What Negotiated Solution to Iran’s Nuclear Program Would You Find Acceptable?

 

shutterstock_137764901There were recently reports that the multi-party talks about Iran’s nuclear program were approaching a deal that would have the Iranians pause their nuclear program for a decade in exchange for lifting of sanctions. This was promptly reported in the conservative press as some variation of “Obama Gives Iranians the Bomb in Ten Years.”

It didn’t sound like an especially bad plan to me. A lot can happen in ten years, especially if tensions between nations are allowed to deescalate. I’m also a firm believer in the Churchill notion that “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.” But I could be wrong. Perhaps this is a bad deal. However, I’m also a firm believer in the notion that complaining about something without offering a solution is just whining. So I have a question for everyone here on Ricochet: What kind of negotiated solution would you find acceptable?

But before that, I need to remind everyone of some important elements in the equation:

  1. The Iranians aren’t crazy. To the extent that any government is, the Iranians are rational. There’s this idea floating around that the Iranian government is populated by lunatics who want to see the world reduced to a cinder to bring about the Islamic equivalent of the Second Coming. This is simply a fantasy. It’s folly to assume the other side are all crazy. They may be odd, they may be different, they may have different values, but to assume that they are incapable of rational thought is nonsense.
  2. They’re fighting the Islamic State. Iran is a Shia country with strong cultural and political ties to Shia dominated Iraq. Sunni ISIS is a threat not only to their coreligionists, but to their interest in Iraq. As a result, the Iranians are helping to fight ISIS. Negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program have a lot of dimensions, this is one of them.
  3. Agreement isn’t bilateral. The US and Iran are only two parties in these talks. They also include Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia. So when you’re tempted to talk about how “Obama is doing X,” remember that these are seven-party talks, and keep in mind the larger context of what is going on in Europe.
  4. The threat isn’t imminent. The Iranians don’t have a functioning nuclear device. They haven’t tested one. (We would know). If they have access to designs that they may have purchased, we don’t even know of those designs actually work. And if you examine their uranium enrichment program, they don’t have the capacity to build a weapon yet.

While reading this, no doubt, some of you are ready to respond that no negotiated solution is possible, and the only thing we can do is bomb Iran. A few points about that:

  1. The Osirak thing isn’t an option here. As we all know, the Israelis took matters into their own hands in 1981 and stifled Iraqi nuclear ambitions by bombing the Osirak reactor. Knocking the Iranian nuclear program out the same way is not an option here. First of all, the Iranian program is spread out over multiple locations. Second, those locations are fortified, in anticipation that somebody might try that trick again. Third, the Iranians have built a substantial air-defense system to defend these nuclear sites. If it can be done at all (which is highly doubtful), knocking out the Iranian program isn’t going to be done by a handful of F-16s.
  2. Airstrikes would mean going to the mattresses. Its well known and well established that the Iranians have no problem supplying and supporting various terrorist organizations. If we were to bomb the Iranians, it would mean a war, and the Iranians would go to the mattresses. They would press the buttons, pull the strings, whatever metaphor you want to use, on their various client terrorist organizations, and they would hit back in a substantial way.
  3. It would mean war with Iran. Bombing Iran wouldn’t be like shooting a few missiles at a couple of aspirin factories, it would mean a war. It would probably mean the Persian Gulf would be closed to oil shipping. Iran has a population larger than Afghanistan and Iraq put together, and a land area larger than Afghanistan and Iraq put together. Occupation is simply not an option, and there won’t be public support for an extended war.

So, with these factors in mind, what is your solution? (Keep in mind that any negotiated agreement now needs to be a treaty that can pass with a 2/3 vote, because 47 Republicans in the Senate just shot to hell any chance of any other kind of agreement).

So let’s hear it. What negotiated agreement would you find acceptable?

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  1. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @GrannyDude

    Danny Alexander:#56 Kate Braestrup

    You spoke to what was going to be my second point in an already involved comment above.

    Your skepticism certainly merits discussion/counterpoints, and I would respond as follows.

    First, I think it may be Iran counter-ops expert Michael Ledeen who has observed that a known inclination (and thus frequent MO) of the Iranians is elimination of an enemy via a multiplicity of slicings/stabs that in the aggregate serve to kill but aren’t sufficiently detected until it’s too late for the enemy to do anything.

    Callous though it may be to say, Iran is counting on the larger West to view the immolation of the Jewish State (notwithstanding the obviousness of a nuclear detonation) as a pinprick not worth serious retaliation.

    The corollary is that the Khomeinists are also counting on the larger West willfully blinding itself to the ICBMs being readied for the coup de grace.

    (Obviously, for range reasons — there are of course others — Tehran won’t employ an ICBM against Jerusalem.)

    Second, we go back to the “playing the long game” leitmotif. Assuming a nuke detonated by Iranian proxies in Israel is traced clearly to Iran, and assuming the Khomeinists have made quite clear that they have a well-stocked nuclear arsenal, it’s quite simple for the regime to say to the West (in the aftermath of Israel’s immolation) something on the order of “Well, so?We’ve removed the region’s cancerous tumor, and now everyone here in the region is at long last happy — they appreciate the stability we now provide, and after you go through your Kubler-Ross stages of grief about the demise of the illegitimate Zionist Regime, you will too.”And to employ a term appearing repeatedly on this thread, crazy Western acquiescence in the face of brazen evil is not historically unheard of.

    Finally, many, many analysts have pointed out how readily the Khomeinists (who are Persian) send out proxies (frequently Arab) to get the dirty stuff done. (Just ask the current Argentinean president — she should know.) These proxies have set up quite a supply chain extending from Tehran to Beirut — if you’ve ever been to Israel you know how ridiculously easy it could be to get a powerful-enough device close enough.

    Hmh. (Sound of thoughtful consideration).

    • #61
  2. Asquared Inactive
    Asquared
    @ASquared

    Kate Braestrup:

    You may certainly be right—and if I had to choose one of us to make the call, Asquared, I’d choose you over me in a heartbeat, though I wouldn’t wish it on you.

    I laid out my position in post 14.  I would have no problem following that plan in the unlikely (and massively unfortunate) circumstance of holding national office.

    I think the problem with this President is the unwillingness to make small difficult decisions makes it more likely that you will have to make bigger difficult decisions. Obama has backed himself into this corner after 6 years of appeasing our enemies and criticizing our allies.  Now all he cares about now is kicking this particular can down the road a bit regardless of the long-term cost in lives and global stability.

    • #62
  3. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Misthiocracy:

    Tuck:

    Misthiocracy:

    I can’t think of any more recent than medieval times (100-years-war, 30-years-war, the Crusades, etc).

    How about the war to spread Islam? That’s been going on for a bit, with fits and starts.

    Again, medieval times.

    Not really. Islamists are currently fighting in sub-Saharan Africa to establish Islamist rule.

    • #63
  4. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Like most who have commented, I would take issue with many of your premises.  But nonetheless, I’ll take a stab at your direct question.

    I would consider a deal acceptable which would make it possible for people I trust to verify that Iran is not building a nuclear weapon, and is not acquiring the capability to do so in any relatively short period of time.  I am not qualified to set out the specific indicators such observers would be required to verify.

    “People I trust” does not include the vast majority of those typically considered as standard international gatekeepers on such issues, U.N. agencies very much included.

    It would include the Israelis, for starters.  If they were prepared to certify that Iran isn’t building a bomb, I’d believe them.  If the Iranians are rational people and know that Israel has no desire to start an unnecessary war in its dangerous region, surely they’d be happy to let them in to get rid of the sanctions and have us generally leave them alone.  Don’t you think so?

    • #64
  5. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Kate Braestrup:

    1.) North Korea has the bomb. Despite having demonstrably loony leadership, North Korea has not (yet) nuked anybody. Call me naive, but it seems to me that since nukes tend to have a return address, the reason for little Kim’s restraint is that even nut cases don’t want to be nuked back.

    2.) North Korea has the bomb. North Korea has not been subjected to invasion and regime change. Might not Iran—a country that also made the short list for our enemies in the War on Terror (A of E, remember?) —have concluded that possession of a nuclear bomb is an excellent deterrent to being suddenly and violently deprived of sovereignty?

    Indeed yes. Compare and contrast Libya (Qaddafi) and North Korea (Kim).  It could be argued that our own actions are the most compelling argument for some regimes to nuke up and fast.

    3.) The Islamic fundamentalists would, as I’ve said in another thread, love to destroy America and the American W of L. They can’t. Why do we speak of them as if they are superhuman? An aside—you do realize, don’t you, that when you get all “Obama-is-the-anti-christ and the world is going to end”-y, you sound just like my environmentalist friends who declare that we’re going to be sweating in seaside hovels eating pigeons and rats by 2050?

    Because it is an almost religious conviction among some that Iran will nuke Israel as soon as it has the bomb, no matter what the consequences to itself.  And convictions of this nature are very hard to shift with facts or logic.

    • #65
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Iran, formally considers us the Great Satan. We should oblige them with fire.

    Destroy the current plants. End the threat once and for all. If they respond, destroy every bridge in the nation. Grind them into dust. Demonstrate to them, and to the world, that we are the lone superpower, and that we are not to be trifled with. THAT is what these barbarians understand. They understand nothing else.

    Then step back and see what the Islamofacists around the world do. If they want to fight, wash, rinse repeat.

    This dithering will cost countless more lives in the future.

    And I think we should wipe out every base in NK while we are at it.

    • #66
  7. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    anonymous:

    Bryan G. Stephens:Destroy the current plants. End the threat once and for all. If they respond, destroy every bridge in the nation. Grind them into dust. Demonstrate to them, and to the world, that we are the lone superpower, and that we are not to be trifled with. THAT is what these barbarians understand. They understand nothing else.

    Iran has a population of more than 77 million people, many of whom oppose the tyrannical regime imposed upon them. The last time they took to the streets, the U.S. was silent in supporting their cry for liberation. The U.S. has the ability to turn out the lights in the cities of Iran and destroy the bridges, which will reduce that population, many of whom do not support the regime, to penury.

    Is this likely to cause them to support Western values (which they imbibe at high bandwidth by illegal satellite dishes)?

    This is a proud and ancient civilisation (unlike their barbarian neighbours, they are scrupulous in conserving their ancient heritage). Aggression can poison the well for many generations. A resolute stand which aligns the forces of civilisation against the tyranny that oppresses the people may act in the interest of their liberation.

    Threats to the Republic should be destroyed. We firebombed Japan and Germany. We bombed Occupied France. The enemy cannot have a secure base.

    If you have a pathway to stop the bomb, and save people fine. But there is nothing the Iran regime won’t do to get its bomb so we cannot attack them. When that happens, they WILL use it on someone.

    I would rather thousands die now, to save millions later. The world is unfair and tough. Sanctions hurt the people too. That was a reason not to do them, right?

    If it comes down to them or us, I want it to be them. Same for them or Israel.

    Sorry if that is too harsh, but it is how it looks to me.

    • #67
  8. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Danny Alexander:I’ll add by getting back to the “playing the long game” characterization Amos Yadlin supplies about the Iranian regime(see my comment at the beginning of the thread).

    First, about the regime (and from this point I’ll use the term “Khomeinists” to distinguish the regime from the general Iranian people):As someone just earlier in the thread ably put it, just get clarity on the Khomeinists’ objective and then you can with considerable fluidity work your way back through how they can achieve it.

    As repeated in many comments here, that objective is the ushering in of the Messianic Era. Period.

    What is this Muslim messianic era? Is it mentioned in the Koran? In other Muslim writings?

    Why do we believe that the Islamic Republic is working towards bringing it about?  Is this even, theologically speaking, possible?

    • #68
  9. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    anonymous:

    Bryan G. Stephens:Destroy the current plants. End the threat once and for all. If they respond, destroy every bridge in the nation. Grind them into dust. Demonstrate to them, and to the world, that we are the lone superpower, and that we are not to be trifled with. THAT is what these barbarians understand. They understand nothing else.

    Iran has a population of more than 77 million people, many of whom oppose the tyrannical regime imposed upon them. The last time they took to the streets, the U.S. was silent in supporting their cry for liberation. The U.S. has the ability to turn out the lights in the cities of Iran and destroy the bridges, which will reduce that population, many of whom do not support the regime, to penury.

    Is this likely to cause them to support Western values (which they imbibe at high bandwidth by illegal satellite dishes)?

    This is a proud and ancient civilisation (unlike their barbarian neighbours, they are scrupulous in conserving their ancient heritage). Aggression can poison the well for many generations. A resolute stand which aligns the forces of civilisation against the tyranny that oppresses the people may act in the interest of their liberation.

    Threats to the Republic should be destroyed. We firebombed Japan and Germany. We bombed Occupied France. The enemy cannot have a secure base.

    If you have a pathway to stop the bomb, and save people fine. But there is nothing the Iran regime won’t do to get its bomb so we cannot attack them. When that happens, they WILL use it on someone.

    I would rather thousands die now, to save millions later. The world is unfair and tough. Sanctions hurt the people too. That was a reason not to do them, right?

    If it comes down to them or us, I want it to be them. Same for them or Israel.

    Sorry if that is too harsh, but it is how it looks to me.

    In the cases of Germany and Japan, the civilians were complicit in supporting the hostile governments. They needed–deserved–to see the consequences of supporting evil.

    Also, the suffering of sanctions is a far cry from the sufferings of firebombing. Those really are “a little suffering now to prevent a lot later.”

    We didn’t duke it out with the Soviets militarily, but we still managed to win. Tehran is probably less rational and requires a different approach, but one that still falls short of large scale conventional attacks.

    Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    • #69
  10. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    anonymous:

    Bryan G. Stephens:Destroy the current plants. End the threat once and for all. If they respond, destroy every bridge in the nation. Grind them into dust. Demonstrate to them, and to the world, that we are the lone superpower, and that we are not to be trifled with. THAT is what these barbarians understand. They understand nothing else.

    Iran has a population of more than 77 million people, many of whom oppose the tyrannical regime imposed upon them. The last time they took to the streets, the U.S. was silent in supporting their cry for liberation. The U.S. has the ability to turn out the lights in the cities of Iran and destroy the bridges, which will reduce that population, many of whom do not support the regime, to penury.

    Is this likely to cause them to support Western values (which they imbibe at high bandwidth by illegal satellite dishes)?

    It won’t matter if they’re all dead.

    Two salient questions:

    1. Can the West kill them all; and
    2. Can the West embark on this course and still remain the West?

    I think the answer to both is no.

    This is a proud and ancient civilisation (unlike their barbarian neighbours, they are scrupulous in conserving their ancient heritage). Aggression can poison the well for many generations. A resolute stand which aligns the forces of civilisation against the tyranny that oppresses the people may act in the interest of their liberation.

    Not to mention our own enlightened self interest.

    • #70
  11. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    J. D. Fitzpatrick:

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    anonymous:

    Bryan G. Stephens:Destroy the current plants. End the threat once and for all. If they respond, destroy every bridge in the nation. Grind them into dust. Demonstrate to them, and to the world, that we are the lone superpower, and that we are not to be trifled with. THAT is what these barbarians understand. They understand nothing else.

    Iran has a population of more than 77 million people, many of whom oppose the tyrannical regime imposed upon them. The last time they took to the streets, the U.S. was silent in supporting their cry for liberation. The U.S. has the ability to turn out the lights in the cities of Iran and destroy the bridges, which will reduce that population, many of whom do not support the regime, to penury.

    Is this likely to cause them to support Western values (which they imbibe at high bandwidth by illegal satellite dishes)?

    This is a proud and ancient civilisation (unlike their barbarian neighbours, they are scrupulous in conserving their ancient heritage). Aggression can poison the well for many generations. A resolute stand which aligns the forces of civilisation against the tyranny that oppresses the people may act in the interest of their liberation.

    Threats to the Republic should be destroyed. We firebombed Japan and Germany. We bombed Occupied France. The enemy cannot have a secure base.

    If you have a pathway to stop the bomb, and save people fine. But there is nothing the Iran regime won’t do to get its bomb so we cannot attack them. When that happens, they WILL use it on someone.

    I would rather thousands die now, to save millions later. The world is unfair and tough. Sanctions hurt the people too. That was a reason not to do them, right?

    If it comes down to them or us, I want it to be them. Same for them or Israel.

    Sorry if that is too harsh, but it is how it looks to me.

    In the cases of Germany and Japan, the civilians were complicit in supporting the hostile governments. They needed–deserved–to see the consequences of supporting evil.

    Also, the suffering of sanctions is a far cry from the sufferings of firebombing. Those really are “a little suffering now to prevent a lot later.”

    We didn’t duke it out with the Soviets militarily, but we still managed to win. Tehran is probably less rational and requires a different approach, but one that still falls short of large scale conventional attacks.

    Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    We did not “die by the sword” after WWII. Or WWI for that matter.

    Come to think of it, WWII was because we did not fully defeat Germany.

    Don’t leave someone behind wounded to come kill you.

    How needs large scale attacks? Wipe out their nukes. How about if we blow up bases instead of bridges?

    • #71
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Zafar:

    anonymous:

    Bryan G. Stephens:Destroy the current plants. End the threat once and for all. If they respond, destroy every bridge in the nation. Grind them into dust. Demonstrate to them, and to the world, that we are the lone superpower, and that we are not to be trifled with. THAT is what these barbarians understand. They understand nothing else.

    Iran has a population of more than 77 million people, many of whom oppose the tyrannical regime imposed upon them. The last time they took to the streets, the U.S. was silent in supporting their cry for liberation. The U.S. has the ability to turn out the lights in the cities of Iran and destroy the bridges, which will reduce that population, many of whom do not support the regime, to penury.

    Is this likely to cause them to support Western values (which they imbibe at high bandwidth by illegal satellite dishes)?

    It won’t matter if they’re all dead.

    Two salient questions:

    1. Can the West kill them all; and
    2. Can the West embark on this course and still remain the West?

    I think the answer to both is no.

    This is a proud and ancient civilisation (unlike their barbarian neighbours, they are scrupulous in conserving their ancient heritage). Aggression can poison the well for many generations. A resolute stand which aligns the forces of civilisation against the tyranny that oppresses the people may act in the interest of their liberation.

    Not to mention our own enlightened self interest.

    When they lob a Nuke on their ICBM into NYC, what do you think will happen then?

    Take them out now, and they are no longer a threat.

    • #72
  13. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @GrannyDude

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    J. D. Fitzpatrick:

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    anonymous:

    Bryan G. Stephens:Destroy the current plants. End the threat once and for all. If they respond, destroy every bridge in the nation. Grind them into dust. Demonstrate to them, and to the world, that we are the lone superpower, and that we are not to be trifled with. THAT is what these barbarians understand. They understand nothing else.

    Iran has a population of more than 77 million people, many of whom oppose the tyrannical regime imposed upon them. The last time they took to the streets, the U.S. was silent in supporting their cry for liberation. The U.S. has the ability to turn out the lights in the cities of Iran and destroy the bridges, which will reduce that population, many of whom do not support the regime, to penury.

    Is this likely to cause them to support Western values (which they imbibe at high bandwidth by illegal satellite dishes)?

    This is a proud and ancient civilisation (unlike their barbarian neighbours, they are scrupulous in conserving their ancient heritage). Aggression can poison the well for many generations. A resolute stand which aligns the forces of civilisation against the tyranny that oppresses the people may act in the interest of their liberation.

    Threats to the Republic should be destroyed. We firebombed Japan and Germany. We bombed Occupied France. The enemy cannot have a secure base.

    If you have a pathway to stop the bomb, and save people fine. But there is nothing the Iran regime won’t do to get its bomb so we cannot attack them. When that happens, they WILL use it on someone.

    I would rather thousands die now, to save millions later. The world is unfair and tough. Sanctions hurt the people too. That was a reason not to do them, right?

    If it comes down to them or us, I want it to be them. Same for them or Israel.

    Sorry if that is too harsh, but it is how it looks to me.

    In the cases of Germany and Japan, the civilians were complicit in supporting the hostile governments. They needed–deserved–to see the consequences of supporting evil.

    Also, the suffering of sanctions is a far cry from the sufferings of firebombing. Those really are “a little suffering now to prevent a lot later.”

    We didn’t duke it out with the Soviets militarily, but we still managed to win. Tehran is probably less rational and requires a different approach, but one that still falls short of large scale conventional attacks.

    Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    We did not “die by the sword” after WWII. Or WWI for that matter.

    Come to think of it, WWII was because we did not fully defeat Germany.

    Don’t leave someone behind wounded to come kill you.

    How needs large scale attacks? Wipe out their nukes. How about if we blow up bases instead of bridges?

    WW 2 definitely did not happen because “we did not fully defeat Germany. “

    • #73
  14. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Fake John Galt:Let Iran get the bomb.Watch Israel go up in smoke.The Muslim world will rally around Iran as the strong horse.With this new mandate Iran will take over or direct ISIS to holy jihad against Europe with Russia as an ally.European cities will go up in a flash, along with a few US cities like DC, and New York before things settle down.Afterward the flyover part of th US can get rich selling goods to the war torn world.In the end it could be a win winscenarioif a sizeable chunk of the powers that be get removed from the playing field.

    This crosses a line into sheer fantasy.  Right now, Iran is at war with ISIS.  And also … everything else that’s wrong with what you said.

    • #74
  15. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Tuck:  What makes you think the Iranians are negotiating in good faith?

    Well, it’s the basic assumption that one begins negotiations with.  But blind faith is probably a bad idea, which is why the proposed 10-year deal included an inspection regime and carrots and sticks.

    • #75
  16. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Valiuth:Put simply, Iran has no need for nuclear enrichment to have a civilian nuclear program for energy. Japan, Canada, and Korea all have nuclear facilities and no nuclear weapons program.

    Iran doesn’t really have a need for nuclear energy.  They have plenty of energy.

    But if you were Iran, would you take the deal you’re proposing?  They can have nuclear power but no enrichment?

    As soon as you agree to that you have a ring in your nose, and the Infidels can cut off your enriched uranium supply at any time.  Who would agree to such a thing?

    • #76
  17. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Carey J.: My acceptable deal is this:All Iranian nuclear enrichment equipment must be destroyed, and their Guardian Council must eat the enriched fissile materials they have on hand. If this can be achieved through negotiation, well and good. If we have to blow Iran to dust bunnies, first, I’m okay with that, too.

    Okay, so just so we’re clear, you’d rather just go to war and no negotiated solution is acceptable to you.  That’s one position you can take.  It just happens to be a terrible idea.

    • #77
  18. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Albert Arthur: Just about everything in your post is wrong-headed, Fred, but I’d go insane if I tried to keep up with you so I’ll just start with this:

    Dude, its an 800 word post, and the Churchill part is the thing you take issue with?

    • #78
  19. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Valiuth: Alternatively I would also take a treaty that allows them to do whatever the heck they want but if they ever detonate a nuclear device, we will automatically nuke their whole country. Also if any nuclear device goes off anywhere in the world we will nuke their whole country. Basically we will hold them personally responsible for anything bad that happens, and we will not just put sanctions on them but rather annihilate their entire civilization.

    Two things:

    1. That’s not really a thing you negotiate.  It’s more of like a doctrine that one states.

    2. Isn’t that pretty much the situation now?  If they nuke Israel (because that’s what we’re talking about here, jibberish about them nuking NYC is just fantasy), they’ll be wiped out by the Israelis.  Doesn’t everyone pretty much understand that already?

    • #79
  20. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Danny Alexander: This is definitely one of those instances when Reductio ad Hitlerum is appropriate.

    I’m sorry.  I reject that.  There is very little, almost no resemblance between Iran in 2015 and Nazi Germany.  Starting with them not having a Hitler.

    Do some officials in Iran occasionally engage in exaggerated rhetoric about Israel?  Yeah.  Does that make them Nazi Germany?  Not so much.

    When you start by calling the other guys Hitler, you cannot have a rational discussion.

    • #80
  21. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    AUMom:Actually I find no type of negotiated settlement with Iran to be acceptable. The Iranian people may be rational but the government is not.

    So rather than negotiate with them, they should just build a bomb?

    • #81
  22. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Frank Soto:This displays a rather poor knowledge of U.S. military capability. The U.S. has bombs that can penetrate 200 feet of earth to destroy a bunker. Between our stealth advantages and weapons such as cruise missiles, Iran’s air defenses are a joke. You can argue that it is immoral to pre-emptively bomb Iran, or that it is unnecessary, but you will not argue that we can’t succeed in demolishing their nuclear program. Such an argument is willfully blind to reality.

    Not at all poor, Frank.  We have enormous capability, no doubt.  I’m very aware. I pay for it after all.  But I’m also willing to accept there are limits to what American airpower can achieve.  We’ve been bombing ISIS for six months, for example, and they’re still alive and kicking.

    The Iranians have had their nuke program for many years now, and they’ve planned ahead.  Yeah, we can bust bunkers.  Yeah, we have stealth bombers and cruise missiles.  The Iranians have spent more than a decade upgrading their air defense systems.  Frankly, the only way to prove that what you’re proposing can be done is to do it. (Which is a terrible idea.)

    I’ve listened for too many years to too many arguments about how such-and-such military action will be “easy.”  Wars are never the cakewalk they’re predicted to be ahead of time.

    • #82
  23. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Frank Soto:What I wish Fred would openly admit in the post is that he is fine with Iran obtaining nukes.

    Why is that some kind of golden admission?  Does that mean you win or something at that point?

    I’m not fine with anybody having nuclear weapons.  I find them monstrously immoral.  Period.

    With Iran, other than through negotiations, I don’t see any way to stop it.  Negotiations aren’t a cure all, but they’re the least terrible of the available options.  And as a general principle, I’d rather jaw-jaw than war-war.

    • #83
  24. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Titus Techera: 1.The US has allowed the Norks to get a bomb.

    So let’s start with this.  The US “allowed” them?  What is the alternative?  The North Korean economy is mostly self sufficient, sanctions can only do so much.

    Bombing them is simply not an option.  Ten million people live in Seoul.  They’re within range of North Korean artillery.  Not aircraft, just cannons.  Bombing North Korea would have triggered a war, and Seoul would have been the first casualty.

    There simply were no acceptable options available.

    • #84
  25. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Fred Cole:

     If they nuke Israel (because that’s what we’re talking about here, jibberish about them nuking NYC is just fantasy), they’ll be wiped out by the Israelis. Doesn’t everyone pretty much understand that already?

    Well it could be this or it could be that.

    • #85
  26. user_7742 Member
    user_7742
    @BrianWatt

    In answer to your question. None. No negotiated settlement at all. Locate each and every nuclear facility in Iran and destroy them…even if it takes a few years to do so. Do everything we can to change the regime in Iran even if it takes years and means repatriating Iranians (Persians) who have settled in Europe and America who want to form a more secular government in the country. Next question.

    • #86
  27. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Fred Cole:

    Tuck: What makes you think the Iranians are negotiating in good faith?

    Well, it’s the basic assumption that one begins negotiations with. But blind faith is probably a bad idea, which is why the proposed 10-year deal included an inspection regime and carrots and sticks.

    So the answer to “what makes you think” is that you assume.  Assuming <> thinking.

    Carrots and sticks? An inspection regime?  There’s never been an effective nuclear inspection regime: please name one country that was stopped by carrots, sticks, and an inspection regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.

    • #87
  28. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Fred Cole:

    Tuck: What makes you think the Iranians are negotiating in good faith?

    Well, it’s the basic assumption that one begins negotiations with.

    A more fact-based response:

    Iran is a party to the NPT but was found in non-compliance with its NPT safeguards agreement and the status of its nuclear program remains in dispute. In November 2003 IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei reported that Iran had repeatedly and over an extended period failed to meet its safeguards obligations, including by failing to declare its uranium enrichment program.[22] After about two years of EU3-led diplomatic efforts and Iran temporarily suspending its enrichment program,[69] the IAEA Board of Governors, acting under Article XII.C of the IAEA Statute, found in a rare non-consensus decision with 12 abstentions that these failures constituted non-compliance with the IAEA safeguards agreement.[23] This was reported to the UN Security Council in 2006,[70] after which the Security Council passed a resolution demanding that Iran suspend its enrichment.[71] Instead, Iran resumed its enrichment program.[72]

    Fred, the word for someone who assumes good faith of a party that’s already demonstrating that they’re acting in bad faith is sucker.  Or fool.

    Is that the role you’d have us play?

    • #88
  29. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Carey J.:

    Misthiocracy:

    Again, medieval times.

    Not really. Islamists are currently fighting in sub-Saharan Africa to establish Islamist rule.

    Don’t confuse him with facts…

    • #89
  30. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    J. D. Fitzpatrick:

    Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    We did not “die by the sword” after WWII. Or WWI for that matter.

    Come to think of it, WWII was because we did not fully defeat Germany.

    Don’t leave someone behind wounded to come kill you.

    How needs large scale attacks? Wipe out their nukes. How about if we blow up bases instead of bridges?

    I don’t view defensive wars, like WW2, as “living by the sword.” And the interwar period actually points up the importance of strong yet reasonable diplomacy. The victorious nations (led by France) were largely responsible for creating the economic disaster that toppled the Weimar Republic and ushered in National Socialism.

    The result of the Paris Peace Conference was bad, but I don’t see how widespread devastation across Germany would have been better.

    Smaller scale attacks? That’s something that I can support; Israel already seems to be doing this to some degree. There have to be military consequences at some point when a country defies restrictions on nuclear proliferation. But they have to be one tool, not the only tool, and connected to a clear set of diplomatic protocols.

    • #90
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