WSJ too which makes it widely read and an interesting observation.

He’s an original neo-con. If you still believe in the ability of America to export democracy at the point of a gun, despite the last six years of evidence, then maybe he’s your guy.

And the Journal’s opinion page has become increasingly unhinged, a couple weeks ago they had another neo-con comparing Scooter Libby to “a fallen soldier,” one of the more disgusting things I’ve read in American journalism in a while.

And as for the man’s argument, Daniel Larison notes:

A large portion of modern wars erupted because aggressive tyrannies believed that their democratic opponents were soft and weak. ~Joshua Muravchik

Except for the Napoleonic Wars, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Crimean War, the War of Secession, the Franco-Austrian War (1859) and the other Wars of Italian Unification, the War of the Triple Alliance (South America), Franco-Prussian War, the Russo-Turkish Wars, the War of the Pacific (South America), the Boer War, the Spanish-American War, the Russo-Japanese War, the Sino-Japanese Wars, the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, WWI, the Spanish Civil War, Suez, Vietnam, Panama, the Bosnian War, NATO?s bombing of Yugoslavia, the First and Second Congo Wars and the invasion of Iraq, Muravchik?s generalisation holds up pretty well.
[/quote]

C’mon GD. Your a regular poster and a student of military history aren’t you?

Attacking the idealogy of a writer and the venue, particularly if it is the WSJ, of all papers, isn’t going to hold up. Maybe the NYT’s or the Guardian but not the WSJ. Additionally the WSJ clearly identifies this as an opinion piece. Something other papers do not do well.

Add in some minor skirmishes like WW1, WW2, GW1 and the Cold War, and the intent of his thoughts are a lot more clear. Somewhat more influential then the Russo-Turkish war upon history don’t you think?

It’s PC to attack the neocons these days. Study why they became so influential and you will see a lot more then “spreading Democracy at the point of a gun”. It was a reaction more then anything else.

[quote]hedo wrote:

C’mon GD. Your a regular poster and a student of military history aren’t you?

Attacking the idealogy of a writer and the venue, particularly if it is the WSJ, of all papers, isn’t going to hold up. Maybe the NYT’s or the Guardian but not the WSJ. Additionally the WSJ clearly identifies this as an opinion piece. Something other papers do not do well.
[/quote]

The WSJ opinion pages are every bit as slanted as the NYT’s, and as I said, increasingly unhinged. Go look up Fouad Ajami’s piece on Scooter Libby, written a couple weeks ago, and tell me it’s not disgusting. Will take you five minutes.

Their news page, however, is considered even-handed, and indeed slightly left-wing.

Go back and read the list. World War I is on there, along with Vietnam, Napoleonic Wars, Iraq. We’re not talking minor wars. Nice try.

No question. I was in an office about twenty yards down the hall from Muravchik’s a few summers ago as an intern. I’m fully aware of the intellectual roots of neo-conservatism as a reaction to Sixties radicalism and Vietnam protesters. Has nothing to do with the beating their theorizing and bloviating has taken thanks to reality since 2003, nor does it change their very divided loyalties regarding Israel.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
hedo wrote:

C’mon GD. Your a regular poster and a student of military history aren’t you?

Attacking the idealogy of a writer and the venue, particularly if it is the WSJ, of all papers, isn’t going to hold up. Maybe the NYT’s or the Guardian but not the WSJ. Additionally the WSJ clearly identifies this as an opinion piece. Something other papers do not do well.

The WSJ opinion pages are every bit as slanted as the NYT’s, and as I said, increasingly unhinged. Go look up Fouad Ajami’s piece on Scooter Libby, written a couple weeks ago, and tell me it’s not disgusting. Will take you five minutes.

Their news page, however, is considered even-handed, and indeed slightly left-wing.

Add in some minor skirmishes like WW1, WW2, GW1 and the Cold War, and the intent of his thoughts are a lot more clear. Somewhat more influential then the Russo-Turkish war upon history don’t you think?

Go back and read the list. World War I is on there, along with Vietnam, Napoleonic Wars, Iraq. We’re not talking minor wars. Nice try.

It’s PC to attack the neocons these days. Study why they became so influential and you will see a lot more then “spreading Democracy at the point of a gun”. It was a reaction more then anything else.

No question. I was in an office about twenty yards down the hall from Muravchik’s a few summers ago as an intern. I’m fully aware of the intellectual roots of neo-conservatism as a reaction to Sixties radicalism and Vietnam protesters. Has nothing to do with the beating their theorizing and bloviating has taken thanks to reality since 2003, nor does it change their very divided loyalties regarding Israel.[/quote]

Ah see you did WW!..very good. I missed it. We didn’t invade Iraq during GW1 so I assume you mean the invasion of 2003. Cold War? I don’t think it makes your argument.

I think you are letting bias influence your opinion. The WSJ publishes opinion form a lot of sources and perspectives. That cannot be said of the NYT by any stretch. You may not agree with it but it does not make it so. I read the Libby piece. I have subscribed to the WSJ for 25 yrs. Read it objectively and put yourself in Libby’s shoes…doesn’t sound like such a bad idea in that case?

The Neocon debate…just don’t have the interest to debate it right now. Suffice to say many different opinions exist and you and I probably don’t share one.

Back on topic…

Iran has set gas consumption quotas that have the population in an uproar. Some are calling for the head of the President for his stance (nuclear energy-cum-weaponry) that will result in UN sanctions.

40% gasoline imports will be severely curtailed.

Couple that with rising inflation and cost of living

And switching off the mobile text messaging system

And ordering journalists to not report on problems caused by rations

The president doesn’t hold as much sway over his populace like Kim Jong Il, but the pattern is most certainly recognized.

Will the Iranians throw out the hardliners?