Update: war watch – Iran

Summary:  The wardrums continue to beat, building support for a US attack on Iran.  This is a status report, with at the end some excellent links to further information.

The battle continues hot and heavy, as factions in Washington strive to shape the US citizenry’s view of Iran.  Leaks and lies, authoritative statements and rumors.  A repeat of the pre-invasion info ops warning about Iraq’s nukes.   We uncritically chear and boo on command, as peasants should.

Contents

  1. Recent news and studies
  2. Other interesting articles and reports (especially useful!)
  3. FM’s forecast and recommendations
  4. For More Information on the FM site

(1)  Excerpts from Recent news and studies

Excerpts appear for these articles:

(a)  Intelligence Agencies Say No New Nukes in Iran“, Newsweek, 16 September 2009 — “Secret updates to White House challenge European and Israeli assessments.  Excerpt:

The officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, said that U.S. intelligence agencies have informed policymakers at the White House and other agencies that the status of Iranian work on development and production of a nuclear bomb has not changed since the formal National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s “Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities” in November 2007. Public portions of that report stated that U.S. intelligence agencies had “high confidence” that, as of early 2003, Iranian military units were pursuing development of a nuclear bomb, but that in the fall of that year Iran “halted its nuclear weapons program.” The document said that while U.S. agencies believed the Iranian government “at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons,” U.S. intelligence as of mid-2007 still had “moderate confidence” that it had not restarted weapons-development efforts.

(b)  Iran admits secret uranium enrichment plant“, Guardian, 25 September 2009:

Iran sent a letter to Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on Monday, saying it had established a second pilot uranium enrichment plant, parallel to the one monitored by the IAEA in Natanz.

(c)  Why Iran confessed to secret nuclear site built inside mountain“, The Guardian, 25 September 2009:

The Qom uranium enrichment plant first appeared in 2006, in grey satellite photographs of the sort the world has become familiar with through the long years of the Iran crisis.

North-east of the mosques of Qom, the theological heart of Iran, the revolutionary guard had established an anti-aircraft missile battery at the base of the mountain, western officials said.

As intelligence analysts tried to discover what the missiles were there to protect, satellite imagery began to reveal intensive activity at the side of the mountain. “There was extensive excavation and construction work under way,” a western official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

… A senior US administration official described the site as “a very heavily protected, very heavily disguised facility”. The official added: “We’ve been aware of this facility for several years; we’ve been watching the construction, we’ve been building up a case so that we were sure that we had very strong evidence, irrefutable evidence, that the intent of this facility was as an enrichment plant.”

At some point this summer, US, British and French intelligence agencies were able to corroborate the information they had, and concluded that the Qom site was an enrichment plant. “We believe that it’s not yet operational. We think it’s most likely at least a few months, perhaps more, from having all of the centrifuges installed and being capable of operating if the Iranians made a decision to begin operating it,” the senior American official said.

… the plant, which intelligence reports say is set to start operation next year, could be set up for advanced domestically developed centrifuges that enrich uranium at much higher speed and efficiency than the decades old P-1 type centrifuges acquired on the black market and in use at Natanz.

(d)  SecDef Robert Gates on CNN’s “State of the Nation”, 27 September 2009:

The reality is, there is no military option that does anything more than buy time. The estimates are one to three years or so. And the only way you end up not having a nuclear capable Iran is for the Iranian government to decide that their security is diminished by having those weapons as opposed to strengthened. So I think, as I say, while you don’t take options off the table, I think there’s still room left for diplomacy.

(2)  Other interesting articles and reports

Books:

  • Spying on the Bomb: American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Koreaby Jeffrey T. Richelson, Norton, 702 pp (2006)

Online articles (I esp recommend the first two listed):

More recent news:

Stratfor’s articles — free registration required:

(3)  FM’s forecast and recommendations

A prediction (aka guess):  Neither the US nor Israel will attack Iran.  We may levy sanctions, but they will be even less effective than those against South Africa.  Esp if still in place when the global economy recovers and oil prices scream higher.

FM’s recommendations:

  • Make  a maximus effort to get better intelligence about Iran.
  • Attempt to develop links to factions inside Iran.
  • Keep the public dialog cool; constant waving of the big stick makes us look weak.
  • Use diplomatic tools to encourage and discourage Iran (to join the nonproliferation club and end its nuke program, respectively)

(4)  For more information from the FM site

To read other articles about these things, see the following:

Reference pages about other topics appear on the right side menu bar, including About the FM website page.

Some of the posts on the FM website about the possibility of war with Iran:

  1. 4GW at work in a community near you , 19 October 2007 — Propaganda warming us up for war with Iran.
  2. Stratfor’s analysis of US reasons for invading and occupying Iraq , 4 March 2008
  3. Will we bomb Iran, now that Admiral Fallon is gone? , 17 March 2008
  4. More post-Fallon overheating: “6 signs the US may be headed for war in Iran” , 18 March 2008
  5. A militant America, ready for war with Iran , 6 May 2008
  6. Another step towards war with Iran?, 7 May 2008 — About Andrew Cockburn’s article in  Counterpunch.
  7. “War With Iran Might Be Closer Than You Think”, 13 May 2008 — About Philip Giraldi’s 9 May story in The American Conservative (see below).
  8. The most expensive psy-war campaign – ever!, 13 July 2008
  9. ISIS: “Can Military Strikes Destroy Iran’s Gas Centrifuge Program? Probably Not.”, 8 August 2008
  10. Proposed legislation prepares the way for war with Iran!, 25 August 2008
  11. Will trade sanctions work against Iran, as they did against Japan in 1941?, 27 August 2008
  12. Is the War on Terror over (because there are no longer two sides)? Part 1, 3 September 2008 — Rumors of covert ops by us against Iran.
  13. Update on the prospects of war with Iran, from Stratfor, 6 September 2008
  14. Psywar, a core skill of the US Military (used most often on us), 26 November 2008
  15. Iran’s getting the bomb, or so we’re told. Can they fool us twice?, 16 February 2009
  16. Another general advocating war with Iran, 18 August 2009

59 thoughts on “Update: war watch – Iran

  1. >And the only way you end up not having a nuclear capable Iran is for the Iranian government to decide that their security is diminished by having those weapons as opposed to strengthened.

    And the prime reason the west is convinced that Iran is attempting to obtain the bomb: that they are convinced that Iran’s security would be improved by having those weapons.

  2. The current administration will not initiate a military response and equally important that is what most perceive including Iran. Iran is capable of withstanding sanctions and appears determined to enter the nuclear club. Best guess is that they will acquire nuclear weapons in the the next year to 3 years. I guess we will empirically learn whether or not they are as reckless as they sometimes seem. It would seem that we are about to experience a world where nuclear weapons abound. For Obama it is a shame because it will occur on his watch. The best worst case senario is that global warming will be offset by nuclear winter. Fabius Maximus, most often I respect your insights, your current plan of action has a hint of naiveté.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Your comment raises many questions.

    (1) “guess is that they will acquire nuclear weapons in the the next year to 3 years”

    I would find your confident forecast more authoritative if I had not read similar statements for over a decade. Iran still has no nukes. While were those forecasts wrong, and your current one correct?

    (2) “I guess we will empirically learn whether or not they are as reckless as they sometimes seem.”

    Why is Iran different? Similar forecasts of almost certain atomic war were made about the USSR during the 1950’s and into the early 1960’s. Also Pakistan and India (as in they’ll never make it past a decade without bombing one another).

    (3) “It would seem that we are about to experience a world where nuclear weapons abound.”

    Why does an increase from 9 to 10 nuclear powers mean that “nuclear weapons aboud”?

    (3) “The best worst case senario is that global warming will be offset by nuclear winter.”

    IMO you comments exhibit naiveté. For 60 years the “worst case” has been atomic war. The danger was greatest in the 1950’s, when generals confidently spoke of winning atomic wars. Now I suspect generals would be more like to shoot than obey a leader who ordered a first strike. Assuming the worst case will happens is allowing your nightmares to rule your actions.

  3. From FM recommendations: “Use diplomatic tools to encourage and discourage Iran (to join the nonproliferation club and end its nuke program, respectively)

    If the following blog article is anything to go by: (“Most Iranians support Ahmadinejad and nuclear power, poll finds“, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Sept 2009, by staff writer Dan Murphy), the Iranian public seems willing to talk with the US and even willing to make concessions. But getting them to end their nuclear program might not be in the cards, as it is something of a point of national pride to them. “On an agreement to stop enriching uranium in an exchange for an end to sanctions, 55% said they would oppose such a deal while 31% said they would support it.”
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    Fabius Maxmus replies: With the US and Israel threating every week, they’d be fools to give up the capability. But we can attempt to keep them focused on building civilian applications. This has worked for 2 decades, as they probably have build a nuke by now if they really wanted to (as did Israel, Pakistan and North Korea).

  4. FM, I’m surprised you didn’t suggest Bill Clinton handle the negotiations. You might also want to read up on Twelver Eschatology.

    The mistake you make IMO is mirror imaging. Do they really have the same map of the world as Westerners? The same mistake was made with a certain Bohemian Corporal. It did not end well. No one took his rantings seriously. And of course there is their leader’s attitude towards Jews.

    And what happens if Iran threatens oil flows through the Straights of Hormuz? And don’t forget the Islamacist insurrection in Russia. Under the radar. For now.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Per Goodwin’s Law, you’ve ended this discussion by comparing Iran to Hitler. Not every situation is like 1939. It’s similar to Obama’s supporters crying racism to every criticism. Goodwin’s Law works because such references tend to appear when one side is intellectually exhausted, with a lack of plausible arguments.

    (1) “You might also want to read up on Twelver Eschatology.”

    If Iran’s leaders were determined to gain nukes and initiate what we call Armageddon, they could have done so by now. After all, we’re heard for well over a decade that Iran will have nukes in a few years (usually 1 -3). While they do not yet have nukes, these forecasts probably accurately read their capability.

    This is like the fears of USSR generals in the 1950’s. who read the writings of fundamentalist Christian USAF generals — that Armageddon is inevitable and good for the pious remnant, and the world will be by fire not flood. General Buck Turgidson in “Dr. Strangelove” is a parody of these.

    Instead of theology, we can look to obvious and rational reasons for Iran’s dilatory efforts to build a bomb. It’s a powerful negotiating chip, and might be needed should the regional situation heat up.

    (2) “And what happens if Iran threatens oil flows through the Straights of Hormuz?”

    Few (perhaps no) major aggressive power has profited from starting a war since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 (among developed nations, excluding civil wars). Perhaps Iran’s leaders secretly yearn to follow the footsteps of Imperial Japan and declare war on the entire world. Let’s see some evidence before we worry about it.

    (3) “And don’t forget the Islamacist insurrection in Russia.”

    Defending the Czars’ conquests in Central Asia is Putin’s problem. Not ours.

    In summary, the fears you describe are reasons for careful planning and defensive measures — but are IMO a grossly inadequate basis on which to start a war. Also, you totally ignore the wealth of documentation provided in this post (including work from western intel agencies), instead prefering to rely on your imagination.

  5. Here’s the problem. Iran’s nuclear program is, without question, about developing the capability to produce a HEU uranium bomb, as North Korea succeeded in doing.

    If their interest was energy, or fuel, they would not need an indigenous fuel cycle, but could buy, on the open market, for vary favorable terms in enough quantity of LEU that by the time refueling might be a concern, they’d still have a few years to develop an indigenous fuel cycle.

    Rather, the indigenous fuel program is all about the capability to produce HEU, and building a second, bomb-resistant facility just reinforces it.

    But now its a very interesting position. Even up and running, it would take months to produce enough HEU for a bomb or two. Thus as long as inspections continue, and they don’t secretly build a third facility, even in the worst case, the international community can keep Iran 6 months away from a weapon forever.

    But if it gets to the point where inspections stop, Iran can produce their HEU and their bomb. At the same time, as long as the US is in Iraq, we can’t attack. We’re stuck.

    Its an interesting and disturbing quandry.

  6. Everybody knows Israel has nukes, a good 250 or so, but was there a peep out of the U.S. about any violations of international law/regulations, whatever? Not that I can recall. Anybody? Oh yeah, but they’re the good guys on our side so it doesn’t count, does it?

    I heard Iran was getting close to some threshold where they would be able to build, two, maybe three bombs per year.

    So that means only five, or maybe even only two or three THOUSAND years and they will have as many as we do. I’m gonna lose sleep on that thought tonight.

  7. two or three THOUSAND years? It would not take them so long to learn how totally useless and dangerous the weapons really are. Not if they were burdened with a few of their own.

    and while we are thinking strategy, giving them Goldman Sachs might be a spectacular coup! if only they were foolish enough to accept it. :P

  8. Rumour has it that the Sunni states in the Middle East are scrambling to acquire the atomic bomb themselves, now that an Iranian/Shi’ia bomb appears imminent.
    Rumour also has it that The Saudis have even considered making accomodations with Israel to forestall Tehran. Does anyone here know the truth of these whispers?

    IMO, U.S. policy should focus on a world in which many states have acquired nukes; Iran is likely to get the bomb, and in response other Gulf states will probably follow suit. Others to come – Japan, Korea? Who has nukes that we do not about, perhaps South Africa, Brazil, who knows? Given enough money and expertise, most nations who want these weapons will eventually get them; the western nations have been too willing to supply the technology to them for any other result, and physics, engineering and metalurgy departments the world over remain open for business. AQ Khan – the father of the Islamic atomic program – has very likely instructed others in his knowledge and expertise. The cat will, sooner or later, get out of the bag, will it not?
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Agreed, proliferation is inevitable. It took a massive concentration of resources for the US to build the first bomb. Now small States like North Korea, Israel, and Pakistan can do so. Eventually the march of technology will make building nukes easy for any State.

  9. In my view, Iran’s program serves at least 3 purposes and it’s actions are consistent with these goals.

    1) Iran really can make use of nuclear energy. This will be important in the long term for their economic development
    2) Iran does want to have the capacity to assemble a nuclear weapon. The most difficult step, mastering uranium enrichment can be achieved within the Nonproliferation Treaty.
    3) Iran wants the respect, power and influence that comes with (1) and (2). Mastering nuclear technology is a matter of pride for the nation.

    As noted in comment 5 above, it’s widely believed that Iran is developing the capacity to assemble a nuclear weapon. This is the so-called Japan Option – the ability to assemble a nuclear weapon on short notice should the need ever arise. Japan and a number of other non-nuclear weapons states possess this option. If Iran does attain this capability, it may change the balance of power in the Gulf and the Middle East.

    It’s interesting to note that the sanctions on Iran that are under discussion involving essentially curtailing their supply of energy, for example, by cutting off gasoline imports. This, in fact, highlights the dependence of Iran on energy imports and lends credibility to the case made by Iran that it needs nuclear energy.

  10. M K Bhadrakumar points out that Medvedev is siding with Obama in putting the nuclear blame on Iran. “Medvedev jumps the gun on Iran“, Asia Times, 29 September 2009.

    It would be interesting to know why they’re threatening Iran with sanctions. Obviously, that has nothing to do with the non existent Iran nuclear bomb. What’s afoot? Knowing that is where the money is, you know?
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    Fabius Maximus replies: “Obviously”? Your casual dismissal of the nuclear non-prolifferation program is astonishing and bizarre.

  11. so we should continue doing what failed with india, pakistan, and north korea? wow. let me guess, we’ll get a different result this time right?
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    Fabius Maximus replies: What do you believe we should have done with India, Pakistan, and North Korea? Invade and occupy them? What point are you attempting to make?

  12. one more thing about those supposedly non-political intelligence agencies: “Huge Intelligence Scandal: Will All the Pundits Who Relied on the Discredited 2007 NIE on Iran Now…“, Ron Rosenbaum, 28 September 2009.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Iran notified the IAEA in compliance with their obligations (its disputed if this was strict compliance), and will allow inspection of it. Western intelligence knew about the plant. Referring to the 2007 NIE as “discredited” shows is absurd, showing only his lust for war.

    BTW — Can you a citation of someone considering our intel agences to be “non-political”? Someone informed, not a Cub Scout. I doubt it.

  13. I see the Obama administration working pretty hard to convince the world there is an alternative to military action. I don’t think everyone is listening, or that some even care. Obama needs to pull very tough sanctions out of the UN will the support of all parties to win the diplomatic route, and he may do exactly that.

    It won’t stop a nuclear Iran, but it will buy the Obama administration time… for what exactly is unclear. Iran will not be giving up their nuclear program for any reason.

    Israel is a real wild card here. They make calculations different than anyone else, and I believe they will attack. What happens after that depends on the Iranians, if they attack anyone besides Israel in retaliation, then the west must go all in. If Iran focuses on Israel, it is unclear what we will do.

    But we have a lot of BMD stuffs in Israel. If we get involved, Iran will try to hit us in the US. That may backfire on them, but it may not.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Thanks for the excellent summary! Does Israel have the capability to substantially damage Iran’s nuke facilities? Best I can determine: no. And the risk in both military and diplomatic terms would be high.

    For more on this see:
    * ISIS: “Can Military Strikes Destroy Iran’s Gas Centrifuge Program? Probably Not.”, 8 August 2008
    * Will Israel commit suicide? More rumors of a strike at Iran , 22 December 2007

  14. FM.. you are saying we should continue doing what hasn’t worked. i’m saying what is the point of continuing to something that hasn’t worked? the military option should be on the table and perhaps used at least once to make other countries that are thinking about getting nukes to think twice. right now, there seems to be very small penalties for it.

    re: the non-political.. you and i have had this discussion previously. can’t remember what post it was in.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: That’s one of the most feckless reasons to start a war I have ever seen, which is saying something considering the range of comments on this site. Too bizarre to discuss.

    You may have said that the intel agencies were non-political. I have written several posts saying that they are becoming increasingly political.
    * The Plame Affair and the Decline of the State, 25 October 2005
    * The new NIE, another small step in the Decline of the State, 10 Dec 2007
    * A must-read book for any American interested in geopolitics, 5 March 2008

  15. As an addendum to my post, this would add one more thing to your recommendation: a priority should be to keep the IAEA operating in Iran. As long as the IAEA operates in Iran, this puts a guarenteed delay on Iran producing HEU, they can’t spin up [1] production of HEU as long as the IAEA is monitoring.

    [1] pun intentded
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    Fabius Maximus replies: You raise an important point! After their horrific failure to find WMD’s in Iraq, the hawks (why does nobody call them war-mongers?) remains undiminished — as does their disrespect for the IAEA. This is nuts, of course, unless their purpose is to start wars and their concerns about nukes just a pretext.

  16. FM… continuing doing what doesn’t work is the definition of feckless. i think my irony meter just exploded in to a thousand pieces. i’ve never said that our agencies are non-political. ever. they aren’t.

    as usual, we will agree to disagree.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: You are the one who brought up the “non-pol” stuff. Cite something or retract. I did not say it.

    Feckless is starting wars on such a bizarre and flimsey basis. We often continue to do what does not always work for lack of an alternative. Life is like that; only children and fools believe that every situation has effective options.

  17. “the military option should be on the table and perhaps used at least once to make other countries that are thinking about getting nukes to think twice.”

    AKA Operation Iraqi Freedom. To be fair it seems as if this was a motivating factor in persuading Qaddafi to get rid of his half-assed nuclear program.

    Wouldn’t the money be better spent on beefing up Israel’s missile defense?
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    Fabius Maximus replies: I doubt that our invasion of Iraq persuaded Quaddafi. The odds that we would invade his nation were almost zero. It’s part of conservative mythology, like star wars forcing the USSR’s disintergration.

  18. One of the worst penalties of possessing nuclear weapons is that it makes the owner a primary target for everyone else who nuclear weapons. Of course, those who profit from building them are not likely to mention that tiny problem.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Has somebody attack the UK and France since they go nukes? Pakistan and India? Israel? North Korea? The opposite is more accurate.

  19. Captain, if iran wanted to nuke israel.. they could fly a bomb into syria and let hezbollah deliver it from south lebanon.

  20. And then that would be the end of Syria and Iran as functioning states. Israel certainly has the capability to wipe out their major population centers no?

  21. Captain, you are thinking rationally. you can’t reason with power hungry crazies.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Please stop making statements with no supporting evidence. This is not that kind of site. There are thousands of other websites on which you can post anything you can imagine.

  22. From #21: “you can’t reason with power hungry crazies.”

    1. We are all power-hungry
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    2. Give examples of actions that the state of Iran has taken that show potential suicidal craziness. It has to be potentially suicidal craziness. It can’t be just the sort of craziness that makes you hit your forehead and exclaim, “What a racist loon.”, like when Ahmadinejad hosted a holocaust denialist conference. Or that makes you say, “What a senseless waste of human life”, like when Iran and Iraq were having their war in the 1980s. It has to be the kind of craziness that would make an objective observer, with no particular stake in the outcome, say, “Iran may not be a nation for much longer at this rate.” Let us make our objective observer Chinese. Has the Iranian state ever done something that would strike the Chinese as suicidally crazy?

  23. Atheist, iran is currently funding, training and equipping terrorist that are killing our soldiers in iraq. that is an act of war against a major superpower. is that suicidal enough for you? if not, perhaps you need to adjust your metrics a bit.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: There is considerable evidence that we are training and funding insurgent groups in Iran. The entire post-WWII era consists of nations training proxy militia and terrorists for use against opponents. That has become the primary mode of armed conflict between states, a substitute for war, as state-to-state conflict has become too dangerous (either militarily or economically).

  24. i’d like to add, i never said they were suicidal. i said they were power hungry crazies and cannot be reasoned with. we should not take a chance with such a person that they will behave in a rational manner. also, we are not ALL power crazy. that’s just silly to think that.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: As I said above, please stop just saying these things without supporting evidence.

  25. Major Scarlet, you said, “You can’t reason with power hungry crazies”. We are almost all of us power hungry in some sense or another. Whether that power hunger is crazy is another question, and whether the craziness is suicidal craziness is the real question. Captain Ramen gave you an example of how an action by Iran, such as giving a nuke to Hezbollah to use on Israel, would almost certainly lead to the largest population centers in Iran being wiped out, and possibly to the destruction of the state of Iran itself. I’m arguing that the Iranians would have to be suicidally crazy to take such an action.

    As far as Iranians training/equipping Iraqi insurgents goes, according to Mike Mullen in April 2008 (“U.S. Official: Iran Helping Iraq Insurgents“, the AP, Apr. 25, 2008), lots of Iranian weapons were being found among Iraqi insurgents. Well, don’t you think that if China was fighting a long-term insurgency in Mexico as part of their strategy to force the world to understand the sheer life-changing awesomeness of Maoism, the Chinese’d be finding US-made weapons all over the place? It would only be good business. And the US government would probably know about it.

  26. Atheist,
    i have no idea if they are suicidally crazy or not. i’m a behaviorist. i know people by their actions. iran has demonstrated that they can’t be reasoned with and will push forward with their weapons program. perhaps they think, as saddam did, that the UN and western powers will keep israel in check. nobody knows but if you want to take the risk that everything will be unicorns and rainbows.. do so. i don’t.

    i’ve been to iraq. we have arrested iranian agents and shut down iranian bomb making factories in iraq. i’m going to stop taking you serious now.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: It is not realistic to expect that Iran — or any State — would allow a hostile power to occupy a neighboring State without resisting. In Iran’s case, successfully — as Iraq seems likely to become an ally. Turning a secular opponent of Iran into a Shiite-dominated ally is a major victory for Iran, somewhat offset by the creation of a Kurdish State.

    You appear to believe that every State hostile to America should be bombed or invaded — become a rogue or outlaw State. I doubt many Americans agree with you. It is the thinking like that of Curtis Lemay, which helped destroy the Goldwar-Lemay ticket.

  27. From #26: “nobody knows but if you want to take the risk that everything will be unicorns and rainbows.. do so. i don’t.”

    Who believes that everything will be unicorns & rainbows? I didn’t say everything would be unicorns & rainbows at all… I said that I don’t think the Iranians are suicidally crazy. And I said it because Captain Ramen in #20 said that if Iran gave nukes to Hezbollah, that could be the end of their people and nation, and you said that they seem crazy enough to do it anyhow. You seemed to be implying that the only ways to ensure the security of Israel and of our forces in Iraq would be to either remove nuclear technology from Iran, or if that’s not do-able, to eviscerate Iran. That is what you were implying correct?

    I agree the Iranians are power hungry… so are most folks. I even agree that Ahmadinejad seems crazy. But I don’t agree that he’s suicidal, or more importantly that his boss Khameini is.

    You don’t take me serious? OK, fine, I’m just that idiot on the internet. But do you have a link for this Iranian-run bomb factory found in Iraq? I google “iran bomb-making factory iraq” and all I get is stuff like:
    http://www.iranaffairs.com/iran_affairs/2007/11/efp-factory-fou.html (from 2007) which says the Iraqis are already doing bomb-making on their own.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123732669334561799.html (from 2009) which says Iranian goods are flowing into Iraq and stifling the Iraqi economy.
    http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=4299 (from 2005) which says Iranian bomb parts are being found in Iraq.
    I’m not finding what you’re describing.

  28. From #26: “nobody knows but if you want to take the risk that everything will be unicorns and rainbows.. do so. i don’t.”

    Who believes that everything will be unicorns & rainbows? I didn’t say everything would be unicorns & rainbows at all… I said that I don’t think the Iranians are suicidally crazy. And I said it because Captain Ramen in #20 said that if Iran gave nukes to Hezbollah, that could be the end of their people and nation, and you said that they seem crazy enough to do it anyhow. You seemed to be implying that the only ways to ensure the security of Israel and of our forces in Iraq would be to either remove nuclear technology from Iran, or if that’s not do-able, to eviscerate Iran. That is what you were implying correct?

    I agree the Iranians are power hungry… so are most folks. I even agree that Ahmadinejad seems crazy. But I don’t agree that he’s suicidal, or more importantly that his boss Khameini is.

    You don’t take me serious? Fine with me. But tell me why should I take you seriously? Do you have a link for this Iranian-run bomb factory found in Iraq? I google “iran bomb-making factory iraq” and all I get is stuff like:
    – “EFP Factory Found in Iraq” ([Iran Affairs Blog] from 2007) which says the Iraqis are already doing bomb-making on their own.
    – “Iran’s Cheap Goods Stifle Iraq Economy” ([WSJ] from 2009) which says Iranian goods are flowing into Iraq and stifling the Iraqi economy.
    – “Bomb expertise, parts coming into Iraq from Iran: British General” [Iran focus] from 2005) which says Iranian bomb parts are being found in Iraq.
    I’m not finding what you’re describing.

  29. Try ‘iran IED iraq.’ ‘bomb-making’ is too specific a term. Also I don’t think ‘-‘ as a word connector works in Google like it used to.

    How do we determine if a regime is suicidal? Looking back at history it is easy to label this or that regime’s actions as ‘suicidally crazy,’ since the aforementioned action starts a chain of events that ultimately undoes the regime in question; when in fact the outcome of that action had more to do with fatal miscalculations based on erroneous information or plain dumb luck.

  30. So I googled, “iran IED iraq”- I get some things:
    – “More on Iranian IEDs in Iraq” at Winds of Change blog, from 2005, where they are talking about IEDs supposedly being shipped from Iran to Iraq, a shipment was intercepted.
    – “U.S. blames Iran for new bombs in Iraq“, USATODAY.com, from Jan 2007. Which is more of the same.
    – “Iranian IED Factories” from http://www.quando.net, from 2006. Where we are once again saying that Iranian IEDs are being sent to Iraq.

    So, still nothing on the Iranians making IED factories in Iraq, sorry. I already explained why IEDs or guns or bombs made in Iran being found in Iraq doesn’t surprise me in the least.

  31. atheist,
    so if it doesn’t exist in google, it doesn’t exist? take a break from commenting and go read 1984.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: If you make a statement, it is your job to support it. Not someone else’s job to disprove it. While there are probably many weapons from Iran in Iraq, most of the stories I’ve seen of Iran weapons were disproven. For an example, see Psywar, a core skill of the US Military — used most often on us (26 November 2008).

  32. Well, if you have a report or a corroboration or a link or anything other than your own unsourced assertion that you busted an Iranian-run IED factory in Iraq, show it. Email it to me. adellutri (at.sign) hotmail (dot) com

  33. I dont know if Ahmadinajaket does deny the holocaust . I think he just questioned it . Are we not allowed to turn over stones and see if anything wriggles underneath , in every other snip of history ?

  34. Atheist,
    i’ll look for the reference.. it’s fairly hard to find.. however.. until i find it.. chew on the fact that we have caught iranian agents in iraq and that there is big difference between your analogy of finding american weapons in mexico.. to actively supplying weapons. ”

    The Narrow War: U.S. Releases Report About Iran“, Daily Pundit, 11 February 2007
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    Fabius Maximus replies: No wonder you spout so much misinformation if you consider this to be evidence. I don’t see any links there to any authorative sources. Most go to his own site or general media, and most of those links are broken.

  35. from #32

    I dont know if Ahmadinajaket does deny the holocaust . I think he just questioned it .

    It’s hard to tell. Is Ahmadinejad really serious when he denies that 6 million European Jews were systematically massacred in a massive Nazi campaign of state murder? Is he, in other words, the David Duke of the middle east? Or is he just trying to be an asshole in order to rattle Israel? Or, does he just really hate Jews? For all I know it is all three.

  36. What does Iranian agents being found/captured in Irag have to do with anything? Iranian (Safavid) (Persian) agents have been operating (including killing their enemies) in what is now Iraq since the beginning of recorded history. They will continue to do so “forever”. They do this because they in some fashion believe it to be in their national interest. So is Iran supposed to stop because the US is now in Iraq? So what is now different from when the Ottomans or the Mamluks controlled Mesopotania? If the US doesn’t like Iranian agents operating in Iraq, they should hunt down and kill every last one of them (which of course is impossible).

  37. Fred,
    you can’t be serious. what kind of leader would you be to allow this to happen? oh.. they’ve always done this so let’s let them keep doing it. my god. that’s laughable.

  38. >i’m a behaviorist. i know people by their actions. iran has demonstrated that they can’t be reasoned with

    Crazy is just a term people use when they don’t understand what is going on. You see yourself as a man of action a “behaviorist” well stick to the manly stuff, geopolitics has many more facets.

    There are two separate Iranian related big changes going on in the middle east right now.

    Firstly Iranian backed forces in Lebanon have finally worked out a strategy to ultimately defeat Israel. A combination of a guerilla based defense and long range rockets. The result will be the ability to shut down the Israeli economy for months at a time. After decades of being able to ignore everyone else’s opinion the Israelis looks like they will eventually be forced to the negotiating table. This is the real “existential threat” Israel faces – a threat to it’s current status as a mini middle east superpower that could act unilaterally.

    Secondly the Iranian nuclear program even if just taken to an enabling level – where the program can be finished off at haste, is going to put an end to decades of US hatred of Iran. Hell has no fury like a superpower humiliated and the Iranians have done it repeatedly. As a result US has spent decades trying to overthrow the Iranian regime.

    But the Iranians know the minute they become a nuclear power, or nuclear capable, they will be America’s BFF (Best Friend Forever). Big, oil rich and powerful with may common interests – it is an irresistible mix to America. As soon as they are faced with no hope of overthrowing the regime in Tehran, Washington will do a 180 degree reversal.

    The semi-colonial arrangement in the Middle eats that served the US so well is slowly disappearing. This is a source of great distress in Washington. A lot of the rhetoric is basically about ‘making them take us seriously’. The neocons solution was to start re-colonizing countries in the region so that America could become a player again, it’s success would have delayed political development in the Middle East by another 50 years.

    If we can just get through the decolonization without too much damage then a political renaissance in the middle east is just round the corner.

  39. So how does the US hunt down and kill every Iranian spy in Irag? Of course, the US should try, even if only 1% is caught and killed. However, the fact that Iranian spies are in Iraq should not be used by elected officials to dishonestly justify official government policy. Are they stupid or liars? When some senior politician with gravitas, like John Warner, appears on CNN or Fox and solemnly intones “we have to double-down in Iraq because Iranian spies are supplying Shia militias with weapons, training, ect.”, Wolf Blitzer or Brit Hume should laugh in his face. If neither has the nerve to do that, they should politely ask: “But Senator, as Iranian spies aided Shia militias all during Saddam’s reign, what’s different now?” “They’re killing Americans.” “Yes Senator, but what is different from the Iranian point of view?” “They’re not dealing with Saddam now; They’re dealing with the armed might of the US of A.” Of course, it makes no difference to the Iranians. If fact, they may even consider Saddam to be a more formidable adversary.

  40. Fred,
    you can’t be serious. it is easy to fix the problems with iran in iraq.. you take out iran. you can’t kill an ant bed by killing individual ants, you go after the queen.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Enough calling for a massive war with Iran. Stick to presenting evidence, or stop. There are thousands of site where blowing such hot air is considered appropriate. This is not one of those sites.</

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