Tuesday, November 21, 2006

the great religious debate

haaretz:
"The United States lacks sufficient intelligence on Iran's nuclear facilities at this time, which prevents it from initiating a military strike against them, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told European politicians and diplomats with whom she has recently met.

Rice mentioned three reasons why the United States is currently unable to carry out a military operation against Iran: the wish to solve the crisis through peaceful means; concern that a military strike will be ineffective - that it would fail to completely destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities; and the lack of precise intelligence on the targets' locations.

U.S. President George W. Bush and President Jacques Chirac of France met several weeks ago. Bush told his French counterpart that the possibility that Israel would carry out a strike against Iran's nuclear installations should not be ruled out.

Bush also said that if such an attack were to take place, he would understand it.
[]
According to the French official, such a strike would at best delay the completion of Iran's nuclear program by two years.

The attack would also result in Iran cancelling its membership in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, cause a great deal of agitation in the Arab world, lead to a rise in oil prices, and could result in a major Iranian military response that would not target Israel alone."

* drum:
"Conventional wisdom tacitly assumes that the worst that can happen in Iraq is a continuation of the current low-level civil war, resulting in the loss of thousands of Iraqi lives and dozens of U.S. soldiers each month. But as bad as that is, it's worth keeping in mind that the American occupation has actually made the Iraqi situation worse every single year since it began, and will probably continue to make things worse as long as we're there. And the worse the violence, the worse the Iraqi theocracy that eventually takes root in its wake is likely to be.

But that's not all. The dynamics of violence are nonlinear in the extreme, and the odds of an Archduke Ferdinand moment continue to rise inexorably as our occupation continues to make things ever worse and ever more unstable. A year from now, we could end up in the middle of a full-blown civil war costing a thousand American lives a month. We could end up taking sides in a shooting war against Turkey, a NATO ally. We could end up fighting off an armed invasion from Iran. We could end up on the receiving of an oil embargo led by Saudi Arabia. Who knows?"

* someone's preznit speaks:
"A whole society is a society which welcomes basic freedoms, and there's no more basic freedom than the basic -- the freedom to worship as you see fit."

* Larisa has new digs. her first post is about Sy Hersh's latest - larisa adds:
"The question is obviously not answered completely by anyone with whom Hersh spoke, but the implication of a Sec-Def Gates as independent of the Vice Presidency is once again blown to shreds.

Obviously the nexus of strange findings in Iran (such as the Plutonium recently mentioned), and reports about trumping up Iran's threat (such as the Congo Uranium purchase), as well as the creation of the Iranian Directorate, among many other factors, would suggest that the United States is spending a whole lot of time preparing for something. The question is what?'

* atrios enters the great religious debate:
"So, yes, lots of religious people believe that they've found the one true path to eternal salvation and everyone who doesn't share that view is going to hell forever. This might seem like a rather abhorrent and morally vacuous view of the universe, but it isn't a fringe view. Lots of people believe it. According to this poll, 24% of Americans who believe in the existence of Heaven think that only Christians can get to Heaven."

* tas has left the building.

12 comments:

oldschool said...

Rice mentioned three reasons why the United States is currently unable to carry out a military operation against Iran: the wish to solve the crisis through peaceful means; concern that a military strike will be ineffective - that it would fail to completely destroy iran's nuclear capabilities; and the lack of precise intelligence on the targets' locations.

Well hell, if she's gonna get all nit-picky...

Just goes to show you can't leave war-startin' to a woman.

oldschool said...

And in other news, the list of persons once again licensed to practice law in the State of Indiana grew by one today.

lukery said...

yayyyyyyyyyyyy!

congratulations my friend - i can't begin to tell you how happy i am :-)

*clink*

oldschool said...

thanks Luke - really.

and already - I'm booked to be in court first thing in the morning - ya believe that?

the whole thing got strung out - they kept moving the goal posts - now I've got shit backed up. Not a lot, but some. It's a start.

And away we go!

lukery said...

wow. that's great news o/s.

early to bed for you.

soft landings & happy endings.

(and please drop by tomorrow and let us know how it went and how it felt)

LeeB said...

Yay, OldSchool!!!

Nothing like having to be back at it with no time to think. Sounds like what my H/S band director called being like the Army . . . hurry up and wait.

Congratulations! :-) !!!

rimone said...

yay oldschool! best of luck to you.

oldschool said...

OK - back from court. Report:

1. I looked good.

2. New shoes - holyfuckinhell those hurt.

3. Hardly anybody knew who I was (but see #1 above).

4. Hearing was just an initial for a coupla C Felony Burglaries and D Felony Theft. Nothin' to it - ya just listen to the judge explain to the client what he's charged with and the range of possible penalties. I stayed awake the whole time - honest.

5. New shoes - still hurting.

6. Then the judge asked how the defendant pleads - I jump up "Your Honor, at this time we'd enter a plea of Not Guilty". Snap! Brilliant! I've still got it! I'm pretty sure that at that moment a hush fell over the entire court room at the sheer brilliance of my remark.

ok, so there was nothing to it at all - felt real good getting back in - seeing a few people I still knew - this may work out after all. First pay the rent, then save the world is gonna have to be my motto for a while.

steven andresen said...

About this,

"Rice mentioned three reasons why the United States is currently unable to carry out a military operation against Iran: the wish to solve the crisis through peaceful means; concern that a military strike will be ineffective - that it would fail to completely destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities; and the lack of precise intelligence on the targets' locations."

I wonder if any of these reasons are really true, and whether they actually do prevent the Bush administration from attacking Iran.

I thought we could be pretty sure that neither Bush nor any of his main staff want to deal diplomatically with Iran. They don't spend time doing anything that would get the Iranians to talk at a table. There's no cordiality in their dispute.

I thought the Bush administration theorists if not the U.S. military thought that the only way to destroy Iran's nuclear infrastructure was by using nuclear weapons, between 300 and 1,000 of them, targeted to the Iranian deep underground facilities. So, they had thought about the means to destroy the problematic sites.

But also, I thought Hersch spoke about there being teams of American agents scouring the Iranian countryside scoping out the locations of these sites. Like since two years ago.

Let's say, even if the sites were only 75% destroyed, wouldn't we be able to say that Iranian production capability would be compromised? And so, couldn't any further construction of any facilities be attacked in the future?

I suspect that the U.S. military has been able to locate some if not most of where these sites would be. And I also suspect that the Bush people would have no qualms about dropping nukes on them or anything else.

So, I doubt Rice has given us the Bush administration's real thinking.

Maybe, they have no real intention of attacking Iran. I thought there was something to the argument that attacking Iran would be too economically costly, and so the economic powers in the U.S. would oppose such self-destructiveness.

I do not understand. What is the point of bluffing?

lukery said...

oldschool - thanks for the report - although it was a little unnecessary. I have friends in legal circles, and the rumour mills are already buzzing here that 1) you're BACK. 2) you looked great 3) the 'Not Guilty' thing was dynamite court-room strategy.

congratulations. (and we'll keep you to the 'save the world' thing)

lukery said...

Steve. good questions all. i don't know many answers. I think it is widely accepted that if there is a 'parallel program' that nobody knows where it is, and if the US/Israel has any good guesses, it's widely thought that they don't know where all the targets are. so that's problematic.

further, the consensus seems to be that an attack would only set back the purported nuke program by two years - so there are questions about whether new attacks every two years is wise (and also that iran would be justified in withdrawing from the NPT)

also - if i'm not mistaken, the US military appeared to have plans for both a nuclear attack, and a non-nuclear attack on iran.

So, I doubt Rice has given us the *Bush administration's* real thinking.
i totally agree - an interesting question is whether she is intentionally giving misleading statements, or if she is representing the purported views of the Baker/Scowcroft wing...

Kathleen said...

Oldschool, Congratualations and best wishes for a continuing brilliant career. Go get em.