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> Hersh claims war with Iran imminent, ...and shows similarities with Iraq
Cube Jockey
post Apr 8 2006, 10:07 PM
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Seymour Hersh has a shocking article in the New Yorker titled The Iran Plans. In summary the article claims that while publicly putting on a face of considering options like diplomacy and sanctions to solve "the Iran problem" the White House has already resolved to use military force, and possibly even nuclear weapons.

Hersh has a good track record of being right, here are some of the highlights from the article.
QUOTE
There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush’s ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change. Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has challenged the reality of the Holocaust and said that Israel must be “wiped off the map.” Bush and others in the White House view him as a potential Adolf Hitler, a former senior intelligence official said. “That’s the name they’re using. They say, ‘Will Iran get a strategic weapon and threaten another world war?’ ”

A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was “absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb” if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do “what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do,” and “that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.”

One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that “a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.” He added, “I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’ ”

The rationale for regime change was articulated in early March by Patrick Clawson, an Iran expert who is the deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and who has been a supporter of President Bush. “So long as Iran has an Islamic republic, it will have a nuclear-weapons program, at least clandestinely,” Clawson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 2nd. “The key issue, therefore, is: How long will the present Iranian regime last?”


There is also this:
QUOTE
“This is much more than a nuclear issue,” one high-ranking diplomat told me in Vienna. “That’s just a rallying point, and there is still time to fix it. But the Administration believes it cannot be fixed unless they control the hearts and minds of Iran. The real issue is who is going to control the Middle East and its oil in the next ten years.”

A senior Pentagon adviser on the war on terror expressed a similar view. “This White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war,” he said. The danger, he said, was that “it also reinforces the belief inside Iran that the only way to defend the country is to have a nuclear capability.” A military conflict that destabilized the region could also increase the risk of terror: “Hezbollah comes into play,” the adviser said, referring to the terror group that is considered one of the world’s most successful, and which is now a Lebanese political party with strong ties to Iran. “And here comes Al Qaeda.”


The entire article is well worth your time and I'd encourage everyone to read it before starting this debate.

Questions for debate:
1. In the article Hersh posits that the White House is marching towards war with Iran for the purpose of regime change despite diplomatic posturing. Do you believe that to be true? Please support your position with evidence.

2. How does this escalation compare with the history leading to the Iraq war, and how is it different?

3. Given our commitment in Iraq, and the White House's refusal to withdraw are we militarily prepared for a conflict with Iran? Is it wise?
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Dingo
post Apr 8 2006, 10:34 PM
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In the article Hersh posits that the White House is marching towards war with Iran for the purpose of regime change despite diplomatic posturing. Do you believe that to be true? Please support your position with evidence.

QUOTE
The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups.


This was confirmed for me by a Marine in Iraq on another forum. He says the US has Iran totally mapped out by intelligence operatives. He thinks the Iranian leader will ultimately back off but he is gung ho for the opportunity to go in.

Well the PNAC objective was principally Iran so perhaps those folks are still in the saddle. That would of course include regime change.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Apr 9 2006, 12:16 AM
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I don't see anything new here. If anyone can discern a noteworthy difference between this article by Hersh, and the one he wrote a little over a year ago, please share.

Regarding Dingo's Marine friend, this article doesn't say much of anything I haven't read in Defense links online. And I can tell you that no military member with a top secret security clearance is going to blab on the internet. Loose talk is indicative of not knowing much. Nothing surprising about increased clandestine activities inside Iran, under the circumstances, really is there? We have plans for a "possible major attack" in a LOT of places. You can bet they do for us, too.

1. In the article Hersh posits that the White House is marching towards war with Iran for the purpose of regime change despite diplomatic posturing. Do you believe that to be true? Please support your position with evidence.

NO, I don't. Of course (like Hersh) I'm not privy to such information as to prove it. I might be wrong, but I doubt it. I can list a line of reasons why it would be a bad idea. I don't see how this article differs from the other. Were we "marching to war" then as well? Are we closer now? Why? More time has gone by and we're really really going to do it now?

2. How does this escalation compare with the history leading to the Iraq war, and how is it different?

Well...back then we had an actual series of UN Resolutions dating over the course of 12 years promising "severe consequences" if not obeyed. And we already occupied the majority of Iraq's airspace, as we had for over a decade. That's for starters.

3. Given our commitment in Iraq, and the White House's refusal to withdraw are we militarily prepared for a conflict with Iran? Is it wise?

No. Totally unprepared. No it wouldn't be wise.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Apr 9 2006, 12:44 AM
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Amlord
post Apr 9 2006, 12:29 AM
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1. In the article Hersh posits that the White House is marching towards war with Iran for the purpose of regime change despite diplomatic posturing. Do you believe that to be true? Please support your position with evidence.

Hersh's article points out that some people think that the White House is dead set on regime change. Others in the article point out that there are other options on the table. However, it should not shock anyone that the US has a fully developed plan of attack against Iran. I'm sure it has one for other hot spot nations (North Korea, etc.) as well.

It certainly does a good job illustrating the seriousness of Iran's quest for the bomb and the fact that it isn't just the US (and Bush) who have grave concerns.

2. How does this escalation compare with the history leading to the Iraq war, and how is it different?

I think if we keep in mind how the build up to Iraq went down, there are still several month of negotiations, UN posturing, and making the case with the American public.

Bush's popularity domestically and influence internationally are at an all time high, so he is unlikely to convince the skeptical. It will depend on how others view the Iranian nuclear program. From the article, it appears that there are some pretty serious concerns in Europe and (not surprisingly) Israel. Bush will need support to push this one through. Of course, the article also alludes to the fact that Iran wants this confrontation. If Iran really wants this, there is going to be little anyone can do to avoid the conflict.

3. Given our commitment in Iraq, and the White House's refusal to withdraw are we militarily prepared for a conflict with Iran? Is it wise?

I don't think there is a discussion of ground troops. It will, as the article points out, make our forces in Iraq that much more vulnerable to local militias and Iranian forces alike. Those risks must be factored into any decision to hit Iran.

Of course, this whole article might be a ruse to demonstrate to Iranian officials how real the threat of war is against them. If they believe we will go in, potentially with nukes (the nuke issue was an odd point of focus in the article, I thought), Iran may back down--also alluded to in the article. Perhaps the proxy war is being waged in the pages of the New Yorker this month to gauge Iran's reaction.
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BoF
post Apr 9 2006, 01:28 AM
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QUOTE(Amlord @ Apr 8 2006, 07:29 PM)
Bush's popularity domestically and influence internationally are at an all time high, so he is unlikely to convince the skeptical.


Huh? It seems to me that Bush's popularity is at an all time low.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/polls/

If you have evidenced to support this statement please present it.

This post has been edited by BoF: Apr 9 2006, 01:52 AM
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bucket
post Apr 9 2006, 02:19 AM
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silly me, and I thought we were already at war with Iran.

The US news doesn't focus much on the goings on inside Iran itself, but there are many recent reports of rioting, civil unrest and anti-government protests and violent confrontations, or what we would call "civil war" in Iraq.

I think the Iranian govt is becoming desperate, and have even begun to crackdown publicly on 10 yr old girls.

Iranian officials have also made demands for the US to withdraw from the region.

I think the issue that is overlooked in this debate is that to the Iranian government we are already engaged in conflict , and I find it curious that it is insisted that we view this subject as solely American-centric...why?

Why is the question not asked of Iran, and the Iranian govt? They have advertised that they can bomb Israel and that they in fact feel Israel should be "wiped of the map" Is the Iranian govt interested in diplomacy?

Do you not think that someone in the American govt. has been asked to consider the reality of this possibility and how we should react?
Ever hear the saying...hope for the best, but plan for the worse.

This post has been edited by bucket: Apr 9 2006, 02:20 AM
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Paladin Elspeth
post Apr 9 2006, 03:01 AM
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QUOTE(BoF @ Apr 8 2006, 09:28 PM)
QUOTE(Amlord @ Apr 8 2006, 07:29 PM)
Bush's popularity domestically and influence internationally are at an all time high, so he is unlikely to convince the skeptical.


Huh? It seems to me that Bush's popularity is at an all time low.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/polls/

If you have evidenced to support this statement please present it.
*


Yeah, that one kind of surprised me, too.

1. In the article Hersh posits that the White House is marching towards war with Iran for the purpose of regime change despite diplomatic posturing. Do you believe that to be true? Please support your position with evidence.

I think Bush would like to take on Iran, but that it is unrealistic with conditions as dangerous and deplorable as they are currently in Iraq. So, I don't think that Mr. Bush is going to start another war while we're still chewing on this one, but then what do I really know?

2. How does this escalation compare with the history leading to the Iraq war, and how is it different?

Actually, the rationale for going to war with Iran seems much more steady and plausible than the reasons Mr. Bush used for invading Iraq. Iran is very actively pursuing nuclear technology with capabilities of harming allies of the United States, the difference being that these guys have their cards on the table while Saddam Hussein held his cards close to the vest.

(Edit: Everybody seems to forget that although they were not fighting in a war at the time of the buildup to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Iran and Iraq weren't buddies. I believe it was for that reason that Saddam Hussein could not afford to say, Look guys, we've got nothing--we got rid of it--Come and we'll throw open all of our doors for you to see. It might have been construed by Iran as an invitation to attack Iraq.)

QUOTE
I think the issue that is overlooked in this debate is that to the Iranian government we are already engaged in conflict , and I find it curious that it is insisted that we view this subject as solely American-centric...why?
You make a couple of good points here, bucket. thumbsup.gif

3. Given our commitment in Iraq, and the White House's refusal to withdraw are we militarily prepared for a conflict with Iran? Is it wise?

No and no. We've bitten off about as much as we can chew for now, unless we want to risk our children's children's inheritance, not to mention their lives. I certainly hope we don't choose to attack Iran as the next trip on our Global War on Terror travelogue.

Just because Iran wants to fight the United States doesn't mean we need to humor them.

This post has been edited by Paladin Elspeth: Apr 9 2006, 03:20 AM
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Lesly
post Apr 9 2006, 03:14 AM
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QUOTE(bucket @ Apr 8 2006, 09:19 PM)
Silly me, and I thought we were already at war with Iran.
*

Really? Did I miss a congressional declaration of war or were you referring to the very adaptable joint resolution for whatever ails Bush called the Authorization for Use of Military Force?

QUOTE(bucket @ Apr 8 2006, 09:19 PM)
I think the issue that is overlooked in this debate is that to the Iranian government we are already engaged in conflict, and I find it curious that it is insisted that we view this subject as solely American-centric... why?
*

Well, we “view this subject as solely American-centric” because we’re discussing U.S. foreign policy. Given the amount of good millions of protestors worldwide accomplished three years ago I don’t see anything chicken little about sounding the alarm now. Neither do the Joint Chiefs according to Hersh, if they resign in protest soon.

A game of chicken between the U.S. and Iran is expected. I don’t believe Hersh’s assertions are that off. He’s covering the president who projects mystic nonsense like looking into Putin’s eye and sensing his soul to lay public concern about his competency to rest.

QUOTE(bucket @ Apr 8 2006, 09:19 PM)
Do you not think that someone in the American govt. has been asked to consider the reality of this possibility and how we should react? Ever hear the saying... hope for the best, but plan for the worse.
*

The problem isn’t that military action is an option. The problem is the owner of the finger on the trigger who compares the GWoT to WWII without a Marshall Plan.

QUOTE(bucket @ Apr 8 2006, 09:19 PM)
Why is the question not asked of Iran, and the Iranian govt?  They have advertised that they can bomb Israel and that they in fact feel Israel should be "wiped of the map." Is the Iranian govt interested in diplomacy?
*

Oh, I would say Iran can be coerced into finding diplomatic means to end this game. Otherwise, why even chide us for being American-centric?

QUOTE(Slate)
At the Council on Foreign Relations seminar, Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst and author of The Persian Puzzle, an excellent history of U.S.-Iranian relations, argued that a ban on capital investment in Iran would be useful. Iran's leaders seem genuinely fearful of economic sanctions (they came to the negotiating table last year only when Britain, France, and Germany seemed on the verge of imposing them); sanctions on investment are doubly threatening because they don't starve children (and therefore rally Western opposition to them on humanitarian grounds) and because Iran's economy is heavily dependent on foreign investment.

- A Game of Chicken

Why don't I hear more about responsible chess moves like this one? Quick, someone blame the media.

As far as Israel goes, and parts of Europe for that matter, Ahmadinejad may have his Mahdaviat wet dream if we fail to take out a single site. That’s the whole point of taking out the sites, isn’t it? Iran poses a threat to Israel today or in the very near future. About to blow up Israel demands expediency. Unless of course the administration is again exaggerating a hostile foreign country’s nuclear capabilities and delivery system.

This post has been edited by Lesly: Apr 9 2006, 03:22 AM
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TedN5
post Apr 9 2006, 03:58 AM
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It is true that Hersh published a similar article about a year ago that suggested the administration was preparing to attack Iran. Intervening events have only made it clear that they have continued to prepare the diplomatic ground for such an attack. (See the series of articles by Gordon Prather and others posted on Antiwar.com. This one for example). Hersh has a decades long list of contacts within the power elite and his articles should be taken as expressing the serious concerns of many of these contacts within the military and elsewhere.

It says volumes about the state of our republic that such drastic action could be considered by an unpopular administration without the full involvement of the Congress and a public debate. To contemplate the use of nuclear weapons to stop proliferation is akin to jumping off a cliff to cure acrophobia. To take such a step without a serious attempt to negotiate face to face with Iran and make serious concessions on sanctions and security guarantees is criminal in the extreme and would forever blacken the name of the United States.

1. In the article Hersh posits that the White House is marching towards war with Iran for the purpose of regime change despite diplomatic posturing. Do you believe that to be true? Please support your position with evidence.

Yes, I believe it to be true. From the time of the "Axis of Evil" speech the Bushites have sought regime change in Iran despite occasionally relying on them for help in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US first opposed any negotiations with Iran on the subject and then agreed to allow the E3 to proceed without authorizing them to make any concessions to lower US economic sanctions nor offering security guarantees. The hard line taken by the US probably even helped elect Ahmadinejad by undercutting any positive progress by the reform government. In addition, US press spoken have continually distorted the lack of evidence of a covert weapons program.

2. How does this escalation compare with the history leading to the Iraq war, and how is it different?

In many ways its comparable. Efforts have been made to again scare the public into supporting an absurd intervention. So far, they face a sceptical public. If we get near an attack, I suspect there will be a ratcheting up of the rhetoric and some kind of trumped up incident to fire up the masses. The situations are also comparable given that the real object (as the article implies) is the control of the oil regions for the administrations corporate masters.

3. Given our commitment in Iraq, and the White House's refusal to withdraw are we militarily prepared for a conflict with Iran? Is it wise?

Of course it is not wise! It is insane! Yes, we can inflict massive damage on Iran with air power (even without nuclear weapons) but we will face nightmarish economic and terrorist consequences. Our isolated army in Iraq would be vulnerable. Not only would the Islamic World erupt but such an event might be the final straw for Russia, China, and even some European countries and result in a power re-alinement to the detriment of the US.

This post has been edited by TedN5: Apr 9 2006, 04:34 AM
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bucket
post Apr 9 2006, 05:19 AM
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QUOTE(Lesly)
Really? Did I miss a congressional declaration of war or were you referring to the very adaptable joint resolution for whatever ails Bush called the Authorization for Use of Military Force?


Did you also miss the fact that the Cold War is referred to as a "war" ? Maybe you're not viewing the conflict in the broad, varied and complex reality that it is. It is not just a conflict of arms, I had thought that was pretty well evident by now.


QUOTE(Lesly)
Well, we “view this subject as solely American-centric” because we’re discussing U.S. foreign policy. Given the amount of good millions of protestors worldwide accomplished three years ago I don’t see anything chicken little about sounding the alarm now. Neither do the Joint Chiefs according to Hersh, if they resign in protest soon.


But US policy, especially in regards to the ME is hardly singular and independent is it? For example, Iran's nuclear safeguards are not US policy they are in fact UN policy. Also Iran's more likely targets of such nuclear weaponry are unlikely only American.


Do you for some reason believe the US will be alone in her demands for Iran to forgo her nuclear ambitions? The rumors are in fact that it is not just the US who is preparing.

And haven't you heard their latest boast? Think Tanker Wars with long range missiles...was Iran interested in diplomacy then? And since then what has changed for Iran's FP?

QUOTE(Lesly)
Oh, I would say Iran can be coerced into finding diplomatic means to end this game. Otherwise, why even chide us for being American-centric?

Such as ?

QUOTE(Lesly)
Why don't I hear more about responsible chess moves like this one? Quick, someone blame the media.

The above "responsible" response you seem so impressed by is the current American FP with Iran and has been for many years now. Also I was curious exactly how you would convince China to go along with such a "responsible" tactic? Responsibility isn't currently the theme of Chinese investment in oil rich nations.

This post has been edited by bucket: Apr 9 2006, 05:20 AM
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Victoria Silverw...
post Apr 9 2006, 06:09 AM
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Here's a new article which suggests that things are heating up:

Link

QUOTE
The Bush administration is studying options for military strikes against Iran as part of a broader strategy of coercive diplomacy to pressure Tehran to abandon its alleged nuclear development program, according to U.S. officials and independent analysts.

No attack appears likely in the short term, and many specialists inside and outside the U.S. government harbor serious doubts about whether an armed response would be effective. But administration officials are preparing for it as a possible option and using the threat "to convince them this is more and more serious," as a senior official put it.


Diplomatic toughness, or a real military plan? Opinions vary.

QUOTE
"My sense is that any talk of a strike is the diplomatic gambit to keep pressure on others that if they don't help solve the problem, we will have to," said Kori Schake, who worked on Bush's National Security Council staff and teaches at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

Others believe it is more than bluster. "The Bush team is looking at the viability of airstrikes simply because many think airstrikes are the only real option ahead," said Kurt Campbell, a former Pentagon policy official.


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DaytonRocker
post Apr 9 2006, 12:48 PM
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The really surprising thing for me regarding Iran is that people tend to beleive the crap coming from our intelligence services.

This is the same intelligence agencies that were ONE HUNDRED PERCENT WRONG about Iraq, but now bigger and slower, are expecting us to beleive anything they say.

Not voting Bush out was a disaster of biblical proportions. He has the same foreign policy skills of Stalin or Lenin, holds himself above the law, and seems intent on destroying this country.

The only saving grace for me, is I voted for the other guy and am too old to get drafted. So I hope the people that voted for Bush get their number called in a draft and fight this next war. As has been said, war plans get thrown out the minute the war starts, so anybody planning on a war with only airplanes and missles is deluding themselves.

This makes me so mad, it's unbelievable. This is clearly the definition of insanity and nobody is crying foul.
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Cube Jockey
post Apr 9 2006, 05:13 PM
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QUOTE(bucket @ Apr 8 2006, 10:19 PM)
Do you for some reason believe the US will be alone in her demands for Iran to forgo her nuclear ambitions?  The rumors are in fact that it is not just the US who is preparing.
*


Bucket, last time I checked this was America's Debate not World Debate or Euopean Debate. Of course most of the topics here are going to be American centric in nature. I could care less if other countries are racheting up the war machine as well - none of us can do anything about that but we can discuss and do things about American policy. At the very least we can all vote and speak that way.

If you feel that the international perspective is so sorely missing from this debate then why don't you start your own topic with questions focused on it instead. If people are interested in talking about it they'll join you.

QUOTE(Amlord)
I think if we keep in mind how the build up to Iraq went down, there are still several month of negotiations, UN posturing, and making the case with the American public.


Diplomatic "negotiations" - check that is ongoing right now. There have been numerous stories wherein the US has tried to convince other nations like Russia to use their influence to talk Iran down.

UN posturing - check once again ongoing. I'm sure you've seen talk of referring this matter to the security counsel, etc? If you haven't a quick browse of Google News will get you up to speed, here is one link discussing sanctions.

Making the case to the public - check it has already happened and is ongoing, the public just isn't buying it this time. This has already happened Amlord, you might care to go back and re-read the last state of the union address, you'll find the tone similar to the infamous SOTU about Iraq. I'd also find it hard to believe that the information coming from media sources and the administration is lost on you. The administration is making this out to be an immediate crisis when the truth is that agencies like the IAEA believe it will take years for Iran to develop nuclear weapons and they are still debating whether options like dilomacy and sanctions will work.

So uh, how is it different again? Time to wake up and take a look around.
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Vermillion
post Apr 9 2006, 06:00 PM
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QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Apr 9 2006, 05:13 PM)

Diplomatic "negotiations" - check
UN posturing - check
Making the case to the public - check

So uh, how is it different again?  Time to wake up and take a look around.


Well there are some pretty huge differences. Three to be exact.

1- Regardless of how strong or weak the case for the invasion of Iraq was, the reason most people, including most democrats were initiually behind the war is because of 9/11. Regardless of wheither or not there was any connection, the US had been attacked and the case that Iraq might be a threat was tied into the whole issue of bruised national security.

This time, the Iran would not be happening right after 9/11, but instead right after Iraq, when even most republicans now oppose the president in his handling of the conflict. The case will be a LOT harder to make.

2- Iraq in 2004 was a paper tiger. Actuall, it was a paper kitten. Its military was a joke, and had not recovered from the LAST time the US beat it down. Iraq as a military posed no threat, and while some doomsayers (who turned out to 100% right) were speaking of the dangers of occupation, nobody even the most pessimistic was worried about the Iraqi military.

Iran on the other hand has a substantial high tech military, which while it could never hope to beat the US, it can hope to cause some significant american casualties.


3- Capacity. The US cannot currently meet its operational commitments in Iraq. Bush jr cannot be so stupid to think that if he launches air strikes, the situation begins and ends there, and the US does not have the available ground forces to wage war in Iran.



Aside

Let me tell you what about this situation worries me, and its not at all the same thing that worries the rest of you. When the USSR fell, so did most of the red army technology machine. But Russia has still been producing top of the line scientists and top of the line military equipment, they just cannot afford to mass produce tem and distribute it to their military. In a very few select fields, Russia still has technical technological capacity BETTER than the US, it is just not deployable for lack of money.

One of those very fiew fields is still submarine technology. The Kursk you may recall sank (according to the current theory) while they were testing a brand new torpedo. It was later confirmed that Russia has developed and deployed the 'Squall', a super-high speed torpedo that moves inside a self generated plume of air bibbles, moving at near jet speeds. The technology is called 'supercavitation'. This torpedo makes all current anti-torpedo defences useless. ALL of them. The US at the time was desprate t get their hands on one, as they did not have the technology to produce such a weapon. They have at best a semi-functional prototype called the 'barracuda'

This is old news, 3+ years old if you read Jane's defence. Now Iran tests the 'Hoot' meaning whale, a high speed supercavitating torpedo. There is NO WAY Iran could have developed this domestically, meaning they got the designs from Russia. This single weapon is the largest threat to US and NATO forces. It cannot be stopped once fired and has a much longer range than conventional torpedoes.

What the hell is Russia doing? They always sold their technolgy abroad, but they made sure never to sell their latest top of the line stuff, keeping that for themselves. If Russia has sold this to Iran, dos anyone doubt China has it? Not to mention other top-of-the-line technologies coming out of Russian labs, which technologically equal, and occasionally exceed what the US has in its arsenal.

It sounds like the plot of a Tom Clancy novel, but its true...


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Dontreadonme
post Apr 9 2006, 07:00 PM
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1. In the article Hersh posits that the White House is marching towards war with Iran for the purpose of regime change despite diplomatic posturing. Do you believe that to be true? Please support your position with evidence.
I could support my position with as much evidence as Hersh has in his article........nada. The truth is, neither we at ad.gif nor Hersh has evidence of what the administration may or may not be planning. I believe the article to be overhyped and generally unsourced. He is correct in that we are refining war plans against Iran. Plans that have been on the shelf at least since 1979. Thats what the Office of Special Plans and the J3 Plans Office do, continually. Reassessing the scenarios against Iran while engaging them on the diplomatic front is not only usual, it is prudent.
I believe that a nuclear armed Iran, with the context of their history since 1979, is just about the greatest threat to democracy and the western world at this time. I believe that radical islamists (mad mullahs) have constructed an eternal war psyche against the west. And while I don't believe it will lead into a shooting war between the US and Iran, I think the international community must and eventually will confront the mullahs. If anyone is realistically 'marching towards war' it is Iran.

3. Given our commitment in Iraq, and the White House's refusal to withdraw are we militarily prepared for a conflict with Iran? Is it wise?
We always retain the ability to deliver munitions from airborne and naval platforms, we are currently not even close to being prepared to open a front against Iran using conventional ground forces.
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bucket
post Apr 9 2006, 10:35 PM
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QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
Of course most of the topics here are going to be American centric in nature. I could care less if other countries are racheting up the war machine as well - none of us can do anything about that but we can discuss and do things about American policy. At the very least we can all vote and speak that way.


Is this the typical Dem. view on Iran and nuclear proliferation...how it will effect the vote?



Vermillion to address your aside point, I think it is just best for me to offer this up for reading.
The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy

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TedN5
post Apr 9 2006, 10:43 PM
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QUOTE
(Dontreadonme)I could support my position with as much evidence as Hersh has in his article........nada. The truth is, neither we at  nor Hersh has evidence of what the administration may or may not be planning. I believe the article to be overhyped and generally unsourced.


Hersh has and outstanding journalistic reputation extending from My Lai in 1969 to Abu Ghraib in 2004. All of his recent articles have been written for theNew Yorker, a magazine with an outstanding record for editorial fact checking. While Hersh's statements may not be attributed, it is almost a certainty that everyone of them is backed up by 2 or more sources.
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Dontreadonme
post Apr 9 2006, 11:09 PM
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While I realize that to some, Hersh's words are like the messiah preaching to the huddled masses..........as far as facts go, the article remains in the realm of opinion and speculation. Hersh didn't 'break' the story on Abu Ghraib, the facts had been out there for four months, and he has been making these claims about Iran for over a year now.

His use of the term 'American combat troops' entering Iran.......if he had sources who confirmed information such as this, he would have identified them as Army Special Forces, etc. A reporter of his reputation and connection with the military would not IMO, use such a generic civilian term. He would already be breaching operational security, so it would make sense that he would be a bit more specific to bolster his claim.

On the whole, Hersh's article is based on anonymous sources, so take it for what it’s worth.
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Vermillion
post Apr 9 2006, 11:14 PM
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QUOTE(bucket @ Apr 9 2006, 10:35 PM)

Vermillion to address your aside point,  I think it is just best for me to offer this up for reading. 
The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy


Excellent article, I know Dr. Lieber in passing, but it does not give the whole picture. Fir example, one thing it does not mention is that currently the most technologically advanced ICBM on the planet is the Rusian Topol-M, already built with variable speed and trajectory to make it undefeatable by any current missile system. It is far better than anything the US has at the moment.

Now of course, Rusia has very few of these. The perennial problem of Russia, they develop the technology and then do not have the finances to exploit or mass-develop it. However, with Russian finances improving, plans to replace many of the archaic missiles with the new Topol-M could completely revitalise the Russian rocket forces. There is currently in the budget funds for the construction of 230 of these missiles, as of two years ago (most recent budget we have access to).

All Russia needs is 5 years of increasing economic growth to spend the money eliminating its vast ancient cold-war arsenal of 30-year outdated missiles. Upkeep on these almost useless weapons is absorbing a huge percentage of the Rusian strategic forces budget. Once that happens, Russia can start to rebuild its military along the designs of its world-leading prototypes, and that will be a scary sight indeed.

The MiG-35, also designated MiG-29OVT is the only aircraft in the world other than the F-22 Raptor to incorporporate independent vectored thrust, and lets not forget that the Russians always had better airframes than the Americans, so this is likely no different... again, no money for mass production of the prototype.

The Ka-50 'Hokum', the most advanced attack helicopter on the planet (and a beautiful looking helicopter), helicopters being another place the old Soviets has a technological lead... again, no money for mass production of the prototype.

The T-95 Tank, protitype tested in 2001, is the only tank on the planet that could challenge the supremacy of the recent upgrade Abrams, and would certainly be thesecond best tank in the world (The US tank designs were always slightly better, though far more expensive)... again, no money for mass production of the prototype.


Russia has the etchnolgy, they just do not have the money. And if they start selling the technology to nations who have not only the money but the will to use, like Iran, or China... then the US might find itself having a problem...


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Trouble
post Apr 10 2006, 12:00 AM
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QUOTE
1. In the article Hersh posits that the White House is marching towards war with Iran for the purpose of regime change despite diplomatic posturing. Do you believe that to be true? Please support your position with evidence. 
 
2. How does this escalation compare with the history leading to the Iraq war, and how is it different? 
 
3. Given our commitment in Iraq, and the White House's refusal to withdraw are we militarily prepared for a conflict with Iran? Is it wise?


1. It is my belief that any engagement the administration enters is where can they attack an opponent which cannot fight back. I see Venezuela in a far more susceptible position than Iran. The american public has no appetite for casualties. Iran is capable of mounting resistance. I think this is posturing.

2. The escalation will see much more military planning, and rely on alot more air and sea power to achieve objectives. I have a feeling the weapons inspectors will take on a different role in Iran. Specifically what I really can't say at this point.

3. I am not the right person to ask in assessing the true limits of the american military. I found the article infuriating and difficult to read because Hersh's subjects began each statement with the supposition that as soon as a bomb was in play it would be use. I find this mode of thinking paranoid and unrealistic. This is a case where the people are believing their own propaganda. Hersh goes further and cites one official that is frustrated with El Baradei's performance. I doubt evidence will be brought to the table because this is more about regime change and personal preference than anything else. If the bombs start to drop, won't the discussion of evidence be a moot point?

Moreoever, if Hersh's sources are even a little bit truthful, the presentation of evidence to substantiate the admin's claims is barely on their to do list. It just isn't a priority. That is what I find disturbing.



This post has been edited by Trouble: Apr 10 2006, 01:51 AM
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