On Iran

Bill Mattocks

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Many people are unaware of the many issues playing out the in the Middle East right now, particularly those involving Iran. They tend to lump all Muslims together, and to consider the Middle East a cohesive whole, which it is not.

The most fundamental thing to understand about Islam is that there are two main branches; Sunni and Shiite. Without going into tedious detail about the differences between them, suffice to say that it's a bigger deal than Protestant or Catholic in the Christian world. In extreme cases, they try very hard to murder each other for being apostate.

Iran is one of the few majority Shiite Muslim nations (also Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Bahrain). The rest are predominately Sunni.

Prior to our invasion of Iraq, although Iraq was majority Shiite, it wasn't run that way, as Saddam Hussein was Sunni, and he enforced a peace between warring factions of Sunni, Shiite, and Kurds (yet another sect of Islam). In fact, he was very much like Tito; the country remained peaceful because he was more brutal than anyone.

With Hussein gone and a shaky Iraq government in, Iran began to move against the Sunni in Iraq to consolidate power and give the Shiite an edge. They funded and trained a lot of insurgents, and they even sheltered and supplied and trained Sunni insurgents against Iraq, under the 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' theory. Their goal was to destabilize, run a war of attrition by proxy, and get the US to leave Iraq. They won, we left (I'm not arguing that we should have stayed or that we should or should not have been there in the first place, just that we were out-maneuvered).

The current Iraqi PM is Shiite. No sooner did we leave Iraq than he issued an arrest warrant for the VP, who is Sunni. The King of Saudi Arabia has flat-out stated that the Iraqi PM is an agent for Iran.

Given Iran's position in the Middle East as a minority Islamic power, they want very much to consolidate power in Iraq; they have essentially taken it over already, but they want to complete the acquisition.

Iran also wants to not be seen as an enemy by the Sunni Muslim world, and to this end, they have supported the Palastinians, primarily Hamas and not Fatah, and mostly since Arafat's death. It is reported that most of Palestine's weapons and monetary support come directly from Iran. As long as eyes are on the Israeli/Palestinian issues, people don't pay attention to Iran, and of course Hamas supports the destruction of Israel.

Now Iran has been building a nuclear program for years, just like North Korea (with whom the cooperate), and they have made it perfectly clear that they intend to build nuclear weapons. Most of the world's intelligence services believe this and have said so; even in Russia, although the President said no, the PM said yes. The only people who believe Iran is not engaged in building nuclear weapons are the seriously uninformed and ignorant; it's not a matter of left or right wing politics, it's simple fact.

Given that Iran has repeatedly stated that the nation of Israel must be utterly eradicated and destroyed, it is clear what Iran will do with those weapons the moment it has them. They will attack Israel with them. Israel knows this full well and won't let them do this; however, they have stayed their hand overtly (they do work covertly) at the pleading of the US, their strongest ally.

Iran is now moving their enrichment program underground and deep into mountains. Iran is not like Iraq; it is not a big desert. It's mountainous, more like Afghanistan in that sense. They know perfectly well that they can't be invaded in the traditional sense like Iraq was; there are too many places for them to hide. They do not fear destruction from the USA or Israel. In fact, they believe that if attacked by either, the rest of the Middle Eastern Muslim would would come to their rescue, even the Sunni nations; especially if Israel attacked them. Some say they would not risk war, because they are not stupid. It's stupid to think they won't risk war if they can detonate a nuke in Tel Aviv. They'll do it the instant they have the capability.

Europe is about to start sanctions against them which will hurt them financially. In retaliation, they've done various things, like block the Strait of Hormuz and threaten to deny US warships entry, arrest various US nationals inside Iran and sentence them to death, etc. All sword-rattling. All diversionary and delaying tactics. All brinksmanship.

The bottom line is that Iran wants to eradicate Israel, to complete its conquest of Iraq, and to develop nuclear weapons to make it a power in the region so that it no longer faces threat from Sunni Muslim nations or non-Muslim nations. All other considerations are secondary to completing work on nuclear weapons.

I fully suspect that in the near future, Israel will take unilateral action against Iran; we'll be dragged into it of course. Or, alternatively, we'll barge our way past the Iranian Navy and sink a few of their boats. I would not even be surprised if a US-flagged vessel were attacked and sunk by the Iranians (even if faked by us) to give us a pretext for bombing the crap out of them.

In any case, Iran must not have nuclear weapons. I don't particularly care what it takes to keep that from happening.
 

Razor

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It is a case of the big bullies (US, UK, Israel) not wanting another country to challenge their power. There is no solid evidence Iran is building nuclear weapons, but if they were, why are the other countries allowed them but not Iran? I don't really want anyone to have nuclear weapons, but balance is probably preferable to just a few powerful nations having them.

Also, don't presume just because the President said some stuff about destroying Israel about 10 years ago that "Iran" wants to or that even the President wants to. Israel has repeatedly threatened its neighbours in any case, nobody is up in arms about that, even when they follow through with their threats.

That's my take on it, without even getting in to the ways the West have screwed over Iran in the 20th century, and acts of terrorism against Iran.
 

CanuckMA

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Razor,

Iran repeatledly threatens to wipe Israel off the map, when has israel done the same?
 

Razor

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To my knowledge, Israel has never "threatened to wipe Iran off the map", but that is not what I said is it? If you want examples of Israeli threats to neighbours, I recommend searching "Israel threatens" into Google. Of course, at the moment that will only show you threats against Iran, but they threatened then bombed Syria, I think Iraq and perhaps somewhere else too, it's been a while since I studied it in detail. Here are a few to get you started:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/israel-threatens-an-attack-on-iran-60413/

http://news.sky.com/home/article/16101407

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3877404,00.html
 

Makalakumu

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There are some major risks that the US needs to consider when it comes to having another war with Iran.

1. It will require boots on the ground. Once we start dropping bombs, it won't end until Tehran falls. The religious leaders of Iran will use the war to consolidate opposition and outside forces will have to dig them out.
2. It will spike oil prices and cause everything we need to live our lives to spiral upwards. For every one calorie of food we consume, it takes ten calories of oil to produce. When the first bomb drops, prices will jump by at least 20%.
3. It will cost the unborn their livelihood. The US government is already mired in war debt from the last ten years. Adding more will pretty much ensure that our children will live with much more diminished standard of living.
4. It will kill the US dollar and the Economy. As we struggle to pay for the war and bailout the banks that will fall from the reduced economic activity, the value of our money will plummet. Thereby forcing the world to come up with a new currency.
5. Iran will engage in real terrorism and asymmetrical tactics to fight us. It's very possible that we could see cells activating over here, in Europe, and anywhere else that is engaged in violence against them.
6. The US will cease to be a free country. Right now, we have uber-dictatorial powers on the books. When this war starts and the casualties start pouring in and the real terrorists attack us, we'll lose all of our freedom and it will never come back. The Washington Post wrote about this Friday the 13th.
7. It might lead to WWIII. Russia and China have both pledged to aid Iran should an attack come. Will they back up there words with an actual nuclear exchange with the US? I sincerely hope not, but history is full of examples when countries with ties suddenly went insane. WWI comes to mind.

An attack on Iran has the potential to destabilize the whole world, it's going to kill millions of people and it might very well be the last thing the US does with it's current form of government. I am very disappointed in the people who support this. I wonder what happened to their humanity because what they propose is monstrous.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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It is a case of the big bullies (US, UK, Israel) not wanting another country to challenge their power.

Yes. It's also a matter of keeping lunatics away from them.

There is no solid evidence Iran is building nuclear weapons, but if they were, why are the other countries allowed them but not Iran?

Because Iran would use them. And there is a huge difference between "not going to do it" and "not having evidence." If you wait for evidence, the evidence will the the big mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv.

I don't really want anyone to have nuclear weapons, but balance is probably preferable to just a few powerful nations having them.

Nonsense. With Pakistan teetering on the brink of anarchy or another military coup, the world runs the risk of their nuclear weapons 'wandering' out of the country. Note that when Libya fell, their armories were invaded toot sweet by the rebels, and the various high-power weaponry and weapons of mass destruction that they had have been scattered to the winds and to various terrorist organizations. Imagine if they had nuclear weapons for the rebels to steal. One shudders at the thought.

Also, don't presume just because the President said some stuff about destroying Israel about 10 years ago that "Iran" wants to or that even the President wants to. Israel has repeatedly threatened its neighbours in any case, nobody is up in arms about that, even when they follow through with their threats.

I'm sorry when?

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/zionist-entity-3.htm
In April 2006 President Ahmadinejad again made a speech in which he depicted Israel as a permanent threat to the Middle East that will soon be eliminated, while also again calling into question the truth of the Nazi Holocaust. Relations became especially tense following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in July 2006, in which it accused Iran of helping the militant group Hezbollah, and otherwise being involved in the crisis. Iran responded denying support for Hezbollah as nothing but Israeli propoganda.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad_and_Israel
2008 statements on Israel's 60th birthday

On Israel's 60th birthday, Ahmadinejad said:

Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken. Today the reason for the Zionist regime's existence is questioned, and this regime is on its way to annihilation."[92]

Ahmadinejad also stated that Israel "has reached the end like a dead rat after being slapped by the Lebanese." Later, he said: "The Zionist regime is dying," and "The criminals imagine that by holding celebrations (...) they can save the Zionist regime from death." Ahmadinejad also stated that "They should know that regional nations hate this fake and criminal regime and if the smallest and briefest chance is given to regional nations they will destroy (it)".[93]

Iran denies that the present day state of Israel has the right to exist. In what way is that unclear?

That's my take on it, without even getting in to the ways the West have screwed over Iran in the 20th century, and acts of terrorism against Iran.

The West, and the US in particular, have much to answer for; in many ways, we have sowed the seeds of the problem we now face.

None of that matters if Iran gets The Bomb. We cannot let that happen; in fact, we won't. If they get it, they will use it on Israel. PERIOD.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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To my knowledge, Israel has never "threatened to wipe Iran off the map", but that is not what I said is it?

Your knowledge is woefully lacking, intentionally or otherwise.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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An attack on Iran has the potential to destabilize the whole world, it's going to kill millions of people and it might very well be the last thing the US does with it's current form of government. I am very disappointed in the people who support this. I wonder what happened to their humanity because what they propose is monstrous.

If Iran gets The Bomb, they will use it on Israel immediately. That will set everything off anyway. So there's really no getting around it. Iran wants to delay an attack by Israel until they can disperse and move more of their production facilities deep underground, Israel has commented on this in the past few days. In a matter of months, it will no longer be possible to end Iran's nuclear ambitions by bombing from the air. So Iran wants that stand-off to last just a few more months. Israel of course is not going to let this occur, no matter what the USA says.

There is very little anyone can do to stop this, except for Iran to renounce nuclear weaponry and open themselves to inspection by the international agencies they have been keeping out to prove it. It's Iran's move.

But again, if they make a bomb, they will use it on Israel on day 1. I have no doubt of this, I can't believe any sane person doubts it. And then the **** hits the fan for real.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Four hours ago today:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=48819

The crux of the Iranian dilemma is that every string has been pulled to the point of breaking. Tighter U.S. sanctions could threaten our already weakened economy. Whether or not the Israeli vice prime minister is correct that such considerations have already factored into the Administrations thinking, it seems highly unlike that the President wants to roll into the election with five-dollar gasoline at the pumps. Further economic pressure might also change Irans calculation about whether or not it wants to call the Wests bluff and shut down the Straits of Hormuz.

It sounds to me as if the Israelis were hoping sanctions would destabilize the Iranian government, rather than merely persuading them to give up on their nuclear weapons program. Evidently Netanyahu has seen some intelligence that the Iranian regime is not as wobbly as he hoped.

A serious Iranian retaliation against Israel or the United States for the death of its nuclear scientist could also escalate the situation into a military confrontation, particularly if its the kind of messy assassination that decorates the streets with civilian corpses. And while everyone tries to figure out exactly where the red line into armed conflict is located, the nuclear clock is ticking: U.N. authorities believe Iran is now less than one year away from having enough enriched uranium to build a bomb.
 

Razor

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Because Iran would use them. And there is a huge difference between "not going to do it" and "not having evidence." If you wait for evidence, the evidence will the the big mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv.

There is also a huge difference between "Iran will destroy Israel if they have nuclear capability" and "I believe Iran will destroy Israel if they have nuclear capability". Without evidence you are making an assumption; to quote Wilde "When you assume you are making an *** out of u and me" or something like that anyway.

Sorry, I thought you were referring to the one about 10 years ago.

Nonsense. With Pakistan teetering on the brink of anarchy or another military coup, the world runs the risk of their nuclear weapons 'wandering' out of the country. Note that when Libya fell, their armories were invaded toot sweet by the rebels, and the various high-power weaponry and weapons of mass destruction that they had have been scattered to the winds and to various terrorist organizations. Imagine if they had nuclear weapons for the rebels to steal. One shudders at the thought.

Some shudder at the thought of a USA, UK, France etc who can do whatever the hell they like without fear of recompense. I am glad in some ways that China and Russia provide a counterweight to NATO, but I am more wary of theocracies holding nuclear weapons.

Iran denies that the present day state of Israel has the right to exist. In what way is that unclear?
The West, and the US in particular, have much to answer for; in many ways, we have sowed the seeds of the problem we now face.

None of that matters if Iran gets The Bomb. We cannot let that happen; in fact, we won't. If they get it, they will use it on Israel. PERIOD.

That's a massive jump. I know people who think that Israel should not exist who do not want to destroy it. Plenty of people seem to want to paint those who do not believe Israel should exist as a nation with the anti-semitic brush, but it is not necessarily true. I do not believe the ayatollah or President are crazy enough to attack Israel unprovoked with or without nuclear weapons. It does seem likely though that Israel may attack first, prompting retaliation.

Most countries have something to answer for; in many ways the current Iran situation is a direct result of British and American actions (Mossadegh Intervention).
 
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Bill Mattocks

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I do not believe the ayatollah or President are crazy enough to attack Israel unprovoked with or without nuclear weapons.

Your opinion is noted. I do not agree with you, not even a little bit.

It does seem likely though that Israel may attack first, prompting retaliation.

That's pretty much a guarantee.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreig...-makes-diplomatic-path-suddenly-rockier-video

He went on to warn Iran’s leaders that, if it comes to it, the US won’t allow Iran to take the step of going nuclear.

That is not new administration policy; Obama has said the same many times before.

But word of Iran’s imminent enrichment at an underground facility risks making the US position sound like an idle threat, since the clear purpose of moving Iran’s highest-grade enrichment activity to a site deep inside a mountain is to shield it as much as possible from military attack.

That is, as stated in the news recently, a 'red line'. Cross it an it's game on. But Israel won't wait for us to convince the handwringing crybabies in our nation to get with the program.

Most countries have something to answer for; in many ways the current Iran situation is a direct result of British and American actions (Mossadegh Intervention).

And so what. What does that mean now? Nothing. We're partially responsible for this situation; but still the situation exists. We have to keep Iran from going nuclear, period. What brought us to this point is interesting history and we have a lot to answer for. But none of it matters with regard to whether or not we allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. They cannot. Period. End of story.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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I am sorry you feel that way. Perhaps you could give me a link to Israel saying that and help me expand my knowledge?

That has nothing to do with your earlier statements. Iran has indeed threatened to wipe Israel off the map. The handwringing article in the Guardian about how awful we Americans are doesn't change that, even if true. When I said you were ignorant, I pointed out previously many statements Iran has made on the subject of Israel and their right to exist; they've even hosted an official Holocaust Denial conference, for God's sake. There is no more virulent enemy of Israel than Iran; possibly Syria, but even the Syrians have quieted down. Iran hates Israel. Israel hates Iran. Mostly because Iran represents an existential threat to Israel.

None of that has dick to do with how the Guardian thinks we run our foreign affairs. How Iran feels about Israel is fact.
 

Razor

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Your opinion is noted. I do not agree with you, not even a little bit.

As are yours.

And so what. What does that mean now? Nothing. We're partially responsible for this situation; but still the situation exists. We have to keep Iran from going nuclear, period. What brought us to this point is interesting history and we have a lot to answer for. But none of it matters with regard to whether or not we allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. They cannot. Period. End of story.

I see what you mean in terms of taking a pragmatic approach. I just think that people (particularly uneducated and/or ignorant people) need to know some history to actually understand why and how things happen. You can learn a lot from history and so stop doing the same thing in the future (few politicians seem to learn). A lesson from this for the future could be that euphemistically titled "interventions" in countries that do not want you taking their oil and money should be avoided, as the resulting situation is often worse. Good thing the governments of the West learned that lesson, isn't it? Oh wait.
 

Razor

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That has nothing to do with your earlier statements. Iran has indeed threatened to wipe Israel off the map. The handwringing article in the Guardian about how awful we Americans are doesn't change that, even if true. When I said you were ignorant, I pointed out previously many statements Iran has made on the subject of Israel and their right to exist; they've even hosted an official Holocaust Denial conference, for God's sake. There is no more virulent enemy of Israel than Iran; possibly Syria, but even the Syrians have quieted down. Iran hates Israel. Israel hates Iran. Mostly because Iran represents an existential threat to Israel.

None of that has dick to do with how the Guardian thinks we run our foreign affairs. How Iran feels about Israel is fact.

If you read the thread, you will see that I was asked when Israel has said the same as Iran has said to Israel. I said that I did not think Israel had said the same, but had threatened its neighbours. Perhaps you feel that this thread and all of my comments are relevant only to you, but that is not the case. Also, you have got it the wrong way round; Iran has made threats to Israel, my reply was about threats made by Israel. Read before you call me ignorant please. Perhaps it is you who are choosing to be ignorant.

I simply said that you may find the article interesting. Clearly you are closed-minded and not interested in hearing other opinions. Oh, and seeking to generalise from a few Muslim Iranians to the whole of Iran? Do I even need to write about how ridiculous that is?
 

Makalakumu

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I would not even be surprised if a US-flagged vessel were attacked and sunk by the Iranians (even if faked by us) to give us a pretext for bombing the crap out of them.

In any case, Iran must not have nuclear weapons. I don't particularly care what it takes to keep that from happening.

Do you really support a false flag attack on our own troops to get us into war with Iran? I never thought I would read something like this on MT.
 

Big Don

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Mostly because Iran represents an existential threat to Israel.

I hate to correct you here, Bill. But, Iran IS a tangible, physical, ongoing terrorist threat to Israel through its funding of Hezzbollah and other terrorist groups. Iran doesn't just represent a threat to Israel. Iran represents a threat to what we laughingly call Western Values, i.e., Freedoms of speech, religion, association, etc. Why the LEFT isn't up in arms over Iran's treatment of homosexuals, for example is curious.
 
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