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Why Attacking Iran Makes No Sense

from Andrew Sullivan:

Instead of answering their extremism with our own belligerence, it seems to me we need to leverage the mullahs' fanaticism against them. A bombing attack on a soveriegn nation would do more to poison the younger generation's view of us than anything Ahmadinejad can say. One day soon, that generation will have a huge influence on the Middle East. It's time we realized that. Cheney is a one-man threat to exploiting that central strategic advantage.

I really wonder why Dick Cheney loves war so much. It's easy to say it's just because he ran Halliburton and will be very rich from these wars when he leaves public office. But this seems like more. He's never come across like he's trying to trigger Armageddon like the religous fanatics. Maybe it's just the worst case of sexual repression in history...

The simple fact is that it's our threatening behavior that gives the mullahs political credibility in spite of the fact everything's falling apart over there. If we would just shut up, the people would soon toss those maniacs out of office on their own.


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Comments (8)

ke_future:

normally, i don't like to use WW2 examples in political discussions because some ignorant ass usually compares bush to hitler, but...

i'm sure there are people who made the same arguement you do but used them to describe the situation in pre WW2 Germany or post WW1 Russia. ignoring threats, or not treating them seriously can be worse than actually standing up to them.

to blithely assume that the iranian people would just revolt against their leaders is not something i would bet upon with their leadership aggressively pursuing nuclear technology.

Paul Hamilton:

I just wish we hadn't thrown away our international respect and credibility with the whole Iraq mess. The world agrees that Iran is a threat but now, nobody wants anything to do with us and I believe that the only way Iran will got to the bargaining table will be at some other nation's behest.

ke_future:

i think you over estimate how much respect we had with either the people of the middle east or the political class in europe prior to invading iraq.

i think if you were to go back and look at interviews and speeches from the early 90's on (starting when it was apparent that the US had truely won the cold war) you would see that most of the leading "intellectuals" were even then saying bad things about the US.

and when did the middle east ever have anything good to say about the US.

in regards to iran, russia and china consider them a customer and a useful proxy against our interests. china is only marginally interested in helping with N Korea, and Kim is an unstable leader with his finger on a nuclear bomb.

and western europe has been rather pacifistic since WW1, with the notable sometime exception of the UK. the rest of western europe have never shown themselves willing to stand up to the bad guys.

if you look at how the US, and especially bush, are viewed in eastern europe, you only have to look at how he was greeted on his recent trip. he literally was greeted with cheering crowds and standing ovations. did you happen to read bush's speech to the summit of dissidents while he was in europe?

as far as credibility? as far as i know about 75% of the world leaders thought that iraq, under hussein, was a threat and was trying to get nuclear and biological weapons. hell, hussein even had his own people convinced.

the only reason we've "lost respect" is because the media and political left elites has told us we have.

one thing to remember is that diplomacy only works if you have something that the other guy wants, and you're willing to give it up. what are you willing to give up for peace with the muslim extremists in the middle east?

"...the people would soon toss those maniacs out of office on their own."

It didn't work after the first Gulf War in Iraq. With the extreme repression these people are under, it's unlikely that they'll ever have any success in that regard without some kind of help. Of course we always have the option to sit back and wait for their economy to collapse and let untold numbers starve and die in the interim.

"It's easy to say it's just because he ran Halliburton and will be very rich from these wars when he leaves public office."

Sure, it's easy to say. Far easier to chalk it up to sexual repression though, eh? It would also be untrue. Any capital gains he gets after taxes from stocks is already committed to charity. But then we had this duscussion on Wizbang last week.

ke_future is right with this:

"i think you over estimate how much respect we had with either the people of the middle east or the political class in europe prior to invading iraq."

Heralder:
"i think you over estimate how much respect we had with either the people of the middle east or the political class in europe prior to invading iraq."

I've brought up that point with you before, Paul, and you seemed to halfway concede at the time.

Paul Hamilton:

KE, we lost respect because we didn't treat other nations with respect. It's definitely a two-way street and when Bush came in with his bully tactics, it's not surprising that other nations reacted the way they did.

Compare that to how Bush Sr got a coalition from nations world-wide to fight Saddam in 1991...

Initially there were more countries involved in this war than the first Gulf War, Paul. Your comparison is off the mark. Four years later there are still 23. If you want to quibble over the extent of their involvement, then go ahead. But your facts are wrong. If you're relying solely on the fact that the UN body itself, comprised of two vetoing nations, didn't give its express approval, then say so. That France was never involved has nothing to do with whether or not they respected us. Chirac and Saddam were great buddies. It's no surprise they abstained. There was also already no love lost between Shroeder and the US. So are we really surprised that Germany abstained?

Considering our subsequent discovery of how deep either were into Saddam's pockets through the OFF, do we really need to get into the issue of "respect" and whether it is deserved?

And with the constant and never ending media campaign to give lopsided coverage, are we at all surprised at anyone's reations or feelings?

Respect from the Middle East though? When has THAT ever happened?

"...and I believe that the only way Iran will got to the bargaining table will be at some other nation's behest."

Um, that's been tried too. Europe got nowhere with them.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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