Tuesday, August 16, 2005


The Congressional Research Service (available via Gallery Watch) summarizes the progress of negotiations to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons (from Iran’s Nuclear Program: Recent Developments Order Number RS21592).

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of Iran’s nuclear program since 2003 have revealed significant undeclared activities with potential application for nuclear weapons, including uranium enrichment facilities and plutonium separation efforts. Ever on the brink of being declared in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran has allowed IAEA inspectors access only when pressed. Iran agreed to suspend its enrichment and reprocessing activities in exchange for promises of assistance from Germany, France, and the UK (EU-3). Negotiations with the EU-3 are ongoing, although on August 1, 2005, Iran told the IAEA of its plans to resume uranium conversion, regardless of what the EU-3 offer.

The Guardian recently said that Iran had 25 times more uranium refining capacity than it has admitted to the UN, according to an Iranian who runs Strategic Policy Consulting, a Washington-based think tank. Alireza Jafarzadeh, an exiled Iranian dissident who in 2002 helped to uncover almost two decades of covert Iranian nuclear activity, said the centrifuges - rotating machines used in separation processes - were ready to be installed at Iran's nuclear facility in Natanz. ... The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is holding an emergency meeting on Iran later today, did not comment on the centrifuge allegations. ...

"These 4,000 centrifuge machines have not been declared to the IAEA, and the regime has kept the production of these machines hidden from the inspectors while the negotiations with the EU have been going on over the past 21 months," Mr Jafarzadeh told the Associated Press.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), an organization which monitors and translates open news sources published in Arabic and other regional languages provided this transcript of an "interview withIranian chief negotiator on nuclear affairs, and member of the Iranian Supreme Council for National Security Hosein Musavian, which aired on Iranian Channel 2 on August 4, 2005".

Musavian: Those (in Iran) who criticize us and claim that we should have only worked with the IAEA do not know that at that stage -- that is, in August 2003 -- we needed another year to complete the Esfahan (UCF) project, so it could be operational. ... The regime adopted a twofold policy here: It worked intensively with the IAEA, and it also conducted negotiations on international and political levels. The IAEA gave us a 50-day extension to suspend the enrichment and all related activities. But thanks to the negotiations with Europe we gained another year, in which we completed (the UCF) in Esfahan.

Esfahan's (UCF) was completed during that year. Even in Natanz, we needed six to twelve months to complete the work on the centrifuges. Within that year, the Natanz project reached a stage where the small number of centrifuges required for the preliminary stage, could operate. In Esfahan, we have reached UF4 and UF6 production stages. ...

Thanks to our dealings with Europe, even when we got a 50-day ultimatum, we managed to continue the work for two years. This way we completed (the UCF) in Esfahan. This way we carried out the work to complete Natanz, and on top of that, we even gained benefits. For 10 years, America prevented Iran from joining the WTO. This obstacle was removed, and Iran began talks in order to join the WTO. In the past, the world did not accept Iran as a member of the group of countries with a nuclear fuel cycle. In these two years, and thanks to the Paris Agreement, we entered the international game of the nuclear fuel cycle, and Iran was recognized as one of the countries with a nuclear fuel cycle. An Iranian delegate even participated in the relevant talks. We gained other benefits during these two years as well.

None of these revelations matter because virtually no Western politician can ever use force again to prevent a regime, even one openly dedicated to terrorism, from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. The subject is verboten because the Left has declared it so. Unless something radically changes, it is only logical to prepare for the consequences of this head-in-the-sand policy, a possible catastrophe beside which September 11 will diminish into insignificance. Perhaps this event is already inevitable and those future victims beyond saving. But even so, it is important to begin the work of opening our eyes now, so that we might avoid the blindness which took the world of the 1930s and the 1990s over a cliff. Some mental disease in Western culture has allowed it to stand idly by while evil grew to monstrous proportions around and within it; an infirmity dignified with the name of pacifism. Perhaps it has already killed some of us reading this post; and the least we can do, if our final moments come, is to realize why we died.


Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

I had all this earnestly explained to me recently at a conference I attended. A colleague and I were interrupted by a person whose name tag unidentified her as a striped pants cookie pusher.(age biased pejorative)

As far as I could determine, it is now fashionable to "model" the sort of behavior you want to see. It's like my mother telling me to set a good example and not retaliate in kind toward the play ground bully.

Well, I ignored her, of course, because mothers don't have any idea about how the world really works. It was a good idea then and it is still a good idea to ignore this kind of dangerous advice.

The most we can hope for, in the near term, is that the primary target for an Iranian nuke finds a way to take out their capacity. And, don't tell me about their "short legged" aircraft.

Let's all do our best to keep the discussion focused and not try to hijack the thread.

8/16/2005 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Lost Soul said...

Eurodhimmi selfloathing disgusts me.

8/16/2005 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Nailcreek said...

I'm waiting for the comment from some Euro leader, waving a piece of paper with some sort of agreement by the Iranians to play nice, saying something about "peace in our time" ....

8/16/2005 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"...Ever on the brink of being declared in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty ..."

They have yet to be found in violation of the treaty, by the IAEA.
If they were signatory both India and Israel would be in violation, yet both are our 'partners'. Pakistan has been the major source of Nuclear Proliferation, and is our funded ally in the WoT.
We are huffing and puffing but the Iranian house is not falling down.

Overt action will be more than difficult, W says "...no Western politician can ever use force again to prevent a regime, even one openly dedicated to terrorism, from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. ..."
I'm not sure that this is true, but there would be extreme difficulties in taking overt preemptive action.
Arm the Kurds and fund the
Mullah's opposition.

8/16/2005 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger PD Quig said...

In 'Memento' the protagonist at least realized that he was handicapped and employed various tools to counteract what he knew to be fatally flawed perceptions. The current amnesiacs are happy to wake up to a new world each morning—and that is what is so baffling. Such willful ignorance cannot be explained in rational terms. Maybe there is something to the liberalism as a mental disorder notion after all.

8/16/2005 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger BigLeeH said...

Pat Buchanan has a column up about Iran and its nukes. If you are like me you will need to read it more than once. The first time I was put off by his dark mutterings about neocons and Israel and missed much of his analysis. On a subsequent reading I found rather more to think about.

Buchanan is more about problems than answers these days -- but he is usually a good source for problems. For answers you need to look elsewhere.

8/16/2005 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Chester said...

The current malaise of the West seems to be our downfall -- but certainly there have been such periods before? "Liberalism" and its stepchildren seem to be the cancer that gnaws at our innards, causing paralysis, confusion, and the clearest of hindsight. Has there been no previous period in Western history when an inner disease was the culprit for a would be defeat?

Dymphna would be quick to point to pre-modern times, perhaps. Only then has the West been encircled from non-Western enemies who might undo its civilization.


8/16/2005 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger TigerHawk said...

The hard left is one thing -- they are just nuts. The most depressing thing about the current debate is the extent to which the soft left does not comprehend the most basic concepts of negotiation. Gerhard Schroeder's demand that we take the use of force "off the table" is revealing not for its morality, but for its stupidity. We are at the poker table with Iran. The mullahs do not know what cards we hold, and do not know how much we are willing to bet. How can it possibly improve our position to tell the Iranians what we will or will not do in advance of securing their agreement? It is astonishing to me that even a German socialist would think otherwise.

But if leftists were good negotiators, they probably wouldn't be leftists. They would be satisfied in their jobs, understand that it is within their capacity to improve their position, and appreciate that their own security is first and foremost their personal responsibility. Leftists rarely satisfy any of these conditions because they do not understand negotiation.

Somebody needs to print off a million copies of Arms and Influence and send one to every journalist and professor in the United States and Europe.

8/16/2005 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

It's as fascinating to watch as train crash. Not the first time it happened. In Piers Brendon's Dark Valley, a history the 1930s, he notes that:

"In 1934 The Times commissioned its Munich 'stringer' to write a 'series of aarticles" on Dachau, a difficult and dangerous assignment, and then failed to print them. As late as September 1936 the New York Times could suggest that "milder treatment" was now the rule inside Dachau, whereas at that very moment the new Commandant, Hans Loritz, was demonstrating what harshness really meant -- the prisoners nicknamed him Nero."

And so on. It's not true that either Hitler or Tojo were surprises. The road to World War 2 was paved with corpses, studded with obvious signposts. Still the Left dinned its message of "peace" into every fatuous head it could find. One detainee at Dachau wrote: "It was actually happening, yet it was impossible; such things simply could not happen". Big mistake.

8/16/2005 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

We see how dangerous the Iranian regime is, and yet diddle; it's too much to hope then, I suppose, that the Iranian people will rise to replace it with a safer alternative.

But then, their futures depend on it too.

8/16/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger WildMonk said...

So where do you expect the leadership to go from here? I would not bet against Bush's willingness to take some pretty radical steps. He seems less hemmed in by liberal expectations than any other president in memory.

But a preemptive invasion of Iran to deny it nuclear weapons is fraught with great philosophical peril. It can be justified in one and only one way: America would have to overtly arrogate unto itself the right to be the final arbiter of other nations' actions. This would represent an unprecedented seizure of the international agenda and discard any remaining pretenses that we live in the age of Liberal Internationalism. Indeed, our entire postwar order - including the moral authority of the UN - would have to be discarded.

Expect to see the philosophical shockwave emanate from there. For example, the entire multicultural experiment becomes suspect if predominantly white nations begin telling a predominantly brown nation that it can't have the same weapons. While weakening multiculturalism may sound like a good idea, keep in mind that it arose in response to the explicitly racist ideologies that drove both Germany and Japan in WWII. What happens if this brake comes off? Expect to see China ramp up its efforts to undercut US power as fear of an unrestrained America grows. Expect Europe to become even more hostile to US interests as I cannot imagine that they will choose to face the hard reality of nuclear terror when an internationalist fantasy remains so fuzzily comforting.

Thus, for all the danger the Iran poses, this is still NOT an easy choice to make!

8/16/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

There was a period at the beginning of the Second World War, after war was declared and before the Western allies started getting their noses bloodied by Hitler, which came to be known at the time as the 'phoney war'.

During that period the leaders of the UK, France and the US knew how dire their exposure was, and knew how many strategic advantages their predecessors had given away over the previous twenty years, but their populations still dreamed that however terrible their enemies were, they themselves were safe.

This is the point at which we find ourselves again now. Plus ca change...

8/16/2005 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger jerryofva said...

Perhaps the Europeans are smarter then we think. Perhaps their strategy is to kill two birds with one stone. Perhpas they are guessing that Iran will first use it's nuclear capability on Israel. After the Israelis use their nukes to destroy the Islamic world in this mutual doomsday the Europeans will have eliminated that "shitty little country" and the Islamic threat.

Perhaps the Euros have an even more ambitious plan. Maybe Iran will prematurely strike at the United States crippling us as a world power and make Europe more competitive while at the same time seeing the Islamic threat destroyed in the US massive retaliation.

Of course, the Euros may just outsmart themselves and be the victims of an overly ambitious Iranian strike upon Paris, Berlin, Rome, Madrid and London.

8/16/2005 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Famous newspaper headlines
“Hopes for peaceful settlement of dispute run high.” Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 8, 1861.
“Bright future with Germany ahead.” The Times of London, September 30, 1938.
“Chirac amuses his friends Putin and Schroeder in Kaliningrad.” Libération, July 5, 2005.
. Inside Iran's Secret War for Iraq .
A TIME investigation reveals the Tehran regime's strategy to gain influence in Iraq--and why U.S. troops may now face greater dangers as a result
. The Shape of Days

8/16/2005 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Wild Bill said...

The U.S. has recently developed a NEW bunker-buster bomb that has 10 times the penetrating ability the OLD one had.. What was a "maybe" before, is a "highly probable" now.. Tip one of these babies with a small nukular charge and you wont have to worry about going back for at least forty years..
Given Israels propensity to share our weapons tech, I dont know if we could trust them with THIS bomb or not.. Maybe just this once ??
Prez Bush has already said we would stand with Israel if they bombed the Iran nuke sites and that all options are on the table, so I dont see anything holding Sharon back now.. Sharon has the Gaza cleared out for a KILL ZONE in case there are attacks afterward, and already has 55K troops in the area..
Of course Israel will have to have one of its attack planes shot down so everybody will be sure it wasnt the U.S. that carried out the strike !!
Along with the new Ruler in Iran being a former American hostage taker, the new Minister in his Cabinet is the mastermind and TNT supplier to the bombing of the Kobar Towers(I think) that killed 240+ U.S. Marines.. The Iranian leadership just keeps getting nastier and nastier.. How long do we sit back and watch Iran become even more dangerous ?? What would it have been like for Iraq to still have had Saddam and Iran to become a nukular force, and the two to decide to join forces against the West ?? Imagine Hitler and Stalin joining forces in WW2 !!

8/16/2005 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Why do I get the feeling that in the next few years the farthest thing from our minds will be what some buffoon is doing on reality tv?I like sports alot,but the Big Game is in the late innings now and the rest won't matter.
This world is getting progressively more frightening every day.
I hope I'm not getting off message,but remember what the Good Book says.It all ends in the Middle East.

8/16/2005 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger 11A5S said...

I gave up trying to fit those who seek the destruction of civilization into any one category. My search has convinced me that there at least four major subgroups:

1. Quislings (Galloway seems to be the best example here). Out of power yet helpless to control their lust for power, they are willing to ally with any group that could make them commissar, gauleiter, or emir.

2. Serfs. Unfortunately, Nietzche and Carlyle seem to be right about some of us. Some fraction of us human beings just need to be dominated. They are hopelessly adrift in an egalitarian society and any Big Brother authority figure who comes along, regardless of ideology, can lead them, provided he gives them the absolute guidance they need. They are often the foot soldiers in the movement.

3. Sadists. Some people just like to see other people hurt. They will naturally gravitate to any violent movement that will provide them with the opportunity to give vent to their dark passions. The sadists would be scattered throughout the movement. They will be your executioners, torturers, and mid-level operatives. Most would lose interest if they were too far from the action.

4. Demi gnostics. Like the Christian gnostics of late antiquity, the demi gnostic believes that God is a "blind creator" who creates this realm of pain and hatred without any knowledge of the spiritual and psychological damage it causes to mankind. Unlike the Gnostic Christians, demi gnostics don't belive that their is another God of love and compassion come to redeem us. Demi gnostics just want the "pain" and "suffering" to stop. The best way to accomplish this goal is to end civilization -- maybe just stop breeding, I don't know. Demi-gnostics are likely to be in the upper echelons as ideologues, upper and middle management.

While the goals of all four groups are slightly divergent, when you add them all up as vectors, you get a pretty strong trend. When the scalar component of the civilization haters is stronger than all of the other societal vectors (remember, some of those are going to cancel each other out), civilization is in trouble. We are pretty close to the tipping point in Europe now.

8/16/2005 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Iran arrests separatists with alleged links to British intelligence:

In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, "We stand with the Iranian people in their aspirations for greater freedom and greater democracy and greater human rights in their own country."

He said "the problem is the behaviour of the Iranian government, frankly."


8/16/2005 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

The guys who are in power now, I used to see at Columbia U demonstrations during the 1970's first against the War in Viet Nam and then against the Shah. When the Shah was thrown out they all disappeared.

8/16/2005 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Look at the individual.

The West is a cultural co-dependent.

There is something in the Psyche of people that compels them to blame themselves or someone else rather than the match holder.

This is Flaw One.

Flaw Two -

We have to stop believing in redemption. Some people are worse less than a stray dog at a Stockmen's meeting. We have to stop giving rights to those who don't respect them.

If a cow or bull or horse or dog decides it hates me, I grant it one more instance. After that, Its off to the plant.

Strays are shot on sight.

I don't care what any animal feels if it turns on me or any other animal. It is not acceptable.

Very Hard lessons learned.


8/16/2005 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Iran to be nuclear capable in three years:

Israel expects Iran to be capable of producing a nuclear weapon within three years, military intelligence chief General Aharon Zeevi told MPs at a closed-door briefing, parliamentary sources said.

"Barring an unexpected delay, Iran is going to become nuclear capable in 2008 and not in 10 years as was recently reported in the American press, Zeevi told members of the foreign affairs and defence committee, according to AFP.


8/16/2005 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Wild Bill wrote:

"The U.S. has recently developed a NEW bunker-buster bomb that has 10 times the penetrating ability the OLD one had."

Thats so old school.

The problem with nukes on penetrators is ensuring the explosives around the device don't become deformed and yield a fizzle.

The way around this seems to be to detonate the device when the penetrator hits with the device being a shaped nuke charge.

Then follow up a few minutes later with one more.

Or stack them in the same delivery vehicle. With the blast wave right behind the x-ray laser.

Or better yet, a multi-physics package.

Wretchard was right - what the Japanese may decide to do could be very terrifying.

8/16/2005 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Mubarak has hope:

In regard to Iran's new extremist leadership, Mubarak said, "Look at Sharon. He was considered very extremist, and look what he's doing."


8/16/2005 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I once read an anti nuke buster piece citing massive radioactive fallout from having a ground/subground level burst:
And do we care, given the alternatives.
...but I got the impression from Timmerman that he thinks it will take massive conventional strike because there are so many sites at diffuse locations.

8/16/2005 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I guess he's taking his cue from his countryman, the IAEA's Mohammed al Baredi (sp?), who, when not busy helping the DNC do dirty tricks in our presidential elections, is very skillfully sandbagging western efforts to stop the Iran Bomb. He can of course do more than most anyone to create the Iran Bomb, since he "directs" (ho ho) the organization dedicated to stopping it.

8/16/2005 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Between India/Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea, I think nuclear proliferation is pretty much dead. That's a scary development, to put it mildly. There's a whole new set of rules and realities coming, imo.

8/16/2005 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Has there been no previous period in Western history when an inner disease was the culprit for a would be defeat?"

Many would say the French Third Republic, for one.

8/16/2005 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger james wilson said...

No, Wretchard, it's not "some mental desease". Liberalism is indeed a mental disorder. All humans excepting possibly psychopaths have it, so it should be simple enough for conservatives to understand. Conservatives are just people who have learned to deal with this reflexive condition through accepting the results of their years of personal experience, where liberals refuse to accept the result of that experience. It is quite like Hostage Syndrome. You cannot escape the unwelcolme sensations that always come with such an event, but you can choose to understand what is happening to your judgement and emotion, or not. Liberals will not. Then, not done, they will codify their behaviour as wisdom, nuance, and compassion.

8/16/2005 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"...an infirmity dignified with the name of pacifism."

Is it pacifism, Wretchard, that keeps the US from applying force to Iran? Is it pacifism that keeps the current administration, specifically, from doing so? That's not at all my impression.

8/16/2005 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Stay tuned...

On a trip to Paraguay, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld kept up the pressure on Iran, saying US forces have found Iranian weapons inside Iraq on more than one occasion over the past couple of months.


8/16/2005 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger Wit'sRope said...

The Iranian situation is going to lead to a catastrophe on one hand but will validate President Bush's policies on the other.

That said, the Israeli's won't sit idly by while Iran completes a nuclear weapon.

8/16/2005 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger geoffb5 said...

I remember back in 1979 during the hostage crisis a group of my friends and I were discussing what we should do. At the time one of the news stories was about the problem of nuclear waste disposal. I proposed that we invade and take control of the oil fields in Iran. Then transport all of our nuclear waste there and pump it into the oil wells. Then leave. They get their 14th century country with no source of income from oil and we solve our waste problem. Two birds one stone.
Things are much more serious now and I don't see how we get out of this fix without someone going nuclear.

8/16/2005 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"The Iranian situation is going to lead to a catastrophe on one hand but will validate President Bush's policies on the other."

If it leads to a catastrophe it will catastrophically invalidate the President's policy decisions, no?

8/16/2005 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

The problem lies in perception.

"..excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

8/16/2005 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

Wit'srope-You sure about that? If Iran does do something naughty with their nukes, the leftoids will be placing blame on Bush for not doing enough in the 1st place, or even more likely, blaming him for forcing Iran to acquire nukes.

Nevermind Bush's constant warnings. Nevermind that Iran's nuke program started before Bush become President. Those are just facts. Which self respecting leftoid cares for the facts?

You will rarely go wrong overestimating their stupidity and determination to be right no matter what.

8/17/2005 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


I don't know that it's pacifism. But it seems to me it would have been better if, having known we wouldn't take on the Mullahs, we never talked nonproliferation in the first place. We should have gone right in and sold them a nuke. Made a buck out of it.

The worst of all worlds is to enter into negotiations where you telegraph that you will concede every point; where you offer bribes without seriously expecting concessions; where you make dire threats that no one, not even yourself, believe. But if the objective of these "negotiations" isn't bargaining but self-deception then it all makes a kind of twisted sense. It is a kind of sick pandering to the domestic political audience. Pretending to act, as you've pretended all along. That's what makes it all so Munich-like. Knowing you have a worthless piece of paper in your hand and fluttering it with a straight face all the same. It announces your character -- or the lack of it -- to all the world; ringing the dinner bell inviting every predator within hail to come to the feast.

8/17/2005 12:32:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Wretchard looks at the Iran situation and sees Appeasement. MEMRI and other Israeli organs are pushing the appeasement meme. Those neocons still ballsy enough to say it say that it will be "just like" if the French had confronted Hitler marching into the Rhineland ----if America only "surgically bombs" Iran and send a few thousand "elite Special Ops" in afterwards. Grateful German and nowadays Iranian people will welcome the bombing and soldiers, throw their despots out of office, and embrace democracy in a cakewalk.

Others talk of "unleashing Israel" in a manner that ernest John Birchers once talked of "Unleashing Chiang Kai Shek". Which, for a conventional attck, is flat out impossible without Turkish, Iraqi, Russian, and American assent. Beyond remote odds. I don't see the UN Security Council giving Israel the green light for a pre-emptive nuke strike. Indeed, certain members may put an absolute red light in terms of "nuke them, we nuke you" on Israel.

Witsrope -

That said, the Israeli's won't sit idly by while Iran completes a nuclear weapon.

No, and knowing the virtual impossibility of Israel mounting a sucession of conventional raids, the Israelis are all but screaming at the American politicians they pay good money for to handle matters and preserve the "WMD/ No peace deal 'till we are ready" status quo.

Bigleeh references the Buchanan column, which deals with both the threat Iran faces, and the blatant hypocrisy of America in how it deals with other powers that obtained the bomb:

That would leave the United States with the final option: air and missile strikes to destroy all of Iran's known facilities for the enrichment of uranium.

But as Iran is permitted such facilities as long as it allows absolute freedom for U.N. inspectors, how could we justify such acts of war?

After all, we give a $160 billion trade surplus to China, though she is targeting our cities with nuclear missiles. President Bush cut a deal to help India develop nuclear power, though she has tested bombs. We give foreign aid to Pakistan and Israel, which had clandestine and successful programs that built atomic weapons. And we have a basket of goodies on offer to Kim Jong Il if he will shut down his nuclear facilities and hand over any bombs.

Where is the consistency here?

Iran lost a million men in war in the last generation. It is surrounded by hostile nuclear powers. America, Russia, long-time enemy Pakistan. Iraq, which could go back to WMD after America leaves..And Including Israel - which as far as we know is the only ME power with secret vast stockpiles of nuclear and biological WMD ready to deploy.

Iran also has an ambitious nuclear electrical generation, internal fuel cycle program, that makes economic sense as it's oil and gas reserves have 1-2 decades left, and Iran has large deposits of uranium and tens of thousands of trained nuclear scientists and workers courtesy of the USA itself that once had contracts to build 22 big nuke babies in Iran.

So far, as Buchanan pointed out, Iran is not currently in violation of the NPT. Our present justification for a unilateral American pre-emptive war to "liberate Iran" and to preserve NPT non-signatory Israel's clandescine stockpiles and it's regional monopoly doesn't sound too convincing. If we go in, and it goes sour, like Iraq did, we don't have the ground troops because of their tie-down in Iraq ....and Iran could use Hezbollah and other Shiite militias in Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to target oil production and try and draw pariah Israel into the conflict, which would kill us internationally.

Oil at 150-200 dollars a barrel? Shiite militias in Iraq and elsewhere killing US troops. The whole region in chaos. An emergency Draft of men in America and of those with previous military experience? Bush's impeachment trial would not start fast enough for most Americans.

The rational alternative is to monitor and press Iran. And press Israel and other nations to complete the Road Map, and stand down the Israeli, Iranian, and Egyptian missiles and start on talks for a nuclear free ME.

That is not appeasement.

Maybe military action may be necessary down the road, but with allies. And, as Israel is unusable as an ally...omitting Israel from any role if we get Security Council action. At a minimum though, that has to be down the road enough that our Army, Marines, and Reservists can extricate themselves from the Iraqi tar baby the neocons had them embrace, and enough time to recuperate and recover from the Iraq War before any attack on Iran is contemplated.

Neocons may scream "Munich" all they want and assure us that Iran will be a cakewalk...trust them!! But, we cannot count on the neocon's fine judgement after how badly Iraq got botched. Maybe they will be right if we go in with other nations - grateful Iranians throwing rose petals at our soldiers feet and enmass peaceful surrender of the Mullahs as Iran ...but just to be on the safe side....America has no business starting a War with Iran unless it has the troops, the diplomacy, the strategic oil stockpiles - to cover contingencies.

8/17/2005 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger Mastiff said...


The main reason everyone is so worried about Iran is that Iranian officials have publicly speculated about nuking Israel—unilaterally. See for example the "moderate" Rafsanjani's statements on the matter.

In a nutshell, he said that a single nuke would effectively destroy the tiny state of Israel, whereas Iran was big enough to absorb the counterattack, albiet with significant damage.

Whether this was simply posturing or not, the fact remains that even North Korea's rhetoric is less hysterical.

While you might not find this much to worry about, Cedarford, consider that one of Israel's doomsday scenarios in the event of imminent destruction would have it launch nukes at every single oil site in the Middle East, regardless of nationality. Israel would blast the world economy back a hundred years as a going-away present. THAT is why the US and Europe is really worried, not out of affection for the Jewish state.

8/17/2005 01:14:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

..having known we wouldn't take on the Mullahs..

Observing that the US now has secured control over oil reserves in Iraq and Saudia, this assertion becomes somewhat speculative. :) Having secured two legs of this three legged stool, the US can work on the third leg, which is Iran.

Iran's oxygen supply is its oil. Non oil exports account for 15% of Iran's GNP. A blockade of Iranian oil suffocating the Iranian economy should lead to the long awaited public revolt against the Islamists. Air strikes against Iran's nuclear related facilities will push back Iran's atomic weapons timetable, providing the needed time for economic pressures to take their effect.

8/17/2005 02:13:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"All warfare is based on deception. There is no place where espionage is not used. Offer the enemy bait to lure him."

8/17/2005 02:18:00 AM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Cedarford talks as if only Israel and her enemies' heads are on the block. But surely if the Mad Mullahs were to launch an attack, they would wish to include hits on the Great Satan if they could find a way. Or maybe he does know it, and all his desperate scrambling for a scapegoat - "the neocons" "the neocons" "those smooth talkers who tricked our supposedly sovereign Congress and President and all our other institutions of republican self rule into war" - is just his way of not dealing with the hard reality that his country could get seriously wounded (all the more so if it fools itself into believing that it has lost the means of republican democracy to some fantastic conspiracy). And perhaps this is the same intellectual weakness that is at the heart of the leftists' delusions: the need for a scapegoat, an inability to determine the truths behind the contagions of interacting human desires without one.

If it is at once an incredible conceit (of "neocons") that we could make, by war and peace, reasonably responsible and existentially non-threatening governments out of certain Muslim regimes, it should be clear by now that we can't survive long with anything less. Nuclear weapons in the hands of certain kinds of men -men whose societies have not yet had to evolve the kinds of civilizing mediations that were necessary for the sciences behind nuclear weapons to emerge in the first place, men still in the mindset of the tyrannical prince and the medieval religious law - are almost sure to be used (first to appease and then to fulfill the resentments of the would-be tyrants who are actually increasingly impotent if unable to pose an existential threat to the global order). A very clear line, a brutally frank ultimatum that shows we will defend ourselves, clearheadedly, brutally but without any self-delusional indulgence in scapegoating, needs to be drawn to encourage the many who would die under their tyrants to do their part to insure that the tyrannical, apocalyptic and resentful minds are increasingly isolated from the means to commit their countries to nuclear war. In the mean time we must continue as best we can to fight intellectually against those who cannot apprehend human reality without burying their heads in a sea of scapegoating or victimary rhetoric. This inability is the basic reason for the left's and c4's delusions regarding the human nature of the threat we all perceive.

8/17/2005 02:45:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"For the people are wrapt in a strange sleep, bereft of discernment... Thus have We found them, as thou also dost witness."

We were warned in 1921 about the rise of the Left, and now we're reaching a point of major decision... again!

Hiroshima.. Nagasaki... and Chicago and Tehran!

8/17/2005 03:55:00 AM  
Blogger roberts said...

The CRS report is available for free at

8/17/2005 04:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Waiter! A Table for JOOS!

8/17/2005 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger fjelehjifel said...

Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability is a very serious issue, but the resistance to using force, such as it is, has a lot less to do with the Left than it does with certain practical constraints on the Israeli or U.S. ability to use force at the moment.

As powerful as the Israeli military is, there are serious doubts about its ability to strike the full array of Iran's nuclear facilities across the breadth and depth of the country. Besides, Israel is a bit distracted at the moment with the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza.

The U.S. military, on the other hand, is undoubtedly capable of striking Iran's nuclear infrastructure. Our naval and air power needs no introduction in this regard.

However, from a practical point of view, the U.S. faces certain problems: heavily taxed ground combat forces, a political transition in Iraq that is at a crucial juncture, virtually no international support (outside Israel) for hitting Iran's nuclear facilities, cranky domestic public opinion, and oil that is already headed toward $70 per barrel.

I could go on, but the point is this: Hit Iran now and the military and economic consequences could be quite severe, paricularly if Iranian and Iraqi oil production gets knocked offline or blockaded as the case might be.

I don't want to sound overly pessimistic, but the timing for a strike isn't good, and frankly, it isn't necessary to hit Iran at the moment anyway (though I readily concede it may never be good and we just might have to do it anyway, especially if Iran fires up the enrichment facility at Natanz).

In my estimate, the Bush Administration will continue to play for time through European-fronted negotations.

There's some chatter in Washington about resuming direct talks with Tehran, but there are no clear indications the administration wants to go this route. Bottomline: George W Bush does not trust the Iranian regime any more than Wretchard does.

8/17/2005 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

"Mother, why did they let the Mullahs get the atom bomb?"

8/17/2005 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/17/2005 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

I'm beginning to think that the cancerous Western Leftist Pacifistic Idiocy has gotten so bad that the only effective treatment now is...

Radiation Therapy

8/17/2005 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Can it be that our only hope lies with Bush's well-documented refusal to read critical commentary in the newspapers?

I am one of those who believe that the weeks after September 11 operated as a big bang for the Administration, where grand strategies and tough actions were predecided by a Cabinet, Pentagon, and a President who, because of the horrors of that day, were so recently and lucidly enlightened to our condition. I believe that the fires of the still burning towers forged these plans to last, fixing them to a righteous fury instead of leaving them to ride the ever shifting winds of public opinion.

Many things change because of contact with the enemy, yet the only thing that can change the Overall Strategic Objective is a shift in will; the only thing that can destroy the clear-headed certainty with which we were able to perceive our mortal danger in the days after 9/11 is a diminution of forebearance and an amnesia of resolution. Tucked away from public scrutiny, our Leader and his Cabinet saw what must be done, and they decided. Now we must hope that they do not forget why.

It may be a fool's hope, but right now it's all we've got.

8/17/2005 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

FFE makes a good point. Iran is not the only one who benefits from a delay.

In the meantime we will shore up our exposure in Iraq to any Iranian counterattack, and we will build a paper trail at the UN against the Mullahs. Expect to see Bolton contemptously wonder why the UN can't call a violation a violation, and then make the case one last time that if the UN will not enforce its own resolutions, a newly rested US military and its allies will have to. The peace of the region demands it, the Non-Proliferation Treaty needs it, and the relevance of the UN requires it.

It seems to me Bolton's skills lie in this particular direction anyway, which is why we've got him. He's not at Turtle Bay to make nice.

8/17/2005 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

Could someone please cause Esfahan and Natanz to just... blow up? Like, dude, a nuclar aksident or sumpin?

I mean, hey, liberals can't make the distinction between nuclear power plants, nuclear processing facilities, and A-bombs anyway, so? Somebody please nuke the two sites make it look like an accident.

"Come on Beddell, give me two weeks and I'll have us in a war with those sons-a-bitches, and I'll make it look like it was their fault!" - George S. Patton

Oh, my lofty dreams.

8/17/2005 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Based on Iran’s previous proclivity for assassinations, harboring Al Queda, et al, it is clear we do not have another 3 years to wait. The dirty bombs are on their way.

Schroeder has left the US to swing, Blair is marginalized, Chirac, well Chirac is Chirac. The proto-soviets are on maneuvers with China.

We are left with two options, all out regional war, or a long slow wait for the dirty bombs to show up in every major US city.

It is time to circle the wagons. This means shut down the border now. Start a draft and begin a war footing or die.

8/17/2005 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

"And the signals flash through the night in vain; For Death is in charge of the clattering train."

In the next three years big events await.

8/17/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Good post ffe, and without all the hysterical neo-con and war for Israel stuff to boot.

8/17/2005 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

In 1935 a book called "A Nation Terrorized" was published about Hitlers camps.

I have a copy I bought about 20 years ago.

Here is a list of books (and their cover art) published in that era.

8/17/2005 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

The object of "We Never Knew" is to present a chronological account, in graphic form, of what we knew, and when we knew it. For illustration, we have chosen images off of book jackets from 1932 to 1943, taken from our own private collection. These are supplemented by a few posters and pamphlet covers from the same time frame. Most of the books were by widely respected (or at least widely known) authors, and were readily available to the English-speaking public at least. Some were international best sellers with a distribution of a million or more. Most of them were widely reviewed in the mainstream press. Just look at the sheer number of these images, and the steady, year-by-year drumbeat of warnings and exaltations: Three from 1932; three from 1933; five from 1934; three from 1935; three from 1936; one from 1937; six from 1938; six from 1939; one from 1940; one from 1941; one from 1942; and two from 1943. Only space considerations prevent us from showing many more. We did know what was going on.

quoted from: Georgetown books.

And much more from We never knew.

8/17/2005 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

m. simon.

"Just look at the sheer number of these images, and the steady, year-by-year drumbeat of warnings and exaltations: Three from 1932; three from 1933..."

Good one M. Simon. We are seeing many signs of our time as well. Just substitute "Muslim" for "Nordic race" and recognize the current iteration of the cycle. Here is the view for today.

"By VOA News
17 August 2005

Some 400 small bomb blasts have rattled Dhaka and other cities across Bangladesh, killing two people and injuring more than 100 others.

Police say the homemade bombs, which went off almost simultaneously, did not cause major damage anywhere and appeared to be aimed at spreading fear and panic.

Authorities have issued security alerts all over the country but have not been able to identify the bombers, though police said some 45 suspects ad been detained.

Police say they suspect an outlawed Islamic group, Jamatul Mujahedin Bangladesh, whose leaflets were found at some of the blast sites. The group wants Islamic rule in Bangladesh - a predominantly Muslim country with a secular constitution.

The leaflets said the blasts were also to warn the United States and Britain "to vacate Muslim countries, or face Muslim upsurge."

8/17/2005 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

PC^Killa - A blockade of Iranian oil suffocating the Iranian economy should lead to the long awaited public revolt against the Islamists. Air strikes against Iran's nuclear related facilities will push back Iran's atomic weapons timetable.

A blockade of Iranian oil would lead to economic disaster in Japan, Europe, and America - especially if other petroleum exporters like the Arabs, Russia and Venezuela embargo in sympathy. 100 dollar a barrel oil? Try 150-200 dollar oil.

Air strikes will lead to outraged Iranians from all parties showing international media piles of dead Iranians and no evidence of an Iranian bomb program. The neocon's dream answer to all problems - "a few thousand special Ops troops" - would also come up dry with no proof of a nuke WMD program, assuming any survived since mass bombing would turn most Iranians against us.

Annoy mouse -

Dirty bombs are nothing. Perhaps you are thinking of real nuke bombs.

Aristedes -

Perhaps our dear leaders did make a serious of snap decisions forged in fire in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. (Evildoers, Destroy Iraq at all costs, Islam is a Religion of Peace, More Tax Cuts to Reward Doer-Folk in the 9/11 Aftermath, Keep Open Borders, Take Out Iran to Protect Israel, Invade Afghanistan 1st)

As it is coming up on 4 years, whatever Churchillian moments were had in the back rooms Bush and Cheney occupied, it is long past those emergency days and matters for the American Public and Congress to weigh in on.

Mastiff - consider that one of Israel's doomsday scenarios in the event of imminent destruction would have it launch nukes at every single oil site in the Middle East, regardless of nationality. Israel would blast the world economy back a hundred years as a going-away present. THAT is why the US and Europe is really worried, not out of affection for the Jewish state.

That assumes that blackmail and collective punishment against the world would be an effective deterrent. And that any such "Sampson Option" would not result in the severest collective global punishment against any survivors in Israel or their supporters world-wide.

8/17/2005 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...


A blockade of Iranian oil would most likely not cause other producers to go off line in sympathy.

They need the money.

8/17/2005 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger dnaxy said...

We have two things to really worry about:

1. We should be planning how we will flee cities.

2. We should be planning how we will react when xxxx says "we will blow a second bomb...here's what we want you to do."

William Palmer

8/18/2005 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

First up is MEMRI translations. They seem to be complete (sure there is some slant). But, the Iran situation is growing worse each day. The problem is growing because of technology and the economic price of oil. There are two components to the problem.

1) Iran's overt political influence in Iraq. This overt influence may have caused the Iraqi constitution completion to be delayed. This is bad.

2) Iran acquisition of nuclear manufacturing capability. Because of Iran's ruling parties ambitions the geopolitical balance in both Iraq and Israel are now in play - and for the worse.

Second, most pundits are in a quandary. I would suggest that a significant regium change be orchestrated or at least instability at the governmental level including neutralization of certain "clerics" be implemented. These "clerics" are trying to consolidate power in Iraq (and Iraq's oil fields). This is very detrimental to Iraq. It's well known that Iran has instigated many attacks in Iraq. Maybe it's time for a few Iranian oil wells to self-destruct (the oil extraction business can be a very dangerous business - fires can occur at any time). An impotent Iran is better than an extremist Iran.

Because of lack of exact information I cannot give more console. I would not rule out a military solution. The problem is there and it should be rapidly countered.

8/19/2005 02:14:00 AM  

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