Near-majority approves of military force against Iran to stop nuclear-weapon development

posted at 8:40 am on February 6, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

How far should the US go to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon?  A new poll from The Hill shows that 49% of Americans would support military action by the US to stop Iran from developing or acquiring a nuclear weapon, with only 31% opposed:

Nearly half of likely voters think the United States should be willing to use military force to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, according to this week’s The Hill Poll.

Forty-nine percent said military force should be used, while 31 percent said it should not and 20 percent were not sure.

Sixty-two percent of likely voters said they were somewhat or very concerned about Iran making a terrorist strike on the United States, while 37 percent said they were not very concerned or not at all concerned about it.

If that sounds like a rejection of Ron Paul’s campaign platform on foreign policy, well, it is.  The same percentage willing to take on Iran to stop them from getting a nuclear weapon also opposes military cuts as a means for deficit reform, although 40% approve of the idea, making it a little more close. However, a clear majority approve of Ron Paul’s idea to reduce the American military in Europe and Korea, with 42% saying it should be reduced and another 10% who believe it should be eliminated altogether.

On the issue of attacking Iran, the demographics are interesting.  Among the youngest voting set that would have to disproportionately contribute to that effort (18-39YOs), support is almost exactly equal to the overall survey, 49/30.  In fact, there is almost no difference between any of the three age demos.  Income demos are all in favor of it by majorities or large pluralities; the most supportive are the under-$20K demo (53/32) and $40-60K demo (56/27).  There is no real difference between those with children at home (50/28) and those without (49/32).  Democrats narrowly support the idea (41/37) although self-described liberals (32/42) do not.  In fact, the only real partisan difference in the entire poll comes on those who approve of Barack Obama’s performance.  The more people approve of it, the less likely they are to support the idea of attacking Iran to stop the nuclear weapon.

Of course, this doesn’t address the question of whether Iran’s nuclear program can be stopped through military action in the first place (a very big question), nor how the Iranian people — who are the biggest threat to the mullahs at the moment — would react to a foreign attack.  It also fails to address if and how such an action would destabilize the region, and whether the US has the resources to launch and maintain a war against Iran with our efforts next door in Afghanistan still ongoing.  But if the Obama administration put together a credible plan to end the Iranian nuclear program through military intervention, the US would at least be open to the idea.

The Hill also asked about whether the US should establish a base on the Moon in the next decade.  Attacking Iran turns out to be a lot more popular, as support for Newt Gingrich’s proposal only comes to 20%, with 64% disapproving.  Disapproval stays in the 60s in all three partisan demos, and only finds a plurality for support in those unsure of their political philosophy (47/22).  It’s a losing proposal with every other segment.


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Like was already stated, real life isn’t quite the same as a Tom Clancy novel.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 11:40 AM

sorry? Clancy novel?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Like was already stated, real life isn’t quite the same as a Tom Clancy novel.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 11:40 AM

sorry? Clancy novel?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 11:44 AM
</blockquotOh, you are referring to the Sum of All Fears?

Came across a reference to it while searching for New Team Plans to Identify Nuclear Attackers

The Pentagon has formed a team of nuclear experts to analyze the fallout from a terrorist nuclear attack on American soil in an effort to identify the attackers, officials have said.

As I was saying, I had asked some friends who were physics post-docs (who were drinking buddies of mine) about this right after 9/11, when I was still in grad school. They told me that if you knew what material consisted of coming out of a reactor, you could trace fallout back to that material. They also told me the less sophisticated the bomb was, the easier that trace would be. I have to take that on faith, as I never made it past Electricity and Magnetism.

But that said, you still have to have the intelligence going into it on what actually comes out of these reactors. Whether we have that on Iran is an open question. But the existence of the team in this article at least confirmed for me that we have the capability of getting it.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM

The best defense is always a good offense.
Those gnats in Persia need a good swatting.
And the sooner the better.

How far back do you have to go to find an effective Democratic president?
Name that party: Which political party is the only one who, in the same century, fought for racial segregation and used nuclear weapons on defenseless citizens?

Aside from that gem:

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!” – Barry Goldwater, 1964

Amen

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 6, 2012 at 11:59 AM

If anything can be learned from the WOT, it’s that you don’t go to war with a “Near-majority”. If you do, you get eaten up from the inside before the mission is accomplished.

elfman on February 6, 2012 at 12:01 PM

IIRC, they did that by measuring the levels, calculating a cone, and drawing a line to Chernobyl. They did not do that through examination of the fallout.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 11:44 AM

That’s correct, they used a reverse accident calculation. My point, however, was that it wasn’t a government agency that figured it out first it was some tech working the mid shift in a power plant.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Ask people if they want to start another war to stop Iran from developing nuclear technology and the answer will be No. It’s all about what Americans are willing to sacrifice to achieve their perfect world. Are they willing to sacrifice a son or daughter to implement foreign policy? No.

If Israel isn’t bothered enough to attack Iran, the US better not be.

keep the change on February 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM

As I was saying, I had asked some friends who were physics post-docs (who were drinking buddies of mine) about this right after 9/11, when I was still in grad school. They told me that if you knew what material consisted of coming out of a reactor, you could trace fallout back to that material. They also told me the less sophisticated the bomb was, the easier that trace would be. I have to take that on faith, as I never made it past Electricity and Magnetism.

But that said, you still have to have the intelligence going into it on what actually comes out of these reactors. Whether we have that on Iran is an open question. But the existence of the team in this article at least confirmed for me that we have the capability of getting it.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM

As I said before figuring it out is possible but think about this. Even if you know the characteristics of the fissile material from the bomb that would identify it the nuclear explosion itself creates a variety of isotopes. Did this “fingerprint” that you found come from the reactor or from the explosion itself? Lots of variables. You could, maybe, figure it out from a half life analysis, but I’m not even sure about that. We can identify isotopes fairly easily but figuring out where it came from would be difficult.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 12:14 PM

That’s correct, they used a reverse accident calculation. My point, however, was that it wasn’t a government agency that figured it out first it was some tech working the mid shift in a power plant.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Now, my question would be, let us suppose for some reason that such a process was impossible. Could a security agency, given the fallout, have determined that Chernobyl was the source, assuming they had intelligence on the makeup of the material in the reactor?

Because the NYT article I linked above certainly makes it sound like they have that capability. Which confirms what I had been told in the past.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Now, my question would be, let us suppose for some reason that such a process was impossible. Could a security agency, given the fallout, have determined that Chernobyl was the source, assuming they had intelligence on the makeup of the material in the reactor?

Because the NYT article I linked above certainly makes it sound like they have that capability. Which confirms what I had been told in the past.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 12:14 PM

They didn’t, so what does that tell you?

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 12:14 PM

So, if I am reading you correctly, not only is the fissile material(s) in the bomb a variable, but how the bomb is configured is also a variable?

Am I reading you correct?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 12:16 PM

They didn’t, so what does that tell you?

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Well, it was a quarter of a century ago. And at the time, our nuclear defense policy assumed if there was an event, there really wasn’t any question about which one of two countries we were looking at.

Also, Chernobyl was not (to the best of my knowledge) a bomb factory. It’s quite possible we simply didn’t expend intelligence resources gathering that data. Perhaps we were able to eliminate their bomb factories as possible sources.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 12:20 PM

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Dude, that just increases the possibilities, and size of the decision tree.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 12:26 PM

And after the first shot is fire approval falls 20 points.

Lots of people have no qualms about the idea of war. It’s the actuality of war they despise.

ButterflyDragon on February 6, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Dude, that just increases the possibilities, and size of the decision tree.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 12:26 PM

There is no doubt the number of possibilities has increased since 1986. And that is just among bomb factories.

But, despite what tom Clancy may or may not have written about (sounds like I really got to read that book or see the movie), we have people in place to do just this sort of thing. I’m not in a position to know, but I have to believe that some of the $50 billion this country spends on intelligence each year is dedicated to gathering the data that team needs to operate.

And presumably, Iran knows it.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I have to believe that some of the $50 billion this country spends on intelligence each year is dedicated to gathering the data that team needs to operate.

And presumably, Iran knows it.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Having actionable intel is one thing. Proving it to the world is another.

Three letters…WMD’s…okay four.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

A classic quote is called for:

“I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

Archivarix on February 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Having actionable intel is one thing. Proving it to the world is another.

Three letters…WMD’s…okay four.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

If a nuclear bomb goes off in the US, screw proving it to the rest of the world. The only thing POTUS would need is to prove it to Congress (or even just the leadership), and it’s buh-bye Persia. We’ll deal with the international ramifications later.

Same thing happens if an event occurs in Israel, except substitute “PM” for “POTUS” and “Knesset” for “Congress”.

And, presuming we didn’t already start a war with them, like by invading them or dropping nuclear weapons on them, China and Russia won’t say “boo”. But if we, in fact, start something, then China and Russia aren’t going to look so favorably upon us, or Israel.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 12:56 PM

And after the first shot is fire approval falls 20 points.

Lots of people have no qualms about the idea of war. It’s the actuality of war they despise. – ButterflyDragon on February 6, 2012 at 12:29 PM

True, wars sucks. I hate thinking about those who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq ………… and those who have been severely injured. And, what galls me the most is that the peoples of both Iraq, Afghanistan and other nations of the Middle East show them no gratitude or the United States. Sadly, however, indeed we may have to go to war with Iran. There is no other way to stop the mad mullahs from obtaining a bomb.

SC.Charlie on February 6, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 12:14 PM

So, if I am reading you correctly, not only is the fissile material(s) in the bomb a variable, but how the bomb is configured is also a variable?

Am I reading you correct?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Not exactly sure how you got that from my post but in any case what you said is true. Both U-235 and Pu-239 are fissile. Fission bombs are either implosion devices or projectile target devices. Entirely different configurations. Implosion devices are are more difficult to manufacture and they use plutonium. Fat Man was an implosion device and Little Boy was a projectile target type. The technology has improved so that now an implosion device can be quite small and nothing like Fat Man.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 12:59 PM

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 12:56 PM

That’s been my point from the beginning! We know that, they know that. It won’t be in the US, or Israel. It will be at a location that harms the US and/or Israel. And Iran won’t do it until they enough of them to use as a deterrent.

They have already shown how they do things.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 1:02 PM

“MAD MULLAH POLICY”……………if a nuclear bomb goes off somewhere in the western world,including Israel, Iran should be forewarned that they will be wiped off the map by American nukes.

SC.Charlie on February 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM

“MAD MULLAH POLICY”……………if a nuclear bomb goes off somewhere in the western world,including Israel, Iran should be forewarned that they will be wiped off the map by American nukes.

SC.Charlie on February 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM

If it’s an American target, isn’t Pakistan just as likely?

slickwillie2001 on February 6, 2012 at 1:10 PM

But, despite what tom Clancy may or may not have written about (sounds like I really got to read that book or see the movie), we have people in place to do just this sort of thing.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Definitely read the book. Clancy purposefully introduced technical errors into his scenario. He did this because he didn’t want anyone to actually use his work as a guideline even though everything he has in that book is common knowledge. Common as in readily available with a little digging around. The movie is STUPID technically but not a bad thriller type vehicle. Yes we have people in place to do the sort of thing they talk about. The health physics departments of any nuclear power plant has the necessary equipment to perform this type of analysis. It’s commercially available. Analyzing the fallout would not be difficult. Figuring out where it came from would not be easy.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Sadly, however, indeed we may have to go to war with Iran. There is no other way to stop the mad mullahs from obtaining a bomb.

SC.Charlie on February 6, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Regardless of which party controls which house after the elections, do you really think such a war is going to fly in Congress?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Clancy purposefully introduced technical errors into his scenario. He did this because he didn’t want anyone to actually use his work as a guideline even though everything he has in that book is common knowledge.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Maybe he should have tried that with Debt of Honor.
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I know, just kidding.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Regardless of which party controls which house after the elections, do you really think such a war is going to fly in Congress?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I don’t think it will pass congressional muster no matter who is in power. I also think that as long as Iran is on it’s present course war is inevitable whether we admit it or not. It’s coming. We can deal economically with the Chinese and with Russia. It may be uneasy and unsettling but in the end a shooting war with them would benefit no one. We are, after all, China’s best customer and they like their new found wealth. Russia is still Russia and they also know that war would be more detrimental for them than for us. They teeter on the edge most of the time anyway. Iran on the other had is under the control of religious zealots whose goal is to be the dominant power in the world. They cannot be reasoned with. Anyone who would send their children out to clear minefields by stepping on the mines will not hesitate to obliterate cities full of infidels. We can either sit back and wait for events to overtake us or we can act to prevent it. Not advocating for either way here just saying that it’s coming one way or the other. This has been happening from the dawn of time and most likely will continue till long after most of us are dead and gone. Peace in our time is a fairy tale.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Analyzing the fallout would not be difficult. Figuring out where it came from would not be easy.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 1:12 PM

But certainly not impossible.

And the Iranians, presumably, know this.

Thus, the argument that could pass off a device to Hezbollah or al Qaeda, and try to argue plausible deniability, assumes that Iran would be willing to gamble that we did not have the necessary intelligence to peg them as the source.

I always advise that you never underestimate your opponent, especially when the opponent is Iran. Despite being in the throes of a theocracy of a religion, many of whose adherents live in really backwards places, that is not Iran. They are a modern police state, and have all the advantages and disadvantages that go with that. Including an advanced intelligence service.

And I have to assume that that modern intelligence service tells both their secular and religious leadership that while they do everything they can to protect their secrets, their worst case scenario always involves Israel or the US knowing what they are trying to keep secret. And that if they count on persuading China and/or Russia that the bomb that went off wasn’t really theirs… I suspect Iran’s head spook would tell them you might get away with it, but if you don’t, nobody on the planet is going to stop them from turning 5000 years of Persian history into a rumor.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Maybe he should have tried that with Debt of Honor.
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I know, just kidding.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 1:15 PM

You know I read Debt of Honor and when I finished it I sat back and said to myself “Damn I wish he hadn’t written that!” Even though I enjoyed the book immensely it always gave me a vague sense of unease. Vague that is until 9/11.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 1:28 PM

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Debt of Honor involves a terrorist crashing an airplane into the Congress, correct? I heard about that after 9/11… didn’t Clancy get debriefed over that?

I read Red Storm Rising, and it was awesome. And I read the one about the cocaine lords…???? Harrison Ford was in the movie that butchered it…???

I stopped reading his stuff after that. Although reading reviews of Sum of All Fears, I think I may have to read that one now, and skip the movie.

Wish I had done that with the one about cocaine.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I also think that as long as Iran is on it’s present course war is inevitable whether we admit it or not. It’s coming.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Everybody, except Ron Paul 2012, knows that.

Vague that is until 9/11.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 1:28 PM

IIRC, a hijacker tried that before the novel, but couldn’t fly the plane.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Thus, the argument that could pass off a device to Hezbollah or al Qaeda, and try to argue plausible deniability, assumes that Iran would be willing to gamble that we did not have the necessary intelligence to peg them as the source.

Change intelligence to will, and you have the situation as it will be shortly.

If we can get rid of the “new Carter” before shortly becomes now, we ought to be okay for a while.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Sort of off topic but not by much. Just got an email and Vince Flynn’s new novel, “Kill Shot” is out tomorrow.

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Iran on the other had is under the control of religious zealots whose goal is to be the dominant power in the world.

That may be true. But they are far more concerned with achieving regional hegemony first, and the security that goes along with that.

But they will achieve neither regional nor global hegemony by executing bolt-from-the-blue attacks like some seem to posit here.

They cannot be reasoned with.

And therein lies the disagreement. They can be reasoned with. Much of the world has diplomatic relations with them that reasons with them on a daily basis.

You said it yourself; they have a goal. Global hegemony. Is there anything they have done since the revolution that tells you they are not pursuing rational measures to achieve at least the intermediate goal of regional hegemony? Pursuit of nuclear weapons is a rational course towards that goal.

We haven’t even tried, since the revolution, to reason with them. The closest thing we’ve done, AFAICT, was sell them a bunch of weapons in return for hostages.

But they do have rational goals, even if we wish to avoid them. Assuming they are irrational, out of the gate, despite evidence to the contrary, is a step towards warmongering.

nyone who would send their children out to clear minefields by stepping on the mines will not hesitate to obliterate cities full of infidels.

How many children did the Russians use as soldiers in WWII, going after tanks with Molotov cocktails? And yet, we managed to avoid war with the Russians.

When a nation is desperate, they do desperate things. And Iran was desperate with SH bearing down on them. Let’s try not to make them that desperate again, if we can avoid it.

The Revolution is long past. We heard the horror stories of Vietnam in the fall of Saigon, and we never thought we would open diplomatic relations with them. We did, and now Vietnam, although Communist (sort of) and a police state (more than sort of), has normal relations with us, and we are both better off for it.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Change intelligence to will, and you have the situation as it will be shortly.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 1:37 PM

The will to… what? Retaliate, in full force, for a first-strike nuclear attack on our soil? Are you kidding?

Anyone… Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Barack Obama… any POTUS faced with that situation would have to have the will to limit it to Iran. Because there would be a big portion of this country that would be screaming for him to take out the rest of Islam.

Any POTUS who didn’t take Iran out after an Iranian nuclear first-strike, would quickly find himself facing a Congress who would ensure the American people that they would find themselves a POTUS who would.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 1:58 PM

That may be true. But they are far more concerned with achieving regional hegemony first, and the security that goes along with that.

A problem for Iran is that in order to achieve regional hegemony they must by necessity directly confront not only the US but a significant portion of the rest of the world because of the oil. This means that they must place themselves squarely in our path.

And therein lies the disagreement. They can be reasoned with. Much of the world has diplomatic relations with them that reasons with them on a daily basis.

They can be reasoned with much the same as Chamberlain reasoned with Hitler and with about the same result.

How many children did the Russians use as soldiers in WWII, going after tanks with Molotov cocktails? And yet, we managed to avoid war with the Russians.

This more or less supports my point. Russia would not have hesitated to obliterate cities full of people either. Their world view was a little different and they were at the base realists. They knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that if they attacked us or one of our allies that we would destroy them. They also knew that they were no match for us technologically or in the end economically. The Iranians on the other hand “KNOW” that God is on their side and that in the end they will prevail. If we are relying on diplomacy with this present government our efforts are doomed to failure. Would you ever trust anything they say?

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 2:08 PM

The will to… what? Retaliate, in full force, for a first-strike nuclear attack on our soil? Are you kidding?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 1:58 PM

That’s your scenario, no one else’s.

Read, and comprehend, what has been written.

Other than that, regarding your last two posts, your world view, I would say, is a little skewed. You make comparisons, and differences, that are apples to oranges, to put it mildly.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Oldnuke on February 6, 2012 at 2:08 PM

A problem for Iran is that in order to achieve regional hegemony they must by necessity directly confront not only the US but a significant portion of the rest of the world because of the oil. This means that they must place themselves squarely in our path.

Since when is the US part of the Middle East region?

And even if they were to achieve regional hegemony (something the Saudis and Turks would certainly have something to say about), it’s not like they are going to turn off the taps. They can’t drink that oil. They need to sell it to somebody.

They can be reasoned with much the same as Chamberlain reasoned with Hitler and with about the same result.

Think about that for a second…

Do you really think that they want to meet the same fate as Hitler’s Germany? In a nuclear world?

Once again, that only works if you assume they are irrational. Most people who know, disagree.

This more or less supports my point. Russia would not have hesitated to obliterate cities full of people either.

And yet they did. And continue to do so to this day. Without a war.

Now, go hug a diplomat.

Their world view was a little different and they were at the base realists.

The fact that Iran is seeking hegemony, by your own admission, puts them as realists at their base also. Makes them a power-seeking entity, just like any other nation-state.

They also knew that they were no match for us technologically or in the end economically. The Iranians on the other hand “KNOW” that God is on their side and that in the end they will prevail.

Funny how they “KNOW” that God is on their side, but when Zell Miller claims that “God is not indifferent to America”… not a peep.

Seems to me they are counting on nuclear scientists and aerospace engineers to facilitate their national will, more than God. And that, given their possession of chemical, and likely biological weapons for decades, and their refusal to use them preemptively against either the US or Israel to provoke a war, indicates to me that their foreign policy seems to be driven by temporal, rather than spiritual concerns.

If we are relying on diplomacy with this present government our efforts are doomed to failure. Would you ever trust anything they say?

If they tell me the sky is blue? Yeah, I trust them.

If they tell me that eating ice cream is the reason I’m fat, as opposed to fat rays from Mars? Yeah, they got me there, too.

They tell me they know they would get wiped out in a nuclear confrontation with the US or Israel? Yeah, I believe them.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 2:24 PM

That’s your scenario, no one else’s.

Read, and comprehend, what has been written.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM

I repeat… the will to… What?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Other than that, regarding your last two posts, your world view, I would say, is a little skewed. You make comparisons, and differences, that are apples to oranges, to put it mildly.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM

We are talking nuclear nation-states. For some reason, people here seem to believe that the Iranians will behave irrationally, where the Russians behaved rationally, despite what loads of experts on Iran, both here and in Israel, say.

What evidence do you have that they will behave irrationally?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

I repeat… the will to… What?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 2:26 PM

The will of our current government to commit to an asian ground war, again.

With less than overwhelming evidience.

What evidence do you have that they will behave irrationally?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Their rhetoric – when god is on your side, you will prevail
Their form of Islam – they need conflict for the 12th imam to return
Their form of government – theocracy, its gods will
Their history – since before Mohammed was born

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Their newer facilities have mountains on top of them.

Why do you think most analysts think Israel doesn’t have the firepower to do it alone?

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Like I said, when there is a will, there is a way. Israeli military and intelligence have done many things other countries can’t even dream about. Having our guys in Iraq made the trip to bomb Iran impossible, now Hussein has stationed the navy nearby to do same crap with Iraqi airspace being wide open. Complete annihilation of Iran nuclear facilites may not be required, only enough to damage them for years to come to buy more time. That facility that “caught fire” recently was not completely destroyed, but enough damage done to force Iran into years of to rebuild it. A little bit here, a little bit there….

And we won’t find out about Israel’s ability to destroy those reactors unless we let them try first, something that Hussein and Panetta are trying to forestall.

riddick on February 6, 2012 at 3:02 PM

only enough to damage them for years to come to buy more time. That facility that “caught fire” recently was not completely destroyed, but enough damage done to force Iran into years of to rebuild it. A little bit here, a little bit there….

riddick on February 6, 2012 at 3:02 PM

And that operation is ongoing. Though you left out all the mysterious deaths and assassinations of Iranian scientists. The facility that “blew up” was one that couldn’t be put under a mountain. You need lots of open space to test rocket motors and rocket fuel.

The non-nuclear bomb that could take out those under a mountain facilities is just now coming on line.

Israel doesn’t have them now, and the guy who does control them doesn’t see the time as right.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Bunker busting bombs have been available for some time now. They are beefing them up a bit these days.

You, and I, have no idea what arsenal Israel has. And I suspect most other so called military experts as well. And the only way to find out is to clear the air space for Israel, which we won’t do until change in the White House.

riddick on February 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Bunker busting bombs have been available for some time now. They are beefing them up a bit these days.

riddick on February 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

They have been around since World War II.

What you describe as “beefing up” is an entirely new bomb.

The GBU-57 is considered the minimum necessary to go after the mountain facilities in Iran. That is why work has already been announced for one with even greater penetrating power.

This stuff ain’t secret. Nowadays it is hard to make things that go bang really big a secret.

Are there secret projects? Sure. Are there secret projects to take out facilities with mountains on top of them? maybe. But, once they are tested, they won’t still be secret.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 2:59 PM

The will of our current government to commit to an asian ground war, again.

With less than overwhelming evidience.

And here I thought you wrote “will”.

When clearly you meant “stupidity”.

What evidence do you have that they will behave irrationally?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Their rhetoric – when god is on your side, you will prevail

Hear that from lots of countries all the time, including this one. We behave pretty rationally.

Their form of Islam – they need conflict for the 12th imam to return

A former IDF head and a former head of Mossad disagree with you.

Their form of government – theocracy, its gods will

And yet, in 30 years, they have behaved quite rationally towards those goals that everyone agrees they have.

Their history – since before Mohammed was born

And yet they haven’t, in 30 years, tried to provoke a war by using chemical munitions against Israel.

Your Islamaphobic Kung Fu is weak. Clearly not enough practice checming under your bed at night.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM

I tell you what, you, and Ron Paul 2012, can continue to believe in the altruism of the Iranian government that not even the Obama folks who believe in skittle pooping unicorns accept.

I will continue to to believe that Iran’s actions speak for their government.

I did get one thing wrong though:

On 28 January 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Defense had concluded that the GBU-57/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator was not capable of destroying certain facilities in Iran and had submitted a request for funds to upgrade the weapon. The request reportedly sought to improve the weapon’s penetrating characteristics.

My information was out of date. It seems that a week ago is ancient history these days.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Oh for the love of God… stop conflating some shamanistic wonder to Tom Clancy and his so called clairvoyance with Debt of Honor or Sum of all Fears. The notion that he was the only one to predict a 9/11 scenario or that no one had thought of that beforehand is just stupid. I hated it then, hearing people spout it right after 9/11 and I still do.

Sum of all Fears is almost as bad in that regard. At least the book was good but hardly a new idea on blowing up a stadium. Google “Black Sunday” a 1977 US movie.

Also, RainbowSix is where you can start to see Clancy go down hill. Its confirmed in the Bear and the Dragon… about 1000 pages of horrid tripe that was in need of an editor to cut it down to 250 pages. The blatant retcon references to Clinton breaking the narrative or to Mao were just icing on the cake. Total phone in job.

Red Storm Rising was his best and these days I wonder how much Larry Bond really did write of that one.

/end Clancy rant

oryguncon on February 6, 2012 at 5:01 PM

You, and I, have no idea what arsenal Israel has. And I suspect most other so called military experts as well. And the only way to find out is to clear the air space for Israel, which we won’t do until change in the White House.

riddick on February 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Don’t need the clearance, they will be more than welcomed to go right through Saudi Arabia, as long as the Saudis have a fig leaf of plausible deniability.

slickwillie2001 on February 6, 2012 at 5:05 PM

I tell you what, you, and Ron Paul 2012, can continue to believe in the altruism of the Iranian government that not even the Obama folks who believe in skittle pooping unicorns accept.

I will continue to to believe that Iran’s actions speak for their government.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 4:51 PM

With all due respect: F**k altruism.

I’m counting on realism, and their knowledge of certain doom if they were to light off a nuke.

And nobody has demonstrated any serious line of thought that they either don’t realize this, or that they are willing to ignore it.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Don’t need the clearance, they will be more than welcomed to go right through Saudi Arabia, as long as the Saudis have a fig leaf of plausible deniability.

slickwillie2001 on February 6, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Don’t they need to fly through either Egyptian or Jordanian air space to get there?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Don’t they need to fly through either Egyptian or Jordanian air space to get there?

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 5:36 PM

No, they don’t. Saudi air space was the only option until we left Iraq. Now it is clear all the way. The issue is re-fueling on the way back.
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Cozmo,

Just a question I’d love to ask any military expert out there:

If Israel, by all accounts, does not have weapons nor ability to make the strike, why so much noise discussing dates, methods, etc? I am guessing, well, make it I want to make a hefty bet that Israel has better means of making the strike than anyone wants to admit/discuss. And Hussein/Panetta beefing our Navy presence there all of a sudden only points out that they are more than aware that Israel is capable of a strike. Don’t forget that many latest military weapons come out of Israel, not USA, and we really have no idea what they do have in their hands. Their military satellites are eons ahead of ours, I am sure their bombs anti-bunker capability has been developed along same lines, they Middle East terrain better than we do.

riddick on February 6, 2012 at 5:47 PM

If Israel, by all accounts, does not have weapons nor ability to make the strike,

riddick on February 6, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Because it won’t be a strike. It will be at least a raid, but more like a short duration incursion.

The air force of any country always oversells its potential. To take out the Iranian nuclear sites will take some muddy boots.

Before that, Israel needs to ready its security and its people.

I imagine they are waiting a bit to see what happens in Syria and preparing the battle space. They do have allies in Turkey, Iraq and Iran.

Most of what we are hearing now is probably mis-information.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Don’t forget that many latest military weapons come out of Israel, not USA, and we really have no idea what they do have in their hands. Their military satellites are eons ahead of ours, I am sure their bombs anti-bunker capability has been developed along same lines, they Middle East terrain better than we do.

riddick on February 6, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Myths

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 6:32 PM

And therein lies the disagreement. They can be reasoned with. Much of the world has diplomatic relations with them that reasons with them on a daily basis.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Ok, they had a new news release from the Supreme Leader the Ayatollah Ali Khomeni’s strategy specialist in the past few days, running on Iran’s websites.

You may have missed it so I’ll hit the high points:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2097252/Kill-Jews-annihilate-Israel-Irans-supreme-leader-lays-legal-religious-justification-attack.html

A website with close ties to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has outlined why it would be acceptable to kill all Jews and annihilate Israel.

Genocide, you’re going to negotiate with the people calling for genocide?

It is a “‘jurisprudential justification” to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel, and in that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm.”

http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/ayatollah-kill-all-jews-annihilate-israel/

Because Israel is going to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iran is justified in launching a pre-emptive, cataclysmic attack against the Jewish state, the doctrine argues.

Sorry “preemptive genocide” where you decide you must kill every person in a country that might attack you… I guess that’s going to be a difficult negotiation.

How many of the Jews do you think you’ll let them kill worldwide in their preemptive genocide demand when you start negotiating? Half? More? Less?

I mean their chosen starting position is to destroy Israel, kill all the people there, and kill very Jew in the world without any provocation necessary to drive them to this… when you’re being diplomatic, where do you think this negotiation will go?

gekkobear on February 6, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Myths

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 6:32 PM

What myths? Drones that are more capable than ours because the technology was actually developed there? Their drones can easily reach Iran these days, with enhanced strike capabilities, they showed a new model just last year and I bet it was developed just for this mission. Military satellites that are way smaller in size than ours and can see in ANY weather conditions that were also developed there? Even we can’t buy one and for good reason. Iron Dome system that was developed there? Just a few obvious examples we do know about. Which one, exactly, is mythical? And don’t forget about cell phone signal blocking technology, it also came out of Israel, a simple thing, I know, but still.

They all seem to be myths, main reason Hussein is so nervous about Israeli attack on Iran using weapons and capability that just don’t exist in your mind and others’.
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Oh, and BTW. A few years ago, I think back in 2004, I was reading a book by a Russian writer, think Clancey but Russian equivalent, and the plot centered on muslims using a hijacked airplane to attack Eiffel Tower. I looked at the first edition of the book, it came out in 1993. One should read a book by another Russian writer, Chudinova, book is “Mosque of Notre Dame”, although I have not checked if it has been published in English. She was laughed out by Russian political society when the book came out, a good number of years ago, now it seems she clearly foresaw the entire current state of muslim affairs in Paris and elsewhere.

riddick on February 6, 2012 at 7:09 PM

riddick on February 6, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Dude, I got the first Desert Eagle in north Texas. I have been following the Israeli UAVs since the Pioneer became standard equipment on the Iowa’s. The Israeli UAV’s sell so well now because of the waiting list for General Atomic’s UAV’s. Israel got ahead with drones because the US air force passed on continuing development after setting the standard.

Iron Dome is the application of the Arrow, which was developed from the Patriot. Its what Israel needs.

Israel has those systems because it is what works for their tactical and strategic situation. None of which applies to an attack on Iran.

The Kfir and Merkava are great for what they were designed for. Personally, I am more impressed by the APC’s they created from captured T-55′s.

They made micro-satellites to fit on the launchers. The US can launch bus sized satellites that are unmatched. When the US wants something quick, they have the U-2, Global hawk and the X-37.

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Yep, main reason they just announced more sanctions on Iran with Israel having no weapons to attack it. Amazing how much activity Hussein is displaying at the same time you’re arguing Israel has no weaponry/ability to strike Iranian nuclear facilities. While Panetta is letting Iran know just how much time they have left to hide nuclear material way down in the mountain. for same reason you state, Israel having no ability to make the strike.

Let’s agree to disagree. What you and I know is seemingly nothing when compared to what they know in WH seeing them go into panic/protect mode for Iran.

riddick on February 6, 2012 at 8:26 PM

riddick on February 6, 2012 at 8:26 PM

And this is different from the last 3+ years in what way?

stuxnetTNG, anyone?

cozmo on February 6, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Stuxnet simply delayed the process, it in no way stopped it as we can see. Demolishing reactors, as seen in Iran and Syria, stops the process. Iran right now has no money to re-build if reactors are destroyed. And seeing how Russia supports Palestinians (by selling them arms) and muddles in Israel’s affairs this would also score a major point against their financial interests in Iran (they are raking in billions right now as “consultants” and “suppliers”). So, two birds with one stone.

I am not the only one seeing a nig spike in activity on Hussein’ part in the past few days.

riddick on February 7, 2012 at 1:04 AM

Also, Chernobyl was not (to the best of my knowledge) a bomb factory. It’s quite possible we simply didn’t expend intelligence resources gathering that data. Perhaps we were able to eliminate their bomb factories as possible sources.

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Chernobyl was built to provide the bomb factories with plutonium.

Don’t need the clearance, they will be more than welcomed to go right through Saudi Arabia, as long as the Saudis have a fig leaf of plausible deniability.

slickwillie2001 on February 6, 2012 at 5:05 PM

the strike force might be allowed into Iran that way but their is no way that the Saudis will allow the force to pass through unmolested on the way back to Israel.

Slowburn on February 7, 2012 at 2:34 AM

Everything going on in the Middle East can be laid on our doorstep. It is what some in the CIA said would happen and called it blowback. It pretty much started in the 50s when England asked us to help protect the oil they were stealing from Iran and the CIA got the Shaw set up as the new ruler. That went badly when he was thrown out and an Ayatollah reinstalled as leader and our Embassy was later taken over. We aided, funded and armed the Afghanistan partisans to get rid of Russia and look how well that turned out. ‘Nam, Honduras, Nicaragua, Columbia, Panama, the most infamous of all, our US citizens known as Indians or Native Americans as they are now called who still live in abject poverty on some reservations out west. It has always been about the money but as the President Chaney (sorry, I mean Pres Bush) propaganda team spouted forever, we have to protect out country and if you are not for it, you are a traitor, and so we jump on the bandwagon and blindly follow.

bseeker6969 on February 11, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Everything going on in the Middle East can be laid on our doorstep…
bseeker6969 on February 11, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Exactly, all action always starts in Western Nations.

Oddly foreigners who aren’t white people never have independent action in liberal eyes. Their actions are only ever reactions to western nations who do have free will and independent actions.

Why is this exactly? Is it because foreigners don’t even have free will or independent thought? Or is it just an amazing coincidence that in the liberal mind they’ve never once exercised this ability?

Seriously, if you want to claim to believe all men are equal; you have to credit the possibility that someone other than a western nation might behave badly at some point without being provoked into that action as a reaction to a western nation.

On the other hand if we’re going to deem all the other countries as populated by “lesser” beings incapable of independent thought or action; then we can consider that you’ve accurately stated the motives of all the Middle Eastern nations.

Or explain some other reasoning for your odd system by which only western nations ever deserve any blame for any action.

gekkobear on February 13, 2012 at 1:50 AM

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