Monday, November 20, 2006

Do we feel lucky today?

Seymour Hersh says the CIA is unsure that Iran is developing nukes. "A classified CIA report has found no firm evidence of a secret drive by Iran to develop nuclear weapons, despite White House allegations that such a plan might exist, a top US investigative reporter has said. Seymour Hersh's report, to be published in the November 27 issue of The New Yorker magazine, drew a denial on Sunday from the White House, which called the report "riddled with inaccuracies." This, according to Lebanese Daily Star.

It's amazing what trouble some countries will go through for absolutely nothing. We can all rest easy now that Seymour Hersh has set the record straight, can't we. Or can we? Technically all that Hersh is saying is that the CIA doesn't know for sure what Iran is up to. Unfortunately all that is often possible, even on a limited battlefield, is to make an estimate of the enemy's intentions and capability. It's possible to make a mistake. During the height of the Cold War, there was a momentary false indication of an inbound Soviet attack due to an electrical glitch. But on the other hand, in the days leading up to September 11 there were ambiguous indications of an impending attack which were ignored. Things are only certain in the past tense. Sometimes the question is which risks one can afford to run?


Blogger Woman Catholic said...

To sum it up, this time the neo-cons aren't gonna even have skimpy evidence like the crumbs of yellow cake they used to drum up support for bombing and/or invading another country. Cheney, Rice, Wolfowitz, Kristol, et al. will just have to go ahead and pick a fight with Iran without pretending to have moral cover.

11/20/2006 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Mr.Atos said...

Feeling the comfort of their oats in the aftermath of the neutralization of one possible threat, many are prancing about, preening themselves in realtive security. Right, WC? The point is, while you may 'feel' lucky with the speculations of Hersch - who is every bit the mouthpiece of the what-is-being-Left, as you think Kristol is for the neo-right - 'feelings' on matters of moral imperatives (like living) are as valuable as vomit spit forth from a drunk...

...especially when the next threat proves real with a blinding, seering flash, and the nation is sprawled useless on the floor of your moral toilet hungover and useless by the celebration of the Left's momentary glee.

Do you feel that lucky? Then, there may yet be another word for what you feel.

11/20/2006 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Please Mr. Atos, We defended against the real evil empire for the best part of fifty years. They happened to have 50,000 nuclear weapons. Is everyone losing their mind?

11/20/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

The entire intelligence community of several nations got jacked around by Saddam in the lead-up to Gulf II, so if the CIA is saying they aren't gonna connect dots that aren't there, this is the beginning of the rehabilitation of that agency.

11/20/2006 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger stumbley said...

so hey, WC (might want to rethink those initials), as long as the dots are connected to YOUR city and not mine...

11/20/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

2164, I don't remember Kruschev having a messianic fervor. As a matter of fact I don't remember any of the Soviet leadership having that viewpoint at all. The twelfth Mahdi wasn't one of the things that they were looking for. Personal power was their schtick. Ahmadinejad believes in the twelfth mahdi and the fact that Islam has to be punching it out with the Jews in order for the mahdi to arrive. He's not actually the best person to put in charge of a nuclear device.

11/20/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Please, 2164th. During the Cold War, had any of those 50,000 warheads been sent our way, Moscow and Russia would be flattened and the Kremlin knew it. Even though the MAD deterrent worked nominally well back then, there were still close calls with the USSR. Do you actually believe that world-wide proliferation of WMD, especially in the radicalizing Muslim world bent on terror tactics, would show the discipline not to hit at the Satans they love to hate out of concern for other Muslims somewhere against whom we might retaliate?

Muslims are expendable in every fight the Islamists and Muslim dictators undertake. And these same state and terror leaders count on the fact that even an America reeling from major attack wouldn’t have the will to incinerate most Muslim capitals throughout the world in retaliation.

Or, maybe all they'll have to do is intimidate with their weaponry to have Europe and the State roll-over in on-the-spot cost-benefit analysis. Baker can handle the negotiations for us, eh?

Muslim roulette, Allah’s will and all that, while America accepts the inevitable

11/20/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

"Obviously, we don't want Iran to have nuclear weapons and I don't know if they're developing them, but if they're not developing them, they're crazy."

Martin Van Creveld

11/20/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nuke or no nuke?

Is that even a question?

Ahmadinejad is supposedly enthusiastic about bringing back the Madhi, who will save Iran from the edge of (nuclear) apocalypse.

MAD was/is predicated on the basis that neither party would be confident enough to have second-strike capabilities. With such ambiguous data regarding where the nukes are located, it's going to be hard to ascertain where exactly to nuke to cripple Iran's capabilities.

As certain as it seems that these Muslim fundamentalists are willing to sacrifice whole populations of their brethren in a perverse, fatalistic dance of death in order to take the "infidels" down with them, the mullahs of Iran are wary of Ahmadinejad's messianic fervour and may not favour a nuclear conflagration in the near future.

Attrition via proxy wars in Lebanon and perhaps in Iraq soon (we hope not) serve the mullahs much better than the threat of nuclear war. My guess is that though they are biding for time while surreptitiously building up their nuclear armaments, as the possibility of American retaliation is continually whittled down by increasingly costly interventionism in the Middle East, the mullahs might not use the nuclear option that readily after all.

Or they might nuke the US anyhow.

11/20/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

Three Reasons Not to Bomb Iran—Yet by Edward N. Luttwak Commentary, May 2006
[URL not guaranteed] argued that Iran had demonstrated the technical competence to build nuclear weapons, and that it would probably take several years more for them to build one.

11/20/2006 08:00:00 PM  

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