Letters to the Editor

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IRAN: It’s time for quiet diplomacy

Letter by Bernice L. Youtz, Tacoma on Jan. 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm with 52 Comments »
January 13, 2012 4:34 pm

I am troubled by the editorial, “Tehran showing some welcome signs of desperation” (TNT, 1-11), and the conclusion that President Obama should keep tightening sanctions.

I was in Iran in 2010. Though no “Iran expert,” I noted that the government is brutal and all-powerful, while the people are the friendliest I have ever met, eager to meet Americans.

The sanctions may or may not be effective and could be counter-productive. The aged clerics who rule supreme apparently see no need to comply with Western/American demands. They have their own weapons and could close the Strait of Hormuz.

An Iranian bomb is “unacceptable,” we are told, but have we told Pakistan, India, Israel that their nuclear arsenal is unacceptable, since we aided those nations in building them?

As for danger to Israel, there are at least as many Muslims as Jews in Israel and the territories. Any attack on Israel would kill many Muslims. Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu shout populist rhetoric at each other, but isn’t it time for quiet diplomacy?

America cannot afford a third war, and wars no longer seem to be winnable. Instead of “tightening,” I would say to President Obama, “Cool it.” Rather than taunt the mullahs, let 80 million Iranians know that we welcome their friendship and will work for it.

Leave a comment Comments → 52
  1. Bernice, I would agree with you that Iranians can be some of the nicest people you ever want to know. I met and dined with several Iranian Air Force Officers when I was training at Keesler AFB, MS, although that was back when The Shah was still in power. Still, they were a great bunch of guys.

    The article was discussing a situation in which we now know that Iran is developing enriched uranium that is most likely intended for weaponization. This is unlike the so-called “intelligence” before the Iraq war when the alleged existence of WMDs was fabricated. Here we have actual evidence, known to persons outside the clandestine intelligence community, that weapons-grade uranium is being refined in Iran.

    Unlike the Iraq War scenario, nobody is banging down the doors of the U.N. saying, “If you guys don’t go in with us, we’ll go it alone!” Instead of that, President Obama is working to develop a coalition of countries to impose and enforce non-military sanctions on Iran, to convince them to stop the process of developing nuclear weapons. Don’t we all wish Dubya would have tried that, and possibly saved us the lives of 4,500+ American soldiers and sailors not to mention all the Iraqis who have been killed and all the money that war has cost!

    It looks to me like President Obama is doing everything he can to prevent another war. God help us if he loses the General Election to one of those Republican fanatics who have already said they would return to Iraq and/or invade Iran if they get a chance. We don’t need another Dubya or another war!

  2. pantomancer says:

    I doubt anybody wants war.
    That being said, there is a disturbing pattern repeating itself. Neither Iraq OR Iran cooperated much with the U.N., and nobody seemed to give more than lip service, instead, drafting resolution after resolution.
    How long did Saddam play cat and mouse with inspectors and thumb his nose at each and every (16 ? 17?)one of them?

    History is repeating itself.

    Personally, I’m not at all confident President Obama is really engaged. I hate to say it. We all had high hopes. He really seems overwhelmed.

    I wish Hillary would run. I think she still has more experience than President Obama. Besides being a prominent figure along side President (Bill)Clinton, she has a solid three years experience as Sec. of State. She was in the Whitehouse when Saddam was having his way with the U.N., and she was in the senate when we went into Iraq. She’s dialed in.

  3. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Muck- great partisan rant that has nothing to with BHOs policy of leading from behind and ignoring congress.

    There is definately a debate to be had about Iran. No part of it involves President Bush. You are deflecting.

  4. Lead from behind, as in Syria. Not a troop was lost. And ignoring a do-nothing Congress with a 10% approval rating. What’s to lose?

    Iraq resulted in 4500 U.S. dead soldiers, with 32,000 additional soldiers suffering combat injuries. 150,000+ soldiers suffer with PTSD, depression, hearing loss, breathing disordors, and traumatic brain injuries.

    The CBO estimates that by 2017 the cost of the Iraq war will total $1.9 trillion, or $6300 per U.S. citizen. A Brown University study estimated the war in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq will, in the final analyis, cost us between 3.2 and 4 trillion dollars. Let the conservatives put those numbers in their tax-pipes and smoke them.

    In Syria, there was however, a few million dollars for all those missles that we led from behind with, the cost of which, the Republicans complained bitterly about, while they berated the President for leading from behind.

    Leading from behind. Brains over bravado.

  5. I meant to say Libya, not Syria in the above post.

  6. pantomancer syas, “Personally, I’m not at all confident President Obama is really engaged. I hate to say it. We all had high hopes. He really seems overwhelmed.”

    THAT is probably the best description of this character I have ever read…..and far more civil than I could have written! I think he needs to go open a used car lot in Joliet, but thats just my opinion!

    I never had “high hopes”, and never supported him, and frankly feel like we have not HAD a president since we wandered into the oval office.

  7. harleyrider1 says:

    We already had the “third war” when we bombed and sent special ops troops into Libya, Bernice. And by the way, these are not wars. Wars can only be declared and funded by Congress, which have always been fully supported by Americans.

    Wars also allow the U.S. Military to use everything in its arsenal to bring about a swift conclusion.

    I think you are referring to political policing actions by Presidents who think they know better than the rest of this Country and subvert our Constitution. but then, Congress becomes complicit by funding their politics. It’s why so many American soldiers die while America makes very little sacrifices. We’re not really at “war”.

    As for Iran, no, they couldn’t close the straits, but it’s a conflict that neither side wants. Let’s not feel too sorry for people that believe in a religion that allows mullah’s to tell them what to do including how to treat women and children.

    If the majority wanted to over-throw their Ayatollah’s and Mullah’s, they would first need to change their religion that tells them they are not smart enough nor free enough to make their own decisions.

  8. I doubt anybody wants war.

    You really are working hard at ignoring what some folks have been saying. The push to go to war with Iran goes back for quite awhile. Remember in 2008 candidate McCain’s “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” Beach Boys song.

    There is some evidence to suggest that there is already a covert war going on.
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/05/u-s-israel-covert-war-against-iran-suspected-report/

  9. lamofred says:

    Thank you Benice. This is an important statement, especially because, in fact, there has been absolutely no evidence offered either by U.S. intelligence or the IAEA that Iran is actually producing a nuclear weapon, and our secretary of defense admitted this last Sunday morning. It is all propaganda and hype – just like the nonsense about Sadam Hussein’s WMD.

  10. Dcr… “and frankly feel like we have not HAD a president since we wandered into the oval office.”

    I think you meant to write “since he wandered int the Oval Office” right?

    It would have been easier if you would have just written “since President Cheney.”

  11. lamofred, “in fact, there has been absolutely no evidence offered either by U.S. intelligence or the IAEA that Iran is actually producing a nuclear weapon, ”

    Really?

    ▪ In May 2010, the IAEA issued a report that Iran had declared production of over 2.5 metric tons of low-enriched uranium, which would be enough if further enriched to make two nuclear weapons, and that Iran has refused to answer inspectors’ questions on a variety of activities, including what the agency called the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program.[142][143]

    ▪ In July 2010, Iran barred two IAEA inspectors from entering the country. The IAEA rejected Iran’s reasons for the ban and said it fully supported the inspectors, which Tehran has accused of reporting wrongly that some nuclear equipment was missing.[144]

    ▪ In August 2010, the IAEA said Iran has started using a second set of 164 centrifuges linked in a cascade, or string of machines, to enrich uranium to up to 20% at its Natanz pilot fuel enrichment plan.[145]

    ▪ In November of 2011, IAEA officials identified a “large explosive containment vessel” inside Parchin.[146] The IAEA later assessed that Iran has been conducting experiments to develop nuclear weapons capability.[147]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_program_of_Iran

  12. ManuelMartini says:

    “Muck- great partisan rant that has nothing to with BHOs policy of leading from behind and ignoring congress.”

    Dripping with irony.

    “Leading from behind” and “ignoring congress” are two campaign slogans from the Republican Party.

  13. ManuelMartini says:

    muckibr, just a suggestion, but be careful how you use wiki as a reliable source, especially on something like the above subject. The Hertitage Foundation is known for using wiki as a means of manipulating the issues for their political capital.

    That part aside, don’t you find it interesting that the most nuclear armed country in the world is telling another country that they are not allowed to play in the game?

  14. pantomancer says:

    I remember McCain’s lame attempt at humor. I don’t believe that really a valid measure of whether he wants to go to war or not.
    Other than disagreeing with my doubt about intentions, what are your thoughts in terms of the letter ?

  15. alindasue says:

    harleyrider1 said, “And by the way, these are not wars. Wars can only be declared and funded by Congress, which have always been fully supported by Americans.”

    The war in Iraq was declared by congress – albeit somewhat retroactively – but can you really call it “funded” and “fully supported” when the first few years of funding were off the books and not factored in to the actual budget?

    If by “fully supported” you mean moral support, I have to question that claim too, given that it wasn’t unanimously popular to begin with and became less and less popular as time wore on.

    ManuelMartini said, “…don’t you find it interesting that the most nuclear armed country in the world is telling another country that they are not allowed to play in the game?”

    I’ve been asking that question for years.

  16. pantomancer says:

    Sorry, for some reason I have a hard time trusting Iranian leadership.

  17. SwordofPerseus says:

    Panto-I have the very same trouble trusting American “leadership”.

  18. Pacman33 says:

    cirrus said in a fog ~ “What’s to lose?”

    Only a Constitutionally recognized operation of government being replaced by Dictator Obama and his ‘Null & Void Czars’ after the hypocrite shredded yet another provision of the U.S. Constitution. The anointed g0NE has already lost his credibility after not only making it a Campaign Promise but for also chastising Bush for doing so. Further, Bush never made an appointment when the Senate in pro-forma session. If he want’s to play political games, I say impeach him if he wants to bypass congress for the debt ceiling or SS contribution reduction.

    cirrus blathered ~ “The CBO estimates that by 2017 the cost of the Iraq war will total $1.9 trillion ….. Let the conservatives put those numbers in their tax-pipes and smoke them.”

    $1.9 trillion? LOL. The annual spending just in fiscal year 2011 for your precious entitlement, alone, is $2.4 trillion without net interest $2.2 trillion. That is 1 year. I think we know who smoking some kind of a pipe.

    cirrus squawks ~ “Leading from behind. Brains over bravado.”

    Are you seriously praising 0bama for Libya? Seems you are as informed with World Affairs as much as you are the Federal Budget. The South African President Jacob Zuma told the U.N. Security Council on Thursday “A problem which was confined to one country, Libya, has now grown to be a regional problem”. Tripoli, the capital, has been plagued by clashes between disparate rival Libyan militias. They’re going at it right now as we speak. The same militias which played a key role in toppling Gaddafi but are now refusing to disarm, saying they are suspicious of the country’s new rulers. Likely for good reason. If it couldn’t get worse, it appears Gaddafi may have been replaced with a totalitarian Islamist regime that poses even greater threats to the United States, its allies, and the Libyan people.

    Finally it’s odd you cite Syria by mistake. It is because of operations in Libya, the murder, arrest, child-rape and torture in Syria have escalated. The Occuslims reenergized with hope of similar intervention and a regime trying to finish them off before one is present.

  19. Pacman33 says:

    “Rather than taunt the mullahs, let 80 million Iranians know that we welcome their friendship and will work for it.”

    Was it the mullahs or the friendly Iranians working for our friendship in the high-speed Iranian boats exhibiting provocative and aggressive action towards the USS New Orleans and Coast Guard cutter Adak just now.

    http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/13/exclusive-u-s-harassed-by-iranian-ships/

  20. Manuel… and alindasue, “don’t you find it interesting that the most nuclear armed country in the world is telling another country that they are not allowed to play in the game?”

    Not in this situation, because, and I am going by what it says in the article, President Obama is trying to built a coalition of nations to put pressure on Iran to stop weaponizing their nuclear capability. It’s not just the U.S. telling Iran to stop. It’s won’t be just the U.S. invading Iran if it is left up to the Obama administration.

    (Under a Romney, Gingrich, Santorum or Perry administration it very well may be ONLY the U.S. following the Bush-2 example if pre-emptive attack and invasion. You do know what a pre-emptive attack is don’t you? Think Pearl Harbor. Think 911. Then think Operation Iraqi Freedom.)

    pant… I have NO TRUST in the Iranian leadership. None whatsoever.

    Sword… I trust American leadership, under President Obama, based on his actions so far. Judge not by words, but by deeds. President Obama is ending U.S. military involvements, and using remote weapons technology to prevent the need for any new U.S. troop invasions or attacks. Remote technology like Predator Drones with missiles, and…

    cirrus… your example of President Obama’s strategic actions against Libya are exactly right. It was not a troop invasion, and did not engage the U.S. in yet another bloody land war for American forces. It was cruise missiles and air strikes, and it certainly got the job done!

    Manuel…, as regards Wikipedia as a resource, the portions I selected seem full documented. However, there’s nothing on the web, from any source, that can be fully trusted, is there?

  21. muckibr – there is no disputing that the Iranians have a nuclear energy program. But there is no hard evidence that they are developing nuclear weaponry.

    And, quite frankly, with Israel’s proven militaristic intentions towards them (and the rest of the region), I don’t see why Iran having a few nuclear bombs to balance out the atomic arsenal of Israel’s is a problem.

  22. beerBoy, I think we have to agree to disagree on the Iranian nuke program and their intent to weaponize it. The IAEA clips I posted at 7:55 AM today seemed legit to me. Even though they are in a Wikipedia page, they have documentation elsewhere.

    As regards, “why Iran having a few nuclear bombs to balance out the atomic arsenal of Israel’s is a problem.”

    That’s only getting the world as a whole back into the MAD scenario that we, the U.S., have been trying to diminish via negotiations (SALT, START and others) with other players in the existing Nuclear Club of nations.

    MAD = Mutually Assured Destruction.

    Once one country launches its nukes, you can count on eventually all countries launching their nukes in retaliation, leaving the Earth as a smoldering cinder floating in space, devoid of all life forever.

  23. @Muckibr……Laughing Out Loud about “President Cheney” :D …. Frankly we havent had a President since Nixon as far as I’m concerned….If it were at all possible, I’d vote for him again! ;)

  24. pantomancer says:

    At this point, I am finding the most common ground with muckibr regarding Iran’s intentions. It doesn’t take a nuclear scientist to see where the Iranian governemnt is going with this. I’m inclined to take the Iranians at their word in terms of there intentions with Israel and the rest of the “zionists”.
    I am surprised that someone would be more suspicious of our own governemt’s possesion and intentions with nukes than Iran’s. After all, I can’t recall where the USA has stated a desire to wipe ANY nation, religion, OR race off the face of earth.
    I mentioned earlier that I believe Hillary is far and above President Obama with experience and judgment. I just wish she would challenge the statis quo and seek the nomination or run on a third party ticket. I will not vote for President Obama again.

  25. pantomancer says:

    This is a total redux of the last 20 years. Pacify,Ignore, React.

  26. panto… At least one thing Hillary Clinton is, among other things by the way, is a Good Democrat. She will not challenge a sitting Democratic President. That’s not her or Bill’s style, and they are both among the very best and most astute politicians in America today.

    I prefer Barack Obama as our president, but if he were not available, looking around, I’d think Hillary would be the next best for our country. And, by the way, I am NOT an Democrat, despite what others on these threads may think or say. I’m a “take each issue and candidate on its/his/her own merits” Independent and proud of it. Right now, however, the Republican Party has very little to offer our country.

    We need a leader who can stand up to Iran, but not knee-jerk our country into another stupid war. I believe President Obama is the best man for that job at present. (Hope I’m right!)

  27. “This is a total redux of the last 20 years. Pacify,Ignore, React”

    And what omens do you see in those events pantomancer? Care to share?

  28. muckibr – other than the pro-war propaganda, what FACTS do you have that lead you to conclude that Iran is building nuclear weapons?

    Remember that Iraq had WMD and we had to invade before that mushroom cloud? And then Bush ends up joking around, looking for WMD under his desk.

    Iran might very well have intents to build weapons – but your conclusion isn’t conclusive.

  29. beerBoy, please take a look at my post above on JAN 14 at 7:55 AM, and then take a look at the corresponding link on that comment that will take you to the Wikipedia page. While reading through the Wikipedia page, pay particular attention to the section on the IAEA, and in particular the last bullet in that list which is as follows:

    “In November of 2011, IAEA officials identified a “large explosive containment vessel” inside Parchin.[146] The IAEA later assessed that Iran has been conducting experiments to develop nuclear weapons capability.[147]”

    Then go, as I did, to the some of the links for the notes, in particular 146 (USA Today) and 147 (Reuters)

    That Wikipedia page (same as in my 1/14 @ 7:55 AM comment) is at this link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_program_of_Iran

    beerBoy, I am not going to claim I’ve read all the Wikipedia page or all the annotated comments. But, I will say that I read a lot, and more than enough to convince me that Iran is more than likely engaged in weaponizing nuclear materials and at least on the verge of creating a nuclear weapon and a delivery vehicle/system for it.

    This is not a case like with Iraq where the U.S. is taking charts and photos on an easel to the U.N. and saying, “Looky here you guys. See? Thet there is a WMD! Heh! Heh! Heh!”

    No, this is a case where the United Nations itself, in the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is producing reports documenting that they do suspect Iran is actively engaged in nuclear arms weaponization.

    Don’t take my word for it. Go to the Wikipedia page, and go to the string of many many links that it includes, which document the assertions made therein. Decide for yourself. As for me, I am convinced.

    My conclusions don’t need to be conclusive. I am not one of the UN/IAEA inspectors who has gone into Iran and recently been barred from going into Iran’s facilities to make those conclusions.

    As for previous claims of nuclear WMDs in Iraq, that were used to justify the pre-emptive U.S. invasion of Iraq, that is still widely debated. You can find as many entries on the web that say there were Iraqi nukes, as you will find web entries that say there were none.

    On another Wikipedia page I found this summary, in support of a good deal of text on the matter, but not nearly as much text or as many annotations as the Iran page I previously referred you to.

    Iraq
    Nuclear program start date – 1959
    First nuclear weapon test – None
    First fusion weapon test – None
    Last nuclear test – None
    Largest yield test – None
    Total tests – None
    Peak stockpile – None
    Current stockpile – None; programme was infiltrated, abandoned, destroyed by Israel and Iran in 1989. Officially program ended in 1990. (Operation Iraqi Freedom did not start until March 20, 2003)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

    It’s good to be a skeptic beerBoy, but at some point after reviewing the available information, you will make a decision one way for the other. That’s up to you. As I said before, I am skeptical that Iraq ever had a viable nuclear weapons program, but I am convinced that Iran does.

  30. USA needs another Wall-Mart parking lot; commence re-surfacing

  31. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Bb- letting Iran have nukes would bring balance?? What are you talking about? It is a country led by radicals that hate America. What side are you on?

  32. ct7 – The proliferation of nuclear weapons is bad no matter who has them – India, Pakistan, Israel or maybe Iran.

    However, attacking a sovereign nation to prevent them from developing this advanced method of defending itself (Just like Israel, Iran has a right to defend itself) is, at best an attempt to be the World’s cop (something W, as a candidate, wisely noted was not in our best interests) and, more likely, just another excuse for aggressive intervention by those who support a Pax Americana forged through the sword like ancient Rome’s empire.

    Pre-emptive invasion (as demonstrated with Iraq) is just an attempt to feel justified by our militarism.

    And, before you start shouting “9/11 changed everything – mushroom clouds in America!” I am far more concerned about nukes on the black market from Pakistan or Russia than Iran.

  33. beerBoy, you asked me ” – other than the pro-war propaganda, what FACTS do you have that lead you to conclude that Iran is building nuclear weapons?” and you suggested that the Iraq invasion might have been justified because it was suspected they may have had nukes.

    I provided you a very detailed response.

    Do you now consider that Iran may have a nuclear weapons program?

    Do you now consider that maybe the “Iraq has nukes!” claim may have been fabricated as an excuse?

    I put a lot of effort into providing you as complete an answer as I could. What are your thoughts now, may I ask.

  34. Do you now consider that Iran may have a nuclear weapons program?

    from my post of Jan. 15, 2012 at 6:27 am:
    Iran might very well have intents to build weapons

    We use ‘might’ to suggest a small possibility of something. Often we read that ‘might’ suggests a smaller possibility that ‘may’, there is in fact little difference and ‘might is more usual than ‘may’ in spoken English.
    http://www.englishgrammarsecrets.com/maymight/menu.php

  35. “Was it the mullahs or the friendly Iranians working for our friendship in the high-speed Iranian boats exhibiting provocative and aggressive action towards the USS New Orleans and Coast Guard cutter”

    The same mullahs that Ronald Reagan sold arms to.

  36. But beerBoy, in your 15/6:27 AM post you specifically asked me what my facts were, and I gave them to you in my 15/9:32 AM post. So, what are you comments specific as regards to the facts I provided. Have they influenced you in some way?

  37. ManuelMartini says:

    “It doesn’t take a nuclear scientist to see where the Iranian governemnt is going with this.”

    As a matter of fact, it does.

    The last time we went running off to war over “WMDs”…….

  38. muckibr – nope. I would not be surprised if the Iranians indeed have an ongoing weapons program – I would also not be surprised if it turns out that – just as was true with Iraq – the evidence is being overstated by the US and Israel to build cause for a pre-emptive strike (aka “first strike”)

  39. Iran wants its neighbors to believe that it has superior firepower.

  40. beerBoy, except that we know, at least from the news article referenced by the letter writer at the top of this thread, that President Obama is not seeking to justify any military action against Iran at this point. From that news story we are told that President Obama is attempting to build a coalition of nations to impose severe economic sanctions on Iran to finally abandon any nuclear weaponization programs. Right?

    Bandito, That’s the same kind of thing Saddam tried when he ran Iraq, right? And our president is doing what he can to convince Iran’s neighbors that Iran will NOT have nuclear weapons. And he’s trying to do that without starting a new war, right?

  41. alindasue says:

    beerBoy said, “ct7 – The proliferation of nuclear weapons is bad no matter who has them – India, Pakistan, Israel or maybe Iran.”

    On this, beerBoy, you and I fully agree. The same could be said about the proliferation of nuclear weapons here in the USA.

    muckibr, if you’d stand back and look at the posts again, you might find that you and beerBoy are arguing on the same side.

    You said, “We need a leader who can stand up to Iran, but not knee-jerk our country into another stupid war.”

    And beerBoy said, “However, attacking a sovereign nation to prevent them from developing this advanced method of defending itself (Just like Israel, Iran has a right to defend itself) is, at best an attempt to be the World’s cop (something W, as a candidate, wisely noted was not in our best interests) and, more likely, just another excuse for aggressive intervention by those who support a Pax Americana forged through the sword like ancient Rome’s empire.”

    The words are different, but clearly the intent is very similar.

    beerBoy, I don’t doubt that Iran has the ability to create nuclear weapons. However, like you, I’m more concerned about unmonitored and uncontrolled nuclear weapons on the black market from places like Pakistan or Russia than from Iran at this time.

  42. alindasue, you’re probably right. beerBoy and me may just be arguing the finer points of the issue from the same view.

  43. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Alindasue/BB- you both must ready a lot of Tom Clancy novels. Nice stories.

    The ‘I don’t like our own nukes’ piece was a gem. Better only the Russians had them during the Cuban missle crisis. Better Germany beat us to the bomb during WWII.

    Every time Iraq is brought up the left here is deflecting. A) who is advocating an American ground attack on Iran? B) Iranian leaders go on TV and pledge to destroy Israel and the USA. C) the nuke program is real and present (the intentions are still not proven to be weapons, but the rhetoric makes their intentions clear)

  44. alindasue says:

    concernedtacoma7,

    I have seen a few good movies based on Tom Clancy’s work, but never have actually read one of his novels. I don’t see what they have to do with my comments anyhow.

    I am a pacifist. Nuclear weapons have only one purpose: to kill as many people as possible using the least amount of resources. I don’t approve of anyone having them.

    However, I am also a realist. Once “the bomb” had been launched, it became inevitable that other countries would also try to gain control of that power. Since most of the other countries around Iran, including Israel (who in recent years has proven itself a master at overreacting retaliatory attacks), it only makes sense that Iran would develop nuclear weapons too. As long as our leaders keep a cool head, and refrain from the temptation toward more “preemptive” attacks, we should be okay.

    If you look at the situation in the Middle East, or even 9/11, the problem is not specific countries but radical splinter groups such as Al Qaeda. Those are the ones who are more likely to use such weapons if they had them. Those are also the ones most likely to get their weapons on the black market and why I consider black market groups from Pakistan or Russia (or wherever) to be a bigger danger than Iran.

  45. ct7 – I rarely read anything but non-fiction and never read Tom Clancy so, if that was a put-down I have nothing to reference it – since you thought it was a put-down I have to assume you put in your share of time reading him.

  46. ct7 – not fiction:

    Pakistan:
    Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, father of the Pakistani atomic bomb, was the key figure in a black-market ring that sold blueprints and parts for making nuclear weapons all over the world during the last few decades. It was an international “supermarket” in the words of Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the United Nation`s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
    http://www.ivarta.com/columns/OL_040229.htm

    Russia:
    Have any Russian nuclear weapons gone missing?

    There have been no confirmed reports of missing or stolen former-Soviet nuclear weapons, but there is ample evidence of a significant black market in nuclear materials. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reported more than a hundred nuclear smuggling incidents since 1993, eighteen of which involved highly enriched uranium, the key ingredient in an atomic bomb and the most dangerous product on the nuclear black market.
    Have terrorist organizations ever tried to obtain Russian nuclear weapons?

    Yes. Russian authorities say that in the past three years alone they have broken up hundreds of nuclear-material smuggling deals. In October 2001, shortly after the World Trade Center attacks, a Russian nuclear official reported having foiled two separate incidents over the previous eight months in which terrorists had “staked out” a secret weapons storage site. In the 1990s, U.S. authorities discovered several al-Qaeda plots to obtain nuclear materials, and former CIA Director George Tenet told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that Osama bin Laden had sought to “acquire or develop a nuclear device.”
    http://www.cfr.org/weapons-of-terrorism/loose-nukes/p9549#p3

  47. concernedtacoma7 says:

    I do read Clancy, not sure if meant it as an insult stating I do. Millions of others do also, and the movies/games based on his books do quite well. Nothing wrong with fiction unless you are blending it with geopolitical issues.

    “Sought”, “tried”, “staked out”.

    And these terrorist related desires are similar but not the same as a nation-state hostile to the west getting nukes. End of the day it is in our best interest for neither terrorists or Iran to get nukes or nuclear materials.

  48. alindasue says:

    concernedtacoma7 said, “End of the day it is in our best interest for neither terrorists or Iran to get nukes or nuclear materials.”

    “terrorists or Iran” or anyone else, for that matter. Would that it could be so…

  49. concernedtacoma7 says:

    No, alindasue, that would not be good. The threat of turning a country to glass is a powerful one, and needed against rogue states.

  50. Claims of evidence of a covert war against Iran being waged by the US and/or Israel:

    Iranian state television said on Saturday Tehran had evidence Washington was behind the latest assassination of one of its nuclear scientists.

    In the fifth attack of its kind in two years, a magnetic bomb was attached to the door of 32-year-old Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan’s car during the Wednesday morning rush-hour in the capital. His driver was also killed.

    The United States has denied involvement in the killing and condemned it. Israel has declined to comment.

    “We have reliable documents and evidence that this terrorist act was planned, guided and supported by the CIA,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a letter handed to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, state TV reported.

    “The documents clearly show that this terrorist act was carried out with the direct involvement of CIA-linked agents.”

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/iran-says-evidence-u-behind-scientists-killing-104805702.html

    Using bombs to kill private citizens……isn’t that what terrorists do?

  51. alindasue says:

    concernedtacoma7 said, “The threat of turning a country to glass is a powerful one, and needed against rogue states.”

    That “threat” would be a great deterrent IF nobody actually used it. Unfortunately, one country already did – twice. You may say that THAT is the deterrent, but it is also the beginning of the end of our “moral superiority” as a country. Then acts such as the preemptive war in Iraq furthered its demise…

    What truly separates the USA from the “rogue states”? Is it now nothing more than bully power? Is that why we need “the threat of turning a country to glass”…?

  52. concernedtacoma7 said, “The threat of turning a country to glass is a powerful one, and needed against rogue states.”

    The United States is never going to selectively bomb “rogue states” with nuclear weapons. That is totally unrealistic, and world leaders know that.

    If the U.S. would have launched a nuke on Baghdad it could have ended that war in minutes, instead of allowing the ground war to go on for years. But the literal nuclear fallout from a nuclear attack would have killed neighbors, friends and allies and possibly even drifted back to the U.S. to kill our own citizens.

    The only way nuclear arms will be used is through an act of pure madness in a Global Thermonuclear War that results in total destruction for everyone. MAD = Mutually Assured Destruction.

    Our leaders know that, and that’s the deterrent use of nuclear weapons.

    The fear is that Iran’s leaders don’t realize that, and if they develop a nuclear weapon they may actually believe they can selectively target their enemies with it. That is why Iran must not be allowed to develop any nuclear weapon capability.

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