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Pick the next foreign policy crisis!

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

What will be the next major international crisis?

Iranian nuclear proliferation
8
36%
Situation worsens in Israel/Palestine
3
14%
China attacks or is belligerent towards Taiwan
0
No votes
India v. Pakistan
1
5%
North Korean nuclear proliferation
1
5%
Oil prices skyrocket
2
9%
Major terrorist attack
3
14%
Other
4
18%
 
Total votes : 22

Postby kurt_w » Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:39 am

Unfortunately, we don't have any good options for dealing with the Iranian nuclear program. But that's unlikely to stop an administration that sees everything through a prism of domestic politics.

The GOP desperately needs a crisis with Iran -- it's their best hope to avoid defeat in November's elections.

Without an Iran crisis, the campaign will be about corruption (Abramoff, Delay, ...), the quagmire in Iraq, Bush's domestic-policy missteps (social security, Medicare drug fiasco, ...), cronyism (FEMA, etc.), the soaring national debt, stagnant real wages, etc. etc. etc.

Look at the 2002 campaign. Replace "Iraq" with "Iran", and presto! Deja vu all over again.
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Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:49 am

Are you arguing that Iran isn't a serious situation? That would be pretty silly take. Even the European appeasers are concerned.
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Postby kurt_w » Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:09 am

Ned Flanders wrote:Are you arguing that Iran isn't a serious situation?


No, I'm arguing that the Bush administration will use it primarily as a domestic political opportunity -- and thus be likely to make the situation worse rather than better.

I'd further argue that our range of options in Iran would be much wider if Bush hadn't:

* Marginalized the previous, more moderate Iranian administration, thus helping bring the extremists to power;

* Tied down 130,000 Americans in Iraq;

* Closely tied US policy in Iraq to a coalition of pro-Iranian Shiite parties;

* Cried wolf about nonexistent WMDs in Iraq; and

* Let our dependence on cheap oil continue to solidify.
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Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:24 am

kurt_w wrote:
Ned Flanders wrote:Are you arguing that Iran isn't a serious situation?


No, I'm arguing that the Bush administration will use it primarily as a domestic political opportunity -- and thus be likely to make the situation worse rather than better.

I'd further argue that our range of options in Iran would be much wider if Bush hadn't:

* Marginalized the previous, more moderate Iranian administration, thus helping bring the extremists to power;

* Tied down 130,000 Americans in Iraq;

* Closely tied US policy in Iraq to a coalition of pro-Iranian Shiite parties;

* Cried wolf about nonexistent WMDs in Iraq; and

* Let our dependence on cheap oil continue to solidify.


And I'd argue that Jimmah marginalized the Shah allowing the Islamo-nuts to take over in the late 70s. Like him or not, he was a friend of the US and kept the Muslo-nuts in their cages.

That Bush has established a beachead in Iraq, allowing us to deal with Iran much more quickly if need be. An excellent strategic move. Remember, Bush called out Iran, N Korea and Iraq years ago...and he was right.

Give up your lame arugment about WMDs. The previous adminstration believed that Iraq had them as did European intel agencies.

Whether oil is "cheap" or not will be determined by the market. Even if the U.S. decided to wean itself off of Middle Eastern oil (which only makes up a small percentage of the oil we use), it won't happen overnight without wrecking the economy.
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:29 am

Ned Flanders wrote:Bush has established a beachead in Iraq, allowing us to deal with Iran much more quickly if need be. An excellent strategic move.

BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Oh, mercy! Stop it, Flanders. You're fucking killing me over here!
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Postby kurt_w » Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:47 am

Chuck_Schick wrote:
Ned Flanders wrote:Bush has established a beachead in Iraq, allowing us to deal with Iran much more quickly if need be. An excellent strategic move.

BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Oh, mercy! Stop it, Flanders. You're fucking killing me over here!


What the FUCK?!?!?!?!?!

This has got to be some all-time record for pure, unadulterated horseshit. Seriously, I have never ... never ... seen anything this ludicrous from Ned.

The mind boggles.
Last edited by kurt_w on Thu Jul 27, 2006 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:13 am

To argue that Iraq wouldn't hold strategic geographic significance in a future conflict with Iran or even Syria or Saudi Arabia means that our two resident military stragegy experts haven't taken two seconds to look at a map. Which is not suprising since they consider "Bush" to be the real enemy.

Get past your irrational hatred and self-loathing boys. The Islamo-terrorists aren't going away. Even when Bush leaves office and Hillary or Kerry or Condi take over. Syria is Syria. Iran is being run by lunatics, the Palestinians have elected a bunch of terrorists to run their state and the Muslim world is working itself into a lather over some stupid cartoons.

These nuts have been agitating for a showdown for 30 years. I hope that it doesn't happen, but I don't see how it can't.
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Postby kurt_w » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:23 am

Okay, Ned's original suggestion probably is so outrageously stupid that it doesn't deserve the dignity of a response, but here goes.

We have over 130,000 American troops tied down in Iraq. The Sunnis already hate our guts. Insofar as we have any kind of policy left there, it involves staying on the good side of the Shiites.

The two main Shiite parties are Dawa ("Call") and SCIRI (the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq). Both are very, very closely allied with Tehran. The highest Shiite cleric in Iraq, al-Sistani, IS an Iranian citizen.

Any military action against Iran, by the US or Israel, would unleash hell in Iraq, and would make our position there completely untenable.

Attacking Iran means giving up on Iraq. Are you ready to do that, Ned?
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Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:38 am

I am arguing that Iraq holds strategic geographic significance: sea access and ports, common borders with Iran and Syria, oil, roads leading to those countries. It could serve as a staging area for a larger future conflict in the area.

I would say that we are serving as peace keepers in Iraq at this point. Fighting with nine fingers and ten toes tied behind our backs. And rightfully so. Our goal there isn't to defeat the people, but to establish a democracy. But, if, for example, Iran where to launch a nuke against Israel all bets would be off and Iraq would become a staging area for a larger conflict. We have air bases there, equipment etc. And if we encountered resistance within Iraq as we were trying to fight in a more regional conflict, that resistance would be handled much differently than it is now.

That is my point.
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Postby kurt_w » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:47 am

Ned Flanders wrote:But, if, for example, Iran where to launch a nuke against Israel all bets would be off and Iraq would become a staging area for a larger conflict.


Oh, so you're okay with the idea of Iran acquiring nukes, then? Because this sounds like you're talking about not taking action unless there's an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel.

Or would you support a pre-emptive attack on Iran?

Either way would entail losing Iraq ...
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Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:15 pm

kurt_w wrote:
Ned Flanders wrote:But, if, for example, Iran where to launch a nuke against Israel all bets would be off and Iraq would become a staging area for a larger conflict.


Oh, so you're okay with the idea of Iran acquiring nukes, then? Because this sounds like you're talking about not taking action unless there's an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel.

Or would you support a pre-emptive attack on Iran?

Either way would entail losing Iraq ...


I'm not OK with any of it. I'm just proving that Iraq could serve as a beach head for futre conflicts in that area.

As for a pre-emptive strike, we'll have to see what the Europeans want to do. It seems like they're beginning to see that Iran won't go away no matter how much ass-kissing and "looking the other way takes place". I think the Muslim riots woke up the dumb French and this cartoon fiasco has awakened the passive Scandinavians.
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Postby gargantua » Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:22 pm

[/quote]

I'm not OK with any of it. I'm just proving that Iraq could serve as a beach head for futre conflicts in that area.

[/quote]

Interestingly enough, the majority of Iraqis share this belief. It's helping to fuel the insurgency.
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Postby kurt_w » Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:42 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:
kurt_w wrote:
Ned Flanders wrote:But, if, for example, Iran where to launch a nuke against Israel all bets would be off and Iraq would become a staging area for a larger conflict.


Oh, so you're okay with the idea of Iran acquiring nukes, then? Because this sounds like you're talking about not taking action unless there's an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel.

Or would you support a pre-emptive attack on Iran?

Either way would entail losing Iraq ...


I'm not OK with any of it. I'm just proving that Iraq could serve as a beach head for futre conflicts in that area.


What does "not OK with any of it" mean? It sounds like more of the same bluster we've heard from the administration vis-a-vis North Korea -- "We're not going to negotiate with you, and we're going to spend six years blustering and dithering and shouting a lot while you build a half-dozen bombs."

And you haven't "proven" anything about Iraq serving as a handy-dandy beachhead for invading Iran. You've made a ludicrous assertion, that's all.

The fact is that any kind of military attack on Iran would piss off the people we've made ourselves totally dependent on in Iraq.

Are you starting to get the idea that maybe, just maybe, it wasn't such a good idea to bring to power in Baghdad a group called "the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq", and whose headquarters until recently were in Tehran?
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Postby kurt_w » Thu Jul 27, 2006 12:05 pm

Chuck_Schick wrote:
Ned Flanders wrote:Bush has established a beachead in Iraq, allowing us to deal with Iran much more quickly if need be. An excellent strategic move.

BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Oh, mercy! Stop it, Flanders. You're fucking killing me over here!


Okay, I wanted to resurrect this thread, because recent events have highlighted the idiocy of Flanders's blithe assurances that Iraq would make a fine and dandy base for a US attack on Iran.

There's been a lot in the news this week about the Iraqi government and prime minister vigorously denouncing Israel's invasion of Lebanon (and the fact that al-Maliki has pointedly not similarly condemned Hizbullah). Some Democrats in Congress even boycotted al-Maliki's speech because of this.

But nobody should be the least bit surprised about the new Iraqi government supporting Hizbullah and condemning Israel. Al-Maliki's own party, Dawa, is a Shiite fundamentalist party very similar to Hizbullah; in fact, according to Juan Cole, Dawa actually helped organize Hizbullah in the 1980s. During the Hussein years, Dawa was based in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, and Al-Maliki was the leader of its Syrian cell.

In 1983, Dawa's terrorist Islamic Jihad wing bombed the US and French embassies in Kuwait. From the Associated Press back in 1984:

Trial Of Bomb Blast Defendants Opens
February 11, 1984, Saturday

By ALY MAHMOUD (KUWAIT)

Twenty-one defendants accused of bombing the U.S. and French Embassies last December were formally arraigned today, as their trial began under extreme security. [....]

Five people were killed and 86 injured in the rash of bombings on Dec. 12. Besides the U.S. and French embassies, four Kuwaiti targets were bombed.

The prosecution has demanded the death penalty for 19 of the defendants. The others are believed to have played a lesser role in the bombings in and around the capital of this oil-rich Arab nation . . . Of the other defendants, 17 are Iraqis; two, Lebanese, three, Kuwaitis and two are stateless. Most of them said they belonged to Al-Dawa (Islamic Call) Party, an Iraqi movement of Shiite Moslem fanatics who are pro-Iranian [...]


That's right, the political party of the prime minister of Iraq was based out of Iran and Syria; was closely linked to Hizbullah; and was responsible for bombing the US embassy in Kuwait ... at a time when Mr Al-Maliki was running the group's Damascus office.

Why would anyone expect Dawa to condemn Hizbullah, or support a US attack on Iran? They're frickin' brothers of Hizbullah and of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, okay?

And if for some reason Al-Maliki decided to go against his buddies in Hizbullah and Tehran, he'd just be dumped by his other two coalition partners. The Shiite coalition governing Iraq today is made up of
    * Dawa,
    * SCIRI (the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, another radical pro-Iranian party that was based out of Tehran), and
    * Moqtada Al-Sadr's followers (the most anti-American Shiite party).
Not to mention that the only moderating influence on Iraq's Shiites has come from the leadership of Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani ... who lives in Iraq, but is actually an Iranian citizen.

Here's a hint that might even be sharp enough to penetrate the thick skull of our resident idiot-child, Flanders:

Al-Maliki and his Shiite government in Iraq aren't going to support a US attack on Iran. They're allies of Iran. They're guys who were trained in Iran and spent their whole lives living in Tehran and Damascus, working with groups like the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hizbullah.

Is this maybe, possibly, starting to sink in, yet?

Sheesh.
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Postby david cohen » Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:50 pm

But the fact remains that Bush, Cheney, Rummy et al. ARE stupid enough to think about using American military presence in Iraq as a threat against Tehran. Never put anything ludicrous past this group of jesters!
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