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Thread: The Drum-Beat of an Unwanted War

  1. #1
    Cascadian Elessar's Avatar
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    The Drum-Beat of an Unwanted War

    Israel's foreign minister is in Washington. There's a lot to talk about.

    Politicians and diplomats can be surprisingly coy about asking direct questions, even in private. So, "are you going to plunge us into a war in an election year?" may remain unspoken.

    The drumbeat of war has grown louder in the past few days.

    The Washington Post reported that US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta believes Israel could attack Iran as early as this spring.

    Mr Panetta did not deny the story.

    This was reinforced by a fascinating and incredibly detailed article by the Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman.

    "After speaking with many senior Israeli leaders and chiefs of the military and the intelligence, I have come to believe that Israel will indeed strike Iran in 2012," Mr Bergman concludes.

    This is the argument: there is less than a year to stop Iran moving into "the immunity zone".

    After that, it will have passed the critical point when an attack would seriously set back its nuclear programme.

    'Extreme anxiety'

    This puts President Barack Obama on the spot, particularly in an election year.

    Cliff Kupchan of the Eurasia group, which assesses international risks, has been in Israel recently and thinks the mood has changed, particularly because the left no longer opposes an attack.

    "I worked in the Clinton administration - if I was inside this White House I would be viewing this with extreme anxiety," Mr Kupchan says.
    "The Israelis, as they told me, are not going to give the US administration guarantees that they will give the US prior knowledge before they make an attack.

    "Now if I was making policy and I knew that vital US interests might get sucked in, I would be losing some sleep."

    He goes on that the US would be sucked into any war, but Mr Obama could not show outright opposition to an Israeli strike, even if he felt it.

    "Politically, I don't think he can do that," Mr Kupchan says. "He can say we did not participate, we did not have knowledge beforehand, we did not approve, but I think he would have to at least go along with it, possibly provide rhetorical support.

    "He would be in a very difficult political situation, given where Congress is, and during an election year Obama needs the Jewish vote, needs to appear hardline. It would be very hard for him to do anything but implicitly condone the attack."

    President Obama has gone out of his way to say that Israel has not made a decision and he is working in lockstep with them. But there are also reports he's privately urged them not to attack.

    Saying no to Israel?

    The Republican presidential candidates have attacked him for not being close enough to Israel.

    On the Republican right it is a given that America should be Israel's closest and strongest ally. To not give the country full support is seen as akin to being un-patriotic and un-American.

    Michael Scheuer, the former senior CIA agent in charge of the Bin Laden tracking unit, is a maverick in Washington's foreign policy establishment. He doesn't think the close relationship with Israel is in America's best interests.

    But in an election year, he says, it would be a very courageous president who would dare to distance himself from Israel.

    "I think it is very difficult for an American president, of either party, to say no to Israel, Mr Scheuer says. "He's a political animal and will probably go along with Israel."

    And at the end of the day it doesn't make any difference, he says.

    Because in the Persian world, the Muslim world, in the Arab world, if Israel attacks, unless we respond with a declaration of neutrality or a condemnation and a freezing of relations with Israel, they will assume America gave Israel the green flag."

    Some think that logic means the White House may have to accept the inevitable and take action. Professor Matt Kroenig, who worked on the Middle East and nuclear issues in the Department of Defense, says there are only a number of ways the Iranian nuclear issue is going to play out.

    "In some ways the Israel military option is the worst," Mr Kroenig says. "They don't have the same capabilities, they wouldn't inflict the same kind of lasting damage on Iran's programme as if the US took action."

    "But you would get all the downside risk in terms of spikes in oil prices and Iranian retaliation, so I think the White House is doing its best to restrain Israel.

    "We should pursue diplomacy, pursue sanctions, try to get a deal. But, in the end, faced with a choice between living with a nuclear-armed Iran and a strike, a US military strike would be the least bad option. A bad option, but the least bad."

    Not everyone thinks that noise we are hearing is the drum beat of war. Some think it is a very precise, very calculated sabre rattling.

    Cliff Kupchan told me Israel knows how to play American politics like a violin and this is all about sanctions. Perhaps it is no coincidence that President Obama has just signed more sanctions, although they look to me more symbolic than regime-threatening.

    Some think it is to force Iran to the negotiating table. Others argue the talk of war is to make those countries who are reluctant to impose sanctions take a long hard look at the alternatives.

    But only a minority take this view now.

    What is not in any doubt is that a war around Easter would change the dynamic of the presidential election and face Mr Obama with some very unpalatable choices.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16937613

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    Eala Freia Fresena Ocko's Avatar
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    The jews and their empire are under attack. Their currency, the US Dollar is getting more worthless by the day and it loses it' s power.

    The political awakening in the US is growing.

    The Arab spring revolution eats it's children.

    Russia and China are growing rapidly and threaten the jew empire. They lost most of their influence over Africa.

    The Arab world is increasingly hostile.

    In Southamerica there are emerging powerful figures like Hugo Chavez, not afraid of jews.

    Their brainashing of their power base, The USA is getting cracks which increase and break more and more open. The panic with which they try to hold their grip is producing the opposite.

    The economic power of the US is in steep decline and will not be able to uphold the most powerful military force on Earth.

    the days of the jew Empire are counted. They will face their usual fate, which is a global progrom .
    Last edited by SpearBrave; Saturday, February 11th, 2012 at 10:44 AM. Reason: lowbrow
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    How strong are the Iranians? They have been "within having a nuclear bomb in two years" for at least twenty years. Which countries and groups will have been cooperating with Iran in the interim?

    During those twenty years it may be fair to assume they will have managed to assemble a nuclear arsenal of at least ten nuclear bombs, is that so?

    If attacked by Israel, would the Iranian response be sufficient to destroy Israel?

    I am not American and I do not care for the USA, this is all the fault of the USA for building atomic bombs in the first place. Now everybody has one. This should have been foreseen.

    Never have I seen such a complicated issue as that outlined above. How many people believe I should move to my Redoubt in the Altiplano NOW?

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    Senior Member Neophyte's Avatar
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    Indeed people are staring themselves blind on centrifuges and weapons grade uranium 235. I would be more concerned with plutonium and uranium 233 as you do not need very advanced centrifuges to make that; just 5 percent enrichment or, just to get the nuclear reaction going. If you put a sheet of thorium-232 or uranium-238 (i.e. depleted uranium or just any slab of uranium since 238 is so predominant, and Th-232 is all there is) in a uranium reactor the neutron radiation from the nuclear reaction in the core will transform it to almost pure U-233 and Pu-239 receptively, i.e. very weapons grade.

    We know that the Iranians can get U-235 way above what is required to get a reaction going in a reactor, so if they have gotten a reactor going somewhere down there underground they will probably have some "nukeable" materials by now.

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    Senior Member velvet's Avatar
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    Unwanted, eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark, 2007
    Retired Army General, Wesley Clark, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during War in Kosovo, confirms Bush Administration’s plans to “take out 7 countries in 5 years — Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and back to Iran”.
    Source


    In fact, they are almost overdue.

    If Iran wouldnt insist on nuclear power, they'd find a random other reason to attack it, because Iran is the biggest spike in Israel's ass, and Ahmadinejad continues to speak out about the "fine Jews" in UN, lest someone starts listening.

    Would be interesting to see Russia's and China's reaction to an attack, considering them being quite pissed about the way to deal with things with Libya (ie bluntly lying, getting the yes for the resolution and then abusing the resolution that did not allow air strikes for exactly that), about the new resolution wanted for Syria where they dont want to be tricked again, and now they're expected to sign another resolution for Iran maybe? At least Russia will realise that this also threatens their backyard when the Middle East is in uproar and war again....
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    Russia has had enough experience with islamists that they understand that the only way to rule over these people is in a totalitarian manner. The United states has always had this idea that give people a chance to vote in thier own leaders and they'll end up exactly like us in the U.S. With the same interests and ideals. We've always have seemed to have a hard time under standing that others are not just like us. It seems to me that the arab world really has no idea what a representive/republican form of government is. They always fall back on the "Strong Man" mentality. Russia and Chinas reactions cannot be taken as any thing but a realistic way of looking at the mideast. And the uncertainty that mass public uprisings can bring to such volitile regions.
    Some days you just want to holler your head off!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocko View Post
    The days of the Jew Empire are counted. They will face their usual fate, which is a global progrom .
    Indeed.

    It's pretty remarkable, the Jewish ability to cause backlash and pogroms wherever they go. When their religion tells them that gentiles are animals, it's not surprising that they always exploit people and make themselves hated. I can only speculate when the next anti-Jewish backlash will happen.

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    Extra ecclesiam nulla salus. Primus's Avatar
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    Will the Iranians take the atomic wrecking ball to the synagogue of satan? Will the chosen ones blast the 13th imam and his army of shiite fanatics into their component atomic particles? Will the world really care in the end?

    We ought to root for both sides in this case, assuming the west stays out of the probably conflict (which it won't, but it doesn't hurt to be hopeful).

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