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post #1 of 1526
Thread Starter 

I'm often paranoid and delusional.  Still it seems like there are lots of simmering conflicts on the breach of full scale war.

 

Am I the only one getting that impression?  

 

The news from and about Iran seems more heated then it's been in the past.

 

Syria is practically a civil war already.  

 

North Korea is as unpredictable as ever.

 

The CIA is practically at war with the tribal regions of Pakistan.

 

China is getting pushy about it's sea borders.

 

Argentina is getting pushy about the Falklands again.

 

etc.

 

I really want to think I'm just being paranoid.

post #2 of 1526

Syria and North Korea are a bit of a clusterfuck, as is Pakistan.

 

I wouldn't worry about Argentina.  That's just saber rattling to try and cover up an economy on the downswing.  If they couldn't beat the Brits in the 80s, they certainly can't do it now.

 

I'm also not very concerned about China.  Aside from the fact that it's a huge paper tiger (see The Closer's many posts in the economy thread about China's unstable housing market), China, historically--even when it was ascendant while the rest of the West was potato farming in the dark--has never really cared about the world outside its borders.  The mainland may want Taiwan back, but that's about it.

post #3 of 1526

Agree about China.  Pakistan is a tinderbox.  I am really hoping we get some kind of break in that region because it feel like check mate all the time.  I feel like North Korea could go either way -- it's hard to know whether Junior Kim will be better, worse or the same. 

 

But what's going on in Syria is just horrible. 

post #4 of 1526

North Korea is absolutely insane but also incredibly poor and, for all their military posturing, harmless. If they ever try shit, they're the ones who'll be hurt. Mostly the peasants, as usual.

post #5 of 1526

When Europe financially implodes and Chinas house of cards is lain bare, when America finally accepts it is not in slump but in decline, when the oil begins to run scarce and the powers of the world circle their wagons...

 

...guys, a few tinpot backyard dictators will be the least of our worries this decade.

 

Just found this, pretty appropriate article really...

 

 

 

Quote:
 
What conflict situations are most at risk of deteriorating further in 2012? When Foreign Policy asked the International Crisis Group to evaluate which manmade disasters could explode in the coming year, we put our heads together and came up with 10 crisis areas that warrant particular concern.
 
Admittedly, there is always a certain arbitrariness to lists. This one is no different. But, in part, that serves a purpose: It will, hopefully, get people talking. Why no room for Sudan -- surely a crisis of terrifying proportions? Or for Europe's forgotten conflicts -- in the North Caucasus, for example, or in Nagorno-Karabakh? You'll see also that we have not included some that are deeply troubling yet strangely under-reported, like Mexico or northern Nigeria. No room, too, for the hardy perennial standoff on the Korean Peninsula, despite the uncertainty surrounding the death of Kim Jong Il.
 
No reader should interpret their omission as meaning those situations are improving. They are not. But we did feel it is useful to highlight a few places that, to our mind, deserve no less attention. What follows is our top 10. At the end -- and just to remind ourselves that progress is possible -- we've included two countries for which we, cautiously, feel 2012 could augur well....
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 


Edited by The Rain Dog - 1/5/12 at 3:19pm
post #6 of 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post

When Europe financially implodes and Chinas house of cards is lain bare, when America finally accepts it is not in slump but in decline, when the oil begins to run scarce and the powers of the world circle their wagons...

 

...guys, a few tinpot backyard dictators will be the least of our worries this decade.

 


 



Rain Dog, take a deep breath and look at these baby bats for a little bit. 

 

UVJyL.jpg

Lgfor.jpg

 

In all seriousness, the future's not set.  We've been on the edge of apocalypse before. 

post #7 of 1526

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

post #8 of 1526

Me thinks the Rain Dog's tinfoil hat is overheating... 

 

I am fully prepared to eat my words if the world implodes. 

post #9 of 1526

There's a lot to be freaked out about.  I feel like, you can't attach to it too much or you'll drive yourself mad.  You have to just keep doing what you can, being as active and aware as you can, and hope for the best.  And cute baby bats help. 

post #10 of 1526
Thread Starter 

I've been reading the same articles as Rain Dog.

 

Something feels different about the Iranian situation this time, like it's to hawkish for a democratic president in an election year.  

 

Plus the IAEA report that Iran is for sure, working on a bomb, Iranian military and industrial sites mysteriously blowing up, the new sanctions, it's all building blocks to war stuff.

 

But!  Baby bats! Awwwww.  

 

- and yt, please tell me the kitten in your avatar was scooped up, and loved, and never went hungry again.

 

 

post #11 of 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

 

Something feels different about the Iranian situation this time, like it's to hawkish for a democratic president in an election year.  

 


I'm more worried about Israel thinking it can act with impunity while presidential candidates in the US spend this year falling over each other trying to look like Israels biggest supporter.

 

post #12 of 1526
Quote:

Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

 

- and yt, please tell me the kitten in your avatar was scooped up, and loved, and never went hungry again.

 

 


I don't know where this shot was taken but I have to believe that it was!

 

post #13 of 1526

The Israelis know they can't win a war against Iran or survive if they try an airstrike.  Iran learned from Iraq.  It's nuclear facilities are too spread out and hidden for Israel to reach them.  Plus, I don't think Israeli jets/bombers can reach Iran without refueling on the way back (Israel can't refuel midair).  I doubt we'd provide support.

 

That's why Israel will try to get the US to bomb Iran, but I don't think we're that stupid.  Even if Romney is elected president, which I doubt (I still think Obama's got this, especially if unemployment dips below 8%), the military will recommend against it.  We can't win a war against Iran without going nuclear.  What you hear is a bunch of red meat for the primaries.

 

ETA: interesting note on Obama's new defense policy-- http://www.economist.com/node/21542513


Edited by Spook - 1/5/12 at 5:01pm
post #14 of 1526
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spook View Post

 Plus, I don't think Israeli jets/bombers can reach Iran without refueling on the way back (Israel can't refuel midair). 

Yes they can, the IAF has Boeing 707 tanker aircraft.

post #15 of 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicHateBall View Post

Yes they can, the IAF has Boeing 707 tanker aircraft.



Doesn't Israel have the second most advanced military in the world thanks to their hyperpowered benefactor? I doubt there's anything US forces couldn't do techologically that they haven't shared with their Zionist pals.

post #16 of 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post



Doesn't Israel have the second most advanced military in the world thanks to their hyperpowered benefactor? I doubt there's anything US forces couldn't do techologically that they haven't shared with their Zionist pals.



I stand corrected.  I remember reading a Sy Hersh article a couple of years back about this saying that Israeli jets couldn't refuel midair.  Maybe it's because they'd be in hot pursuit the whole time, as no Arab country would let them fly over to bomb Iran?  Can't really refuel midair if Iraq or Jordan is scrambling jets to escort you out of its airspace.

 

I think Israel's problem is more of a scale issue, not a technological one.  A mission like this would be complicated for the US to pull off correctly.

 

ETA: Sy Hersh article on this issue: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/06/06/110606fa_fact_hersh and further discussion about the politics of the mission: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/11/iran-israel-atomic-bomb-netanyahu.html

post #17 of 1526

Can I ask: why is Iran getting a nuke a bad thing? Wasn't MAD what saved us all in the cold war? I think it would do certain countries some good to know that they no longer had an unlimited license to bully their neighbors, since those neighbors now would have friends of their own armed with nuclear weapons

 

 

There is too much oil money ETC in Iran for them to risk giving a bomb to terrorists, it seems to me. That sort of plot would be utterly suicidal for the nation as a whole

 

There is only one country in the world whose leaders talk openly about using the atom bomb on their enemies, and that would be Israel. The fact they have 170 nukes seems like a bigger threat to me than Iran getting one or two. In fact, I'd feel less worried about Israel's WMD stockpiles if I knew that they'd no longer be able to threaten nuclear holocaust without having to worry about the favor getting returned

post #18 of 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess Kate View Post

Can I ask: why is Iran getting a nuke a bad thing? Wasn't MAD what saved us all in the cold war? I think it would do certain countries some good to know that they no longer had an unlimited license to bully their neighbors, since those neighbors now would have friends of their own armed with nuclear weapons

 

 

There is too much oil money ETC in Iran for them to risk giving a bomb to terrorists, it seems to me. That sort of plot would be utterly suicidal for the nation as a whole



MAD worked because, in theory, all actors with nukes were rational actors.  Mutually assured destruction cows rational actors into forgoing the use of nuclear weapons against other actors with nuclear weapons.  In fact, it's supposed to cow rational actors into not attacking other actors with nuclear weapons at all, for fear of escalating a spat into a full blown nuclear war.

 

The thinking goes that Iran isn't a rational actor (Islamic theocracy, etc.), and thus wouldn't be constrained by MAD.  Others believe that acquiring a nuclear weapon makes the regime more rational, since nuclear reprisal is now in the cards.  Pakistan and North Korea, however, haven't been moderated in the least since acquiring nuclear weapons.

 

The bigger issue is proliferation.  We want to rid the world of nukes, not have every country armed with them.  Even assuming Iran would "behave" better if it had a nuclear weapon, there's no assurance that Iran's command and control systems are sufficiently secure to prevent accidental or unauthorized launches or the loss of a weapon to a non-state actor like Al Qaeda (for the sake of example.  If anything, the nuke would be given to Hezbollah, the shia group).

 

That's the root of the problem.  There's also the Republican fear of brown people with technology, but let's put that aside.

post #19 of 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess Kate View Post


There is only one country in the world whose leaders talk openly about using the atom bomb on their enemies, and that would be Israel. The fact they have 170 nukes seems like a bigger threat to me than Iran getting one or two. In fact, I'd feel less worried about Israel's WMD stockpiles if I knew that they'd no longer be able to threaten nuclear holocaust without having to worry about the favor getting returned



Israel is a "rational actor," for what it's worth (again, according to traditional International Relations theory).  Plus, the US has enough pull with Israel to prevent a nuclear launch.  Israel almost launched nukes during the Yom Kippur War, but Kissinger was able to talk them out of it (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/06/opinion/the-last-nuclear-moment.html)

 

Israel's nuclear deterrent policy:

 

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

post #20 of 1526


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spook View Post





MAD worked because, in theory, all actors with nukes were rational actors.  Mutually assured destruction cows rational actors into forgoing the use of nuclear weapons against other actors with nuclear weapons.  In fact, it's supposed to cow rational actors into not attacking other actors with nuclear weapons at all, for fear of escalating a spat into a full blown nuclear war.

 

The thinking goes that Iran isn't a rational actor, and thus wouldn't be constrained by MAD.  Others believe that acquiring a nuclear weapon makes the regime more rational, since nuclear reprisal is now in the cards.  Pakistan and North Korea, however, haven't been moderated in the least since acquiring nuclear weapons.

 

The bigger issue is proliferation.  We want to rid the world of nukes, not have every country armed with them.  Even assuming Iran would "behave" better if it had a nuclear weapon, there's no assurance that Iran's command and control systems are sufficiently secure to prevent accidental or unauthorized launches or the loss of a weapon to a non-state actor like Al Qaeda (for the sake of example.  If anything, the nuke would be given to Hezbollah, the shia group).

 

That's the root of the problem.  There's also the Republican fear of brown people with technology, but let's put that aside.



Pakistan and North Korea are really just entirely different situations. Not all countries fit in the same box. Noth Korea doesn't act rationally because they're crazy poor and lead by a person who was literally crazy

 

Pakistan has that whole Pakistan/India Muslim hindu history, and is also poor

 

Iran is well off, not very ethnically diverse, and generally, though there is a desire for change coming from the young, isn't in danger of all out tribal civil war like in Pakistan

 

I agree we should be trying to get rid of nukes, however, is it wothk it to pursue that goal above all else if it means backing Israel - yet again - on their quest to be an unopposed apartheid power, to the extent we would go into an unnecessary war? Because I do believe Iran would act rationally with a nuke, and for a time it would probably cause Israel to act more diplomatically, perhaps giving peace a legitimate chance to spring up

 

 

Then, when things cooled back down, we could get Israel to admit its nuke ownership in the light of day, and get everyone to disarm

 

 

Because once peak oil hits, as rain dog talks about, and the wars over water and oil and food begin, I wouldn't want Israel with their oodles of nukes to be unconcerned about nuclear retaliation were they to use them against their enemies

post #21 of 1526


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spook View Post





Israel is a "rational actor," for what it's worth (again, according to traditional International Relations theory).  Plus, the US has enough pull with Israel to prevent a nuclear launch.  Israel almost launched nukes during the Yom Kippur War, but Kissinger was able to talk them out of it (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/06/opinion/the-last-nuclear-moment.html)

 

Israel's nuclear deterrent policy:

 

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


Wow that does not at all sound rational to me. That sounds terrifying

 

And now we have an Israel that openly disrespects the president of the united states, claiming he is a Jew hater, straight out. Top members of Israel's government have said this. Netanyahu's brother made such statements to the press

 

They show America contempt at envy turn

 

I have no faith they'd listen to us, nor have I been given any reason to think otherwise given their recent actions with settlements, etc etc etc

 

 

post #22 of 1526


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spook View Post





Israel is a "rational actor," for what it's worth (again, according to traditional International Relations theory).  Plus, the US has enough pull with Israel to prevent a nuclear launch.  Israel almost launched nukes during the Yom Kippur War, but Kissinger was able to talk them out of it (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/06/opinion/the-last-nuclear-moment.html)

 

Israel's nuclear deterrent policy:

 

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


Wow that does not at all sound rational to me. That sounds terrifying

 

And now we have an Israel that openly disrespects the president of the united states, claiming he is a Jew hater, straight out. Top members of Israel's government have said this. Netanyahu's brother made such statements to the press

 

They show America contempt at envy turn

 

I have no faith they'd listen us, nor have I been given any reason to think otherwise given their recent actions with settlements, etc etc etc

 

 

post #23 of 1526

All I'm trying to explain is traditional IR theory with respect to MAD and why a nuclear Iran is "bad" while a nuclear Israel is "acceptable" (which I think was the tenor of your question).  I agree that it's a terrible double standard, but I think that you give Iran entirely too much credit and Israel too little.

post #24 of 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spook View Post

All I'm trying to explain is traditional IR theory with respect to MAD and why a nuclear Iran is "bad" while a nuclear Israel is "acceptable" (which I think was the tenor of your question).  I agree that it's a terrible double standard, but I think that you give Iran entirely too much credit and Israel too little.



 

Fair enough, I respect your answer, and we can agree to disagree about Israel and Iran acting rationally. I think if you consider Israel's constant war mongering towards Iran, and the fact that Israel has so many nuclear bombs that they won't even confirm exist, Iran's desire to protect itself makes perfect sense

post #25 of 1526

Christ Kate, is there any topic you don't have a definite, unwavering opinion on?

post #26 of 1526


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post

Christ Kate, is there any topic you don't have a definite, unwavering opinion on?



1) yes, I frequently state that I don't have enough info to make up my mind on a given topic

 

2) you're bothered I have an unwavering opinion on this issue in particular?

 

post #27 of 1526

I've just never seen your mind changed on any topic by anyone. When you make your mind up, it's made up apparently. When you're proven demonstrably incorrect you retreat to "lets agree to disagree".

 

I'm just saying if you put down the sword and the shield once in a while you might grow as a person, or something.

 

Eh, you're a big girl, you'll work it out..

post #28 of 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess Kate View Post



 

Fair enough, I respect your answer, and we can agree to disagree about Israel and Iran acting rationally. I think if you consider Israel's constant war mongering towards Iran, and the fact that Israel has so many nuclear bombs that they won't even confirm exist, Iran's desire to protect itself makes perfect sense



Because Iran hasn't repeatedly denied Israel's right to exist?  Give me a break.  Whether or not the founding of Israel is legitimate is beyond the point.  Israelis live there now.  Say what you will about their policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians, we won't live in a world where Israel will be wiped clean off the map.  It's not fair, rational, or realistic.  We have the map we have.

 

Iran isn't guiltless in this.  Israel has the right to be concerned, given the people who run Iran and their expressed and avowed desire to push Israel into the Mediterranean Sea.

 

Sorry to derail folks.

post #29 of 1526

It's not a derail Spook, you make a good point.

post #30 of 1526

The thing that a lot of people forget about Iran + atomic weaponry is that we don't even know if they will succeed in constructing one within the foreseeable future.  Keep in mind that the US is the only nation to build a nuclear weapon from scratch.  Other countries either stole the technology (Russia, Israel) or had it given to them (Britain).  Seems like every year since 2005 Iran has "been within 12 months of completing an atomic weapon."  I may be wrong, but while I see countries like Russia and North Korean supporting Iran in various military endeavors, I don't see them outright providing blueprints on how to build a nuke.

 

If that was the case they probably would have completed a few by now.

post #31 of 1526

I don't think they're even trying, frankly.  That's what they say when anyone asks.  It would be suicide vis a vis the US. 

post #32 of 1526
Thread Starter 

It's not baby bats in blankets, but this news item is pretty reassuring:

 

US Navy rescues Iranian Fishermen from Pirates

post #33 of 1526

In American foreign policy, Iranians > Pirates. Good to know. 

post #34 of 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

It's not baby bats in blankets, but this news item is pretty reassuring:

 

US Navy rescues Iranian Fishermen from Pirates


More evidence that Obama is a secret Muslim hell bent on having the US government bow to Tehran, obviously the source of all Muslim evil.  Reagan would have drowned that fisherman with his bare hands in praise of baby Jesus.

 

post #35 of 1526
Thread Starter 
post #36 of 1526

That's how President Keaton rolls, man.

post #37 of 1526

This should give Ran Dog and Mr BananaGrabber some perspective!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DX4nsobHW8

post #38 of 1526
Thread Starter 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post
 

This should give Ran Dog and Mr BananaGrabber some perspective!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DX4nsobHW8

 

 

 


Did the Parallax Corporation just tell me to assassinate a presidential candidate?

 

French reporter killed in Syria:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16516135

 

Both sides blaming the other.

 

post #39 of 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

 


Did the Parallax Corporation just tell me to assassinate a presidential candidate?

 


 

I have the strangest urge to assassinate the Prime Minister Of Malaysia.

 

zoolander.jpg

post #40 of 1526
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post


 

I have the strangest urge to assassinate the Prime Minister Of Malaysia.

 

zoolander.jpg



No!  Don't kill the Micronesian dude!

 

New war, same as the old war: (Armenia vs. Azerbaijan) http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-16/azerbaijan-amassing-arms-for-possible-karabakh-war-aliyev-says.html

post #41 of 1526

http://rt.com/news/iran-close-strait-hormuz-embargo-455/

 

A small part of me kind of hopes this happens.  As Ive mentioned on this forum once or twice in the past, realistically it will take something like this for us to get up off of our asses, combine military and civilian resources, and come up with a viable energy alternative.

 

The way exists, we just need the will.  $200/oil would probably nudge us in the right direction.

post #42 of 1526
Thread Starter 

Now globalsecurity.org is down.  This is not helping my paranoia!

 

Some better confirmation would be good though, RIA Novosti predicts ware with Iran every other day.

 

 

post #43 of 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Closer View Post

http://rt.com/news/iran-close-strait-hormuz-embargo-455/

 

A small part of me kind of hopes this happens.  


 I do deeply agree that we need to get off our asses and solve our energy problems but this conflict needs to be avoided at all costs. One of the many shitty outcomes if Iran takes this action would be that  the hit to our economy could probably gurantee we end up with a President Ginrich or President Romney.
 

 

post #44 of 1526
Thread Starter 

This cheery missive popped up on Bloomberg:

 

How Iran may Trigger Accidental Armageddon.

post #45 of 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

This cheery missive popped up on Bloomberg:

 

How Iran may Trigger Accidental Armageddon.


I would take any opinion that Jeffery Goldberg offers up with a grain of salt seeing as he was quite the cheerleader for the invasion of Iraq.

Quote:

<excerpt>

Except unlike Miller, who was forced to leave the New York Times over what she didand the NYT itself, which at least acknowledged some of the shoddy pro-war propaganda it churned out, Goldberg has never acknowledged his journalistic errors, expressed remorse for them, or paid any price at all.  To the contrary, as is true for most Iraq war propagandists, he thrived despite as a result of his sorry record in service of the war.  In 2007, David Bradley — the owner of The Atlantic and (in his own words) formerly “a neocon guy” who was “dead certain about the rightness” of invading Iraq  — lavished Goldberg with money and gifts, including ponies for Goldberg’s children, in order to lure him away from The New Yorker, where he had churned out most of his pre-war trash.

 

http://www.salon.com/2010/06/27/goldberg_7/

 

post #46 of 1526
Thread Starter 

If I'm pro-war I get a pony?  I'm a republican now, see you guys later!

post #47 of 1526
Thread Starter 

Heard this cheery story on NPR today:

 

http://www.npr.org/2012/01/30/146093304/op-ed-israel-will-attack-iran-in-2012

 

Syria continues to dissolve too:

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/01/2012130144932250974.html

 

 

 

Quote:
Syrian National Council rejects Moscow-brokered talks, saying president must first stand down, as fighting continues.

 

post #48 of 1526
Thread Starter 

Oh look!  More war propaganda:

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/iran-is-prepared-to-launch-terrorist-attacks-in-us-intelligence-report-finds/2012/01/30/gIQACwGweQ_story.html

 

Caveat: Its WaPo, and they'll run anything that includes "Iran" and "Attack"

post #49 of 1526
Thread Starter 
post #50 of 1526
Thread Starter 

Israeli consulate cars bombed in Georgia and India, Iran blamed:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17013987

 

The Syrian uprising is sparking violence in Lebanon:

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/02/2012211233556510327.html

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