It’s just a rumor that was spread around town

The public doesn’t want to bomb bomb Iran and even the liberal AIPAC gave Obama an standing ovation. So Obama’s right to call the Republicans’ bluff:

“This is not a game,” Mr. Obama said during a news conference at the White House timed to coincide with Super Tuesday voting in the Republican primaries in a number of crucial states. Mr. Obama gave a staunch defense of his administration’s actions to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions and said tough sanctions put in place by the United States and Europe were starting to work and were part of the reason Iran had returned to the negotiation table.

“The one thing we have not done is we have not launched a war,” Mr. Obama said. “If some of these folks think we should launch a war, let them say so, and explain to the American people.”

I’d call these idiots war-mongers but in a way that’s giving them too much credit: they’re not even trying to affect policy. Tebow gave them a rumored nuclear program, they’re just trying to make rumored-nuclear-programade. I have to admit that George Will put it best:

They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.






126 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    Perhaps we could send Rush Limbaugh to Iran? He’d fit right in there, the conservatives would be afraid to start that particular war, and the airwaves here would be oh so much nicer.

    Win win win.

  2. 2
    jp7505a says:

    Maybe Mit and Rick would like to invest one or two of their kids or ride the lead aircraft in the glorious new war!!!

  3. 3
    David Koch says:

    This only proves Obama is a monster.

    We should have listened to our progressive betters and dumped Barry for Ron Paul.

  4. 4
    Mark S. says:

    One idiotic idea at a time. They’re still busy trying to repeal the sexual revolution.

    GOP = ideas factory

  5. 5
    Gian says:

    I was push polled on bomb iran for israel last week. 20-30 minutes. Three times they asked about bombing iran… same question each time. Said no do not support it each time. When i say push poll they ask the bomb iran question. Then a bunch of loaded questions about Iranian rhetoric and then reask the bomb iran question… somebody paid good money for a rather long phone call

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jp7505a:

    Fat chance that will ever happen.

    OvenMitt’s spawn are all cowardly shits, just like him.

  7. 7
    David W says:

    C’mon, the Republicans aren’t afraid to wage a war on women. That takes real guts. Or stupidity. Preferably both.

  8. 8
    capt says:

    They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.

    Best line of the day. Sadly it goes to George Will but it is true none the less.

  9. 9
    Loneoak says:

    They hate us for our freedoms.

    No, not Iranians. The GOP.

  10. 10
    Rick Taylor says:

    I haven’t been happy with the sanctions we’ve organized against Iran. But it was gratifying to hear Obama call Republicans out on their saber rattling.

  11. 11
    jefft452 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    “Send for the boys of the old Brigade
    to keep old England free

    send for me brother,
    my sister or my mother

    But for God’s sake
    dont send me!”

  12. 12

    @David Koch: That’s just hyperbole.

    No, wait, it isn’t.

  13. 13
    David Koch says:

    To be serious for a second,

    Watch the entire press conference.

    It was a tour de force.

    It was like watching video of Ted Williams taking batting practice.

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    @dmsilev:

    “Bunker-Buster-Rushbo” Day-umn, I like the sound of that!

    He’d fer sure penetrate, perhaps for the first time in his life. [rimshot]

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    This is why I’m not too worried that Obama is going to green-light an invasion of Iran — everything I’ve seen from every level of the administration, from Obama to Clinton to every general who’s made a public statement, has been that there is not going to be a rush to war.

    Remember, at this point in the rush into Iraq, you had VP Cheney talking about how the story he’d fed to the NY Times proved that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and Condi Rice talking about “mushroom clouds.” Colin Powell got up in front of the UN with fake pictures to try and stampede them into approving the invasion. There’s been nothing even vaguely analogous coming from the Obama administration — every word from them has been slow down, take it easy, let the sanctions work.

    Now, if Romney or Santorum gets elected, all bets are off. Just another data point to help any wavering firebaggers decide which way they’re going to vote in November.

  16. 16

    “If some of these folks think we should launch a war, let them say so, and explain to the American people.”

    Go Barack! Throw that shit right back in the laps of the people who are churning it out.

    I think most everyone fails to appreciate that Obama and the military are fighting like hell against some very, very powerful forces – political and 100% of the media – that want to see this country dragged into a war that would absolutely destroy this nation.

  17. 17
    PeakVT says:

    Imminent Iran nuclear threat? A timeline of warnings since 1979.

    1992: Israeli parliamentarian Benjamin Netanyahu tells his colleagues that Iran is 3 to 5 years from being able to produce a nuclear weapon – and that the threat had to be “uprooted by an international front headed by the US.”

  18. 18
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    Netanyahoo knows full well Israel doesn’t possess the conventional weaponry to put a dent in Iran’s nuke program, and is at least smart enough not to try, I think, so Obama should be in the drivers seat for any action, that will be on our schedule and not Israel’s.

    I do wish we had another ISraeli PM though, that we could fully trust to not go crazy and start WW3 for no other reason than he is a neo con and connected at the hip with the likes of Bloody Bill Kystol and his chickenhawk posse.

  19. 19
    gbear says:

    @David Koch:
    All these videos that must be seen today! …on the first 50+ degree day we’ve had in months. Decisions, decisions…

  20. 20
    jp7505a says:

    However, just to keep the troops in shape Jennifer Rubin is pushing war in syria. And so is John Mccain. (sigh)

  21. 21
    jp7505a says:

    However, just to keep the troops in shape Jennifer Rubin is pushing war in syria. And so is John Mccain. (sigh)

  22. 22
    Scott says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Man, some of those guys are fucking crazy. Rooting for Ronpaul, despite all his rabidly Republican positions, just because he says he’ll end the drug war? Even though he’d have zero support in Congress for getting that change made? That’s not just stupid, that’s PUMA-stupid.

  23. 23
    schrodinger's cat says:

    DougJ@top
    OT: Bobo has a column in this morning’s NYT about the Burkean modesty of Wilson, just as you had predicted. Did you see it?

  24. 24

    @Scott:

    “God save me from my friends. I can protect myself from my enemies.”
    Claude Louis Hector de Villars, Prince de Martigues, Marquis and Duc de Villars and Vicomte de Melun, Marshall General of France

  25. 25
    Suffern ACE says:

    It sure looks like Obama’s mission in life is to get through everything that the Bush Administration failed to.

    With the virtual elimination of Habeus Corpus and the introduction of a new star chamber, we have only regressed five hundred years in the last three, just imagine what four more might bring; and this under the aegis of supposed Democrats

    Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Three years of right wingers shouting that I’m living in 1930s Germany, three years of the left shouting that I’m living in 1980s Guatamala. I’m beginning to think everyone else has moved.

  26. 26
    Frank says:

    Since Iraq was such a debacle, why does anyone think Iran would be any easier? Iraq cost $1 trillion bucks. Where are we going to find the money?

    This time I suggest that only those people who are in favor of the war are required to pay for the damned thing. Heck, they should also be required to fight it themselves.

  27. 27
    dedc79 says:

    F’ing George Will. I had recently decided to completely ignore everything he writes, and was feeling good about the decision, and then he went and came out with a great line like that.

  28. 28
    slightly-peeved says:

    @1: I’m not familiar with Iranian culture, but I would imagine that if Rush said similar things about an Iranian woman, the relatives of that woman may well be interested in settling it with Rush personally. So yeah, send him over.

  29. 29
    CT Voter says:

    Rush is the only one who can do any actual damage to those clowns. They can advocate that we bomb the crap out of Iran and invade the rest of the world. They won’t actually be doing any of that, and can sit back on their considerable asses while other people die.

    Rush Limbaugh, though, could cause others to be mean to them.

  30. 30
    eric says:

    @David Koch: He is like the old Cus D’Amato Mike Tyson….when everyone talked about how tough they were and then they got in the ring with him and realized he really does hit harder than everyone else. The GOP talks smack that “Barry” is weak because they know that their supports eat that up; but, the truth is, he is bad man; a very bad man. And, he does better under pressure than just about anyone else I have ever seen, perhaps even Bill Clinton. People forget how good he is because they see fleeting glimpses on the news and hear the GOP smack talk, but when the debates come around, he is gonna smack Romney around. If Romney had made the comment about Iran needing Syria as an outlet to the sea, their so-called “Barry” would have knocked him the fuck out.

  31. 31
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This is why I’m not too worried that Obama is going to green-light an invasion of Iran—everything I’ve seen from every level of the administration, from Obama to Clinton to every general who’s made a public statement, has been that there is not going to be a rush to war.

    I think there is some concern that Israel might unilaterally attack Iran, and attempt to drag the US into it. Any perceived hesitation or reluctance would presumably be exploited by the Republicans.

    This kind of shit would be not only risky, but extremely stupid. But these are crazy times.

    @Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity:

    I think most everyone fails to appreciate that Obama and the military are fighting like hell against some very, very powerful forces,political and 100% of the media, that want to see this country dragged into a war that would absolutely destroy this nation.

    I think the nation would endure, but it would be a hell of a mess, with much pointless misery brought about by bellicose idiots.

  32. 32
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Frank: It’s not supposed to be any easier. It’s supposed to be hard! Americans do things that are hard! It’s why we’re exceptional! The good ones “don’t whine”! You don’t recognize our power! Its not for nothing that we were founded on the Protestant High Self-Worth Ethic.

  33. 33
    forked tongue says:

    Elvis Costello. That is all.

  34. 34
    Culture of Truth says:

    Send in the Sluts!

  35. 35
    ExurbanMom says:

    “…soon we’ll be shipbuilding…”

    Sigh. Elvis Costello is a genius.

    And Newt Gingrich is a gasbag blowhard pseudogenius.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    les says:

    @jp7505a:

    However, just to keep the troops in shape Jennifer Rubin is pushing war in syria. And so is John Mccain. (sigh)

    ‘Cause they thought Libya was such a good idea. Oh, wait…

  38. 38
    PeakVT says:

    That’s a funny line from Will, but it was proceeded by this bit of bullshit:

    … just as the liberals unfailing fail to police the excesses on their own side …

  39. 39
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @PeakVT: To be fair to GWill, I have been most uncivil discussing his extramarital affairs, including the one with his boss’s daughter (Lally Graham Weymouth), and the one with the current Mrs Will, which IIRC was the one that led the first Mrs Will to toss his starched and pressed polka-dot bloomers out on to the well manicured lawn, in full view of the neighbors.

  40. 40
    MarkJ says:

    Boy, when George F*ing Will, a guy even I would be unafraid to kick sand in the face of if I saw him at the beach, is calling you a wimp, you’re in real trouble. Especially if you’re a GOP presidential candidate.

  41. 41
    New Yorker says:

    The Israelis by and large don’t want to bomb Iran either. No, this is just the hysterics of far-right politicians like the GOP and Netanyahu.

  42. 42
    trollhattan says:

    It’s still okay to can GWill, we’ve got Eugene Robinson.

    Why will Paul say the obvious while Romney, Santorum and Gingrich are barely willing to clear their throats? Because Paul, who is in this campaign to spread the gospels of libertarianism and Austrian economics, knows he can’t win the Republican nomination. The others, who think they do have a chance to win, are afraid of making Limbaugh into an enemy — or, in Romney’s case, into more of an enemy than he already is.
    __
    So let’s get this straight: These guys want us to believe they’re ready to face down Vladimir Putin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Eun, the Taliban and what’s left of al-Qaeda. Yet they’re so scared of a talk-radio buffoon that they ignore or excuse an eruption of venom that some of Limbaugh’s advertisers — nine, at last count, have said they would no longer sponsor the show — find inexcusable.

  43. 43
    Anya says:

    @David Koch: Via CBS – best moment of the press conference:

    CBS News chief White House correspondent Norah O’Donnell asked the president to respond to comments by the former Massachusetts governor in which he called Mr. Obama the “most feckless president” since Jimmy Carter and said “hope is not a foreign policy.” In response, the president smirked and offered little other than just “Good luck tonight.”
    __
    A reporter pressed him to expand by asking “No, really?” The president replied by saying “really” amid laughter, and then moved on to the next question.

  44. 44
    burnspbesq says:

    OT, but amusing in a ironic sort of way: the FBI got LulzSec, and they did it the old-fashioned way. Someone with a personal grudge against “Sabu” dropped a dime, and the FBI caught him, secretly flipped him, and left him in place to gather evidence against his buds.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/tech.....for-us-fbi

  45. 45
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Watching the Tweety show, a lady who looks very much to be of Medicare age tells Willard that the most important issue to her is that he promise to “repeal” Obamacare. I’m generally opposed to picking on civilians, but I’d love for these people to be forced to explain their views on Medicare and Obamacare to kindly, gentle Dr Maddow.

  46. 46
    muddy says:

    I had the horrible experience of picking up the phone this morning and being greeted by Barbara Bush (the old one) telling me I should go out and vote for Romney. I had the great pleasure of yelling, “NO!!! Fuck off! How dare you call me, you evil bitch!”

    It’s sad it was a robocall.

  47. 47
    Martin says:

    @Frank:

    Since Iraq was such a debacle, why does anyone think Iran would be any easier? Iraq cost $1 trillion bucks. Where are we going to find the money?

    They’re not proposing an occupation. They’re proposing a few B61s be dropped by high altitude stealth aircraft.

    Cost to the defense budget: fuel + twinkies. We won’t even bother replacing the bomb.

  48. 48
    AxelFoley says:

    @eric:

    @David Koch: He is like the old Cus D’Amato Mike Tyson….when everyone talked about how tough they were and then they got in the ring with him and realized he really does hit harder than everyone else. The GOP talks smack that “Barry” is weak because they know that their supports eat that up; but, the truth is, he is bad man; a very bad man. And, he does better under pressure than just about anyone else I have ever seen, perhaps even Bill Clinton. People forget how good he is because they see fleeting glimpses on the news and hear the GOP smack talk, but when the debates come around, he is gonna smack Romney around. If Romney had made the comment about Iran needing Syria as an outlet to the sea, their so-called “Barry” would have knocked him the fuck out.

    This. All this.

  49. 49
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @David Koch:
    Fuck yeah.

  50. 50
    opie jeanne says:

    I just had a squabble online with a cousin over false equivalency, between what Rush said and did and the single offensive words of Ed Schultz and Bill Maher. Never mind that Maher lost his show and Ed Schultz was disciplined and off the air for a week.

    the upcoming election promises to be painful in this regard. This is a person I love and who I generally think of as intelligent, but she told me she never listens to Rush, she just thinks that … blah blah blah both sides do it, etc. I am just about beside myself.

  51. 51
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @eric:

    Nice.

    That’s good shit right thar.

  52. 52
    4tehlulz says:

    @PeakVT: Man, imminent air strikes have been imminent for more than I thought. I imagined this started in the late ’90s, not the early ’90s.

    Time flies when nothing happens.

  53. 53
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Martin:

    They’re not proposing an occupation. They’re proposing a few B61s be dropped by high altitude stealth aircraft.
    __
    Cost to the defense budget: fuel + twinkies. We won’t even bother replacing the bomb.

    Immediate costs, yes. But the shitstorm it would kick up in the middle east? priceless.

  54. 54
    Brachiator says:

    @burnspbesq:

    OT, but amusing in a ironic sort of way: the FBI got LulzSec, and they did it the old-fashioned way. Someone with a personal grudge against “Sabu” dropped a dime, and the FBI caught him, secretly flipped him, and left him in place to gather evidence against his buds.

    Covered in another thread here. And I noted your spot on prediction that the FBI would not take too kindly to being mocked and hacked.

    They also apparently got one of the guys who hacked Stratfor.

    But some of this is reading like a “war on drugs” dog and pony show. They got some guys, but I wonder how effective they really were. I liked this bit, about one of the hackers who apparently got advance word about what was going down:

    Self-appointed Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown told the New York Times that he received advance warning of the FBI raid on his home in Dallas, and that he hid his laptops to avoid them being found. Brown promised that “Anonymous will go forward as usual. So will I. We hired an army of lawyers last January. We are prepared for a big slug-out.”

    There’s a bit of a cat and mouse game going on here, but I also get a sense (from a Gizmodo story) that there are a number of techies who are sympathetic towards what Anonymous stands for. This might include a number of techies who work for the government.

    @Martin:

    They’re not proposing an occupation. They’re proposing a few B61s be dropped by high altitude stealth aircraft.

    This is madness. Without some ground forces, there would be no way to verify the effectiveness of any attack. So, you would have what looks like a meaningless, purely punitive and vindictive attack. The blowback from any attack would be very nasty. And unpredictable.

  55. 55
    Elizabelle says:

    OT:

    Virginians: Polls open until seven pm.

    Open to all registered voters; nobody cares if you’re a Republican or asks.

    I voted for the coot in the suit, and it felt good to throw up a tiny roadblock on the way to Romney’s inevitability.

  56. 56
    Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    This is madness. Without some ground forces, there would be no way to verify the effectiveness of any attack. So, you would have what looks like a meaningless, purely punitive and vindictive attack. The blowback from any attack would be very nasty. And unpredictable.

    Aaaaaaand? You do realize whose proposing this, right? You do realize that’s a feature, not a bug?

  57. 57
    JPL says:

    @opie jeanne: Just reply that if Rush were disciplined, the story would have died down. The premise is wrong though because the only thing Fluke was doing, was arguing for women’s rights. We can’t pick and choose which prescriptions we feel should be covered. i.e. blood pressure and cholesterol at times can be treated by diet and exercise and instead people choose medications. My insurance rates are higher because of this.
    Mediate has a good clip of the Schultz apology btw

  58. 58
    dmbeaster says:

    @Martin:

    They’re not proposing an occupation. They’re proposing a few B61s be dropped by high altitude stealth aircraft.

    I don’t think the military is proposing this. It won’t do crap unless the Iranians are so crazy as to site their facilities in locations within the known capabilities of such weapons. There is also a slight problem of reliable intel on where everything is.

    The weaponization of their nuclear program only requires a very large number of centrifuges, plus the engineering know-how to assemble the pieces. It is not something that bombing is going to end.

    And you don’t get to drop a few bunker busters (hopefully not the nuclear version), declare victory and call it a day. There is going to be blowback which we can’t really control without a much broader war.

  59. 59
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Martin:
    OK, I’ve avoiding looking at the deep crazies so far but … who exactly is proposing bombing with tactical nuclear weapons?
    (Nuclear sites!?!? Serious local fallout, with serious long-term collateral contamination.)

  60. 60
    Martin says:

    @dmbeaster:

    I don’t think the military is proposing this.

    Of course not. I think the military is proposing “Learn to cope”. Iran has a larger military than Iraq did. They’re more heavily armed. This is not an occupation the military is going to advocate for without big allies committing BIG troop numbers. They’ll plan it, because that’s their job – but no general is going to suggest “Sure, we just wrung every last ounce out of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, let’s go ahead and put 300,000-500,000 troops on the ground again.”

    The opportunity cost for Iraq was huge. I hope it was worth it.

  61. 61
    opie jeanne says:

    @Martin: Just a few?

  62. 62
    samara morgan says:

    @dmbeaster: Fordo is Our Crazy Ex-Girlfriends proposed target. One, it is under a mountain. And two, it is also under Qom, the second holiest city of Shi’ia Islam.
    If Israel made a pre-emptive strike without warning its nominal ally, America…..then every NGO worker, American soldier (still 90k in A-stan), CIA agent, Xe/Blackwater contractor, christian missionary and embassy worker is an instant target for slaughter.
    World War III.
    Amerisrael against against dar ul islam, with china and the euros sitting this one out to pick over the spoils.

  63. 63
    samara morgan says:

    @Martin: OBL turned 911 into a war on Islam.
    we lost.

  64. 64
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:

    Aaaaaaand? You do realize whose proposing this, right? You do realize that’s a feature, not a bug?

    True. What is particularly bothersome is the presumption that an attack would be easy, and the sentiments of the Iranians and their allies don’t matter. This is especially nuts as very recent elections in Iran sees more hard liners taking control:

    Ahmadinejad was the big loser in Iran’s parliamentary elections on Friday, the results of which show a solid victory for the hard-line supporters of Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei. Both camps had approached the election as a public showdown in the bitter feud between the president and the Supreme Leader that has raged for the past two years. Ahmadinejad, who has been endlessly battered within the corridors of power by Khamenei loyalists, had hoped to increase his own power base in the majlis, or parliament, and head off calls for his impeachment; instead, he could be on even shakier ground in the months ahead as Khamenei loyalists who control the legislature mount fresh challenges to his authority.

    The idiotic disdain that conservatives have for Muslims keeps leading them to make stupid mistakes, keeps costing lives, and yet these fools double down on the nonsense that it is just a Kenyan Muslim in the White House keeping them from some kind of glorious victory.

  65. 65
    opie jeanne says:

    @JPL: Thanks. I will use that clip, hadn’t started looking for it, hadn’t thought I’d need to but apparently my word is not good enough, that Schultz was disciplined and apologized for it.

    Rage has been my constant companion for about three weeks now, and that’s not a healthy thing.

  66. 66
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    @Martin:

    The opportunity cost for Iraq was huge. I hope it was worth it.

    There are many reasons why the insane invasion of Iraq has hurt us and the world. Without it, I don’t think Iran would be quite as bold as they are, and we would have an easier time gathering a true world coalition to demand Iran stop it’s enrichment process much this side of weapons grade, and let the world inspect their facilities.

    There is such a thing as world political capital, and Bush shot our wad for no good reason. I hope he and Cheney are happy with their fucked up governing, if you want to call it governing. I don’t

  67. 67
    samara morgan says:

    @Martin: how do they get there to deliver payload?
    Scenario One.
    Israel strikes Qom, in an attempt to destroy Fordo nuke enrichment site.
    Qom is the second holiest city of shi’ia Islam.
    Instantly every NGO worker, American soljah, Xe contractor, christian missionary, CIA agent, and embassy worker in MENA becomes a proxy target for muslim rage.
    All are unwarned, and many will die.
    Israel would have warned their diplomatic personal to get to safety, of course.
    WWIII results, with America and Israel on one side and dar ul Islam on the other. China and the euros sit this one out to pick over the bones.

    Scenario Two. Airspace Ignition from Turkey..
    Israeli planes attempt to deliver payloads to attack Qom by flying through Turkish airspace.
    Three planes and a refill tanker are shot down. Turkey has already threatened to expell Israeli diplomats, so this violation of sovereign turkish airspace results in a declaration of war from the turks.
    MENA states choose up sides, and the ever unpopular AmerIsrael is on one side, dar ul Islam is on the other, and the euros and canucks decide to sit this one out.
    WWIII.

    Overflying KSA would also in relly bad things happening.
    Overflying Iraq ditto.
    i could do this all day, and the wargames group at the pentagon has done it a thousand thousand times at least.
    i worked for those guys.
    in a million sims how many resulted in WWIII?

  68. 68
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @Anya:

    A reporter pressed him to expand by asking “No, really?” The president replied by saying “really” amid laughter, and then moved on to the next question.

    Obama’s saying “There he goes again.” More of this, please.

  69. 69
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    We are not going to use nukes as a first strike for something like this. That would rightfully put a bullseye on us with a hair trigger from countries like Russia and China. And would cause great instability about everywhere in the world. At least while Obama is president. Any one of the wingnut clowns running for his job wins, all bets are off.

  70. 70
    samara morgan says:

    do you know what drives the Doomsday Clock?
    simulations.

    i cut code for the Clock in grad school.
    if Israel makes a preemptive stike we go to midnight.

  71. 71
    samara morgan says:

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero): but if Obama wins, then he bitchslaps Bibi to the wall and forces the Two State Solution.
    that is why Our Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Israel is fucking with election year politics.
    because we just arent that into her anymore.

  72. 72
    samara morgan says:

    @Brachiator:

    an attack would be easy,

    nah, false.
    how do the Israelis deliver payload?

  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    I think there is some concern that Israel might unilaterally attack Iran, and attempt to drag the US into it. Any perceived hesitation or reluctance would presumably be exploited by the Republicans.

    In one of the previous threads, someone pointed to some links (from Jane’s?) that showed that Israel doesn’t have the military capacity to do their own strike. They don’t have cruise missiles that would travel that far, and any airstrike by jets would require a refueling point, and they’ve alienated all of their neighbors at this point. After the whole flotilla fiasco, Turkey isn’t going to let them use their airbases.

    So according to some people who have the hardware knowledge, it’s literally impossible for Israel to attack Iran on their own, which is one of the reasons they’re pressuring the US so heavily. Grain of salt, of course, but it was plausible.

  74. 74
    samara morgan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So according to some people who have the hardware knowledge, it’s literally impossible for Israel to attack Iran on their own,

    political kabuki, to fuck with oil prices and american politics.
    We just arent that into Our Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Israel any more.

  75. 75
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    OvenMitt’s spawn are all cowardly shits, just like him.

    Hey hey hey!! They’re patriotically serving their country by campaigning for their dad!!

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne: RE: I think there is some concern that Israel might unilaterally attack Iran, and attempt to drag the US into it. Any perceived hesitation or reluctance would presumably be exploited by the Republicans.

    In one of the previous threads, someone pointed to some links (from Jane’s?) that showed that Israel doesn’t have the military capacity to do their own strike. They don’t have cruise missiles that would travel that far, and any airstrike by jets would require a refueling point, and they’ve alienated all of their neighbors at this point. After the whole flotilla fiasco, Turkey isn’t going to let them use their airbases.

    I’ve seen some stuff that suggests otherwise. And Brian Suits, a former military guy who does talk radio on Los Angeles talk station KFI, had some people on who talked some credible scenarios. The Israeli defense chief is very creative.

    Bibi might be playing a complicated game of chicken, but I get the impression that they have some plausible scenarios that would not require US armaments in an intial attack.

    But even here, apart from this, my fear would be that the Israelis might start something that would require the US to intervene. Part of the strategy is military, but part is also political, to attempt to undermine Obama. Some Israeli hardliners are nuttier than Americans in a foolish belief that Obama sides exclusively with the Muslim world.

    So according to some people who have the hardware knowledge, it’s literally impossible for Israel to attack Iran on their own

    Keep in mind that these are some of the same dopes who bought into the Iraq WMD nonsense.

    And did not foresee Pakistan and India getting nuclear weapons.

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @samara morgan: Do you just stockpile phrases that someone once suggested were clever and then trot them out whenever they vaguely fit the topic of the post?

  78. 78
    samara morgan says:

    @Brachiator: lets us talk about Pak, brach.
    in 2013 Imran Khan is gettin Zardaris job.
    That means 100 nukes.
    no airbases in Iraq, no airbases in A-stan, no airbases in Pak. Turkey and Egypt makin’ anti Israeli noises.
    can you blame the Israelis for gettin itchy?

  79. 79
    samara morgan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: nah. that was a reprise of the highest rated comment on this danger room post.

    im just fuckin wid joo Omnes.
    so enjoyable to grind your collective noses in America’s shit.

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @samara morgan: Are you not also an American? To paraphrase Elvis, if we’re going to go down, you’re gonna come with us.

  81. 81
    samara morgan says:

    @samara morgan: itchy necks. the israelis are gettin itchy necks.
    ;)

  82. 82
    samara morgan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: but im an enlightened american.
    i reverted to al-Islam, membah?
    something better will rise from the ashes of Murrican Exceptionalism and Protestant Anti-intellectualism.
    ;)

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @samara morgan:

    but im an enlightened american.
    i reverted to al-Islam, membah?

    This will help you how if the economy collapses? Aside from spiritual comfort, of course.

    As far as the rest of your comment goes, par for the course from you. Mock-creative spelling teamed with historical and cultural illiteracy.

  84. 84
    samara morgan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: But the economy is going to collapse. because the “freed” market is an ecophagy.
    you dont get it.
    im not a member of Team America……im a member of team homo sapiens sapiens.

  85. 85
    Howard Evans says:

    I’ve got to agree with the comment about sending Limpbag to Iran – he could be a game changer. No matter how much they harden any nuclear facility, if you drop something with Limpbag’s mass and density from ten thousand feet it should penetrate at least a mile into the earth.

    Did they bury Breitbart yet? I mean just in case the Iranians haver two nuclear labs.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Bibi might be playing a complicated game of chicken, but I get the impression that they have some plausible scenarios that would not require US armaments in an intial attack.

    As I said, though, I don’t think they have the resources for a sustained attack, and especially not for an invasion. Your scenario is probably what most people are worried about — that Israel would manage to pull off some kind of one-time lightning attack that they would then need us to bail them out from. Kind of the world stage version of the little kid who runs up to someone, punches them in the stomach, and then hides behind his big brother.

    If the Israelis are absolutely bound and determined to do something stupid, there’s probably not a whole lot we can do, unfortunately. No one seems to overestimate the competence of the Israeli Army more than they do themselves, so I’m more worried that their overconfidence will lead them to do something really stupid that we somehow feel honor-bound to rescue them from. They’ve gotten way too accustomed to declaring that their modern army “won” against opponents armed with sticks and rocks.

    (Edited to fix grammar.)

  87. 87
    samara morgan says:

    @Mnemosyne: whats wrong with you?
    i just outlined a scenario where american proxies are slaughtered all across MENA because of an Israeli first strike.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @samara morgan:

    Oh, you mean you were talking ignorant shit again? I probably scrolled right past it like I do all of your comments.

  89. 89
  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too:

    Population of Israel: 7.6 million
    Population of Iran: 74 million

    How stupid (or overconfident) do you have to be to look at a country that has about 66 million more people than yours and think, “Yeah, we can take ’em.”

  92. 92
    Jimbo316 says:

    @PeakVT: Yep, this story has a looooong backstory, as you note, decades long. Neocons don’t remember that the US and Britain engineered a coup that overthrew an elected Iranian government in 1953 and reimposed the hated Shah. Persians have had centuries of harassment from Russians and others. They are largely Shi’a. The bomb is a defensive move, one that grows out of a bad history and religious paranoia.

    This is not to say they wouldn’t like Israel to vanish; no doubt they would. But the Iranian Government is not actually made up of fools. They are brutally oppressive of their own people and opportunistic in Iraq but they are fully aware that Israel would retaliate against them and that the US missile defense system might take out any missile right after it was launched. As it was, Israel took out most of Iraq’s conventional rockets in 1991.

    An Iraq-style war would finally send the U.S. into terminal economic decline. From the Roman Empire to the British Empire, you cannot maintain a military empire with a declining and increasingly impoverished economy. It’s just that simple: we cannot any longer be a continuously warring country, which is really the Neocons’ wet dream.

  93. 93
    THE says:

    Right now I’m focused less on military options, (which remain theoretical) and more on the effect of the EU/US sanctions.

  94. 94
    liberal says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If the Israelis are absolutely bound and determined to do something stupid, there’s probably not a whole lot we can do, unfortunately.

    Not true; we could shoot their planes down, to the extent that they fly over airspace we control.

  95. 95
    liberal says:

    @Brachiator:

    And did not foresee Pakistan and India getting nuclear weapons.

    Who are you referring to? India tested its first nuke in 1974.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @liberal:

    Not true; we could shoot their planes down, to the extent that they fly over airspace we control.

    I’m pretty sure we turned control of Iraq’s airspace back to the Iraqis when we withdrew the majority of our forces, so the only airspace we control is Afghanistan, but that’s on the opposite side of Iran.

    Wikipedia led me to the fascinating fact that Israel’s attack on Iraq’s nuclear facility in 1981 had been preceded by Iran’s attack on the same facility in 1980.

    ETA: Also, too, Iran has an air force, so I’m not sure why Israel seems so confident they can just fly in and do whatever they want.

  97. 97
    samara morgan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: oh yeah sure.
    you’re fucking Prospero and im Miranda.
    is Mnemosyne Caliban?

  98. 98
    samara morgan says:

    @Mnemosyne: oh, so you dont think a hit on Qom would result in instant retaliation against any accessible American troops, NGO workers, Xe contractors and christian missionaries?
    stick your head in the sand ostrich lady.
    we got nothing out of Iraq but a big muslim boot in Americas ass, and that is exactly what we are getting out of A-stan too.
    ;)

  99. 99
    THE says:

    e.g. Iran defaulted last month on payments for Indian rice imports.

    This is in indication of the extent of the disruption that the sanctions are causing to Iran’s ability to obtain foreign exchange. Since then, India has made alternative arrangements for rupee-denominated settlement. (India does not support the sanctions).

    But it needs to be said that this is only one of many serious difficulties that the new sanctions regime is causing.

    I do expect that given time, most of the sanctions will be circumvented, markets being what they are. But the additional cost to Iran, of making alternative arrangements, will probably continue to impose a significant burden. And at the moment I believe the pressure on the Iranian economy is quite serious and disruptive.

  100. 100
    The Raven says:

    Juan Cole, giving a lot more context, link.

    Obama hasn’t actually said no to a war. He is leaving the option open.

    Circle, circle, circle…

  101. 101
    THE says:

    And just in case anyone thinks that wars of intervention like Libya end tidily, right now the Libyan problem is continuing to fester.

    Or this report from Amnesty.

    Just because the media have stopped paying attention, doesn’t mean that all is well.

  102. 102
    samara morgan says:

    @THE: it is not possible to permanently deter Iran from enriching uranium if they want to.
    Everyone with an IQ over functional retardation knows this: Obama, Bibi, Panetta, McCain, McConnell.
    Bibi is engaged in politcal kabuki to deny Obama a second term, and the GOP is colluding with him to that end.
    I think that is treasonous.

  103. 103
    samara morgan says:

    @THE: all is not well in Egypt either, is it? Both nations are in transition to islamic democracy.
    there will be a reaction to the last fifty years of bullying by the West to make nice with Israel.
    That is the problem with democracy promotion in MENA.
    The self representation of dar ul Islam is going to result in Israels neighbors driving the Israelis into the sea, if Israel cannot adapt its behavior. The will of the people is largely to get rid of Israel.
    America cant enforce pro-Israeli policies in MENA anymore.
    And RAE americans are increasingly disinclined to do anything to help Israel.

  104. 104
    samara morgan says:

    RAE is the rising american electorate. Minorities, single women, and those under 30.
    by 2020 we will make up 53% of the electorate.

  105. 105
    THE says:

    @samara morgan: I’m not sure I think its about the uranium as such. I think it’s more about wanting regime change.

    Given the choice, US would far prefer an urban bourgeois elite government like the Moussavi Greens, their twittering college-age rich-kids of North Teheran cafe society, and their business class parents, rather than the theocrats of the mullahtocracy and the hardline populist militant redistributionists like Ahmadinejad and his supporters in the Basij.

  106. 106
    THE says:

    Both nations are in transition to islamic democracy.

    Egypt is in transition to Somalia on the Nile. IMHO. Failed state with no exit. Syria is worse.

    The catastrophe on the Med is consuming most of the Mediterranean economies. Europe as well as MENA.

  107. 107
    samara morgan says:

    @THE: yes, but a Mousavi government is still going to pursue nuke tech. because regime change is what America does, or tries to do lol!
    If you think about it, the US has pursued regime change against every nation except those that had nukes, like NK and the sovs, where we used containment.
    No wonder Iran wants nukes.
    They would rather be NK than Iraq.
    ;)

  108. 108
    samara morgan says:

    @THE: Egypt might be somalia on the nile as long as the US is funding the military junta (SCAF). But i have faith in the MB. They have been planning this for a looonnng time. eventually the US is going to have to treat with the MB to protect Israel from the egyptian people, because they fucking hate Israel.
    and eventually the military junta will have to step down. And it will be much sooner than in Turkey.
    The Arab Spring pretty much put a stake in the heart of the old US “searching for ataturk” strategy.
    Turkey is just not that into us anymore, chu kno.
    ;)

  109. 109
    THE says:

    US would probably sell nuclear tech to a Mousavi govt. Like they did to the Shah.

    It’s not nuke as such that the US fears. It is class enemies. US is a status quo power.

  110. 110
    samara morgan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: okfine.
    i’ll be miranda.

    O brave new world, that has such [stupid] people in it.

  111. 111
    samara morgan says:

    @THE: yeah, the US needs diplo relations with Iran. you can see why the Israelis would frantically would oppose that.
    Iran would like to be the regional hegemon, and right now the Saudis are. The Sauds are American allies, so they are indirectly allied with Israel.
    That is the wedge point.
    All muslims hate Israel, shi’ia and sunni alike.
    If Iran can glue Israel onto the Saudi royals, then they get their own Arab Spring, and there isnt enough money in the world to buy KSA citizens off.

  112. 112
    THE says:

    But i have faith in the MB.

    Not me. Islamism was a failed model already in the 19th century. Why do you think the European imperialists were able to take over?

    I don’t know why they have returned to it. The old and familiar perhaps. Refuge in a storm. But when you have been dropped off a cliff it is no use snatching at the rocks that are falling with you, as they say.

    If you told me that they had elected a radical secular govt and were about to impose a Chinese-style solution i might have had some hope for them. Maybe Israel would have something to fear then.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @samara morgan:

    oh, so you dont think a hit on Qom would result in instant retaliation against any accessible American troops, NGO workers, Xe contractors and christian missionaries?

    No, I find it disgusting that you’re enthusiastic about the possibility of innocent people being murdered.

  114. 114
    Some Loser says:

    @The Raven:
    Obama can’t do no good, no?

  115. 115
    Geeno says:

    @samara morgan: Isn’t a BIG part of scenario 2 that Turkey is a NATO ally. If Turkey invoked Article 5 – “an attack on one is an attack on all”, it could force the US to join their defense against on Israel (if Israel attempts retribution) or leave NATO to Europe.
    I recall this, because there was fear that Turkey was going to do this after Israel boarded their ships headed to Gaza, killing some on board.

  116. 116
    samara morgan says:

    @Geeno: truedat. there thousands of variations on these simms and none of them result in a positive outcome for either the US or Israel.
    That is why im sure Israel is bluffing.
    Obama doesnt bluff…he really intends to prevent Iran from getting a bomb because it will destabilized the ME.
    If he has to throw Israel under the bus to get diplomatic relations with Iran he WILL do that……in his second term.
    Bibi understands this perfectly.
    if Obama gets a second term, Bibi is done.

  117. 117
    samara morgan says:

    @Mnemosyne: you moron im not happy about it, im just saying that is what WILL happen. and all the major players KNOW THAT.
    why do you suppose Obama and Panetta are bitchslapping Israel over the no-warning pre-emptive strike?

  118. 118
    samara morgan says:

    @THE: if Islamism is a failed model why is Islam the fastest growing religion?
    economic success and evolutionary success are two different things spock.
    i thought you knew that.
    ;)
    and…..didnt “islamism” just succeed wildly in Iraq?
    heres a lil’ prediction from my quantum crystal ball………we arent getting any permanent bases in A-stan either.
    ;)

  119. 119
    samara morgan says:

    @Geeno: one of those killed was an american citizen.
    srsly, why arent we done with Our Crazy Ex-Girlfiend Israel already?
    its not like the Israelis appreciate it
    heres a comment from that Danger Room thread.

    Esther: “Why should Israel have to lose Jewish soldiers in a war against Iran? The U.S.A. has an obligation to Israel as our ally to keep Israel safe and to eradicate the threat of Iran. If the U.S.A. chooses not to go to war and Israel has to go instead and Jewish soldiers die, then I
    hope to G-d that the U.S.A. goes bankrupt and becomes a third world
    nation. “

    that’s israeli gratitude for you.
    ;)

  120. 120
    THE says:

    @samara morgan: This has been explained to you hundreds of times but you are a brain-dead cult zombie so you ignore it.

    It’s not. “No religion” is the fastest growing religion if you are talking about conversion.

    The only reason Islam has grown in recent years is because of high birthrate. Much of that in some of the poorest countries on Earth. e.g. Paul and Zuckerman.

    But if you want to really predict the demographic future you have to consider death rates as well as birthrates. That is the part you never consider. Even P&Z don’t.

    I keep telling you to watch the global food prices. Do you?
    I’ll bet you don’t.

  121. 121
    THE says:

    I’ve even offered repeatedly to give you free access to my private research.

    But you are too much of a coward to look.

  122. 122
    The Raven says:

    @Some Loser: “Obama can’t do no good, no?”

    You know I don’t think well of him, but I’ll admit that it’s not clear to me what else he could have done in this case. If he takes a stand against Israel’s bellicosity, or suggests that a nuclear-armed Iran might not be the end of the world, he will be attacked domestically, and some of the US Israel hawks are willing to spend huge amounts of money to do it: Sheldon Adelson for one. That could easily cost him the election. If, on the other hand, he unequivocally supports Israel, the USA makes enemies globally, and it becomes more likely that Israel will go to war. So he’s in a bad position, and I suppose what he said was as reasonable as anything.

    Yet preventing Iraq from becoming a nuclear power was exactly the rationale that the Bush II administration used for Iraq War II. Now we hear from Obama exactly the same argument: that the USA will undertake a war to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Better hope that Juan Cole is right, and it’s not Iran’s goal, or at least that Iran (like Israel) is circumspect about it.

    Which is why the corvids are circling.

  123. 123
    The Raven says:

    Further thoughts: I think Netanyahu intends to force the issue. I hope there is no analog of Timothy Geithner or Lawrence Summers in the foreign policy area of Obama’s cabinet. I’m fairly sure that Hilary Clinton would oppose Netanyahu if he tried to force the Administration’s hand. Panetta, though, I don’t know, and I haven’t studied that part of the bureaucracy.

  124. 124
    THE says:

    I don’t know Samara. Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I’m just not explaining it the right way for you. I wonder if it would be more convincing to you if I put the argument the other way around. Same argument but different development.

    What you are describing here is what demographers call the Demographic Transition.

    This is the transition in birth-rates, that societies undergo, as the start to modernize. First infant mortality drops and then birth rates drop from agricultural society levels to industrial society levels.

    When you are half way through the transition, the population tends to boom, because infant mortality tends to drop before birthrate does. Its only when people see that nearly every child survives now, that they stop having extra babies as “insurance”. In agricultural societies you need children (usually sons) to care for you in old age.

    Nearly all the world has passed through its Demographic Transition by now. That is why birthrates are finally falling everywhere. And population growth is slowing everywhere as a result.

    The Muslim world was one of the later parts of the world to modernize, so it was one of the later parts to undergo its Demographic Transition. That’s why, in the last few decades, the population in the Muslim world is still rising, even though the it is falling now in many other places.

    This is not a sign of “evolutionary success”. Samara. Rather it is a sign of late modernization.

    However latest data shows that even MENA countries are now exiting from their Demographic Transition.

    To see how the countries of MENA
    have now nearly completed their Demographic Transion:
    click on the play arrow below the chart.

    This is, why in a few decades time, population growth is going to approach industrial levels everywhere. And in the future, secular conversion rate will be the only datum that matters.

  125. 125
    samara morgan says:

    @THE: and yet, sub-saharan africa still has a triple-digit rate.

    @The Raven: Obama and every one else knows that Iran cannot be deterred from acquiring nuke tech.
    If Obama gets a second term i expect we will see an attempt to open diplomatic relations and give nuke power plant tech to the Iranians, on condition they hand off spent fuel rods to the russians or something.
    Also, and this is Bibi’s doom, Obama will force a settlement freeze and lifting the Gaza blockade and a two state solution.
    that is why Bibi is moving his election up into 2012.
    he is running against Obama, and against time.

    All we have to do is GOTV. the RAE will do the rest.
    Occupy the Electorate!

  126. 126
    THE says:

    @samara morgan: Sub Saharan Africa is the last region of the world to modernize.
    But if you click on the animation arrow below the chart,
    it is still moving in the right direction,
    and in a few decades it is projected to exit from its Demographic Transition too.

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