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IRAN: Politicians being needlessly alarmist

Letter by Donald J. Fritz, Tacoma on March 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm with 21 Comments »
March 12, 2012 1:13 pm

Historian Barbara Tuchman observed: “Confronted with menace, or what is perceived as menace, governments will usually attempt to smash it, rarely to examine it, understand it, define it.”

And so, Israeli officials publicly urge the U.S. to launch a war on Iran to prevent its possible development of a nuclear bomb. If the U.S. will not commit itself to doing this, Israel threatens to, itself, launch an attack.

Republican candidates for president, excluding Ron Paul, have publicly expressed their individual willingness, if elected, to do as Israel is urging. Romney, in obeisance to Israel, has even promised that Jerusalem will be the first world capital that he, as president, travels to.

Demonstrating his own political cowardice, President Obama has now publicly stated that Israel has the right to do what it thinks best, and that he will back them up. Charles Krauthammer (column, 3-9) expresses doubt that Obama means what he says.

Of course, what all these politicians are saying is needlessly alarmist. For a decade, U.S. officials worried about North Korea developing the bomb, until it actually did so in 2006. Since then, North Korea has mostly been out of the headlines. Israel’s nuclear stockpile is estimated at 75 to 200 warheads. Will Iran really attack Israel as soon as it has a bomb in hand?

Leave a comment Comments → 21
  1. pantomancer says:

    Well Don, I suppose if you don’t take Iran at their word regarding their desire to wipe Israel off the map you might have a point.

    As far as N. Korea being out of the headlines… LMAO, that’s not the only headlines that have dwindled in the last 3 years.

  2. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    sooner or later we will need to shut down their nuclear desires. The longer we wait the harder it will be to do.

    Stop dithering and just do it.

  3. cargilekm says:

    How does Mr. Taxedenough plan to pay for all this military action against Iran. He won’t pay taxes for anything government wants to do. He always says to starve the beast.

  4. No one likes us-I don’t know why
    We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try
    But all around, even our old friends put us down
    Let’s drop the big one and see what happens

    We give them money-but are they grateful?
    No, they’re spiteful and they’re hateful
    They don’t respect us-so let’s surprise them
    We’ll drop the big one and pulverize them

    Asia’s crowded and Europe’s too old
    Africa is far too hot
    And Canada’s too cold
    And South America stole our name
    Let’s drop the big one
    There’ll be no one left to blame us

    We’ll save Australia
    Don’t wanna hurt no kangaroo
    We’ll build an All American amusement park there
    They got surfin’, too

    Boom goes London and boom Paris
    More room for you and more room for me
    And every city the whole world round
    Will just be another American town
    Oh, how peaceful it will be
    We’ll set everybody free
    You’ll wear a Japanese kimono babe
    And there’ll be Italian shoes for me

    They all hate us anyhow
    So let’s drop the big one now
    Let’s drop the big one now
    — Randy Newman, “Political Science”

  5. With all due respect to the historian, it’s been examined, defined and understood. It’s not rocket science. While impulsive, thoughtless military action is folly, there is sometimes only one language that is understood by aggressors and tyrants.

    Further insight re Iran’s leader is not needed. Trying to more thoroughly “understand” him is a bit like trying to understand and talk down Ted Bundy as he stormed through that house in Florida wielding a club. Sometimes it’s too late for talk.

  6. tellnolies says:

    It’s the same shrill talk as with Iraq…those who don’t learn from history…are doing the same thing expecting different results…

    Doesn’t really matter all that much if there is a D, or an R, as POTUS, when it comes to such things…

  7. bobcat1a says:

    Well sozo, when your only tool is a hammer, I guess all problems look like nails.

  8. “Further insight re Iran’s leader is not needed. Trying to more thoroughly “understand” him is a bit like trying to understand and talk down Ted Bundy as he stormed through that house in Florida wielding a club. Sometimes it’s too late for talk.”

    Maybe we should do what Ronald Reagan did – sell them arms. That sure showed ‘em, didn’t it?

  9. if you don’t take Iran at their word regarding their desire to wipe Israel off the map you might have a point.

    What word is that? If you are referring to the speech given by their President that was (deliberately?) mistranslated by an Israeli propaganda organization (MEMRI is headed by a former Isareli military intelligence officer and has sometimes been attacked for alleged distortion of Farsi and Arabic quotations for the benefit of Israeli foreign policy.) then you are choosing to cling onto a version of a sentence that is questionable at best.


  10. sozo – Israel has launched several military actions into other countries. How many has Iran launched into foreign countries? (Hint it is a number that looks like a goose egg). So just which of these countries should we not try to understand because they behave like Ted Bundy?

  11. menopaws says:

    Bt all means, let’s crank up the war machine again. Pre-emptive strikes are NOT in keeping with what this country used to stand for. When did we decide to become the “evil empire”? If Israel has a problem (and it does and it has a name- Netanyahu), then they should deal with it. If they make this choice, they should live with the consequences. But, our soldiers are truly at the end of their ropes—multiple deployments to different war zones have taken a terrible toll on our military. Covering Israel’s back in what will be a huge war with multiple countries in the Middle East, based on a threat, is just ridiculous. Yep, Iran wants to wipe out Israel—doesn’t mean they can or they will……Let’s work to distinguish words from deeds before we commit more lives……I am fed up with “Bibi” and he barely won his last election in Israel…….I also don’t care for ANY foreign leader injecting himself into our politics……Beware of that kind of “friendship”

  12. Please tell me, bBoy, why the world agrees that Iran must be stopped.

  13. why the world agrees

    Your world doesn’t include Russia or China and seems to focus only upon the politicians in charge and not the people.

    You might want to explain why an EU poll named Israel the biggest threat to world peace…

    I’ll provide a link that provides a pro-Israeli slant to the poll to help you

  14. pantomancer says:

    Funny, France had an economic interest in Iraq, similar to Russia and China with Iran.

  15. Normally pretty moderately conservative, I don’t think we need to put boots on the ground in any more countries. While I agree in the war in Afghanistan and Iraq as a means to attract the world’s Jihadists there instead of here, I think enough is enough. Our soldiers have had enough. Our budget has had enough. Islam has had enough.

    The writing is on the wall in places like Iran. The youth there are clearly stifled and it has been my experience that you can only keep the lid on the can for so long. If we use things like diplomacy and good old fashion human intelligence (espionage), I believe, in time, the more radical, sharia leaning countries will collapse. With the internet showing an alternative to the oppressive ways of Islam, I think the leaning tower is beginning to go. Military intervention would be impatient, expensive and only alter the course that seems to be happening as we speak. We need to back off the whole region and let freedom seep into the subconscious of the poor and oppressed.

    Israel has a right to defend itself and they can certainly do it with bombs and aircraft made here in America. I’m fine with that. I fully support Israeli defense practices although I think the time has come to do it from our living rooms. They’re pretty tough and I fully understand their fear of Iran having nuclear weapons. Would Iran throw one at Israel? Hmm. Maybe. Kind of a risk and one I sure hope Israel takes care of with their skilled military and state of the art weaponry. But I think we can do plenty to help without sending more of our sons and daughters to an ugly country. Let’s invade Monaco. Someplace nice with nice beaches and Sangria.

  16. Surely you are not blind to the anti-semitism alive and well in Europe?

  17. Anti-semitism as a catch-all excuse for legitimate criticism Israel undermines legitimate attempts to combat actual anti-semitism.

  18. pantomancer says:

    … much like the racism catch-all. Good point.

  19. That is why I only point out the most obvious cases of racism.

  20. “Surely you are not blind to the anti-semitism alive and well in Europe”

    What do allegations of anti-semitism in Europe have to do with US foreign policy toward Iran?

  21. pantomancer says:

    Of course ;)

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