The phony suggestions for making the Iran deal ‘better’


The opposition to the deal arrived at between the P5+1 nations and Iran has been led by the Republicans, the Israeli government and its lobby in the US, and the neoconservatives, all of whom would like the US to go to war with Iran, which is a truly insane idea. (Interestingly, American Jews support the deal by larger margins than the American public overall, showing once again that the Israel lobby in the US reflects the view of the most extreme elements of the Israeli government more than that of American Jews, something we saw before in the run-up to the Iraq war.) The absurdity and shallowness of their statements about the deal reveal that they were opposed to any agreement that Iran would agree to because that would pre-empt war, or at least delay it.

Most telling was that opponents attacked even without having read the details of the deal, saying that it was awful and the Obama administration should have held out for a better deal without specifying what would make it better. It quickly became clear that what they really wanted was for the Obama administration to demand things in the negotiations that were deal-breakers and would force the Iranians to walk away from the negotiations.

Now former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren, who is in the Israeli parliament, has written an article titled What a Good Iran Deal Would Look Like where he also strongly criticizes the deal but actually gives suggestions for what would have made it better.

But Max Fisher analyzes the recommendations that Oren and others who oppose the deal make and says that they are “utter gibberish”.

There are three ways to read these sorts of criticisms. One is that Oren literally does not understand how agreements in general, arms control in general, or this deal in particular work, and has worked himself into a tizzy over his misunderstanding of the facts. Two is that Oren is knee-jerk ideologically opposed to any deal with Iran no matter what, even if that deal is on the merits great for Israel and tremendously effective. Third is that Oren actually does understand what’s going on here, and is making a cynical and dishonest argument against the deal so as to further his agenda of starting a war against Iran.

He lists Oren’s suggestions for what the P5+ 1 nations should have asked for.

  1. Iran stops sponsoring terrorist groups.
  2. Iran stops “threatening America’s Middle Eastern allies.”
  3. Iranian politicians are barred from saying things that could be construed as a “pledge to destroy” Israel.
  4. The population of Iran is restricted from saying the words “death to America.”
  5. There will be undefined “monitoring” of undefined Iranian conventional weapons.

Fisher critiques each one and says:

It would be nice if these things happened, and perhaps the US will continue to engage on them separately. But all of these are politically impossible and, in some cases, physically impossible. And, with the possible exception of the fifth item, none of these even makes the remotest sense as part of an arms control treaty.

Try to imagine a US negotiator actually asking for this. “The inspections procedures of uranium mines look good here, and we are satisfied with the limits on centrifuge research and development. But we require a binding commitment that no one in your political system will speak certain combinations of words about Israel anymore.” We might as well demand that Iran give us a unicorn that we can ride all the way to Candy Mountain.

As I noted earlier, Jon Schwarz points out that even the fifth item is absurd and was always a non-starter and no one in the discussions on the P5+1 side would have seriously considered even asking for it.

And what about the fact that there were other nations involved in the negotiations? What does Oren suggest if they, as would have been almost certain, refused to go along with these unworkable suggestions and decide to make separate deals with Iran? Fisher continues:

As for how the US would get Iran and the other negotiating world powers to agree to all this, to Oren’s credit he actually does provide an answer. His answer is that the United States should threaten full economic sanctions against the world powers, including the entire European Union, if they don’t go along:

Russia, China and others might have protested continuing sanctions on Iran but, in the end, it is highly unlikely that they would have forfeited access to America’s $17 trillion economy to cut oil deals with Iran.

This is indeed a specific proposal. But it is also insane. Oren is arguing that Obama should threaten to blow up the world economy, including America’s own economy, just to secure some vague improvements to the Iran deal.

What these people want is for the US to go to war with Iran on Israel’s behalf. All these absurd demands are just a way of creating pressure to do so.

Comments

  1. StevoR says

    What these people want is for the US to go to war with Iran on Israel’s behalf.

    Actually I think that is your view on what you think they really want not necessarily what they really do want. Unless you can read minds (evidence needed) or can show clear statements where they say so? (Citations needed.)

    An alternative reading of what these people (who exactly now?) want is to take them at their word and accept that when they say they want a better stronger deal that’s just what they mean. You would claim this is not the case because .. why?

    He (Max Fisher -ed.) lists (actually paraphrases) Oren’s suggestions for what the P5+ 1 nations should have asked for.
    1.Iran stops sponsoring terrorist groups.
    2. Iran stops “threatening America’s Middle Eastern allies.”
    3. Iranian politicians are barred from saying things that could be construed as a “pledge to destroy” Israel.
    4. The population of Iran is restricted from saying the words “death to America.”
    5. There will be undefined “monitoring” of undefined Iranian conventional weapons.

    1, 2, & 3 above strike me as highly reasonable and a very good idea albiet with some clarification needed on politicians. I’d limit that to high ranking govt members and Ayatollahs. Stopping all terrorism (1) in particular should have been a precondition before any talks in my view. It should also, incidentally or not, be a precondition to any further peace and land offers to the Palestinians not just demanded from Israel but also demanded by the international community as a whole.

    The idea of 5 I think needs defining and clarifying but is not in principle a bad one. Why shouldn’t monitors check the Iranian conventional arsenal especially of items capable of being retrofitted for nuclear technology such as rockets or bombers? Given Iran has directly threatened other nations with extermination monitoring their military capabilities in all areas seems advisable and ideally restricting it is even better.

    Only 4 as a condition is clearly “absurd” and unworkable although even there a change in policy so that the government no longer organises and promotes hatred of America and Israel among other places is something that would be a very good idea wouldn’t it? You can’t stop individual people or non-govt groups voicing hatred and antagonism and free speech is good generally but not including hate speech. You can however, insist that the govt no longer holds an organises regular hate sessions or is that unreasonable in your view?

    PS. I notice that you have failed to reply to my earlier comment here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2015/07/22/reactions-to-the-iran-deal-3/#comment-4316763

    which covers similar ground.

  2. StevoR says

    PPS. For clarity again, I Do NOT want to see war with Iran or anyone being bombed or killed if it can possibly & reasonably be avoided.

    I particularly am NOT advocating bombing Iran, war, crimes of any sort or genocide. Neither am I supporting any single politician or political party here – FWIW, I’m Aussie and can’t vote in either US or Israeli elections. (Iran and Gaza /Palestine, of course, do not have elections at least as we know or would respect them.)

    I do believe that Israel and all other nations have a right to defend themselves militarily if under serious threat of attack.

    Iranians and other Muslims are human beings like us all – just as Israelis and Jews are. We all have the right to live in peace and security and liberty and to pursue happiness on this pale blue dot of ours.

    I also have known Iranian people who I have had as – quite literal -neighbours -and who I greatly respect and feel fond of -although they were living of course in Australia having fled after the fall of the Pahlavi Shah who was a far better ruler than the Theocratic despots who have followed after the horrors of the Iranian Islamist revolution.

  3. StevoR says

    Oh & if you are wondering what I do advocate for Iran &preventing it getting The Bomb and funding and supplying terrorists and seeking to destroy another nation it would be the same solution that worked on apartheid era South Africa and has been working pretty well against it so far. Namely full economic, diplomatic and sporting sanctions aimed to topple the current regime and make the Islamic Republic an international pariah until it has ceased all its unacceptable behaviours. Which let’snot forget include oppressing and massacring its own people.

  4. Chiroptera says

    StevoR, #3: …the same solution that worked on apartheid era South Africa….

    There’s a big difference between apartheid South Africa and contemporary Iran: the majority of South Africans supported the international sanctions. I think that has a very large bearing on considering the ethics of continued sanctions.

  5. raven says

    The neocons and Israelis don’t want to go to war with Iran. That would be silly. They might well be killed. We’ve all seen how the chickenhawks like Cheney and Kristol evaded the draft for Vietnam.

    They want you (plural) to go to war instead.

    There is never any shortage of people who want you to take all the risks and pay trillions of dollars for it while they get all the benefits.

    Anyone with two neurons knows what to do. Just say no!!!

  6. busterggi says

    There should come a point where basically saying, “I’ll take my ball and go home so you can’t play” ought not to be considered an adult negciating technique.

  7. raven says

    There should come a point where basically saying, “I’ll take my ball and go home so you can’t play” ought not to be considered an adult negciating technique.

    The game here is, Why don’t you and him fight? It is indeed a children’s game.

    To make it worse, only about half of Israel’s Jewish population supports Netanyahu. Many of them ultra-orthodox religious fanatics who refuse to either work or serve in the army.

    So we are looking at 3 million of not the best of Israeli society (IMO) attempting to dictate foreign police for a superpower of 319 million people.

  8. StevoR says

    @7 Holms : Who? Assuming you mean to refer to me, yes I did indeed read the full article(s) and watched the clip at the end of it too. The part where I quoted it in #1 including a mention that the list was a paraphrase (arguably an uncharitable one) by Max Fisher of what Michael Oren actually wrote in his original op-ed should have been a giveaway for some one with even a rudimentary reading comprehension ability.

  9. StevoR says

    @4. Chiroptera :

    StevoR, #3: …the same solution that worked on apartheid era South Africa….
    There’s a big difference between apartheid South Africa and contemporary Iran: the majority of South Africans supported the international sanctions. I think that has a very large bearing on considering the ethics of continued sanctions.M

    So you mean to say that international sanctions should apply only when the majority of a country wants them imposed upon them? Seriously?

    I also notice you have provided no supporting evidence for your assertion that the majority of Iranians don’t want sanctions against their regime and will note that getting accurate and honest polling on what Iranians really think given their theocratic and oppressive government is at best extremely difficult.

    I will point to the history of the recent brutally crushed rebellion against Ahmadinhejad a few years ago as one notable indicator that Iranians don’t agree with their present dictatorship or want the Islamists to continue ruling over and oppressing them.

  10. patrick2 says

    @SteveoR
    Chiroptera only said that what a majority in the country wants has “a very large bearing” on the ethics of sanctions, not that “sanctions should apply only when the majority of a country wants them”. And most reports from Iran and reactions of even anti-government Iranians indicate that most are very supportive of this deal and lifting sanctions. Also, the evidence that Iran intended to develop nuclear weapons anyway seems very scant, so the sanctions were destroying people’s economic prospects when their government isn’t even violating international law.

  11. jws1 says

    Not buying, war-monger Stevo. This is as good a deal as could be had. Even better than could’ve reasonably be expected.

    In fact, I’m starting to think, from the reaction against it, that a nuclear Iran might be the best prevention of war in the region since MAD would the terrorists in charge of Israel in check. I say this because it is obvious that Israel supporters have not ever, do not now, and will never support peace -they want nothing less than regional hegemony.

  12. jws1 says

    Oh and one more thing: getting real tired of the no-good moochers running that little terrorist state Israel using my tax dollars to murder children who worship the wrong God. If bloodthirsty, murderous, verminous, filthy, racist Israelis like killing so much they can do it with their own blood money. Fuck that country.

  13. StevoR says

    @ ^ jws ; Your anti-Semitism is showing. Might want to tuck that away and pretend nobody saw it. But we did.

  14. StevoR says

    Of course there’s nothing bloodthirsty about Hamas or Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad at all either eh? .. Oh wait.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1M4eH9Kk7I

    BTW. Funny how quickly discussion on Iran turns to discussion on Or even demonisation against Israel isn’t it?

    Iran reminds me very much o f North Korea, a brainwashed fanatical or / & oppressed and too scared to speak out population with horrific leaders trying to get The Bomb and using the cover of dodgy diplomatic stalling to do it. Maybe we should learn from the errors we made with North Korea and not let Iran get away with it? Hmm?

  15. StevoR says

    @14. jws1 : Also I say let’s have sanctions that stop Iran getting The Bomb and using it to start apocalyptic wars; so you call me a war monger? Really? Go figure!

  16. Holms says

    #9 StevoR
    Assuming you mean to refer to me, yes I did indeed read the full article(s) and watched the clip at the end of it too.

    Now that’s a surprise, because you blew right by the points raised in the linked article and made arguments that had already been refuted by it. 2-4 in particular are completely impossible.

  17. StevoR says

    Really? I don’t think so.

    You not read my comment #1 here or something?

    (4) “death to America” chanting doesn’t practically work if applied to everyone in Iran although might do if limited to govt sponsorship for such hate rallies – the others (1, 2, 3,) all kinda do work if specified properly.

    “Blew right past” does not equal dismissed as not accurate btw. Guess we’ll see.

    I don’t trust Iran that much, you do? Time’ll tell. Like it did with North Korea. You think you are smarter than Michael Oren or know more than that expert (among others) on this issue? I disagree, We’ll find out in time.

    Pity it may cost other people’s lives though ain’t it?

  18. Mano Singham says

    StevorR,

    You might want to be a little less defensive about being called a warmonger since you have in the past called for pre-emptively using nuclear weapons against Iran and Pakistan. Even notorious warmongers like Dick Cheney and his gang did not go that far.

    Also it should be noted that your own anti-Muslim racism was on full display when you said, “Muslims, folks, would slit your appeasing throats with as much bloodthirsty joy as they’d chop my head off. hey dont care for science or athesim or compassionate humanism at all and will kill those who do.” It should be noted that you used boldface for this statement, just to make sure there was no overlooking this sweeping statement about a billion people.

  19. says

    Pity it may cost other people’s lives though ain’t it?

    As if your policy of continued sanctions and pre-emptive war would be risk-free?

    Go to bed, you bloodthirsty racist chickenhawk. A nuclear USSR didn’t end up causing WW-III, and neither did a nuclear China. A nuclear Iran would be nowhere near as dangerous as either of those powers. This is grownup stuff, and overgrown children like you have no place in grownup conversations.

  20. says

    What these people want is for the US to go to war with Iran on Israel’s behalf.

    In fairness, I think this assertion is dead wrong. These chickenhawks aren’t proposing to go to war for Israel’s sake; they’re acting solely on their own obsolete, jingoistic assumption that America is still a Super-Duper-Hyper-Mega-Power, and America can get anyone else to do anything it wants, therefore if anyone gets away with not giving America everything it asks for, it must be because America’s leaders are wimps and PC peacepussies, and someone more manly and assertive could have got America a better deal.

    Every powerful nation on Earth eventually ends up with large numbers of people in their ruling class who think this sort of thing about their country — and plenty of interest-groups eager to pander to their ignorant prejudices. It’s probably an inevitable result of a country becoming a world power: too many people get used to the idea that they can get anything they want and don’t have to make any concessions to any of those other inferior little people. The measure of a mature or successful nation, is its ability to revise its own self-image, and put a cap on its most ignorant policy advocates. Too soon to tell if America passes that test yet…

  21. StevoR says

    @ 23. Mano Singham : It should also be noted that that comment was from wa-aay back in 2012 -early 2012 at that.

    How long ‘zactly ya gunna hold a grudge and not let things go especially after I’ve apologised multiple times since?

    If I did’nt like or respect your blog and you – even after all this & even though we may disagree on some things – still; I wouldn’t be here commenting on it.

    I don’t hate Muslims, you can believe me or not, but its true. I’m not as bad a person as you seem to think I am – ditto.

    I actually do respect and appreciate a lot about Islamic culture and people and I don’t want to be your enemy even if I do argue with you at times. Salaam, shalom, peace.

  22. StevoR says

    @24. Raging bee : “As if your policy of continued sanctions and pre-emptive war would be risk-free?”

    Nothing is risk free.

    What do *YOU* advocate doing or not doing and what are the risks and consequences of that?

  23. StevoR says

    ^ Also I didnt say “pre-emptive war” above or mean it here.

    Wouldn’t rule it out but not what I said or am arguing for – certainly not as a first option of choice.

  24. says

    What do *YOU* advocate doing or not doing and what are the risks and consequences of that?

    I advocate not further destabilizing an already-volatile part of the world by trying to bully a rather large country into slavishly doing what we want. It’s a policy that’s proven both workable and relatively safe, in both short and long runs. That’s how we managed not to go to war with either Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China, so I really don’t see why it won’t work with Iran too — the only differences you chickenhawks can cite are based on pure prejudice about Muslims.

    I also believe that: a) Iran is not a rich enough country that they can just build a huge nuclear arsenal without ignoring more pressing needs, both civil and military, such as boosting international trade or building up their army and air force; and b) the best way to get the Iranian people to give up nuclear ambitions is to convince them of the total fucking pointlessness of a nuclear arsenal. I’m confident that if both sides can back away from confrontation a little, then the Iranian people will be more willing to question their government on this subject. In the long term, that’s the ONLY way to even have a chance of getting Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions.

  25. says

    How long ‘zactly ya gunna hold a grudge and not let things go especially after I’ve apologised multiple times since?

    We’ll hold the grudge until you stop incurring it. You can’t expect us to forgive you for doing something while you’re still doing it. Forgiveness is not something you’re entitled to; you have to earn it by visibly changing your actions.

    And no, I haven’t seen you apologize more than once — and that apology sounded sincere, but it never specified what statements, exactly, you were apologizing for. That raises serious questions about the sincerity of your apology.

  26. says

    Also I didnt say “pre-emptive war” above or mean it here. Wouldn’t rule it out…

    First you deny saying or meaning it — then you say you meant it.

  27. StevoR says

    @ ^ Raging Bee : “only way” eh?

    That seems a little lacking in imagination on your part.

    If your Utopian imaginings are wrong and instead backing off means the Islamic Republic of Iran gets The Bomb -and crazily decides to use it because, well, they don’t think like you or I do? Assuming (worst case scenario) they aren’t as rational and are more religiously, strangely destructive in thought than we and yet have power. ‘Spose they nuke Israel and then get nuked right back in response.

    How many dead do you think that’d be?

    Is that a risk worth taking?

    If you are wrong and worst case scenario comes true?

    I would like to be optimistic and think it won’t happen. But what if it does? What if you are wrong? What then?

  28. StevoR says

    @31. Raging Bee : Words have meanings.

    Saying that Y isn’t what your first response would be and not what you’d advocate but that if X doesn’t work then Y is the back up, next most preferable option or that even worse Z follows that means, well, just that.

    Reading comprehension and accepting people say and mean what they say and mean. You seem to suck at it.

  29. says

    That seems a little lacking in imagination on your part.

    Yeah, that’s because I’m getting my ideas from reality and experience, not my imagination.

    If your Utopian imaginings are wrong and instead backing off means the Islamic Republic of Iran gets The Bomb -and crazily decides to use it because, well, they don’t think like you or I do?

    Yeah, like I said, objections to treating Iran like we treated the USSR and China are based on pure bigotry: “We can’t do business with those people ’cause they’re savages and they don’t think like us!” Thanks for once again proving my point.

    If you are wrong and worst case scenario comes true?

    I might be concerned about that possibility — if you could actually show where I might be wrong. But the people whose side you’re on? They’ve already been proven dead wrong about EVERYTHING they’ve said, and they haven’t learned shit from the experience; so you really ought to stop whining about how I MIGHT be wrong. If it’s being wrong you’re worried about, you’re on the wrong side.

    The fact is, Iran is a relatively stable nation, and they will be perfectly capable of doing what they choose, like most other nations, and there will be no global coalition that will be able to stop them for more than one generation; so we might as well face reality and stop thinking we can, and must, try to force everyone else to do our bidding, because we can’t, and we’ll only harm ourselves by trying.

  30. Mano Singham says

    Let us examine the histories of the P5+1 countries plus Iran and Israel.

    Of the eight (US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, Israel, and Iran) which is the one country has not attacked or invaded another in (say) the last century or two?

    Hint: It is Iran.

    But oddly enough, it is that very nation that is portrayed by StevoR as the country that can’t wait to attack and would even use nuclear weapons if they had them because, according to him, you cannot know what these crazy, irrational Muslims will do. Not that he is a racist, of course.

  31. says

    I believe it was John Kerry, or one of his aides, who said that if you start with diplomacy, then you still have the military option on the table for later if necessary. But the minute you commit yourself to a military option, you no longer have any diplomatic options. This is the mistake the PNAC warmongers made in the Middle East, and it’s a mistake I’d rather not repeat with YET ANOTHER Muslim nation that we can’t push around as easily as those chickenhawks thought.

  32. says

    If you are wrong and worst case scenario comes true?

    This is what cracks me up about bigoted warmongers like StevoR: they’re too stupid, too rigid, and too emotional to stop and imagine the possibility that they might be wrong — but they want the rest of us to think WE might be wrong instead. It’s almost exactly the same rigidity and intolerance that we find in religious bigots.

  33. Holms says

    #16
    @ ^ jws ; Your anti-Semitism is showing. Might want to tuck that away and pretend nobody saw it. But we did.

    Nope. Calling Israel bloodthirsty, racist etc. is not anti-semitism, because it is not a criticism of their jewish ancestry, but a criticism of their current policies. “Bloodthirsty” and “murderous” are directly linked to their current calls for war against Iran instead of the recent agreement; “racist” is borne out by their policies towards the muslim world in general and Palestinians in particular… “verminous” and “filthy” on the other hand are blatant insults and thus aren’t constructive, but find it hard to fault given that it is common to insult those whose actions are considered repugnant.
    ___

    #17
    Of course there’s nothing bloodthirsty about Hamas or Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad at all either eh? .. Oh wait.

    That would be a good point if anyone had ever supported those groups. Since no one did, this seems to be part non-sequitur (a comment that does not follow on from the current conversation) and part strawman (by implying that others here have expressed support for any of that ilk).

    BTW. Funny how quickly discussion on Iran turns to discussion on Or even demonisation against Israel isn’t it?

    That would be because you steer them there, much like colnago80 over at Dispatches. You are highly defensive on this topic, as shown by your multiple triple and quadruple posts in response to almost every comment here… or, even before anyone else has posted.
    ___

    #18
    @14. jws1 : Also I say let’s have sanctions that stop Iran getting The Bomb and using it to start apocalyptic wars; so you call me a war monger? Really? Go figure!

    We just had an extended period of sanctions against them. Six nations then used that pressure to bring Iran to the table and back away from nuclear armament; are you suggesting that they should have simply been left in sanction limbo with no end? Ridiculous and cruel. The point of those sanctions was pressure, and that pressure has been used.

    As an aside, note also that nuclear weapons are actually more of a defensive weapon than offensive, in that they strongly disincentivise acts of aggression against them. If you are suggesting that Iranians think that they could possibly get away with nuking someone without bringing complete destruction upon themselves, you aren’t being rational.
    ___

    #19
    You not read my comment #1 here or something?

    I did, which is where I noticed you completely disregard the article.

    (4) “death to America” chanting doesn’t practically work if applied to everyone in Iran although might do if limited to govt sponsorship for such hate rallies – the others (1, 2, 3,) all kinda do work if specified properly.

    Nope, 2-4 are completely unworkable as noted in the article. Even if limited to politicians. All it takes is a single racist idiot – note that there are bound to be some in every political system – and the treaty is over. The fact that such people probably exist in every political system makes those speech restriction clauses totally unworkable.

    I don’t trust Iran that much, you do? Time’ll tell. Like it did with North Korea. You think you are smarter than Michael Oren or know more than that expert (among others) on this issue? I disagree, We’ll find out in time.

    When the subject is nuclear disarmament, I think I’ll go with the technical analysts as the designated experts. ‘Expert’? Holy shit no, Oren is a politician. An Israeli legislator and former lobbyist… it doesn’t get any more partisan – and less technical – than that. But of course this is all part of your habit of elevating every pro-Israeli advocate to a position of authority, while neglecting the fact that there are a large number of not only politicians, but also military and nuclear analysts, that disagree with him.
    ___

    #26
    How long ‘zactly ya gunna hold a grudge and not let things go especially after I’ve apologised multiple times since?

    Probably for as long as you continue to blatantly excuse the actions of oppressors. Your disclaimers of not wanting to nuke, not wanting war etc. etc. are rendered empty by your continued excuses for employing just those things.
    ___

    #33
    Assuming (worst case scenario) they aren’t as rational and are more religiously, strangely destructive in thought than we and yet have power. ‘Spose they nuke Israel and then get nuked right back in response.

    Your idea involves citing a hypothetical war as a reason for siding with known, proven warmongers. The obvious flaw there being a hypothetical future war is far preferable to a highly likely war in the present.

    (Luckily for all concerned, your hyperventilations have zero chance of coming true.)

  34. Mano Singham says

    StevoR @#26,

    It is not a question of holding a grudge. I fail to see why the fact that you apologized somehow obliges me to not bring up your past appalling statements when relevant to the discussion. As an example, suppose that Dick Cheney says that he now realizes that invading Iraq was a mistake and apologizes. Then if he advocates invading Iran, are we to refrain from mentioning his role in Iraq? Of course not, because despite his apology, what he did casts great doubt on his morality and judgment and simply apologizing does not prevent us from treating his current opinion with contempt because of his past actions.

    In your case, when you start accusing others (who may not know your past history of outrageous statements) of racism, and when you start advocating war against yet another country, I feel perfectly justified in bringing up past evidence of your appalling morality so that they have some idea of the kind of person you are.

    You also seem to think that the fact that you have not advocated for nuclear attacks on two nations for the past three years entitles you to some kind of merit badge, when the fact that you advocated for it even once is what is relevant. I do not know anything about you other than the fact that said you live in Australia. But unless you were a child in 2012 and matured remarkably rapidly since, your racist and genocidal statements in 2012 were the product of a mature adult. It will take a lot more than an apology to convince people that you have undergone a major moral upliftment. People do not change beliefs that quickly unless they experience some kind of life-transforming experience that rocks them into a new realization, the way some homophobes change when they suddenly discover that their child is gay. Otherwise the process of change is usually quite slow.

    Your apology may have been the beginning of a process of change to a new way of thinking. Or maybe not. If it is maintained over a long period of time, then perhaps it is a sign of genuine change. But right now, given your eagerness to wage war against Iran, I just don’t see it. You seem to be still the anti-Muslim warmonger you always were and I can see you easily reverting to the idea that using nuclear weapons is desirable though you may hesitate to say so publicly since that would once again make you a pariah.

  35. Dunc says

    I’m not as bad a person as you seem to think I am

    Nobody thinks they’re the bad guy. You didn’t think you were the bad guy back when you were a raging anti-Semite, or when you were a climate-change denialist, or when you were advocating a nuclear first-strike against Iran and / or Pakistan. Notice a pattern forming here?

    You have a long and ignoble history of being very badly wrong about important topics, largely as a result of rigid, brittle, black-or-white thinking. You file people (and entire countries or major religions) into either “good guys” or “bad guys”, and then proceed to use them as props in your crude morality tales. You seem to have absolutely no appreciation of complexity or nuance. For example, you seem to view Iran as an undifferentiated mass of pure evil, motivated solely by religious fervour and hatred, rather than as a complex society of over 40 million individuals, riven with internal divisions and conflicts, where multiple conflicting power centres are attempting to pursue a variety of different goals, mostly related to internal politics.

    When practically everybody you encounter is telling you that you’re wrong, you should at least seriously consider the possibility that you are, in fact, wrong. You have been before, many times. I would think that you’d eventually learn some humility.

  36. Chiroptera says

    Raging Bee, #37: …but they want the rest of us to think WE might be wrong instead.

    I remember once on another venue, there was a conservative evangelical who insisted that his 100% certainty vs our ability to entertain doubts showed that his position was the superior one.

  37. StevoR says

    @35. Mano Singham :

    Of the eight (US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, Israel, and Iran) which is the one country has not attacked or invaded another in (say) the last century or two?
    Hint: It is Iran.

    Only if you ignore the attacks that Iran’s proxies Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad have made starting several significant and catastrophic wars against Israel.

    @40. Dunc : What makes you think I don’t in fact seriously consider that possibility? I know I’m a fallible person (as we all are) and I know I’ve got things wrong in the past, maybe I am wrong about this but also maybe I’m not. Do you think the fact that I know I could be wrong means I should’t still argue for what I do think and explain why?

    @34. Raging Bee :

    Yeah, like I said, objections to treating Iran like we treated the USSR and China are based on pure bigotry: “We can’t do business with those people ’cause they’re savages and they don’t think like us!” Thanks for once again proving my point.

    No thanks and no surprise from me that you have completely put words in my mouth that strawmonster me. I didn’t call the Iranians “:savages” and I don’t think they are – I have had Persian friends. I don’t think they think exactly like us but I’m certainly not denying their humanity or that they do think and I’m saying don’t trust them because of their record of deceit in this area as well as the precedent of North Korea and the Ayatollah’s continued desire for genocide against Israel – at least they remain sponsors of terrorism against it and refuse to recognise its right to exist. You’re the one who is lacking in nuance as well as reading comprehension here.

    @39. Mano Singham :

    You seem to be still the anti-Muslim warmonger you always were and I can see you easily reverting to the idea that using nuclear weapons is desirable though you may hesitate to say so publicly since that would once again make you a pariah.

    So arguing for continued sanctions and specifically saying that I am not advocating war makes me a war monger? I’m not anti-Muslim, I’m anti-Jihadist and against theocratic regimes that oppress their own people such as in Iran – and these people are themselves Muslim.

    I have also defended Muslims over on Dispatches from the Culture wars see :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2015/07/23/fl-gun-shop-owner-thinks-he-can-ban-muslims/#comment-443013

    and scroll up to my comment # 5 there as well.

    But unless you were a child in 2012 and matured remarkably rapidly since, your racist and genocidal statements in 2012 were the product of a mature adult.

    No , I wasn’t a child then but I wasn’t who I am now either. It was a bad period in my life when I was drinking a lot more and going through some personal and mental health issues.

    It will take a lot more than an apology to convince people that you have undergone a major moral upliftment.

    What will it take? Again, I’m not arguing for war here just saying I don’t trust Iran and I think the deal could’ve been a lot stronger having already note that its good that there is a deal.

  38. StevoR says

    @34. Raging Bee :

    I might be concerned about that possibility (Of Iran getting The Bomb — if you could actually show where I might be wrong.

    I think if you read what I’ve actually said not your own imaged version of it you’ll find I’ve actually done that already.

    I) Iran may well be following in North Korea’s footsteps of pretending to abolish its nuclear program in diplomatic deals whilst actually continuing it.

    II) Iran sponsors, arms and trains terrorist and extremist groups and militias and is still ruled by people with an ideology of spreading Shiite extremism. The majority of Iranians may now be willing to live with the Western world but their leadership is still hate-full and seeking to expand their power.

    III) The nuclear deal does not have some key features that would improve it immensely such as tougher inspection regimes – allowing surprise inspections anywhere anytime as Obama promised but did NOT in fact deliver. it also fails toend Iranian sponsorship of international terrorism and does not insist it recognise the Jewish nation’s right to exist. These steps ha d they been included would have made the deal vastly better and provided a lot more peace and stability for the SW Asian region as well as allowing Iran to more clearly show it is willing to become a good global citizen.

    What part of the above is wrong precisely Raging Bee?

    But the people whose side you’re on? They’ve already been proven dead wrong about EVERYTHING they’ve said, and they haven’t learned shit from the experience; so you really ought to stop whining about how I MIGHT be wrong. If it’s being wrong you’re worried about, you’re on the wrong side.

    Which people exactly? Name them and don’t just assume I agree with them or am talking a bout the same things. Also classic guilt by association fallacy on your part there. Note too that just because one side might be wrong doesn’t make the other side automatically right! It may be that both sides are wrong or that each side has elements that are right and also elements that are wrong or that both sides go too far in their respective extremes and a middle course is actually better. Specifically here, waging war against and bombing Iran is wrong, allowing to aquire The Bomb is wrong, continuing to pressure Iran with sanctions until it accepts a tougher, better deal is probably the best right course of action.

    The fact is, Iran is a relatively stable nation, and they will be perfectly capable of doing what they choose, like most other nations, ..

    I disagree that Iran is relatively stable – see comments &links 10,11 & 12. I think looking arund tehglobe is is very ahrdtoarge that “most nations” are “stable and capable of doing what they choose” -and the altetrof course depends onwhat they choose to do!

  39. jws1 says

    “Good global citizen” = “submissive to U.S.-Israeli regional dominance”.
    Just wondering: has Israel made overtures recognizing the rights of its neighbors to exist? And specifically, to exist with self-rule, self-determination?

  40. jws1 says

    Here’s a thought about peace and stability in that volatile region: how about nobody, including Israel, gets to be nuclear? A ban on nukes in the region. Oh wait, that’s been tried – and blocked – at the U.N. by the usual suspects who don’t really want peace if they don’t get to dominate: the U.S., the U.K., and Israel.

  41. StevoR says

    @38. Holms : (Numbering added for reference.)

    Calling Israel bloodthirsty, racist etc. is not anti-semitism, because it is not a criticism of their jewish ancestry, but a criticism of their current policies. (1) “Bloodthirsty” and “murderous” are directly linked to their current calls for war against Iran instead of the recent agreement; (2) “racist” is borne out by their policies towards the muslim world in general and Palestinians in particular… (3) “verminous” and “filthy” on the other hand are blatant insults and thus aren’t constructive, but find it hard to fault given that it is common to insult those whose actions are considered repugnant.

    ^ Actions like what? defending themselves like any nation would when terrorists fire rockets at their cities? That’s “repugnant” in your view?

    1) Demonising a whole nation of different people and saying it is “bloodthirsty etc .. “is anti-Semitism. Criticising policies as bloodthirsty may be okay, if arguable in many of the cases you mean to refer to – but stating that a whole nation is bloodthirsty etc .. is exactly the sort of thing that you would blast me for doing if applied to say Iran. I do consider you to be an anti-Semite here based on your comments Holms.

    2) Are Israelis actually calling for war or simply stating they do not trust it and dislike the deal made with it for good reasons? I’d suggest to you its actually the latter and that if Israel was as “bloodthirsty” as you suggest there would already be a hot war with it now or long ago even. Indeed if Israel was as bloodthirsty as you argue then why has it constantly attempted to make peace with its neighbours – succeeding with Egypt and only failing with the Palestinians because they walked away from exceptionally generous offers – and why did they go as far as actually handing over Gaza to the Palestinians even without a peace treaty or getting anything in return?

    3) See above really. Also note it is the Arab side in this long running conflict that consistently denies the humanity of the Jewish one for example former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Morsi referring to the Israelis as “pigs and apes”, the Arab world calling the Jewish state, “the Zionist entity” the Palestinian teenager who outright stated that he doesn’t consider the Israelis to be human on an episode of a Louis Theroux documentary etc ..

    “Of course there’s nothing bloodthirsty about Hamas or Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad at all either eh? .. Oh wait.” -StevoR
    That would be a good point if anyone had ever supported those groups. Since no one did, this seems to be part non-sequitur (a comment that does not follow on from the current conversation) and part strawman (by implying that others here have expressed support for any of that ilk).

    It is a reasonable comparison with Israel’s enemies – the people they are fighting against and who are sponsored by Iran. The fact that you and other Israel-bashers continually focus on the things Israel does and says wrong and yet ignore the other Arab sides appalling behaviours, policies and goals reveals your bias and, in some cases, your outright anti-Semitism. (See 1 above.)

    That would be because you steer them there, much like colnago80 over at Dispatches. You are highly defensive on this topic, as shown by your multiple triple and quadruple posts in response to almost every comment here… or, even before anyone else has posted.

    Why are multiple posts even bad -if you post one longer comment its often as case of tl;dr (“too long didn’t read) or gets accusations of “walls of text”; if you reply to people’s comments separately its easier for them to see and respond to their points and often you (well okay I) think of extra points that I think need raising or elaborating on after one comment has already been submitted. Yeah, I really do not see where there is a problem or why multiple comments should be considered a bad thing.

    There is also a timezone factor here in that I’m often awake and active here when other people aren’t – and see again responding to multiple comments by multiple people in multiple posts for clarity and easiness on the eye. There’s also the converstional thing, y’know, someone says something, you reply, they say something else you reply and so on. These comment threads are one area where written discussions can occur just as verbal ones do.

    Just as in such conversations ignoring people isn’t polite. Indeed, that’s what got me banned from Pharyngula my politeness in answering a set of questions that multiple people insisted I answer when PZ Myers had earlier said -but I hadn’t refreshed in time and thus hadn’t seen – to stop. If I don’t answer I get abused for not doing so, If I do, people say I’m commenting or talking too much, seems one can’t win! (Again, I get a lot of comments in a row due to the timing because lots of other people aren’t commenting on FTB when I am and vice versa.

  42. StevoR says

    Continued @38. Holms :

    That would be because you steer them there, much like colnago80 over at Dispatches.

    I don’t think that’s actually or always the case. Quite often it will be other people or the blogger himself making the reference and myself or Colnago80 responding to that. In this instance the Op itself in the opening lines raises Israel and its reactions to the Iran deal which is the topic of discussion. I suppose the fact that Israel often gets dragged in when considering the Iranian nuclear program is because Iran keeps threatening to “wipe Israel off the map” and has a long history of animosity to it including attacking it militarily through its proxy terrorist groups.

    … nuclear weapons are actually more of a defensive weapon than offensive, in that they strongly disincentivise acts of aggression against them. If you are suggesting that Iranians think that they could possibly get away with nuking someone without bringing complete destruction upon themselves, you aren’t being rational.

    Given their past leaders comments and the rhetoric of the Iranian leadership and their history and irrational religious extremism, I think it is rational to worry that Iran’s regime is NOT rational and thus Iran may not behave rationally.

    (4) “death to America” chanting doesn’t practically work if applied to everyone in Iran although might do if limited to govt sponsorship for such hate rallies – the others (1, 2, 3,) all kinda do work *IF* specified properly.-StevoR

    Nope, 2-4 are completely unworkable as noted in the article. Even if limited to politicians. All it takes is a single racist idiot – note that there are bound to be some in every political system – and the treaty is over. The fact that such people probably exist in every political system makes those speech restriction clauses totally unworkable.

    (Emphasis added.)

    See the bextra bolding there? Note the if specified properly. That part is a reference to and rebuttal of your point below it.

    I am saying the treaty needs to be written to exclude the odd racist idiot whilst keeping those in government resposnible for upholding its provisions.

    A reminder that 1) refers to Iran’s sponsorship of terrorist groups. This is an Iranian govt / military policy where one “racist idiot” is not in charge (Clive Palmer sure isn’t!) and as long as the govt carries out the ending of all funding and support for Hamas etc .. then its quite meet~able and I think realistic and reasonable to demand. The Iran backed terrorist groups, of course, will not be happy as it will significantly weaken and diminish their power and it may lead to their collapse which I see as a very good thing. Were Hamas in particular to disappear it would make an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal much more likely.

    Again, 2) refers to Iran not threatening Americas allies. This I guess particularly referring to Israel but also the many Sunni nations (Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq) fearful of the rise of an aggressive Shia state determined to spread its old 1970’s “revolution” by force. A clause whereby Iran’s govt accepts this and recognises Israel and also agrees to sign non-aggression pacts with its Sunni neighbours and dials down all its rhetoric seems eminently possible tome and would be up to its govt and power-holders not the whims of a single racist idiot. I see no reason why Iran can’t do here what Egypt’s Sadat did back in the early 1980’s. Iran declaring it wants peace and won’t attack anyone seems again, a very reasonable and good demand to insist upon. You’d disagree with that why exactly?

    Then there’s (3) “Iranian politicians are barred from saying things that could be construed as a “pledge to destroy” Israel” this is where specifying Government politicians / leaders is necessary to avoid your “one idiot” problem. Maybe restrict it to ministers in power and the Supreme Ayatollah’s who then bear the responsibility and hopefully are not idiots enough to break the deal by violating that condition. Or are you calling them “racist idiots”. This is a lesser condition though and I’d be okay with it not being demanded. The ideas of (4) which applies to the entire Iranian population is, I agree, unworkable as noted in my comment # 4 although as noted there , the govt should end its support for and organisation of the regular hate rallies chanting “Death to America!”

    When the subject is nuclear disarmament, I think I’ll go with the technical analysts as the designated experts. ‘Expert’? Holy shit no, Oren is a politician. An Israeli legislator and former lobbyist… it doesn’t get any more partisan – and less technical – than that. But of course this is all part of your habit of elevating every pro-Israeli advocate to a position of authority, while neglecting the fact that there are a large number of not only politicians, but also military and nuclear analysts, that disagree with him.

    Yes, Oren is a politician – and also an ambassador IOW a high ranking diplomat. He is also a historian and author who :

    …has written books, articles, and essays on Middle Eastern history, and is the author of the New York Times best-selling Power, Faith and Fantasy and Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, which won the Los Angeles Times History Book of the Year Award and the National Jewish Book Award. Oren has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown universities in the United States and at Tel Aviv and Hebrew universities in Israel. He was a Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and a contributing editor to The New Republic. The Forward named Oren one of the five most influential American Jews and The Jerusalem Post listed him as one of the world’s ten most influential Jews.

    Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Oren

    I think Oren’s qualifications outrank most folks because of all the above things. Clearly, he is far more qualified than Max Fisher who seems to be merely a journalist as well as perhaps a bee-keeper plus more qualified than you (what exactly are your qualifications on this again Holms, do tell?), than me and than Mano Singham. Michael Oren is, indeed, one of the best qualified people in the world and definitely an expert on this issue. That makes him well worth listening to and taking seriously.

    Probably for as long as you continue to blatantly excuse the actions of oppressors. Your disclaimers of not wanting to nuke, not wanting war etc. etc. are rendered empty by your continued excuses for employing just those things.

    Well, hang on, which oppressors? I’m certainly not the one defending the Iranian regime here! Israel remember is a democracy whereas Iran is not. Your impression of me and what I want is wrong as I’ve noted multiple times and yet you refuse to accept my words. I’ve said I don’t want war, I mean I don’t want war, I’ve told you what I’m advocating for in its place, I’ve acknowledged the humanity of both sides here and you just don’t believe me and keep on straw-monstering me because of your own prejudice. Well, you have the right to your opinion of me but it doesn’t make that opinion of yours correct. Any more than your anti-Semitic impressions of Israel are – I could ask if you’ve ever been to Israel or met any Israelis or listened, really listened to their side of the story but well, you’ve already shown you are totally close-minded on this.

    Your idea involves citing a hypothetical war as a reason for siding with known, proven warmongers. The obvious flaw there being a hypothetical future war is far preferable to a highly likely war in the present.
    (Luckily for all concerned, your hyperventilations have zero chance of coming true.)

    My idea is simply that I think the current deal with Iran should’ve been a lot better and that the sanctions shouldn’t have been lifted until Iran agreed to some tougher conditions like ending terrorism, recognising Israel and ceasing menacing the region.

    Your talk about warmongering is not supported by the facts since this is NOT what I’m arguing for nor do I think it was what Oren was calling for -indeed Oren concludes his article with :

    The alternative to this deal is not, as its supporters insist, war, but a better deal. Indeed, the present agreement will likely escalate, rather than avert, conflict. … (Snip) … A good deal is still possible for those with the courage to forge it.

    Source : Michael Oren, “What a Good Iran Deal Would Look Like” in Politico magazine online, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/07/what-a-good-iran-deal-would-look-like-120424.html#ixzz3h0IQor4o
    (usual starter) www (dot) politico (dot) com / magazine / story /2015/07/ what-a-good-iran-deal-would-look-like-120424 (dot) html#ixzz3h0I6r8Db – Link broken to avoid moderation – see link to this article in OP.

    So, no, no warmongers here – out of either me or Oren. So who exactly are you meaning to refer to there and why are they relevant to this discussion, Holms?

  43. StevoR says

    ^

    The ideas of (4) which applies to the entire Iranian population is, I agree, unworkable as noted in my comment # 4 ..

    Arrrgghh! That’s meant to be my comment 1 where I wrote :

    Only 4 as a condition is clearly “absurd” and unworkable although even there a change in policy so that the government no longer organises and promotes hatred of America and Israel among other places is something that would be a very good idea wouldn’t it? You can’t stop individual people or non-govt groups voicing hatred and antagonism and free speech is good generally but not including hate speech. You can however, insist that the govt no longer holds an organises regular hate sessions or is that unreasonable in your view?

    @44. & #45. jws1 :

    “Good global citizen” = “submissive to U.S.-Israeli regional dominance”.

    Not necessarily although that’d be nice. More just not threatening to attack its neighbours, give upon wiping out other sovereign nations and end its campaign to export Islamist terrorism and dominate other nations. If Iran leaves Israel and its Sunni neighbours alone then I’m sure they’ll be happy to do likewise. Iran always has the option of making a peace treaty with Israel that decrees and end to their conflict just as Egypt and Jordan have previously done.

    Just wondering: has Israel made overtures recognizing the rights of its neighbors to exist? And specifically, to exist with self-rule, self-determination?

    Are ya kidding me? Of course it has – see the treaties with Egypt and Jordan referred to above!

    Of course, Israel has also repeatedly tried talking peace and making overtures to the Palestinians and Gazans but somehow whatever the concessions Israel has offered them including 95% or so of what they wanted under Clinton and Ehud Barak in the early 2000’s the Palestinians have rejected these peace offers and paradoxically the Palestinians (admittedly under the leadership of Cairo born ex-terrorist & dictator Yasser Arafat & later the Iran proxy Hamas) have thus become their own worst enemies and biggest obstacle to them getting a Palestinian state.

    Here’s a thought about peace and stability in that volatile region: how about nobody, including Israel, gets to be nuclear? A ban on nukes in the region. Oh wait, that’s been tried – and blocked – at the U.N. by the usual suspects who don’t really want peace if they don’t get to dominate: the U.S., the U.K., and Israel.

    It would be nice if that were realistic proposition and didn’t mean that Israel would then by attacked en masse by conventional Arab armies as has previously occurred throughout the first few decades of the Jewish nations existence. without tehnecesary deternt Israel may have wit

    The circumstances that Israel is in, through no fault of its own, mean it requires its ambigous nuclear deterrent capability for its own – and the regions generally – protection. Without it, war would be far more likely. We also know that Israel can be trusted and will never use its weapons in anything other than a very last resort. IOW Israel truly is a special and unique case.

    This means your suggested “no-nukes anywhere there” is policy unrealistic.

    Therefore , we should settle for a situation where no other nation in the region aquires nuclear weapons which is also congruent with the non-proliferation treaty and idea that as few places and people have nukes as possible is best.

  44. Mano Singham says

    StevoR @#42,

    Let me be perfectly clear: You do not get to decide if I consider you a warmonger. You do not to get to decide that I should not bring up your past racist and genocidal statements.

    As for your excuse of being drunk and therefore did not mean what you said, that won’t wash. I grew up around a lot of drunks and I quickly became convinced of the truth of the old Latin saying in vino veritas (“in wine there is truth”), that it is when they are drunk that people say what they really think because alcohol loosens their inhibitions and their tongues. I also used to note that these drunks would invariably try to use the “I was drunk” excuse later to try to evade responsibility for their words and actions.

    It is I who will decide if I think you no longer have racist and genocidal sentiments and that will happen only when I am convinced that you no longer have such appalling views. That will take more than an apology and an excuse because I require a lot more evidence of consistency over a longer time.

    If you are looking for a quick absolution for your past words, I suggest you go and see a priest.

  45. StevoR says

    Well, I will try and prove to you that I am not what you think am and yes, I understand that that will take time.

    I do mean it when I say that I am not advocating war and am not anti-Muslim.

    BTW. Australia now 4 /87 trailing England by 58 runs at Egbaston after being bowled out for 136 in our first innings. Warner 66 and Marsh 3 batting.

  46. StevoR says

    Doesn’t mean I’m always going to agree with you mind you – but I won’t ever advocate nuclear strikes or war for anything other than pure self-defense again for sure. Here or anywhere else.

  47. says

    …and I’m saying don’t trust them because of their record of deceit in this area…

    Yeah, right, like the USA have never been deceitful about WMDs?

    We’ve had non-bellicose relations with other deceitful regimes that had nuclear weapons (USSR and China, like I said before), and they still have yet to start WW-III. So I have to ask again — why is post-Khomeini Iran more dangerous or less trustworthy than either post-Mao China or post-Stalin Russia?

  48. StevoR says

    @ ^ Raging Bee :

    Er, no, the US of A has always been pretty open about having WMDs certainly post WWII wqhen therewas goodreaosn for wartime secrecy.

    I have to ask again — why is post-Khomeini Iran more dangerous or less trustworthy than either post-Mao China or post-Stalin Russia?

    Because of their Shiite extremist Islamist ideology of exporting their Islamic Revolution through terrorism and the sort of comments that their leaders such as Ahmadinejad :

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/13/irans-president-mahmoud-a_n_3434408.html

    have made over the decades and these evil oppressive and dangerous people are still in charge behind the scenes despite attempts by many Iranians to overthrow them through people power.

    The fact that they arm,train and supporting Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and so on, hang gay people, support murder and terrorism, call for extermination of other nations the regular hate speech about “Greater and lesser Satans” death to the USA /Israel, ad nauseam .. doesn’t suffice for you?

    How much more of a (metaphorical!) cluebat do you need?

    Are these people, this regime, who you want to be defending and people you’d want to trust with The Bomb?

  49. says

    Because of their Shiite extremist Islamist ideology of exporting their Islamic Revolution through terrorism and the sort of comments that their leaders such as Ahmadinejad…

    How soon you forget that both Mao China and the USSR had their own fanatical ideologies, which they also applied both at home and abroad, at terrible costs to all those affected. Remember the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution? Remember how insane Mao seemed to be, and all the bloody chaotic ideological/factional struggles that happened under his banner of “continuous revolution?” And yet that country got nuclear weapons (LOTS of them) and didn’t start WW-III. So again, why is Iran supposed to be so much more dangerous than Mao’s China? Or even North Korea?

  50. says

    Also, just because a regime does bad things, doesn’t mean that regime can always be expected to go for broke and act like it has nothing to lose by blowing shit up indiscriminately. Iran may have been a revolutionary power back in Khomeini’s day, but it has since become a status-quo power: they’re a big country and they have far too much to lose in any kind of major war (nuclear or not) to do anything as radical as you imagine them doing. Again, the same was true of China and the USSR, both of which were pretty cautious abroad however crazy they may have got on their own turf.

    We’ve been living with a nuclear China and Russia, as well as a nuclear India and Pakistan. There’s no reason why we can’t live with a nuclear Iran. Once again, StevoR, you show that your objections are based on historical ignorance and hysterical racism.

  51. StevoR says

    Also the claims you make about what I supposedly show – yeah, no. You don’t actually show that.

  52. StevoR says

    BTW. I’d rather North Korea and the former Soviet Union and China’s murderous totalitarian dictatorship (I recall the Tianamin square massacre and what the Chinese dictatorship did to their own people even if you don’t)didn’t have the Bomb either, The fewer places have it the the better. Pity we couldn’t stop them – so let’s do all we can to stop Iran and others from getting it. You’d disagree why ‘zactly?

  53. says

    @ ^ Raging Bee : You want Iran to have nukes?

    So all you can do now is lie about what I said?

    …so let’s do all we can to stop Iran and others from getting it. You’d disagree why ‘zactly?

    Because “all we can” includes waging YET ANOTHER unprovoked and extremely destructive war, against a nation too large to fully subdue; and that would do far more harm to regional stability, improved democracy in Iran, and civil society itself, than the mere possession of nukes by Iran. And yes, that would be bad for Israel too, not just the Muslim untermenschen surrounding them.

    I’ve explained this to you in plain English several times, and so have others, and you’re too stupid, too immature, too shortsighted, and too blindly racist to understand a point that is obvious to nearly every other responsible adult I’ve talked to.

  54. says

    …but I won’t ever advocate nuclear strikes or war for anything other than pure self-defense again for sure. Here or anywhere else.

    You just broke that promise, by saying the US should do “all we can” to stop Iran from getting a nuke. “All we can” includes “nuclear strikes or war” for something other than pure self-defense.

  55. StevoR says

    @ ^ Raging Bee : It does? Or is that an uncharitable misreading of what those words mean on your part?

    The latter is in fact true.

    Note the words “All we can do” versus and implies there are also “things we can’t do.”

    Missing premise that is inferred by reasonable people which you clearly aren’t = ‘things we can’t do’ include a nuclear first strike and preemptive war. (Although the ambiguity of being able to threaten these even though we wouldn’t do them has its uses.)

    So, no. RB, You are as almost always wrong.

    So all you can do now is lie about what I said?

    No, it was a question to you which you have failed to answer – Do you or do you not want Iran to get The Bomb?

    I do wish you’d learn to comprehend plain written english RB.

    Once again, StevoR, you show that your objections are based on historical ignorance and hysterical racism.

    LOL. No. My objections are because of historical awareness such as awareness of the threats Iran has made, its unhinged extremist rhetoric which it hasn’t ceased and corrected since. Plus the centuries of people not taking threats to wipe out the Jewish people seriously and where they have led. Hint, yes, a lot of those who said they wanted to exterminate Jews really meant it and should have been taken seriously and stopped earlier Also my historical knowledge about how Iran like North Korea before it, developing nuclear program when it said it wasn’t making and breaking agreements, has lied and stalled and generally proven untrustworthy.

    Also nothing to do with race at all. Nor hysteria.

    Iran may have been a revolutionary power back in Khomeini’s day, but it has since become a status-quo power: they’re a big country and they have far too much to lose in any kind of major war (nuclear or not) to do anything as radical as you imagine them doing.

    If their leadership was rational and not extremist irrational religious zealots that could be right – but, I’m not convinced its the former not the latter. See comment #53 especially that link.

    Oh & also please answer the question I asked at the end there : Are these people, (the Ayatollahs) this Iranian regime, who you want to be defending and people you’d want to trust with The Bomb?

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